Monday, July 31, 2006

Feeling Sluggish

Today I am feeling like a slug. What kind of animal are you?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Another Blueberry Day

Picked some more blueberries today, about 8 quarts maybe. I wish I could remember how long the season lasts. Last year it was a short season because of the dry weather but this year we don't have that problem.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Singing In the Rain

The frogs are happy!

I prayed for rain and, boy, did we get some! My garden was thirsty and so were the blueberries. But, my nephew is not pleased. He was planning a trip to Sea Breeze amusement park and can't believe his aunt would pray for rain on such a day. He is not amused (and not happy either). Actually, I was hoping for rain during the night and it didn't start raining until early this morning, but rain is rain and I am thankful. (Sorry, Steve.)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Madame Blueberry

I feel a little like the little blue lady from Veggie Tales. My house is so full of stuff that I don't know what to do. If only I could tip it over and dump everything out, maybe I could sort through it and figure out what to keep and what to get rid of. My goodness, I don't even know HOW to get rid of it! Maybe I don't want to dump it out after all. I'll just have to stay away from "Stuff Mart" while I sort out what I already have.

It has been a strange kind of week. Yesterday and today there was no one home but Hannah and me. A year ago I had five kids living at home and none of them were gone all day every week. Bethany got married in December and so she isn't here much anymore. Josiah has been working at a little restaurant down the road since the end of August and now he has moved to Dave's house, so he isn't here. Nathan spends most days working with James and is home in the evenings (when he isn't at church). Yesterday Ben left for the Junior's retreat in Pennsylvania. (He'll be back tomorrow evening.) I couldn't have imagined last year (or even last week) that my house could ever be so quiet. I know God is working changes, He always is, but I have to wonder what is around the corner when things are so still. Maybe He thought I needed a breather after last week. Yeah, that must be it... He knew I needed fewer people around so that I could catch up with my house, garden, and blueberries. It really has been a beautiful week and very relaxing aside from my inability to sleep last night. That's okay, I made up for it this morning by sleeping in just a little bit.

Thirteen Things to Do when You Can't Go to Sleep

1. Lay there awake and stare at the darkness. (Been there, done that.)

2. Get up and take some Tylenol and hope you can sleep when it kicks in.

3. Pray.

4. Clean the house. ( I can't do that because it would wake up my husband.)

5. Take a shower or a nice warm bath. (I took a shower before I got in bed the first time.)

6. Color a picture. It's a nice quiet activity.

7. Read.

8. Balance your checkbook.

9. Have a snack. (No, I didn't do that.)

10. Surf the internet.

11. Check the blog...

(Anyone have any more ideas?)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In a Pickle

Today I am trying my hand at making bread and butter pickles. I have never made pickles in my life but since I have an abundnce of fresh little cucumbers, I figured it was time I try. It was really quite easy and they do taste pretty good, if you are a sewwt pickle kind of person. I do love sweet pickles, especiallly the bread and butter kind. But then again, there is sometimes nothing nicer than a nice crisp dill pickle... Maybe I'll try those next time.

Pickles weren't the only thing going into jars in my kitchen today. I also made three batches of blueberry jam. That translates into about 18 jars. I can hear the lids popping in the kitchen as they seal. I am still selling berries out front and will be for some time to come. There are tons of berries still ripening and lots of green ones too. Tonight, after supper when it starts to cool down, I will go out and pick some more.

Rachel came out for a little visit and to get some berries this morning and Steven came along. We decided that since we each had only one child (Mike was with a friend and Ben has gone on the retreat) we should go up to the CK to have some lunch together. My headache is gone and it is turning out to be a productive day.

What to Do?

It is an overcast morning with a slight drizzle of rain. It should be a good day to get something done inside the house and my house is in desparate need of attention. Unfortunately, I don't feel so great today, so I will have to push myself to get something done. I really just want to take some ibuprofen and go back to sleep.

I started to clean and sort things out several days ago but got disrupted in the middle and now I hardly know where to begin again. Do I start making that batch of pickles first or the jam? Maybe I should do the dishes again or get my bed made, but then there's the laundry...

(And now, an hour later, the sun is shining. Does that mean I should weed my vegetable garden or can I still sleep off this nasty headache?)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Turning Blue

Today I picked a bazillion blueberries. I was out there in the blueberry patch for several hours, soaking up the sun, listening to frogs croaking in the drainage ditch and eating an occasional berry. My sister in law says it sounds like I am "living a dream" and actually, it is rather nice. Spending time out in the blueberry patch is rather relaxing and peaceful, especially in the cooler evening hours. Today it wasn't the cool of evening but the warmth of a mid summer morning. I picked another sixteen quarts before my sister came to visit and then we picked ten more later. You would think that maybe we had picked all the blueberries that there were to be picked, but alas, there are bushes that I haven't yet touched. Now if only people would stop and buy them during the week like they do on Sundays.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pickin' and Grinnin'

The blueberry picking is in full swing. On Friday evening I decided I had to go out and start the picking process before the patch got completely out of hand. Between James, Hannah, and myself, we picked a little over sixteen quarts of berries. We ate some but knew we could never eat them all, and neither would they fit into my freezer. We packed some up to take to Mom and Aunt Margie along with another bag for a friend. It rained all day Saturday and we didn't get to put them out front to sell until this morning. Luckily, blueberries keep very well and they were still sellable. We put eight to ten quarts out front today and they were all gone by afternoon. We also had someone ask if it would be okay for him to pick a few quarts himself this morning. He picked four so in all we sold about 14 quarts of berries today! Tomorrow morning I will be back out there picking again so that I have more fresh berries to put out by the road.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rainy Saturday

Another week behind us and another one ahead. It's Saturday night, Vacation Bible School is over for another year, and tomorrow is Sunday. My house looks as though someone turned it over and gave it a few good shakes. It has been neglected while I was busy with other things, helping with crafts at church, taking little girls swimming, sleeping off a headache, or maybe picking beans or blueberries. I am hoping to catch up with my housework this week. Maybe I will even stay home long enough to finish vacuuming the whole house in one day. I can't remember when I last dusted and my floors are slightly unsightly. Yup, this will be a good...

I was just interrupted by my ringing telephone. As I went to grab it, it flew out of my hand, dropped behind the computer monitor and bounced to the floor. Landing under the desk, in the farthest corner from my reach. it continued to ring. I had to get to it before the answering machine. Crawling under the desk, I ran my glasses into its base. I reached for the phone as it rang for the third time. I flipped the phone over and glanced quickly at the caller ID but couldn't make out the number in my haste. "Hello" I said. "Hello" said the very familiar voice on the other end... Ahhh! It was my very own sweet husband calling me from the living room as he sat on the couch. This is his way of inviting me to come spend time with him. Watching me struggle to get to the phone was more than he was hoping for. He not only interrupted my blogging but got to see me crawl under the furniture in a franctic race with the phone. This was a great source of amusement. The joke was just too good. He's calling me back. Guess I'd better be going...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Something Funny Going On...

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? I think somebody's having a little too much fun with the paint program....

Just Plain Hot

Rochester, NY 14600Last Updated: 07/20/06 15:31:14 EST

Current Conditions
Real Feel: 96°F (36°C)Relative Humidity: 49%Barometer: 29.99"Hg (F)
Wind: SSW at 4 mph (6 kph)Visibility: 6 miles (10 km)Sunrise: 5:50am Sunset: 8:44pm

It's a hot day. This isn't Florida and we don't live in Arizona. Eighty-eight with a real feel of ninety-six might not sound so hot to them, but for us it is! The wind is barely noticable, pretty much non-existent, and the air is thick and heavy. It feels like we need a thunderstorm. Too hot to go outside, it's a good day to turn the fan on, lay on the floor, and put your feet up on the couch. We don't have airconditioning in our house so we just have to deal with it when the heat sets in. I really don't mind all that much, after all, in a couple of weeks it will be August and the weather will start to cool off again. Better enjoy summer while it lasts.


Rochester, NY 14600Last Updated: 07/20/06 19:46:00 EST

Local Weather:

Current Conditions
Real Feel: 85°F (29°C)Relative Humidity: 62%Barometer: 29.96"Hg (F)
Wind: S at 4 mph (6 kph)Visibility: 6 miles (10 km)Sunrise: 5:50am Sunset: 8:44pm

Well, we had our thunderstorm. It started rolling in while I was out picking a few blueberries. We had a good rain and are now feeling much cooler.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Thirteen Things about Hannah

1. Today is Hannah's eleventh birthday.

2. She is a little bit taller than me (but I'm still much wiser...)

3. Hannah loves to swim.

4. She was baptized in the lake this past Sunday.

5. She has a following of small children who love to play with her and drag her around.

6. Her best friends are Kara and Bethany R. (I think).

7. She doesn't like making her bed (neither do her brothers!).

8. Hannah likes to read and is always looking for another good book.

9. She has one older sister and five older brothers.

10. She likes to sit on her dad's lap.

11. She has blond hair but is plenty smart.

12. She plays a little bit of piano.

13. She isn't much on baking cookies but she does like to eat them.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Long Weekend

Well, now that it is Monday evening, my long weekend has come to a close. Priscilla was here to pick up her children late this afternoon. They had been here since Friday morning when their parents left town for a wedding ( a very fancy wedding!). We had a great time and kept ourselves busy swimming, doing crafts, going on picnics, and who knows what else. I don't think anyone had time to get bored but we sure were tired by the end of each day. (At least I was!) I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hardly noticed that I had seven children all Friday afternoon. Now the house will seem terribly quiet again, right Hannah?

Yup. I had fun, oh, except when they were crabby.

I didn't notice too much crabbiness. I think we all had a great time. I can't wait for Cousin Camp!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Baptism Picnic

July can be a fiercly hot month and it's really starting to heat up now. Today was our church picnic in the park with baptisms following. Most of us spent the time keeping cool in the shade and praying for a breeze off the lake. Matt K. brought along a sprinkler which kept the kids occupied, and another very thin hose that sprayed a fine mist. They were both welcome additions to a very warm day.

After the picnic and a bocce ball tournament, we headed over to the baptism site and vied for the shade of a few trees and bushes as we watched our friends and family members follow Jesus in baptism. Both Nathan and Hannah decided this was the year for them to take the plunge. It was great to see them make this decision.

When we got home from the park, we all grabbed our bathing suits and headed across the street for a much appreciated splash in the Conner's pool. The perfect ending to a hot summer day.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

No More Feeling Blue

The blueberries are ready! This came as a surprise to me last night. James had said we needed to start picking berries, but so often we start the picking before the berries are nice and sweet, so I thought it would be a little longer. When will I learn that my husband is "always" right? Beth and I picked some last night and... mmmmm... they are yummy! These blueberries don't have that stong flavor that I have always associated with blueberries. They are sweet and good, like other berries. We eat them plain. We eat them on cereal or in yogurt. We eat them in jam. We eat them frozen.

Last night we picked a quart for Mr. Morgan who lives down the road and has been asking Bethany if they are ready yet. He wasn't home so we left them by the door. James loves fresh blueberries, I love fresh blueberries, the kids all love fresh blueberries. Even the dog loves blueberries!

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Cool of the Pool

It's going to be a hot and humid weekend, typical of July in upstate NY. Today I had seven kids for the better part of the afternoon. It is rather warm so we are thankful for Mr. Conner and his willingness to have us use his pool every summer. We don't even have to ask. He says if we don't use his pool, he's going to take it down. I was hesitant at first, but he's serious. The Conner's are good neighbors and we are thankful for them.

Chimney Bluffs

These photos of Hannah and William at Chimney Bluffs are a couple of years old. Chimney Bluffs has always been one of our favorite places to go in the summer. We haven't yet been there this year although the kids have asked. It isn't far, maybe a half hour drive, I just haven't made the time to go. The kids like walking along the lake shore at the base of the bluffs, throwing rocks into the water and sometimes swimming or wading in the lake (if it's warm enough). I don't know if I can make it there this weekend, but as I have Priscilla's kids until Monday, it might be a fun place to go. Maybe Sunday night after the church picnic and baptism, if we aren't too tired.

Well, I must go pick up two little girls, my son's nieces, at VBS. And I also need to finish vacuuming the dust out of my house. How does it get dirty so fast?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Snow for Ruth

A VERY Soggy Day

We got a lot of rain yesterday! "3.33 inches
Rochester's rain Wednesday broke two records:
The rainiest day in July was previously July 11, 1897, at 3.25 inches.
The previous rainiest July 12 was in 1910, with 0.92 inches. " (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) These are pictures from the Webster Rural Cemetary on the south side of Ridge Rd. The little boy lives on Judson St. and then there is this morning's photo of a sinkhole, also on the south side of Ridge Rd in Webster. They had to close the road. I guess some old empty gas tanks collapsed. There used to be an old car dealership there. Nate says it was flooded at Lowes too. Guess I'll just be happy with my lake. Now if only I had a boat...

Hey, Rachel, how'd it go with the yard you had to drive through yesterday?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Teal Lake Family Resort

Teal Lake made a return to the back yard today. Hannah and her friend decided to check out the water. It's nice having your very own lake until a couple of weeks go by and it starts to stagnate. The ducks will soon move in and it will be one big stinky puddle. Better enjoy it while the water is fresh! Bring your canoes and bathing suits and set up your tents on the water's edge. This is a limited time offer. Hurry over while there's still time!

It's Raining, Cats and Dogs!

This is a soggy day. The good news is that I won't have to water my garden. The bad news is I left my van windows open last night. Right now it is pouring! Good weather for curling up with a good book or video. Since we can't watch a video maybe a book will have to do.

I am looking forward to some beautiful weather this weekend. My two nieces and my nephew will be staying here for the weekend while their mom and dad are out of town at a fancy wedding. Maybe we'll go swimming at Aunt Rachel's house one day and on Sunday there is a church picnic down at the park with a baptism in the lake. Monday starts vacation Bible school and then our visit will be over. I think there will be plenty to keep everyone busy, I just hope they all get enough sleep.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Feeling Blue

My blueberry patch is looking slightly sadder this year than last. Each year since we moved here several bushed have died or become sick looking. It really is disappointing because we think our blueberries are just the yummiest ones around. We have searched some gardening books and have determined that it is probably some sort of bacterial or viral condition and the ailing canes or plants will have to go. We will even have to disinfect the pruners after each cut. Luckily, not all of the plants look sick and there appear to be plenty of berries. They're not quite ready to pick, but maybe in a couple of weeks they will be.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hollyhock Belles

When I was a little girl there were some hollyhocks growing in the corner of our back yard. It was a rather messy corner where Dad dumped grass clippings, rocks from the garden, and other yard debris. Our neighbor had some flowers growing on her side of the fence and since they seeded themselves, there were always a few growing on our side too. Every summer Mom would let me pick a few and turn them into beautiful dancing maidens, their hair spun into a cone atop their heads. Every doll included a fully blooming flower and an unopened bud. We peeled the green covering from the bud revealing the doll's head. All around the base of the bud were tiny holes. Into one of these holes we pushed the stem of the open flower. Two of the remaining holes made perfect eyes. It was like God made hollyhocks specifically for little girls to turn into dancing dolls on a summer's day.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You've Got Mail

It seems we never lose the wonder of receiving a letter in the mail. For fifteen years we lived in town and had a post office box. Every day we would either walk or drive up to the post office and check the box. As the kids grew older they took turns running inside with the key to see if we had any mail. It's been almost five years now since we moved, but they still think it's funny to say "Can I check it?" whenever we stop at the post office to buy stamps or drop off a letter. They still love to check the mailbox at the end of our driveway and are always saying "Did I get a letter?" Hannah often writes to her friends and sometimes she even gets a letter back.

Several years back when Ben was about eight, he used to write letters to Chris from Adventures in Odyssey. Of course, it was never Chris who wrote back, but it was fun to get a reply none the less. For a little while he even wrote letters to the mail carrier and got cards from her until her boss told her it wasn't allowed. Sad because I think they both enjoyed it.

Bethany used to have a painting by Diann Dengel of an old woman, all wrinkled and wearing glasses, standing by her mailbox waiting for the postman. It's still the same today. We still love to check the mailbox but there's rarely anything we really wanted there, just bills, credit card offers, and junkmail. Now we check our email boxes for notes from friends and family. And, of course, we check our blogs and hope for connections, conversations, and comments from not only our friends and family but from anyone out there who cares to check in and leave a note or two. So thank you to all of you for connecting and dropping a letter into my "mailbox".

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fourth of July

Well, I don't have any fireworks photos to display for the fourth of July, but seeing as I didn't watch any fireworks yesterday, I suppose that is okay. We did enjoy another wonderful family picninc in PennYann with all the fun stuff we usually do; Uncle Chuck's wild games, the crazy bicycles, stilt walking, swimming in Keuka Lake, and plenty of good food and family. It was a rather wet morning to start but the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. I did miss the jump rope competition this year but maybe that game will come back around next year. In the mean time I should probably practice up on my jumping skills and, hey, if Aunt Margie can walk on stilts in her seventies, then I should still be able to master that skill too. I love family gatherings in the summertime and am always disappointed when it gets too cold outside for a picnic. I can hardly wait for the next one!