Thursday, October 30, 2008

Woodpiles and Leaf Raking

It is firewood weather. Each morning for the past week my husband has built a fire in the wood stove. There is something about the warmth of a fire that makes a house warm and welcoming. On chilly mornings everyone tries to find a spot on the couch or in a chair close to the fire. Jasmine stretches out on the rug on the floor, and every once in a while one of us takes a turn standing close to the front of the stove where the heat from the fire warms up our backside. A few years ago, when the power was out for four days, we cooked our meals and heated water on the wood stove and huddled around it to stay warm. I imagine that's how it was in the old days, families gathered around the primary heat source, playing games and working where it was warm while the rest of the house was cold and silent.

Soon fall will be over and the leaf piles will have either been hauled away or blown into the neighbor's yard. I always feel just slightly guilty for the leaves that blow across the street from our yard into Bob's. He tries so hard to keep an immaculate home. He is always out picking up, raking, and trying to keep things neat and tidy. Here... well, we do try but when there are still leaves on the trees it seems a waste of time to rake the yard, besides they look so pretty laying all over the ground and they're so much fun to jump in!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

He's One!

What a difference a year can make!

Yes, Gmj, he's one super little guy! He's one sweetheart, one bundle of fun, and one small screamer. He's one ball of energy, one hungry thing, and one much loved little boy. He's one year old today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


A fierce and unrelenting wind has assailed our home since late last night. It's a wonder any leaves are left on the tree branches but some still cling tenaciously. I'm not sure why but they refuse to give up and release their grip. I guess there is just enough life left for them to hang on.

I must have been hearing the wind in my sleep last night because I dreamt of hurricanes and tornadoes. We had just arrived on a beach in Florida and black clouds were rolling in. We ran for cover and ended up inside some kind of building much like a hotel. We needed to get down in the basement but could only go in one at a time. I needed to get our pillows and ended up getting into line somewhat late. The basement was very nice with carpeted stairs and there was plenty of room. Still I had this fear that I wasn't going to be allowed down. Needless to say, I woke up tired.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Did Somebody Say "Party"?

Looks rather like someone was hosting a celebration one one kind or another... Possibly an early birthday party? Oooo, pumpkin pie and ice cream! Now that IS special!

Do you notice that stack of plates on the table? I count at least fourteen. My advice to the local dishwasher is to clean out the kitchen cabinets and make those extra dishes not quite so easily accessible. If the same number of dinner plates, bowls, cups and saucers, and drinking glasses reside in her cupboards, she will have no end of dirty dishes for the remainder of her days. What she needs is a great big storage bucket in a dark and hidden corner of the basement, a place in which to store the excess tableware for those rare occasions when a crowd of friends or relatives invade her living space. They say "Necessity is the mother of invention". Well, it also provides a great incentive for reluctant dishwashers.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Indian Style

What ever happened to all the cool masks they used to sell at Halloween?

Cornstalk Teepees and a Blogger Surprise

Gorgeous late autumn days are hard to resist. The sun was shining, the streets were dry, and I had a four year old all day. He had missed out on our previous outing so yesterday seemed a perfect opportunity.
First we visited Bauman's where each year they have a great hay bale maze and spooky house. We bought half a dozen fried cakes and ate them in the car on the way to Power's Farm Market.
I used to hang out at these two locations for what seemed like hours when my own children were small and I remember my own excitement as a child, runnung into the teepees, picking a pumpkin to carve, and Dad buying a gallon of apple cider and a box of warm fried cakes.
I didn't forget the quarters. Power's sells a miniscule handful of pellets for 25 cents so visitors can have the fun of feeding the livestock. Pretty smart, huh? I wanted Troy to have fun feeding the animals and I didn't want the animals to be disappointed either.

It was getting past lunchtime but we decided to make one more stop before heading back toward home, Powder Mills Park Fish Hatchery. More quarters, more pellets. The fish were biting today! Happily, nobody fell in the water. (I once saw a daddy pluck his little daughter from the cold water and carry her away dripping.) We were all hungry so off we went to Wendy's for a hamburger and a Frosty.
Finally, since my dog was still missing, I headed toward the humane society, Lollypop Farm. I wanted to leave a discription of Jazz in case someone turned her in. I started to pull in to a parking space where a dark haired woman was just getting out her van. She glanced at me as I parked. (I almost ran her over so she probably wanted to get a good look at whoever was trying to kill her.) Then she did a double-take. I looked familiar to her and I thought I had seen her somewhere before too. She was wearing sunglasses. "Hey," I said, "Don't I know you from the blog?" She laughed and said, "Martha?" Now I must admit that I knew Carla previous to blogging, I even went to her wedding, but our recent contact has been only through blogging. She lives in Ohio and I had no idea she was home for the weekend. What a fun surprise!

Friday, October 24, 2008

She's Home!

The very naughty dog has returned. She was gone for five days. I can only imagine she has been hanging out with the migrant workers, where else would she go? Sofie is glad Jazz is home, but Jazz does not seem thrilled to see Sofie.

Dave and Leta

Last night Dave and Leta came for supper. and I had an opportunity to take a few photos of them. (These are for you, Grandmanita!) Leta is looking a little bit rounder each time I see her. Both are looking forward to the arrival of their new baby boy. They are collecting all kinds of baby gear and discussing names.
In the meantime they are enjoying Josh and building a relationship with him. He was content to sit on Anut Leta's lap and drink his bottle of milk. Soon he won't be "the baby" anymore and he'll have a new little cousin.
Josh had fun being the center of attention last night. He managed to swipe Uncle Dave's glasses during their game and left toys scattered throughout my house. He knows just where to find them. I think he must have gotten at least a hug or two from everyone before his mommy decided it was time and hauled him off home to bed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


A little wind, a little rain, a blustery day and all the leaves fall. I think I like the look of them on the ground as much as the colors displayed on the trees. Now we can rake them into a pile and find some little kids to jump in them with... or maybe we can jump in them without any little kids.

Still no sign of Jasmine. I took out an ad in the local pennysaver, but am still half expecting her to show up home any minute. Sofie misses her and last night I dreamed she had draped herself over my lap and I was petting her. It seemed so real...
Today is Bethany's birthday. She is turning 23 on the 23rd. Tonight we shall have the family over for dinner and dessert. I have a pork roast in the crockpot and have made two apple pies. Next week Josh will have a birthday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Although there are still plenty of leaves on many trees, it has become increasingly evident that winter is just around the corner. My sassafrass trees are nearly naked and shedding more leaves every hour.
Last week they were brillianly clothed and this week they are nearly bare. Funny how the trees shed their coverings and we dress in more layers.

The boys are out in the orchard looking for their dog. She still hasn't come home. Mike said she tried to get in his truck the other day. That is strange because we rarely take her out for a ride unless we're going to the vet. She also wanted to go in his house and howled outside his door when he went in and ignored her. (She really sounds more like she's singing when she does this.) The dog warden hasn't seen her. I'm not quite sure what to think.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wintery Weather

I went out to the store this morning and the weather, although chilly, was mild. Something happened not long after my return home and it is downright nasty out there right now. Cold wind, driving rain... Brrrr! I'm glad I'm home and tucked inside my warm house.

Jasmine has gone missing once again. I let her out just before we left for church Sunday evening. James mentioned how we need to keep an eye on her or she'd disappear, and when I wasn't paying attention she took off. We talked to Mike this morning and he hasn't seen her in a few days. I had been hoping she was up there keeping him company. The boys drove around the orchard but came home without any answers. If she doesn't show up soon I'll have to call the dog warden. I know there are people out there who will say she should be contained, and you are right, but we have twice installed an underground fence only to have it stop working. With James' busy schedule we haven't had a chance to install the board fence and besides, for the past seven years she has been more than happy to hang around out in the yard. Well, until lately...

This afternoon, while the boys were out looking for Jazz, Hannah helped me cut up and peel all my macintosh apples. They are bubbling into a nice mess (literally, it's all over the stove) of applesauce. I just turned the burners off because I smelled something burning. It boiled out from under the pan lids and ran down the sides to the burners. I guess it's time for me to clean up the stove and heat up some jars and lids.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far...

... especially when the tree is short.

Applesauce. Lots of applesauce... Sweetened and smooth, chunky with cinnamon, all natural... I wonder how many jars I will pack away in the handsome jelly cabinet My Darling made me this summer. So far there are five freshly cooked jars, one of which looks to be unsealed. I will have to check on it tomorrow. We may have to eat that one first.
While picking apples, I noticed a bird had layed a strange looking egg in Mrs. Apple Tree Robin's nest. Interesting... I wonder what kind of creature it will become? I must remember to clean all the garbage out of those poor little trees before they flower in the spring. They are full of wild roses, wild grapes, and way too many sucker branches. They make a good place for birds to hide.
Well, Friday night our DVD player decided to swallow a disk. It refuses to play or spit the movie back out. When I returned from Saturday's adventure with Rachel, we had become the proud owners of a brand new VCR/DVD player. And to think I had almost disposed of our great video collection. Now we can once again enjoy the Disney classics and Veggie Tales without replacing the whole set. (Hannah is combing through the box right now in hopes of finding something wonderful.) Nate wants to watch The Princess Bride, Ben would like Beauty and the Beast, but Hannah is putting in Cinderella. (Nathan is objecting the movie choice. Now they have something to argue about... Ah, The Princess Bride wins.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Was Sleepy

We thought we might take our kids out for a ride this afternoon, but when we came home from church to eat lunch, a strange sleepiness came over me. It was cold outside and not much warmer inside. James lit a fire in the stove. Suddenly I couldn't imagine going out and traipsing around even though the skies were sunny and the leaves bright and beautiful. Someone turned on the TV and popped in a "Hogan's Heros" DVD. I curled up in a blanket, snuggled up next to Hannah on the couch, and dreamed about yesterday's walk in the woods...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Missing the Middleman (or woman)

Due to Priscilla's stressful schedule, Rachel and I went out for Sister's Day without her. (Isn't that sad?) It was a nice day and the colors were beautiful. Gmj would be proud, Rachel can drive with camera in hand. Not only is she beautiful, but she is talented too.

We spent some time browsing through antique shops in Bloomfield and then headed for Naples to find some lunch. (That was an interesting experience...) We thought we would eat at Bob and Ruth's. We went in and found a seat. The elderly waitress smiled and said hello. She seemed pleasant enough. Another couple came in, sat down and were given menus. We waited. Soon a group of six came in, sat down, and were given menus. Rachel said to the waitress, "Um, can we get some menus?" "Oh, I'm not your waitress, she is," she replied, pointing across the restaurant. We waited. The other waitress seemed busy. She scurried about and waited on other parties. She never once looked our direction. Rachel was not impressed, she was hungry. She decided we were not going to sit around and wait any longer. We got up, walked out, and no one seemed to care in the least. Down the road we found another place to eat, the Redwood Restaurant. The waitresses were smiling, friendly, and ready to serve us. Much better! We both ordered reuben sandwiches and decided it was the best restaurant in town. The waitresses were quite amused by our story from the "other" place.

After lunch we hiked back into Grimes Glen. We checked for trolls under the bridge and then tramped across. It looked dangerously like a bridge from an Indiana Jones movie but really there were some nice big logs underneath and it was very safe. I jumped up and down just to make sure.

Rachel did not fall over the cliff on the way back to the waterfall and fortunately neither did I. This was the only really treacherous part of the trail, as long as one is wearing spiked shoes, he is perfectly safe. I'm happy to report that neither one of us even got a soaker, though I did try.

After browsing a few more shops and taking in the local scenery, we headed back toward Canandaigua and ended our day out by visiting the Rheinblick. We both enjoyed delicious German dinners with scrumptious red cabbage and spatzle. Too bad we were too full to order dessert. Maybe next time. Thank you, Gudl and Gary, for such a great place to visit.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Head Full of Nothin'

I have nothing to say this evening. Tomorrow I am going out with Rachel for the day. Maybe when I return I will have something wonderful to say... or maybe not... For now, more pictures from Tuesday.

A bridge to somewhere.
Donkeys, or maybe they're burros?
By the canal. Hannah was hoping to fall in.

The fish hatchery
Weirdos in the woods

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apple Eating Baby

Yesterday afternoon Josh discovered my box of Macintosh apples and decided to help himself to a couple pieces of fruit. They make rather nice balls for throwing but don't bounce very well. After carrying them around for a little while he decided to take a bite and found them quite tastey... I think.

I can't belive how much this little guy has grown this past year. He is so much fun and learning so fast. I'm looking forward to having a new grandson in December and watching my two boys get to know each other. Maybe next year Josh can introduce his cousin to fresh apples.

Tree Climbing Shoes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Once upon a time there were three small children living in my house. (I still have three but they are slightly larger and have different names than the three pictured here.) The names of these children were Jimmy, David, and Bethany. Today David celebrated his 25th birthday. He is the little blond in the Dalhousie shirt. I baked him a pumpkin pie and we delivered it to his house tonight after church. We stayed to eat a piece with him and Leta. Mmm! It was good!

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Jumping the Fence

"Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you!"

More photos from our outing yesterday. I came in the back entrance to this park in Penfield and totally
confused not only my kids, but myself too. I've been there many times but never came in the back way which is unmarked (I think). Do you think this could count as P.E.?

Of course, Hannah has never been one to let her brothers get too far ahead of her. She's been fighting to keep up with them her whole life, and has done a pretty good job of it... a little too good sometimes.

And now I am off to read a story and bake a pumpkin pie. Someone I love dearly has a birthday today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Flying the Coop

My kids and I escaped for a field trip today. I needed the fresh air and exercise and came home feeling much better than when I started out. It was one of those cloudy days with sprinkles of sunshine. Not too hot, not too cold. Beautiful!

Hungry deer looking for a handout.

Pumpkin wagon. They weren't ours, but they looked pretty.

Bumpy pumpkins.

Feeding the donkeys. They're quite friendly if you have a handful of food.
We actually stopped several places before taking a detour to Taco Bell on the way home. I think I'll sleep well tonight and look forward to playing with my grandson tomorrow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Bird in a Cage

The weather this past week has been simply gorgeous. Sadly it seems I have spent the majority of my time inside the house instead of outside enjoying the sunshine. Small children, school, and illness have kept me close to home, so I have been trying to sneak outside at least once a day for a quick dose of fresh air and a few rays of sun. Today I took a walk around my backyard and collected a few more autumn photos.

If you are a person of prayer, please keep my two sisters in law in your thoughts. Kathy had some surgery last week and contracted a serious abdomonal infection. She is back in the hospital and will remain under observation the remainder of this week while receiving IV antibiotics. Kim totally destroyed her knee in two separate injuries this summer(ACL gone, severely torn miniscus, broken bones, surgery,... ). She is in a wheelchair and has many long months of physical therapy and healing ahead. These two sisters live a short distance apart in the same city, but neither one can help the other and the rest of the family is spread across the United States and Canada. Yea for caring husbands (they both have one) and a God who loves us!

My house is quiet at the moment...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Sleepy Sunday

I honestly would have preferred to spend my afternoon walking leisurely through the orchard, but instead I wound up sleeping most of the afternoon. I sneezed my way through yesterday but by evening it was apparent something else was going on. Both James and I have picked up a cold somewhere, stuffy sinuses, headache,... I took some medicine and ate some chicken soup. Tonight you get photos from earlier in the week.

Did you know God invented Velcro? It grows in abundance out my backyard and around the side of Barn 2. Years ago I had a child who made a very cute burdock sculpture of a bear. I had it up on a shelf for quite some time, but one day it fell down and imbedded itself in the carpet. It didn't survive the clean up.
My kids used to have burdock wars down at the park. It was a fun game unless it got tangled in their hair. Burdock should definitely be kept out of Sofie's hair. She got a few on her face and tangled in her ear the other day. Not a good thing. Luckily she isn't the type of dog who will be scrounging through the underbrush so her encounters with burdock should be few. Her haircut is still looking good, (still short enough to pull burdock out of). She looks so much cuter when she is able to see.
And... I thought the wood pile made and interesting photograph. Hannah was out tossing logs into the trailer so they could be hauled up and stacked on the back porch. This is usually the boys job, but sometimes we help too. (Good exercise.)We have a pretty good looking supply of wood out there. I wonder how long it will last.