Tuesday, August 30, 2011

G is for Goose

G is for goose. Or a whole family of them! (Can you spot the silly goose in this photo? I'll give you a hint, it's not really a goose... Now you guess.)

Once in a great while we like to take an old loaf of bread or a box of Cheerios and find a flock of feathered friends to feed. These particular geese are expecting a handout. They're spoiled rotten and happy to be so. (Yes, I do know it's a bad idea to feed wild birds old loaves of bread and Cheerios but the birds don't.)

To see the other participants in of ABC Wednesday Round 9, click here!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Pretty Breakfast

Breakfast was plain and fancy. Plain old Rice Chex dressed up for a party. They were wearing fresh peaches and blueberries, and were decorated with slivered almonds. Yes, breakfast was especially pretty today.

Other gifts to thank Him for...

1785. Blackberries in the hedgerow
1796. Thunder in the distance
1814. Bug on goldenrod
1817. Cattails tall
1819. Basketful of peaches
1821. Early morning sunshine
1822. Soccer-fields full of colored T-shirts
1832. Wild wind swishing leaves outside my bedroom window

1843. A friend who encouraged me to visit The Holy Experience this morning where I found this... "What if all our running around is only our trying to run away from God — the great I AM, present in the present moment?
What if I woke to now and refused to hurry because I didn’t want to refuse God?"

Thank you, Deb. I did clean my house, but I wasn't in a hurry, and God was good. He was here the whole time.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Gentle Kiss

I woke to the sound of leaves dancing in the breeze outside my window, leaves swishing on their branches in a struggle with the wind. Hurricane Irene brought us thick clouds and a blustery day, but no rain. We were, as Pastor said this morning, "kissed by the outer edge of the storm." I would have to say it was a rather gentle kiss. Late this evening the sun peeked through the western sky and it looks like we have another beautiful week ahead.

My two cozy coupe cars were blown off the front porch of Hannah's Place in a gust of wind today. They lay asleep, waiting for someone to turn them upright once again. My yard is scattered with Sassafras leaves and dead sticks blown out of trees in the wind.

I am expecting children this week, mostly grandchildren. I am slightly tired just thinking about it, but maybe that is just because today was such a sleepy day to begin with. In a few days I will have a small, warm granddaughter to cuddle, a couple of boys to chase, and somebody to bake cookies for. Good thing we replenished our coffee supply this afternoon. I'm going to need to stay awake!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Party Day

Late this afternoon there was a party. Friends and family gathered to celebrate the adoption of two beautiful children, one for whom I have prayed since last August. The wait is finally over and I can't tell you how very blessed I am to have witnessed this story as it unfolded. We've come to truly love this little boy.

We arrived at the church just as the party was beginning, in fact, his mom pulled in the parking lot just after us. Vinnie looked a little bewildered as to why Hannah and I were there.
"Hi!" I said.
"Bup," he answered as he held his sippy cup up for me to see.
"Bub," said I as I held up my cup.
I held his hand while Mommy took baby sister out of the car, and then Hannah carried him into the church.

We shared a prayer and some food. The children played outside while baby sister was passed to various friends and relatives. Hannah, all too willing, played outside with her little friend. She didn't have much competition for his attention and soaked up all the time she was allowed.I think he liked it too, after all, he does love Hannah.

How do these little people work their way so quickly into our hearts and lives? I feel so incredibly blessed to have been entrusted with his care and I know Hannah is blessed too.

(He was wearing clothes at the party. These pictures were taken back in July when we stopped at his house. It was hot and he was almost ready for bed.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Rare Event

No small children showed up at my door this morning. I stayed in bed, savoring the moments. Soon I will rise early every morning to once again greet little ones. My "garden" will be smaller this year, just two small sprouts 3 or 4 days a week, and a day full of grandchildren on Wednesdays. I glanced at the clock early this morning and decided I should stay in bed just a little bit longer,.. while I had the chance. It was nice.

Anxiety has plagued me the past few days, grabbing me in the middle of the night and sending my heart into palpitations for no apparent  reasons throughout the day. I've not been sleeping much at night and yet find myself falling asleep during the daytime. It's brain overload. Sometimes being wife/mom/daughter/teacher/caretaker/Power of Attorney catches up to me and I lose my focus. I forget to pray...

This afternoon I met up with James in Webster. We ran some errands and then went out to lunch. I came home feeling relaxed and much less stressed, and took a walk around my yard with my camera. We had an easy supper, corn on the cob and sandwiches, and then Ben and I took a ride halfway to Canandaigua to retrieve Hannah who had stayed overnight with her cousins. Tomorrow morning we go to soccer practice and then have an adoption party to attend in the evening. My little friend "Vinegar" and his baby sister will be the center of attention. I am blessed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lazy, Last Days of Summer

I must have thrown my neck out tossing and turning last night. Today was not one of my better days, not only was I tired from lack of sleep, but I probably could have used a good crack from the local chiropractor as well. I toughed it out with ibuprofen instead. I am expecting a much better day tomorrow and maybe by the end of the week I'll be able to turn my head and look over my left shoulder once again.

Yesterday we had fun feeding the birds down at the bay. It was one of the most beautiful late summer days and perfect for heading down to the lake. We even took the time to walk all the way out the pier to the little lighthouse. Only one thing could have made it better, enough time to put my feet into that cool lake water. I have yet to make my way to the actual beach. I must put that on my Do It Soon! list or it won't be happening at all.

The New York State Fair has begins tomorrow. Hannah and I are hoping to make a visit on Student Day next Friday. I am a cheapskate when it comes to the fair and Hannah can get in free that day. By the end of next week the sand sculpture will be completed and the animal husbandry folks will be sick of the whole deal. We'll buy a $.25 cup of chocolate milk, polish off a baked potato, and search out the player piano and baby calves. We'll do some wandering and maybe take in some entertainment before heading for home again.

Tonight we cooked up some corn on the cob from a local farm stand. I'm pretty sure C&C Farms has the best sweet corn in the entire state of NY. Must be all the apple sludge they dump on their fields from the local Mott's applesauce plant. I don't know if it's even possible to eat too much sweet corn. I sure hope not because it has to be one of my all time favorites, especially the white and yellow Butter and Sugar kind. It's so good it doesn't even need salt! I'd even eat it for dessert!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

F is for Feathered Friends

F is for Feathered Friends. It was a gorgeous day. With leftover bread on hand, I decided to take my little friend down to the Irondequoit Bay outlet to feed some feathered fowl. :)

To see the other participants in of ABC Wednesday Round 9, click here!

Had electricity not flashed out of the sky burning up my telephones and computer, I would have brought you this elephant last week. I'm not sure why these sculptures decorate the landscape, but this one hangs out in front of a local car dealership. I think he's pretty cool.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Making Plans

Hannah and I have plans to visit an old friend of mine in mid September. Judy lives in the Bronx and I haven't seen her since we were in high school. This will be an adventure for both Hannah and me. Having never been to New York City, I am not totally sure what to expect or what I want to see. James has suggested visiting Central Park and I'm planning to meet the Bronx Painter. I found him here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Week's End

It's time for me to be heading upstairs to bed where James is waiting. It's been a long, tiring week. We're still finding appliances apparently damaged by last Saturday evening's lightening. On Wednesday I discovered my oven coil wasn't working, and this after my dinner of stuffed shells had already been in for 45 minutes. I'm glad it wasn't banana bread or something that needed a steady temperature. The broiler coil did the job of warming our supper and I only had to remember to turn it on and off a few times. This morning James discovered that the gradually warming refrigerator also has a malfunction. Seems the defrost cycle is not functioning. We've added the fridge to the growing list of possible losses. I'm hoping this is the last and rather relieved we don't possess an abundance of electrical gadgets. Perhaps it is a good thing we don't own a dishwasher.

Today we had a graduation party for Ben. It was somewhat "loosely" planned and left us to guess how many people would show up and how much food we needed. It all turned out good in the end and as usual, there was more than enough to go around. We even have food left. My poor husband is totally worn out. Guess I'd better go before he comes looking for me.

Sure would like to soak my feet in some cool water about now... That lake looks good.

Friday, August 19, 2011

La-la Land

I suppose allergy season is upon us. The fall allergy season that is, the one with ragweed and such. The time of year when the urge to pick one's nose is all but overwhelming, and if one is honest, sometimes it is overwhelming... Tissue must be kept close at hand, or at least hand sanitizer.  It is the season of daytime naps and sleepless nights. A season of forcibly dragging one's body about because it won't go willingly. Of course, the lethargy won't last forever. The body does acclimate to such attacks, though somewhat reluctantly. Eventually I will once again find that several doses of caffeine throughout the day is not altogether necessary. Perhaps I shall once again desire long orchard walks or hikes about the countryside. (And all this has absolutely nothing to do with monkeys playing checkers... )

It's been an odd week... Sleepless nights,...  no telephone for several days and no computer for several more... a friend almost killed in a motorcycle accident... a Facebook feud... No wonder I'm tired.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bad Habits are Tough to Break

Has it been long enough? Can I resist the urge? And when in the world IS it a good time to be on the computer?

My little grandson loves his binky. Actually, he loves his brother's binky because he is now too old for such things. Though he knows this on one hand, his other hand keeps snatching up the binky and popping it into his little face anyway. Poor Lukie. It's bad enough to outgrow the pacifier without seeing one in your little brother's mouth, and then to have a baby sister on top of it? I think I just might grab one and find a place to hide if I was him too.

Anyway, my "binky" is back. Bear with me as I resist the urge. I'll be here washing walls or cleaning out closets.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

E is for Electricity

E is for electricity, the kind that flashes from the sky and burns up your telephones and computer.

To see the other participants in of ABC Wednesday Round 9, click here!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Living Without

For now we are living without Blogger. It is sad, but a lightening bolt took out our modem, computer tower, phone, and one television port Saturday evening. The back TV port is out but the front one works. We can still watch videos... We were not at home Saturday evening to run about unplugging things during the storm, and apparently our surge protector wasn't working. Hopefully it won't be off long. Hopefully I get my photographs back. Hopefully James brings a new telephone home tonight.

I am undergoing serious computer withdrawal. Hannah and I washed all the downstairs windows today and did all the dirty laundry. Perhaps this will turn out to be a good thing?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Everyday Challenges

Every day brings a new challenge. It also brings new gifts and opportunities. Yesterday I had the chance to cuddle my little granddaughter. What a blessing to hold this new little life in my arms and watch her sleep. What a gift to place her in the arms of her great grandma and watch my mother kiss that soft baby head just like I have seen her do with countless babies before. It was bittersweet to watch this woman who cared so tenderly for me and so many others, and know that her days of taking care of babies and children are over.

I'm not sure exactly what has happened to my own days of caring for babies and small children. The start of school is just a few weeks off and so far I have but one lone flower in the garden, one who will get on the school bus and be gone for the entire day. What does God have for me this year? It is another exercise in trust and patience.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Evening Blues

My little guys were here to visit this afternoon. As I was snuggling my newest baby on the back porch, Lucas picked up Jasmine's empty water dish and started off with it.

Hey," I said, "Where are you going with that dog dish?" as he stepped off the back porch.

"I'm gonna pick some blueberries," he replied. Of course, I knew he wouldn't forget the blueberry patch. I'm just glad there are still berries down there to be picked.

I put the baby down, found some berry boxes, and we headed down to pick a few berries.(We left the dog dish on the back porch.) Simon decided to accompany us, as well as Leta. The boys munched on their pickings, or dumped them in the long grass... and Leta took home a nice sized bag of berries as well.

This evening I made a return to the berry patch and picked some more late summer fruits. The sun cast long beams of light and shadows across the lawn, turning the grass to gold and lighting up the tender leaves of the berry bushes. The air was cool enough to warrant long sleeves (though mine were short), making it feel just a little bit like fall. Although some of the bushes are barren, others are heavy laden and more than willing to be relieved of their burden.

Aside from this afternoon, I hadn't been down to pick blueberries for a week or more. Tonight, rather than a plastic Tupperware bowl, I picked a basketful of berries, a pretty basketful, and took my camera too, of course, to record the moment... I can almost smell those blueberry muffins baking.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blogger Memories

I followed an old link back in time and found this. It made me smile.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

D is for Downpour

D is for downpour, because it rained cats and dogs today.
The water came down in buckets, and my girls had gone to Seabreeze with their cousins. The water park section of Seabreeze is meant to be soggy, but the amusement park rides? Not so much. As the heavens opened and more rain poured down, I feared the girls must be drenched and disappointed. I should not have feared. As the crowds were dispersed, management dispensed rain checks. The girls will be delighted to return another day!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Fleeing the Country

We made our escape late Friday afternoon. The destination was nothing grand and glamorous, rather a quiet, yet familiar location. Who takes a weekend trip to Fort Erie, Ontario? Well... we do. We just haven't done it in a number of years. We are putting those enhanced driver's licenses to good use, and besides, Aunt Jeanne was in town.

James booked a room at a new Bed and Breakfast along the Niagara River, just outside of town. The house was an old Tudor style cottage that reminded me of a Thomas Kincaid painting. We had a small front room with a view of the river, very cozy. Breakfast was continental style; muffins, Danish, fruit, and coffee. We were the only guests for the weekend as they opened for business just two weeks ago. Our host was both gracious and friendly.

We spent our days wandering about and visiting family, mostly wandering. Saturday afternoon we found ourselves in Niagara Falls, but somehow couldn't find the Niagara Boulevard along the actual falls. We hadn't expect to be able to park the car, get out, and walk over to fence like we did years ago, but somehow, this trip we couldn't seem to get even a glimpse of the falls. There was always an obstacle of some kind in our way; walls, buildings, bus depots, or shrubbery. Perhaps we just didn't drive far enough or in the right direction. Regardless, we gave up and headed back down the boulevard toward Fort Erie.

It was re-enactment weekend at the old fort and so we wandered around the tent camps there Saturday morning and looked at the displays. We returned to see the Battle for Fort Erie Saturday evening. It was hard to see through the smoke and flying dirt, but in the end, in spite of an exploding magazine, the Americans still held the fort. We didn't return Sunday afternoon to witness their surrender.

Saturday afternoon we took a ride out to see the lighthouse at Point Abino, but found it inaccessible. Not only is it inside a gated American community, but it's undergoing renovations as well. Go figure. It all turned out good as we found the old Shoe Tree on our way back the other direction. (I seem to recall there being a few more shoes on it 30 years ago...)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Blueberry Blues

I've not spent many hot afternoons in the berry patch this year, instead I've taken to picking blueberries in the cool of the evening. The real reason is that it was un- bearably hot when the berries first ripened and standing out in the sun midday would have been nothing short of insane, not to mention terribly uncomfortable. I was half tempted to leave the entire patch to the birds, but since I hate to let good food go to waste, I couldn't let that happen and therefore took to going out after supper when it was a little bit cooler.

In years past we have set a small table out by the road in front of our house, put out a sign, and sold blue- berries. A coffee can with a slotted lid and a rock inside (to keep it from blowing off the table), and the honor system, worked well. Whatever went into the can was my summer spending money. The berries that didn't sell got put into bags and deposited into the basement chest freezer for winter pies and desserts, or just to pull out and eat frozen.

Most years friends, or my sisters, have come to pick, but so far this year only my neighbor has been over. I saw him out there this morning filling his bucket. Perhaps I'll find another friend looking to fill a basket or two. I know there's no way I am going to pick them all, besides I'm going to take another trip up to Canada this weekend so it will be Monday before I go back out there. I doubt my kids will be picking when I'm gone, but you never know, it could happen.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Jaded Again

I may have killed my Jade plant. It was top-heavy, broken, and ugly. It may remain broken and ugly forever, but I'll give it a chance to grow again before I give up and toss it out. If the rain that soaked my cuttings today doesn't kill them, I'll have more baby Jades than I know what to do with anyway.

It's been a trying day. One of the toughest I've faced in a long time and it had nothing to do with my mom. No details for now, just one unspoken prayer request and another for a restful night. God is good. I'm so grateful He holds us and those we love in the palm of His hand. Where would we be without Him?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

C is for Castle and Country Church

Up in the mountains of western Pennsylvania, along the Alleghany River between Franklin, PA and Oil City, is the Joseph Sibley Castle, also known as Christ's Castle, because it is now a Christian retreat center owned by Life Ministries. (This is the back of the castle. For a front view, some history, and a ton more pictures, click here.)

Up the hill and down the road behind the castle, is a little country church. Though I have some knowledge of the castle, I know very little about the little white church.

Update (yes, already)- Some information on the little white church here.

To see the other participants in of ABC Wednesday Round 9, click here!

PS. If you got here searching for Life Ministries or Christ's Castle, leave a little note to say hello. Even though I've been there only three times, The Castle is one of my favorite places.