Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Barn Collective

I'm starting at home. We have a collection of barns and I have a collection of photos. We'll start with Barn 3.

Once upon a time this was an apple farm. Two of our barns have cinder block frames and The Cabinet Maker uses them for his shops. Barn 3, directly behind the house, is where we keep things like lawn tractors, bicycles, and all things garden-like. It has a shed roof behind and down underneath. Sometimes I dream about having some goats or chickens back there...

Click here to visit The Barn Collective with Tom.

Sunday Scripture

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you. 
Ephesians 4:32

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Looking Over My Shoulder

Park Circle... When we finally reached the road that circled the park in the center of town, the long ride to Great Grandma and Uncle Leo's house had come to an end.

I often look backward in time and linger in the days of my childhood, days like those when we would pile into the car and drive to Angelica, NY to visit Great Grandma at her big old house on Main St.

Technically the house belonged to Uncle Leo but I always thought of it as Grandma's house. She lived with Uncle Leo, had an orange cat named Timothy, and a pen full of chickens  next to the garage. The was a cozy wood stove in her dining room and we would gather round the table there and the grown ups would talk. There wasn't much for three shy little girls to do but there was lots to look at; Great Grandpa's old autograph book, photos on the wall, and a china cabinet packed with knickknacks. One day we went outside to play in the leaves fallen from the tall old trees that lined the street. 

It's been almost 40 years since Great Grandma passed away. A part of me wonders at the little girl who was so shy and timid that she assumed her great grandmother hardly noticed her existence. I often wish I'd been braver and gotten to know the woman who quite obviously enjoyed our presence but never pushed herself on us. I miss her now and often find myself longing to climb into the car with Mom and Dad just one more time for another long drive just past the circle in the center of town to the big white house on Main Street.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Nothing Much

I don't hate my job, but I do enjoy my days off. Yesterday I had a chance to catch up with my friend Deborah and play with my felting supplies, and today I went to lunch at Panera with some friends. Although I haven't cleaned the house yet this week, I actually made dinner two nights in a row. (Pretty impressive since that hasn't happened in a long time.) Maybe I'll plug the vacuum cleaner in tomorrow and perhaps I'll even turn it on. Lest you think I am a total slacker, the place is not a disaster area and my bed is neatly made even if there are "bunnies" living underneath.

The Naughties are doing their job of misbehaving. They scoot down the steps to the basement when I'm not paying attention and hop across the table when they think I won't catch them. But they are typically very gentle with the baby and only once, in his zeal to swat at my sweater hood strings, has one forgotten my legs are not for claws.

In other news, one of Williamson's own is a contestant on American Idol this year. Did you see the girl with the hat? That's Jenna Renae. No, I do not know her, but up until a couple years ago she lived around the corner ( walking distance) and The Cabinet Maker did some work on her parent's house a few years back. He knows Jenna, and Nate and Sabrina know her. Me? I'm just enjoying the fun of watching someone homegrown compete, and hoping she does great.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

3X Thursday

It's late but it's still Thursday and I think there's enough time left in the day for a Thursday post. (I spent the afternoon catching up with a friend and I have to say, it was very nice.) So, here we go.

1. Do you grow a garden? What is in it?

2. Something on your bucket list.

3.What is under your bed?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Vintage Toys and Little Boys

My grandsons came to play on Saturday morning. The Grandfather made us French toast for breakfast and Grammy was kind enough to bring the big box of Fisher Price toys down from upstairs.

Jake wasn't the only one to find the box of old playthings alluring. Spencer had a grand time playing "people" too.

One little truck especially caught his fancy. A little tow truck that belonged to one of my sisters over 40 years ago. Never mind that the hook is missing and the wheels are worn, Spencer thinks it's perfect.

While Spence took his nap, Aunt Sabrina took a little bit of time to sit and play with Jakie. Josh, a little skeptical of their farm, wanted to know what an elephant was doing in the wild west. Never mind the giraffe. He never questioned its   presence. Maybe he didn't even notice.

Monday, January 25, 2016

C is for Cats

C is for Cats.
My son's cat had 2 kittens in June. In late September they came to live with us. We call them The Naughties, because they are, but we love them just the same.

It's easier for cats to watch birds out in the rhododendrons if they knock the curtains down first and so they do.

 Whether they like cats or not, visitors are good for snuggling.

I thought our old Christmas tree would be a good hiding place for birds... but the cats hid there instead.

I got rid of the old tree but Naughty One doesn't seem bothered. They just hide behind the maple tree instead. Good thing they're  wearing bells around their necks or the birds wouldn't stand a chance.

Come visit ABC WEDNESDAY here.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Scripture

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

 1 Peter 5:6-8

Although The Naughties are both wearing bells, and I really like the look of the tree, I got to thinking it might not be such a good idea to have an ambush point so close to the feeding dish. Josh took the tree down to the burn pile for us late yesterday morning. (No birds were harmed in the making of this post.)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

On The Way

I took Lake Road to Wegmans in Webster this afternoon and popped my camera in the car for the ride. Found a really great barn just a hop east of Basket Road. Makes a fun photo to play with.

Come and join The Barn Collective. :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Ben's Pictures

My son Ben has been posting a picture to Facebook every once in a while. He is able to see the beauty in what some might consider ugly.

One of Ben's great loves is cars. Knowing makes, models, and years of cars comes almost too naturally to Ben. Years ago he would ask, "Mom! What kind of car is that?" and if I happened to see that car he was asking about, I  might answer "blue" because chances are I had no idea.

Ben works as a parts manager at a local collision shop so it's no surprise that cars often show up in his photos. More and more often I find myself taken in by the pictures he posts. He has a natural eye for finding and capturing the moment and I'm blessed  by his perspective.

A Few Straggling Thoughts

I often find it hard to articulate in writing what I want my reader to hear or understand. In the same way, I can find it difficult to always accurately determine the intention of the written words of others. This is especially difficult if I have never met the writer face to face. When I can't hear inflections, see expressions, or read the tone of voice, the interpretation is partially a guess on my part. I am left to determine the intention of the author on the basis of my own perspective.

I have made some great friends in my years of blogging. I've had some misunderstandings, but thankfully haven't lost many friends to anything other than the fact that they lost interest in keeping a blog. But Blogdom comes with the same risks as any other friendship, and every once in a while hurtful or annoying comments come. I pray on my end, that I learn to love and forgive because I may never really know or understand what the person next to me is dealing with, much less those on the other side of a computer screen.

Sometimes what I blog is positive and sometimes I struggle. I try hard to be real without whining, but I'm far from perfect. I realize you all have your own personal struggles and that some of those struggles far outweigh what I might be facing, but I want you to know that if you are facing heartache or hardship, I've been there too. When I bleed (and I do sometimes), it comes out red just like when you bleed. I'm not looking for perfection in my friends, just a heart that is willing to love me along with my flaws, and to forgive me when I stumble along the way. Maybe even a hand when I've lost my footing, and I'll be here to do the same for you.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

3X Thursday

Three absolutely random and unrelated questions...

1. When someone says. "How are you?" how do you typically answer? Do you typically answer truthfully?

2. Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?

3. Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My Take on Italian Wedding Soup

I haven't been doing much cooking as of late, but this evening I had enough time and plan. I made Italian Wedding Soup, even though I am not Italian and no one is getting married.

 My Take on Italian Wedding Soup

1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 T butter
32 oz container chicken broth
1 pound mild sausage, browned and left in bite-sized chunks
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
par boiled acini de pepe (maybe 3/4 c.)
 7-9 oz. fresh washed baby spinach
2 T. chicken stock
black pepper
few shakes each of 
 dried basil and oregano

Saute onion and garlic in butter. Add to soup broth in large Dutch oven. Add cooked sausage, (I had venison sausage), beans, par boiled pasta (I didn't measure, but I boiled them for 5 minutes in water before adding them to my soup.), spinach, chicken soup base, and spices. I turned off the heat after I put the spinach in and let it sit for a while then garnished it with Parmesan cheese when ladled into bowls. Dee-licious!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

B is for Birds

My parent became birders in the autumn of their years and it seems I am following suit. 

Peanuts for the blue jays, 

birdseed for chickadees, juncos, and sparrows. 

Here and there a woodpecker. 

Come and play ABC Wednesday with us here.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ten Years and Counting

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
 Getting Started 

 My name is Martha and I was born and raised in upstate NY. I live out in the country and am surrounded by apple orchards and farmland, no where near New York City, in fact I've never even been there. I have a wonderful husband and a whole bunch of great kids! I've never tried a Blog before and I'm not quite sure exactly how this will turn out. It looked like it might be fun, so here I am. 

Happy Bloggerversary to me!

A lot has happened in the past ten years. For one thing, I've actually been to NY City. (Hannah and I took that trip back in 2011.)

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by for a cup of coffee, to those who have lent listening ears, and to those who have prayed me through rough times. Some of you are old friends, some are new friends, and some of you I have never met face to face.

I've found that God can put blog friends directly in my path with no help form either of us (like Kristina living 4 miles from the farm in Minnesota where my son got married almost 4 years ago).

Thanks to Blogger I have friends as far away as Australia and as close to home as Cato, NY. (Or even right here in town.) I am so blessed by your friendships.

Sunday Scripture

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Is 61:1

It is a day to rejoice!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

"Happy New Year!"

That's what it said inside the box containing my friend's "baby".
"A baby in a box?" you ask.
Well, that is what she called it.

It began as an idea and morphed into a dream come true; the bringing together of the Bronx Artists. The work of my friends Daniel Hauben and Judy Lane.

I've watched it develop from a distance; a mention of it in emails. a few photos on Facebook. I even had an invitation (believe it or not) to the reception last year. Of course, New York City is a little far for a day trip, and though I'd have loved to have gone, it didn't happen. However, my socks were blown off yesterday when the book showed up in the mail. Honest! I'm barefoot!

Maybe one day The Grandfather and I will take a vacation and visit the Rembrandt of the Bronx and his lovely wife. It could happen...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

3X's Thursday

It's been a while since we played 3X's Thursday. Since today is Thursday and I like a good game, I thought we could play... :0)

1. What is your perfect pizza?
2. Would you rather hike or bike?
3. Camp in an RV or sleep in a tent?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A is for Artificial

A is for Artificial.
- made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, typically as a copy of something natural. (synthetic, fake, imitation, substitute, replica, man-made, manufactured, fabricated)
plastic, pretend, phony
- (of a person or a person's behavior) insincere or affected (false, unnatural, put-on, exaggerated, forced, strained, bogus)

Or... in this case "arti-fish-al"

Once we had Orville the trick fish (he could do the dead-fish-float) but he eventually went belly up for the last time and was sent "swimming" down the porcelain express. Our cats rather like the large watering dish that has graced the bookcase, so rather than ditch the fish bowl, "Arty" moved in.

For more ABC Wednesday go here.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Life and Death, and Hard Goodbyes

The Memory Care Unit is a little sadder today... Saying goodbye isn't ever easy, especially when the ones leaving are deeply loved. One of the favorite members left early Sunday morning. If there was a staff sweetheart, Leelee was the one. She left behind some precious memories and a lot of red-rimmed eyes.

Another sweet soul is making ready for her impending journey but waiting on her daughter who flies into town today. Spunky. That is how I would describe this one. Although I haven't known her long, we've shared many meals around a small circular table in the dining room. Her caretakers were my first friends here...

My own friend has the upper respiratory ailment working its way through the facility. She appears much stronger than many of the residents but one never really knows what a day will bring. Just when I thought my own mom was on the road to recovery, she took an unexpected turn and left us. No one has the absolute guarantee of tomorrow. Not even me.

Photos aren't loading here. Maybe I'll add one when I get home tonight.

#17  new opportunities to learn
#18  a tender heart
#19  tears
#20  pizza out with Hannah and Sergio

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday Scripture

#13  Chef James (He's been cooking dinner lately.)
#14  tomatoes, avocados, onions, mushrooms, fresh baby spinach, cheeseburgers, and 505 sauce
#15  the sound of kittens purring
#16  a January rain

Saturday, January 09, 2016

505 Southwestern

We have made a delicious discovery. The new Costco in Rochester,NY is selling 505 Sauce!!! We are blessed on two counts. One is the green chile sauce and the other is the son now living in our home, who works at Costco and can bring his favorite mom a big jar of green chile sauce when she asks sweetly.

The last time I bought 505 Sauce we were in the 505 area code (New Mexico) in 2006 and I packed two unopened jars in my suitcase. The airline, sweethearts that they are, decided to look through my bag and open a jar of sauce. It was all over my clothes, cold, wet, and looking like someone had barfed in my bag. (Really. Check #10 on the list here.) Kind of lost my appetite for the second jar after that, but fast forward 9 years and 505 is tasting pretty good all over again. So good on potatoes. Spicy!!!

Friday, January 08, 2016

Winky Face

Not much time to sit and sort through thoughts this week. I've had plenty of time to sit, but not much thinking alone time. Probably because I let myself be distracted... or stay in bed too long. (I'm blaming it on the holidays, especially those that keep me up until midnight.)

I had to laugh when I saw this picture come up this week. I thought it would be funny to try but I'm not the one who typically makes the coffee each morning.

I enjoy my morning cup of coffee. It would be more fun to actually share it with a friend and a slice of coffee cake, but I typically end up settling for my online buddies and imagine them on the other side of the computer, coffee cup in hand (with or without the cake).

Have a great weekend!