Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fixer Upper

Where are Chip and Joanna when you need them?

On our way to the cemetery, Deb and I passed an abandoned, rundown house. We purposed to  stop and take a look around on the way back. (Don't worry, we stayed outside.)

View from the road

The front door. It wasn't until I got up close that I noticed the doorknob is on the door casing instead of on the door itself. I wondered who took the time to remove the knob and reattach it to the doorpost and why.

Upstairs window

My partner in crime.

The interior. Needs a little bit of work. Maybe a support beam or two.

Every old house needs a junk pile.

 Window treatments.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Entering the Twilight Zone

My friend Deborah and I traveled to the Twilight Zone this afternoon...

I left home not knowing exactly how the day would go so we decided, rather on the fly, to head south toward Interlaken, NY and look for the final resting place of Rod Serling. I'd had a heads up from Tom, the Backroads Traveller as to it's whereabouts, but hadn't looked up directions or anything ahead of time. (No, I don't have GPS on my phone.)

It's hard to get lost in upstate NY. We have a Great Lake on the north that stretches pretty much from one end to the other, and a set of really cool long lakes that run north and south between a volley of large hills which we call drumlins. They make pretty awesome landmarks and keep long time residents from ever wandering totally aimless. (But I digress, probably because I should be going to bed...)

I'd been in Ovid, NY just Sunday so my mind was refreshed on the direction to take. We found Interlaken and the Lake View (in this case Cayuga Lake) Cemetery rather effortlessly, but it was the grave of Rod Serling we had come to see and that took a bit of wandering. In our wandering we came upon a cemetery map posted on the back of a little information center. It listed last names and locations of plots. Had we not stumbled upon the map, we may have wandered for days.

Rod's marker is decorated somewhat differently today than it was when Tom made his visit. There was a small futuristic car, a little figurine, a metal lighter, stones, coins, pens, and a rock that said "Time enough at last." Deb left him a cough drop and I contributed a penny because I didn't have anything else very interesting in my pockets beside quarters.

I wondered later, along with the Cabinet Maker who is in North Carolina working on a job, what happens to all the little trinkets that decorate Rod's grave...

Deborah and I continued our cemetery wandering, taking pictures, and wondering at carvings and inscriptions. We took in life and loss, great sorrow and words of hope. There is much to be gleaned from a walk through the past and I'm thankful for a friend who will wander rows of slate and marble without making me feel foolish for being drawn there.

I was taken by surprise when I saw an urn smiling down at me from atop a granite marker and found myself smiling back. Who'd have imagined a bit of humor amidst the stones?

The Tulip Teacher

I am amazed at her beauty and resilience.

You would never guess how difficult things were for her just a few short years ago, how she struggled to survive. All I see  now is her elegance and grace.

Oh that I could be like her...

And look. She's no longer alone.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Annual Tulip Post

"Life can be challenging even for a tulip."

In 2009 I thought she would die. Stunted by abuse, she struggled to bloom. Although she did her best to put on a happy face, something was desperately wrong. She'd been kicked around and stepped on for too long. Without intervention she would shrivel up and die. I worried it might already be too late and lamented my own procrastination.

One spring morning, May 1, 2009, I took a small shovel and did the only thing that would save her. I dug her up and moved her to a new locale. She needed a new home where she could rest and recover, safe from the feet of children and the dog who liked to lay in the morning sunshine directly over her position.

The following year I didn't see her at all. As far as I know she didn't leaf out or bloom. I feared my efforts had been too little, too late, but deep in the ground where I couldn't see, a healing and transformation was taking place. She was making a miraculous recovery. Last year I wrote, "If God cares so much for flowers, He must love me too. The tulip I feared might never recover is beautiful again! Perhaps there is hope for me too. :)"

I'm still gleaning life lessons from the Teaching Tulip. Deep inside God is transforming me too. Progress might be slow and appear nonexistent, but God is at work. Who would have thought a small and delicate flower could teach me such valuable lessons?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Treasures

Somewhere down in the Finger Lakes not too far from Naples, NY a friend and I found a rusty treasure. I'm not good with makes and models, all I know is that it's old and rusty and very cool. I like that it still had the license plate attached, but I'm undecided how I feel about the flowers under the hood.

Link up with Tuesday Treasures over at Tom's.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Small Cities

The Cabinet Maker went to look at a new job yesterday afternoon and I went along for the ride. We traveled through several small Finger Lakes cities; Canandaigua, PennYan, Geneva.... The clusters of small shops and businesses are reminders of a bustling yesteryear. I'm sure in years gone by the streets and yards would have been filled with adults and children enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon, but yesterday the yards and sidewalks were strangely silent, a reminder instead that the computer age has taken over and is holding us hostage in our very own homes... Well, that and we can not let our children out of eyeshot least they be seen by neighbors who will surely call CPS. I miss the days of Leave It to Beaver.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Barn Collective

I haven't been traveling far these days, so here is something close to home. All it needs is a cow or a few goats wandering about the yard.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Orchard Walk

I thought today was to be dark and dreary, but the sun peeked through here and there, and the air was warm. Well, it was warm some of the time. The wind played games and changed direction, randomly casting a cold lake breeze across the yard sending us looking for jackets, and then settling down again causing us to take them off again. An orchard walk was in order when my sister Rachel came over. We walked a small loop across the street with Sabrina and Spence, who decided to be carried, and then a big loop through the orchards behind the house.

One orchard melds into another with hardly a noticeable difference. We walked from the Fox's orchard into Orbaker's hardly telling one from another. In summer one can tell one orchard from another by the length of the grass growing beneath the apple trees, but all the grass short today.

The old apple trees are slowly disappearing, making way for younger, newer varieties. I still find the older trees most fascinating. I love them best, the uniformity in the way they're placed and how they grow. I find them enchanting.

A strip of woods separates one orchard property from another. We walked into almost unknown (to me) territory where remain some old and gnarly apple trees. Tall and reaching upward, once plentiful, they are now rare and endangered. I need to walk back again when the blossoms cover the spreading branches. All too soon this beauty may be gone...

Hooray for Number Nine!

Grandbaby number nine is on the way and expected to arrive at the end of October. I do not think this child will be blond or blue eyed. In fact, I am expecting a full head of dark hair and brown eyes.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

3X Thursday

My second post of the day...

1. neat or messy?

2. favorite footwear?

3. coffee, tea, or soda?

A Little More Naughtiness

You'll very soon be sick of The Naughties, but because they have been so entertaining lately they are what I have to share.

Baby reads a book. (He's growing up...)

Naughty Too decides a book makes a comfortable place to take a nap.

Baby does not agree with this plan.

Baby gives the cat a nudge.

He attempts to explain the problem to Mommy.

Getting desperate.

A desperate plea for help.

Assistance attained.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Naughty Files

My husband does not find this near as amusing as Sabrina and I do...

The cat was hopeful, after all she was sharing with the baby every time he came over and asked, but it wasn't working for poor Naughty One. When he moved in closer, rather than getting a spoonful of milk, he was pushed away. I had to laugh because it looked like he played a trick on her. He looked away as if he wasn't paying attention and when she turned her head, he stuck his paw in the bowl. (Of course I missed that picture.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Naughty Update

The Naughties are living up to their reputation. Yesterday Naughty One was locked in our bedroom for hours. At one point Naughty Too was trying to open the bedroom door but I missed the underlying message and his brother remained imprisoned until I heard his cries and went searching.

Josiah, my own number four child, was out trimming dead branches and came upon the missing collar of Naughty One. He called me over to see. There it was hooked on a sassafras branch by the ring that holds the bell to the collar. The foolish feline could have hung himself, but knowing the danger, I made their collars out of elastic for this very reason. The cat escaped safely, leaving the collar to dangle in the tree and him free to once again silently sneak up on unsuspecting birds and squirrels.

This evening one of the Naughty Cats played a dirty trick on Amy, the friend of my daughter in law. She was pulling out of the driveway and heard a thud on her car. Sabrina, who was about to get in her own car, saw a look of horror come over Amy's face as she thought she had just run over one of our pets. Sabrina burst into laughter because she had seen what really happened. The crazy animal had jumped onto Amy's moving car and there on the roof, chilling out on his side, was a Naughty.  There must be a way to cure cats of getting into and on top of cars and vehicles...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I is for Impromptu

"Party hardy" they used to say, and so we are. I don't think it turned out quite the like the original planner intended. I know it didn't turn out quite like I'd envisioned, but with a big family sometimes things just happen. Such was the case today.

The original party planner intended to make an announcement, but instead of a great reveal, it turned out to be not much more than a secret whispered in the ear of a small girl. I haven't seen any online revelations, so I'll leave my own for another time. Let's just say life is always exciting.