Friday, August 28, 2015

Another birthday

Priscilla was here for a couple of days and was on hand to help me celebrate my birthday.  We discovered the Longhorn Steakhouse this spring and like going there, especially for the desert!

This is the Chocolate Stampede, designed for two people.  It has six types of chocolate in two huge wedges, served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

The three of us managed to polish it off (barely!).  It was wonderful, but you don't want to know how many calories it has!

Priscilla and I did some shopping the next day, which included a stop at Craft Bits and Pieces.

She found a great vase, that we decided needed some dried flowers from my stash that I have collected from our gardens.

Priscilla's vase was bagged in this tote bag at the store.  Of course, Suki assumed it was brought home just for her.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

More Trees

The trees on the west side of the house had been there since the house was built in 1969.  They had reached heights of more than 30 feet.

Many of them were blue spruce with good tops but diseased and damaged lower limbs. 

Here the first tree is felled and its limbs are being "treated" to a trip through the heavy-duty chipper.

The trees were taken down one by one.  Several had the studio on one side and an electrified horse pasture fence six feet away on the other.

The men spent a fair amount of time discussing where to drop each cut.  The owner did most of the close-in work and seemed very confident and skilled.

The view from the road looking toward the studio demonstrates the close quarters as a challenge at this point in the job.

Another view of the remaining challenge as seen from the back of the studio.  The horse fence changes to post and rail here and drifts closer to the path of falling trees.  We did not watch this part of the job!

All went well.  This company has rough lumber for sale, and they harvested many of the pine logs all along the row.

They had one more pine tree to remove by the barn, and then they moved to the task of trimming up the big marine locust in the back yard. 

They were careful to clean up all the debris, including raking up any chips and small sticks.

They had a large claw on a boom located on one of the trucks.  It had extension capability and was able to lift heavy loads.

We were pleased with this company and would share contact information if you have need for tree trimming or removal.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Some of our roadside frontage had become a tangle of pines and volunteer trees and bushes of all types.  We have not trimmed or cut it back in many years.


The decision was made to completely clear the area.  A large tree removal outfit was hired and tackled the job with the proper equipment and adequate manpower.

They turned the harvested material into mulch, chopped up the stumps, and made short work of the roots near the surface.

We plan to have a landscaper come in and replant this area with Norway pines.  We will have a couple staggered rows of trees and mulch covering the open ground.  Hopefully, the hot weather will abate and some rain will allow the planting to start soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2015



I was able to find these wonderful red haven peaches at Morgan Farms again this year.  They have been so yummy that we bought 3 bushels!

The peeled and pitted peaches are covered with a medium syrup and processed in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes for safety.  The old faithful canning kettle holds seven quarts at a time. 

It takes a while for the wide-mouth jars to cool down.  The taste of this fruit on a cold winter night is well worth all the time and effort to prepare it.

Some of the peaches were cooked with oranges, lemon zest, and sugar.  The result is a wonderful peach marmalade -- A treat for winter mornings!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Trunk Show

Getting ready for a trunk show for the Thumbstall Quilt Guild in Marcellus, NY:

I store the quilts rolled up on pool noodles, as this avoids creases.  The quilts will be folded and put in the boxes in the order in which they'll be shown.

Suki helps by guarding the chosen quilts while they wait to go into the boxes and a suitcase, rather than a trunk, for the trip.

The audience gathers in the lower level of a stately old Methodist Church, named Wesley Hall (what else?).

With the quilts back in the studio, it's a matter of sorting them to go back on their particular rolls, and Suki is on hand to help.

She always chooses the thickest pile, and is ready to defend this perch with tooth and claw!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Out of the Blue

This is Sarah Ann Smith with her quilt "Koi" at the Out of the Blue exhibit at the Whistler House Museum of Art.    Her quilt won the Viewers Choice award and has been purchased.

I also had two pieces in the exhibit, and Sarah was kind to let me post these pictures from the opening.

My "Blue Squares" quilt is in the photo below just left of the doorway.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dylan's visit

Our grand-nephew Dylan and his mother, Jennifer, visited us from Virginia.  He is a precocious four year old who is very much interested in tractors and trucks.  Here he and his mother assemble a fire truck which can be altered to several configurations.  He always travels with a full compliment of vehicles.

He likes to ride in the bucket of the old Ford tractor.  His mom joins him in a tour of our gardens.

Dylan likes to sit in the driver's seat and move all the levers.  If he lived on a farm, he would soon be driving.

John Deere equipment is his very favorite, and he has John Deere pillow cases and a fleece blanket with the John Deere logo to sleep with.    He loves to steer the rider with Bill as passenger.

A highlight of his visit was a trip to the local Kubota dealer in town.  Not only did he get to check out all the equipment, but a kind employee took him for a ride on an excavator and allowed Dylan to use all the levers.

As the Ford tractor is parked back in the barn, it is evident that Dylan and Jennifer liked their ride.

We always enjoy their visits!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Visit to the old homestead

While our California relatives were here, my brother and I took them on a drive through the area where we grew up.

This was our parents' dairy farm outside of Macedon.

Ken and I both remember doing a lot of reading under the big trees in the front yard.

This home was once our one-room school house.  It was close to our farm so that we could walk to school.  Ken attended there for his grades 1 through 6, and when I attended, we had grades 1 and 2.

When the farm was sold, our parents built this house, where I lived while in high school and college.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Erie Canal Lock 29

Our nephew Steve and his wife, Kirsten, on the garden tour of our property.  They are keeping their eyes on their three children who love to run and explore.

All tourists get to see the canal and hopefully get to see the lock in action.  It remains a construction masterpiece and is being promoted by New York state as a vacation attraction.

Our grand-nephews and niece got to see boats in transit in both directions.   My brother is with them on the bridge that spans the lock.

The lock tenders are always glad to explain the control board that moves the gates, along with the history of the canal system.  My brother, Ken, and his grandson, Julian, are looking on.

The beautiful blue sky frames the release of the water from the lock as the boat is lowered so it can continue its journey. 

The bridge provides an excellent view of the process, and our California visitors were very lucky to have such a wonderful vantage point to see the lock in full operation in both directions.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Catching Frogs

My nephew, Steve, and his family were here from California for a visit.

Charlotte, Julian, and Reagan were immediately drawn to the fish pond in our back yard.

They were particularly enthralled by the frogs and were determined to catch one (or several).

Reagan managed to touch some of them and excitedly proclaimed his success.  We are not used to 7, 9, and 11 year olds and marveled that their parents keep up with all that energy.

Reagan went on to the smaller lily pond and found it easier to reach as some small frogs cooperated by sitting on the lily pads.  He even caught one that sat in his hand.

He and Charlotte named their pet, created a house spot for him, and asked us to watch out for him when they went home. 

They also instructed us to name the other half dozen or so inhabitants.  We are working on it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Found in the garden

This little bird nest was on the ground this morning below the blue spruce tree.

My friend Joan gave me some gladiolus bulbs this spring, and I planted them in the perennial garden.

They all produced beautiful multi-colored flowers.

Two more of the spectacular blooms.

A close-up of the cone flowers.

This butterfly bush has lovely pink flowers every year.