Saturday, April 19, 2014

back to work

After a nice time at the market yesterday, it was back to work today.   We're still paying for laughing and playing all winter in the sunny warm (ish) south.

My clothes dryer is fixed and running so now I am chained to it.   Only 3 more loads to go!

Mr. David's Massey Ferguson dealer sent someone over to regrade the pile of stone left in the driveway by the snow plow.   He did a professional job and was done by the time Mr. David's Gutter Cleaning Service arrived to remove the build up of last fall's maple leaves.

Fred stopped by to welcome us home this afternoon.   He did a stellar job taking care of the house while we were gone.

Dave and wonderful Fred discuss world problems in the driveway

the back pasture is full of deer each evening.
so nice to see them all, I just wish they hadn't
needed to eat most of the shrubbery around the house.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Broadway market

Yesterday we decided to take a day off and make the  1 1/2 hour drive into downtown Buffalo to do some traditional Easter shopping at the historic Broadway Market.  It started 123 years ago as the only market place for the eastern European residents of the east side of a bustling city and continues today populated by mostly family owned and family operated butchers, bakeries, fresh vegetable vendors.     The surrounding neighborhoods have undergone some serious decline in the recent years, not a place that you would wander into except to go to and from the Broadway Market.  I find it very sad to drive around and see the large empty blocks where neat family homes once were, to see the burned out houses, garbage lined fences and boarded up storefronts huddled around huge brick catholic churches and their attendant schools that once were the lifeblood of the neighborhood.   This area was heavily Polish/Catholic but most people have moved on out of the blighted streets leaving these cathedrals boarded up and hopelessly for sale.

sign on one of the only open churches in the area.
can you read what it says?
Dave's grandparents used to operate a large vegetable farm in the countryside northeast of the city and, on Saturdays, would load their truck with the produce from the farm and take it into Broadway Market to sell  to the city dwellers.   He spent many Saturday's there so our Easter trips in are a bittersweet trip down memory lane for him.

We filled up on many traditional Polish holiday treats, our poor jeep was groaning with the load!
Fresh horseradish, almond rings, Placek (sour cream coffee cake loaf with "crumbly bumblies" on top), sweet smelling hyacinths, fresh and smoked Polish sausage, Pierogi's, chocolate covered sponge candy and assorted Easter chocolates, rye breads, butter lamb, mmmmmmm.

Dave buys already ground horseradish

incendiary  horseradish roots

don't ask me to wear one of those!!!!!

only in Buffalo -
a strolling accordionist


Czarnina is a duck blood soup, popular with some people, but I can't imagine actually eating it....shudder, ewwwww.

our house smells divine now that we have
2 large pots of these beautiful hyacinths

waiting for an unsuspecting child to wander in.....

Pysanky - traditional Ukranian Easter eggs.
the design is drawn in wax then the egg is dipped in color.
this process is repeated over and over until it becomes a
thing of beauty

some designs are carved instead
We even ran into Dave's nephew Mike and his family buying Easter provisions.  They make the pilgrimage into Buffalo each year for the same things we do.   We haven't seen them in a number of years and it was nice getting caught up if only for a few minutes.

I think these Butter Lambs are particularly ugly, but
they were the only ones I could get a picture of,
there were lots of people standing in line in front of the beautiful ones!

hollow sugar eggs with spring scenes
seen inside

Buffalo really embraces Dyngus Day.    It is celebrated with gusto on Easter Monday and most businesses close for the day!  There is a huge parade and Polish bands and everyone gets into the "spirit" of the day.    It is a folk celebration during which boys gently "whip" the girls legs with pussy willow switches (sold at the Market) and pour water over their heads in order to get their attention......the next day, Tuesday, the girls get their revenge by reciprocating in kind and also throwing dishes and pottery at the boys......  Any excuse for a celebration I guess but I can think of better ways to attract attention to oneself.

After loading our goodies in the jeep and driving around the area for old times sake, we headed to our good friend Judi's house for one last nostalgic moment - dinner of Bocce Club Pizza.   Burp.
It was a really really full day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter or Christmas?

Looking out our windows today I wasn't sure whether Easter was on our doorstep or Christmas.....

The house fared well during our winter south.   Only a couple minor repairs to be taken care of and, luckily, Mr. David's A-1 Plumbing Service has a branch in our home town.   One call was all it took and he arrived with a new apprentice in tow.

His new recruit didn't seem very well versed in the tools needed to install a new float valve in one of the bathrooms, but Mr. David was very patient and explained what was needed.

To his credit, the apprentice was very interested in all phases of the repairs and the work was completed in record time.

I'm so lucky to have Mr. David's ear as he has friends in all areas of the service industry.   He even knew the lonely Maytag repairman and dispatched him to fix the heating element of my clothes dryer.     I have lots of laundry and am so grateful.

He even does lucky am I?

(and, yes, those are stolen daffodils....)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Home again home again jiggedy jig

It was a windy and grey ride home today.   Dave had to hang on to the wheel with both hands, not his favorite way to spend the day.   We find that this spring is a bit retarded here in New York.  Just tiny daffodil sprouts, buds still on the Magnolias, nothing showing yet on the forsythias, grass just beginning to green.   Sort of depressing, but at least we'll be here when things finally pop.   Always look on the bright side, right?

The side field was solid enough to drive Beluga through to get to her Morton building.  Rain arrived just as we did.   Darn.....

We've moved in just what we need for the night and breakfast in the morning.   I think it will be an early bedtime tonight, we're beat.

Lewis and Sasha were really happy when we pulled in.   They both (mostly Lewis) raced around the yard checking out every smell they missed for all these months.   They settled in the house just as if they never left.

The temperature was near 80 this afternoon, but the weather guessor's are predicting tomorrow's high to be in the high 40's with lows well below freezing - and - snow.    Snow!    Have we returned too soon?   Sigh.....

Looking to the west, we see the storm approaching.  The sky is very dark.   No Blood Moon viewing for us tonight I guess.     Park Beluga inside, set the furnace and get inside the house for the evening.   Sigh....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday - heading home

We left the Kentucky Horse Park campground around 8:30 this morning with Cindy and Walter right behind us.

Nothing exciting, not a long drive, nor a short one.  We arrived at our overnight campground in Seville, Ohio after a little bit of excitement trying to find the place.    Maple Lakes is officially closed until the 15th, but Cindy convinced them to take us a any way.   Its early to bed tonight and the rest of the drive home tomorrow.

Here are a few random Lexington pictures....

Irish stone walls

equine cemetery at 3 Chimney's farm

spring in Lexington means babies everywhere

nap time in the warm sun

Man O War grave site

Saturday, April 12, 2014

a few more horses

Friday morning Cindy and Walter took a tour of Rood and Riddle, a cutting edge, full service equine veterinary clinic.   We were set to go also, but I woke up feeling sort of bla, so we let them go on ahead while we stayed back and took care of some neglected paperwork.   They had way more fun.

A cold front swept through before lunchtime with strong wind, heavy rain, lightning and thunder and small hail.   D amn!   Cindy and I had planned on going into the actual Kentucky Horse Park in the afternoon and It wouldn't be much fun in the rain and wind.

Lucky for us all, the front blew through fairly quickly and the skies became clear.   The four of us split up and went our separate ways at the Horse Park.   Walter wanted to see some of the exhibits and museums, Dave wanted to walk the grounds and watch the preparations for the Rolex competition next week, and Cindy and I just wanted to watch horses.

We were all happy with our choices and met back at Beluga about 5 p.m. for cocktails and bushy tail sandwiches.     It was nice to talk about what we each saw and did.

Cindy and I stayed in the covered arena all afternoon watching the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses strut their stuff.    During their short lunch break we strolled the grounds and ended up in the Mounted Police barn to chat with an officer bathing his favorite horse, a thoroughbred/percheron cross.   He looked quite steady and calm, but the officer assured us that he was the barn's trouble maker.....

Once again, the barn cat rushed to greet us warmly.

Today, Saturday,  is our last day here, aren't you glad?    We tried a new restaurant for brunch and afterward  drove around downtown Lexington and marveled at the variety of beautiful homes and spring flowering trees that lined its streets.   A trip into the city merits another visit next time for sure.

section of historic district in Lexington

Back at Beluga Dave and Walter worked on a few electrical problems they have been having in their Sunnybrook and Cindy and I - went into the Horse Park to watch more horse shows.....

little Sunnybrook next to Beluga

First we snuck into the big American Saddlebred show and later walked back into the covered arena and watched more Kentucky Mountain Sport Horses.    We never got to see the German Shepherd Dog show taking place in the front of the campground.    Not enough hours in the day lately.

a class of under 11 year olds riding American Saddlebreds

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

We ended our day back at Beluga for pizza and a huge salad.   Tomorrow morning we head on down the road towards home.   Its been a really nice time, we're so glad we came.