Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More memory lane

Rainy and gray again today.   I think we're getting the very tail end of the terrible weather that our friends to the south have had to deal with.    We're very happy to hear they've  made it through safely.

We met with another builder at the lake.   We all stood outside in rain of varying intensity.   I finally got an umbrella from the car, the builder toughed it out and Dave wasn't a happy camper.   I knew enough not to try to take a picture.    We'll wait another couple weeks for an estimate.

Back at home Dave spent the afternoon scraping and painting upstairs, I sorted through books and photographs in the "junk" room that used to be Jesse's nursery.    We both made some good headway.

I came across my mother and her husband's handwritten journals of their trailer camping years (1979 - 1995).  My dad died when I was 23 and my mom later remarried a quirky but good man.   The only grandpa Jesse ever knew.  They enjoyed 19 years of camping, playing bridge and scrabble, and dancing before he, too, died.  They were blogging before the internet!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

new talent

No pictures today.   It was raining and blowing hard from the south east but at least there were not tornadoes to worry about.   We stayed inside and got busy.

We've begun to sift through things in earnest.  The big barn is empty and waiting for someone to resurface the stall floors.  We've decided to take one room at a time and today was our old east bedroom.   Many trips to "old will" as Dave calls it.   Lots of conversation as we strolled down memory lane together.   Here's Dave's high school and college rings, here's one from our first trip to Arizona.   Silver business card holder from dear old Aunt Erna, t shirts from Papago "screw off days", my silver horse head stock pin, Jesse's learner's permit (God, he looked young....), lots and lots of ties and business suits never to be worn again (thank goodness), hand made leather sandals from the 70's,  little Jesse's notes to the tooth fairy, Dave's flight bag with his log book, knee board, charts, etc., etc., etc..

And then we came to the small Sentry Safe that holds Jesse's coin collection.   At least that's what we think it holds - all parents can understand our reluctance to crack it open and see what is really inside......Of course, no keys remain.    You can find anything on the internet.  Within a few minutes Dave found out how to pop the lock and we were in!!!!!   With a few minor exceptions, the safe did hold the treasured coin collection.    We closed it back up and put it away for Jesse to rediscover.

So, that was our rainy, blowy day.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Beginnings and endings

He's at it again, undeterred by the meager pickings.....a few daffodils here and there.

our Magnolia is getting close.....

After a bit of landscaping work this morning, Dave and I headed to the Conesus Lake inlet to see if we missed the annual Walleye and Northern Pike spawning.   We are a couple weeks later than usual, but hoped that since the weather is at least that late we may be in luck.

Spring is just beginning to show at the tips of bushes and trees.  The inlet waters are running clear and fast.

a few fish spawning, but not what we were looking for

We had the conservation area all to ourselves, a hint that the spawning was not taking place.  Either we were too early (probably not) or too late.   No matter, we enjoyed our walk along the stream listening to the sounds of early spring.   Red Wing blackbirds, Canada Geese, Buffle Heads and swooping Martins.     We walked through the swamp at the south end of the lake and down to the little dam where the Walleye and Northern's congregate below the swiftly falling water.

Spring trying to begin

Endings......Jesse's wonderful girlfriend Erin's father, Don, died today after a long and painful illness.   She and her mother were by his side.

Happy times with Don and Susan 

Friday, April 25, 2014

all work and no play....

makes Jack a dull boy.  Work Work Work, it seems all we're doing at home.  At the end of the day (sometimes as early as 7:30) we both sit down on the couch and absolutely zonk out!   Then we go to bed.....and morning comes too fast.

  It was a fairly warm day (60's) so we took full advantage and mowed the poodle, then Dave continued the job du jour - emptying and cleaning out the the big horse barn.    A barn without animals in it is a sad thing.     No, no more horses for now, but we do need to give it a bit of TLC.

Dave hauls out a blanket chest

the box stalls come next

taking a break

Tonight Cindy and Walter came up the hill and shared a fish fry with us.   We enjoyed the company and the fish (not as good as O'Shuck's, but pretty decent nonetheless).    We vowed to try a different place every Friday and that will be fun to look forward to.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Settling in

Dave and I had a nice, low key Easter.  Good friend, Barb came down and we were able to sit outside and enjoy happy hour in the sun before coming in for roasted shrimp and asparagus pasta for dinner.    A bit too much happy hour shortened our evening and we all hit the hay before 11 p.m.  

Monday we met with one possible cottage builder so we'll see what kind of estimate he comes back with.  The weather was still fairly warm and we really enjoyed being at the lake site as we talked over our plans with him.   A pair of loons patrolled the waters and a feisty Kingfisher dove and dove again fishing for his lunch.   Good to see them again.

Today we drove my little car into the Rochester dealer to get inspected and brought back up to legal driving standards.   It will be nice to drive it while we're here.

Cold rain and plummeting temperatures today are very depressing.  Dave is up on the ladder cleaning the clogged gutters before the rain sets in for the next few days.  Mr. David's A-1 Property Management Co. said he couldn't possibly send anyone out in this weather, so Dave had to do it himself.     Will spring ever actually arrive for good?

happy forsythia branches
If we're not getting spring views outside, I've decided to create them inside!   When we first arrived home I cut some bare branches of forsythia. put them in a bucket of water and brought them into the warmth of the kitchen.   They rewarded me with beautiful yellow blossoms.   Their brothers outside are still completely bare however.

fragrant hyacinth blossoms

before the cold rain started I rescued
the only 3 daffodils that dared show
their faces outside

bare trees in the pasture
will they ever leaf out?

at least this American Goldfinch is positive
Spring is here.....
He's sporting full breeding plumage

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....