Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pretty NOTL and Majestic NF

Here it is Sunday afternoon and I'm just about a week late with this post.   No one says I have to post everyday or even every few days, its just been my choice because my brain is a bit of a sieve and if I don't post regularly, things leak away.

So....Monday Dave and I drove Pam and John (now in their last week with us) north and west to Niagara Falls (Canada - passports please...) and the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.   Geneva was able to come up to the farm and stay with Lewis and Sasha so we had the entire day free - Thanks Geneva!

Instead of the normal, faster route of the NYS Thruway (I-90) we decided to take a leisurely drive along route 104 through many small towns, cobblestone houses and fruit orchards roughly following the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario.  Around here we just call it Ridge Road, it traces the ridge that was the ancient southern shoreline of Glacial Lake Iroquois, 13,000 years ago.  My facts may not be exact, but that's basically the story.      John is the history guy, its interesting to read his post about this same trip.   Reading both will give you the best picture of our day together!

We stopped at a tiny driveway stand to buy some beautiful purple asparagus but passed up numerous cherry stands along the way.  The day was just beginning and we feared it was to hot for them to hold up in the car.    (We did, however, succumb to a farm stand in NOTL and bought cherries, raw honey and a rather nasty cherry pie)

It was lunchtime when we arrived at NOTL so we found free parking (a rarity) in front of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Country Club (North America's Oldest Course if the ball vending machine is to believed....)   We sat outside on the patio beside the lake at the mouth of the Niagara River and enjoyed the view and a decent lunch.

After lunch we walked a few blocks away from the lake and onto the main street to stroll, window shop and people watch.

I hope flower picking isn't an international felony.....

Old Fort Niagara across the Niagara River in New York State

Canadians are justifiably proud of their flowers

Prince of Wales Hotel

John waits patiently for his friend to finish 

stylish dog water dishes outside an antique shop

something for everyone

When John tired of passing all the beautiful flowers, we walked back to the jeep and headed for Niagara Falls, Ontario.    We followed the Niagara River cataract passed the Lewiston bridge (the one we'd crossed to enter Canada earlier in the day), passed the huge power generating plants, the Butterfly Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and right into the unbelievably touristy attraction that is Niagara Falls, Canada.  (The US side isn't much less ridiculous, but the view from the Canadian side is so much better that they take full advantage of their position).  

Yes, John, I see you

The American Falls, with the Maid of the Mist in the foreground
I struggle to tell you about Niagara Falls and its surrounding attractions.   Dave and I grew up not far away and to us it is all very ordinary - been there, done that.   In fact, we even became engaged in one of the beautiful botanical gardens on the Canadian side.    The power of the falls is undeniable but, to me, it is overshadowed by the traffic, the throngs of people from all over the world, the casinos, the ice cream vendors, wax museums, IMAX Theater, etc.    You can walk for a long time along the promenade and rarely hear English being spoken, so people watching is prime.

Again, John and Pam's blog ( will give you much more information than I have.   I find it difficult to see it through "new eyes" this time.   Perhaps I'm just tired.

The Canadian Horseshoe Falls 

Rainbow, Canadian tour boat and mist from the Horseshoe falls

Pam on the edge

I never tire of watching the clear aquamarine water plunge over the drop-off.
That's one thing that man can't "enhance".....
We drove home along the River, across the Peace Bridge,  into downtown Buffalo and back home the "quick" way, I-90.    Dinner on the porch at the Big Tree Inn in "downtown" Geneseo capped our busy day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

busy week ahead

....and I'm tired.   We're alternating work with play, more work than play but who's counting?

Its lovely having friends at the lake site, we can take our gins over and enjoy happy hour by the water with lovely conversation.     Our "tenants" feel sorry for us and extend dinner invitations often, so nice.   They don't mind us bringing the dogs along so its good for us all.    The last time we were there, Lewis's ball drifted away in the lake.    He was crestfallen but took it like a "man" and accepted the situation.

Days passed and Pam once again invited us over to try her famous noodle Paella.   As we all sat on the deck, enjoying our pre dinner happy hour, the heretofore lost tennis ball floated quietly into view.      Where was it all this time?    Who cares?     It was back and that was all that Lewis cared about.   Pam, John and I took turns throwing it from the upper deck to the lake level, over and over.   Lewis's favorite game.   Pam and I didn't do a very good job though, causing Lew to throw himself into the daylillies in search of the badly thrown ball.   He didn't mind, and we all laughed and laughed.  

The Noodle Paella was yummy, thanks Pam.    Over dessert, we made plans to play together just a bit.   Monday we'd drive west to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake and on Thursday we'll play 18 holes, check out the local Farmer's Market and have supper (hots/ burgers) at the Charcoal Corral in Perry, NY for their classic car night.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.....we discovered a new friend had moved in.

Carolina Wren cases the joint

bringing in building materials

the chosen site


So, today is Tuesday, I've got pictures of our adventure to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, but I'll have to wait a bit to show them to you.   I'm off to bed, its been another long day.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Golf with friends

Two more days of golf.    They are driven to perform.  Livingston Country Club's course is deceptively difficult and it makes them crazy.

Tuesday was very hot and very humid.  The course is at the top of a hill looking west across the Genesee Valley and we watched some pretty hefty thunderstorms develop and move towards us.   Pam kept an eye on her phone's radar and we kept our eyes on the sky.  Perhaps that was the problem......

John's caddy provided a cooling towel for his head

By the 6th hole we decided to take cover and wait out the thunder.   Dave felt we'd be OK and that the cell would split and go around us but we hid out for a few minutes under a tent at the club house just in case.    The sky was very  black and the rain began to spit.   I called Geneva and asked her to run up to the farm to close all the windows I'd left wide open.

He was right.  The storm never materialized over Geneseo and we were back out on the course in just a few minutes.    Rochester and its eastern suburbs, however, got the full impact with power poles and trees down.   Lucky us!    The oppressive heat didn't break for the rest of the day and the guys were dragging by 15.  It was a tough day.

  I bet they hate me following them around with the camera waiting for an "interesting" picture.....sorry guys, its fun for me.

Pam and I didn't feel like cooking dinner, so we picked up pizza and ate lakeside.  A good place to be in the heat.    The dogs enjoyed the lake as well.   Lewis had a wonderful time in the cool water until his tennis ball drifted out of his "reach".   Since he wasn't in a swimming mood that day, he stood and screamed at it to come back.   It did not and hasn't been seen or heard from since.

Hey!  dinner's ready, come on up....

Sasha sports new headgear that is less restrictive than the lampshade
As you can see, she approves of the change

Thursday was a much better day.   It was cool and clear and they tackled the game with fresh enthusiasm.

 They took no chances, however, and bowed reverently to the Golf Gods before setting out.  It worked - no rain, no thunder and a fairly good round for them both.

watch out for the traffic John!


Seemingly lost balls were found and played, pars were made (I won't tell you who though)  and the the round ended in record time.   A good day.  Afterward we headed to our respective homes, got cleaned up and met again for dinner at the Lower Mill's Rabbit Room.   Mmmmm, it was really good.  No pictures, we were all too busy eating.

Today, Friday, Pam and John took advantage of the lovely day and had a nice hike on the Gorge trail at Letchworth State Park.     Dave and I went back to our painting, repairing, mowing, organizing, packing and garage sale prep. duties.    Can't have fun every day can we?

Dave rehangs closet doors

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Exciting news!

Our son, Jesse, and Erin are engaged!  We're all so happy and excited.  Just wanted you to know.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

More wildlife

She sleeps through the offered second cup cookie!

Sasha continues to be stoic about her new plastic bonnet and sleeps (except when we want to) very soundly in it.  We've discovered that she's become almost completely deaf and we wondered if the lampshade would act as an old fashioned ear trumpet for a boost in her hearing.   No such luck for the old gal.  

John and Pam have been exploring the area on their own and we have been doing what we've been doing - working around.    We've formally listed the farm for sale, its official - we're really doing this.

The Wright's came for dinner the other night and,  as Pam was looking out the kitchen windows, she commented on the cute cement turtle I'd placed on the brick walkway.   Cement turtle?

Our relationship being what it is, she was sure I was pulling her leg when I told her there wasn't any cement turtle out there.    She went outside to look for herself and quickly realized that it was very much alive and had traveled there all on its own.      

She didn't like the look it was giving her, nor its very long claws.     She suggested I contact Mr. David's Licensed Wildlife Relocation Specialists to come and assess the situation.   She was worried about it getting into the yard and injuring the dogs with its sharp claws and strong jaws.   She also wondered if it had come to us to lay its eggs, not something we'd want when we were trying to show the house.

The call was made and very soon Mr. David's jeep pulled into the driveway.   While the professional readied his specialized removal equipment, his inexperienced new partner strolled over for a better look at the situation.

"that's a Snapper, I'm not touching it, you can't make me..."

bye bye!

The men drove off with the angry lady rocking and shaking her can in the back of their jeep.    They found the perfect place to release her and were back in a flash with only a few battle scars.

Pam invited them in to help finish the leftover dinner.  Once Mr. David found out that mashed potatoes were involved he quickly accepted the kind invitation, but his assistant found it difficult to eat with his injuries so declined the offer.

Mgmfmgmmmfff..... mashed potatoes, we loves mashed potatoes