Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday sunrise.....

 Not many things will get me out of bed in time to see a sunrise.   I'm all about sunsets, sunrises are to be slept through.    Except when I get an invitation to a dog show......

The Pond's invited us to join them at the Wine Country Dog Show held this weekend at Sampson State Park, about 1 1/2 hours east of us.    To take the sting out of getting up that early we stopped at Dunkin Donut for coffee and you know whats.

The drive along route 5&20 took us past farm fields of corn, soybeans and cabbage, up and down low, rolling hills and past the ends of Canandaigua and Seneca Lakes (two of the finger lakes).

The corn is being harvested for winter feed, the soybeans are browning in the fields, ready to combine and the cabbage heads are fairly bursting.     In another few weeks, after the cabbage are all picked, these fields won't smell very good!    The left over leaves begin to rot in the damp fall fields and the smell of cabbage permeates the air until the farmers finally plow them under.

Today was the third day of a three day dog show, so there were not as many entries as during the first few days, but the five of us thoroughly enjoyed our day.   We'd packed a lunch and ate together on chairs in front of the agility ring.   Agility classes are basically obstacle courses run by a single dog and its handler, judged on speed and accuracy.   The dog works at the handler's direction and for the sheer joy of running, jumping and weaving.   Dogs of all kinds and sizes compete and its a real hoot to watch.    Some dogs race at breakneck speed, obeying their owner's every command.   Others  take their time and carefully negotiate each obstacle.   And some just don't feel like doing it right now, they sniff, they stroll, they saunter and some simply leave.

a small poodle negotiates a jump -
behind her are weave poles and a tunnel

The breed rings, the rings where dogs are judged for their conformation, their beauty, and not on their performance are held on either side of long white tents.    We walked around, stopping to watch breeds we were interested in and breeds we don't get to see often.    We checked out all the vendors selling dog related wares.  We made a few purchases....

a hot Great Dane

two beautiful Afghan Hounds

an Afghan's distinctive tail

dogue de bordeaux

two shy chinese crested dogs

wouldn't Lewis hate this hair cut?

a portuguese water dog like Pam and Vic's sweet Jetta!

At first glance the parking lots surrounding the show look like campgrounds.   The dog show people and professional handlers drive motorhomes, vans, and pull trailers loaded not with camping supplies, or granite countertops and queen size beds, but with crates and crates of dogs, grooming tables, exercise pens and all the other necessary accoutrements for dog show life on the road.

four crates of Shetland Sheepdogs move smoothly from motorhome to ring

6 very patient Goldens await their turn in the ring
What a fun day we had!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Glorious Indian summer.    Clear days, low humidity, warm sun and the forecast is the same for the next 7 days!     Even though Dave and I both have colds and don't feel all that well, the weather is having a good effect on us.   We're smiling and cheerful and just generally enjoying our work.

Dave finally found a huge old  oak board in one of the barns and has been at work planing and smoothing its old rough surface, preparing it to become a nice leaf for our kitchen table.   He had to split it in half in order to run it through the planer, but you can see how wide it was originally.

The cactus we bought in Arizona when we were on our excellent adventure seems to be enjoying its life on the farm.   It has been exuberantly producing  needles lately, perhaps getting ready for a north east winter?

Yesterday Dave, Barb and I piled in the jeep and set off for a busy day of checking on the cottage progress, a few errands, lunch and a stop at Hurd Orchards, a favorite fall destination.   It was a bit of a busman's holiday for Barb, she works part time at another apple orchard north of us, but she was up for a drive on such a beautiful day.

Barb takes a photo in front of the kitchen window

Dave gives helpful pointers to the guy extruding  metal roof sections

Nations Rd. wanders through the valley

a busy morning following the hounds deserves a little nap

After we left the lake we decided to drive through the serene countryside in the valley on our way to LeRoy, New York where we would pick up my new - yes new - laptop and have lunch.

Dave finds roses in front of our lunch stop, wouldn't ya know....

they serve scissors with their french onion soup!

We had a good, gooey lunch at an old train station and continued on our journey.    We drove through Brockport, a small town on the Erie Canal and were lucky enough to be at one of the bridges when it lifted to allow a boat to pass.   "Low bridge everybody down, low bridge cause we're coming to a town".    

Hurd Orchards is a small, family run fruit and flower farm that has been nurtured and guided by the hands of the Hurd women for generations.   They are careful stewards of their land and are dedicated to the traditional methods and varieties that are often lost in today's rush to the market.   They are also artists, in the  overflowing arrangements of apples, peaches, raspberries, preserves, honey, maple syrup, flowers, pumpkins, herbal vinegars.    They hold special lunches and teas in their 200 year old barn.   Its just a treat to wander there.

Barb ponders her purchase

avert your eyes John

lunch table in the barn at Hurd's

And, at home, we leave two bored dogs.....

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Yesterday was a beautiful fall day.   It was sunny, clear and warm.  Our realtor was showing the house in the morning so Dave and I took the opportunity to visit an apple farm in Webster, about 45 minutes north of us.   Our dear friend Barb is working there for a couple months helping them handle their traditional fall rush so it was a bonus to see her.     As expected, it was very busy at 10 a.m. so we talked a few minutes and then left with our purchases.

We bought some honey, a fresh peach pie, an interesting gourd and lots of apples.   Eating apples for both of us (different varieties) and some huge pie apples which Dave tells me he's going to turn into Carol's apple crisp this afternoon while I doze on the couch (I have a nasty cold).

We found a diner for a late breakfast/early lunch and then headed home.   Dave is scouring all the barns for just the right piece of old oak to turn into a table leaf for our round oak kitchen table.  I'd like to have a piece of the farm to take with us.

Since it was such a lovely day, almost a stolen day now that the weather is changing, that I invited the Pond's over to the lake for happy hour.    I also wanted to show them the cottage's progress.

Geneva came up with a perfect fall treat to celebrate - Apple cider margaritas!!!!   They were yummy.

Cindy and Geneva assemble the adult beverage.
Dave watches with happy anticipation and just a bit of drooling......

Ta Da!

As we were climbing over the piles of lumber, insulation and cement blocks we saw the wood wrapper lying on the ground nearby.    It is fitting that the lumber came from Eugene, Oregon don't you think?

surprise....its me at the front door!

another beautiful sunset finished our day

Thursday, September 18, 2014


No progress on the sale of the farm, but lots of progress on the cottage build.

Dave peeks in the front door

It has been hard making plans for the winter with so many things up in the air, but today  I put a stake in the ground.   I booked our usual beach house on Longboat Key for Christmas week and made plane reservations for Jesse to join us there.   Erin's plane reservations will come in a day or two and then I'll be happily looking forward to a great holiday on the Gulf.    That's as far as I'm going to look right now, as far as I have to.

Tonight we're having dinner with some old friends who live in Asheville, NC and are passing through the area.   It will be nice to see Deb and Jim even if its just for a few hours.   Saturday morning we'll have another house showing so we need to take the dogs and make ourselves scarce.  Since fall seems to be here to stay I think we'll head to the apple orchards just north of us to see what varieties are ready.     I have a real hankering for fresh apple crisp after Carol made a beautiful one for us on Sunday.    She was kind enough  to send me her recipe, so I need some fruit!.

Another fiery sunset last night.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Fall is here.    I know it doesn't officially arrive for a week or so, but its fall nonetheless.

The subject of local TV ads has changed from lawnmowers to snow blowers, our furnace has been quietly clicking on, our maples are touched with a bit of color and we're wearing jackets and socks when we take the dogs out.  

We're noticing clouds of noisy geese flying overhead, the starlings are flocking up, the red wing blackbirds are silent, probably gone.  Our beautiful valley sunsets reveal themselves in front of our big barn instead of behind it, I'm feeling the urge to make fragrant stews and roasts, apple and pumpkin desserts, red wine instead of gin and tonic.    

And.....the mice are starting to come in looking for a warm place to winter.    We'll just see about that little miceys......

A bright spot in our otherwise boring holding pattern was a great visit with former business friends stopping by on their way home to Salt Lake City.    I say former business friends because they've really moved past the "business friend" category and we consider them treasured good friends.  We enjoyed a couple good dinners, golf, a great movie and lots of just plain visiting.   Thanks Jack and Marilyn!

Sunday afternoon Don and Carol (we met them when they were parked in front of us in Polson, Montana) are coming down for dinner.    They don't live terribly far from us but are busy enjoying their new motorhome so we're looking forward to seeing them while they're in town.

I haven't seen the cottage's progress for a few days but Dave says they're going to pour the basement floor Monday.

Here are a couple pictures from last week.

Dave and Gerry the builder walk the wall

the ever moving sunset

Monday, September 8, 2014

Back at Turning Stone RV

We're back at the Villages at Turning Stone RV Resort, just a few hours from home.   This is a perfect place to spend the last few hours of our sweet Cape Cod trip.   Today was a beautiful and sunny warm day.   The oppressive humidity of last week is gone and the sky is blue and clear.

I won't post any more pictures of Dave happily eating lobster, you know what that looks like.   Lobster for lunch and/or dinner.....every day.    He's one happy camper.

We did more than eat, but I won't lie,  eating was a big part of our trip.   We found a lovely little bakery in Sandwich (Cape Cod's oldest town, settled in 1639), Beth's, and had......lobster rolls......for lunch and a little something sweet.      We practically cleaned out their dessert case two days in a row.

Cindy and Walter Ponder their purchase

We walked around the beautiful New England town after lunch, doing a bit of window shopping.  One afternoon we visited the Sandwich Glass Museum.    It made interesting use of holographic tour guides in some of the displays, very enjoyable.

We all decided that if we ever find ourselves in Sandwich without our homes on wheels, we'd surely stay at this interesting inn, a beautiful old church repurposed into a very upscale B&B and Bistro.

one of the Belfry Inn's dining rooms

We discovered the Heritage Museum and Gardens too late in the day to do a tour justice, so we put it on our "to do next time" list.

Oh Dave.......

We enjoyed lazy mornings at the campground, then spent the afternoon sightseeing or walking on the beach.   Late afternoon's found us at the Pond's site for cocktail hour and dinner was either at Beluga or a nearby restaurant.   Early to bed completed our lovely and relaxing week.

french kiss at second cup

Nauset Light Beach

Cindy, Luke and Glory

Yipeeeee!   I likes this beach!

that feather moved, that feather moved, its after me, I's telling ya, it moved......

can you rub some sunscreen on my belly please?

rock n roll and donuts for second cup on the road

We leave here tomorrow morning, time to get home and back to work.    Our realtor held an open house while we were gone, wonder how that went......

tonight's beautiful harvest moon