Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An end to vacation

I got side tracked with posting vacation photos because we lost our beloved Parker.  It seems rather like old news now but it's dreary and raining in NW PA this morning so warm sunny vacation photos seem like a good idea!  A few of my faves and that's that until the next vacation...
Acadia National Park.  The people were following a trail up the mountainside!!  You would never find me in  a picture like this!  I am not afraid of heights but the only thing that appeals to me about this type of  hike is, the view from the top :) 

We watched this loon for about an hour looking for 'her' supper.  She was swimming against the current, diving and coming up further inland each time.  It was fun to try and guess where she was going to come up.  We saw her one time with something in her mouth but the photo wasn't good enough to keep. 

Every day except one, this is the view we had from the deck on the backside of our room.   I know I mentioned this in a previous post but this spot was really our favorite.  It was quiet, we watched harbor activity and it was a fabulous way to start every day.  We started the day in a positive, relaxed mood and ended each day exhausted but glad to be back on our deck to enjoy the evening sky.

A cliff view in Acadia.  Marty took the picture and I just enjoyed the sound of the waves slapping, splashing against the rocks.  Most of that day was filled with brilliant sun and blue sky even though the temp was only in the high 50's.

This was about the 'depth' of our ventures into the water.  IT WAS COLD!  But, after you walked away from it and went back in again it wasn't as bad as the initial splash :)  There were some young adventurers actually in the water challenging the surf as it hit the beach.  Their older and smarter parents were in hoodies, sitting in lawn chairs with blankets over their bare legs :)

There are a number of these stone crossings throughout the park.  I particularly  liked this one because of the walk-thru  either side.  The talent and patience used to create these works of art amazed both of us, especially Marty because he creates a lot of stone walkways around our place.

Not sure this picture does this amazing bridge justice but it was definitely amazing.  We crossed it on our way to Acadia.  The peak of the other pillar is actually a watch tower for Fort Knox (Maine), see much better pictures
 here Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory.  We thought we would have time to go up in the watch tower but the day's activities didn't go as we planned.  Next time!  There will definitely be a next time, we loved this area.

As we started across the bridge.

Our one bad day!  The sky reflecting off the water gave the entire area a very eerie feeling.     It made you feel like something bad was going to happen any moment.  Thank goodness that wasn't the case but it sure gave you pause.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A first

Recently I experienced a first, meeting and speaking with a Congressman!
File:Seal of the United States House of Representatives.svg
Back in the day, we were taught to respect our elders and our government and at that time, WAY back when, I did.  I have always respected both categories but held the government  in a little higher esteem.  As I've aged and learned that not all those running the government are worthy of my respect, my opinions have changed. I've admired and been thankful for those who feel the calling to govern on any level but for the most part, have never had any one on one with them or a reason to reach out for assistance.
That changed 3 weeks ago because a civic group I'm involved with was experiencing some trouble.  We've been seeking funding and have been rejected numerous times for the same reason, the location of our project.  I attended a local round-table with the Congressman and voiced my disappointment.  He said, "Call me."  I did.  My group was given 45 minutes with the Congressman a week ago.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to resolve the funding issue, though he did recommend some other options that we are pursuing.  As a respectful 'boomer' I was a bit awe struck. I was amazed how 'normal' he acted and amazed at myself for being confident enough to speak my mind.  I found the whole experience to be refreshing.  But, I'm not so awestruck that I believe his genuine interest and interaction in a quiet, group setting is anything more than him doing his job or being a politician.  For now, I give him the benefit of a doubt.  I will keep this first experience on the positive side in my memory banks.
I encourage everyone to reach out to your local, state and federal legislators, attend public meetings when offered in your area and most of all, don't be afraid to speak up!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Old project, done

I bought 5 sections of old wrought iron fence 3 or 4 or 5 years ago.  At the time there was a  plan for what to do with it after I got it painted.  It took me a couple of years to get it painted and by that time the original plan was scrapped. 

In 2010 my dream of a potting shed was realized.  About 2 weeks ago this idea sprang into my head.  I think a little serendipity came in to play here because we had to work around trees, roots, stumps and rocks to set the sections in place. The pieces of fence are random in size so my intention was never to hook them up like 'real' wrought iron fence.
So the floating, if you will, aspect of the varied sections was perfect !!
The area just in front of the fence on the right is a small flower bed in the making.  We put down some weed barrier,  in a semicircle shape, covered it with some left over mulch and I have been slowly puttering away with getting the bed dug up and amending the soil in preparation for spring flower planting.  I have some hyacinths, daffodils and crocus that I'm going to plant on the sunny side of the bed (lots of trees as you can see) and the rest with packaged wildflowers.
This was a belated birthday gift from my husband.  It's the greatest thing, I love it!  All four sides of the wagon fold down so I can haul just about anything around  with me.  When I have things like water buckets that I don't want to bounce off, I pull the sides up.  The mesh bottom isn't always full of dirt like a solid bottom and when the water splashes all over, that's no worry either!  One of my favorite birthday gifts, I have a wonderful husband.

Friday, September 7, 2012

More change is good

I've been moving things around at my house, a new view of old stuff, attempting to create more simple surroundings.  Marty & I do not have children, so someone who isn't as obligated as a child would be to a parent, will be charged with taking care of my stuff.  I don’t follow trends, I don’t have a decorating theme or a coordinated color palette, I just buy things I like and usually those things are old/vintage/antique-ish.  I have discovered that the things I like, like stars, violets, baskets, quilts, table linen, lace, books; I buy, buy, buy.   
These colanders all have different arrangements and types of stars as their drain holes.
Small stack of books. At least these are on a bookshelf
I had 3 times this many baskets last summer.
 I like it, so I should take it home, right?  I’ll find some place to put it, honey :)  BIG MISTAKE!  Over time I now have all these piles, boxes, stacks, bags of stuff. Unfortunately, I buy more stuff than I can use, display, or enjoy.  Several different times I've weeded through some piles, keeping only the items that I truly adore.  Why this burst of 'let's change things around" has happened now is unknown to me and it has come at an inopportune time because garage sale season is over.  But I've resolved  that I am not storing anything until next summer, so, it's time to be ruthless!

 Do I adore it         Where can I use it         Put it there NOW      Or it's gone  

The whole process is keeping me busy at night and that keeps me from munching or eating or just sitting around which is GOOD on so many levels!!  Hope it lasts for more than a day or two, because it's helped my weight loss efforts considerably.  Onward!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dill Pickles

A bit frustrated with my camera and I truly believe it's the camera, not the operator!  I took several pictures while I was making the pickles but for some mysterious, unknown reason, only one was available on the camera card when I tried to down load them this morning.
The finished product, 4 quarts plus a few :) I commented after, I would not win a blue ribbon at the fair because my presentation was less than stellar.  I  gathered an appreciation for the fussiness needed to make a pretty jar!

Marty found a Ball Dill Pickle Mix that makes just two quarts, all you need besides cucumbers, is water & vinegar.  It was very easy and I made two batches in just over an hour.  I did the Refrigerator version; there is a regular canning option as well.  For best flavor, they have to sit in the frig for 3 weeks.  I'll give you a report when Marty tries them on 9/24.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Today is better

Whew, my last post was a 'bit' dreary; sorry about that, it just came out.  Feeling 100% better today.

Getting ready to make dill pickles...first time!  Husband loves dill, I'm a sweet girl myself, so for him, I'm giving them a try.  We've had a productive holiday weekend.  We finished a couple of OLD projects...a great way to improve your outlook on life, I highly recommend it.  I ironed all of Marty's fall shirts that have been hanging in the back bedroom taunting me for months!  I always vow to iron them right after I wash them but for some reason, I don't, so I end up with an ironing marathon day....thank goodness for the SVU marathon :) that sure helped.