Sunday, May 31, 2009

So What If It's Only 50 Degrees....

Caleb decided he wanted to make dinner for tonight. He made pulled-pork. Then we decided to invite Jessica and her family over to join us for dinner.

Dinner was yummy.

Since dinner was impromptu, there wasn't any dessert. Someone mentioned going to Karen's for ice-cream, but as I looked out the window at the practically howling wind, and knowing it was only about 50 degrees, eating ice cream outdoors in the wind didn't especially appeal to me, or the others when they thought about it.

So! Not having been to Wemple & Edicks at all last summer, I suggested going there since I knew we could sit inside. Agreement was unanimous.

Off we went.

Another funky sign.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

When Jessica was 5, she joined the Tri-County Twirlettes. (a dance school that taught tap and baton, and performed in parades 3-4 times/summer, plus an annual recital) After a few years, the director added jazz to the dance schedule.

Although Jessica is a few years older than 5 in this photo, it shows her performing at the Fonda Fair--which is also something the group did every summer. (the original photo isn't out-of-focus--this one is because I had to hand hold it at a slow shutter speed).

When Lauren (Jessica's daughter) was 4, she began taking dance lessons. Tonight was her first recital. Although the recital lasted 4 (four, FOUR, F.O.U.R hours), it was still a hoot to see her perform. She did such a great job. She's a natural!

It was another opportunity to think about the past and all the years I sat at Jessica's recitals (and Leah's because she also belonged to Tri-County Twirlettes until the owner moved away for health reasons)

Again the words of that song came to my mind, "You're gonna miss this", because I do. (It could have something to do with the fact that Jessica's recitals were NOT 4 hours long, but who knows).

Friday, May 29, 2009

The View of the Rooms

Leah wanted to go shopping today. We went to Crossgates. This was my view (of the dressing rooms) for the majority of the time we were at the mall.

She was very successful in her quest for some new summer clothes. I did not shop, I was basically along for the ride.

It was a nice day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Faces Thursday

The assignment today is Happy Faces. My plans for this afternoon were to attend a bbq at my sister-in-law's house, so I knew (hoped) I'd be able to get some smiles at some point. It's nice when your Plan A works for a change.

When cousin Andrew and Leah and Caleb were younger, we were at Sharon's house and they did the spoon-on-the-nose thing. Naturally I got a photo of it. So today I asked them to humor me and do it again. Amazingly, they cooperated. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to find that older photo and post it with this one. But if not, here ya go with this one.

For some reason things are always crazy hectic around here by the end of April, beginning of May. This year was no exception. Leah's birthday is May 4, Caleb's is May 2. She wasn't even back from Kenya yet, Caleb was still at school and I was feeling pretty frazzled--but if you asked me now what I was frazzled about, I couldn't really say.

All of that to say that we didn't get a chance to "do cake" for their birthdays. So we did it tonight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just a Little Over Zealous

In my ongoing passion to purge this house, and to get it in some semblance of order that I can live with, last week I put most of my winter clothes away. What in the world was I thinking? This morning it was 45 and rainy. This morning I dragged out one of the crates and retrieved a sweater. This morning I sighed thinking that spring will never get here. And I'm probably right.

We'll go directly from this "frosty" weather to the intense heat of summer. So I'll just enjoy the cool temperatures and the jeans and sweaters that are necessary for them. For in a short time this will be history, at least until October.

I only had to dig out some clothes. Some "overzealous" friends of mine had to worry about their plants as well as finding their "winter" clothes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let the Game Begin

I finally made it to one of Jacob's T-ball games. Those kids are so darned cute! They're such a hoot to watch--all enthusiastic and clueless. At one point, a batter hit the ball, and one of the girls near the pitcher's mound got it, but instead of immediately throwing it to first base, she turned to the girl next to her for a little chat. The coach told her she could "throw it now please". Hysterical!

Jacob did fine.

And then there's Lauren. Totally oblivious to what was happening on the field, and completely happy to be showing off her skills at climbing in and around the bleachers. Those kids crack me up!

You're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast.
These are some good times, take a good look around,
You may not know it now,
But you're gonna miss this!

This is a verse from the song, "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Atkins--speaking to the teenager, then young woman, then young mom as she is always wanting to get to the next stage of her life in a hurry--seemingly not aware of the blessings she has at any given moment.

That song is a great reminder to all of us to treasure each day and person and event while we have them. Once they're gone, we're probably going to miss them. I didn't want those days of Little League/Soccer to rush by. I enjoyed them. But I miss them anyway.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Store on the Corner

When people ask me where I live, I tell them the name of the town, but then I warn them that it's basically an intersection--don't blink or you'll miss it. The town of Glen actually covers a huge geographic area, but the main part of town, the "business section" so to speak, is truly an intersection.

For several generations there has been a general store "on the corner" at that intersection. Last year it was purchased by a local family who continues to run it as a small grocery store and eatery.

Each Memorial Day the store has been open for folks to purchase soda, water, sandwiches, etc. before, during and after the Memorial Day Parade. This year, under the new ownership, there was a barbecue out front. Pretty much a stroke of genius. Not only did the store benefit from the increased sales, but it was a place for friends and family to meet, greet and visit with one another.

I might have already mentioned this in a previous blog, but I was raised in the Bronx. Sure, we knew some of the people in the apartment building we lived in, but we knew them generally just enough to say hi/by.

I LOVE living in a small town. I love the atmosphere. I love the social gatherings. I love that I don't have to lock my car in my own driveway, or even the house when I go for a walk. I love that even if I don't see someone for months on end, when we do meet it's just like it was yesterday. I love having seen the kids of my friends grow up--as you'll see later in this post. I love the pancake suppers hosted by the local church every election day, and I love being able to count on that pancake supper being held (because it is the absolute BEST pancake supper in the area!). I love that the people here are real. No pretenses. No struggle to be politically correct. No paranoia.

Story: Once when Caleb and his friend, Ben, were pre-teens they were walking along the road and they found a hand gun lying in the ditch. They brought it to me. "Well", we thought, "wonder who this belongs to?" We found the owner (he placed it on top of his car while opening the door, but forgot to take it into the car with him--when he went around a curve, the gun slid off) and returned the pistol to him. No big deal. I love it. Living in this town is like living in the "simpler times" that many of us remember and long for.

So when I arrived at the "business area" of Glen to watch the Memorial Day parade, I saw this sight. All I could think was, "Aww, I love this!"

As the parade began, I saw a group of scouts approaching and noticed this young man in dress whites. "Wow--it looks like the only military presence in the parade--I'd better get a photo of this" After he passed it occurred to me that it was Alex. Alex attends Annapolis. He looks wonderful. He's two years younger than Caleb. When Alex was 6 weeks old I began babysitting for him and continued until he was 5. He was one of the best babies to care for and I really enjoyed my time with him. Today he took my breath away.

This is just a little girl watching the memorial service. So cute.

This young woman is the daughter of a friend of mine with her two children. Carrie used to babysit for Leah and Caleb when they were about the same ages as her children.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Trip Into Town

It was a beautiful afternoon--almost perfect. I decided to drive to town (Amsterdam) to see what I could see. When I passed the Amtrak train station, I decided to stop and take some shots. I'm not thrilled with what I got, but the first three images are at least passable.

I drove a little farther into town. I wasn't too inspired.

While writing this post, I'm watching GAC (Great American Country). They're playing a special of Trace Atkins' trip to Iraq for 10 days to perform for the troops. I'm sure it's airing tonight in honor of Memorial Day.

I miss being in Hawaii. There is such a strong military presence there. I love seeing the service men and women in their fatigues everywhere. Walmart, McDonald's, driving on the roads, at the beaches. I miss the "Welcome Home"/"My Hero"/"We Love Our Daddy" signs painted on the windows of vehicles.

At the beginning of June, two of my friends are being deployed. One is the dad of 4 children (and one on the way) who will be gone until December, the other is the mom of two boys (the youngest only 6 months old) who will be gone for an entire year.

I feel so privileged and blessed to know them.

God Bless Our Military--past, present and future!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Late Post for Friday, May 22

Driving home yesterday evening. I pulled onto the thruway and saw this sight. I immediately pulled onto the shoulder and grabbed my camera. I only had my point and shoot with me, and the image doesn't look anywhere near as beautiful as the actual scene was, but I hope you get the idea.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Through the Window

The assignment today was Through the Window. I thought it would be an easy one for all of us, since being inside almost any building provides the opportunity to look out through a window of some sort.

I waited until I got home today--then regretted it! There isn't an attractive view from any window in my house. You'd have to actually see it to understand.

So this first image is from the outside looking in through the window. The second and third are just the best I could do from the inside looking out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"What Goes Around, Comes Around" or
"You Reap What You Sow"

The day after Leah returned home, she told me that she left her camera in Kenya with a Peace Corps friend, whose camera had broken. I was taken aback for a minute, and then my reaction was, "Wow that was so great of her to do that".

Tonight I got her another camera to replace that one. It's a slimline and very cute!

God has truly blessed us with a daughter who sees a need and is generous, and with the finances to be able bring her some joy in return.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Leso

Several months one of my blog posts was about Leah using her leso (pronounced lay-so) for a doorway barricade to her house in Kenya. She wanted to leave the door open, but when she did the chickens would just wander in. So she draped a leso across the bottom of the doorway, and voila, a "chicken-gate".

This afternoon she showed me the lesos she brought home. She also brought home the market basket holding the lesos. Pretty cool.

The lesos are just pieces of fabric, unfinished, meaning no hems. So the hemming will begin soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Out of Order

I bet you think I finally missed a day--this post should be before the previous one. But honest and true, these photos were taken on Sunday, May 17. (I did actually almost forget to make this post--but since I remembered just in time, I'm still in the running for the trophy!)

Caleb and Leah

Caleb on line "walking" into the gymnasium for graduation. (Caleb's in the middle looking straight into the camera)

Caleb on the way out after commencement.

Plan B

I had a plan A tonight. But wait, I get ahead of myself.

Many years ago, when Leah and Caleb were very young, we met a family at church. They had two girls who were a little older than my children. The hubbies were both members of the Christian Motorcyclists. We stopped attending the same church after a few years, but Cindy and I remained friends and would see each other occasionally.

She had two more children and our lives went in different directions, but we would be in contact once or twice a year, and we even managed to get together once in a while.

Last week we made plans to have dinner together tonight--and by golly, we did. We spent hours talking and catching up and enjoying each other's company. It was awesome.

My trusty point-and-shoot was not, however, in my purse where it belonged. I gave it to Leah yesterday so she could document the cleaning process of Caleb's apartment--to guarantee the refund of my very expensive deposit for his apartment at school. I felt naked, and deprived because I couldn't take a photo of my friend.

On the way home I remembered a photo of the four of us, taken years ago in which she looked great (and I didn't look as bad as usual), and determined to find it and take a photo of it to post. Sigh! Guess you know where this is going. Plan A crashed and burned--when I looked for the photo, it was nowhere to be found.

So on to Plan B--a not-very-exciting photo of Pick-Up Sticks. Remember them? What a cool game. And when I checked Leslie's blog, there was a photo of colored pencils. How ironic.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


It's Saturday night. We're in Alfred, NY. Caleb graduates tomorrow morning (Sunday). We were going to drive here on Sunday morning--graduation is at noon. I hate cutting the timing so close, so I suggested that we drive here on Sat afternoon in the RV.

It's old. It creaks. It looks soooo 60s.'s really pretty comfortable (although I bet the new ones are a whole different thing), and it's an awesome way to travel.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Today was the first hike of our hiking season. The destination was Goodluck Lake. After driving for about 45 minutes, we found the trailhead, got our gear ready, sprayed ourselves with deet-ladened bug repellent, and got going. It was a beautiful day, sunny, breezy, low humidity and clear. The guide book said the destination was almost two miles into the woods. This sign for the parking area lists Good Luck Lake as one of the destinations.

But when we crossed the road to start up the trail, that sign didn't mention anything about Good Luck Lake, so there had to be some consultation about whether we were in the right place or not. Turns out it was the correct trail head, but the sign for the lake and the registration box were about 1/2 mile into the woods.Very confusing.

This is not a mountain summit. A lot of ups and downs and wet spots. After a while, the "leader of the pack", Jane, said she thought we missed the turnoff for the trail going down to the lake. We knew we were walking parallel to the lake, but the farther we went, the more it seemed like we missed something.

We finally turned around and after about 1/2 hour we found the almost imperceptible, unmarked trail heading down toward the edge of the lake. We arrived, but because of the foliage growth and the soggy shoreline it was impossible to get any good photos of the lake. We thought that there was probably a better vantage point farther on, but we were a little constrained by time today. I had to be back in town by 4 in order to head down to the airport to meet Leah when she arrived home.

(We kept trying to calculate how far we actually walked. My estimation is about 5 miles.)

And here she is. Leah 's Home!!! Instead of going to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, as she mentioned in one of her emails at the beginning of the week, she opted to go to Karen's for ice cream. So we headed to Karen's and Jessica, Brian and the kids met us there. Leah got a flurry and mozzarella sticks--probably two things she wasn't able to get in Kenya.