Entries to Win Afghan


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Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Monday, May 26, 2014

An Oops and an Almost

 

I was looking forward to showing you who I visited before heading for the trail. My new author friend, Aaron Paul Lazar, treated me to lunch at his work place in Rochester, just before heading to the Catskills. But, oops! The camera slipped before the timer went off. Here's what I got :-(.

photo label

I think this is us- a reflection of a reflection. I'll just have to visit him again.

photo label

So much for the oops. Now for the almost. Marie and I are almost done with the Finger Lakes Trail. One more day, and that a roadwalk! But I have internet access, so I'll just tease you with a wonderful shot of the Catskills taken from a road. More adventures to follow in future posts.

photo label

See I'm Thinking About May
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

At Irene's

 
Blog posting will be sporadic for the next couple of weeks. But I spent last night at Irene's. Of course we took a short walk back to her pond.

friends

Dear Sandy Fe is 14 now, but still likes her slow walks and to take a dip in the pond (see her behind me in the above picture).

golden retriever

Johnny-jump-ups and tulips- cheerful

flowers

flowers

And a new crop of baby doves.

baby doves

Gotta scoot- Catch you sometime!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's All Coot

 

It's all coot, or gut, or good, or cute, or something.

Did the last of my work cases today, and saw this American Coot, Fulica americana. He wasn't nervous about me at all. I was quite close taking these pictures.

American Coot

American Coot

I'm working on reports and the last of the packing. Should be good to go in the morning!

P.S. to all my blog friends- I'm sorry, but I got behind on reading yours this week in an effort to get ready to leave. I'll catch ya' later!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Food and Gear

 
The food is done. Here is all of it, with the exception of a block of cheese I'll buy the day before we start walking. The total weight came in at a little less than our usual, and that's good. We won't go hungry. Each package is a meal or a snack.

backpacking food

Then I divided it by when we'll use it. The cardboard box holds the lunches and snacks for day hiking. The blue box is the short backpacking piece, and the clear box is the longer backpacking piece. Doing that at home prevents mistakes made by trying to sort later, in a hurry.

backpacking food

I've started sorting the gear, but don't have that done yet. This is not all of it...

backpacking gear

Still too many things on the list for tomorrow. I have a few work cases left to do, too. How, how, how??? Somehow it will all get done. Managed to postpone one major thing till I get home. That helped! And, strangely, now the lawn tractor tire seems to be holding air again, so I don't have to get that off and delivered for repair either. I suppose it will be flat when I get home, but it didn't go down today, so who knows?

I did manage to walk with the pack (first time since before I was sick), and that went ok, but it wasn't nearly long enough. Finished the last of the antibiotics, and I seem to be able to eat everything again. I've only eaten small portions of some things that are major staples of our hiking menus, though, so I'm mainly hoping that all will be A-OK by Friday.

Pretty much out of steam for today. I got a second wind mid-afternoon, and managed to get quite a bit more done. I suppose I could get a third wind, and do more yet tonight, but right now it doesn't feel like it!

See More Food and Flowers
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Entering the Tunnel

 
I need to leave here early Wednesday morning. My list of things to do is overly impressive, because I wasn't operating at full steam for quite a few days last week. In some ways it's like entering a tunnel. I hope there's a light at the end. So I'll illustrate that with one of my favorite roads, the road into Eastlake. All these old black willows are probably geriatric, so I take this road whenever I have cases there, just to see it, because I suspect some of them may be taken down soon.

At least it was turning green on Friday.

Eastlake Road

Here's what it looked like in March!

Eastlake Road

So, I'm going to be really chasing my tail for the next two days. Have to finish packing the food and gear, do some work stuff, and a million or so errands that chew up time. Got the whole lawn mowed today, that was one of the big-ticket time eaters. If I can knock them out, then the smaller stuff isn't such a big deal, and I can even do the packing in spurts since I work off a master list.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's Down!

 
The project for today was a bit of a stretch, but it had to happen, and for complicated reasons it had to happen before the end of May. I could not do it alone. The shed that was attached to the barn was collapsing, and threatening to fall in the driveway. The winter was not kind to it, making the job more difficult (and yet, it hadn't collapsed under the snow, like several newer buildings I've seen in the area).

Here's what it looked like when we began today. I had taken off some of the facing boards that were loose and falling at inappropriate times (is there an appropriate time?), but realized I needed help.

deteriorating shed

Friend Jesse came over today, and first we had to empty the space of a lot of stuff. We looked it over and realized that there was a beam solidly resting on the ground making it more stable than it looked like. The thing you probably can't tell from the picture is that what you can see is the second story. There is a big open space under this with almost completely collapsed foundation walls. I was the lightest, and the one who needed to make decisions about what was worth saving, so in I went. The answer was, way more than I thought. I was under the impression I'd cleared most anything of value several years ago, but we hauled out a lot of stuff. Then we began working at whatever was loose until we began putting forth theories about what was holding the silly thing up. Looks pretty precarious, right? Wrong.


shed demolition

Several times we attached rope or chain to something we thought was significant, fastened it to my car hitch and gave a pull. The most common occurrence was that the one board would pull off, leaving the rest of the building intact. It got to be a joke. We could not make this building fall down. Twice I (carefully) went back in and we cleared more stuff, just to give us room to work, or salvage something newly discovered under piles of trash. That building was unrelentingly solid. Jesse said it was defiant!

We began at noon, and at around 4 pm, we had made it to this point. Is Jesse praying that it will fall down?

shed demolition

We did pray for safety before we began, but actually he's tying a rope through one of the remaining corner foundation blocks. That front wall just would not budge.

shed demolition

We fastened it to my car again, and... pulled out one block, but the wall insisted it was staying put.

Tried another block. Jesse said, "Let me just try this one." So... he pulled another block out, but the wall stayed put.

shed demolition

We were in the process of doing it a third time with the car, when who should pull in the driveway, unexpectedly, but our buddy, Josh Schuyler!

He's a no-nonsense crazy person, who happens to own a tow rope. The chain we'd been using was way too short, but it was all I had. Josh ran around, got the extension ladder, threaded the tow rope over the top sill of the wall, and we hooked up the car again.

Took two tries, but *!BAM!* Can you see that front wall pulled out against the dead tree?

shed demolition

But the problem was that the roof and parts of the trusses were still hanging. If we'd had any tiny bit of an idea about how solid this building still was, we'd have gone up on the roof in the first place and started demolition from the top down, like sensible people. But we assumed that collapse was imminent, until we tried to make it happen.

At that point the question was, "How to get the roof off?" The truss that is flat against the barn wall wasn't going anywhere. I and a guy named Jim, personally, bolted that to the barn a long time ago. We fastened Josh's tow rope to the outer truss and decided to all pull on it, by hand. We assumed it would accomplish just what we had managed so many times already. That one board would come loose.

We pulled. We pulled hard. A mighty creak was heard, and Josh and Jesse went heads over petticoats (so to speak). I wisely (smirk- or luckily) let loose of the rope just as the tension shifted and something came down. When everyone caught their breath and looked... THE JOB WAS DONE! It was an unbelievable ending to a project that tried to thwart our efforts at every opportunity.

shed demolition

Here's the happy crew- please notice that we have all our limbs and eyes and smiles and other useful body parts. We were careful. No lectures after the fact, please.

shed demolition

One small bittersweet moment, but I can deal with it. This is the frame of the crib that was my half-brother's, then mine, then our Steve's. Vintage about 1925. It wouldn't even be legal to use anymore, because of those widely spaced slats. I took its picture and said goodbye. I'm sure no one but me even cares.

shed demolition

Obviously, still a lot of cleanup to do, but we've conquered and tamed all the potential energy in locations above the ground that were threatening havoc.

Can you say "accomplishment?" My Quality Day, brought to you by Jesse, Josh, Om and Joan. We should have had someone to video the last part of that act, but since we certainly didn't expect much to happen, we might not have even turned the camera on.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

No Time

 

I just got called into work early, so no time for a picture, but I have a pretty one to show you when I can. Ta-ta!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

More Food and Flowers

 

For this trip, we need 14 cold meals, 1 hot meal, 3 breakfasts, and 11 snacks. The other breakfasts we'll eat from the cooler at a base camp (that food is bought at the last minute), and the other hot meals we'll eat out. Remember, this is part backpacking, and part slackpacking (day hiking from car to car). Marie's back is not being good this week, so we are checking all weights carefully.

Hike food is progressing nicely. Maybe you can't see much difference in these piles from last time, but there is. A lot more ingredients have been dried and put in their packaging, and five meals are completely done with the labels. When the label is added I know that meal is totally ready to go.

I was slowed down tonight by the fact that we are out of salad dressing, and I didn't realize it. But there is still enough time available that I don't have to panic and run right out to the store.

backpacking meals

It rained all day and was miserably cold. But I wasn't out in it. And, I'm putting it in big print that I feel significantly better. Normal, even. I was a little worried about the hike there for a while, but had to proceed on the assumption that all would be well.

The poor little wildflowers, Spring Beauty, Claytonia caroliniana, were drooping with the weight of the water.

backpacking meals

See Wildflowers Everywhere
See Hot Meal Menu- Expanded View
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

All Good But Tired

 
Today, I saw some colorful tulips, kittens on a porch, and a mouse running across my floor. I didn't get a picture, not even of the kittens.

I'm headed for an early bedtime in hopes of a full, productive day tomorrow. I'll leave you with an interesting branch in the Baldwin River (taken last week).

branch in river

I'm feeling ever so much better, but still not able to eat very much. I think that finally caught up with me to make me so tired. Hoping for even better tomorrow.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hike Food!

 

My schedule for doing picture-taking work got changed, and that left me with today to get busy on preparing food for our big hike, coming right up. So I got busy! I had done the first round of shopping last night, so there was plenty of stuff to work with. I never try to get it all on one trip, because there are always some tweaks to be made to my original menus. I get a big chunk of what I need and then refine as I go.

Loaded the dehydrator, and unloaded and re-loaded several trays as the day went on. I'll do that before bed again. What you can see (I didn't pull out all the trays because it wanted to tip) is bottom to top: strawberries, veggie plops (my own recipe), peach slices, shredded beets, shredded cabbage, cucumbers, salsa. You can't see more veggie plops and some yogurt-fruit leather.

dehydrator full of food

Because we are doing the backpacking portion of this trip as light as possible, we aren't going to carry the stove. This means we need more cold meals. Most of them are based on some kind of cracker for the base. I got all those things packaged to travel, and started adding the extras. I have quite a few salad recipes we like. We DO like our veggies! And then we give ourselves some little dessert- fruit or chocolate or trail mix. Here's how far I got with that sorting.

table with backpacking meals being sorted

We also have a snack every mid-morning. I started packaging those, too.

table with backpacking meals being sorted

An exceptionally good bit of news is that I had purchased a new cartridge for our water filter and then forgotten. So that is all set to go!

Tomorrow I have to work pretty much all day, but hope to return to this project in the evening.

See Getting Serious About Hiking Food
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