Entries to Win Afghan

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Around Marie's House

We kept things calm again today, since I had a program this evening.

Two of the primary things you'll notice around Marie's house are Grissom (darker) and Princess Grace (lighter). They like to sleep together except when there is a human who is flat for them to sleep on.

cats in a basket

Marie also has some nice plants. Her "Christmas Cactus" is in bloom. I'm trying to learn the difference between the kinds of these. This one is actually Thanksgiving Cactus, Schlumbergera truncata. It's easy to tell because the leaves have "claws."

Schlumbergera truncata

This cactus is also blooming. Not sure what it is.

white blooming cactus

And this one is getting ready. Maybe it will be open for you to see in a day or two.

cactus bud

We started a puzzle. It's our second, but the first one was really easy, so it hardly counts. We did it and cleaned it up so fast I didn't even get a picture!

jigsaw puzzle

The program went really well. 15 people came, which was really good since the notice was so short. I sold several books. Oh, and I wrote 1200 words this morning.

See Calm
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Wednesday, February 27, 2019


I didn't take a single picture today. That's OK. It was a calm day.

I wrote in the morning, and then Marie and I had pizza for lunch and walked 6 miles at the mall.

We came home and read and discussed some of the chapters I've written, and then fixed dinner and played our word game for a while.

I like it.

I'll just add another picture of the Catskills in the distance.

See orChid, Koi, Catskills
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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

North Country Trail Amazing News

For over 20 years the North Country Trail has been working to have the route in Minnesota officially (by Congress, as required) to include what has been nicknamed the Minnesota Arrowhead. This extends the trail along the north shore of Lake Superior via the Superior Hiking Trail, then west on the Border Route and the Kekakabic Trail through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and then back down to the center of the state at Grand Rapids, MN. Even the National Park Service has been accepting this route for years, but it still wasn't official.

A few years ago, the Appalachian Trail also finally decided they wanted to connect with the NCT, and this also required Congressional approval.

Last week, the Senate passed a recreation bill which included this "route adjustment" provision. This was the first time EVER the bill had made it through the Senate. For the past few years, the House had passed a version of the bill, but it needed to get through both houses.

Today, the House voted yes on their version, and now it only needs to be signed into law. Seems like this will happen, but we have a tiny bit of finger crossing to do for this last step.

This is HUGE!

Scenes from the included portions. Maine Junction where the NCT will join the Appalachian Trail. This is also part of the Long Trail.

Maine Junction, North Country Trail, Long Trail, Appalachian Trail

One of the views from the Vermont portion in the Green Mountains.

 North Country Trail, Long Trail, Green Mountains

A view from the Superior Hiking Trail along Lake Superior in Minnesota.

Hellacious Overlook, North Country Trail, Superior Hiking Trail

Waterfalls on the SHT and NCT.

Waterfalls, North Country Trail, Superior Hiking Trail

Mountain Lake on the Border Route, looking into Canada.

Mountain Lake, North Country Trail, Border Route Trail

And Agamok Bridge on the Kekakabic Trail.

Agamok Bridge, North Country Trail, Kekakabic Trail

These will now all officially be part of this great trail experience. Can't have a better quality day than this!

See The Party's Over, But it's OK
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Monday, February 25, 2019

orChid, Koi, Catskills

Today was another day of non-stop errands and appointments for Marie. Of course I tagged along.

We had ourselves a mini-mini flower show by walking through the garden section of a store we were in. Don't know its name, but I like the random spots on this orchid.


They also had a pond full of Koi in an interesting variety of colors. Look near the middle of the picture and you'll see one with a purple back and orange belly.


Even though there is all kinds of traffic and wires and "stuff" in the foreground, I like this picture because it shows how the Catskill Mountains just loom all around the civilized spaces.

Catskill Mountains

Tomorrow, we have a couple of short errands, but then we hope to just hang out and be together for a while. Whew.

I got my monthly newspaper column written.

See Loving Mountains
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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Blue Tiles


I liked the tiles in the pillars at the mall.

blue tiles

Too pooped to tell you much else.

blue tiles

The news is good. I made more sales today, so at least the day wasn't a financial disaster. I may have a program in Albany in the next week or two.

See Blue
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Saturday, February 23, 2019

One More Mall Day

I think we can say that I won't be doing any more mall events unless there are some kind of special circumstances.

author table at Colonie Mall

We were gone from the house for 16 hours, most of that time both of us were sitting at the table. We occasionally took turns walking a lap around the mall and taking bathroom breaks.

There was a fair amount of interaction with people, but very low sales. Other vendors are reporting the same result. We go back tomorrow.

Marie has set up one more program for me at her library. Right now, I just need to go to bed.

See Countin' Flowers on the Wall
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Friday, February 22, 2019

Countin' Flowers on the Wall

Today was pretty calm compared to our recent days, and I was very glad for that.

Remember "Countin' flowers on the wall, that don't bother me at all..."?

shadow of lace curtains on ceiling

Well, my day wasn't quite that lazy, although I did get a kick out of the shadow of a lace curtain. I confess that I did not count the flowers in it.

Marie had to work, so I spent pretty much all day working on the next chapter of the book. No keeper words yet, but I've gotten almost through the entire journal recording making notes, and studied the maps and pictures, and I have a theme for the chapter.

I made dinner today, we went for a little walk, and then after we ate and cleaned up, we played our word game.

It was really nice to have a quiet day.

Tomorrow, it's off to Albany for our last big sales venue.

See Patterns
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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Crazy, All-Over-the-Map

Marie and I are back at her house, but she's gone to a meeting. At least I get to wind down a little. This whole escapade began with a medical emergency for Marie's friend, Selma, who is 90 and very independent. However, she has macular degeneration and she developed a bad infection in her good eye. The first consequence was to find a local doctor who would see her immediately. He gave her medications, but she had to go the very next day to her own doctors in New Jersey. So we set off yesterday morning on a trip south.

The doctor's appointment was long. I got to sit and read and stay up to date on the weather, but Marie had to go in and deal with all the medical responsibilities for an older person. By the time they were done, the earlier snow was changing to ice. Selma's daughter lives only about a half hour away, so we bailed out and went there. We didn't have overnight stuff with us, but we are campers. We know how to make do!

The ice did develop as we sure could see this morning.

ice on trees

It was beautiful, but the temperatures were rising, and by the time Marie and I left the roads were wet but clear.

ice on trees

One of the perks of staying at Ann's house was to play with four dachshunds. I only got picture of two of them. This is Hamilton (back) and Oliver the puppy.


Selma stayed there, because the doctor wants to see her every day. This is really pretty serious. If they can't get it cleared up she's going to lose the little sight she has left. Ann will take over for now.

So Marie and I drove back to NY through the lovely mountains.

Catskill mountains

Then we had to go to Selma's house anyway to get her regular medicines and overnight them down to Ann. Selma lives near the Ashokan Reservoir, surrounded by the mountains I showed you two days ago.

Ashokan Reservoir

Then we ate, did shopping, and came home. Marie had a meeting and I did laundry. Crazy.

I'm hoping Selma will be well before we leave so I can take her picture with us. Right now, with a red, swollen eye, I know she wouldn't want me to share.

See Loving the Mountains
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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Loving the Mountains (and the Moon)

Marie lives practically at the base of the Catskill Mountains. These surround the Ashokan Reservoir. I may have a chance to get more pictures tomorrow.

This is High Point Mountain, at just over 3000 feet.

High Point Mountain, Catskills

Just to its north is a series of peaks, left to right: Hanover, Balsam Cap, Friday, Cornell, and Wittenberg Mountains. The highest is Cornell Mountain at 3800 feet. I know lovers of the west look on these peaks with disdain, but I love them.

Cornell Mountain, Catskills

On an even smaller scale, the rocks by the grocery store parking lot are lovely covered in snow yesterday.


Today I was able to get a long shot to show how that tilted bed of stone lies right beside the road. More on how I reached this vantage point in a minute.

tilted rocks

We ended the day with the just-past-full Super Snow Moon. Really bright. It's supposed to be the brightest full moon of 2019 because the moon is the closest to the Earth.

Super Snow Moon February 2019

Most of the day was spent with another friend, Selma. We were planning to celebrate her 90th birthday with a lunch. Well, we did that, but we also took her to the eye doctor as she was having a fairly serious emergency. The office was on the 3rd floor, so there were some great views of the same peaks that can be seen from the Reservoir. Tomorrow, we are taking her to her regular specialist in New Jersey, because her eye needs immediate attention.

I was able to do some writing, and am REALLY close to finishing Chapter 12, "The Adventures of Alice in Central New York." I'm going to try to get that done before I fall asleep. See you tomorrow, probably with adventures from a New Jersey jaunt, but mostly seen from a car.

See Into the Catskills
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Monday, February 18, 2019

Lower Enfield Glen

These pictures are from several days ago while I was still in Ithaca. Today was calm and great, but not a huge picture-taking day, so I'll share more of these.

Lower Enfield Falls is the largest falls on the creek (not the tallest, but we couldn't get there in winter). You can see the Lower Falls in the distance.

Lower Enfield Falls

Here's Elaine, with the falls in the background.

Lower Enfield Falls

I just liked the contrast of the falling water with the layers of snow-covered rock.

Lower Enfield Falls

Here's a view of the top of the cliff wall to the right of the falls.

Lower Enfield Falls

Snowy branches looking sculpture-ish.

snow covered branches

And for some reason, I think the red guard rail with icicles against the free-flowing water is appealing.

Lower Enfield Falls

I got back to writing today. Managed about 1000 words on Chapter 12. Marie and I walked at the mall, got some groceries, did a puzzle, chilled. Nice day. I needed some calm.

You may see more ice and water pictures another day.

See Upper Enfield Glen
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