Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Why is it, if you neglect a plant, it will wither and die? Yet weeds will thrive in any condition. And the more you neglect a weed, the bigger it gets. Not fair. Jeph, over at Jeph's Spot, mentioned in his blog about putting newspaper down and cover that with mulch. Now he tells me even that isn't 100%. Kristin, at Going Country, who can put us all to shame with her vegetable gardens, also has an ongoing battle with weeds. Weeds are like dust. . . a never ending battle!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Update on my flower gardens

Just wanted to show you how my flowers are coming along. The silver plant that captures your eye here is lambs ear. You really have to keep them cut back. They will spread all over the place. But deer don't like them so they have a useful purpose! Behind the lambs ear are the black-eyed susans. They are just starting to get tiny blooms on them.

The last time you saw my impatiens, they were a lot smaller!

These are my daisies on the corner of the garage. These two have opened up with dozens more blooms just about to pop open.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Affair to Remember

Uhm. . . sorry to disappoint you, folks, I'm talking about the movie. . . not any spicy personal revelation! Today I worked in the yard quite awhile. It was hot and humid. I came in to rest and decided to watch a Netflix movie, An Affair to Remember, from 1957, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. Now if you look at the list of movies I have rented from Netflix, you will find a lot of old movies - old westerns, old musicals, old romantic ones, old World War II stories. Oh! and I LOVE the old Dirty Harry movies with Clint Eastwood. . . Animal House with Jim Belushi. And American Graffiti. And I can't leave out Gone With The Wind, or even On Golden Pond. (If my kids ever read this, I can see their eyes rolling now) Rarely do I have an interest in current productions from Hollywood. They just don't make movies like they used to. Oops, am I showing my age???

I remember one Christmas, although I never verbalized it, I was hoping one of my boys would give me the soundtrack to Grease (now you remember that one, with John Travolta and Oliva Newton-John, don't you?). John did better than that. He gave me the video to the movie. I'm living proof. . . It takes a lot to wear out VHS videos! I've watched that one dozens of times over the years and last I put it in the VCR to watch, it was still just fine!

So, if you like romantic tales, check out An Affair to Remember. And I promise not to tell your friends if you take a look at some of the other oldies too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Opportunity For Me

I am pleased to announce that I will be Co-chair of the Expo that the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club sponsors every June. Expo is a way of showing the community what outdoor activities and resources are available right here in the Rochester area. Every year it just gets bigger and better with more and more participation.

I attended an Expo quite a few years back and wasn't too excited about it so I never went back. Then, over the last couple of years or so, I began overhearing people not associated with the ADK talking about what a wonderful experience Expo was for them. So I thought I'd check it out again. This year I was one of dozens of workshop presenters. I gave a short talk and demo on using camp dutch ovens for canoe camping and car camping trips. It was well received and actually turned into more of a conversation with the audience and me. They just circled around the table I was using for my equipment and started asking a lot of questions. It was obvious they were excited over what I was demonstrating.

One of the advantages of Expo is that you can try out different canoes and kayaks available from retailers in the area without being pressured to buy. No selling is allowed during Expo.

There are workshops on bicycle maintenance and repair, outdoor cooking techniques, safety in the woods, what to do if you encounter a wild animal in the woods, and much more. You can take a guided hike through Mendon Ponds Park, where Expo is held each year. In short, if it is outdoor, human powered recreation, you will find it at Expo.

I am looking forward to being involved with an exciting project that benefits many people in the Rochester community.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

All depends on how you look at it!

It seems the South is having a big heat wave right now. My son in Virginia commented yesterday that it was 97 degrees. . . "good day to watch golf on TV" he said. Last night I was talking to my cousin in Alabama. She was lamenting how extremely hot and humid it was down there - temperature over 100 degrees with the heat index off the charts. She told me she would welcome one of those awful snow storms that wreaked havoc on us in the northeast this past winter with bone chilling frigid temperatures. All this time I was bemoaning the fact that this weekend was a wet one here in Rochester - rain, rain, and more rain. I work all week so on the weekends I want to get outside, even if it is nothing more than mowing the lawn or pulling weeds. This all just points out the old saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rochester is Bear Country!

Around midnight last night a resident of a city neighborhood called the police to report a bear was in a tree. The bear slept in the tree last night. This morning the crowds gathered and the police and DEC (Dept. of Environmental Conservation) showed up. It was decided that the DEC would shoot the bear with a tranquilizer gun and carry it back to the woods where it belongs. The first shot missed and the scared bear climbed higher up into the tree. The second shot hit the bear and he fell into a net being held by the authorities, but unfortunately, he still crashed to the ground and died. It was a first or second year cub.

This is not the first bear to find its way into the Rochester area. Last summer there were at least two bear sightings (two different bears). One defied all odds by crossing over two interstate highways during the day before wandering off into obscurity again.

There is a news item and video of this on 13wham.com, one of our local TV stations.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Here is a close up of one of my two Crown Prince Regelias in the front yard. Across the front of my house I had two of these with a Holly bush in the middle. The deer totally ate the entire Holly bush a couple of years back. Now there is a small part of it that has grown back. Need to replace it with something the deer don't like.

I love the Southern Azalia. But we can't grow them in this climate so the Crown Prince Regelia is the closest thing to it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back again this year

All last summer and into the fall there was a little yellow finch that tried over and over to get through my glass windows from outside. It was uncanny. It would peck on my window panes, fluttering its wings, for minutes at a time before flying away and returning again soon. The fact that I was sitting here at my computer not much more than two feet away from it didn't seem to deter its mission. Now I see it is back again. Could it be the same one or is this a trait of yellow finches?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

ADK Expo at Mendon Ponds Park

I spent the morning at Mendon Ponds Park at the Adirondack Mountain Club's annual Expo. Wow! I haven't been to Expo in quite a few years and it is bigger and better than I ever remembered it. There were booths and workshops/demonstrations on everything from bicycle maintenance to children's crafts using items found in the woods, to backcountry cooking. . . if it is outdoors related, there was an event for it! On the water, Rochester area canoe and kayak dealers had different models of the boats they carry and people could try them out or get a quick lesson on how to paddle. No selling was allowed so there was no pressure on the individual.

I did a demonstration on camp dutch ovens and was pleased with the turnout. I was trying to count how many came but lost count at 25. It was a very receptive audience, they asked questions and were definitely interested in what I was talking about.

Barb Brenner, an old friend of mine from "way back", has been the chair of the Expo Committee for the last few years and she's done an excellent job. They even provided lunch for Expo volunteers.

I was startled to run into a man who had been in a continuing ed class I taught way back in the 1980's on day hiking that still remembered me! He says I introduced him to the joys of hiking and he has become an avid hiker both locally and in the Adirondacks. I don't think he had ever heard of the Adirondack Mountain Club until that class. He is now an active member.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My gardens

One side of my large garden out front near the road. In another few weeks, it should be alive with color. There are Black-eyed Susans, Coneflowers, Petunias, two Burning Bushes and more. Also a picture of the impatiens I planted Memorial Day Weekend. The Coneflowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies and are offensive to deer!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Paddling on Red Creek

Yesterday afternoon I went on a kayak paddle with a group from the Adirondack Mountain Club. It was the perfect day for a paddle - warm and sunny and just enough breeze to keep the bugs away. We started on the Genesee River, made a turn into the Erie Canal and then another quick turn into Red Creek. Along the way we watched a heron pluck a large fish out of the water and then swallow it whole. . . gulp! Red Creek makes a nice destination for a paddle with its lush trees and foliage. With the sun streaming through the leaves, it was a pretty sight. We paddled there for about an hour until the creek narrowed down and became too shallow even for kayaks.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ramblings of a coffee addict

Every three months I have to go have blood drawn for my upcoming doctor's appointment. There is really nothing wrong with me. It's just that my doctor can't get along without seeing me every three months. He likes to talk, I'm a good listener. Together we solve all the world's problems.

Today is the Saturday for me to have my lab work done. Which means I can't have anything except water for 12 hours prior to having blood drawn. Not even a cup of coffee, for gosh sakes. The lab doesn't open till 9:00 am. Molly will not tolerate letting me stay in bed long enough to allow for a quick shower and out the door to the lab. No, it's up at dawn, which these days comes way too early on a Saturday morning.

Why does my coffeemaker loom so large in front of me this morning? MOLLY, would you just get out of my way??? WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT, I'VE FED YOU AND LET YOU OUT. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE, DOG.

Even the usual e-mail jokes and notes I've received from friends overnight don't interest me. THERE IS THAT DARN COFFEEPOT GLARING AT ME AGAIN.

I'm getting weak, my head hurts. Well, dammit, you'd feel bad too if all you could have is a glass of water.

FINALLY, it is time to leave for the hospital lab. The car door won't open. Oh, I forgot, I must've locked the door last night. Why would I have done that? It sits in the garage all night.

Geez, where did that curb come from? Doesn't it know I have the right of way. What is wrong with this place?

It has now been over two hours since I got out of bed. I WANT A CUP OF COFFEE.

There is my parking lot that I park in during the week when I come to work. It is empty today so I can park anywhere I want. Big deal. DAMN, the gate doesn't want to lift up. [Out of good taste, I will leave out my string of words here]. There, I thought you'd see it my way, damn gate.

Only trash hangs out in the lobby on Saturday mornings. Look at that woman, she's gotta be 100 pounds overweight and she's ugly. Look at that little kid. Why doesn't his mother dress him better to be out in public?

Uugghhh. . . I smell the Fingerlakes Coffee Roasters coffee stand. . . there is no way I can get to the lab without walking past that paradise for coffee drinkers. They ought to make a law that on the Saturday mornings I have to come for my lab work, nobody can buy coffee there. I want to cry right here in front of everybody. The lab opens at 9:00 am. It is now 8:45am. You either come early, wait at the door, or come at 9:00 and wait endlessly for your turn while all the riff raff gets their turn ahead of you. Why is it that everyone that walks down the hall here has a cup of coffee in their hand?

My turn comes to go to the check in desk at the lab. I even remember to tell the lady that my phone number has changed and can give her the number without looking at my cell phone to get it right.

The next minutes are totally unbearable. I don't like needles. I don't like the sight of blood. The little fresh faced kid that is assigned to draw my blood looks like this is her first day on the job.

Oh, maybe she's not so bad after all. At least she was able to hit a vein on the first try. That's unusual.

YES!!! I'M FREE! DONE!!! Now where is that Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters place? There are 5 people ahead of me in line. Why did they have to choose right now to get their coffee.

"Can I help whose next, please?"

"YES! I'll have a small Friends Blend, please." [See, I remembered to say 'please']

WONDERFUL! This is the best coffee I've ever had in my life. I sit in the lobby and enjoy this truly great cup of coffee. There is music playing in the background. The sun is shining outside. Hhmm, what a cute little child that is walking by me and he even smiled at me. Kinda reminds me of Andrew, one of my grandsons.

The world has changed drastically in the last few minutes. It is good to be alive and I've got the whole rest of the weekend to enjoy doing whatever I want!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ADK Expo at Mendon Ponds Park

The Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club is holding its annual EXPO at Mendon Ponds Park on Saturday, June 13. What is EXPO? It's "all things outdoors", to put it simply. There will be over 35 workshops and demonstrations on everything from bike repair, safety in the woods, camping techniques, as well as kayaks and canoes that you can try out. I will be doing a short workshop on Camp Dutch Oven Cooking. EXPO is free and open to the public. Bring the family. Whether you are new to outdoor adventures or an old pro, there is an activity for you. Stay for an hour or all day. It'll be lots of fun, so come on out. Here is a link for more info:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Breakfast entertainment!

Rarely am I entertained while eating breakfast on a weekday morning. . . unless you want to count Molly and her bag of tricks to get a bite of whatever I am eating. For the past days I have watched with joy as the baby birds in the bird house just outside my kitchen bay window grew. At first all you could see were these huge, oversized beaks, wide open waiting for food. Then a day or so later, you could see a tiny head. This morning they began to get brave. I watched as they poked more and more of their head out of the hole in between times when the mother bird brought them food. You could almost see it written on their face, "Hhmm. . . there is a whole big wide world out there. . . what am I hanging around here for???" Then, in an instant, one of them flew out of the nest! That lasted for a second or two and then he dropped down quickly. I jumped up from my seat and looked to see where he landed. Couldn't see anything and with time constraints, I didn't go outside for a closer look.

Update on the mysterious newborns behind my house. Someone suggested they could be moles.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Does anyone know what this is???

Does anyone know what kind of mammal has a nest in a hole? I tried to get as close as I could with my camera. These newborns have round hairless ears. This picture doesn't give you much to go on, but if you look closely underneath the brown twig you can see an eye. Molly started poking her nose in the hole and that's what caught my attention. I then saw several newborns squirming around just inside the hole. This nest is only inches from the foundation of my house in back. If I can get a better picture, I will post it, but I'm afraid of getting attacked by an angry mama! The hole is about 3 or 4 inches in diameter.