Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday morning entertainment

There are two brown rabbits playing in my front yard as I sit here at my computer. I love to watch them. They will sit motionless looking at the world, then without warning, they will chase each other back and forth across the yard. Last weekend one of them sat and watched me - from a safe distance, of course! - as I unloaded my car in the driveway.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strange. . .

How can this be? The radar map for my area is dark green right now, indicating moderate to heavy rain. Yet there is no rain!

I am sure if I decide to take Molly for a walk right now, the sky will break open with rain!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Yesterday afternoon, my boss was standing at my desk. He got a strange look on his face and then asked, "Did you feel that?"

He felt a faint shaking on the floor. I didn't.

This afternoon a little before 1:30 everyone in my office felt a mild shaking again. I still didn't feel it but I was walking down the hall at the time. Because there was nothing on the news, we wondered if it could be a defect in our building!

Then the news websites began lighting up with news of the quake near the New York/Canadian border. It was 5.5 according to one website.

It was felt all over the Rochester area and in other places as well, Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, to name a few.

The Medical Center, where I am employed, issued a statement that there was no structural damage to any University of Rochester property.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An up and down evening

What an afternoon and early evening I had. As I was approaching my home coming from work this afternoon, there was a car parked on the street in front of my home. As I drove by it, in preparation for turning into my driveway, I looked the driver directly in the eye. Without being judgemental, and to remain politically correct, let me just say, I didn't feel comfortable with this situation.

I parked my car in my driveway without putting it in the garage. I had plans to leave again soon after arriving home. I called the police department for my town and told them of the car and that things just didn't seem right. "Stay in your home with the doors locked", I was told. Now wait a minute. . . I'm not the bad guy here!!!

I am trying to sell my kayak to buy another one and had arranged with two people who had called about it to meet them at Mendon Ponds Park tonight to try it out. I told them I would meet them there at 6:00 pm. So DON'T tell me to stay in my home with the doors locked!

I was in the process of putting the kayak on my car - a half hour later - when the police finally arrived. . . two police cars, actually. I told the police the car had left but described as much as I could. I did not get the license plate number because I didn't want this "person" to know I was alarmed.

Soon I was on my way to Mendon Ponds Park. I apologized to both potential buyers for being late and explained why I was late. After a usual frantic day at work and the strange car near my home, I was not the most calm person in the world at that moment!

But then my heart and soul began to be at peace. I was in Mendon Ponds Park, one of my favorite places. I chatted with one of the potential buyers while the other one was paddling the kayak. Birds were singing, you didn't have to look long to see deer roaming about. Some people walked by with a dog on a leash. There is just something about me that attracts dogs. . . this dog - a Husky - decided I was a dog friendly person and came running over to me. I struck up a conversation with another person. No matter what kind of day you are having, a visit to Mendon Ponds Park is good for the soul.

One of the people I was talking to said, "You know, there was this great thing going on here last Saturday, think it was some kind of expo or something." Now THAT brought a smile to my face!

"Oh, you mean, the ADK Outdoor Expo?"

"YES! That's it. That was loads of fun!"

"THANK YOU!!!" I said and then proudly told him I was the Co-chair of this year's Expo!

Both of the buyers said they wanted to think about it. I suspect one of them is serious but is playing hard ball. . . He obviously doesn't know I'm Scotch-Irish and not one to be negotiable.

They left but I decided to remain awhile longer. There were people walking about and others were fishing from the shore. If only I could "bottle" the feeling I have being in Mendon Ponds Park and splash it all over myself at other times when life is stressful and unkind.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The mystery of the beehive

Early Saturday evening, before dark, I had returned from a full day at the ADK Expo. I was tired and just wanted to hunker down with a glass of wine and a few bites of food I could easily pull out of the refrigerator with little or no preparation.

About this time, my neighbors called to tell me there was a very large beehive in the tree in my front yard. I have never seen such a sight. It was gourd shaped, over a foot long and on one end it must have been eight or nine inches across.

Early Sunday morning I was on my computer googling beehives and how to deal with them. I learned if it is honeybees, you should find a competent person to remove the hive and save the bees. From standing on the ground looking at the hive, we could not tell what kind of hive it was - wasps, yellowjackets or honeybees.

I was busy with other things around the house and taking down a beehive was not high on my list of priorities at the time.

Monday afternoon I was returning from taking Molly for a walk. My neighbors saw me and came running up to ask what I had done with the beehive. I looked at them with a blank stare and then looked up to where the beehive had been.

It was gone! How could this massive beehive, swarming with bees, just disappear? It would have taken considerable time and equipment, I would think, for someone to remove that hive. How could this be accomplished without me knowing about it? The neighbors said they noticed it was gone on Sunday evening and they thought I had taken care of it quickly!

Any ideas?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The ADK Expo, Part 2

Here are several more photos from this year's ADK Expo. The Fairport Girl Scouts demonstrated campsite cooking and baking methods.

So this is how bears get across water!

This sharp looking kayak, hand made from blueprints, caught my eye.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The ADK Expo, Part 1

The 13th Annual Adirondack Mountain Club Expo, held yesterday at Mendon Ponds Park, was an overwhelming success.

The Genesee Valley Chapter of the ADK sponsors this event every year to showcase the outdoor recreational opportunities in the Rochester and Western New York area and also to educate the public on fun ways to enjoy the outdoors. There are dozens of workshops on everything from "What to do if you are lost in the woods" to all kinds of backcountry cooking techniques. Canoe and kayak vendors in the Rochester area come with samples of their products and participants can try out a boat on the water, with no obligation. There is live entertainment.

This year we had a bear! Actually we had several "bears"! This was something that I really pushed for as Co-chair. Most people were in favor of the idea. A few had reservations. . . what if it scares children? Are we teaching kids that bears are friendly and it's okay to give them a hug???

Folks, believe me when I tell you our bear was the most photographed and the most hugged bear in all of New York yesterday! Even adults wanted their picture taken with the bear.

I'd like to focus for a moment on the little things about yesterday's Expo that really touched my heart. First, try to understand where I'm coming from. You work hard since early Fall last year planning, organizing, and yes, sometimes arguing with committee members over this or that. You make lists, you double check your plans. Will everyone do or bring what they said they will? In all our planning, have we overlooked something? It goes on and on.

Then the day of Expo arrives. The Fairport Girl Scouts that I recruited to participate arrive early for set up. There is excitement on their faces.

Mid-day the humidity is climbing and I'm starting to get tired. I walk through the crowds and am energized by the look of pleasure and excitement that I see on so many faces from those visiting Expo. People down by the beach area are paddling a kayak for the first time ever.

In my workshop on camp dutch oven cooking, a crowd of people circle the table where my dutch ovens and gear are sitting. I see the look of surprise on their faces as I tell them what they can do out in the woods with a dutch oven and how easy it is.

So many people come up to our Information table wanting to know how they can become a part of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

These are just a few examples of why the Expo is special to me. In later posts, I'll share more pictures and details.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Man! What a day!!!

The ADK Outdoor Expo was a tremendous success today. I am much too tired to go into detail now - watch for that later - but wanted everyone to know, after a year of planning and organizing, Hollywood couldn't have done a better job, folks! I'll be posting pictures and details soon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The ADK Expo is this Saturday, June 12!

All of you in the Rochester area, plan on attending the Adirondack Mountain Club's Outdoor Expo this Saturday, June 12 from 10 am to 4 pm at the beach area at Mendon Ponds Park. If you have any interest in outdoor activities, this is the place to be. There will be workshops on every subject you can imagine, vendors of outdoor "toys", exhibits, and entertainment. Try out a canoe or kayak from one of several vendors - no obligation. Want to know how to fix a bicycle flat tire or do a minor tune up? There's a workshop for that! Want to know how to cook in the back country? There are lots of workshops on that! Want to know what to do if you get lost in the woods? There's a workshop for that! LL Bean, who will be opening a new store in Rochester in July, will be there to demonstrate fly fishing techniques.

There is something for every age group and interest. And it's free!

I am co-chair of this year's Expo and I can tell you our committee has worked all winter to plan this year's event. This is one event you don't want to miss!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Gulf oilspill

I don't think there is anyone on the planet who isn't saddened by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Each day the news is even more heartbreaking than the day before.

Yesterday, the inevitable happened, even though I just never could admit it, even to myself. I was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. I spent so many happy times at Pensacola Beach over the years that I lived there and even after I moved away years ago. During my childhood, I don't think I really appreciated the white sand beaches there, not realizing that the stretch of coastline from Pensacola over to Panama City, Florida has perhaps the only pure white sand beaches in the world. I will never forget the awe on John and Michael's face when, as toddlers, they saw Pensacola Beach for the first time.

When I first moved to Rochester in the early 70's, people raved about "going to the beach." Try to imagine my total disappointment when I discovered Rochesterians' definition of "the beach" was Lake Ontario, which, during certain times of the summer is filled with the stench of decaying algea that there seems to be no remedy for. My definition was much more beautiful. . . emerald green water with big white waves that were not only a delight to see but fun to play in, dolphins playing just off shore, people chasing sand crabs across the beach. . . oh, my Gosh, just sitting here typing all these memories brings tears to my eyes now with word that the oil has now washed up on Pensacola Beach.

We have lived through a lot of ugliness in the world. . . race riots, the wars in Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan, 9-11, are just a few examples. But I always believed that nothing could ever destroy the beauty and enjoyment of the pristine beaches in my hometown, not even hurricanes. Those big beautiful waves would always be there and generations would enjoy them long after I have left this earth. And the seafood that I love would never be destroyed.

No, I do not advocate stopping all drilling in the Gulf. You don't take away all cars because a drunk driver crashes into a crowd of people, killing many innocent people.

We will find a way, no matter how long it takes, to restore the Gulf Coast to the way it has always been and the way it should be. I just hope I am around to see it happen.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Molly's new bed

Molly's new bed arrived today from LL Bean. I began noticing signs that maybe my nine-year-old Lab is having joint problems. She sleeps on the carpeted floor by my bed. Often I will wake up and find my robe, which was at the foot of my bed when I went to sleep, is now on the floor turned into a makeshift bed. My daughter-in-law agreed that maybe I should get her a decent bed.

So, according to LL Bean's charts, for Molly's weight, she needed the large size and that is what I ordered. When I opened the box this afternoon and unfolded the bed, it kept getting bigger and bigger! This thing would easily accomodate two Labrador Retrievers!

I put the outer cover on it and then put it on the living room floor. . . Molly was scared of it! She would walk up to it, sniff at it and walk away. "Listen, dammit, I paid a LOT of money for your comfort and you are going to like this bed, do you understand?"

Once I forced her onto it, she decided maybe this was a good thing!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Other blogs

Check out my blog list to the right of this page. I've revised the list, adding several new ones and removing one or two that had become stale and no longer held my attention. I highly recommend all the ones listed here.

There are some very talented bloggers, folks. I enjoy roaming through them each day.

A friend told me this weekend she would like to start a blog but felt overwhelmed with "competing" with some of the ones out there. I laughed at her and told her every blog and every blogger are different and there is room for all of us out there!!!

Many blogs focus on one subject. Me? I've got way too many interests to focus on just one theme!

And for those of you who visit my blog each day or on occasion, thank you! I enjoy hearing your comments and learning about you and your corner of the world.