Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Tonight is Trick or Treat night. I would guess there won't be a lot of kids out this year, based on the weather. It is cold, blustery, and just now, my walk with Molly was cut short by light sprinkles. When I abruptly turned around, she looked up at me as if she were thinking, "Hey, this isn't the turnaround point of my walk!"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I love this tree

This tree is just outside my third floor window at work. I don't know what kind of tree it is but it is beautiful in the fall and early spring. The sun wasn't shining when I snapped this picture (through tinted windows) so it's full brilliance doesn't show. In the spring, it is covered in white blooms.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Life with Molly

Don't ever try to convince me dogs are not half human.

Last night, after a particularly brutal day at work, I fell asleep sitting on the couch watching TV. I awoke to the sound of whining. Opening my eyes, I saw on the TV cable box that it was almost 10:00 pm. There, in front of me, was a 50 pound Black Lab with a look in her eyes of "What is wrong with you, when are you coming to bed?" She sleeps on a round bed from LL Bean on the floor next to my bed. I suppose the bedroom light being on was disturbing her sleep!

I asked her if she needed to go out. She didn't. "Is it bedtime?" Her tail began to wag and she pranced around.

Molly is extremely habit-oriented. In the morning, as soon as I get out of bed, I let her out. She quickly runs back inside and to her food bowl knowing that I'm going to put food in it. As she is eating, I get the coffeepot going. Before that is done, she is already in the computer room because she knows that next on my list is to check e-mails and take a quick look at the news websites.

Several weeks back, I had to drive to the airport at midnight to pick up my son. I went to bed that night but set the alarm to allow me just enough time to get up, get dressed and get to the airport, 10 minutes away. The look on Molly's face that night was priceless! You could see her thinking, "WHAT is going on here???? You NEVER do this!"

You know, I feel sorry for anyone that does not have a dog in their life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Autumn is in the air

This is a picture I snapped from my desk at work this morning.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A REAL surprise!

I don't know about you, but a lot of things I do, like driving home from work, stopping at the end of the driveway and getting out to cross the street and get the mail, are done by habit. Your mind, obviously is paying attention to driving, but otherwise blank. I often try to use the 5 minute drive home to clear my mind of the stress and clutter from work - either listening to the car radio or thinking about what my plans are for the evening.

Such was the case yesterday. It was Tuesday night and I always look forward to my Tuesday Night Defensive Shooting group at Genesee Conservation League.

So I open my mailbox expecting the usual stash of junk mail and catalogs. This time it was different. There, on top of the stack of mail, was an envelope with a handwritten address! I picked it up and looked in the upper left hand corner at the address label. . . "Carolyn Smith" Where have I heard that name before. . . my mind was churning. . . I knew that name, but from WHERE? It was from Cantonment, Florida, a small town just north of Pensacola, my hometown.

Oh, my God! Carolyn! Yes, Yes! Oh, my God! I hadn't seen her since my mother's memorial service 20 years ago in Pensacola.

I quickly opened it up wondering how she got my address and why I was hearing from her after all these years. I went to high school with her and her husband (they are still married!). We're talking decades ago, folks!!!

From the time I was 12 years old until I was 18 (or was it 20? Can't remember), I was a Rainbow Girl, a member of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls. My father was a Mason, so it was natural that I would be inducted into the Rainbow Girls when I was 12. Back then the Rainbow Girls were well known and rather popular. I don't hear about them now, or at least not in New York.

This was an invitation, along with a short note to catch me up on her life, to a celebration of the 50th anniversary of our Rainbow Assembly coming up next month. Damn. . . could it really be THAT many years ago???

Then my mind turned to the other girls I knew in Rainbow. . . Patti Dees, Patti Kimbro, Cheryl Lewis, Kathy Robinson, Sandy Leitenberger, JoAnn Harris, and some that, though I can see their faces, I can't remember their names! Where are they now? What have their lives been like?

Wow! It's been a long time since I stopped to think about those years.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One of my favorite meals

I love to make this dish. It is quick and easy and so versatile. Tonight, this has strips of chicken breasts, sliced small red potatoes, strips of both red and yellow bell peppers, sliced bok choy, snow peas, cauliflower. . . I think I listed everything! I make it in a large skillet. First, brown the meat, then add the vegetables and add a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Stir it for awhile as it cooks. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer covered. You can use beef in place of the chicken and literally any vegetable combination you choose.

It is delicious.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A fun start to the day

I took a day of vacation from work today. My first stop this morning was to the new gun club I just joined out in Rush, south of Rochester. I still belong to the Genesee Conservation League, but this club offers things GCL doesn't, like private outdoor shooting bays. Here I can stack up tin cans and plastic bottles and shoot at them. . . the way I learned to shoot a gun many decades ago back in my hometown of Pensacola, Florida. And the way I want to teach my grandsons when they get a little older. Here is a picture of my targets.

When you fill a gallon milk jug with water and shoot it with a high powered hollow point bullet, the water goes flying everywhere. The force of the "flying water" knocked the other targets off the stand and I had them taped down on account of the breeze! Wish I had a picture of that.

Here is what a milk jug looks like after being hit with a .357 magnum hollow point bullet.

This club has two sporting clays courses. Sporting clays is kind of like golf only with a shotgun. I haven't tried that yet but I know a lot of people that have become addicted to it. You follow a course and each one is different. Clay targets come flying out from every direction. It could be high in the air or low to the ground.

So now I am home for lunch. I think after lunch I will take Molly for a walk out at Mendon Ponds Park. The trees out there should be at near peak right now.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kathryn, the invinceable woman

Kathryn Zimmerman, from the Rochester area, is off on yet another adventure.

Kathryn is my age, retired, single, and lives an amazing life. Several years ago, she hiked the Appalachian Trail end-to-end and I followed her online journal. I had lunch with her after that trip and listening to her tales of the hike was a real joy. Within the last year, she hiked a large chunk of the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT is even more challenging than the AT.

Drum roll, please. . . Now she is on her way, with two other women hikers, to Katmandu for six weeks. Now if that doesn't make your jaw drop, listen to this. They are doing this without guides, just "three crazy women" as Kathryn says!

I have been to Ireland twice on guided bike tours and when I told Kathryn how much fun these were and that she ought to do that sometime, she quickly made a face and said, "No, that's too structured!" Kathryn, for sure, is a free spirit, landing where ever the wind blows her and enjoying every minute along the way.

God bless you, Kathryn and your two hiking buddies. A lot of people back here in the States are thinking of you and wishing you well.