Sunday, August 24, 2014

Taking down the big evergreen tree

The evergreen tree next to my shed had grown out of control, probably 50 to 60 feet high.  It was infringing on my shed.  For a long time, I would get on a ladder each year with a hand saw and cut back the branches that were touching the shed roof.  That got to be more than I could handle.  Not to mention, the tree was preventing me from getting DirecTV because it blocked the southwest sky.  Finally, I called in a tree expert.   I couldn't imagine how they could take down this tree without damaging my house or the shed, but they did!

The neighbors enjoyed the show!  Here is Atraiu, the little boy from across the street, just spellbound watching the man high up in the tree.  Limbs were cut down as he climbed higher.  Then, about 20 feet from the top, he tied a rope around the tree, cut a wedge with a chain saw, and those on the ground pulled it down with precision accuracy!

All the limbs were put into this machine and in the blink of an eye, large branches came out the other end in ground up wood chips!

And there you have the Saturday morning entertainment on my street yesterday!  They did a nice job, including grinding up the stump and raking up the smaller branches.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The candy basket revisited!

Recently I wrote a post on the candy basket at work.  You will recall, we previously had an "old-ladyish" glass "thing" that was way too small.  I grew tired of it and I thought people would appreciate a variety of candy.  Even I had no idea how my new basket filled with dozens of different pieces would take off.

Here you see one of our young Neonatologists (that's a doctor that specializes in newborns) looking for her favorite - Andes mint candy.  I told her I thought those were all gone until I made a trip to Wegmans.

Her persistence paid off!  She dug down far enough and actually pulled two of them out.  Her face tells the rest of the story!

I don't know who has enjoyed that candy basket more, me or the people that find their way to my office!  Some people, following a meeting with my boss, in the room on the other side of the wall from me, will walk past, grab whatever their fingers touch first, say, "Thanks for the candy," and be on their way.  Others make that basket a destination!  They will look at what's on top, then dig down to see what else is available.  When they find what they really like, the look on their face is worth a million bucks!

That basket has become a symbol of joy and respite for me.  We work in a high pressure environment.  If, for only a moment, I can make someone forget the day-to-day stress we all encounter, then that really makes my day.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pear and Parsnip Soup

This is a soup I like to make.  It is simple to put together with only three ingredients and it tastes wonderful.

3 or 4 large parsnips, peeled and cut up
3 or 4 large pears, peeled, cored, and cut up
about 6 cups of chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pears and parsnips in the chicken broth in a large pot until tender.  With a food processor or hand blender, puree until you get a smooth consistency.

Done!  I told you it was simple.

The flavor is so good alone, that I don't add salt and pepper

Monday, August 11, 2014

Wall of blooms

A number of years ago, I planted these bushes along the fence in my backyard when they were just about 3 feet tall.  This is a member of the hydrangea family.  The blooms start out as huge white blossoms and gradually turn pink over the summer.

All the bushes are over my head and provide a beautiful wall of privacy during the summer and early fall.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Update on Nancy

In a recent post, I wrote about my long time friend, Nancy, who had surgery for cancer last week.  I am pleased to report she is home now and no longer confined to the hospital.

She is sending text messages and has even been on facebook!  It isn't going to be an overnight recovery but she is doing well and improving.  She has strong support from her family and friends and that is so very important.  Equally important, she is going to do everything she can to beat this thing.  Attitude, family and friends support, the best medical care available. . . a winning combination.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Candy Basket

When I came to my current job at the Medical Center three years ago, I was told it was my job to keep the candy jar full. . . and only with special dark Hershey kisses!  I inherited a small glass candy jar with a lid, something you would expect to find in the home of an elderly lady.

Well, I like variety and I never liked that candy jar!  And I have a reputation for stirring up the pot on occasion.  About two weeks ago, I came into work carrying the basket above filled with a variety of candy. . . I had it inside a white plastic bag so that I wouldn't get mugged on the way in from the parking lot.

It was an instant sensation!  "Now THAT'S a candy basket!" one young doctor proclaimed on first finding it!

It has become a popular gathering place and to be honest, I enjoy watching people dig through it to find that perfect piece of candy.  I fill it with everything from hard candy (butterscotch, peppermint, sour balls, lifesavers) to all kinds of chocolate.  I go through the bulk candy department at Wegmans and grab a handful of this and a handful of that.  Taffy is another popular treasure people like to find.

Working in a top ranked major medical center is a big source of stress.  I hope the candy basket can brighten everyone's day and it appears that is just what it does.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A nice day for a ride

I drove to Romulus, NY this morning to pick up a quarter of a beef from my farmer.  It was a nice drive down the Thruway and then a turn South at the Geneva exit.  In New York, once you get off the Thruway and into the "real" New York, it is a pleasant landscape.  I passed through Waterloo, the birthplace of Memorial Day, a quaint little village with old world buildings and homes.  Once out of Waterloo, there are miles and miles of farmers' fields.

When I returned home and was busy putting all the meat in my freezer, I threw a beef bone at Morgan that kept her entertained.  They always give me a bag of bones for Morgan.

Autumns Harvest Farm is a grass fed farm.  That means their beef, pork and chickens are fed on grass, with no hormones or other yucky stuff.  The meat is much healthier for you than that grown in the large commercial operations.  I have been buying from them for probably about 5 years.  Do a search of grass fed meat and you will learn why it is healthier for you.