Monday, August 8, 2011


OK..after six months of not writing, gonna cut to the chase. I’ve had this little black cloud hanging over me, whispering in my ear to write something, anything! I’ve had every intention, but, life keeps getting in the way. I know, an easily seen excuse, but, stuff happens and you do what you can do. Seems I’m trying to go in too many directions lately, getting caught up in the very wonderful specialness of my daily life; then there are the inconsequential, but just as special and appreciated for what they are, kind of days that keep me grounded and connected. I’m trying to fit it all in, somewhere!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Checking In

Can't believe I'm so far behind. Yes I can. A hectic month after undoing, then recouping, with the holidays, then preparing for my step son's wedding, which happened this afternoon..exciting! Major tired, a tad tipsy, I'm outta here to la la land until I can play catch-up, soon I hope!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fired Up!

Yahoo! The wood stove is installed and we've got fire! I'm so excited! Took a few days since the major install to tweak a few things and finish grouting the hearth, and still need to finish off the trim around the hearth, but tonight we decided to finally fired it up. We started the fire with some fat wood and smallish logs we'd collected earlier, then held our problems! Didn't take long before it was feeling toasty in here. It slowly raised the heat a comfortable four degrees in 40 minutes, enough to feel the difference in the LR, kitchen and dining room (bedrooms are closed off). Nice! I did insist we purchase and install a carbon dioxide detector, at least one for now, before starting the stove, which we did.

I've so missed our fireplace from our old house, always so nice to view and sit by. And tho I will miss having a mantle for our Xmas stockings and to set items on for display, I love that we'll still be viewing a fire but also supplementing our heat..can't beat that! Besides, I already have on Pete's honey-do list (lucky him) to build two shallow book cases on either side of the stove, floor to ceiling, to look like built-ins to solve the lack of shelf space dilemma.

Still amazes me how a boy from the Bronx can know how to do this kind of stuff (outside of city life) and have things function. I love that he loves the challenges, and saving some bucks by do-it-yourself  projects...I might not be here in our newly renovated house had he not! What fun it all is, seeing these projects start to finish!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

(My father's hands)
I didn't get to my computer yesterday, like I wanted, to wish Dad a happy birthday..83 years young!! I did get a card with a hand-written message in it off to him along with a little money gift and a long-distance phone call. One of my brothers, Chris, and his wife, Sharon, had just arrived to go out to dinner with him and Mom. They were just about to pour a little sippage to toast with when I called, so he called me back when ready to do so so I could be included. Poured myself a little shot of vodka, what I had on hand, and toasted him, with all my love; then on his count of three, we all yelled out our happy birthday's and tossed our shots back. A long distance birthday connection :) They were getting ready to leave for dinner shortly, so I didn't keep him long. About to give a call home in a minute here, and will find out how his dinner went, and get a little chat in with Mom, too. I so love this man, and what a wonderful man he is..I could write a book (and Mom equally as special!). I'm just so fortunate, and so blessed, all the way around. Happy Birthday, Dad, and many, many more..they don't come any better than you!!! I love you dearly!

For the Birds

Made a trip to the local hardware store this morning for 40 pounds of bird seed..they have a good price on their 20 pound bags. Topped off the three half empty feeders out front, put some in the bird feeder that used to be a bird bath, and sprinkled some on the ground in the usual spot. Then I put the deer corn on the ground in strategic spots that are good for viewing (they know right where to find it every evening), then go check the mail. My morning routine after my first cup of coffee. These birds and deer sure are spoiled. Out front, for viewing from my kitchen and my office windows are three feeders, three suet feeders, a thistle sock feeder and several hanging peanut butter and seed filled pine cones.
Out back, I have one of each, plus an extra pine cone feeder, hanging from a shepards hook as their feeding station. I get so much enjoyment from watching them. So far I've identified 18 species that are regulars, including the turkeys and quail in season, a red-bellied woodpecker who comes daily for the suet, and "the crow crew"..a family of five who are daily visitors for the corn and seed also. I add each new species to the list I have taped to the inside of my kitchen cabinet to keep track. Having been here just seven months now, seems like the word got around fast in the bird community that there's food for the grubbing at our place!

I'd recently purchased the thistle seed sock, and it's not surprising to see several birds (I saw five at one time) clinging to it feeding. The warblers and finches, chick-a-dees and tit mice seem to enjoy them the most. The sock was cheap, $1.50, and the thistle (nyger, niger) a bit expensive, but it's so tiny and dense in the package that it seems to last forever, and the birds love it. I placed it right next to one of their suet feeders and it took no time (half hour) before one discovered it!

Stick coated with peanut butter
Today I also re-made some pine cone feeders as the ones out there were all but picked clean of the peanut butter and seed. When finished, I had the idea to coat a stick that had several small twigs coming off it with peanut butter, then coating mostly with thistle and a little regular seed, secured at the top with some floral wire for hanging. I no sooner went in after hanging it to get my camera, came out onto the porch, and there was a warbler sitting on it eating..just that quickly! The birds seem to be less fearful of trying something new when I keep the feeders grouped together, rather than singly.
Seed sprinkled onto peanut butter-coated stick and lightly patted down

Didn't take long..see bird at top of stick, eating
Love my birds!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Buck, Buck..Ain't No Chicken!

How exciting..spotted not one, but TWO bucks this day. The first was probably a yearling, in the morning  across the road, with some small antlers, six inches (?) or so..a thrill, the first buck seen since living here! We always have does, yearling's or fawns here. And THEN..last night..a nicely racked mature buck found my feeding area out front and was chowing down on the corn with four skiddish does feeding around him! It's rut season, but he was interested in filling up on food. It was a thrill to see him..felt as if a celebrity was visiting us! Called Pete to the window..we stood in the darkened room watching him out front, feeding on corn and acorns and tossing some testosterone around, or so it seemed, with the does reactions to him at their feeding ground. I love it.

I wasn't able to get a shot of him, just the does before his arrival. Everyone was flighty when he came on the scene. Hopefully I'll figure a better way to capture some night shots with my camera.

(five feeding out front)

Coming Soon!

Hole in ceiling for the stove pipe
Began work today on installing our wood stove. Yahoo! Purchased it last Feb. 2010 when we found it on sale when we first started renovating the house, to get it move-in ready. It's sat patiently through each coming season to be installed until now; it's come full circle! We've had some frigid temps at night in the teens; daytime's in the low 40's.. cold enuff to want to supplement our propane heat with a wood burning stove to offset the heating cost, more than we used to pay for heat. Just the idea that there is so much free fuel in the woods out there on our land for the burning and heating only makes sense.

Took some pics, but will wait and post various construction phases all at one time as it gets closer to being finished. Pete thinks by next wkend. Can't wait till it's done!
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