Friday, January 30, 2009

Two Wild and Crazy Gals

Allison and I went dancing last night and had a hoot! We were the newbies in a class of 20 or so, ages ranging from 6 or 7 to maybe 60? I think I might not have been the oldest one there, but I'm not sure. It's OK though. Everyone there was on the same page - dance and have fun! The younger girls are phenomenal, as are all irish dancers, Allison included. She of course was moved right into the advanced group (bye bye honey!) and I was not. I was struggling in the advanced beginner group, and hope to have my act together next week, after much tutoring from my in-house coach. We had a great time, and got to drive down to Sharon Springs which is a beautiful and scenic route through Amish town. The farms and views are just breathtaking, and we got a chance to chat and listen to some irish tunes, the only music that we really agree on, besides the Beatles. So all in all, it was a great success. These are our new friends . Check it out. The videos are fun and show what we're learning. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to soak in a hot tub!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Snow....

Well gang we had another Snow storm yesterday and some further minor amounts this morning, Guessing 10 or 11 inches all told. As you can see the front porch construction has come to a halt...Waiting for some warmer weather to lay in the roof rafters. Soon as they go in I wont have to shovel the snow off the front porch, all 40 ft by 10 ft. I drive the snow blower up on the deck now to handle glade when the roof goes on. I'm thinking we have in the neighbor hood of 4 ft on the ground so far. Those of you who have been here the well pipe by the horse shoe area is just barely sticking out of the snow. Bailey & Jake doing well but Bailey's back on a lead as he never wants to come in and wandering the property. Not such a bad thing but snow so deep and if I let him roam he could get lost and never be found if he slips down into the snow. So for now, He's on the lead. Jen and Ali out tonight for a Night of Irish Dancing in Sharon Springs . This weekend we are down on the Island ( Long Island , NY.) then into Manhattan for a Broadway Show. "Chicago!!!" After that out to Dinner with the kids. All 12 of us will be eating at LA MELA'S in Little Italy. Their motto: SIT DOWN * EAT * AND SHUT UP!!!!!! We have eaten there before, no ordering, the food just comes. Did it last year and everyone had a great time and full bellies. 5:30 Pm, 20 Degrees outside and over cast, crawl space 48.3 Til next Time gang...... Jerry

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Missing the bullet

Remember just yesterday when I implied that things here were quiet and somewhat uneventful? The next time I say that would someone slap me? Please? No sooner did I sign off the blog when the phone rang. It was Dr. Rochet who is unknown to me. He was contacted by the laboratory that was running my bloodwork, which had been taken at my uneventful Doctor's appointment yesterday morning. Apparently, the potassium level was extremely high (6.8) and they wanted me to go to the nearest emergency room and get it tested again. Immediately. Do not stop, go immediately to the nearest emergency room and get tested. Now. Hurry. Panic. I did all three. As Jerry was at his Stained glass class I called him on his cell phone. I figured I would just let him know where I was going and have him meet me at the ER which is a half mile from where his class was. His phone was turned off. So I jumped in my car with my sweatpants tucked into my boots and a flannel shirt thrown over my PJ's. I drove down to the class and walked in. In my defense, I did hold it together until I got outside. When I walked in I just sidled up to Jerry and said "I have somewhat of a slight emergency, and thought I should stop here first" Of course he agreed (thanks big guy-did I ever tell you I love you?), packed up his tools and we jumped in my car (which was already warm) and took ourselves to the nearest hospital, Nathan Littaur in Gloversville. The Lab Doctor had called ahead and told them to expect me, and I was taken in ahead of those who were waiting in the waiting room. Normally, this would make you feel like a lottery winner. But when it comes to being the winner in the emergency room, that does not interest me. I would rather be the loser with a splinter then the winner with a life threatening potassium level. I always thought potassium levels just indicated whether or not you were eating enough bananas, or in this case, too many. Apparently not. All said, I was pretty freaked by now, but had the presence of mind to bring my knitting with me, because this is the one thing that keeps my mind and hands busy. A good call. I was able to add 3 inches to the beautiful sock that I am knitting, but more on that later. I was treated like the Queen at Balmoral and I was really not feeling good about this. When people in the hospital start working around you quickly and efficiently, it is an indication of more than good manners and superior work ethic. It means you are in trouble. Long story long, the bloodwork came back at 4.2 and everyone was happy. I was sent home with pats on the back and "good luck" and all that, and when I crawled into bed after what turned out to be quite an eventful evening, I remembered to thank God for allowing me to miss the bullet on this one. I was very, very relieved and quite tired. Stress requires alot of energy. Today I am filling up the day with activity and it will be a cold day in hell before you every hear me say things are "uneventful" ever again. And Joanne, I was going to call as soon as I had something concrete to report. I promise.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It gets harder and harder to write the blog each day when all we are doing is hunkering down and spending another day staying warm. It's actually not ALL we are doing, but the things we are doing seem so petty and uninteresting. Maybe that's just us. Petty and uninteresting. Could be.
Jerry started his stained glass class tonight. I am here alone with the dogs because Allison is at a sleepover in Johnstown. There are regents tests this week, none of which apply to Allie, so she has a few days off. How nice for us all. I hear the bus go blowing by in the morning, and am happy that he is not stopping at our house. It seems that time of year when each day is just filled with monotonous chores and appointments. Nothing new happening, just boring obligations. There is a new pair of socks on the sticks, and I am in love with the yarn, which is nothing that I spun. Shamefully, I am spinning store-bought yarn, and loving it. These are called "women's hunting socks" and although I may not be hunting, warm feet applies to all women. These beauties fit the bill. I am watching the PBS Bob Ross series "Joy of Painting" and am reminded of the naps that I took when my kids were young. After I put the kids down for a nap in the afternoon, I would turn on Bob Ross "Joy of Painting" and would be passed out on the couch in 30 seconds flat. I did retain some of his tips, because I do enjoy painting now, but he still makes me sleepy. His voice is just so restful and soft. I always figured how hard could it be? Have you seen Picasso's paintings? Now I'm no expert but really, was he kidding? I'm not a big fan of modern art - give me plein air any day. At least there is some recognition there. Anyway, I figure if Jerry is going to be stained glassing, I need to pick up the pace on my craft projects. We are competitive in all that we do. It keeps us motivated and productive. Nicole's Veil head arrived in the mail today, and so tomorrow is V Day-Veil Day. I can't wait to finally put all these pieces into place. So these days it's the craft wars. It's keeps us busy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Caroga Lake

Jen and Ali made the trip down to Long Island on Friday and returned last night , Sunday. I spent the weekend here with the dogs . Dan and I made it over to West Caroga Lake and visit with some Ice Fisherman. We walked out onto the ice about 300 feet out, about 3 inches or more of snow on top ice , I hear the ice is about 2 feet thick now. Let me tell you this sport has to be the coldest sport that I have ever witnessed. There are some fishing shacks on the lake all the time and some tent like shacks that appear are removed after fishing. We walked up to 4 or 5 people by one of these tents and they are outside of the tent shacks fishing. the wind was blowing about 25 to 30 miles an hour and blowing snow across the lake. I'm thinking it's some where in the neighborhood of 25 below wind chill. "Tie a string on the turtle!!!!!!" These guys are dresses that they are some place inside of the Arctic circle and I know why. They had been there for a few hours and had No Fish. most of them are holding onto their beverage with both hands and very proudly telling us it's to keep the beverage from freezing. Tables set up for food and I think I saw a lone hot dog roll across the table being pushed by the wind. Dan and I did not stay long and headed back that 300ft to shore. As we walked I thought,..... Them must be some good tasting fish that keeps them out there and fishing! I going to try it, but looking for a day in the 30's with no wind.......Maybe I will find one of those guys with the wooded fishing shacks and heat inside. I'm off to do some more insulating in the basement filling in all the little spots, nooks and crannies to keep the cold out. Tonight is the bee club meeting and a guest speaker from Long Island about bee sting therapy. Til next time Gang.....Jerry

Friday, January 23, 2009

Road Trip

We're packed and ready to go. I'm watching the clock and waiting to get on the road. I'll be picking up Allison from school at 11:30 and we're hitting the road. Allie's orthodontist is on Long Island, and that is today's first order of business. It's always hard to leave, but I look forward to catching up with everyone on LI. I haven't driven this distance in a long time, and I'm kind of looking forward to the sense of freedom that it brings. Just knowing that I can turn off the main road at any time is exciting. Not that I will, but I can. That said, enjoy the weekend and stay warm. Isn't that everyone's goal?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caroga Lake Updates

We are having a little break in the extreme weather today, 30 degrees outside, slight fine snow falling and over cast. The days are now starting to get longer and spring does not appear so far away anymore. I'm not fooled by the slight break in the weather by any means and I know we still have at least 2 1/2 cold months a head. The boys and I had a little cabin fever so we headed outside for a little play time. (Bailey's Thoughts) So many little time
Yesterday I received a mailing from the Montgomery Soil and Water Conservation District, It's the 2009 tree , plant and bush order form .
We are going to plant blue berry bushes this spring. They come 18 to 24 inches tall already and are 10 for $35.00. We are going to get 20 plants. I have had these blue berries last year from Dan's fathers garden.
The berries are HUGE, the size of your thumb nail and very tasty.
Cant wait. Soon we will be thinking about the garden .
Jen and Ali out tonight for a little Mother daughter time, A dance group that they will both be dancing in .....Just for fun and exercise
I'm sure she will fill you in on how it went.
Till Next time Gang.......Jerry

Mouse memories

It's a new day. We're still recuperating from the cold, although I must admit that since we are non-smokers, this has gone by rather uneventfully. I am so grateful that a simple cold didn't turn into bronchitis the way it used to routinely. It feels good to have some stamina against a cold. We disagree in that Jerry said he misses smoking every day. I do not. I am thankful every day that I was able to get that monkey off my back. It's still snowing lightly as it has been since last night. We only acquired another half inch or so, but the weather report for the weekend is frigid again. I will be heading south with Allison for her weekend, and wonder if the temp on Long Island will be as cold. We'll see. We had some excitement yesterday as a mouse was spotted running along the perimeter of the living room. He was first spotted by Daphne, and then Jake and Bailey jumped up and saw him as well. It was a crowd of dogs trying to get behind the pellet stove, and the poor little mouse was running back and forth, first under the couch, then again behind the television. I did not jump up because it seemed like it was being handled. I'm not afraid of a mouse the way I am of a bat. I have dealt with mice before, and I am confident that I can handle them. One at a time that is. I am still skeeved by the movies Ben and Willard, and have no desire to take on an army of mice. That would be more than I can handle. But one mouse in the living room is not a problem for me. He finally ran back into the wall - a small 1/4" opening near the molding at the floor. Once I saw him go in, Jerry went and got the duct tape and closed off that access point. I'm assuming this will be a problem until the living room is finished. We won't be working on this room until the windows and the fireplace are completed. So we will be battling with Mickey for some time. Let the games begin. My mouse experience is vast. One of our chores when we were younger was sweeping the stairs off with a dustpan and brush when we opened the summer house in Connecticut. Inevitably you would find a mouse or two that didn't survive the winter in a house with no food or heat. So you brushed it in the pan and disposed of it in the trash. No biggie. It also allowed you the opportunity to really examine the mouse and see just how small they are. Hardly a threatening opponent, especially when it's dead. I was always glad I was not afraid of mice. It seemed such a silly fear when there were other more valid fears to deal with. Snakes and such. When I lived in Sea Cliff we were in an apartment that was somewhat built into a hill, and the brush behind the house was quite a hunting ground for our cat Izzie. He would deliver a small carcass to our front doormat every morning, proud of his conquest and looking for praise. It was just part of our daily routine. Once during the night I felt something on my shoulder and brushed it off, half asleep and not really registering what it was. The next morning Jackie saw a mouse in her room, and as soon as I heard her screaming "MOUSE!" I knew exactly what it was that had run across my shoulder in my sleep. I entered Jackie's room to find her standing on her bed in her pajamas and workboots, holding a tennis racket and a fishing rod. These are not the weapons that come to my mind when I think of what I might need to attack a mouse, but I think it was more of a panic situation and not really thought out. We went to the hardware store and purchased every mouse trap/killing device they had to offer, and we ultimately captured that fellow within just a few days. But thereafter I always slept with one eye open in Sea Cliff. Having survived a face-to-face mouse interaction, they don't hold too much fear for me anymore. He's here, we'll get rid of him, and that will be that. Hopefully, he is a loner. You would think with three dogs that mousetrap paraphanalia is not something we need to buy, but apparently barking and stalking is as involved as they are looking to get. Actually catching and biting is way too aggressive for this group of city-dogs. This is a winter mouse, and I'm sure we've been the source of his survival since the snow started in October, but I haven't seen too much evidence of him around the house. The under-house insulation really did close up alot of options for rodent entry. We have been virtually rodent-free since then. That is good news, but now I'm wondering where he's been. This will occupy my mind for some time. And I will be sleeping with one eye open once again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sun & Snow and...... Ah !!!!, A Dogs Life !!!!

Jake, Me & Bailey out in the pasture getting some play time.
As you can see Bailey is getting some off the lead time.
The snow is about 20 to 24 inches deep under us and every once in a while as they run in the field they fall face first, down into the snow and then reappear like a submarine breaking the surface. Jake showing his age as he does not run as fast and as far as Bailey.
Those of you who know and Love Jake, don't worry he still got a lot left in him!
Here are a couple Pictures of the scenes outside, Sun is Shining ....but if you look close you can see that it is also snowing!
The temperature outside is 28 degrees , crawl space 46.4 degrees.
Here are some of the shows we are watching now a days...."That 70's show" which brings us back to our high school days, Jen and I. If you do catch the show, Look at the clothes, wall hangings and other set dressings, they got it. Very Funny
I hear of another new series (Cop Show) which I believe starts tonight about Detectives who are Human lie detectors which seems interesting.
They do their job by watching your "TELLS"
Involuntary body movements and body posture.
For the life of me I cant recall the name of the show but I think it's called "LIE TO ME !" and it's on around 8 pm... Gotta do some channel surfing and find it.. I don't normally watch these shows and it looked good.
On my reading list is a book called "The Morgue"
By Dennis N. Griffen, A story of an investigation of a Medical Examiners Office in upstate New York.
"The Captain of the Juniper" & "Reflections From the Shield" by Wayne Beyea,
a retired NYS Trooper.
Adirondack Detective series by John Briant also a retired NYS Trooper.
Today is the 1st day in a while that have not plowed snow or shoveled anything...WHooo HOooo!
It's funny , but a mere 400 miles north, I find myself searching the internet on topics like, Ice dam's forming on the roof , ordering roof rakes and making time to rake the snow off of my cabin and garage. I have used our snow blower on the front porch at least four times since we started to build it , no roof yet as its been to cold to do any further work.
Til Next Time gang...Jerry
PS. I found the show, Here it is
LIE TO ME Wed night 9 pm Eastern FOX NETWORK (working title) LINK

January Dreaming

It's always hard to get back to school/work after a three day weekend. So Allison's journey this morning was bumpy and rough. It is hard to get on that bus when the stars are still out. I was out walking Bailey and again was amazed at the beautiful sky above us. It takes your breath away. Or maybe it was the -3 temp that took my breath away. Bailey does his thing and we head back in pretty quick. He's becoming used to the routine. He did sleep on the couch last night. But he makes an appearance during the night from time to time and just whines at my side of the bed. Jerry got up at some point to use the bathroom, and he said Bailey jumped into his spot while he was away. Quick. I slept through it. It is definitely a process. We're hoping to get together with Richard and Ulla of Rain Dance Pond. Their Alpacas are absolutely beautiful and I am feeling the need to talk about livestock. It's a good winter activity - reminds you that yes, spring will come eventually. When I look back at the past six months, I am amazed at how quickly they have gone. I am confident that the next six will pass just as quickly, and I want to be ready. I have barn envy.
These are just random pictures off the internet but they reflect the type of barn we are hoping to eventually build. The alpacas are also random strangers, but those are who we want to fill our barn with. These are the dreams that are filling my head this cold January day. I just have to look at these pictures and I feel a sense of purpose and optimism. At some point, I think we'll head down to Dan the Amish guy and see what he has to say about barn building. Sounds like another road trip.

Monday, January 19, 2009

As I Said, One Dog On The Bed

Now that Daphne is sleeping on the couch, Bailey is quite comfortable at the bottom of the bed. That was saturday night. I went to sleep with Daphne in her usual spot, and woke up with Bailey stretched out across the bottom. I couldn't find Daphne until I went into the living room, and there she was. Huddled on the couch like a refugee. It was kind of sad. I never heard a thing, which kind of surprised me. However this exchange transpired, it was quiet and quick. I'm generally a light sleeper and can hear the dogs whenever they bark or growl, but this went down uneventfully. Daphne spent the rest of the day with her ears planted straight back, a sure sign that she was not happy. But Sunday morning was not the final word. We spent last night with Dan and Jennie having dinner and playing scrabble. The dogs were all fine and are interacting with each other very nicely. Jake is even grooming Bailey's ears, which he used to do with Conan. That is true love, when you're willing to lick the other's ears. Inside. Ugh. When I went into bed last night at 11:30 (Go Jen!) I brought Daphne with me and placed her in her usual spot. This gave her the advantage of height which she is sorely missing when she stands on her own four feet. With this advantage, she rushed the side of the bed and snapped at Bailey when he attempted to come up on the bed. He left the room and I let him go. When I awoke this morning, his tail was sticking out from UNDER the bed, which is where he had spent the night. Go Daphne. The Alpha Dog Wars will continue I'm sure. This is an ongoing battle that will change daily. Just like people, dogs are constantly jockeying for position and for the last word. You wouldn't think a dog would hold a grudge, but ours do. They may seem to have given in, or given up, but that is simply not so. They are just waiting for an opportunity to press their advantage and win again. As it stands right now, this is Team Mutt and Jeff:

For the moment, Bailey is going it alone. I think he is a worthy opponent. He has a core of stubborn that will serve him well. Almost as obstinate as Daphne. Almost. When he wants something, he is single minded in his pursuit. Like a bull-moose, he will just lean into you until you have to move, or fall. We shall see. It's entertaining for us. It reminds me of dealing with a teenager, except that the outcome is not nearly as important. Training a dog is worthy, but the training of a child is a lifelong commitment and ongoing battle. Which brings me to the next photo:

Obviously, this child's Mother is freaking out somewhere. Look at EVERYONE ELSE in the picture. Dressed for the cold, appropriately covered with gloves, mittens and hats. And the child in the center? I would guess her age to be approximately. . . 14? I feel like I know this child. And the picture? It made me bizarrly happy. I was thrilled to see that I was not the only parent failing "Appropriate Outerwear 101". The fact that a photo of this failure would appear on the internet for all the world made me feel pity for her Mother, and a sense of solidarity for Mothers all over the world whose last words in the morning aren't "I Love You, Have a Good Day", but "Put your freaking coat on, it's freezing outside". This is not the interaction I dreamed of when I dreamed of having children. But it is the most repeated conversation I can remember. It started when Jackie was two and has continued through all the kids. I'm not proud of my morning interactions, but I do what I have to do. Like Daphne and Bailey, I too can be obstinate and I will continue to lean like a bull-moose until I win. Allison, put your coat on.
Our weekend included observing the Caroga Lake Fish and Game Club Fishing Derby from the warmth of Jerry's truck. We took a ride up to the lake and found a few hearty souls out there on the lake ice fishing. Jerry got out to look and take pictures. I was not dressed appropriately (ha ha busted!) for ice fishing, but I will be back for sure. This is something I need to try.
We stopped back at the Fish and Game Club and joined up. They have a wonderful outdoor shooting range, and Jerry will enjoy having an opportunity to bone up on his black powder skills. There is a monthly competitive shoot at the club, and it keeps everyone out and about during the winter. They are big on fishing and archery and also have lots of family activities, so it seemed like a good thing to join. All in all, it was a great weekend. Stay tuned. We'll see who gets the bottom of the bed tonight. As long as I get the top, I'm not too vested in the outcome.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bailey has Cabin Fever

I guess when you move from North or South Carolina, arriving upstate to weather that is routinely below zero is a bit of culture shock. Bailey is experiencing this right now. He is sleeping on the couch these days, because Daphne owns the bed. Also, in Daphne's defense, I am not a big fan of sleeping in a dog bed either. Daphne is OK - she is 17.5 pounds (only 6.5 pounds overweight according to the vet). I don't mind sharing the bottom of the bed with her. She keeps my feet warm. But the other dogs tend to be like allowing in another person. They just take up too much space. Not to mention that they are dogs. I love them. They're family. But they're dogs. I don't want to sleep with them. Jake understands this. He is actually more comfortable in his own bed, as he can spread out and he doesn't have to jump UP. It's down on the floor and his arthritic back legs don't have to work so hard. Bailey continues to wander into the bedroom at different points during the night and puts his paw on the side of the bed as if to say "hey, what about me?" I have been pointing out that Jake has room on his bed, and that Bailey is not coming up on our bed, not matter how much he whines. But he looks down at the bottom as if to say "there is plenty of room for me". And Whines. Jerry took him out at about 4 AM just to make sure his whining wasn't bladder related. Not so. I took him out again at 7 AM in the event that his bladder or bowels needed a morning call. Again, we were wrong. It's actually a little cold for him out there. We walked around the yard and his feet began to freeze up. At that point, he was ready to come in. Walk over. Once we got up, he was fine. He just wanted a little company. So, I sit here now with Bailey at my feet, and he is resting comfortably. I would love to get him outside for a good run or tennis ball chase, but it really is just too cold for anything but the business end of a walk. I look down the hall and think that maybe tossing a tennis ball down to the side door may provide a little diversion and "play time" because I think he needs it. He is different than Jake in that he is three years old. Jake is 8 or 9, and likes to play, but doesn't need it. Sometimes, he is just plain too tired. Bailey needs to get some energy burned up before bedtime tonight, or we will pay. I am hoping that he will be happy hanging out with Allison and watching TV until 2 AM, as those are her weekend hours. This way, we'll get some sleep. But he's awfully cute. Even if I am tired.

Friday, January 16, 2009

-14.6 °F..... COLD COLD

Well Gang!!!!!! As Jen said BURRRRRRRRR Photobucket
House is toasty but we did get two frozen pipes......., not in the crawl space (41.9 degrees), it was a set of pipes in the basement which feed Ali's bathroom.
I was able to shut them off and isolate , they are in an area near an exterior wall in the main basement, just goes to show you that a draft near a pipe can cause problems.
Contractor on his way up, I don't believe any damage will be done during the repair, I guess I will be doing a little insulating today after the repair.
It's a learning thing , keeping everything going and pipes warm... next spring some other changes coming and more insulation here and there.
I guess if it never got this cold again the pipes that have been working would not have froze.
But I like to plan for the worst case and fix so that we can tolerate -40 !
Cars are also a little hard to start after a night of such cold weather, going to do a little research on block warmers.
Dan & Jenny coming up from Johnstown for dinner and a movie, here in the cabin tonight.
We saw in the local movies "Ben Buttons" last weekend , it was very good but too long, needed 15 Min's edited off.
On another note ,I watch / read the daily blog (and video's) from Christy's Motel in Old Forge...It's starting to look good! Here is the link and let us know what you think.
Til next time Gang........ Jerry


It's a little cold out there. I'm watching the news about the flight that crash landed in the Hudson, and I'm so happy that everyone got out OK. Wow. We are news junkies here. I hate to admit it, but the television is our friend. I never used to be too tuned into TV. There were a few shows that I watched routinely, but other than the morning news, I didn't turn on too often. Now, the TV is important. It gives us the school news in the AM, and the rest of the day it is either a movie, DIY or the news. We are making sure we get out a little each day. Yesterday, Jerry strapped on the snow shoes and took the boys out for a bit. He was not out there too long, smart fellow. But the dogs got a little exercise drift hopping and were happier for it. I'm still nursing my cold, and stayed in with Daphne. She was recuperating from her vet visit and will have to go back next week for some serious dental work. She is not aging as gracefully as she would have liked. We thought that maybe her moody personality issues are a result of painful teeth. Who knows? We'll find out next week. They don't do dentures for dogs, so her diet may change a little too. This could help with the weight reduction program she is following. So mostly, things are just rolling along. I can report that Allison is wearing a coat, AND gloves. It's amazing how your brains kick in when it gets really cold. Write us when you can. We love to hear from you all. What's your news?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Morning. It's 5 below and we're toasty warm. I woke up at 6:00 AM with Bailey at my side, and we took a quick walk around the yard. Thank God for down coats. Bailey is turning out to be a real gem. It's always a crapshoot to bring a new animal into the mix, and we've had our share of losers. I firmly believe that it is worth the try to bring a dog into the house. If it doesn't work out, at least you tried, and at least they had a better experience for a few days than sitting in the shelter and waiting for someone. But this time, I think we may have beaten the odds and brought home a winner. He couldn't be more polite and loving. Daphne has a little chip on her shoulder, as she always does when someone new comes into the picture. She has just learned to tolerate us, no less the other dogs. She is sitting everywhere the Bailey has sat, with the look on her face like "what? I always sit here." It is a pitiful territory thing that will wear off eventually. And the best part is that Bailey could care less. He has the same 'whatever" attitude that Jake has, which makes them perfect companions for Daphne. She can rule the world for all they care. And she will.
Today is Walter's 22nd birthday. Happy Birthday my man. Enjoy your day. We're off to the vet again, for Daphne's visit to bring her up to date. The new vet seems to be a real winner too. We kind of lucked out because all the vets we have heard of have had issues with one person or another, and this one seems to have been under the radar. He was thorough and the staff was great. Any vet who has his home number hanging on the door in case of an emergency is my kind of vet. I wonder if he treats Alpacas? I'll have to ask. I am feeling more and more ready to take on the zoning board for livestock permission. I know the community a little better than I did when we first applied, and I'm a little better informed about the "right to farm" laws that exist in New York. So, it is something we would like to take on before the spring begins. When will that be - July? The way winter is going, it may be. Stay warm. Stay inside if you can. Pick up a good book and get another cup of Joe. Isn't that what retirement is all about - the chance to do that on occasion?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Well gang as you have read we have a new member to our family," Bailey" He Came into our family from North Shore Animal League , Port Washington. We 1st stopped at the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter , also in Port Washington. As I recall we have gotten every dog at the shelter. We did our stroll at the shelter looking at the dogs on both sides of the shelter room, males on one side , females on the other side. Not many dogs there, which is a good thing. No soul found, that made the connection with us. Picking a dog can be tough and risky too, you never know what you are bringing home. Bringing a dog home to a home that has other dogs already there and a strong pack leader (Daphne) in place is VERY RISKY ! Bringing a dog home from a shelter over 200 miles is also risky. What do you do with a new dog that you know nothing about and get home at night to the Adirondacks and that dog does not "fit" into the pack? That very lovely shelter dog who had nothing but ,"Thanks, Take me Home, Get Me the Hell Out of Here! " LQQK in his or her eyes , you make that connection and bring that dog home and it does not fit. The apple cart at home is balanced and all working.......But not now. We left the TNH Animal Shelter without a dog. Six blocks down the road we are standing inside of the NSAL building which has many dogs and cats from all over the country. Jen & Ali, eyes all glazed over and in love with every dog they see,ready to take them home . We stroll and visit with a few adult dogs who might be the one that comes home with us, nothing makes the connection with me..... nothing is jumping out. We find no puppies which we don't really want because we don't have the energy for a puppy. We need a younger adult dog without too much baggage . Baily and another adult dog are in the same cage and holding each other in an embrace, Cards on the cage indicate that they have came into together and are Bilingual, Spanish and English. SOOOO that means they speak 3 languages, Spanish , English and Dog? We have Bailey out and visit with him in a large room, The other Bilingual dog is having a melt down back in the cage, the associates from NSAL bring the other dog out and it's in the same room with us and Bailey which is keeping the second dog calmer. Jen and Ali make the connection with Bailey, I'm worried! After some time Bailey seems to get the idea while in the room she figures out she needs to get close to me and does so. Looks like Bailey is coming home........and now what ? Remember there is a second dog having a mental break down because he or she is not any long embraced in Bailey's arms. We have two dogs home already, a third (Bailey) is already packing his bags....."I'm outta here!" is heard in Spanish, English and Dog. I'm hoping that we get out clean. The associates are trying very hard to get us to take both....The Full Court Press is on! We fend off the press and start the adoption paperwork which is a story in it's self, Your work place, what hours do you work, who's home, is the property fenced and so on. I guess it all very good and they should do the checks that they do... I'll leave it at that before I get myself in trouble. We are good enough and Bailey is coming home with us , we have to speak to the Vet. assistant and then we can leave. The Vet assistant comes out gives us 3 medications for Bailey, of which one is for Pink Eye , a cream has to be put in his eye 2 times a day.. , Well those who know me......the eye stuff is out and Jen will be handling that. Bailey is in his cage with the other dog while we do the paperwork and speak with the Vet. assistant. Now we make the walk back to get Bailey and a whole team are at the cage and I'm thinking a second Full Court Press is coming. We make it out clean and out to the parking lot, we are feeling sorry for the 2ND dog but 3 seem to be our limit and I have all the worries I spoke about earlier about bringing Baily home to our pack, 200 some miles north, to Daphne. Jake will be OK no matter what we bring home. Bailey slept all the way home and the rest you know from Jen's post. The next day all good but Jake seemed to get a touch of Pink Eye too and off to the Vet we went, a new Vet that we needed here since our move. He was very nice , Jake & Bailey both on the same med's and Daphne doing fine. Seems all working out and Bailey the lucky dog is living on a farm in the Adirondacks....Who's got it better? Til next time gang......Jerry

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Introducing: BAILEY!
We were down to Long Island this weekend, and came home with Blue Line Farm's newest resident. Bailey is a pointer/hound dog mix, and weighs 75 lbs. I didn't think it was possible to find a dog with lower self-esteem than Jake, but we may have done just that. Bailey is shy and calm, and real sleeper. He enjoyed the four hour trip north by never getting out of his seat. He slept the whole way. Once we arrived the meetings began. Jake came outside, and the sniffing and circling resulted in acceptance on both sides. We came inside to meet Daphne who had much to say. Tails were wagging at all times and eventually everyone settled down to a chewie by the fireside. At bedtime, Bailey was bedside immediately and assumed that he would be sleeping on the bed. I guess that was his other life. I brought Daphne up to her usual spot and she set him straight, rather quickly. Here in Caroga, the big dogs sleep on the dog beds. So, after a few futile attempts at taking over our bed, he moved to the living room and spent the night on the couch in front of the fire. Not a bad gig. We'll keep you posted on the process of fitting in. It should be fun! I hope he likes the cold! He's originally from South Carolina and is bi-lingual! We are not, but Allison can be practicing her spanish with someone who understands. More pics to follow! (Daphne is conspicuously absent from the photos - it's only 7:44 AM and she has not faced the day yet.) Ciao!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

-3.7 °F

Little cool this morning at 8:30 am, the time that I am getting up this morning, A little late for me. I was here in Caroga yesterday then on Long Island and then here in Caroga....Home. I'll explain, Allison our youngest who lives with us had a visit with her dad this weekend so after school I picked her up and we took the ride down to Long Island, Dan (The Bee Guy) came along too as the bees are kind of slow this time of the year. Jen stayed home because she had a little cold , Jake and Daphne Kept her warm ( The Dogs, For Those Of You Who Don't Know). Dan has not been to L.I. in about 9 Years, 9 Years ,how can that be? Oh, I forgot, the world does not revolve around L.I., There are some people who have never been to L.I. ever! The ride was uneventful , Dan and I spoke of the Damage in the Albany area from ice storms in Dec., we saw many trees down along the NYS Thruway, we talked about Deer, Snow , Apple trees and of course bees and honey! Ali was focused on her IPod and sleep. As we drove south some of the ice from the car that has been there since Oct finally came off. There are temperatures out there above 30...WHooo HOooo. This 3 1/2 hr trip took 4 1/2 due to city traffic just above Throgs Neck Bridge by Robins Neck, You guys know the area. We arrived At Jackie's & Jessie's apt at about 7:30 pm Just as Ali's dad arrived and she was off for a weekend of Time with her dad. Thanks Jackie & Jessie, It was good to see you, Come up soon Dan and I turned around and headed NORTH but 1St.............., We stopped for sliders...........You Know .....Whities, Bellie Bombs.........., The Crave ,"White Castle" Dan Claims that he has not had one for 20 Years. 20 years ago when he was in the navy. That opened up a whole lot of stories which I'm not going into here. We picked the White Castle on Northern Blvd & Bell Blvd , Queens as it was sorta on the way back here to the North Country.....sorta! Thinking Back I can recall Making many runs over the years to that whitie as it was the closest to Port Washington & Glen Cove. Hey Jeff M., You still are the best Whitie eater , a sack of 10 gone before we crossed over the city line into Nassau. As I recall Jeff, with Cheese too! Dan and I each Got a sack , soda and onion rings to go. I got the sack because Jen likes them too, Dan Got the sack I think because he thought he was the same young guy he was in the Navy. I had my 4 , Dan had His 5 and then remembered the reason why they called them Bellie Bombs. We hit the 7/11 for Jen , she loves her French Vanilla Coffee/hot chocolate even if it comes home cold, no others taste the same to her as 7/11's and we don't have 7/11 here in the Adirondacks. We arrived at Dan's Home at just after midnight and I was walking in our door at 12:20. It was - 4 on the car outside temperature display......who knew that those things went that low... I don't think I ever saw it display minus anything before. Til next time Gang......Jerry I

Friday, January 9, 2009

Home Alone

When I realized that Jerry was taking Allison down to Long Island for her weekend, and that I would be staying here holding down the fort with the dogs, I began to feel a growing sense of unease and discomfort. All of a sudden, I was Laura Ingalls and Pa was taking the wagon into town for a few days. Of course, this is ridiculous. I am fully capable of staying home alone for approximately eight hours, but this may be the time limit to which I will allow myself. ever. This only applies to wintertime, as summer survival is a piece of cake. No heat, no indoor fires, no freezing in the elements, no problem. I can handle that easily. I've been camping with the kids for enough years to know how to get by in the elements in the summer. I was a girl scout. Better yet, a girl scout LEADER. I could lead a troop in the summertime. Winter, however, is a whole different ballgame. All of a sudden the possibilities for disaster are threatening at every turn. The pellet stove is humming along nicely and I am toasty warm, but what happens if the power goes out? The pellet stove shuts down will only run on the generator. The wood burning cook stove will suffice for overnight, but I always get a little nervous when there is a fire in the house anywhere, and I get incredibly nervous when there is a fire in the house and I am the only one home. Call it trauma flashback, but I once almost set my parents house on fire just overseeing oil heating on the stove for dinner. It was a simple fix and a quick solution, by my panic response elevated the whole thing to physical injury and property damage. But that is a story for another day. To say that I am fearful of fire is to say that bears like honey. duh. But here I sit, the sole caretaker of this little house on the prairie (mountain, farm, whatever. . . ) while Jerry, Allison and Dan (who just went for the fun of an eight hour round trip-God bless him!) drive up and down the northeast via the New York State thruway. I took Jake and Daphne for a walk a while ago (the second such venture outdoors since I have been alone here) and the possibilities for disaster were lurking at every turn. The coyotes, the ice. It is so beautiful outside at night, but only when you are holding your honey's hand and he will pick you up off the ice when you fall down. Standing out there alone, keeping one eye on Jake and one eye on my back is frightening. I will admit it now. I am a winter coward. Let's face it, it doesn't get dark in the summertime until after 9 PM. So being alone here means sitting out on the back deck and watching the sun go down. The bats don't want to come in in the summer. They are outside flitting around and eating millions of bugs. I am sitting here in a house that has had a few bat visits this winter, and I am all alone. This is not a good situation. I do know where the pizza peal is, but I'm not prepared to be carted off to jail simply for whacking an endangered species. I can get out of here faster than he can. Of that I am sure. But the only get-away vehicle I have available to me is the truck with the plow on it. And I don't know how to lift the plow up to move the vehicle, so my only recourse is to run around in circles screaming that "there' a bat in the house, there's a bat in the house"! And the beauty of living out here in no-man's land is that no man can hear you. Sometimes that's nice. This time, it's bad. I would want to be heard under these circumstances. Cell phone service is out of the question. It is another convenience that we have enjoyed in its absence so far. I like the fact that people have to call via the landline. It's not an afterthought while someone is driving to the grocery. But right about now, I would love to be someone's afterthought. So essentially I have spent most of the day knitting and watching the clock, mentally guaging where in the trip they are, and how soon they will be home. Jake and Daphne have been unusually attentive to me. I think they are wondering whether or not I am "It", their best hope in an emergency. They are also probably mentally assessing how the heck they will get out of here with me leading the way. I like to think they have more confidence in me, but I don't think they do. I don't seem to instill confidence in the dogs. Or why would Daphne be yelling at me all the time? Then again, when I think back to the things in my life that I have really met face on, I do begin to feel somewhat superior to this situation. If the bat(s) were to arrive, I would just throw a towel over it and carry the towel outside. That is what I have heard you should do. The doors are all locked so nothing can get in. Safe there. The dogs have been walked, so falling on the ice is out of the question, I don't have to go out again. So far, this whole day has gone pretty well. Clearly, I am in control of this situation and when Pa (I mean Jerry) gets back I will have met my first real challenge here in the northwoods. I have a flashlight by my side. I can handle anything.
Oh well, Good night. It will go faster if I just go to bed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

another day in paradise

At some point you just have to suck it up and open the schools. The weather today is not much better than yesterday, but even the kids are ready. It will be a slow trip down the mountain to Johnstown, but school is open. Not even a two-hour delay. Things are getting desperate. We spent the day yesterday watching movies, knitting, eating junk food and getting on each other's nerves. Some of us. Allison and I are barely speaking, but that's OK. We commit less offenses that way. We have to take a ride into town ourselves this morning, to have something notarized, but other than that, I intend to keep knitting and finish this blasted sweater. It is going along beautifully, and I am ready to be done with it. I want to wear it. It is done on size 11 needles with bulk weight yarn, and it goes fast. If you put the time in. I have not put in any time due to my shoulder, so I am way behind in my projects. I am waiting for the head model so that I can work on Nicole's veil, and I have begun to spin alpaca fiber to make myself a shawl for the wedding in April. I am hoping that goes quickly as well. I have plenty to do, and I'm just happy as a clam that the weather is cooperating. At this rate, I may be done with the outstanding projects in a couple of weeks. Then what will we do? We've also pulled out some games and have a new favorite - Catch Phrase. It is an electronic game that combines Tabu and Hot Potato. It shows a phrase ("by the seat of your pants", etc.) and you must get your teammates to say that phrase with clues in a certain amount of time. All while the timer is ticking out loud. Once you get your teammates to say the phrase you pass the ball to an opposite team member (people sit 1 team A, then 1 Team B) who gets another phrase to get his team to say. Whomever is holding the ball when the buzzer goes, is the loser. The opposite team then gets the point. It is fast, funny and lots of laughs. I highly recommend it. Tabu is over for me, as I know most of the words and the clues that go with them. We've been playing way too long. We played Catch-Phrase last week with Dan, Jennie and their family from Colorado. It was a wild night. Those are the times that get you through the weather lock-downs that are occurring right now. You have to make sure you're busy. Thanks to my friend Lynda, I'm now falling in love with dogs in South Jersey. Although it is not do-able, I can dream. We also must begin planning for next year's Scrabble Tourmanent. It is held in Albany and it is an elimination tournament. Team members must have a theme (Elvis', farmers, flappers, etc.) I found out about this tournament by renting costumes out in October. We'll have to look into this. I see a costume opportunity. And a competitive opportunity. And so the scrabble training begins. That is today's project. Go team!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Keeping busy on the internet

It's a good thing I got out of the house yesterday, because today, we go NOWHERE. School is closed and the adirondacks are getting a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and more snow. I am here in the house grateful for our toasty warm pellet stove, and Jake's company. Jerry is out moving the snow, and we are inside here cheering him on. Today's frozen mixture actually broke the handle of the snow shovel, and Jerry has been in and out making that repair. Allison peeked her head out early just long enough to verify that school was closed, and went back to bed. I have been spending the morning on, and really feeling that desire to bring in another needy animal. But this desire begs the question is it the needy dog, or needy me? I get so much satisfaction out of knowing that a dog (or cat) can spend his last years being coddled and loved and taken care of. Who benefits more? I think I do. Dogs are more able to live in the moment. They forget and move on much more quickly than we do. Which is why they are so easy to get along with. Dogs don't have the issues that people have. At least that is what Caesar the Dog Whisperer says. And I believe him. I look at all the dogs and try and figure out who would benefit most from our situation here. A hunting dog? A herding dog? A lap dog? There are alot of qualifiers, and it will take time. Today, I have nothing but time. As the snow falls, I will continue to peruse the dog sights and see who is up for adoption. Not a bad way to spend the day. I am leaning towards a young dog. Not a puppy, but a younger dog who has already been housebroken and chewed his last shoe. But young enough to have a limited history. Low key, easygoing and not an alpha dog. Daphne would have to be fighting with an Alpha dog all the time, and who needs to hear that all day? Not us. We have developed a peaceful existence here between the dogs and the people. It is working. I try not to upset the applecart too much. Jerry e-mailed me a picture of a dog on craigs list from Albany, so I know that even if he won't admit it, he has his heart open to a new dog too. We just don't talk about it. When the perfect dog comes along, we'll know.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

cabin fever - sorta

Here we are again today, watching the snow, enjoying Brian's company and waving goodbye to Allison at the crack of dawn. She has been back to school for two days, and one of them has had a two hour delay. Tomorrow's forecast is for tons of snow (no way!) and lots of freezing rain, beginning at midnight. So, we may be two for three. Allison is counting for sure. In the beginning of the school year she was sure that the long island students were getting all the days off as Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur were not days off here. But since winter hit in October, she has changed her tune. Almost once a week it has been either a school closure or a two hour delay. It's working out beautifully. Of course she doesn't realize that this may mean she is attending school until July 15th, but whatever. . . Only kidding Allie, July 10th maybe. ha ha. The cold weather has not stopped the porch guys. They are here working through rain and sleet, almost as regular as the post office, which is not regular at all. We have eliminated alot of junk mail since we moved here. Are they not sending it to the boon docks, or has the post office decided that they're not delivering it? I'm not sure about that either. The tree is over the bank, the holidays are over, and the stores are full of Valentine's decorations. They didn't miss a beat. We still have lights in our bay window, and probably will until spring. Jerry and I like the festivity of lights on a dark and cold winter night. It just looks pretty. We will probably turn into one of those houses that has their christmas decorations up all year, and really, what difference does it make? Once you've placed a toilet seat on your front lawn, where can you go but up? I'm going to venture out today and do SOMETHING, because you cannot blog if you don't have a life. I got the community college brochure in the mail the other day, and ballroom dancing jumped out at me. Of course, you need a partner for that and I haven't spoken up about this possibility. Jerry starts his stained glass class at the end of January and Allison and I are off to Irish dance classes, so we may be too busy, but it's still open for negotiation. It's good exercise and we could definitely learn a few steps for Nicole and Mike's wedding. Then again, there is always the pound. That is open until three, so we could just take a ride. . . you never know. I'm starting to really enjoy the options of retirement. We are in for a busy day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hello, you've reached 518. . .

I decided to start the new year out by getting my papers in order. That is the term they use right before they tell you your time is short, but that is not the reason I'm getting my stuff in order. I'm just feeling so much better and the chaos and disorganization is starting to get to me. I'm taking my life back so to speak. Part of that required getting a new address book and making all those entries up to date. It is a good time of year to do that as you reflect back upon the previous year (I usually get about four years out of an address book, and then it just screams for editing) and make changes. Some additions, some deletions, you know who you are. I was also adding in all the new doctors, and that led me to making a phone call to the insurance company as I needed a prescription update. One of my regular scripts (nexium) is no longer covered by my insurance company, and so I had to call them and find out which one was covered, and then call the doctor and have him write a new script for the new med. Sounds simple doesn't it? Silly rabbit. There's more. After discussing the prescription with the insurance "healthcare associate" I was able to gather information on all the drug substitutions for me, and inadvertently found out that if I don't use my local pharmacy but have my scripts sent via regular mail from the insurance company, many of the prescriptions I take would have no co-pay. NO CO-PAY? Are you kidding me? This is great! I will call my Doctor and get new prescriptions written and send them to the insurance company. But wait! the agent said. "Your doctor must call us. Here is the number - Give it to your Doctor. You cannot call us, the doctor must call us". This seemed like a simple request, but the front desk person at the doctor's office would not call them. "We don't call them", she said. "We will only fax them the prescription". "Yes, I said, but they will give you the fax number when you call them. They won't give me that number, because they have a special number for doctors to call so you don't have to go through the endless black hole of automated telephone attendants they way the rest of us poor slobs do, you just get to call the 800 number and they will give you all the golden frigging super-secret information that the rest of us paying idiots can't have, and it will take seven seconds out of your incredibly busy frigging day! How would that be?"
As you can tell, I was getting increasingly aggravated because I was just telling her what the insurance company had told me, and she was busting my chops. Why? Why? WHY? I should point out that this is the cardiologist's office, This inflexible and irritating woman (who was giving me chest pains) actually works for a cardiologist who, by the way, had prescribed Nexium for me. Nexium is the Anti-aggravation pill. the little purple pill that they keep pushing on TV. I now really needed that pill. What, is she drumming up business?
Anyway, after I hung up the phone with my Doctor's office (whom I happen to really, really, really like) and called back the insurance company, I spent two additional hours on the worst automated telephone system I have ever experienced. Welcome to United Healthcare. Have you ever argued with an automated attendant? I have. I'm not proud of it, but it is true. Do you think they have a red flag on the calls where people are freaking out? Is it being recorded? Are they laughing at us all on their lunch hour - playing back the lunatics who are losing it on the telephone. Because truth be told, I was a little snippy with Miss Automation. She kept asking me the same questions over and over, because I refused to answer with the only options they kept giving me. None of them applied. I kept pressing the zero because I've heard that it is a sure-fire way to circumvent automated phone systems. Wrong. It just kept prompting Ms. Automation to start her whole routine from the beginning. Again. I finally got through to Mark who, God bless him, had the patience of a saint. He understood my frustration, he would be happy to help me get this whole mess sorted out, and he was terribly sorry that it had not gone well for me. I wonder what medication Mark is taking, because he was taking my abuse rather well. It has taken me the better part of a full day to get my papers in order. My phone book is up to date, my calendar is neat and organized, and tomorrow I am considering cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. Five days into the new year and I'm checking things off the to-do list like the tazmanian devil. I wonder if there is a medication for that? I may just call Mark back. If I could just find that number. . .

The Guys Doing A Little Shooting

We did a little pistol shooting the other day with Dan, Brian and Kevin.
Not a bad day, We shot a little 22 Cal, 40 Cal, 9MM and a few Calibers that I have never heard of before!
Brian came up for his Christmas visit , Last Saturday and maybe here until Tuesday or Wednesday.
Weather has been nice, had some freezing rain last night, sun shining now and about 36 Degrees outside, toasty inside.
Til Next Time Gang.......Jerry

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Opportunity Knocking.....and knocking.

I may have missed a unique opportunity this morning, but I was quite sore from all the activities we've been participating in, and I didn't think that lifting goats or climbing through snow piles to catch them would benefit any part of my body. Dan (I will leave you to figure out which Dan) graciously invited us to help him with his farm-sitting chores for a couple who live down in Schoharie (I think-it's south of I-90-that much I know). They have gone away for a few days, and Dan is in charge of the chickens, the goats, the ducks, and I'm not sure what else. The goats need to be milked because they are, alas, milk goats. Not my type of goat, as they require milking twice a day, and I'm not sure I would want the responsibility for anything that needs my devoted attention twice a day. Present responsibilities excluded, of course. My type of goat is a Angora goat, who grows the mohair for a six month period, and then you shear them. Quite nice really, to meet up twice a year for grooming and a real one-on-one. Not that more care isn't required, but I'm sure you get my point. Anyway. Dan graciously invited us, and I readily accepted because anything to do with a farm is a good knowledge to have, even if it is not my "venue" so to speak. But I woke up this morning and realized that the backside is healing nicely, and who am I trying to impress with these acrobatic endeavors three days in a row? Certainly not anyone I know. And so, I have thrown in the towel/ raised the white flag/ whatever term you want to use for quitter, and today I will rest easy. Brian and Ashley are coming for their Christmas, and Allison is coming home after being away since the 27th. I am looking forward to some quality family time, without injuring myself any further, which would in no way enhance our visit together. Having done the "I'm sorry I can't seem to move" routine for a few weeks now, I am not rushing back to full activity until I'm sure I can handle it. So, the goats will have to be milked without me. Sorry about that Dan. You're a better man than I Gunga Din. I promise to help in the spring, when the snow is gone and the ice has melted. I'm sure I will be much more of an assist by then. And I may even come to love those milk goats. Who knows? Milking a goat in the springtime is clearly going to be a much more inspiring and gentle experience. The wind blowing in your hair, the mud on your boots, crocus just coming through the ground. Positively lovely. Much more in tune with my vision of "Gentlemen's Farm". Heck, we haven't even got a barn yet. I don't HAVE to go out there right now. I know I will when the animals come, but for today, just call me lazy. Maybe lazy and wise. I hope so.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

I don't know what I have done in New Years past, I can't really remember much detail, but 2009 will stick in my memory for a long time. We were at the Association Clubhouse for the midnight festivities, which started at 7 PM. We walked in the door knowing Kathy and Dave:
and left with a whole slew of new friends. Notice Kathy's wristies and scarf. It was COOOOOOLLD in the Association Lakehouse-temperature wise. But the friends and food were warm and fun. At 12:01 we booked outta there, all heading for home and toasty pellet and woodburning stoves. We agreed to meet in the morning and take up where we had left off. Kathy had reminded us of a Polar Plunge at 11 AM on New Year's Day, and we decided that was the first activity of the New Year. We got to Vrooman's Hotel (not a room to be had, but originally it was a hotel so hence the name) which is now a happening bar in the center of Caroga. Happening is a relative term, but it was quite crowded in the parking lot. Cars and snowmobiles. They were serving up bloody mary's and irish courage for the plungers. We all then re-grouped at the marina (newly purchased and moved into just two days before by a couple from North Hills. North Hills LONG ISLAND! Like, North Hills next to Glen Cove? Can you believe it?) Anyway, they sold their business 18 months ago and have been searching for a small marina to buy since then. They found it in Caroga lake and moved in December 30th. Imagine hosting 100 or so of the local crazies just two days after moving into a strange town? That is what they did. I love these people already. The fire department was there to cut a hole in the ice for the bathers, and after much cheering, whistling and laughter from us, the mostly sober peanut gallery, the seven or eight nuts went into the lake at about 12:30. They were out seconds later. Shivering, laughing and swearing it "wasn't so bad'. Maybe next year. Maybe Jerry. Maybe not. I can't remember the last time I spent the entire day in a bar. Maybe never. But this was fun. We all went back to Vrooman's Hotel and toasted the swimmers - "to frozen nuts, hard nipples and beer!-Wooo Hooo" It was quite a festive occasion. We met up with a number of friends from our church (which is why I love that place too) and we all had a spectacular good time. We got to meet the new neighbors from North Hills, Karl and Carol, and continued the New Year celebration with all the people who are part of the Caroga Lake Association where the summer cottage is. We had spent the previous night partying with all of them. Getting to know people takes time. I am looking forward to this summer now that I know who our neighbors are. It was great fun, good food such a wonderful way to celebrate our new community. Our friend Pat, who is the publisher of the local paper the Leader Herald, and also sits behind us in Church, told me that I must come out of my shell and meet some people. She was feeling bad for us (ha ha). I looked around and realized how true her sarcasm really was. We were standing in the middle of a large group of good friends and I feel as if we've been here forever. It is a fantastic and optimistic way to feel on New Years' Day of our first year here. We were able to tell the new people "you'll do fine, it's a fun community that has alot of great people, (most of whom are here in the bar"), and that is what they saw yesterday. It's kind of fun to realize that we aren't the new people anymore. Someone else has picked up that title. We're now "old timers" here in Caroga. We sat around and talked about our families, our dreams, our plans and our futures. Here are a few shots of us old timers celebrating:

Any last minute sign ups?: No thanks!

And they're in!

And they're out!
Back at the marina: Back at Vrooman's Hotel for a really classy toast:
Relaxed, well fed and enjoying day one of 2009. We're off to a good start:
Happy New Year friends. Old and New.