Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day weekend

It was a busy week, some travel and lots of visiting.  Summer people are arriving--the first have been Linda +Erdvilas and Joe + Martha.  I went to Plattsburgh on Tuesday, got a haircut and ran a couple of errands.  Wednesday morning I took the dogs to the kennel in Vermontville in the morning, then met Julie at her house in the afternoon and we drove to Alexandria Bay for a network annual meeting.  It was a long trip, though really only 3 1/2 hours.  Nice drive along the St. Lawrence River, with huge ships going by.  We spent the night, had fun together, and went to the meeting in the morning.  The speaker was young and super-enthusiastic about the violation of our privacy on the Internet.  Hello?  Is someone out there that I don't want reading this? 

Today we had our first Sunday dinner.  Linda cooked a huge, 13-lb ham with asparagus and scalloped potatoes.  yum.  Nice crowd, good food, very wonderful.

I've been buying flowers and am pretty much ready to plant my containers as well as plant at the cemetery.  I bought some tomato and cucumber plants and will try YET AGAIN to grow them.  I haven't had much luck in years but love to hit my head with a hammer and continue to try.  I had a great gift certificate at an expensive garden center and have spent nearly all of that.  I have great looking plants this year, very exciting.  The black flies have been bad but it's been windy lately so they're not too annoying.  That will doubtless change this week, when temps are supposed to be in the 80s and it's supposed to be humid.  UGH.  I need to get the boat house open so I can stay down there when it's hot and humid at night.

We had a killing frost the other morning, temp was 27.  I brought all my preciouses inside and the living room was lovely, filled with flowers.  I lost nothing and all are now outside for good.

The dogs are fine.  They do well at the kennel and the kennel people love them because they're so sweet and well behaved.  I guess that means they don't bark or make a fuss.  She told me they learned how to use the doggie door so spent a lot of time sitting in the sun in the run.  Great entertainment for them, I'm sure.  These kennel people have more than 20 Siberian huskies so my dogs had plenty of company.  Tess still limps but not all the time.  I need to get her some more meds, will have to go to Westport for that or order it online.

This week looks pretty quiet.  Need to do lots of planting.  I just talked to the Nadals and Judy told me there's a special and rare orchid that should be in bloom right about now, near their camp.  I'll have to trundle on down there to see if I can find it.

Life continues to be great.  It's green, so very, very green here and is just lovely.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Too hot

It's in the 80's today and that's just too hot.  The leaves are coming out really fast--this is what I don't like about spring, sometimes, it just happens in one week.  The trillium are up and blooming, violets (tiny white ones), Canada mayflower, trout lilies all making an appearance as of my walking today.  I walked to the Holts, then to camp.  Someone has been there, the gate was unlocked, but it must have been someone in the family.  Water's not in yet, nothing done about opening it.

I went to Plattsburgh twice this week, once for my Weds. gig, then again today to get a few supplies.  I was looking for potting soil with nothing added to it and man is that hard to find.  I found some that doesn't have fertilizer added, at least.  I'm hoping to have better luck with cucumbers and tomatoes this year and my thinking is that the fertilizer in the potting soil I always used was a problem.  Let's see if I'm right.  I haven't bought many plants yet, just what I got on Sunday plus a couple of six packs of alyssum that looked and smelled so good and was so cheap I couldn't resist.

It was a quiet week but I was busy around the house.  I cleaned a lot, which is what I've wanted to do for a long time.  My cousin may be coming to stay with me, or she may stay at camp--she was vague so I cleaned the upstairs bedroom, hall and bathroom just in case.  My but it looks better!  I need to attack the master bedroom, which is so full of stuff that you can barely open the door.  What is in there I don't really know but there's a lot of it, whatever it is.  I cleaned my shower!  Wow that was a job that I should do more often.

The dogs are OK but Tess is still limping.  She's getting used to the "walks" we take around the driveway.  She tried to run away one time but stopped before getting far, I guess she realized she can't run anymore.  She sort of hops with her hind legs, it looks a little sad but she seems cheerful enough.

I got 2 more guppies.  This is big news for me.  I had 2 and one died, and the remaining male looked lonely so I got him some male pals.  He picked at them a bit at first but now I see they're all getting along and seem to be friends.  Or at least not enemies.

Earlier this week there were only miniscule leaves on the poplars (the first to make an appearance) but after 2 days of 80 degree weather we have leaves on several kinds of trees.  Soon the leaves will be fully out and it will seem SO loud.  I've been sitting on the deck every morning for a bit, reading in the sun, and it's so still and quiet I love it.

Friends are coming this weekend, to their house, so I'll see them.  No summer people are here yet and no one is due for another 2 weeks.  I like walking around the 'hood this time of year, when it's pleasant and quiet and there's no traffic.  Won't be like that for long.

No big plans for the weekend.  My dump run, of course, and maybe Lin & I will get some plants.  I may open the boat house because it's supposed to be too warm for the next several days.  Will I sleep down there?  Doubtful, I really like being in my house when the weather's like this.  It's like my reward for winter.  I wondered if I'd still feel this way when I retired and yes, I do.  I'm lucky to have a choice, that's for sure.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Pansies at the plant place.  Lin said "Look at all those smiling faces!"

Violas at the plant place--all so tiny and cute and colorful

Group photo of pansies at Lamoy's

Let's have spring after all

The ice went out last week, on the 30th, and my daffodils are starting to bloom.  Crocuses have gone by, squill is blooming.  I put out the hummingbird feeder, just in case, though it's probably too early.  Ralph saw a h'bird at their house in Peaseleeville today, though, so I might have been OK putting it out.  I keep looking at the feeder expectantly.

I had a good week last week (every week is a good week).  I did go to Plattsburgh twice, but that's not so bad.  I took the dogs to the vet: Treasure for her check-up and shots (she's a tad overweight but doesn't have heartworms or Lyme disease) and Tess to have her liver checked to see if the anti-inflammatory med is hurting her liver (it's not).  Whew, that should do it for a while (a girl can dream).

I took my lawn mower in for a tune-up and they finished it in less than a week so I picked it up on Friday.  YAY.  Now all I need is a lawn to mow--the grass is brown still and the yard is full of molehills so I've got a bit to wait yet.

I had a late breakfast with a good friend on Friday (delicious French toast) at the diner in Wilmington, and we had a very nice visit after eating.  Oh I do have some good friends.

Not much going on this week (yeah, right).  Weds. is my Plattsburgh day, and I think I'll go there again on Friday to pick up some food for a cousin who may be staying at my house next weekend.  I'm hoping to have lunch with Bill that day, too.

Just got a call from Duncan, who had a great trip to New Orleans and is now gearing up for a gig with his band next weekend.  Very exciting.

The weather is just grand and is supposed to be good all week.  Of course that means we need some rain.  Fire danger is high, it's very dry right now.  It may rain next weekend, which would be good.

I went to Lamoy's with Lin this afternoon and restrained myself from buying much.  I did get some pale yellow violas that were cute beyond description, and a couple of geraniums which may go to the cemetery or may stay on my deck.  There's plenty of time to decide that, we still may have a frost.  We don't generally plant much outside until Memorial Day.  Violas are tough, though.  Geraniums are not so I'll bring them in if it gets cold.

Warm sun, cool breezes, can't complain.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Snow? Really? Is that necessary?

There was snow on the ground (and on the pansies) this morning, and now it's snowing hard again.  It's been raining for days and is supposed to continue to rain on & off for a zillion more days.  This weather sucks.  It was 30 this morning and I've had a fire going for the last 3 days.  Am I tired of stoking the wood stove?  Why, yes, yes I am.  The wood is all out and uncovered, so it's just getting wet every day, which makes it even more fun to carry in and try to burn.

I haven't been doing much (seems as if that's all I say).  I have been cleaning bit by bit, in prep for Sunday's book group.  We postponed the meeting and it seems as if we haven't been together for a long time--which is because we haven't.  Tonight I'm going with Marylou to a function honoring a friend of ours.  You're supposed to wear a hat.  Ugh.  I'll take my baseball cap and hope there are enough people without hats so I won't feel funny not wearing it.

It was a pretty quiet week.  I did my stint at the Historical Museum yesterday--it takes a lot longer to scan big photos so it was a slow day.  After that I had lunch with Julie.  We always have good visits.  So good that I'm going with her to Blue Mtn. Lake this weekend.  She has to go to an event there because they funded something for CEF.  We always have good road trips so I'm going along for the ride.  And maybe free food when we get there.

Tess is doing pretty well.  Her leg seems stronger but I'm having trouble keeping her quiet.  She ran off this morning, pausing to look back at me before disappearing down the driveway.  Does she know she's supposed to take it easy?  The vet told me to walk her on a leash, just to go to the bathroom, then she's to be back in the house.  Well I try, but meet with limited success.  She doesn't limp as much as she did before and seems to tolerate the anti-inflammatory drug well.  She doesn't like to eat peanut butter from me because I used to swipe the pb on the roof of her mouth.  Now she very delicately takes the wad of pb with her pill buried in it.  She doesn't trust me.  Treasure, on the other hand, seems to love having a big wad of peanut butter stuck to the roof of her mouth.  Well, it's food and she loves food.

I got a call from friends who are getting a puppy from my breeder.  They put a deposit on the pup, the litter is due in 2 weeks I think.  They visited with the breeder and were impressed with the dogs.  They reported that she has a 9-wk old female black Lab and a 6-yr old female black Lab.  Oh I want them both, but mostly I want the older dog.  I resist, however, having maintained for a while that I will not have 3 dogs again.  My friends want a male so didn't take either.  Strong wills, they must have, to resist a 9-wk old puppy.

Both dogs go to the vet next week.  Treasure needs to have her liver functions checked (for $65) and Treasure needs shots and an exam (for how much?  how many hundreds?).

I'm reading a Fay Weldon book about an older woman who moves into an assisted living place in southern Rhode Island.  There's not a whole lot about RI in it, but there are references to places near where my mother lives.  I told my mother I'd be visiting her in June, when black flies are bad here.  I'll skip a visit in May, that's one of my favorite months here.  If we ever get to May and it stops raining and snowing.

I had a conversation with a semi-retired friend recently about what to do in retirement.  He said he made a list of things he wanted to do when he stopped working full-time.  Oh, I did that! I said with glee.  I have things like clean closets, throw out old clothes, clean the master bedroom on my list.  He gave me a funny look and said the his list included going to Italy, taking a course and learning how to SCUBA dive.  Oh my we're very different people, aren't we.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Holy Moles

Although this may look like lots of piles of poop, it's actually mole hills in my yard.  I always have some, but this seems to be a banner year.  I took this picture today (snow is nearly gone) and it gives me the willies thinking about how many moles there are under the lawn.  YUCK.

I had a busy (for me) week, lots of traveling.  I went to Plattsburgh Tuesday morning for a hair cut, then on to Westport in the afternoon to the vet with Tess.  She has a torn ACL, which explains her limping routine.  This is common in Labs and not the first time I've dealt with it--she's the 3rd dog I've had with this.  Vet says she's too old for surgery (yay--I just heard of someone's Lab with the same thing, repaired surgically for $1100) so instead we have anti-inflammatory drug and "take it easy."  Tess doesn't like to take pills and doesn't know what "easy" is.  I've taken to walking her on a leash, which seems very strange to both of us but is necessary--she ran off twice on Weds.so is now grounded.  She's not really much better but it's only been a couple of days.

Weds. I went to the doctor for the swell diagnosis that I'm fat.  Great.  Big surprise.  I'm working with my doctor on a weight-loss plan.  Let's see how this goes.  No butter, no sugar, skim milk, vegetables and meat.  Yes, I can eat my quinoa and farro but I need to eat more meat and fewer carbs.  OK, OK, I'll give it my best.  After the appointment I went grocery shopping then met a friend at Starbucks.  Where I had a sugary chai.

Thursday it was back to Plattsburgh for lunch with good friend Barb.  We laughed a lot and had good food.  I ran errands in the morning, including a trip into CEF to pay a bill and say hello to too many people.  It really means nothing to me to be back there but I can't say I enjoy it much.

Today I stayed home.  It was cold this morning but the sun finally came out in the afternoon and it warmed up a bit.  I transplanted some house plants, watched the finches at my feeder, counted my crocuses, and put away the last of my winter coats and boots.  I did see P&J this afternoon for a bit and had a good visit with them.

Tomorrow is dump day, and maybe a Potsdam day--we'll see.  I bought a cordless weed whacker and cannot wait to use it.  Well, wait I will have to because there's no grass tall enough to mow yet.  Oh I love cordless power things.  Must get myself a cordless saw.  A second one--I have a circular saw, which I rarely use.

Now that the snow is pretty much gone I need to retrieve my lawn mower and take it to Wilmington for a tune-up.  It surprises me that I'm even thinking about doing that in April instead of late May.  Great, as long as I do more than just think about it.  I'm parking at the end of the driveway because of the mud.  We're having a very mild mud season so far but it's supposed to rain a lot next week so I may be premature in declaring it mild.  The ice isn't near going out yet though there is a bit of open water along the shore in places.

I have to clean the house for next week's book group.  This will be a good thing.  Apparently I'm one of those people who doesn't think she deserves a clean house and only cleans when other people are coming over.  I've done a bit of sorting and throwing things out but the clutter in my living room is phenomenal.  I did plant my pansies in a pot on the deck, which doesn't really count as cleaning but it is an achievement.

The dogs are well, except for Tess' knee.  They don't ever get to go out together any more because the run off (Tess hops more than runs, but boy that girl can move).  We walk to the car every morning to get the paper.  They go with me almost every time I ride in the car.  Most dogs always want to go for a ride in the car even though they mostly just sit in the car, staring out the window and sleeping.  My dogs are no exceptions.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Spring may come yet

We got 4" of heavy wet snow last night.  Some of it has melted, and temps are due to rise way up high to melt the rest of it.  I had a good trip to RI for Easter, with good visits and delicious food.  I was sick, still suffering from my respiratory illness, but am nearly back to normal now.  The dogs had a good time but didn't get to go for a beach walk--Tess is lame and it was too windy when Mark took Treasure to the beach to check it out.  She felt pretty special to be riding in HIS car but agreed with him that conditions at the beach were hostile.

My trips there and back were fine, I sure do like traveling on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Not much traffic except for trucks and they tend to be well behaved.  We all spent time reading, though I read nothing notable for sure.  Liza and I ran some errands--dump, library, birthday shopping for Mark, grocery store, post office.  There sure is a lot of traffic in Wakefield.  The dogs had a grand time and sure do love Liza's couch.  We had fun dying eggs and sharing the cooking of Easter dinner.  It was all very restful and nice.

There was snow in RI when I got there but none when I left.  What did I come home to?  Plenty of snow still on the ground--no bare ground in my yard, some mud but still snow in the driveway.  Cold nights, snow, now warming.  I may sleep with the bedroom window open tonight, always a highlight of my spring.  It's supposed to rain.  Yay!  I bought some pansies in RI but they got hit pretty hard by frost when I brought them home.  Oops.  There weren't many pansies to be found yet.

I spent yesterday in Plattsburgh, did my volunteer stint, went grocery shopping and had lunch with a friend.  I have to return tomorrow morning to have blood drawn.  Poor planning, I should have done that yesterday.  I don't have much else to do in town.  DON'T spend money, is something.

I had a quiet day today, really did very little.  I went to Pat & Jim's this afternoon and visited with them a bit.  We caught up with each other's news (of which there was little).  Nothing happened in the 'hood while I was gone (or since I've returned).  Life is quiet, peaceful, and good.

Little Rhody Easter

 We still haven't mastered dying eggs but we're making progress.  We couldn't get all the colors to work right, and Mark's rubber bands almost made stripes, but we had fun trying.

 It was a day at the beach.  Liza and Mark at the town beach, checking out the new location of the pavilion.  Oh won't the others be surprised when they see it!

Easter dinner table, flowers by Mark.  He cooked a delicious pork loin with maple glaze.  Yum.



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Georgia!

 Cap'n Joe of the Pinta (reproduction)


The Pinta (reproduction)

 Spanish moss!  I saw Spanish moss!

 Miss Martha and her chubby friend from the North

Palm trees!  I saw palm trees!

Home again

I made it!  Had a great trip, wonderful visit and made it home on Monday night.  I got there just fine and Joe was waiting at the airport, the Jose Laundry Taxi Service just for me.   We did a lot of fun things and saw a lot of interesting and beautiful sights.  I like southern Georgia a lot.  The weather was grand, sure beats the snow we're having now.  I got home to -2 degrees and icy conditions, which then warmed up and got slushy.  Now we're having some snow and it's due to be cold.

What did we do?  What did we see?  Where did we go?  Oh so many answers!  We toured the island, we saw reproductions of the Nina and Pinta, we went to Savannah for the day, we went to Jekyl island and saw turtles and we went to wonderful beaches.  Joe & Martha are the ultimate hosts and treated me royally.  We ate out several times, excellent Southern food, and Joe cooked his excellent shrimp--not to mention breakfast every morning.  Oh how spoiled was I?

Rough trip home, exacerbated by the cough/cold I came down with.  That turned into an asthma event so yesterday I went to the doctor for steroids and cough med.  Better today but have a way to go before I stop hacking and suffering.  Yes, I suffer.  The dogs fared well at the kennel.  She really likes them and always compliments me, saying they're good and happy dogs.  Yes, I think that's pretty fair.  They're exhausted now.  They took a long stroll/run this morning but came back in an hour or so.

When I got home disaster struck and I couldn't find my remote control.  You can't change the channel with a satellite dish unless you have a remote, so I was stuck watching something someone else picked out.  That, of course, was no good.  I got a universal remote, got it almost all set so am happily settled on my couch with my snoring dogs.  Oh I'm so addicted to television!

Next week I go to RI to spend Easter with my mother and Mark, leaving Thursday and coming back Tuesday.  No plans after that except for doctor's appointment and book group.  Then we'll be cruising alone toward spring, one can hope.