Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This is what happened last week.  There was more but this was the first round--about a foot on Tuesday night, then close to another foot Weds.  It's pretty, and as always muffles the noise so it's still and quiet.  The dogs like the snow--Tess is adept at making very good dog snow angels and Treasure eats the snow.  The driveway was plowed twice (we call that a $100 storm) and I actually shoveled a path to the deck stairs.  Oh I'm getting good at this "owning a house" thing.

It's my last week at work, down to the last few days.  I still have plenty to do and have yet to finish cleaning up around my desk.  WHAT AM I WAITING FOR???  I have a lot of files that might be of value to someone.  I keep weeding them, throwing out more each time I go through them.  Mostly I have a lot of discarded books that at one point I thought I would want.  I go through them, too, and throw out a few each time.

Lots of meetings this last week--what ARE they going to do when I'm gone?  I have no strong feelings about who will do my work or how well/whether it will get done.  It's up to someone else now, I've given it my best 30 years.

I have lists of things to get done before leaving for RI on Sunday.  This morning I came to town extra-early so I could get my blood done.  Sure, good idea, except I brought the wrong paperwork so it was for naught.  It's not a big deal for me to get here early, nor is it a big deal to have the blood drawn.  It IS a big deal to have the lab orders, though.  duh.

So far I've had 2 farewell lunches with friends.  Tomorrow night is our union Christmas party.  Thursday I have birthday lunch with Barb, Friday is dinner with Bill & Fred, Sat. is dinner with the Holts, then Sunday at last I'm on the road.  I can stay in RI for a long time, if I want to.  I'm thinking of 2 weeks but if it gets too cold here I'll hustle on home to protect my house.  It got down to 39 in the living room over Thanksgiving, when the outdoor temp was 4, so I'm wary of cold weather.  I shut off the pump (learned that lesson the hard way) and hot water heater, but just about every year there's some problem while I'm in RI at Christmas.

The dogs are great.  Tess is really slowing down but can still wag her tail in a circle.  Treasure is very needy so the two of them really like it when I'm home.  Last week I only worked 2 days--I took one day off to have my new electric stove delivered, we were closed one day, I had a doctor's appointment in Saranac Lake another day, so it was a good week for the dogs.

Last Sunday I went to Saratoga to the calling hours of a friend.  It was a good trip, easy drive down and back, but I didn't stay long at the funeral home, nor did I stick around for the funeral.  I knew that, if I'd gone to the funeral I would have cried a lot, probably loudly, so I skipped that.  She was a wonderful woman, a couple of years younger than I am.

I have lists and lists of things I need to buy or do before leaving for RI.  Yesterday I had 4 stops in town before I left for home, tonight I think I'll have 3 or 4.  I have to get a new tag for Tess' collar, thank you--she lost hers and I hate to take her to RI without any identification because she always seems to get away at least once per visit.  At Thanksgiving she & Treasure took off into the woods and I had to track them down.  Scary.

I'll be in an Internet-free zone in RI but will take my laptop and go either to Mark's work place or to Java Madness, where the deck overlooks the marina, and will check my email and the weather here.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
She's up!  She's pretty!  That's my version of a creche on the table--3 Lab ornaments, 1 sheep ornament and a tiny hunter.  I bought the tree on Saturday, cut it down to table-top size, put it up and decorated it on Sunday.  Is it straight?  Not quite, it leans forward a bit, but it's a nice tree.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Back in the saddle

Thanksgiving was only a week ago and yet it is a world away.  I had a grand trip, easy driving and good visiting with Liza and Mark.  The weather was OK, some cold days and a couple of warm ones.  Mark & I took the dogs to the beach, I took Liza to the beach, and for a change of scene Mark & I walked the dogs all over the Univ. of RI campus, which is near where he works.  That was a real treat.  Campus was deserted and I got completely disoriented because there are so many new buildings added since I was there in the 70's.  It's really most impressive now.  And pretty.

We went to the annual art sale that we always hit, and it was as much fun as we expected.  A lot of pottery--Liza bought me a great bowl for my birthday and I bought myself another great bowl because I liked it.  We picked up odds & ends, as we always do.

Liza & I went shopping a few times.  Since she doesn't drive anymore she's dependent on Mark and feels bad asking him to take her places, plus she needed to get him some Christmas presents, so we had fun driving around and seeing the sights.  She likes to go to the grocery store--they all know her there and she picks up a few things each time she goes.  Like, she needed Kleenex so we went there and she bought ONE box, not 2 or even 3, just one.  So when she runs out again she'll need to go right back for more.  I found it all entertaining and was happy to be there.

Thanksgiving itself was fine.  We had our usual food--turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash and a zillion lima beans.  All delicious.  I made 2 pumpkin pies, one from fresh pumpkin that I got from Linda and another using canned pumpkin.  News flash: there's no real difference in taste between the two.  And 2 pies is a lot for 3 people to eat.  They were both good.  I use an old Martha Stewart recipe that includes 1/4 tsp of chili powder and that makes a difference.  yum.

I got home on Monday, around 2 in the afternoon.  It sure is nice to be at home during the day!  I'm looking forward to retirement, which is only 2 weeks away.  Yay!  Work is funny, I don't have that much to do in the way of tasks but I'm swamped with assignments and cleaning.

Yesterday I spent the day in Crown Point, barcoding their collection.  That was nice but frustrating--because it takes so long to get there (1 1/2 hours) we don't have many hours to actually do the work there.  It's going to take a wicked long time to get that collection done, but I'll be long gone by then.

I talked to a friend this morning and found out that my good friend from the past, Brook, has died.  She had brain cancer and was in a hospice facility so it wasn't a great shock but it's very sad.  When I first came here Brook & I were very close and spent a lot of time together.  We lived near each other and had dinners together often.  Her boyfriend and Jamie were friends, and Dan worked at our sawmill for a while.  Oh those were fun times and I'm very sad.  I'll go to the calling hours in Saratoga on Sunday.

Dogs are fine.  They like being at Liza's but are confined to a pen when they're outside.  They own the couch while we're there.  Mark & I take them for long walks when he doesn't have to be at work but other than that the only exercise they get is getting in & out of the car.  But they sleep a lot.  It's very peaceful.

 The mother at the beach on a calm but cold day





 Thanksgiving morning at the town beach--really high surf and a lot of gulls.  Very dramatic



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rainy Sunday

Well thank goodness it's warmed up--most of the snow is gone and I'm hoping that tomorrow's high temps and expected rain will get rid of the rest of it.  November to April is a long time to have snow on the ground.
Had a good weekend but not an especially productive one.  Last night I went to the Whallonsburg Grange hall with Lin & Ralph for dinner and a showing of Jay Craven's film Where the Rivers Flow North.  I'd seen the movie before but didn't remember that much of it.  It was excellent but the director couldn't stop talking so we didn't get out of there until 10, with an hour drive home to L&R's and another half hour home for me.  I didn't get home until midnight.  Late, late, late for someone who famously goes to bed around 8.  It was fun and we agreed that, though we were glad to have gone we sure wouldn't do it again.

This morning I took the dogs to get the paper at P&J's and when I got home they took off.  What a couple of turds.  They were gone for more than 2 hours before I left for my noontime visit with P&J & Bill.  I worried but hoped for the best, and sure enough when I got home at 1 they were waiting for me at home.  They've been sacked out ever since then and poor Tess is very sore and moving slowly.  I gave her an aspirin which helped a bit.  Mostly she's just lying next to the wood stove.

Last week was pretty quiet.  I spent a lot of time clearing out papers and books at work and finally got 2 file cabinets and a file drawer in my desk emptied.  YAY.  Now I just need to get to the 3 huge piles of papers and the bookshelf full of stuff and then I'll be all set.  I bought the goldfish a new bowl.  I think the director will take him after I leave.  I can't bring him home then because I'll be in RI for 2 weeks and the house will be too cold (in the 40's no doubt).  I killed off a couple of guppies that way.  This fish cost a whopping 17cents so it's no great loss but he's sort of a nice fish.  I think I'll get another one when I get back in Jan.  My days of having a big aquarium with a heater and  light are long gone.  Boy did I spend a fortune on that set up and the fish.  Which all died.

I'm only working tomorrow then am off for the rest of the week.  Heading to RI on Tuesday, avoiding the predicted miserable storm for Weds.  Whew.  I'm looking forward to going, it's always nice.  We'll have a nice peaceful Thanksgiving, just the 3 of us for dinner.  We do like to do it up big.

People are still asking me how many days until retirement--I don't know.  I'll be back at work on Dec. 2nd so I guess after that there will be 17 days.  Yikes I just zoomed in on the text and now it's HUGE.  I like my laptop but am not totally used to using it yet.

All is well. Happy Thanksgiving to all--

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ahhhh, much better picture of the November mtn.  This was yesterday, Veterans Day, when the temp was in the 50's and it was sunny and wonderful.  This is a slightly different view, it's from the HTC boat house instead of our boat house.  Beautiful from any site.
I had a grand time yesterday, day off.  Finished outdoor chores, walked to the HTC boat house to take pictures of the new roof for Duncan & JK, enjoyed the whole thing.  The dogs took off but weren't gone long.  I cabled Tess for most of the day so I could leave the door open.  How nice!  Two chickadees flew into the house but I managed to herd them out the window upstairs.  They really are sweet birds, let me get so close to them.  I started feeding the birds again over the weekend and within an hour there were chickadees, blue jays and a woodpecker at the feeder.  Hungry little boogers they all are.
It's colder today but nothing like what's happening in the Midwest.  Boy do I feel sorry for those people!  We have no snow and it's not likely we'll have any anytime soon.  It will be chilly but in the 30's, which I never really think is cause to complain.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

November mtn.

It's not really monocromatic, there is green there.  It's as cold as it looks

Cold weekend

Well, can't really call it cold because it was above freezing, but it was cloudy, windy and in the 30's both days.  I spent a lot of time yesterday driving, which seems to be turning into my favorite weekend activity.  I drove to the farmstand with great apples and got some great apples, then I drove to the farmstand with good cider and bought some good cider.  The dogs are always eager to go in the car but unless I drive very slowly with the windows down they don't seem to do much.  Treasure sleeps and Tess stands between the front seats and looks out the windshield.  I have no idea how much she sees but she does respond to things like turkeys and squirrels.

I had dinner with Annie and her brother + his wife last night.  It was a cold walk down, which made me feel woefully inadequate to deal with impending winter.  Get use to it, Toots, it's here to stay.  Anyway it was a nice evening and pleasant walk home in the dark.

Today I did a few chores, went to P&J's for a nice visit, then walked to camp with the dogs to shut off the power there.  Of course they didn't come home with me, they ran off.  Treasure soon returned but Tess found a huge crowd at the bog and spent an hour or so with them.  Right now she's on the deck barking non-stop at what?  The dark I guess.  It's high entertainment for her.

This week looks good--until Weds. night.  I have Tuesday off and it's supposed to be 50 so I'll finish up my outdoor chores, then plan to go to Pat's & help her take in her garden stuff.  I have some more flower pots to empty and bring inside and have to put away my chair--the last vestige of summer.  I started feeding the birds today, filled the bird feeder this afternoon and within an hour there were chickadees, blue jays and woodpeckers hanging out there.  That was nice.

It's due to be much colder at the end of the week.  My stove is behaving well but I'm eager to have the stovepipe cleaned on Thursday afternoon.  The house is warm right now without the heat, just the stove going.

All is well in Hawkeye.  The lake looks cold and unforgiving.  There's snow on Catamount, on Duncan and Whiteface plus of course the High Peaks.  

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The last bit of color in Hawkeye--I took this picture over the weekend.  Yes, we had snow, but no, it wasn't much and it's gone now.
The dogs don't care for setting the clocks back because it's nearly dark when I get home so they think I'm late.  They don't seem to notice how light it is when we get up.  Dumb dogs.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Nice stove

Cold and wet outside but my living room is warm.  Boy I do like my new stove, but it smokes right now.  I'm having stovepipe cleaned next week and sure hope that will take care of it.  Once I get the fire going it's great but it's hard to get it going and it smokes like a chimney in the house.  It's ticking away merrily now and that's what counts.

Went to the dump today, then took a nice long drive with the dogs.  This seems to be my big entertainment.  I had to buy more apples because the dogs ate the ones I got last week while I was at P&J's last night.  Rat pigs.

I pulled up the kitchen rug today which was on my list of MUST DO'S.  It stinks because Tess peed on it a bunch of times and it can't be cleaned so out it goes.  The kitchen floor is red oak on the diagonal but the wood is in terrible shape and needs to be sanded and treated, plus there are huge gaps between boards.  Almost all of the wood in this house (and there's a lot of it) came from our sawmill so was air-dried not kiln dried.  This means the boards expand and contract all the time and there are big gaps in nearly every room.  The maple in the bedroom is a mess and I'd like too paint the floor but can't figure out what to do with the bed.  Well that's a big project.  I painted the living room floor many years ago with Lin's help.  It should be painted again but boy that was something, to move all the living room furniture onto the deck and hope it didn't rain.

I'm excited about having time to do work on the house in January.  I have to be back here around the 6th so will start my retired life then.  I'm going to RI for Thanksgiving, leaving Tuesday and returning Sunday/  I retire on Dec. 19 and will go to RI after that for Christmas.  Christmas will be here before I know it so I should be making baskets instead of writing this.

We have book group Thanksgiving this month but I don't know when that is so I need to call M'lou to get details.  We have grand Thanksgivings together.  We've been a group for more than 10 years.

It's pretty dark now, at 6:00, which will be 5:00 tomorrow.  It was pitch black at 6 this morning and I'm looking forward to having more light in the morning.  Doesn't bother me to have it be dark earlier at night, I prefer good morning light.