Friday, October 17, 2014


There is still a lot of color in the mountains, plenty of birch, beech, aspen and soon tamarack.  It's very, very pretty.  This was the view on my way home from yesterday's dog walk to the mailbox.

The mountain, looking across the road by my driveway.  I love this time of year.

I DID IT!!!

Well I suppose I could rescind it, but this morning I turned in my notice that December 19 will be my last day of work here at CEFLS.  It's amazing to think about.  After 30 years of driving 1 1/2 hours every day I'll be a retired homebody.

Of course everyone asks "What will you do?"  The appropriate answer, of course, is WHATEVER I WANT TO.  I'll go to RI for Christmas and stay a while.  Some suggest I shut down my house and spend the winter in RI but I won't do that this year.  Maybe another time, if I feel my mother needs that.

December is an odd time to retire, but it works out for my 30 years of service with the retirement system and my 62nd birthday.  It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, mostly because of the money, but once I filled out the paperwork I felt relieved and free.  Now that I've made it official I feel even better.  Do I have regrets?  Not a bit.  Yet.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Who, me?

Every once in a while I take an online personality/career/dog breed test, usually from Facebook.  This is risky and I don't do it often.  I did it today (why?) to find out what adjective describes me.  What did I get?

You are:

Intriguing

You have a unique and extremely fascinating approach to life. You are curious, brilliant, and firmly authentic. You are genuinely admired by people, yet you never get caught up in all the praise. Most importantly though, you know how to be yourself at all times and never need to apologize. You're loved for who you are.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wood and more wood.  The shed isn't quite full and there are 2 huge stacks outside.  Thank you Bill, and thank you PINS.
Treasure isn't very good at having her picture taken but she finally stood still long enough for this one.

Busy busy busy but slowing down

Boy was Columbus Day weekend a busy time.  It always is, and probably it wasn't as busy as it is some years but maybe I'm just getting older...

There was lousy weather on Saturday and I didn't do much during the day, just a dump run and chores.  It was a beautiful drive because there's still quite a bit of color in the mountains.  Mostly yellows and orange-y colors but still enough to make you sigh.  I had a nice breakfast at Big Daddy's (hey, should we write up BD's for TripAdvisor?) with Linda, Fred and Bill.  Seriously, the food wasn't bad.

Sunday was a gorgeous, sunny and warm day.  Really a banner day.  I came to Plattsburgh with Linda to check out the Clinton Co. Historical Assoc.'s art and book sale.  We didn't stay long, saw some people we knew, and took a scenic ride home.  The mountains were still pretty.

Sunday afternoon we celebrated Michael & Stephanie's wedding anniversary in the afternoon.  It was a nice crowd and we had a very pleasant time.  The view from their camp was great, a glassy lake with colors on the far shore reflected nicely.  Tess had taken off to walk the bog with strangers so wasn't home when I left, but when I got home she sure was barking to be let in, and was very happy to see me.  Does she connect the fact that no one lets her in with my appearance in the woods?  Doubtful.  Who knows, maybe dogs think we can be in two places at one time.

Sunday night was pie and coffee at the Holt's with the same crowd.  And we didn't even run out of things to talk about.  Good pie, nice people.

Monday was another beautiful day.  I spent an hour and a half on Linda's dock with her.  Boy did we have a nice time.  It was incredibly silent and calm, a glassy lake again.  Wow it was grand.  We just stared at the view and visited.  Then we got to work, clearing things off the dock.  Took a break to have lunch with Bill and friends at M'side, then back to close Linda's Upper Camp.  That wasn't bad, involves many plastic bags but easily done.

Monday night I had dinner at the Holt's with Donny & Cindy Roberts, neighbors.  Donny is my plowman and a great resource and asset to the neighborhood.  We had a good time talking about the neighborhood.  I think we covered just about everyone.

Back to work yesterday, then to Linda's for dinner last night.  She had planned to leave today but Erdvilas wasn't up to it so they're leaving tomorrow instead.  We always celebrate their last night here with dinner & bubbly, so last night we had dinner (no bubbly, saving that for tonight) courtesy of Brian.  Delicious bagels, lox, etc.  Very festive and fun.  Linda was sitting at the campfire when I arrived so I joined her and we watched Channel Chipmunk.  2 very animated 'munks fighting with each other and running madly under our chairs and around our feet.  Sort of creepy but cute and entertaining.

Today is another warm day.  I guess it's supposed to rain hard tomorrow but will still be warm until the weekend.  High in the 40's on Sunday with a chance of snow.  I've been using my stove but it smokes something fierce so I have a call in to the chimney cleaner.  Creosote in the elbow, I think.  Not a big deal but hard to get a fire going.

Work is work.  Not much going on, just cataloging and weeding.  People are quiet and not complaining.  Me too.  or neither.


Wednesday, October 08, 2014


I love pumpkins.  These are at a great farm stand in Peru.  They go on for miles and miles and are just beautiful.  I always buy pumpkins for people and give them away.

I missed the blood moon this morning--not just because I was asleep but also because it was cloudy and raining.  I slept with the bedroom window open last night so I could hear the rain.  It doesn't make as much noise anymore, now that we've lost so many leaves.  We have a lot of bare trees.  People coming this weekend might be a bit disappointed--we peaked more than a week ago and we're on the downward slope now.  At least the weather's supposed to be good until Monday, then we're due for rain.  We had the most perfect day on Sunday--sunny and 50's.  Boy was it grand.

Not much going on (yet).  Linda is still here but leaves next week.  She's the last of the summer residents so our "real life" begins then.  I didn't see Pat & Jim for quite a while, other things were happening, but had a really nice visit with them and Bill on Sunday.  That was Bill's birthday.  Linda hosted a wonderful birthday party for him Friday night with delicious food the name of which eludes me.  A German dish with pork products slow-cooked on a bed of sauerkraut.  Yum.

Sunday was book group and we had a lively discussion about You before me.  Probably the most we've talked about a book in quite a while.  Marylou came up with a great postcard game, providing the postcards.  We addressed 5 to ourselves, then took one from each person to send at some point in the future.  I like that.  Nice to send people mail.  I still enjoy the written word and write letters fairly often.  Well, weekly to my mother, less often to friends.  I like the immediacy of email for sure but I enjoy writing longer missives than are practical emails.

Dogs are behaving fairly well but they both seem to like to pee on the floor.  Tess has her favorite spot in front of the fridge (on the rug, which must now be replaced) and Treasure likes to pee in front of the bathroom door, on the vinyl floor.  WHAT'S UP WITH THIS????

I've been trying to walk them daily, to the mailbox & back, which is nearly a mile.  They love to run run run and really enjoy the walks.  Do I enjoy the walks?  Not really but I'm trying to establish a pattern and stick to it.

My relatives wanted to come to camp and start closing up tomorrow but another cousin and his wife were planning to come, so who knows how that will go.  I left a message with the closers, will email the visitors, and it's really not up to me to tell anyone much of anything.

My mother's been nagging me about getting a shingles shot--she loves to quote the TV and tells me weekly that 1 out of 3 Americans will get shingles.  But she can't remember if I had chicken pox.  So I'll get a shot I suppose.  And I need a flu shot as well.  I just need to be poked full of holes.

Work is fine.  The director is out for 3 weeks so we take turns being in charge.  It's very funny to see what issues people bring to the person in charge.  Should I do this?  Should I not do that?  I guess sometimes we all need help making decisions...

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Scary stuff

"The new Living Planet Index report from the World Wildlife Fund opens with a jaw-dropping statistic: we've killed roughly half of the world's non-human vertebrate animal population since 1970."

I keep hearing about different species that are endangered, being poached, losing their habitat, etc. and it doesn't totally register until you see something like this.  I remember 1970 very clearly and it doesn't seem so long ago.  I think about the future of the planet but have a different perspective on it than someone who has children does.  Do I think about future generations?  Not so much, I'm more grounded in the here and now (after all, it's all about ME).  Do I worry about the future of the planet?  Yes, but I'm convinced there won't be much of a future for the planet--what we're doing is negligible to stop the damage, and the U.S. only constitutes a small fraction of the world's population.

Pretty gloomy for a Wednesday.  It's rainy and foggy and very pretty in Hawkeye.  I like fog and I miss the fog we always had in southern New England.  It's rarer here and is seasonal, happens in the fall and spring when the temperatures of the ground and air differ more.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Well well well soon we'll be a majority...

"The proportion of Americans who live alone has grown steadily since the 1920s, increasing from roughly 5 percent then to 27 percent in 2013, according to the latest Current Population Survey from the Census Bureau."

This is from today's Washington Post.  How do I feel about living alone?  Anyone who knows me knows I really enjoy it.  I sometimes say "I couldn't share my house with anyone again," but I don't truly feel this way.  I have an entire upstairs that could be used by someone--there are 2 bedrooms, a living room and bathroom there.  I use one bedroom for a storage unit but the other is a fine room with a great view of the woods.  

What do I like about living alone?  What DON'T I like?  I like the peace of being the only one in the house.  I like the silence and I like to make loud noises when I play with the dogs, with no one to complain or care.  That might be different if I had neighbors.  I like being able to get up any time during the night and turn on the lights, bring the house to life if I want to.  The dogs and I often enjoy 3 a.m. living room time.  I like deciding what to do and when to do it with only myself to consult.  I miss having someone to do things with when there are things I'd like company to share with.  This happens a lot less than it used to.  I don't like the mess I make in my daily living.  Well, I guess I don't mind the mess so much but I sure hate cleaning the house.  I never realized how bad I'd become at that until I started living alone again in the North Country--there is constant clutter and dust in my living room.  My bedroom is a real mess.  There's no incentive for me to clean.  No, wait, that doesn't mean that I don't think I'm worthy of a clean house.  Not at all.  Apparently I just don't mind wallowing in my chaotic home.

I don't seem to have many reasons for not liking my solitary lifestyle.  It's very busy at times, when visitors to the neighborhood are around.  Right now it's hectic but in a matter of weeks it will quiet down incredibly.  Do I look forward to that?  In a way, but I'll miss the people whose company I'm currently enjoying.

I had company for dinner last week and the dogs behaved well but after dinner received a lot of attention from my guests.  They lapped it right up but were exhausted the next day.  I guess they'd never be able to keep up with my social calendar during these busy times.

Two view of the most-photographed mountain.  Bottom one is from Linda's dock, taken on Sunday.  I like the clouds.  Top one is taken from our boathouse, same day.  I went down there to get my bathing suit so I could SWIM at Linda's.  I wouldn't call it swimming, really--more like a quick dip.  It was a beautiful day but the water was a tad cold.
The view out my front door on Saturday.  Wow was it grand.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Random fall color.  Boy it's pretty this year.  There are rumors that peak color is this weekend.  I don't know, we still need some yellows to go with the blazing reds and oranges.  It really is a banner year for color, and the weather has been wonderful--warm days and cool nights.  Foggy mornings with sunny clear afternoons, great dock days for people who don't have to work...

It's busy in the neighborhood these days, everyone trying to get our final visits and events in.  Last week I had dinner at Linda's Friday night, fed Duncan & Sue at my house on Sat. night, and had brunch with Linda & Erd., Sue and Duncan at Duncan & Sue's Sunday morning.  Very busy and wonderful.  Last night Duncan & Sue fed us delicious Greek food, sitting on the screened in porch.  Very nice.  Tonight it's dinner with the Holts (and Duncan & Sue + Bill).  Tomorrow is another brunch, then the cider pressing at Lin & Ralph's.  I bought a bushel of "utility" apples for my contribution--we call them drops, not utility apples, but I think they're the same.  Should be fine anyway.

I got a Facebook note from a college friend.  I saw him a couple of years ago, met him and his son in Keene Valley when they were looking at colleges.  Ted and I were good friends in college and lived together the year after I graduated, when I was a secretary.  There were 3 of us in the house and things got complicated--not because of the 3 of us, but because other people interfered.  But that's history, and Ted is a nice man.  He wants to come visit in late October, and that doesn't freak me out.  Yet?  Or maybe I'm just more relaxed about having company.  The upstairs is presentable, the bedroom there is in good shape.  Bathroom needs to be cleaned, but that's doable.  So there you go.  Come on along, Ted.

Dogs are doing well.  They were BAD DOGS on Monday.  I put the baby gate up to keep Tess inside while Treasure was out and I was in the shower, forgetting that Tess is not intimidated by a baby gate.  She crashed through it and she & Treasure took off.  I searched and searched but couldn't find them.  I had to be at a meeting in Champlain that morning, so I left them out with the front door open.  I did that another time with Tess and it worked out fine.  As it did this time.  They sure were happy to see me, though.  Treasure ripped up some papers and chewed on the handle of a favorite basket (BAD,BAD Dog).  She spends her days in a cage because she apparently gets bored, or frustrated, or whatever, and always finds something to rip up if she's loose.  Tess seems to sleep most of the day, unless I leave the garbage unlocked.  Last week she got into that and spread it all across the kitchen floor, as if she were searching for a diamond earring or something.

It's a banner year for mice and they're all coming to my house.  Well, no, Linda has a lot of them too.  So far I've killed 19--my record is 21 and after that I got a cat.  No cat now.  I'll just keep slaughtering the little buggers.

I had a nice trip to Lake Placid last week.  There's a new director, replacing the wonderful woman who was there but died recently.  She was a hard act to follow so I did a lot of reassuring the new director--mostly it was a cheerleading visit but the trip was nice.  Sunny with color just coming along.

Hard to believe that next week will bring October.  I have a meeting with the NY State Retirement rep, let's see where that goes.

I need to mow my lawn and get rid of the dead plants in pots on my deck.  And at lest think about closing the boat house.  I've been walking the dogs when I get home, sometimes to the mailbox and sometimes to camp.  They sure do like that.


I drove to Canton earlier this week and here's what I saw along the way--