I Love Electricity

Even though you didn’t notice that I have been missing, I have now returned.  After weeks of cleaning the house, I was so sick of it that I ran to my camp in the Adirondacks.  Unfortunately, this camp is almost totally off the grid.

To prepare myself, I loaded up my laptop, purchased a new cell phone and a Jet Pack, packed our Hot Spot and brought our two marine batteries and battery charger in case it was needed.  I emptied drawers of 1/3 shorts, 1/3 capries and 1/3 long pants with matching shirts but, of course, no jacket because it was very warm.  I stayed until day before yesterday.

It was very strange, but beautiful, up there because I was totally by myself most times.  When I got there I proceeded to hook up one of the marine batteries to the camper to run the hot water heater, furnace, and water pump.  As a short lesson to all those who have not had to hook up batteries + (positive) does not mean that it is a wonderful thing.  What it DOES mean is that you will positively get burnt if you put the – (negative) wires on that side.  – (negative) does not mean bad news.  It means that it is not hot and you must put the black wires on that side.  After hooking up the wires, going into the camper and realizing that I couldn’t start the refrigerator, I went out to check if the wires were loose and smelled burning plastic.  This was the plastic around the wires that was turning into goop.  Running into the camper, I grabbed the pot holders and switched the wires thus I know:  + (positive) means positively hot.  I then went in and started the fridge, went out and turned on the water tank and started the hot-water heater.  There are three little hoses in this and you have to remember which one to hold the lighter on because that one is the pilot.  You also have to remember how to work the dial.  After a little trial and error, it started.

Meanwhile, Karla and Sam were screaming that they had to go quick so we had our first walk.  Having been told that a huge bear had been sighted around our camper and that they had released nuisance bears up there it was a very short walk.  Back to the camper, unload the car and try to call home to say I was safe and sound.  However, since it was a cloudy day, the phone kept cutting off and I wasn’t ready to use the Jet Pack which was advertised as having your very own hot spot.  Wrong.  I did finally get the Jet Pack, which had no instructions to work with my cell and the laptop but you still had to be out of doors to use them.  Also, since there are large power lines up there the batteries of everything are sucked empty within a day so my car was continually running to recharge them because the Hot Shot didn’t want to work at all and when I tried to charge the cell with it, it just sucked the rest of the charge out of it.

Since coming home, I have been running around in heaven just turning off and on lights and have never left my land line or computer.

Of course, as we all know – I don’t cook.  However, after one month of practice I can fry eggs and toast bread on the burners of the stove and heat soup.  My sister came up, we went grocery shopping and I learned that if it is 10 for 10 you don’t have to purchase 10.  We also went to the laundry mat and after stuffing six washers we both learned that there are three different sizes of washers and it probably would have been easier to use the big ones.  AND they do not take Canadian coins.

Rich, a newly made friend in town taught me that if my cell goes completely dead that you have to use a wall plug to reset it, that even if you recharge the Hot Shot for 24 hours it still won’t work and that that horrible noise that your car makes when you are backing up and that you are petrified is the transmission or transmission joints is really the fact that you are backing up and scraping rocks while you are doing so.

Of course things started going even more south when the temperature started dropping.  I did know that if I used the furnace that it would wear out the battery within a couple of days so I got out the Mr. Heater, went into town and purchased all of the little green gas bottles at Stewarts (and by the way, I am now very proficient at filling a gas tank).  At $5.00 per bottle I found that if you light three kerosene lamps at a time, they will heat the trailer just as well.

During the days I worked a little on my historical duties, read and napped.  Oh, and tried to catch that dang frog who knew exactly how long my arm was so it could get out of reach.  I really wanted to catch it and turn it into a prince but perhaps next year…

I’m proud that I did it by myself because it was lonely, cold and, at times, pretty scary.  I could have used more support from here but regardless at the time, I had to do it for personal reasons and I think that I know that I can take care of myself now if needs be.  I don’t have to stay here if I don’t want and I found that there are certain people that I can count on to hold on to the other end of the rope if I fall.  There are those that feel that I shouldn’t have gone up there on my own but I feel that since I didn’t take unnecessary risks and no bears ate me or the dogs that things went pretty darn well.

I sure did miss the computer though!

Now, I feel a craving to go turn on and off some lights and the furnace!

Oh!  And one more thing….you can do it, too.

I believe that puppies are harder to raise than children. Am I crazy? Probably, but think about it. My puppy is almost one year now. Not only does she get into everything but she is faster than I am. She understands some words and definitely understands the meaning of my tones but even though I have spent many professional years and un-professional years with dogs there are times that I cannot understand her as much as I listen. I can never really get angry with her because she loves me so much and tells me this every day in her eyes. She doesn’t cry when she wants something or when she has gas, in fact she hides it when she feels bad so it is very hard for me to know even when she needs to go to the Veterinarian with her. I can’t run to the neighbor to say “gee! guess what Karla did to day!” In fact my neighbors would think I was stark raving mad (as my family does). Everyone loves babies. Not everyone loves puppies.
Carla wid a K has been going through some changes. I’m not sure whether they are due to her age or just because she lives with me. Last week we had a tremendous thunderstorm which came out of nowhere. Now if I watched TV or listened to the radio or had a fancy phone it would not have come out of nowhere and we would probably have been somewhat prepared. If I had known it was coming the dogs and I would be sitting on the cellar stairs cowering and just waiting but no, Karla was playing in the burrs and guarding against invading chipmunks (she lowers her voice when guarding). She has been very brave since going to the dog show in Colorado! I was folding clothes and the other three were with me. THAT’S when I should have noticed something was going to happen because Spider was starting to shake and Sam and HarryIt were keeping close. Usually they don’t hang out with me in the laundry room. All of a sudden the rain started coming down and one minute later there was a “CRACK!”. The loudest thunder I had ever heard. Even Paul, who likes to watch thunder storms called down to see if all was all right. Then I noticed that something wet was trying to crawl up my body. Poor Karla was drenched and shaking and had reverted to her baby self. I dropped the shirt I was folding and noticed the other three were gone, probably under a couch, grabbed a towel and picked up my big baby and cuddled her. She is obviously still upset because when the fireworks went off last evening she was shaking and sitting on my lap. So much for chipmunks. This may be somewhat of a blessing because I’m tired of running out and throwing toads out of the pen.
I’m feeling much better in the foot and back areas and have continued painting the bath downstairs. I’ve been boxing a few collections and have called a cleaner for the house (who hasn’t returned my call) for preparation of putting the house up for sale again. This is so fun. If someone wants to come view, I have to grab the dogs and go for a ride and keep the house clean at all times. However, if it sells, at least we will have some things packed. I don’t want the movers to pack, just move. We have looked at two houses close to my daughters. One, looking through the windows, was adorable with cathedral ceilings and wainscoting. And, a loft. I’ve always wanted a loft for the bedroom or my office. A little pricey but maybe could talk them down. It even had a wood fence around the back yard to keep the dogs in and only 2 acres in the middle of fields to care for. However, visiting showed some problems. I think it was made of cardboard and the finished basement was drenched, with water on the walls and showed repairs to the ceiling from water problems. Cross that one off.
Then we visited another close to my daughter which was built in the 1870’s. Very sturdy with a few problems to fix inside. In fact, on top of the one car garage connected to the house were two rooms that had not been re-modeled and looked like they were ancient so had much potential. However, it had only one acre and was in the suburbs of Rochester (which are growing) and they had divided the land up so that the barn was not ours but was filled with cars, trucks, boards, trash and the entire house needed re-siding. To many “ifs” and “Maybes” for us to risk so we passed on that one also.
We were a great deal shy because of what is happening around our house. Both houses showed why it was that we bought where we are now. However, things change. We have a garbage disposal outfit across the street to the west that was very small when we moved in and has added three other disposal businesses to it so it runs day and night. Although, initially they had to keep their equipment under roof in the evening, the town wants the taxes and doesn’t pressure them to do so now. To the east moved in a hound kennel so there is the lovely baying sound day and night. Although I have complained about the noise, what are you going to do? Rubber band their muzzles? Now they have built a migrant camp that we look at from our back porch to the East also. When we went to the town meeting about that one, we were assured that we would not see it from our house.
We have received notice that a machine shop will open to the North of us. Town meeting is the 8th but what can you do? Obviously they have been approved because they are remodeling the building and have their signs up. And this is in an agricultural zoned area so variances have been approved for all. When I think of the trouble I had to open an antique shop in my barn I could just cry.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch I keep hearing the kittens but not seeing the kittens which is driving me insane. Luckily I’m just hearing the kittens complain a little when Mama leaves or complain a little until they get that teat. As for the kitten food in the barn, the chipmunks are running around with very fat cheeks and we will probably be finding stashes of kitten food for a year in things like our snow blower and swinging chairs. My older Sister has been in Alaska with my nieces children. They will now find out how bossy my older sister is! I miss her.
I actually sold an item on Etsy (D.A.YanceyRecollections) and someday am hoping to sell just one postcard (even though the postal rates are high on Bidstart (same store name) but, I need, need, need to get more stuff on line to sell.
ONE GREAT THING! A friend of mine sent me a whole booklet of old black and white pictures of the main Camp at Goose Pond being built. And, yep, there is my older sister and I and Vincent (he’s the one that Dad told us pulled the moon with a string when we were driving up there) popping something in my mouth. Probably to shut me up which I’m going to do right now.
Noodles!

Three Days in the Life of Lucy Ricardo

mushroomNine days of quiet, mostly good weather, quilt sewing, and mushroom photography. What more could one ask for? Well, perhaps 10 or 11? Don’t ask…Mushroom photography? Yes, it has finally come to that or carrying a tripod with me everywhere and really, you would be amazed at the beauty of some of them and they change shape so fast! I don’t photograph them when they are squishy brown though. I need to put them all on line so that I can identify them. Now the reason is that I have familial tremor and the older I get, the worse it gets. I do take medication but I’m not sure how much more they can increase the amount. It is most embarrassing when I go out to eat and I can’t get the danged wineglass to the mouth. Well, if I look as beautiful as Katherine Hepburn when she was old I shan’t complain. It’s just so unfair that I inherited all the bad traits of the family. Anyway, with mushrooms you can get down and rest your elbows on the ground and get a clear picture.
The drive home was sort of good and bad. I always stop at the Natural Basket (in Natural Bridge, NY, on Rt. 3 – and there is a plug for you Yvonne!) but I was way too comfy at camp to want to go anywhere so on the way home I told hubby that I needed to talk with Yvonne about antique postcards and by the way, did he have any money. He said we still had 2.5 hours to go and I said “I promise – 15 minutes”
After a quick 1.5 hours browsing as fast as I could (and there really was a long line at the counter) I got back to the car. Yikes! He said, “you didn’t tell me you were going to shop!” Now why would I ask him if he had any money if I wasn’t going to shop? Now this is a man who could teach quantum physics married for over 40 years to a woman who is often referred to as “Lucy Ricardo” and he couldn’t pick up on that? Men just don’t pick up on things that women do.
Paul’s back is bad so I usually drive and we haul a small trailer when we go up North. We switch places when we have to reverse because I can’t figure out the jack-knifing thing and which way the trailer is going to do that.
But, back to picking up things…I can always tell when there is a stop light or sign ahead because his right foot starts pounding the floor. I know when to go back into the non-passing lane after I’ve passed someone because he stops looking into his rear-view mirror and I always hear the disgusted “tsk, tsk” when I turn on the wipers instead of the cruise control. (I can’t help it that it is opposite on the Wrangler and it doesn’t help that the Wrangler is standard either when I’m driving and try to shift into park.
Anyway, a couple of cases of mild road rage and we always make it home safe.
But, I was bushed, and early the next morning I had a Vet appointment for a T4 for Spider at a new Vet. The Vet we saw there was about 10 years old and as he was explaining things to me I was miming him. They WILL learn that I have a lot more knowledge than them but just don’t have the equipment. She was fine and the Vet was much closer in distance to home. When we first moved back here they were too busy to accept new clients and in seven years I have fired four other clinics. This one has been through three owners since I was a child and when I told them I was NOT a new client and that I used to see Dr. First Vet and Dr. Second Vet, it didn’t count. Every office should have “comment cards” for receptionists.
So, today I got back to pulling vines off my siding and trimming grass with the grass trimmer on my hands and knees around the chain link run attached to the house so the dogs can randomly come in when they have to go poo poo and out when then don’t. Of course because of my minor accident with the hedge trimmer, every time Paul hears the grass trimmer he comes out and gives me a lesson on the difference between the guard and the handle. Today there was wild Grape Vines, Virginia Creeper, some weird vine with purple flowers, three leaf clusters and red berries and ivy that I had to rip off the fence and then get down and cut the grass next to the fence which is a pain in the derriere because I want to get the grass but not the wire, which would break the blades.
Then, I looked down and noticed that I was on my hands and knees in a mess of poison ivy. We don’t get along well at all. If I walk by it and the wind blows towards me I get poison ivy and I get it bad. To make things worse, I’m allergic to prednisone. So, the clippers are still out there for Paul to go get tonight and I had two showers today.
Well, I have to go look at the puppy cam at http://www.dunhamlakeaustralianterriers.com so that I can make sure that my new puppy (the yellow collar in the older litter) is getting snuggled.
Noodles

Summer

opening spring & pink 003Summer… Wonderful weather here in upstate New York this year. I just can’t bring myself to start bringing in some income by putting my left-over store things on line. I did put some online in the beginning of June but then went up to our camp and put a message up that I was on vacation and forgot until yesterday to remove the message. People must think I take LONG vacations. But, too bad because I’m going on vacation next week again!
I’ve been working around the house (literally – because I did half of the front today) outside. I got a wonderful pair of grass clippers that run for at least three hours prior to having to recharge them so that I can trim several trees without hurting them. (The trees). I just remember to put on my knee pads and out I go. But, then I have to get the clippers to cut the suckers and a few of the lower brances so Billy can get under them to mow with his mower.
We live in a house that was built in 1887 so I assume that the trees were planted at the same time. They are huge and it breaks my heart to see branches come down or the trees themselves come down in a windstorm. The drumlin that we live on has always a breeze and when it blows, it blows. Earlier we lost a blue spruce to the wind, then a huge arbor vitae and a few branches from the black ash and the maples. Then the town of Huron came and removed several branches so they wouldn’t fall on wires which unbalanced them so that now more branches come down. But they are still lovely and I want to measure a maple and send it in to the record tree size place. This was a good start to the trimming this year.
So several weeks ago I started to work. I dead-headed the rhododendrum (which is about 10 foot tall). Is that what it is called? I know I am a deadhead. Well, it felt like I was picking apples and took two days, then I cut down all of the lilac bushes that were merged into the rhododendron and started using the electric trimmers on the yew beneath the windows which open out unless they are in the way. Unfortunately I thought the guard was the handle so that too care of working outside for a while with 6 slices down my left middle finger and a brace for the fracture.
All healed now, and forbidden to use the hedge clipper for a while by my husband I started removing the vines from the house. I started with the Virginia Creeper. I pulled and pulled until I was across the yard – I just couldn’t believe that they were around our upstairs windows and all over the roof on the screened in porch and up and down the white burch. Kind of fun to try to get them without breaking them. Then I went for the wild grape and felt like Tarzan’s Jane swinging on the arbor vitae. Even though it is a non-native species, I didn’t remove the ivy unless it covered the windows.
I clipped stray saplings and a few hedges and called my nephew to put everything in a pile. I think he will soon be rich.
For the front of the house I started with the cedar tree which is close to my office. My office used to be sunny and I really wanted it that way again so I clipped as high as I could then climbed out the bedroom window and stood on the porch roof to get the higher branches that were brushing the house. As long as I was up there I swept about three inches of dirt off (even found some earthworms!) and removed the moss. Tomorrow I will the tackle the forsythia covering another of my office windows. Again I have called in the troops to help put branches and vines in a pile.
Last week I had trimmed the grass under my climbing rose bush because it had started sprouting all over and I wanted to save as many sprouts as I could.
My daughter brought over morning glories and spread them under horse manure around two tree trunks so I have been busy watering the “green spaghetti”.
Meanwhile I started to move my wicker that should be sold to the second story of my barn and spotted a tiny kitten but couldn’t catch it! I’ve been putting out food but we have so many hawks that I am pretty sad. Especially since we had to put our cat Cady down for kidney stones that very same day.
All this, of course, means that I haven’t touched my paperwork or my blogging.
Good news: I’m getting a new Australian Terrier! I know this means four small dogs but I haven’t had an Aussie for so many years and this breeding was just the one I wanted. The sire is from Finland and the dam from Sweden so perhaps I can get out of the health problems. She was born on July 27 and I can fly out to Wisconsin to pick her up the end of September and I am very, very excited. She is from Dunham Lake Australian Terriers and if you wish to see her then just go to their web site and click on to the web cam and on even numbered days she is the one with the yellow collar. This home kennel picks themes for each litter and this theme was the show “cheers”. They call her Carla. Only they spelled it Karla with a K. So, I looked that up on Google and there is a nice song called “Karla with a K” by the group called the Hooters. So I’m going to call her Hooter.
Meanwhile in our spare moments when we have been on vacation we have been looking for a piece of waterfront property to call our own. After finding one and having the loan approved the bank says “Oops! We made a mistake and raised the interest rate 3 points so we need to think of that investment for a while.
So, obviously I’ve been busy and thought I would let you all know that I still have in the back of my mind that I am supposed to be blogging.
Oh, I did have company from New Mexico for a week two weeks ago. We call each other sister and brother and we graduated together. I think he is my best friend and I believe it is such a good thing to be able to say one thing and the other person’s eyes light up because they know exactle what you mean. By the time he left he had huge circles under his eyes because we stayed up until anywhere from 3 am to 4 am each night. At least I could take a nap while he was driving his 89 year old mother around to see her friends. It really was a blast.
So, I think that most news is good news here my friends and if I make it through a couple more weeks I’ll be back with you. I miss you.
Noodles!

AH! VACATION

view from camp

view from camp

Last evening we (my Hubby, three dogs and a cat) returned from a week off the grid at our camp in the Adirondacks. It’s about a three-hour drive. Long enough to be tired but short enough that you have time to pack or unpack, feed the furry kids and read some of your email before crashing into bed.
The journey up there was not very auspicious. Paul got out of work at about 2 pm. I had already packed and we were started out the door when Paul’s cell rang. The jerk answered it and, of course, it was a problem with something at work so I took a nap. An hour later we were just starting out the door, had everything loaded (including the furry kids) with the cat screaming in her crate and his Sister drove in. We hadn’t seen her for a while so we had a good visit but you know…
Off we go. An hour later we reached Mexico, NY, where we have made it a habit to get out at McDonalds, stretch our legs and get a drink or whatever before getting on to 81. I had driven so I talked Paul into going in and getting the order because all I wanted to do was pull back the seat, stretch my legs and close my eyes. He was back surprisingly fast, got into the car and said “I forgot my wallet.” So, I said “where is it?” while looking in the dash. He replied “home”. All rightee then, I had one credit card in my purse and enough cash to get something to eat so we would just have to go to an ATM when we got to Harrisville. I turned around to get my purse but it wasn’t there. I said “I forgot my purse”. We sat there for a few minutes digesting this and deciding what to do. There really wasn’t much choice so back we went for the forgotten items.
Paul wanted to sleep the night home and start out early in the morning but being the worrier that I am I said we were going before something else happened. So in a coma we turned around and back we went being very carefull to take the new Carthage exit instead of the new Camp Drum exit which we had done the last time and which meant you had no choice but to drive up to the gate and get a lecture about how unauthorized people can’t go into the camp.
About 30-40 minutes later we were at the camp. I hate arriving after dark because it is off the grid. The only lights until we unpack the batteries and hook them up are the headlights and there are two locks to undo. Accomplishing this, Paul hooked up the battery and I hauled a few things from the car tripping over every rock and root and falling into every hall to the steps. Going inside I lit the oil lame on the first try, lit the gas refrigerator on the first try and Paul lit the gas water heater on the first try. Bingo! Things were looking up. Got every thing inside despite one of my dear little furry children wrapping his flex lead in a nice braid with the other two flex leads and then running around one of my legs and a small tree. Meanwhile, Cat is still screaming in her crate.
Cady the Cat loves it up there but she does NOT like to travel. Spider the Rat Terrier, for some reason in older age, has developed car sickness so she rides behind one of the front seats under the back seat headrests. The back seats are both folded down for more room even though we have a teeny tiny trailer we use. This leaves Sam the Yorkshire Terrier x Skipperke x Fox Terrier the luxury of the small cozy dog bed and HarryIt the Jack Russell x Border Collie on a duffel bag or pile of sheets or someplace soft.
Any way, we were there, fed the kids and we all piled on each other in our one and only bed. Aside from having dreams about frogs that counted (I woke up and the frogs were going full force so this is the reason for that) I slept very well but remembered to cut the dog’s nails the next morning.
It was a wonderful week. We are on a 12 acre pond owned by my Mother. All four of us girls have a camp. I have a mobile home. We planned it so no one else would be there and there was only “quiet” (except the frogs, tree frogs, squirrels and two dumb birds; one of which sings only one note and the other of which can only sing the first bar of “Here Comes the Bride” over and over and over. It was wonderful with no radio, no T.V., no computer, no phone (unless I used the paddle boat to go to the middle of the pond for reception). Nice trip home and no problems. All is normal and I received great news today so it was a SUPER trip!
Noodles!