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IMG_5095 Doe nuzzling her fawn to calm it while I walked by very quietly.

Three more )
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The Tepee Gift Shop on Route 20.

Two more )
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So, this time I'm the quiet one, as a couple of you pointed out. The fact is, after the summer which was full of big nasty administrative screwups to sort out... September was just quietly PAINFUL. I've got chronic bursitis in both shoulders, and a partial rotator cuff tear in the left, and I got into a downward spiral where I kept irritating one or both shoulders, and by last week I was really starting to despair. Then something finally clicked. I was describing the pain to someone, and said that it felt like my bones were being crushed-- and that's a key phrase for me. When I'm under stress, my potassium levels drop like a rock. That 'bone-crushing' sensation is a symptom, along with crashing depression. I think the pain itself caused the stress that sent my potassium lower, and that made the pain worse, for a rather scary downward spiral.

So anyway, after 2 days of having a potassium-rich food at every meal (bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes), last Saturday I woke up feeling almost completely restored. That was just in time for a quick road trip to meet Laura halfway from her school to pass along some essentials, and I had a tremendously fun day exploring and shopping. Turns out US 20 west of the Albany area is *gorgeous*-- I'll be going back that way soon! And now I'm moving forward on rehabbing the shoulders, and continuing with at least one potassium food per day.
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Really? Nothing new here for three days? Are y'all okay?


Sep. 9th, 2016 07:14 pm
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Small banners I'm working on recently.

story and 3 more pics )


Aug. 6th, 2016 10:33 pm
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Laura had to be at her soon-to-be college for an orientation day. I went along to help drive, but chose to explore the area instead of doing the parent activies. I found this lovely waterfall on a railtrail nearby. The corridor was a natural stream, then the site of 11 mills in 7 miles, then a canal, then a railroad.

Four more )
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Instead, I found two of these at the park down the street! Juvenile hawks; I'm guessing broad-winged based on the whistling or keening call.


This one was playing with a stick-- flapping up in the air, dropping the stick and pouncing on it. They both were foraging for insects on the ground.

RIP Oscar

Jun. 22nd, 2016 09:33 am
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Oscar and Felix

Oscar (the dark one) is with his brother again. He's never been an active cat, but the last two weeks he's been increasingly quiet, eating very little, and then started bringing that back up. Took him to the vet this morning, and she immediately showed that he was severely jaundiced-- liver failure. He already had a heart murmur, and that was significantly worse. We could probably have made him comfortable for a few more days or even a couple of weeks, but only with more stressful vet trips. I said goodbye to him instead.


Jun. 13th, 2016 10:21 pm
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I had to do a panic stop to avoid flattening this chukar on my recent trip to Vermont.

Two )


Jun. 3rd, 2016 09:10 pm
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Pileated woodpecker in my very own yard!

Three more )
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I've played for 3 memorial services in 15 days. One two weeks ago today, and then two days ago and now today. We have an ongoing problem with the ushers standing in the back of the sanctuary, near me, during the prelude and chatting loudly. It's generally so long between funerals that I forget. Saturday they were particularly obnoxious, and with only a day in between of course I remembered, so I asked the Deacon in Charge to take care of it-- and he really did! He talked to them, and watched them, and even did so tactfully enough that the worst offender apologized to me later, sincerely and with no resentment. Playing my prelude was actually meditative and restorative today rather than a drain-- lovely! And I think far more appropriate for those gathering for the service.


One of my choir singers does some small folk singing gigs in the area. His usual partner had to back out of a tiny two-song program, and he persuaded me to do it with him. I love folk music, always have, and had a good time with it. Much to my surprise, folks who heard us rehearse at church were very complimentary, and urged us to sing there; and so yesterday we filled in a gap in the musical schedule. Folks loved it! So it seems I'll be doing some singing as well as playing, occasionally.
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I have never particularly liked shoes. When I was a child I wore corrective shoes until I was 12. They were black and white saddle shoes, and I wasn't allowed to wear anything else, except eventually gym shoes for a hour at school, and dressy shoes for church. (I know that many children naturally grow out of minor leg malconformations; mine was so bad that after several years of treatment, at age 5, I still couldn't run because my knees would collide.) Inevitably, the year I was released from treatment, saddle shoes came into style; I couldn't stand to wear another pair!

Since then I have generally had only two or just possibly three pairs of shoes 'in play' at a time. A basic pair for every day, something for church, and possibly hiking boots or the like. Occasionally I'd have a pair that I really enjoyed, but I still never bought shoes just for fun, or switched from day to day.

Well, my kid has discovered fun shoes, and it seems to be rubbing off. It helps that flats are in style; I really don't do heels. But suddenly I have not one, not two, but THREE pairs of dress shoes, and the third has flowers; and last week I bought THREE pairs of casual shoes! My taste seems to be leaning towards "I can't believe my church organist is wearing those!"



May. 18th, 2016 09:47 pm
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Fern leaf just beginning to unfold.

two more )
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(Yes, I am still alive! And can post words, not just pictures!)

Y'all may recall that while in Vermont we had an annual open house every Memorial Day, in connection with the local parade. It was always a fun way to entertain, so we decided to try an open house here, sans parade. Today was the day! It was a weekend with relatively few conflicts, and it seemed to make sense to do this while we have only one cat, and before we get into the chaos of moving Laura and Nala back here.

We decided to keep the food simple, nearly all bought. Our big special touch was an Edible Arrangements fruit centerpiece, and it was a hit--no one had ever had one before! We made deviled eggs and rice krispie treats, and bought pita chips, hummus, tortilla chips and salsa. Friends brought chicken salad sandwiches, meringues, an apple cake, and cider donuts. Beverages were iced tea (regular and mint) and lemonade, plus water and sliced lemons and limes.

The first four people came just before 1:30, and from then until 4:00 there were never fewer than four guests in the house; several times we had 10 to 15 or maybe more at once. And it was a happy mix; I think everyone felt comfortable, and connected with someone. Our four nearest neighbors came at overlapping times, and held their own little party in our sunroom, along with visits from church people who happened to know one or another of them. Children had a great time blowing bubbles in our gardens. We had said 'no gifts please', but of course a few people brought little tokens-- a plant, a bottle of honey from one of the beekeepers, etc. And one very dear friend left a much-too-large gift card, but she is just unstoppable.

When the last two people left at 5:00, we made a light meal of some of the leftovers. After a brief rest, it only took an hour to put the house mostly to rights, and deal with leftovers. We served on paper and plastic so there are only serving dishes to be washed.

Overall, I had a great time-- I'm so glad lots of people came, and I enjoyed spending time with them, though I know I barely said hello to a few folks!


Apr. 25th, 2016 09:26 pm
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Jack-in-the-pulpit in the Van Dyke Preserve, one of a bunch of small nature preserves in the area.

four more )


Apr. 23rd, 2016 10:12 pm
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I spent a lovely ten minutes watching this muskrat swim and nibble tonight.

Read more )


Apr. 18th, 2016 10:22 pm
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shagbark hickory

A lovely curl of shagbark hickory bark

Five more )


Mar. 28th, 2016 09:37 pm
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Barn on wheels! Tomorrow this HUGE historic barn will be rolled about 1/4 mile, across a state highway, to a new home.

four more-- last one is a bee (you've been warned) )
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Tonight a dinner guest and I spent a pleasant hour browsing through the recipe boxes which belonged to my two grandmothers-- two women of very different social circles [though both white and of European origin], but both from Southwest Ohio, and probably accumulating recipes from about 1925 to 1960. We were startled to find that both boxes contained quite a few recipes for mangoes! So likely my parents both grew up eating mangoes, and yet I'm pretty sure I tasted my first when I was in my 30s.

A quick search of the internet reveals an effort to grow them, beginning in the late 1800s, in both Florida and California, but nothing about a decline in the mid 20th century, which my anecdotal evidence might indicate.

Anyone have any other anecdotes, stories, information to satisfy my curiousity?


Mar. 20th, 2016 09:50 pm
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An old garage in Millerton, NY. Somehow the shapes and colors please me.


First day of spring... that's ice, not water.


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October 2016

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