Three Years, Phew!

Recently, well, okay, on April 8th, the third year of my Dad’s passing, we went to LaFayette to honor him and put his Veteran’s marker in the ground to get ready for the American flags the cemetery will put out on all of the Veterans’ grave sites.  I didn’t take any more photos of his tombstone, because, well, I have a million of them already, and how many more do I need? But I did take this quick photo while we were driving up to his site, one of which I’ve taken before and I’ll take again and again, yes I will, because it’s where I grew up and I love the hills.

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View from cemetery where my Dad, grandparents, and other relatives are in repose.

On the way to him, we always stop at one of my favorite Finger Lakes:

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Skaneateles Lake, nice and calm, in the morning.

This lake’s water is awesomely clear:
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Sherwood Inn, faces the lake:
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We also stopped at a really cool quilt store where Mom bought some fabric for quilts she is making for sick children:
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Yeah, did I mention how much I love the hills in Onondaga County?
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Oh, before we got to Skaneateles, we had to go through Montezuma, where I did see Osprey, but couldn’t capture them, but did capture a couple of their nests:
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Even though I still miss my Dad very much, I am very glad to be through all of the phases of grief, especially the anger part – that was a really tough one.  Being really ticked off is very exhausting.

My Retro Photo on Facebook

My high school graduation – I’ll never forget it. It was held in the Onondaga County War Memorial, and my Dad’s Dad was in the hospital (and ended up dying), so my poor Dad was tired from all of his family obligations, plus he worked out of town, so, even though we both have smiles on our faces, and I was happy to graduate, it was also a sad time, because my Grandpa was so sick. Anyway, this is the photo I chose to use as my retro photo on Facebook.

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West Genesee Senior High School graduation.

New Year’s Day Tradition

As I was talking to one of my friends this morning, I asked him what he was going to do with his five year old daughter today.  He said he didn’t know yet.  I told him to start a tradition!  And as I said this, it reminded me of what my Dad’s New Year’s Day tradition was when I was growing up.  He would always make Maple Syrup Candy.  I haven’t made it in years so I don’t have any pics, but I haven’t forgotten how to make it.

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Sugar Maple tree

This also brought to mind another recipe that my Dad liked and we would make every once in a while:  Condensed Milk Pudding.   I haven’t made this is years either, so again, no pics, but I wanted to post the recipe before it got lost.

So what New Year’s Day tradition(s) did you or do you have?

Goodbye Explorer, Hello Focus

10 1/2 years ago Ford manufactured an Explorer that I designed just for me and they had to change their line, just for me, because I love driving with a standard transmission.  It’s nothing special, just an Explorer Sport with standard transmission and cruise control (I have a lead foot).  I went to pick it up, and my Dad came with me, because he was always very excited whenever I bought a new vehicle, whether it was used or brand new.  And we went for a long ride.  And every so often over the years, we would go for long rides.

My Explorer never let me down.  Over the last 10 1/2 years I have never broken down with it.  Even last week when it needed a new alternator, it made it home, and to service (they were surprised it did).

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Today, I traded in my Explorer using the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program, even though I *really* wanted to keep it for a winter-rat, because it does so well in the snow.  But the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program was really irristable, making one of the high priced cars more in line with what I wanted to pay for a vehicle at this time.

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But I’m having doubts, because what will I do when winter comes?  And it comes with intense fiery in NY state.  I’m really worried that I’ve made a mistake.  And my Dad wasn’t around to consult.  Even though I know he would tell me to do what I needed to do.   Buying a new vehicle should be no big deal, but somehow this time it’s different because things aren’t the same all around.  No Dad, the economy sucks, I’ve *never* driven a small car.  In fact, I’ve owned all of four vehicles, now working on my fifth:  a 1975 Maverick (used), a 1979 Thunderbird (used), a 1990 Ranger (new), a 1999 Explorer (new), and now this 2009 Focus (new).

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But then maybe I’ll love that this new vehicle is fully loaded (not my request, just give me stick and cruise control), including SYNC and SIRUIS.  Listening to the BB King Bluesville station 74 may settle me down.  Maybe.

Samuel Forman’s 1812 Home

This is one cool old home, built in 1812 by Samuel Forman, located on Seneca Turnpike in Syracuse:

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It is across the street from Bill’s Inn Fish Fry, where my Dad used to buy fish for us when we were kids, because it was his favorite fish fry. I’ll talk about Bill’s Inn another day. But for now I’ll say, on Saturday night after work, we go there and eat, and I sit facing the old Samuel Forman home across the street. Just because it is one cool, old home:

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Hmmm, I wonder if we could take a field trip to this home. I’m going to have to find out. Because the floor plans at the Library of Congress website sure make it look very interesting on the inside.  And I’d like to see what’s behind that oval window.

I Feel So Bad

My good friend Jim lost his Dad recently, and I really feel so bad for him and his family.  We’re coming up on year two of my Dad’s passing in April, and while it does get somewhat easier, I still want to talk to him about things that I see and do.  Almost every day.  It just sucks.

Jim has been sending me some of the c-u-t-e-s-t baby pictures of himself, and, as with any woman, I go ga ga over them.  I wish I could show them to you, but he would kill me.  Trust me, they are so cute.  I’m waiting for him to send me more, but he’s going through quite a bit right now, so I’m not pushing for them.  Not now, anyway.

Okay, you know what, I’m going to sneak one on here for a little while.
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OMG, I just want to hug that little boy in the picture, he’s soooo cute!   Don’t you love the little fishy?

I feel bad that little boy all grown up now doesn’t have a daddy. I know what it’s like.

Still Redecorating!

Wow, okay, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in so long.  And I can’t believe we haven’t finished decorating yet, but we squeeze it in when we can. So here’s the area where the Christmas tree was.

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Scott found a dead tree and we decorated it with birds and berries. We’ll be adding his toboggan this week. And another old fashioned lamp, like the one in this photo:

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Most of the pieces of the outfit on the mannequin Scott got this week from an older couple who had these clothes in their basement from their ancestors. The skirt is so silky, and the burgundy and black tops are velvety. Imagine having clothes from your ancestors. Our family gives all clothes away when someone passes away.  I actually just have one shirt from my Dad because I just had to have it.

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We had some problem with this woman’s boobs. They were too big for the tops, so we had to add a contemporary but old-fashioned looking blouse.

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The slip is peeking out at the hem. I should have taken photos of us when we were assembling this to show you all of the crap that is underneath this skirt – ouch! Maybe when we disassemble it. Anyway, it required our four hands to just make it come together!

This is one set of bookcases decorated with skaters on the Erie Canal:
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to simulate the real skaters that used to skate on the Erie Canal:
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Photo courtesy of Onondaga Historical Association

I realize I should take close-ups, but I was taking photos in-between dealing with a bunch of excited young girls.  Some of the buildings will be lit up hopefully by the time I go back to work!  Stay tuned for more!  We have Black History Month and Valentine’s Day decorations we’re working on.  Imagine, before I got there, at this time of year these areas were all. . . blank and boring.

From Sunrise to Sunset

I left home at 6am yesterday morning heading for Syracuse (for a well deserved day off from the day care to volunteer to work at the Onondaga Historical Association – yes, I’m a big nut, taking off from work to go work somewhere else, but I *love* going to OHA)!  It was completely dark at 6, but slowly I watched a beautiful sunrise at 60mph.

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I got to the parking garage really early and I could have parked on a lower level, but I parked on the roof so I could take photos of the surrounding buildings from up high. They have just recently redone the copper on the over 100 year old fourth Onondaga County Courthouse dome, and it looks great!

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I love the City Hall, built out of limestone. Looks like it’s dressed for Christmas. You’ll see more of this in the future.
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I took this photo of Fayette street looking west from the Fayette Street Parking Garage, just because it was there, and realize just now that I worked in two of the buildings in this photo. The second white one, and the Chase building.
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It was still too early to go into OHA
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so I waited in my truck and this little cutie came to visit:
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I’m done with the photo session, lady.

Then I realized my Dad worked in this building when it was the New York Telephone Company:
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Even though I had my camera in my pocket the entire day, I didn’t take any photos while inside OHA. That’s unusual, but I had things to do. Among them was helping with their Nifty Fifties Toy exhibition which opens next Thursday. Two of the photos in the exhibition are from my grandparents’ color slides and are of my Dad and brother! I’m excited they decided to use them!

On my way out, the Masonic Temple looked really photogenic with all of the lights:
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WOW!!  Compare this a photo I took from the fifth floor of OHA back in December of 2006:
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Yowsa! What a difference!  It looks beautiful now!!  I love it when people bring an old building back to life.  My Dad used to shoot pool on his lunch hour in this building.  Here’s an old postcard of the temple:
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Okay, so I am now back on the roof of the parking garage, and had to take another photo of the new copper dome at:
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with the temperature being usually high:
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It looks beautiful in every light.

And the sunset was beautiful, too, but I didn’t get too many photos:
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I love the silhouette of the leafless trees and buildings as the sun sets:
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Goodnight, sun:
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And the moon, oh my, I hope you saw it last night, because I didn’t get to photograph it! It was full, low in the sky and very big!

Happy Veterans Day

I used to call my Dad every Veterans Day to wish him a happy day, and I really miss doing that.  But now, I would like to wish every veteran a happy day.  Because you all deserve it.  I have a brother who saw quite a bit of action as a Navy Seal, and he has a very tough time with it. Don’t anyone tell me guys aren’t sensitive.

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Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day.  November 11th is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended WWI.  Ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.  Armistice Day was eventually expanded to Veterans Day to include all Veterans, not just the WWI veterans.

Here’s the WWI monument in the cemetery where my Dad is in repose:

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And in honor of my Dad and all of the other Korean War veterans:

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A couple of weeks ago I started taking photos of the various war veterans’ tombstones at Mt. Hope Cemetery. I found the above poster interesting, because I took a photo of the Civil War monument I wasn’t totally happy with, because it has some cool details I wanted to show, but here it is anyway:

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And here’s where the WWI veterans lie:

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I’m not entirely happy with my Mt. Hope Cemetery photo set of the various war monuments, so I’m going back to take more photos, and will eventually share them here.

Anyways, I wish everyone a happy day!

Fall Travelling

Now that it is cold at night I have switched my bed to my winter bed with my down comforter (not feeling guilty, there’s tons of geese around) and quilt inside a duvet, I don’t know how I’m going to even want to think about getting out from under it in the morning.

We went to clean up my Dad’s tombstone before winter, and saw some pretty sugar maples, not fully turned yet, but still, pretty:

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And travelling through apple country, we saw lots of trees already picked and some still loaded with apples, trucks hauling apples in crates:

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And crates ready for more apples:

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And getting ready for the apple festival next weekend:

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McCluskey’s used to be my favorite place to get apple cider, until apple cider had to be pasteurized (stupid, like we need to be protected from apples which are very good for us):

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I’m glad we came through this area this weekend, because next weekend during the apple festival it will be jammed packed with cars.

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