Too Precious

Not for anything, I know we have way too many deer here in upstate New York.  Way, way, way, too many.  But when I just went to the bathroom and looked out and saw five deer lounging in my backyard, and a couple of them still have their spots, I just have to stare in wonder, and grab my camera and sneak photos through the glass without scaring them away.  I have a regular deer sanctuary back here, because it is so quiet, and there’s lots for them to chew on.  Here’s what I saw.  One older one to the left:
“I see you, woman”

Three little ones in the middle:

And one older one to the right, in back of the Rose of Sharon:

And here are close-ups of the middle ones, left to right:
See the bend in the neck. . . he was ready to plop his head down:
Sleep good, baby.

The middle one is already sound asleep:

And the right one is close behind:

I can barely stand all of this deer cuteness. But these guys are why I can’t walk around my own backyard with bare feet.

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.

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:


Skaneateles Lake, nice and calm, in the morning.

This lake’s water is awesomely clear:

Sherwood Inn, faces the lake:

We also stopped at a really cool quilt store where Mom bought some fabric for quilts she is making for sick children:

Yeah, did I mention how much I love the hills in Onondaga County?

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:


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.

Double Eeeek!!

When I came home on Sunday night I saw this huge spider on the side of my home. Okay, well, not as big as a daddy long legs in diameter and not as big as those spiders you see elsewhere, but this guy was huge in comparison to the other spider I have on my home that I recently showed you, and his legs were wiggling wildly. And what are those shiny things – his eyeballs? Notice I’m calling this spider a “him”!

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I mean a girl spider can’t be this ugly, can she?

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And she wouldn’t have such hairy legs, would she?

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Although that butt is kinda big.

As I was going to work yesterday morning, there were two of these guys on my home. I sure hope they don’t keep multiplying! All kidding aside, I actually think this spider is *very* cool! As long as it doesn’t touch me.

P.S. Thanks for all of your comments on my dishwasher post. I bought a GE dishwasher today at my local appliance store, and wouldn’t you know, because I went in there *after* 3:00 I won’t get it until next *THURSDAY*! If I had been there before 3:00 it would be here tomorrow. How icky is that? Now I have to waste time every night doing dishes. How b-o-r-i-n-g!

Dishwashers, Dishwashing, ugh!

So my dishwasher blew it’s pump last week, and fortunately I found out because I started it up, cleaned the bathroom, then went downstairs to put in a load of wash. And water was pouring down from the kitchen into the basement. Yuck-o!!! And no Daddy to call for help, darn it! At this point I’m thinking, ‘life sucks, then you die.’ Not really, but I felt like getting dramatic for a moment. Actually I was thinking, yay! The dishwasher was old when I bought my home 15 years ago, and I’m so into getting a new one. And this is where the fun starts.

Every appliance in my home is Kenmore of some vintage or other, simply because I like Kenmore for everything. Except dishwashers. I like GE / Hotpoint. So I went to the GE website, and of course the first dishwasher I see was $1,429.00. And I about had a stroke. I. just. want. it. to. wash. dishes. That’s it. No bells and whistles. Scrolling towards the end of the dishwasher list I finally found some dishwashers in my price range. Now all I need to do is go to my local appliance store and see which one has the least amount of features (the less to break down, right, because I. just. want. it. to. wash. dishes).

A couple of people I’ve told about this think I’m a big nut for needing a replacement dishwasher. See, I was required to wash dishes by hand from a very early age, and I. hate. washing. dishes. by. hand. HATE in a big way.

Me washing dishes at a very young age. Blech!
My older brother is drying the dishes.

But I don’t tell them that. I just tell them that I think a dishwasher can get dishes much cleaner and rinse & dry them much better than I can.

So has anyone bought a dishwasher lately? And if so, do you have anything to warn me about, since I have never bought a dishwasher in my life?

Warner Castle

I ended up going to Warner Castle, present home of the Rochester Civic Garden Center. Built in 1854, Warner Castle was designed by Horatio Gates Warner to resemble the ancestral castle of Clan Douglas which he saw on a trip to Scotland.



The entrance hallway was very bright. It has two portraits, one each of Mr. and Mrs. Warner. My photos didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked, so instead I give you a quick shot of the upper wall / ceiling.


Looking straight ahead I saw this staircase. I love stairs as you first enter a home.


I walked in and looked to the right and saw this beautiful wall.


The first big room to the right has this fireplace. Tables and chairs are in the way of getting a perfect shot of this.


A partial shot of this same room.


The walls are full of old photographs and paintings. The following is of George Ellwanger with his peony bed, rock garden, and large-leaf magnolia. Looking at this photo I can only imagine what it looked like in real life. I mean, look at all of those peonies! And the huge magnolia tree.


Here’s an example of the many paintings. This one is of Witch Hazel. Hamamelis virginica, Oct. 17/08 (October 17, 1908).


The wall leading up the stairs is gorgeous, too:



As is the wall in the upstairs hallway:


There is a library upstairs, and this was in one of the rooms. It is a “chromolithograph published in 1872 by James Vick. At that time Vick’s Seeds was probably the largest mail order seed seller in the world. This is one in a series of about 10 chromos of this size.”


Another gorgeous wall. It was such a sunny day it was hard to capture these walls!


I love mirrors – especially big old mirrors like this one, so these next few shots are of the mirror and the reflection. None of me reflecting back at ya though! I know how to get out of the way!




Did I mention I like staircases and banisters? I do! Especially ones that curve around like this:


And this:


Here’s the view down the stairs. I love the black and white floor below:


I’m back downstairs again, investigating the left side of the castle. Here’s another fireplace, with tables and chairs in the way again. Hmmm, glad to see this place is used!


I found this cute little circular nook in the same room:



I bought a couple of books on sale – a good one on shrub id. And while checking out had a great conversation with the lady checking me out about cameras since mine was still hanging around my neck, and then I left via the entrance with the Gate House, which faces Mt. Hope Ave.


The sun was perfect and it moved just enough to make it not perfect while I was playing with the settings on my camera. Okay, there’s one for shooting in auto mode.


And an archway of the gate house. I need to do some research to find out what these gate houses were for. If anybody knows, please feel free to comment!


It was interesting to tour this castle and to talk with pleasant people today! Oh, and can you find a bird in any of my photos above? There is one, maybe more! NOTE: My Flickr friends can go into Flickr and see large photos of all of the above to make it easier to find the bird!

P.S. I am curious to know more about this castle and the interior so I’ll be doing some research.

More Scans of Photos and Slides

I still haven’t found out for Lynne the story behind the hat I was wearing when I was looking at the worm (a few posts back). I know I loved hats (and still do) and my Mom knew I loved hats, so she kept me supplied with them. I would also walk around in her stylish hat:


Hey, are you looking at me in the hat or that gorgeous T-Bird? Myself I’m looking at the T-Bird. Speaking of stylish, they don’t make vehicles like they used to! I know they’re better for the environment now, but the styles wreak! Bubbles, all I can think of are bubbles and the Jetsons.

I also liked to wear my Mom’s boots and shoes even though they were way too big on me. Here’s one of my grandparents’ slides I recently scanned in, of me in my Mom’s sandles trying hard to hold the mangie, stinky old dog from down the road that we all felt sorry for.  As a result he would hang around our place.

This dog’s name was Tippy and my grandparents used to feed him their table scraps. In the winter he used to have icicles hanging from him. Nowadays those people would have been turned in for animal cruelty! The sad thing is, this mangie dog, who lived to be an old dog, gave the mange to our dog so we had to put him down.
Okay, let’s see your pictures of you when you were a kid!

Family Dinner Day

I feel sad that there actually has to be a day dedicated to families having dinner together, that the norm is families don’t sit down together – ever? Not even on Saturday or Sunday? Oh well, I don’t understand it. As I continue going through my Grandparents’ slides, one of the main themes is dinner-time. We always had to have our photo taken before, during and/or after dinner, didn’t matter if your mouth was full or you were hungry or thirsty. But we were together and those are my memories. Here is my Grandmother in 1963 in front of her dinner table before a big dinner – maybe we were coming over, maybe someone else, I haven’t gotten that far in the slides yet.


I love eating dinner together with family. There’s usually plenty of good conversation and laughter. I can’t imagine being so busy that I couldn’t take time to make and eat a good dinner with family.

House Stuff

Okay, so I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to get that leaky gutter fixed. Turns out it wasn’t a gutter problem, but a shingle problem. Get this, the roof has *three* layers of shingles on it. Ummmm, okay. And there is a trench that goes towards a corner where the problem lies which just has tar paper on it. Ummmm, okay, again. Argh. We did a temporary fix – hopefully! The can is out in the garage, all I know is it was some kind of thick, gooey tarlike stuff (better than tar though) that is supposed to last five years (yeah, right). Now I have to interview contractors to get all of those shingles removed and start fresh. The roof will probably breathe a big sigh of relief to get the weight of all of those old shingles off from it. And I’ll add flashing or whatever is necessary to prevent ice buildup.

This is just so typical of what I’ve had to put up with in this house, in every room. When I redid the bathroom, I removed 1″ of stuff from the walls – between tile (you know, the 1950’s bathroom tile on the wall), and wood, I gained an extra inch around the perimeter of my bathroom. In my kitchen, I removed layers and layers of wallpaper down to what was probably the original wallpaper. I went back in time as I progressed. I saw the ugly 70’s wallpaper – what is up with that decade anyways – I lived through the 70’s, honking huge bell bottoms and all, and I can’t stand any decorating item that is orange or gold or avocado colored. The 50’s wallpaper wasn’t bad.

Back to the roof, I’ll probably see the original shingles that were put on this house. I don’t know why people cover the old stuff up. I like to get things down to the bare walls and roof, and start fresh. If anyone ever removed the wallpaper from my bedroom, they’ll find it was nicely painted with Zinnser Shieldz. I love Zinnser products! But for now, I’ve got to save my $$$ for a new roof.

P.S. As I was shovelling dirt today to put up against the house to make the water drain away from the house instead of towards it, I saw another Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) in the wheelbarrow. As I watched him, he did a side step. It was cool to see it again, but I don’t know why these bugs are hanging out in my back yard. I don’t have any Douglas Fir or Pines in my yard. Only Norway Spruce and deciduous trees. I don’t know. They better not try to overwinter in my home (that’s their preferred location to overwinter) because they will be either 1.  thrown out, or 2.  eliminated. I don’t co-reside with bugs in my home.