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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The courtyard is looking better and better. Today Don began digging for the pond and waterfall.

We had to curve the wall towards the stairs since we discovered that our block did not make ninty degree turns. This was the only block we could find that matched the patio.

Our butterfly bush is especially beautiful this year.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Wait a minute, I'm not finished with my book.


Look! It's me!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


This event is called "fickle fingers". Both men, women, and children lifted and moved four logs to see who could do it in the fastest time. Even the women tossed the caber. The purpose was to throw this heavy log so it would land straight up.
The keg toss required strength and stamina. These men had to have sore muscles the next day after lifting all those heavy logs.
The men's caber toss.

Men, women, and even children participated in the stone toss.

The game events were the main part of the afternoon. The clan take the events very seriously. The first event was archery, shooting at a target on a feed sack.

The evening ended with a potluck supper, presentation of awards and trophies, a slideshow with pictures from the last ten years, an Irish band with appropriate drinking songs, and a bonfire.


The games began with the Irish national anthem followed by the Star Spangled Banner played on the accordian. Then the bagpipes signaled the beginning of the games. Some of the kilt wearers lined up behind the bagpipes and paraded along the lake.
Then the games officially started. (sorry for the duplicates, I'm a little tired from all the festivities.)


The tenth annual Lowland Games is a tradition in the Norton household alternating between Virginia and Great Valley, New York. When we arrived the first thing we noticed was that almost everyone was wearing a kilt..men, women, girls, and boys, too (even babies). To particpate in the games you must have the proper attire.

Men and women all dressed in kilts

Every year tee shirts are sold which commemorate the games.

The back of his shirt says " kilt lifter". The men all go au naturale. It is a joke that there is a Gold Bond powdering station for those in need.

Jackie's son Brad, Linda, and Ryan (in his matching kilt).

His shirt says "Real men wear kilts".

Linda and Diane saying hello to Jackie. Her large property was an excellent place to hold the games with plenty of space and a large lake.

When we first arrived we were entertained with accordian music to set the mood. In this picture is Brad's best friend Patrick Hogan with his red wig.

Linda and I are stading in front of the trophies. The Lowland games are taken seriously and there is a competition betweeen the Northern clan and the Southern clan.

At the end of the night medals and trophies are given out for each of the six events and overall MVP in men's and women's competitions.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New baby pictures

I am so happy to see new baby pictures on Jenny and Ryan's webpage. I "stole" a few to put here. Sean is getting soooo big!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Yesterday Don and Chris started out for a well deserved day of fishing on Lake Erie for walleye. They only got to Seneca junction when the engine of the truck made a noise and white smoke came out of the tailpipe. They pulled the boat and truck on the side of the road on the onramp to 86. They truck had blown a head gasket so for two days Chris worked on tearing the engine apart and putting it back together again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting company

This week it seems that I don't have time to post. I've been cleaning house for company coming next week. Don's brother from Georgia came and we've had a nice visit. Tonight Chris is coming up for the weekend. It's his 20th class reunion. The boys are staying home. I'll sure miss them. Linda and Diane are coming on Monday. i can't wait to see them. It will be great week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Keeping up with the blog!

This afternoon I made potato and sausage soup. I've always been a big soup lover but have never made potato soup. I had some red potatoes to use up and some leftover sausage. We'll have it for supper with some fresh Italian bread. Here is the recipe if you would like to try it.

Potato Soup

Add everything is a big pot, boil, then cover and simmer until all the vegetables are tender.
6 c. cubed potatoes
2 c. water
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. diced carrots
1/2 c. diced onions
2 t parsley
2 boullion cubes
1. t. salt 1/2 t. pepper
After it's tender mix 1/4 c. milk with 1/4 c. flour to make a paste. Add this to the pot. Then add 1 3/4 c. milk and if you want 3/4 lb Velvetta (I didn't) Enjoy!

Isn't this just beautiful? I'd like to tell you tht this is my flower garden, but this belongs to Jan Williams who is a florist in Fredericksburg. Every time I visit Linda I love to go to her shop which is in an old Victorian home. She not only does flowers but has the most beautiful gift shop I've ever seen. Top Gun is really enjoying the new steps. He likes to roll and roll on the warm bricks.

I've been having a hard time lately keeping up this blog. I think I've just been busier than at other times. I traveled and now I'm getting company so today was a day of deep cleaning. I worked for hours doing those things that you don't always get to do every day. (Like scrub out the tub)Exercising and coffee with my friends takes up a lot of the time in the morning so I have to do everything in the afternoon.
The weekend was busy. We went to Olean to find more block so that we can finish up the wall of the courtyard. Unfortunately they were out of the kind that we needed at Home Depot. So sunday we made a trip to Erie and got our block at their Home Depot. Then we stopped at Lowe's and got some 16x16 pavers to put around the courtyard. Then I spied a preformed pond just the right size for the pond that we wanted to put in. We got that and the pump. Now Don just needs to quit working for Bill so he can have time to get some things done around here. He is so busy he never has a minute. He hasn't even had time to take the boat out fishing all summer.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Just a few thoughts

Outside my Window...I love to look at the new courtyard. Last night Don raised the lion fountain with blocks and it looks so nice that way.
I am thinking…it's time to enjoy the rest of the summer as these days are passing way too fast!
I am thankful for…the health of my family, everyone is doing so well.
From the kitchen...Tonight should be a grilling out night.
I am creating…pictures using Photoshop. Little by little I'm learning how to manage it.
I am going…nowhere for a while, I hope.
I am wearing…cranberry crop pants and a flowered camp shirt.
I am reading…The new Lincoln Rhymes mystery.
I am hoping…that using Slim Fast will help my food cravings.
I am hearing…It is sooo quiet here in the summertime while everyone is at work. There are no little kids in the neighborhood anymore.
Around the house…Are piles of novels, just waiting for me.
One of my favorite things…is listening to my XM radio.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I'm hoping Don and I can have a relitively quiet weekend together alone.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Completing the Courtyard

Last week we went to Home Depot and got some blocks to make a wall and a flower border. It turned out very nice. Little by little the courtyard is coming together.

Linda's new deck

Here are some pictures of Linda's new deck and her patio furniture. The deck has a real French feel to it. The iron gate was one that she and Mark had for awhile and she finally found a place for it in her design.