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Monday, February 28, 2011


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There it was…ivy…just sitting on a Walmart shelf. It was green. It was growing. It whispered in my ear, “Spring can’t be far away.” Goodbye snowy February. Come on, Spring.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Change will do you good

Did you notice anything new? Yep, I changed my blog background and header picture. It’s time to get rid of the snow pictures and think about spring coming. Even though it’s as white out as it is in December, I vow not to put any more snow pictures on this blog till next winter. This has dragged on too long and I’m tired of looking out the window and seeing white trees, white grass, white hills, white sky. From now on my thoughts will be off green. The world’s awakening can’t come too soon for me. Keep an eye out for the first robin, the crocus peeking out its head, the melting of the snow. I know I’m rushing it, but play along with me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Flowers, oh yeah, I remember what they are.

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How beautiful! These are pictures from the garden walk I took a few years ago. Right now I needed to see pictures of flowers…anything but more snow pictures. So please enjoy….and keep the faith….we will see sun….someday!

Again, more snow

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Here it comes again, this time with even more snow. It is predicted that we will get twelve inches by five o’clock. The roads are not plowed which puts us in a dilemma for Literary club. We are to have our Election Day Luncheon at 11:30 today. We can’t cancel it because the food is already prepared and the place ready for us. I hope a few brave souls can make it today. Don will have to drive me downtown in his four wheel drive truck. Chris was planning to come up tonight, but I emailed him to change his plans since the roads will not be safe to drive on tonight.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

How proud!


I love this shot of my grandson Dan climbing a wall. I am so proud of him. He is in his second year at Penn State and doing so well. He is becoming a fantastic photographer. He is majoring in mechanical engineering and is president of the caving club.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What’s up, brother?

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Welcome to all the Tablescape Thursday fans. If you would like to see more beautiful tables please visit our lovely host Susan at her website..Between Naps on the Porch. You can find her right on the righthand side of my blog.

Here in Western Pennsylvania we don’t have many oriental influences. There are a few Chinese restaurants in town but that’s the closest we get to a chopstick so it was fun to create a different kind of tablescape this week.

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It all started when I discovered those oblong white dishes with Chinese characters while shopping. Though it’s not usually my style I just couldn’t resist the shape. I remembered that when we were eating at Bravo’s in Buffalo my friend was served some delicious sage butter squash ravioli in just such a shaped dish.
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The little dipping bowls were a Christmas gift (as well as the vase,and square gold chargers)from my astute sister who immediately picked up on the theme.
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Then later she sent me some pagodas and a wonderful cast iron teapot.
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The little ivory Chinese men and the jade elephant are very old and were given to my husband from a friend of his mother’s who was a missionary in China.
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She also gave him a red lacquer box which I am using to hold the tea lights.
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I used red napkins to hold the little pagodas. I folded them in a water lily style.

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It was very easy. Here are the directions if you are interested.
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I hope you enjoyed your little trip to the Orient.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

What’s that?

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What do you see out the window, Sadie? More snow? Yes, it’s an extra 16 inches on the ground this morning. Are you tired of snow pictures yet? It is very cold old, in the low twenties and our low for tomorrow morning is 8 degrees. This is the third day in a row that I haven’t been outside the house.

I made good use of the day by cleaning out my files. It’s a dreaded job but I have to do it every so often. I am not one of those who likes to file things immediately and keep everything in its proper place. I am more the one who gathers it together in one place, leaves it there until the pile gets way too big, and then all at once does a jumbo filing. My way gets it done too. Don is still working on the player piano. If you could see what he is doing you would be amazed at his talents. The intricacy of all those small parts. Having to rebuild or remake some of them. Getting the right materials. It is a ton of work and takes a lot of time, but he keeps at it.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

It’s B-a-c-k!

Can you stand it? After the lovely 53degree weather yesterday I woke this morning to 22 and snowing..again! Those welcome patches of grass I saw on my lawn were all covered back up again. There was a tremendous windstorm last night and there were small branches scattered all over the back yard. The wind must have affected the telephone line because we were without service last night and today until 5:00. I stayed in all day, did some chores and read. A quiet day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Let it shine, let it shine!

What a glorious day! The sun was out and it was about 53 degrees today. The ice is melting off the roof, I can see patches of grass in the lawn, the driveway has bare spots, and it feels good. It’s one of those “happy” days.
   My Literary Club met today and I reviewed a book entitled, “The Happiness Project”. It told of all the things the author did in a year to find more happiness in her life. We should all do some of those things. After I reviewed the book we had an excellent discussion about happiness. The girls afterwards told me they loved our discussions. Sometimes it’s hard getting the girls to open up and talk and I had to use all my “teacher” techniques to get participation. But they finally did join in and there is a lot of collective wisdom among our members.
  Afterwards we always have tea and cookies and sit and talk. Edie and her sister, Norma had just completed an Elderhostel in Sarasota, Florida and were full of information. It is so enjoyable to talk to people who have gone places and are willing to share their adventures.
   Tonight we are going to a fish fry and then to visit family.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good Day, Sunshine!

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Look…Look quick! It’s a sunbeam. sunbeam 002
Yes, that’s sunshine.
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Look, the sun!

OK, I know that this is a pitiful post. But when days and weeks go by without sight of the sun, it’s a celebration when it finally comes out!

Something new

Things break. It’s a fact of life. And if you have an appliance long enough, sooner or later it’s going to run out of steam. Our old refrigerator has been on the blink for about 6 months. Don has taken it apart several times to clean out the drain from the freezer and now it has finally decided not to work correctly. After a trip to a few stores (we do not have a great selection of stores (2) to pick from in our area that deliver, we decided to go with a Sears refrigerator. Yesterday it was delivered (they were supposed to come between 3 and 5 and got here at 5"35). It took a while to put all the shelves on and get it ready, but I swear it’s bigger than the old one. I know that’s impossible because we are limited in space and it’s exactly the same size. But it looks bigger inside (maybe an optical illusion?). Anyway Don had taken all the food from the old refrigerator and put it in laundry baskets and set it outside in the snow. (You can’t do that just anywhere). So it took a while to get all the food from the fridge and freezer back. We still haven’t pushed it back into the tight hole. For some reason..(Even though it’s the exact same size) it doesn’t want to squeeze into the hole. We’ll tackle that today.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Helping out

2.13.11 deer 004 With the deep snow our local deer are having trouble finding something to eat. We are thankful that our neighbors put out a feeder to help them out. Each morning and again in the evening deer come out of the woods to eat at the feeder. last night there were nine altogether.

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There are times when I am not happy that I live in such a snowy state. Last night was one of them. My friend, Linda, drove me and two of my girlfriends over to Olean to celebrate Kay’s birthday. Linda backed into Kay’s driveway to let her off and got one wheel stuck in a snowbank. After a little cracked corn under the wheel and my driving to rock the car back and forth we finally made it out of there. But that was not the end of our adventure. On the way home the wind had blown a power line across the road and we had to take a detour up over a steep hill to get home. The road was so ice covered that Linda’s car couldn’t make it all the way to the crest of the hill. We got stuck on a steep incline and couldn’t go any further. Cars had to go around us because they couldn’t stop on the hill. We had to call Don who came with his truck and towed us to the top of the hill. It took us an hour to get home from town. I have been patient with the weather, but last night I was frustrated with the ice on the roads, the ice on the sidewalks, the ice on the roofs, the ice on  the driveways…not a good thing! I can’t wait for a thaw!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You are my sunshine

Remember that old song? You are my sunshine? This post is dedicated to my best friend, Yrsa. Not everyone can have a happy, cheerful friend. I am lucky to have the best. She always can cheer me up when I talk to her. A phone call from her can change my mood. She is generous with her praise, appreciative of my uniqueness, and supportive of all my efforts. I can say that she has been a good friend for a long, long time. Even though our tastes and personalities are on opposite ends of the spectrum we have commonalities that hold us together. our friendship is almost like a long marriage. It has sometimes been rocky but we’ve weathered through and can sustain our mutual love. So this Valentine’s Day I dedicate my love to my best friend.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How do I love thee?


To my blog How do I love you?

Let me count the ways:

1. You let me write on you every day as I speak of my daily and sometimes boring activities.
2. You chronicle my life. I can look back and see what I was doing a year ago and how things have changed.
3. You show how the seasons pass and give me hope that no matter what happens, the next season will come and I can endure whatever is happening.
4. You give me a way to communicate with my friends and family and let them peek inside my head. (That’s a scary thought)
5. You let me put my pictures up on the web for all to see. It encourages me to take better, more interesting pictures and become a better photographer.
6. You teach me to be more computer savvy as I learn new techniques from other bloggers.
7. You give me a way to conveniently read the blogs of others which I enjoy tremendously.
8. You make me try to find something in every day that is worth blogging about.
9. You show my projects, remodeling or goals in all stages of progression.
10. You give me feedback from others about what they think about my life.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Do you see a pattern here?

Let’s see….snow, snow and cold. Repeat every day..snow, snow and bitter cold. I’ve got to give Bradfordians credit. Would we let a streak of icy cold weather keep us inside? Not us! Life has to go on, even in winter. 
   So each morning at nine I meet my girlfriends for coffee at local restaurants. We’ve been doing this for nine years, ever since I retired. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning and lets me have a social life. If I didn’t go out to exercise and have coffee (tea in my case) I would still be in my pajamas at eleven o’clock reading the paper. (Which on these cold mornings doesn’t seem like such a bad idea).
   This is good weather for hunkering down and reading a good book. I’m starting the new Jack Higgins novel. Both Sadie and Top Gun spend most of the day sleeping. They will be glad when we get better weather too.

I was so tired on snow pictures so this is a shot of Jackie Norton’s home. They have their own private lake in back of their house. If I could time travel I’d go back to this warm summer day.
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Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Do you hear that? Of course you don't..but take my word for it, it's random piano keys going tink-a-tink while the piano tuner does his magic and gets our Baldwin back in tune. It's been a while since it's been tuned and every time my son or grandson plays it they always remark how out of tune it is. So today it's finally going to be back in tune. I really don't sit down and play like I used to. I have plenty of music. I used to subscribe to the Sheet Music magazine and kept all the issues. It's remarkable that even though I don't touch the keys for months on end, that when I do sit down to play I still remember the fingering. I took two and a half years of piano lessons from our neighbor when I was in elementary school. I remember hating the choice of music that she made me play and I finally convinced my mother that I didn't want to take lessons any longer. But we kept the piano and I continued to practice. Later I bought music teaching books and continued on my own to learn to play better. I've always silently thanked my parents for allowing me the opportunity to learn to play since it has been such a joy to me.

Are you tired of snow pictures yet? Me too, but here are the latest. This morning I shoveled another 4 inches from the walkway. The snow is piling so high. 2.11 pretty snow again 004
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Monday, February 07, 2011


What happened to all those January goals? I was going to have so much done by this time. I feel like the bear who went into his den and doesn't want to come out. I have no ambition, all I want to do is read or watch tv, I like just covering up and drinking hot chocolate, I'm not getting much done. It is just hard to realize that in some places they don't have this freezing cold weather and have to be so careful when they walk on sidewalks that are covered with layers of ice. Some winters are a little better than others. We got through last year without any trouble, very little snow and not a lot of cold. But this year it has been continuous with deep snow and a lot of ice. We try to be hardy. We try to take it in stride. But even the most optimistic of us are ready to say "Uncle". Now I know why I went to Florida last February.

Only Don!

Only Don would take on such an enormous project! As you may have read in a previous post Don is rebuilding a player piano that we have had for quite a long time. He is determined to get it working. It has turned out to be a time consuming, difficult task.
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First he had to restring every one of the eighty-eight keys. Those orange string that you see in the picture above were each hand tied on to the individual key striking woods.
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As if that wasn't enough, in the top picture above you can see some round disks. All of those have to be replaced too.
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Here he is in the basement with part of the piano. He has to take all those rectangular wooden bellows out for each key and replace the material on the bellows. Only Don would have the patience for such a project. it is keeping him busy and giving him a focus on these long, cold winter days.
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Yes, it's snowing (again.).
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I don't know how this ice formation is still hanging from the roof. We still have a lot of ice in the gutters and all over town people are having problems caused by so much ice. (roofs caving in, backed up water into the houses, gutters coming off).
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Top Gun is content to sit in the window and watch the birds at the feeders.
While Sadie goes outside.
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