Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Smiles! Subtited "A Hayride to Remember"

The Thanksgiving four (as they have dubbed themselves) - Kylie, Nan, Jennie and Ko

As I reflect on this Thanksgiving celebration just past, the thing that pops into my mind first and foremost is the smiles :) It does my heart good to think of all those laughing faces and the fun we had.
We were so happy to have the family all gathered together and a few friends as well, to share our day. Our son Andrew and his wife arrived on Wednesday night, bringing our little grandsons. Ko came with close friends of his and Kylie's, Nan and Jennie, on Thursday. Kathy and Akio also came on Thursday and brought Akio's mom, Reiko. This was our first meeting with Reiko and what a sweet lady she is! we had a wonderful time getting to know each other.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Kylie came on Wednesday to help, and it seemed to me she did most of the cooking. The Thanksgiving meal is her "thing" and she loves to prepare it. I was happy to let her plan and delegate. She's much better at it than I am! The turkey was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and all the trimming were scrumptious too.

Kathy & Akio being posh (I had just jokingly given instructions to hold shoulders back and tummies in)

Reiko Posted by Picasa

I'm sad to say I didn't take very many photos in the hustle and bustle of getting the meal on the table and visiting with everyone through the course of the day. It's hard for me to believe, but the camera was actually forgotten for a while in the midst of all the activity! I ended up with only one picture of our oldest grandson, and none of our son, his wife and their youngest! I'm hoping someone else managed to get a few shots of the ones that I missed.

Apple pie is one of my favorite desserts!

My DIL did a wonderful job of peeling and slicing the apples for me, which made the pie so much easier. I'm not one of those clever people who can produce 7 pies in one sitting without breaking a sweat. To me making pie crust is not an easy task! I suppose the secret is to make it often, which I don't.

Kylie's creation - an Orange Mocha cake, and my pumkin cream cheese pie.

The cake will forever live in our memories as "The Cake Of Shame" (Kylie's name for it) and has a funny story attached to it, which you can read on Kylie's blog if you want to. Suffice it to say, the chocolate mocha ganache was delicious, but the cake itself was just a wee bit heavy :)

Reiko brought us an assortment of wonderful cheeses and crackers. She and others brought some delicious wines too. We had quite a feast!

Hayride group

My husband, Ross, had surprised me earlier in the week, telling me he was planning to take us all on a hayride after the meal. "OK, I thought, that should be fun".
A pleasant little jaunt around our 300 acres, right? Little did I know what was in store.....

Here we are getting ready to go. That's the one picture I got of our grandson! His little brother stayed behind with his mom and dad because he needed to rest.

We've been enjoying some lovely mild temperatures since last Wednesday, with sunshine and dry days! What a blessing that's been.

So off we went, and I discovered I didn't know my husband as well as I'd thought! He turned out to be quite the adventurer....

High on the hill overlooking our farmPosted by Picasa

First he took us up a very steep hill. Granted, the view from the top was spectacular, but my heart was in my throat all the way up and down. He's taken me up here in our old jeep in the past with me protesting all the way. If I must be on this hill I want my feet planted firmly on the ground and not in any vehicle.

Next we drove up to our long meadow which is the eastern boundry of the farm, and from there proceeded towards the woods and the
old logging road. Now I'm thinking, "He's not planning to take us down that old logging road, is he?" But, that's precisely what he had in mind!

So through the woods we went, bumping and sliding, dodging branches and commenting that we should've written wills before embarking on this journey. When we emerged in the meadow above the barn we breathed a collective sigh of relief.
And so back home we came, laughing and joking after a very memorable ride. That was one way for our guests to see our acreage I guess, but when I asked Kathy the next day what Reiko had thought of it she said, "She had a wonderful time but she told Akio she is never going on another hayride!"
I wish I'd taken more photos on the hayride, but I was too busy hanging on!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm posting just a few random photos tonight. I took this photo of the mums and gourds on a very rainy day a couple of weeks ago. The rain has finally stopped but we've had a dusting of morning snow and cold temperatures for the past two days. If the roads stay clear for the holiday travel we'll be very thankful.

Thanksgiving is just 2 days away and we're eagerly anticipating having all the family together. Expecting a houseful of company is great incentive for me to give the house a good cleaning. Believe me, I can think of a million things I'd rather do than housework, but once I get in the mood I rather enjoy it. So that's all done, leaving me free to do the fun part....cooking!
Our menu will be the traditional turkey with all the trimmings.
Kylie is coming tomorrow to help me prepare desserts. She has requested that I bake an apple pie, and has found a delicious cake recipe with mocha filling that she wants to try. I might make a cream cheese pumpkin pie too if there's time.

I can't wait to see those 2 little grandsons again!

Pepper was feeling very playful the day I took this photo back in late September. This is just one of about 6 shots I took of him. Cats can be such good subjects...sometimes....when they stop still for a few seconds.

Abigail was an easy subject that morning...she seemed to be in a pensive mood, enjoying watching the other cats play.

Here are Tink and Fiona in early October, enjoying the late afternoon sun while waiting for dinner. Those lovely days of warm sunshine were few and far between this fall, so were much appreciated when we were blessed with them.

Sheba and Zoey sat in the barn window soaking up the sun after they'd eaten. Sheba spends a lot of time washing herself. She's one of the cleanest cats I know! Pepper, Abigail and Tink are Zoey's kittens. Someday I must show you a picture of them when they were tiny back in May. Sadly, one afternoon not long after I took this photo I found Zoey dead on the front lawn. I think she must've been hit by a car and just managed to get off the road, poor kitty. She was one of the sweetest, most affectionate cats we've ever had. We were so sad to lose her.

Here are Max and Fiona, cute as can be....

....and Annabelle, Tink and Fiona.

I threw in this one of Kathy with a nice crop of pumpkins in 1987 just because it seemed appropriate for this time of year.

We have so much to be thankful for!

I hope all my American blog friends have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. To all my other blog friends in distant lands, I wish you a week filled with blessings. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More Flooding!

The creek below our house flooded our road again tonight.

These photos were taken in early August, just after the 2nd flood we had on Saturday, July 22nd. The first happened on June 28th. If you care to see those pictures you'll find them in the June archives.

Earlier in the evening we looked out into the dark night and saw flashing lights on the corner. There was a fire truck and several other vehicles, and men marking the road with flares. I felt sorry for these men having to be out in the pouring rain on this very black night. The deluge of rain lessoned for a while and after a couple of hours the waters receded,
allowing the men to go home to their warm houses.
We've had another downpour or two since then, but the rain seems to have tapered off now to a steady fall. Just at dusk we had some strong winds along with the heavy rain. Apparently there was damage in some areas. The daylight will show us whether we have any tree damage.

This creek is usually a peaceful stream meandering through the meadow

For a good part of this spring, summer and fall, it has run much faster and had far more water in it than usual.

This is where it comes out of the culvet on the other side of the road. Tomorrow I'll take my camera and go see what it looks like after this night's flood. Posted by Picasa

Veterans and Red Berries

Since we were traveling to our son and daughter-in-law's house on Veteran's Day, I didn't get a post done.
I'm a bit late, but I think any time is the right time to say thank you to Veterans all over the world and to our servicemen and women who are doing such a wonderful job serving their country.
My husband (pictured above in 1970) served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and my father served in the Australian Army in World War 2.
I want to thank them both for their courage and commitment to their countries. Freedom isn't free and sometimes we must fight for it. I'm very proud of them and all the men and women who are willing to do that for the rest of us....to keep us safe and free.
Thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart.

On the second last day in October I walked up behind the barn to see what I could see. The trees were almost bare and the woods had lost most of their color.

But I spotted this bush with bright red berries among the somber browns and olive greens. I badly wanted to take some back to the house to make a nice arrangement, but no matter how hard I tried to get closer to it, my efforts were thwarted by either blackberry bushes or water. I finally gave up, but that afternoon I mentioned it to my hubby. He gallantly took his little tractor up there and managed to get close enough to cut some branches for me. What a guy :)

They made a pretty fall arrangement paired with some of the gourds my hubby grew in the vegetable garden.Posted by Picasa

Such a vibrant red. Lovely!

I'm very impressed with these last petunias that are still blooming in the window box outside our bathroom window. Talk about survivors! Normally I'd have all the window boxes and containers emptied out and put away by now, but due to the extraordinary amount of wet weather we've had, that job still waits to be done.

I hardly dare mention that it's absolutely pouring rain outside again tonight. Apple, who lives not too far away from us, suggested that we may have to get out the life rafts for Thanksgiving! Perhaps we need to start building an ark! How I wish we could funnel this rain over to Australia, where it's needed!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandson!

This young man turned 5 yesterday! His party was Saturday.
Can you guess the theme?
Yes, Superman!
We had to make the tablecloth smaller so we put the piece that was left to good use. It was just the right size for 2 capes (one for little brother too).

So many fun presents!

After much racing around with the cousins it was time to open all the presents.

Little brother had fun with the new toys too.

There were so many interesting new things to play with!

Then it was time for cake and ice cream. Mmmm, the Superman cake was delicious! We had chicken wing dip and other snacks, plus
pizza and wings before the cake. Mmmm, good!

The boys had fun the previous night with a couple of the party favors (we had to try them out!). I want to call them whistles, but they didn't actually make any noise. This was a rather pleasant surprise, and good thinking on someone's part...a marketer who thinks of the grownups and realizes how annoying a chorus of that tooting sound can be :)

After reading a couple of new books, we took some fun photos

As you can see the boys were willing subjects :) Posted by Picasa

We drove home on Saturday evening in a deluge of rain. If we'd realized how bad it was going to be we certainly would've stayed another night and driven home in the daylight, but we finally made it and were very grateful to reach the warm comfort of home.
Spending time with the grandchildren is by far the sweetest blessing of all! I only wish we could do it more often. We're already looking forward to the next time we'll get together which hopefully will be Thanksgiving, which is coming right up.
I hope you all had a blessed weekend too.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Christmas in the Country

I'm slowly getting my energy back after spending 4 long days selling scarves at the Christmas In The Country craft show. A few of you asked what craft Chris and I sell so I thought I'd show you.

We went out to Hamburg, below Buffalo last Wednesday to set up the booth. It's a 4.5 hour trip from where we live. Thursday and Friday are very long days starting at 10AM and ending at 9PM. Saturday and Sunday are better hours, 9AM until 6PM Saturday and 10Am until 5PM on Sunday, but they're very busy, which is good. Standing around at a craft show is not good! People come by the busload to this show, from all over the Buffalo area and beyond, even Canada, which is not far away.

Friday was a busy day too but there was a snow storm on Thursday afternoon which put a damper on the crowds. After that very nasty storm Buffalo had a few weeks ago people are wary. There are still huge piles of branches by the curbs waiting to be taken away. It was the same heavy wet snow, but luckily it only lasted a few hours and then melted.

Chris owns the business and I help her. We've been doing this together for at least 12 years now. I look a bit like a drunken sailor in this photo :) The photographer who had a booth opposite us very obligingly took the photo with my camera. He had the most amazing wildlife shots, taken with a film camera. No digital for him yet, but he's converting next year.

This is our booth set up for the Springtime in the Country show which we did back in April.

Here you can see a few of the fabrics up close. The scarf is a unique design which is copyrighted by Chris. A loop is sewn into the end of the neck edge and then fabric is pulled through the loop to form a bow. There are at least 12 variations so the scarf can be worn different ways.

People can see the colors matched with tops and jackets on
display around the edges of the booth. This also helps them to decide what outfit they might want to put a scarf with. Have you ever tried to think of what's in your closet when you're shopping and trying to match an accessory? Most people draw a blank.

When that happens we suggest they think of the colors they wear most and then select something that will match those colors, rather than try to pick out something specific in their wardrobe.

There are some lovely vibrant colors, and some softer...lots to choose from, and they're all washable. Am I sounding like a salesperson? Sorry!

Here's Chris at the spring show in Hamburg

And here she is at Letchworth on Columbus Day weekend, which of course was an outdoor show Posted by Picasa

The one thing I dislike about sending the pictures to the blog using Picasa and Hello is that I often receive comments before I'm finished editing the post and adding dialogue. I just received a nice comment in my inbox from Motherkitty. She says she's surprised we weren't wearing scarves. We don't usually have the scarves on since we're continually demonstrating how to use them. I guess we weren't thinking very well that late in the day or we would've put one on for the picture :)

We'll be off to visit our son and his family this weekend as it's our oldest grandson's 5th birthday. It'll be wonderful to see those grandkids!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.