Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter is here and all the fun that comes with it . . . .

I guess it is official, yesterday was the first official day of winter. We love winter here in Northville, we love the snow, we are so happy when the ground is covered and the lake is frozen. The lake we live on is quite large, 29 miles long and 5 miles wide at the widest point so that is a lot of water to freeze solid enough so that it is safe enough to walk on and snowmobile on. My husband and I have not taken up snowmobiling yet or sledding as those that really do it call it but we do enjoy watching them buzzing by on the lake, just not yet, pretty soon the lake will be safe. We have been having weather in the single digits for the last week, really cold and down below zero at night so it will be frozen soon.

The picture above was taken by my brother-in-law Carl during the first real snow that we had and the first weekend of December. We invited my sister Anne and her husband Carl, my brother Barry and his wife Colleen and my sister-in-law Linda and her husband David to spend the weekend up here in the frozen north. I was so surprised when they all responded quickly that they would like to come. I thought everyone would be too busy getting ready for Christmas. What a fun weekend we had of resting, eating, laughing, talking and more talking truly catching up on each other's families. It had been so long since we had been together mostly due to the busyness of life. They came on Friday and stayed until late afternoon on Sunday and truthfully I hated to see them go. Carl took lots of pictures for us to enjoy.
The road leading up to our house, we live down a dirt road.
We girls having a giggle and me making a really strange face, sorry about that!
The guys posing outdoors for us.
Carl was walking around the hot tub taking pictures, I figure this one was safe to post. We all have suits on but not something we love to be photographed in.

Katie,Patrick and Courtney came by to share their kids with their aunts and uncles, they see so little of them that it was special. Anne and Carl brought gingerbread house kits for each of my children to build with their children. Thank you, that was so thoughtful!

Patrick read to the girls Lea Jeanne and Annabelle, they love the books!
Our tree is a little too big this year, I don't do well at estimating size when the tree is outdoors.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You . . . .

It's been an emotional week looking at the lives of the people at Fort Hood and at all that our soldiers go through. One was even pregrant with her first child. Another said they love being a soldier so much that he didn't even need the paycheck. The stories of how some of those that died had just put in for another 6 years of duty even though they had wives and children at home, it is easy to see they believe the cause for which they are working even though each day they are in harms' way. I just want to say thank you, which sure doesn't seem like enough. My God bless those who serve and protect them and bring them home again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two and half months behind . . .

I've never been good at keeping up my blog but this is really the longest I have gone without a post. My husband and I moved this summer and I think trying to get things organized and getting rid of a lot of things has kept us busy. Our family has grown so quickly in the past four and a half years since Joy Courtney our first granddaughter was born, now there are seven grandchildren. We are a close family and celebrating all those birthdays, holidays and special occasions keeps us busy and on the road a lot. I still sew as much as I can but not as much as I would like, which would be about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week if I could! So I will try to review back over the last couple months and share a couple of things I've made.
This is the first onesie dress I have made. Looked it up on lots of blogs and kinda combined their construction ideas. Got this idea of strips of different fabrics from here. Lila has wonderful directions on her blog. I love how it turned out and I think she looked so cute in it. It's fun because you can embellish it, I added a yo yo at the waist, and I added eyelet lace to the bottom (thanks Anne!!). My sister has been picking up so many yards of lace, rick rack, buttons, etc. etc. etc. at Thrift shoppes for me. It is so hard to find quality notions like this nowadays, so few stores have them anymore. Since my husband and I have permanently moved to a rural area this is such a great help to me.

We spent Halloween weekend out in Massachusetts with my son and daughter-in-law and grandkids Jason and Grace. Everyone is growing so fast and Jason is almost 2 1/2 now and Grace is almost 6 months!! Snapped the picture above on Sunday while she was waiting patiently in her crib. I think she looks so cute in her onesie dress.
Here she is with Mommy, she is always full of smiles.
Grace Elizabeth was sporting her Yankee outfit for the World Series when we got there, getting to know her Papa here. She thought he kinda looked like her Daddy.
Our Halloween was lots of fun, we attended a party in the morning and did some Trick or Treating in the evening and ended the day with a delicious dinner that Holly made and a visit with some friends of theirs.
Jason was a Boston Bruins Hockey player, splint on his finger, black eye and all.
Grace was a little skeleton, so cute.
Dad was a Blue Man, which brought him a best costume prize for a dinner date with Holly his Hippie Chick.
Walt and I dragged out the old cap and gowns to get in the spirit although after this pic we took them off, they were hot! Oh and both were Walt's from two different Master Degrees, I don't want to take claim for that!

Our granddaughter Leanora Jeanne will be turning one on Saturday so I decided I would sew her a little patchwork skirt. I went together quickly but was a lot of stitching. I still enjoyed making it and decided to embellish it with more yo yos. For the pattern click here. It is Pink Fig pattern.

I'll have to try and get a picture of her in it and post it later.

Well I am not really caught up on all we have done this summer and fall but it has been a lot of family time and not so much sewing. I will be back to the sewing soon, just getting ready to start sandwiching a quilt I started last summer and my mind is swimming with all the things I'd like to sew.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A wonderful morning in the kayaks . .

Last friday we loaded up our kayaks and headed to the Kungamuk River in Speculator. For all of you Camp of the Woods folk this river connects to the Sacandaga River which connects to Lake Pleasant, just under this bridge. It is another amazingly peaceful spot.

This duck was very brave and kept hanging around, I think it was looking for some breadcrumbs or something. I had nothing with me!

Each water lily is so perfect, I kept thinking just take a couple, what would it hurt, but I didn't because it would be less for others to enjoy and they are just so beautiful among the lily pads.
I love that quote from John Burroughs, "I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order". And from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "In the woods we return to reason and Faith". Stepping away from the busyness of life can recharge my soul.

The purple flower behind the lily pads is called pickerel weed, it's purple and was pretty! If you want to learn a lot about wild flower visit Adirondack Naturalist. Ellen Rathbone is terrific!

Do you see the autumn colors on the trees in the foreground of the taller trees!!! I always wanted to get a nice cloud reflecting in the water pic and the water was just so still so I was able to.

The sun was super hot as you can tell by our squinting! We kayaked a long way and then back and we were both so hungry after the 3 hours in the kayaks.
Not crazy about pictures of me, one leg up, one leg down, like a little kid, very hot and sweaty here. When we got in Walt's closed up truck the interior temp said 109 degrees, phew that was something until it cooled down. What a great day! I urge everyone to try to kayak this body of water if you enjoy the quiet. A fellow kayaker went by and he said, I wish I was at work! We all laughed!

A visit to White Pine Camp . . .

It has been such a busy summer, but a good one. God has blessed us with lots of rain for the garden, maybe a little too much but still we have had wonderful days and evenings enjoying the beauty of the Adirondacks. Walt and I are very interested in the Great Camps of the Adirondacks, there are very few left. We were privileged to spend a couple nights at White Pine Camp and we loved it! A Great Camp is not what most people would think of with the word camp. Instead they are compounds of many buildings built by the wealthy back in the early 1900's. The architects of the time were greatly influenced by the sloping low roofs of homes in Japan. The building behind Walt says "Presidents" on it because this is where President Coolidge, his wife Grace and one of their sons spent the summer of 1926. They had lost one of their sons and it is said Coolidge was greatly affected by that. It was called the Summer White House is just amazing to us because this compound is located near the top of the Adirondack Park which is a section of NY State the size of the state of Massachusetts.
The picture below is a rock garden fashioned by Frederic Heutte, White Pine's gardener in the mid-1920s and it is presently kept up by visiting garden clubs. The picture doesn't do it justice because you cannot experience the serenity of this lovely place in the middle of the woods without being there.

Walt and I stayed in Guides the name given to our little cabin which was once quarters for the servants. It has been maintained but a kitchen has been added. It is outfitted with lovely rustic, comfortable furniture. Unfortunately my camera wasn't working while we were there so these pictures were taken with a disposable camera. I had a lovely nap here on a cool afternoon with the down comforter pulled over me, it is hard to believe now that we are having such warm days.
The building below is called the Great Room and it houses a large comfortable community room full of books and a immense stone fireplace. We had permission to have a fire there as we did not have a fireplace in our cabin. We did have a lovely propane stove however. It also has an attached porch. The immense type of pines that surround this building even grow through the roof of other buildings. This causes difficulty in the care of those buildings but is something to see. It is amazing to think that many of these trees were here when Calvin Coolidge walked the grounds.
This is Guides, our cabin, we had a shared porch with the next cabin but our neighbors weren't really around so we cooked breakfast and enjoyed it on the porch, with coffee and a good book, I could have stayed there for hours. Each cabin has so much privacy because of the many plantings nearby. When we arrived our host said he would help us unload our car and then asked us to park in an area away from the cabins in the tradition of how guests were greeted, helped to unload and made to feel at home in the day of the Great Camp.
The grounds are beautiful. This is looking down some steps to one of the boat houses.
Down past this boat house is a restored bridge that leads to a little island that has a tea house. You cross another restored stone bridge to get there and reach a place of peace and solitude. Wild roses grew on the island, how lovely that was.
Another view of the boat house, this one needs foundation work we were told but was fully outfitted with canoes, kayaks and a rowboat to use. Walt and I enjoyed a lovely canoe ride on Osgood Pond. No power boats allowed here!
We enjoyed a nature walk with a very knowledgeable man named Ed Kanze, a Naturalist, who has traveled the world but settled nearby to the area where White Pine Camp is located, to raise his family. We chatted afterward and it turned out that his grandfather was once the mayor of the town we now live in, such a small world.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's been a month and more . . . .

I am not much of a blogger not having posted in over a month. My only excuse is Summer!!! I love the summer and being outside which means I just don't hang around my computer as much. There has been a lot of complaining and belly aching going on around our area this summer. We have had rain, and more rain and still lots more rain. The temperatures have been cooler too than normal so that adds to the constant question by people of when will summer get here? Because of that the garden is growing slowly and not so well as other summers and my flowers have not done as well. But still I love the summer, and time spent with family. I love watching mama bluebird fly in and out of the house feeding her new babies that make quite a lot of noise when they are hungry. I love looking at the the lake and mountains in the early morning when there is hardly a ripple on the lake and it is all reflected. I love watching the black clouds rush across the sky as a thunder storm approaches and then marveling at the enormous bolts of lightning that are soon to appear. It's 80 degrees today which seems just right to me and the sun is shining so I am having a hard time completing this without looking out the window. Summer is indeed here, and I hope everyone is finding time for rest and rejuvenation.

Here is the garden a month ago, looking pretty sad, not growing much.

Here it is a month later, so it is growing! The tomatoes are smaller than they should be but there is still time.

July 4th was fun in Northville, it has such a small town atmosphere with so many old victorian and farm style houses, lots of history here. We saw a parade, and a jazz band and ate fried dough and kettle corn and watched a fabulous firework show! It was amazing to part of something that felt like it could only be found in America!
We've had quite a few visitors but I am guilty of not getting all the photos I would like, but that just means that we were having fun.Courtney and Annabelle check out the tiniest frog.
Newest granddaughter Grace gave me a smile and then stuck out her tongue, so cute.
Niece Molly's baby Joe Joe (they told me they call him that) came for his first visit. I am so disappointed to don't have pictures of his sisters, they were very busy playing outside. I did get to chat with big sisters Sara and Anna more than usual when all the cousins are there together so that was really special.Molly's hubby Matt takes a turn with Baby Grace, he was very focused on something he was reading and is such a pro with baby holding.
We are blessed to have Leanora and her Mom and Dad close by so she has been quite the beach bunny this summer, what a sweetie she is!
Jason, Jr. and his Mom Holly. Holly is busy with Grace these days but always has time for Jason too! Jason was already to kayak with his Dad.
My husband, my son Jason and his son Jason, what were they looking at?
Grace took some good naps out under the beach umbrella, here she kicks those feet! So amazing, only two months old!
And my friend Michael and his wife Kate came to visit with their sweet little girl Lily, she and Annabelle got along great! Sorry I didn't get a picture of Kate too. I think I am nervous using my camera around the water, I need to get over that.

And somewhere in all of this I squeezed in some sewing. This little outfit is called Adoree and is from Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine.

This was my first attempt at shadow embroidery and scalloping the edges of the garment. Once again I just love my Aurora sewing machine for those scallops, it is fun to keep learning something new.