Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Joys of Climbing the Mountain

June 30th - Wednesday - 39 degrees at 7:00 am

We should have known yesterday morning when we got up it was going to be a special day and indeed it was.

It started at breakfast, as Lou and I were sitting at the table chatting, we were looking at our wonderful view from our kitchen table and we saw a flock or turkey, that were just picking their way across the hillside, then we spied a red fox and he was wandering across the hill also; however, he did not seem to be interested in the turkeys and meandered his way across the hill.

After breakfast, Lou asked me if I wanted to take a little walk and I suggested going across the creek and up on the hill, but he thought he wanted to walk up the hill across from our home. The last time I walked to the top of that hill was when I was a teenager and still living at home and I walked it with my brother and I also remember when we came back we told Daddy we had a deer run right in front of us and Daddy's remark was you could tell if the deer belonged on that side of the hill, as two legs were shorter, as the hill was so steep.

Well, let me tell you we climbed and climbed some more straight up and when we finally reached the top, we could see most of Catlin Hollow from up there and almost to Middlebury Center. As we stood at the top and looked out we could see the two gas well that are being drilled in our area and off to the right we could see what we thought was water. I had not remembered any water, we we walked down the side of the mountain and came to a small pond where there was a deer drinking from the cool mountain pool.

We continued on out into a meadow and before our eyes were the most butterflies we have ever seen in one place (in the wild). The air was aglow with a very sweet aroma which we soon found to be milkweed in bloom, along with brown eyed Susan, sweet clover, daisies, crown vetch, trillium, paint brush and other unidentified wild flowers. It was a very memorable morning. By the time we returned home, we had walked over two hours.

Once home, we quickly fixed lunch and left for Lou's house to work out the problem with his lawn tractor and the bagger. I weeded the flower bed by the house and watered the flowers and helped Lou finish his job and by the time we arrived home it was 7:30, so another late dinner. Our goal was to be over dinner in time to watch NCIS. That didn't happen, but we did get to enjoy a movie on Hallmark.

Today, I had an early morning hair appointment and Lou went to Mansfield for a haircut along with a stop at his house to check on the water in his basement. Tonight is square dancing and I will get to see if what I learned on Friday night has stayed with me.

We are now off to the garden to get beet green for dinner this evening.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Garden and Lawn Work

June 28th - Monday 80 degrees - Cloudy and humid

We were awakened this morning by a series of phone calls and after all of the details concerning them were taken care of, and breakfast out of the way, we decided to take the plunge and see if we could locate the part that was needed for Lou's friend's tractor.

If you remember this has been a long going process and after nearly three hours on the computer with several "live helps" we found nothing. The part has been discontinued by the Onan company, so the only hope we have is to be able to locate an used part someplace. Lou called a neighbor that had a tractor like his friends at one time to find that his neighbor had sold two of them to an unnamed person in Covington on Canada Road, so Lou has set out to drive Canada Road in the hopes he can spot a gentlemen that enjoys restoring old tractors. Lou also needed to cut his grass, as the scheduled lawn cutting for last week did not materialize; therefore, DH is off taking care of obligations that keep popping up.

I took advantage of the situation and took steak from the freezer to marinate for dinner, made a large potato salad and have fresh bread rising to bake just before dinner. I decided that onion and dill bread would go good with our steak. I have a fresh cooked strawberry pie prepared for dessert. This is a recipe that one of my friends in Ohio always baked and remembered that it was delicious. Lou told me that his father preferred the cooked strawberries in shortcake, so Lou found this an interesting recipe. The crust that is used is a sweetened pie crust that is patted into the pie dish and then bakes. Wednesday night is "strawberry night" at square dancing and thought this would be a different recipe to use.

With dinner taken care of and the laundry out of the way, thought it would be a good time to trim our shrubbery around the house, was a wonderful afternoon to accomplish this job, as the skies were cloudy and it wasn't so hot that I could enjoy the challenge of making the shrubs look good. Sue had given me electric trimmers several years ago and after I learned the lesson to be careful of the cord, I have found them the perfect tool.

When we met at dinner tonight and compared our afternoons, it looked like my afternoon was much more successful than Lou's. He was not able to find the gentleman that bought the tractor and when he tried to cut his grass, had problems with his lawnmower. Thankfully, I was able to get the shrubbery trimmed and the mess cleaned up and hauled away.

Dinner was wonderful and enjoyed by both of us and we enjoyed a great movie from Netflex tonight. Tomorrow will offer an opportunity to accomplish was not able to be done today.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Few Days Closer to Winter

June 27th - Sunday Hot and Humid - 87 degrees

With the passing of June 21st, Lou is always sad, as he thinks we are getting closer to winter. I had never thought of it this way, as I am very fond of fall and was always a huge fan of winter, until I started with Raynauld's Disease and found that my extremities did not handle the cooler temperatures as well. I have learned the hard way, that when the temperature is below 32 degrees, I can not be outside for longer than ten minutes at a time. Lou, Krista and Dr. Nespola have impressed this fact on me many times, and after nearly loosing several toes, I am a believer.

I can not say that I enjoy these hot humid days, and am very content to stay in and find things to enjoy in the central air conditioned house. I have also noticed that DH seems to enjoy the less humid days as much as I do.

Monday found us going back to Sayre for testing and a doctor's appointment. We were fortunate to get in for the appointment on time and were back on the road by 10:30 AM. We wanted to do some shopping, but really preferred shopping in Williamsport, so used the new GPS in our car and drove route 220 to Williamsport. I pulled out the map to see where our new system was taking us and found that we would pass very near Eagles Mere, so I asked Lou if we could make a side trip and he was only too happy to satisfy my longing.

In 2002, I read a wonderful book written by Heather Trexler Remoff, called February Light. She later recorded an audio book by the same name as a gift of hope, encouragement and support to cancer patients and their families. She was a victim of cancer and she tells her story of the ups and downs of her year and with her personal fight with cancer. She was from Eagles Mere and described the area with such finesse, that one could not read or listen to the book without visualizing the wonderful country side that she described, with the seasons that surrounded her "lake" and mountain home. The personal goals that she set for herself and how she was able to succeed in all she set out to do. It certainly was inspiring to me and to several of our patients at that time. One of our patients was so taken by the book and the music that David Vaughn wrote for the audio book, that she got her husband to promise her, if she recovered from her cancer he would take her to Eagles Mere so she could witness first hand the beauty that Mrs. Remoff so aptly described. That dream came true for our patient and she came back to Wellsboro and right to our office to tell me how inspiring the day had been for her. I felt the same way as Lou drove, ever so slowly, through the beautiful country side, so I could visualize the beauty of summer in Eagles Mere. I had my camera with me; however, never took the first picture. I was so engrossed in the beauty and trying to file my pictures in my brain in the proper sequence that I did not think until we were almost to Williamsport that I should have snapped pictures. The pictures I have in my memory and the special day that Lou and I experienced will be with me forever.

On Tuesday, we awoke to rain and high humidity, that Lou suggested we do some research on televisions. We were viewing our programs on a Quasar television that was purchased in 1990, and we were ready to progress to a more modern appliance. After a day of research, through Consumer's Report and many web sites we decided on a 26 inch Vizio.
That prompted a drive to Montoursville to purchase the television. So far we have been very satisfied with the performance. We found it very easy to set up, as we had laughed on the way home, that it would probably be a very late night.

Wednesday, we both worked outside all day, we tied up the green beans, put Miracle Grow on all flowers and the veggies, we found it was soon time to shower and leave for square dancing. Lou and I had worked on me learning "load the boat" for dancing and I was sure I had it correct and the first time the call was called out, I goofed and that blew the whole night for me. This has been a real task for me, but I am determined I will learn these 60 some calls, it is just going to take some time. I know that missing three months of lessons was a huge hindrance.

Thursday, I realized I had been in the heat and humidity too long on Wednesday and stayed in for the majority of the day. Lou took his walk by himself. I fixed a roast pork dinner and had Shawn, Maegan and their four girls in for dinner. By the time we were ready to eat dinner, it had cooled down and we enjoyed our dinner outside on the picnic table. We all made our favorite ice cream sundae for dessert.

Thursday also brought bad news for Krista and her family. She received a phone call that we as wives, mothers and such hate to hear. Steve had been in an accident with the company truck and had been taken to the hospital. After many studies were completed it was revealed that he had a concussion, however, no broken bones, but many bruises of which he realized the next day were more prevalent then than before. They are firm believers that these things happen for a reason and they are looking for those reasons and to learn from them. We wish him a speedy recovery and a return to normalcy.

Friday morning, I baked a blueberry dessert that Sue had told me about and cleaned up the house in the morning, so I could help Lou with the lawn in the afternoon. Our square dancing friends arrived at 7:00 for an evening of square dancing in the garage. I served the blueberry dessert and it was a hit with everyone. Two of the girls took the recipe home with them. I do believe that I have conquered "load the boat", will know better on Wednesday night. Lou and I look forward to our Friday nights with our friends, it is really a good time for all of us and the evening passes so quickly.

Saturday, we awoke with the feeling of relief, nothing planned for the day, the house was clean, the lawn finished, we could take our time and enjoy the day. At 11:00 we fixed brunch and went out on the deck and enjoyed the scenery and our food that we had prepared together. Around 4:00 we decided we would drive to Coolidge Hollow Church and partake of their Strawberry Festival. I think half of Tioga County was in attendance. We met many friends as we were walking up to the church that had already been served and when we entered Fellowship Hall, there were many other folks that we knew, we enjoyed our dinner and chatted with friends until almost 9:00 pm, in fact, we had to hurry to get to the grocery for a few items before they closed.

This morning, we attended church and heard Pastor Keith's last message for a month, as he left for Washington, DC after our service and will be attending school there for a month. We shall miss he and his wife, Kathy, they are such a blessing to all of us. Sandi Hempker will fill his vacancy while he is away, and she also is a wonderfully talented person and we will enjoy her inspiring messages in Pastor Keith's absence.

This next week will bring us July 4th celebrations, and we plan to attend the Bark Peeler's events in Galeton on Saturday. We want to go to Mansfield for the fireworks. Normally, we are involved in a SMART camp out, but their theme was Christmas in July and Lou and I both love the patriotic theme that comes naturally with the 4th of July so we chose not to participate this year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day - Roses

June 20th - Sunday - Father's Day - Beautiful sunny - 87 degrees

Seems like with the businesses of this month, I am only posting once a week, and this has been another busy week, as with most folks right now.

We used Monday as a catch up day, and I was able to accomplish many jobs that had just been put off until there was time. It was time to spray the roses and get ready for their first bloom. I also decorated my lighted plant boxes for summer with bird houses and pine, to resemble life in the forest.

One of our friends from square dancing gave us many different colored day lilies to plant, so Lou and I found spots for all of them. Susie had given me some yellow ones a few years ago and we have enjoyed them, so now we will await the new ones and hope for different colors.

Tuesday, was a day devoted in its entirety to the RV. Lou and I took Estee and set off for his house and Preston drove up from Tyrone to help us. The roof had not been waxed for five years, so I suggested to Lou that we take my floor polisher and use that on the roof, after a few scowls and questions, he thought we could give it a try. It worked like a champ. Preston applied the wax, Lou used the scrubber to get it into the surface and then changed buffers and polished it. Great Job!! Preston left for home, so he could get home in time to bowl and Lou and I decided we had to wax the rest of the RV and wash the windows, and we knew it was supposed to rain on Tuesday night, so we stuck to it. I was able to get the inside cleaned and the carpet shampooed while Pres and Lou worked on the roof. As soon as we finished, Lou took the RV to the barn and it is now undercover and awaiting us for our next trip. We arrived home around 7:30 pm and we were two pooped folks, but very glad to have it done, especially when we awoke during the night and heard the rain.

Wednesday was another busy and unusual day for both of us. Lou went to his friends house, as he had been having problems with his gas furnace and Lou promised to help him find a solution to his problems, and he did, but it took the majority of the day, and while they were awaiting parts, he helped him take the flywheel out of his tractor. Then Lou, being the good guy that he is took items from his sister and our house to recycling, another good job done. While he was doing that I ran into town and ran errands and got our groceries. Lou was able to install the new parts for our grill and we celebrated by grilling a steak for dinner.

Thursday, Lou went to his house to cut grass and I tackled cleaning our garage. I finished that job about 7:30 that night. Was able to get new carpet installed in the ceramic area. That is another hard job, but always glad when it is finished. Would be so much easier if I didn't insist everything in its place. Guess I can blame my mother for that, but am glad that I learned that early in life.

Friday, we were up early and Lou back to his house to cut more grass, run the weedeater and such and I started cleaning our much neglected home. Was making good progress when Lou called me at 4:00 pm and told me that there were three couples coming at 7:00 pm to square dance at our house. Thankfully, I had baked a chocolate cake and had that in the freezer, so with some good team work, we were ready and waiting for our guests at 7:00 pm. We danced in the garage and I was ever so glad that I had cleaned it. The garage is air-conditioned, so it was the perfect place to spread out and have a good time. In fact, we are going to do that every Friday night for a while.

Saturday we were again up early and baked a peanut butter pie for my grandson, Travis and a coconut cream to go along with it. We had invited Susie, Tim, Travis, Noell and Wyatt over for dinner, as Travis will be leaving for special schooling with the Marines tomorrow and will be gone until September, so knew it would be out last time to see him.

Lou was back at his house, using the weed eater and raking grass that was too long, by the time he arrived home at 4:30, he looked beat and was exhausted. He couldn't get enough to drink and finally had a shower and a rest and got revived a bit, but still suffered with painful wrists and fingers.

I fixed a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cauliflower w/cheeesesauce, fresh fruit salad, sticky pecan rolls and banana bread, all things that he likes, as it has to last him until September. It was a nice evening and we were able to eat outside. Wyatt was practicing drinking from Mamma's glass and got cooler off in that fashion, and enjoyed a bath in Grandma's bathtub and off to home and his bed.

Sunday, Lou and I were greeters at church today, so we knew we had to get around quickly for church, I read the scripture for the service today, from I Kings, and we had special music of a mother and daughter that sang a medley of old hymns, and then a reception after for a couple that were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Lou and I stayed long enough to wish them well and hear their love story and we were off to Sayre to meet Lou's family for dinner. Every one attended with the exception of Preston. Lou ordered Prime Rib and said it was delightful. His family presented him with a double bag grass catcher attachment for his John Deere. Brion and Casey had it already installed on his tractor, so when he cuts the grass from now on he won't have to rake it, that certainly will help his hands and wrists.

So you can see from our activities it has been a busy week. This week looks like another busy one, and we need to give our garden some attention. I did spray our squash and pumpkins, as the bugs are eating them.

This week will be a week to enjoy the roses, they usually have their first bloom around Father's Day and isn't God wonderful, he is always on schedule. Must be a lesson to be learned there.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Class Reunion - Charleston High School

June 13th - Monday

Saturday night Lou and I along with our friends, Lew and Joanne Niles attended the 91st Charleston High School Class Reunion. The above picture shows the class of 1954. This is the class that Lew Niles was a member, along with Tom Reese, Neil Bowen, Robert Metarko, Robert Bartlett and the rest in the picture I can not identify and along at the end, I'm not sure they all were in the same grade, everyone was just having a good time.

Lou met several of his friends that were in his class that he had not seen in years one being Lawrence Gray and that made his night. There was only one person from my class in attendance and that was Jack Worden. He has a delightful voice and sings in the local Men's Chorus, he led us in The Star Spangled Banner. I was able to speak with several people that I had not seen since I was in junior high school, one was Hazel Lewis and her brother Dean Lewis. These kids were older than me, but we all attended the Catlin Hollow Church together and grew up in the same community. Hazel knew me which really surprised me, she recognized Lou and had been told by her sister that we had recently married. It was nice to find out the kids still keep track of one another. She now lives in Arizona.

We were served a wonderful meal that was prepared and served by the "ED-U-CATERERS". We had a variety of two meats, "real" mashed potatoes, noodles, gravy, corn, green bean casserole, cabbage salad and homemade rolls with a huge relish tray. For desserts they had peach cobbler, cheesecake with blueberry or cherry toppings, chocolate cake. Everything was served hot and delectably seasoned. We all agreed to have them serve us next year.

Robert Metarko is the president and acted at the Master of Ceremony, Jack Worden the treasure, Betty Bauman Rhone is secretary and Jackie Patt and Jeanne Bowen were all active in helping with the program.

The class of 1950 had the most members present. Mrs. Orpha Lundgren was from the class of 1932 and she was the oldest member present. Most of us know Orpha personally, as professionally she was one of the best RN's that ever worked in Soldiers and Sailors Hospital and of course, was the well know hostess at The Antler's Restaurant. It was indeed a pleasure to see her again and to see her getting around by herself and living in her own apartment. Wouldn't we all wish the same for ourselves.

It was a notable evening one that I hope to repeat next year and throughout the year wish to promote it to more of the students that attended the Old Charleston School.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Jerry - First of the Season

June 13th - Sunday - warm and humid

I have to apologize to my brother, as this is a day late in getting posted. Yesterday, his birthday, was a day of no spare time. We went to Sayre to check on our friend after his heart attack, came through Mansfield at 4:15 and were scheduled to pick up friends to go to the Charleston Alumni Banquet at 4:45, no time to change clothes, we did arrive at the Banquet on time. My brother and his wife were also going to go, but due to the very high heat and humidity, it was not a good day for Joanne to be out and about.

Back in 1991 when our dear Daddy passed away, and it was found that our family home and farm has been in my father's name only; therefore, Mother had to pay inheritance tax. At that time it was decided that Mother should make arrangements to insure the family homestead would stay in our family. My brother, Mother and I met with our family attorney and it was decided that the farm would become the property of my brother. I had told my brother that I would not have a use for the farm and a wise choice that was for me.

Upon my mother's death four years later, Jerry took the decision my mother had made to heart, he has nearly completed the task of bringing the home we grew up in up to date, has made two apartments and rents them out. In fact, my daughter, Krista and her family live in the downstairs apartment. This was a godsend when her father was in the last stages of his life. She would come whenever I called to lend a hand.

Jerry has kept the barn painted and in good repair as he has with all of the farm equipment. All machinery is under cover, something that my father had always insisted on. My brother has cleared land that had become overgrown with the multi-flora roses that plague us in Northern PA. The hedge rows are all cleared of the overgrowth as are the pastures. He puts out crops much like Daddy did when he was actively farming.

He has 2o some Hereford beef cows with baby calves that Lou and I get to enjoy, as you can see from the pictures, they graze on the pasture that is to the rear of our home. The view we have from our kitchen window is the side hill where the cows and calves partake of the luscious green grass that grows there. There is a creek running at the bottom of the hill that affords many memories to Jerry and myself along with our kids and grandkids. It was always a special place to play and Lou and I still enjoy walking along the creek. From our kitchen window, thanks to Jerry, Lou and I have watched foxes chase rabbits, the deer bringing their baby fawns out for their first nibble of green grass, the pair of wild geese that come back each spring, along with the Mallard and Merganser ducks, flocks of wild turkeys, visits from the black bear and yes, the Bald Eagle, not to mention the wide variety of birds that frequent our feeders.

In his spare time, he keeps the grass cut and trimmed at the homestead along with the entire fencing of the property minus the few fence posts that Lou and I trim. His property reminds me of the Amish farmlands, as every aspect is thought of and cared for. I can not tell you how many times a day, he drives his little red car past our home to go from his home, that is located on property that Mother and Daddy gave he and Joanne soon after they were married, about a quarter of a mile from the homestead. Sometimes, he has the misfortune of needing to leave a tractor at the barn and needs to walk home. I always think when he walks, he can really take time to enjoy all of his toils.

Jerry, I know Mother and Daddy would be very proud of all of your accomplishments. Reminds me of the story in the Bible where we are commanded to "take care of" what we are given. My brother certainly has done that and I don't know who enjoys his accomplishments more than Lou and I do, as we await the birth of six baby calves.

Happy Birthday to my one and only brother.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Busy Couple of Weeks

June 11th - Friday Beautiful blue sky with low humidity

I have received several phone calls asking what has happened to my posts, so will take a few minutes before going to bed to bring you all up to date on the happenings in our lives.

Seems like after the Memorial Day Holiday, we got very busy, I had an appointment with Dr. Fox for my eyes and new glasses, an appointment to have mud flaps installed on our new car. Along came baccalaureate on the same night as square dancing and Lou and I were in charge of snacks, so we went to square dancing early to set up and then to the high school for the service and then back to square dancing to clean up.

On Thursday, Lou and I washed our house down along with the garage and got all of the windows washed. That is a hard job but with the two of us, we accomplished it all in one day. That evening for dinner we enjoyed the fruits of our labor from the garden and had a wonderful salad that was comprised of four different types of lettuce and greens from the garden, along with radishes.

Friday brought up a good day of low humidity, so I stained the back deck, picnic table and glider while Lou put a bottom in an old dresser that Sue and I devised several years ago to store our cushions and such on the deck. We attended Michelle's graduation on Friday night. We are very proud of our National Honor Society graduate.

Saturday, Lou worked at his house. Sandra and Preston came to help him for the day. Preston and Lou washed the RV down and Sandra painted the pillars on the house. Lou is having problems with his wrists and fingers again, so we need to get the top of the RV waxed and then I can clean it out inside and get it into storage until it is needed again. I am going to wax the roof and use my polisher on it to finish the job. That will save wear and tear on all of our joints.

Sunday we attended church, had breakfast out and then we both worked on getting the back deck settled back. It certainly looks good to have things back to normal. I had waited to get our outside furniture out until we had the deck completed, so now we are ready to sit outside and enjoy the sites.

Monday, brought a day of yard work and we have to agree that things look pretty good right now, the grass has all been cut again and the weed eater run, just need to get some annuals purchased and set out. I have never been this late in getting my flowers out, but we have certainly enjoyed the perennials that have bloomed and have more ready to pop.

Lou cut the grass at his house on Monday while I stained the front deck, sidewalk and railings. Hopefully, we are through staining until we start on the white board fence. Harry just cut us some new boards, so hopefully next week we can get to that.

Wednesday night was a picnic with our square dancing group and then dancing following. The lessons are basically over; however, our president has suggested lessons and practice once weekly, so we are going to dance in our garage or our driveway, depending on the weather. Our garage is air conditioned, so we can go inside if it is humid. Sounds like a good time to us.

Wednesday Lou woke up during the night and said he didn't feel well, had a temp of 102 degrees and later had diarrhea, he had been introduced to the bug that has been going around, he still isn't back to normal, but insists one day in bed is enough, so today, I changed the bed all the way through and hung all on the line, and he thought he should cut the grass at our house. I had done the grass down over the bank yesterday, so it didn't take too long to finish it all up and then I ran the weed eater, so we look good all the way around.

Today brought some excitement - Estee had an appointment for her yearly physical and Lou felt he needed to take us and we picked up gas for the lawnmower and some new medicine for Lou. We got back home to find that our dear neighbor across the street (he is from Bensalem, PA, but has a cabin across from us) was out cutting up some wood and had a heart attack, he was taken to Wellsboro Hospital and then flown from Wellsboro to Sayre. I spoke to his wife, in Bensalem, this afternoon, and he had a cath this afternoon and had two stents placed. They expect to keep him three more days. Lou and I are going up to Sayre in the morning to see him and report back to his wife. Bless her heart, she has a 91 year old mamma staying with her and can't come to be with her husband. This couple have been such dear friends of ours wish we could do more for them right now. He needs prayers along with his wife and son as they will be coming up on Sunday night.