Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Red Sweetie has gone missing

She didn't show up for lock-down in the Chicken Shack last night. I searched everywhere I could before it got too dark. Then I went out again this morning and searched again. Why do all the bad things happen to my favorite girl?

I'll keep looking, but I think she is gone. Not a trace, not even a feather!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Piggies are happy we're talking turkey

I am pretty sure our visiting family members enjoyed themselves. We went back to the Otesaga Hotel for our new tradition: a Thanksgiving dinner cooked by professionals. It was a beautiful day here in the North Country, and we were treated to a table by the windows with a great view of Otsego Lake.

On Friday, The Husband's Mom Rita, Bro Brian, and SIL Evie and I went to the Fenimore Art Museum, and then to Danny's Market for lunch. Poor husband had to work! We were out for most of the day, so the fresh turkey I had purchased never got cooked. But the homemade pizza, salad, apple pie and gingerbread still qualified (IMHO) as an official home-cooked holiday meal.

I am just getting around to cooking that more traditional turkey and stuffing today. The Husband is out there playing farmer, doing the farm chores, enjoying another beautiful day in the neighborhood. The piggies are sunning themselves and giving thanks for not being turkeys, or deer for that matter, since hunting season began last weekend. Look at the blissful smiles on their faces!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not much to say, new photo

I am preparing for a visit from some of The Husband's family for Thanksgiving. Here's a photo to hold you over until the festivities have ended.

We have had a mild November compared to last year. People were out to look at Charlie's barn (in the background) this past weekend. They spent a lot of time there, including ringing the bell on the top of the brown barn (who knew there was one?). The barn, "house", cabin, and 4 acres are for sale for $75,000 last I checked. We are saying a little prayer that no one buys it, or at least that they make no major "improvements" that would ruin my favorite view (check out the horses WAY in the background, with my tiny lake view just behind them).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weather is still not winter

We have B&E and Rita coming back for Thanksgiving again on Wednesday, so I hope to get some more recent family photos up on the blog. Hope that you all have a wonderful and filling Thanksgiving with all of your friends and family! We are continuing our tradition (for the past several years) of Thanksgiving dinner at the Otesaga. I am either making a traditional turkey dinner on Friday, or taking everyone antiquey shopping and making a humble pizza for dinner.

In the meantime, I have gotten a lot of positive reaction to the living room photo posted earlier. I need to update the interior photos since we got all of our furniture moved up here at the end of June. It is finally starting to look like our home again.

For the moment, here is a B&W of Sophie and Willie, hanging out on the sofa in the late fall light coming through the "5-gang" windows. The light is almost too strong at certain times of day, but not yet enough that I feel the need for curtains. There's always a pet or 2 to block the sun...if you need them...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Don's breakfast and the 2011 wreath

I pick up our mail at the Schuyler Lake Post Office every day at around 11:45. I go then because my good buddy Don on the Hill usually goes at that time. He is my closest neighbor, but so far up the hill that I have never even been to see his home. We both enjoy our daily chats with Sherry the Postmistress. Mostly poor Don takes daily verbal abuse from the 2 catty females!

I often pick up our eggs from the Chicken Shack on my way to the Post Office, hoping to pawn them off on anybody who will take them. Don had been teasing me about our pigeon-size eggs, telling me they were too tiny for his breakfast, so when I picked up our hugest egg ever, I gave it to him. I didn't even know it had 2 yolks, although I hear that is fairly common with young hens.

So now we have had our first two-toned egg, double-yolker, speckled egg, and shell-less egg. I am waiting to see what other surprises the girls have in store for us.

The other photo is from Friday's wreath-making class. There isn't any actual instruction, they just set you loose in a room filled with boxes of festive goodies and let you create whatever you like. This is my second year, and according to The Husband, my second Carmen Miranda wreath. Believe it or not, compared to some of the other fantastic, wild creations, full of huge pinecones and bizarro seed pods, mine is fairly boring.

My first wreath was easy—I just did it and brought it home and hung it up. This year, for whatever reason, I brought it home and fussed with it for about 3 hours after I got home, and then again the next day. I am tempted to make further adjustments today, but have sworn to let it be. Don't know why I am so critical this year...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bacon and eggs in January?

I recently finished reading Richard Russo's Bridge of Sighs (on the floor, center). As you can see, these "kids" are bored by this whole reading thing, but the Lester is never bored. Even at his advanced age, he still lives up to his nickname—Lester Pester. Not sure exactly where he was when I took this, but he is usually very near and whining for attention, or even better, for food.

The Chicken Girls have been doing more wandering than ever, even out close to the road yesterday (BAD girls!) and on the same day that I saw one of the chickens from down the road, dead in the road. This is a state highway, not some little-traveled country road, so keep your distance, ladies! They are still producing 6 or 7 eggs a day (GOOD girls!) even though they are supposed to slow down with fewer hours of daylight and cooler temperatures. Maybe it's because the temps aren't all that cool for these past few weeks. It is supposed to hit 70° today.

The piggies are out there sunning themselves and turning over their water bucket to make more mudholes. Earlier today I looked up one of the local slaughterhouses online—Larry's Custom Meats. I made an appointment for the big transport on January 5 (but you know I could always cancel it if I had to). I was beginning to think that I might not be able to part with these cuties, but the bigger they get, I think the easier it will be. My visit today had them pushing me around and trying to eat my shirt, pants, and shoelaces even though I had just filled up their feed bowls. It is no longer easy to stop them from whatever they want to do, and they almost knock me over every time I climb in the pen. I am pretty sure it is affectionate play, but I have no interest in sharing your mudholes...sorry guys!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sun worship and learning to drive the car

Trying to make up for those missing weeks of posting...

Dave and Willie spend a lot of time on the back of the sofa. Here they look like a couple of bookends, or maybe they are pretending to be Patience and Fortitude, the lion statues in front of the New York Public Library. Lester's Flat may not have as many books as the NYPL, but we're working on it. It's convenient to have these 2 regal guardians since we had to lay off the security team.

You can see out the windows that we are beyond the pretty part of autumn—no leaves left on the trees, goldenrod turned to brown—but there were still enough unfrozen apples to bake a pie, and the temperatures this week are supposed to reach the high 60s.

Today when I went to visit with the girls and Roo, the red girls stormed the CR-V. Red Sweetie, who is back to being her normal healthy self, jumped up on my lap and insisted she was capable of driving. Her peeps were down below, ready to take over the brake and gas pedals. What I want to know is: do they use their feet or their beaks to drive?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The old homestead, both of them, and the new one

I made a short trip back to NJ last weekend, and stayed in the house I grew up in (thanks, Little Sister!). Many changes have been made since she took the house off the market. New siding, new windows, not to mention the new roof, bathrooms, and new carpeting throughout before she went to market. (photo right)

Nobody is buying houses. Both the old homestead and my old NJ house languished for over a year on the market with no interest in either one. We are now renting—Little Sister is holding out, waiting to see if things turn around. Neither of us is happy with the state of affairs, both of us have very little respect for our former realtors.

I thought it would be strange to stay in the old homestead, but it was very comfortable. The only problem was having the dogs with me. They were constantly trying to figure out why we weren't heading back to their old homestead in Palmyra. They just wouldn't settle down. When we did go "home" to pick up some things I left in the basement, they weren't allowed to go inside. WHAT? I had to leave them in their old backyard while I packed up some stuff, and they barked at the back door the whole time.

To make up for it, we took a nice walk through the old neighborhood. Lester's first girlfriend Brandy is still hanging in there and greeted us as if we never left, but the barky Alfie is no longer of this world. At least the Cookie House still has the container of dog treats out on the street (Thanks, Jack and Emma!). After leaving their scent on every grass blade in Palmyra, L&S had a very peaceful trip back to NY.

The large photo (above) is the finally updated Google Maps aerial view of our new house. How cool is that? It was taken in June or somewhere thereabouts...