Thursday, August 23, 2012


Just returned from the best week of the year for me, vacation in the Adirondack Park, Old Forge/Eagle Bay/ Inlet area.   Beecreature and family, husband's parents and sister spent another wonderful wonderful week enjoying the mountains and lakes of this beautiful area.  Lucky breaks in the clouds gave us good weather for the pontoon boat days, it was hot enough to swim, and cool enough to go on hikes every day.  A little rain fell here and there, but not enough to ruin any plans for us.  My kids flitted in and out of the week, a few days here, an overnight there, never all at the same time unfortunately, but it was wonderful to have them come up and spend as much time as they could.  We spend a week here at the same time every August, and have been lucky to share this week for years with several other extremely likable families at the little compound, so we are never at a loss for   friendly competition at tennis, water skiing parties, or good company at the evening campfire.  The front porch view from my in-laws cabin was the perfect spot for my sister-in-law Maire and I to enjoy a glass of wine and plan our next day's hike.

No bear sightings this year, despite the problems the dry weather has been causing in the area with increased nuisance bear activity.   My favorite local resident is the loon, I can't get enough of their haunting calls or watching them from the boat as they patrol for fish.  They seem to know when I have the camera focused on them, and take the opportunity to dive and spoil my photo op.  I did manage to capture a few very long distance shots on a small lake of a pair with their chick.

One sight I never tire of is watching the abundance of small furry animals dashing around between the cabins.  Chipmunks and red squirrels are in constant attendance, and welcome the addition of trail mix to their winter stash.  I made three very close friends during the week, but I think they were just using me for my supply of cashews.

The chipmunk in the middle photo is the same little friend I made last year, he has a scar on his right hip that I recognized.  Good luck little guys!  I hope you stored enough trail mix to make through the Adirondack winter!  See you next August!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Something a Little Old, Something a Little New

The Old:  A few years ago I picked up a small end table out of a "trash day display" and brought it home for rehab.  It was in good shape, except for peeling varnish of some sort that I easily hand sanded off.  It sat around for a while (as usual) until one day I was admiring the new maple leaves on the tree in our front yard and had an idea!  I picked a bunch of small, perfectly formed leaves and positioned them on the drawer front and top of the table, using rubber cement to glue them down completely.  I love rubber cement!  Then I took a can of black spray paint and sprayed over the top of them to cover just the top and the front of the drawer.  When that had dried I peeled off the leaves, and went over the whole table with a nice medium wood stain.  I never used that technique again on anything, but I am thinking of doing it again on some dried gourds I have kicking around.


The New:  Besides being a confirmed junker, I am also a dedicated bargain hunter for new things.  I had been eyeing this beautiful hooked Jacobean pattern rug in Target for almost a year, waiting for it to go on a really big sale.  When I am waiting for something to go on sale, I will stalk the aisles on a weekly basis.  Lo and behold, two weeks ago it was marked down, 75% off, a savings of over $250.  It was meant to be!!!! I wrestled that rug into the red shopping cart and into the back of my car and proudly brought it home, only to find to my dismay that it was too long for the room I had envisioned.  After much wringing of hands, Beecreature's husband suggested having it cut down to size and rebound.  Luckily I found a wonderful carpet store who had a lot of experience working with hooked rugs, and they were able to take off enough on the end so it fits perfectly, and threw in the binding of the piece they removed for free!!!  So I also scored a nice runner for the kitchen.  Still for less than the orginal price of the carpet!  Best day ever!!!

The lovely black cat posing on the carpet is Shadow.  Nothing gets into this house without at least one of the cats sitting on it immediately.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Misadventures of Indoor Kitty

Poor sweet Tosca!   

Her venture through the yard took a bad turn when she stepped out onto the duckweed covering the tiny ornamental pond.

An unexpected swim......

The very definition of the word "bedraggled".

She gave herself a very thorough cleaning and was none the worse for wear.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Going for the Greens

One thing the Beecreature does not enjoy getting busy doing is housecleaning.  And today the perfect procrastination presented itself.....the new blog!

August is the peak of fresh vegetables season in Upstate New York.  Fresh tomatoes are becoming available, and corn is plentiful, sweet and delicious.   Local fresh produce is abundant, and I am lucky to be able to make a quick drive to Harry A. Maier's  bright green farm wagon and have my choice of the morning's picking!  (love love love their corn) But the joy of growing your own  vegetables in your backyard is a satisfaction all its own.  I have a poster in my dining area that reminds of the time when growing vegetables was seen as an act of patriotism:   the Victory Garden.  In the early 1940s Americans were asked by the government to begin growing their own fruits and vegetables to offer some relief to the rationing situation brought on by World War II.  Of course for rural families this was nothing new, but urban dwellers joined in and began planting small plots in their own yards.  It was quite a successful program with more than 20 million gardens, producing as much as 10 million tons of vegetables!  I think it is still a wonderful idea, and many urban communities have co-ops and neighborhood plots and will plant wherever they can, even rooftops and empty lots.  A concept from the past that works wonderfully today (with a very different focus to be certain).

I love to collect fruit and vegetable themed anything, especially if they have faces.  (I collect so many many things, as will quickly become apparent in this blog)  This Victory Garden poster is a perfect example, I had seen it in a book and loved the colors and the determined expressions on the vegetables faces as they charge over the hill. (Look at the plucky little turnip in the lead!) My eldest daughter took notice and was able to find a reproduction for me as a birthday gift a few years ago, and it has hung in the dining area ever since. I recently started collecting (there's another collection) old rake and garden tool heads, so I hung them over the poster for a little garden-themed grouping.  In the fall I will place tiny Jack Be Little pumpkins on the tines, and in the winter flameless tea lights, maybe dress the rake head up a little with some holly.  They look a little menacing all naked like that, but have no fear, nothing goes unfestooned in this house for too long.

The silly wooden vegetable faces were once row markers in a long ago garden, maybe even someone's Victory Garden (at least I like to think so). My favorite is the gap-toothed acorn squash.  Who would even think of such a thing?   Now they greet visitors in the foyer with their goofy grins.

Now, to delay housekeeping chores just a bit further, with a trip to that wonderful green wagon!!!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

End of July Musings


Well, after much procrastination, I finally started "the blog", and I'm hoping my random scribblings and photos will be of interest to at least a few readers who like the same things I do - gardening, animals, very amateur photography, junking (antiquing for those with limited budgets and creative minds), decorating and redecorating (hopefully using the "junking" finds), vintage fashion.....gee, I guess it is really many many things swirling around up here in my noggin.  I can't promise to be very organized at first, but I am just going to take the plunge and start blogging!

I spent the last weekend of July at our cottage on Lake Ontario. The weather was again hot and sunny; the grass in the tiny yard is brown and crispy and the only patches of green are the chicory weeds.  I was alone most of the weekend and spent my time bird-watching.  The usual duck flotilla, one momma with still fuzzy ducklings (must be a second hatching), snake-necked cormorants, bald eagles soaring very high on thermal air currents, swallows darting in and out of the boathouse; nothing unusual for cottage viewing.  One of the most delightful sights was a female hummingbird hovering at a lakeside window, collecting spider webs for her nest.  If only I had my camera ready!  But I did capture a small flock of yellow warblers having their evening bath along the shoreline. 

The gentle waves were almost too much for them, but they were enjoying the cool water and didn't mind a good soaking!  I felt the same way and spent much of the afternoons floating around on a yellow inner tube.  Hot, lazy summer afternoons.....nothing tangible accomplished, but good for the soul nonetheless!