Sunday, August 31, 2014

August photos, just because

I haven't done this in a while.  Just wanted to find some photos to share.  Happy last day of August everyone.  Hooray for autumn being just around the corner!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A house in the country

So I made it safe and sound to our new house.  As soon as I turned onto our road, a doe and fawn crossed in front of me, tails up high as they bounded across to the other side.  I was feeling good, but then I walked in to find the last guy didn't clean at all and that several large spiders were already in residence.  I moved all of our stuff in anyway, enjoying the bird life in the front yard.  Two female cardinals swooped in, and after hearing it hammering the bark for a few minutes, I finally spotted what I think was a red-bellied woodpecker.  He, or another bird just like him, returned twice the next day to peck on the outside of the house.  We've seen deer in the area just beyond our yard each evening, and our realtor told me that coyotes, turkeys, bobcats and snakes are rather common as well.  While I'm not afraid of snakes per se, I don't like being startled by them while walking in the grass.  

I am rather excited about the wildlife seen and hopefully yet to be spotted.  However, I'm not so big a fan of the flying, stinging type of wildlife.  As in, I have killed at least ten hornets in my kitchen in the last two days.  Turns out there is a rather large nest under the eave of the roof at the back of the house, and they are also living in the old, no longer used chimney.  Still not sure how they were getting inside the house, but our realtor has sprayed several cans of hornet killer, torn down some of the nests and also torn down / sprayed yellow jacket and carpenter bee nests.  I am very hopeful that this is now under control because, as you might imagine, I have no desire for hornets in our kitchen nor other bees nesting outside the house. 

My latest "adventure" was being in the shower when the power went out.  The pump for the well is electric so just as I was starting to rinse off, through the shower head came brown and then black water.  Yep.  Have I mentioned that moving is stressful?  Everyone knows that, right?  So no one would judge me harshly perhaps if I wrote that I cried in the shower?  And a little bit after Tim brought me ice cold gallons of spring water to rinse with?  And maybe even a little bit after that?  Because that is exactly what I did.  It can be, and in this case definitely was, cathartic to cry.  Some people drive fast, some people go the gym and hit a punching bag, some people scream, some people have a cocktail or two.  When I'm stressed out, I cry.  Sometimes yelling is involved, but mostly I cry.  Jeez Louise.

So no more hornets (crossing fingers) after the second round of spraying this afternoon.  Both of us have had full showers now that the power has been restored.  We had some perfectly ripe strawberries with yogurt for dinner.  Tim is doing some homework right now, and I am about to go to bed to read.  May tomorrow be an even better day by the end of it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Moving on the east side...of the Hudson River

Apparently, I've got the theme to The Jeffersons in mind as evidenced by the title to this post.

This afternoon, I will be driving a 5' x 8' Uhaul trailer down to our new place.  I'm a little nervous about getting onto the highway where everyone drives 80+ miles per hour while my little Toyota Corolla is towing an awkward, wheeled metal box.  I did this once before, driving from NY to Wyoming, and I don't recall it having been particularly fun.  Enjoyable or not, it has to be done.  Besides,I am very excited to get into our new home and put our stamp on it.  We are still sans a couch, a kitchen table and a real bed.  However, the garage sale find of the summer - a five dollar queen-sized air mattress with pump - will at least allow us a place to sleep.  In the spring of 2013, we survived three weeks in our Vienna apartment without so much as a chair so this should be doable.   

sitting on the floor in the bedroom of our apartment in Vienna, awaiting the IKEA delivery truck

the living room with some furniture and decorations

I woke up early today with creative thoughts that I had to sketch before I forgot them.  I realized that I am very much foreseeing the crafty room getting organized first.  Not the kitchen, not the bathroom, not the closets.  My beads, my fabric, my sewing notions and every other crafty item I brought with me will be put in its proper place so I can start CREATING!  I've got the itch to make some things. 

Heading out soon, hoping the kitten cat doesn't howl the entire way.  Our furry friend has flown with little issue, but man oh man does she dislike riding in the car!  I see some treats in her future. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Walking in the woods

Tim and I went for a walk today in an old growth forest that includes Eastern white pine and Eastern hemlock as well as numerous types of mushrooms of various colors.  We spotted a purple mushroom, some that looked like perfect stools for toads and yet another that was bright orange and velvety.  A garter snake squirmed across our path at one point as well.

This area is called the Lisha Kill Natural Area, and it is owned by the Nature Conservancy.  Less than 15 minutes from my parents' house we found a beautiful pocket of wilderness that is a bit unexpected.  I had visited before, but that was years ago.  I had forgotten how despite its being surrounded by suburban homes and a few rather busy roads, it really is a treasure of relative quiet and natural wonder.  I was hoping to see deer or even a barred owl (the trail head sign stated they are commonly seen during the day), but the trees, creek, ferns, fungi and friendly humans and doggies sharing the trail were enough to make this an hour well spent.  Here are a few photos:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Calling New York home....again

So Tim, Penny and I made it across the country in five days.  I used to drive it in two and a half days, but I'm not as young as I once was.  Additionally, having a cat with us required extra time at stops for water, food, freedom from her carrier and moments of affection / reassurance.  Plenty of curious looks, giggles and second glances came our way at rest areas.  Apparently it's unusual to see folks traveling with their feline.  Penny meowed a lot the first two days, but eventually exhaustion kicked in and her need for sleep took over.  She was overall very patient.  However, by day three I'm pretty sure she was over the experience.  As were we, to be honest.

"This beats sleeping in your car at the Walmart parking lot....any day."  Our Penny at a hotel room in Michigan.

We traveled north on this trip.  We started in southwestern Montana and made our way across to the wide open lands of North Dakota (soooo beautiful!) and on into Minnesota (holy lakes, Batman!).  We drove through intense fog and a tremendous downpour while passing from Duluth into Wisconsin.  On to Michigan where we considered buying a bumper sticker that read: "The Upper Peninsula.  Unsalted and Shark Free!"  It made me chuckle.  I know I appreciate fresh water being shark free, don't you? 

On to and through Ontario before dropping down into NY.  Tim and I lost each other on the bridge into the US and for a few hours afterward.  After almost five full days of driving and one night sleeping in our cars at a Walmart parking lot, I broke down in tears at a rest area outside Buffalo.  I was a bit of a wreck, but tears did lead me to a very, very kind woman who let me use her cell phone to find Tim.  This lovely lady saw my distress and helped without hesitation.  (Yes, I'm one of those people who does not own a cell phone.)  Thank goodness for the kindness of fellow human beings.  How many of us have been blessed by the generosity and soft words of a complete stranger at one time or another?  I thanked her about a dozen times, walked away calmer than I had been, reminded myself that people are awesome and not five minutes later watched Tim pull into the parking lot.  Challenges do often work out in the end, don't they?  

We are currently hanging at my parents' house until we can move into our new-to-us home.  We will be renting half of an old farmhouse on a quiet country road where I hope to see deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, raccoons, blue jays, cardinals, hummingbirds and whatever other critters decide to show themselves.  Okay, I don't exactly want field mice in my home, but you get the idea.  There aren't any bison or pronghorn running wild in upstate New York that I'm aware of, but I will be happy to see the creatures that call this particular area home. 

Below is a photo of a white-tailed buck Tim and I spotted near the Mohawk River on a walk along a bike trail.  He was pretty startled and stayed motionless in the tall grass for a long while before moving on.  What a handsome fellow he was.  Below that is another shot of the same area as a thunder storm rolled in.  While I am indeed missing the mountains and wide open skies of Montana, I realize there is natural beauty everywhere.  I am excited about the bird watching opportunities that lie ahead.  I look forward to hearing coyotes howling in the night as I've been told happens pretty often in this part of NY.  And I will soon be pouring over maps of the Catskills, state parks and wildlife refuges, hoping for many chances to explore as the weather cools and the leaves begin to change.

It is nice to be back in NY.  This is where I was born and called home until my late 20s.  Old memories abound in this area, fun times with family have already been had since we've arrived, and Tim will soon be on his adventure of pursuing his graduate degree.  Life is really quite good.  Finding rewarding work will make it even better.  Making a home where I can be creative, having access to my beads and other arty pursuits will undoubtedly make things terrific.  Wish me luck with the job hunt.  In the upcoming months, I'll be sure to pass along any escapades worth sharing.
Tim riding a crocodile (or an alligator?) outside the Historic Village Diner in Red Hook, NY