Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Vacation Photos and What's Next around Here

We are home once again.
But these are the final photos from our last day in New York.
On Saturday Warren and I took off for a day of exploring on our own.
Jonathan stayed at the resort for a day of quiet.
He liked it.
And we liked our day of traveling back roads.
First order of business was lunch so we headed back over to Callicoon 
to the Brewery which had great reviews.
I will say that the food was really, really good.
I will also say that the environment was kind of dirty.
Don't want to steer anyone wrong if they are the squeamish kind.
It is a restored fire house, that by the window decor seems to have had
at least one other owner as a restaurant before becoming the brewery.
Their fresh cut fries are the bomb!
Warren had a tasty burger with corned beef on it.
I left my usual gluten free self somewhere else and had a quesadilla.
I could only eat half. 
Jonathan got to enjoy the rest of it later.

Our server wasn't the friendliest type.  In fact her shirt summed her up
pretty well.  It said, "I don't listen".  Sure enough....she doesn't.
But finally we got her to talk to us a bit by asking her about local
lakes to visit.  She suggested Huntington Lake which wasn't too far away.
We drove over and it surely is beautiful!
We took a couple of photos but knew we wanted to keep looking
because I was picturing something a bit more secluded and accessible
than this little pull off with houses all around.

It was such a perfect day.
We were blessed.

We headed out to find Crystal Lake.
All was good and happy until shortly before we arrived at the lake
we found we had no phone service.
Only a problem because our only directions were on our phones.
However we kept driving as long as we knew we would 
remember how to back track.
I think I recall Warren saying something about bread crumbs.
Finally we turned onto this beautiful lane through the woods.

And then we popped out to this view.....

According to a man we met there, this lake is an amazing
place to fly fish for brook trout.
He has heard that it is 100 feet deep.

And then it happened...
I got the shots I came for.
Trees reflecting in the water.

Loved the "crystal" clear water!

I didn't take a photo of it but we watched a water snake swim through here.
It was so neat.

We were sitting in warm sunshine on large rocks along the bank.
This lake has a path all the way around it but my flip flops weren't
really made for the roughness of that pathway.

As we left.....
we put the windows down and took in the smells of a forest floor.
Pine, leaves and fresh air.

On the way in I had wondered what happens
 if you meet someone on this narrow
road.  On the way out I found out.  We yield.  It worked!

I was hoping to find a third lake but Warren had plans that were just as good
and a bit different.  He found a historical stone bridge.

History....they just don't make them like this anymore.
The top of this bridge is now a grassy walkway.

We crunched through these fallen leaves enjoying both 
the sound and the sweet scent of them.

But wait...there was more to this day!

We decided to try yet another restaurant for dinner.
This was nearly a mistake.
Warren did express concern because their website had a 
review from the New York Times.
I thought it couldn't be that exclusive with a 
$$ rating, right?

Only because we were out of our class/league.
However it was such a beautiful setting and every detail was so perfect
that we ended up not minding the prices..too much...
and the fact that the only thing I could really 
order was a meat and cheese platter
for $14.
There were four main course options.
None of which I could enjoy.
But everything was sourced locally which was pretty cool.
And the chef really knew what he was doing with 
seasoning and flavor blending.

We were crass and Warren kept sliding me pieces of his 
$32 steak as he ate.
I would have complained but it was so good I didn't have the
discipline to do so.

Happy silver in a linen napkin.

Beside Warren sat this adorable serving station.
I had to sneak a picture.
Check out the lighting.  

Behind me was the kitchen...open to the rest of the rooms
and in the kitchen were two bowling lanes with antique wooden pins.
You bowl, you set the pins.
We had actually just bowled a game at the resort before heading over for
dinner or I probably would have had to do it.

Something I will not forget about my dinner that evening?
Cherry compote.
On a very tiny spoon.

The cheeses were mostly soft ones with only Parmesan
to add a tang.
The brie was so soft it was like the softest cream.
I loved it....Warren leans more toward the harder cheeses
so he finished off the Parmesan.

Same thing with the meats.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian cuts without spice
while he ate the peppery one.

We make a pretty good team, I think!

We had a fabulous time on this vacation.
It is good to be home but this was one I didn't want to rush back from.

Happiness was seeing how very delighted Molly was to see us again.
She had been staying next door with Grandma Georgia while Bandit
was with my Mom.
I had no idea if Molly would care about being back or not.
But her happiness was palpable.
She turned in circles and went straight to Warren 
and Jonathan for some attention.
Bandit was being territorial with me...
we dealt with that.
Then I got some Molly snuggles and kisses too.

What's next you may ask?
Cooking for 80.
My friend is getting married on Saturday 
and I'm doing the reception food.
One of my favorite things to do is cook for a crowd.
And so I am thankful that I am being allowed to do it.

Her menu?

Fruit Salad
(Pineapple/Grapes/Kiwi - layered)

Strawberry Spinach and Poppyseed Salad
 (I'm not making this salad)

Green Beans
Herbed Red Potatoes

I will have help to prep the fruit and potatoes.
Also to serve as it is going to be a banquet style with each one 
receiving a finished plate.

The wedding cake is being provided by a local
baker as a gift from another friend.

The bonus blessing of this wedding?
It is her second to the same man.
Life can disturb the expected path of life....
but in time God chooses to heal ....sometimes.
In this case, definitely.

So...I may not be back before the weekend.
We will see.
May God bless you and yours.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Visit to the Zoo.....

Some time over the summer I got the brilliant idea that we should go 
away this Autumn.
You might remember that I wasn't feeling well, 
and probably wasn't thinking straight at that time.
Fall is my crazy busy season!!

But, we scheduled it and I am so glad!!

Even though I accepted a rush order for 30 three layer baby shower favors
at 6pm the night before we left that had me up until 2am
resulting in three hours of sleep.
I'm still glad we came.

It is so good to get away for a bit.
To recharge.
To pray about the heavy things in our lives.
To spend time with Warren and Jonathan doing everything from nothing
to going to a zoo.

Paws N Claws Wild Animal Park is pretty awesome.
Of course it is always a mixed emotion for me to see these animals in captivity....
but they seem well cared for and are going to be there whether I go to see them or not.
So....I deal with the sadness side of a visit to a zoo.

Majestic lions...two of them.

 Both of these photos are of the same lion.
There are plexiglass windows that allow you to take photos and view 
without the grid of fencing.

I think our biggest fun came from stepping into the bird house for a half hour of feeding
apples to these colorful birds.
Mom and Georgia had come here earlier in the week and had so much fun.
Mom took this photo during their trip.
We split our week in the Catskills so that our dogs would be taken 
care of and so Warren and I could attend an important meeting with 
some of our kiddos.

When it came our time to go in I hesitated and then just went for it.
So happy we did!!
These little critters were "enthusiastic" to receive their apple dinner.

Loved the brilliant colors!


It seems they really like men.
Warren, for sure!
This was worth the $18.50 entrance fee to the zoo.
For sure.

The white tiger was calm when we first saw it.
While Warren and I were in the bird house Jonathan went back to visit
it again and it kept trying to get to him.
Minutes later as we passed by we saw that it was feeding time.
Whew....glad those cages are secure.

It was so neat to see that there are babies at this zoo.
A baby monkey, of whom I go no good photos.
This snow leopard.

We were just inches away but through plexiglass.
This frisky kitten kept trying to jump through to play with 
us but we stepped back and told it to go wake up his littermates to play.
Would you believe it did just that?
It came up to this pile of leopards and piled on top!

Such a treat!!

As we were approaching the zoo Warren told me that he finds photos 
with people in them more interesting over time than those of just
beautiful scenery.
And so I took one....

As you can see the day was beautiful!

Cute little fox.  
Much better fed than the ones that live in our neighborhood.

A thoughtful friend.
Such pretty fur....

My tiger friend.
Chelsea usually poses in these for me.....but since she wasn't there....

The otters were friendly little critters.
They have the pattern down...
come to the front of the viewing area and then run
to peek under the fence to watch you walk away.
Funny thing is Jonathan was still standing there when I walked away
so he got to see their routine while I was oblivious until he told me.
I looked back and there they were peeking out from under the fence at me.

So...as you can see we had a wonderful time here.
God gave us amazing gifts when He made the animals.
I know just our own precious pups are great for lowering the 
blood pressure.
Seeing these guys reminds us once again how great our God is.
Such differences, such detail.

I'm so thankful for this time away.
Thanks Mom for arranging it!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

It Happened Again

While walking Mom's dog, Bear, this morning we saw a white cat.
Bear went for it, which I thought was strange because he knows Oliver
and probably wouldn't have acted like that with him but not even 
thinking about it I just tightened the leash and said
"Sorry, Ollie".

We walked on down the road and it hit me.
Oliver was eating breakfast in the house.
This was the Oliver look alike that has tricked me before.

I came home and confirmed that this guy was indeed still inside.
When I took this picture Bandit was right up in his face
because I was giving him attention.
Boy, has she developed issues since Chloe died.
She is a LOT more work now.

Anyway...it just cracks me up that even I can be so 
confused about these two cats.

Both white and both loving to travel the neighborhood, 
especially the cornfield.

A shot of the sunkissed trees this morning.

Mikey came to visit yesterday.
We love seeing him.
Married kids aren't around as much....
just sayin'.

He's getting all the miles in on this bike he can before
it is no longer motorcycle weather.
We discussed politics...of course.
I'm voting Mikey for President 2030.
He should be old enough and ready by then.

Love this guy.
In spite of the new gray hairs this machine has given me.