Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After the Storm-Hurricane Sandy

 We made it thru the night of the storm just fine...There was LOTS of strong, heavy wind, but not all that much rain. When we woke, we were shocked by the complete devastation of our brothers and sisters in NYC, NJ, and Conn...Our prayers and healing energies are directed toward all who suffer and struggle with the aftermath of this storm, their homes and surroundings...
 I started out early for the bike path, not knowing what to expect. First thing in the morning we had a bit of sunshine breaking thru the thick blanket of clouds, so off we went...

 Everywhere i looked there were pieces of tree bark strewn around the path. The wind was so strong it stripped the bark from some of the trees in the woods and flung it everywhere.

 There were trees down all around us, but none fell on the path.

Young trees, old trees, it didn't matter...

 This was the only tree i saw that might impede travel on the path. It was being held up by another tree across the path.
 It seems the wild birch trees that i admire so much took a strong hit from the storm. They did not fair the strong winds so well...Many of them were snapped in half like toothpicks.

Whole trees were uprooted at the edge of the woods

Still, the destruction is minimal, compared to what happened to our neighbors, and for that i am truly grateful...

So for now we are all tucked between a thick blanket of leaves

and a thick blanket of clouds. The remnants of this storm will be stalled over us for the rest of the week...But for us, the danger has passed...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Walking with Hurricane Sandy 2

The constant "shishing" sounds in the background is the wind blowing thru the branches and leaves...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Walking with Hurricane Sandy 1

This was my walk in the morning before the hurricane came ashore. Still the wind was very strong....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Field Trip! Harvest Spirits Distillery

While my sister Nancy was here for a visit from Florida a few weeks ago, we took her on a field trip to Golden Harvest Apple Orchard and Harvest Spirits Distillery in Valatie, NY. This for me is a fasinating place and i wanted to share it with my sisters(my sister Kathy could not join us, so i am looking forward to a "field trip" with her sometime soon) 

The story behind this place is wonderful. The orchard and farm has been in this same family for many years. The current owners have found a way to use up the surplus apples by making their own vodka and spirits, and selling them to the public. They open their doors and offer tasings and sell their wonderful creations every weekend.
This is my sister Nancy standing in front of a wall of shelves, holding oak barrels filled with their Core vodka, Cornelius Applejack and brandies
The machinery that makes up the distillery is HUGE and very impressive.

And here is the little kitty greeter who welcomes all visitors

There are sample test jars with herbs and spices steeping in their vodka and brandy
They may or may not be put into production on a larger scale
and then there were jars put up just for Halloween...jars with eye of newt and wing of bat.
I've visited this place twice and both times i left with a bottle of their excellent Cornelius Applejack.

The Golden Harvest Farm stand was very busy that day

Families were there picking out their pumpkins and apples, and snacking on bags of cider donuts. The air around the farm stand smelled like sugar and cinnamon Heaven. Before we left we loaded up the car with all sorts of goodies! I made sure to buy some apples for my applesauce, maybe a pie, and for my own experiments at home....
 For some time now i have been making my own homemade spirits i call "Mare's Moonshine" At first i made a coffee flavored cordial, but all Summer and Fall i have been using local farm fresh fruits to make more varieties. I use an old Polish recipe i found online, and have been playing with the amount of fruit and sugar, vodka or brandy added. So far we have local strawberry, cherry, sour cherry(an old Polish recipe) mixed berry made of blueberry, blackberry and raspberry, sugar plum(another old recipe) peach and several different batches using differerent kinds of apples and vodka or brandy. I also made some Limoncello using Meyers lemons. All of these lovely bottles will sit and steep until near Christmas time, and then they will be strained and rebottled for Christmas gifts.I will let you know how it all turns out! In the meantime, i am having so much fun!
To hear more of the story of Golden Harvest Farm, click here

 the sun

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Friday!

A mini concert for you on this late Autumn morning...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Look who's coming to live at my house!

This is Humphrey...a hand made teddy made with love by the teddy bear artist
(and my friend)
 Jess McCaughey of Teddybearswednesday
 I told myself it's time to tighten the belt around here, but as soon as i saw him it was Love....So he will come to live with me and his little brothers and sisters, all made by Jess. I swear her critters have magic inside of them...And to me it sounds curiously like a heartbeat!!!

Here are some other little friends that came from the talented hands of Jess...These little bears and buns(except the bear in the middle, who was made by me. He's best friends with the other two bears)

 And these two bears are favorites of mine. Every stitch of them was made by Jess, as they are crocheted. I suspect they get into some trouble at night after the lights go out, because many mornings i find them out of place...  
 like this! Hmmmmmm....
 Oh! And a few of Jess' wool felt bunnies live in one of my china cabinets. These two live in a big stonewear bowl
and this little guy looks out thru the glass sitting in a stonewear mug. 
Yes, we do love Jess and her little creations around here! Thank You Jess!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

funny face

 i love

 your funny face

 that sunny, funny face

Monday, October 22, 2012

My walk today...10/22/12

 The landscape around me is changing

 and so are the seasons. There are more leaves on the ground than in the air

 but still there is plenty of Beauty to be found

 going thru the tunnel under Route 9
OH! On the way back home, five deer came out of the woods by the little stream and stood in the road watching Zinnia and i. By the time i got my camera out they were almost gone into the woods. I took this blurry shot just before they vanished into the brush...