Monday, August 31, 2015


Well, this is it the last day of meteorological Summer, but that is okay, I am ready for a change and I love Fall.  We are in for a very hot week, right through Labor Day.  My only sadness is I close the pool on Friday.  But, I will get as much use out of it this week as possible.  And if I get the itch to swim I can jump in the pool at the Y. 

The flowers have held up well and are still looking pretty good.  So I will trim some back a bit, Miracle Grow them and replace a few with Mums (if they are beyond saving.)  But I am very pleased with how the handled the Summer weather.  Luckily it didn't get too hot and there was not much prolonged heavy rain.

The grass is bright green and I have already trimmed back the cherry tree.

The pots in front of the porch have filled out very nicely and will probably take me right through late Fall.  A good feeding along with regular dead-heading will keep these hardy flowers growing.  And I have been know to keep my spikes going well through Winter.
I will pull out the Petunias on the stairs and leave the Geraniums in.  But I will be filling my pumpkin pots with Mums soon and will replace the pots later this month.
The Petunias always get leggy in the late Summer and I do try to cut them back to give them some new life, but most of them will have to be pulled.  The Petunias on the railing will be replaced with Mums.
The Lilies along the fence are done blooming but the leaves still had nice texture.  And I actually like with the leaves on the flowers start to change color.
The pots around the garage are still healthy and the Inpatients are looking great this year. 
The flower boxes in front of the pool fence have filled in nicely and again the Lilies are quieting down.
The Mose Roses create a perfect coastal feeling in the shell planter.
The sun is much brighter in the back yard so the flowers in the direct sun always look a little more tired then those in the front.  And the baskets on the fence have been a little beat up by the rain we did get.  But, they still have enough color and should hang on another month or two.
A few more days with the pool.
Tomorrow in September 1, welcome Fall.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Have I mentioned it before, I love being retired?  When you are retired you get to do things like go on an overnight get-away just to eat at a favorite diner.  I love the Route 20 corridor.
And we do travel it quite a bit.  We use it to travel locally, to travel to destinations and to visit many of the wonderful places that dot the route through out the state.  Many of our favorite spots are in Central New York.   There is a fabulous diner in Madison, home of the Madison-Bouckville Antique Week,  Quack's Village Inn.

Unfortunately Quack's in 1 hour 45 minutes away, and too long for just a meal; so we made an overnight out of it.  We stayed at the Marriott Fairfield Inns and Suites in Verona, across from Turning Stone Casino.
 I am not a big gambler, my limit is $25.00 on slot machines (although once while in Atlantic City during an unplanned "monsoon" that trapped us indoors we did spend about $50.00) it can be fun.  And there are some great restaurants in the casino.
So on Monday we headed west, we made a quick stop in Richfield Springs,    and then continued on our way for lunch at Quack's.  We had a delicious "small plate" of roasted turkey breast with mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, sweet buttery corn and for desert a root bear float.
After lunch we hit a few of the antique stores.  Antique week was last week, and we have been to it several times.  Walking around Antique Week can be exhausting and Central New York can be very hot in August; so the stores will do for now.  It was a nice cool day, with some clouds and a little drizzling rain.
Madison and Bouckville have a lot of history and vintage charm....
like this Texaco sign
historic buildings the modern....
wind turbines, the coolest thing is you can actually drive right up to see them.  And it is amazing to see them all dotting the sky as you drive along the roads.
After checking into the hotel, settling into the rooms, a quick dip in the pool to wash off the day, we headed across the street for dinner and to pick up some sweets to take home from the bakery.
The next moring we head out for breakfast at, where else, Quack's.  I had, what they call "oinker eggs."  It is scrambled eggs with ham, a side of home fries and bacon.
Eastward bound and another quick stop in Richfield Springs, then our next stop is at Tepee in Cherry Valley. 
This road side landmark has been here since 1950.
No Tepee would be complete with out a buffalo.
And the Tepee.
After a quick stroll around the gift shop and picking up a few things, eastward we continue.
For some ice cream.
So finally home, after hugging and kissing my girls, I settle in, a quick dip in the pool; only a few more days to enjoy my pool, so I want to enjoy every minute I can; I unpack the fruits of our labor.
Sweet treats from Opal's at Turning Stone, flower cup cakes and mini brownie cakes.
A few Tepee souvenirs.
And I love to bring home local papers and magazines.
And a fun book of curiosities.
The clouds are building up again and some rain is predicted, settling in for the night with the girls.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Well I told you it was another hot week, so I have really been sticking around the house.  And when ever I get a chance to just lounge in the yard by the pool and read I take it.  So I got quite a bit of reading done between chores and puttering around the yard. 

This book is really out of order.  I started the Cackleberry Club Mysteries by Laura Child with the Halloween theme mystery, BEDEVILED EGGS when it came out.  I decided to continue with the series then pick up the first two and get to them when I could.  I just finished number 2, EGGS BENEDICT ARNOLD.

The Cackleberry Club is in the small Mid-Western town of Kindred and is a combination cafe, book store and yarn store.  It it owned by 40 something and widowed Suzanne, with the help of her friends Petra and Toni. 
In this story during a town event, Suzanne decides to take a break and deliver a pie to one of the town's morticians and finds him dead (in a gruesome scene.)  Suzanne is grabbed from behind and knocked out, luckily Petra is there to call in the cavalry.  Sheriff  Doogie comes up with his suspects and one is a good friend of the Cackleberry girls, Missy, who had been seeing Ozzie.  She convinces Suzanne to help clear her name.  Along with Missy, there is Bo a delinquent that Ozzie hired to help out at the funeral home.  But when he turns up dead too, the long list of suspects gets a little shorter.  Then there is Missy's ex husband, a strange drifter and even Ozzie's partner.
But as Suzanne and her friends start sleuthing they get in pretty deep and trouble follows them.  And with being busy with several events at the Cackleberry club, issues with Toni's delinquent estranged husband Junior and the temperamental romance novelist Carmen; the girls have their hands full.
This is a well crafted and well written mystery.  The characters are diverse and authentic.  It is a great, fun traditional mystery.  And with this story being set in the early Fall, so starts my Autumn theme reading.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


The last of the Summer books, before I start the Fall theme books.  This book is actually set in the Spring, but it just arrived so better late Summer than never.  It takes place in Montauk, New York (Long Island) and features Meg Barrett, who after a breakup with her Fiance, she leaves her job at a top home and garden magazine and moves to Montauk to pursue her new interior design business.

Written by Kathleen Bridge, BETTER HOMES AND CORPSES is the first in a new series for her Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries.
After Meg moves to Montauk and starts to build her new business Cottage by the Sea, she reconnects with her old college roommate, who lives in her families swanky Hampton mansion.  When she goes to the house to see her friend, she finds Jillian holding her mother's lifeless body and in a state of shock.
Meg is enlisted by her close friend and former co-worker to catalogue the contents of the wealthy woman's homes for the insurance company.  Meg is now in the middle of a murder investigation, a house full of suspects and other mysterious happenings.
I love Montauk, and everything else on the South Fork and North Fork of Long Island.  Once you get to the end of the Long Island Expressway the whole vibe of the island changes.  The Hamptons are what they are, but drive out to Orient Point (the North Fork) and Montauk Point (the South Fork) is such an amazing experience.  Farm land and stands, wineries, history, quaint shops and restaurants and charming homes, make this area a perfect location for a mystery. 
Meg is very likable and although I didn't get to the know the other "regular" characters well enough yet, I find them very likable as well.  I am hoping much of the character set up will grow as the series continues.  Long Island plays a major role in the story and Kathleen writes it well.
All and all I enjoyed it, characters and places are well described and there were multiple suspects and plenty of action with lots of twists and turns.  And since I love antiquing and home design this series is right up my alley.  Since we had another short heat wave here, that kept me home by the pool I easily breezed through the book over a 3 day period.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series and to see what Meg gets into next.

Monday, August 17, 2015


There is nothing like finding something so unique that you can't live with out it (okay maybe I could LIVE with out it.)  But maybe you just can't pass it up.  I saw a similar pouffe ottoman in a Tuesday Morning flyer, but never got there to check it out.  Then a flyer for Ocean State Job Lot came with the Sunday paper and they had the same Sari pouffe ottoman for only $12.00.  It is made from recycled Sari and it is fabulous; it placed it in the dinning room next to re purposed lingerie chest.

It is that time of the year again, creating baskets for The Animal Protective Foundation's 23rd annual Fireplug 500 Walk for Animals.
And since we are out shopping for the baskets it is hard not to pick up a few things for myself.  I found this great Southern Living Magazine book at The Dollar Tree, yes just for $1.00.  They had several different editions, I picked up a baking edition for a basket, but the home style one is for me.  And it is no secret I love my pineapples, I found this pineapple bowl at Pier 1 Imports. 
August is my birthday month and I always loved having a Summer birthday.  Nothing like relaxing and hanging out by the pool.  A few favorite birthday gifts.
Adorable cat chopstick rest, but they can be used as knife rest as well.  Two each of sitting up, laying "belly-up" or sleeping.
When I was a little girl I loved going to our local Hallmark store and choosing a new Hagen-Renaker Siamese Cat.
And I still have all the kitties I collected as a child, although some are a little broken.  But I haven't bought any in a while, so I thought a few new ones would be nice.  These 4 little kitties are so tiny, I love them.
I always love to find unusual things, ghost shaped ice cube tray, a Dead Fred pen holder and from the movie BEETLEJUICE, A HAND BOOK FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED.  Okay so it is bland inside, what what a great conversation piece.
I absolutely love Edward Gorey books, 
and I have collect several over the years.
A few more fun party games.
A little early birthday lunch at a great local restaurant.  The original Hattie's Chicken Shack
is in Saratoga Springs and only open for dinner; but a few years ago they opened a second restaurant that is open all day, north of Saratoga Springs in the City of Saratoga.

A different location, a different look, a different vibe, but the same great food; delicious fried chicken.
And fresh Beignets!
A very Summery birthday cake.
And I love this flower arrangement, a flower birthday cake.
It even has little candles.
And no birthday would be complete with out the annual birthday post card from Dimillos Floating Restaurant in Portland, Maine. 
We only ate there once several years ago (about 10 years ago) and were ask to fill out a card with out birthday.  We figured "why not" and the next year we got our first birthday postcard.  And every year I look forward to my postcard.