Tuesday, September 29, 2015


For a short talk and a long stroll thru the historic Victorian village of Round Lake, New York in Saratoga County.
(remember, as in all my post you can click on the photos to see them larger)

Today (thru the Center for Creative Retirement in Continuing Education at SUNY/HVCC) we headed just a few minutes north to village of Round Lake which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Round Lake started in 1867 as a Methodist Camp Meeting; similar to Oak Park on Martha's Vineyard and Ocean Grove in New Jersey.  Our tour was lead by historian and former village Mayor, Bill Ryan.
We started out in the Tabernacle, were Bill gave a brief history of the town and we were treated to a few selections on the Ferris Tracker Organ.
Then we headed out for our stroll.  Round Lake is modeled after the camp on Martha's Vineyard.
During his talk Mayor Ryan told how 30 years ago he officiated his oldest daughter's wedding, then later his younger daughter's and most recently his granddaughter's here in the Tabernacle. 
Out on to the very narrow streets to look at the beautiful Victorian homes.  Unfortunately many of the homes have burned, also some of the hotels and the arcade (which housed the camps stores and businesses.) 
One of the remaining hotels.the Round Lake Village Inn, which is now a rooming house.
Alumni Hall was the headquarters for the schools which later became Shenendahowa School District.
The Camp Meeting's Fire House, but at the time of the meeting it had no mechanical apparatus.
Round Lake Library
This octagonal house has an interesting story, Scott the assistant historian told us many years ago when a couple had purchased the house and started to move in; they found the former resident still in the home.  She refused to leave and they had to call officials to remove her.  Feeling sorry for her, a neighbor offered to let her move into their home.  The officials suggested they not, they told them if you let her move in she will never leave.  And unfortunately she didn't!!
The homes, which were originally used during the Summer time usually had large windows for light and fresh air, balconies and porches.
And of course they are Victorians so there is plenty of ginger bread and traditional Victorian color around.
The only stone house in the village.
This home has a tower and no one is sure why.  It is accessible, but research has never revealed why it was built.
One of the smallest remaining cottages is now a shed.
This is a shed, but it is too cute!
Mayor Bill didn't want to trek down the little hill to see this historic metal house (because as he said, "then we would have to walk back up it) but I found two photos of it.  When the Camp Meetings started worshipers stayed in tents; when the "tent thing" got old they brought in these easy to assemble metal small metal structures.  The literally set it in place and pushed up the walls.  There is on left on (12) Haven Avenue.
This first photo is from 2009.
This photo from 2011.  If you go to Google Maps just search 12 Haven Avenue, Round Lake, NY and in the street view just scroll to the right for a much better look.  The way is looks in 2011 is much as it looks today.
As I said the streets are quite narrow, there is no street parking in the village.  When the village was a Camp Meeting, the guests did not have cars, they either came by train (which had a station in the village) or carriage.  The carriages would be kept in communal barns just outside of the camp.  Now home owners either make shift parking or have acquired property to build garages.  But you can see how tight the streets are.  And yes they are drivable public streets.
We were being watched!
We heard some fun stories and had a beautiful stroll but off to lunch.  One of our favorite restaurants is Lake Ridge Restaurant.
I love this old photo of the building before it became Lake Ridge.
Oh, and lest you ask, yes there is a Round Lake.  It is across from the village, across route 9.  It is a favorite for fishing and kayaking.
The lovely day is slowly turning to some much needed rain, so we head on home after lunch to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Monday, September 28, 2015


I love the Maine Clambake Mysteries by Barbara Ross, and I recently finished MUSSELED OUT.

This is number 3 in the series and set in the Fall.  Julia returned to Bushman's Harbor, Maine to help get her families clambake business back in shape.  She took a leave of absence from her job in NYC and has to make a decision; to either resign or return.  And if that isn't enough a smarmy big box restaurant owner has come to Bushman's Harbor to start his own destination clambake.  Fortunately for the Snowden Family Clambake, they have their own island and craft (to take folks to the island) which is something the Thwing is lacking.  That doesn't stop Julia's brother-in-law, Sonny, from taking an exception to him. 
While out on the island, getting things ready for the last clambake and getting ready to close things for the season, Julia sees a boat adrift.  The boat belongs to Peter, Sonny's best friend.  When the Coast Guard takes control of the boat they find Thwing dead and Peter missing.  Of course Sonny is the prime suspect and on top of everything he is keeping secrets.
It seems a lot of people in town are keeping secrets.  There is quite a bit going on in this story, but it is not overwhelming.  Julia's beau, Chris, her mother, her brother-in-law, the Sungg sister's, Sonny's father-in-la and Peter's wife are all keeping secrets.  Thwing's mysterious partner is in town, Mrs. Gus has taken suddenly very ill.  There is a lobster war and Julia has a lot of decisions to make. 
But all of these things work nicely together to tell a very well crafted story.  The setting is beautiful and everything is so well described.  And there is a little education into the "lobstering world" to boot.  The characters are likable, but if you want to know my favorite characters...the wealthy Quentin Tupper and Le Roi the Maine Coon.
What I really love about Barbara Ross' writing, is the dialog between characters; it is so real.  The dialog flows as if the characters are real and really talking.  It is hard to describe, but when I read the conversations it just seems so "authentic."
All in all this is great series and I look forward to following it.  And it makes me want to go on a destination clambake even tho I don't like sea food!

Friday, September 25, 2015


So today is a double feature for the Autumnal Equinox this past Wednesday, September 23.  First, the pumpkins.  Like I said it is never too early for pumpkins; and tho I will be decorating for Halloween this coming Monday, I like my fresh pumpkins out by Labor Day.  And since we went away the day after Labor Day, it was a mad dash to get my pumpkins.  I love how the pumpkins look blended with my Summer coastal decor, and it freshens things up a bit as the season slowly changes.  For now they are on the porch, but once I decorate I will move them around and spread them out to the front yard.

The Petunias and Geraniums on the stairs were getting a little weather worn just in time to fill my Jack-O-Lantern pots.  I keep the faces turned around until I put up Halloween Monday.  I chose the most brilliant purple this year.
The Terra Cotta pumpkins along with the Terra Cotta fish.
As the Spring and Summer flowers fade I mix in a few Mums, I love the orange of this full pot, and more pumpkins.
Another giant orange Mum to replace another wilted pot.  The watering can planters remain for now.  The flowers are actually planted in Terra Cotta Pots, so when I change the decor I can just pop the pot out of the planter.
Adding the pumpkins really makes it feel like Fall.
And gives the porch a fresh look.
The pots in front of the porch are holding up wonderfully well, I am so pleased.  And if the weather holds, this mix of hearty flowers could last right until Thanks Giving.  I will only loose them when the dirt in the pots freeze.
A beautiful Fall day.
Since Wednesday was the first official day of Fall, and the weather was better than perfect, we decided to head out for lunch.  But we decided to hit one Dollar Tree and The Christmas Tree Shop in Colonie first, hoping to find a few more things for Halloween.
But after the two quick stops we hopped over to Route 9 and headed north to Saratoga Lake for lunch at Dock Brown's at Brown's Beach in Stillwater.
Since the weather was perfect we chose to sit on the deck overlooking the beach and lake.
For lunch homemade Saratoga Chips.
Delicious French Onion Soup with thick cubed rye bread and sharp Swiss and tender white onions.
A juicy well done Dock's Burger with white cheddar, maple wood smoked bacon and tobacco onions; with a side of homemade mac. salad.  Dock Brown's mac. salad has a nice spicy bite to it.
And for desert...
Before we headed home we took a stroll by the lake.  Brown's Beach is a municipal property so the beach is now closed, but there is a large grassy lawn with benches and picnic tables on each side of the sandy beach.
But what a view.
The birds are happy they have the beach all to them selves.
Before we got home we stopped at Lake Side Farms in Balston Lake for a few cider donuts.  They make them all year, but they always taste better in Fall.
Cider Donuts
Pies and loaves
Homeward bound and a look a the loot from the Dollar Tree and the Christmas Tree Shop.
The perfect Fall day.