Monday, December 28, 2015


Seneca, New York is located in The Finger Lakes Region of New York State.    And they have something very special there, the Seneca White Deer.  The Seneca White Deer are a rare herd of deer living with in the protected fenced grounds that was home to the (former) Seneca Army Depot.

The 10,000 plus acre depot was created in 1941 and is protected by 24 miles of fence.  When the fence was erected it isolated a herd of White Tail Deer that (of some) had white coats.  They are not albino, they carrier a recessive gene.  Because of the fence that isolated the herd, inbreeding created the very white fur on many of the deer.  Not all of the herd is white, at last count there was approximately 700 deer with about 300 in the white fur.  In the 1950's the depot commander forbade the hunting of the rare deer and the herd grew and flourished.  Since they are protected by the fence they are also protected for predators.  A "normal color" White Tail Deer would have camouflage but the White Deer do not.
Since the depot has closed a group of concerned people has formed Seneca White Deer Inc. (SWD);
and they are active in raising capital to purchase the land, which is for sale.  They also have had promising meetings with NYS DEC and NYS Parks and Recreation representatives.  The group has also offered tours to see the deer, which quickly sold out.  The hope is to create a eco-tourism and recreational space.
The Finger Lakes Region is a well visited area of NYS with the natural beauty of the lakes, historic cities and towns, wineries, agriculture, shopping, culture and out door recreation.  The plans for the former depot would fit in nicely.  And the White Deer do have there own mysticism.  They are in stories, folklore and legends of Native American and Asian cultures.  And of course there was the endless search for the White Stag by King Arthur.
And the deer isn't the only reason to visit the former depot, take a look at some other things of interest.
Many remaing military installations.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


I am not a romance/romantic comedy kind of girl; I'll take a good old mystery or ghost story any day.  And the telling of ghost stories, especially on Christmas Eve is a long tradition most popular in Victorian England.  Obviously the most famous is A CHRISTMAS CAROL, by Charles Dickens.

And not only do I love reading ghost stories but I love a good ghost story movie too.  And my favorite tradition is watching (what I think is the best, and many critics agree) the 1951 British version A CHRISTMAS CAROL/SCROOGE starring Alister Sim.
This version is said to be the best interpretation of the original novella by Dickens.  I first watched it as a young child and have watched it every year since (but only in black and white.) 
A few years ago, TNT developed an new version starring the very handsome Patrick Stewart.
This 1999 version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL,  also stars one of my favorite actors Richard E. Grant.  And like the 1951 version it is filmed in England and pretty close to the original story.
And it doesn't hurt that Patrick Stewart is quit handsome, oh wait did I already say that?
But another new favorite, and it is NOT on DVD (boo hiss boo) is by the very talented Rod Serling.
A CAROL FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS.  This 1964 adaption was aired on ABC and was the first in a series of televised programs to promote the United Nations.  It was sponsored by Xerox.  Since 1964 it had not been televised again until TNT was able to show it again in 2012.  I was able to see it that year after reading an article about it in the local paper.  And AMC has continued to air it and it is available On-Demand.
It is directed by the very talented Joseph L. Mankiewicz and has a star studded cast including Peter Sellers, Ben Gazzara, Sterling Hayden, Steve Lawrence, Pat Hingle and the handsome Robert Shaw.
If you have the opportunity to watch it, you really must.  Although it is a modernization of the famous story by Dickens, no one can tell a story like Rod Serling.
And when I want to read a good Christmas ghost story I pull out this book, that I stumbled on in a used book store several years ago SPIRITS OF CHRISTMAS:TWENTY OTHER WORDLY TALES.
Oh, and if you have never enjoyed this wonderful Victorian tradition, this may be the year to start, we will be treated to a very rare Full Cold Moon this Christmas.  We have not had one in 38 years and the next one is not until 2034.  It will peek December 25 at 6:11 a.m. est.  And since we are having a wonderful warm spell right now, I know I will be out there enjoying.
And one last reminder.  Don't forget to visit the the NORAD Santa Tracker Thursday.
And a special thank you to the men and women of North American Aerospace Defense Command
 for helping to keep us safe and providing this wonderful program.

Monday, December 14, 2015



Mid December and like the rest of the East Coast, we are enjoying some very mild weather.  Boy am I glad I decided to replace my front porch wicker with my extra teak furniture.  I have really been enjoying it.  I have been regretting putting the backyard and back patio furniture away; but it still was the right thing to do.  My concern was having to rush to put it away when the weather does eventually change.  So, while we are enjoying this mild weather I can't sit on the front porch and enjoy my decorations, especially in the evening.

The garland on the railing and the entry trees are clear lights, the wreaths in the windows glow green and the Poinsettia wreath on the door burns red.
I am so grateful I am able to really enjoy the lights this year.
The front door wreath and the window wreaths are battery operated and I love I was able to find good quality battery operated decorations; makes for much easier decorating.
And since the weather has been so mild I have been able to open the windows (even for a short period) everyday.  And having all this wonderful fresh air in the house, I have been leaning toward lighter comfort foods.
Sliced tomato, green olives and goat cheese, a perfect meal on a hot Summer day.  But after getting some more outdoor work done, thanks again to the mild weather, it was a nice quick easy lunch.
For dinner, grilled chicken, smothered in roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives and feta with chicken fried rice on the side.
Since we brought home the Spiedies marinade home from Binghamton, I decided to make my own.  I picked up Freihofers sesame seed steak rolls and diced white meat chicken.
Spiedies are generally made with grilled chicken but I chose to cook  the chicken quickly on the stove top.
And I added a slice of aged Swiss cheese to my Spiedies and lightly toasted the rolls for a different take.
Another favorite easy dinner or lunch, stir fry.  But in place of rice I chose to cook Acini Di Pepe pasta for the starch.
Chicken, broccoli, carrots and peas.
I tried a new McCormick stir fry sauce I found and it wasn't bad.
And the pasta on the side is a nice change.  I did add a bit of chicken flavor to the pasta while cooking for a little taste and to keep it from being too dry.


Monday, December 7, 2015


Although I don't get too crazy with my interior Christmas decorations normally; this year I did a little less.  I stuck with my velvet Winter plants, pine cones, a few trees and some Winter critters.  I skipped the most of the Santas and snowmen this year.

The front door with the lit Poinsettia wreath.  An Amaryllis and a Poinsettia in a clay pot for the entry.

Some pine cones, a velvet Reindeer and a small Poinsettia on the entry bookcase.
The trend continued into the living room, with the addition of some trees.  The little brush trees are from the Dollar Tree, and are a really nice quality.
Two jeweled snowflake pillows on the love seat.
A larger white brush tree and a little ceramic village bookstore from the Dollar Tree.
The little birds decked out in their Winter gear were new last year.  The pumpkins I bought at Frog's Ledge on our Route 7 journey in September are still lovely.
I stick pine cones everywhere I can.
Plaid cone trees,  two more little birds and a pine cone in the basket on the dinning room table.
The kissing balls hang from the chandelier.
Two more white velvet Reindeer and the Bird Girl holds up two more pine cones.
One Santa Claus that did make the cut is on top of the cabinet, it matches the door hanger perfectly.  I found it on a vacation years ago and I like it's primitive look.
Another Poinsettia tucked behind the wicker chair and one next to the side board.
The twig deer candle holders with white pumpkins and a village flower shop on the sideboard.
An arrangement in a vintage sleigh, more pine cones and a brush tree in the bed room.
A burlap cone tree in the guest room.
In the dressing room three cone Poinsettia trees and more pine cones.
A Poinsettia and some pine cones on the bathroom Etagere.  A village pet shop and my favorite pine cone candles.  I found that at the now shuttered and sorely missed Yankee One Dollar.
An Amaryllis and a small Poinsettia in a tin bucket on the kitchen table and the Santa nesting dolls from Oriental Trading Co..
The snowman candle did make the cut, it is a vintage candle I found several years ago on an antique outing.  And a little pine cone in a tea bag plate.
Brush trees on the stove and another Amaryllis.  And Christmas theme kitchen towels.
I purchased this set of two clear glass pumpkins at Pier 1 Imports last year for a next-to-nothing clearance price.  I decided to use them for Winter, I love pumpkins mixed in my Winter decorations and with the clear glass and sterling silver look stems, they fit right in.
The larger one is on the sink and the smaller one on the self over the radiator.
The back doors get my hand painted slate Santa Claus door hangers.
The back porch.
A glass star candy bowl full of Christmas candy.
And one last Santa Claus, a big puffy fleece pillow.
Not too much, but just enough.