Monday, February 29, 2016


I know most people don't celebrate Leap Day, but I think it should be a thing.  So, we decided to head out to Washington County,   and the town of Greenwich.    Washington County is on the NY border with Vermont and is home to some beautiful towns and villages. 

One thing to love about Greenwich is their town symbol.
It started off a bit rainy and cloudy today, but the sun broke thru and made for a beautiful day and for the last day of Meteorological Winter a balmy 45 degrees.
The business districts of our smaller towns are limited, but they still make for a nice afternoon.
Washington Square.
Why I love our smaller communities, random cozy benches nestled under a tree.
Or parked in front of a small business.
The beautiful Batten Kill.  It's a tributary to the Hudson River and it's mouth is in Easton and it flows through Vermont.
On our way back we stopped at Saratoga Apple in Schuylerville.
I know what you are thinking, an Apple Orchard open in February, but we do have a few that stay open year round.  And they just got approved for a Hard Cider license, which is the reason the others stay open year round. 
Behind the dormant apple trees is the Saratoga Monument.
The only downside to the day, it was a Monday and most smaller restaurants in the smaller towns are closed.  So we had to head back into Saratoga for lunch.  But we chose a favorite spot, Hatties Chicken Shack.
And of course you can't leave Hattie's with out taking home some authentic New Orleans Beignets.
Happy Leap Year Day and Happy Last Day of Meteorological Winter, bring on Spring.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


And in honor of Presidents Day a look back at visits to two of the Presidential Homes/Libraries for just two of the Presidents from New York State.

The first President's home is for our 8th President Martin Van Buren;  who served from 1837 to 1841.  President Van Buren was born in the beautiful village of Kinderhook, which is in Columbia County.  Columbia County is the southernmost county with in the Greater Capital Region.  Martin Van Buren was also Governor of NYS.  And he was the first New Yorker to become a United States President.  Martin Van Buren is of Dutch decent, as many of the founders of the Capital Region and he is the first U.S. President to be born a U.S. Citizen.

The house is part of the National Park System, and is just off Route 9h on Olde Post Road.
President Van Buren is buried in the Kinderhook Reformed Church Cemetery on Route 9.
This bronze statue of Martin Van Buren sits on the corner of Broad Street and Hudson Avenue in Kinderhook.
The next Presidential Home belongs to Franklin D. Roosevelt.  FDR was the 44th Governor of NYS and served from 1929 to 1932.  He then went on to be our 32nd President and served from 1933 to 1945.  The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Home and Library   is in Hyde Park, New York; which is in the Lower Hudson Valley area of NY.
The beautiful property is off Route 9 and overlooking the Hudson River.
The property consist of several buildings on a sprawling campus.
And the President and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt are buried on the property.
Other Presidents born in NYS are Theodore Roosevelt, he was our 26th President and 33rd Governor.  He was born in the city and buried in Oyster Park, New york.  Millard Fillmore was our 13th President and born in Summerhill, NY; he is buried in Buffalo. 
And, although Chester Arthur was born in Vermont, he is buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, NY.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


Just a quick peek this year at the exterior Valentine's Day decorations for 2016.  There has been a lot going on this month, and I hate to keep repeating the same post over and over again.  Although I try to change up the decorations a bit year to year; there is really only so much that can be done.

Still no major measurable snow here in the NYS Capital District, but who's complaining (?) not me!  As a matter of fact, on Ground Hog Day, I was able to get out and rake the grass and sweep the side walk.  It was wonderful!!!  I got out to the YMCA early that morning, came home had a quick breakfast and got right outside.  I only got to the front yard, but I was thrilled to clean things up a bit.  I even fired up the small leaf blower I have to blow the dust off the front porch. 

As always my favorite wreath on the front door.  I bought this a K-Mart years ago and try to keep it protected when it is stored.  I just love it, I have seen others I like, but I love the size of this one.  Some of the others to just too small.

It was just a bit breezy this day.  The  same garland around the door, I am still looking for something a bit fuller, but I haven't found the right thing yet.  This garland is actually pretty close up, it just doesn't photograph well.  It has jeweled hearts with red tinsel and red satin bows.
As I mentioned around Christmas time, I always hated taking the wicker off the porch and leaving the porch so empty.  And since this Winter is so mild, I wanted to still use the front porch, so I dug out some extra furniture from the basement and the pillows to fill things up.  And since the weather is holding, the furniture stays.  All of it is folding, so if we do get a larger storm and they may be in the way, it will be easy to take in.
Wind socks and garland on the railing.
Poinsettias and pumpkins remain until St. Pat's day goes up.
And even tho the grass isn't quite green anymore, I still prefer it to snow.  Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the snow, but last Winter was brutal, and this break is well deserved.  And, yes, I know Winter is far from over, but the days are noticeably longer and the average high temps are raising.  And March 1 is just around the corner.
I hope everyone has a very happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 8, 2016


Today, Monday, February 8, 2016 is the Chinese New Year, Year of the Monkey.

The monkey is the 9th of the 12 year cycle of animals in the Chinese Zodiac.  Those born in a year of the monkey are said to be charming, charismatic and inventive.  Monkey people are noted for their intelligence and clever genius for working out difficult problems for themselves and others.
Monkey people are said to be compatible with Dragon and Rat people.
Some notable Monkey people are Julius Caesar, Eleanor Roosevelt, Besty Ross, Harry Truman and di Vinci.  I think I can safely say this group fits the zodiac profile, don't you.
I was born in the year of the Fire Horse.
Those born in the year of the Fire Horse  are said to be strong and persistent, adventurous and passionate.  The other Horse elements are Metal, Water, Wood and Earth; and each has their own unique characteristics.
In Chinese Taoist thought, Fire attributes are considered to be dynamism, strength, and persistence; however, it is also connected to restlessness. The fire element provides warmth, enthusiasm, and creativity, however an excess of it can bring aggression, impatience, and impulsive behavior. In the same way, fire provides heat and warmth, however an excess can also burn. 
 Those who know me can decide if this is me, for those who don't know, well, it does sound a bit like me I will admit.  And I am also a Leo, so think about those two Zodiac signs combined!
Horse people are said to be compatible with Rat and Ox people, but especially compatible with Tiger and Dog people.
One Chinese New Year tradition is to make and eat Dumplings.
Steamed in a bamboo pot.
Or my preference pan fried.
Spring Rolls.
Sweet Rice Balls.
Almond Cookies and Tea.