Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Change of Plans

Our neighborhood hosts are sick, so the big get-together was cancelled. But since Larry had already started his lasagne when we got the word, we went there for dinner and helped him and Carol eat it. We had a very nice visit. It is wonderful to have such great neighbors.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Walking on Water

Temps got into the 20's today and we went out for a walk on the lake - love being able to say that. We stay close to shore since there is a river running through the middle, even if it looks frozen all the way across. Then this evening we went to a reception and presentation at the Wild Center. One of the naturalists previewed a neat new program using some of their live animals. Tomorrow there is a neighborhood potluck dinner.

The news from NJ is that snow removal is progressing very slowly. They didn't even start the work at the condo complex until this morning. Sure hope we can get into our garage when we go back.

Monday, December 27, 2010

At Camp

We made a hasty decision yesterday that if we were to get out of NJ this week, we'd better leave before the snow hit. So we quickly packed and got out before the storm. It's a good thing since it dumped about 2 feet of blowing snow yesterday, leading to a state of emergency being declared. There are at least 8 inches of snow here and very cold temperatures, but they are due to moderate later in the week. And no more snow is forecast, so it looks as though Big Tupper won't be open while we are here. We'll enjoy our New Year's festivities with neighbors and friends and probably head back to NJ next weekend.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Quilt Gift

J finally got his quilt for Christmas.Many of the birds were from the book "Backyard Bird Quilts". But once I learned the technique, I designed several more. I particularly like the mallard.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Sunshine

And high winds. But we still had a very nice walk on the beach this morning. And we saw a magnificent frigate bird hovering over the beach. Then lunch at Over Easy Cafe, a drive up to Captiva just to see what is there, then relaxing in the room. We fly home tomorrow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The sun finally came out this afternoon and we took a nice walk down the beach. We saw several dolphins and watched an osprey grab a fish and fly off with it.

We walked by Case Ybel and noted again that there are stairs from the balconies of the second floor units directly down to the beach. But there don't seem to be outside stairs from the third floor units, so we'll be sure to request second floor units if we go there.

Ding Darling Wildlife Drive

We woke this morning to dense fog, but took the wildlife drive around Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge anyway. Since the tide was low we got to see the usual birds. We added roseate spoonbills, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron, pied-billed grebe to our list of sightings for this trip. And I got some good photos:

A white ibis
A snowy egret just after it shook out its feathers
A reddish egret that was prancing around

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pedaling and Paddling

What a glorious day. The sun came out and the temperature rose to 70 degrees so we had a great day outdoors. This morning we rented bikes at Billy's Bikes and road on Sanibel's marvelous bike paths for a couple of hours. Along the way we stopped in at Casa Ybel Resort to see if we might want to stay there the next time we come. We've been disappointed that Sundial has gotten quite run down. We were very impressed by Casa Ybel and while it costs about $100 more per night, it seems worth it.

We lunched at Island Cow. I had forgotten that it is the place with the following sign:
Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.

This afternoon we took the guided paddle of Tarpon Bay, out to the mangrove islands that serve as bird rookeries. We saw osprey, brown pelicans, white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, oyster catchers, great blue herons, tricolor herons, little blue herons, reddish egrets, snowy egrets, white ibis, anhingas, belted kingfishers.
Our paddling companions were Lynn and Terral and we enjoyed each other's company so much we went out to dinner together and had a marvelous time.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Love Those Royal Terns

We woke to rain and temperatures in the 40's. So I went shopping, at a quilt store of course. Got lots more cool fabrics.

We had a yummy lunch at the Over Easy Cafe. The weather cleared this afternoon so we took a long walk on the beach. And I just couldn't resist taking more photos of the royal terns.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sanibel Island

We flew to Sanibel Island, Florida today for some R&R. It has been quite cold in Florida and was only in the low 60's when we got here, but is supposed to be over 70 on the weekend. We'll take what we can get since it has been in the 20's in New Jersey.

We are staying at Sundial Resort again and had dinner at Island Cow, one of our favorite spots. We took a short walk on the beach at sundown and saw the usual sandwich and royal terns.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Still Here

I figured it has been so long since I logged in, I should post something to say what I've been up to recently. In addition to doing various chores that have accumulated, I've been QUILTING! I finished a project that will be a Christmas gift, so I won't be posting a photo until after the holidays. Then I found this RaNae Merrill design in a quilting magazine, and just had to try it. Plus of course I wanted to try out my new sewing machine, which I love. I ended up getting the new Janome 7700 and am enjoying the few features that I've used so far. I'm taking a class next week at the place where I bought it to learn more about how to use it. I've also pieced a baby quilt for my nephew and his wife; well actually, for the baby that is due next month. I need to buy some thread before I can quilt it so I'll post a photo once it is done. And whenever I get a chance, I work on the Karen Stone quilt. I never seem to have enough different fabrics for it, though you might think otherwise if you saw the top of my sewing table when I'm trying to select which ones to use for the next block.So of course I've been making the rounds of all the quilt stores in the area, which is always a fun thing to do. And now it is time for Christmas shopping, plus we are going to Sanibel Island, Florida next week for some real R&R. Never a dull moment.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Day at Island Beach

The weather has been fantastic so we drove to Island Beach State Park with the kayak to paddle in Barnegat Bay. The scenery is just a bit different from the Adirondacks.We saw several great blue herons, lots of brant,and this great egret.But the paddle was cut short by duck hunters. We had no idea they were allowed to hunt within the park. We came across a boatload just getting set up - positioning the camouflaged boat, setting out the decoys - and then they started shooting, while we and other kayakers were quite nearby!! We high-tailed it out of there and came across another boatload heading in. We weren't comfortable being there with any hunters around, so we got out. At least there was the alternative of walking on the beautiful beach, so we got to stretch our legs in addition to paddling.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another Quilt

I made this quilt so I would have something to practice free-motion machine quilting on. I figured you'd never see the quilting on this busy design.Plus of course I loved designing it and I can hang it in the stairway at camp. The fabrics are all florals as you can see in this closeup.The machine quilting worked better than I expected. I'm gradually getting the hang of it. But I think I'm going to buy a new machine. One designed for quilting with a larger bed and handy things like automatic needle down. Good thing I have lots of knowledgeable quilting friends from the guild from whom I can learn about such things.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Date with Lisbeth Salander

At some point after arriving in NJ I discovered that the 3rd Millenium movie is showing in Red Bank, but I wasn't sure for how long. And Netflix is currently streaming the 2nd movie, but again not sure for how long. So I decided I needed a Lisbeth Salander binge. I couldn't fit them both in one day, but I did manage to see "The Girl Who Played with Fire" yesterday and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" today. Not sure why I liked those books so much, and the movies too. They are certainly not "fun" reading. I guess I just like a strong female character, and Lisbeth fits that description in spades.

I find reading subtitles takes a lot of work. Particularly since I'm always tuning in to the Swedish and seeing how it compares with the English translation. Very distracting when you are trying to follow the plot. Not sure if I'll see the American remakes, but I probably will. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is to be released December 21, 2011.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Basement Organization

Here is a sample of our handiwork of the last few days.
Back to NJ tomorrow for a different set of chores.

Trick or Treat

Here we are getting ready for our Halloween progressive dinner in Saranac Lake. About 30 of us participated. It was great seeing all our paddling friends.

Today we should finish organizing the basement . Then tomorrow we drive back to NJ.

The weather has been cold and drizzly/snowy most of the time we've been here. So it will be nice to get back to the sunshine.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

At Camp

We drove to camp yesterday, arriving to beautiful weather in the 60's. Today was cooler and the temperature is forecast to go down the next few days. We were supposed to spend W's birthday organizing his workshop in the basement, but we decided to spend the nicer weather outside and got the tarp on the woodshed replaced finally. We hope to get some relaxing done too. It has been a crazy month.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Had a wonderful trip to Oregon. Took Southwest from Philly on the 13th and arrived home 1:30 AM this morning. W took me to the airport on his way to Maryland. And I had a limo pick me up. It cost about $200 so it is not something I'd want to do regularly. We'll see what sorts of flights are available next April when it is time to go again. Maybe Southwest will be flying out of Newark by then. Though it is nice going out of Philly since it is so uncrowded.

The best part of the visit was that all my siblings were there too. It was great to see everyone and get reacquainted.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Washington, DC - Day 3

Our Washington visit was hampered a bit by the fact that several of the subway stations, including the one closest to the hotel, were closed for repairs. So this morning we checked out of the hotel and moved the cars to Union Station. Then we walked to the mall from there, enjoying the scenery along the way. This photo was taken outside of Union Station.We walked past the capitol, and none of us could remember what the statue on top is. According to Wikipedia, it is the Statue of Freedom. We got a good view down the mall to the Washington Monument.We went through the Botanical Garden and saw some neat orchids. Then we headed for the Monument since AD stood in line this morning to get us all tickets to go up in the elevator. Thank you, AD! Here is the view of the White House and surrounding area.And the Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool, with the Kennedy Center in the upper right.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Washington, DC - Day 2

While waiting for the rest of the family to arrive, W and I walked from our hotel (the Residence Inn on Vermont near Thomas Circle) to the National Geographic Museum. We really enjoyed the special gecko exhibit.
Then we all spent the afternoon at the National Zoo. The weather continues to be wonderful, so the zoo was pretty crowded, but we saw lots of neat animals.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Washington, DC - Day 1

Today was the first day of our family weekend in Washington. The family used my birthday as an excuse to get together to do some of the things we've been talking about but never get around to. W and I drove down today; the others arrive tomorrow. We took advantage of the gorgeous weather to walk around the National Arboretum before checking into the hotel. This bonsai pine is 155 years old!
We spent the evening at the Kennedy Center. We had dinner at the Cafe there and then spent the time before the performance enjoying the view from the terrace on the roof. Then we saw the play "Shear Madness" which was great fun.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Strange Summer

What a strange season at camp this year. Between W's back injury and our construction project, I only did 11 paddles. W joined me on just a few once his back recovered. Here is the short list.
Floodwood to Follensby Clear with take out from Polliwog
Axton Landing to Raquette Falls round trip
Round Lake
Stony Creek Ponds to the Crusher
East Branch of the St Regis River
Hoel, Turtle, Slang, Long and return
Moose Pond
South Creek to Upper Locks and return
North Branch of the Saranac River
Rollins Loop
Henderson Lake

Monday, October 4, 2010

Paddling Henderson Lake

16 of us had a nice paddle around Henderson Lake today. The water was quite high due to the tropical storm remnant that rained on us a couple days this week. So we got to explore up the inlets and outlets to the lake. Also due to all the rain, many of the leaves had been knocked off the trees so color was definitely past peak. But it was still a nice day, and our final paddle of the season. We leave for NJ tomorrow.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hiking to Moose Pond

After a couple of days being stuck inside by very rainy weather, we decided to go out for a hike, even though it was still quite gray. We have been wanting to check out the hike to Moose Pond from Route 3 and it was very pleasant. It is less than 2 miles each way and relatively flat. As people have told us, it is a nice cross-country ski route. Here is a view of Whiteface from the shoreside rock where the path ends.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Paddling the Rollins Loop

We had a very nice paddle today. It was a gray but very calm day and the tree colors are spectacular.We put in at Fish Creek, paddled up to and through Copperas and Whey, enjoying the carries with our light-weight boats, into Rollins then Floodwood, Little Square and back into Fish Creek. We saw the usual assortment of birds - black ducks in Fish Creek, a bald eagle on the south shore of Whey Pond, and lots of belted kingfishers, loons, mergansers, and great blue herons.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quilt Class

As if I don't have enough to do, including many quilting projects in the works, I could not resist signing up for a quilting class at the Village Quilter in Mount Holly. It uses the New York Beauty pattern that I have never tried but have wanted to. And this one,a pattern by Karen Stone appropriately called Cinco De Mayo, is outstanding. I had my first class today and we spent most of the time selecting fabric for just one block. The instructor was very helpful. I only have one problem. To really make the quilt zing, you should use all different fabrics. Let's see, 36 blocks with at least 10 fabrics per block - that's a lot of fat quarters. The assumption is that you have a large stash to select from. In my case, I'll have a large stash once I'm done with the quilt. So far I've only purchased batiks (you can never have too many batiks), but with the instructor's help I realize I need to branch out.

We head back to NY tomorrow, so I don't have time to shop now. And we're not in NJ very much in October, so it is a good thing we only meet once a month. It is going to take quite a while to accummulate all that fabric. I can't wait.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quilt Show

We had a great time at the quilt show. I bought LOTS of fabric for a couple new projects. Since this was a commercial show, there were more vendors than quilts and most of the quilts were art quilts. But there were a few I liked that I might actually be able to make someday, like this one.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In New Jersey

We drove to NJ Tuesday in time for chorus rehearsal. Yesterday I went to RRQ open sew, we walked on the boardwalk in gorgeous weather, then we joined S for dinner. Today we head for AA&J's for the day, stay overnight, and then go to the big Mancuso quilt show in Valley Forge on Friday before heading back home.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kushaqua Chapel

Apparently I am not the only person intrigued by the church on Lake Kushaqua - see the previous post. I googled it and found the following information. Much of it is from responses to a Flicker posting of a photo of the church very similar to the one I took. There is lots of information on a site on the history of Saranac Lake and surrounding areas. That is the source of the photos shown here. There is also information on a site maintained by the current owners, a small group of friends.

The area was once known as Stony Wold and was the site of a TB Sanitarium built in 1900 to treat working girls in the initial stages of tuberculosis.The chapel building was the community hall, chapel, and movie theater for the complex. The sanitorium closed in 1955 and was bought by the Ogdensburg Diocese of the Catholic Church to be administered by the “White Fathers”, medical missionaries to the Middle East (they originated in France and were known for their white robes). They ran a boys camp known as Camp Lavigerie. In 1962 the Camp was closed and the Franciscan Friars used it as a seminary while their facility in Saranac Lake was being built. The main building and out-buildings were finally razed in the 1970's,leaving the chapel as the only remaining building.

The chapel had beautiful Tiffany windows behind the altar. The windows are now installed at the New-York Historical Society Museum at Central Park West and 77th Street, on the stair landing outside the third floor.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paddling the North Branch of the Saranac River

We checked off another paddle on the Paddle Pursuit today.We drove to the dam at Lake Kushaqua where we put in and paddled down the lakeand through the narrows into the North Branch of the Saranac River. It is a nice winding river of the sort we like to explore.We stopped at an impressive beaver dam about 2 miles upstream.We could have carried over it, but we had read that you can't get much farther, so we stayed in our boats. The round trip paddle was about 8 miles.

This picturesque church is on the Kushaqua Mud Pond Road on the way to the dam.It seemed in very good shape but was all closed up and there were no signs to indicate what it is and whether it is still in use.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Paddling to the Upper Locks

We paddled today despite the low clouds - at least it did not rain. We started at South Creek,went into Middle Saranac Lake, stopping to see the resident eagle on Ship Island, and then down the Saranac Riverto the Upper Locks. We got out for a brief rest at the locks, then retraced our steps for a total of 7 miles.