Sunday, December 30, 2012


After waiting a couple of days for the snow storms up north to abate, today we drove to the Adirondacks.  The roads were fine, and the snow was beautiful.
We have a bit to clean off the deck - maybe as much as 2 feet. 
The sides of the driveway are already piled high with snow.  If this keeps up, we'll run out of places to put it again this year. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Back to New Jersey

We flew home yesterday and now it is back to home reconstruction.  We had a great time in Sanibel, even if we mostly enjoyed the beach from our nice screened porch, though we did walk every day.  The weather was great (sunny and mid-70's) and it was very relaxing, which is just what we needed.  A note for next time that room 112 at Casa Ybel was perfect.  It was in the next-to-last building in the complex away from the pool and restaurant so it was nice and quiet.  It was in the top floor, which meant we didn't have stairs on the beach-side, but we decided it was nice having no one above us.  And the view was great.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sanibel Day 2

The weather continues to be gorgeous and we are enjoying lazing.  This afternoon we drove the wildlife drive through Ding Darling wildlife preserve.  We saw most of the usual birds, including great egret
snowy egret
little blue heron
white pelican
tricolor heron.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sanibel, Florida

We flew here yesterday and the weather has been perfect, even a little too warm at 80 degrees when we arrived.  Today is gorgeous with bright blue skies, high 70's and light wind.  We took advantage of the good weather and did the guided kayak tour in Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve this morning.  We didn't learn anything new from the guide and the tour was crowded.  It turns out you are allowed to take the rental boats anywhere in or around Tarpon Bay, so we could have paddled the trail through the mangroves by ourselves.  We'll remember that for next time and just rent boats.  But we still enjoyed the paddle
and did see a yellow-crowned night heron that we probably would have missed if we'd been alone.
We are staying at Casa Ybel Resort this time and it is very nice.  Our room is on the top floor center sticking out at the top left in this picture.

I had forgotten that this is where the pelicans hang out, in the trees right in front of our unit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's Impact on New Jersey's Birds

That is the title of the lead article in "The Osprey", the newsletter of the Monmouth County Audubon Society.  Some interesting facts from the article:
  • Since late October falls between the time when summer residents have migrated and most winter residents arrive, there should have been little direct impact on those populations.
  • It is almost certain that the flooding tides caused mortality among rodent populations, thus reducing the prey base for wintering birds of prey.
  • High winds stripped trees of fruit and seeds sending such wild bird staples as acorns, wild grape, poison ivy berries to the forest floor where snow and ice may put them out of reach.
  • There may be an issue for cavity nesting species like woodpeckers if many of the dead standing trees went down in the storm.
  • Coastal nesting habitat for endangered, beach nesting birds like Piping Plover, Least Tern, and Black Skimmer has been damaged in many places.


Just an update on what has been going on the last few weeks.  We are finally settling down a bit, though there is still a lot of work to be done on the condo.  The molding was delivered today and we'll paint it before heading for Sanibel, Florida on Thursday - YAY!!!  The trip was planned long before the flood and the R&R will be really appreciated.  Then when we get back, the contractor will replace some doors and install the molding.  Then they will be done and we can install the ceramic tile floor in the entertainment room and finish the molding in there.  Then all we have to do is move back into the rooms and get our lives back to normal.  With Christmas coming up fast, we won't finish until sometime in the new year.

Speaking of holidays, we did something completely different for Thanksgiving - we went out for dinner at Rooney's in Long Branch.  It was so nice, we may make that a new tradition. 

Something else we did since I posted last, we picked up our new Chevy Volt.  We are really enjoying driving it, and seeing how much gas we are saving.  We have Sandy to thank for forcing us to get a new car, probably several years before we would have otherwise.  We are leasing it, which is a first for us.  We figure the batteries might not last for as long as we normally hold on to a car, plus the technology should continue to improve.  Who knows what will be available in another 3 years.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dolly Quilt

Even though Hurricane Sandy washed out the quilt guild's harvest supper this year, we were encouraged to complete the dolly quilts we make for charity.  Here is the one I turned in.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We haven't had a lot of time or energy to check out the destruction meted out by Hurricane Sandy outside of our little world.  But we did walk down to the marina and saw that one of the docks has been destroyed, though the others are in pretty good shape.
This sailboat definitely has problems - I believe there is supposed to be more than a tattered sail above water.  There is another sailboat out in the middle of the river which apparently dragged its anchor and has been sitting there since the storm.
Today we ventured to the Long Branch boardwalk.  It used to be on these supports.  It is now a pile of rubble on the other side of the street.

News from our little world is that our sheetrock is installed and the first coat of spackle is done.  I actually did some quilting today, just so I could feel some semblance of normalcy.  Of course I did it on the dining table.  It will be a long time before my quilting room is usable again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


They started hanging sheetrock today.  Not sure how much farther they are going to get since they are having trouble finding insulation.  Thank goodness we aren't trying to do it on our own. 
We went to the music store this afternoon to start looking at digital pianos and W has already chosen the one he wants - a Clavinova by Yamaha.  An electronic instrument makes so much sense for us - since the condo gets so hot and humid when we are away for the summer, it is hard on an acoustic piano.  Plus, this one comes apart so we can carry it upstairs in the event of another flood.  Afraid that is now going to be a part of our calculation as we buy replacements for things. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012


The sheetrock is finally all removed, leaving the entire ground floor open into the garage.  Thank goodness the temperatures have been moderate - with a springlike 65 today.  Today I painted Drylok on the exposed concrete block.  Most of the moisture left was coming from the outside, not a result of the flooding inside.  Hopefully the paint will block some of that.  The big news is that we have decided to hire someone to do the sheetrock/taping/spackling.  The job was just getting too big and this crew is doing a lot of the work in neighboring units and seems to be good.  Now I just need a call back from them to schedule the work and then we should be able to relax for a while.  We'll still install the ceramic tile floor in the entertainment room and do the painting.

Friday, November 9, 2012

More Progress

Fortunately the nor'easter did no further damage.  No flooding here, but lots of snow, especially west of here where there was a foot in some places.  Hope that is not a harbinger of things to come this winter.  We've had quite enough of Mother Nature already.

Electricity came on last evening and cable/internet today.  Furnace replacement was moved up to tomorrow and the washer and dryer arrive on Sunday.  Then it is "just" a matter of sheetrock, taping, spackling, painting, laying the tile floor, replacing the molding, and replacing some doors.  And can't start any of that until the walls are thoroughly dry.  The furnace should help a lot with that.  It's going to be a long slog.  Not sure how much time we'll have for the holidays this year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

The following says it all. 

We spent Oct 28th emptying as much as we could from the bottom level of our condo.  Then we evacuated to a hotel in PA not too far from A's house.  The storm hit Monday the 29th and Wednesday the 31st we drove back home to assess the damage.   Here is the high water mark in the garage - 19 inches.
We removed the soaked carpet from the entertainment room and hired someone to remove the soaked piano.  The rest of the furniture in that room we had put up on blocks so it is ok.

We have now removed all of the sheetrock from the bottom half of all the walls on the lower floor.  Have to wait for the cinder block and studs to dry before we can replace it.  And that requires power (who knows when it will be restored) and a furnace, which is due to be fixed on the 14th.  This is what my quilting room looks like at the moment.  At least the tile floor there survived.

The cleanup effort was amazing.  Large front-end loaders were picking up debris by Sunday
We feel very lucky. We lost the 40-year-old piano because we couldn't lift it out of the flood.  We lost the 19-year-old car, knowing that was a possibility when we left it behind.  We lost the carpet in the entertainment room, but had been wanting to replace it with ceramic tile anyway.  And we lost my cabinets in the quilting room - too many and too big to move.  We'll worry about replacing them after all the work is done.  It will be many months before we get everything back in order.

We are now back in PA having fled the nor'easter that descended on us today.  We don't think our property will flood again, but we could not afford to lose another car so we left just in case.  There are no hotel rooms anywhere with so many folks without power and still evacuated.  So we and S (who received a mandatory evacuation notice) are at A's for the night.  We have to be back home tomorrow to meet with the FEMA inspector.

Friday, October 26, 2012

An Unexpected Paddle

We drove to camp yesterday to be here for the fiber installation today (yeah - high-speed internet).  The installers were early so we had time to enjoy the gorgeous weather by paddling from our place, up the river, carrying around the dam, and paddling into Tupper Lake then heading back home.  It is a good thing we got to enjoy our time here, because it looks as though we have to drive back to NJ tomorrow to do what we can to get ready for Hurricane Sandy.  Sigh.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quilted Jacket

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paddling Summary 2012

What a strange and interrupted summer.  We didn't get much paddling done.  I did the following 16 paddles:
Axton to Raquette Falls
Bog River
Cedar River Flow
Church to Jones Pond
Floodwood Rollins loop - twice
Henderson Lake
Lake Abanakee
Little Tupper
Lower Osgood
Moose Pond
Raquette Lake to Blue Mountain Lake
Round Lake
South Creek to Second Pond
South Creek to Weller
Upper Osgood

Monday, October 8, 2012

Traditional Paddle and Picnic on the Bog River

Today is Columbus Day and therefore the day to put in at Low's Lower Dam and paddle up the Bog River to the picnic area on Hitchins Pond.  About 20 of us enjoyed the good food and company.  The temperature was about 40 degrees when we started out but the sun was warm.
We drive back to New Jersey tomorrow.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Raft of Loons

We drove to the beach at Lake Clear today to look for the loons that were reported to collect here every fall.  With binoculars we counted about 40 of them in the distance, but it was too windy to put in the boats and paddle closer.  Maybe next year.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Paddling Henderson Lake

A group of us paddled Henderson Lake today.  We were hoping to see the leaves at their peak but the rain the last couple of days had knocked off lots of them.  It was still pretty, though we didn't get much sunshine.  It rained a bit, but mostly while we were in the lean-to having lunch.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Family Reunion in Georgia

As if we hadn't already done enough traveling this year, tomorrow we head for Georgia to help celebrate W's aunt's 90th birthday.  We'll be back to camp on Monday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Paddling from Raquette Lake to Blue Mountain Lake

Nine of us did the traditional paddle from Raquette Lake, up the Marion River, through Utowana and Eagle Lakes to the beach at Blue Mountain Lake.  We had fairly high winds, but they were mostly behind us and gave a nice ride.  We of course ended the day with dinner at Hemlock Hall.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to NJ

Drove back to NJ today so we could go to chorus rehearsal this evening.  We'll be here until next Thursday to get one more rehearsal in before we head back to camp.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Paddling Cedar River Flow

Finally got back on the water again today.  6 of us braved the winds and paddled Cedar River Flow.  It was great to go with someone who knows where they are going.  We had no trouble finding the river on the southern end of the flow and paddled down almost to the rapids then back to the lean-to for lunch.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Family Time

What a hectic couple of weeks.  After flying across country 4 times - to bring Dad here then take him back - it is finally time to relax.  It was great having everyone here over the holiday weekend.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Woke this morning to this view of a comfy bear sitting on the deck helping itself to the last of the bird food.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paddling the Lower Osgood

A group of us had a great paddle on the Lower Osgood River today.  I had never done it as a one-way paddle before.  We put in right off Rt 30 - drive past the Hayes Brook trailheads then look for a mailbox on the left.  The put-in is just opposite on the right side of the road.  We had no obstacles to go over/around and the water was high with a nice current.  We paddled about 7 miles.  Lunch was on the beach at Meacham Lake where we saw a huge bald eagle perched in a tree near the shore.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paddling Round Pond

I led a paddle around Round Pond today.  It was cut a bit short by a threatened thunderstorm.  It never hit there but went north and really pounded Tupper Lake and our camp.  After the paddle friends came by to visit with W since he is not paddling yet. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Funky Caterpillar

Found this fellow on my clothesline.  It apparently is a tussock moth.  The moth is quite drab.  I wonder why nature makes the caterpillars so fancy.  I guess because it can.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

At Camp

We drove to camp yesterday.  Today we walked at the VIC.  I was hoping the orchids would still be in bloom, but we didn't see many.  There was one Calopogon blooming and several of these White Fringed Orchis.  But it was a nice walk through the bog.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Where are we?

Haven't posted for a while, so thought I would catch up.  We drove to NJ on July 13th so W would be ready for his surgery on the 16th.  Have been laying low so he can recover.  He is doing extremely well and we will head back up to camp next week.
I did get out yesterday for an expedition to the Burlington County Historical Society.  W has lots of Quaker ancestors who were part of that community in the 1670's.  The woman who works in the library there is a gold mine.  She knew of every family I mentioned and pulled out resources for most of them.  Can't wait to get it all in my database.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stephen Knapp's Light Paintings

We dropped off A&J at the rest stop on the northway then went into Glens Falls.  We ate a nice lunch at Davidson's Brothers then went to the Hyde Collection.  We saw some neat Tiffany lamps and windows and some awesome light paintings by Stephen Knapp.  This is one of several on his website.

Heron Rookery

Today we finally remembered to take binoculars and camera to view the herons nesting south of Sabattis Circle on Route 30.  These photos are the best I could do from a distance.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A&J Visit

We've been busily painting the deck and back porch, then Friday A&J came for a visit.  We've been mostly hanging around camp but today we hiked to Jamestown Falls for a picnic.  The beaver dam was still in place allowing us to ford the stream by walking across it.  We walked to the end of the trail where I took this photo.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Paddling Floodwood-Rollins Loop, Again

The temps in NJ were so high that we drove back to camp yesterday, a day earlier than planned.  That meant we could join the gang on today's paddle.  The bridge on Floodwood Rd is open, so we put in there and did the usual loop.  There were not many other people around, which was a surprise.  The temperature was in the mid-70's, a big improvement over the NJ temps.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In New Jersey

We drove to NJ today because W has doctors' appointments tomorrow.  On our way home we did some shopping for things that are easier to find in NJ than in the north country.  We went to our favorite pizza place for dinner.  Then later in the evening, once the thermometer finally dropped below 90 degrees - ugh - we took a long walk on the beach.  Then we stopped on the way home for ice cream.  A New Jersey kind of day.  We drive back to camp on Monday.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Biking and Hiking

We've been doing a very good job of playing outside, helped by the good weather.  When we are not paddling we can be found biking, hiking/walking, or both.  Yesterday we took the bikes to Fish Creek and did our usual 2 loops around the campground for a total of about 9.5 miles.  Today we went back and rode the bikes to the Floodwood Loop trailhead and walked about 3 miles on the trails.  Then we finished the campground loop on the bikes.  It was a good day except for the bugs.  We've had so few bugs this year that we didn't think to take bug repellent and the deer flies were really bad.  And they are probably here to stay for the summer.  I guess that means we'll be spending more time out on the water.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice

The group celebrated the summer solstice by paddling around Moose Pond and then having a picnic for supper.  The swimming was good too, especially since the temps got over 90 degrees today.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Paddling Lake Abanakee

This morning we drove to Cedar River Flow to paddle with the group.  But when we got there the winds were high and there were LOTS of black flies, more than we'd seen anywhere else this year.  The group decided against fighting the wind, which can get very bad on the Flow, so we headed for Lake Abanakee instead.  We had never paddled there so we've added another to our list of paddles.  We put in from the beach north of Route 28 (the swimming season has not started yet so we could put in there instead of further north) and paddled south as shown on the map then retraced our steps for a total of about 8 miles.  We especially enjoyed paddling up Round Pond Brook until the rocks forced us to turn back.  Big Brook Road, where we stopped to have lunch, seems like a good place to bike ride.  We'll have to try it sometime.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Anniversary

We celebrated our anniversary today by driving to Lake Placid with J & C and walking the 3 mile loop around Mirror Lake.  Then we had a very nice lunch at Adirondack Steak and Seafood.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another Beautiful Day

Today was very calm so a group of us paddled on Little Tupper Lake.  We had a very nice paddle, stopping at campsite #10 for lunch.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Paddling the Rollins-Floodwood Loop

We did a variation on the usual Rollins-Floodwood loop today.  The Floodwood road is closed so we put in at the northern parking lot on Follensby Clear, portaged to Fish Creek, paddled up to Copperas and did the loop through Whey, Rollins, Floodwood, then back down Fish Creek through Square and Fish Creek Ponds, up Spider Creek and back into Follensby Clear for a total of about 12.5 miles of portages and paddling.  It was a beautiful day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Paddling to Raquette Falls

A group of us had a nice paddle from Axton Landing to Raquette Falls and back.  The current was strong, so after paddling hard upstream it was nice to basically float back again.  As usual, the group was a good advertisement for Placid Boatworks.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Adirondack Carousel

We visited the new carousel in Saranac Lake this morning.  The carved animals/birds/bugs are very neat.

Quilt #24

This one is hanging from the loft railing at camp.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back to NJ

We drove back to NJ today for a doctor's appointment.  We'll spend the weekend with family then back to camp on Monday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

A large group of us (21 to be exact) did our annual Memorial Day paddle plus picnic.  We paddled the Upper Osgood, stopping for lunch at the campsite which this year was unoccupied.  Then we went to M&P's for a picnic.  A very nice day.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another Paddle with Friends

We couldn't resist another paddle today since the weather is so nice.  Nine of us put in at South Creek again, this time heading for Weller Pond.  The winds ended up being much stronger than expected, so we got quite a workout.  At least the winds kept the bugs away.

Neat Moth

This fellow was on the column of our porch.  If it had been on a tree, we never would have seen it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paddling with Friends

Thirteen of us had a great paddle today in beautiful weather.  We put in at South Creek and paddled through Middle Saranac, down the river through the upper locks, and out into Lower Saranac, taking out at Second Pond.  We did some exploring of the creeks flowing into the river and explored Pope Bay on Lower Saranac where we had not been before.  So we ended up paddling nearly 10 miles.  Then we went to hang out at B&G's afterwards.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quilting Awards

My Cinco De Mayo quilt won 3 awards at the guild's quilt show - First Place in it's size category, Best Use of Color in the show of about 170 quilts, tied with one other quilt for Viewer's Choice in the venue where it was displayed.  Pretty neat.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Paddling Church to Jones Ponds

We drove back to NJ late yesterday after a nice paddle with friends.  We put in on Church Pond at Paul Smiths, crossed Osgood Pond, and paddled out the stream (including over/around a couple of beaver dams) to Jones Pond where we had lunch on a nearby campsite before retracing our steps for a total of about 7 miles.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Relaxing at Camp

After some late doctor's appointments yesterday, we started driving north in the late afternoon and got here at 10 PM.  So it is doable, but not recommended.  Those last couple of hours on the winding, dark, deserted roads were not fun.  We are looking forward to some walking, paddling, and general R&R before heading back to NJ on Monday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quilt for Dad

Just finished the quilt for Dad to hang above his red sofa.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Back to NJ

We woke to this this morning, with temps in the low 20's.Quite a change from the high in the low 80's on Thursday. So it is a good day to drive back to NJ. We want to be fresh for tomorrow evening's final artistic director try-outs. Should be interesting.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hiking Henry's Woods

Another beautiful day with temps in the 60's. We finally got to hike in Henry's Woods outside of Lake Placid, walking about 4.5 miles.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Earliest Paddle Ever

I paddled on the Flow today. There is still ice in the upper end where there is little flow, but it is rapidly breaking down. If I'd had the kayak instead of my expensive kevlar canoe, I would have tried ice breaking to see how far I could get. The rest of the lake is pretty ice free. It was great to be out on the water again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

At Camp

Drove to camp today. It was 75 degrees when we arrived. More like the first day of summer than the first day of spring. There is still ice on many of the lakes, but it is melted enough on the Flow that I hope to get out in the boat while we are here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New York City

Today we took the Seastreak ferry from Atlantic Highlands to 35th St on the East River in NYC. We took the latest ferry at 10 AM (due to our still having not accommodated the time change so we are sleeping in), and found it was a smaller boat than is used during rush hour. And coming back at 3:50 it was also a small boat. The crossing was fine, but a bit rough. The reason for the trip was to see the new Islam exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum. It was neat, particularly the Moorish courtyard specially built for the exhibit. They don't allow flash photography and the light was low, so I didn't get good photos. We walked from the ferry terminal to the subway stop between 33rd and 34th on Park Ave and got off at 77th and walked to the museum. But coming back, we caught a cab outside the museum, since we'd had plenty of walking by then. We just had lunch at a soup place and then stopped for dinner at Inlet Cafe in Highlands.
The ferry seems like a good solution when I want to go to the library for geneaology. It is within walking distance from the 35th street terminal.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Trip to Lancaster

We drove to Lancaster yesterday for some serious fabric shopping. I bought lots at Old Country Store and at Zooks, both in Intercourse. We had a hard time finding somewhere to eat lunch. The folks at Old Country Store highly recommended Millers Smorgasbord in Ronks (much more so than Plain and Fancy), but they are not open for lunch at this time of year. I must remember to go later in March next time. We went through Lititz and had dinner at the Tomato Pie Cafe. Then to the Furnace Hills B&B. It is a nice place nestled in the woods near the Middle Creek Wildlife Management preserve. The trip was timed to see the snow geese and tundra swans at the preserve. Unfortunately, it was very foggy this morning. So while we saw lots of birds, the photos didn't turn out very well. It was something to see once, but I don't think I would do it again. Then we went to Burkholders for more fabric. I would probably start there next time and then head to Intercourse.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yet another quilt

This is another stack 'n whack, but I don't like it as well as the last one. But I used heavy batting so it will be nice and cozy on the sofa.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Winter Activities

Even though there is little snow, we are managing to find things to do. Yesterday we snowshoed part of the Deer Pond Loop. But the microspikes would have worked fine. Tomorrow we are hiking in Henry's Woods outside of Lake Placid with some ADK friends and then going to the pot luck dinner afterwards. And tonight Jim and Cindy are coming to dinner. So we are getting our socializing done. Monday we head back to NJ.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Gear

We drove to camp yesterday. There is very little snow here and relatively high temps. It was above freezing for the entire drive. This afternoon we joined some of our friends for a hike on the trails between Church and Osgood Ponds, across from Paul Smith's. Since there is little snow and what there is is icy, we needed some new equipment. These are microspikes and they worked quite well.After the hike we had a nice dinner at the St. Regis Cafe, the student-run restaurant in Paul Smith's, and then went to John's talk at the VIC.