Monday, December 26, 2016

Quilt 49

I made this one for my daughter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


The following is a hint of where we have been for the last few days.

We returned last evening from a trip to Sanibel Island, Florida.  We flew down on the 8th and back on the 13th, which is the time we usually go.  We were very surprised that we saw so few birds on the shore.  We are used to seeing lots of terns, but the only ones we saw this time were a few perched on pilings in Tarpon Bay during our sunset cruise.  The only birds on the shore were the usual sanderlings and some other shorebirds that I think were snowy plover, ruddy turnstone, black-bellied plover, and willet, but I could be wrong about all of those.  I have trouble with shorebirds at the best of times and winter plumage doesn't help.
But we did see a snowy egret in the surf.

We did the usual Ding-Darling drive and had great sightings there.
There were the usual white pelicans.

We saw about two dozen spoonbills, which was a real treat.

On a walk through the mangroves we saw lots of mangrove crabs, which probably were always there, we just had never had them pointed out to us.

We walked in the Bailey Tract and it was so nice we rented bikes on our last morning and rode through there as well.

There was a lot of wind the first few days we were there but on Monday we rented kayaks and did the Commodore Creek paddle, which was great as usual.

We didn't see much on the sunset cruise but it was still enjoyable.  As usual, there were birds on every piling.

It was a nice trip and we were sad to leave.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Westminster Bell Choir Concert

I went to the holiday concert of the Westminster Bell Choir this afternoon.  It was great, as always.  And I found a large parking lot behind the college, so I needn't have arrived so early in order to find parking.  I'll try to remember for next time.  Leaving home at 2:45 for a 4:00 concert is plenty of time to get a good seat.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Another Concert at NJPAC

We heard the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra play
  • Mozart's Jupiter Symphony
  • A Mozart Horn Concerto
  • Beethoven's Symphony #7
We stopped at Ponte Vecchio restaurant in Old Bridge for dinner.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner

We went to Rooney's on the ocean in Long Branch for Thanksgiving dinner again.  I was surprised to see that some of the restaurants in Pier Village were open as well, including McLoone's.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Quilt 48

This is pattern Turbulence by Linda Warren.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Very Busy Day

We started yesterday with another excellent talk at 55PLUS in Princeton.  The speaker was David Redlawsk, chair of the department of Political Science at the University of Delaware and until recently director of the Eagleton Center at Rutgers.  His talk was "A Post-mortem on the 2016 Presidential Election."  It was very informative.
After the lecture we had lunch at our favorite spot nearby in Kingston, then walked on the tow path for about 3 miles.
Then we drove back into Princeton, parked the car, and didn't leave again until about 10:30 at night.  We explored the art museum on campus, checked out the library which we discovered you can't use without a Princeton ID, and looked around the bookstore.
We had an early dinner then went to a lecture by Linda Greenhouse on "The Evolving Dialogue Between Courts and Legislature."  It was somewhat arcane, but interesting, and it was neat seeing her in person.
Then off to Richardson Theater for a concert by the Takacs String Quartet.  They are playing all the Beethoven quartets over a period of several months.  We'll attend two more of their concerts early next year.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Chamber Music Concert

Another great concert in the Red Bank Chamber Music series.  The New York Woodwind Quintet played music by Samuel Barber, Carl Nielsen, Claudio Monteverdi, and Felix Mendelssohn.  The last two pieces were transcribed for wind quintet by the group's French horn player.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Trip to Corning and Watkins Glen

We had a great weekend.  We drove to Corning Friday afternoon and spent the night at a very nice Staybridge Suites hotel.  We spent Saturday touring the Corning Museum of Glass and making our own glass pieces.  These are mine.

These are some of the underwater-themed pieces in the museum.

You have to wait until noon the next day to pick up your pieces, so we spent Sunday morning hiking at Watkins Glen.  My knee managed all the steps without complaint.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Walk in Thompson Park

My knee was feeling good today so we went for a 2.5 mile hike in Thompson Park.  It was a nice fall day.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

NJSO Concert

We really enjoyed the concert today.  It was Xian Zhang's debut as music director and it was in NJPAC, which has much better acoustics than the other venues.  It was an hour's drive to get to the 1:30 concert and parking was tight.
The program was all Tchaikovsky, which seems fairly ordinary, but she is such a dynamic conductor and hearing it live really makes a difference.

  • Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
  • Piano Concerto No 1 with fantastic pianist Simon Trpceski.  Not sure we've ever heard a Macedonian musician before.
  • Symphony No 5

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Quilts Hung at Last

I took the quilts down from the great room walls so I could enter some of them in the quilt show last May.  We finally hung them up again today.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Quilt 47

This pattern is by Linda Warren.  I took a class from her in Tupper Lake this summer, but that quilt isn't finished yet.  This is another pattern of hers that I really like.  The fabrics are mostly from Jinny Beyer's palette collection.

Quilt 46

I'm slowly finishing several quilts I worked on over the summer.  The main fabric in this one is some I bought a few years ago to do a stack-n-whack.  But when I looked at it again, it seemed too pretty to cut up so I created this shadow box effect instead.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Another Great Concert

We drove to Princeton today for another great concert.  It was part of the Westminster Conservatory at Nassau series which showcases folks from Westminster Choir College.  The musicians were faculty from Westminster playing oboe, clarinet and bassoon performing the following pieces.
Rustiques pour tri d'anches by Joseph Canteloube
La Traviata by Verdi, transcribed for reed trio

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Walk on the Beach

The weather has been gorgeous ever since we have been back from camp, which of course means we really need more rain.  But today was especially nice with the temperature forecast to reach a record high in the low 80's.  So we drove the 45 minutes to Point Pleasant Beach were we had a very nice walk on the beach.  My knee even behaved so maybe the cortisone shot is finally doing its thing.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Red Bank Chamber Music

Today's performance by the Omni Piano Quartet was wonderful as always.  They played
Mozart - Piano Quartet in G minor
Joaquin Turina - Piano Quartet in A minor
Camille Saint-Saens - Piano Quartet in B-flat

Praying Mantis

This fellow was on the sidewalk when we went out for our walk.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Back to NJ

We drove back to New Jersey on October 4th, in time for me to get a cortisone shot in my knee the following day.  The leaves were just getting pretty in the Adirondacks so we should have stayed about a week longer to see the peak.  We'll have to remember that for the future.  The rest of our plans for the month were mostly canceled because my knee was really acting up.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

2016 Paddling Summary

I only did 10 paddles this year due to my bad knee.  I hurt it again getting out of the boat at Blue Mountain Lake, so that was my last paddle.

  • Blue Mountain Lake
  • Cedar River Flow
  • Floodwood to Polliwog
  • Long Pond
  • Massawepie
  • Middle Branch of St Regis River
  • Rainbow Lake
  • Raquette River - Axton to Crusher
  • Raquette River - Crusher to Moody
  • Second Pond to locks and then to Bluff Island

Friday, September 16, 2016

Paddling Blue Mountain Lake

I finally got back on the water today.  Actually, I did a trial run on the Flow yesterday to be sure I could get in and out of the boat with my bum knee.  I decided I could take a chance and paddle with the group today.  The weather was perfect for a leisurely exploration of Blue Mountain Lake.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wood Splitting

We had a number of large trees taken down a while back.  We cut them up and tried splitting the logs with our manual hydraulic splitter but it was way too slow and couldn't handle the big logs.  And there were lots of them.

So we finally rented a large splitter that can work vertically, since the logs were too heavy to lift.  It is noisy and smelly, but it gets the job done.

We have been at it for 3 days and expect to finish tomorrow.  We have LOTS of wood and now have to find a place for it all.  This is just a temporary stack.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hill and Hollow Concert

I just returned from a wonderful concert at the Saranac United Methodist Church.  It was worth the 1 1/3 hour drive each way.  The players were the Olympus Piano Trio, who had spent the last week doing concentrated rehearsing as part of the Hill and Hollow program.  The program included

  • Rachmaninoff Trio No 1 in G Minor
  • Brahms Trio No 2 in C Major
  • Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A Minor

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Jersey Visit

We just returned from a week in New Jersey.  The weather was incredibly hot, with heat index over 100 nearly every day.  So we didn't do much outdoors.  This was also partly because I have a torn meniscus in my right knee.  I think I did it several weeks ago when I was climbing around on Bluff Island.  I saw the doctor when I was in NJ and he diagnosed it.  I start physical therapy tomorrow.  Sigh.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Final Sinfonietta Concert

We heard another great concert last evening.  This is the final one for us this year since we are going back to NJ for a visit later in the week.

  • Coriolan Overture by Beethoven
  • Overture to "La Gassa Ladra" by Rossini
  • First movement of Serenade No 1 by Brahms
  • Five Easy Pieces from Suites No. 1 and 2 for Small Orchestra by Stravinsky
  • Humoresques 1 and 2 for Violin and Orchestra by Sibelius with more gorgeous playing by concertmaster Daniel Szasz
  • Classical Symphony by Prokofiev

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Paddling the Cedar River

We did a nice 11 mile paddle today.  We put in at Wakeley Dam and paddled down Cedar River Flow.

As usual, it took some exploring and backtracking to find the entrance to the river.  But it was worth it on such a beautiful day.  We paddled down to the lean-to for lunch, carrying around a big beaver dam which we managed to ride over on the way back.

On our way back down the flow we explored Buell Brook, which we had never done before, and got farther upstream than we expected given the relatively low water.  As you can tell from the photo, the clouds were moving in by then and they were welcome since it was about 80 degrees.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lake Placid Sinfonietta - Concert 4

Last evening's concert was great.

  • An excerpt from "Acis and Galatea" by Handel and sung by Hannah Harrow, the daughter of Anne Harrow, the Sinfonietta's fabulous flautist
  • Die Tageszeiten by Telemann
  • Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart
The second half consisted of pieces written or orchestrated in 1917, the year the Sinfonietta was founded.  These have been recorded and will be released as part of the Sinfonietta's 100th birthday celebration next year.
  • Ancient Airs and Dances Suite I by Respighi
  • Romanian Folk Dances by Bartok
  • Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Paddling from Second Pond

We paddled about 8.5 miles today, in two sections.  We put in at the boat launch at Second Pond and paddled down the Saranac River toward the locks.  There were lots of pretty water lilies in bloom.

Along the way we explored Cold Brook until downed trees made passage difficult.

We paddled to the locks then returned to the launch where we got out to stretch our legs.  At that point we had paddled about 5 miles.
We got back in the boats and paddled through First Pond to Bluff Island in Lower Saranac Lake where we climbed to the top of the bluff to eat our lunch and hiked around a bit.  It is one of our favorite spots.

By the time we left the island there were white caps on the lake so we headed back to the boat launch, paddling a total of 3.5 miles more.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Lake Placid Sinfonietta - Concert 3

With guest conductor and pianist William Eddins.  He was very entertaining.  Neat comments about the pieces and fun to watch.

  • Serenade for Strings by Dag Wiren - very nice.
  • Concerto Grosso No 1 by Ernest Bloch with Eddins conducting from the piano - another nice piece
  • Symphony No 4 by Beethoven

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Paddling the Middle Branch of the St Regis River

We did one of our favorite paddles today - 12.5 miles roundtrip on the middle branch of the St Regis River, from the put-in off Route 458 in Santa Clara to the rapids and back.  As usual, we had the river to ourselves.  We stopped briefly at the old homesite where we used to eat lunch, but it is very overgrown.  But the scenery was as beautiful as ever.

And the rapids were as impassable as ever.  We again could not find anyplace to get out at that point so we turned around and headed back.

We did find a nice place to stop and rest about 5 miles from the car.

We saw many of our favorite flowers along the way, including cardinal flower

and swamp milkweed.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lake Placid Sinfonietta - Concert 2

  • Brandenburg Concerto No 6 by Bach
  • Divertimento Concertante for Double Bass and Orchestra by Giovanni Nino Rota - a fun piece starring the Sinfonietta's double bassist
  • Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams
  • Symphony No 60 by Haydn

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


We had several trees taken down.  Now we have LOTS of sawing and splitting to do.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Lake Placid Sinfonietta - Concert 1

We look forward to our Sinfonietta subscription every summer.  Yesterday's concert included

  • Calm Sees and Prosperous Voyage by Mendelssohn
  • Three German Dances by Mozart
  • Voyage for Flute and String Orchestra by Corigliano
  • Three Latin American Sketches by Copland
  • Requiem by Faure with the Northern Lights Choir.  They were competent but not very exciting.  I hope our chorus sounds better.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Paddling from Crusher to Moody

We had a great paddle on the Raquette River from the Crusher to the state boat launch at Moody, for a total of about 8 1/2 miles.  It was quite hot so we didn't mind a bit of a head wind to cool us off.  We stopped for lunch at a spot just downriver from the museum where there was a clearing that looked like the end of an old road.  We weren't sure if it was all private property but there were few signs and really no where else to stop.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hiking Mt Arab

It was a beautiful day today so we climbed Mt Arab and got great views from the fire tower.  It was an easier hike than I remembered, probably because I have a new knee to hike with.  I didn't take my camera so no photos to share.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


We have family visiting and decided to drive/hike up Whiteface Mountain, which we haven't done for a long time.  Unfortunately, since it is a holiday weekend, there were LOTS of people with the same idea.  We had to wait about 20 minutes in line before we could get a parking spot.  We hiked up to the top and got a great view, but then decided to take the elevator down since we were short of time.
This is the view of Lake Placid.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Beautiful Day for a Paddle

A small group of us did one of our favorite paddles today, putting in at Floodwood, paddling down Fish Creek, through Follensby Clear, then portaging to Polliwog and taking out there where we had spotted a car.  It was a beautiful day.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Canadian Rockies Day 13

We woke to rain this morning so decided to just drive to Calgary since we didn't feel like hiking in the rain.  It really stormed in Calgary and we drove through a hail storm on the way to the hotel.  Tomorrow we fly back to the Adirondacks.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Canadian Rockies Day 12 - Lake Louise

We had an abbreviated hike today, only 2.5 miles along the paved path around Lake Louise.  The weather was cloudy so we didn't get the iconic photo of the blue-green lake with the glacier-covered mountains in the background and blue sky above.  We weren't sure we were up to the hike up the valley of six glaciers and when it started raining we decided to turn back.

Lake Louise is the only stop on the trip where I wish I had a "remove Japanese tourist" button on my photoshop software.  The place was really crowded.  But you didn't have to go very far up the trail to lose most of the people.  Still, we've decided that if we come to the Canadian Rockies again, we will probably skip Lake Louise.  If we want to hike there, we can drive over from Moraine Lake, as long as we are there by 9 AM so there is still parking available.