Beginnings and Endings

This will be my last and final post here for a variety of reasons.  It wasn’t(or isn’t) because I have given up my intentions of becoming a Christian homemaker nor a Proverbs 31 woman.  It was more so because I just wasn’t feeling the calling in that direction to blog or write about that.  It was hard to make the commitment to blog at least 2-3 times a week posting recipes and other stuff that I felt was prudent to those subjects.  And I don’t write recipes or about recipes or cooking or anything related to stuff within the home.  I write fiction and poetry and on the very rare occasion, I write nonfiction pieces.  And at least with the direction of this particular blog, I don’t feel the strong commitment.  I feel guilty when I don’t post 2-3 times a week too.

They say when one door opens, another closes.  Perhaps this is the door that has opened over at my new blog, The Backwater Primer. Would you please migrate with me over there and follow me?  I would really appreciate it.  I don’t want to loose you, all my awesome and loyal followers.  I invite you to click HERE.  And if you are are also following me on The Serene View, I am still posting photos there regularly too.  Click HERE if you are not following me over there to not miss my journey through the lense of a camera.

 

Thank you for everything.  I hope to see you over at the new Backwater Primer!

 

 

 

“Everything ends.  But there are always new beginnings.” -Ralph Bellamy, When The Smoke Hits  The Fan.

 

Catching Up In May

Hello, my lovely readers.  I’ve been around but just not posting.  Summer is around the bend and so is June!  The weather is finally beautiful here and we have been taken advantage of that.  I’ve been going fishing with my fiancee when I am up and able to do so.  I myself don’t care to fish but I have done so a few times when I am in the mood so I sit there and take pictures of when Chris catches a fish or just of the wildlife or plants or whatever I find that interests me.

The past two weekends we have had a yard sale.  Between Chris and I, we made about $140.  My sister and her boyfriend put in some stuff and so did her friend.  They didn’t fair too well.  Chris and I still have some stuff left we want to get rid of, so we are going to post them to the garage sale groups we are part of on FB.

Chris and I have set out wedding date for 15 August 2015.  We are trying to keep our budget under $1000 but not more than $2000 so we are going to be doing everything ourselves basically.  I have already ordered my veil but I need to get a floral crown to attach to it.  I have my dress picked out.  It is a pattern from Simplicity and my Mother and her best friend are going to make it for me.  I have my bridesmaids picked out but Chris still has to pick his groomsmen.  We also have our flowergirl and ring bearer, and photographer/videographer.  The big one is a pastor to preside over the ceremony.  We are not members of any Christian church nor do we go to a church.  We do not want a JP either.

My baby sister made her Confirmation today.  She has also started taking college courses and she is only a sophomore too!  I am so proud of her!

Grace, 'the most reverend' Richard J. Malone Bishop of Buffalo, NY Diocese, and my beautiful Mother.

Grace, ‘the most reverend’ Richard J. Malone Bishop of Buffalo, NY Diocese, and my beautiful Mother.

 

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I believe this is a Yellow Warbler. Their habitat is the riverside woodlands, wet thickets, brusy marsh edges, orchards, suburbs, parks. Where we were fishing, it was kinda wet and we were at the end of, I guess you would say, inlet ??? of the pond. This species has the largest breeding range of any warbler and is common not only in most of North American but as far south as Peru. The Yellow Warbler often nests in willows, alders, or other shrubs along the edge of a swamp or road; its neat cup of silvery plant fibers is usually built in a low fork. The male is a persistant singer with two basic songs: pip-pip-pip-sissewa-is sweet and wee-see-wee-see-wiss-wiss-u. This little bird darted back and forth and was very hard to photography. Plus I guess I don’t have a good enough shutter speed, aperture, and zoom ????

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Again, this isn’t a really great picture and neither is the last one of this bird, but I am thinking this is a White-breasted Nuthatch. If I am wrong, please correct me. The nuthatches are the only birds that habitually climb down tree trunks headfirst , gathering insects and insect eggs from crevices and under the bark. The name nuthatch derives from nut-hack, for the way the birds wedge nuts and other food into crevices and chop them into pieces. This bird and another bird of its same species was darting back and forth in the trees, which is another reason why I couldn’t get a better picture. The birds had a pretty blue color to them and were very chatty to each other.

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This is a Canada Goose. This hen let me get quite close to her and didn’t move nor start honking at me. I think it had something to do with the fact that her mate was far away from her patrolling the area in the water. The geese down in the area where we fish are the giant kind. At least 18lbs. Her nest was near the water’s edge. On the other pond across the road we fish on, there was another hen that had her nest on top of a beaver house. We had a week a week of rain between coming back two weeks later and these two geese had a few goslings trailing behind them. They were too far for me to get a good photo of them. Boy, you get within a mile of these guys and they start honking up a storm and they don’t stop! lol

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This was a small bass that Chris had caught in the inlet that I had found those birds.

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This is a little hill we have to climb to get to one of the ponds because it is man-made and was kinda dug out of the earth, like a crater had hit into the ground.

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The booty shot of the assumed White-breasted Nuthatch :p

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This is the pond at sunset. It came out so good.

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The other side of the same pond at sunset.

There is never anybody up there when Chris and I go.  These ponds are at the end of a dead-end road called Ubidam outside of Portville, NY.  Not that I want to give away a great fishing spot or anything.

This post was suppose to go up yesterday, but I really wanted to get it up today because Justin will be with us this weekend, so there goes the laptop for the weekend and I am trying to plan a road trip of sorts over to Bradford, PA either after Chris gets out of work at 4 this Saturday(that’s a tight squeeze) or Sunday.  We want to go over to the Zippo Museum, Crook’s Farm(they don’t know about this yet and this is provided that I can persuade them to go….), and this sportsman store.

I am sharing more pictures over on my photoblog, The Serene View, of the past month plus other pictures I myslfl have taken, so I invite you to please go and see them!  And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to stay updated on new posts.  And if you are a new reader here, please subscribe too.

I want to leave you with what I thought this interesting piece of trivia to mull over in your head.  What do you call a flock of hummingbirds?

hummingbirds

 

Turns out there are several accepted terms, all of them appropriately lyrical: A bouquet, a glittering, a hover, a shimmer, or a tune!

Weekend At Camp Timbercrest

Hello, my lovely readers!  Here we are, almost at the end of April, in the very cusp of Spring.  Old Man Winter has gone and has taken the snow away with him, praise the Lord, and lucky for me, my muse and inspiration and the darkness and the dreariness has been lifted from my head.  Yes, I still have my moments, especially when my back hurts, that I feel down, but not as much as it is in the winter.

 

And introducing, my baby!

Polaroid IS2132-16MP 21X Zoom

Polaroid IS2132-16MP 21X Zoom

 

This past weekend, my mother had me go along with her up to Camp Timbercrest in Randolph, NY, for a service weekend.  Camp Timbercrest is a camp for Girl Scouts of Western NY-Southern Tier located on 900 acres of wilderness in the foothills of the Allegheny forest. Both Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts as well are welcome to attend camp. Both week long and three day camp sessions are offered. Girls can enjoy hiking, swimming, boating, and horse back riding.  The camp houses campers in tents scattered throughout the hills, or in cabins or yurts. The entire facility is winterized and is available for year round camping.

Sign on Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014

Sign on Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.

 

This service weekend would run from Friday until Sunday at noon.  Adult troop leaders were expected to be there by 10am Friday morning and the Girl Scouts from their troops were to check in about 5:30.  The adult leaders would do the major cleaning that had to be done and just open up camp for the season and ‘air out’ the place and get it ready for the weekend.  The weekend was full of plans for arts and crafts, hiking, camp fires, cooking, badge work, etc.  My mother has a troop which my baby sister, Grace, is in, and my other sister, Amy, has a troop as well, so they were going too.

 

Graffetti on the benches at the tables in the mess hall in Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.

Graffetti on the benches at the tables in the mess hall in Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.

 

I myself didn’t really have any particular duties to do this past weekend.  It was more of a retreat, just to get out of the house.  I really didn’t want to go.  I was worried that my back would hurt me and that I wouldn’t be able to do anything, etc.  Friday afternoon my back did hurt me and I did have to take some pain medication and lay down so that killed the afternoon.  I did bring my camera and my tripod and was hoping to get some great shots.  My baby sister did take off with my camera whilst I was laying down and as I saw this morning whilst reviewing them on my laptop, took some amazing shots.  She has a great point of view and is always taking some stellar selfies on her mini ipad.

 

Grace & I.  Yes, it is quite blurry, but please bear in mind that we are in Mom's truck driving down the expressway.  This was on our way to Camp Timbercrest early Friday morning, 25 April 2014.

Grace & I. Yes, it is quite blurry, but please bear in mind that we are in Mom’s truck driving down the expressway. This was on our way to Camp Timbercrest early Friday morning, 25 April 2014.

 

My baby sister and I were assigned to the Director’s Cabin for the weekend, which only had electricity.  The yurts and the lodges had electricity and heating too.  The weather was deceiving.  The weather called for beautiful weather for the weekend.  I had packed summer clothes for the weekend.  I had brought only one heavy hoodie.  I had also only packed capri sweatpants.  What a big mistake.  That night, temperatures dropped to the low 30s and it was sooo fecking cold!  I was shivering, freezing cold.  I suggested to Grace, that maybe we should pull our cots together in the middle of the cabin and unzip our sleeping bags and share them.  She’s like, “like the Parent Trap?”  And I am like, yeah, it would be warmer.  So we did.  And we huddled together for warmth.  Now, Grace and I are 16 years apart, so I was only at home for maybe the first 3 or 4 years of her life, so this was like, a complete bonding experience for us.  I love my Gracie to death.  It was still a little cold, but we made it through.  I slept right through breakfast the next morning and Grace was kind enough to bring my medicine, a cup of coffee, and surprise me with pancakes.  I love pancakes!

 

I finally got up and my stiff body moving.  I was still cold to the bone and went up to the main lodge where the mess hall is, Bellinger Lodge, to take a shower.  Much to my disappointment(and a little anger) there wasn’t any hot water.  It was just lukewarm.  I was all ready to hop in and was shivering trying to get it to warm up and nothing.  So I had to put clothes on and decided I would try again in the evening.  I wasn’t very happy but I was determined to make it through the day anyway.  I was able to get out a little bit as tolerated and get some beautiful shots of Keyser Lake.

Keyser Lake Camp Timbercrest Randolph, NY 26 April 2014

Keyser Lake Camp Timbercrest Randolph, NY 26 April 2014

 

Before lunchtime, I got to talking to Helen, the lady who had volunteered to cook for the weekend.  I went to school with her daughter for 2 1/2 years and we got to talking and I started helping her prep for lunch.  She was making tacos and I offered to help her chop up lettuce and onions.  One of the troop leaders had her girls volunteer in the kitchen and they were really young girls.  They might have been as young as six or seven and I had two girls that I had to teach to chop onions.  Now Helen was unable to find any chef knives, big knives, in the kitchen.  She and several of the other ladies had looked all over the kitchen and had been unable to find them, so we were using steak knives to chop the vegetables.  It was not fun and it was quite awkward.  So I showed the two little girls the best I could how to chop the lettuce and onions.  Then I let them cut the onions, making very sure they did not cut their little finger tips, but they did not last long for that onion had a very might odor and their little eyes teared up and irritated and that was the end of that.  So I helped them wash up their eyes and sent them over to the other troop leader, Alex, a lovely young girl a few years younger than me, who was chopping up tomatoes, so she could show them.  They fared much better over there  :P

the kitchen in Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.

the kitchen in Bellinger Lodge 25 April 2014 Grace took this one.

 

After a great lunch, I wandered aimlessly around the lodge, inside and out.  Then, I asked Grace where Mom was and she  informed me that she was out with the girls and that ‘bird man’ was here.  The ‘bird man’ is actually Mark Baker, a licensed Falconer & Rehabber.  He runs Eagle Dream Rehabilitation Center, Inc.  He has falcons, owls, and many other birds.  OWLS!!!!  Well, you probably guessed that I haven’t been able to move very quickly as of late, but you can bank on it that I made it out of the kitchen and into the mess hall and seated next to Mom in under five seconds flat, pain or no pain  :D

 

My Mom knows Mark personally and apparently he knows me as well and hasn’t seen me since I was a little girl.  I don’t remember him.  Mark had brought 4 owls, a falcon, a hawk, and this other little bird that is native to the western US.  He had a Great Horned Owl that has a badly damaged eye and neck, a cute but shy little Screech owl that prefers to stay in his tree trunk, a beautiful Snowy Owl, and a serene Barn Owl.  I loved all of them, but mostly the Barn Owl.  She and I made eye contact for almost two minutes.  It was like she was looking deeply into my soul.  It was very kool, but very creepy at the same time too.  Here are some pictures of his birds.

Barn Owl 26 April 2014

Barn Owl 26 April 2014

Great Horned Owl 26 April 2014

Great Horned Owl 26 April 2014

Me with the Snowy Owl 26 April 2014

Me with the Snowy Owl 26 April 2014

Screech Owl 26 April 2014

Screech Owl 26 April 2014

Snowy Owl and Barn Owl 26 April 2014

Snowy Owl and Barn Owl 26 April 2014

the Falcon 26 April 2014

the Falcon 26 April 2014

the Hawk 26 April 2014

the Hawk 26 April 2014

the little birdy

the bird that is native to the western US

 

I have so many, many more pictures to share but as this is my personal blog, I want to keep it that way and put my photos on my photography blog, The Serene View.

Saturday night we had spaghetti for dinner and then afterwards, they decided to have a campfire.  But it was too cold for me and I had had enough of the cold and got a quick, but finally warm shower and hopped into bed.  Another cold night passes.  .  There was leftover pancakes for breakfast, which was an awesome start to the day.  I was cold, chilled to the bone, and tired, almost ready to go home.

 

I snuck away after breakfast to go to almost the other side of the lake, tripod and camera in hand, to try to get some more pictures, and maybe to get that one awesome shot a photographer is always after.  I sat for hours, it seemed like, taking pictures, and also fiddling with my camera.  I was having issues with the shutter speed because it was too slow and my Mom wanted me to take a group photo of the girls before they left.  After sitting down at the lake, I think I finally got it right.  Though I cannot post the group photo of the Girl Scouts here, the photos came out great of them and I am very pleased and so is my mother.

 

I earned my Spring Camp badge for going this weekend!  25-27 April 2014

I earned my Spring Camp badge for going this weekend! 25-27 April 2014

 

Whilst I was sitting down at the lake, there were 3 or 4 birds flying around and while I was fiddling with the shutter speed, I was trying to capture them in flight.  And it was also hard too because the sun was shining on the screen of my camera and I was having a hard time seeing, but I think I got two awesome photos.  And you can see them HERE on The Serene View.  And I leave you with that.  :)

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my weekend at Camp Timbercrest.  Camp Timbercrest is also available in the off-season for private rental as well as summer camp and you can learn more HERE.

 

To learn more about Mark Baker, Eagle Dream Rehabilitation and his rehabilitation program and other programs he offers, please visit his site HERE.

 

And don’t forget, to see more stellar photos of my weekend at Camp Timbercrest, don’t forget to visit The Serene View HERE to see more.

 

Stay tuned for more posts and please bear with me as I get back on the proverbial ‘blogging horse’.  And thanks for sticking with me even when I didn’t post.  It means so much to me and I appreciate it.  :)

InstaGC: Another Drop In the Amazon Bucket

So I just wanted to give a little shout out about this program I found.  I don’t, by general rule, like to do something like this because to me, it sounds really spammy to me, but I think it’s kinda kool.  But y’all know I love to shop on Amazon?  Well, I found this gift card program, called InstaGC, in which you do little tasks like complete your profile, like the on FB, follow them on Twitter, watch videos, do a few little surveys, etc. and for each task you complete, it’s one point, which equals a $1.  And you can cash out at any denomination, like $5, $10, $15, $20, etc.  And it’s not just for Amazon, it’s for other online stores, and for brick and mortar stores too.

So I had to create this little post here and throw in my referral code and get 5 points ($5) and those points rack up fast.  It’s just another drop in the bucket, is all.  So this is my referral link here if anyone is interested: http://www.instagc.com/amazon.com/littlevampgurl

I have actually been filling out surveys for various survey sites and have accumulated $60 worth of gift cards…yeah I have no life… :p

I apologize if this sounds kinda spammy.  I hope it doesn’t.  :(  Talk to y’all laterz  :)

A Melancholy Entrance To Spring

(if only it was that Spring-looking outside :)...)

(if only it was that Spring-looking outside :)…)

 

Hello, everybody.  I have been in a generally melancholy mood these past couple of months and not feeling up to par and have had nothing to really say nor write about.  The weather has really gotten me down too and that hasn’t helped things in the least.  Winter has just been too long.  Spring is here in a way too but it has been a muddy and dreary start to it.  But it looks like Tuesday it will be on the up and up and Winter and snow will finally have gone away for good.  It seems I have long forgotten what it looks like when the shine streams through the windows early in the morning and the birds are up at the crack of dawn(which I loathe and complain about at no end).  We need a few days of rain though to clear away all the salt on the roads and the ickiness of winter.  It seems a long time coming.

Some projects we have been working around the house to help pass the time is making a chalkboard/corkboard for our kitchen.  I had proposed to Chris(my fiancee) that it would be good to help plan my meals for the month as well as stating when what bills are due, and if we have any appoints.  Plus we hang those bills up on the corkboard.  The corkboard was cut from our old corkboard and we got a piece of chalkboard, and a few pieces of pine baseboard from Home Depot.  Minus the corkboard and the chalkboard paint(I put another coat on it), the project in total cost $39.00.  Now we are just mulling over how to hang it up on the wall.

As I mentioned above, I have taken to planning our meals for the month.  It has helped us stick to a better food budget so we can catch up on bills and order out less.  Though it has not allowed us any flexibility to go out and do stuff yet, we are working on that.  There has  been a shifting of management at Chris’s work, so he will be taking on a few more hours, which will help a lot.  As we have bought a car I mentioned in the last post, that has added on a few more expenses.  So far it is still running good.

I am still suffering from back pain, though I did get a week of no pain, which was awesome.  I was able to walk down to 7-Eleven with my sister and also to CVS, which is a bit further.  And I also have a tooth that needs extracted, but my dentist is telling me that they cannot do it until May because they are overbooked and I suffer greatly from pain from that.  My cheek swells up and the whole side of my left mouth swells up and the teeth on that side ache too.  But that is the only dentist in town that accepts my insurance.  So I wait, patiently.  I don’t know what pain in my life has been worse, the tooth ache, the back pain, or the ovarian pain.

I see, once again, I have to give my blog a makeover.  It is spring, anyways, so I should give it a touch of bright color and rebirth and a fresh look to it and such.  I have been wanting to buy my domain name, but just haven’t had the money to spare for it.   Maybe here shortly something will come up that I can.

I hope everyone will have a great weekend and is in Springtime now and all the snow has gone for them!  Will post again very soon!