Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fresh Off the Drawing Board!

Today I had planned to visit Mom and Dad, but a dull, nagging headache kept me at home. I played a little Words Free (a virtual Scrabble-type game), made moussaka for the first time, baked apples and made dinner, etc., and FINALLY signed my name to a drawing I've been working on forever, it seems!

(Please don't ask how long it took- I honestly don't know since I don't keep track. It'd kill the joy of drawing, if I marked down time spent with pen in hand. I do know, if I charged for my time, no one could afford my artwork, even if I charged minimum wage!)

Anyway,Jan, a friend from the diner next door, (my country club), has been documenting covered bridges as she and her friend travel around the region, on a quest to visit as many of these man made wonders as possible. They are becoming quite knowledgeable about them and have travelled extensively in NY, PA, WV, and some New England states.She provides me with a wealth of reference photos and I'll give her prints and calendars in return. So far, I've completed three drawings that will probably be in my covered bridge calendar for 2012. So keep posted, and I'll show you previews from time to time!

Whitney Point Meet / What We Had to Eat

On Tuesday, J placed 12th at the Whitney Point Cross Country meet. The top 25 runners all earned Golden Eagles' ear-warmer hatbands. (More practical than trophies or ribbons). Yes, that's Afton's mascot, The Crimson Knight, in the distance!His presence fit right in because the general atmosphere of these meets is similar to medieval fairs:
hundreds of people milling around in no perceived order, colorful tents boasting team colors
scattered about, a three-ring circus of activities such as runners running and doggedly finishing, proud spectators and focused parents, busy coaches and stopwatch-and-clipboard toting officials, all enveloped in the enticing aroma of food wafting high overhead on the breeze, emanating from booster club grills
and a nearby McDonald's.

These meets allow new friendships and respect to develop and continue
between competitors and a chance to catch up and compare times after each event.
Friendly trio
Meanwhile, back at the farmhouse....
What else should I make for dinner? the weather grows chillier, I spend more time baking and cooking.
Today, I baked an old time favorite- apples (drizzled with honey, filled
with brown sugar, cranberries and cinnamon).


I also made moussaka for the first time- it simmered on the wood stove all morning.
It's very easy to make- peeled and cubed eggplant, diced onion, a can of diced tomatoes and spices. (I used garlic, oregano, salt and pepper). Eggplant's like a sponge- it absorbed all the liquid and flavor. Maybe I should keep an extra eggplant slice or two handy to serve as a sponge the next time I wash my car?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Winning Fall Colors

Joe ran at the Bob Greene Invitational at Newark Valley on a cold, rainy Friday and placed 16th out of nearly 100 runners.
photo 1
I'm glad I wore Winter mittens!
Dad made the trip up to eat at Henry's Drive In with me.
J's project car makes a good model.
The colors were peak at the Deposit cross country mixer on Tuesday!
Racing toward the finish line.
An Autumn winner!
Samples of reflected beauty near Homer, NY.


Sunrise, captured enroute to Walton's Harvest Festival.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cancer, Friends and Family, Fall's Bounty and Photos

Our Summer slid into Fall quite fast! We've had lots of family gatherings and several day trips- to a county fair in Walton and the State Fair,and the Adirondacks, and the Munson Williams proctor Institute, an art museum in Utica.Many visits with our kids' friends enriched us (including Shaun's wonderful grilled burgers,a touching private concert by Christina who bravely sung to us as a gift in our living room before she returned home to Germany, and renewing ties with J's college buddies who stopped by on a bike trip).

My Dad's been diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer and I accompany him to doctor's offices to help process the onslaught of incoming information. We've been weighing options of the myriad treatments and realize there's no singular right way to deal with this condition.We have to figure out what treatment he can deal with. He's a man attached to his normal daily routine (which comprises a daily visit to see my Mom in a nursing home). We are trying to choose a course of action that allows him to adhere to his routine as long as he's able. It means we are standing up to standard recommendations of radiation and an IV treatment called Avastin (which seems to have devastating side effects that would not benefit Dad's quality of life). He does seem to be able to tolerate a chemo pill, Xeloda, at this point. The plus side of his diagnosis is recent visits from his Texas grandchildren and daughter-in-law. Love he has invested in us all is being returned many times from all over.

School has started once again and my youngest is thoroughly enjoying modified cross country events. He's very competitive and runs hard and fast, often often leading the pack. I enjoy seeing not only the field of runners scattered along the course, but also the dramatic shadows they cast, the contrast of Autumn's colors, a vivid, yellow tree against a backdrop of green, and fast, roiling clouds overhead. Sometimes I'm aiming my camera away from the sporting action to capture a lovely view or unique play of light.

I've also gone on a couple day trips of my own, mostly in search of apples and pumpkins After last Saturdays Unatego meet, I stopped by the Gilbertsville Quilt show at the Major's Inn, where my friend, Marilyn's, portrait quilt of another mutual friend, Alice, was on display near the entrance. The show was lovely as always. Lots of colorful and inspired creations! (The lunch was great, too!) It's a bountiful time of year! Enjoy!