Tag Archives: outdoors

Find the Forest Kitty 9/23

September 23, 2011


We’re back! We were gone for a week in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York! The Adirondacks is the largest park in the country. It’s 6 million acres of mountains, lakes and thick forests. In the northern parts, it’s pretty rugged. I was going to leave Livvy to fend for herself alone at home while we were gone, but at the last minute, we decided to bring her. I am so glad we did! She had a blast and was a very good kitty. Can you find the kitty?

FTK 9.23.11

She had quite a few adventures, and so did we! I’ll have more about that to come. But I think she just MAY be the first domestic kitty to climb a certain mountain! LOL Happy weekend, friends.

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Gardening Update

July 3, 2010

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I have been as negligent of my gardens this year as I have been about blogging about them. Thank God, plants require very little care and attention. Unfortunately, the weeds also thrive on negligence. :-p But it looks like my vegetables are holding their own. The snow peas are on the brink of harvesting (I just love them raw); we also have cucumbers, which are not doing so well (never do, really); loads of kale, lettuce, spinach which is overwhelming in its production; the red cabbage is coming (yay!), yellow squash is starting to produce fruit… I love vegetable gardening! There is nothing like fresh, clean food that you have grown yourself.

Here is my chorus of onions in the late afternoon sun:

Chorus of Onions

The zucchini has a few babies!

Zucchini Baby

The cantaloupe is doing poorly, due to a cold spell in April, a very dry May, and a totally soggy June. The apple tree is producing little– I only spotted THREE apples so far– but the grapes and berries are doing well.

Berry Harvest

Baby Grapes

The native, wild stuff seems to be doing very well in Upstate this year. Plants that I usually have to pamper, such as tomatoes, melons, and cukes, are doing very poorly. It does not fare well for our emphasis on the raw food diet, but I am grateful for the stuff that we are getting.

June is really a crucial month for us, and it was very disappointing this year. We got SEVEN inches of rain in June. Way, way too much. Everything is soggy, and the pests breed in the wet weather. So even my flower gardens are rather limpid this year.

Still, it is good to see my fruit plants producing, such as the berries and grapes. They get better every year.

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Raking Season Almost Over

November 2, 2009


We had some terrific windstorms last week and over the weekend. We usually do every late October/early November. What a site! People’s trash cans, litter, assorted clothing and tarps.. everything that wasn’t nailed down was blowing around the neighborhood. :S

Despite the inconvenience, the winds are nice because they usually blow off the last of the leaves, the ones that have been tenaciously clinging to life on the trees. This comes just in time, just as we down below are sick and tired of wondering how many more days we’re stuck raking raking raking. So the leaves blew down, finally, and we have only a little bit of the final raking to do. I’m glad the kid like to rake… but me thinks they fool around too much while they do so. πŸ˜‰ Here’s the leaf sphinx that preoccupied them for an afternoon:

Leaf Pyramid

It takes a while to rake up the yard– usually about 3 weeks, on and off. I think we finally got all the leaves out of the Secret Garden area. Here are before and after photos.

Autumn Arbor3

Autumn Arbor1

Still left to do: prune and clip perennials (which look very messy not that they are withered and brown), bring in the garden hose, clean out the shed and get out the winter tools, prepare the pets’ homes for winter, and… reinstall our big automatic garage door, which broke. πŸ™ One of our kitties lives in the garage, and since the door broke and had to be removed, he’s been chilly in his home. I hope we can get all this stuff done before the snow flies! How about you, how are you doing with your final preparations for winter?

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School Shopping

August 13, 2009

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Unbelievable. After a soggy spring, a frost in June, and a cold chilly July… now that it’s August, we’re sweltering under high 80F/ low 90F degree temperatures. Hey, I know it’s nothing compared to what you guys in the Philippines and Malaysia suffer, but I’m one of the Frozen Chosen up here in the frosty New York wildlands! And now that it’s August, the kids are gearing up for school… which means we are shopping for AUTUMN and WINTER clothing and shoes in sweltering hot weather. Ick. Now don’t get me wrong– I like shopping! πŸ˜€ But trying on sweaters for January when it’s 90F in August… not so hot.

But some stores do make the shopping experience fun. I try to shop as much as I can online, too. GREAT DEALS are online, people! Here’s a premier online store with some of the best outdoor clothing and school gear I’ve seen: Webtogs.co.uk. They are based in the UK, and are having an end of summer sale with great prices. MessenBg Messenger bags are a very hot commodity (plus they are SO convenient). I saw this bag, here. Wouldn’t it be perfect for one of the girls? I love it! And I think messenger bags are better than backpacks– less strain on the back, they are big enough for books, and they are padded to hold netbooks and laptops.

If you’re looking for superior, quality clothing, footwear, camping equipment, backpacks and carrying bags, clothing accessories for active kids, and more, you really should look at what Webtogs.co.uk has to offer. And on top of their end of summer sale, they are offering free shipping across EU. They also have a 60-day ZERO Hassle Return policy. Their inventory is great– perfect for the active family, the outdoor family, or for those who just want to ooze style and coolness for school. 😎 Check out Webtogs.co.uk!

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Outdoors with North Face

June 29, 2009


Well, it’s FINALLY getting to be good weather, people! After a soggy, cloudy winter and a soggy, cloudy spring, summer is finally here. And… it’s been soggy and cloudy! :-p I have very high hopes for July and August. And I have promised that I will take the kids camping sometime in the fall (maybe even late fall). I like the cooler weather (but not soggy cool weather) and for me, camping in October or November is the best time. I would even be willing to do some winter camping sometime (there’s a group here in Upstate New York that goes winter camping in the Adirondacks, all winter long).

Of course, camping in the fall or winter calls for better gear and clothing than the usual cheapo-Chinese made Walmart brand plastic pup tent and flip-flops. Some of the highest-rated yet still affordable gear I’ve seen is the North Face line. They have some outstanding travel and camping supplies. North Face offers one of the best and most popular hydration packs in the market (North Face is known for its quality). These are perfect accessories for hiking the high hills of Central Europe, or the Alps, or the lofty Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York (something we are going to accomplish sometime soon!). They are so stylish that I am sure I could get the kids to carry mine so I wouldn’t have to. πŸ˜‰

North Face also has some very nice fleece jackets. I love fleece during the cold months– quilted coats and laminated fabric coats are too restrictive to me. Fleece is great, because it’s soft and very flexible, but also very warm. North Face has those, too, for travelers and campers of all ages. Check out the Webtogs website where North Face is sold– I’m sure you’ll find something that makes you go “wow!” North Face is known for it’s versatile, athletic, high quality products. And right now, Webtogs is offering free shipping across the EU. And this is on top of the excellent deals and sales already going on. Check it out!

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It Just Keeps Coming

January 8, 2009


Snow. And rain. Yesterday we had ice and rain. Then about dinnertime, the air was filled with little icy round pellets, very fine but crusty. They made a hissing noise as they plopped from the sky onto the crusty snow on the ground.

This morning I looked out my window and saw that the little pellets had changed to this:


Lonely Swingset

That poor, lonely swingset. It won’t see any company for quite a few months yet, at this rate!

Even the birds are hiding. That’s my new birdfeeder set, by the way (I posted about it here). The bluejays love it. :-p But I hate bluejays. lol.


The snow was very wet and heavy. I shouldn’t be carrying my camera out in it– big flakes the size of cornflakes were peppering down on me. My camera didn’t do a good job of photographing the flakes, but I was quickly getting covered as I stood out there. I had to get a photo of my poor, suffering yews. They look very sad, don’t they? Good thing they are so stringy they won’t snap from the weight.


So once again, it’s a day for simmering foods, warm blankets, and fresh bread baking! I intend on making Baked Ziti for dinner this evening, with a select wine of the month beverage, or maybe just milk, lol. The nice thing about winter is the coziness. I do miss the sunshine and green plants and the freedom of going out without 15 layers of clothing… but winter has its beauty, too.

Have a great day!

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Snowy Days and Wednesdays

December 31, 2008


We had a freaky, surprise snowstorm this morning (the third consecutive storm on a Wednesday). It was unexpected (well, that just means we didn’t know it was coming until forecasters started chattering about it on Monday). Usually we have a good four to five days before we know a “big one” is on the way. I think this caught everyone by surprise. I remember hearing 1-2 inches on Monday’s forecast, then by Tuesday afternoon it magically became 6-8 inches!

I got up extremely early- 4:30am. Just couldn’t get back to sleep. So as the daylight appeared, I went out to snap a few photos.

Snow in Front Yard

House Front Snow

I like snowy mornings. Everything is so hushed. The street lights cast a warm, mellow glow on the streets, and even though it’s cold outside, you really don’t notice the chill. I wish my camera could have captured the scene. It was beautiful, with great big wet snowflakes spraying down, and illuminated by theΒ  golden-yellow street lamps. And not a sound in the air except the very faint whirring of falling snow. Very peaceful.

Those are my yews, sagging sadly with the snow. Poor things. I considered, for a fleeting moment, of diving into the deep snow and shaking them free from their icy burdens, but I realized that to do so, the snow would transfer from them to me. Um. The yews are to be sacrificed for the greater good: me. Heehee.

Covered Yews

This is the view of my arbor, from the back of the yard. I couldn’t get any closer because I didn’t want to trudge through a foot of snow. I’m so lazy at 6:30am! But all that trudging might give me Plantar Fasciitis or something! lol.

Snowy Arbor

So we’re in the house again, today. It’s pretty cold (10 degrees F), probably too cold to shove the kids outside to play (and shovel). We’ll see. Maybe I can bribe them with the prospect of sparkling hot cider and hot chocolate…

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The Mystique of Lake Effect

December 22, 2008


Weird. It’s WEIRD, people. Lake effect is that weird weather pattern that swoops down from the Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario) onto the unsuspecting citizens of Upstate New York.

About 15 minutes after I posted this post with this photo– showing ZERO visibility during heavy snow squalls with vicious winds…

Backyard Snow2

This appeared out my window. Five minutes later. Wild!



Backyard Snow1



There’s an old saying here in Upstate: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. LOL!

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Visibility: ZERO

December 22, 2008


Snow, snow, snow. After a fast of snow for November and early December, it’s come strong and sudden. Winter storm alerts are popping up everywhere. Last Wednesday we were hit (5 inches+), then Sunday (5+), and now, today (6-8 iches expected). And guess what? We’ve got more up and coming for Wednesday (sleet! yuk!) and Friday.

I looked out my window about a half-hour ago, and saw this unwelcome site:

Backyard Snow2

Backyard Snow1



When I went on the front porch to take photos, I couldn’t see past 50 yards. Driving is terrible. It’s 15 degrees F here right now, but the wind is whipping around so the wind chill is about 25-below-zero. BRRRR!

The mailmen are out in this today. πŸ™ They are always getting stuck in the snow. Please be sure to shovel out your mailboxes, eh?

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We Are Getting Slammed

December 19, 2008


Snow! After nothing for months, it hits with full force this week. We’d already been pummeled by a snowstorm last Sunday (and the Sunday before that). That gave us about 5 inches, but it most of it melted away by Tuesday. Today, starting about noon, this whopper hit. And this is just the beginning of it!

Snow Slam

This is definitely North Face weather! The able-bodied members of the family are out shoveling. The snow is very fine, like ice crystals. The wind is blowing and therefore the ice crystals jab into the skin with its tiny frigid razors. Not very pleasant. So, wow. I have chili con carne simmering in the crockpot. We’ll make a day of it, shoveling and sipping hot coffee and cocoa, and shoveling and sipping, and probably more shoveling and sipping. lol

Forecast for today, 6-10 inches, coming within 6-8 hours’ time. There are whiteout conditions in several counties (ours included). We’re used to this kind of weather, so most people either drive very slowly and carefully, or avoid driving altogether. I think back to my younger years, when not even a storm like this could have kept me off the roads. Now, I look back and wonder how I could have been so crazy!

Another storm is expected to strike Sunday, too, but that (according to the weathermen) will be a quick-moving storm. Local businesses and all the school have closed. (the Post Office is still delivering mail, though!) So I guess we will definintely have a white Christmas. I like the snow, I like the coziness. I don’t mind being out in it, either, although I can’t shovel anymore. It’s a nice feeling to be out in the elements, and then come in to a warm, cozy home with the smell of coffee and pumpkin-spice candles. Eat your heart out, you in Bermuda! πŸ˜‰

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