August 31, 2015

Slowing down

In the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living, the editor, in his cheery little beginning of magazine letter to all the faithful readers, says September is a great time to acclimate to a faster pace of life, after the laid back summer. I don't know what this guy's life is like, but summer is not laid back around here. I love summer. We even have some lazy days. But taken by the whole, laid back in not an adjective that I would use to describe summer. Mostly, it feels like we are going 100 miles an hour and we crash into the first day of school as though it were a totally surprising and unexpected road block. Whaaat? We were supposed to be prepared for this? With new clothes and smiling faces? Well, that is a bit much. But we will grudgingly go along with it. Because life slows down suddenly.

Well, 100 miles an hour is a bit of an exaggeration. Our life is pretty calm. No Wall Street affecting decisions must be made before breakfast. No pictures of us in less than spotless condition (physically or morally) hitting the tabloids and tanking our career. So let's say we go about 43 miles an  hour. But compared to fall and winter's sedate 20 miles an hour, it is a lot faster.

Actually, now that I am thinking about it, if 100 is the fastest, we probably putt putt along at about 5 miles an hour in the summer and 2.5 in the fall and winter. But no matter how you look at it, life seems twice as fast in the summer.

So hello fall! The kids start school on Thursday, which they are excited about. Gilbert starts kindergarten, too. Getting three kids ready, as opposed to two has me a little rattled. Which is goofy, considering that Gilbert can be dressed in approximately 2 minutes, with no hair styling necessary. Still, I have been running through various schedules and routines to ensure optimal organization and time utilization.

My sarcastic alter ego is perfectly delighted by this organizing stuff. "Oh, look! She is at it again!" and my alter ego's sidekick says "Ooh! How fun! I wonder how long she will last this time?" and I retort that this time it will be different. This time I really will get organized and have self discipline. And the sidekick turns to the alter ego and says "Are you sure this isn't just a rerun? I could swear I have heard that line before."

(Does anyone else have more than one sarcastic alter ego? Mine seem to go into overdrive as soon as I start taking myself the littlest bit seriously. Actually, I am not sure if they are actually alter egos, or just the voices of things-my-siblings-might-say. They are mostly useful, like when I start feeling bad for myself or need a push. But they are awfully aware of all the times I have made declarations that fell through in two days. Sigh.)

But this time? It is going to be great. I am going to be a whiz. So there! alter egos. Nothing like winning an argument with the voices in your head to energize yourself, And now that I am energized, (around lunchtime my alter egos point out) I better go do something.

But here are a few pictures before I go. Of a trip we took to Burlington, VT for Gilbert's audiology check up. (His ears have a bit of fluid again, so his hearing is a little below normal, but not horrible.)

Heron in Lake Champlain

Boats in Rouses Point

Rouses Point

For some reason, this barn has stuck in my head from some childhood memory. There is a certain time of year, or trick of light that reminds me of this barn every so often. 

A blurry picture of someone's cutting garden. 

Farm in Swanton off I-89

Burlington and Lake Champlain

Sunbeams on the way home 

This is not an either/or sort of choice. One or the other. 

Boats at Rouses Point in the evening

A houseboat

Trucks and stormy sky

Evening fields

August 25, 2015

Pictures of summer

We had a busy two weeks, convention, Tori being home, and Clover and kids coming up. But all those pictures have not been sorted and edited yet. Seriously, I got in the habit of posting a couple times a week, and now a week and half's worth of pictures to wade through seems like a bit much. That may be because it is 6 in the morning. (Incidentally, I am quite proud of myself, already writing a blog post by 6 in the morning.) So I am going to put up a mishmash of pictures from the end of July and August. I am quite sure it will delight you.

I really wish I knew how to get rid of power lines in my pictures. I must get someone clever to tell me how it is done.

I clearly have a thing for hay bales, fields and summer skies.

Thistles and sky


The Amish buy up old, decrepit farms and fix them up. Usually the silo roof is gone. So they build a regular little house roof up there. Dad, being crazy, has always thought building an apartment on the top of the silo would be a really neat idea. So I like to pretend they are little houses. Little houses I would never want to visit due to my predilection for firm ground beneath my feet.  

One night after meeting. Clean counters and fresh flowers. 

These flowers are from an abandoned garden of one of our friends, Ethel Jones. She died in 2000, but no one has lived in her house or worked her garden. (This probably has something to do with the fact that a creek runs under her house or through her basement. Seriously. The cement wall has an opening at the side, and here comes the creek. I suppose it is like a springhouse.) I walk past it most mornings, so I get to see the things she left behind, a thick row of daffodils in the spring and a mass of sweet pea in the summer. Not a bad heritage. Of course, she was a dear, sweet, faithful lady, so she left a lot more than that behind her. She rode to meeting with us for years, and she often told stories of her life, not an easy one. I remember one that involved her getting a rare new dress for spring (they were very poor) and one of her sons told her she looked beautiful. And all those years later, while she was telling it, her voice broke. Sweet, sweet woman.   

Somehow, seeing flowers that someone planted in front of an abandoned house is almost heartbreaking to me. Thinking of people moving into a home, maybe loving it, or in it's later years when it was a falling down house, making the best of it and planting flowers to make it more beautiful. And then, for whatever reason, they moved on. But the flowers are still there, year after year. A living testament to the hopes someone had for that empty house.  

Our sweetest baby girl, Abilene. We love this kid.

Abilene is too cool to suck her thumb.

I took a road out of Malone that I have never been on before. It is terribly pretty.

Lovely, invasive, purple loosestrife.


Dad and Owen's cows

Queen Anne's Lace

We went to a toy store in Plattsburgh, which had giant playmobil figures. 

And this is Gilbert, with six lego blocks, which entertained him for a half hour. Object lesson: I should throw out most of their toys. 

August 11, 2015

Franklin County Fair

We went to the fair on Monday. Which is the kids idea of a good time, but it was way too hot to be my idea of a good time. Still, it was fun to see the kid's delight. And it is a cultural event in the North Country, so you can't miss it.  

Merry go round top

Game display

My people 

The Ferris wheel

The kids and Justin were in one of those boats. 

The sky was getting stormy

The swing ride was a big hit!

Elsie was too small to go on most of these rides. So we hung out. She also had her hair in french braids, so I made her wear a hat, since I didn't want her getting a sunburn on her hair part.

Three kids o mine. (And some one else's kid too.)  

A nice Daddy

I love little moments of unprompted niceness.

I don't know this kid, but he was making the most of his little roller coaster ride. 

Gilbert's enthusiasm, while Lily is blase

Giant stuffed animals are a fair staple

Balloons and face paint

Delighted Elsie on her first ride

My idea of misery 

I used to love rides like this, but now, I cannot stand getting dizzy. It is a good thing the girls have their Daddy to take them on dizzy rides. 

Storm rolling in and flags 

The motorcycle ride Gilbert insisted on riding. 

The poor kid in the backseat thought Gilbert should be steering a little more on the corners. 

And then, it started pouring rain. Pouring rain. 
(And that is Lily with the large inflatable princess she won at the ring the bell game.)

So we took refuge in the animal barns. The Dairy barn is one of the biggest parts of the fair.  

It is quite a social occasion for farm kids. Most farms with show animals sleep in the barn by the animals, so there are cots, sleeping bags, snacks, well groomed cows, and lounging people everywhere you go.

Cloudburst rain

The horse barn. Decorating is a big part of the fair.

Getting a new shoe

Petting the nice horses. 
Elsie had to get a new farm girl t-shirt because her little white cotton shirt became see through after the rain. Three year olds can sort of pull that off, but... She loves her new shirt. 

The ride lights started popping on in the darkness of the storm

Getting drenched

There are a lot of leaves changing already. 


Steam rising over Canada after the rain, on the way home.