Sunday, May 31, 2015

Good Sunday Morning from Golden Pond

It's a rainy day, here on Golden Pond, but somehow the sun seems to shine, regardless. At 6:30 a.m., I opened the blinds to the view above, captured through the glass, so as not to disturb our hungry heron.

The last day of May! Hard to believe it has zipped by so quickly. For me, it's going out with a bang and the discharge by my surgeon. How 'bout that? So, what to do but celebrate with trees, shrubs 'n' flowers…

We added our wreath to the roadside of the house. I guess that says that we're officially moved in. You know the story. Made by moi with all branches from the Old Homestead, it carries lots of memories and stays with us. Then, we hit the lakeside, creating beds around the gorgeous patio. Wowsa! We're a team, Joe et moi.
It's looking so pretty.

To celebrate further, Joe had Round 2 of his birthday with "the other half" of the family. A sunset dinner…

Kids were adorable and affectionate and celebrating their own good news: National Junior Honor Society induction for Aubs and astounding test grades for Gav. Ah, beautiful AND brilliant!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

And I Wonder...

If I captured a year's worth of sunsets, would any two be identical? Just can't stop…


 It's true that patience is a great virtue. The morning after I arrived home, the gorgeous heron paid us a visit. He quickly scored breakfast.

Here on Golden Pond, the photo ops fall in my lap, so to speak. NIK is never far from my side. We're having a blast, together.

While I Was Gone...

Jeesh, it was a busy week in May! Don Draper departed. Sawyer Fredericks started… 
"Mad Men" came in under the wire, before I left for NYC 'n' Sawyer kept me company in a hospital bed. 
Both my picks for the best of the best!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Gushing Gratitude

My surgeon, Tracey Arnell, is as big as a minute - this description taken straight from Gran.  Of course, the expression means that she is tiny. But she's got seemingly ginormous hands of gold. More from Gran. If you're a subscriber to CMI, you'll remember she always said that to me, in praise of something I'd crafted, painted, drawn, sewn, crocheted or knitted. Dr. Arnell's hands of gold, though, are of a different variety. I'll forever be indebted to their ability, as they executed the commands from an obviously brilliant and talented mind… 
And when she told me to believe, I did. Well, sort of. Had a few doubts, over the last eight months, that the reversal surgery would ever happen. There were some bumps in the road. But I made it. Monday, the 18th, went exceptionally well and I'm put back together again. It's a beautiful thing and I'm prayerful that it lasts. The patients who do not have the good fortune of temporary situations have my undying love and respect. They are silent heroes, often gliding by to no one's awareness… results accepted and handled with grace. You ask, "What the hell is she speaking to?" Soon, I'll be thorough, 'cause I've a lot to share. But for now...

I was out of the hospital by Wednesday, ever so excited to return to the healing serenity of Golden Pond. The huge blue heron and an eagle greeted me with fly-bys. Lucky girl, I am. And then, I had a couple of rough days, but by Saturday it was a different story. Felt better in time for Christian, Dawn, Hunter, Chloe and Lyla to visit on Sunday, in celebration of my Joe's birthday on the 25th. It was a glorious day. Still, I'm gushing gratitude and feeling like a miracle happened.

When I popped the media card into Mac, there were an even hundred captures on it. A few are included here. They speak. Wouldn't you agree?

Endless, eternal thanks to all who have traveled this path with me, lending prayers, support and love

Here's to free flyin' and a
Happy, Happy Birthday to
my Love.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

HIATUS… but first…

We had our first sleepover in the new digs, last night. Whew! After popcorn, dinner, a hot Monopoly game, some sound snoozin' and breakfast, we passed the criteria test. Seems that wherever we are, we've the GrandLoves' approval. It was fun.
What a blast! Two hours of no devices or kiddie
squabbles… just boatloads of laughs.
Meanwhile, the project of the weekend was a huge success.
This photo of Gramps courtesy of Aubs
As promised, the master carpenter responsible for so much of the fabulous renovation showed up both yesterday and today. He and Joe worked hard to finish the masterpiece. We've a gorgeous dock and a fantastic new friend. Joe and I thank you, Aaron.
A gorgeous weekend on Golden Pond. I'll be missing it for a few… hope to be back soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Today on Golden Pond

Joe is building a new dock. Impressive. It's all figured out numerically, on paper, and is coming together nicely, thus far. It'll have huge black - emphasis on the black - floats underneath. They won't show. That is, if this drought ever ends and the water comes up
to its normal level. I've an aversion to royal blue tarps and floats. It's a Long Island-girl-in-the-country thing. See them on the last remaining section of our once-huge old dock? One by one, each of its sections floated away. We didn't bother retrieving and now we see them being used here and there on Golden Pond. Fact is, the blues didn't show either, when the surf was up. But maybe I willed them away?? They bothered me. I know, I know… I'm a tad nuts… moving along…

The gorgeous red hibiscus Joe gifted me for Mother's Day has found a home on the deck. Couldn't believe we scored that pot, as red is our current color to accent the browns all around. Pretty, right? Notice how everything is covered in clumps of maple seeds… they'll be fallin' for some time. As fast as one sweeps them away… well, you know. So, I went au natural for my capture.

If all goes without a hitch, I've a date with my surgeon on Monday. I'm scared and excited, at the same time. During this step, she'll put me back together again… to reiterate, if all goes without a hitch. Hope y'all lend me a prayer and good vibe. I hope to recoup here at the lake. It's so soothing to watch water and whatever else comes our way… like the other morning…

A big bald eagle swooped by our shoreline… low and soaring… Joe saw him and yelled excitedly to me. But it was too late. See? Can't turn your eyes from that water for a minute!! Next trip, maybe? And perhaps then I'll have photo proof.

Tonight, Aubs and Gav are coming for their first lakeside sleepover.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, May 15, 2015

So, Am I A Geek?

This is an FYI post. Perhaps it will have helping powers, if ever Friends of CMI find themselves in a similar situation. It all began on Wednesday…

Joe lugged the printer to the LakeHouse. The Epson had wirelessly connected to my MacBook with no issues, at the Old Homestead. In went our SSID and password from the newly created connection here on Golden Pond. Nada. Again. Nada. Again. Nada. On Thursday...

After Mambo's grooming session, I called Time Warner. An hour was literally wasted away...

"But it WAS working on our old connection," said I, "so mustn't it be a modem issue?"

"Well," said he, "it would seem that way, but there is simply nothing else I can try at my end. Sorry, but you'll have to call Epson." 

Couldn't bear the thought of calling yet another tech. Instead, I went through each troubleshooting step found in the manual. In went the SSID. In went the password. Nada. Now, it's Friday…

Brainstorm! I to retrieved the printer's installation disc. Maybe Mac was confused? I uninstalled printer and  software. A fresh start. An updated installation with the disc... another entry of those network ingredients… and then… and then… 

Noisy old Epson never sounded so good… and I'm as proud as a geeky peacock for solving the problem, even if it did take three days...

New On Golden Pond

Thursday, May 14, 2015

LakeHouse Cucina 'n' ESP

Busy day, today, here on Golden Pond. I've a mental list to physically plow through, before going under the knife, on Monday… that is, if surgery isn't postponed, yet again. Assuming it's a go, Mambo needed a haircut, before he heads to the doggie hotel. (Ya never know what chicks he might encounter!) Man, does this pooch produce hair. That's right. It's hair, not fur, on Black Russian Terriers. After he suffered under the clippers and scissors for about three hours, he passed out. Poor baby was pooped, but he looks gorgeous after our first lakeside session.

There was still some energy left in this old broad's body. So, a few more things were accomplished. Check. Check. Check. As I worked, there was the thought of ocean-caught flounder for dinner - you know, the individually wrapped fillets that are so handy to have in the freezer. No sooner the thought when Joe walked in with fresh cod steaks. Thick and white as snow. How's that for ESP?
Suddenly, dinner became exciting.
Into the oven went tip-tip potatoes and breaded fish with fresh scallions… yum. Still inspired to do a bit more, I put up the first banana/choco chip loaf in my Zo, now residing at the LakeHouse. It'll be ready for dessert, later on, when I pass out on the couch.
For Tip-Tips, peel 'em and cut into bite-sized pieces before adding EVOO and sprinkling with garlic powder and paprika. Put in hot, hot oven (425 degrees) well before fish, so they can cook through and begin to brown.

For this Fish Dish, soak in evaporated milk and roll in cornmeal seasoned with garlic powder, paprika and pepper. Double dunk and roll for extra breading. Put EVOO in bottom of pan, add fish. Squeeze on fresh lemon juice, top with scallions and EVOO. Lower oven to 350 degrees, leaving potatoes in and adding fish. Cook for about 25 minutes.

We'd both had veggies and salad for lunch, so I served with applesauce. Very nice.
Buon Appetito! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

LakeHouse Cucina is Cookin' - Angel Hair 'n' Hummus

The new kitchen looks gorgeous. That's a given. But the true test lies in how it flows. I'm here to say it flows well. Other than burning my arm multiple times in adjusting to the new oven :-), I'm loving it. Problem is, the lake view keeps drawing my attention away from tasks at hand. Maybe THAT''S why the bodily harm? Consider last night's sunset. Brilliant, for a while. Then, a nasty storm took hold, drenching us. It lasted for ten minutes, before the return of Old Sol's descent. Just look at that sky. Who could concentrate. A rhetorical question. I digress… on to the recipe.

A Rachel Ray magazine arrived the other day, for some unknown reason. Didn't subscribe. Did buy a couple of her products. Maybe the subscription is a bonus? Well, in leafing through it, I came across a Judy Greer recipe for Hummus Sesame Noodles. Must admit, it never occurred to me to dress angel hair in hummus, always present in our fridge; but it worked. Ingredients were adapted to what I had available; you can do the same. I'll give it to you straight:

1 lb. angel hair
¾ c hummus
¼ c veggie stock
2 tbsp. soy sauce
½ c. peanuts, crushed
⅓ c sesame seeds, toasted
snow peas and scallions
1 c pasta water for loosening

Whisk hummus, stock and soy in bowl… add cooked pasta and toss… allow to sit for about 15 minutes, then add water as needed… plate and top with remaining ingredients…

Please Play… as I said, just use what you have beyond the hummus. And serve it hot, if you like. Delicious. Who would've thought?

And at the LakeHouse...

iPhone Photo

Christian's Mother's Day azalea I'd mentioned a few days ago has opened. We transplanted it from the Old Homestead, last year, and it has adapted to its new home quite beautifully. These are tough to grow in our area, especially considering the last two brutal winters. But it draws warmth from the house and seems to be happy and very hot pink! Yay!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Old Homestead in Bloom

Photo by Joe

Dad's Gift

Every year, my French Lilac blooms for Mother's Day. In spite of this year's brutal winter, it stood proud - and loving. So hard for me to believe that my Dad gifted it to me, a baby from his Massapequa garden, almost forty years ago. I know, I know - you've heard this tale, before. But some things are worth repeating.

We need to start a baby for the LakeHouse. 

Forever blooming in my heart… Dad.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

M♥ther's Day

Funny that the day is nearly over and I'm just getting to my blog. That's what happens when we celebrate in stages. But please believe that I started planning today's post last Wednesday, when I came across this movie-star-gorgeous picture of Mom with my baby bro. How adorable is he?! I was actually looking for a particular print (pictured in my mind's eye) of Mom et moi, but never did find that one. So Ronnie (now Ron) stars with Mom for this day. It's only right, 'cause after all, we did share her never-ending love and beautiful ways. And we both miss her. But we also both carry her in our hearts and souls and shall forever do so.
I'm a lucky girl (using that word loosely, here) and was delighted to spend time with four of my men. Lunch in New Paltz with Christian, on Saturday. Dinner at the lake with Bri and Gav on Sunday. It was a beautiful weekend… unexpected, since we were all together just last weekend. But who can get enough lovin' ever? 
And even Momma Nature cooperated with a brilliant weekend, allowing my Joe to treat me to a kayak cruise and lazy day.
Who could ask for more...

Happy Mother's Day… just under the wire, but nonetheless heartfelt, warm and fuzzy. Not  even remotely all that I planned to say… but I'm exhausted from all the celebrating… and relaxing… and staring at our gorgeous surroundings. Guess I'm just in love.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

No Words

There is no explanation for this, except to say that it's never the same, twice. The sunset, that is. And last night was no exception. On our way from shore to forest, I shot this through-the-windshield photo of Old Sol, finishing his descent over Monti. Loving the results. Enjoy!

Lake Daze

Lake days have put us in a daze… the weather has been gorgeous. I've waited a long time to say those words! Of course, we're in a drought. But hey, do you want perfection?!
It's also been brilliantly quiet, at the lake. The real action doesn't begin till the kids are out of school. I love it. Talk about "Serenity now!" Remember that "Seinfeld" moment?
It's been redefined.

Our new-found friend, Rich, has done boatloads (pun intended) of jobs for us, waterside. Can't wait to have him and his new bride, Kelly, for a barbecue, this summer. When he saw the finished great room, he said he'd never get anything done there… wouldn't even turn on the TV… would just sit and stare at the water. There's that daze, again. What IS it about staring at water? Seems to be a universal pastime… one that soothes the soul.
But back to beginnings, last summer…
Christian's Mother's Day azalea, gifted to me many moons ago. We put it against the LakeHouse, for warmth… and it's thriving.
Look at those buds!! Still, I can picture him walking down the Old Homestead's sidewalk, his face hidden by hot pink blooms.
A very special shrub. And here it is, Mother's Day weekend again. I've a lunch date with C in just a few hours…

a very special son.

Rich cleared the roadside bed for us, prior to Joe's and my propagating and/or transplanting treasures from the Old Homestead. You might recall my blogs about baby trees 'n' such. We've so many we're attached to… the thought of leaving them behind when the house sells is unbearable. Thing is, we had a brutal winter and did lose more shrubs, trees and flowers than the norm for an Upstate New York frigid spell.
But then there are those that are surviving the life.
We started this ever-red lace leaf maple from seed! Its parent resides
next to the patio at the Old Homestead. This one is on its way
to being a beauty, too!

Not only did Michelle's memorial Japanese maple
take root, but her little ornament survived the
snow, as well. The tree, also from seed, is a
descendant of the large tree often featured
in wintry posts about our feathered friends.

I miss My Michelle.
And then there's grass… there are challenges to growing it when winds blow off that water rather steadily and a gazillion varieties of birds find the seeds, in spite of all the hay layered on top. But every day, we water. And every day, we look for signs.
And there they were, yesterday. Magnifying glass, please...