Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No damage . . . no power . . . thank you Irene

And I mean that!  Although we did a bit of grumbling, I am VERY thankful that the only trouble we had was 3 days without power!   There are many many with lots of far greater troubles.  A house across the river from us burned down yesterday!   We are not yet sure what happened.  Speculation is that they got a generator and had a malfunction or misused the generator.   But that is speculation!

We live along the Delaware River and the Delaware Raritan canal.  There is a beautiful towpath that runs from Trenton to Phillipsburg.  I would guess some 50 plus miles.   We are but 5 miles from Trenton.   Years ago the mules walked the towpath pulling barges on the canal.  Here's a drawing, not of Titusville, if my words don't describe it accurately.

Anyway, the towpath collapsed a few miles north of us and the river and canal have become one.  They, I believe state road crew type people, were working on the towpath at a spill way to improve a bridge.  Now they have lots more work!  The main road also caved in in the same area.  Thankfully no one was in the area at the time it all happened. It will be quite some time before it is all repaired.   In the meantime, the canal continues to have less and less water.  At some point, there was a train along the canal.  Last night people were "excavating" and finding old railroad pins and all kinds of interesting things. 

Before the rains came on Saturday, I went down to the river to check out the water level at the bridge and the 1955 highwater mark, just for a reference point for after Irene came through.

The second white sign on the tree behind my car, and considerably higher than my car, about the middle of the photo or a bit higher, is the 1955 high water mark, August 20, 1955.  When I took this on Saturday, before Irene, the river was to my back and the canal is thru the trees.   Two hurricanes in August 1955 caused the streams that feed the canal to overflow into the canal and the canal to overflow. At least that's the story I've heard.

Back to present day . . . here's the Washington Crossing Titusville Bridge . . .

Saturday mid morning on the left . . .

and Monday mid morning below

Monday neither of us had to go to work so we went to Goat Hill Overlook above Lambertville.  Rumored to be were George Washington had a lookout.   Lambertville was hit hard.  Lots of flooding and extended power outages. We were at Goat Hill Overlook in March so I have a few photos for comparison.

This was taken in March . . . Waterworks Condominiums on the Pennsylvania side just below New Hope.  The stone walls along the building in the river create the wing dam which was used by Union Mills.  It was a grist mill and saw mill in the early 1800s and later a paper mill.  There is a dam that come out into the river on the right side of  the picture.

Same view taken Monday after Irene.  You cannot see any of the wing dam.  Notice  the tree in the first picture.   It does not have any leaves and see it here?  Yicks!

From the open field at Goat Hill Overlook, looking north up the Delaware into New Hope.  Lambertville is on the right side.   This was taken in March.

Taken from just about the same spot as the photo above, you can see how much wider the river is.   The bridge had been closed the day before because a tree had hit the bridge as it was coming down the river.   Must have been a BIG tree.

As much as I love the water, my 12 years here near the river have taught me that if I am lucky enough to live on water when we retire, it will be on a lake and it will be up high above the lake!

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and dry from Irene's aftermath.


Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm as corny as Kansas in August?

Given the weather forcast for hurrican/tropical storm, i don't hav emuch planned for this weekend . . . just a hair cut early Saturday morning.

However, last weekend we were as corny as Kansas in August.   We froze 8 dozen ears of corn last Sunday.  What a messy job.   Chuck shucked the corn (seen below)

and he also helped cut it off the cob.   What a trooper!   We had stuff everywhere.  Darla was helping by cleaning  the floor.   

We ate a little as we worked because we needed quality control, right?

We should have fresh corn until next spring.   Thru the fall and winter we can have corn with dinner, I can make stuffed peppers, corn chowder and one of my favorites, tomato corn pie.  

I'll keep you posted about the weekend weather.   I expect the Delaware River will rise.  We are 1/2 mile from the river but significantly high enough that we should be safe.  I've always said if the river is at our house, we will need Noah to rescue us!  I do expect some roads to flood and others to be closed because of downed trees.  Since we are the last house on a dead end road.  I expect we will be house bound.   Not a problem.   I have lots I can do.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mornings at my house

Every morning, the alarm goes off at 5:30, except for Saturday and Sunday.  On those days, my body clock still wakes up at 5:30 but I get to go back to sleep for a short while until a cold nose wakes me up at 6:15 to go outside!   During the week, I'm up at 5:45 and moving slow.  Dressed, with the dogs fed and a few very small chores done, I head out with Darla for a little walk around 6:30.  

Here we are headed down the driveway.  Does she look happy?  She is.  She is such a good girl.  I tell her that all the time.  It's been 7 weeks since the ACL surgery on her leg and she has a bit of a limp after the walk, but the vet said she needs the exercise.  And she loves it.   She just can't wait to run around in the yard.  That's next week.  I'm a little afraid.   But she needs the freedom.   I just pray she does not hurt herself. 

And now we are on the road.   Soon we will pass Kiera's house.  Kiera is an Australian Cattle dog/Border collie Mix.  She is really sweet.   We always stop to visit, quickly of course.  Sometimes we see our neighbor Pat with her cocker spaniel, Jack.   And if we are really lucky  we see Terry, with her poodle Spike.  That's a fun morning.

And after our walk and all of  our visiting, we head home so Buddy can have a walk.  And we almost always find Buddy waiting for us at the window.  Can you see how dirty the window is.  We fondly call it Buddy Slime.  He spends a lot of time in the chair at the window and barks at the world as it goes by.  Buddy drools quite a bit.   And when he barks . . . well, maybe you get the picture. It's yucky!  But we love Buddy, slime/drool and all. 

And then it's a quick change of the leash and off I go with Buddy.  If Darla and I did not see Kiera, Jack or Spike, Buddy and I might!  We do this on the weekend too, just not as early.  I know they love the walks and I enjoy the morning walk.  It clears my head for the day.   As the days get shorter I will probably be walking in the dark.  I counted street lights the other morning.  I think I'll be OK.   


Monday, August 22, 2011

A Day on the Farm

My staycation of a few weeks ago seems but a distant memory.  Towards the end of the week I spent a day on the Howell Living History farm with my friend Lois.  It was an absolutely beautiful day.  The air was crystal clear, the sky was a beautiful shade of blue, the clouds were puffy, big and white and perfectly placed in the sky and the warmth of the sun was shining on us . . . there was no humidity. We had all day to spend on the farm to paint, draw, take pictures and just relax

We walked the long lane to the farm, taking in all the beauty around us.

We stopped to visit Buttercup. Her name is really Daisy, but we liked Buttercup better.

Then we went to the hen house where this guy was in charge!

And finally we headed to what drew us there, the sheep.  Almost all were gathered under a tree, by the fence.

Most were resting.  We  tried to be quiet.  

Some were taking their rest seriously. 
She found the perfect head rest and was REALLY comfortable

Lois choice the lamb with the choice sleeping head rest to draw 
and claimed her spot at the fence.

While Lois drew, I walked around and took some pictures. 
These two handsome guys caught my eye! They are Barney and Prince.

Here they are helping teach someone how to drive a team of horses with a plow.

And here they are again.  They were quite handsome together. 

And waiting patiently in the wings for their turn are these two guys.  
I'm not sure of their names.

And back to the sheep to see what's happening . . . still resting.

 But . . . someone was watching me!

I was fascinated by their fleece.  It's just so beautiful!  

And this is what Lois was doing while I was taking pictures - she drew sleeping beauty!

And these two were on her left while she was drawing, watching or maybe sleeping. Since I can only see there noses, it's hard to say what they are doing!

This little one was however sleeping and his position just made me laugh.

It was time to change locations so we found a small bench and moved it to the side of  the blacksmith shed, shown here and both painted for a while.  

 This was the view from the other side of the blacksmith shed.  

And after a beautiful day on the farm in the company of a good friend,  we headed out.  We will  return again soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Staycation . . . Day 2 and 3

I'm enjoying my staycation.  I think this might be the first time I've taken a whole week off and Chuck has not!

Tuesday started, as all my days have recently, with two dog walks.  Darla is doing well on the walks, and I need the exercise too!.  It's a nice way to start the day.  Morning are a nice time of day.  I weeded a bit more Tuesday morning and am done except for the vegetable garden which we never planted this year.  That needs more than weeding - it needs, well I don't know what it needs.  Some of the weeds begin to remind me of Jack and the Bean Stalk!

It's not blood . . . he was REALLY enjoying a cherry
And she was enjoying a cupcake
I started to watch as I had plans to meet my friend and her sister and  two children, Tim and Anna (seen above) who are visiting from Texas.  Yeah, they needed to experience heat :).  Our plan was for a picnic at Howell Living History Farm.  Chuck and I also had tickets for an outdoor concert that evening.  The weather was NOT LOOKING GOOD.  But we decided we could picnic under cover of a tree at the Farm, which we did. After lunch we saw a movie about how the New Jersey Barn Company helped the farm disassemble a barn and move it to the farm and reassemble and raise it to become the visitor center we were sitting in, which protected us from the downpour outside!   We never got to go to the farm to see the animals, boo hoo.   We parted quickly in the rain.   I managed to take a few pictures when I first arrived  before the rain.

Lane to the Farm
Just fertilized a field
A view from the Visitor Center, before the rain
At home I decided the best thing to do on a rainy vacation day was a nap!   When I woke up the sun was shining and I ran to check the weather in Bethlehem PA at Musikfest and it was looking good.     YEAH, I will get to see Alison Krause and Union Station after all!

When Chuck got home, we checked the weather again and off to Bethlehem we went to see Alison Krause and Union Station with Jerry Douglas.  WOW.  What a show.  An incredibly talented group of musicians.   And what a great place for music.  Musikfest is so much fun.  This year they moved several of the venues to be in and around the old Bethlehem Steel.  It's amazing to stand in front of the old blast furnaces.  They are ginormous.   The shells of the old buildings are still there.  Amazing architecture.  They've done a fabulous job of putting an art/music community in an around the remains of Bethlehem Steel.  And right next door is the Sands Casino.

Day 3
Not as busy as day 2 . . . I read, alot, and went to Pet Smart and the grocery store.  

Day 4
Is just beginning.  I am hoping to go the Howell Living History Farm today as the weather is absolutely beautiful.  Should have lots of pictures to share!

Take Care
"Those that say you can't take it with you never saw a car packed for a vacation trip."
Author Unknown 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Staycation . . day 1

Today was the first day of MY staycation.  Chuck is working, I am not!   I had the whole day to myself!   Want to know what I did?   I hope so 'cause here it is!  I walked the dogs, like I always do.  At 8am I decided that if I wanted to weed I better do it before it got too hot.  So I weeded in the front and picked up the branches from Chuck's shrub trimming on Sunday.  Then I had breakfast, read a little bit and decided that I would wrestle one of  the stuffed chairs out of the house to see if it would fit in to the back of my subaru.  We have talked about donating these 2 chairs to the church for about 5 months but don't seem to do it.  I got the first chair out the front door.  Step one accomplished.  Amazingly, the chair fit in the back of my car.  Yeah!  You would not believe what I've had in that car!  Off to church I went (5 minutes away) to deliver the first chair.  And back home to get the second.  When I got home after delivering the second chair I decided I should rake the pile of stones in the driveway by my.  I had lunch first, leisurely of course, and read some more.  And when it was really hot out, I went out to tackle the pile of stones.  Then I decided I would go back to weeding and I went to the back yard and did some more weeding. We have a lot of fenced in beds to keep the deer from eating all of our plants and lots of areas to weed.  I watered the plants, cleaned the bird feeder and did a few other things too.  All in all it was a good day.  I got a lot done. 

Tomorrow I might have a bit more fun.  I think a picnic might be in my future!

Take Care,

"No two gardens are the same.  No two days are the same in one garden."   
Hugh Johnson

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thanks Barb!

I had lunch yesterday with a friend from a former job, Barbara Reeder.  She's actually the person who got me started in watercolor oh so many years ago!  We worked in two different real estate offices that were adjacent to each other and visited back and forth.   We kind of lost touch over the years but earlier this year we ran into each other on the street in Princeton and discovered that we are again working just about next door to each other, not quite as close as before.  We keep in touch thru facebook although I'm not a great facebooker (is that a word?) and we have lunch once in a while.  I told her about my blog and she shared it with her facebook friends.  Thanks Barb! 

My first watercolor class was with Lucy Graves McVicker, a friend of Barbara's.  This is the first painting I was happy with.   It's called "Lucy's Tree".  Lucy walked me thru several portions of this so it felt like it was as much hers as mine.  Barb and I had alot of fun in Lucy's studio with many other talented artists, learning about watercolor.  The lessons we learned are ones I will always remember.   Lucy always found the best part of everything we painted - no matter what it looked like!  Lucy's husband Chuck played the piano alot during our lessons.  We always enjoyed our time with Lucy.

Barb IS a great facebooker - she has the BEST posts.  Today this is what she posted and I had to share it!

When I woke up this morning, I asked myself, "What is life about?" I found the answer in my room...the fan said, "Be cool." The roof said, "Aim high." The window said, "See the world!" The clock said, "Every minute is precious." The mirror said, "Reflect before you act." The calendar said, "Be up to date." The door said, "Push hard for your goals." The floor said, "Kneel down and pray"...~

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Evening on the River

I thought I'd share this picture with you.  I've had meetings the last few nights at church.  I took this tonight before my meeting.  Our church is right on the river - it's a very beautiful place. 

Evening cruise on the Delaware River at Titusville/Washington Crossing

Last night was the first of many meetings to plan for the church's 175th anniversary in 2013. It's very exciting to work towards this.  Not exactly sure where we are heading but it will be fun planning and quite a journey.  I'm also on the Church Life and Fellowship committee and we met to plan our fall calender and, yes we talked about when we would go christmas caroling.  I, of course, had to ask if we really had to talk about Christmas in early August because I'm a brat!  However, the bulk of the meeting was devoted to planning for Duck Duck Pig which is a cookout (the pig part) in the fall that the community is invited to.  Everyone gets a yellow rubber duck to race in the canal (the duck, duck part).  It's a hoot, or should it be a quack.  Oh, that was bad.  Sorry!

about 100 ducks "racing" down the canal