Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week Fifty-Two - Done

What a delight. Based on actual event, Hendrix juxtaposes the horror of war with the peace and joy of Christmas time.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Willard Chapel Christmas House Tour

The Community Preservation Committee of Auburn, NY sponsored a Christmas House Tour to benefit Willard Chapel. Three homes, 107 South Street, 109 S. Herman Avenue, and 11 Melrose Road, were decked in Christmas finery.

Joan and I arrived at the S. Herman Avenue home of Dr. Michael and Julie Speck at 1:30 PM.

After donning blue booties we went upstairs and viewed the pink bedroom. We then entered the chapel area which son, Michael, explained was in the center of the home because their religion was an important facet in his family's life. On to the master bedroom in which there was a warming fire in the fireplace.

Returning downstairs we passed through the living room into the kitchen. There Patty pointed out the Christmas trees decorated by Julie to show off her interest in sewing, crocheting and quilt making.

In Dr. Speck's home office/weather monitoring station, the daughter, Christina, noted her father's enthusiasm for weather.

In the kitchen, Julie was busy baking gingerbread cookies in the beehive oven. Passed on the punch but I found the cookie delicious.

Leaving by way of the backyard garden area, we entered Dr. Speck's wood shop. There he shared the piece that he is currently working on.

 109 S. Herman Avenue

Joan and I proceeded to South Street and parked on Fitch Avenue.

Entering the former Knapp home, we were directed into a Victorian room filled with curiosities. There were several songbirds under glass.

From there we entered the parlor which was dominated by an elk head and a moose head. 

Then into the formal dining room with settings of fine china and silverware. The current owner was there with her dog, Ruby. She mentioned that this was not her best silverware since at a previous open house several pieces came up missing.

Now the mountain faced Joan and I. The circular stairway wrapped about a twenty foot Victorian theme Christmas tree. Actually the trek up the stairs was not that taxing but would not look forward to doing it everyday.

The master bedroom was extremely dark. The raised bed was wrapped with heavy maroon drapery. The water buffalo head while impressive might put you off as you awoke every morning. Off the hallway was the nursery. Much airier and brighter. The docent pointed out the transient window and speculated on its existence.

Going down the stairway went well and we said our good-byes.

107 South Street

Back over the Lake Street bridge and into the village of Owasco. Turning at Smiley's we parked in front of 11 Melrose Road. 

As we approached the front door Mrs. Simmonds and one her daughter was leaving. We shared Hellos.

At the door was Judy V., as we were donning our blue booties, Judy asked about the Adirondacks. She shared her recent visits to the Old Forge/Inlet area.

In the front living room, docent Mary Ann G. greeted us and mentioned that it has been a long time since we have seen each other. Two things got our attention - a child's rocking horse filled with Christmas books and a collection of baseball themed steins in a bookcase.

In the dining room, there was a land survey map showing the property. Also, Mrs. Simmonds quilts were displayed.

In the kitchen area, the pride of the family, Mr. Simmonds and two of his daughters greeted us and offered us cookies. The kitchen with its dark granite counters, cherry cupboards and breakfast nook was charming. Mr. Simmonds noted that Dr. Graceffo and his family lived in this home for 41 years and the Simmonds have now resided here for 16.

11 Melrose Road

Joan and I had a most pleasurable experience visiting these homes that the owners graciously opened for our viewing.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Week Fifty-One - 1 To Go

When it comes to a locked room mystery, Agatha Christie has few peers. Cleverly plotted and planned right up to the surprise ending.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Trinity United Methodist Church

More interpretations at InSPIREd Sunday.

Week Fifty - 2 To Go

In their seventh installment in the Detective Michael Bennett series, James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge continue in their attempt to make the 10 little Indians, Seamus, and Mary Catherine, the Brady bunch of the 21st century.  One of the sub-plots probably will not meet everyone’s taste, but the convoluted story lines should kept the causal Patterson reader engaged.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week Forty-Nine - 3 To Go

Stuart Woods jumped the shark many Stone Barrington novels ago. Keeping with that tradition Stuart Woods has produced another script here. While the cast of characters remains familiar and this work can be read quickly, your time might be better spent in pursuing other activities.

Trinity Episcopal Church

27 Fall Street
Seneca Falls, NY

More interpretations at InSPIREd Sunday.

More interpretations at Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church

More interpretations at InSPIREd Sunday.

Week Forty-Eight - 4 To Go

Author Sandford almost loses Virgil "F" Flowers among a myriad of characters. But despite that plus a weak storyline, this quick read does come together nicely in the end.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2014 Osage-Orange Road Trip

The skies were overcast but a storm is forecast for tomorrow so Joan and I decided to make our annual trek for osage-oranges. Approached the outskirts of Union Springs to find the barricade still in place around the Indian's gas station.

The Mill Pond on Rt. 90 was calm with a few Mallards and green-winged teal swimming near the far shore. A birder and his wife were scoping them out. The Factory Street pond was full of duck weed and several Mallards were gliding around.

Entering the village of Aurora we drove slowly up to the Morehouse residence. The area under the Osage Orange tree was teeming with the largest specimens we had ever seen.
Joan quickly get into  gathering mode.
The old tree seemed to have produced a bumper crop this year.
A thistle in the culvert caught my eye.
After filling 7 Wegmans' bags we continued on to Long Point State Park. At our usual spot we pulled over to gather some bittersweet. But a chocolate Lab's jumping on Joan and attempting to lick her forced us to cut our gathering short.

No waterfowl at Long Point State Park but did visit with Paul, a birder, who I recall having met at the refuge. Paul said that he was unable to locate the loons seen here yesterday in his scope.

Continuing on to Sherwood we pulled adjacent to our other favorite Osage-Orange tree and its farmhouse.
Appeared to be a hunter across the road to the west.
Driving home we went passed Hoopes Park. Joan saw the pine cones and suggested we pick some up.
The park was being used by a dog walker and a skateboarder
This adventure is always a pleasure.

Former adventures:         November 19, 2009

                                         November 14, 2010

                                         November 13, 2011

                                        November 21, 2013

St. Mary's Church

15 Clark Street
Auburn, New York

More interpretations at InSPIREd Sunday.

Week Forty-Seven - 5 To Go

Improbable. Tough read to finish. Thanks to Fiorella not all the reading time was a total loss.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First Presbyterian Church

Skaneateles NY
More interpretations at InSPIREd Sunday.

Week Forty-Six - 6 To Go

Read during the 2014 World Series. Doris Kearns Goodwin retelling of 50’s baseball history helped to recall my fond memories of the Yankees and Dodger rivalry. While perhaps best read during the baseball season, this memoir resonates for all seasons.