Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Salute to My Dad

My Dad, Walter J. Crall served in the Navy from 1961-1963.
He was an Electrician's Mate 3rd Class when he left the Navy.
He was stationed on the USS Thomas J. Gary out of Newport, RI.

USS Thomas J. Gary

Monday, November 1, 2010

Funny Veggies from our Garden

This year we had a few vegetables that we found a bit funny.  I loved these three especially.  Hugging carrots, cross legged carrots and a big nosed tomato!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Childhood Home

My husband and I went for a drive past our childhood home in Tomhannock, NY  this fall. The reason I call it "Our Childhood Home" is because this home belonged to my husband's parents and then my parents bought it from them.  It was Eddie's childhood home and then it was mine.  The three windows on the right of the house were bedroom windows.  It was Eddie's bedroom from 1st until 6th grade.  When they moved, it became my bedroom. I had it for 3 years while we lived there. For me it was 5th -7th grade. It makes a fun story to tell people that my husband and I shared a bedroom when we were kids and then explain what I mean. My mother and his mother were friends and neighbors in high school.  They remained friends after high school and Eddie and I met when I was born one year after he was.  We were childhood playmates. When his parents decided to move to Florida, my parents bought their home.  The rest of the story of how we wound up married is for another time!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Boy of Fall

When I first saw the Kenny Chesney Video Boys of Fall  it brought tears to my eyes.  Hearing the song alone is nice, but the video is powerful. Everyone should watch it regardless of your interest in football. As a mom of a high school football player, I can understand the emotion these boys and men feel. Last night was the final game of my son's high school varsity football season. As my husband and I sat in the car before we got out to brave the chilly fall night, the Boys of Fall came on the radio. It got me choked-up and feeling proud at the same time. The game ended with a score of 28-14. Our team lost in an emotionally charged and controversial game. My son told us that the hour ride home on the bus from this game was long and full of tears. A loss in the play-offs is hard. Some of the seniors will never play the game again. Back at the school, instead of the boys coming right out, the team met in the locker room for a 1 1/2 hour meeting. They sadly turned in their equipment, hugged, and cried. They discussed this specific game as well as the season. They hugged and cried some more. At 12:30 they began coming out of the school and stood in the parking lot talking more, hugging more and crying more. These boys have spent at least 3 hours a day together since August. They share a passion, they share a strong bond. During a practice last week there were Senior speeches which gave the seniors a chance to share their thoughts. There were tears that day as well as laughs. I am looking forward to this coming week at the football banquet. This is the time where the parents can get just a little peek inside this club and hear what the coaches and students have to say about their season and each other. My son will be a senior next year and I am looking forward to another year of seeing him be so passionate and involved with such a great group. This is giving him great memories and a feeling of belonging. Here are some pictures of my #74 Boy of Fall.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

From First Ride to First Drive

 In September of 1994 our son AJ took his very first ride in our brand new Ford F-150 Pickup truck.

Sixteen years later, he is learning to drive in that very same truck!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Art Center

While on vacation this past summer,  Eddie and I drove on a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.  We stumbled on this folk Art Center that had amazing works of art from local artisans.  We weren't allowed to photograph in some of the galleries, but I did get a few shots of the center.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My New Car

We have not had a car payment in 11 years.  It was time to get a car that was dependable.  When Eddie had to tow me home from work one day in August, we decided we needed to just admit we needed to get a new car.  We bought it one week before we took it on vacation to North Carolina.  We put over 3000 miles on it in less than a month.  I guess we broke it in well!  I love it and it is more than worth the payment!

Wood Engine Carvings

We thought these carvings of engines were amazing. They were at a truck show we went to last month in Ballston Spa, NY.

Window Frame Bottles

When my husband and I were on vacation this past summer, we stopped at antique shops.  This was an idea we saw in a shop and I knew I wanted to try it. We used one of our many window frames and some of the collected bottles we have.  It looks so cute with flowers in it. 

Cute Mop Ghost

I made this adorable halloween decoration out of a mop when I was in college. My mom was making cute mop dolls and had a pattern for this one and I loved it.  It has been one of my favorite Halloween decorations since then. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

For the Birds

While driving back from visiting my sister in New Hampshire, my mom and I decided to go a new and scenic route.  We saw this stretch of birdhouses along the side of the probably went for at least 1/4 of a mile!  We also found this birdhouse shop and stopped.  Mom bought one of the church birdhouses for her sister.  I love these cute roadside sites!

This Year's Garden

These are pictures of our garden about two weeks ago.  Since then it has exploded with ripe vegetables and herbs!  It is a mix of raised beds and ground plantings.  This garden is 21ft by 46ft and is one of our two gardens.  We have a second one that is our pumpkin patch with another patch of corn as well.  This is the largest, most varied garden we've attempted in the 10 years we have lived here. We have plans for expansion next year. Eddie is also going to build me a green house right next to the garden area and we are moving our compost area closer as well. The greenhouse will use many of the windows we have been collecting in our barn. We are really under-utilizing our 9 acres, but we are slowly making it work for us.  This year I have planted dill, basil, garlic, onions, carrots, green peppers, cantelope, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, radishes, spinach, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, roma tomatoes, early girl tomatoes, peas, corn, butternut squash and pumpkins.  We have a large upright freezer which I am sure will be full by the end of the summer. I have 35 tomato plants and some of them are now over 4 feet tall and full of green tomatoes.  I need to start now looking for good recipes for those!  My parents and one of my aunts have chipped in on seeds and supplies, so I give them as many veggies as they can handle.  We really love that we are supplying our own vegetables!

Black Raspberry Bush

This year Eddie went down near our pond and noticed this huge Black Raspberry Bush.  We went down every two days for a couple of weeks and picked them.  We got about four gallons total! I made a batch of regular jam, a batch of low sugar jam and froze the rest to use throughout the year.  That was an unexpected crop this year!

Raised Strawberry Bed

Eddie made me a great raised strawbery bed this year.  We had a great crop our first year.  I was too impatient to do as recommended and pinch off the berry bunches the first year so the roots could get well established..but the strawberries were good! We had to put a fence around it and netting over the top to keep our chickens and other birds and critters out.  It worked great!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Sunset Storm

Eddie and I went outside to have a little campfire for a while.  Skies were blue and there was no wind.  We looked a bit to the northwest and there was one big storm cloud slowly moving over the top of us.  It was very interesting how the sky became black over us but under the storm were bue skies and a pretty sunset.  I loved the contrast.  We stayed out until we saw lightning.  We got a few sprinkles from it, but that's it.