summersgate: (eggshells)
Hiking. Two different places. Sunday it was Dave, Rossy, Andy and me going out on the game lands to a hill overlooking Polk. We went out the wide open trail till it came to the woods. From there the trail winds its way through the trees and is harder to find, but all you have to do is stay on the top of the ridge till you get to the end. That's where you can see Polk far off in the distance. An interesting thing about yesterday was it was a day when the snow fleas were out. On the way I noticed that the snow looked kind of dirty but it wasn't till I looked beside a fallen log at the "dirt" that I saw it was snow fleas. They come out in droves on certain days and hop all over the snow. By the time we were starting back at 4 pm they were all gone back into the snow again.

Today Candy and I went out to "Window Trail" over the Allegheny River at the Kennerdell Tract. Which is another place I love to go. Sunday's hike was only 4.5 miles but it felt much longer - I got to feeling so exhausted and sick. Maybe I was coming down with something - or maybe it was the chocolate chip mint milkshake that I had on the way home that made me sick. Came home and went to bed and slept 12 hours. I got up this morning feeling much better and the 6.5 mile hike today felt good.

Pictures HERE )

Sometimes it seems like all I write about are these outings. I do love them. I love seeing things in nature. I love taking photos too. When staying home there seems to be nothing much to say or write about.

Tonight: watching Rectify (end of season 3) - now we will have to wait who knows how long to see what happens next.

I made a big pot of red lentil soup tonight and invited the vegans next door to come over for supper. After we ate I showed them the laser light machine I got. It shines red and green lights that move in patterns - you could shine the lights on the outside of your house or inside your house on the ceiling. Before Christmas they had them for $50 at Joanne's but the last time I went in there they were down to $15 so I got one. I shine it on the ceiling in the living room. Andy doesn't know what to do and tries to leap up and get the lights off the ceiling. Funny.


Jan. 15th, 2017 08:45 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Drawing of a made-up map - not of anything for sure but kind of patterned after the trail to the the Kennerdell lookout in the Clear Creek Forest Kennerdell Tract. I love maps. If I was to choose a nickname for myself it would be "Maps". Dave and I are taking Andy for a walk somewhere today - not sure where yet. I got out my map folder to show him some possible places with trails and we looked through it early this morning.

Yesterday afternoon we (me, Johnny, Jules and his kids) went to the remodeled Iris theater in Cochranton to see Doctor Strange. The Iris is a theater that used to be run by a old couple - they only showed PG13 or lower movies and it was cheap. It was a fixture of the community for 70 years but as they got too old to run it it finally closed. A church in the area took it under their wing and remodeled it and now it is reopened. It has a coffee shop in the front that is open all day long and the theater in the back. It looks like it is succeeding to give young people a place to go. I liked the movie - though usually I'm not into super hero movies at all. There were lots of Tibetan scenes and psychedelic magic, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the hero and Mads Mikkelsen as the villain made it fun to watch. Plus I think Tilda Swinton is fascinating. Afterwards we drove to Meadville and ate at the 100 Item Buffet. The 2 TV's on the wall played a loop of film showing a mini documentary of pandas. It was fun to watch. Two things in one day that were fun to watch.
summersgate: (winter)
"Growing in the Earth" pendant - sterling, ceramic and peridot. Listing HERE

What started out as a day with plans to drive the grandkids multiple places has dwindled down to absolutely nothing at all. The grandkids all have snow days from school and I canceled lunch with my friend [personal profile] kyana cause for a while this morning it looked like a blizzard out there. Not anymore though - the sun is shining! But it is still very cold. The school has cancelled the holiday concert that Sebastian was going to play in tonight too.
summersgate: (eggshells)

Dave and I went to the eye doctor yesterday. He to find out why he has a blurry spot in the middle of his eyesight in one eye and me to get a prescription for new glasses. We got the bad news that Dave has wet macular degeneration in the problem eye and a case of dry macular degeneration in the other. He hasn't smoked in many years. That could have been a possible cause. He got a prescription for special vitamins that might help slow it down and he will go to a specialist in Meadville next week. I feel sad. I guess that is the main emotion. I am trying to generate hopefulness cause there could be hope it can get stopped or slowed down so that he doesn't lose his sight. We will have to do what we have to do. One treatment might be to get an injection into the back of his eyeball. Sounds awful. We will know more after next week.

We had a very heavy rain storm this morning. Thursday is the day I drive Hazel to her classes in Meadville and I could hardly see to drive a lot of the way. The younger grandboys were waiting for their bus in the dark, in the rain, and the bus drove right past them then it stopped at the next house (where there are no kids) so they ran to get on it there. Just as they got near the bus the driver closed the door and drove off. So when I got back from Meadville I drove them to school too. While they were waiting for me to get back with the truck Dave took their wet jackets and dried them in the drier and made them hot cereal. I miss the days when the grandkids were little and came over every morning to wait for the bus. We barely see them anymore.

The rain seems to be over for the moment. The sunshine is hitting the maple tree outside my window and reflecting yellow light into my room from the golden leaves.

I've been painting the grout with metallic paints. I did the first coat a couple days ago and then could see where it could be adjusted so did more painting this morning. I still need to figure out some kind of transparent yellow paint I can use on certain glass globs that I used. They were stupid in that the color was only on the outside and I didn't know that till after they were grouted in place and the color rubbed off. That is a problem that will need fixed before the whole thing is done.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Jules and the boys and I biked up Oil Creek this afternoon. Saw 3 deer, 3 groundhogs, many chipmunks, about 30 Canada geese floating on the creek, 2 crows flying across the trail ahead of us, 2 possible birds of prey and a black and white striped jumping spider that I thought I had removed from Jules' bike when we got the bike off the bike rack but later he found it on his arm many miles up the trail.

We took a short detour and visited an old wood and iron bridge on a dirt road that is near the mid point of the trail. Three more. )
summersgate: (summer)
If I'm just laying awake with my eyes open then I should get up - that's my rule.

Feeling like we are passing another kind of empty nest milestone. This will be the first time since 2007 that I won't be getting a grandchild off to school in the morning. Rossy is starting his first day of high school today (7th graders go to the HS here) and he will be leaving his house to go directly out to get on the early bus with Sebby. I will miss seeing him in the mornings.

Dave has shingles. A largish patch on his back and smaller spots on his arm and chest. Another thing to make us feel older I guess.

Yesterday I biked with Candy on the Oil Creek bike trail up to Titusville where we ate lunch at Perkins, then came back down again. All in all it takes about 4 to 5 hours (the way we travel) but it is one of my favorite outings. 22.3 miles in all. The first half of the trip is all slightly uphill as you go up Oil Creek - you can feel the effort but it's not that hard - we stop every couple miles for little rests. When you go back down it's smooth sailing - barely peddling and no need to rest. Though we did stop once - at the half way point picnic area to give our butts a little break.

Then in the afternoon Dave and I went up to Erie so he could pick up a mini icefishing shanty - not really a shanty - more of a padded seat with an attachable windbreak. We also stopped at Gander Mountain and I found some Keen hiking sandals for 1/2 off. I may be switching over to these for my favorite shoes - at least in the summer:

Andy sitting with Dave on the couch last night when we got back. Andy's not allowed to have toys on the couch by himself but he can have them if someone (human) is holding them for him. Hopefully that will avoid messes and chewing on pillows and such in the future.

I smell the local skunk right now - he or she makes his rounds to check for fallen bird seeds under the feeder outside my studio window every night. Because we turn on the fan in the kitchen window in hot weather to draw in cool night air we get a good whiff of him most every night at some point.

I see the end of August as the end of summer and especially the kids going back to school means the end of summer to me. Did I do enough summer things? Did I swim enough, bike and hike with the grandkids enough, spend enough time outside? It always feels like I didn't. I don't like summer to end.


Aug. 23rd, 2016 10:58 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Nice day. The weather has cooled off. Walked with Jan and Berdella early in the day at Wilhelm. We saw the osprey nest - 2 ospreys in the dead tree near it - not sure if it was the mother and the baby or the mother and the dad or what it was. You could hear them singing from far away. Afterwards we had lunch at the Yellow Creek Inn in Jackson Center. A place I had never visited before - it was good. A bar but a nice restaurant too. I had vegetable fettuccine alfredo. In the afternoon I did some more painting of glaze on things. Tonight the grandboys and Johnny and I walked the trail near the creek at Two Mile Run. Then shopping at Giant Eagle. It was closing and we were nearly the last customers.

Woods walking - one of my absolute favorite things right now.
summersgate: (eggshells)
A dragonfly at the lake seemed like it was praying. (Edit - I looked it up and I think this is a Halloween Pennent dragonfly)

The grandkids and I walked the Erie Wildlife Refuge 2.6 mile Deer Run trail this morning. They really liked the observation platform. We ate lots of ripe blackberries from beside the trail. Saw a few great blue herons cruising over the wetlands, 2 toads and a garter snake on the path and a group of napping Canada geese beside the pond.

Bright red leaf. The beginning of autumn?

I put another coat of glaze (to darken and repair places where the glaze didn't stick) on all the last leaves, flowers and jewelry elements I made. They were totally a mess. If they can't be saved I have prepared myself mentally to make another batch - it will be my third try. Seems like I don't know what I am doing anymore and am having to learn it all over again. They are in the kiln now - will know in the morning if the additional glaze helped.


May. 26th, 2016 09:59 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
The new larger tent arrived this afternoon and the grandboys and I have been playing around with it. It has 3 defined "rooms" and space for 3 queen sized mattresses. The plan at this point is a queen air mattress for me and Dave, cots for Sebby and Gabe and a twin-sized air mattress for Rossy. It will be pretty cool I think. I just hope Andy doesn't try to chew the air mattresses.


I want to leave it up in the backyard for a few days - see how it does in rain before we take it out later on a real camping trip. I can not remember the last time I was on a real camping trip. I just asked Dave and the one and only time was about 10 years back he and I took a tent and slept out after a wedding reception for his niece at a little campground/bed and breakfast near Ithaca, NY - I wouldn't call that camping though. But I have slept out in the back yard with the kids and grandkids many times. Not quite the same as real camping. I'm excited to do this.

The last time I truly camped was in 1976 when my first husband Pat and I were kicked out of our basement apartment in the little village of Hacienda on the Russian River in Northern California. We couldn't find another place to rent (or we just didn't want to spend the money - it was summer and the weather was fine) - someone lent us a tent and we went to live down by the river. We probably camped for about a month. Until little toddler Jules and I both ended up with impetigo and it seemed like it was getting to be time to do something else.
summersgate: (eggshells)
River's edge.

Yesterday I had two chances to explore the river's edge on the Allegheny. In the morning Gabe (since he is a senior now he doesn't go to school every day) wanted to go on a walk and go shopping so we stopped at that place (the mouth of Deep Hollow creek) that Jan and I discovered on Wednesday and went down there. More... )

Later, after school Rossy and Sebby wanted to go on a bike ride and this time we went upstream on the Allegheny to another place I've always wanted to explore. Along the river there are grassy areas below the bike trail where you can see groves of trees beside the river. Sometimes there is a path leading down to them but we are just speeding along on our bikes and don't go down. I always want to go down though. Last evening seemed like a good time to do it and everyone was agreeable.

Rossy watching the river go by. The River Ridge gate is behind us. More HERE. )
summersgate: (eggshells)
It feels like not much - but my days are full so there must be something.

Last night the grandboys, Amber and I walked from a new (to me) game land parking lot to the Kennerdell Overlook (the same place Candy and I hiked on Monday but this time we came from a different direction without all the steep hills). By the time we were coming back it was nearly dark, traveling through the gloaming - kind of magical I thought. The spring peepers were loudly peeping in a trail side pond. If we had started 15 minutes later we would have had to use our flashlights for sure. The crescent moon peeking through the bare branches was beautiful. I forgot to take a camera. Afterwards we drove onward to King's restaurant in Barkeyville and had sundaes (everyone else) and apple pie (me). I am learning more about the roads and hiking trails in that part of the country south of Franklin but on the west side of the Allegheny River.

Friday I tried to get something done in the basement. I did succeed a little. What I wish would happen is we would get the money to build Dave his garage workshop (immediately) and then he could move a bunch of his stuff there, Chloe and Mike would finish their new house and she could move her stuff into it, then I would have room to redistribute and organize my stuff without having to make the decisions to get rid of it. Many times after I get rid of something I wish I had it back. I truly think I am done with that phase of my life but then I see how I could use that thing for something else, or someone else comes along wanting it, but too late, I already gave it to salval. And there is just so much family stuff I can't get rid of - I need to store it somewhere.

At the moment: just found out that last night was daylight savings change time - need to change the clocks. I downloaded a new cd by Karen Dalton, Cotton Eyed Joe this morning and am listening to it. It's raining and today will be another basement day for sure.
summersgate: (eggshells)
I found out that the rocks out on the game lands by Whipperwill Road that Dave and I visited on the 6th are actually called the Rainbow Rocks. The petroglyphs that were carved long ago into it are covered by modern graffiti and hard to find. Here is what they look like if you can find them:

Rainbow Rocks
We did find them but I thought at the time they would be hard to see in a photograph so I didn't bother - now I wish I had. It is written about in this article.

The grandkids and Gabe's good friend Amber and I went out there tonight.

Amber and Sebby walking around. More photos HERE )
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
The grandkids got a drum set for christmas and Sebby got an amp for his guitar. I went over this afternoon to check them out. I was impressed by how fast Rossy is learning the drums - Sebby is already very good with his guitar - he has been practicing for about a year.

47. What was the best news you ever received?

Perhaps it was when Jules decided to buy the house next door after mom died - keeping the grandboys close to us.


Oct. 27th, 2015 02:54 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
"Deep Traveler 2" pendant - sterling, medicine bow agate, hematite Listing HERE

Still enjoying the turtle theme. I ordered 3 more stones that I think will make some really great turtles in the future - a black fossil coral, a fossil palm wood and an ocean jasper - looking forward to seeing them in person.

Last night the grandboys and I biked from Franklin to Oil City - which is the quickest bike trail to get to. Something we have to think about now that it is getting dark earlier and earlier - it will really get bad after the time change coming up on Sunday. I don't know why I bother taking photos - they can't compare with REALITY. It is so fabulous out there - the colors and crispness - the movement and depth - the smells and the sounds of it all - but I keep trying to capture it with a camera anyway. I come home with all these ipod pictures that just don't "get it" at all. Anyway - here are a couple, just trying to show SOMEthing:

Stopping for a break.

Sunset river.


Oct. 15th, 2015 10:48 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
A good thing it is to be hippie rich.

Tonight I biked with Rossy and Sebby from Franklin to Belmar. Didn't know if we would beat the approaching rain or not. The sky was very dark to the west. But we did beat the oncoming rain by a few minutes.

Upstream from the bridge - a boat passes through.

Shine on.

I spent the morning with my cousin Helen. She is the oldest of the cousins on my mother's side and I am the youngest. I know hardly any of the people in the family and she knows all of them. She is 94. She has shrunk into a tiny little person and has forgotten words. Her mind is sharp - it is just the word selection that fails her. I enjoyed listening and trying to figure out words that might fit into her stories. She gave me one of her many knit afghans as a parting gift. I choose the butterscotch yellow one.

We watched the film "Life in a Day" tonight. Really good. Short clips gathered from all over the world on one day - July 24th 2010 - and then artfully arranged. You can watch it on YouTube.
summersgate: (eggshells)
We watched "Glen Campbell: I'll be Me" last night. Quite heartrending. I was reminded how my mom's mind was still pretty good at rare times, even to the end with social things and her love of music - the same way Glen was in the documentary. He didn't know what day it was, where he was or who anyone was but he sure could still play the guitar and sing.

Well, today is another Wonderful Wednesday and it is drizzling - I will be staying home for sure. It will be nice to catch up on things around here. Working on some new jewelry and making an etsy listing would be good. Though later, after school, I need to take the 2 older grandboys shopping for dress shirts and pants cause they will be going to the homecoming dance on Friday.

Yesterday some members of our women's group and I went to Sharon to see a quilt artist displaying at a gallery there. It was nice to see some new art and be inspired.
summersgate: (eggshells)

Wet balcony just now.

We are at the cabin in North Carolina. So rainy. You can hear it on the skylight and the roof. Dave's and my bedroom and sitting room are upstairs. Kathy and Pete's are downstairs. Woke up very early this morning (5:30) because there was a voice mail alert on my cell phone. Because we are out in the woods here there is no cell phone service (so I don't understand why I could get that voice mail alert - puzzling). I couldn't call voice mail back to find out what the message was. I imagined it might be Gabe back home having a problem so I called there with the landline phone. There is no water in the house, the pump is not working. We will have to talk to Jules later and walk him through possible solutions. It's hard for me to let go of thinking the grandboys might be having problems and I can't help. Though that is what I need to do. Gabe was very capable and went next door and got water so he could feed the cats and take care of Yoshi. He's doing good with being the responsible one there.

Even though it is raining here today there are still things we all can get out and do. Indoor places to visit. The Biltmore Estate perhaps, and there is a car museum nearby too. And it will just be good to be able to visit with Kathy and Pete. Dave and I didn't get here till nearly 9pm last night and Kathy and I sat up late talking. I'm going to be tired later today but there can always be nap time - after all we are on vacation...

summersgate: (eggshells)
Many times on the way to Clarion I notice a small brown sign that says North Country Trail - trailhead parking area. I've always thought it would be neat to stop and see what was there so when the kids said tonight they wanted to walk somewhere new I thought of that. Part of the trail was wide and mowed grass - a former railroad bed but there were some areas that took us through the woods and up and down hills and over streams. After we got home I looked up the North Country Scenic Trail and found out that it is a 4600 mile trail that goes from Eastern New York to Central North Dakota. Made me feel like we really were a part of something big for a while tonight. I want to find out more. We probably only hiked about 2 miles of it at the most tonight.

Can you see the blue blaze painted on the fallen tree over Rossy's head marking the trail?

And just something else I was thinking about today. I wrote this after I got home from having lunch with Nancy:

Thinking about aging and going into new stages of life. Nancy and I were talking and I said something like this: When we were little we had the baby stage, then the toddler stage, then preschool, school, puberty, teen, young adult, prime of life, pre-menopause, menopause, then whatever the heck we are in now, and beyond to what (?) – old age and decrepitude. Every stage is unique to itself. We act the way we do cause we are of the age we are. The stages ahead of us are about becoming weaker and needing more and more help with things – we are becoming like babies again. No wonder old people complain – babies cry an awful lot too. The challenge of growing old is to do it gracefully – without all the crying.

I really don't want to grow "old" - not yet! I want to stretch out this stage as long as I can. There are a lot more aches and pains and I don't have good balance anymore or fast reactions. I get tired easily. But I'm not ready to give up yet and am so glad I don't have to. I have immense gratitude for the grandboys and the time I get to spend with them outdoors right now.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Freedom Falls

I had a great day today - spent a lot of time around Freedom Falls and the Allegheny River near Rockland Station. In the morning Candy and I explored around Freedom Falls and then rode bikes through the Rockland Tunnel and about 5 miles south and back. Then in the afternoon the grandkids and I hiked Freedom Falls again before we went shopping at Walmart for last minute school stuff. Plus Rossy wanted to get some duct tape and learn how to make wallets. He's made 2 so far and he's pretty good at it. Lots more photos of woodsy stuff and bike trail tunnel stuff - HERE )

Well, tomorrow is the official end of summer for us. The kids will be back in school and I need to get back to work again and get serious about making jewelry. I have had perhaps the most active summer yet this year and I'm pretty happy about that.
summersgate: (eggshells)
"Water Dancer" pendant - sterling, brass, Czech glass button and blue cz Listing HERE

The grandkids go back to school on Tuesday - the summer is nearly at an end. Hard to believe it went so fast.

I worked on this and another pendant today. Then tonight Dave and I went on a bike ride - just got home. It seems our thing is to go late, at the end of the day, then we are coming back in the dark. But we are all set up with flashlights now so no worries. Near the end of the trail we went by a doe - she stayed on the trail till we got about 10 feet away then she just moved into the bushes and was only a few feet away and very visible as we went past.

We watched the documentary today called, After Innocence about people who have been in prison for many years - and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence. Very moving program (all such sweet men) and just a nightmare when you think about it. These men had the best years of their lives stolen. How many more innocents are still in there?


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