Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Working Out/Working In

My physical self needs major attention so I am attending my first Zumba class tonight. Ugh.

I have always hated hearing women talk about Zumba like its a cult they belong too. Of course I hate exercising for exercising's sake, and that is what this is, but I need to get off my bottom and get moving.

A great place recently opened in Newfane, the village closest to me, where they offer Zumba as well as yoga, so I'll be attending yoga classes there, too. It's called Yoga Here & Now Movement Center, and Margaret Kaiser is the owner and yoga instructor. Yoga is first on my list but I thought the Zumba might be a nice addition to my line-up of physical challenges.

I have taken Hatha yoga classes in the past but these classes are Iyengar-based which is new to me. has this to say:

What is the Iyengar Method?
Iyengar's method, a form of hatha yoga, is based on giving primacy to the physical alignment of the body in the poses. In the Iyengar school, it is taught that there is a correct way to do each pose, and that every student will one day be able to attain perfect poses through consistent practice. Once this balance is created in the body, it will be reflected in the mind. One of Iyengar's major innovations is in the use of props. Today it is quite common to see blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters being used in yoga studios. The use of these props is comparatively new in the history of yoga and comes directly from Iyengar. The purpose of the props is to assist the student in attaining ideal alignment, even if the body is not yet open enough.

Props? Straps? Sounds a little naughty. Hmmmm.

We shall see. I need to keep myself motivated in positive ways, not just the negative repulsion I feel when I see how unfit I have let myself become. Oprah refers to it as loving yourself enough to take care of yourself ... I'm working on the love.

And then writing. This is where I'll be this summer, researching, organizing and oh - writing. 'Getting my ducks in a row right now so there are NO EXCUSES. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Plans

... writing, gardening, traveling,
                              pets, cleaning, photography,
                 vodka, writing,
             house planning, doctors,
         writing, organizing,
                 reading, lesson planning,
                 shopping, eating, biking,
                    hammock, ceramics,
                                        napping ...

~ an accidental click of the shutter ~

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Schooling Fish Website


The fish are with their sponsors and are in various stages of installation, and the website is up and ready to enjoy.

Visit to learn more about this cool public service project created by the best art students (ever) at Wilson Central School.

School's Out!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Butter People

Fresh local corn on the cob is a seasonal favorite in our house.

The earliest local corn is usually ready for the July 4th festivities, but with this year's cold wet spring who knows. Wegman's (the greatest grocery store on earth) has excellent produce, and even some fairly decent corn that gets shipped in from points south before our local corn is ready, although it is a crap shoot. I am very picky ... looking for small sweet kernels that pop in your mouth and have a high sugar level ... and seldom am I satisfied with non-local corn even from Wegman's. My husband is an optimist, however, and will often take a gamble and bring home some ears of "fresh" corn. Tonight was one of those nights, and his gamble paid off. Four of the six ears were almost as good as local - darn close - even if the other two ears had deformed kernels and we had to thow them out. I mean it when I write that Jim takes a gamble: he doesn't even peek to check before loading it in his basket. In any case, we enjoyed tonight's corn from Florida (?). It makes me even more excited for local produce, coming soon!

Buttering one's corn is an important part of the process, and we have found the perfect vehicle for the butter: Butter Boy. I found it last year at Wegman's, but a quick Google search tells me there are many places to purchase these nifty little fellows, including Amazon, and Bed Bath & Beyond. The description reads:

Butter Boy makes buttering corn-on-the-cob easy and fun. Just insert 1/2 stick of butter, pop the top, and start buttering. Take him to picnics, barbeques, or just have fun with him when eating at home.

Apparently it comes in additional colors, and for those who are concerned about gender you can also purchase a Butter Girl.  How progressive, even if the alliteration isn't quite there.

Note: If you are having a party that includes large amounts of people buttering large amounts of corn on the cob, and said party is taking place outside, then there is an amazing way to offer butter for your guests: the pitcher method. Simply fill any tall thin container (a pitcher or we use a tall plastic pasta storage container) about 3/4 full with hot tap water, and pour a couple of melted sticks of butter into it. The melted butter rises to the top, and people simple have to dip in and pull out their ear of corn. The butter clings to the corn ... the guests are thrilled ... everyone is happy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zen ~ Simplicity

"Precisely the least,
       the softest, 
     a lizard's rustling, 
                  a breath, a flash, a moment - 
a little makes the way of the best happiness."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Evening Goats

Photographing goats can be very challenging. They are extremely curious, and they do not believe in personal space.

My camera was set to auto, and the lighting was tough because it was late and the contrast between shadows and light was pretty harsh. I did not adjust any of these photos, so take them as they are: a moment in time with my goat buddies.

~ Vincent ~

~ Sal ~

~ oo! a goat-free shot of the pen ~

~ another pen view ~

~ what a ham ~
~ Sal, Jasper and Vinny ~ 
~ always trying to get the leaves ~

~ Vin and Sal, sharing ~

~ I try to get mid-jump-shots, but it doesn't work well with the auto setting ~

~ Vin and Jasp ~

~ he's my labrador goat (and it looks like he has 2 bodies!!) ~


Monday, June 6, 2011

Camera Shy Bumble

Bumble continues to work out his fears, including his fear of the camera. We have made some progress, so I was able to snap a few pics last evening after dinner. Here are some unedited photos ...

his favorite laying position: flat!

smiling (okay - panting)

he is not interested in posing ... too much to watch for, like birds who dare hop around in the yard

on the hammock: he was checking out the camera, steaming up the lens

birds: interesting, ball: not so much

tired after a long day on patrol

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bear Speaks

So I spent the night in Rochester with my hubby yesterday because he had a big job in the works and needed to stay in town to keep his eye on things. We had a fun "date night", because between job visits we had cocktails at the Elmwood Inn by the University where the job was and then dinner at a restaurant right on the lake (which I will not link to because it was so tacky it was funny, and we would not recommend it). We stayed at a Marriott Courtyard which was clean and comfy, and this morning we had breakfast at a neighborhood diner before shopping at The Garden Factory. THAT place sure is fantastic, but be prepared to spend money.

'Very pleasant little 18 hour mini-vacation - until my drive home.

Rochester is just about an hour's drive from our house, and approximately half of that drive is along the Robert Moses Parkway - a beautiful divided highway with virtually no traffic, running right along the south shore of Lake Ontario. Sadly, the deer think the parkway is a lovely place to call home, and there were numerous deer "sleeping" on the side of the road. This time of year, whitetail deer are a gorgeous red color, which is pretty much the same red that my sweet Bear was. Reddish brown, with a creamy ivory stomach. Well, losing Bear in the road is right up there as one the most traumatic experiences of my life, and each one of the sleeping deer was like a punch to my gut. The deer that caused me to lose it was a deer that was missing a leg ... like my Beary ... it was too much for me to see so I even had to pull over at one point because I was so upset.

The rest of today involved a lot of contemplation about life, and loss, and joy, and messages, and signs. My Bear was with me for less than two years, but he touched me emotionally in a way that is quite extraordinary. He also inspired me to write a book, and these last several months I have found so many reasons to avoid putting any time into actually typing any words. At all. Today was a harsh reminder that I have a job to do, and that I owe it to Bear to get it accomplished. Okay, I know that anyone reading this that has not ever had a strong connection to an animal is thinking I am nuts, but I don't care. I truly believe that Bear's raison d'etre was to be with me, to love me, to inspire me, to motivate me. As I have said before he really is my muse, and I need to get writing.


~ my buddy ~