Stoves and Alternative Fuels

It is craft night here at the mansion.  The ladies are all in the backroom doing their quilling and stuff.  I’m enjoying a bowl of ham hock & lima bean soup. I’m not sure why people are so down on lima beans.  To me, lima beans, a ham hock or two, a diced onion and some diced tomatoes makes for a good, hearty soup.

So, with the weather cooling down, I decided to look at stoves and inserts.  You can get pellet stoves that burn corn, beans, and cherry pits.  Someone needs to make one to burn black walnuts. 

The only thing I don’t like about the pellet stoves is that they require electricity too.  So, during a massive power outage you would still need a UPS or generator to provide electricity to the motor that feeds the pellets and blows the air.

I guess when it comes down to survival, the best thing is an old fashioned fire.  (Memories of Jack London’s, “To Build a Fire”, rush through my head.)  But, my first line of defense for cooking will be my little Svea 1-2-3 stove.  Nothing cooks better than it does.  Nothing.  (It won’t heat a house, but it will boil a pot of water faster than anything out there.)

Aside from having heating on my mind, I managed to snap a couple of photos of the frost this morning.

Frost

Frost

The frost looked spectacular on the way in to Rochester, especially along the Erie Canal.  It was a little thicker there.  My guess is because of the moisture from the canal itself.

After finishing my soup, we had a barbershop practice.  Jingle Bells is sounding great.  We’ll be a one-hit wonder this season!

Insulated at Last

I drove all the way into Rochester this morning to find a message waiting that they can come insulate the dry house today.  Not wanting to let the oportunity get away, I drove back to Palmyra so I could let them in to do the work. 

The underside of the roof now has high-density foam between each rafter and it looks kind of cool.  I’m just going to prime it and paint it.  (Although, I do need some sheet rock along the ridge to cover the run of wiring.)  So, I guess Saturday I’ll be hanging sheet rock.  You could also feel the warmth of the foam as it cured.  That stuff gives off a fair amount of heat.

No pictures yet.  I’ll get some tomorrow.  Promise.

Greater Rochester Professional Photographers meeting tonight leaves me with little time but to say what I’ve said already.

Blew the Door Right Open

I have a small fridge in the basement that we only keep sodas in it.  I went down today to grab a “cold one” (soda, that is) and found the door open.

Muttering under my breath, I thought someone had left it open or that something was blocking the door.  On the floor sat a rootbeer can. 

I picked up the can and examined it.  The entire top was missing, and about 1/4 of rootbeer was in the bottom.  I then examined the bottom and noticed it was bulging outward.

Using my C.S.I. skills (LOL) I looked in the fridge and noticed the case of rootbeer had a hole in it.  The hole looked as though a speeding can of rootbeer shot through it. 

I concluded that the fridge, with the change in temperatures outside, got cold enough to freeze the can.  The can, surrounded by other cans, with no place to expand, blew its top forcing the door open.  The open door then caused the freezer to ice over which kept the door from shutting.

The door is now open, freezer off, and waiting for the ice to thaw. 

I sure wish I could have it on video.

Now, the unanswered question is, where is the top of the can.  So far, my search has not turned up the missing top.

So, was this a suicide can?  Or, was it murdered?

Top of Can

Top of Can

Bottom of Can

Bottom of Can

Aside from that, we’ve had some great colors in the yard.  Here’s a taste…

Flaming Leaf

Flaming Leaf

Maple Tree

Maple Tree

Watkins Glen with a Natalie Look-alike

I met up with my old missionary companion, Paul O’Donnell, and he, his daughter Bethany and son Justin, and Bethany’s friend Ashley and I went hiking at Watkins Glen.  Ashley looked so much like my daughter Natalie, it was astonishing.  Not only that, she acted like Natalie.

Ashley - Not Natalie

Ashley - Not Natalie

They say everyone has their twin out there.  In this case, Natalie’s twin has a twin sister too. 

It was a beautiful day to hike up the canyon.  The colors against those dark cliffs really pop out.

Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf

Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen

Bethany

Bethany

Blazing Euonymus!

You’re thinking, “What?”

What in the world is, or are, or uh… euonymus?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euonymus

I have one just out side my office door.  You’ve seen it in some of the photos over the last few months.  Here’s a photo from early summer…

Euonymus Shrub (right)

Euonymus Shrub (right)

We’re eating dinner today and Elizabethe pointed out the window and brought to my attention the bright red the shrub had turned.  Here’s the same bush today…

Euonymus (aka Burning Bush)

Euonymus (aka Burning Bush)

And, from another angle you’ve seen in past blog photos…

The Studio (Euonymus on the right)

The Studio (Euonymus on the right)

 I don’t know half the names of plants on my property, and it really doesn’t matter except when someone asks, “What is this plant?”  (Duh, I dunno?)So, don’t mind that I don’t know what I’m showing you photos of, except for the Euonymus (which I wouldn’t know except for it was pointed out in the real estate listing when we bought the Beckwith Mansion and Estate).  Just enjoy some of the colors of autumn here in Palmyra.  They will be here for a few more weeks until either the rain knocks them to the ground, or the wind blows them away.  Until then, they testify of the devine creation of this world and the beauty placed here by our creator.Woodbine (another name I know – thanks to Elizabethe)

Euonymus Up Close

Euonymus Up Close

Know the name?  Tell me.

Know the name? Tell me.

Today I made it through playing prelude music, the opening hymn, the sacrament hymn, the closing hymn, postlude music, and all the songs for the primary program.  I didn’t realize pianist/organists could get blisters from playing too long.  (Just kidding about the blisters.)

The Primary children were quite cute.  Sitting in those choir seats it is hard for them to keep from lifting up out of their seat so the spring-loaded seat rises with them.  One little one kept turning around, and very slyly she would plunk the right-most key.  Then, whenever she would see my shift my eyes that way, she’d smile as if to say, “I wanted to see if it made a sound.”

 When we came home, Elder Flynn was a little concerned that I left the meatloaf in the oven during church.  I explained the oven was on a timer and it was done intentionally so the meatloaf would cook and be ready upon returning home.

Right now, I’m waiting for the triple-chocolate brownies (with walnuts) to cool.  Yeah… you just don’t know how good they are.  Soon, I’ll retire to Elizabethe’s and my room with a couple of brownies… ooh-ooh… Got Milk? (Just kidding… remembered to pick some up last night.)

Dave Made My Day

A few weeks back while taking one of my walks, I photographed a local named Dave.  Dave rides an adult-sized tricycle around the village.  He’s there at every event and he is always glad to make sure people are safe.

Well, I finally got a print made of it so I set out this afternoon to find Dave.  I tried the park.  He wasn’t there.  I tried the bowling alley, and he wasn’t there.  I finally saw his trike at Mark’s Pizza (best Pizza around, by the way).

There was Dave at the counter.  I got his attention and showed him the photo.  He got so excited!

Dave

Dave

“That’s me!” he exclaimed to the people working at Mark’s.

“Yes,” the manager said, “that’s you Dave.”

“He gave it to me,” Dave said pointing at me, “He’s my friend.”

Dave’s my friend too.  I’m glad to have made his day, and his gratitude and cheerful response made my day.

My day started off going out into the rain to pick a gallon of crabapples.  I had asked Elizabethe if I picked them if she’d make crabapple jelly.  (My Grandma Knowles used to make crabapple jelly.  It was one of my favorites.)  So, I picked until my fingers were numb from the cold wet rain.

I came in and decided I would do some work on the dry house.  After surveying the situation  I decided to head to Lowe’s to purchase a 1×4 for facing off the front door.  The inside trim was missing.  I had already insulated it and now it just needs to  be trimmed.  So, I got it measured.

I also measured where a window used to be at the bottom of the stairs.  (A really dumb place to put a window.  Imagine falling down the stairs, or dropping something?  So, I’m sure there is a good reason for it being boarded up.)  I’m going to fill the opening with a plywood panel so I measure for it too.

The stairs are now red and the trim orange.  (Yeah, who paints a room brown with red and orange trim?)  I’m going to paint the stairs and the wall behind it 50% gray.  I took my white balance target to Lowe’s and had them match the gray in it.  Where the window was, I’ll use that section for hanging small prints for clients to see.

Went Lowe’s and it is amazing I can fit a piece of plywood in my Grand Prix.  Okay… I had to have them cut it.  But, I can put several 8′ boards on the passenger side.  I can easily haul 8 2x4s in 8′ lengths.

I met a nice guy in front of WalMart.  He was with his son selling popcorn for his son’s Cub Pack.  Steve Stopp was his name.  He invited me to come to their church if we hadn’t found one yet.  In our conversation it came out that I am a Latter-day Saint.  We talked about why I moved from California to Western New York.

Got home and got the boards put in place, caulked, and cleaned up, and decided to call it quits on that.

After retouching several images from Thursday’s shoot (see below), I decided to go find Dave and give him his picture.

Beth Rose, model

Beth Rose, model

The day, weather wise, turned out to be a great day too.  Check out some of the colors in my yard…

One of the maple trees on the estate. (Look at that patch of sky too!)

One of the maple trees on the estate. (Look at that patch of sky too!)

And this flowers just came up the other day…

Snow Crocus and Fallen Leaves

Snow Crocus and Fallen Leaves

I’ve been showing photos of this door all summer and now look at the leaves.  Soon, there will be now leaves at all on this vine and I will tear it off the wall for it to repeat this next year.  So cool.

Woodbine Vine Early Fall 2009

Woodbine Vine Early Fall 2009

Leaf Watchers

Well, the leaf watchers are descending on Palmyra.  The colors are coming out, and so are the people to see them.

We have guests arriving tonight and staying until Sunday.

On the down side, I had to cancel my PPA Super Monday due to lack of registrants.  That’s too bad because this is the best time of the year to visit here.  Now, if autumn colors motivate you, put it on your calendar to attend PPA Super Monday here in Palmyra in 2010.

Where to Store?

I spent the morning unpacking wardrobe from the studio.  The clothing racks actually  take up less floor space than the boxes did, but the question comes up as to where to store the clothing racks.  My ceiling is not yet insulated in the dry house and I’m hesitant to put them out there until I get the place “workable”.

My afternoon was filled with a photo shoot.  This one was for portfolio work and creative expression.  We took some of the pictures at the Erie Canal Park on the edge of the village, around the house, and in one of the guest rooms.

Model:  Beth Rose

Model: Beth Rose

The barbershop quartet is coming along.  We seem to have Jingle Bells down pretty well, now we just need to memorize it.  Bill Grogan’s goat is also coming along quite well.  But, most of all, we’re having fun singing.

Rainbow

There was a song in the late 70’s.  I think the name of it was, “I’ll Paint You a Rainbow.”  It was about a little boy whose mom was dying.  The mom sensing the sadness of the little boy tells him that she’ll paint him a rainbow from the other side.

It was a real tearjerker.

This morning, there was a HUGE rainbow.  I didn’t have a wide enough lens to capture it, so this is the best you’ll get.

Rainbow off SR 31 in Macedon

Rainbow off SR 31 in Macedon

The ACC group in the building where my office is had a Fiesta luncheon.  They invited me.  It was very good.  Now, you’d think if a bunch of New Yorkers could have a Mexican feast for lunch that you could find Mexican restaurants in this area.  We only know of one Taco Bell, and I think I’ve seen only two sit-down Mexican places.  Perhaps there are enough south-westerners in the group they could pull it off.

My plan is to take tomorrow off to work on the room for the elders.  So, I schedule a shoot tomorrow afternoon.   A lack of shooting is getting to me.  I actually am starting to feel like a pianist that didn’t practice before a big concert.  Yeah, I’ve done a family shoot and a few small things, but this is a big shoot for my portfolio work.

Let’s hope for good weather tomorrow too.  That way, I can get some shots around the estate too.

Here’s a parting shot…

Flynn's Breakfast

Flynn’s Breakfast

Temple Re-opened

The temple re-opened yesterday and so Elizabethe and I worked our Tuesday evening shift tonight.  It is nice to be back.

I don’t really have a lot to write about.  I was busy the whole day.

Oh, I did make it to the DMV in Lyons to get my NY license.  This time, I had all the required documents and papers.  (They do require a lot.  But, that’s a good thing when it comes to a little 2×3 inch plastic card that is accepted as proof of who you say you are.)  Within an hour, I drove to Lyons, got my license, and drove home.  That would be impossible in California.  Absolutely impossible.