San Jose

San Jose

My Aunt Vicky lived in San Jose.  My daughter Rebecca served her mission in San Jose, and our daughter Tobreth and her family live in San Jose.  Today was our day to visit San Jose.

I showed my tablet and Corel Painter to the granddaughters and the younger two got pretty excited.  They spent hours drawing on the tablet.

Elizabethe also had them doing a craft project she brought with her.

copyright 2017 db walton
Elizabethe and Granddaughters Doing Crafts

The Park

Then, the younger two wanted me to go to the park with them.  We walked to the neighborhood park where they proceeded to play on the swings and playground equipment.

It’s music to my ears to hear them yell, “Grandpa, come here and look. … Grandpa, look what I can do.”

We had fun at the park.

After returning to their house, a bunch of people began to show up for “game night”.

One young man came in, and later Elizabethe came out from the other room and said, “Look who it is!”

I didn’t recognize them, but it was her son Lane.

copyright 2017 db walton
Lane and Elizabethe

As the evening progressed, my allergies started to flare up.  (They have a cat.)  When it got difficult to breath, we headed back to the ranch.

Pirate Preparations

Pirate Preparations

It is a day of pirate preparations.  Tomorrow is the big bed race and kazoo parade.  Tonight is Goonies in the Park.  These are all modern Palmyra traditions.

Elizabethe worked with the grandchildren in creating cars out of cardboard boxes for tonight’s movie.  Originally, I thought we would do this in our driveway, however, Elizabethe suggested we just let them watch Goonies in the park with them.

I thought they would just take a single box and draw on the outside.  Elizabethe had different plans.  These were elaborate creations.  They had lights, windshields, grills, and were pretty slick.

Goonies

The heat was unbearable today, so we did not eat in the park.  We had dinner at home and then went to the park at dusk to watch the movie.

The children lined their cars in a row and sat in their cars while watching the movie.  It was cute.

The turnout for the movie was big.  In spite of the heat, a lot of people came to watch the movie.  Our grandchildren had fun.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the bed races.  I hope we’re prepared.

About Pirate Weekend

If you want to read more about pirate weekend, visit the web site at:  http://www.palmyrany.com/pirates/2016/home.htm

To me, it is the funnest thing we do in Palmyra each year.

No Snow or Frost

As I head out the door this morning the dry was clear, dry and there was no frost.  Okay, here’s the strange part, as I took my walk, the frost started forming.  Never in my life have I ever seen this.  In fact, at one point I walked onto a board walk – no frost.  But, when I turned around to go back, where my boots had stepped there was frost in the pattern of my boots.  (That is, the frost was forming where my boots made contact – not the other way around as you would see if I stepped on a frosty board.  Thus, my foot prints were of frost, not in the frost.  There was no other frost on the boardwalk.)

By the time I got home, the grass and leaves were covered with frost.  I know from living in California that dew often sets in the early morning hours.  Having had an early morning newspaper route, I’d often see windows of cars as they started to form dew and by the time I was done delivering newspapers, all the cars would be covered with dew.  But, this is the first time I’ve ever seen this with frost.

My trek today was down a trail that paralleled the Erie Canal.    There was a great view of this hill just north of the village.  I guess I was meant to move here.  The name of the hill is Walton Hill.

Walton Hill, Palmyra, New York

I also came across this bird’s nest. 

Bird’s Nest along the Erie Canal

Elizabethe comes home tonight.  She’s been in California visiting family there.  It will be nice to have her home.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Hanna is back at Happiness Garden.  Hanna is the owner’s, Jerry’s, wife.  If you haven’t tried their chow fun, stop in and order some vegetable chow fun.  The best I’ve ever had.  (Chow fun noodles are about 1/2″ wide, unlike the skinny chow mein noodles which are more like spaghetti in their size and shape.  They have a nice chewy texture that you don’t get with the skinny noodles.)

Happiness Garden is located at 212 E Main Street, Palmyra.  Tell Jerry and Hanna that Brent sent you.  (Don’t forget to order cheese won tons!)

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

Grand Central Station

It was grand central station here today.  I could not believe how may people stopped by the house.  It was quite the afternoon.

The morning started off much slower, however.  After breakfast, I decided to take a walk, since conference didn’t start until noon. So, I grabbed my cameras and off I went.

I headed to the Canal Park at the edge of the village.  It was overcast and gray, but that’s just the light I love for taking photos.

Palmyra Aquaduct
Palmyra aqueduct

I decided to take a trail back home.  The trail went along an older section of the Erie Canal.  It was absolutely beautiful back there.  Water separated me from the backyards of the homes along Main Street.   And, on the others side, was another section of the canal that had been closed for years.

Ducks
Ducks

There were ducks feeding, and at one point, a beautiful woodpecker landed on a dead tree branch.  He was only about 3′ in front of me, and my effort to turn on my camera spooked him and he flew away.  He was black & white with a red crown.

Dead Trees in the Canal
Dead Trees in the Canal

I made it home before conference stated.  It was a wonderful walk.

Woodbine on the Greenhouse
Woodbine on the Greenhouse

The elders watched the 1st session of conference with us.  After that, we had a taco feast. 

About the time we started eating, the Crookstons and their guests came home.  Then, some people from West Valley City, Utah, stopped in to see the Crookstons.  It was one of Elder Crookston’s students from back around 1980 or so.  He heard the Crookstons were serving missions here and stopped to see them. 

Then, Kevin Lane, Elizabethe’s dad’s cousin, and his sister stopped to visit.  Then Elder and Sister Semedeni stopped in to see the Crookstons.

Like I said, it was like Grand Central Station around here.

Conference was great.  General Conference always is.  I loved Elder Holland’s talk Sunday morning.  I love the directness with which he spoke regarding the Book of Mormon.  All of the talks were great, but I think his will go down as one of my all-time favorites.

Be
Beckwith Mansion (shot with Lensbaby Composer)

Oh, and a Happy 30th Birthday to my eldest daughter, Rebecca.  It’s hard to imagine that it was 30 years ago that we brought her home from the hospital.

Canaltown Days – Palmyra

Well, this was it.  The big event Palmyra lives for each year – Canaltown Days.  I had to take a walk down to the village to see what it is all about.

I was amazed.  The place was FULL of vendors selling food, hand-crafted things, clothes, you name it.  It was like a fair.  They had a hot-rod show.  Live bands at two venues.  It was quite the event.

The parade wasn’t like our other parades.  This parade was BIG.  And, it passed right in front of the Beckwith Mansion.  I had people all along the front of my property starting at 8 am.  (The parade was at 4pm.  That’s 8 hours of holding their place for watching the parade.  I think next year… I should sell tickets.  Just kidding… maybe.)

Here’s some pictures…

If you come to visit for fall colors, come a couple of weeks early and enjoy Canaltown Days.  Sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the boats.  Perhaps next year.  I was too busy taking in all of the happenings along Main Street.  (Oh, if you find the photo that shows the fire plug, that’s the one in front of my house.  So, you can get an idea of how close we are to the action.)

Watkins Glen – First Trip

I took my old friend Paul to Watkins Glen.  I had never been and we had been looking for an excuse to go hiking.

Watkins Glen is southeast of here about a 90 minute drive.  It is at the south end of Seneca Lake.  The drive from here to there is absolutely beautiful.  You drive through farm country and grape vineyards.  It makes Napa Valley in California, look small.

Vineyards Above Seneca Lake
Vineyards Above Seneca Lake

We arrived at Watkins Glen, and right there in the parking lot, you see the start of this wonderful canyon.

Excited to Start Hiking
Excited to Start Hiking

It was a fun hike, and I can hardly wait to return when all the leaves have changed colors.

I’ll post more photos on my photo blog, along with some tips about Watkins Glen photography.  http://dbwalton.wordpress.com

Fiberglass and Wire

Jay Harding (Harding Electric) came and wired the office today.  The man is fast and nice to do business with.  He wired 6 outlets, the ceiling fan box and another ceiling light box.  Now, it is up to me to do the walls and sheetrock.

I took my walk today down to the Garlock House and back.  On the way I met Don.  Don owns a small  construction company and bought the building on the corner opposite Mark’s pizza.

My stop at the park was fun.  Randy was teaching a young man how to paint.

Randy's Understudy
Randy’s Understudy

The six, or should I say, six-and-a-half year old boy was painting a picture of Spider-man.  Randy was patiently showing him how to lay down the colors and explaining the details would come later.   For a six year old, he was sure doing well.

Steady Hand
Steady Hand
Young Artist at Work
Young Artist at Work

I got to finally meet Dave.  Dave rides his 3-wheeler around keeping an eye on things and making sure people are safe.  Dave posed for this shot:

Dave
Dave

Living in a small village is a wonderful thing that, to be appreciated, must be experienced.  I grew up in Pocatello, Idaho back in the late 50s/early 60s.  I loved the fact that you knew everyone.  You could  walk everywhere.  That’s why I moved here.

Mom & Daughter and their Pug
Mom & Daughter and their Pug

And, if you don’t know everyone,  just go on regular walks  and eventually you will.   Like  this mom & daughter who asked if I’d take their picture together… with the dog.  Sure.  Why not.  Carrying a camera when I walk is a great way to meet people and find out a little about them.

I got home right about the time Elizabethe got home.  She picked up some bacon and lettuce.  We made BLTs with the tomatoes from our garden.  Mmmm… they were great.  (Tip – lightly salt & pepper the mayo when making a BLT.  It adds a little zip to the flavor.)

After dinner it was off to Lowe’s to pick up some fiberglass insulation and wires.  The 93 x 22 inch batts, 10 to a bag, barely fit in my Grand Prix.  And it is awkward to handle such a large bag.

I changed into a long-sleeve shirt, grabbed some rubber gloves, and began insulating the office walls.  Because the electrical wasn’t done, I ran out of light before I could get the entire bag of fiberglass used up.  But, I got close.  I think there are two more batts left.  And 148 sq ft to a bag was about what I needed for the side walls.  Because I had to cut the batts in half, they were much easier to put in to place, and more likely to stay in place.  In some ways, I think I could  have got away without putting retaining wires across the batts.  But then, I haven’t tried putting up the wall material yet.

Saturday, the tongue and groove goes up on the side walls. Wahoo!

Independence Day in Palmyra

What a busy day!

I started working on the wall.  I got some wiring done for the 3-way switch and the hall light.  I got the door frame all set and attached.  Put the top plate on the short side of the wall, and a lot more.

Around 10:30 am I decided to take a break and go see what Independence Day was like in Palmyra.  I am sure glad I did.  About a block from the house is the Village Park where the festivities were taking place.  The first person I ran into was our mayor, Vicky Daly.

Mayor Vicky Daly & Her Husband
Mayor Vicky Daly & Her Husband

The park was full of people gathering to hear the Village Choir and hear some patriotic addresses.  Mayor Daly talked.  A re-enactor recited the Declaration of Independence (the audience cheered.)   The VFW presented the Nation’s colors.

VFW Post Presents Colors
VFW Post Presents Colors

 

A young elementary school boy led us in the pledge.  (Everyone placed their hands on their hearts and participated.    The patriotism is so strong in this village, I choked up as we said the pledge.) The choir sang the National Anthem (and nobody yelled, “Play ball,” afterwards.) 

 

A Colonial Family
A Colonial Family

All sorts of people were coming to the park.  They were selling brats and burgers.  Les was selling his famous fudge, popcorn and slush puppies.  People were dressed in red, white and blue.  It was a real feeling of patriotism.   Oh, and when I went up to people and said, “Happy Independence Day”, nearly every single person put on a big smile and said, “Why, thank you!” 

Well, I figured I better go home and go back to working on the wall.  With Elizabethe’s and Elder Kent Pulsipher’s help, I hung 4 sheets of sheet rock.  I tested my wiring (and it worked the 1st time !!!)  And I got the mortise done for the door latch.

About that time Ben and Ilene drove up in their motor home.

So, I quit working and came and greeted them.  After they all had a chance to tour the house and use the bathroom, I took them for a short walking tour of the village.

The Lane Family
The Lane Family
The kids when wild when we got the the Village Park.
Lanes Playing in Park
Lanes Playing in the Village Park

 

I commented, “Who would have thought the highlight would be the Village Park?”

“Uncle Brent, we don’t have parks like this in California!” my niece responded.

Yeah, there is something to be said about living in a small town where bleeding-heart-liberalism hasn’t outlawed seesaws, or the little spinning merry-go-rounds, where peole take off their baseball cap when the flag passes by, where people decorate their houses with red-white-and-blue bunting and put flags out on every patriotic day, and some all year long.  This is a town where you walk down the street and you actually talk to the people sitting on their front porch, and they may even invite you to come sit and talk for a while.

My Pet
My Pet