Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 7 October 2016

Chicken and Yellow Rice

Watkins Glen, New York

- Five chicken thighs with skin and bones
- One pound Vigo yellow rice
- Two ounces chopped pimentos
- one can green peas
- one onion

Brown the chicken thighs and saute the onions and set aside.. Cut the chicken off the bone into small chunks and cook with the yellow rice, chicken and onions according to the rice directions. Add the peas and pimentos the last two minutes and serve..

After eating the chicken and yellow rice we take the four mile round trip hike at Watkins Glen. At the end you can hear the race cars up on the hill.

Glen stream has carved this gorge over the last 10,000 years since the glaciers retreated.

We've been hanging around watching the leave slowly change to yellow, orange and red. We'll hang in here hitting the wineries until the colors peak.

We are finding we like some special white grapes developed by Cornell University. Our favorites so far are Melody and Seyval Blanc.

Mrs. Phred has salmon tacos

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Take the Gun, Eat the Cannoli

Lower Enfield Gorge

We stay four days at the State Park outside Ithaca and do the two mile hike up the gorge and back. There is a net gain of 900 feet on the hike. We've done this hike together many times over years.

We hit a few wineries for lunch (split a bottle of Melody, a chicken sandwich and French onion soup) and wine tasting. Melody is a grape developed by Cornell University. It makes a white wine and is well suited for colder climates.

We look up the lady in Watkins Glen who makes cannoli from her house and buy four. I have one for dessert last night. She shoots the cannoli with filling from what looks like a caulking gun.

We stop at the cemetery and Stuart Park on the way to see Everett and Midge for lunch. These geese are probably also heading south. We get our first significant view of changing leaves yesterday. The trees seem to suddenly decide to collectively change color.

Everett agreed to keep my rifle five years ago because I didn't want to transport it into Canada. He's been cleaning it every year after hunting season when he cleans his own guns. They feed us lunch (including homegrown hot peppers) and show us around their new property. Everett was born 11 days before I was. We were in the same classes in elementary school and spent a lot of time together when we were children. We both became CPAs.

Grandmother and Grandfather Robinson. My mother lived in Grandmother Robinson's house on 333 Center Street when I was born and stayed there until my father returned from the war in 1945. Grandfather was a motorcycle cop.

We take a walk though the Ithaca Commons and then down to the house where I lived before moving to Florida. Mrs. Phred comments that I take her on the same walk every time we come to Ithaca...memory lane...

Great grandfather Franklin lived across the street with aunt Bee and uncle George. He taught me to play euchre and had a spittoon in the corner of the room which he would usually miss. When he died, he left me his harness-making tools. Jennie was one of my great grandmothers.

Friday, 30 September 2016

On the Wine Trail

Finger Lakes, New York

We're checked i n at the Cayuga Lake State Park at the north end of Cayuga Lake. Yesterday we did some tastings at three nearby wineries. This lovely creature is named Melody. She has a white wine named after her.

I was born on Cayuga lake in Ithaca. My earliest memory is playing in the dirt in front of 333 Center Street and watching a snake stick it's head out of a hole in the Spring. I was 2 1/2 then..and frightened...snakes fear is instinctual.... Probably the lake is too cold for swimming right now. It gets up to 55 or 60 Fahrenheit. in July. Whenever I dive in, the familiar cold water hits my nose like a salmon returning to spawn. I'll wait and dive in again when it's warmer...

We got several phone messages telling us that a Magistrate in Annapolis would soon issue a warrant for my arrest because my taxes. I put the number into Google and the Internet says that  it's an IRS scam number.I call back a man answers who identifies himself as a Treasury Agent. I tell him I am Phred Firecloud, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and ask him to stay on the line long enough for my telephone trace to complete. He hangs up on me. I file a complaint with the real Treasury Department, but really don't expect much. No money in it for them.

We spent a night and day at New York's Southwick State Park on Lake Ontario. On a sight-seeing drive we stumbled upon Fort Ontario Museum in Oswego which has changed hands, been destroyed and rebuilt many times over the last 250 years. You have the French and Indian Wars, The Revolutionary War, the 1837 Patriot's War (an ill-fated invasion of Canada by Canadians hoping to throw off the British yoke of tyranny), soldiers dispatched from here to the Civil War, the Philippines, WWI and WWII...

The final real uses of the fort were to resettle 982 Jewish refugees from Europe in 1944 and then to house veterans returning from WWII until 1953. We only did a total of 982 refugees in the whole war...We were too busy housing 30,000 Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps in the desert,

I'm a sucker for barn pictures. Took this one on a long walk on a country road in the morning.

We bought four bottles of fine New York white wine after three tasting sessions and Mrs. Phred went to sleep early. Wine tasting is hard work.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wellesley Island State Park, New York

While we were in Canada  we maxed out our 12 gig cell phone plan. I added another 4 gigs and burned through that in two days. We went without for a day and started another 16 gig cycle. The first day we used another 4 gigs. At that rate, we would use 80 gigs a month.

I'm thinking maybe this has something to do with Canada roaming, but research later shows both Apple and Microsoft have slammed us with big background updates.

I tell the laptop that the tethered cell phones are metered devices and set the cell phones and Ipad to stop automatically doing updates and set a lot of unessential apps to not use cell phone data, stop making push notifications, stop updating in the background, close open apps, etc...the torrent of data use is now down to an affordable amount.

We drive though the upstate New York area. The leaves are ready to change colour in another week or two.

The bearded Amish farmer who owns the barn above came out to talk to us. The barn is 80 years old. I ask if he used a paintbrush and roller to paint the red part. He tells me he used an airless and that the airless was expensive. I think he'll paint the rest after the growing season is over.

Wellesley State Park is near Clayton. In the afternoon we stop at a restaurant operated by the Coyote Moon Winery. We order wine, a chicken wrap and a turkey sandwich.

Mrs. Phred shops for shoes but they don't have any left small enough for her feet.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Six Days in Ontario

We cross the border at Sault St. Marie in Michigan and cross back six days later in New York on Interstate 81.

We camped two nights near Thessallon on Lake Ontario, two nights on a lake in Espanola and the last two in John and Tracey's driveway on big lake Simcoe in Beaverton.

John and Tracey are next door neighbours at Sun & Fun in Sarasota in the Winter.

The lake is really huge. They have to pull in their dock in the winter because of lake ice.

Sunday we drive about 30 minutes to have lunch with Gail, who is Tracy's mother...also a winter neighbour.

Ontario has beautiful lakes and rivers and everywhere we travel we see people enjoying water recreation...boating, camping and building...

The view from Gail's back yard...this river flows into Lake Simcoe.