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Snowflake Bentley

This weekend was the Christmas open house at the Chapman Museum where I do my volunteer work.  Each year there is a different theme for the holidays. This year was featuring Snowflake Bentley, who was the first person to photograph snowflakes through a microscope. It seems appropriate for this post considering all the snow falling across the US.

Bentley lived in Vermont, actually with his mother for his entire life.  He would go outside with a black tray to catch snowflakes. Then he took them to his microscope station in an outbuilding (no heat, obviously) where he would photograph them through the microscope.

This was from a Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1922.  He photographed over 2000 snowflakes and did lectures about them and the technique for photographing through a microscope, as well as publishing a book. Every snowflake has six points and over the years, Bentley never found two alike.

Anyway, here are a few more pictures of the deLong house (part of the museum).  This is the parlor:

Do you see the difference between the two chairs? The one on the right with arms is a man’s chair and the one without arms is for a woman. The reason being a woman needed room for her skirts.

And the couch that I covet there (although I would like a different fabric on it)

The library:

We had a couple of snowflake making sessions to get ready for the season:

These were used in various places, the majority on the tree:

There was live music:

Refreshments that look like snowflakes:

These were found at Aldi’s, by the way. They are really tasty. I need to go find them LOL.

Quite a few people came through, which was great. It was free to attend and view the museum. There were more people than I’ve ever seen in the year that I’ve been there.  It’s good to be a tourist in your own city sometimes.

Here are a couple more photos of snowflakes:

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These are the actual photos taken through the microscope. He never copyrighted any of his photos, so they are all public domain. It really is amazing the difference in all the flakes. Something that you never really think about when it is coming down and accumulating. We are going to get our own share of snow on Tuesday and it sounds like it might be a decent snowfall. Not sure I will be photographing each flake, though!

Enter December and our new Instant Pot

I thought I would pop in and show my face again LOL.  This is about how I feel right now:

 

I just finished the last of my shows for the season. Now it’s just online orders to fill for the next couple of weeks. Business has been really busy and I kept thinking it would slow down, but even today it was quite busy. Not that busy is a bad thing, but the above meme about sums it up 😀

Biking season is pretty much done. I did bundle up for a few rides:

I still have not brought the bike inside yet. Maybe I can squeak in a bit more riding in December. It’s possible, right?

We put up our tree Thanksgiving weekend.

I love this tree so much. It’s very real looking.

I did succumb to a Black Friday deal:


That’s my Amazon link (full disclosure). I won a $50 gift certificate to Amazon, plus I had a promotional credit in my account. I ended up not paying much out of my pocket for the Instant Pot. Yippee!

We are hoping to replace the rice cooker, slow cooker and pressure cooker and save some space. First try was steel cut oats:

They came out yummy. I think it took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish, most of which was just the cook, so I didn’t have to do anything but have coffee while it cooked.

I really like my pressure cooker, but I haven’t used it much recently and working a pressure cooker on an electric stove is a real PITA.  The IP made it very easy.

We also tried doing a pot-in-pot recipe cooking the main and side at the same time. We did a chickpea curry with rice.  The sauce had to be thickened a little after cooking, but other than that, the rice turned out perfect!

John wants to make baked beans or (and) a cheesecake. I downloaded a couple free recipe books for the Instant Pot. Something like 700 recipes all together. That’s waaaay too many LOL.  It will be nice to incorporate this machine into cooking Christmas Eve dinner this year.

That’s life in a nutshell right now. Hope people are still reading!

Taking a short break

Just a quick check in. I’m going on a little blog hiatus just because I’ve gotten so busy that I don’t have much to post about that isn’t business involved just now, which you probably don’t want to read about LOL. This will last a few days to a week or so.  Just letting you know I’m fine and all that, so no worries.   😀

Happy Halloween!

One more day until candy corn is 50% off – woo hoo!!!  Then it will be gone for another year.

Saturday we did our annual pumpkin carving. This was after our hike and standing for a few hours in the evening probably didn’t do my legs any favors as they were pretty sore come Sunday.

I think we need a bigger table or smaller pumpkins. Maybe both LOL!

I decided to go with I guess a steampunk skull?

We had 3 painters and 4 carvers this year.

And of course, a gathering is not complete without the food!

Finger foods because it was just easier.

My sister made those pumpkin pocket pies (ham and cheese – with some plain cheese for John).

Finished pumpkins:

My youngest niece is super talented at drawing. She hand painted her pumpkin with no pattern:

She’s very into anime.

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Glitter is evil. It’s days later and it’s still everywhere LOL!

I put some glitter on the stem of my pumpkin, which came out fun!

 

Happy and safe Halloween!

Lower carb day

It’s getting to be the season of eating coming up, although truthfully I’ve already started with the candy corn! 😀

Lisa posted the other day about eating low carb and how it was a little difficult for her. I commented about trying to do low carb for a few days a week rather than every day and got me thinking that I should start doing that now with the eating season and all.  So, here is example of Monday’s lower carb day.

Now – keep in mind that it’s lower carb, not really low carb. I don’t do well with really low carbs (that’s just me) and I’m not interested in giving up my fruit. I also don’t subtract fiber from my carb count like a real low carb person. Basically my lower carb is just eating less grain items.

Anyhoo – on to the eats. Breakfast was a 1-minute muffin done in a waffle iron topped with blueberries:

Coffee with heavy cream, which is pretty rich. This breakfast was pretty filling.

Lunch time was a quick 2 egg + egg white cheese omelet:

I love omelets – love them! I eat them several times a week.

I got little hungry later and this would be a time where I would grab a bit of cereal as a snack to tide me over. Instead, I had a spoonful of this stuff:

It’s solid at this time of year, so it was just a chunk of it. I forgot how much I like this. Yum!  I could easily go overboard eating it, so I have to be careful as it is high calorie.

Latte snack later. This is where more of my carbs come in with the milk.

Dinner was a classic for me. Chicken with pan sauteed broccoli:

This looks small, but it was 6-7 ounces of chicken (with Frank’s Red Hot on it).

Evening snack with football:

I ended the day with about 75 grams of carbs, mostly from fruit and dairy. I think if I subtracted the fiber from my day it was around 50? Again, I don’t do it that way.

It’s a good way to switch things up and knowing I’m only doing a few days a week of it makes it easy to stick to because I know the next day I can have, say, a bagel if I want 😀

Today’s pink picture is Ms. Pixie’s harness and leash:

She loves her harness and she will go over to the door and put her front feet up on the door patiently waiting so I can buckle the harness on her. She is pretty smart when it comes to that. Not so smart with other things, but I still love her 😀

Don’t forget to click!

Votes for Women

This weather is crazy here! We’ve been in the 70s for the last few days and it doesn’t look to change. Saturday morning we did go out when it was colder just because we needed to ride early. We went up to the lake:

It was really perfect riding weather. No breeze and no people!  It’s definitely a muted fall here.

Riding with my favorite partner:

I have to tell you – I do not know how John goes without sunglasses. He never squints. Me? I go out on a cloudy day without sunglasses and I’m all “My eyes!!!”

I think I’ve mentioned this is the past, but this year marks the 100th anniversary that women were granted the right to vote in NY. All year there have been activities and such going on. On Saturday, there was a reenactment of the statewide suffrage convention that was held in our town in 1900.

It was a reenactment of the opening day with actors reading the actual speeches given that day.

Musical interludes:

Even the refreshments were all recreated from the suffrage cookbook.

Those cookies were really good, too.

It was interesting that at points during the speeches, the audience actually broke out in spontaneous applause because so much of it really still resonates today.  Here are some of the advertisements that were in circulation at the time:

Not everyone was a suffrage supporter:

Men and women were against it.

I like this one:

It says, “And you think you can keep women silent politically? It can’t be did!”

We’ve come a long way, but there is still a long way to go in our country for equality all around.

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Today’s pink picture is a silicone lined soap mold. I was evaluating different molds to add to our line and this one came with a hot pink liner!

Don’t forget to click!

October PSA

 

October is breast cancer awareness month, even though every month you should be doing your own self exams. I had my mammogram this year.

If you are not insured, you may be eligible for a free mammogram. You can find information on that at the National Breast Cancer Foundation where they can help you find a facility near you – or through the CDC program called NBCCEDP

Early detection is key for the best outcome.

I just realized that I forgot to do my pink pictures for October like I have done in the past. Life has been a bit of a scramble lately and it slipped my mind. Then I downloaded some pictures from my camera from today:

That will do!  Please click on this site to help fund those free mammograms for people in need.

This was showing the increase in layers for biking now. Finger gloves are needed early in the day. It was 33 degrees this morning; however – we hit almost 70 degrees by the afternoon! It is crazy, crazy weather.

Still lots of butterflies, too. The are loving the zinnias.

They had best be moving on to warmer climates soon!

Lately

I didn’t get a blooms post done on Friday. There wasn’t really anything new, but I did get some pictures of butterflies!

I saw them out the window on Friday afternoon and ran out quick with my phone. There were 3 monarchs on my zinnias, which is really exciting for me! They are “new” butterflies, which you can tell because they aren’t tattered at all.  Monarchs only live for a few weeks except for the migration batch, which can live for 8 months. Butterflies are fascinating!

I was really close to them, obviously LOL

Monarchs are a good subject since they sit nice and still for a long time, unlike swallowtails.

On Saturday, we had a family gathering to celebrate a few events, niece Devon’s birthday, my mom’s birthday and our anniversary as they all happen within 2 days of each other.  I was in charge of bringing a cake. I used mixes for time sake. I marbled chocolate and strawberry together into a bundt pan:

Topped with chocolate ganache. It turned out pretty well! I was winging it a little, so good thing.

Fall has officially arrived here. The temps dropped pretty rapidly from 90 degrees to in the 60s and overnight in the 30s!  It was too cold to bike in the morning, plus it was really foggy:

It’s crazy how cold and foggy the morning was and then it turned into a beautiful day, so we rode to the lake:

Quite a difference!  We had a snack from the bakery. Mine was a pumpkin cupcake with pumpkin buttercream:

It’s a small cupcake, but we only did 18 miles.  Lake George was really nice without the tourists around – or as many tourists, I should say. I’m always surprised at the drop off in tourists because fall really is such a beautiful season around here. Plus the village decorates.

Happy fall!

Hudson Pointe Hike and anniversary!

John and I explored a new hiking area last weekend. It was a hot day, so we left in the morning. We did our own duathlon: bike/hike/bike  😀  We took a roundabout way to get there to get in some miles. This place is maybe 5 miles from home? We rode around for 10 before we got there. I had packed other shoes in my bag because no hiking can be done in my clip shoes. Street walking yes, but not terrain.

It doesn’t look like much here. There are some tennis and basketball courts to the right.

Not sure who planned putting a metal table in the blazing sun all day, but I wouldn’t want to sit there!

We walked a bit and found the trails:

It was nice and shady in here. Great for a hot day!  The trails are well marked.

From up here, you could look down to the Hudson river:

They weren’t kidding about steep slopes and bluffs. At the bottom of that picture, it just basically drops off. A little scary.  We hiked down a fairly steep slope and came to the bottom where you get a great view of the river:

Then we went along the trail to the marsh area.  We haven’t had rain for at least a couple of weeks, but it still was muddy under these wooden walkways:

I liked these. 😀  Then we hit the fun house bridge:

Looking at it doesn’t inspire much confidence, I have to say LOL!  However, it was quite solid.  This area was full of birds. We scared 2 herons when we came up to this. One of those times when I wish I had my really good camera and telephoto lens.

I want to come here some time really early and just camp out with my camera.

Then it was back into the woods and climbing back up, although this way wasn’t as steep as the way down. We happened to go the right way to avoid that 😀

Nice hike. We did about 2 miles and then biked home from there.

Moving on, today (Thursday) is our 21st anniversary. Last year we were in Ireland and it’s nice to reminisce about that trip.

We don’t usually exchange cards or gifts, but we do go out to dinner. Tonight was Indian food!

This is paneer tikka masala. This is the vegetarian version of chicken tikka masala with paneer cheese. So yummy!  Plus naan bread:

Yum!  And happy anniversary John!

Becoming an Outdoorswoman 2

The BOW weekend is always crammed full of stuff. They keep you busy for the whole weekend.  After that 6-mile hike, it was time for a change of clothes and then lunch before the next class.  This one was my favorite. It was building a bluebird box.

The bluebird is the NY state bird, which I think I might have known, but forgot. They have a lot of competition for nesting places as they like holes in dead trees, but then so do a lot of things. The bluebird box is specially designed for the bluebird. The hole is too small for grackles and starlings to get in and there is no perch, which other smaller birds like to have.

After a talk on bluebirds, we built the boxes. We didn’t have to cut the pieces, but just put them together.

It was really noisy with all of us hammering away putting our boxes together! 😀  It has a hinged door for access to clean the box and check on it:

That little bit of screen on the door is for fledglings to grab onto to climb out.  Here is me with my finished box:

Still really sweaty LOL. It was hot and humid over the weekend and all the hammering putting the boxes together didn’t help. I’m so happy with my box. I don’t think we will get bluebirds in it, though. I have seen them on the bike path about 1-1/2 miles from our house, but our habitat is not quite right. But, you never know. We will probably get wrens or sparrows in it.  If you want to build a box, here is a link to several free plans.

My sister was actually gone for Saturday. Her oldest went to college and the parents’ weekend and BOW landed on the same weekend. So, Colleen taught her class on Friday, drove to Potsdam that night (2-1/2 hours), spent the day with Logan and then came back to BOW Saturday night. She had to teach the Sunday morning class. I don’t know how she does it, really.  When she came back, this entered our room!

She feeds her classes chocolate, but shares it with me 😀  After the evening things, we had a bonfire:

The nights get really cool in the Adirondacks at this time of year, even if the day was hot.

Sunday has one last morning class. I chose tree identification:

This was a  very neat class. We learned how to use the ID books. It’s sort of like one of those Choose Your Adventure books where you answer a question about the leaves and depending on your answer, you turn to a specific page and repeat until you come to your match. We also got a mini guide to take home. We practiced inside and then went out into the field to identify real trees. I am looking forward to taking my guide out on the bike path to identify some trees.

A good weekend and we really lucked out with the weather and it staying rain free.  I don’t know if I will do another BOW as I’ve taken most of the classes that interest me, although they do change some.  Plus the one next year will be in the central part of the state. I do like Silver Bay and want to take a vacation here some time.

If you want to see if there is a BOW workshop in your state or nearby, this is the official page for the national. It’s a great way to learn a new skill or try something different in a very safe and friendly environment.