Saturday, June 28, 2014

Time is Flying By..............Lost a Big One, Caught a Big One

Not sure if the kids wore us out or if it was just the letdown of not having them here any longer.   And it was only 10:00 a. m. on Wednesday and they had only been gone a few hours.   I don't even remember what we did on Wednesday, except that I made a trip to the local store for water  and that we had Ickeypoo ( our name for ground beef and mashed potatoes) and corn on the cob for dinner.  Oh - and we made a trip to Walmart to get a small charcoal grill and a few groceries.

Thursday was very very hot so we didn't go out fishing until about 4:30.  And I had ANOTHER ONE GET AWAY.  Denny and Dalton  - I want you to know that IF I had got him in the boat I would have been able to claim the biggest fish.  I was using a yellow and red jig and hooked on to a nice small mouth bass.  It surfaced and jumped three times and when I had him about 3-4 foot from the boat, my line snapped.  We had a good look and it had to be 16-18 inches.  I think Rich felt worse than me..... because this line had snapped once before and we thought it was the drag not set properly.  That line is now in the garbage.    I made a small salad and we cooked Polish Sausage on the Grill.

Friday we made a trip to the local bait shop.  This place is huge.  We picked up some minnows and considered getting some crabs.  Picked up a map of the lake to see if we could locate some new fishing hot spots.

This shop sells everything from bait to tackle and hunting supplies and  t-shirts  and batteries and water toys and you license for fishing and hunting.  

We ate early and headed out to fish around 6:00.  When we got out there it looked a bit like rain.......  In the picture below you can see the dark clouds and then it clears up nicely and after using more than half of our minnows and Rich catching only one small bass we had a great view of sunset from the lake as we headed for shore.

Total Fish Count at the end of Week 2:  Rich - 29 1/1, Donna - 21

It was going for 9:00 when we got in, and the neighbors were sitting out and had just got the camp fire started.  We'd met most of them briefly so we grabbed a drink and decided to join them.  There was about 12 of us out there, and around 10:00 three more guys from cabin 11 joined us.   Dean ( owner) and his wife Sherry were out, Bill and Lynn (from Rochester), Paul ( in the wheel chair) and Monica who have been coming here for about 20+ years, and the guy in the green shirt (can't remember his name) and his wife Karen.......who I met several days before at the Laundromat!  It was after 11:00 when we called it a night.

We decided that we were going out early Saturday morning.  The alarm was set for 5:25 am.  I was up a little earlier and caught the sun starting to come up , and then  when the alarm went off - it had already come up.

We were headed out before 6:00 am.  Finished the rest of the minnows and then did some drift fishing with jigs.  To start week three, I caught 2 nice crappie.  But Rich was the show-off today.  He pulled in a Dog Fish that had to go 20 or more inches.    Nice fish to catch - but not to eat!

After that late night, and early morning ------------Rich is napping!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rain on our Parade!

After our trip to Alexandria Bay we only had  Monday evening and Tuesday left before Dennis and the family headed back to Iowa.   We wasted no time at all.  Dennis, Rich, Dalton and Chauna were off to do more fishing.  They requested that we hold off dinner until about 9:00 to give them time to fish until dark.    There was a lot of crappie, shell cracker etc. big enough for keeping.  And to add to his fish tales when he gets home, he can show everyone his 15 inch Bass.  And Dennis caught his big one as well.......a 16 1/2 inch Bass.  Nice job guys!

Tuesday - their last day with us, the weather was terrible!  It was cold, very windy and it rained most of the day.  Dennis and the two kids took the boat out in the afternoon to see if they could add to their fish count.....but the choppy water and wind brought them back a little while later with no great fish tales........they only caught a couple small fish.   Below the guys are busy cleaning  their catch as Dalton supervises......... I'm not positive of this count, but between the four of them they caught somewhere around 54 or 55 fish!  

 While the guys were fishing, Crystal was preparing dinner for all of us, in between she and I playing Mexican Train.  She heated charcoals in the grill and when they were gray, transferred them to be bottom and top of a dutch oven where she combined Frito's/ground beef, seasoning, cheese and salsa to create an excellent Mock Enchiladasfor all of us.  Prior to that she had made a delicious fruit bunt cake in the dutch oven that we topped with whip cream and had for dessert after dinner.  

With the weather so bad on Tuesday, we were pretty much cooped up inside most of the day.  At lunch time, Dennis cooked up their fish.  Above Dalton enjoys his catch.  We played a lot of games that day, UNO, SkipBo, Yahtzee and Mexican Train.  They headed out to get some souvenirs, and Chauna and Crystal are into Geo caching so they made a trip over to Alexandria/Chippewa Bay..

Above I'm preparing Chicken for our dinner Sunday evening.  The oven is very small so I breaded and baked half and barbecued the other half on the stove.   Too wet and rainy to cook outside.  We added a kettle of salt potatoes and some baked beans .  By the time the chicken was done, it was sooooooooo hot in our cabin that we carried everything to theirs to eat.  As I headed back for the last items it poured!!!!!!  And everyone got a good laugh!

They would be heading out very early on Wednesday morning so, we headed back to our cabin about 9:30.  But before  the day's end we made sure we got a few more family photo's.  Below is our three generation of men, with Dalton (age 16), Dennis (45) and Rich  (65).   Wow - are they handsome!  We have a great photo of Dennis and Rich and his dad - so we need to find a way to crop Dalton into that picture.  The other photo is Rich and I with Dalton and Chauna.  I guess Rich is right.......I'll never grow up.  I am indeed very short, especially when I tell you that Chauna is on her knees!!!

They were on the road before 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday............and our family vacation had come to an end.  Time went by way too fast.  But we are so thankful that we could spend this time with the people that we love the most.  We got an e-mail from Dennis about 8:30 that evening that they had made it home safely.    This was so much fun, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.  Maybe we should start planning this again for next year???

Family Trip to Alexandria Bay and Boldt Castle

We wanted to take time over the next couple of days to make a short trip into Alexandria Bay.  Rain was in the forecast for Tuesday - so we decided to do lunch in Alexandria and then take the boat out to Bolt Castle on Monday.

We arrived in Alexandria Bay around lunch time and stopped at the Chez Paris Diner.  Trip Advisor gives it 4 stars, our food was not bad............. but definitely not 4 starts.    Rich ordered strawberry pancakes that came about 10 minutes before the rest of us got our meal.   Chauna had chicken fingers, Crystal a BLT, Dalton a Burger and Denny the Beef Barbecue.  I had a fish sandwich that was very good, but the slaw was very very dry.

We all got a kick out of the waitress. She was a little strange........ She asked what we wanted to drink and if we were ready to order - and then decided that since we were not ready to order she'd come back and get drinks and order at the same time...........and left the table.    And at no time did she ask if we wanted a refill for our drinks after we were served.   She was NOT going to listen or give anyone a chance to complain.  A couple at a table near us tried.  The guy said " these fries are...." and she would not let him finish.  She finished his sentence by saying  "perfectly done and they look beautiful, and I did not let them sit, I brought them out as soon as they were set out"...... and then told him they could leave.  And they did.    A little later when she came to our table and our plates were about empty she said.........".Well - I guess there was no problem with YOUR food......... "  We left happy and with our bellies full and chuckled about her manner

A couple of blocks away was Uncle Sam's Boat Tours so we parked and walked.  Lots of little shops, but the guys are not shoppers, so pictures is about all I got.

Uncle Sam's Boat Tours offers several different boating options, but today we were just going to the castle.  The boat leaves every 1/2 hour, so we waited only about 5 minutes before we were on board the shuttle.  You can see the castle from the shore so it was just a short ride.....but we managed to get a seat in the front where we could get a good view.

Below are more pictures of visit........ The first one is just some shots of the grounds.  They are beautiful and well maintained.

 The outside of the castle............. with little to no restoration.......

 The first couple of floors have had a lot of restoration done -but they provide pictures as you tour of what the original looked like - trying to keep the decor/atmosphere much the same. The stair case is massive and the stained glass in the bottom left is at the very top (roof) as you look up from the ground floor to the top floor.

And finally some "family photos" ..........

Would we go back again?   Probably not.  I loved the beauty and history of the place - but I'm not so sure the rest of the group did.  If you were to ask Dalton and Chauna if they enjoyed the trip - I'm sure they would say yes without hesitation......but I know they were a lot more excited about getting back to the lake for more fishing!  

A quick stop at the grocery store and it was back to the Rogers Oak Camps.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Family, Fishing, Friends and Fun

Sunday was a busy, active and fun day.  Rich and I were up at our normal time, but Dennis and the family slept in.   By late morning, Dean ( the park owner) and switched out boats, giving us a larger boat to use while the family was here.  This one would seat four people.   The cushions and life jackets were loaded, they grabbed their bait, and tackle boxes and poles and Rich, Dennis, Dalton and Chauna headed out to fish.   Each of them took a picture of their FIRST CATCH Chauna holds up her crappie, Dennis is baby fingerling bass, and Dalton proudly displays about a inch catfish. 

By the time they came in, Rich had caught 2 Bass and 3 Shell cracker, Dalton caught another small crappie for a total of 2. And while Dalton came back with the Biggest Fish, Chauna caught the most with a total of 7 crappie.  Dennis?  Well he managed to pull in one more about the size of the first one!

Meanwhile, Crystal and I pulled out the Mexican Train game and played outside at the picnic table.  And when everyone returned from their fishing expedition, the kids joined us........and we played most of the afternoon.  

Dennis had posted a picture/comment on facebook, which prompted a reply from an old army buddy that he met in Kuwait several years ago.  Chris was now stationed just 1/2 hour south of Black Lake in Watertown, NY.  So Chris and his wife Audra and their three children came to visit later in the day.  

The kids had a great time playing in the yard, and Chris and his wife were so friendly - it was almost like an extended family!   And the guys who were staying in the other half of the duplex cabin that Dennis was in - came out to join the group.   They were in the process of cooking their dinner, finishing their Lobster outside on the grill.    Crystal and I pulled out some hot dogs and burgers, potato salad and chips........and Dennis cooked on the grill.  We managed to get enough together  to feed everyone.   Perfect!!!  

Dalton and Chauna were ready to go out fishing again, so while Dennis continued his visit with Chris, Rich took the kids back out fishing. The  three of them caught 7 or 8 more fish, which they wished they had brought in to fillet................Dalton is ready to eat some fish.............Chauna?  Well she just likes to catch them.  We have all nicknamed her the "crappy girl".  She's been using a yellow jig - and she's pulling in more than far!!

It was after 9:00 when Chris and the family headed for home.  Glad that Denny had the opportunity to spend some time with them.  Time is all running together about now - but we played so many games with the kids - I'm sure they had me back either playing Skip Bo or Mexican Train before the night was over. 

From Iowa to Black Lake, NYI

On Saturday, we awaited the arrival of our Son, Dennis and his family.   Such a long time since we've  had the opportunity to spend some quality time together.  This was only going to be a short visit; they would arrive Saturday evening and leave the following Wednesday morning.

The four of them left Davenport, IA before 6:00 am on Saturday morning and were on their 14 hour journey to meet up with us here at Black Lake.    Rich and I did get out and do a little fishing during the day; nothing to brag about!  Rich caught three small bass ( one just a fingerling) and I got one small Shell cracker and 2 very small fingerling bass.    After dinner I baked a Spice Cake with butter cream frosting and boiled some red potatoes and eggs for a potato salad.   This would allow me to spend time with the family instead of cooking the next day.

FINALLY - Just before dark.............about 9:00 PM they pulled in safely - everyone, including us wearing great big SMILES.

We had the cabin all opened and lights on for them when they arrived and after hugs and smiles..... helped them to unpack and get settled in.   Their cabin is much bigger than the one we are in, with a double bed in one bedroom, two twin beds in the second and bunk beds in the third.   We showed them the cabin we were in and then just sat and talked for a while.  We left them to relax, and get some sleep after their long trip and made plans to meet in the morning.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Week One Cont.....

On Thursday we made a trip into Alexandria Bay to stock up on some groceries for the week.   Ned's General Store here in Hammond is more of a  Deli/Pizza/Sub Shop with some snacks, ice cream, a few canned goods, essentials etc.  The nearest grocery store of any size is about 19 miles away in Alexandria Bay.

It was a nice drive on a nice day.........And once again, the scenery was great especially the large farms and old houses.  Actually I did not even realize that there was a horse in the front of one house ( first picture/bottom)

This is just absolutely beautiful country.

The Big M Supermarket is in a tiny plaza, with a Mobile Gas Station ( $3.89/gallon!!) and a liquor store.  And at the stop light at the corner is the entrance to the Bay and Thousand Islands area - where I hope the whole family will be able to enjoy in a few days.

Back when we used to travel here in the summers - we were travelling along Route 12 (upper right in photo above).  And Denny - you should remember this particular area.  We had the aluminum row boat tied on top of the car.  A large tractor trailer was on the opposite side of the road - heading toward us  We were between the rocks ledges on both sides when  as the truck sped by the boat flew off the top of the car.  Behind us was a father and daughter on a motorcycle!  The boat landed in front of them, they rode the bike INTO the boat and off the highway.  God was certainly with us that day as no one was hurt at all.

We headed out to fish later in the afternoon/evening. and that night we caught absolutely NOTHING!

We were fishing with minnows this time and I actually caught on to TWO very large fish and fought them under the boat, until they BROKE my line.  Rich checked my pole a little later and determined that the drag was not set properly, so he adjusted it...........Next time they won't get away!

 We saw the sky was getting darker and waited just a little to long before we headed  back.

Krystal.....remember that day we did a day trip  from The Villages, and both got soaked?  Well that was how I felt!   Dripping!\

Friday was pretty nippy most of the day.  But I did manage to capture a few more pictures of the geese and birds that frequent the front yard.

Later in the afternoon it was really quite pleasant out and we headed out in the boat.   Tonight Rich was hitting on a lot, losing a lot of bait.  But he did bring in a Sunny, 1/12 Perch ( one of those that you get to the boat, and hope they fall off ) and a nice bass about 11 inches.   ME?  I use that same minnow from the time we got there until we left.  I thought I was going back with nothing again today, but I did bring in a nice perch ( about 10 inches) before we called it a day.

Fish Count at the end of Week 1........

Rich - 15 1/2
Donna -  14 1/2

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tuesday Night Storm

Tuesday was really a nice day, but that evening a very bad storm hit the area.   We were just getting ready to call it a night when the wind picked up and we could see the boats rocking down at the docks.  It started raining very hard and  before it was over we had to have winds close to 50 mpr.  We lost power for just a short time, and the cable/tv was still out when we went to bed.

On Wednesday morning we could see the damage..................Between the rain and the water coming down from the hill sides, the water had risen significantly in the lake.  The docks were under water, and the storm and ripped up some of the dock near the boat we were using.

On Thursday morning the crew was out raising the docks, and replacing the bad boards.  It was amazing to watch how quickly they set up their equipment and had it repaired. 

Week One - Black Lake

Now we're starting to settle in.  Rich is still keeping up with the Market some during the day, but we've been out fishing at least once every day.  What is hard to get used to are these LONG days.  Each morning we think it's time to get's light out, but it's only 5:00 AM.  And it does not get dark until nearly 9:00.    We're keeping track of who catches how many fish........ And by the end of day Wednesday .......

Donna - 13 1/2 Fish Caught
 ( I didn't get the one perch all the way in.  Hit the side of the boat and it fell off! - so that's 1/2 Right?)
ONE nice bass that got away!

Rich  - 12 Fish Caught
ONE bass (bigger than mine) that got away!

It's been so nice out this first week that I've been able to get some nice pictures of the local wildlife. (just like being home!).    Saw these duck along the rock ledge when we were out in the boat and then again from the window in the cabin swimming in front of the docks.  Actually these are Canada Geese.  Their black neck and head and white cheeks make them easy to recognize.  We've also seen them flying in very long strings in a V formation.

We were not sure at first what kind of bird this was.  We thought it looked like a blue heron, but did not think we would see them this far north.  I checked and the Blue Heron is definitely a NY bird.

And I love this one.   First we saw just one peek out, and then there were two.  Chipmunks!  They are so cute.  They have a little hole dug along side the cabin - so must be their house is right under ours!

And how big is Hammond, NY?   The size of Hammond is 77.9 square miles of which 66.2 is land and 15.7 is water.   And below is a picture of Main St. CR 37 in downtown Hammond.   Made a quick trip into town to the genera store...........which does not carry very much at all.......... The closest grocery store is about 20 miles - into Alexandria Bay.    Many of the buildings in town are vacant.  The general store is on the bottom left.

While they do not have a very big variety of groceries, they do have a delicatessen, and offer hot and cold subs, daily specials like fish fry and lasagna, pizza, calzones and stromboli......

Tomorrow will be a trip to Alexandria Bay to stock up on some food!!!!

Enjoying Black Lake........

Sunday, Father's Day, was our first full day.  Unlike yesterday, when we first arrived, it was a beautiful day.  In the morning we still needed our jacket or sweatshirt, but by mid day the sun was glistening over the water and it was a perfect day for fishing.

A little history - Black Lake is located in upstate NY, not far from the Saint Lawrence River/Alexandria Bay, Thousand Islands, and just a few miles from the Canadian Border.  When our son was young (probably 35 years ago) we visited this area many many summers.   My nephew, the same age as Denny, often traveled with us.  At that time we had a 13 ft travel trailer, then a truck camper with an extended bumper and a 14 ft row boat!!!   We put the row boat on the car and towed the trailer.  Then we upgraded to a 15 ft Marquis Runabout/open bow and towed that behind the truck camper.    Or we sometimes stayed in one of the cabins at Camp Whippoorwill where there was no indoor plumbing, just an outhouse!   But we have some great memories..... it's where we first learned to water ski, and where we could catch enough crappie or frogs for dinner any day.   There is no Camp Whippoorwill anymore - so we are located a bit further north on the lake.

We actually went out fishing twice on Sunday.  In the afternoon and again about 6:30 or 7:00.  Below Rich takes us out for the first time. .......

We moved around to several different areas, trying to find where the fish were biting.  Rich caught the first fish - a very very small perch!  I had a nice small mouth bass on the line, but I guess  I didn't have him hooked real good.  When he broke the water's surface and jumped ...... I lost him!!!  But my "official" first fist was a small catfish.  At the end of the day  we had caught a total of 10 fish.....a  couple of Sunny and Bluegill, Crappie and Rich caught a small mouth bass.  Nothing worth keeping.  But we had fun!

While on the lake, I took a minute to take a couple of shots of the lake and shoreline.   The top left picture is a shot of where we are staying, Rogers Camps.  Black Lake is full of small islands, and the picture on the bottom right is a small one that we fished along side of most of the day. And of course - we always have our "rednecks"!   Want to stay out of the sun while you're fishing?  Use an umbrella!!

 And since this was Father's Day we Extend a Happy Father's Day!    This was my wish to Rich.......

Below are the fathers in our family.   Top left is Rich's Dad.  Bottom Left is my Dad.  We have such fond memories and miss them both.  Top left is our Son, Dennis with grand kids, Chauna and Dalton.    And Bottom left is Dad/Rich with son Dennis.  We could not be more proud of Dennis and his family and his accomplishments, and his family values.    The best father's day gift is yet to come.  Dennis, Crystal and the kids will be here at the lake Saturday!  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Final Leg - PA to Hammond, NY/Black Lake

Saturday would be the last leg of our trip north.  We didn't need a real early start today, so we relaxed and had morning coffee with Deiter and Helen before saying our goodbyes.  It was about 8:15 when we pulled out and headed for Black Lake in Hammond, NY.

Columbia Crossroads/Sayre, PA is located just a few miles across the NY/PA state line.  So once again, this area reminded me so much of when we lived here.  Our home was less than an hour from here in the little town of Beaver Dams, NY.  We had 5 acres of land, with our home located in the hollow between to hills.  So Rich could go up the hill out back to hunt, and in the winter we could watch the deer walking through the trees on the snow covered hills.  

Below are a few pictures of familiar areas.  Rich's mom lived just a few blocks from the Chemung River, and when Hurricane Agnes passed in 1972, the river flooded and her home had water two feet from the second floor.   And as we traveled US 17 East ( the road Rich traveled every day to work in Binghamton) we passed the Lounsberry Truck Stop, where we often stopped to eat.  Great home cooking and the best Strawberry Shortcake in the area.

We continued along US 17E to Owego where we picked up US 69 and 37 N which would take us to Dryden and Cortland and on to 81 N.  As we passed through Dryden they were having a parade, which meant the main roads were closed.  We had to detour ONE block before our exit  - and to make a LONG story short we were delayed on back roads for about 45 minutes!   We finally found 81 and traveled north through Syracuse and then Watertown where we stopped for a late breakfast at Bob Evans!  This time however our eggs were well done, and the toast crumbled when you touched it!  We did complain (nicely) and they did not charge us at all for the meal.

We stopped at Walmart to pick up enough groceries for a day or so and about 35 miles later we pulled into Rogers Old Oak Cabins on Black Lake.  Below is a view as we arrived and the fire pit that is available to everyone staying here.  Our little Cabin #5  with a view of the lake and the boat we would be using for our daily fishing trips.

When we decided to come to Black Lake we knew that we would probably be "roughing" it for our duration - but this was a  little more "rough" than we had anticipated.  It was probably better than 30 years since we'd vacationed here at Camp Whippoorwill each summer with our Son - when he was still in grammar school!   This cabin DOES have inside plumbing and a Window Air Conditioner - but other than that it could be the same cabin we stayed in many years ago.   It's like going back in time!!!

Below is the inside.............The kitchen cupboards have curtains for doors....... as do the bedrooms.  And the living room is on the glass/screened porch, as is the bathroom.  The bathroom has a REAL door. 

We had debated the rest of the day whether or not we wanted to stay, look for another place, stay for just a week, since we had paid our deposit........... Denny and the family were scheduled to come in for three or four days - would they be satisfied?  We really wanted to see the kids - so as long as he wanted to come we would stay  - for at least two weeks.  By the next day, the weather was much nicer and things looked a lot better...........and we decided we'd stay as planned.   

We made a quick trip just down the road to the Bait Shop - so we could go fishing on Sunday.  I am going to snap some pictures of some of these old country farm houses/barns when I get a chance - but on this trip we saw the Amish with their carriage riding along the road in the rain. 

And our first meal at the cabin?  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Chicken Noodle Soup.   Not used to this cold weather. We were in pants and  jackets/sweatshirts.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 2 - Columbia Crossroads, PA

Helen had some prior commitments with her rental property etc. so she stayed in Sayre the night before. She would be finished by late morning, so plans were to pick her up around noon and stop in town for lunch before we headed back to the house.  One of the highlights planned for Friday was the visit from my brother Dave.  I called Thursday evening and left him a message that we had arrived, and asked if he could plan to arrive at Dieter's around 2:00.   We would all spend the afternoon/evening together and have dinner together.

That morning I took the time to get some pictures of their home.  I can't remember how many acres encompasses their property, but the location is beautiful.   Below is the front of their country home with a shot of the North porch (bottom left) and the East Porch (bottom right).  

The inside is just as lovely and reminds me so much of the time we lived in upstate NY.  Inside these northern country homes you always feel welcome and warm!  The darker colors, that contrast so much with our Florida homes, and the larger furniture are typical of this area. 

u can see in the pictures above that their home is surrounded by the beauty of the forest and the hills in the back.  The picture below provides a couple of views from the porches.  In the top left you can see just how far their home sits back from the road.  The top right and the bottom left are views from the east porch (side yard) where we saw the deer the night before, and from the north porch (front yard).  In the bottom right, Rich snapped a shot of Helen and I walking back from getting the mail from the mail box later that day. 

About 11:30 we took off for Sayre, PA to pick up Helen and then we stopped at Reese's Restaurant for lunch.    Typical of these country restaurants is the decor - generally the wildlife and the local scenery.  And as the sign indicates - the food was excellent.  Dieter had the liver and onions, Rich, the Country Fried Steak and Helen and I had a sandwich.  My fish sandwich was excellent.  

We headed back to the house, making a few out of the way turns to check out the town of Sayre, other old country homes, including the one Helen was born in, and the town park.   But the picture in the top left is my favorite.  I took this from the North porch of their house.  It is located just across the road from them, and the picture in the bottom left can also be seen in the distance from their porch. 

I was anxious to get back to the house.  Brother Dave should be arriving soon.   It was a beautiful spring we sat on the north porch.  On the east porch is the sugared water left out for the Hummers (humming birds).  I took my camera, sat quietly in the chair and waited and watched.  I got a few pretty good shots.  

Several hours later, when my brother had not arrived, I check for messages from him and unfortunately he had sent me a message that he would not be able to make it.  I was sooooooooo  disappointed.  

We waited until about 5:00 and ordered pizza from Dandy ( gas station, store, pizza parlor etc. ).  Dieter ordered  a garlic pizza, 1/2 with sausage, 1/2 with pepperoni.  Neither of us had ever had a garlic pizza, and not sure if we would order one again.  We both love garlic, but this pizza was quite greasy, a little heavy and very filling.  Later, Deiter and Helen  had a "surprise" desert.  My birthday was the day before - but they waited until Friday........wish Dave had been there to celebrate with me.     I do NOT like chocolate cake, but this was absolutely delicious.  And Dieter opened a bottle of Leonard Kreusch German wine/ Zeller Schwarez Katz - semi dry white wine.  

After dinner we all went back to the north porch for a while.  When you're in the country, there is no need to site see......especially when this place is like home to us.  Mother Nature always entertains.    Like this robin who found a perfect place under the north porch roof to nest and care for her new born. 

Or these butterflies that Rich and I saw on our walk up the road...............

It was early evening when we started watching this deer back in the trees.  He started to walk straight away from us so I figured we would not see any up close tonight.  It was just a few minutes later when Rich said " Stay Still - there are two deer just the other side of the road"   He continued to tell me not to move, but eventually he was able to grab my camera and I was able to turn around very slowly......... Again..........this is when I really wish I had a better camera.   I am definitely going to get one.   

I am realizing more and more how much I really miss being up north. Maybe we should consider again, a small summer place/cabin on the lake up here again.

This visit with Deiter and Helen was very relaxing, and very  very enjoyable.  We can't thank them enough for making us feel like family and sharing their home with us.