Monday, June 29, 2015

A Weekend of Good and Bad

Saturday was a beautiful day; a little overcast with winds at 4-8 mpr, making for a perfect afternoon for fishing.   We pulled out at 11:00 am and fished for 4 hours.

Fishing was good today.  We pulled in 49 fish, but only 7 that were keepers.  Well we could have kept a few more of the perch, but decided to just keep the bigger ones.  Rich got another nice small mouth bass today a little over 15 inches, so not quite big enough to keep  He also got a nice Crappie that measured 12 inches.  That's more like the ones we catch at home!  I got a real nice perch, almost 14 inches.  And of course - Rich continues to try and catch that smallest fish of the trip......and below is picture of his smallest catch (maybe 2 inches?) of the day

We would have fished longer, but we had plans for dinner at 5:00 and Rich had a good hour of cleaning the fish.  So we headed in a bout 3:00 pm.  Everyone who left on Saturday, gave the leftovers in their fridge to Bill - so Bill had us and Dean and Cherri over for dinner.   Hot dogs, sauerkraut, venison burgers, a pork dish with potatoes and green beans and marinated venison on the grill!  Everything was delicious.  We sat outside until well after dark before calling it a night.

The forecast for Sunday was for rain, wind and colder temperatures, so we knew that there would be no fishing that day.  Rich and I and Dean and Cherri were invited back to Bill and Linda's Sunday for Brunch.  Link and Bulk sausage and home made waffles!! (Sausage was more gifts from the departing campers!)

This pictures shows the new cabin we found on Bigge Island on Saturday and the waves and white caps on the Lake on Sunday - that looked more like the ocean!

No one was out on Sunday, the heat was on and the doors all closed.  Everyone trying to keep warm.  The only thing we did all day was to take a trip into Ogdensburg to try and find a some jigs for fishing, and to get some more "goodies".  For those of you who call me the "polar bear" - I was in sweats and socks and wrapped in an afghan most of the day!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Rainy and Chilly - But Pretty Good Fishing

Can't believe that two weeks have gone by already. The weather here has been a lot different than last year; a bit colder and very very windy.  Between Monday and Friday we were only able to get out 3 days because of the weather.   Monday the wind was perfect for drifting and we caught 34 fish (Rich 12, Donna 22).   From that we only had about 7 keepers between the crappie and the perch.  Crappie must be 9 inches to keep - and we had a lot just under the 9 inches!  

Strong winds and storms came in Monday night and lasted into Tuesday - so no fishing.  We had winds between 18-21 mpr all day!   But both Monday and Tuesday folks were out at the fire ring.  Finally got some pics.  With the exception of the two guys (bottom right) we met the rest of these folks here last year.  Top( Bill and Linda), Bill, Me, Monica and Paul.  (from Mountain Top, PA), Mike and Bill, Rich taking care of the fired, and brothers from the Philadelphia area, Rob and Chris.

Temps were down in the 50's over night and Wednesday was another "no fishing" day.  Sun was out in the afternoon and  when the rainbow came out, new friends,  Paul and Arlene, ( also from PA), and their daughter came for a quick visit and to grab a picture of the rainbow.  

On Thursday Linda was making a trip to Ogdensburg to get Lobster for Bill, so I rode a long and picked up more groceries.  Rich headed for the bait shop

We went out for a couple of hours that evening, and caught 35 fish and then fished Friday evening and only go 10!  Mostly perch and crappie, but Rich finally got a nice Small Mouth Bass about 16" long.

We headed out Friday evening to the Tavern Inn in Edwardsville, which is only 3-4 miles up the road.  When we walked in, Bill and Linda and Gary and Karen were sitting at the bar waiting for dinner.  They had come to invite us to join them - but we were out fishing!  A few minutes later Paul and Arlene are at the other end of the bar, So we sat at the bar with them and ordered. We had been warned that the food was great, but the service was very slow.  We waited 58 minutes for our food!  It was excellent.  Rich got the Tavern 3/4 lb burger with mushrooms (ugh!) and I got the Fish Fry.  HUGE - both of them.  Rich finished his, and some of my fries, and a little of my fish, and I still had enough of both to take home for lunch another day!

Friday night most everyone was out at the fire, and with the exception of Bill and Linda, everyone would be leaving Saturday morning.  I was finally able to get a picture of Gary and Karen , and that is Matt ( Paul and Monica's son) with the guitar. We exchanged contact information and said our goodbyes, wishing everyone well and hoping to see them all again next year.    Rich and I and Rob and Chris were the last to leave and that was around 11:00

All new folks will be arriving on Saturday - so hopefully we meet more nice folks around the campfire!

TOTAL FISH COUNT TO DATE:  161 with Rich in the lead 84-77

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Weekend,,,,,,,,,More People and More Fun

 Saturday is check-in/check-out day, and this Saturday was a busy one.  There were not too many people here yet, but some of the people that we met here last year arrived on Saturday. Linda ( Bill's wife) came in Friday afternoon, and on Saturday Paul and Monica, from down near Wilkes/Barre, PA arrived, as did a group of about 5 guys, here to fish for a week. (Saturday was also the first day of Bass Season here in NY).  Recognized a couple of the guys; they stayed in the other side of the duplex when Dennis was here last year.  A couple of biker couples in cottage across from us ( met them - but don't remember names), and three other guys in the cottage next to us.

Bill came by one day with a big ice cream cone - so we headed about 1/2 mile up the road to another camp where they have a nice little putt-putt course and a very nice concession stand with soft and hard ice cream, sundaes, shakes etc, and burgers, dogs, chicken, fries and more...........   Rich got his favorite - Black Raspberry Cone, and I got a dish of my favorite - Butter Pecan.

Probably should take Son and family here one night for a little golf and dessert!

Rain and wind seem to continue to be the norm these days and Saturday and Sunday were no different.   I spent the day cooking potatoes and eggs for salad and cutting chicken and veggies for kabobs.  They were delicious!  We didn't go out until about 6:00 on Saturday and caught 17 fish ( sunny, perch, crappie), but not that were keepers.  They were hitting pretty good, and we could have caught more - but it was getting too dark, so we needed to head in.

 On Sunday Rich got his Father's Day cookie and a couple of milk/white chocolate bars, and Dennis called  to wish him Happy Father's Day. ( Always the highlight of the day)  We headed out just after 11:00 on Sunday and caught 25 fish!  But this time we caught 3 perch and 3 crappie that were big enough to bring back and fillet.  Again - could have caught more, for sure, but this time a thunder storm was getting very close so we had no choice but to head for camp.

Everyone hoped the rain would not last long, because a campfire was planned for Sunday night.  There were about 12-15 of us around the fire until almost 10:00, when once again there was thunder and lightening and we scattered to our camps.  Storm did not last long and many of them went back to the fire.  Rich went back until a little after 11:00 - I went to bed!  Fun and friendly group.

So - by the end of the weekend our Fish Count To Date reached 82, with Rich in the lead 48-34.  But I still have the biggest!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

One Week Gone.........

    Rained Monday night and there was still a steady rain Tuesday morning.  There was a fire up the road somewhere over night and that resulted in our cable being off.  So we had no TV until early evening.

We did not catch a lot of fish; Rich got three and I got 2 ( all perch or crappie)  But I did hook on to a real nice Northern Pike, that was a little over 3 1/2 lbs., and 24 inches long.  I think this is the biggest fish I've ever caught.  It was fun!!


Wednesday, there was no rain, but was very windy.  Went outside to have morning coffee and it was only 65 degrees.    It was so windy that there were white we settled in for a nice hot breakfast, oatmeal and toast.   A little after noon the wind had died down, with just enough for some drift fishing.  I think that Rich was working real hard to try to catch the very smallest perch he could!   Again we caught some perch and crappie - but nothing big enough to keep.  I hooked on to another Northern.  Not quite as big as yesterday - but still 22 inches long.

Thursday was another pretty cool and very windy day.  I headed down to Alexandria Bay to pick up a few more groceries at the Big M - and they have a liquor store, and I need some wine.  We did try to go out fishing later in the day, but the lake was so rough that we didn't last long and we were back at the dock in less than an hour.   Rich cooked some burgers on the grill and I fixed some corn on the cob.  Delicious!

Temperatures got down pretty low on Thursday night and it as only 52 degrees when we awoke on Friday morning.  Windy, rain and cold  - no fishing today.

By the end of the week we had caught 40 fish.  2 Northern Pike and the rest a combination of perch and crappie.  Rich is in the lead 22 - 18.  

Happy Father's Day

A Day when Dads wish they could be together..........But when you can't you celebrate with memories and anticipation of their next visit.

Today Rich got a great message on facebook from Dennis, and a Happy Father's Day Cookie and card from me.  Below are two awesome and proud Dads with their kids!

Message from Dad:  From one blessed and proud Dad to another.  Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Settling In......

It was a pretty cool day on Sunday and also very windy, with rain later in the afternoon.  Did not pack a cooler to bring, so if we wanted anything to eat I really had to make a trip to the grocery store.  The nearest place to buy groceries is either North to Ogdensburg, where there is a Walmart ( not a Super Walmart) and Price Chopper, or to head south to Alexandria Bay, where there is a Big M.  I forgot the alarm clock, and our two Tervis glasses that we always use, so I decided to go to Ogdensburg.  Made  a stop at Walmart and got a cheap alarm clock for $5.88 and then went to Price Chopper ( really nice store - great deli, bakery, meat and produce).   $175.00 later, I headed back to the camp.

Rich had been busy getting the table and grill set up, covering the seats on the table and getting all the poles ready for fishing....

We threw some kielbasa on the grill, threw them on a hot dog roll.........and that was dinner!   And then the rain ..........and probably the most exciting thing of the day was watching the duck down by the lake!

It rained most all night and was still raining Monday morning, so made a quick trip to the post office. Early afternoon the rain had stopped so we headed out to fish for the first time!  It was still cool enough for long pants and a sweat shirt and Bill was out getting his boat ready to head out too.

Only fished for an hour an a half.   Still pretty hazy/foggy but beautiful weather for fishing.  We headed across the lake to  "The Pimple" and settled in for a while.  Not much luck, but I did catch my first fish!  The bottom left of the photo is the area on the lake known as "The Pimple", and if you look real hard at the bottom right you will see my big catch - a very very small perch. 

 Headed back to the camp where Rich checked out what was happening in the market.  Plans were to head back out again around 4:00, so I made up a tuna noodle casserole so we didn't have to wait forever to eat when we came back. 

A little better luck later in the day.   This time we headed for Tin Island and then drifted between that and Raspberry Island.   I caught 2 more perch ( not much bigger than the first) and Rich caught 3 perch and 4 crappie.    His first catch was a perch even smaller than mine! But he did get a really nice crappie which was the only keeper of the day.   Very nice, over 10 inches.  Crappie have to be 9 inches here in order to keep - so that was the only keeper.  Threw him back.  He caught another perch and 3 more crappie.

So - it was a fun day.  Fish count to-date is 10,    with Rich in the lead with 7

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Day 3 - With Brother and on to Black Lake

The night at the Comfort Inn in Hazleton, PA was restful and just what we needed after two long days on the road.  We actually slept in until 7:00 AM !

We were on the road at 7:48 am  and it was a very cloudy morning with rain threatening. We  ran into light rain a couple times on our way north to Binghamton, NY.  But I did manage to get in a few photos of the PA hillsides. Was excited when we finally saw the sign for Binghamton, and even more excited once we turned on to 17 W............

The plan was to meet up with my brother Dave and his dog Jake and the Canine Commons Dog Park in Binghamton.  About 8 miles outside of Binghamton we pulled into a rest stop (yes - a DPB) to give my brother a call since it was raining, just to confirm that we should still meet at the park.

By the time we got to the park - about 15 minutes later- the sun was shining and it was an absolutely beautiful morning.  We arrived there about 9:45 and once parked we saw Dave and Jake heading our way to greet us.

It's been so many years since we've seen brother Dave, so this was a very very special day for me.  He looked wonderful!  As we headed toward them, Jake came on ahead to welcome Rich and I.  Below are pictures of the park, of Jake, and of David, Rich and I.

Like my brother, Rich and I are avid dog lovers, so this was the perfect place for us to get together.  We had seen many pictures of Jake out on face book, but it's not the same as face to snoot! Really friendly, and good looking dude!  Below are pictures of Jake and his friends playing at the park.  And today Jake met Marly for the first time - and they were immediately friends.  Jake is a regular, and a favorite here at Canine Commons - and he even made the cover page on the parks Face book page last month!

It was after 11:00 when we headed for lunch.  We followed Dave and Jake through the back roads to a quaint little place,  The Apple Dumpling Cafe at Apple Hills Farm Market.  What a great little place for lunch!   A lot of unique dishes.  Rich selected the Cheese Steak Panini, Me - the Open faced Reuben with slaw, and brother Dave had the restaurant's signature sandwich - the Open faced grilled apple. ( grilled apples between ham and swiss).  Everything was excellent.  It was such a beautiful day we decided to eat outside, which was perfect.  Would love to go back again - maybe for breakfast and check our their store.  Below are pictures of the three of us. ( Jake waited in the car - with the windows down).

Love the picture of Rich and David.  My brother - a true liberal/Democrat made sure he covered the front of Rich's shirt.  What did it say?  Pipe Down you Silly Liberal! They both managed to get through the day without a political debate!

Wish we could have spent more time there.  Hopefully we can do it again soon, or Dave and Jake can make to Florida for a visit.  Anyway, as hard as it was, we hugged and said our good-byes.  Rich made sure that Jake would remember his uncle Rich - making sure he saved a piece of his sandwich as a treat for Jake.

By this time my camera battery was about dead.  Forgot to charge the battery!  Thanks Dave for the pictures at lunch.

It was 12:09 pm when we were back on 81 N heading for Syracuse, Watertown and then Hammond, NY.   Just one quick stop for gas.  I kept trying the camera, and did manage to get two pictures.

NY posts these signs along the highway  "Text Stop Rest Area".  What a great idea.  I tried to get the other sign they have along the side of the road that says. " It Can Wait - Text Stop Ahead"

And the bottom picture - a really cool motorcycle.  We were behind it for a while, and I was able to get this shot as we passed.  Denny - thought you might like this one.

By 3:15 we had arrived at our cabin on Black Lake.  Beautiful day with temps in the upper 70's and NO Humidity!  Unpacked and Charged the camera.  Here's home for the next several weeks!   Yes - we will be roughin' it for a while - and we are so looking forward to it!  We are right on the water with a great view from the living room and yard.

It was about 4:30 when we were almost finished unpacking when our friend Bill knocked at the door.  Said to come over to his place about 5:30 - 5:45 for dinner.  Dean Rogers - who owns the park, also joined us for dinner.    Bill made an awesome Italian dinner of Bucatini and Venison Meatballs,  Italian Salad and bread. Some aged cheese, apples and apricots for dessert.  What a life saver.  We had not done any grocery shopping yet!  So this was absolutely wonderful.  Just met Bill and his wife, Linda last year while we were here.  Really nice couple.  Looking forward to seeing Linda - she's due to arrive on Friday!  Yeah!

That's about it for the day of arrival.  Early to bed................. It was already a great first day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 2 - On to Hazleton, PA

Friday June 12th - My Birthday!   It was a long day yesterday but we were up early - and I was NOT feeling well. More than just tired - sick to my stomach and a head ache that would not go away.

But, as always, Rich is there to make me feel better.  My birthday present was one of my very favorite presents - A bottle of Chivas Regal.  Too expensive to buy very often - so I love it when he remembers for special occasions!
Thank You Rich!

Neither of us are ready to eat early in the morning, so we were on the road at 7:20am,  headed for Hazleton, PA

This day would be one of several traffic jams, with bumper to bumper traffic, and drivers (especially truck drivers) that would not get out of the left hand traffic lane!  And the first traffic back-up was just 11 minutes on the road, merging on to I 77N.

Our trip took us through NC, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and then Pennsylvania  By 9:20 it was time for a DPB, and then the coffee cups were empty so it was a stop at McDonald's..... Rich wanted to stop someplace nice, like Bob Evans or  Cracker Barrel for breakfast, but I was just not feeling well enough to eat.   Around noon - we decided to skip the big breakfast and to just stop at McDonalds for a quick lunch and get back on the road.

Just didn't feel much like taking pictures - but I did grab a few scenery shots of  Lake Norman in Mooreville, and of the beautiful hills of North Carolina and Virginia.

  One more stop around 1:00 for gas at Flying J - and since the Aleve was packed somewhere in the trunk I decided I needed to buy some for the headache.  We finally reached the PA line about 1:45, made another DPB around 2:00 and encountered traffic back ups near Harrisburg, PA and again in Hazleton.  I love the hills and farms and cornfields of the north, and PA and NY are still two of my favorite.

We finally arrived at our hotel in Hazleton about 3:15.  Stayed at the Comfort Inn.  New hotel and very very nice.  Great restaurant and hot breakfast ( which of course we would not have) and very nice rooms.

And before we headed out for dinner I got a Happy Birthday call from my best friend Tonyia.......... Always good to hear from her and Nick, but today was special.  Thank you Tonyia and Nick!!

Once again, Rich gave me the option of going anywhere I wanted for dinner.  The hotel restaurant looked great and they had a very nice selection of dinner entrees.  But it was my decision to just take a walk across the parking lot to Denny's again!!!  Food was EXCELLENT!  Rich had the Spaghetti and Meatballs, garlic bread and a Vanilla Milk Shake, and I had the Bourbon Chicken Stir fry!   Perfect!

And one last thank you to my family and friends who remembered my birthday on face book!  Thank you all for the birthday greetings.

It has been so many years since I have seen my brother David, and tomorrow we will be stopping in Binghamton, NY to visit with him and his best friend Jake ( his dog).  I am so excited! Can't wait to see him.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Day One on the Road

Seems like we have been waiting for this day for just about forever!  But June 11th is pack the car and start heading north day.  But before we start the trip, I want to send a special Thank You to my friends, Linda Bass, Margie Roche and John and Diane, or neighbors for remembering my birthday.

 It's not until tomorrow and these were all received before we had our mail forwarded!  Love the Visor Angel......A watchful eye and travel angel is always welcome.

So - on Thursday morning at 7:30 we were on our way to Black Lake.  Well - day one, we should make it to Charlotte, NC.   But not without a few DPB's, as Rich would say.  And our first DPB (Donna's Potty Break) was at 10 minutes of  9 and we were only as far as Haines City, FL.  By 9:00 am we were heading east on I-4 and then started heading north on I-95.    About 2:00 we passed into GA and made another DPB at the Welcome Center.    Must have been talking too much - I missed the Welcome to SC Sign!!!   Did get a couple of pictures along the way.......nothing real exciting - but I always like the signs that tell me where I'm going and the landscape and lakes, etc. along the way.  The picture below captures some of that including the St. James River  before we left FL, Jacksonville,, South Brunswick, Turtle and Savanna Rivers.

Before we were out of SC, we stopped at the Flying J  just after 5:00 for gas and decided to grab our dinner right there at Denny's.   You could tell Rich was getting tired of all the driving - he had a real hard time finding the SKIP button!!   Silly, I know - and you'll have to ask Rich to explain.    We both selected the fish and chips, which came with garlic bread and broccoli.  It was really excellent!

Next stop was at the Roadway Inn University Area in Charlotte, but not before working our way through a pretty long back up of traffic...........But we finally arrived about 6:30.  Hotel was clean and beds were comfy, and the price was right for just one night.  It was early to bed for sure.  Need a good night's rest before we head out early tomorrow morning.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Getting ready for Black Lake......

Just a few more days and we will head out for our vacation at Rogers Old Oak Camps on Black Lake in Hammond, NY.  It's a very long drive, but there is no place we would rather be for good fishin'.  And, like last year, we are blessed to have our son and family join us for nearly a week.  That in itself makes the trip more than worthwhile.  It will be wonderful to visit with them, play games with the kids and catch some big ones!!

But for now it's time to prepare.  The final wash day for clothes will be Wednesday.  Can't believe the clothes dryer decided to stop working just a few days before we leave.  I'll wash and make a trip to the local laundromat to dry.  In the meantime we have started our packing..........  All the important stuff.... the crock pot - the wine glasses ( of course!).

And since it is the summer season and hurricanes are possible we've  cut the palm branches,  cleared the lanai, moved the patio/deck furniture inside as well as any/all artificial plants.

Rich cleaned the filter on the pump for the lawn watering system, cut back bushes and sprayed for weeds.  I replanted my peace lily and moved that along with the other patio/porch plants to the front yard where they will get the necessary shade/sun and watering.  And take a look at our pineapple plants!! We have three of them that are already showing great growth.  If you look closely, the one on the bottom(center) has one already started in the middle, and it looks like another on each side.    They should be ready to eat when we get back.

Getting excited..........but will miss our friends.  Wish they could come with us!!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Dinner with Neighbors

It was about this time 2 years ago that we began looking to sell our RV and find a home on the water.  When we bought this home, the house right next door, and the house directly across the canal in the back yard were also for sale.  We actually pondered at the time whether to buy this or the one next door.........

After moving here in Sept of 2013, it was just a few months later that  John and Diane arrived next door, and then in April of 2014 Phil and Doreen moved from Palm Beach County to the house across the canal.   We all converse daily almost over the fence or across the canal, and gotten together several times since we met.  Today it was Phil and Doreen's turn to entertain........and the six of us enjoyed a delicious dinner.

We enjoyed some  fruit, spinach wraps with cream cheese and salami, and an excellent cream cheese with raspberry jalapeno pepper jelly dip. ( Thanks Tonyia, for the suggestion - it was excellent and  Diane took home the leftover)  Doreen served a tossed salad, spaghetti and sausage and garlic bread.   Diane's home made key lime pie and Doreen's peach cobbler topped of the meal!

Why a picture of John in his canoe??  Diane and Rich and I arrived by car - but John decided to come by boat!  That's Phil's dock (pontoon with the blue cover) right behind John.

It was a very enjoyable evening.  Delicious food and good company.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


We had a call last night from Dennis, who was in Tampa spending time with family and celebrating the high school graduation of his niece Mykayla.

 He'll be spending a few days with his Mom, then heading north to Orlando to visit with a few of his cousins before heading back to Iowa.

Today he drove down the 2 hours from Tampa to spend part of the day with his Dad and I, and treated us to lunch at Beef O Bradys.   We had a great visit, although way too short!  But we look forward to having fun with him and Crystal and the kids in July at the lake.

Photo of Dennis and his Dad on the back deck.   Beautiful day while he was here - but lots of rain later in the afternoon!