Monday, August 13, 2018

Sounds Of The City

Downtown near my apartment!

The sounds of the city at night are different than what I was used to. Living in the forest for so many years, I got used to the sounds of the night, which were not always pleasant. Coyotes, owls, the occasional scream of an animal being grabbed by the owls. Then their familiar hoot hoot after they got it. You get used to those things. Hearing my horses crunching their hay or walking around trying to avoid being bitten by thousands of bugs, looking to feast on fresh horse flesh. I would be lying if I said I don't miss it at all. Yes, when I lay in bed at night, sometimes I miss the night sounds of the forest. Not of the animals killing other animals, but the general sounds of the night. 

Pretty quiet here most of the day!

Here in my apartment, living in the downtown area of a small city, it is not as loud as you might think. It is pretty quiet here for a city. The sirens from fire trucks, police cars and ambulances are not heard as often as most people associate with living in a city. I remember when my son lived in a city about 35 miles from me, and when I would talk to him on the phone, that is all I heard. Sirens. Constantly. I figured I would have to get used to it. The alternative was to stay put and that was not the option I wanted. So I figured I could play music all the time to drown the city sounds out. It has not been bad at all. On week-ends I hear people out and about as they come out of the restaurants and bars nearby. One of the bars plays live music, but to me it sounds good. I love listening to it!

Taxi cab in parking lot

Living in the country when you do not have a vehicle to drive makes it difficult. you live in a city. I have been fortunate to have a friend who will take me to the store or to my doctor's appointments. If I had to, there are other ways get around here. Public transportation is easy to use. The city transit bus comes right to the door of my building several times a day. I am planning on stepping out of my comfort zone one of these days, before winter comes and take that bus to Wal-Mart. There are also taxis and they have their phone number posted on almost every store window along the main street. And then of course, I can walk pretty good some days with my rolling walker. If I get tired I can sit on the seat of the walker.

Rabbit taking some hay out of his cage!

Life was harder in the country. Living here in an apartment has been a good change for me. I am much happier and not bored at all. I still do not have a television, nor do I want one. I am a computer person and enjoy reading and listening to music as well. I have been working to get all settled in and I am still not done with all that yet. I have another load of things to get from the house. I will get them all organized and then can get on with other things I had plans for. I am not giving up some projects I used to do. I am planning on getting my canning equipment and either I will use it or sell it. I am not keeping anything that I do not use. Maybe I will do a little bit of canning in small amounts. I'll see.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Studio Apartment Decor

I love bright colors in my home!

I am still in the process of getting settled in my small studio apartment, kat's Studio, as I have named it. What I really like about such a small space is that it forces you to weed out that excess. Those things you have stored for years, but never used or took out to look at. One of the main objectives of kat's Studio, is for me to wake up in the morning and smile. To walk in the door after a day out, to see the appearance of my apartment and smile. At night when I am going to sleep, the lights from outside, even the moon at times, shining in my very large windows onto my ceiling, make me smile. I thank God every night, for bringing me to this home. I love it and love every day of living here. So I am trying to make it appealing in every who? To me! It is ALL ABOUT ME!!!!

My dresser defines my private mini bedroom

Since it is a studio apartment which is very small, I had to be smart in designing it to appear larger so I didn't feel crowded in. The two things that make my space here work is the large windows, which are tall as well as wide. The other being the extremely high ceilings directly in front of the windows. The walls being painted white also help give the illusion of more space. Instead of setting my large dresser against a wall, I have placed it so it creates a small bedroom behind it. That idea which I found on Pinterest, works well. At night when I am in my bed reading on my Kindle, as I do most nights, it feels cozy in there. Private. Rabbit's cage is close to my bed, but that gives me more time with him.  Last night, in fact, I had him on my bed with me for a few minutes, giving him nose and ear rubs.

My mini bedroom

When I was making my plans to move into this small studio apartment, I thought I would have to stick with my small twin bed, that I had been using for the last five years. But once I was in here and had my space set up, I saw that a double/full sized bed would work. Off I went to buy a new bed. I like it a lot! That little bit of extra room is much more comfortable than the little bed was. I loved that little bed and it wasn't an easy decision to give it up. I had a 4" memory foam topper on it and wow, that made such a difference. So I was a little nervous about the change, But my new bed is very comfortable and has the memory foam built in. I love the extra room!

The "pass through" to the kitchen

My mini bedroom, as I like to call it, has the "pass through" over the bed that is over the sink in the kitchen. I love it! I can just put things on that to take into the kitchen or bedroom, depending on which side I am on. Another thing about this mini bedroom is that when someone comes to my door and even if they come in the entrance way, they cannot see my bed or vanity or Rabbit's cage. It is very private. It is hard to have a private spot in a studio apartment of this size. I have done it though and like I said, it is very cozy and comfortable. I like using colors to brighten up the white walls. Nothing that I have has costed me very much money, which goes along with my frugal way of living.

Love my high ceilings!

The high ceiling is what makes this small apartment seem much larger. I am not certain if the other apartments all have that or not. I have only been in a couple of other ones and one across the hall did have that spacious space also. So maybe they all do. Soon I will have all the work done of organizing it and my storage locker downstairs. I do not want to move from this apartment to a larger one anytime in the future. It is the best apartment as far as I am concerned. I am always working on it and probably always will.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Daily Life Encounters

As I feel so much love for myself,
it spills over into daily life, encounters with others.
People around me, people amid my errands, 
I wonder why the clerks in the store are so miserable
and sad, not friendly at all. To keep their customers coming back,
you need to be friendly and pleasant, smile at least, or a 
word of greeting, such as hello, how are you, would not hurt.
In a small city store, where customers can choose, 
to drive to the big super sized store that has all your store has,
and even more, lowest prices that you could not compete.
The only edge you have against those stores is, 
you are the local small town/city store, and getting to know
your customers would put you one above those stores.
But no, instead you, the manager, or maybe the owner, 
are poker faced and gruff. No smile. No word of greeting. 
No thank you as I pay double price for what I could have bought,
at the well known super sized store.

I feel the love and caring though, from many others,
mainly my neighbors who live in my building.
In my distant past, sharing a building did not make friends,
no, in fact, fighting among each other was more common.
So it was with much surprise that I moved into a city building,
with many neighbors on each of three floors.
To find such friendliness and laughter among us all.
To see the caring about each other and talking,
as if friends for many years, many are.
As I broke open the shell I lived in, I found 
a whole new life, a way of living with others,
and going places and doing things that are fun,
interesting and make me feel alive.

I am thankful for many things, I wake up,
looking forward to a new day, a day of doing 
things I want to do, maybe with a friend. In life we choose many roads, 
the road I am on now is one I love. I hope it will
continue to be so, but if not, I will not let it go on.
Accomplishing many things every day, that once before
I only thought or dreamed about. Cooking new recipes,
watching videos, reading new books writing nonstop, 
trying new restaurants, taking rides, going to parks and lakes
and cuddling my little bunny boy, of course, 
whether he likes it or not! 

Rabbit taking a nap!

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Asking For Help To Leave A Bad Situation

Life is full of ups and downs. When you get into a situation in your life that is difficult and you can't change, you many times, have to pretend it is normal and happy. So you get used to answering questions as if you are. Normal. Happy. Even though you are far from it. Presenting a happy face to the world so nobody knows. Feeling ashamed. Ashamed that you are not living like everyone else is. Everyone knows it takes money to change just about anything in life. I used to go to a website that had a post, How To Leave Your Husband When You Have No Money To Start Over. The comments on it were heartbreaking! So many other people, not just women, some men too, were desperate for this magic formula! I would go back there over and over. I even copied the comments to my Kindle so I could read them at night.

On Facebook everyone keeps a low profile on those issues. So if and when you finally do leave, people may be saying you are crazy. How could you leave such a good man or woman? Maybe he was a good man or woman, on Facebook. Because you portrayed him that way. You made him or her look good. You made your life look good and happy. Now I know there are some people who ask for help. They set up a GoFundMe page and write posts on Facebook asking for donations. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not for everyone. Maybe it wasn't even your spouse's fault. Maybe it was because you had no money and was not able to live a normal life. No matter how you live, you will need money for many things. Sometimes you have to slip in under the wire, just pushing what little bit of money you have around your bills and essentials.

If you have to pay a vehicle payment because you have to have one based on where you live, then if you really need food and every cent must go to a vehicle payment, what do you do? You pay the payment because without it, you couldn't go to the store or even a food pantry for food. Not having children at home, makes it easier to go without food. Instead if you had a  garden and canned your harvest, you might have enough jars to at least survive. "Don't have an automobile loan to begin with," you say? The alternative is to pay cash for a good one, but how can you even begin to save up that money for the vehicle? Even a cheap one? Then add in the factors of physical disabilities and aging. Applying for employment but not able to get any sort of work. Or not having any transportation to and from possible employment. It wears on you over time. It makes you not have any hope left. Soon you are living to just get through each day to the next one. That my readers, is called being hopeless!

What you must do if you find yourself in such a situation is to go to your local county government website and find help. There are many that will help you get out of a bad situation. One thing that holds people back is their children. If you are elderly, such as I was, the local office for the aging is a gem. They will help senior citizens, and even those closing in on those golden years. If you are living without essentials, with children or not, the adult protective services will assist you also. They do not want to see you living without normal essentials. I know it is hard to swallow your pride and ask for help. But that is what you must do to get out of any bad situation. Or you will waste your life waiting for something to change..........and chances are, it never will.

If your situation is such that you need medical care, but cannot afford it, then you must do something as soon as possible. Insurance and co-pays being out of sight, if you have no extra money, make it difficult. Being without transportation may make it even more difficult. Even if you manage to get a ride to a doctor. So make some calls. Make a local friend on social media. Reach out for help and someone will respond. Believe me, I know this. I had many of my friends contact me who were reading between the lines of my social media and my blog posts. Nobody goes into a relationship expecting to need help to get out of it. But many end up that way. Ask for the help as soon as you suspect you are in that situation. It will not get  any better, just worse.

I am not talking here about domestic violence in the sense of physical abuse. Emotional abuse is rampant and most times the victim does not even consider it abuse or wrong. It feels like control. Someone, other than yourself, has control over you with their actions and words. It may not look like abuse, but it is very much so. Keeping you and your children if you have ones at home, in an unsafe environment by control of the finances or transportation. Even with the food supply. Making you feel sorry for the abuser when you try to leave. Not giving you a chance to speak or to listen to what you are saying or asking. There are many other forms and you can research it yourself and find out a lot more than I can provide here. I really did not know that much about it until a friend brought it to my attention. The most important thing I can think of to say is to do something about your situation today! Make a call! Talk to a friend! Just do it now!


Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, July 12, 2018

My Cayuga Lake Day Trip

Last week I went to Cayuga Lake with a friend. I have been there a number of times in the past, but this time the trip seemed more memorable for me. I believe as I have gotten older, I appreciate the little things I see along the way more. Such as the large eagle nests on top of the electric poles along the road. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that, but at the time it was impossible. Maybe next time. The day I was there was when NY was going through an extremely hot heat wave for a few days. I cannot tolerate hot temperatures any longer, so being away from my air conditioning was not good. I did not do very well as the day got hotter.

Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes of central New York, is not that far from where I live. Yet I have not had the opportunity to go there very often. It is a large lake that is just a bit under 40 miles long (64 km). According to Wikipedia, its average is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) wide and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) at its widest.  It is approximately 435 feet (133 m) deep at its deepest. It is 53 feet below sea level. Ithaca is located at the southern end of the lake. There are a number of villages and settlements along the eastern and western shores. Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake are among the deepest lakes in North America.

Twin Oaks Campground & Marina

The people we visited that day have an RV camper that they live in all summer. It seems like a good thing to do if you are into fishing, boating, swimming and any other water sports. It was a very enjoyable day and there were a lot of people around and about. I saw more people there then I ever do living in the middle of my small city of Norwich, NY. The campground we were at was Twin Oaks Campground & Marina  and is located 1 mile north of Union Springs on Cayuga Lake.

Most of the residents of the RV camp use golf carts to get around the camp ground and marina going to and from the lake. I don't have any photos of it, but the marina was picturesque with concrete sidewalks going completely around the marina. It was filled with boats the day we were there. They are located off Route 90 on Fire Lane 14 in Cayuga, NY.


Shadow was the host at the camp we visited. He was very friendly to new guests and intimidating to anyone passing by or pulling in with a car. It was a very hot day so he was pretty happy to go for a ride to the lake. The coolest I felt that day was riding in the golf cart, so I understand why he liked it so much.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, July 09, 2018

Visiting The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

For a long time now,  I have followed The Wolf Mountain Nature Center on Facebook. I wanted to go there so bad. Yesterday, my friend took me there. It was such a relaxing place to spend a warm summer Sunday. Due to the hot sun in the afternoon, not many residents of the center were out and about. We managed to see a couple though. Spent some time chatting with the husband of an employee under the shade of a tree. Most animals are not active in the hot afternoon and I expected we may not see any wolves. It wasn't crowded though, so we had a most enjoyable afternoon there.

Welcome To Wolf Mountain!
The Wolf Mountain Nature Center is located at 562 Hopkins Crandall Road in Smyrna, New York (13464 zip code). It is about 20 minute ride from Norwich, New York, where I live. Their telephone number is (607) 627-6784. Email is twmncwolves@yahoo. com. 

The summer hours through out July and August is: Fridays 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM Saturdays Noon - 3:00 PM Sundays Noon - 4:00 PM. It is $5.00 per person admission and kids under 5 are free. They have restrooms, a gift shop, picnic areas throughout, but you need to bring your own picnic. No animals are permitted, even in the parking lot, including service animals. This is because the wolves are territorial and it would cause them stress, even if a dog was left in a car they would know.

There are 12 various enclosures on the grounds for the animals. They are securely fenced so you can feel safe, but they feel safe too. These wolves are used to people but the public is not allowed to pet, touch, feed or go inside the enclosures. NY state law says that only the certified workers can do that. Look at the photos of the workers in contact with the wolves on their website. You will see a closeness such as most of us have with our cats, dogs and rabbits.

Solar Array

The Wolf Mountain Nature Center runs 100% completely on solar power! The volunteers are more than happy to explain to you how their solar power works to  power the center. Since they run on donations and the money they make on the admissions and events and the gift shop, I am sure not having an electric bill is big help to them. 

Tipi Village

The Wolf Mountain Nature Center has a number of events for you to take part in through out the year. One is camping with the wolves which has a $75.00 fee. Of course, the wolves won't be staying in your tent! They have special Saturday evenings with the wolves teaching wolf communication skills. Check their site for the current events as those change over time. 

This wolf came right up to the fence for me!

For a chance to take some outstanding photos of the wolves without the fence, sign up for their photography session with either the wolves for a $75.00 fee or the arctic fox for a $50.00 fee. The wolf photo session is a 2-3 hour session and the arctic fox one is 45 minutes. It sounds like a awesome opportunity!

Hunter's memorial
A peaceful setting in the middle of the center for a proper burial for a beloved wolf who had passed away at the center. 

Taking a rest!

 I was able to use my walker to get around but had to be careful. The ground is not flat and there were many tree roots and rocks to maneuver around. A wheelchair would probably have to be pushed by someone else. They had ramps and special fences to let you by instead of taking any stairs. You just have to ask them, they are very accommodating. I was very comfortable there and enjoyed the day. It is a good place to be outside in the fresh air. I can't wait to go back!

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole