Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Peaceful Forest Garden Walk

Wordless Wednesday post from my morning walk in the Peaceful Forest Homestead gardens.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, June 28, 2010

30TH Anniversary Of The Lupole - Noyes Family Reunion

Lupole - Noyes Family Reunion 2010

Saturday was our annual Lupole - Noyes Family reunion. It was the 30th year that this reunion has taken place, though in the beginning it was just the Lupole family reunion. Then the two reunions were two different ones, but when they realized the same people came to both of them they combined them into one. The Lupoles and the Noyes clan grew up together, and lived in the Tracy Creek area of Vestal, New York. It was a time of close knit families and neighborhoods.

Robert Lupole and Granddaughter, Jill Rodrigues

With the passing of Uncle Bernard Lupole in January of 2009, my sweet, loving father-in-law, Bob Lupole took over the position of being the oldest member of this clan, now at the age of 90. He lost his best friend and wife in 2008, and his health problems are increasingly getting worse. He has been losing his vision steadily as well as his hearing. It takes away the activities he could do such as reading or watching tv or walking in the morning to a local doughnut shop to meet his friends. So we never know what each day brings and just are thankful for each day we have with him.

Aunt Marian and her children, Judy, Jimmy, Tommy and Dean

Aunt Marian is next in line in the Lupole family and she was very happy to have all her family present and accounted for. That was surprising when you consider that they are scattered all over the United States. One in North Carolina, another in Florida, another in Alaska and one locally. One family of her grandchildren came from Oregon and another from Ohio. So she threatened them all that if they want to see her before she croaks they better all come to the family reunion. She was surprised that they all showed up!

Angie Hillegass carrying her twin sister, Amy Foster's little girl, Felicity

My sister-in-law, Pat and her husband, Tim Noyes have raised four of the most beautiful daughters. They are a joy to know and to love, Lisa Moravek, Jill Rodrigues, Amy Foster and Angie Hillegass. All of them have married wonderful, caring Christian men who take wonderful care of their families. All of them are homeschooling the children and teaching them how to play music. Most of them have learned or are learning to sing and perform in public. 

Our lovely niece, Angie (Noyes) Hillegass and her daughter, Jocelyn

One thing about our family, thanks to the legacy of my mother-in-law, Lucille Lupole, who passed away in 2008, is that they are almost all musical. So we had music played by various family members, including my husband. I NEVER get tired of hearing him play his guitar and sing! Especially that most of his music is written by him.

Larry Lupole doing what he does so well!

  Miaha was a happy little dog trying to get morsels of food from everyone...........even other parties at other areas of the park! She was running all day and at the end of the day, she was tuckered out and sleeping in her daddy's arms.

Miaha says, "I may be small, but I can eat a lot!"


Games are a big part of the reunion for the children! I have a sneaking suspicion that Pat and her daughters enjoy the games MORE than the children! Even kids from other parties in the park try to join in. They love the prizes!!!!

A beautiful day for the games!

Jill is pretty active for a mother of nine children!

Jill with her niece Jocelyn in the sack race

We were lucky that my stepson, Jeffrey Paul Lupole and his son, Nathan were able to join us for the day. We have not seen Jeffrey much because he is pretty busy with his new subcontracting business. Nathan did get into a little trouble by jumping into the river and his grandmother was not too happy about that. He occupied himself most of the day fishing and caught this crab who he made pose for this photo.

Nathan Lupole and his catch of the day!

And at the end of the day........................

Preston Hillegass had the right idea!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, June 25, 2010

Living Along The Finger Lakes Trail

Jeff, my son, taking a break in the Ludlow Creek State Forest

As you can see by any of my photos or if you drove by my home, we are completely surrounded by the state forest. Big old growth trees as well as smaller, younger ones. Our forest is logged pretty regular from time to time. Presently there are loggers working right up the road. They have a made a huge mess not only in the forest but along our road. Their heavy equipment and logging trucks are very destructive. The DEC will say, "they did a great job" while we look at it and say "Duh? What do you mean a great job???"

The Finger Lakes Trail runs in front and behind our homestead.

In the summer time our road is so much busier. Living out in the state forest brings people who want to be out in the country, out of the cities and small towns around us. People truck their horses out here to ride them. People on bicycles ramble by every now and then. People on four-wheelers are racing all over the roads and trails in the evenings............even though they are not supposed to be on the roads or state lands at all. Four-wheelers ruin the paths and scare our wildlife out here. They are just so noisy! 

Ludlow Creek dammed up for swimming

The creek is cold for swimming but sometimes when it is really hot out it feels good. I imagine if you are hiking and get hot, sweaty and dirty a dip in the cold creek could be quite refreshing! Our creek is one of those creeks that is flowing all year round. Beautiful clean sparkling water. I don't believe the members at Lake Ludlow can use motor boats so the water is fairly clean...........but I wouldn't want to drink it! Animals are all over the place and I imagine the water is not technically clean to drink.

Ludlow Creek as seen from the lean-to

The hikers on the Finger Lakes Trail seem to like the creek and the lean-to. The lean-to was built by the Finger Lakes Trail association for the hikers to sleep in overnight when they are traveling the trail. There has been times when someone stops there and camps for a few days. After all it is a free camping spot and no reservations needed! I can't say I blame them. It is very peaceful most of the time. The only dangers are when people come here. They are the ones who leave their litter behind. They are the ones who shoot off guns all hours of the night! Yikes! Yes, they do that quite often. And what if they are not aware that there is a house here? Or my horses out in the paddock? They are the ones who break into the hunting camps. They are the ones who start fires and do not put them out properly. They are the ones who make a lot of noise when they are out here in the peaceful forest. Sorry, but that is the truth. The human animal spinning his tires on the bridge or spinning doughnuts on the road. What makes them do that anyway?

All the comforts of home on the FLT!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Classic Fantasy

Today is supposed to be "Wordless Wednesday" in blogging circles. Hard for me to be wordless today or any other day. I am a writer and words are what I do!

I have been truly blessed lately, my husband has been practicing his music almost daily now. He sings and plays the guitar and writes songs. This coming Saturday is the Lupole Family Reunion's 30th reunion so we are planning some special activities for it. He is going to be playing a very special song that he wrote the music to. It is called  "Will I Find My Star."

My wonderful husband, Larry

His Uncle Bernard Lupole who was a very special man wrote poetry. He wrote poetry for years and we did not even know it. He passed away the day before his 92nd birthday in 2009. After he died, his wife, Aunt Lois gave us his book of poems for my husband to see if he could put music to one of them. I read those poems and they were just awesome! They were a reflection of Uncle Bernard's life dedicated to being a true witness to Jesus Christ. My husband picked up the book, and it fell open to this particular poem.  When he picked up the guitar...........the music just flowed!  He did not have to work on it at all. This will be the first time that Aunt Lois will hear the song. We can't wait as it is really good. I am really looking forward to her hearing it! I know she will love it. I know I do.

My husband has been writing songs for years. He was a musician in the army and played for the Special Services. Music has always been a part of his life. His mother's love of music influenced a whole family of musicians! When his family gets together it is not unusual for music to be played, from my husband, and his sister Pat, and her husband, Tim, to their four daughters and their families. Even the littlest children sing and play instruments. It feels like my mother-in-law is there with us every time! She'd be so proud.

So if you'd like to check out Larry Lupole's Music cd, Classic Fantasy, it is available all over the internet. It is a classic rock cd with all the songs being written and sung by Larry Lupole. He is a very talented song writer. It is not a country music cd, just because he is wearing a cowboy hat! He is presently working on new material and will be getting that recorded very soon.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vehicle Maintenance And Repairs

Our Dodge Dakota - Best Vehicle Ever!

Since we bought our Dodge Dakota truck in 2006 we haven't had to worry about repairs so much. This is the very best vehicle I have ever had in my whole life. It has never broke down since we got it. That is the honest to God truth! Not having to spend money on repairs has made it more affordable to have preventative maintenance done on it. One of the biggest obstacles is finding repair shops that you can trust. My friend's boyfriend was at a shop that was inspecting his truck and he was outside smoking. As he stood there in front of the window he watched the worker break something on his truck. He lost his temper with them. They threatened him that he could not drive his truck out of there due to whatever it was that they broke! He drove it out anyway and he did not pay for any repair by them either. It was a well known shop that has lots of customers. You'd think they would not have the time, or need to do such a thing to a customer. Needless to say, my friend works for NY state and she knew how to turn them in.

But what to do if you want to find a reputable place to get work done on your costly vehicles? There is a website called Repair Pal that does just that! You put your zip code or city in their search box to find repair shops in whatever area you live or work in. For instance say you need a  Houston auto repair shop. You would come to the Houston page and it lists every repair shop with a map. If your particular shop isn't in there (which they aren't all in their data base.......yet), you can add it. On that page it also tells a little something about Houston and traveling there. I didn't see that on my small town of Oxford, NY page, but I only had two pages of shops and Houston had 16+ pages.

It has a search engine for whatever kind of vehicle you have. Lets say you have an  Acura Integra. Repair Pal will have everything you need to know about your car, including comments from other owners. You can add your own comments good or bad. Lets you keep an online record of all your vehicle repairs and maintenance  for the future. It gives you a list of all the recalls for your vehicle, which I spent a good part of my day reading. This is a very handy thing to have such easy access to! There is also a list of common problems which gives you pertinent information for your vehicle.

The encyclopedia is what got my attention! I like this feature a lot. You can look up what might be wrong with your vehicle and it gives you ideas of what to do or how to prevent it from happening again. If you are considering getting an oil change, it explains to you the basis of the oil change and what you need to do.  Also the  common misdiagnose feature explains facts that could be mistaken for other things faulty. It will also give you estimates of what the repair you are looking at may run. They of course, can not tell you exactly the cost, but a ball park figure.

I know we always get notices from the dealer we bought our truck from telling us we need a tune-up. On Repair Pal they explain the mystery of the tune-up to me! It also explains details about tune-ups and how they have changed over the years due to the changes in the automotive industry. My father was an automobile mechanic for many years and he worked in various dealerships. Of course, the vehicles kept changing becoming safer and now more environmentally friendly. I know most people do not understand the simplest most basic things their vehicles need or how they operate. Turn the key on and that is about the extent of many people's knowledge. Now with Repair Pal you now have an option when looking for repair shops or information. It is just a click away!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Furniture On The Homestead

Furniture has changed considerably in recent years. It is sleek, has easy lines and is easy to care for. The differences over the years becomes obvious. People today do not have the time or want to spend the time polishing and caring for their furniture. This is when you start looking for better quality furniture and home design accessories for the best price. Price does not have to be the lowest................. just fairly priced for what you are purchasing.

That is what made me start researching furniture on the internet. I am in the middle of remodeling my home and I want to buy all new furniture in the very near future as we complete the remodeling process. One of the biggest names in furniture is Candice Olson Furniture so I had to research it. The first thing I learned is that Candice Olson is a Canadian designer who is the hostess of the HGTV television shows. So I went to her shows on the internet and  learned a lot about her. Her designs are awesome and I know that her furniture is what I want in my own home.

As we remodel our home, we want to show off the mix of old fashioned with new technology. I want to to do the same with the furniture. I do not necessarily love ultra modern styles, but when you combine a piece or two of it with some antiques..........the blending of that is awesome. Candice Olson Furniture not only offers furniture but lighting and rugs among other accessories. So you can add some of those with the antique pieces you have in your home.

Our home is powered exclusively with solar panels and I like showing the technical side of our life off. From the solar panels on our barn roof to our home office, where I run my business from the laptop computers. My home and lifestyle is not old fashioned at all as most people tried to imply when they knew we lived off-the-grid. Off-the-grid does not mean that you don't have electricity, it means that you are independent from the utility companies and provide your own power. So an expression of that high tech can be the incredible Candice Olson Furniture that will reflect that part of our lifestyle in the design of our personal living space.

As I remodel our house I take into account things that will affect the furnishings I buy. Such as the fact that we have pets that are in the house. I need to have furniture that pet hair won't stick to very much. I also need walls that are easy to wash or wipe down as we heat and cook with wood. So those are things I will be looking for. You can have a rural, country look in your home but still have an elegant feel to your house. I think after viewing several other furniture manufacturers I find that Candice Olson Furniture will fit into our design the best of all.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

A Digital Camera Is Essential For Me

The Finger Lakes lean-to along the trail.

Peaceful Forest Homestead is situated in the middle of the Finger Lakes Trail, as it runs through the Ludlow Creek State Forest, and alongside Ludlow Creek. When we moved here eleven years ago, our road was hardly used. We were surprised to see more than two or three cars a day go by our house. Back then I had a camera that used regular film and you had to take it to the store to be developed. You never knew if your film turned out or not until you took it in. How many rolls of film did you have that the pictures did not turn out? Or they were just not good quality photos? Now, that is a thing of the past.

I love these new digital cameras! You can do so much with a good quality camera now. So many to choose from these days. How about the new Nikon camera? What is nice about these is the fact that they come in a variety of styles and options........and might I add, prices? Price is very important in these times. You want the most for your money and buying a name brand camera would be a smart move. I find that if you spend money on something that does not have a good reputation or an unknown you are taking a chance. Even if you spend less, in the long run it can end up costing you much more.

Taking pictures now has become more widespread than ever before. Since people upload photos onto Facebook, myspace, utube, blogs and what have you, owning a nice quality Nikon camera that you can carry with you becomes the norm. Just stick it in your purse or briefcase or even your pocket and you are ready to go.  I know for myself, I always carry my camera with me. It is fun to load your photos onto your blogs or facebook. I just loaded a bunch yesterday of a walk down along the trail onto facebook.

A Nikon Camera gives you the choice of  options and prices so there is sure to be one that you can afford or what you are looking for. I know for me that the camera has become essential for my computer work. I have two websites as well as my blogs and I need to be able to take excellent quality photos for all. Using the photo software you can change your photos so a photo that may not look so hot on the camera looks fantastic when you put it in your computer. I fine tune them to make them stand out. It addresses my creative side I guess.

So research the various well known brands of digital cameras and read some reviews. Know what you want before you purchase. Make an educated choice on a good camera and spend your money wisely. Have fun with the camera once you get it. Don't wait for a special occasion to learn to use it. Use it as soon as you get it and explore all the available options on it. Have fun!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. My Father is 91 years old. He is a very good 91 years old. Very busy as he has always been. He is a diabetic but takes care of his health so seems to be doing pretty good. So good in fact, that recently he was back up on the roof of his house fixing the leaks! Not good for a 91 year old! I just want to share my memories of him today.

Daddy wearing his orange cap!  2010

Kathy, Mom, Daddy & Mickey Dran

Daddy & Kathy (me), 1954, Rocky Mountains

Hazel and Michael Dran 1942, Orlando, FL

Hazel  and Michael Dran, 1979, Endicott, NY

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole