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

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Vintage Home Decor From Your Attic

Welcome to kat's Studio!

Over the years, I had gotten rid of most of my really good furniture. When I moved to Peaceful Forest, there was not room for most of my stuff. Most of the good pieces, such as the bed was taken upstairs and changes had been made in the door to the upstairs, so I don't believe you can get it out without taking the doorway above the door apart. Besides it is a very large queen size bed and I have not slept in it for many years now. It was not something I chose to take, even if I could have. kat's Studio is only about 338 square feet. I thought with it being so small, it was best to stick to my small single bed. I chose not to have a couch, which I would have had to buy or a recliner, which I thought I may need. My feet had been swelling up often and I always felt if I had a recliner, I could have put them up comfortably. I never was able to buy one and figured I would buy one here. Well after I had my air conditioner installed, my feet have not swelled up even once! Not even when riding in a car, though I am able to have air conditioning on then too. 

Daddy's bookcase empty

I figured I would take what I would need. I had two bookcases that are not really worth anything to anyone but me. My father made them to put his books in some years back. They are nothing special. Made from scrap lumber and then painted with the same cheap paint he used for the outside of his trailer and the addition, the picnic table and outside chairs. He had actually made quite a few things this way and we had brought them to our house after he passed away in 2012. I could not bring them all here. I had a need for the bookcases though. Once I got them here, I found their permanent space immediately. Like I said they are not special or even made of good wood and finished. But for my Boho Chic apartment decor, they fit perfectly. The shelves being wide enough to even put items behind the books if needed. Since I bought a file cabinet, I have not needed to do that. Everything I had put behind the books is now in the file cabinet, which was mainly office supplies.

When I left my house, I left behind a good share of my cast iron pans and skillets. I never had any place to keep them there. If you displayed them on an open shelf or hung them like many people do, they would have had dust from wood stoves, hay from animal work and flies from country living, stuck to the surface (though I have a had few flies in my apartment, but just one at a time). So I only used a couple and kept them in the oven and the rest in a huge Rubbermaid container. Hardly ever used them. So when I moved, I thought to myself, what ones do I really need? Which ones will I actually use? No sense wasting the space on ones that will never be used. I left the rest of them for my husband to use. Maybe he will and maybe he won't. He will eventually be with another woman who will look in there and think she has hit the lottery! The fact is that I did not need that many, so I took nine pieces that I could not part with. I had to find a good place to store them and decided that the bookcase is not far from the kitchen and I always wanted to have them on display, but to be able to use them too. Here I can!

I found I could also display the flag I was presented at my father's funeral. I had kept it in a dresser drawer but now I could display and it wouldn't get dusty and dirty. So I put that on top of the bookcase behind the cast iron pieces. In fact, the day the electricians were here changing my circuit breaker box to a new upgraded one, one of them was a disabled veteran himself asked about the folded flag (young too, he was injured in an explosion in Malaysia). I told him about my father. I was also able to put my own Barbie dolls on display. Actually one is Midge, not Barbie. I sold my Barbie and some others I had on eBay. I have a second fashion doll, Polly, who is one of the first dolls of that type that I got as a child for Christmas. The clothes I have for them were all made by my mother, except for their originals that they came with and I still have. Every now and then I change their clothing so they look different. 

Meaningful items from your past, your beloved family members or places you have visited become part of the Bohemian Chic decor. It is a challenge I am enjoying by incorporating those items into my apartment. Instead of stuck in a drawer or trunk somewhere, I am using it or displaying it every day. Vintage items from my past now have become every day home decor that I can look at and have my memories be a part of my every day life. Not stuck packed away to be opened after I am dead and gone and donated to the thrift store or taken to the landfill. Nope, not my treasures from my life! 

Most of my furnishings are things I already had or else I have bought secondhand. A few, like my curtains and tablecloth, I bought new on eBay. I love thrift store shopping and yard sales so I will always be adding to and changing my decor. It is fun and I love doing it!  As I put my studio together, it has  become my comfortable cozy home. I love it! 

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

Saturday, July 07, 2018

New LIfe

So I walked out the door of misery
for good it seems, I filled my life with
happy colors and bright things,
every day I look around in wonder,
smiling like I never will stop.
Hoping I won’t wake up,
if this is a dream, indeed, if so,
it is the dream of my life. Everything
I hoped and prayed for and even more.
No more tears on my pillow,
no more sobbing quietly,
instead I am laughing so hard,
and finding life is a dream.
A dream of fun and good times,
making up for my missed years.

Watching the bubbles from under the water,
tossing some crumbs to feed the fish.
Little things that seem boring to some,
are big deals to someone like me.
Having a picnic in a park with no people,
hearing the birds sing, watching them fly
back and forth as I thought I’d never see again.
Instead I hear them from my windows just like
before, thinking certain things were lost that I would miss,
are not gone after all. Just like me, they are in a different place,
but still the same. It makes me feel connected somehow,
to the world beyond. Believing I could only stay the same,
but happiness has prevailed. I am now a whole happy
woman, once again. Feeling no more sadness, no more misery,
best of all, no more tears.

I wake up every morning with a feeling that makes me shine,
a feeling that my day will be happy and fun, I will be free.
Free to do what I want and not have a chore filled day to dread,
to wish away, to wonder why me and what others are doing.
Instead, I am one of those, feeling joy in my heart, working at
my own pace, doing what I choose to do with my day.
Not having rules set down before me, to anger me through out
my day. To have food to eat, whatever I choose. To cook or not.
Nobody making me sad or cry. Just me and my rabbit enjoying our day.
I almost allowed the bad times to follow me to my new life,
but instead my head and heart overruled that influence.
I came to my senses quickly and God must have overcome
in this instance. Thankful that He did, now that I see the light,
and am focused on a new life and my new self.

Happiness is there for everyone to taste and feel,
it is there just for the taking, but not everyone does.
You can be lost forever it seems, and some never will search,
sometimes you need a friend to help you find it or talk it over.
Once my eyes were opened, I was determined to make the move,
determined to start my new life. At my age, I had to hurry, or felt
my life would just waste away. Like a leaf in the fall on the ground,
brown and stiff, blowing in the wind……….till it was no more.
Instead I feel like a young bud on a plant, just opening up,
seeing the world for the first time, though I existed long before,
I was blinded by a mask. I would see what others were doing,
but my life was empty and not like their lives at all. I felt I was watching
from behind a thick screen, but no one could hear me screaming for help.
No one could see my tears. Then one day, someone did.

New life

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

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Bacon Broccoli Cauliflower Salad With Cheese

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

In my apartment building, every month there is a potluck dinner put on by the residents who live here. We have a residents' lounge which is a big room for parties, dinners, whatever you need it for. I was excited to go because I had just moved in the month before and hadn't met a lot of the other people who live here. Well it turned out to be really nice. We laughed most of the time and the food was incredible. I loved meeting everyone and I felt included in their resident circle immediately.

Bacon adds flavor!

When I started figuring out what to bring to the potluck dinner, I searched for a cold salad type of dish.  That would also have to be a low carb one. I remembered how much I had always loved those cold broccoli salads. So I found some recipes for it and found some that were Ketogenic ones. I didn't actually use any particular recipe to make it. I had other ideas. The one thing I needed to know was if I could use frozen broccoli in it because the fresh was pretty expensive in the store and the frozen would be so much easier too. I did not want it to be a soggy salad though.

Broccoli immersed in ice water

I found information online, not exactly a recipe, but instructions on how to cook frozen vegetables to add them to a cold dish, such as a salad, without becoming soggy. I cooked a bag of frozen broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain it from the hot water and immediately immerse it into cold ice water. Then drain it again. You can use fresh, this is not really a recipe, but just the way I did it.

Frozen cauliflower cooking for 2 minutes

I did the same thing with the frozen cauliflower, cook it, drained the hot water from it and then immersed it immediately into ice cold water. That stops the cooking process. I drained it again and while that was draining I chopped up an onion to add to it. Next I shredded about 8 ounces of Cheddar cheese. As I said, I had no recipe. I just put in whatever I thought would make it taste good. And it did! I heard someone saying, "This broccoli salad is really good!" A woman sitting near me said it was a completely different recipe than the one she makes. I was glad to hear that, as I hate doing anything the same as anyone else! I usually tweak my recipes to suit me and my taste or whoever I am cooking for.

Broccoli, cauliflower and onion mixed together.

Instead of making a dressing for it, I used ranch dressing. I think you can use whatever kind of salad dressing you have or want to make. I mixed it into the broccoli, cauliflower and onion real good. Then added the bacon, the shredded (I shredded it myself, as I do not think the ones that are bought that way have much taste to them) Cheddar cheese and more ranch dressing. I let it set in the refrigerator for about five hours till the dinner. It was cold when I took it out and mixed it up again and added more ranch dressing to it. It tasted really good.


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