For a change the weather people were not exaggerating! As you can see it is about as deep as my hip, so more then 2 feet, maybe close to 3 feet. And technically we are still getting some light snow coming down at the moment.
Damon and I were up around 5am to start shoveling out and snow-blow the drive. We had a big assist from our neighbor Terry who was also already out by 5am and he came over with his bigger snowblower to help us out.
Heading back out now to shovel out the critter feeding areas - hope all the birds and squirrels are doing OK out there!
For Christmas I asked for Damon and I to go to King Arthur Flour in Vermont and take classes at their baking school. So on Jan. 4th and 5th we went and took a couple of classes. The first day was Cinnamon rolls and Sticky buns using two different dough making techniques. The first to photos here are Damon and I next to our class creations.
The second day was Croissants. The teaching method was unique and maximized the 4-hour class to let you participate in all the steps in what is typically a 2 or 3 day process. The result is that when you leave the class you have finished pastries (mine are in picture #3 - the square one has chocolate!) as well as to have two sections of dough to take home with you - one at the beginning of the process and one that you have already done the folding to.
As we also got gift cards for King Arthur Flour we did get to do some shopping. We waited till after our first class to get some ideas on what we might want. We did get quite a bit. Damon got a bread box so we will have a place to store bread when he makes it. We also got yeast and a container to store it, a new mixing bowl, a French rolling pin (got to practice in class with these), some measuring equipment, some flavoring, and some decorative sugar sprinkles. We were also given a couple of bags of the new KAF sprouted wheat flour.
You get to take a lot of baked goods home after taking classes so here is our pile of our results along with our class folders. Of course not including the Croissant doughs that went straight into the freezer
So this is the old porch door. As you can see the bottom was starting to deteriorate due to weather. The gutters would drip a lot of water onto the porch and splash the door. We put in an additional downspout before the porch and that should help address that issue. So we went ahead and started to make a replacement door which hopefully will not have the same problems.
And then here is the new door. We got a solid-core door and cut it to size and cut out the section for the glass. We custom ordered the glass and inserted it using trim and glass glazing. We still need to attach the kick plate we bought but otherwise it is done and working!
Also in the old and new department, I finally got fed up with the locks, and went and got a haircut. So here are the before and after pictures. It now takes no time at all to do my hair.
At the fall semester campus faculty welcome meeting on Aug. 26, 2016 I officially received my State University of New York Chancellors' Award for Excellence in Librarianship. I got a certificate from the Chancellor, and from the Plattsburgh College Council and then of course the medallion (aka 'the bling'). the medallion is to be worn when wearing our regalia - so basically that means I will wear it at the graduation ceremonies. It is actually pretty heavy, at least a pound or two.
Also at the end of August the landscapers showed up and did the landscaping around the gazebo. I think we have had the gazebo for about 6 years and had not done anything to set it off. So now it looks more like a feature in the yard, and not like we just plunked down the gazebo.
Also pictured is the new shrub I bought in the spring. As you can see here is has light pink flowers in late summer. It is planted to the east of our front porch. It is still pretty small, but it should get to be a few feet tall eventually.
The summer is just zipping by. Its been a pretty good summer weather-wise. This is likely the earliest (mid-July) that I have had ripe cherry tomatoes. They are ripening a few, every few days. The deer did eat the sunflower, as per usual, but I left the stalk and kept watering it and it now has a few small buds and leaves again.
The flower boxes are doing pretty well too. In the spring I planted a new shrub, a Clethra Ruby Spice. It is doing well and growing steadily, but isn't flowering yet, so I will wait to take a photo once it blooms.
My birthday was in July and Damon got me Roses and chocolates. The roses are pictured below. The lasted for almost 2 weeks fresh. I am now drying them.
Damon has been busy, during his July vacation he made pork jerky, bottle some home brewed beer and made cheese.
I have been hiking with a friend this summer. We did Silver Lake Mountain and then Poke-a-Moonshine. There is a photo of me near the top of Poke-a-Moonshine. We hare hoping to get at least one more mountain in before the fall semester starts.
Wildlife is plentiful in the yard. We were visited by a baby groundhog for a few weeks and then in the last week of July this turtle wandered through the yard. It strolled between the fence and the gazebo, and then hung a left and headed for the brook. It is the first time I have seen a turtle in the yard, let alone on of this size.
I really got out of the habit of posting here on the blog. So here is another summary post covering several months. While temperature-wise the winter was mild, it did mean we had a lot of melting and re-freezing so what you see here is the ice rink that was the side yard for all of Feb. The ice was so smooth that even with yak-traks, it was difficult not to slip and slide while out feeding the squirrels and birds.
In the fall I did attend the Wadhams quilt retreat and got the top of this quilt done for Damon's new niece who was due in Feb. I was able to drop it off in Toledo when I visited in January. This uses some of the fabric that was hand-died with friends on the shore of Lake Champlain.
I have also been finishing up some community service UFOs. First is the fish quilt, this is made from the left over fabric from a quilt I made for someone else.
The tulip quilt was originally meant to be a table cloth for our round table, but once we got grandma's dinning room set, we don't really use the round table, so it was re-fashioned into a quilt.