No Vacancies

It is a small sacrifice for living in such a beautiful part of the country.

As a kid I  remember asking my parents what “No Vacancy” meant and they told me that it meant that there were no rooms available to rent. Well, we are close to putting up a “No Vacancy” sign here ourselves.  Lisa ( a friend of Natalie’s) form Lehi, UT and and her sister Laurie came to stay with us and we enjoyed their visit.

Vines on Tank with iPhone editing

By the way, the above picture is that vine covered tank, shot with my iPhone, and then edited with various iPhone Apps.

Rainy Day with Bright Colors

Rain is really great at bringing out the colors.  Check this out…

Early Fall Colors After a Rain
Early Fall Colors After a Rain

My guess is, that is probably poison ivy growing on those trees, but who cares.  Look how pretty it makes the road side look.  This is on SR 31 just after leaving Macedon.

We got a good soaking today.  Steady, but nothing really hard.  Enough to get you wet going from your car to the store, but Wegman’s has grocery loading service for those who want to stay dry.  (Okay, you still have to make it from the store to your car come to think about it.  You just don’t need to stand in the rain unloading your cart.)

Elizabethe and I cleaned up the basement a little.  PPA Super Monday is coming in about a month and we better have the classroom all prepared.

Triple-chocolate Brownies

Imagine cheese cake so rich you can’t handle seconds.

I couldn’t resist at WalMart the other day.  Chocolate chips were on sale so I bought a bag of milk, semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips.  Well, today, I broke down and made brownies and put all three types in as well as walnuts.

Earlier in the day…

I left for church early so I could practice the organ.  When I was a kid I called them “oregons”, and now I’m the ward organist.  Go figure.  It turns out Kathy Hill was prepared to play today so I relinquished the opportunity to her.

All of the young sister missionaries sang, “Lord I Would Follow Thee”.  These young missionaries are amazing.  Again, they proved it with their singing.

After church, I cooked up some green beans, hamburger, oyster sauce and served it over steamed rice.  The elders had brought home a huge box of green beans.  Elder Flynn was saying there’s a whole 80 acres of them that are going to get plowed under.  Elizabethe suggested the bring home more and she’d blanch and freeze them.

Next, Chris Loren and I went home teaching at the Nichols’.  They live on Route 21 not far from the Palmyra Inn.  I gathered from the visit that the Nichols and the Lorens are good friends.

Well, I shouldn’t be surprised that those brownies went so quickly.   Hey, see what you have to look forward to when you come stay at the Beckwith Mansion.  Just wait until I fix a “gooey cake”.  (Imagine cheese cake so rich you can’t handle seconds.  Imagine 1/2 pound butter, 1/2 pound cream cheese, and much more.)

Triple-chocolate Brownies
Triple-chocolate Brownies

Early Morning Portrait Session

It feels like it has been two days worth of work crammed into one.

I had an 8 a.m. portrait session today.  The Hamblin Family.  They have 3 adult children, and two of them had their spouses.  We met at the Smith Farm for some photos.

We took some photos with the grove in the background, and in and around the farm.  (I don’t feel comfortable taking portraits in the grove.  To me, the grove is  a sacred place.  I have no problem taking photos in the grove, but the directing and posing people and the amount of talking necessary to do a family shoot in the grove, to me, is a distraction from the reverence of the grove.) 

Hamblin Family
Hamblin Family

It was a very beautiful, crisp, fall morning.  I loved it.  So, I took a walk through the grove and stopped at my favorite place.  Sat for a while and pondered the events that  took place there.

Palmyra Temple - Early Fall 2009
Palmyra Temple – Early Fall 2009

Using my iPhone, I pulled it out and got a GPS reading on where in the grove I was.  I found it very interesting that I was directly behind the temple (see above photo) .  Now, I could not tell that I was, because of the trees, but with the GPS screen in photo mode, I could see the temple and exactly where I was in relationship to it.  Very cool.

Even in the fall, flowers in are in bloom here…

Chicory Flowers
Arrow-Leaved Aster

I came home and worked on the studio and office.  I had to rebuild a threshold for one of the office doors.  Talk about a lot of work.  Discovered carpenter ants in the old threshold.  (I’m sure that contributed to its weakening.)  The other two thresholds were scraped, and patched and puttied and painted.  They look quite nice now.

The floor had a crack that ran the full length of the room.  I patched it.  Patched and painted the doors.  And, a lot of small little things that needed to be patched or touched up.

Finally, around 3pm I decided it was time to get some client work done.  And now, time to do my blogs.

What a day.  It feels like it has been two days worth of work crammed into one.

A Day for Phone Calls

I heard from an old friend, Jared Budge, today.  Actually, Jared was one of my Boy Scouts the first time I was Scoutmaster.  I later got re-acquainted with Jared when he was all grown up and we used to mountain bike ride.  Jared called to tell me of a company that might distribute my LDS oriented work.

I got another call from a board member for PPSNYS regarding my speaking at their conference, and other workshop and speaking opportunities.  We talked about possibilities and opportunities.

This was on top of a normal work day.

I threw some lentils in the crock pot and made a soup.  It was more like chili made with lentils.  Elizabethe liked it, but the missionaries loved it.  I  think we had about one cup left over.

Elizabethe and I rented a Red Box movie – It was something like Race to Witch Mountain – pretty lame and corny.

Something to Watch

You can’t imaging how beautiful the Sacred Grove is in the fall.

 I found an old abandoned building with woodbine growing all over a tank.  I’m going to attempt to capture images of it as fall sets in.  Keep watching my blog for the next few weeks so you can watch the change.

Tank on the 3rd Day of Fall
Tank on the 3rd Day of Fall

I have noticed the maple trees have some of the most dramatic color.  Some trees go yellow, others go brown, but the maple tree has all the colors.  Here is a leaf in the process of changing…

Maple Leaf - 3rd Day of Fall
Maple Leaf – 3rd Day of Fall

If you have not visited Palmyra in the fall, you need to do it.  Sure, if you are LDS, or have an interest in seeing the Hill Cumorah Pageant, you’ll want to be here for the summer.  But, if you’ve seen the pageant, and want to see some spectacular sights, come in the fall.


You can’t imaging how beautiful the Sacred Grove is in the fall.  The view from Hill Cumorah is breathtaking.  To drive around these rolling hills, you will be amazed at the the beauty.  It is truly a wonderful place to be.

Of course, every season here is beautiful.  That was one of the reasons we moved here.  Elizabethe wanted lots of trees, and we’ve got them here.

I think people are afraid to visit in the winter.  But, our winters are not nearly as bad as we used to get in Pocatello, Idaho, or Provo or Salt Lake City, Utah.  It is a different kind of cold, but much less snow, and the snow doesn’t stick around as long.  (I know, someone will disagree with me, but we’ve been here for 2 winters so far, and visited two different times the winter before that.  Both visits were during “big” snow storms.)

I am looking forward to the fall, and the winter that follows.  This place is a place of four seasons and each one is a gem in itself.

Leaves Turning Quickly

Isn’t it amazing how nature knows when fall starts.

Isn’t it amazing how nature knows when fall starts?  Here it is the second day of fall, and the colors of the leaves are noticeably different than they were yesterday.  I’m sorry to say that I was not able to get any pictures today due to a full schedule, but check back frequently this month for some spectacular images.

Here’s a pic from yesterday on the hill…

Moroni Monument
Moroni Monument

First Day of Autumn

Today is the anniversary of Joseph Smith receiving the gold plates.

I had to go to the Social Security Office today to apply to replace my card.   What a disorganized system.  I find it sad that something that started out to be a way for people to save for retirement has turned into a form of national welfare.  No wonder the program is going broke.  It took over 1 hour just to drop off my application and show my ID.  That “administration,” needs a lesson or two in queueing theory.  It will all be too soon if I have to return to that office.  (This is a prime example of why you do NOT want government taking over the medical industry.)

I’ve been watching the leaves to see when they start to turn colors.  Today, I noticed a dramatic change over yesterday.  Many maple trees have a few red leaves.  My elm tree has yellow leaves and they are dropping.  My burning bush is red on top.  It’s exciting to see the changes.  Summer is over.

Today is the anniversary of Joseph Smith receiving the gold plates.  It was just past midnight on the morning of September 22nd, 1827, that Moroni allowed Joseph to remove the plates and other artifacts from the stone box where they lay hid for over 1400 years.

Hill Cumorah
Hill Cumorah

I took the trail (see photo above) to the top.  I thought about how Joseph was so familiar with the hill that when Moroni described the place, Joseph knew right where it was.  He must have spent time logging the hill with his father, or playing up here.

I met the Luedtke family from Southern California.  I also met a couple from Bountiful, Utah.  The Luedtke’s asked me to take a photo of their family, which I happily obliged.


Luedtke Family
Luedtke Family

Driest I’ve Seen the Place

I think this is the driest I’ve seen this area.  We haven’t had a lot of rain, and portions of the lawn are starting to turn brown and dry.  But, that’s supposed to change starting tonight.  Ah, yes.  More rain.  I love it.

We had dinner at Happiness Garden.  While I was there I checked out the door Jim put in.  He did an excellent job.  It looks very nice. 

As this is the last day of summer, I bid it farewell.  The days will now be shorter than the nights, and less sunlight will be the trees will begin to turn gold, orange, red and crimson.  I will take pictures.

Traffic Re-routing

I just hope I don’t fat-finger too many notes when I play.

Canaltown Days were going on today, but I don’t participate in those activities on Sundays.  So, on the way home from church, they had Stafford road blocked off.  We drove a block over, and came down to Main Street, and it was blocked off too.

Now, keep in mind that the parade was yesterday.

We asked the office if we could get through since we only lived a block down the road.  Instead, he wanted us to go east and come on to main heading the other direction.

We did as directed, only to find they were not using that section of Main Street for anything.  Very strange.

Chris Lauren and I did some of our home teaching today.  (In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, families are visited each month by two priesthood holders.  The purpose of the visit is to check on the welfare of the family and to instruct them.)  We have 3 families – the Green’s, the Scott’s and the Nichols’.  We visited the Green’s and the Scott’s.

Being new to these families, we spent the time getting to know them.  The Green’s are both from this area.  Bro. Scott is from Southern California, and his wife is from the Buffalo Area.  Both families are delightful and it is going to be fun home teaching them.  

At church I was sustained as the ward organist.  This is in addition to being the Primary Pianist.  There is nothing like using the tallents God has given you.  It is rewarding and fulfilling.  I just hope I don’t fat-finger too many notes when I play.