Archive for the ‘Field Trips’ Category

California vacation. Pebble Beach. Leisurely drive. Fog. Ocean. Peaceful.

The Lone Cypress


There’s a nature trail not too far from our house that we sometimes walk in winter. The trail is heavily used in the other three seasons, but is much quieter in winter when folks tend to hole up at home or do laps around the mall. But nothing beats getting fresh air, and a little dose of sun should it appear for a moment or two.


What’s great about the trail in winter is that you can see who’s been out and about…human, goose…all are fans of the trail.


As are the beavers, apparently. Those are some SHARP teeth.


So get out of the malls and stores. Get out of your warm home. Take a walk and see the REAL sights.


There really ARE a lot of different ways to illustrate waiting. Here are a few from my collection…


Waiting for the mail


Waiting to watch the Boilermaker Road Race


Waiting for class to get out


Waiting for our train ride


Waiting for summer

No one said your family has to be 100% human, right?


Charlie, Scout, and Boo

Yes, it’s a church. On an island. In a pond. And not just any church, but the world’s SMALLEST church. JUST big enough for a bride, groom, and a minister. The wedding party? Well, they have to wait on shore and wonder how the vows are going.

How wonderful.

Cross Island Chapel, Oneida, NY


Sooo…last Sunday Fred and I spydered our way to Cooperstown for the 3rd annual Hall of Fame Classic baseball game, which featured “vintage” players like Goose Gossage, Jim Rice, Phil Niekro, and Bill Lee (aka The Spaceman). The day was gorgeously sunny and warm from start to finish. Everything ran like clockwork. The parade started at the stroke of noon, the home run derby at the stroke of one, and the actual game at two on the dot.

So while I was happy about the cooperative weather (a rarity, lately) and the chance for a short road trip, I was MOST excited about the giveaway at Doubleday Field. As each guest entered the stands, they were given a program and a free Hall of Fame themed Pencil Shield. Office products! Adrenaline rush! (Who needs baseball?!)

The Pencil Shield consists of a golf-size pencil capped by a plastic “extender” which also houses an eraser. When capped, the pencil can be carried in your pocket without fear of pencil pokeage, and the sharp point is protected. The plastic sheath ALSO serves to extend the short pencil (or any short pencil you have around the house) into a longer, easy to hold pencil. Soooo…less pencil waste! (Usually once a pencil is sharpened to a nub, it has to be tossed. Not so anymore.) There’s also a pocket clip AND a cool looking red and white striped eraser.

We each received a complimentary pencil and then I found one that had been abandoned on the bleachers. (Who would do such a thing?) Score!

Who won the game? Who knows? I was too busy admiring my new pencils. Yes, I have issues.

Want to know more? Check out the Pencil Shield website:

Spring HD

Posted: May 5, 2011 in Field Trips, Walks


I’m not a gardener, but the world is. After spending so many months steeped in grey and ice and slop, I can’t get enough of the colors of spring. Today’s it’s raining, but who cares? When it stops, the greens will be greener and the pinks will be pinker.

Spring HD. Spring 3-D. Who needs technology?

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap

Posted: November 13, 2010 in Field Trips, Necessities


For the past two summers, we’ve borrowed my cousin’s camp in the Adirondacks, and spent a handful of blissful August days hiking, walking, reading, and lounging. There is no agenda. There is no cell service. There is no cable. In these few days, the knots in my scrunched up shoulders slowly unkink, and my mind and body reset. I look forward to these days all year.

Along with borrowing Todd’s camp, we’ve also borrowed a little of his Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. (Is it still borrowing when you don’t give it back?) We bring our own mini bottles of hotel shampoo, but never use those, so drawn are we to that bottle with the blue label and all that writing. This stuff is, I warn you, oddly watery, but you only need a tiny bit to lather up its pepperminty goodness. Hair and body feel all zingy with mint when you’re done.

The label claims that this minty concoction can be used for 18 things, including teeth brushing. Castile soap? On my toothbrush? Yeah, no.

As you can see, this label has a lot to say, but since I never wear my glasses in the shower, it’s all kind of a blur. What I DO know is that it’s a Fair Trade product, it lasts FOREVER, and it’s peppermintylicious.

On our way home from camp this year, we bought our own bottle. And it’s still going strong.


Posted: September 9, 2010 in Field Trips

A few years ago, we took a bus trip to NYC, and raced all over the city, during a long humid October day, trying to see a bit of everything. How impossible. Despite the marathon, we spent a large chunk of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art amazed at room after room of armor, photos of Katrina’s ruins, impressionists, religious artifacts, and modern stuff, all viewed in a jumbled dash through gallery after gallery after gallery.

There were crowds, of course. And noise. But all of that fell away when I saw this painting…from a distance. From the other room. Then, hush.

In a painting that measures nine feet high and wide, Joan is simply breathtaking. Her soiled arm reaches from the canvas. You can feel the coarseness of her vest. And those eyes. My god, those eyes.

When Karen and I traveled around Germany back in the 80’s, we ate countless “eine halb Henchen” as it seemed to be on every menu and who doesn’t love a half-chicken and fries? Plus, we learned how to order it in fairly clear German, so why veer off into unfamiliar territory? (Who wants to act out their menu selection?) Soft-boiled eggs (daily breakfast offering) and the chicken halves became the culinary mainstays of that vacation. We were, it seems, largely dependent on poultry for our daily sustenance. And lukewarm Coke.

SO…whenever I eat that meal, its German name never fails to pop into my head. Like today, when we drove down to Brooks’ BBQ for that very dinner. It’s BBQ goodness with fresh cut fries. It’s cheap. It’s a meal I love.


The Brooks’ sign…chef chasing chicken with hatchet. They don’t sugar-coat the process.


Again…the chicken faces its fate. Talk about rubbing your nose (beak) in it!


Busy place. We ate at the counter because there was immediate seating. And I kind of like getting a front row view of the whole operation. (Despite the photo, the building isn’t tilted, but apparently I am.)


The money shot. All this plus bread and salad bar for $8.29. (Fred gets my spiced apple ring. Not a fan. But everything else was DELISH.)