Murphy is all decked out for the day!
Within seconds of Mark and his lovely assistant (who just happens to be our daughter!) peeking under the accelerator pedal in the truck, the dilemma of the secret code “reduced engine power” became obvious! There were broken wires! Mark had explained to me that there are actually a pair of these devices and when one malfunctions, the error code pops up in the dash. Redundancy. Mark always talks about it and it is used a good deal with mechanical gizmos and gadgetry.
So, the good news is that the truck is now parked in the driveway, awaiting a new part that Mark has ordered to replace the broken part. Thankfully, this one looks like a relatively easy fix compared to others!
In other news, it is snowing! We have been snowless for so many days, it seems almost strange to see white clinging to everything once again! Oh, and I so am not complaining!!!
Not very much has happened since my last post. The day I wrote that, Mark received an email from a senator advising constituents to stay at home as the weather was so bitterly cold. There were all kinds of warnings and advisories on weather sites. It really was very cold and truth be told, people and animals cold easily lose their lives in such weather. Mark and I did a sanity check and headed out the door that evening. Seeing our friends was of great value and seeing as our car is relatively new and running great, there seemed to be little danger. We had a wonderful time!
Since then, we had a very strange incident in our not so new pickup truck! We went to Canandaigua last week and after parking the truck at one of our stops, when Mark restarted it, a message came up on the dash stating “Reduced engine power”. That was new to us! We had some more errands, so Mark left the parking lot only to discover that our usually spunky truck wasn’t! He pressed down on the accelerator and the truck acted sluggish. We could drive around Canandaigua fairly easily as there are few steep roads and the truck seemed to do well as long as it could glide along.
When we finally completed our list of tasks, Mark thought a bit to try to discover the road with the least incline to go home. We settled on a route and found ourselves traveling well, cruising at some points, to 50 miles per hour. Mark had chosen route 64 to head home and as we turned off route 5 &20, we saw a definite incline! The truck slowed down….and slowed down some more….until we were peaking out at about 20 miles per hour. Mark had the flashers on and people zipped past us as the truck seemingly struggled up the road. Once we reached the top of the incline. we once again glided down with ease. And some speed!
We found ourselves feeling rather like sitting ducks just a couple of times more, then the big test was ahead of us. Yes, we had successfully reached the bottom of “our” road. As Mark briskly turned onto the road, we could feel the truck slowing down. We began at about 10 miles per hour and as the road increased in steepness, the truck slowed down further and further. I sat, praying, asking that the angels push that truck up the rest of the way. By the time we (thankfully) reached the driveway, the truck was topping out at about 2 miles per hour. The now overworked vehicle seemed to sprint up the driveway (at 10 miles per hour) and I nearly jumped from it! How thankful we were to have reached home!
Mark did some research on the problem and discovered this is General Motors’ method of reducing risk of loss and injury when there is a problem with throttle control. Mark bought a device that reads codes via a computer on the truck and displays them on his cell phone. He determined through this technology that there is a problem with wiring or connectors located near the gas pedal. I always giggle at Mark’s Mechanical Engineering skills….skills that keep him from tossing out broken things and skills that cause him to look into problem solving when most of us would throw our hands up and walk away! I am so thankful for him and his skills! He is going to look at the truck today and see if he can discover the problem.
Since my last post, we have been down to our friends’ house once again for Mark to play music with his friends. We had another lovely evening and the weather was so very much kinder than the previous week! We currently still have no snow and had days above freezing. It would seem the weather pendulum is really swinging wildly out of control this winter!
Yesterday, Mark and I went out and I ran into WalMart. I was picking up a few things and I saw a Mennonite mom and her young daughter, maybe seven or eight, shopping. They were coming out of an aisle as I was walking perpendicularly in another aisle. The mother made a turn toward me, and the daughter turned the opposite way, now walking beside a woman in a long coat. The girl’s eyes were looking down and she continued to walk alongside the woman for awhile. The Mennonite woman gently called “Twila!” when she discovered her daughter was going the wrong way. I watched and when the girl didn’t respond, she quietly called out again, “Twila!”. Suddenly the girl turned and looked, surprised she was no longer with her mom. She quickly walked back to her mother and the mother and I both giggled! It was so cute.
As we left the store to go back home, I took a quick snap of the sunset. That is the photo at the top of this entry. For one reason or another, Word Press isn’t allowing me to arrange photos the way I want! Grr!!!
Yousers! The wind outside has been tremendously noisy yesterday and thus far today! The trees are swaying and there are big branches everywhere! I guess this is one way to prune back trees!
I got up this morning much later than usual. I was awakened at 3:30 by a young person who was concerned I should load the woodstove so we wouldn’t freeze! I wasn’t very excited about crawling out of bed to do this task, but I did it anyway. It was still warm in the house, so it wasn’t vital, but it was nice to have the house still warm when I got up this morning. The outside temperature said -13 on WeatherBug, but our thermometer on the front porch was reading closer to -16. With the wind so brutally blowing, the wind chill is crazy low!
We still had the Christmas tree up and so one of the first things I did was disrobe it after I bumped it and thousands needles fell like rain to the floor! That tree has been up for over a month, so it really was time to take it down! The house looks strangely empty now and as I look around, I would love to paint the living room and maybe even more. I am thinking I am kind of tired of buttery yellow walls!
The little birds outside are visiting the feeders so much, I have to keep refilling them. It is rather incredible that their tiny bodies can endure this wicked weather. Somehow, they just fluff up their feathers and keep on going. Amazing little animals! The good news is that the sun appears to be making an appearance today and perhaps things might “feel” a bit warmer. The wind is supposed to subside somewhat as the day progresses and that will be good. We have not gotten any new snow throughout this event and I heard that some areas were getting blizzard conditions. We hardly have any snow left from last week and by the end of this week, the weather is forecast to be well above freezing once again. This is such strange weather!
I took this photo of Murphy before Christmas and it is really a test to see if I can post pictures again. The verdict is, yes! Looks like Word Press is cooperating once again! Hurrah!
We are supposed to go to our friends’ house tonight for music. We have missed the past couple of weeks because of the holidays, then Carolyn’s mom fell and was hospitalized for a few days. It will be nice to be getting back into the swing of things once again. Mark just loves playing music and I think he has missed it.
One more aside….When I plowed the neighbors’ driveway, I did it as a “neighborly” thing to do. We had seen the people over there with shovels and Mark and I thought we should help out. Well, on Sunday, the fellow came over and paid us. I felt terrible but he insisted. Anyway, I found out that the fellow who owns the house is a Buffalo Sabres fan! Wow!!! I am hoping he and Mark can get together sometime and talk hockey! How cool would that be? When I spoke to the man who bought the house last summer, he told me he worked for Bauer..the company that sells sporting equipment. How awesome it would be if he and Mark can talk serious hockey!!!
It is sooo cold outside! This is a good time to check on the elderly to make sure they are warm and safe inside their homes. It is also important to make sure our pets are warm and have plenty of water to drink. It has been so very cold at our house all day. The sun made an awesome appearance this afternoon, but even its bright rays and relatively cloudless skies were no match for the cold. The cold prevailed in spite of itself!
As I was looking out the window this afternoon, I noticed something very unusual.
This little ice formation was on the window. I thought it looks a lot like a tiny maple leaf!
Mark plowed the driveway, getting the last of the snow tucked away where it no longer impedes movement of the vehicles. When he finished, he was so cold he was happy to be inside! This is the time of year when we are so grateful to see firewood stacked in the garage. The house has remained warm and cozy!
When Mark was done plowing today, I went over to the new neighbors’ driveway and did a little clearing off their driveway. My skills are nowhere as fine as Mark’s, but I did make the driveway a bit more passable. I love plowing, but am not real sure about where to pile the snow. Not knowing exactly where boundaries are is a bit scary, particularly in the dark. I basically just improved a small area and Mark said he could fix it later. Since the people live in Canada, they aren’t here all the time, so what I did was probably okay.
When I was little, I remember we used to drive around the streets of my hometown, looking at the pretty Christmas lights. I still enjoy looking at lights, although I guess a lot of displays have become more complex than just stringing lights on coniferous trees or highlighting one’s house.
And so, this particular display in a driveway in Canandaigua made me chuckle. Canandaigua is located on the lake, after all.
Now, if you cannot quite make out what you are looking at….this is a power boat parked in the driveway, filled with plastic Santas. I did notice that if enlarged, one of the plastic figurines way in the back is a Mrs. Claus. Anyway, this made me smile. Hope it makes you smile, too!
And….the reason I am showing these photos instead of photos taken today is because I am whipped! It has snowed and snowed all day long. I don’t imagine we had anywhere near the amount that fell in my hometown (in the snowbelt) but we have at least twelve inches. I was out shoveling early this morning and again this afternoon. Even though the snow was fluffy, it wore me out! And…..I am not taking anymore snow photos for now!
Are you getting the same feeling as I am….that last year seemed to fly away like the bird in the photo above? It doesn’t feel possible that a whole new year has approached us and is lying ahead!
We went to the magical place yesterday to feed the brave birds that came to us. Brave? Yes, brave! There were wind chill alerts as an Arctic air mass swooped down upon us, bringing not only cold temperatures, but wind that cut like a knife! We weren’t out very long, but came back with cheeks that were red as apples! The cold really wasn’t so bad, but when the wind blew, it was brutal!
I am having a really bad time with this blog lately. When I try to post, it somehow scrambles my photos, making it impossible to properly format. I tried to upload photos today and they all wound up at the top. That is not where I wanted them. So, I will just leave the one above of the fleeing Chickadee and hope there is some way I can fix this problem. The other photos were just more Chickadees, so I guess no one is missing much!
So, I am wishing you, Dear Reader, a Happy, Healthy, and Wonderful New Year!
Oh my goodness! I wanted to post this before, but had some difficulty. I’m not sure if it was WordPress or something on our end, but I just could not get photos to upload.
A week before Christmas Eve, we were invited to our friends, Sue and Ed’s house. I knew it was going to be very pretty, as Sue told us she loves decorating for Christmas. She decorated well before Christmas, too, as her daughters used her home as the setting for a photo shoot. So….be prepared to fall in love, particularly if you like log homes decorated like gingerbread houses!
The pretty reds, greens, and golds of Christmas decor look so pretty against the logs. Isn’t this pretty?
This is a shot looking into the kitchen and dining area. It is so pretty!!! And I love the loft above. I have long dreamed of having a loft…no particular reason, other than I think they are always so cozy!
Sue and Ed built this house with the help of an Amish crew of men. Ed loves woodworking, so he did the interior finishing. Sue came up with this idea to place a ladder horizontally and cover it in wire for a shelf for pots and pans above an island in the kitchen. It works so well! And, as you can see, Sue even decorated the shelf!
As we sat around the table, gabbing and overeating Sue’s delicious lasagna, Paco, the little dog, perched on a blanket atop an ottoman and listened to our ramblings….
Look at the stairway to the loft! Everything seemed to be decorated!
We had such a lovely time visiting! This house is located between Bath and Hammondsport andEd and Sue told quite the story about the house! One night, Ed opened the back door to let the dogs out and was greeted by a bear! It had wandered onto their back porch and was standing just outside the door! Yikes!
As we left, I told Sue if I ever decide to run away from home, I *know* where I am going! It was so hard to leave this sweet little house. It really did remind me so much of those pretty little gingerbread houses!
Mark and I traveled to Rochester to see a band I have been wild about ever since I first heard them! The name of the group is Rend Collective Experiment and they are all the way from Northern Ireland! The concert was held in Chili at a church called The Father’s House. We had never visited this church before, but it is rather large!
The concert was held with a large amount of seating, but people were seated in other areas as well with large screens so they could see the concert. Because Mark is in a wheelchair, they had him cut to the front of the line. Wow! The people working as ushers and security were so tremendously nice. It was an awesome experience the whole way around. We were allowed to go into the room before others so we wouldn’t get stampeded when the doors were opened for seating. Oh, and this concert was free!
There were two acts that opened the evening. The first was a band called Bellarive…I had never heard of them before. They were lively and full of energy. A young girl seated in front of us told her friends the lead singer looked like Johnny Depp in The Pirates of the Caribbean and I guess he did!
The second act was a young woman by the name of Audrey Assad. She is amazing! I didn’t hear her name when she introduced herself, but once she began singing, I knew right away who she was…her voice is beyond incredible and her range is awesome!
It seemed like forever before Rend Collective Experiment finally took the stage but the wait was well worth it! We were warned they were going to “get all Irish on us” and teach us all about shenanigans and shindigs. This group is so good and they certainly didn’t disappoint. I was “warned” beforehand by security that they didn’t want any “professional photos” taken and I made it clear I am not pro! Even with my telephoto lens with huge glass, it was challenging getting any photos of this group! Consider photographing Mexican Jumping Beans in a very dark room…..
Here are some photos. ( The group consists of four men and a woman who is married to one of the fellows)
What a great opportunity this was to hear a fabulous concert!