Mowing the Pasture

The pasture didn’t get mowed this year. The beginning of the summer was too wet, and then I had some health issues, followed by the need to get firewood cut and stored. Finally in September I mowed the lot just south of our house and a couple of looping trails around the outer boundary of the horse pasture. Below are the before and after pictures.

College Visits

We have a series of colleges we plan to visit now that Eric believes he wants to pursue Criminal Scene Investigation as a major. We visited NYS colleges including St. Rose in Albany and Hilbert in Hamburg.

We had a decent trip out to Hamburg to visit Hilbert College.  It felt like a long drive though it was under 4 hours, even stopping for a quick dinner.    Hilbert college is a very small (950 students) college founded by the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, which I is a cross between the Franciscans and the St. Josephs, same Sisters of St. Joseph who founded St. Rose in Albany.  While St. Rose seems to have distanced itself from their origins, Hilbert embraces them.  Though there are no nuns on staff (except as something of an advisory “CEO” ish kind of position), there is still an emphasis on Charity, social consciousness, community, character foundation.   It impacts the curriculum some in that everybody has to do 10 hours of community service before you can graduate.  Being small, they emphasized how they know every student by name.   Eric said he liked the CSI program.  Most of the instructors worked in the field, and apparently still have strong connections.  We heard a lot about internships and employers coming on campus and seeking out Hilbert graduates and a 96% post graduate placement rate.  The dorm rooms were HUGE and doubles have their OWN BATHROOMS! It seems very unlikely there is a drug problem on campus.  On the down side, it is about 50% commuters, which means the campus was VERY quiet on Saturday.  

Next up are SUNY Canton, Herkimer Community College, SUNY Morrisville and Alfred.

Painter Returns

This afternoon I heard Cullen barking with his “I have a snake or something unusual: treeing bark. It was a painted turtle who had left our pond and was trapped against the dog fence. I brought the turtle inside and offered her (I think) a large night crawler. When Eric and Kathryn got home I showed them the turtle – which I believe is the correct size to be our previous Painted Turtle, Painter. She looked healthy and we decided to return her to the pond.

A close up of Painter.
Painter returning to our pond.

The Back Story about Painter.

Last week Barb and Joe found a Eastern Painted Turtle hatch ling – probably only 2-3 days old.   He was tiny and likely destined as a food source.  They asked Eric to raise the turtle until he was a little older and had a better chance at survival.  Eric named the turtle Painter and after a copy of fretful days he/she has started to eat.  Painter ignored the fruit: blueberries and strawberries but took tiny bites of soaked dog food and a bite of an orange.  Yesterday while Kathryn was working home alone she said she could hear the faintest sound of smacking and looked to see Painter eating a mouthful of dog food.

In the picture above Painter is in ‘basking’ mode.  At night Painter hides under the vegetation. May 16th, 2008


Painter, the baby painted turtle, was confined to a large tub in the basement where he happily dug into the mud and hibernated until this past week.  The mud in his tub dried up and he awoke to investigate the problem.  After re-hydrating his ‘pond’ and covering him with a damp cloth Painter dug in somewhat and went back to his snooze.  We will continue to monitor his slumber and plan for his move to warmer floors within the house. February 11th, 2009 |


Our painted turtle, Painter, has quite an appetite and has been visibly growing.  He prefers fish worms to almost all other food and will eat them from a hand if you move slow and dangle the fish worm where he can see it.  A measure of his growth is evident in the wide light gray areas between the scutes on his carapace.

July 1st, 2009

Kathryn’s 2nd Solo Canoe Camping Trip

Kathryn completed her second-ever Solo (+dog) canoe camping trip. Positioning a 100lb dog can make one a little nervous especially if she won’t lay down in the canoe, but other than that she was a perfect companion for 24 hours of wilderness and quiet. Kathryn had a fabulous time and pledges to do this more often. Jim and Eric came up today for lunch and escorted us back.

AFRL RIEB 2006 Staff

Amish Horse Collapse

Thursday night I picked up Eric from playing basketball at the open gym. On our way home we saw a horse and buggy way ahead of us and I commented to Eric that they were going a fast clip. We began to catch up just before our four corners and I noticed my speedometer tracking between 20 – 25 mph. As we caught up the horse and buggy swerved into the left lane and then made a sharp turn back into the right lane. The horse fell. We pulled our car over to the side, turned on the emergency flashers and I asked Eric to watch and signal to any approaching traffic. The horse refused ignored the urges of the young driver and remained down, sweating profusely with rapid breathing. I helped unhook the horse from the buggy and rolled it back out of the way. The horse remained down and a small pool of blood was forming under his mouth; the horse was biting his tongue. The driver said the horse had been running away with him and indicated this wasn’t the 1st time he had done so. A pickup truck approached with man who asked how long the horse had been down and if he had been drugged or gotten into green apples. He tried to calm the breathing of the horse by slightly constricting his nostrils. After about 10 minutes the horse stood up – unsteady and still sweating and panting. The horse was led to a nearby house to get water. Eric and I left.

Synectics Technical Staff

Front: Paul Tremont, Jack LoSecco, Jack Kearney. Back: ?, Bruce Kiracof, Phil, Larry Dembrow

Eric’s Allergy Test

It turns out Eric is allergic to dust mites.

Volley Llamas 2019

This season marked our 21st year of playing volleyball at ADK Lanes, and our 11th or 12th years of having a Wednesday night Volley Llamas team. Our team was largely Kathryn, BillieJo, Josh, Jim, Michael, Rick, and Connor with Shelly, Courtney and Scott filling in as substitutes. We finished 2nd of 10 teams in the regular season. We got a 1st round bye and beat Ice Cold Sixpack (formerly The Young Finndale). We then faced Scrappers who had battled their way to two wins; 25-23 and 25-22. We won game 1 and had a much closer game 2 to move into the championship game vs Dig Pink. Dig Pink lost only one game all season to Volley Llamas in a position round game. We lost 2 competitive games to Dig Pink closing out our season.


We spent a week on Toddy Pond with Jim, Pam, Vance, Gabe, Maddy, Eric and Stone. We picked up Eric at noon after his Drivers’ Ed class and met BillieJo and Stone at the Canjoharie Thruway exit. Kathryn drove 5 hours to Portsmouth where we spent the night. We had an excellent lobster bisque at Warrens in Kittery for dinner. The next morning we drove the remaining 3.5 hours to Toddy Pond. Eric and Stone immediately began to fish and then go swimming.

Wednesday was overcast and raining so we went to the Chicken Barn, LL Bean Outlet Store, lunch at Jordan’s Snack Bar and picked up 9 lobster for dinner, Eric and Stone cooked the lobster. The Big Chicken Barn is packed with books and periodicals.

Friday Kathryn, Jim, Eric and Stone went deep sea fishing and caught mackerel and pollock. The boat captured over 300 fish which were filleted and handed out. On the return trip they pulled lobster traps yielding 28 lobster. Kathryn, Eric and Stone each won a lobster.

Saturday Kathryn, Jim H., Eric and Stone climbed the Precipice trail in Acadia National Park. Adventurous hikers will hike a 2.3-mile trek with 1,073 feet of total elevation gain – half of that comes in 0.3 miles as one navigates steep switchbacks, metal ladders and iron rungs up the east face of Champlain Mountain. Endangered peregrine falcons nest and raise their young on the mountain in spring and summer, and the park closes the trail from March 15 to Aug. 15 to protect them.

Sunday evening the crew went to dinner at Castine’s where Stone had a BBQ chicken doused in “I-dare-you-sauce”. Then the kids and Jim went home for movie night while the rest of gang paddled double kayaks at night time and observed constellations, shooting stars and bio-luminous algae. Monday we swam and went kayaking and we drove home on Tuesday.