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Category Archives: Lake

When it Rains, it Pours….


yep, this is how I’ve been feeling–just not myself. I don’t know if it’s all the rain (we’ve had six inches this month); is it that summer is over? and that it went way too fast; is it the fact that our Wendy took ill, was hospitalized and had surgery? she’s our rock — she’s not supposed to get sick! or is it my impending hand surgery next week? I just started a different job on campus–it’s going well, just very hectic. Could it be menopause? Seems I’m just angry with everyone…maybe it’s the fibromyalgia or the rheumatoid arthritis–can’t even close my hands in the morning now. Maybe it’s that Bruce has been letting the puppies sleep in our bed recently…and our bed is barely big enough for the two of us! Or, is it just this time of year–when my mom died–it was a very rainy fall day when she was buried. I always get a little weepy this time of the year.

So, what will lift my spirits? I’d like to start walking at night, just a little. I’ve been working on my scarves and practicing quite a bit with hand dyeing the silk. I don’t know what I’ll be able to do once my surgery is complete–I can take up to six weeks off from work but I really want to be back in three weeks or so. My doctor is fusing the bone joint of my right thumb; my thumb will be immobile for six weeks. No quilting or cross stitch for a while…hoping to be able to create some scarves with my left hand! please….make recommendations for any good books or movies–I expect I’ll be a might lazy the next few weeks.

All of the Patocka “men” have been very busy and I don’t see any of them much. Hard to believe that Travis will be 19 in about 5 weeks. How the time has flown…


The Month Flew By…

Well, I can hardly believe that nearly a month has gone by since I posted on this blog. Hope you’re not disappointed in me!Let’s see…what’s happened since then? Well, last weekend, we adopted two–yep, TWO–golden retriever puppies! We went for one and ended up with two (long story)…here’s a picture of Bruce at Seneca Lake on a very rare sunny day!

Bruce with (Cap’n) Morgan (left), Mia (right), and Maddie

They’ve been very good, actually…they sleep from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.  They will run to the door and scratch it to go out–and they’re only 9 weeks old.  I think that’s a good sign.  They spent some time Saturday afternoon by themselves in their crate as we attended my niece’s graduation party here in Horseheads.  My niece, Korryn, along with my brother, Ken and sister-in-law Kathy live in southern Maryland.

Korryn Paige Whited

I start my three-day work week next week…and Travis graduates from high school on Saturday (if he passes Physics!)  Brad will be heading to Florida to visit a friend who”s birthday is the same as his–they both turn 21 this Friday!  I couldn’t believe he would be going away for his 21st birthday but he told me that he hasn’t missed sharing his birthday with Justin since 8th grade….I casually reminded him that I was there at his birth and every year since!

I”m looking forward to getting back to my sewing–I have done a smidge of cross-stitch, and I’ve worked a bit on organizing my stash.  I’ll post more pictures soon.   By this time last year, we had spent a huge amount of time at Seneca Lake.  The rain just won’t go away!  I’m hoping we’ll get up there this weekend.  Bruce’s friend, John, is planning a party for Bruce this Saturday late afternoon…and, of course, Father’s Day is Sunday.   What a busy summer ahead!

Was it Something I Said?

“Dear beautiful Spring weather, I miss you.  Was it something I said?”  ~”Skipper” Kim Corbin

Indeed, did we all say something to make it such a crummy Spring?  Just like the twisters that hit our area in mid-April, the swirling gray clouds seem to be hanging over everyone in my life this spring.  Death and dying–those have been prevalent–friends have lost loved ones, I’ve heard of much sickness everywhere, and just general anxiety and restlessness with everyone, me included. 

a Twister on Seneca Lake, mid-April 2011

I know we all have nothing to complain about, what with all that’s happened in the south, but………..this rainy weather is just really getting to me.  I noticed that I haven’t posted since late February.  I think I’ve been in a slump since then–just very depressed, and it seems that everyone around me is feeling the same way.  Is it the economy?  Is it all the sad news?  Is it the weather?  I”m not certain but I know that most everyone is feeling the same way.

At home, we were all consumed by Brad’s FIRST photography exhibit for college at the end of April.   Every time he rushed into the room at home, it seemed like all the air left the room as he was so agitated.  He’s a real perfectionist, which is wonderful to behold but a little exhausting!  It was overwhelming….but that’s over, and he made us very proud!  I would post the pictures but they’re quite graphic in a gory sort of way.  He’s quite a thinker and there was a lot of depth to the presentation. 

Travis is struggling to finish high school and graduate.  He still succombs to his migraines–and we noticed that his eyelids get droopy–seems he may have “myasthenia gravis”, a neuro-muscular problem.  We’re still working with a neurosurgeon to determine this–she wants to call in specialists from Rochester to take a look at him.  He had an MRI & MRA–the radiologist made note that he has something called “arnold chiari disorder”–something to do with the brain hanging lower into his neck region, which also might be causing his headaches. 

In the meantime, my sister was diagnosed with “mastocytosis”–basically it means her mast cells are allergic to her, and she breaks out in hives.  The strange thing is that both of these–Trav’s disorder and my sister’s disorder–are both autoimmune disorders, not so unusual I guess if you know that I have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic dry eye, also autoimmune disorders.   While all this was sorting itself out, my sister’s former mother-in-law was in a rapid decline from newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, possibly Stage 4.  She had surgery this past Tuesday, which was a nightmare; it did not go well but she’s in ICU in Rochester, and I’m so praying for her recovery. 

the "Malibar VII" at Seneca Lake

A year ago this coming weekend, graduation at Ithaca College, was a glorious weekend at the lake.  I believe, if memory serves me correctly, we had spent most of the April weekends at Seneca Lake.  Not certain what this weekend will bring–perhaps some sunshine on Saturday, but sounds like more rain off and on until next Wednesday….ugh!

Please, please “Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come on Back Another Day!”   I’m going to keep chanting this over and over again….it really wasn’t something I said, was it?



A very busy Sunday for me with all my favorite things:

*Family:  I had a baby shower to attend in the afternoon–it was for my niece, Katie.  It’s her first baby–presumably a boy named Mason.  His dad, John, was a big baby–10 lbs, 11 oz–and so far, Mason is about 1-1/2 lbs. heavier than most babies at this stage in their mommy’s tummies.  Good Luck, Katie!  It was nice to see many of the relatives that I haven’t seen in awhile, even though they nagged me about not making trips up to Waneta Lake, where everyone hangs out!  I promise this year, Bruce and I will make it there more often!  My niece, Amy, was there with her little girls (my great-nieces, good lord!)–Audrey and Hannah.  Just beautiful little girls–made me long for a granddaughter–but not yet!

Katie & John, Myrtle Beach, 2010

*Food: I made a pot of Spanish Rice for Bruce to eat while I was out–knew he’d keep an eye on the pot simmering while napping during watching the Daytona race!  And he did (watched the pot and napped!)….it was a new recipe, and he loved it!

*Florida: I love Florida, love the Daytona race–but would never move there.  I love the changing seasons in the Northeast too much!  And, I just loved it that the rookie, Trevor Bayne, won the Daytona 500!  Isn’t he cute????

Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 winner

It was a bittersweet day because it was the 10th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr.–Bruce’s all-time hero.  It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been ten years!

and of course, my favorite, favorite thing!~~

*Fabric: when I got home from the baby shower, I worked on cutting out strips for a quick wall-hanging that I want to do for my kitchen–it’s called, “Neighborly Welcome”.  I’ve always loved log cabin quilts, and I like the “earthy tones” in this quilt.  Here’s a few photos to give you an idea:

Neighborly Welcome, by

Neighborly Welcome, close-up of the colors

Neighborly Welcome, Log Cabin Block

I’m very excited about this quilted wallhanging and I’m anxious to have it completed!  Most of the quilts I make are very involved–pieced and appliqued, usually–so it’s nice to see the results a little faster.  And I found a local long-arm quilter–Laurie’s Long Arm Quilting in Elmira Heights–and I was quite impressed with her work.  I think I’ll have her start with the wall hanging, then move on to the Mystery Quilt, if I’m pleased.

Well, better go start dinner….we’ll talk soon!

I think I can, I think I can, I think…..!

I think I can, I think I can–catch up….I’m still catching up on my blog posts!  Seems my nights get away from me too easily!  One more personal post, then I’ll get back to my projects and how those are coming along….

Bruce was gone from December 29th through January 11th on his trip through the Upper Mid-West, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.  It would be the first New Year’s Eve that we had not been together in 28 years!  We were invited to our friends’ home at Lodi Point on Seneca Lake…..just beautiful there!  A casual get-together with old friends….I asked my mother-in-law, Bertie, (age 84) to go along with me.  At first she was excited to be going somewhere on New Year’s Eve, but then she found every excuse to not go.  I finally called her that day and said “Get your &%# in gear, I’ll be there at 5:45 to pick you up! You’re going!”  She was in shock, I think, but she got ready and had the best time!  My friend, Diane–her mom stays with her at Lodi Point–and the ladies had a great time visiting.  Here’s a picture of the two of them:

Bertie (84) & Pauline (88) - New Year's Eve 2011

Happy Belated New Year, Everyone!

So, So, Sorry….

Molly (left) and Hailey (right)

I’m so sorry that I haven’t been very diligent about posting…October and November seem to always be difficult months for me. I lost my mom at age 12 on a rainy day in October and never quite got past the sadness on those wet, fall days. We’ve lost others too about this time of the year, and regrettably, this season we had our 12-1/2 year old golden retriever put to sleep. (That’s her on the right; our friends’ lab, Molly, is on the left).  She has suffered for a long time with bad arthritis in her hips, but the vet said her legs had atrophied so that she couldn’t lift her body. She also suffered from some large cysts on her back, one that was punctured when she got into a fight with a rottie. It just never healed and would weep continuously. We did the best we could but I didn’t have the strength to handle it any more…and I don’t think Hailey did either. She had a great summer at the lake, and I know it was the right decision to put her down but it never is easy….

With the cold weather coming, I tend to “cocoon”….but the good thing is that it does give me incentive to spend some time quilting and stitching. I’ve been working on “Sweet Pea Manor”, which was a BOM (block of the month) from my LQS (local quilt shop), Quilter’s Corner in Ithaca. It was almost entirely cut out of Jo Morton fabrics, one of my favorite fabric designers.Here’s a picture of the completed quilt (hanging at Quilter’s Corner) (sorry it’s a little blurry!) and my portions so far.  I have the star blocks and the basket blocks completed but haven’t taken a photo of them yet.  Wish you could see it up close; the colors are so much more vibrant!  I’m not much of a “pink” person but when combined with the oranges and golds (who woulda thunk it???), it’s beautiful!  I think this will probably hang in my sewing room when it’s completed.

Sweet Pea Manor (at Quilter's Corner)

Sweet Pea Manor, Close up of Applique

Sweet Pea Manor, row 1

I’ve set aside “Molly’s Meadow” for the time being.  I plan on hanging that in my dining room when it’s done.  I took a class with Kim Diehl two summers ago for this quilt (wow, so long ago!), only I’m making it using the needle-turn backstitching method, so it’s taken me a might longer than the IMA (Invisible Machine Applique) would have.  Here’s a photo of Kim’s creation:

Molly’s Meadow, with permission to post from Kim Diehl

Here are the steps I use to applique using the backstitching method:

Molly's Meadow Step 3

Molly's Meadow Step 1

Molly’s Meadow Step 2

It’s a bit time consuming, but I love having take-alongs!  I completed these while sitting on the porch at the Lake!  As you can hopefully see, once you join the block with the “checkerboard” blocks, the form circles.

Molly's Meadow Step 4

Molly's Meadow Step 5

Just too cool…Now I need to complete the “checkerboards”, but another day…..

more updates tomorrow…..

Time Sure Flies…

Hope you all have enjoyed the summer so far….it’s been a remarkable summer for us and we’ve spent nearly every weekend at the lake and on the boat…My sewing time has suffered and many projects have been cast aside…but winter will be here soon enough. The students are back on campus, and from the top floor, it sounds like a hive buzzing. The routine feels good, and it’s nice to see everyone returning from their vacation times. My eldest son started at WVU this past week, and my younger high-school son will start school after Labor Day. We move from boating to classic cars and vintage snowmobiles, from hot days to cooler days….and my favorite time of the year, Fall. Hoping all is well in your world and that you’re able to eek out every bit of time enjoying what remains of this summer….