Sunday, July 26, 2009

Barn Raising Party

When Leon decided he needed a new tool shed I balked. It had to do with $$$ and the fact that cramming the two lawn mowers, snow blower, roto-tiller, winter treds, assorted tools, garden supplies, ladders and miscellaneous items into the existing shed was not only possible but functional. To make a long story short, the best I could do was talk him down from the 18 x 24 foot luxury model with four windows, two skylights and a front porch with a railing and a rocking chair to a more practical 8 x 8 foot do-it-yourself model with doors.

We were discussing when we were going to attempt construction, and I mentioned that we should have a barn raising. The idea needed no further discussion. Leon was on the cell, calling all of our butch and not so butch friends and inviting them to an old fashioned barn-raising. Either our friends really like us or they have no lives, so many of them actually said yes.

Anyhow, on Friday Leon and I prepared the site, leveled the supports and constructed the floor.
















On Saturday morning Dave and Al were first to arrive. Here is Dave, a la "Village People" ready to go.


















Things got off to a leisurely start. Leon, Joe and Dave do some stategic measuring.














With Jim and Al giving their approval.





























Jeffery (red shirt) and Bob (yellow) and Edward (blue, next photo) showed up to supervise.















Rich, seated and Andrew seated, supervising along with Bob and Ed














Things moved along quite well. Jim overseeing David's work.














There was considerable bantering, and even a fair amount of camping, (not the tent-in-the-wood-kind) as overheard talk of Noel Coward and Betty Davis or some equally campy movie stars of old.














Everyone took a nice lunch break: Hot dogs, Italian Burgers (ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, parsley, green pepper, onion, salt and pepper), homemade cole slaw, potato salad and mac salad. Jeffrey brought a scrumptious chocolate cake Kahlua whip dessert.














Ed and Jeff, Jamie plating up.














The doors went on without a hitch.














Jamie, the roofer and Kurt the trim man.














Leon, Joe, Jamie and Dave starting the shingles.














Al got right up there to give Jamie some competition.














Opps, How did that happen?














Our new Tool Shed














Apres Barn Raising. The wood is so wet, it was difficult to get started. Someone suggested blowing on it. Leon got the leaf blower and a little gasoline.














Fire.














What a great day, great friends, good food, nice conversation and most of all: "THANK YOU GUYS!"
video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Flowers, Lovely Flowers

Despite the incessant rain there are some flowers that bloomed and caught on camers before they either became rain damaged or eaten by slugs. I drive around town and notice that gardens are not as vibrant, that flowers are beaten down by the rain, that there is no fullness in the displays. All there seem to be are homely hostas and daylilies. Hostas should not be allowed to flower, in my opinion. They are ugly and the lavander shades are not pleasing to my eye.

Here are some from my garden: Opuntia and one that has the most unusual motly variegated flowers I've seen. I bought the plant at a Farm Stand in Colrain, MA. I don't remember the name of the species...but here are the pics.

Our Northeast native winter hardy Opuntia or Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom


























































Some unknown variety - absolutely lovely, but the blossoms are short lived

























































Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Escaping the New England Monsoons

Trying to escape the lousy weather we've been stuck with for over a month. Visited Leon's sister in Pennsylvania for a few days, then off to a gay campground in New York. We're finding the weather in Pennsylvania and Western New York much more pleasant (we actually had sunshine for more than ten minutes) than the never ending rains in New England. Although it has been quite chilly even here for July...blanket weather and we actually ran the propane heat in the camper for brief periods to get the chill out.

Today did not look promising for the pool so we drove to Niagara Falls for the day with Dave, Al, Bob and Bob. It was a gorgeous day - sunny, some clouds, warm but not hot. It was my first time seeing the falls and it was quite spectacular.

One view














Frank and Leon












Another view















The boys: Bob, Albert, Bob, Dave

















Another view














Water out of sky













This is our first real trip without Bruno and we do miss him alot. It is so different not to have him with us.

Back in Pennsylvania . . .
Leon's sister Brenda with Gage















Albert "Cowboy"















Brenda and Gage
















Later At Hillside, not bad pictures of me.














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