Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday afternoon - "Flash!"

The Masons'

Christmas Trees

are in the


Saturday morning

Brrrrr! 33.4

The wind is howling, and reminds me of this old Mother Goose nursery rhyme:

"The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing."

I hope that all the robins have already reached their warm winter quarters.

There are several very informative links on the New York State D.O.T.'s website - some worthy of being saved as "favorites:"

Weather on the Thruway
Zone Forecast for Southern Oneida County

After so many days of balmy weather, this seems cruel --- but we did know it was coming! And I, for one, would actually like to see some snow! All the wonderful Christmas decorations on homes and businesses look strange without it and there are many who are complaining that 'til it does snow they can't "get in the mood" for Christmas!

Will we be able to find Christmas Trees in the Park, tomorrow?

And - can anyone tell me, in some detail, Why the "Big Christmas Tree" at the point of Monument Park is no longer lighted? (To say that it has outgrown its wiring is probably close to true, but......... is there more?) Thank You!

Judging from the length of lines at CVS, yesterday afternoon, and observing what the customers were buying, it was easy to see that ALOT of Christmas gifts and wrapping materials are being purchased close to home.

You won't know how many neat presents can be found right here in Waterville and nearby unless you go and look! There are treasures to be found at MerriRose and Morgan's Hardware; the Waterville Historical Society's "Store" will be open today from 10 - 2 and then visit Alcott's expanded Christmas Shop. Don't forget to go and look in the Sangerfield Antique Exchange, Earley's and the Kountry Kupboard: you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Just twelve minutes' farther - the Hamilton Hospital Auxiliary's 51st Annual Craft Sale and Café takes place today from 9:30 to 1:30.

Mr. Jeffrey Reynolds, the new director of the Waterville Public Library, has arrived on site but we probably won't be seeing much of him for a week or so. He'll be spending a considerable amount of time, at first, "training" at MidYork, but Ms. Patty Louise is at the top of the list of those who hope to be given an opportunity to speak with him sometime in the forseeable future.

What a relief! "He" is still handsome; "she" is still beautiful; Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The House of Seven Gables" really is the romantic mystery that I had thought it was before my English teach, Miss Driscoll, ruined the story for me fifty-two years ago! The WCS Drama Club production not only restored my youthful judgment of 19th century literature but reaffirmed my confidence in the capabilities of our 21st century actors, actresses, technicians and stage crews! See it again, tonight, at 7:30 at the WCS auditorium!

And speaking of ghosts........ Amanda Briggs brings to our attention a new documentary film directed by her uncle, Andy Wolf, from Syracuse. Its title is "The Old Quarry and Other Haunted Places of Central New York" and it takes viewers on a journey exploring some of the most famous haunts of Central New York, as well as a few you've never heard of. "From the lakeside manor that is Belhurst Castle, to the old revolutionary fort on Lake Ontario, you will be chilled by the true accounts of brushes with the other side." There are copies at the Library and DVD's can be ordered through It could be the perfect gift for someone on your list!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday afternoon

West Bacon Street

It's still fairly balmy, out, but it's been raining off and on and the wind is picking up. I hope all of these decorations are anchored securely!

Conger Avenue

White Street

Every time I turn around, Tom's changed the signs!!!
Happy Birthday, Hap and Paul!!!

There wasn't any work going on at the townhouse site, today, but yesterday more grading was being done and driveways had been established.

The big treat of the day:
One section of the new railing is in place on the
front porch of the Hotel!
Looks Good!!!

Friday "EXTRA!"

I imagine that everyone in the Waterville Community knows, by now, that Nancy Eastman, the "Super Woman" sexton of St. Bernard's Catholic Church and always-in-demand painter and wall-paperer, had a bad fall on Wednesday afternoon. She was in the sanctuary of the church up on a very tall ladder, when it slipped and she fell behind the altar. Normally, she'd have been working alone, but on this rare occasion Karl Davis was there helping her. He called 911 on his cell phone and emergency personnel began to arrive within a few minutes.

It's not my intent to give medical updates! But Nancy's got some breaks and fractures that are going to keep her in the hospital for a while, so - if you want to send her a "Get Well Soon" sort of E-message, send it to me (at the link above) and I'll make sure it gets to her!


Welcome to Waterville, Mr. Reynolds!

The meagre announcement of his appointment, as it appeared in the Library newsletter "Bookends" and in the Waterville Times, scarcely did justice to the gentleman. Mr. Jeffrey Reynolds, who becomes the Director of the Waterville Public Library, today, does hold a degree in Library Science and a New York State Public Librarians Professional Certificate but - in addition - both he and his wife, Ms. Susan Huxtable, are very well-known throughout Leatherstocking Country for their efforts to preserve the cultural and natural resources of the area, and the Otsego Land Trust flourished under his directorship.

I'm not sure that the patrons of the Library come under the classification of "natural" or "cultural" resources, but he's bound to find us worth trying to preserve!

Thursday leftovers on Friday!

Out on Sanger Avenue Paula went from planting Spring bulbs to adjusting Christmas Garland on her front porch; on Putnam Street, Wendy was making sure that not a leaf was left to blow!

The most amazing thing - considering that it was the last day of November - was that the lawns at the Library were being mown and patrons stood in the parkinglot laughing at how good it was to smell freshly-cut grass, again! But, ohhh! It's going to change!

It's 44.6 degrees, this morning, and drippy.

Madison Street

Tower Street

East Main Street

We really could use a little snow!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday morning

Garbage Day!

The weather is starting to aim in that direction, too. It's nearly 55 degrees out, but sogginess will set in.

Weather forecasters are not predicting a snowstorm of any size, this weekend, but I think they might be wrong! My reasoning, you see, has to do with the fact the "Tapestry - the All-Centuries Singers" will be singing at a Service of Lessons and Carols at Grace Episcopal Church at 4 o'clock, that afternoon. For the past twenty years, as soon as Tapestry schedules such a December performance - even months before - it appears that word goes to the farthest reaches of the great North Pole and someone there arranges a mighty blizzard for that day! Not that the singers have ever actually cancelled an Advent appearance, but they've travelled through some pretty bad weather.

No matter how it may snow and blow, they'll be in Waterville on time, ready to sing traditional carols and a cappella selections that include compositions by Monteverdi, Palestrina, Tomas de Victoria’s “O Magnum Mysterium” and Orlandus Lassus’ “Videntes Stellam.” The Service will be followed by a Potluck Supper to which all are invited.

You MUST take time, if you possibly can, to ride around the village in the evening to see the Christmas lights. There seem to be more than ever! Even out in the countryside there are many. And don't forget to look UP! You can barely see it during the daytime, but at night the Christmas tree at the Richers Feed Plant in Sangerfield shines bright!

Thanks to Bill Staelens, the Christmas Tree once again shines bright to light the way to the Harding Nursing Home!

Social notes excerpted from the writer's column in this week's Waterville Times:

Mr. and Mrs. Louis C. Langone of Route 12 north were Thanksgiving guests of their son, Christopher and his fiancée, Jennifer, in Annapolis, Maryland where, we have been told by a source very close to the family, a wedding is being planned!
Mr. and Mrs. T. Heidel returned from a trip to visit their daughter Antonia in Altamont Spring, Florida, just in time for Mrs. H. to cook Thanksgiving Dinner for her New York State family. While in Florida, the Heidels went to Silver Springs, Mount Dora, New Smyrna Beach, and took the boat ride through the Dora Canals and the three surrounding lakes.”The weather was sunny and clear, but a bit cool at night and early morning. Winter Park was beautiful, probably the prettiest place we saw -they were all decorated up for Christmas.” Jean also mentioned that the traffic, there, was very heavy and “we are not used to that!” (I know just what you mean!)
The Browns of “Whiskey Hollow” had Thanksgiving Dinner in Clifton Park with their daughter Allison and her husband Rick and eight-and-a-half year old, Iain. Neither Mrs. B. nor Mrs. Methe - nor their husbands - felt inclined to cook, and so they all ate out and had an especially pleasant day because of it!
Amongst those who DO enjoy organizing and preparing family feasts were Mrs. Murray of Tower Street, who expected less than a dozen guests; Mrs. Meszler of Sanger Avenue, who - along with her husband - entertained just twenty relatives and friends. At Karl and Sandy Davis’ home on Sanger Avenue sixteen gathered to feast; Sylvia Crandall went over the twenty mark! Crandall guests included, of course, their daughter Crystal Langone and her family who had no trouble enjoying their second turkey dinner of the day. “Michael’s” made many families happy and, delighted yet more, were those within hearing of the bells upon which, at a minute or two past noontime, the Ayalas played a collection of traditional Thanksgiving hymns.

Although it was not a "Thanksgiving" meal, per se, "Michael's" Harvest Wine Dinner, which took place Tuesday evening, was probably one of the more outstanding dinner events of the season. Seventy diners enjoyed a beautifully presented seven-course meal in an elegant surround. On the menu:
  • Zuppa -Butternut Squash Bisque accented with Roasted Apples and a Cider Crème
  • Spoon Canapés of Fresh Lump Crab wth Lemon Zest and Smoked Salmon with Dilled Crème Fraiche
  • Insalatta of Blackenned Scallop on a bed of Frisce and Arugula adorned with Fried Beet Chips, Pistachio-orange Vinaigrette in Parmesan Bskets
  • Pasta - Pumpkin Sage Ravioli with a rich Parmesan-Mornay Drizzle
  • Entreeés - Three Feathers Grill - Ostrich, Wild Duck, Chicken complemented with an array of seasonal dipping sauces - or - Red Snapper Bruschetta in Herb Crumbs with Sweet Peas and Polenta
  • Cheese Course - P'tit Basque from France, La Tur, from Italy and Saputo Blue Cheese - the United States.
  • For Dessert - Apple Caramel Parfait: layers of homemade cinnamon spiked caramel sauce, delicate molasses cake rounds, sautéd Granny Smith Apples with fresh Vanilla Sabayon.

And the appropriate wine was served with each course!

Those who attended give ecstatic praise and are already looking forward to a "Beaujolais Picnic in the Park" next summer!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday afternoon

It's still warm, but getting gray, and there have been a few sprinkles now and then.

Out on Madison Street, the crowd of Canada Geese is even larger than on previous "heavy travel" days. This time, however, they seem to be landing from the South!

Making best use of the weather, one of the TIOGA paving crews has been pouring a sidewalk at the rear entrance to the Swanberg Home on the Main street side and also repairing a block of pavement near Mrs. Lloyd's residence on Madison Street.

At the Hotel, Mr. Hudson has not only painted the flooring of the front porch a shade of "brick red" that exactly matches the brick coloring on the building but has also added finials to the uprights on the porch. Presumably, a railing and spindles will be the next additions to appear.

Attractive, black cast-iron Railings are now - at long last - in place next to the three new sets of steps on E. Main Street.

More grading has been taking place in the old "gravel pit" across from Mrs. Spearing's home on Madison Street. Does anyone know who owns the land or is doing the work? They've come awfully close to Waterville's SOLE wild clump of "Butterfly Weed." The plant - when wild - is nearly impossible to dig up, the roots go so deep. Perhaps they'd like to save that rare treasure from the bulldozer!

I've had a couple more notes from J.C. Peck, in Florida. (He's older than I had thought - but by just a year or two!) and has reconnected with his old buddy, Dan Ford! He's given me permission to give his E-mail address to anyone else who'd like to get in touch with him! (Sounds like a neat idea!)

Wednesday morning

Recyclables Day!

The morning observation: "starry-clear and 48 degrees."

New mail: in addition to Gary Tuttle's letter and picture from Florida, the blogger has a nice letter from John Clinton Peck. He says that he left Waterville about 16 years ago and, having spent fifteen years in the Pocanos, is now in Estero, Florida. He's been reconnecting with old friends here, and having stopped for a visit in October, plans to do so again.

Delores McManus Wines writes from Latham, New York, expressing fond memories of the village and her friends and appreciation for the blog.

A rather anonymous note simply says "fantastic!"

And, just to make sure that no one is worrying that Chris Desany and his family missed out on Thanksgiving , while the rest of the family was in Florida, he and Jessica, Nate and little Sam were all celebrating the day with the Falks of Putnam Street.


Basketball season's warming up!

WCS Girls Varsity meets Mohawk Central at Waterville next Monday at 7:30 P.M. and Boys Varsity pays Morrisville-Eaton at home on Tuesday at 7:30 P.M.


Headlines from today's issue of the Waterville Times.

"Great Night for a Parade" - Photos (and even a poem!) about last Friday evening's Parade of Lights. More photos on page 12.

"Waterville Library Has a New Director" - Jeff Reynolds of West Winfield will join the Library on December 1.

"Post Office Collects Food Dec. 2" - Postal carriers will pick up non-perishable food for local food pantires. Donations may also be left at the Post Office.

"Ordinance Amended in Village of Waterville" - Sewer Ordinance amended. Property-owners to bear all costs of hooking up and maintenance.

"Online Site Auctions Many Items" - Central New York Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers wide range of gift items.

"Biography Tells of Military Life" - Harold E. Zieres of Deansboro presented with biographical story of his life in the United States Army during World War II.

"Family Turmoil" - Photo of leads in the WCS Drama Club's production of "The House of Seven Gables."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday afternoon

The temperature reached 61.2 degrees, today! Must be some sort of record.

Another project took ovr my life, today, so that I ever even got to the village! I did, however, get more mail: this from Gary Tuttle!

(Click to enlarge.)

This is one way to spend Thanksgiving in FL. This is at Dave Desany's place in Lake Mary, FL. There were 16 people at the table. Two good sized turkeys, one deep fried and one oven roasted were put away. Former Waterville residents at the table were: Dave of course, his brother Brian, mother and father Jean and Toni Desany, Kevin Tuttle, Eric Stephenson and current Waterville residents Jo and Gary Tuttle and Jo's mother Ann Zambri.

(writer's note: I cropped the picture so it would enlarge better, for all of you, but want to note that right in the foreground was an ever-so-inviting swimming pool!)

Five months ago, on June 29th. What a long way we've come!

Mrs. Davis says that the railings on E. Main St. are looking nice. A pict. tomorrow!

Tuesday morning

Sorry 'bout that: I'm LATE! Small computer tantrum to deal with, first, but then some WONDERFUL photographs in the morning mail from Hobie and Lois that are too good not to resize and post right away!

It's "mild," out, according to the observer, guessing 50 degrees, and WKTV Channel 2's forecast begings ""Riding High Through Thursday...."

Things to check out, today:

- progress on railings on E. Main Street

- progress on the Madison Street Townhouses.

A great deal of grading has taken place since I took this picture, last week, and since passersby began to wonder "Why?" the driveway is "so close to the school driverway.." or "Shouldn't it be opposite the school driveway?" (Perhaps someone knows: I don't.)

I do know, however, that Hobie and Lois Morris' life in the "country" is not always what we - or they - expect. Lois just sent me these pictures that she took a month or more ago, when a handsome stranger appeared at their wilderness homestead.

"Good morning! Just passing by - wanted to say "Hello!"

"Clever device you have there. Mind if I take a snack?"


Ooops! 'nuff of that!

Oh, goodie: "wheels!"

"Are the keys in it?"

"Darn. No keys. I'll just have to wait for a ride."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday - later.

Lots of Activity! There's something going on on Putnam Street: NYSEG trucks and also a pipeline company ----- I don't know what they're doing, but it looks important!

On E. Main Street, the new RAILINGS have arrived and
will be set in place next to the three sets of stairs
that were installed last summer.

The preparations seemed to be taking a very long time!

This "tub" deserved a better picture, but the important thing is that Thanks go to Shirley Kellogg for the bright new decorations!

Something else that really deservs a photograph is the Post Office Window, but reflections make it difficult. DO go and LOOK at it and enjoy the humor: what's the name of Santa's sleigh?

I've been hoping to catch Tom in the act! the Sign at his Car Wash seems to change nearly every day, but I never see anyone actually doing it and began to wonder if the elves were coming in the night!


I remember, as clearly as if it were yesterday, sitting in Miss Driscoll's English class and staring unbelievingly at the test paper in front of me. We'd been reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's "House of Seven Gables" - an appealingly romantic mystery, from my point of view - but Miss Driscoll had just passed out a test paper that seemed to have dealt with another book, entirely! Character analysis? (He was handsome; she was beautiful) and historical accuracy (who cared?!) I didn't do well on the test, nor have I ever reread the book.

But now's my chance to revisit the characters and enjoy the "important" aspects of Hawthorne's story, again.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's
"House of Seven Gables"

Friday, December 1 at 7:30
Saturday, December 2 at 7:30
in the high school auditorium

General admission $5; Students and Seniors, $3.

The story goes like this:

A century ago, cruel and cunning Colonel Pyncheon (Alex Mowrey) hung an innocent man (Abram Koester) and built a mansion on the dead man's property. It is now the 1840's. The citizens of this sleepy New England town say the Pyncheons are cursed. They say the musty old house is haunted. They say Hepzibah Pyncheon (Mallory Gilchrist) has a face that would make a tombstone giddy. But the life of the reclusive spinster is about to change. Uncle Venner (Rusty Ritzel) brings an inquisitive photographer (Andrew Rycraft) as a boarder and vivacious cousin Phoebe (Brianna Cowen) from Virginia arrives for a visit.

Step over the threshold of the House of the Seven Gables. Join me there!

(There will not be a test!)

Another Monday!

It's Garbage Day!

42 degrees - will we have a third warm day? Maybe!!
The observer reports that it's "balmy!"

WKTV News Channel 2's forecast goes even further:

Today: Partly sunny and mild. High in the upper 50's.
Tonight: Considerable cloudiness. Low in the low 40's.
Tuesday: Clouds and peeks of sun. A brief shower possible, mainly north. High in the mid 50's.
Wednesday: Partly sunny. High in the mid to upper 50's.
Thursday: Dry early. Turning windy with rain arriving in the afternoon or evening. High 60 at midday...followed by falling temperatures.


On the blogger's "Things to do" list, today:

  • check out the "tub" planters on Main Street: they're all growing greenery and red bows! (-- and find out who did it!)
  • take a good look at the Post Office windows: has the WCS Art Club been there, again?
  • remember to take a bag of treats - everything from disposable razors to talc to paperback books, Christmas cards and home-made cookies - out to the Legion Post #92 before Friday night: the members of the Auxiliary will be packing on Saturday, sending things to our men and women in Iraq.
  • Stop in at the Library for a copy of the newsletter "Bookends" to find out who the new Library Director will be! (News of the appointment is beginning to find its way around the village - perhaps those who can't go to the library to find out will find an official "announcement" in the Waterville Times?)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Hundreds of Canada Geese, circling a cornfield in Sangerfield, ready to settle down for the night.

New on "Heaps of History"

The Loomis and Osborn Family connection
"The Garden Spot of New York"
Civil War Monument


Sunny Sunday!

Yesterday turned into a wonderful "outdoors" day -

the temperature rose 'way into the fifties and the village was alive with activity: youngsters wearing T-shirts without jackets were riding scooters and there were all the usual runners, joggers and dog-walkers. The all-new sidewalks between CVS and Sangerfield are used all the time, answering the two-year-old question: "Will anyone use them?" (Now the query is: "Who will plow them?")

But between now and snowtime, we'll have at least one more
wonderful day --- today!

Decorating was in full swing, yesterday, and more will be taking place today! I think it was on Thursday that I took this picture of Del, out putting lights on her front porch railing.


And this is what it looked like on Friday evening!!!

I AM going to try to take pictures of alot of houses and buildings all lit up, but it's going to be hard photographing ALL of them - there will be so many -

and already there's one thing I'm sure of:

I'm awfully glad I'm not one of the judges* tapped by the Garden Club
to give out Christmas Lighting Awards!!

*The judges for this event are always from another garden club and come,
therefore, from out-of-town.