Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Memorial for Mary R. LaRock
Born in Middletown, Ohio on Oct. 20, 1918Died on Sep. 24, 2009 and resided in Milford, OH.

Mass of Christian Burial:
Monday, Sep. 28, 2009
St. Margaret Cemetery
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Mary R. LaRock, 90, of Milford, Ohio died Thursday, September 24, 2009, at Sem Haven Health Care Center. She was born in Middletown on October 20, 1918 to parents Emrick and Mary (Osust) Orth.Mary attended St. John's and Middletown High Schools. She graduated from the nursing program at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton and did a post graduate course at Cornell University. She served as a nurse in the United States Army during World War II and later was an RN for Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York and then for the Veteran Administration Hospital in Chillicothe. She was a member of Holy Family Parish - St. John's Church, life-member of the Nursing Alumnae Association, member of National Association of Retired Federal Employees, and retired member of the Ohio Nurses Association. Mrs. LaRock is survived by her six children, Sister Mary K. LaRock S.S.J., Barbara (Mike) Hurff, James LaRock, John (Jill) LaRock, Thomas (Maria) LaRock and William (Missy) LaRock; her brothers, Joe (Bebe) Orth and Paul (Carol) Orth; sisters, Ann Lehman and Phyllis (Jack) Downey; sister-in-law, Shirley Orth; aunt, Katie Smith; 8 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Edward LaRock in 1971; her parents; brothers, Henry Orth and John Orth; sister-in-law, Josephine Orth; and brother-in-law, Don Lehman. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, September 28, 2009 at 10:00 am at Holy Family Parish - St. John's Church, 1405 First Avenue, Middletown with Father John Civille as celebrant. Interment will be at St. Margaret Cemetery in Chillicothe.Memorial donations may be made to The Salvation Army, 1711 S. University Blvd., Middletown, OH 45044 – OR - St. Vincent dePaul Society-Hotline, c/o Holy Family Parish, 201 Clark Street, Middletown, OH 45042.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Two things to share this morning:
First Monday back at the ranch since June 1st and back to my morning workout. I built this gym way back when to diminish excuses to not work-out to just plain laziness. It worked quite well; as long as I stayed home. But now that we go to the cottage for the months of Jun. Jul., Aug. and most of September the gym doesn't see my reflection often, if at all.
Oh, to be sure I still get some exercise; paddling, walking and hiking, but it just isn't the same.
This morning I Googled, "how long does it take to break a habit." You'll interested to note that all the references were about how long it takes to break a bad habit. the consensus is somewhere between 21 days and 6 weeks.
Since no Google article addressed it I'd like to opine that to break a good habit (exercise) takes no longer than 2 weeks. And as many of you can attest, getting back into the exercise habit can take weeks, months, even years.
Today I started strength training again; damn I hate this starting over, but I'm back and I'm glad!
We hired some projects done here at the homestead to be done while we were at camp. If you follow Koffeebean's blog you've been able to keep up with the bathroom remodeling from start to finish.
The walk-way project, phase two of the patio project from last year, is well on it's way to completion. Today the man with the jack-hammer is coming to breakout the cement porch slab and then Tues. Don and Tom can finish the project. Below is the progress so far. We are supremely pleased with the results !

We even have our own Eiffel Tower image included in the walk way. Neat huh?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009


I turned the page to 64 yesterday. Auspicious for a couple of reasons: My sister shares this birthday date with me; having come into this world on my 12th b'day. And the fact that my dad left this world when he was 58 means my genes have given me at least 6 more years than he had.

The day was tiring and could have passed un-noticed. Because of a family emergency for one of my anesthesia co-workers, I ended up taking call two days in a row. Wouldn't you know it but in a department known for it's laid back easy going schedule these two days turned out to be humpers with totally full day schedules interspersed with middle of the night c-section.

If D. hadn't prepared a scrumptious dinner and my favoritist bananna cream birthday cake, I'd have hit the hay as soon as I walked through the door. In fact I was so tired on the drive home, I almost pullled over to the side for a nap. The way my head was nodding, I should have.

Anyway, I got eight hours sleep last night and am ready to attack the day again today.

Sixty-four; who'd-a-thunk it? I don't feel any older than 46. Although last evening I'd have believed you if you'd said I was 94. :>)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pulling back from the river's edge.

It's that bitter sweet time of the year again: close up camp, move back home, and put the garden to bed. There are a number of clues that occur, with increasing frequency, signaling our need to migrate. First, our landlords are anxious to get the building buttoned-up, and the water turned off so they can depart for Texas. Second, as we inch toward the first day of autumn, the days shorten and the daybreak temps hover near 40 degrees the air inside the camp is 50degrees. We huddle around the coffee pot wrapping our fingers around our coffee cups to take away the chill in our fingers. Reason enough to trigger the move home.

So it was yesterday. We packed up the Trailblazer with the first load of the many to follow, and motored home. We were greeted by the sight of our yard torn up; Don and Tom had started digging out the planned new walkway from the patio to the porch. While they were busy with rocks, stones and concrete removal, D. and I proceeded to the garden patch to harvest both veggies and the out-of-control weeds. The veggies to feed us and the weeds fed the compost pile.

After starting a wash and putting the clothes I had brought home back in there proper places I exited the house to find D. giving a garden tour to a couple of passer-bys and their great dane. It turns out that Dave and Barb and the dog, Winter, have been including a walk past our gardens all summer. They were very complimentary and in fact yesterday they had purposely brought along Dave's Cannon G10 with the specific intent to photograph one of our gigantic Cabbages. In the tete a tete that followed we shared back ground info and gardening histories. Dave took the photos of the cabbages as displayed with Barb, D., and myself. I'd show you but the pics are on Dave's camera not mine. It turns out that Dave works for Cannon so he and D. shared praises of their respective Cannons.

Dave shared a story about a cabbage and ham dinner that was spurred by a farmer's market purchase in Canada a few years ago when his sister was impressed with the size of the cabbage and the fact that Dave "the big spender" paid all of one dollar for it. There-in the reason for taking the photo of our cabbages; the pictures of which have probably already been emailed to his sister. To cap the story; we gave the cabbage along with some freshly harvested carrots, peppers and hot peppers to Dave and Barb so they could fix a ham and cabbage dinner last night. Gardening has always been a friend maker for us.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Friday morning to be thankful for. I'm thinking that when I die I'll chose a Monday night; don't want to ruin a morning nor a weekend. ;>)
We'll begin transporting our lives back to Mo'twn this weekend. Don is coming tonight to sure up measurements for the new sidewalk from the patio to the porch. He plans on starting tomorrow. *YEAH*

Meet the the day and everyone in it with a smile on your face! :) :) :)


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2009 Adirondack Canoe Classic
Fibonacci sequence =
a paddling Fib (poetry)

Near Brown's Tract
In a new canoe;
Adirondack Ninety Miler.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Adirondack Canoe Classic 2009: getting ready...................

It's that time of year again: time for the event that has marked the end of summer for us for the last 5 years; The Adirondack Canoe Classic. It consists of a 3 day, 90 mile canoe race from Old Forge, NY to Saranac Lake, NY.
The photo shows Leigh and I at the finish of last year's race. We are the canoe with 2 paddlers in the photo's center.

This year is going to be different, but I hope satisfying and without mishap. First off, neither Leigh nor I have trained for this race this year. I'm not sure we can count the mountain hiking we did in NM in July. For various reasons on both of our accounts, we just never found the time to get any amount of paddle time in.

Secondly, last night D. talked to K., Leigh's wife, and she will only be able to be with us for Friday. She has a BSA conference that she can't get out of starting Saturday morning. That will leave D. as our one person pit crew to transport us from put in to take out on days 2 and 3. Too late now to find a fill in person.

Third; As of this writing I've been unable to get in contact with Leigh to sure up plans for today's departure.

All in all I'm seeing a SNAFU shaping up here, but will reserve judgement until Sunday.

C'est la vie!


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Grass: morning, noon and evening.

It turned out to be a quiet weekend of call at Massena this just past weekend. I took advantage of the coolish, sun warmed, pre-autumn days to sit in the Veterans Memorial Park, situated on the banks of the Grass River and catch up on some reading.
The recommendation of photography how-to articles tell you that the best time to shoot photos is before 10 AM and after 4 PM. Having ample opportunity to test that theory over the weekend I took many shots of the Grass at various times from the same vantage point. I must say that I agree with the photography gurus. But I wasn't really surprised.
The books? I finished Walter Cronkite's autobiography, A Reporter's Life, (a must read if you want some insight into the workings of National politics.) The other was a book by James Patterson; non-violent nor gory: Sundays at Tiffany's. If you don't mind reading with a tear in your eye from time to time, this is a heart warming story with a happy ending. Of course it helps to believe in imaginary friends as I do.
Yesterday I started Lynne Truss' Talk to the Hand. It's as funny as her previous book; Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I'm hoping to finish it tonight while on-call again tonight in Massena.
Coming up this week-end: The Adirondak 90 miler: **YEAH**.


Monday, September 07, 2009

After a quiet 3 day call weekend, ensconced in a hotel, I'm off today and will be making my way to the cottage by the St. Lawrence River.
I have a job; thank God! Many don't.
I've been employed at some job since 1957. That's a good thing to my mind.
So today I'll reflect on my blessings, say a prayer for those less fortunate, and maybe sip some wine; red of course!
To all; a safe holiday and remember, if your driving, watch out for the other guy. I will.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Life, the never ending story: people come and people go.

To everything there is a season. I think we can all accept that. We acknowledge death; usually reluctantly, but sometimes with welcome relief. The same sentiment can hold true for businesses too. Often businesses will close with nary a second thought on our part. Other times, the demise of a business is akin to losing a kindly old uncle.

Years ago, at the age of seventeen, I left my home town to make my way in the world and after a bit, made my way back there to ply my trade and raise a family. In the twelve years I'd been away, many changes had occurred, many businesses I'd known, growing up, were no more. The Ford Street of my youth had suffered a poor excuse for plastic surgery (called urban renewal). Gone were Al's Men's Shop, McConnville Hotel, Judy Rose, Surprise
Store, Woolworth's, and Newberries. The pool hall and Al's were gone. Fanny Farmer and the Busycorner; gone forever. I could go on with the list, but for the purpose of this piece suffice it to say, these were businesses that I frequented in my growing up years. I noted their demise upon my return home with nostalgia and fond memories but took the attitude that time marches on.

It's worth noting that some of my most favorite establishments were/are still alive and doing well, some having relocated to other areas of the city.

Phillip's Diner was still there: still is today. Kinney's Drug store was and is still my Drug store of choice. While the A&P and Lowblaws left town, and Acme and Grandunion came and went, Eddy's Market stayed the course and was a solid family run operation closing only recently with the retirement of the O'Donnahue brothers.

Hulett & Son Jewelry store and Mr. Art Hastings, watch repairman extraordinaire, stood the test of time.

But I have to say that the store that was consistently a part of my life from an early age until today was a hardware store; Hacketts Hardware. Everyone, I think, has a favorite type of store. For me it's been hardware stores, at least for to majority of my life. Today it might be a toss up between that and bookstores.

To say that Hacketts has stood the test of time is a gross understatement. They have served the Ogdensburg community since, circa 1830.

Hacketts Hardware is dying. It's wheezing it's last breathes as I type. And Hulets is going down with them. I note this with more than a tinge of sadness. Like my kindly old Uncle Ed, I'm going to miss Hacketts and Hulets. Their demise will leave a void in me, to say nothing of the dilemma of where to do the far majority of my Christmas, Anniversary, and birthday shopping.

Oh sure, we've got our Wal-mart and Lowe's; Price Chopper and Aldi's. What we are slowly and consistently losing is our living history, relegated to anthologies deposited in our, rich with history, Public Library, to be left unread as we hail progress and zip down Rt. # 37 bypassing the city and it's nostalgia. Hmmm, I wonder how many more years before the library gives way to the advances of the digital age. Will history become a mere twitter quickly lost in cyberspace?

The circumstances that caused the demise of two of my favorite businesses? I don't have a clue. Many and varied I'm sure. Doesn't matter; I'm going to miss them, and I'm going to miss talking to Art Hastings and watching a storied piece of history slip in to obscurity.

And so it goes (Kurt Vonnegut)
p.s. just so you know; Farrands Flowers has been sold to the hospital, Youmi has moved her business into her house and Joe Basta is looking longingly at retirement. Where the heck will I shop for flowers in the near future?


Tuesday, September 01, 2009