Homegrown Grape Juice


It’s different pouring grape juice that still has the grapes in it, but different isn’t always a bad thing.

One of the best things about moving into our new place last summer is the prospect of once again growing food. It’s something I’ve missed for the last couple of years so when we first looked at this place and discovered 2 garden beds along with a serious greenhouse, it was exciting.

Of course, last summer kept us busy with work on the house, so we opted to sit out another growing season to focus on other tasks. But in 2018, we’re getting our hands back into the earth. I’m excited and my head has been filled with garden planning all winter, along with repair and alignment plans for the greenhouse.  Continue Reading »


Christmas 2017


A mix of snow and ice on Saturday makes for slippery driving, but at least we’re going to have a white Christmas.

To say the last couple of years have been hectic and fast-paced is quite the understatement. But at the very least, life has not been boring. We spelled out how we got to where we are, namely in a new house, in an earlier post and life here continues to treat us well.

So while the family website can never quite replace the personal touch of an annual Christmas card (Amy sent a boatload out this week), this site is a convenient platform to share more details. So that’s what we’ll do.  Continue Reading »

Whitetail pursuit


The view from between trees as I stand in wait of the right deer to bring home.

We’ll get right to the point and say that on Nov. 10, I’m still without a deer this season.

But I have an excuse!

Not really, because excuses sound like complaints and if there’s one thing I like less than complaining, it’s … I can’t think of  anything, so you get the point. Besides, if you’re a parent you understand that personal pursuits take a backseat to the kiddos and that’s no different for Amy and I.

That said, I have been able to get out into the woods a few times, although it took a while with the warm weather we had for the first few weeks of October. Talk about frustrating. Being busy with the kids tempered the frustration, though, and when the cooler weather and free time finally arrived, I headed into the woods.  Continue Reading »

2017: Time to Reboot


Overlooking our front yard after a summer rainstorm. 

OK, so it’s been a couple of years. The plan when we first started our family website a few years ago was to post regular updates, thoughts and general family news.

That plan did not include the sale of our 1799 farmhouse, temporary residence in Honeoye thanks to the graciousness of family or the purchase of a new house, which happens to be less than a mile away from the old farmhouse.  Continue Reading »

Christmas 2014

A family portrait from January 2014.

A family portrait from January 2014.

Yes, it’s March, almost April. But if you are familiar with the kind of 2014 we had as a family, you’ll understand why our Christmas letter is just now making it to press. To put it simply, we all were very eager to see 2014 in our rearview mirror. The challenges of last year include, but are not limited to: the passing of Amy’s mom, keeping up with 2-year-old Graciela, losing my job at the Rochester newspaper, dealing with one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record for our area, and the usual pitfalls and hurdles of keeping a household on pace as smoothly as possible. Truth be told, it would be difficult to endure a more trying and pressure-filled year than what we had in 2014. This is not a complaint; it’s a reflection of what was and make no mistake, there were heavy hearts and tears in 2014. We did have our smiles and moments of joy, they just weren’t as often as we’d like them to be. But as December drew to a close and the clock ticked down on that 31st evening, we all stayed awake so we could officially escort 2014 out the door and usher in 2015. It’s been better, so far, and still looks promising.  Continue Reading »

Our soccer star

Teammates voted Alex co-captain of the team.

Teammates voted Alex co-captain of the team.

It’s been a couple of weeks since Alex wrapped up his second season of modified soccer at Honeoye. So life and schedules aren’t quite as hectic now that he doesn’t have games and practices after school, and we’ve been able to work our way back into some semblance of order in our daily lives. Not that we’re complaining about the soccer season; not at all. Alex and his teammates didn’t win a lot of games this past season, but really, that’s not what’s important. Not at this level. Sports for junior high students are all about learning and progress, and we saw plenty of that with Alex. From last fall to this one, we saw Alex become more assertive, more direct and more cerebral with his game. Continue Reading »

Autumn’s arrival

The maple in our backyard embraces the arrival of autumn.

The maple in our backyard embraces the arrival of autumn.

The onset of autumn is subtle and gentle, drawing its arrival on a combination of the leftover warmth of summer and the inevitable chill of winter. The creation of our favorite of the seasons is unique in that way, as if it knows it’s better to soothe its way into our lives rather than scream into our ear like its cruel cousin winter. Autumn is lush and brisk, soft and fiery, sometimes all at once. Lush in its warm afternoons and brisk with crisp evenings. Soft with the dying breaths of summer pushing leaves to the ground, fiery in the brilliant colors of foliage that ironically signal the end of a cycle. Is death supposed to be beautiful? Of course not. But somehow, autumn pulls it off. Yes, spring can make us feel young again, but autumn should be acknowledged as the landing pad for the wisdom and knowledge nurtured during the growing season. And just as the leaves fall to fertilize the earth, so too does wisdom around us. Now is the time to slow down, take stock and allow the knowledge gained become the mulch that feeds our growth. There are trees hundreds of years old that continue to grow each year because of this cycle. We should not expect anything less of ourselves.