Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dog Sitting the Dobermans in Centerport

These are two wonderful Dobermans that I dog sat for a week while their parents went to California.  Most of my friends were skeptical about their behavior since this breed of dogs has a poor reputation, but I have to say they were fun, smart and quiet unless someone came to the door.
This was the hottest week ever, some days were over 100 degrees with a topper of 102!  I set up some watercolors in the sun room, but it was like a green house, really hot.
I decided to bring a notebook with me so that I could answer the question,"What did you do for a whole week with the dogs?"
 They are always in motion when awake, so I could only sketch them while the snuggled in their "doughnuts."

 Louise the female, a rescue, and a sweetheart.
Roo-Roo the huge male, and a very smart doggie.  I taught him to fetch and stay, drop the toy and to wait until I picked it up and threw it, before he went for it.
While I was there I was able to read the complete book by Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974.  While raising two children, and working full time, I didn't have the opportunity to read much, except magazines.
I am catching up with the classics that I missed.
 a colored pencil sketch in the notebook, looking out of the sun room windows.
 The scene.
 Roo-Roo would sit next to me while I read.
 One of the characters in the book is Phaedrus, the counterpart for Socrates in a play written by Plato of the same name.  I found myself looking at an 8 foot by 4 foot fish print that was behind the Steinway piano, and talking to it after  a few days, a-la the pig in Lord of the Flies.  Phaedrus actually translates from the Greek as "Wolf,"   but the big fish would do.
 There was a Weber grill outside.  I went on Google and found the directions for
 this charcoal starter, which worked really well.  The key was rolling up newspaper and making a ring out of it instead of just pushing paper into the tin and then layering the charcoal pieces on top.
 The sausage, zucchini, summer squash, fingerling potato, onion shish-ka-bobs.
Perk's Port

All in all a great week for dog sitting, painting, reading, cooking,  and sketching.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Peaches at Gross' Orchard Bedford, Virginia

 A wonderful destination, for this time of year in Virginia is Gross' Orchard, (click for more info) in Bedford County.  Click photos to enlarge images.

 Their peaches and apples are grown right there on the farm.
 On display are other local products.

But look at these peaches!

 The apples.

 These are "White" peaches.
 Blackberries are turned into pies.

 You can buy young peach trees for your garden.

Can there be anything more beautiful than peaches ripening on a tree?

Once you visit this orchard, return trips are a certainty.
 Apples maturing on their tree.

 I  wondered what the farmers did with the windfalls, and they told me that a local church comes for them and distributes the fruit to less fortunate families.

 Down the road, we stopped at another farm stand because they made fresh ice cream from the peaches and other ripe fruit.

A blackberry pie, which we bought for the evening's dessert.
A peach pie, which I will try to replicate at home with the peaches that I took to Long Island.