Category Archives: pictures

Seasons of Mt. Hope Cemetery (pictures)

I was going through some photos today and realized I had taken some pictures a few weeks at Mt. Hope while I was out for a walk with Bailey and forgotten to upload them. I also remembered that while on that walk, I’d purposely tried to take some shots at places I’d shot during the last year,  places where I’ve been romping, roaming and researching in my favorite place in the city. So for fun, here are some pics of Mt. Hope, through the seasons.

Mt. Hope CemeteryOctober 2012 (c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Curtis Mausoleum
October 2012
(c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope CemeteryFebruary 2013 (c) 2013 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Curtis Mausoleum
February 2013
(c) 2013 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

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Mt. Hope CemeteryMay 2012 (c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery
May 2012
(c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope CemeteryOctober 2012 (c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery
October 2012
(c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope CemeteryFebruary 2013 (c) 2013 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery
February 2013
(c) 2013 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

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Mt. Hope CemeteryOctober 2012 (c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery
October 2012
(c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope CemeteryFebruary 2013 (c) 2013 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery
February 2013
(c) 2013 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

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Sylvan waters, April 2012(c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Sylvan waters, April 2012
(c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope CemeteryOctober 2012 (c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sylvan waters
October 2012
(c) 2012 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sylvan waters
February 2013
(c) 2013 Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

Stories from the grave – another walk through Mt. Hope Cemetery

It was a beautiful day to meander among the headstones.

Bandit and I went out for a meander through Mt. Hope Cemetery today, mostly so I could clear my head and shake off the negative vibes I’ve picked up over the last month or so from some know-it-alls and jack-asses I’ve been forced to interact with.

That’s a pretty way to start a blog post, isn’t it?

You know I love the cemetery, so even though the temperatures hovered around 40 degrees on this late April morning, I  enjoyed wandering around the headstones, taking photos and reading epitaphs and wondering about the people who reside there.

Take, for example, the headstone from the Hommel family. I was struck by the age of their son Oscar, who died in 1878 at 7 years old. So I snapped a photo.

When I got home, though, I realized that the date of Oscar’s birth is the same as his mother’s death. That got me wondering if perhaps Regina died giving birth.

In general, I hate technology, but in situations like this I’m grateful for online databases like the UR’s records on the interments at Mt. Hope Cemetery. A little digging showed me that Oscar died December 13, 1877 of meningitis (although is tombstone says 1878). His mother, Regina, died December 21, 1871 of typhoid fever. George died March 13, 1879 of consumption.

So while I don’t know what month Oscar was born, we can assume his father, George, was left with a child under a year old after losing his wife Regina to typhoid fever. And then he  lost his son a few years later. Continue reading

Handgun lesson #1 – don’t point the gun at anyone, even if it’s not loaded

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Last week my sister and I went to Beikirch’s to play with … er … look at … the guns. I’ve had my pistol permit for almost two years but just haven’t really been motivated to get my own pistol.

I’m not afraid of guns. I grew up around them, my father being a cop and all. And I’ve shot guns before. But it’s different when it’s your gun, something you need to actually know how to operate and clean and store safely, not just shoot and hand back to its owner when you’re tired of playing with it.

Now that my sister is a handgun instructor, we thought we’d have some fun and go look at guns. It’s a daunting process, even when you’re with someone who knows what they’re doing.  Poor Mark at the gun shop; he was overwhelmed by one woman with too much info and one with absolutely zero (that was me!).

So today I had an hour long lesson with Dave Jenkins from Rochester Personal Defense here in Rochester. We went to the gun club and for an hour he explained how a gun works, what I should be looking for in my own gun, answered my stupid questions, and then let me shoot a couple of his guns.

I learned a lot. I always knew that shooting was more than pulling the trigger; I’ve shot rifles and pistols before. But I forgot how easy it is to pull the trigger and then turn around and say, “Hey! Wow! Did you see that?” while waving the gun around. Oops. Good thing Dave only put one bullet in at a time. (“This isn’t the first time I’ve done this,” he said with a smile.)

When my sister and I were looking at guns last week, I was unable to pull the slide on one. I mean, literally, physically unable to muscle the thing back while holding the gun. Today I learned that I also need to be able to push the safety thingy up at the same time. The thumb on my right hand doesn’t want to cooperate; there was another gun I simply couldn’t work because I couldn’t push up with my thumb and then slide the … slide thing. (I’ll learn the actual terms when I take another class, I promise.) My thumb still hurts.

Dave explained that that just helps us eliminate some guns. Other things to consider are purpose (will I carry it for protection? go target shooting? both?), the grip, how it feels in my hand, and can I operate it. Clearly, some I can’t.

I got to shoot the Glock 19 and managed to get most of the bullets in one area of the paper without hurting myself, Dave, or the guy shooting next to us. I also shot a Smith and Wesson revolver.

I’d forgotten what a powerful experience it is to actually shoot a gun. It’s not like on TV; the gun BOOMS and kicks back and sends a bullet at a gazillion miles an hour into a target. I think every elementary school kid should shoot a gun if only to show them that guns are not toys and that what they see on TV is nothing like reality. Shooting a gun – even holding a gun – is not a game.

At the same time, it was a really cathartic experience. I called it “yo-gun”, because I had to focus and steady myself and breathe and then … WHAM! Yeah, I did that. Boom!

There are a lot of rules, too. Don’t point the gun at someone, even if there aren’t any bullets in it. When the buzzer sounds, get behind the red line. Don’t point the gun at anyone. Don’t point the muzzle in the air. Don’t take your ear protection off or your ears will be ringing for a long time. (If you can’t hear with them on, pretend like you can.) Don’t point the gun at anyone.

Oh, and don’t point the gun at anyone.

It’s a lot to take in and well worth the $35 Dave charges for a consultation like this. (Thanks, Jackie!) Out of the hour, I only spent about 15 minutes shooting, but I was prepared for the experience and felt much more comfortable handling the gun. Dave explained how the gun should fit in my hand and how it actually fires a bullet. Plus, I got to try a couple of guns to see what felt good in my hand. Next time, Dave said I can shoot more and try some other guns. Since buying a gun is such a big investment, this is a great way to ease myself into shooting without making a huge investment in a gun I can’t shoot or won’t carry.

You can learn more about guns, especially programs for women (one of their main focuses), at Rochester Personal Defense’s website, www.safeinrochester.com.

And with this little outing, I think I can close out my Year of Adventure!

Do-it-yourself photo shoot, Funny Farm style

Think I could use this as a head shot?

Every publication that I write for wants a photo of me to run with my bio. Unfortunately, I take terrible photos. I’ve tried to get darling husband to take a candid picture, but he likes to kneel down and shoot up at his subjects. Which, as you know, makes the object appear larger. Great if you’re a white tail buck. Not great if you’re an overweight, middle aged woman.

I planned to have get a professional shot done, but I used the money I’d set aside for the photo to get highlights in my hair so I’d look pretty for my photo.  I’m not a great financial planner. So sue me.

So today I made another attempt to take a photo of myself using the timer option on my handy dandy camera. I hoped to get one of the animals in there as well. I did my hair, put on make up with care (foundation, blush, lipstick, the whole nine yards). I found a pretty scarf to hide my ugly neck. And I tried to create a semi-acceptable background.

Well, this picture kind of sums up how it went.

Photo shoot, Funny Farm style

I hauled a stool around to set the camera on; I tried to hang a sheet for a neutral background. I ended up with sweat running down my face, my hair frizzing, the cat pulling the sheet down as I put it up. I hauled the kit and kaboodle outside and used the sports mode to take 100 frames in a few seconds, hoping to get one decent frame out of … well, about 400. I cropped this one to show my sister my new highlights; you can’t see Bailey licking my feet.

Pretty highlights that I got instead of paying for a professional photo. By the time I save up enough for the photo, my gray roots will have grown back in.

I was able to salvage a couple of fair snapshots – certainly not professional by any stretch of the imagination. But hopefully one is usable enough for the blogs that needs a picture of me. Personally, I’d like to use the one with Bandit’s big yawn. It’s the best representation of life here at the Funny Farm. But what do you think?

Sheet managed to stay up, Murphy trying to escape. This might be the only photo I can actually use.

A day at the funny farm, in pictures & video

Today, darling husband was getting rid of a tree stump and some trees to get ready for the fence guys. The hens were out scratching for bugs, Scout was hiding by the house because he’s afraid of the chickens, and Bandit … well, as you can hear in the video, Bandit was just being Bandit.

(c) 2010 Joanne Brokaw All rights reserved

Sound the alarm!

(c) 2010 Joanne Brokaw All rights reserved

Darling husband taking a break to get the deer update from the field. He'd rather be hunting.

(c) 2010 Joanne Brokaw All rights reserved

When the chain saw broke, darling husband got resourceful and pulled out the circular saw.

(c) 2010 Joanne Brokaw All rights reserved

Gee, look how much room we have without those stupid bushes.

Moving day at The Funny Farm – it’s not what you think – and Bandit defies gravity

Back in January, we moved Cassie into her apartment in Buffalo, where she was going back to school. (You can read Bandit’s account of the trip on his blog.) This weekend, we moved her back.

This girl needs to sign a lease longer than 6 months.

Neither dog got to go on this weekend’s adventure, but today, Bandit pulled a stunt worthy 0f the Purina Dog Challenge.

Continue reading

Finding peace and quiet in the cemetery

Key West Cemetery, Key West, FL Photo: (c) 2006 Wonder Dog Communications/Joanne Brokaw all rights reserved

I was getting my hair done today and my stylist was joking about how her kids were driving her crazy. “Sometimes I think the only peace I’ll get is when I’m dead,” she laughed.

Ironically, I was thinking about that today, too.

For the last few days I’ve been taking the dogs to walk in a local cemetery. While we wandered around the tombstones, some of them almost 200 years old, I was struck by how peaceful it was in the park. I thought about what the people buried there might say about the cemetery if they were able to talk.

Continue reading

2010 Bark At The Park at Frontier Field

Fans and their dog enjoy the game at the 2010 Bark At The Park. Photo (c) 2010 Wonder Dog Communications All rights reserved

Today was the annual Bark at the Park at Frontier Field, the day dog lovers get to take their pups to the ball game.

Rochester Animal Services had a table at the event, and volunteers with buckets and sponges cooled off the hot pups.

Baseball fans with dogs are restricted to the grassy area just past the outfield, and you might expect some excitement when you get almost 100 dogs in one space. But it was all quiet – in fact, very little barking at the park!

Here are some photos from the event :  Continue reading

Camp Cluck gets a thorough cleaning and an upgrade

Darling Husband was hard at work this week at Camp Cluck, giving the coop a thorough cleaning that involved the Shop Vac; the coop could pass any white glove test. The hope is that we’ve cleaned up any coccidiosis in the bedding, or at least helped keep it in check.
Then it was on to upgrades.

As regular readers (and people who know us) already know, building the chicken coop ended up being a much more involved and expensive project than I planned.

That’s because Darling Husband likes to take any project and make it more complicated and elaborate than it needs to be. Don’t get me wrong; he did a fantastic job and  it’s the Fort Knox of chicken coops.

But he created this space behind the coop that he thought would be like an annex and I said we didn’t need, and we’ve been kind of arguing about it for months.

The idea was that the birds could go under the coop to get to the back part, but for me to get there I would have to go all the way around the gargage and through the blackberry bushes. I didn’t see any need for it and didn’t really want the birds to go under the coop.

I vetoed the idea but I got vetoed.

When the girls started hanging out in the spring, they kept going in the back but couldn’t figure out how to get back. So I was climbing through the window and tossing them back into the coop to avoid walking all the way around the garage and battling the brambles.

Then we realized Lucy and Ethel were going under the coop to lay eggs, so we sealed off their ability to get to the back and that was that.

 But this week Darling Husband added a little door for the girls to get into the back. They love having a secret meeting place and it gives them a little more hanging out room.

I still have to go all the way around the garage and through the blackberry bushes to get back there to clean or see if they’ve laid eggs. So David now has the job of taking care of the Camp Cluck Annex.

I wanted someplace for the girls to roost in the run so he created these stair-like things they seem to enjoy climbing on. He did give me some perches that didn’t turn out the way he’d planned but the girls really like them a lot. He calls it the chicken playground.

So even though it probably sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. Trust me, Camp Cluck is a great place to be if you’re a chicken!

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Field trip at Camp Cluck

On Sunday, the girls had a little outing: we set up a barrier across the back of the yard and let the girls wander around for a while.

 

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