Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Christmas Spectacular

My mother and I were able to go down to New York City once again last week, this time to see the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular show. We were also able to meet up with Meghan, Nate's girlfriend, who joined us for several hours of activities.

-Traveling down the beautiful Hudson River with my mother.
-Visiting the Lego store once again.
-Seeing the phenomenal tree in Rockefeller Center.
-Hearing the Gospel read and the nativity story acted out at Radio City Music Hall.
-Eating a late lunch at America's first pizza place, Lombardi's.


Saturday, December 08, 2012

December 1st!

It has been a long standing tradition in our family to cut down our chosen Christmas tree on December 1st. So last Saturday Nate, Mom, and I went to a local tree farm and chose a beautiful concolor fir to grace our house this Christmas season. That night to wrap up the Christmas spirit of the day, a group of us went to the Stanfordville Parade of Lights. "Tis' the season to be jolly!"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving At Bentley And Abroad 2012

This year when the special day to give thanks (although, I think we should be grateful everyday) came about, we were joined by Uncle Sam and Aunt Jeanne's family, our friend Clarence, as well as Hannah and Eric all the way from Indiana, Isaac and Allie and Isabella, and our cousin Benjamin. Thanksgiving day was wonderful, a early Turkey Trot to Clarence's farm, followed by a phenomenal and delicious meal made by my mother, a walk around the autumn landscape and forests of Bentley Farm, afterwards a momentous serving of deserts and goodies, topped off with a time to reflect and show gratitude. The next day we left for a touristic visit to quaint Stockbridge, MA, the one-time home of intellectual and Princeton University president, Jonathan Edwards. After enjoying the sights and history of Stockbridge we adjourned to Springfield, MA where we had the privilege to attend an breathtaking Christmas light show along with a delectable dinner at the Italian pizzeria restaurant. We really do have so much to thankful for. 

A special thanks to Aunt Jeanne for taking these photos.

Congratulations To The Future Mr. And Mrs. Angell!

On Saturday night after dining at the restaurant that they visited on their first date, Luke asked the girl of his dreams to marry him inside of a black limo in Washington D.C. Abby said yes, and they spent the rest of the night at a beautiful light show and cruising the brightly lit streets and monuments of our nation's capitol.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Excavation And Restoration

When Bentley had previously been owned by developers many ditches and ponds were dug out to make way for wiring as well as to meet zoning requirements. Now several years later a team of a bulldozer and an excavator labored away for several days filling in ditches, tearing down topsoil hills, and filling in ponds. 


This reminds me of a great Bible verse,"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace removed," says the Lord, who still had compassion on you." -Isaiah 54:10

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Frost Is On The Punkin

My father has always, at the eve of winter, read the following poem to the assembled family. It has always been a tradition and now that the first few weeks of cold, crisp weather of late autumn have passed, along with the first snowfall of the winter season, it seemed fitting to share this delightful poem with others. 

This is a synopsis of the origin of the poem, written by one of James Whitcomb Riley's friends, "Riley, as a young Greenfield man, had had a hard time finding a niche in the world since he did not care to follow his father in the practice of law.  He sold Bibles, painted signs, entertained in a medicine show, always coming to a dead end.  His mother died in 1870 and he felt he could not bear to stay in Greenfield so he went here and there seeking newspaper employment.  He ran into E.B. Martindale of "The Indianapolis Journal" whom he later called, “my first literary patron,” who added him to the staff of the paper to write poetry.  Some of these poems appeared on the first page of the Journal under the nom de plume “Benjamin F. Johnson of Boone,” supposedly an old farmer.  As they were well received, Riley emerged from under his disguise, writing poems such as “When the Frost is on the Punkin.

     In a short while after Riley joined the paper, a gentleman named Halford was appointed manager of the Journal.  One of his first ideas was to cut down on expenses of the paper, and he was considering Riley as his first victim to get the ax.  It so happened that a political convention was held in Indianapolis at this very time.  One of the candidates nominated for office was a big burly fellow who had never made a speech in his life
     When he got up to accept his nomination, his mind went blank and he could not utter a word.  The pounding and cheering went on until in desperation he blurted out, “The ticket you have nominated here is going to win “when the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.”  This Riley poem had just been published a few days before. in the newspaper.
     The applause that greeted these words showed that most of these prominent men had read Riley’s work and approved of it.  Halford kept him on, and he became an established poet. Riley saved his job by a landscape!"
"When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ...
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!"

-James Whitcomb Riley 

This is a great recitation of the poem itself by a old timer, and is really worth listening to.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A Blast From The Past

Today, while attempting to download some pictures off of my camera's removable memory disc, I accidentally downloaded some from the camera's independent memory, and they just happened to be some adorable pictures of the two infant cousins, that I took in August.  I was happy at least some of the pictures turned out, there was about 20 pictures in the cameras' memory, and if Eliana wasn't moving, Isabella was, and if Isabella wasn't moving, Eliana was!

Friday, October 26, 2012

NYC Field Trip

This Wednesday Mom and I embarked on a 1-day trip, to see several parts of New York City we hadn't seen before, at 5 am in the morning and we braked to a stop in Grand Central Terminal at 7:30 am. We quite enjoyed ourselves (for once it wasn't blazing hot or freezing cold), and it was quite uncrowded, well as uncrowded as New York City can be.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

-Going on a wonderful tour of NBC's studio.
-Being on live television with MSNBC's Good Morning America.
-Walking through Rockefeller Plaza.
-Visiting the Lego store.
-Meeting up with Nathaniel for a lunch respite at Chiptole.
-Seeing the oldest man-made object in NYC,(which is located in Central Park) Cleopatra's needle, a towering obelisk built in 1600 BC.
-Spending time with my lovely mother.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Visiting Royalty

We had the privilege of a King Of The Air, aka Bald Eagle, grace our farm's pond. It selected a nice 14-inch bass from Bentley Pond for its breakfast and proceeded to consume it with much vigor, after diving into the pond to catch its aquatic prey.

Maude Grant once wrote,"The bald eagle was chosen...as the emblem of the United States of American, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks..." I might add to that descriptive list, powerful talons, a kingly grace, and a beak so sharp, it hurts to look at it. 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Maryella's Unlikely Visitor

It is known in our family that Maryella really loves any kind of baby, especially baby calves and human babies. So that is why Rebecca took week-old Speeddaddle for a brief walk up to the house to see Maryella. Maryella had just one question for it, "Where in the heck do you think you are going?"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Speedaddle Is Born!

Last night, Rebecca's cow, Speed...er, something or other, gave birth to a little baby girl! This is a very welcomed expansion for Rebecca's herd of bovine speedsters. Legend has it, or rather a truthful farm tale, that this calf's great-great-great-great grandmother was taken to a cattle sale several years back. When she was taken out of the trailer she made a breakaway and tore off down the road. She galloped through fields and roads for quite some time, before being halted by a busy highway. This heroic feat earned her the name Speed from the farmer that bought her. And her daughter became Rebecca's first cow, which became the matriarch of Rebecca's large cattle herd. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Changing Seasons

Two days ago marked the first day of autumn. The leaves are rapidly beginning to change colors and the air has a new crispness to it. As creation changes around me, I was reminded of how the Bible talks about the seasons of life, and the seasons of time. Daniel 2:21 reads,"He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." Even though we as humans may be affected by changing weather patterns, leaves fluttering to the ground, and other such occasions as we move forward in our yearly cycle, God is outside of time. God had made and controls time. Simply put, He is completely in control. Sir Isaac Newton, the renowned scientist, once stated,"This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being." Isaac Newton was a man that believed that the universe we live in, and the unchanging order of it were a testimony to the orderliness of our Creator. One of the more famous passages in the Bible states in Ecclesiastes 3:1, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." There is a time to do what God put us on this earth to do, and that time is always right now, today, this minute, this second.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Stissing Mountain Sunday

On Sunday, a small party of Angells journeyed up the side of Stissing Mountain and climbed the many staircases leading to the top of the fire tower, to see a beautiful bird's eye view of the Hudson Valley region. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Eric And Hannah Tie The Knot!

On Saturday afternoon Hannah Angell and Eric Hunt were united together in holy matrimony at Lyall Memorial Church, surrounded by many friends and family. A joyous celebration followed afterwards on the lawns of Bentley Farm. Congratulations to the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs. Hunt!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lake George Day 2012

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
On Tuesday, the Angell clan headed up to the pristine waters of Lake George for a fun-filled day with our friends and cousins, Trip and Sally. All of us enjoyed the water-skiing, water tubing (thanks to brother Nate), jumping off of Calf's Pen, relaxing, eating and thoroughly enjoying ourselves and the hospitality which Trip and Sally graciously extend to us. This event is always a special day in my summer, one that I look forward to every year, and I revel in every second of the day.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bentley Farm Survival/Adventure Trip 2012

Several weeks ago, my friends, Chris and Andy, and I went on a day and a half long adventure trip out in the woods taking only a granola bar and one bottle of water with us, along with several mandatory supplies. Both days were pretty hot, topping out at more than 95 degrees. We made our camp at a pine grove back on the property, overlooking the rest of the farm. We had a pretty good time, leaving the trip exhausted and exhilarated, enjoying the comradery and adventure.

Thats what we called dinner. Slain with a caveman club and a frog spear.
A fire we started with two sticks and tinder. Actually, we started it with a match, but we had to gather a lot of fire wood, pine burns fast.
Mmm, looks good, right?
The survival blanket and pine branch bed, a combination we call the Hot Potato.

BBQ bass!
The "Weapons Tree", we made several three prong spears and clubs with tree materials we found, electrical tape, (which we also found), and paracord.
This picture speaks for itself.

P.S. I apologize for the lack of posts, my summer has been incredibly busy, but I will be trying to get posts up more frequently. Thanks!