Over Coffee with Ellen: The sight of a bald eagle reminder of local beauty | Columns

Over Coffee with Ellen: The sight of a bald eagle reminder of local beauty | Columns

Last week, there was a trip made to Potsdam. What a beautiful fall day it was as we traveled to and from the neighboring town.

On our way home, The Gardner (who was the chauffeur that day and on most days now) took what we consider the back-way home. As we traveled the roadway with trees on either side, we noticed a large bird in the road. As our car came closer, the bird rose from his prey and circled in front of us.

The sight before us was breathtaking. The bird that had been in the roadway just seconds before was a magnificent bald eagle.

It rose skyward, circling in front of our car before leaving the area. What a spectacular sight.

Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live and enjoy an October day with the most beautiful views from your car window? I certainly think so.

I am grateful now that my granddaughter and son encouraged me to purchase a new phone a few years ago. I am sure most of you communicate with the new phones complete with capabilities for email, FaceTime visits and texting — and to reach people through a telephone call.

Texting is something I am getting used to. I love to be in touch with our family: our two grown sons and grandchildren. Through brief typing (it is quite an exercise with large fingers on a small keyboard), I am able to be in touch with my sisters who are a continent away and dear friends in Massena and literally throughout the world. How grateful I am for this technology allowing me to be in touch so easily.

This week, though, I smiled with the use of a new phrase by a friend texting. The individual was trying to communicate with me, but we were on our way to pick up our order at Walmart. (I know you can text anywhere, but I haven’t achieved that ability yet). The individual said when I was available I could “Ping him!”

My phone does “ping” when a message is received, but I had never thought of it in those terms. I remember calling friends. After all I was on my phone — but “call me” simply doesn’t fit — it was texting that we were doing.

Wasn’t there a time when we would ring someone up? But this phone doesn’t ring (it has a lovely harp sound to announce actual phone calls)?

After consideration, I guess my friend was right — I should “ping him” when I am available to visit! Perhaps there should be an accompanying dictionary with each new technology created.

Two extraordinary women, Ruth Truax and Mary Weinert, will celebrate their birthdays Friday. It is always such a joy to visit with both of these women. My heartfelt thanks to Ruth and Mary for your many contributions to the community, for always being there for your families and for your neighbors and friends.

How talented they both are. Ruth is known for her culinary skills — her homemade pies are wonderful! Ruth’s volunteering is known throughout the community, and her care for the animals near her home always touches my heart.

During the pandemic, she has also become known for her marvelous cards and letters. Mary makes the most beautiful necklaces.

I have one that is made from colored bulletins from a local church in Massena. I treasure that necklace and wear it proudly and tell others that it was made by Mary Weinert.

My warmest wishes to you both as you celebrate on Friday. Happy Birthday!

Dr. Joanne Cichetti will celebrate her birthday Monday. What a remarkable woman she is!

She cares for her family, friends and her patients. My warmest wishes are sent your way, Dr. Joanne, for only the best as you celebrate.

I hope you will be able to enjoy your day and celebrate — safely! Happy Birthday.

In recent months, I have found it necessary to wear my glasses on a regular basis. When I sit at the keyboard, glasses are essential so notes can be seen properly.

Wearing glasses was working well until a mask was added. This complicated things a bit with the glasses now fogging immediately as the mask was put into place.

I tried every suggestion I heard on newscasts and saw online. A mask was worn with a small metal top — it was pinched around my nose with glasses placed over the mask. Fogging appeared immediately!

As I looked through catalogs that arrive in our mailbox (that might have something to do with the fact I order frequently), I saw a fog mitt. The advertisement for this fog mitt said there would be no fogging of your windshield when used.

The fog mitts were ordered, and I tried them this week. They work perfectly on glasses with a wipe across the lens.

The fogging does not appear with my mask in place! How grateful I am this week for a small light blue fog mitt.

Last week, I shared my thoughts on the new trend of canning, something I have done for years and my mother before me. It was fun this week to hear from readers with their own remembrances of canning.

One reader recalled her first attempts at canning. She remembered the canning process with a water bath and recalled making pickles using every cucumber given her only to discover the larger cucumbers were to be saved for another recipe. I remember smaller pickles with my grandmother canning ripe cucumber pickles with large cucumbers complete with a cinnamon stick in each jar.

Did you notice the picture of home canning with this column last week? I must admit I saw the picture in the print edition of the newspaper but had missed it online.

A reader in California sent an email mentioning the pictures at the top of the column. If you noticed one of two at the top of the column picture, you will discover canning jars to accompany this column. What fun!

My heartfelt thanks to my editor who read this column, made the connections and added the picture. It even looked like the one my daughter-in-law had sent that inspired me to share my thoughts.

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent of human change.”

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