Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Back to Winter Wednesday

1. What does retirement mean to you? Are you planning for it, not thinking about it, looking forward to it, or dreading it?
Retirement means I have the time to do the things I want to do, mostly when I want to do them; like substitute teaching so I can afford to volunteer... and take those beach vacations!  

2. It's International Guitar you play? Does anyone in your family play? What's a song you especially like to hear played on the guitar or a favorite song featuring the guitar?

I don't play but my husband does as does our youngest son and his wife. Wow... so many songs. I love to hear my husband play... any and all love songs!

3. What's your comfort food?
I have several. In the winter, I LOVE pancakes with real maple syrup.  Any time of year, I love rice with butter, salt and pepper.  I crave cinnamon toast, too.  But probably to curl up on the couch with a bowl of buttered (real) and salted popcorn fresh from the popper would be "it."  

4. What's one activity or area of your life where you absolutely never procrastinate?
Never procrastinate?  I always procrastinate to some degree!   I suppose going to the bathroom first thing in the morning...   I know, TMI.

5. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Does your local store bag the groceries for you or is it a do-it-yourself kind of place? Do you like someone packing your groceries?  
Mostly, I do the shopping. I go to two different stores on a regular basis. One bags, the other doesn't. I don't care who bags my groceries as long as I can get in, find what I'm looking for and get out.  I dislike standing in line. 

6. What's the coolest thing you've seen in nature?
Wow... I never have my camera when I need it.  Having parrots fly past my head while on a mission trip to Venezuela years ago was pretty cool!  Colorful, too. Double rainbows always fascinate me. A monkey monkeying around in a tree outside our room while in Costa Rica was amusing - had the camera, but it was not close enough for a picture :-(   However, I think the birth of our kittens tops them all! 

7. Share a favorite quote about home.

A little long and I know it's really a song, but it does belong to Steve Green and so, I quote him:  "Here we are at the start; committed to each other by His Word and from our hearts. We will be a family in a house that will be a HOME; and with faith, we'll build it strong. We'll build a household of faith, that together we canl make and when the strong winds blow it won't fall down.  As one in Him we'll grow, and the whole world will know we are a household of faith." 

8. Insert your own random thought here.  

From 4 years ago: It rained every day on our trip to Costa Rica but we had a wonderful time both at the conference and at a beach resort! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wow! Wednesday!

1. What are two or three expectations you have of yourself? 
Losing weight; Staying young at heart; Keeping fit.  Two out of three isn't too bad!  I must keep plugging along...

2. In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?

Decks need to be repaired. Flower beds need some TLC. I have the time but not the patience. We are getting an inground pool so I must get my act together and start being a little fussy!  The local Amish produce auction will have some plants, trees pretty soon and that should rev me up! 

3. According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are-Webster's Falls in OntarioUpper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand CanyonMultnomah Falls in OregonThe Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara. Have you seen any on the list? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?

We've been to Niagara... whoa!!!!  In the winter, they are frozen over and the mist freezes 6-10 inches thick on the railings of the fence!  There's a small but wide waterfall on a back road near where I grew up.  They didn't have a name for it... I wish I could lay my hands on the picture!  A friend just visited Yosemite Falls and her pics and video were amazing!

4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?
Studied harder so I could have had better grades. 

5. Ham...yes please or no thank you? If you said yes please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?
I love all of the above except the was ruined with pineapple :-(   

6. Are you typical of your generation? How so?

Probably not. I never tried drugs. Not even marijuana. I'm guessing that 1/2 of my graduation class smoked a joint at least once. I had no desire. My desire was to love the Lord my God and be someone people younger than me could look up to.  I wanted to serve God more than serve myself. I wasn't always successful, but He understood... and never gave up on my desire to serve.  I can look back and see where he was leading and at the time, I thought I was wandering! HAHA!  Hey...  This scenario has repeated itself many times...  There is always grace, hope, love and forgiveness when there is repentance.

7. April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', 'nobody's fool', 'a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you? Explain.
Tough one. April 1st is our 2nd son's birthday.  Called my mom at 3AM that morning, over 30 years ago and she thought I was fooling!  Yeah, Mom! I waited up til 3AM to play a joke... She said, "I mean about you having another boy!"  More laughter!!  Not fooling about that, either! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here he is about 34 years ago:

Friday, March 25, 2016

It's Almost Really Spring Hodgepodge!

1. Has spring sprung in your little corner of the world? Other than the calendar how would I know? What's your favorite thing about spring?

Well, we thought it had, but then it got colder, then it got warmer, then it snowed but it melted by noon, today was cooler than expected... but the robins are singing and other birdies are doing what birdies do this time of year, so I guess it is spring!  My favorite part?  Hmmmm ... warmer temps and more daylight!

2. Besides the weather, what's put a spring in your step recently?

Vacation. Vacation always puts a spring in my step! We took a teeny, tiny one to Pennsylvania and then a longer one to Virginia Beach. Ahhhh!  2 warm days on the beach!

3. How does Easter impact you?

Easter, or Resurrection Sunday as I like to call it, is probably the highlight of holidays in my Christian life.  To think that Jesus stayed on the cross on my behalf; bearing the consequence of all sin for all time... the mind can not really wrap around that sacrifice...but then he didn't stay dead! The sins he took to the grave, he left there... rising triumphantly over death AND sin, he promises those who believe, a place in heaven for all eternity...

4. I saw this somewhere on Facebook and thought it would make a fun Hodgepodge question. Which of the following would you find most disappointing...

a just stuffed taco shell breaking open and spilling out before you take the first bite? dropping a just-purchased Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts coffee? opening the peanut butter jar and finding it empty? upending onto the sidewalk a just-purchased ice cream cone? a burnt bagel popping up in your toaster when you're rushing breakfast? or cutting into an avocado and finding out it's rotten? 
Definitely, a just purchased ice cream cone hitting the sidewalk.

5. What's something held together with tape at your house? Or a paper clip? Or a wing and a prayer?

I can't think of anything held together with tape... but possibly the railing on our back steps is being held together by God's grace.  There's no other explanation. That would be very similar to "a wing and a prayer."  

6. Do you feel underappreciated? In what way?

No. My family appreciates all that I do or even attempt to do! Once at work, I was treated in a way that made me feel underappreciated, but co-workers rallied to my side and their encouragement showed just how much they appreciated me, even if the administration did not!

7. What's something you'd build if you knew how?

A greenhouse! I would love to be able to start vegetables and flowers in March.  Like, today for instance!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Here we go with my pictures!  "Just who owns this breakfast of "fresh" fish, anyway?"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wild About Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Create an acrostic using the word LOVE. If you're unsure what an acrostic is click here. 

and Over the top
in loVe with me

That's my Bill !

2. Does love really conquer all? Why or why not?  

God's love conquers all. It just doesn't get any better than having Him provide a way for our sinful selves to be forgiven. (That's the short version)

3. Tell us about a time recently, where you really put your heart into something.

When I work with kids, I always put my heart into it. Sometimes I spend too much time planning. Really. But when the end result is happy kids and crafts they can take home and KEEP rather than have their parents throw away, I know my heart is in the right place!

4. What's your favorite fictional love story?

Only one favorite?  *sigh*  OK, Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe :-)

5. Do you generally wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your cards close to the vest?

I'm sort of a middle of the road person, actually....

6. What food says love to you? Why?

Chocolate always says love to me. So does pumpkin pie with whipped cream. ... and a milkshake. Lobster, too. I suppose I should stop, now.

7. When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.  

When I found out that my nephew and his wife; and my niece and her husband were all expecting babies within months of each other! (One down and one to go!)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Less than 5 months till I can pour  my heart into my kids at Sacandaga Bible Conference!

waiting for spring ... then SUMMER!

boys after the baking soda/vingear/balloon experiment

a lot of little girls at one time

the "weaving" about killed the boys

spiders hung up to dry...and one butterfly

woven paper plates, the girls loved
 bottle caps turn into stampers

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Right on Time!

1. Share one thing that really makes your day.

One thing... ?  Hmmm...  I'm thinking it changes from day to day, season to season.  Honestly, I love waking up to a snow storm :-)  

2. Lots of these kinds of lists out there, but one found here says the fifteen most colorful places on earth are:

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy~Burano, Italy~Havana, Cuba~Rio de Janiero, Brazil~Chefchaouen, Morocco~Balat, Istanbul, Turkey~Menton, France~Jodhpur, India~La Baca, Buenos Aires, Argentina~Guanajuato, Mexico~Capetown, South Africa~Valparaiso, Chile~Wroclaw, Poland~San Francisco, California~and Pelourhino, Salvador, Brazil.  

Of those listed which would you most like to see up close and in person? Of all the places you've seen or traveled in your own life, what would you say was one of the most colorful?

I guess, maybe Buenos Aires, Argentina. I speak a little Spanish and would want to mix with the the locals a little bit.  I'm not the "tourist" type.  Autumn anywhere where trees change color.  Home may be the best of all!

3."Everything you want is on the other side of fear." Jack Canfield  In general, would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?

Perhaps I don't understand what he means.  Fear can mean "being afraid" or "respect."
I'm actually afraid of very little:  spiders, stinging insects, lightning, bad wind storms, speeding vehicles of all kinds, and pain. So, what IS on the other side of spiders? I'm clueless. 

4. Imagine you're stranded on a desert island and dessert appears...what do you hope it is? Do you ever struggle to remember which spelling is desert and which is dessert?
I have not had trouble spelling dessert or desert since I was in junior high school when someone said, "Think of the two "s's" as something to eat... so, In the desert, you WISH had two desserts."  So, if I was on a desert island (as in "deserted") I would like chocolate with no coconut ...  or pineapple...

5. What song almost always makes you cry?
There are a few hymns that move me to tears.  An old one is: "Because He Lives." 

6. January is National Soup Month.  Everything from soup to nutsin the soup,thick as pea soupsouped up...which saying most recently applies to your life in some way? Explain.

Oh, I don't know... you mentioned soup and I immediately thought of .. .SOUP!  Thick as pea soup could describe the fog we had here several days running. We're supposed to be having snow!

7. Write a two word note to your younger self. What does it say?  

"Smaller portions."

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I love inserting pictures here.  Today is no exception! This is our New Year's Dinner with the whole family;  a rare event!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge on's allowed.

1. Are you ready for new? Is 2016 likely to be very different than 2015? Do you want it to be?

I kind of liked 2015 so if 2016 is similar, that would be fine with me.  We're hoping to get an in-ground swimming pool this spring. Looking forward to that!

2. January 6th is National Technology Day. Currently, what is your single biggest struggle or frustration when it comes to technology?

I have a roaming dead spot on the screen of my Droid. I'll be swiping, typing, opening, closing and it randomly shows up for days at a time... then moves.  We won't even discuss my lap top! 

3. It's that time again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2016. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

So (at the start of every single sentence), conversation (as in hotly debated topics where we're invited to 'join the conversation'), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, break the Internet, walk it back, presser, manspreading (common in larger cities where some men take up the entire bus or train seat by sitting wide), vape, giving me life (refers to anything that may excite a person or make them laugh), and physicality

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
These phrases don't bother me, but "Give it up for..." annoys me. We can't create a sentence without words containing more than 4 letters?  and "Have a good one," as I leave a store or restaurant. What happened to the words, "day", "life", "hour", "vacation",.  When did the word, "one" become all inclusive? Just bugs me. 

4. Share one of your current health related goals.

I really need to get more exercise but I'm too short to use Bill's equipment; the highway has too much high speed traffic for safe walking; the tree farm lane is too short and in and out of the rows is a bit monotonous.  However, I am going to try to eat better.  That's a start!
5. Let's talk fifty shades of gray. As in the color. Gray is currently a popular color in home decor, paint, wardrobes, hair, wedding party attire, and more. Are you a fan? Do you have the color in some variation in your home or wardrobe?  Gray hair, the old gray mare, gray matter, gray area...which gray idiom can you most relate to right now?
I don't really like gray. I have a gray skirt I seldom wear and I vaguely remember a gray sweater but just now realized I haven't seen it in years. I must have given it away. I have a short-sleeved gray top trimmed in blue and green that looks nice when worn with something other than that gray skirt.  My gray hair is exactly that color... gray; not silver, not white, but mouse gray. I tried letting it go this past summer. September came and the gray left. I don't like it at all and and returned to using a nice light golden brown to hide it.  I'll do it til the day I die if that gray hair doesn't begin to sparkle or remind me of snow.  
6. Certain foods are considered 'lucky' if eaten on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Cooked greens to bring economic fortune, black-eyed peas or lentils also symbolize money, pork which symbolizes progress, fish for good luck, and if you're in Spain 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Did you eat any lucky foods on the first day of the year? Is that a tradition in your home? Of the foods listed, which most appeals to you?

I don't believe in luck and never heard of that tradition. I like pork and fish. We're pretty stuck on turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas but New Year's demands something different. This year we had roast beef, baked potatoes that were slightly sliced open, pickled beets and from the splendor of my summer garden we ate butternut squash, carrots cooked with maple syrup and peas.

7. What's the single biggest time waster in your life and what, if anything, will you do about it this year?

Probably Facebook. I've cut back a lot, usually just checking notifications and messages first thing in the morning, but not responding or changing my own status until evening. Now that I have "messenger" on my cell phone, I may begin checking that in the AM and let the notification go til evening. As far as my cell phone, it stays on vibrate all day and ONLY phone calls make it messages, notifications, emails. NO WAY!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Once upon a time, January would have me dreaming of re-opening Grandview Mini Golf. I would already be plotting  a few changes; perhaps new flags, new golf balls in varying colors; watching sale papers for sales on beverages; perusing online wholesale candy and ice cream selections for the stand and freezer. No more! Now, I'm plotting vacations! I love being mostly retired! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Time to Eat Turkey

There will be another Hodgepodge before Thanksgiving, but I'm not sure I'll remember to post. After all, it has taken me 3 days for this one! ... I have fixed the font size about 10 times... I'm so sorry if the print is too small.  No clue! 

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

How quickly it seems to go! One day I was dating and the next day I was married and the mother of 3 and grandmother of 2... How'd that happen, anyway?

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesaucebeer o'clockbrain fartbuttdialcat cafe(apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here)fat shamehangryMx (gender neutral), and skippable. 
Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Sadly, I have used the term "buttdial" but think there must be a better one...I've switched it to "pocket dial." Two words, though.    I don't like any of these.  I suppose "skippable" is ok but I'd rather use a phrase instead.  We seem to be becoming a generation of one word conversations...

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

LOVE gravy! Make my own. I eat it on whatever I want. Bread and gravy was a must when I was little. It didn't matter what kind.  I love it on mashed potatoes, stuffing, meat, biscuits, pancakes (hamburger gravy.)

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.
Perhaps I have too many plans at the moment. I have a ton of housework to do as we have ordered some new furniture... it's about time!  It better not fall into a trillion pieces, either!  I don't think I've ever had a plan fall apart. Our plans are always simple and flexible.  However, now that we are older (and Bill's parents even older - 92 and 96), I'm always a bit concerned when we make vacation plans...

5. November 19 is 
National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

I think our oldest took the Monopoly game with him when he got married. It was given to him when he was a kid. It's a regular one. I liked playing but my husband did not! We didn't play on November 19th. It has probably been 20 years since I have played.  I have been to Atlantic City to the beach. I have been on a train, once to NYC and back with my mom and brother when I was 4, again with my pre-schooler (25 years ago) and his classmates, and a couple of steam locomotives Straasburg and Black River and Western. Oh, and subways in Brooklyn and NYC plus the Staten Island Rapid Transit. How could I forget those?! Parking is free in town. Last thing I took a chance on?  Traveling 3 days on the road with my husband when I was running a fever, hoping I'd be better in time for visiting friends...   I was! Whew!

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning? 

"Come Ye Thankful People, Come" comes to mind, first.  Then “Thank You Lord (for saving my soul)” , and the other “Thank You, Lord” by Sandi Patti,  “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart.”  OK, I’ll stop, now!

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?  

Lots of things: Fresh air, clean water, warm house, good food and the stores where I shop, the love of family, etc...

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It's almost time!  We are open for business the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

First Week of November and No Snow :-)

There have been Novembers that had more snow than December, but apparently this is not one of them and that is fine with me! I'd like some snow flurries, though and maybe a 'snow squall.'   While we were on vacation in TN, there was some snow that stuck to the ground here at home, but.. October?  NO.. No thank you! 

1. Besides Thanksgiving, something you're looking forward to on your November calendar?
Oh, did I mention 'snow squalls?'  Can't quite put them on the calendar, though.  So, on my calendar, I'd have to say my 3 days of substitute teaching in Pre Kindergarten!

2.  If I gave you a thank you card right now who would you send it to and why?
Auntie Babs for giving us peanuts from Virginia. She's awesome like that! 

3. Of the breads listed, which one's your favorite...bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old fashioned white bread?

Yikes! Sourdough and cinnamon. I could never choose between the two!

4. What's something you have in abundance? Is that a good thing?

In abundance that is a good thing?... Well, that narrows it down!  Let's see.  Carrots. Lots of carrots from my garden that will go on the table this winter in stews, soups and just plain cooked (in water with a teaspoon of maple syrup.)

5. November 5th is National Love Your Red Hair Day. Are there any redheads in your family? Who's your favorite redhead?
Until I had children, there seemed to be a rule in my family that if a brunette married a blond, they would have at least 1 red headed kid.  My cousin Millie had 3 out of 4 with red hair! My cousin Barb had 1 out of 3. I had none. BUT one of them has a red beard :-)   There are too many to call a favorite...   

6.  The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state. Go here to see what made the list where you live. Are you happy with your state's #1? If not what do you think should be the most photographed spot in your state? Have you snapped a photo there? If you live outside the USA answer as it relates to your state, city or province.

In NY it is the Empire State Building.  I'm ok with that. I lived in the city for a few years and even took a picture of the front of the building.  My husband worked in the World Trade Center (back in the 80's) and I have pics of that as well. I think the Empire State Building was more photogenic with all the other sky scrapers clustered around it. I would think that Niagara Falls (photographed from the Canadian side) would be a close 2nd.  Also, Letchworth State Park would make a great #3.

7. I'm going to try to have something related to gratitude in this spot each week during the month of November. Here's this week's question-

What's something you've learned about yourself this year that you're grateful for?

At 63, I'm not finding many things about myself that I don't already know... I have figured out the "trigger points" that make me dizzy (positional vertigo) and manage to avoid them when it strikes. Seems to come every fall but now that I know how to manage it, I'm doing really well.  Years ago, the meds the doctor gave me to "help" made it worse! I'm very grateful for being able to manage it on my own as others I know are much worse off. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I'm thinking that soon our Christmas Tree Farm will be alive with families tagging, cutting and just having fun: 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"'15 Minutes Late, means... I'm Early' Hodgpodge"

1. What have you 'fallen for' recently?

Old jokes. I listen attentively and laugh... but they are SO OLD!  Kindergarteners ... gotta love em!

2. What's something you're 'squirreling away' for later?

Books.  Liz Curtis Higgs will rescue me this winter and so will Suzanne Woods Fisher

3. How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What's your favorite variety?

I like my apples cold, crisp and sweet/tart.  I'll eat them daily if my digestive tract would allow... whole, sliced, cinnamon sugared, peanut buttered, cidered, baked into a pie, cobbler, crisp or 'pudding.'   Favorite? Oooooo.h...  Mom's Apple Crisp.  so simple. Slice a bunch of them (at least 4 big ones), add dots of butter, cinnamon, sugar and 1 C water. Topping is  1/4 C hard butter, 1 C flour  1/2 C white sugar all cut up together and sprinkled on top. Bake for about 45 min to an hour at 350.  Change the proportions as you wish but don't use too much butter....

4. According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are-Aspen ColoradoThe Catskills New York, The Berkshires Massachusetts, Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Green Mountain Byway Vermont, Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Upper Peninsula Michigan, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glacier National Park Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why?

I grew up in the Catskills. My husband grew up near the Berkshires. We went to Vermont by motorcycle a few years ago. We've been to the Great Smoky Mts in October.  I guess this makes me privileged! I'd like to do them all gain and add Glacier National Park in Montana!

5. The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalize marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts?

Let the pharmaceutical companies market it as medicine and have it prescribed by doctors.  Recreational? NO WAY!  We have enough problems with it as an illegal drug. More people will fee it is their choice to drive while under the influence just like they do know with alcohol.  At least for the moment, most people don't want to risk getting caught driving while high...

6. Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay?

Ehhhh...  Some movies are easier to get into than others but lately, I haven't seen any that I'd care to watch.  Middle of a series... maybe... if there hasn't been too much elapsed time.   Middle might be too far for me.

7. Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most? 

Too many exclamation points in one paragraph!  HAHA!   It bugs me when people misuse the apostrophe in possessives or in plurals when that is simply not appropriate to begin with!  Ooops!  Sorry! (Gosh, I did it again!) 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

How I hate covering the pool for winter... I wish I could keep it open all year; but then we would need ice skates  :-(      HOWEVER, next year, we are getting an in-ground pool so I will put on a happy face  and be content to wait 7 long months...