Friday, November 30, 2012


It's 29 degrees and dry at 5:15 a.m.

The WKTV Weather Forecast as of Thursday evening: "Another cold front will drop in from the north tonight with a few more snow showers.  Snows will wind down quickly by Friday morning.  Highs on Friday in the low 30s.
A light mix of snow, sleet and rain is possible to start the weekend as a warm front approaches.  Once the front lifts north of our area, temperatures will climb into the 40's and 50's by early next week."

Although the scant amounts of snow that have fallen during the past several days have not had much of an impact on local travel, here's a website that you might want to keep handy: 511NY GetConnected to Go.  

Be sure to click the little snowflake "Winter Road Conditions" icon!



Page 1 Headlines from

The Waterville Times

"Kickoff to Christmas - Photos ofParade of Lights"

"The Future: ‘Dire, Dire and Dire’ "

"Three Cheers - Photo"

"Fair Board Will Meet"

"Breakfast With Santa"

"Hearing Set For Fire Contracts"


Also of Interest

From the Utica Observer-Dispatch

From the Utica Observer-Dispatch.


Generosity worth applauding!

When I moved to Waterville, in 1968, the Waterville Garden Club was a mostly social organization: members wore their nicest dresses and sparkly white gloves to the meetings. Tea was served and the ladies watched guests demonstrate things like Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging.)  How times have changed!  All summer long there's plenty of evidence that  today's Garden Club members take off their gloves and get their hands really dirty helping to make the Village look great!  That's not all they do ............

Last Tuesday was one of several National 
Days of Giving

Before that, at their November 8 meeting, members of the Garden Club "brought collected toiletries for the Waterville Food Pantry and voted to give them a donation of $100 to help buy supplies for their shelves.  These were later given to Vicky Sabol who works at the pantry.  (Treasurer) Sharon Bennett also sent a check for $250, which had previously been approved, for the Waterville Christmas Committee.  This was sent to Brian Gibbons, the committee’s treasurer." 


Recent photos

The last time we visited, Bill Getman was on a ladder dealing with wreaths and wires.  The results are a classic!

Likewise, it took another ladder and several hours to get the decorations on this Madison Street home just perfect!

Further along Madison are more doorways to enjoy during the daytime .......

................ and the little gazebo at the Pumilia Townhouses is "pretty as a picture."

If you need more decorations for your home - outdoors or in - you won't need to travel far to find them!  Start with Morgan's Hardware .........

.............. and MerriRose Florist on West Main Street........

........... and take a short ride on the country to Alcotts Greenhouse where the display of decorations is dazzling!


When I drove through Hanover yesterday afternoon there was a gaggle of Canada Geese in the cornfield next to the Zweifel Farm.

Christmas decorations are up at the Landis Farm on Shanley Road.



Waterville Historical Society

Annual Victorian Tea

Tomorrow (Saturday) from 2 - 4.

If you've just decided that you want to attend this popular event, you'll have to phone  841-4018 to see if there are any tickets still available.


Starting Tomorrow at the Library

Gingerbread House Contest 

Back again this year, the Gingerbread House Contest!
Get together with friends and family (or make your own) and get creative!

These are the only rules...
• Houses must be built out of edible supplies (they may have hidden supports)
 • May be made by an Individual or Group 
• Houses should have a sturdy base and a title for their registration card. 
•Must be dropped off no later than 12:45 pm on Fri. Dec. 28th 

• GIFT CARD PRIZES for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd 


It's getting very busy!

I'll post news/details of many more December events on Monday.



Thank you for your E-notes expressing both loneliness for the "blog" and (conflicting) reassurance that, yes, I am allowed to take some time off!   I have had a fun week - lots of "photoshop" trickery for various Christmas card queries and many hours spent watching paint come off the ends of tiny sable paintbrushes leaving wintery images on plain white paper.  I may do more of that next week, actually order my own cards, and (horrors!) even dust and bake some cookies, too!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Garbage Day.

32.5 degrees at 6:00 a.m.

The Weather Forecast from YNN: "Lake effect snow showers and squalls will continue(Sunday) night and into Monday. Areas in northern Oneida, central Oswego and northern Herkimer county could pick up as much as 4-8" of new snow by Monday morning.  Snow will cut down on visibility and make for slick travel into Monday evening. Show showers and squalls will decrease in coverage and intensity Monday night into Tuesday. An area of low pressure passing to our south Tuesday may bring a few flurries or snow showers to the region. Temperatures over the next several days look to remain below average."


1918 - 2012


1920 - 2012


Sunday Scenery

Overnight, winter came and suddenly everything looked different.

It was just cold enough for a thin skin of ice to have formed on the pond next to Madison Street, leaving some Canada Geese pacing back and forth looking fairly confused.

A group of Mallard ducks found some open water on the pond at the foot of Grant Hill.

Mother Nature put her own decoration on fir trees .....

....  and villagers climbed ladders in a race to catch up.

Bill Getman was hanging wreaths at his office on East Main Street and this lady was making sure everything was just right at her home on Madison Street.

Joan Albert's home on East Bacon Street is always one of the first to be decorated ....

........ and I finally got a good, clear shot of the decorations at the New York Pizzeria on West Main Street.

There really was no more than a three inch accumulation of snow, but - on East Bacon Street - someone just couldn't wait to get their snowmobile out!



At the Library this week


Tuesday at 7:00

"Easy Sox" workshop at the library 
beginning on 11/27.

Attendees need to be able to knit and purl, and bring size 2 double point needles and 100 grams of sock yarn.  A pattern and instruction will be available at the library at 7:00 PM.


There is no Wednesday Movie Matinée this week



"Brave" crafts at 4:00

All ages can stop in anytime between 4-6pm to make a brave crown or a bear mask. 
Stick around until 6pm and catch the showing of Brave on our big screen!

Family Night Movie at 6:00



The WCS Jr. High Winter Concert
will take place on Wednesday, December 5, at 7:00.
(Snow date: Monday Dec. 10 at 7:00.)

PRIZE SPEAKING - December 6th at 7:00 p.m.

WCS HS Winter Concert - Thursday the 13th at 7:00.

Winter ART SHOW Reception at 6:30.





Also on December 9th ....

Members of "Jubilation" that people in Waterville may know include Diane Bancroft, Barbara Bowen, Jeanne Kellogg, Linda Manchester, Gail Prentice, Kristin Strohmeyer and Debbie White. (Barb and Debbie from Waterville School District and Linda used to live in Waterville.)




Blog posts are apt to be sporadic for the next few days. I'm having a fine "fit" of painting - the watercolor sort - and like to work early in the morning.

But as soon as I hear of something that I think you want to know ...

I'll blog it!

Have a great day, everyone!


I was just about ready to hit "publish" when a simple little question came to mind: "When, and Why,  did Christmas wreaths become such a widespread popular decoration?"

With the internet being what it is, Google found huge amounts of history for me to read. 

Here - in case you've read this far and have another minute or two - is the most concise explanation. It was written by "Ezine" Article Expert Ellen Bell.

"Evergreen wreaths at Christmas time are a familiar sight on doors, above fireplaces, and on homes. Wreaths have been in use for many hundreds of years, even before the birth of Christ. Many historians believe that the first wreaths date back to the Persian Empire, when royalty and members of the upper class wore diadems, or fabric headbands adorned with jewels. Other cultures would later become fascinated with this tradition, picking it up and adapting it for themselves.
About 800 years before the birth of Christ, Greeks began to recognize the winners of their Olympic games by crowning them with wreaths made of laurel tree branches. Years later, when the games moved from city to city, branches from local trees were used to make these victory wreaths for the winners. During the Roman Empire, military and political leaders wore crowns of leaves and greenery. For example, Julius Caesar was crowned with a wreath made of fresh laurel branches and leaves. The transition of the wreath from a head adornment to a wall decoration is believed to have occurred when athletes (or perhaps victorious military leaders) returned home, and they would hang their headbands on their walls or doors, as a trophy of their victory.
The Egyptian, Chinese, and Hebrew cultures were known to have used evergreen branches as a symbol of eternal life, because the conifer trees stayed green throughout the winter months. After the birth of Christ, the Christmas wreath made of evergreen branches came to symbolize the triumph of life over the long winter months.
The Advent wreath also became a popular holiday tradition after the birth of Christ. This decoration was usually placed flat on a table and was used to count down the four weeks immediately preceding Christmas. Traditionally the wreath was constructed with four candles in a circle and one candle in the middle. The four outside candles were purple or violet, and the center candle was white. Four weeks before Christmas, the first violet candle would be lit. The following week, an additional candle would be lit, and so on, until the white center candle is lit on Christmas Eve or day, signifying the arrival of Christ. A brief prayer was said to accompany the lighting of each candle. The reason for the final candle being located in the center is to symbolize that we should keep Christ at the center of our lives and the center of the Christmas celebration.
Based on drawings and paintings, most historians believe that the use of evergreen wreaths at Christmas time spread across Northern Europe, Spain, and Italy during the early 19th century. The greenery was used as a symbol of life persevering through the cold winter months, and the holly berries that were often used as an adornment were a symbol of the blood of Christ.
It is also believed that Europeans also used wreaths on their doors to represent their family identity, much like a family crest. These wreaths were made from products grown in their own gardens, such as grapevines, fresh flowers, or other produce. The crafting of these wreaths was a family ritual that followed the same general pattern year after year.
Today, wreaths are still widely used around the world. In the U.S., wreaths are a traditional decoration for Christmas, as well as many other holidays throughout the year. Wreaths now adorn doors for Halloween, Valentine's Day, the Fourth of July, and Easter. Furthermore, wreaths are no longer limited to only evergreen branches. Many craft stores, books, and television shows feature unique wreaths made of a variety of unusual materials and decorations for almost any occasion."

Article Source:


❄  ❄  ❄  ❄  ❄  ❄  ❄  ❄  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Special

It's 33 degrees and moist at 5:30.

No snow yet!

WKTV's Forecast, as of yesterday afternoon: Lake effect snow begins to develop tonight and continues into Saturday. Light accumulations are possible, especially on higher elevations to the north and south of the Mohawk Valley.  Here's a look at the snowfall forecast for tomorrow:

Besides the snow, it will be cold and breezy with highs in the mid 30s but with winds 15-25mph, it will feel like the upper 20s. Snow showers wind down on Sunday but cool weather continues with highs in the upper 30s.  A storm system on Tuesday has the potential to bring a chilly rain, perhaps some snow.


1942 - 2012



from the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

from the Observer-Dispatch.

from the Observer-Dispatch.


from WKTV.


It was the mildest weather that I can remember for The Parade of Lights!  It had been raining off and on all day, but it wasn't very cold and no one's spirits were dampened.

I've learned that I just cannot take pictures of moving lights at night, so I didn't even try. I was, however, uptown  at dusk, before the Victorian lamp posts had been turned on, and lights glowed at "Sticks 'n Stones"   on East Main Street  ......

and the entire facade of "This 'n That" on West Main Street seemed to shout "Christmas!"

Up in the Park, the lights were on at the Bandstand and once again a generous "elf" (or two) have put Christmasy greens and big red bows in place.  (Thank You!)

When you're riding around the village in the evening, make sure that you pull over in front of the Verdons' house on Putnam Street and tune your car radio to FM 87.9.  You'll enjoy it!!!

************************ ********

Noticed Yesterday

Driving northward on Route 12, I swung across the double yellow line in the center of the road to give a bicyclist heading in the same direction plenty of room, and - for the first time - I realized that there was a "rumble strip" there.  It's a startling sensation and a great idea!



We're heading for the 200,000 mark, again!
The count is up to 190,459.

Here are the "page views" for the past month:

I would really like to hear from some of the blog readers who live in those far-away lands to learn how they found "At Home in the Huddle" and why they like it!

Just use the "Email the Blogger" link in the right-hand column.


More when it happens.

Have a good day!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Back on Schedule!

It's 27 degrees and clear at 5:30 and a very bright sunrise at 7:00.

From WKTV:  "Thanksgiving looks FANTASTIC with sunshine and highs in the low to mid 50s! 
A cold front arrives on Black Friday, bringing some rain showers to the area for the second half of the day.  Seasonably cool weather returns for the weekend and early next week.  Snow showers are likely on Saturday with the potential for some spotty minor accumulations.  Cool weather continues for Sunday and Monday.
A storm system on Tuesday has the potential to bring a chilly rain, perhaps some snow."




Front Page Stories


"AD Position Retooled Again"

"Quick Work - Photo" (Deansboro Fire Department)

"Iron Men - Photo"

"Brookfield’s Budget Rises Slightly"

" Driving Class Offered"



This particularly nice Thanksgiving greeting from John Ogden:

"All that we behold is full of blessings."  
~William Wordsworth"

(Thank you, John.)



November colors in the country.

It had been my intention to take pictures of store windows on Main Street, yesterday, where everything is bright, but.......

there were so many cars parked on both sides of the road that all I got was glimpses and reflections!

The New York Pizzeria.

The one place where reflections really make the picture more interesting is at the Neffs' on Berrill Avenue.




The 24th Annual "Parade of Lights" starts at 6:30 
on Madison Street and leads to the Fire House where there will be refreshments for all and Santa will be waiting to talk with the children!

If you lived in Waterville in 1988, you cannot have forgotten the first Parade of Lights!

(And if you've come to the village since then, you should know the story of this celebration because it is something very special, here: it's a celebration not just of the season but a Celebration of Community - Our Community!  I first posted this story in 2006, but I think it's definitely worth repeating.)

It was earlier that year that both Rusty Manion and his wife Kitty passed away. Their daughter Darcy and three sons - Sandy, Jeffrey and Michael - were bereft with the loss of both parents and, at the same time, completely overwhelmed with the kindnesses shown them by everyone in the community.

One day, Darcy was having coffee with her friends Linda Nichols and Patsy Hill and she said, "I wish there was something we could do to say 'Thank You!' to everyone!" "Thank You notes," she said, "seemed just too inadequate."

It occurred to them that perhaps they could do something that hadn't been done in several years - a fun surprise for the village: they could arrange to have lights put on the Big Tree at the point of Monument Park and have it lit! And there would be a parade - fire engines and floats and children all carrying flashlights! - that would lead the way to the tree when the lights were finally to be turned on!

And each of the girls told one or two people who told one or two more and in six weeks' time - in an unanticipated avalanche of generosity and cooperation, $5,000 was raised; the Clinton Fire Department's ladder truck came to string the lights, the power company donated equipment and time, the Municipality chipped in, fire companies in all the neighboring communities sent units to be in the parade and ........... well........ the rest is history.

The floats became more imaginative and brighter. When it was deemed impossible to have the highschool band march and play (sometimes it's been so cold and stormy that just the thought of putting a flute or trumpet mouthpiece to one's lips caused pain!) the floats were actually wired for sound!

Since 1988, the Parade of Lights Committee has grown in numbers and scope: with various fundraisers - dances, spaghetti suppers and raffles - and the continuing generosity and support of the community, enough money has been raised to buy the elegant wreaths that are on our telephone poles along Main Street and the strings of "twinkle lights" that are hung on trees in the park. And although the "Big Tree" will not be lit, this year - that's not to say it never will be again. If there's a way to make it happen, the Parade of Lights Committee will do it!

For the record:  Committee Members include - 
Lisa Belfield, Diane Marceau, Don & Jennifer Neff, Sandy Manion, Doc Upcraft, Megan Upcraft and Angela Plante).

Thank you, Everyone!



Something new at Knit2gether at the Library.

Carol Gloss, asked me to post this Announcement:

" 'Easy Sox' workshop at the library beginning on 11/27.
Attendees need to be able to knit and purl, and bring size 2 double point needles and 100 grams of sock yarn.  A pattern and instruction will be available at the library at 7:00 PM."