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Daily Life

A Visit to Crown Maple and Madava Farms

Last weekend my partner-in-crime and I went over to Madava Farms in Dover Plains, New York with a few friends. Madava, named after the owner’s daughters Maddie and Ava, is a maple syrup manufacturer located on a beautiful 800 acres of farmland. Despite a sprinkling of rain and a few clouds, it was a beautiful time of year to go, probably the best weekend to see the fall foliage had it not been overcast.




After being greeted at the entrance-way, our tour guide took us around the factory teaching us about its history, which is still in its infancy, and describing the maple syrup making process in pretty good detail. The owner purchased a house on the property in 2007, and when he realized, with the help of a friend, that he was surrounded by acres and acres of maple syrup trees, he started purchasing the surrounding land. By 2010 a state-of-the-art factory was up and running and currently as of 2014 the company has over 40,000 trees tapped, 30 employees, and yields over 18,000 gallons of syrup a year.

Our tour, which only cost $10 per person, ended in the Tasting Room where we got to try Medium, Dark, and Extra Dark Amber syrups, one aged in bourbon barrels (which was delicious!), as well as maple syrup sugar. My personal favorites are the Dark Amber and Bourbon ones. They’re absolutely fantastic.



After our tasting we ordered lunch at their cafe, which obviously infused maple syrup into almost everything, followed by enjoying some ice cream (with maple syrup) and coffee (with maple syrup ;) ) while sitting outside on the patio which included a very nice size fire-pit. Overall it was a great trip and one I highly recommend taking if you live in the area or are passing through.

You can view an album of pictures here.


This is What Happens When You Quit Using Facebook


Dutchess County Fair

I recently went with my Partner in Crime to the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, New york. I had never been before and have to say I had a great time. There was a wide range of things to do and see, including visiting farm animals at 4-H, shopping  through arts and crafts vendors, visiting wildlife exhibits, playing games through the arcade section, or munching down on some delicious food. You can view an album of pictures here.


The Rhinebeck Aerodrome

rhinebeckaerodome10I recently went with my father and brother over to the Rhinebeck Aerodrome in, well… Rhinebeck New York. I honestly thought we were just going to take my father up on a biplane ride as part of his birthday present, but in turned out to be an all-afternoon event. We spent about two hours touring the grounds and visiting the museums which display old planes from the WWI era, and then from 2pm to 4pm we watched an airshow. After that we waited our turn for a flight up around Dutchess County. It was a 15 minute ride, which, for someone who gets motion sickness easily, was just the right amount of time! It was incredibly cool though.

Here’s a bit more information from their website for those interested:

“Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum and Airshows were established in 1993 as 501 (c) (3) non-profit organizations in order to continue Cole Palen’s legacy and ensure the long-term protection and survival of his collection. The Aerodrome’s mission is to obtain, restore, maintain and display Pioneer, World War I and Lindbergh era aircraft, vehicles, related equipment, documents, memorabilia and artifacts of historical significance while seeking to educate the public regarding the historical significance of its collection and the scientific and technological advancements that it represents.

Our Saturday “History of Flight” show focuses on aviation from 1909 through 1939 and features performances of our early Pioneer aircraft, a World War I dogfight demonstration and our “Balloon-Bursting-Barnstorming–Biplanes” of the 1920′s and 1930′s. Our Sunday “WWI” show features our WWI aircraft and includes a sampling of Pioneer and 1920’s and 1930’s biplanes. The WWI aircraft flown on Sundays include a rotating selection (depending on maintenance and periodic restoration). We also feature several zany characters such as Trudy Truelove, The Evil Baron of Rhinebeck, and Sir Percy Goodfellow in a melodrama developed to appeal to children of all ages.”

I’ve posted an album of pictures from the day here.


How to Keep Your Facebook News Feed Set to “Most Recent”

Facebook has this annoying habit of constantly reverting to “Top Stories” instead of “Most Recent Stories”. If you check Facebook using a Desktop computer this trick will help:

Using any web browser, create a Bookmark for Facebook. Instead of having it link to “” set it to: “”.

You can place this Bookmark in your top Toolbar for easy access. This will constantly send you to Facebook with “Most Recent” set instead of “Top Stories”.




Homemade Trail Mix

Recently I wrote about new dispensers at some Mrs. Green’s locations here in the Northeast. They hold dried fruit, granola, beans, nuts, seeds, and more. On my most recent visit I grabbed several ingredients in an attempt my make my own trail mix and I think I perfected it this week :

LT’s Trail Mix
Coconut Flakes
Chocolate Chips
Salted Nuts
Pumpkin Seeds


The cranberries and currants give it a nice sweet flavor and the nuts and granola balance out the fruit’s soft texture with a crunch. If you ever find yourself craving something portable and new for a hike or even just for your desk at work, give it a shot!



Creative Routines

The other day I discovered a chart called “Creative Routines” which showed the daily rituals of some of the most creative people in recent history. You can view it in large form here.


At first glance you’ll notice how much “Primary Work” and “Social & Meal” time is listed, at least I did. I then decided to make one of my own to see what may daily weekday ritual is like:


Left : Legend.
Right : My daily weekday schedule.


Sleep : 11PM to 8AM
Pack Lunch then Commute : 8AM to 10:30AM
Work : 10:30AM  to 2PM
Lunch : 2PM to 3PM
Work : 3PM to 6:30PM
Commute : 6:30PM to 8:30PM
Dinner and Social : 8:30PM to 11PM

I portrayed commuting as “other work” and reaffirmed that I do that way too much. Ugh… I also need to get some blue in there, which I only do on the weekends. Last year I finally started eating breakfast, which I now do by drinking a smoothie and eating an apple as I start my workday. Well, now I know where I spend all my time!


Cold Spring Hike

Yesterday Kay and I went on a short hike in Cold Spring after checking out a neat Farmer’s Market that was going on in town. We followed the Cornish and Brook Trails (Blue and Red) and saw some really cool foundations along the way. The trail follows an old road through the former estate of Edward G. Cornish, chairman of the board of the National Lead Company. You can see some pictures I took here.


Splinters in Your Eye

One day an evil troll (called the devil) made a magic mirror that distorts the appearance of everything it reflects. It fails to reflect the good and beautiful aspects of people and things, while magnifying their bad and ugly aspects. This devil teaches at a “devil school.” He and his pupils take the mirror throughout the world and delight in distorting everyone and everything. The mirror makes even the loveliest of landscapes look disgusting.

One morning they try to carry the mirror into Heaven with the idea of making fools of the angels and God, but the higher they lift it, the more the mirror grins and shakes with delight. It slips from their grasp and falls back to earth, shattering into millions of pieces. These splinters, some no larger than a grain of sand, are blown around and get into people’s eyes and hearts, freezing their hearts like blocks of ice and making their eyes like the troll-mirror itself, seeing only the bad and ugly in people and things.

On a pleasant summer day, a little girl and boy who live next door to each other were looking at a picture book in their window-box garden when suddenly splinters of the troll-mirror get into the boy’s eyes. The boy becomes cruel and aggressive. He destroys their window-box garden, he makes fun of his grandmother, and he no longer cares about the girl who he befriended for so long, since all of them now appear bad and ugly to him.

The following winter, the boy goes out with his sled to play in the snowy market square and (as was the custom back then) hitches it to a curious white sleigh carriage, driven by the Snow Queen, who appears as a woman in a white fur-coat. She takes the boy in her sleigh to her palace near the North Pole, where he is contented to live due to the splinters of the troll-mirror in his eyes and heart.

The little girl, who misses her friend so much, travels the land in search of her long-lost friend. When the young girl reaches the Snow Queen’s palace, she is halted by the snowflakes guarding it. She finds her friend alone and almost immobile on a frozen lake, which the Snow Queen calls the “Mirror of Reason”, on which her throne sits.

The young girl runs up to the boy and kisses him, and he is saved by the power of her love. She weeps warm tears on him, melting his heart and burning away the troll-mirror splinter in it. They boy bursts into tears, dislodging the splinter from his eye. He becomes cheerful and healthy again, with sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks.

From there they walk back to their home, “the big city.” They find that all is the same at home, but they have changed: They are now grown up, and they are delighted to see that it is summertime.

The end.


That is a very brief synopsis of the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen, to which Disney’s movie Frozen was based on. (Edited down from Wikipedia.) I found the premise of the Splinters to be very relevant to how some people are in society today. In almost everything and everyone you meet, you can see the good or bad in them. We all have a certain amount of splinter in our eyes, but if, whether as a society or as a couple, we can help remove the splinter from someone’s eye, we could make the world a much better place.




Trivia : While the story deviates from the original fairy tale, four of the main characters’ names are references to the author Hans Christian Andersen: Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven.