Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lunch at the Red Devon

After church we went in search of a new restaurant and found one in Bangall, New York which is a short distance from Stanfordville where we attended church.

 The Red Devon Restaurant

The Widdowson’s who own this restaurant are very active in land conservation and environmental advocacy and in fact, own a small herd of Devon beef cattle raised strictly on grass…thus the restaurant’s name. 
There was great parking and a nicely landscaped garden around the Red Devon so we were excited to see what was to eat inside.

We knew the food was extra-ordinary so when we arrived home, we looked up the Red Devon on the internet and found that the owners are "commited to being an environmentally responsible business by using only locally-grown and seasonal ingredients in their food preparation. We also learned that the physical renovation was “green” as well. Local carpenters used old local barn wood to create a new dining room; refrigerators are in the basement to save energy and water is cooled geothermally."

They have a very appealing bakery section and we took home some cookies and some cranberry bread.  They were both terrific!

 Lots of wonderful looking salads!

Lee sitting waiting for me to return.  
I was taking pictures!  What else!

I had a quiche and salad for lunch and Lee had chicken salad.  Both were really good.  The salad had two many weird greens for me but the salad dressing was good.    

“From the rooftop solar hot-water system to the variable volume kitchen exhaust to the spoons crafted from potato starch, this is the green go-to for getting fantastically fresh food — in an environment that is serious about progressive environmental and agricultural change.”     – Hudson Valley Magazine

Standfordville United Church of Christ

Tried another UCC Church today in Stanfordville, NY.  When we entered the church it had quite an odor - probably mold or mildew from somewhere.  It drove me crazy all during church and then I went home with an enormous headache.  We probably won't be coming back to this church because of my allergies.

The sermon was about hospitality and how Jesus would treat strangers no matter who they were. The minister gave a great sermon about nomads and taking care to greet guests but her actions weren't as good. She greeted us by herself but did nothing to introduce us to the rest of the congregation and, as they say, "talk is cheap!" A few of the parishioners came up and talked to us but it won't go up as the friendliest church we've ever visited - well, not even close. So, we really have another reason to try another church next week. We really enjoyed last week's congregation but it is too far to drive every Sunday. It is really important for churches that want to grow to really let their guests know they are welcome!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Guaranteed Irish

The town of East Durham is definitely an Irish town.  You see Irish names on various businesses in town and at the local ball field.  Then, of course, there is the Shrine we just visited.  So, naturally, it makes sense that there is a wonderfully huge Irish gift shop.  Guaranteed Irish opened its doors in East Durham, NY in 1979.  It is a quality Irish Import Store and it has yet to quit growing.

 Guaranteed Irish

We spent a lot of time wandering around in the store checking out the merchandise.  We think that if you need anything at all that is Irish, this is the place to come.  They have a huge selection.  Of course, we went out with just a package of Irish cookies and some postcards.  Lee doesn't have to worry about me going crazy in Gift Shops anymore.  I can't get much in the Fifth Wheel!

Our Lady of Knock Shrine

After lunch we were back on the road again in Greene County, New York.  Our next stop was the Our Lady of Knock Shrine in East Durham, New York.

Our Lady of Knock Shrine

Our Lady of Knock Shrine opened in 1989.  It honors an apparition of the Virgin Mary that occurred on August 21, 1979 in Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.

I (Mary) was raised Catholic but I had never heard of this apparition before.  I took this explanation from a Perpetual Novena Card that we bought at the Shrine for 25 cents.

". . . The Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of the church at Knock, County Mayo, Ireland; beside them and a little to the right was an altar with a cross and the figure of a lamb, around which angels hovered.  There were 15 official witnesses to the apparition - young and old.  They watched it for two hours in pouring rain and recited the rosary.  Two commissions of Inquiry accepted their testimony as trust worthy and satisfactory in 1879 and 1936."

I always light a candle for my Mother 
at every Catholic Church we visit in our travels. 

The Stations of the Cross are all done in stained glass. 

All the stained windows
are from Donegal, Ireland. 

Eleventh Century Irish Litany of Mary
Great Mary,
Greatest of Marys,
Greatest of Women,
Mother of Eternal Glory,
Mother of the Golden Light,
Honor of the Sky,
Temple of the Divinity,
Fountain of the Gardens,
Serence as the Moon,
Bright as the Sun,
Garden Enclosed,
Temple of the Living God,
Light of Nazareth,
Beauty of the World,
Queen of Life,
Ladder of Heaven,
Mother of God.
Pray for us. 

The front doors of the church

According to the pamphlet I was reading "Today Knock ranks among the world's major Marion Shrines having enjoyed the full approval of the church for many years.  It has received privileges from four popes.  The most recent privilege was the visit of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, on the 30th September 1979."

Below is a link to the Knock Shine in Ireland.

Log Cabin Cafe

Sometimes you find the neatest places just by chance.  When we left the Mahayana Buddist Temple in Cairo, New York, we decided it was about time for some lunch - actually, past time!  We spent a lot more time at the temple than we thought we would.  

We saw this little place called the Log Cabin Cafe in the town of Purling.  We stopped in and found it an interesting place. We talked to one of the owners for quite awhile.  She and her husband have been in business for four years now and doing well.  They use their own family recipes and some people drive for miles for some of their breakfast items and even call ahead.  Do be aware though that they don't take credit cards or checks (unless they are local) so don't get too carried away or you'll be doing dishes!

When I saw the above sign by the front door, I knew it was the place for us!

 Lee checking out the menu

The specials for the day sounded awesome and it was hard to choose.  We finally decided that we would share a dish from the breakfast menu, Blueberry Casserole, and a Strawberry Salad With Greens and Mozzarella Cheese.  Both were delicious.  Unfortunately, the Blueberry Casserole picture is blurry so you'll just have to imagine it.  It was really good, however, I like the recipe I have better! lol

Then they kept bragging about their cannoli so we had to try it.  It wasn't soggy like other cannolis we've had but neither of us are big Canoli fans!

Mahayana Buddist Temple

Today we decided to take a driving tour in Greene County, NY.  One of there brochures has three routes that all begin at the Visitor's Center in Leeds, NY.  We stopped at the Visitor Center to  pick up more information on the area and then started the drive.

Our first stop on the drive was the Mahayana Buddist Temple in Cairo, New York.  This temple is the oldest Chinese Buddhist Temple on the East Coast.  It was founded by Mrs. Annie Ying and funded by her husband Mr. James Ying.  The Mahayana Temple Main Hall in south Cairo was completed and the dedication ceremony took place on September 25th, 1971.  Since then there have been several building and land additions.  The Mahayana campus is now about 166.5 acres.

When you first pull into the area of the temple, you'll see this lovely scene.

We followed a long forested path to the Temple.  The grounds are all well manicured and it is a lovely place to visit.

Map of the Grounds

We don't know too much about Buddhism but wondered about all the different figures of Buddhas we were seeing as we thought there was just one Buddha.  We found out that there are 28 Buddhas who have appeared in this world during various periods. The Buddhist scriptures record the names of these Buddhas. Buddhists pay their homage in veneration to all these Buddhas. In essence, all these Buddhas are exactly the same as the Buddha of this world cycle. They have all realized the same Universal Truth (Dhamma) that Sakyamuni Buddha had realized and they have all His qualities.

The Bell Tower, Jialan Hall and the Drum Tower

The side walk that strolls past all the miniature Buddhas and past the the Bell and Drum Towers and  Jialan Hall.  

These symbols were in the Sidewalk

The figure above and the figure below are in Jialan Hall.  They have some fresh fruit in front of them and also some incense burning.

Dizang Hall - The Temple

There were signs that told us that we couldn't take pictures in the temple but we were allowed in.  It was, of course, the most ornate of the buildings that we visited.

We saw this strange bug, at least strange to us.  I'll have to look him up to see what he is.

The White-spotted Sawyer

Grand Hall

The Grand Hall is where Visitors are welcomed.  It also is the one that contains a Gift Shop.  A little woman who didn't speak much English made sure that we made it to the Gift Shop.  There is no charge for being on the premises but they do ask for donations in several of the buildings.

500 Arhat Hall

We were not sure what Arhats were so I looked it up.  Arhats are people that have reached Nirvana and will no longer be reborn.  I suppose, as a former Catholic, I would relate that to being a saint. 

Kwun Yam Hall (under renovation)

The main altar in this building was still intact but there was clutter all about the room.  Still, however, the figures on the main altar had their fresh fruit and incense burning.

Lovely setting

Ying's Family Cemetery

Canadian Geese - this pair only had one gosling so we wondered if someone took the rest of the eggs.  It may be the only way to keep these prolific birds from taking over every pond and waterway!

Seven Storied Jade Pagoda - Yufo Tower

Vegetable Gardens near the exit/entrance

When we left the Buddist Temple we wondered if we would have enough time to finish this drive today.  The tour of this complex took a lot longer than we thought.  Of course, now all we were thinking about was our stomachs as it was way past time for lunch.