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Big Plans, Small Post

I’m taking Friday off, so that makes Wednesday my Thursday, right? I bring the matter up, because I threatened yesterday (Tired Tuesday) to have a Wuss-out Wednesday today. In a desperate attempt to avoid that eventuality, I am sitting at work (before my shift starts, not while I’m on the clock, peanut gallery), scribbling in my notebook (the paper, spiral-bound kind; I’m a creature of the previous century), hoping to come up with something.

My husband has Friday off as well. We plan to spend at least part of the day having Mohawk Valley adventures. First we’ll head to Richfield Springs, NY and stop at Dyn’s Cider Mill. I want to get a bag of Dyn’s Popcorn. Regular readers may remember that I make my popcorn on the stove in a pot with oil and melt real butter to put on it. Dyn’s Popcorn is excellent for the purpose.

From there we thought we’d go to Fly Creek Cider Mill, another favorite stop of ours. Steven also suggested that either before Fly Creek or on our way home we stop at Butternut Barn Primitives, 427 Butternut Rd., Richfield Springs, a place we’ve never been to but have heard good things about.

While pondering our plan, I wondered about what other new places we could go. I remembered the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. I didn’t think we could do the whole trail, but perhaps we could check one or two of the stops on it. I thought I had seen a booklet about it at Gems Along the Mohawk in Herkimer.

I did not find information about the Beverage Trail, but in between the retail shops and the Waterfront Grille, there are many fliers about various attractions. I picked up a handful. Now we have lots of ideas!

So things are looking good for future blog posts. I hope to have several business and attractions to write about. In the meantime, I hope this preview of coming attractions will do for now.

I Want to Watch World’s Dumbest!

It is a sad thing to be Tired on Tuesday when you are pretty sure you are going to Wuss-out on Wednesday. And yet, here I am.

As usual, I knew this would happen. I knew I should write a blog post while at work today. But there were cryptogram puzzles to solve and husbands to call (OK, just one husband; I thought it would be more symmetrical to make it plural) (I did solve more than one cryptogram puzzle). That’s OK, I thought. We planned to go to the laundromat after work. I can always write at the laundromat.

At the laundromat, after putting our clothes in the washer and bringing the detergent and bleach back out to the SUV, I sat down with my notebook. I opened it to the next blank page. I wrote the date. And I sat there. Oh yeah, I can’t always write at the laundromat.

Steven discovered some People magazine. No, no, I had to write. I looked at the notebook. I read the magazine. Actually, I mostly paged through it and looked at some of the pictures. I don’t know most of the current celebrities. I am so not mainstream.

I tried again after we got the clothes into the drier. Still no luck. This time I read The New Yorker. I felt pretty classy till I realized I wasn’t finishing any of the articles I started. I gave up and paged through looking at the cartoons. And I thought I was an intellectual.

Eventually we finished the burdensome chore and came home. I had sensibly put some stuff in the crock pot, so dinner was forthcoming. I can usually write better after a good meal.

As you can see, not so much. So here is today’s post, about not being able to write a post. I don’t promise a better post for tomorrow, but we can hope. I’m going to watch television and knit till bedtime.

NOT Chicken Cordon Bleu

On Sunday when I asked Steven what he would like for dinner, he said something involving cheese, because we had a brick of colby-jack in the refrigerator. I knew we also had deli ham, so I suggested Chicken Cordon Bleu.

“You’ll need to get some chicken,” he pointed out.

“I’m going to the store,” I said.

“And some cordon bleu.”

We had a good laugh speculating on which grocery aisle that would be in or if I would have to stop at the Cordon Bleu Store. We do get silly.

Full disclosure: what I make is not really Chicken Cordon Bleu. I’ve never followed a recipe, for one thing. I use chicken, cheese and ham. Beyond that, I make no promises. I was happy to find boneless skinless thighs at the grocery store. I have a problem with the breasts drying out. I suppose real chefs know how to combat that dilemma, and here we come to the ugly truth about me.

I was going to make spinach and artichoke dip for an appetizer, so I put some frozen spinach in a colander and poured hot water over it to thaw it. Then I crushed up some garlic and set the timer for 15 minutes so it would reach its full health benefits (at our age, we need all the help we can get). I crushed enough for the dip and the chicken. I also grated enough cheese for both. I thought that was pretty efficient of me.

Digging out a bread pan to put the dip in, I remembered I had left my favorite bread pan at Mom and Dad’s house (where I had brought my spinach and artichoke dip for a gathering). It was originally her bread pan, so I guess I can’t feel too bad about it. Anyways, I have other bread pans. I ought to bake more bread, but that’s a whole other blog post.

I chopped up a jar of artichoke hearts then a yellow onion. I hadn’t put onion in the dip before, but it sounded good. I planned to put some in the chicken, too. Steven read somewhere that once you peel and chop an onion, you should use the whole thing right away, because onions become toxic if you save them. If that is truly the case, I probably ought to be dead by now. Just the same, I’ve been buying smaller onions lately.

Artichokes, spinach, garlic, onion and cheese in the pan, I added a couple spoonfuls of mayonnaise, stirred it good, and put in in an oven, which I had preheated to 350 degrees (I perhaps should have mentioned that at the beginning of the description, but I rather doubt any of my readers are cooking along with me as they read). We ate the dip with tortilla rounds. It was pretty good.

For the chicken I put the rest of the garlic and the rest of the onions in with the rest of the cheese and mixed it up. I took the chicken thighs and kind of spread them out. I can never make the pound them down thing work. I put the cheese mixture on along with some fresh mushroom slices I had. I folded the chicken over and rolled it in seasoned breadcrumbs as best as I could.

It was awkward. I dug around in the drawer for some toothpicks and made the resulting bundle as neat as I could. I put them in a pan and put the pan in the 350 degree oven. I baked them for about an hour, testing with a meat thermometer, because I didn’t want to cut them open and look for pink.

They tasted pretty good. I was halfway through mine before I realized I had left out the ham.

Do You Like Me?

I purposely kept my wrist off my forehead yesterday so I could indulge in Wrist to Forehead Sunday today. Of course it might not have been necessary. I had planned a couple of Mohawk Valley adventures I could have written about. Unfortunately, they fell through. Blame the weather, blame my sinus headache (which was perhaps caused by the weather), or blame me. Whatever. The fact is, my husband is due home from work in about ten minutes and I want to have my blog post done and published so I can enjoy some time with him.

I’ll just mention as an aside here, we are celebrating our Anniversary Eve today. It’ll be 24 years tomorrow. In your face, divorce rate! As I think about this wonderful man with whom I share my life, my house, my dog, and my wine, I feel increasingly less wrist-to-foreheady. However, I felt marginally distressed earlier, so I’ll just rattle off a paragraph or two about that.

I was reading some other blogs. I don’t always have the time to do this, but I have a few I Follow, and I try to check out bloggers who have Liked my posts. I always feel so flattered to get Likes. Almost like I’m doing something right, which regular readers know is something that rarely happens. WELL, there I was reading a post when I discovered that SOME bloggers Like posts without actually reading them. Can you imagine such a thing?

This does explain a couple of times when I have gotten a Like almost immediately after hitting Publish. While it affords a certain satisfaction to have something explained, I can’t help feeling a certain dissatisfaction with the explanation. Luckily I don’t feel too awful about it. With my low self-esteem, I could easily flash back to the elementary school playground when, as too often happens in the schoolyard, someone I thought was a friend would suddenly do something mean to me.

“But I thought you LIIIIKED me!” I don’t remember if I actually wailed that line, with or without the extra syllables in “like,” but there’s a good chance I did. And you thought I was such a tough broad (nobody needs to tell me that they never thought that for one day ever in their lives).

I think miffed is a better term for the way I feel about it, now that I have reached middle age. I won’t say I’ve gained maturity exactly, but I admit to a certain level of contentment with my immaturity. We’ll call it perspective.

What was my point? Ah yes, merely to hit Publish before my husband got home. I didn’t make it. But I’ll hit Publish now, and we’ll talk more about this later.

Early Morning Stroll

The return of Saturday Running Commentary seems ever more remote. Alas. Looking back, I see it has been just over a week since my last Pedestrian Post, so I will attempt to write a little about the jaunt I took this morning with my schnoodle Tabby.

Steven had to work at 6:30, so we were up at an unconscionably early hour (I like that work “unconscionably.” I even spelled it correctly on the first try). Still, early mornings are nice. I wrote a few postcards, one of my favorite Saturday morning activities. As Mohawk Valley Girl, I feel I ought to point out that they were not postcards of the Mohawk Valley. They were some my mother picked up for me on a recent road trip she and my father took. I can only find so many postcards around here.

Tabby and I set out shortly after Steven left. I was wearing a cape my sister gave me. I felt distinctive wearing a cape. It was cool enough to make the cape appropriate but not so cold I wished I was wearing a hat. That was good, because my hair was still a little wet from my shower. I did not want hat head for the rest of the day.

It was still dark out. I love to be out before sunup for a fun purpose. Between the Army and the National Guard, I have many times left the house at oh-dark-thirty to spend way too long a day doing dreadfully uncomfortable things (yes, it is OH-dark-thirty; I never once heard it called zero-dark-thirty, although I suppose that is technically the correct term). Of course I don’t regret my time in the service, but it did rather warp my view of early morning hours.

We heard a dog bark. I thought I could see the little dog that lives up the street from us. His owners don’t put him on a leash. Was he going down the sidewalk? I couldn’t see in the dark. Then I could see him go back up the driveway and I saw the back porch light go off, so that was OK.

I could see a few lights inside houses on. More than I usually see when I’m out running prior to 4 a.m. I thought about the middle of summer when the sun is in the sky by 6:30. I love seasons. They add such interest to my days. Fall is my favorite. You never know what you’re going to get. We had some 70 degree weather this week, but we may get snow flurries on Sunday. You can laugh or you can cry; I prefer to laugh.

As we went across Meyers Park, I heard the jingle of a dog collar. Was that Nicky? It was! Nicky is a cute little dog I often pet when I am out running. We went up to them and said hello. I petted Nicky and Nicky sniffed Tabby’s butt. We walked a block together while Nicky’s lady and I chatted. We parted company when Tabby and I had to cross the street to get to the post office.

After the post office, we did not walk as long as we usually do, because I felt a few raindrops. We made it home before it was full-out raining, but after we were home I could hear it pour down. It kept raining for some hours. I’m glad we walked while the walking was good.

Lame, Rinse, Repeat

Normally I am in a pretty good mood on Lame Post Friday. That is one reason I instituted Lame Post Friday. Because it is FRIDAY! And I want to be silly! Lately, though, I have just had a Bad Attitude (have to capitalize it, it’s that bad). I don’t want to write a silly blog post. I don’t want to write a blog post at all! I don’t want to write anything at all! I can’t write! I’m a terrible writer!

You see how it snowballs.

Actually, my mood started to improve about the time I was capitalizing Bad Attitude. Writing does that for me. Of course I want to write a silly blog post! I may be a terrible writer (don’t judge), but I DO want to write at all!

If only I had a few more ideas of what to write beyond, um, what I just wrote.

No, no, no, don’t step on my buzz with that! I don’t need ideas today! This is Lame Post Friday! I can wing it today! Random observations and half-baked philosophy, that’s how we roll on Lame Post Friday! With a lot of exclamation points!

At least I’ve got the silly part down.

Today’s random observation which in a pinch can double as half-baked philosophy: writing begets more writing. I have observed this again and again. And remarked on it. Did I mention I can also repeat myself on Lame Post Friday?

Yay! The Parade!

So there I was, no idea what to write a blog post about, and I was in a pretty poopy mood, because I wanted to go out somewhere and it didn’t happen. Maybe it was post-scene letdown, but let’s not talk about Macbeth and the witches AGAIN. Anyways, we suddenly heard loud drumming.

What was that? Nobody on this block has taken up drums, have they? Steven went to the door and looked. It was the parade! Every fall Herkimer High School does this little parade. We never know when it’s coming, but one night we’ll suddenly hear drums and there it is!

There was one year when I was already in bed. I was on overtime and turned in really early. I wrapped an afghan around myself and watched from the front door. The next year I thought I heard drums in the distance and threw on sweats. This year I was nicely sitting in our living room. I was barefoot but respectable enough to stand on the porch. I ran and got Tabby’s leash, just to be sure my little dog was safe.

The parade isn’t so long. The band, a few floats pulled by pick-up trucks, and a few pick-up trucks filled with football players and cheerleaders. But I love it.

Needless to say, I am no longer in a poopy mood (incidentally, it is poopy or poopie? My computer says both are wrong). And perhaps this was not the best blog post, but for Non-Sequitur Thursday, it’ll do.

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