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Breakfast Before Adventures

Steven and I began our adventure-filled day last Friday with breakfast at Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner in Herkimer. I mentioned that in passing the other day, but today I’d like to give them a proper shout-out. Of course I’ve written about Crazy Otto’s before. It is something of a landmark in Herkimer and one of our favorite spots. We rarely get to go out to breakfast together, so we were happy to take the opportunity last Friday.

For anyone who missed my previous posts about Crazy Otto’s or for anybody who has forgotten, the diner is an authentic 1950s trailer. It’s been on the corner of West Albany and North Main streets for as long as we’ve lived in the area. In 2006 it was taken over by Scott and Kim Tranter, who changed the name from Empire Diner to Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner. You can read the history of Crazy Otto’s on the menu.

Steven and I got there around nine Friday morning. It wasn’t too crowded, being a weekday morning. We got a booth right away and as usual sat enjoying the retro decor. We especially like all the license plates hung on almost every available surface. We gave them our Georgia plate for the purpose. I think it’s still the only Georgia plate they have, but I couldn’t be sure. That’s a lot of plates to check.

After much debate I ordered an egg sandwich of bacon, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll, one of my favorite breakfasts. Steven chose a waffle with eggs and bacon. We discussed our upcoming adventure while we waited for our food. Everything was delicious, as usual.

As we were walking back to our car, a rap on the window called us back in. Our friends Phyllis and Jim were about to have breakfast. As you can see, Crazy Otto’s is patronized by many people of discriminating taste. We were tempted to sit down and have another breakfast, or at least some more coffee, but we had adventures to get on with. We chatted for a few minutes before continuing with our day.

Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner is located at 100 W. Albany St., Herkimer, NY. Phone number is 315-866-8801. For more information you can visit their website at You can also like their Facebook page. I did.

Tired of Not Writing

I just looked back at my posts for the past week and see that last week I had a Tired Tuesday. I am mortified to admit to being tired again today. I am further mortified to notice that last Tuesday I at least had the excuse that I had just done laundry. Today all I did was come home and take my dog Tabby for a walk. I had thought to write a Pedestrian Post, but my brain seems uncooperative.

In fact, all my brain seems to want to write is Wrist to Forehead Tuesday. After all, I did not have Wrist to Forehead Sunday, I wrote about something! Then yesterday I didn’t have Middle-aged Musings Monday, I wrote about something! Couldn’t I have gone three days in a row writing about something? Apparently not. That is why my wrist is inclined to go to my forehead in the usual dramatic gesture.

I’ve been having a bad writing day all day. When I got to work this morning (arriving early to have writing time, as usual), I opened my notebook and looked at it. Then I reached for my puzzle book. Many years ago, i would always do a puzzle before working on my novel (whichever novel I was working on at the time). It would clear my brain, since I was always reading somebody else’s fiction at the time. Today, however, reaching for my puzzle book was not a good idea. I have done all the puzzles I like. I am reduced to looking at the “Hard” crossword puzzles, which are, I admit it, too hard for me. Alas.

On break and at lunch I couldn’t write either. My brain rebelled. I had been thinking about my novel a lot while I was working. This usually helps. Today not so much. So here I am, writing this ridiculous blow-by-blow of me not writing. How embarrassing is that!

But what can one do? Hit “Publish” and try again tomorrow, as usual. I hope my readers are all having a pleasant Tuesday.

Where I Like to Go for Popcorn

Astute readers may remember that a stop at Dyn’s Cider Mill formed part of Steven’s and my adventures last Friday. I’ve written about Dyn’s before, but I think it’s always appropriate to give a fun place another shout-out.

Dyn’s is located at 7915, Rt. 28, Richfield Springs, NY. It’s a scenic ride with views of water, mountains and farmland. The fall colors were past peak last Friday, but Steven and I saw patches of bright yellow, red and orange. We also scanned for Halloween decorations as we drove by people’s houses.

We walked into the large room and once again admired the country decor. One thing I definitely wanted was a cup of hot cider. The girl working there had to bring out more cups. She also brewed a fresh pot of coffee, which is almost always Steven’s beverage of choice. While the coffee brewed, I found my Dyn’s Popcorn, which was the real reason for the visit, and we debated which of the baked goods we would purchase. I moved my things out of the way of another customer.

“There’s popcorn?” she said, as I moved the bag.

“Really good popcorn,” I said. “I get some every year and love it. Then when it’s gone I make do with Jolly Time till I can get more Dyn’s.”

She got some popcorn, too. Steven and I decided on a half dozen apple cider donuts. I thought about purchasing some gourds to enhance our fall decor but decided against it. I pointed out to Steven that if we had felt like sitting and enjoying our beverages there, we could have used ceramic mugs. We could have played checkers on a rather large board on one of the tables. Perhaps on a future visit.

Dyn’s is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They serve breakfast every Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon, and spaghetti and lasagna Wednesdays from noon to 7 p.m. For more information call 315-858-2078.

A Rustic Taste

One of the stops on Steven’s and my adventurous Friday was Rustic Ridge Winery in Burlington Flats, NY. I am, of course, a longtime lover of wine and of wineries, so I was delighted to find another good one.

We had the map of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. I would like to make all the stops on the trail one day, but since we had other adventures in mind on Friday, I thought one winery would be good. It was not hard to find, 2805 St. Hwy 80. We pulled into the driveway and felt pleased with ourselves for not getting lost or, even more likely, driving right by the place.

Steven right away saw a nice labrador-looking dog out behind the place. I read somewhere that most of the wineries have dogs. They help keep certain pests away from the vineyard. Also, dogs are nice. Steven tried to get the dog to come over and say hello, but he declined. I said he was probably on guard duty.

Inside, the cabin looked, appropriately enough, rustic. Country music was playing. We were the only tasters there at the time. We could have paid $3 for five tastes, but opted to pay $6 and keep the glasses. We like to add to our collection of wine glasses.

For whites we tried the Chardonnay and the Untamed White. Two Chardonnays were available. I chose the one that was not oak aged. I liked it. The Untamed White had a cool label with evil eyes. Rick Bennett, the owner who was doing our tasting, said it was comparable to Pinot Grigio. We liked it but preferred the Chardonnay.

For reds we both tried the ’09 Pinot Noir and the Cabernet Franc. Steven tried the Merlot and I went for the Lemberger ’09. I’m not as familiar with lemberger as I am with merlot, so I thought to try something different. We liked everything we tried but only purchased the Chardonnay, giving us a good reason to return at a later time.

Before making our purchase we browsed the shop for wine accessories and t-shirts. Steven especially liked one that read, “New York is for wine; Napa is for auto parts.” Of course, we’ve had some California wines that we liked perfectly well, but I enjoyed the play on words.

Incidentally, the dog came in while we were tasting and Steven petted him. I was busy taking tasting notes, but on our way out I petted him, too. I’m sure fellow dog lovers will be happy to hear we got to meet the nice dog.

We were very pleased with our stop. I hope to bring some of my wine other tasting buddies with me next time. For more information on Rustic Ridge Winery you can call 607-965-0626. Their website is, and they have a Facebook page.

Here’s Another Pedestrian Post

Once again I was not up to running this morning, so no Saturday Running Commentary. I shall begin again again again again soon. I hope before snow flies. In the meantime, I shall offer another Pedestrian Post and hope to not alienate any readers.

Yes, yes, I did have copious Mohawk Valley adventures yesterday about which I hope to write. But you know how I get. I want to write good blog posts about them. I think sometime I will wax philosophical (half-bakedly, of course) on how this is a terrible strategy, because the longer you wait the more the pressure to be good builds. Eventually one can never live up to one’s own expectations. If one ever could.

All this by way of putting down more words, because our walk really wasn’t such a much. I missed the really beautiful part of the day, when it got all sunny this afternoon. That hardly mattered. It was still warm, and I like a cloudy, gloomy day. It suits me.

We had just had an enjoyable outing to the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm on Otsego Street in Ilion, NY. It was folk artist Jim Parker’s 80th birthday, so we went to wish him well. I brought him a scarf I had made. He said it would make him the hit of the coffee shop. Tabby just loves that farmer’s market. When we got home I dropped off my purchases (hot garlic pickles and a dog bone) and we set out.

I admired many Halloween decorations. Little ghosts decorated a bush and porch railing. Miniature skeletons hung from a porch roof. My favorites lately are the skeleton parts that look as if they are coming up out of the ground. I saw one that looked as if it lit up. We’ll have to walk by there after dark and see.

We did not see any other dogs and very few people. I said hello to one lady we walked right by. I’ve said hello to her before. She ignored me then and she ignored me today. I suppose people have a right to be unfriendly if they want, but I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “What did I ever do to you, lady?” I always call females “lady” in my head when I feel offended.

Oh, I know, I mustn’t judge. Perhaps she had a dreadful problem that had nothing to do with me but renders her unable to offer even the barest human courtesies. Perhaps, unbeknownst to me, she is in hideous pain and it is all she can do to remain upright and moving. I should admire her instead of calling her “lady” in my head in that disparaging fashion.

In any case, it was an enjoyable walk. Now Tabby and I await Steven’s return from work. The nicest thing that has happened to me all day was when I remembered he comes home at six and not six-thirty.

Not About My Aches and Lame

People who complain about their aches and pains are tiresome. However, today is Lame Post Friday and I can do whatever I want.

I suppose that is not exactly true. If I want to be strictly accurate, I would say I can post whatever I want to post. Oh, all right, that much is true every day. Never mind, let’s get on with today’s post so I can get back to enjoying my Friday.

Hmm, does that make this an ironic post: I will complain about my aches and pains then get back to enjoying myself? That might call for some half-baked philosophy to answer. Can we truly enjoy ourselves through pain? Does overcoming pain enhance or detract from our enjoyment? In short, does pain make us better people or is that just a rationalization we use to help us feel better about the pain?

What brought all this on was that my day of enjoyment with my dear husband has been overshadowed by a migraine. It started out as a sinus twinge when I woke up. I had some coffee and hoped for the best. Breakfast at Crazy Otto’s Diner kind of sort of helped. Then we took Tabby for a walk in the cold wind and the pain got worse.

Undaunted, I picked up my notebook and the map I had printed off the computer, and we set out. Butternut Barn Primitives and Dyn’s Cider Mill. My headache felt a little worse. I got some hot cider at Dyn’s. Sipping it helped. Fly Creek Cider Mill, Rustic Ridge Winery. The headache returned as soon as I had finished the cider. I resolutely ignored it and managed to enjoy the Mill and the Winery.

As we drove home the headache got worse and turned into a full-blown migraine with light sensitivity and upset stomach. When we got home I aet a few corn chips, so as not to have an empty stomach, and took some Migraine Relief and a nap. Getting up from the nap and asking Steven to make some coffee (Pumpkin Spice!), my headache seems to be dissipating. Again, I hope for the best.

I intend to write blog posts about each stop on the trip as well as the trip itself. Right now, this is my post. Thank you for playing.

It’s Pouring Rain and I’m Cooking Sausage

When I said I would try not to have a Wuss-out Wednesday this week, I did not say anything about not having a Non-Sequitur Thursday. For one thing, today is my Friday. What could be more non-sequitur than that? Oh, I suppose a few things. Enlighten me, if you feel you must.

It actually feels more like a Tired Thursday, but that doesn’t have the same alliterative ring that Tired Tuesday does. I did try to write something during the day at work. I opened my notebook, took out a pen and turned to a blank page. In between breaks (you know, while I was working), I thought about what I could write. The result was a few more paragraphs on my novel. Not good paragraphs. That novel is at kind of a standstill, but I’m still plugging away. I am determined to bring it to some sort of a conclusion.

After work I went to the grocery store. I bought plenty of ingredients for a few good cooking posts by the end of the weekend. And when I say “good,” I mean I expect the food to taste good. I make no guarantees about the writing (although I flatter myself that I am not contemptible in that department).

It was raining when I left work, so I thought I was off the hook for walking Tabby. The rain stopped by the time I got home but looked ready to start up again at any excuse. Tabby doesn’t like to walk in the rain. I was afraid if we started our walk and the rain started back up that Tabby would stand still and look at me, expecting to be magically and instantly transported back home.

Still, she was so excited to see me and did seem to expect an adventure. I thought, oh hell, it’ll be something to write a blog post about. We set out. It almost immediately began to rain again but very lightly. For once Tabby didn’t seem to notice. I had put on a warm jacket and had the hood up, so I was fairly comfortable, except for my back.

Like many people who are overweight and over 40, I suffer from back pain. Today I blame work. I spent the morning standing and the afternoon sitting. My back likes it better when I am up and down. I thought, this is OK. A walk always helps. Today, not so much. So we only walked for a block. At least Tabby seemed to enjoy it.

And that has been my Thursday/Friday. I see this bit of blathering on has gotten my word count over 400. I’ll just slap a kicky headline on and call it a day. Hope to see you on Lame Post Friday.

Just one quick note: Do you find this is more Stream of Consciousness than Non Sequitur? I’m afraid it might be.


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