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At Least I Like Sourdough Bread

Yesterday I talked about a lunch under stress (good lunch, not bad stress, in case you missed it). I don’t always have stress when I eat out and I don’t get to eat out as often as I would like to. However, we were celebrating Steven’s birthday weekend last weekend, so I make bold to offer two eating out posts in a row.

One of my favorite things to do on my day off is to eat at a good hometown diner. The Mohawk Valley is blessed with several. Last weekend, when my husband Steven and I had a rare Saturday off together, we began our day with breakfast at Liz’s in Mohawk, NY.

Liz greeted us as we walked in and we sat down, admiring as always the rooster decor. Several specials were posted on the wall, but we also looked at menus. Decisions, decisions. At least I knew I was definitely getting something with toast, because Liz serves Heidelberg Bread. Yum!

I finally settled on two eggs over medium with homefries and sourdough toast. Steven ordered the same only adding bacon, cholesterol be damned. When I confided that sourdough was my favorite I learned that Liz doesn’t like it. Heresy!

“All the more for me,” I said, although I contented myself with one order.

The potatoes were perfection, and the eggs were just the way I like them, yolks runny, whites not. While we ate we got to chatting with two ladies sitting at the next table. One of them had seen us on stage at Ilion Little Theatre, although she had missed my most recent theatrical triumph. We both expressed a wish that Steven would be in another play soon. He is considering the prospect.

The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan was on the television, which led to a discussion about our dogs. We probably could have sat down with another cup of coffee and chatted for another hour. I do love conversation. Conversation and a good breakfast are an excellent combination for a Saturday morning.

Liz’s is located at 150 Main St., Mohawk, NY, phone number 315-941-5609. They are open at 7 a.m. 7 days a week with dinner Wed., Thurs. and Fri. till 7 p.m., Sat. till 5 p.m.

When in Stress, Eat a Cheeseburger

I took today off to celebrate my husband’s birthday, which is tomorrow. So one might think I had plenty of time to come up with a decent blog post. Other readers are no doubt expecting my usual schtick about why I can’t write a post today. I will compromise with brief shout-out to a local business.

We had a few things going on today, mostly unexpected. In the middle of it, though, we managed to go out for lunch at Brian’s Roast Beef Deli. When stressed, one must have sufficient nutrition.

We got a table with no problem and looked at menus. We both got burgers: good food when under stress. I got a regular cheeseburger, which sounded just right to me. Steven got a cheddar-bacon burger, which came with fries. We each got a Labatt’s Blue draft as well. The waitress said she could use a beer herself. I told her I’d never tell.

It was one of those times when as I ate the food my whole body said, “THANK YOU!!!” I ate quite a few of Steven’s French fries as well. The service was great, the price was reasonable, and we both felt considerably less stressed after lunch than we had before. As for the cause of our stress, it was no big deal, and one must count one’s blessings after all.

Brian’s Roast Beef Deli is located at 122 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY, 13350, phone number 315-866-3664. You can Like them on Facebook. I did.

A More Serious Post

I can’t call this Wrist to Forehead Sunday, but I am too sad to write to write a proper post. I logged onto Facebook this morning to learn of a man’s suicide.

The man was not exactly a friend of mine, not even a Facebook friend. We were acquainted via a group (I shan’t mention which group, because I feel I should omit any potentially identifying details) which I enjoy very much. I would read his posts and comments with interest, and I always felt flattered when he would Like a comment I made. He was Facebook friends with my husband; they were in two groups together. He would sometimes comment on or Like Steven’s posts.

I just feel so unspeakably sad that this person I never physically met is not longer on the planet. I feel even more sad that it seems to be such a preventable death. Having struggled for many years with depression myself, I understand despair. I understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help. I can’t say I understand what this person was going through, because of course I don’t.

It is clear I have nothing wise and insightful to say. However, I will publish this anyways, because this is important. Suicide is a tragic waste of life. I don’t know what I can do about it, but I would like to figure out something.

And They’re Here

Ah Saturday. That is how my Facebook status started this morning. Sometimes I am wittier on Facebook than I am in the blog, but that is not an example of it. No matter, this is another Scattered Saturday post and I need to get it typed and published, because we have people coming over.

It is my wonderful husband, Steven’s birthday weekend. His birthday is not for a few days yet, but we like to spread these things out. After all, why not enjoy things for a longer time rather than a shorter time? I always say, you can laugh or you can cry, you might as well laugh.

We began our day by sleeping in till almost quarter till six. Ooh, that was nice. I had one of those nights when I kept waking up and thinking about work, then remembering that I don’t have to go there for three days. Woohoo! After some leisurely coffee, newspaper reading, news watching and computer checking, we went for breakfast at Liz’s Diner in Mohawk, NY. Yum! It was also a fun time at Liz’s, as we ran into a lady who knows us from shows at Ilion Little Theatre. We chatted about that, about our dogs, about the weather, and it was all very pleasant.

After breakfast we stopped at Gems Along the Mohawk. Full disclosure: I went there hoping to get material to write an article for Mohawk Valley Living magazine. We’ll see how that turns out. I’ll probably get a blog post about my tribulations in trying to write it. In any case, it was an interesting stop, and I purchased some postcards. You know how I love to send people postcards.

Back home I wrote out a few of said postcards, Steven tidied the living room, and I made a few phone calls. Some family members are stopping over later to wish Steven a happy birthday. Then I prepared a few snack-type foods, because when people come to my house I like to feed them.

And that is the story of my life so far. Oh dear, is that a car I hear in the driveway and I have not edited this, added categories and tags, or thought of a title? One of these days I’ll get my act together. And write a blog post about it.

But You Should Have Read That Post in My Head

So there I was trying to write a blog post when it suddenly became clear: what I composed in my head while I was working (it’s OK, it’s the kind of job I can daydream and do properly) does not necessarily translate through my pen and onto the paper.

Oh, there are the Know-It-Alls gearing up to say, “I could have told you that would happen. You can’t THINK about things before you write them, you have to just WRITE.” Blah, blah, blah. I think I know better than to listen to those yahoos by now. Yes, sometimes it is better to sit down at the page (or screen) tabula rasa as it were and see what comes out. Sometimes it helps to think about it first. How much thinking you ought to do varies.

That last sentence is the crux of the matter. The thing is, any piece of writerly advice — even wise, insightful advice (and any advice that begins with a sniff and “I could have told you that would happen” is probably neither wise nor insightful) — is only good some of the time. Every piece of writing is different. What works for one may be a disaster for another. Likewise, one writer’s Rosetta Stone is another writer’s brick wall (ooh, isn’t that a nice metaphor?) (now I’m remembering another piece of writerly advice: if you write something particularly fine, strike it out. I forget who said it).

Another thing about advice is: most people like to give it, few people like to take it. I don’t much like to listen to advice myself, especially if I haven’t asked for it. So anybody gearing up to offer advice on this blog post, NEVER MIND! Unless you’d like to leave a comment. I like when people leave comments. But if you comment with advice, I will probably not follow it.

In case anybody hasn’t noticed, today is Lame Post Friday.

I Have No Control

Please Note: The following post was written on breaks at work and is now being typed into the computer by me. This is often the case with my posts, but I felt the need to specifically point it out because of my first sentence. Is that silly? Oh, hell, when am I not?

I am eating a few peanuts. Not too many, because I want to save most of them for my next break. But a few, because I am hungry. I make a note of this because it occurred to me that I could eat just one peanut and thus disprove the truism that nobody can eat just one peanut.

Then I thought, “Surely somebody has eaten just one peanut for precisely that reason.” There are many people who just have to be that way. For example, I know of at least two people who have purposefully sat and watched a pot boil. Come to think of it, I’ve watched a pot boil myself. Not to disprove the adage but because I did not have anything better to do while I waited for it to boil.

I wrote the preceding during my first break at work. I spent the next couple of hours trying to think of other cliches to disprove. Of course I have written about Cliches Revisited before; it is one of my favorite topics. I thought this time I could approach it from the angle of practical experiments to prove or disprove cliches.

I did not come up with any but in writing that paragraph I suddenly realized that the so-called experiments I mentioned before are not true scientific experiments. They lack a control.

I remember when I was in 8th grade (or was it 9th?), we learned about experiments. Our assignment was to pick a saying and devise an experiment to prove or disprove it. I picked, “If you kill a ladybug it will rain.” My experiment was to get seven ladybugs, kill one a day for a week and see if it rained. Kind of hard on the ladybugs, but I didn’t intend to actually carry out the experiment.

The teacher said my experiment lacked a control. At first I thought, “What for? The control is The rest of the time when I’m not doing the experiment.” Eventually the lesson sank in. You have to compare the ladybug-killing week to a specific non-ladybug-killing week. That is how you obtain scientific evidence.

So how do you do a control for the experiments I mentioned earlier? Would you eat a whole lot of peanuts or not eat any peanuts? Perhaps I need to consult an actual scientist about that one. The boiling water thing seems pretty straightforward. Just don’t watch a pot and see if it boils. I know: how can you see if it boils if you don’t watch it at least a little? Obviously this scientific stuff is not as easy as it may at first appear.

Full disclosure: I only started writing this because I had absolutely no idea of what to write about so just jotted down my immediate thoughts to get my pen moving. I kind of like what I ended up with. I am a little regretful that I only mentioned two cliches, though. After all, three’s the charm. Or is it?

Thank You, Skinner

I had very little prospect for a Mohawk Valley adventure today, but I did need to put air in the tires of my vehicle. I thought I could probably make something of that, maybe call it “Adventures with Air” or “Tired of Not Having Adventures.” Well, things got a little more interesting than that.

I started out with high hopes, getting right to the air pump at the FasTrac in Ilion. Ah, the sun was pretty. This would be fine. It was not fine. The wind was cold, oh it was cold. And on the first tire I tried, the pressure when down instead of up, then it beeped that it was malfunctioning. I got back into the vehicle and drove to Herkimer.

No chance of getting to the pump at Stewart’s, but I had better luck at FasTrac. The wind was less, too, so that helped. Everything was going great, till the third tire started hissing. Hissing? Maybe it wasn’t the tire, maybe it was the pump. I filled the fourth tire, put the pump away and checked again.

Yes, hissing. That couldn’t be good. I must have hit something on the stem. I fiddled with it. Still hissing. I got the pump, to replace the air that had already hissed out. Perhaps in filling it again I could somehow fix whatever was wrong. Instead, something flew off the stem and the hissing got really loud.

A nice man who had just finished pumping gas saw my distress and came over to see if he could help. Of course there was nothing he could do, but I appreciated that he checked. The only thing to be done was to let it keep hissing and call AAA. I tried to explain the situation to the AAA operator. I said I thought I had a donut. He said that was important to know, because if I did not, he would need to send a tow truck.

Of course I could not open my back hatch due to ice on the bumper. Still talking to the nice young man, I went to the back door and pulled the back seat forward. Then went to the other back door when I realized that one would be easier to get through. Then realized what a true pain in the butt it is when your back seat doesn’t go all the way flat. Eventually I discovered that my vehicle does NOT have a donut; I would need a tow. Actually, a flat bed, because I have 4-wheel drive.

Sooner than I would have expected, a big truck from Skinner Service Station was with me. The driver thought I would only need a new stem, not a whole new tire. I was concerned that it be fixed today. If I was going to have to leave my vehicle there and pick it up tomorrow, I figured I could walk home. He thought they could fix it today and if not, they would give me a ride home.

I was happy to get in the tow truck. I love to ride in a big tall truck. While they looked at my tire, they offered me a cup of hot coffee. A nice lady had to show me how to work the Keurig. After a few sips, I felt much better about everything.

I learned that the broken stem was fancy, to light up the uneven pressure light on my dashboard. They replaced it with a regular stem. I could order the fancy, more expensive one if I wanted, but the regular one will work perfectly well. The only thing is, the uneven pressure light will still be on.

“So I’ll have to periodically check my tire pressure with the doodah,” I said. I meant the tire pressure guage. I have a tendency to say “doodah” instead of things’ regular names.

“That’s right. The old-fashioned way,” he said.

I was extremely pleased with my experience at Skinner Service Station. I said perhaps I would start going there for all my service needs, and the lady who had helped me with the coffee immediately handed me a business card. I added that I would definitely write a blog post about it. So I did.

Skinner Service Station is located at 5637 State Route 5, East Herkimer, NY 13350, phone number 315-866-3530. For 24/7 towing call 315-866-3360.

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