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Category Archives: Herkimer

Monday Run

I missed my Sunday run so thought it would be a good idea to run on Monday. It wasn’t raining when I got home from work, so I got on my gear and off I went.

My run time is up to 44 minutes. I did not increase it by the recommended 10 percent this week, thinking to give myself a break while the play is going on (Harvey at Ilion Little Theatre; I may have mentioned that before). When I set out Monday I was undecided: 20 minutes, 30 minutes or the full 44? I would see how it went.

I was able to cross German Street right away. I headed in the direction of Main Street, because I saw a pedestrian headed in the opposite direction. Yes, I often decide my route based on these arbitrary considerations. Well, who wants to follow a pedestrian? Suppose it took me three blocks to pass her? How would that make me feel?

I thought I’d go up the hill out Main Street. It’s steep enough to be challenging, and you have a choice: you can either keep going on up or turn off in one of two places. Oh, it was not fun going uphill, but I thought about how I like to be tough and run up hills. “Run,” of course, is the generous term I use to describe my middle-aged shuffle. But you knew that.

As I continued my run, it became clear that I was not going to reach the “I can rock this” stage, much less the “I LOVE running” stage. I reflected that I had not had a perseverance run in a while. It would be good for me.

I ran down a rather lengthy dead end street. At least, there was no sign saying “Dead End” or even “No Outlet,” but I was pretty sure I had run up it before and it was. Still, a different street, a quiet street. I ran down it. I could turn around and run back. I know how.

Then I heard the ice cream truck behind me. Was that thing stalking me? Damn! No ice cream. No ice cream. I picked up the pace a little, but the music only got louder. Well, I can’t outrun a truck, not even an ice cream truck. I didn’t have any cash to buy any ice cream anyways. There was no point in asking for credit.

At last I reached the end of the road and turned around. And discovered that the ice cream truck was not on that road after all. Had it caught the brain waves of my frustration and turned around, or had it never been on the street to begin with? Sound does travel. No matter. The truck was gone now. I could continue my run.

On and on I ran till I found myself in the business district. For those that are still in business. I ran by Pete’s Tavern. Ooh, a beer would taste good. Hydration. But I was a little informally dressed, even for Pete’s. And, of course, the lack of cash.

I passed a couple of young ladies with extremely cute toddlers in strollers.

“Oh, would you please give me a ride in that stroller thingy?” I asked.

“Sure, no problem!” one of them said with a smile.

Past the post office and through Myers Park. It looked as if I might make it for 40 or more minutes if I didn’t run straight home. I passed two ladies and two young boys in front of a house. The boys had a scooter and a Big Wheel.

“Could I borrow that scooter?” I asked. “I need wheels!” I would have had to crunch way over and squat down, but it would have been worth it. The ladies laughed. I know, the same joke twice. I make that joke all the time. What do you want from me, I was running.

As I ran toward my street, the words echoed in my head, “I can totally run the Boilermaker!” Oh, you can push past fatigue. I forget that sometimes.

I ran for the full 44 minutes by virtue of running from end to end of my block before doubling back to my house. I felt pretty good about myself and pretty tired. Not a bad combination for a Monday night when you don’t have rehearsal.

Deep Fried Fun

I often spend Sundays cooking something fabulous for dinner. I like to cook with wine, and the therapeutic benefit of chopping vegetables is not to be denied. This past Sunday, however, I was otherwise occupied.

I believe I mentioned being in Harvey at Ilion Little Theatre and that we had a matinee on Sunday. It went very well. We had a perfectly delightful audience who rewarded our efforts with copious laughter.

I suppose the operative thing to have done would have been to throw something in the crock pot that morning. Anyone who thinks I did that is crediting me with a great deal more foresight and ambition than I actually possess. I did have a misbegotten adventure with peanut butter cookies (and wrote a blog post about it), but my culinary activities went no further.

So Steven and I were starving as we left the theatre. Sending out for food was in order. What to get was the question.

First we had to find a place that was open. I had noticed one local place abruptly went out of business, and we knew another had suffered a fire. Some places are closed on Sundays (and it’s funny how sometimes you don’t notice that till after you’ve perused the menu and decided what you want).

We finally settled on Yetty’s in Herkimer, NY (thought I ought to mention NY, don’t know that I had to). Yetty’s has excellent pizza, pasta and other dinner choices, but I was into appetizers. I love to make a meal of appetizers.

Appetizers are problematic, though, vis a vis my weight loss goals, because so many of the choices are deep fried. I might add that deep fried is one of my favorite flavors. I feel very virtuous for avoiding deep fried foods most of the time. I’ve even been doing really well this past week and was down a couple of pounds. With that positive reinforcement I wanted to be, you know, reinforced, and not fall off the diet wagon at the slightest bump in the road. On the other hand, I felt we deserved a reward for a play well done (as I mentioned earlier, Sunday’s audience especially loved us).

As you probably guessed by the title, I said to hell with it. We decided on calimari, one of my favorites; chicken tenders, one of Steven’s favorites; and homemade chips, which Yetty’s does exceptionally well.

The delivery man was very nice, especially when Tabby ran out to greet him. He said she was probably smelling his dog. He told Tabby she couldn’t go with him, as it seemed for a moment she was inclined to do. She took this in good part and returned to the house when we called her. She almost immediately wanted to go out back. I think she wanted to bark about it to one of her friends across the back fence.

It was a very good meal for just about the amount of effort I wanted to put in. Yetty’s is located at 109 Mohawk St., Herkimer, NY. Hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday noon to 11 p.m. Delivery is available every day from 11:30 a.m. to close. Phone number is 315-866-4201.

Post Show Run

Subtitle: Mohawk Valley Girl Learns to Like the Young Kids’ Music.

Last night was opening night of Harvey at Ilion Little Theatre (I may have mentioned that once or twice). I didn’t get to bed till almost midnight. Still, it was Saturday and I was determined to run.

I ate a banana with peanut butter shortly before my run, because I was quite hungry. Normally if I eat I like to wait at least an hour, but I seemed to remember reading somewhere that a small nutritious snack was a good thing before a run. No time to look up how long before a run the snack was supposed to be, so I just waited a short time and hoped for the best.

The temperature warm, but a nice breeze was blowing. Traffic was not severe. Things looked good. I decided to run up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. I’ll just mention that the only day I had run since Sunday was Thursday, when we did not have rehearsal. I ran a half hour, at varying distances from the ice cream truck, usually close enough to hear the music. When I wasn’t close enough the music played in my head. I was actually close enough to buy ice cream when I walked my cool down with Tabby, but providentially did not have any cash.

I was out at pre-ice cream truck time Saturday. I crossed German Street with no problem and headed up the hill. I looked as usual at the pretty little stream running downhill (as of course streams do). I thought that it really wasn’t a stream to run by. It looked like I ought to be sitting by it, maybe soaking my feet in the nice cold running water. My feet hurt all the time lately. Must make my way to the Sneaker Store in New Hartford for some new running shoes.

When I got up to the college I could hear music. What was that all about? As I continued up the road by the reservoir, the music got louder. Where was it coming from? Somebody in the dormitory partying hearty really early? Somebody’s car stereo out of control? I saw several cars in the gym parking lot. I saw a young man walking along. Was it his I-pod thingy? Do I-pods get that loud? I don’t know from I-pods, but I’m sure they don’t. It sounded more like a stereo system.

As I got closer to the athletic fields I could tell the music was coming from there. I’m not really a fan of a lot of the popular music these days. At least, I almost never listen to it, so I’m not familiar. I certainly don’t like the hip hop stuff, which I find tuneless. I think a lot of the more tuneful stuff is overproduced. The voices seem doctored and the instrumentals smoothed out, if you know what I mean. I guess it’s the ultimate expression of Phil Specter’s Wall of Sound. I’m not knowledgeable enough to express myself properly, so I don’t know if anybody knows what I mean. In any case, I sometimes think the 21st century is too in love with technology.

Of course, one of my favorite sayings is “To each his how, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow.” I felt sure that whoever was playing a sport up ahead was liking the music. I had to admit, it had a forward moving beat that was conducive to athletic effort. I found myself pounding along in the “I can rock this” stage of my run that I so enjoy.

I ran closer to the field and saw people playing lacrosse. The banks on the side of the field obstructed my view, so I kept running. I ran into the little veterans’ park. I must go there with a notebook and write down the different organizations that contributed to it. It is just a little area, a mere few steps around as I ran in and out. I wondered if somebody would say, “That is not a place to run in, have a little respect!” Well, I do have respect. And since I learned to run, and to love running, in the army, I think it is entirely appropriate to run through a veterans’ park.

A sign informed me that a lacrosse tournament was in progress. If I didn’t have show to rest up for, I might go watch some. I learned on the Sports Box that HCCC is quite the powerhouse in their conference. I must catch some games. The Sports Box, in case you didn’t know, is a show on WVHC, 91.5fm, the college radio station. I’m not into sports, but I love listening to those guys.

I continued around the sports building. The music was growing on me. Good running tunes! This is why people run with those ear phones! The only thing I would have liked better would have been if they played that tune my sister likes that starts, “Every day I’m shuffling.” It took me a long time to get out of earshot of the music, because it was really quite loud. By then I was headed downhill and life was sweet.

It was a great run. Toward the end I even lengthened my stride and went for that loping run I see the young kids doing. I didn’t do too bad. I think I may have finally reached the “I love running!” stage of my training. Boilermaker, here I come!

Tabby Goes Visiting

What with my All Harvey All the Time lifestyle these days, I feel I have been neglecting my dog, Tabby. So Wednesday, I was determined to take her for a real walk.

For those animal lovers out there exclaiming in horror, “But you MUST walk your dog every day!” I know. But Tabby gets exercise, because we let her run around in the backyard several times a day and we indulge her in a few rousing games of That’s My Treat. And I only missed two days of walking her, because we went for long walks both weekend days (actually, one of those walks might have made a good post, because I pointed out to Tracy many spots of historical or cultural interest). Yes, I feel guilty.

Be that as it may, Tabby was ecstatically happy when I got out the leash. Dogs have such capacity for happiness, it is really inexcusable not to take a little time to make a dog happy. I left on my BDU pants from work (that’s my army camouflage pants, for you civilians) and found my crazy old lady hat. Might as well be a crazy old lady when you get the chance.

Since the walk was to make up for me neglecting Tabby, I let her pull me her favorite way, to Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners. Then she wanted to cross Main Street, so we did. She pulled me to our church, Christ Episcopal, then right to the back door, which she jumped at, asking to go in. I started to tell her there was nobody there to pet her when I noticed a light was on. I also noticed a sign advertising a rummage sale Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The door was unlocked, so we went in to find a lady we know setting up for the sale. She and I had a nice chat, and she and her kids petted Tabby. The youngest, a mere toddler, was especially taken with her. He kept laughing delightedly.

We continued our walk down Main Street. Tabby wanted to go into Smoker’s Friendly. When we only had one vehicle, Steven was in the habit of walking Tabby to Smoker’s Friendly almost every day, to feed his unhealthy habit. We still walk there on occasion (just a little multi-tasking). A man sitting at the table enjoying a cigarette petted Tabby. I explained that my husband often brought her there, so she liked to say hello.

We were able to cross Main Street a little further down, not always an easy task. Cars do not respect cross walks, which in any case could use a new coat of paint. A young man standing in front of the tattoo place asked me if Tabby was part poodle (how remiss of me that I can’t tell you the business’ name). I explained schnoodle — schnauzer/poodle, and he petted her. She was not as cordial with him as she usually is. He said it was probably the hat. It was an ordinary knitted affair, such as I wear myself on occasion, but who knows? Maybe it was the way he wore it. We walked on.

Next, Tabby wanted to go into Hummel’s Office Plus. The clerk, a particular friend of Tabby’s, came out from behind the counter to pet her. There were no customers at the time. I don’t want you to think I let my dog disrupt a local business.

As we headed home through Myers Park we encountered a dog tied to a bench his people were sitting on. When he saw Tabby he pulled at his leash and made a noise like he really wanted to bark. Tabby looked at him with some interest but kept quiet and kept walking. I told her that she was a good girl, that I knew she wanted to make a friend but we had to keep walking. I actually didn’t know if she wanted to make a friend or not. Sometimes Tabby is funny with other dogs.

I think Tabby enjoyed her walk. We visited three places, and she was petted by several people. Not bad for a half hour.

Bringing a Friend to the Farmer’s Market

Saturday our friend Tracy visited. Steven had to work during the day, but Tracy was sure that I would drag her along to Mohawk Valley things (that is how Steven said she put it when he talked to her). I was happy to oblige.

I’m always delighted to introduce people to the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm, Otsego Street, Ilion, NY. I especially looked forward to bringing Tracy there, because I knew she would enjoy it.

She loved the old barn that houses the market. As soon as we walked in we noticed two young pigs. Somebody told us that last week they had goats (oh sure, the one week I don’t go!). The live animals were a new thing for me. The kids were really enjoying them, but I like to see them too.

My main reason for going to the Farmer’s Market was to purchase a couple of fancy handkerchiefs from the antique booth. I thought my character in Harvey might carry just such a handkerchief, as opposed to the plain white or army brown ones I carry myself. I chatted with the lady at the booth about Ilion Little Theatre and the play (I did say I was going to make this blog All Harvey All The Time for the next two weeks, didn’t I?). After much deliberation I selected a pink handkerchief with embroidery and a white one with scalloped lavender trim. I thought it would be a good idea to get two, for ease of laundering. The lady gave me a discount, because it was for Ilion Little Theatre. One great thing about this area: people really support community endeavors.

Tracy and I sampled some fudge, cheese and wine. The wine was from Domnhall Winery in Herkimer. They intend to open a tasting room sometime this year. You can bet Mohawk Valley Girl will be there.

We got into a conversation with one lady about farming, fresh eggs, and quilting. Tracy had a lengthy discussion with Jim Parker about the Amish. Jim Parker is, as I have no doubt mentioned before, the folk artist who runs the Farmer’s Market. Steven and I often chat him up when we are there. Jim teaches art to Amish children, among others. He mentioned the different venues where he has taught, but of course I neglected to write them all down. I’ll have to go back with my notebook and do a real write up about it.

We talked about art as therapy and about the diversity of some of his classes and how valuable that was to the students. Jim also told us some stories about some Amish children who deliver goods to the Farmer’s Market. Tracy was especially interested in the Amish stories, because she is involved in a project with TAUNY making a display about the Amish in New York State. I mean to find out more about that (including what TAUNY stands for). I think it is an excellent topic for Mohawk Valley Girl.

We had a great time at the Farmer’s Market. I left with a bottle of wine, two handkerchiefs and several ideas for future blog posts. Tracy left with plans to return. That’s how I get my friends to visit more than once.

Was That a Training Run?

I shall do my favorite Saturday thing of writing a post about this morning’s run. Perhaps I should warn my readers (if any) that after the play is over (Harvey at Ilion Little Theatre, etc.), my blog may be about All Boilermaker All The Time. I have to train! I’m getting nervous!

Actually, I say I am training for the Boilermaker, but it doesn’t really feel as if I’m training. For one thing, I have no real clear idea of how to train, other than the increase by 10 percent each week thing advised by the guys at the Sneaker Store. I just go running. I write down what I run in a little book. I try to do better as time goes on. Is that training? I suppose I ought to know these things, but heavens, I can’t know everything.

Be that as it may, I ran early, as I like to do. Actually, by 7:30 a.m. on a weekday I would have been at work, worked and had a break already. On a Saturday, I had coffee, read the paper and played solitaire. I set out before I got too hungry and ate, then would have to wait for my food to digest.

The thermometer in my house said 35 degrees, so I put on leggings and my long-sleeved ARMY t-shirt. Winter running socks, which have the advantage that they are long enough to cover the bottoms of the leggings. I hate that little strip of ankle that gets exposed when the two don’t meet. Headband to cover my ears. The sleeves of the t-shirt are long enough to pull down over my hands. I was set.

For the first few minutes I regretted that I had not worn a sweatshirt as well. For the entire run, I wished I had brought a handkerchief or tissue. I spent a good portion of the time pondering the wording of a Facebook post about how my nose ran more than my body. Never came up with anything good.

I ran up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. My body told me don’t do it, but as usual I did not listen. The only downside, really, was that the road is so shaded. I was really appreciating the sun this morning. I thought ahead to July and August, when I will be loving the shade. No matter. My body soon heated itself by effort. Only my nose was still cold.

When I got up to the college, I continued on up Reservoir Road. That meant I was still going uphill, so I could feel virtuous about that. I saw a little beach ball in a ditch. It looked like one of those promotional giveaways. I like a little beach ball. I stopped to pick it up, wondering how awkward it would be to carry a little beach ball for the rest of my run. It was too awkwardly placed to get without major effort, so I gave it up and kept running.

I saw two girls getting out of vehicles in the gymnasium parking lot. One of them made a noisy yawn, or maybe it was an oh-my-back groan. I reflected that it was an unconscionably early hour for many people. Not for us factory workers. I felt virtuous again.

HCCC is a beautiful campus. I like to run around it. I think how I would like to work there, but they never hired me or even called me for an interview. I daresay I lack the right qualifications. Well, I like the job I have now anyways. So there.

I ran down the front way, very steep. A truck came up, and the driver nicely slowed down and moved over partway into the other lane. I waved a thank you, and he waved back. Then two cars zinged by and I don’t think the drivers were paying the slightest bit of attention. Luckily it is a wide shoulder.

I ran by the high school, which I usually save for Sunday. There are often things going on at a high school on a Saturday. Today there were no cars out front. A couple drove into the lot and around the back, but I didn’t get in their way so that was OK.

I ran over the footbridge spanning the stream, which brought me to the parking lot slash road where I often find coins. Dropped by careless people or left by the angels to encourage me? Could be both. I saw a guy playing basketball. Would I feel silly stooping to pick up dropped coins with a basketball player as witness? It did not arise, as there were no coins. Did the angels think I need no encouragement? Maybe the basketball guy picked up any coins. Maybe he needed the encouragement. I ran on.

I did reach the “I can rock this” stage on my run, although my legs warned me they would not be able to rock this all day. At least I rocked it for 44 minutes, the length of time I ran last Sunday. Not quite halfway to my last year’s Boilermaker time (about 109 minutes, if I recall)(too lazy to walk downstairs and look at where Steven wrote it down). I’ll get there. And I’ll write a bunch of blog posts along the way. Stay tuned!

Return to the Unknown Park

Wednesday I was determined to go running. We had no rehearsal, so I was not worried about getting too tired. In fact, it would be a good think if I tired myself out. I could definitely sleep when I went to bed early, as I intended to do.

My Sunday run was 44 minutes. I know I have previously avoided saying how long I run for fear of invoking scorn and laughter. Then again, how many people do I think read this blog? Specifically, how many marathon runners? Well, as I said earlier, point and laugh if you must. I’m sure people who see me actually running do.

Where was I? Ah yes, Wednesday. The temperature was not bad, but the wind was brisk. I could see it had rained earlier but hoped that was over. I got into my running gear and set out. I had a vague idea of running up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. Challenging but not too daunting. I didn’t know that I would go for 44 minutes. I thought even 20 or 30 minutes would suit my purposes. I would see how it went.

I managed to cross German Street without mishap, no mean feat in 4 p.m. Herkimer traffic. My body was not happy with me. For one thing, the brisk wind got colder. I put my headband over my ears, but there was nothing I could do for my hands. I was pretty sure already that I would not make it for forty minutes. I doubted my ability to make it up to the college. Perhaps the hill by Valley Health?

Then I remembered the Unknown Park. Some months ago I recall doing a post titled Run Through an Unknown Park. I still don’t know the name of the park, which is silly of me, because I read an article in the paper about it when HCCC students had a clean up day there (that’s not a run-on sentence; diagram it) (have you ever noticed that I us a lot of semi-colons? I love semi-colons. I think I’ll do a Friday Lame Post about semi-colons)(but I digress).

I knew the Unknown Park had some uphill stretches. It was someplace different to run. There might even be some sports games being played. It’s always nice to look at something active as you run by. I think other people’s energy travels through the air and helps me. A fanciful image, perhaps, but I’ll take anything that keeps me going. The entrance to the park is also on the same side of German Street that I was on. So I had my plan.

As I started across the entrance to be on the left side facing traffic, a car was approaching the gate to exit. I had not seen her due to the hill and curve and the fact that I don’t always pay enough attention when I’m running. I waved an “I’m sorry,” although I think I got across without obstructing her. She gave me the “That’s OK” wave, so that was OK.

I started up the hill. Not too steep but steep enough to bug me. Oh, I have not been getting enough sleep. It was fun to run on a gravelly dirt road for a change. No sports games were going on. There wasn’t even anyone letting their dog run in the big fields, as there sometimes is. I wondered if my dog would like to go there and run.

I saw a steep grassy bank on the other side of one field. Nothing I’d care to run up, even if I had gotten enough sleep. I saw some tire tracks dug into it. The tracks went partway up then stopped. I wondered what mishap had occurred and hoped that someone had been taping it for future inclusion in World’s Dumbest. World’s Dumbest Daredevils or Thrillseekers or even Motorheads. I watch them all.

As I continued running the wind picked up and got more bitter. The park is a lovely, woodsy setting, but it’s always cooler near the trees. I contemplated how welcome the coolness would be this summer but was not enjoying it on Wednesday. Was that a raindrop? Oh dear. As I headed toward home it did start raining but did not amount to much. It had stopped by the time Tabby and I took our cool down walk.

My run did have the desired effect of helping me sleep. I didn’t even make it through the evening’s episode of World’s Dumbest. It was World’s Dumbest Criminals 5, an episode I had already seen. I think it was a pretty good run or do I flatter myself? At least I don’t think I qualify for World’s Dumbest Runner. Maybe World’s Dumbest Blogger, but let’s not go there.

Not an Ice Cream Run

As the Boilermaker looms ever closer, I’m feeling the pressure to run, run run. I also have rehearsals for Harvey (the play I am in with Ilion Little Theatre) (feel I must say it every time) as well as other responsibilities (hello, working to pay the bills), so today I thought I would compromise with a shorter run. Sunday when I added my weekly 10 percent, I was up to 40 minutes (laugh and point if you must), so I thought a 20 or 30 minute run would at least get me out there.

I put in a load of laundry before I started out. Then I thought a 30 minute run would be perfect. Followed by a 10 minute cool down walk around the block with Tabby, I’d be getting home just as the laundry was finished. How efficient am I? I could hear the ice cream truck as I came out the back door. No ice cream for me, I thought. I’m not just training for the Boilermaker; I’m trying to drop that last ten pounds.

So off I went, ice cream truck tune playing in my head. At least it gave me a good pace. The sun was brighter than I had realized, making the temperature warmer than I had expected. Yesterday was downright hot, and I did not run. I thought today would be better.

I heard the ice cream truck behind me. No way! Was it following me? Well I couldn’t get ice cream anyways, I told myself; I didn’t have any money. Still, I thought, I bet that ice cream truck would follow me home, especially if I promised to buy a half dozen treats, which I could stick in the freezer and surprise Steven with. If they lasted that long. I didn’t see the truck. Another block down I didn’t hear it either. Phew!

Down this street, up that street. Is this the way I went Saturday? Go the other way. I thought I saw a bag of yard waste with a head. I mean, it didn’t look like a real head. Like a bucket or something with something on top to look like hair. When I got closer, I saw it was a kind of a lumpy person sitting on the ground near the curb. He had a bucket shaped head with one of those hairdos that are shaved all around but mop-like on top. I am being completely unspecific about what street I saw this person on, because I think that is kind of an unflattering description. To mitigate, I couldn’t really see him all that well; my running glasses are several prescriptions ago.

I ran down Folts Street, which the Folts Home is not located on. Carney’s Corners is. They make great subs. Hmmm… I could go in, order a sub for delivery, run home and pay for it when it arrived. What a great idea! I turned the other way before I could talk myself into it.

I decided to head toward Myers park, which I used to always run through just before heading home. I had to cross Main Street. Traffic. Ugh. I jogged in place till I had my chance then sprinted. I’d like to say I crossed the street at a dead run, but two thirds of the way across I saw the curb and thought my stride was not the proper length. I had a brief vision of myself sprawling on the sidewalk, toe bruised, shin bleeding, pride in complete tatters. I avoided that disaster and headed towards the park.

Was that the damn ice cream truck heading in the same direction? Was it stalking me? Probably not. I believe the person who owns or runs it lives near where I live. I’ve seen the truck parked at a house a couple streets away. Again, I will not get specific. I’m sure there are those that stalk the ice cream truck.

I ran though the park as the truck drove on. Then around the perimeter of the park, to gain my full run time, then home without further incident or temptation. I did not have ice cream. I do not intend to have ice cream. Today anyways.

Gimme Some Sugar

Sunday Steven and I went to the Herkimer Home State Historic Site, 200 State Route 169, Little Falls, NY, for the annual Sugaring Off.

We’d already had a full morning with a grocery shop, a breakfast out, a walk, a run and a blog post (not necessarily in that order). But I was excited to go to one of my favorite places, and to have a real Mohawk Valley subject for a blog post.

We set off down Route 5S in the direction of Little Falls. Past the Humane Society and the Historic Fort Herkimer Church. You can see for miles across beautiful farm land and mountains. Steven thought he missed the turn, but I didn’t mind as I was enjoying the scenery. It turned out we hadn’t missed it, though, and soon we were driving down the narrow road to the Home, realized that, as usual, finding a parking space might be problematic. We took the easy way out by parking behind the last car on the side of the drive and walking the rest of the way.

I was pleased to see that many people were taking advantage of the event. A large crowd was wandering around the grounds or going into the Visitor’s Center. Many volunteers were walking around or manning displays and booths wearing period costumes. We purchased some fritters with warm maple syrup and a small bag of popcorn. We found a spot on the grass to sit. It wasn’t too damp for the length of time it took to eat two fritters and nibble some of the popcorn.

We couldn’t just walk through the Home itself, as we have at other events, because they had scheduled guided tours. The tours were free, but you had to pick up a ticket from the Visitor’s Center. The next tour was almost forty-five minutes away, so we walked around looking at other things. We were able to go down into the root cellar, where a costumed volunteer was telling us how the underground temperature of about 50 degrees made it the perfect refrigerator.

Horse drawn wagon rides were offered, but we didn’t time it right to take one of those. We wandered up to the Visitor’s Center and looked at the displays there. Upstairs some ladies were demonstrating cooking on an open hearth. We sampled some cornbread and pumpkin bread. Yummy! Back out on the lawn, we got to eat some Jack Wax or Sugar on Snow. Hot syrup is dripped onto well packed snow. Quite a tasty treat.

I especially enjoyed looking at the cemetery. Some of the gravestones are obviously replicas of the originals, but some are old and authentic looking. I took a couple of pictures for Halloween decorating purposes. We hung around close to the cemetery during the Militia Demonstration, because I was afraid the sound of the guns would give me a headache.

I picked up some fliers in the Visitor’s Center, most notably one listing 2012 programs at the Herkimer Home. I’m sure the site is good for multiple blog posts. I also grabbed a flier called “Discover Herkimer County New York.” That might have some good ideas for Mohawk Valley Girl. Stay tuned! For more information on the Herkimer Home call 315-823-0398 or visit

Muggy Run

I know I threatened a post about cleaning my house, but I thought a post about a run would be more fun.

I confess, the run did not start out very fun. I didn’t even get to it till a few hours later than I would have liked. Steven and I had first to go to the grocery store. That was enjoyable enough (we always get silly in the grocery store), and we beat the Sunday morning rush. Then we went out to breakfast, always a joy. When we got home from that, we took our dog Tabby for a walk. For one thing, she was even more frantic than usual on our return, and I thought it would help her work off some of that energy. Then some laundry and other chores while I waited till my breakfast was good and digested.

I had spent the earlier part of the morning quite delighted with the day. I love being up in the morning; the day feels so unused. It rained last night, so the world felt clean. In short, it felt like late spring, early summer. Warm enough to enjoy but not too hot. And cloudiness prevailed, which I always find relaxing.

Unfortunately, by the time I got my running gear on and got out the door, an unaccountable feeling of irritation had overtaken me. What was that all about? Could have been a factor that I had been doing housework. You would expect a feeling of some accomplishment from that, but I tend to only get a sense of how much other crap needs to be done. (Oh yeah, I said I wasn’t going to do a cleaning post. My bad. On to the run.)

As I ran down German Street toward Herkimer County Community College (HCCC), I found the clean, unused feeling of the day had dissipated, to be replaced by mugginess. All those clouds I like so much do bring the moisture. Well, I told myself, just be happy your hands aren’t cold. My legs were not happy with me. What was that all about? It hadn’t been two days since I ran; I just ran yesterday. This should be fun! Oh, just keep going.

I saw some daffodils and hyacinths in a front yard. I caught a lovely whiff of hyacinth, but that may have been my suggestible sinuses at work. No matter, I enjoyed it. I saw a little white dog. Was it my friend Nicky? I quickly saw that it wasn’t and decided against crossing the street in hopes of petting it.

Passing the spring, I considered stopping for a quick drink. Usually a drink from the spring is my reward after I run up the hill to HCCC, but sometimes I take a drink as an encouragement beforehand. I decided against it today and continued on up. Oh, it sucked. But as I ran, I reflected that there was really no question that I would make it to the top. Once I start on a run like that, nothing really stops me. I suppose if I tried to run up too fast and started to hyperventilate that would do it, but I am unlikely to do any such thing.

I smelled a skunk. I had been keeping my head down, staring at my feet, but now I looked up and ahead. If there was road kill skunk up ahead, I wanted fair warning. Clear shoulders. Phew! I hate running by road kill. At last I was at the top. Nice view of Herkimer. I thought I saw the old factory that houses Fat Cat’s Fish Fry. Must go there some time; it would make a great post for Mohawk Valley Girl. I saw a church spire but was not sure from which church.

As I ran by the dormitories (I almost typed barracks; just a prior army moment), a masculine voice shouted, “Good job, YEAH!” I waved in the general direction it came from. I don’t know if the young man meant it as honest encouragement or was just making fun. Either way, it gave me a smile. I thought of the college students, many of them probably still asleep at almost 11 in the morning, making up for all-nighters during the week. Or maybe still drunk from last night. Wild times when you’re young.

I ran further onto campus than I have been, up by the gym, where I could cross over to Reservoir Road. Not a lot of water fowl by the reservoir, as there sometimes is. I saw one duck, or maybe it was a goose. I don’t know from birds. At last I was headed downhill. Ah! Now the run started to be fun! My muscles were warm and stopped complaining. I could have used a little less heaviness in the air, but I could breathe OK. Not like it’s going to be later in the summer, when I will strive to do most of my running in the early morning.

I upped my time by the recommended ten percent, as I like to do on a Sunday. My irritated feeling was gone. I felt pleased with my run and ready to take on the rest of the day. I have an authentic Mohawk Valley adventure planned. Stay tuned!