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Category Archives: Mohawk Valley

Lame Post Friday After All

Thursday I was determined to do something, anything Mohawk Valleyish for my blog. I believe my readers (both of them) do not mind my silly meanderings and lame posts. I even changed my headline to “my life in the Mohawk Valley” as the blog becomes more and more a personal journal. And yet. And yet.

I have declared myself Mohawk Valley Girl. Let’s hear about the Mohawk Valley!

Unfortunately, I’m coming down with a Mohawk Valley cold. The only place I wanted to go after work was home and to bed. I went to Hannaford first to get some fresh lemon to put in my tea. Very good when you have a cold.

It would be nice to report that the lemon came from a local farm. I imagine lemons don’t grow well in the climate. I passed the display of Heidelberg Bread. That’s local, made right here in Herkimer, but in fact I believe I have a loaf of Heidelberg Bread in the freezer. And anyways, I don’t eat too much bread. I’m on the South Beach Diet.

I picked up a few other things I needed, none local (sorry, Mohawk Valley), and hurried home. When I made my tea and reached for the honey, I remembered it was from a local producer: Finster’s of Frankfort, NY. I put the tea in my mug from Dyn’s Cider Mill of Richfield Springs. I felt it was the least I could do.

I went to bed early in hopes of a rapid recovery. It was not until this morning I realized: the salt potatoes I had purchased are a treat unique to Central New York. They were just talking about them on Your Hometown on YNN recently. It was a segment on a Salt Museum near Syracuse I intend to visit one day (preview of coming attractions). Not quite the Mohawk Valley, but close enough.

I am planning, recovered or not, a real Mohawk Valley adventure tonight. In the meantime, I guess this was Lame Post Friday after all.

I Digress

I am lightheaded. I don’t know why: I have not taken any sinus medication since… Thursday? I forget (an effect of the medication? Or my current lightheadedness?). And yet a voice in my head keeps repeating, “But my blog! My blog!”

I have not gone running in two or three weeks (a glance at my running journal would tell me, but that’s downstairs). (My running journal is a journal only by the most generous definition of the word. It is a spiral bound book I bought at Micheal’s for $1, and when I run Steven or I make a note of how long I ran, sometimes including hills climbed and dogs petted.) (Actually, I think it is quite appropriate, considering my runs are actually running only by the most generous definition of the term.) (But I digress.)

So I want to start running again, but I have not even been walking much. So I tried to get in a couple of walks this weekend. Saturday Tabby and I went for two 20-minute walks. It felt very good. And a little cold. We did not encounter anything blogworthy.

Today (Sunday) we went for an almost half hour walk. It was even colder, but the sun was bright. I had on my prescription sunglasses (a wonderful device) but was soon wishing I had also worn a hat. That little line between my forehead and the top of my glasses was blinding me. Too bad I don’t have a Frankenstein-style overhanging brow. That would be practical and seasonal. I normally would have worn my crazy old lady hat with its wide brim, but I had on a knitted headband against the cold. I put my hood up and tried to pull it forward with indifferent success. I crossed the street to enjoy some shade. It is colder in the shade, but I have come to accept that you can’t have everything. Tabby did her business and I discovered that it is not too cold for doggie poop to stink. That’s one good thing about when there’s snow on the ground: you scoop a little up with the poop and it doesn’t stink so bad.

It was after I got home from the walk that my lightheadedness hit me. Seriously, I went to go up the stairs and instead laid down on the landing for about ten minutes. Must be it’s not too cold for the pollens to play havoc with my sinuses. And it is damn hard to write a coherent blog post with your head spinning.

A kind friend wrote me a comment on Lame Post Friday, saying why didn’t I feel free to write what I felt like writing. Since I’m in the Mohawk Valley, anything I write is technically germane. I guess I’ve invoked that rule today. My walks were taken in the Mohawk Valley. When I manage to run again, it will be in the Mohawk Valley. You know what, I’ll bet it’s Mohawk Valley pollens that are making me so lightheaded. So there.

Lame S****, Different Day

For those of you who missed Lame Post Friday as much as I did, here is some rather foolish commentary about my ride home Thursday.

When I left work on Thursday, I was on a mission to procure a special snack for my husband, Steven, and I to share when he came home for his dinner break at 5:30ish. I though I might go to Melrose Market in Frankfort and see if they had anything.

I work at a certain factory in Ilion. Now, there are a few different ways to get from Ilion to Herkimer or Ilion to Frankfort, as the case may be. The most direct route to my house is out State Route 5. That is a very busy route between 3:30 and 4, so I usually go through Mohawk. It’s kind of fascinating to me how Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion and Frankfort kind of run into each other. You can go on one of two highways — State Route 5 or Route 5S (east or west) — or you can go through the villages. It’s fun. Or am I too easily amused?

And here’s a related question, why is there a State Route 5 and a Route 5S so close together? You can’t run out of numbers. That is a recurring theme around here. For example, Ilion has a Second Street and a Second Avenue. I can understand being just too tired to think up another street name. But numbers are infinite, and we all know the order they go in. Just move on to the next number! How hard can it be? Apparently too. If anybody out there knows the very logical, understandable reason the streets are thus named, I would be interested to hear it. But I will not feel the least bit chastened, and I will not cease to poke fun.

Now then, where was I? Ah yes, driving around the block in Ilion. I didn’t quite explain that, did I? I took a right rather than a left out of the factory parking lot when I really wanted to go left. Just go around the block, right? How hard could it be? Well, Ilion is a little like Rome: screwy. None of the streets are quite parallel, and nothing comes out where you think it ought to. “Going around the block” in this case necessitates two right turns, one left, another right, another left, and two more rights. On the brighter side, this brings you out right next to the liquor store. I stopped and got a bottle of Pinot Noir. Not Vampire Pinot Noir, which would have been seasonal, because they didn’t have any. Still, Noir is dark. But I digress.

I drove through Ilion into Frankfort, not needing to go on one of the highways. I passed a sign that said “Saranac Tasting 4 to 7.” It was 3:55, which was just as well, because I was on a time budget. Unfortunately, when I got to Frankfort, there was not a parking space to be had anywhere near Melrose Market. I love that grocery store, but the parking situation leaves something to be desired. I drove past and got onto State Route 5. From here I could go back to Ilion and try again. This would bring me near that Saranac tasting at four. I was tempted, but like I said, on a time budget. I opted to drive into Herkimer and my old stand by, Hannaford. From there, I went home and fixed roll-ups, as described in yesterday’s post.

I hope this satisfies everybody’s need for my weekly silliness quotient. It certainly satisfied mine.

An Anniversary Snack

Anybody who has been looking forward to Lame Post Friday (I was) is about to be disappointed. You see, I’m working Saturday, thus depriving Friday of all meaning. This week, Friday is dead to me.

However, the following post is not, I think, without lame qualities. It is one of my silly pseudo cooking posts, but I have tried to add a bit of Mohawk Valley flavor. Kind of sort of.

I had pledged to make a “snacky thing” to share with Steven on his dinner break, to celebrate our anniversary. I decided to make roll ups.

I started by spreading Garlic and Herb Spread on flat bread. I had purchased the spread, made by Adirondack Cheese Company of Barneveld, at Tripple’s Produce in Schuyler (see, Mohawk Valley). Then I put roast beef and black forest turkey ham (some people find turkey ham a contradiction in terms, but I really don’t mind it) on it, which I dotted with more spread to be like glue. I topped that wtih slices of Sorrento Provalone Cheese. Sorrento Cheese, I recently discovered, is made in Buffalo, NY. Not quite the Mohawk Valley, but still in the state. Then I rolled it up, wrapped it in tin foil and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

I made a second one with the same meat and cheese, but I had used up the last of the cheese spread. Instead, I used guacamole, made by me in my own personal Mohawk Valley kitchen. I also chilled some black olives, to be our vegetable.

I set out a couple of champagne flutes and put a bottle of seltzer with lime in an ice bucket. I figured at least it was bubbly, and it actually tasted pretty good.

When Steven got home, I sliced the roll ups. He had gotten out early for his break, so I did not have time to tastefully arrange them on a fancy plate. We ate them off the cutting board, toasted each other with the seltzer, and enjoyed Steven’s break. After 21 years, it wasn’t bad.

We intend to have a real dinner out one night soon, taking advantage of one of the great Mohawk Valley restaurants. That’ll be a post for another day.

Why I’m Staying in the Mohawk Valley

Doesn’t that title sound like a composition your teacher assigned you in school? Kind of like “What I Did on My Summer Vacation,” a theme which, incidentally, I was never, ever assigned, although I penned a few other topics which I was convinced were immortal. But I digress.

I know I’ve waxed eloquent about the area’s people, businesses, weather, community, etc. (and by “waxed eloquent,” I mean “went on and on”), but I think it is a topic worth re-visiting. And since I have not done anything specifically Mohawk Valley-ish lately, here we are re-visiting it (actually, it’s kind of too bad, because now I think I could do a pretty amusing post on Crap We Wrote in School).

So let’s re-iterate some of the things in the Valley I’ve praised before. The people are nice. I intend to take my dog for a walk later, and I fully expect to encounter at least a few people who will exchange smiles or hello’s. We may even pet each other’s dogs. On the walk I will be enjoying the autumn Mohawk Valley weather. Sweltering summer (which some people like) is past, freezing winter (which I kind of like) is not here yet. It is very pleasant, and the fall foliage is still showing color.

Friday I may go to dinner with my husband, to celebrate our anniversary. We have many choices. I’ll probably do a blog post on whichever we pick. Saturday, I’m sure, will offer at least one community event. A church rummage sale, a fall fest or maybe even something haunted. I’ve been too busy to read the paper, so Saturday may be a little last minute.

I intend to stay in the Mohawk Valley, because I enjoy all these things. However, the real reason I intend to stay in the Mohawk Valley is just this: every time I leave, the weather in other places SUCKS! We went to Vermont and watched a soccer game in the pouring rain (actually, I thought that was kind of fun, but Steven did not enjoy getting soggy). We went to Cranberry Lake and huddled in the cabin watching it — again — pour (again, still a fun weekend; we visited a friend). In between those jaunts we stayed in Herkimer where it was — you guessed it — SUNNY! It was a beautiful weekend! We loved it! I think the message is clear.

I can see a few of you shaking your heads and even opening your mouths to say, “It rains here, too.” For heavens’ sake, I know that. I even wrote a couple of posts a few weeks ago about wanting a rainy Sunday. It’s not the weather. The weather is merely a symbol: Going away from home does not work for me. My blog posts are less fun. I’m less fun.

I see my path clear before me: No more weekends away. From now on I spend my time in the Mohawk Valley, being Mohawk Valley Girl (you just knew I was going to end with that, didn’t you?).

A Really Lame Friday Post

It is not easy to write even a lame blog post when you have crashed and burned. Yes, I have crashed and burned.

And not an exciting crash and burn with a loud noise on impact and flames leaping in the air. Not even smouldering embers, which would at least have a certain sexy implication. More like a rapid but silent descent down a steep, slippery slope (ooh, alliteration) followed by an odd stench. Soggy, useless ashes, that’s me. Or burned plastic, edges curled, all discolored. Boy, I love metaphor.

Well, that was all I had written in my head before I sat down this morning to write today’s post. Not a bad start, if you like that sort of thing. I would continue writing on the next break and perhaps come up with some random observations or half-baked philosophy. No such luck.

I spent my Friday trying to work around The Worst Headache. I did not write on my breaks. I sat with my head in my hands on my breaks. I guess it was a Mohawk Valley themed headache, because I believe it was caused by my fall sinuses. I do love fall, but fall does not love me.

Now is the time when I usually type in what I wrote, add, edit, etc., and I got nothin’. And not Plenty o’ Nothin’ like in Porgy N Bess. Just big goose egg for ideas. Sorry. My headache is subsiding, probably due to the coffee I’m drinking that may keep me up all night. That’s the price I pay. The price you pay is you had to read another lame Friday blog post. At least it was short! Have a good weekend.

Weeknight at Weller, a Lovely Library

On Tuesday when Steven and I were looking for some not too expensive entertainment, it did not take us long to decide on a visit to the public library. We had never been to Weller Library, 41 W. Main St., Mohawk, although we have attended events in the adjoining Weller Park, so that is where we headed.

After driving by a student athletic event, locating a parking space and having another discussion of didn’t we look at a house on this street (we looked at 33 houses before buying one), we walked into the library.

What an incredible setting! It looks as if it should be a museum of an historic home, like Fountain Elms in Utica. The woodwork is ornate, and the floors are a work of art. The children’s room has two window seats. Two of the rooms have fireplaces.

I wandered the whole library (it isn’t very big) before actually looking for books. One room, which has one of the fireplaces, has no books. There is a large wooden table in the center and two smaller ones under the windows. A young man had a lap top on one of the smaller tables. I was enchanted.

“I must come here and write,” I told Steven. Of course, nothing was stopping me from sitting down and opening my notebook right then and there. But we did not intend to stay very long, and I wanted to look for books.

I found a history on the Battle of Oriskany. Since I intend to do a blog post on the Oriskany Battlefield one day, I thought I’d read it. I also picked up a copy of MacBeth with scholarly commentary. Every so often I get a craving for Shakespeare.

I asked the lady who checked out my books if the library was the Weller family home at one time. She said it was. I believe there is an historic marker in front of the library that could have told me that as well. I think some history of the Weller family would make good material for another future blog post.

On the way back to the truck we checked out a couple of left over scarecrows from the Fall Fest we had missed on Saturday (we went to a Fall Fest in Herkimer) (So little fall, so many fests). We also walked a little ways down the sidewalk to admire someone’s awesome Halloween decorations.

I was quite pleased with our little library jaunt. An excellent way to spend a week night in the Mohawk Valley. For more information on area libraries, visit

Yet Another Post About Running

I have been remiss about running lately, which is too bad, because a good run — or even a rotten run — is usually good for a blog post. I did manage to run both days this past weekend (no three day weekend for this working girl).

Previous weekends I’ve gotten out of bed, into the sports bras and out the door. This method has the advantage of not giving myself time to think of good reasons not to go running. I am rather ingenious at coming up with seemingly unassailable excuses (I just love that word “unassailable”).

Saturday, however, I sat around in sweats and had a couple cups of coffee with my husband. I’ll tell you what (and I posted this as my Facebook status that day): running after coffee is the Way to Go (I also clarified that I mean going running after you drink coffee, not pursuing coffee down the street, although that too would be motivational) (I just had to include that, because I felt so witty when I thought of it) (or do I flatter myself?) (But I digress) (Too many parenthetical comments?).

I felt pretty terrific. I did not run any hills, nor did I run as far as I had been. Back under the 30 minute plateau for me. But I thought after five days off, I wouldn’t kill myself. I did stop to pet one cute dog, by the way.

Sunday I tried the post-caffeine athletics again. I ran up the hill by Vally Health Services. It is not a huge hill compared to my beloved Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) challenger, but it’s hill enough to say so.

After the hill, I ran by the high school. I like to run by the high school on a Sunday and think, “Ah, what if I would have gotten my teaching certificate?” The school is usually pretty quiet on a Sunday.

I ran over the little bridge toward the parking lot/street I like to run down, because sometimes angels leave coins to encourage me (do I have to explain that again? Are there any new readers today?).

Sunday some game or event was going on. I saw parents and kids making their way toward the field. I tried to look athletic. I hoped nobody noticed me stop to pick up a penny (encouragement!). Then I realized nobody was paying the least bit of attention to me. A relief and a disappointment. I ran on.

I saw a cute little dog with no leash.

“Hi, cute little dog,” I said. “Where’s your person?” She was sitting on a nearby porch. I waved and said good morning. I’ve seen that dog before.

I do enjoy my runs. The Mohawk Valley weather is crisping up nicely. I must run up the hill to HCCC soon to enjoy the view while the leaves are still colored. That’ll be a good reason for another post about running.

Rummaging Around

While walking with Tabby one day this week, I noticed signs for a rummage sale at Herkimer Reformed Church. The church is on the historic four corners. I’ve blogged about it before.

I made a mental note and kept walking. Tabby directed me toward our church, where she always looks for nice people to pet her.

“There’s no one there, honey,” I told her, but I was surprised to see the door open and a light on. Tabby insisted on going in. They were setting up for a rummage sale there. This is where I confess that I have not been attending church, or I would have known about it.

The sale at Herkimer Reformed Church ran till 6 pm Friday night, so Steven and I thought we’d seize that opportunity. We weren’t sure, though, because two signs said till 6 Friday, one said till 4. Steven was pretty confident, though, with the signs running two to one.

When I got home from work Friday, I remembered I had not sent post cards to my soldiers this week. Scandalous omission; I had been sending two per week. Steven pointed out that I only had two post card stamps left, which worked out, because I’m currently sending to two soldiers.

“The post office closes at five. We can get there by five and buy more stamps,” I said. Of course we had to walk to the post office. Tabby had seen me writing the post cards, and she knows post cards mean walk to post office.

When we left the post office, it was an easy matter to walk home by way of the historic four corners and confirm the rummage sale was still open. It was. We got our schnoodle home and hurried back to rummage.

The Herkimer Reformed Church is such a handsome building. It is a pleasure just to walk through to the basement where the sale was going on. We did not peek into the sanctuary, as we sometimes do at church sales, but I will do that one day.

I made a beeline for the books (actually, that’s a funny word: beeline. Most of the bees I see make kind of an erratic pattern). I found a true crime book by Ann Rule I had not read. She’s the best. I also grabbed a couple of biographies. Then I saw a John D. MacDonald. I could tell by the title it was not a Travis Magee mystery, but MacDonald is always worth a read. When I picked up the book, I saw it was a 75 cent paperback with a pulp fiction cover. I collect those, so I was quite delighted.

Another lady was looking at the books with equal delight. She told me she was stocking up for the winter. Good thought. She showed me a history of Lawrenceville she had found, an old book.

“If I had seen that first, you wouldn’t be getting it,” I told her, to express my envy. She immediately offered it to me, which I thought was very gracious of her. I refused with thanks. There is no reason to be greedy.

Steven found a shot glass for his collection, a tin and a wooden box. We got everything for two dollars. What a deal!

“It’s Friday night,” the lady working the sale said. She invited us back for Saturday’s bag sale. Steven has to work, but I am tempted.

It would be a good idea if I went to the bag sale at my own church today. I’m writing this Saturday morning as Steven prepares for work. Will I go? As they say, time will tell. That time certainly is a blabbermouth.

A Run and Two Walks

As I sit here pondering that it’s Lame Post Friday, I am forced to come to the conclusion: I got nuthin’ (not even a g).

I have not run since Sunday. Sunday was a good run in Vermont, where we were visiting Steven’s family. I reached the “Oh yeah, I can rock this” stage. Of course, I even realized at the time that the feeling had something to do with the fact that I was on a gentle down slope. Let’s hear it for gravity.

Where my sisters-in-law live, the run is scenic but can be a little nerve wracking, because for the most part there are no sidewalks and the road has no shoulder. The posted speed limit is 25 mph, which should help, but, well, you know speed limits. Most people see them as a mere suggestion and others insist upon regarding them as a minimum. (True story: when we lived in Georgia, the paper had a call-in comment line. One yahoo called in and said, “When the speed limit is 45, I should be able to do at least 45.”)

Anyways, advantage Herkimer, for lots of sidewalks and a nice wide shoulder on the road to Herkimer County Community College, my favorite hill.

As I said, I have not taken advantage of the Herkimer sidewalks this week for running purposes. I didn’t even take my dog, Tabby, for a walk the first two days. Monday she didn’t seem to mind, but Tuesday when I went so far as to leave the house, she got a little miffed. She didn’t pee on the floor or chew anything up. She just sat on the love seat and turned her face pointedly away from me. Luckily, all was forgiven when I returned. That’s the great thing about dogs: they never hold a grudge.

So on Wednesday, I was determined to make things up to my dog by not deserting her to run and by taking her for a long walk. It was a beautiful sunny day. I put on my crazy old lady hat, because it has a nice wide brim. We walked for a good half hour.

The next night Steven was home, so we all three walked together. That walk was a little more eventful. We met up with a tiny dog that immediately started pulling on her leash to meet Tabby. They sniffed each other and got their leashes tangled. The little dog was definitely more excited to meet Tabby than vice versa, but Tabby was greatly interested in getting the dog’s owner to pet her. The owner told us the little dog’s best friend was a doberman that lived a couple of houses over. There was another big dog nearby, she said, who was also a friend. As we walked on, a dog up a driveway started barking.

“There’s a dog,” I said, although I did not actually see him. We started to cross the street, not to avoid the dog. It was the way we were headed.

“Oh, he’s a nice dog,” the little dog’s owner called after us. We did not get to meet that dog. We passed a house for sale.

“If we bought that house, Tabby could get to know all those dogs,” I said. We did not call our realtor, though.

We strolled down the path over what used to be a hydraulic canal. There are a few little stations with information and pictures. One day I’ll go for a walk carrying a notebook and put some of that in a blog post. Just warning you. Uh, I mean preview of coming attractions.

We admired some roadwork the village had done, envied some houses’ Halloween decorations and in general enjoyed the scene. And as I often blog about innocuous strolls with our schnoodle, I guess this qualifies as my Friday Lame Post.