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Maybe Not Balanced, But a Good Lunch

Steven and I just had a delightful lunch with our friends, Phyllis and Jim.  Was wine involved?  Could be!

A truly delightful couple.

We met at Applebee’s in Herkimer, NY.  In general, Mohawk Valley Girl prefers to stick to locally owned businesses.  On the other hand, local people work at Applebee’s.  Why should I not support them?  Oh well, right or wrong thing to do, we met at Applebee’s.

Jim in a mask.

Naturally we wore masks on our way to the table.  I was intrigued by Phyllis and Jim’s masks.  They told me they  were their granddaughters’  artwork and had come from a website called artsonia.com.  I do not put it in as a link, because I have not yet checked it out myself.  That may have something to do with the second or third glass of Cabernet Sauvopignon, but let us not worry about such things now.

Applebee’ s was concerned with social distancing, with some booths blocked off.  This is always good to see.

We did not sit there,.

We talked about the problems of businesses reopening.  Were our facemasks enough to stop the spread of COVID-19?  We can only so the best we can do.  Phyllis observed that if we cannot have time with the people we love, we do not have anything.  I had to agree.

Other bloggers can make these mirror selfies work! Me, not so much.

When we got back home it was still pretty warm.  I put on a shirt Jim had given me.  I felt the snowman motif was appropriate for our current situation.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable lunch.  I agree with Phyllis: we need time with those we love most!  Let us strive to maintain a balance from our own mental health and the physical health of all!

 

 

A Gem of a Store

Yesterday I noticed on Facebook that The Rose Quartz Stand was open from eleven to three.  I had been meaning to stop down there since retail started to re-open, so I decided to celebrate my Fourth of July by helping support a local business.

Lots of merchandise in a relatively small space.

The Rose Quartz Stand is a gem and mineral shop.  They have a lovely little retail space on Main Street in Herkimer,  but they do most of their business at shows and festivals.  Unfortunately, these have all been cancelled due to COVID.  I thought I would do what I could, with a purchase and a blog post.  Additionally, I love the little stone animals you can buy there!

As I browsed the aisles, I chatted with the owner.  He admitted they were taking a hit with all the cancellations but agreed that people’s health (including his own!) was more important.  We both kept our masks on and kept our distance.

I could look at them all day!

I love looking at all the different stones.  Some are supposed to have certain qualities, but I am not very knowledgeable about these things.  I admired some beautiful Herkimer Diamonds.   I could seriously consider taking up jewelry making, just to use such fabulous raw materials.

There are even more skulls and animals than these.

I hesitated over some skulls but eventually purchased a small animal (full disclosure: I don’t know what it is) (hell, I’m no zoologist), a frog for Steven, and a plastic dinosaur just because.

Aren’t they nice?

The Rose Quartz Stand is located at   105 South Main St., Herkimer, NY, phone number 315-868-5199.  They are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.  For more information,  you can visit their website,  www.therosequartzstand.com.  You can also Like them on Facebook.  I did!

 

Independence Day Run

When I noticed my Army t-shirt in a drawer yesterday, I made up my mind to have an Independence Day Run this morning.  I would wear the Army shirt and run up the hill to the Veterans Memorial at Herkimer College.  It was time to run up that hill again anyways, and it was the day to increase my run time to 44 minutes.  This was going to be great!

I was a little worried about how warm it was when I first got up.  We are having another muggy streak these days.  Oh well, what’s a little extra sweat compared to celebrating our country’s birthday?  I put on a wide headband in hopes of absorbing some of the sweat before it ran into my eyes and made a note to myself to look for some extra-absorbent, exercise-grade headbands for the future.

As I reached German Street, I met a lady taking a walk.  We exchanged good mornings.

“We gotta get out before the heat of the day,” I said.

“That’s what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s beautiful out!”

“Oh, it sure is!”

A short time later I was making a note to myself that I must run more hills.  I ran this one earlier this week (I don’t know when; remember that note to myself to go back to keeping a running journal?  I didn’t do it).  Today it felt as if I hadn’t run it in years!  Crap!  I was gasping for breath. But I persevered and at last I made it to the top.

It feels steeper when you’re on it, and it gets steeper after the curve.

And realized that it continued to slope upwards.  It is amazing to me how my body can detect the most subtle angles when running.  I took my mind off my troubles by continuing to ponder my plans for the Boilermaker Virtual 15K.  I hope to recruit a few friends to meet me along the way with water.  Once I figure out a route.  Various possibilities ran through my mind.

Soon I realized a slight problem.  It was taking a long time to get to the Memorial.  Would I be able to get back home in 44 minutes?  Should I run only for 44 minutes and let part of my cool-down walk take me the rest of the way home?  I would have water; I was carrying a 16 oz. bottle which I intended to refill at the spring.

At last I reached the Memorial!

It’s a lovely little area.

Going down Reservoir Road was a pleasure.  My body appreciates downslopes as much as it suffers on upslopes.  I finished my water shortly before I reached the spring.  A man was there filling a bunch of five gallon buckets, but he let me sneak in to refill my bottle.

One of my favorite spots in Herkimer!

He said he was getting water for his swimming pool.  “I’ve been drinking this water since I was nine years old!”

“I love it,”  I said.  “Thank you!”

I was getting closer to my goal but was further from home.  I ended up running 47 minutes. It is an increase of more than the recommended ten percent, but I think that will be OK.  Boilermaker,  here I come!

 

Just a Little Local

I saw on Facebook that Monday was Shop Small Day or the whole week was Shop Small Week or some such.  You know I never pay attention to these things.  In any case, for Mohawk Valley Girl, EVERY day is Shop Small Day.  Unfortunately,  I cannot shop every day, and I cannot always go small for what I need.  Well, we none of us can live up to our ideal (and if you are sitting there smirking because YOU always do, all I can say is that you probably need some better ideals) (you know who you are).

Where was I?  Ah yes, attempting to shop small.  One of the pages I follow encouraged us to share on Facebook pictures of our purchases.  I went to T&J’s Fruits and Vegetables in Herkimer earlier this week, but those vegetables are already cut up and in a salad.  Maybe I have one tomato left.

I’ll probably put it in an omelet or sammich tomorrow.

I also went to Valley Wine and Liquor,  also in Herkimer.  I am sipping a little wine as I type this.

Of course I use my Halloween glass year round! What did you expect?

To add a little more local, I got that awesome glass from Pumpkin Junction in Sauquoit.

Today I drove to Little Falls, NY.  I had seen there was to be a new gift shop opening near The Cafe at Stone Mill.  I went to the Cafe first for a cup of coffee.  I cannot convey how much I have longed to sit in a cafe, sip coffee, and write.  I worked on a letter to my sister.

It is yummy coffee!

I thought about getting ice cream instead, since it was so hot out, but the lower calorie count won.  To tell myself it was not really ice cream but frozen yogurt would be mere quibbling.  Additionally, this is coffee by local roaster Joseph Putrello, and it is excellent coffee.

I already have one of those coffee mugs.

I did not purchase anything in the gift shop but intend to return.  After checking it out, I drove to Burke Park for the weekly Fresh Market.

It’s already on my calendar for next Thursday.

I spent more time at the market, and took more pictures. I hope to write more about it later.  In the meantime, I see I am approaching 400 words.  That seems good to me.  I hope to do more local shopping and buy more stuff soon.  And write blog posts about it.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

Will Running Commentary Return?

I love it when my runs get up to 40 minutes, because about 22, 23 minutes in, my body goes, “Oh, yeaaah!”  This does not happen to me during shorter runs.  Your results may vary.

I have not said much about my plan to run in the Virtual Boilermaker 15K for the simple reason that I do not have a plan.  I don’t know how to make a plan for that sort of thing!  The only virtual run I have done so far was a 5K sponsored by Rock City Runners to benefit the Little Falls Food Pantry (perhaps you read my blog post about it).  I am thinking a 15K will be at least proportionally more complicated, if not moreso (why is my Tablet underlining “moreso”?  That’s a word, isn’t it? ).

Be all that as it may, I have been running incrementally longer runs (or do I mean increasingly?  Am I being unnecessarily verbose?  Say it ain’t so!).  I thought it might be nice to make more Running Commentary Posts.  Unfortunately,  I make my best Running Commentaries soon after the run.  Yes, I ran this morning, but I just don’t remember all that much about it.

What does that say about me?  Nothing good, I suppose.  Then again, why should I go out of my way to say good things about me?  Readers will think I have a tremendous ego.  Yet again, I have long maintained that there are worse things than having an ego the size of Manhattan.

Well, that is enough of that circular argument.  But it gives me an idea:  I am going to call this a Monday Mental Meanderings, hit Publish, and drive on.  I hope I can go running again tomorrow.

 

Remember my Bald?

Does anybody remember when I was going to get my head shaved to raise funds for St. Baldrick’s Foundation?  Do you also remember that it was cancelled due to Covid?  Well, it was, back in March, and I did not worry too much about it till recently,  when hair establishments began re-opening.

I began feeling a little self-conscious about my increasingly unruly mop, especially when so many of my friends, family and co-workers had donated to a good cause, in addition to the entertainment of seeing me bald.  The money had gone to the cause all right, but there I was with my head of quarantine hair.

I was fortunate to get an appointment at my favorite establishments,  Hot Spot Salon and Spa in Herkimer, NY.  I took a Before picture, specifically for blogging purposes.

I am lousy at taking selfies.

One could argue that it is no sacrifice to get rid of such bad hair.  Additionally, with the hot summer weather coming, it will be a pleasure to be bald.  Well, never mind all that.  I said I was going to be bald, and I am a woman of my word.

Ta-dah!

I confess to a few moments of, “What was I thinking?”  But mostly I think it is funny.  And I do it to honor my beloved Aunt Carlyn, who lost her hair and her life to brain cancer.  St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds cancer research.  So I wear my pate proudly, and remind myself to use sunscreen on top now.

 

I Should Have Made a Better Blog Post

Oh dear, I am up to my old tricks again, falling asleep before I make my blog post then frantically typing at 5 a.m. to make up for it.  I had meant to make a Saturday Running Commentary Post. I even took a picture of my new running shoes for an illustration.

I had to lean over my fat belly to see them.

I was wearing my Boilermaker t-shirt,  which was given to me by a friend.  She had purchased it for herself, for inspiration.  Since said inspiration was not forthcoming, she passed it on to me.  It fits me, so my bloated belly showed.  I did not take a picture of that.

It was actually a pretty good run.  I ran for a long time and went up a couple of minor hills.  My new sneakers were an utter delight.  I purchased them on sale at Melfi’s Shoes in Ilion, NY.  I should probably write a whole blog post about that, in order to give a shout-out to a local business.  We all know Mohawk Valley Girl loves local!

So I guess this is my blog post about what I should have written my blog post about.  I’ll call that OK for 5:30 on a Sunday morning.  I’ll try for a better blog post later, but no promises on Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

 

A Blooming Saturday Post

Before.

Today I was determined to put these flowers into pots for my container garden.  I had a small-ish bag of dirt, because they were out of the bags of one or two feet square feet of of dirt,  which I have purchased in previous years. Oh well, you snooze, you loose; I took what I could get and used it.

One angle of my deck.

After filling two urns, I was outof dirt and had to return to the store.  However, I found that with smaller bags, it was easier for me to pour the dirt from the bag into the pots.

The other angle.

You can see the lawn chairs in the background.  I put them out in the lawn to take advantage of the natural disinfection of sunlight.  These chairs have previously resided in my garage,  which smells just a slight bit of mildew.  One cannot always control the moisture in these situations.

I took another picture, of my feet and and what you could see of the deck beyond, but I cannot find it now.  That is how technologically inept I am.  However,  I feel I have done a good job on my deck.  Steven and I sat outside and enjoyed the view for a while.  No doubt we will do so again.

In the meantime,  here is one more picture of my backyard.

I’ll get another shot, when there are even more blooms.

Here is our rhododendron.  I thought it would be blooming soon. I do love a tree that blooms.  I must plant a few more.  No doubt I will make another blog post when I do.

 

No Title on Throwback Thursday

How could one of these lovely ladies be a murderess?

I open this week’s Throwback Thursday Post with a photo of the cast of  Fabulous and Fatal, the murder mystery we presented last fall to benefit the Herkimer County Historical Society.  Full disclosure:  I am having difficulty in making any post at all.  I wrote other stuff while on breaks at work, so that goes against my usual contention of “writing begets writing.”   I am alternately staring at the screen and typing things in which I immediately backspace out.

Never mind that, I tell myself.  Just type.  How hard could it be?  I’ll just look for more throwback photos.

Guess which one of us was nipping at the whiskey.

This is one of my favorite photos.  It is me and Jay Groah at the Ritz and Ragtime at Rutger Park fundraiser for the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica.  Jay Groah is a realtor and one of the main movers and shakers of the Landmarks Society.   He is also a very cool guy.

J’accuse!

Back to murder, I add a picture of a murder mystery we did last spring.  And I will be damned if I can think of the title!   How embarrassing!  I can’t even find a blog post about it, although clearly I wrote one, since this picture was in my Media Library.  Once again I say, what the hell, me?

Well, never mind that.  I am over 200 words, and that is plenty enough for a foolish post like this.  Some might say it is too much, but I feel that would be unkind, don’t you?

 

There’s No Balcony Scene In Hamlet

What she said!

After sitting here with a blank mind for a while, I looked in my Media Library for some inspiration.  I found this chalk art on a walking path near my house.  I love sidewalk art.  I hope I get a chance to photograph more of it.

This isn’t chalk.

Here is a more permanent decoration on the walking path.  I find it a cheery addition to the area.

As you may have guessed, this is a Tired Tuesday Post. I was going to blame the heat, but I find I am often tired these days.  Perhaps I am ingesting insufficient vitamins or fiber or something.

Aaaaaand now I have the type it in, backspace it out disease.  Do suppose that should be capitalized (Type It In, Backspace It Out Disease) or hyphenated (type-it-in-backspace-it-out disease)?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

“Backspace me out, willya?”

I had a sudden urge to include a picture of Nosferatu.  He can always brighten up a dull post.  I am now veering into Non-Sequitur territory.  I feel that Non-Sequitur Thursday has a better ring than Non-Sequitur Tuesday,  but what are you going to do (as in “whatta  ya gonna do?”).   I have a completely unrelated headline I have been dying to use.  I guess Today is the day!