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Foggy Wednesday

I apologize for having a Wuss-out Wednesday after my rather silly post on Monday. Um, and Sunday. Oh, I’m not going back and looking at how many lame posts I’ve had recently; the fact is today I haven’t written anything yet and I don’t have much to write about.

I drove through a lovely thick fog on my way to work today and thought I would write about that. We’ve had a lot of fog recently. I like fog. It is usually thicker in Ilion (where I work) than it is in Herkimer (where I live). This morning as I went out to my vehicle, I saw that the fog was pretty thick in Herkimer. I thought, “Awesome! It’ll be really thick in Ilion.”

Steven and I got lost in the fog on Higby Road once, but that is a big hill out in the country. I felt it was doubtful that I would get lost on my eight-minute commute to work. I drove at a careful speed (slower, but not too slow), looking around. The irony was not lost on me that I was enjoying looking at what I was not able to see. I took extra care as I went out German Street by the cemetery. I’ve often seen deer in that area. I would not care to hit a deer.

It was not too hard to see even once I got to Ilion. Walking from my vehicle to my place of employment, I continued to enjoy looking around, where I usually see buildings but this morning could only see streetlights.

Then I was at work, the sun came up, and the fog was over. I thought, “Huh. That wasn’t such a much.” So I didn’t write a blog post about it. And now I just did.

Sufficiently wussy, I trust.

Weather Wuss

In my defense, I blogged about Mohawk Valley adventures Monday and Tuesday this week. Can’t I have a Wuss-out Wednesday? Pretty please? Who am I kidding, this is my blog and I can only write what I can write.

In my further defense, I think my brain is frozen. True, it was warmer today than yesterday, with less windchill, but I think the weather is having a cumulative effect. Then, too, there is my age (middle).

Anybody who is inclined to say something snarky like, “You think YOU’VE got it cold!” or even, “It’s January, for heavens’ sake!” just hush your head (pronounced “hush yo’ haid”). In fact, I’ve been comparing notes on Facebook, and the Mohawk Valley has been colder than a lot of people who have been doing even more griping than me (that’s you, residents of southern states!). And YES I AM grateful we haven’t had another blizzard. Yet.

Here’s a bit of half-baked philosophy I may expand upon some Lame Post Friday: It could always be worse. Most of us still like to complain. And many will deny that it could or they do.

I actually don’t mind the cold all that much, except that it has been too cold to take my nice little dog for a walk. Dogs like to go for walks, you know. And I can usually get a blog post out of a stroll.

So, sorry folks, that’s all I got. I’m going to go drink some hot chocolate or tea and ponder what sorts of Mohawk Valley adventures are available to me at sub-zero temperatures. We’ll try for something more interesting tomorrow.

I Didn’t Even Mention the Fog

It cannot be denied that I am of a perverse disposition. I love bad weather. I drove to work this morning with the words, “I LOVE winter!” ringing in my head. It made me laugh, as did the weather itself, but I believe the sentiment has a legitimate basis.

Recently I came across the phrase, “the more sunshine, the less gumption.” I think it is true and not just a rationalization for those of us who live in a less salubrious climate (but don’t knock rationalization — oh, I’m sure I’ve covered that before). Winter is a challenge. And it can add interest to your morning.

Take this morning, for example. It is the first taste of winter in the Mohawk Valley, with snow in parts and cold temperatures for all. The newscasters on WKTV remarked that they had to scrape their cars. Well, they obviously go to work much earlier than I do. I was sure I would be fine.

When I got out to my vehicle… not so much. I wasn’t too worried, because I always leave extra early (so as to have time to write my blog post, among other reasons), but I could not find a scraper in my Trailblazer. I turned the defrost on full blast and went into the house.

“Scraper!” I called to Steven. “Where is a scraper?”

“In my car!” He grabbed his keys, which just goes to show what a nice husband he is. I could have gone to his car and found the scraper myself, leaving him to enjoy the warm house for as long as possible. I got my toque, which I had forgotten to put on earlier. Bonus!

The scraper was the one we inherited from my grandmother. It has a fur envelope around the handle. Another bonus.

In this short time the defrost had done its work. Not much scraping was required. I kept the scraper in my vehicle, thinking (a) Steven would probably not need one by the time he left for work and (b) he had time to find another one anyways.

So I drove to work feeling absurdly pleased about things. At work I asked my co-worker if she would like motivation to punch me in the face, then told her I like this weather. Luckily for me, she only indulged in a fake punch.

I indulged in a few choruses of “I Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” and sat down to write my blog post (which you are reading).

Musings or Whinings? You Decide

So I watched two movies yesterday in hopes of having Movie Monday. Um, not Monster Movie Monday, unfortunately. Instead, I must resort once again to Middle-aged Musings Monday. Or a Pedestrian Post. I think it will turn out to be a little of both.

I have been remiss lately in writing postcards. This morning (oh, yes, I’m off work today, ah ha ha!) I sat down and wrote out four. My store of postcards is becoming a little depleted, but I found some nice Vermont ones. It has been dreadfully cold lately for March, but I thought I could wear my warm coat and be OK to walk to the post office with Tabby (my schnoodle, I explain for new readers, if any).

And here’s a slight musing about perspective: twenty-some degrees does not feel as warm as it did when temperatures rose to it in January. At that time I mused how 20 degrees felt a lot better when you got up to it than when you first went down to it. Well, now I find the second or third time I go back down to it… I was about to say it increasingly sucks, but I really don’t like to whine too much about the weather. After all, I can wait five minutes and it will probably be different (though not necessarily better). But I must observe: it does seem colder.

I’m thinking (I started a new paragraph, because this is a new musing) that it really truly does make a difference to get older. Dammit, my body does change! And sometimes so does my mind! They say change is good. I say loose change collects in the bottom of my purse, but perhaps I should save that line for Non-Sequitur Thursday.

Where was I? Ah yes, on the way to the post office. A light snow had fallen since the sidewalk plow last went by, but it was the loose kind that blows around, so it did not obstruct our way much. The temperature was not too bad, till later when the wind started blowing. Then, yikes! I had on my warm coat that I don’t often wear for over 20 degrees. My mom gave it to me years ago, when the coat I was wearing met with an unfortunate accident (so did the car I was driving, and my head, but long story, not very interesting). It is a wonderfully warm coat, and it has deep pockets. I had poop bags and tissues enough to ensure a comfortable walk.

If only I had also had a scarf. Now, remind me, what did I say about not liking to whine too much? I guess that was not exactly accurate. Tabby wanted to stop and sniff each yellow patch of snow as well as burying her nose in a few purely white patches. As usual, I tried to strike a balance between letting her enjoy herself and not taking eight years for a simple walk to and from the post office.

The walk actually felt good on my legs. I was glad I had gone. I couldn’t help thinking longingly of spring, though. I only hope we get some nice in between temperatures, and I don’t skip right to Middle-aged Musings in which I whine about how damn hot it has gotten. Oh dear, what a kvetch I have become. I do hope you’ll stay tuned.

No Spring in My Step

So there I was, having Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I had managed to grocery shop, do dishes, put in a load of laundry. Where, I asked myself, was the Mohawk Valley adventure in that? Then my husband Steven came home from work and graciously agreed to go with me and our schnoodle Tabby on a walk. I decree that it is perfectly acceptable to write a blog post about a walk.

It wasn’t bitter cold out; in fact, it was above freezing. This was evidenced by the fact that the snow was melting and making some major puddles. Still, I wished I had remembered my mittens. I compensated by pulling my hands into my sleeves. Unfortunately, I was wearing the coat that fits, not the insulated sweatshirt where the sleeves are way long, so this was not as helpful or as comfortable as one could have wished. Did I mention it was Wrist to Forehead Sunday?

As we walked down the sidewalk (can’t trust the cars around here to be careful of a cute little doggie after all), we saw a major lake of a puddle up ahead.

“Let’s not plow through that,” I said. “Let’s cross the street.”

The other side of the street had been neglected by the sidewalk plow, but there was a beaten path. Mushy snow offered less moisture to penetrate our sneakers. Tabby didn’t care either way: wade through water, plow through snow, she was happy.

We spent the rest of the walk skirting large puddles, crossing the street to avoid larger puddles, and walking through small puddles. It felt good to walk, and I did feel grateful that, after all, melting snow means spring is on the way. As happened on my run, though, I was not able to enjoy the scenery as well while watching where I could put my feet for the least soaking possible.

Then Steven got the bright idea to leap over a puddle. He got a running start. He leaped! He made it!

“I am not going to try that,” I said. And me the athlete of the family. I hang my head in shame as I type.

As we walked down Main Street, we came to a long expanse of bare sidewalk. Awesome! We sadly observed closed businesses. Less awesome. There are some signs of life. Pete’s Tavern still does a business. Collis Hardware is still around. Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner is a going concern. The lady in Hummel’s Office Plus waved at us as we went by. Tabby likes to go in and say hello sometimes, but I thought her muddy paws were best kept outside. Belly Up Pub was open too.

We went through Meyers Park and started up Bellinger Street. I saw a puddle up ahead.

“Are you going to jump that one?” I asked. Then as we got closer, “Oh, no, that one’s bigger now that I look at it.” Steven attempted it anyways. He got a running start! He leaped! He didn’t make it! I should perhaps mention that he had not changed out of his work pants before we started out. “Oh, no, and I already did laundry,” I lamented.

“Water dries,” Steven pointed out.

“Mud doesn’t,” I said. “At least, it does and then it’s dirt.”

I did enjoy our walk, even though I am SO looking forward to warmer temperatures and no snow. For one thing, it gave me a 500 word blog post. Unless I read the draft to Steven and he insists I take out the part about him jumping the puddles. Some of you are probably still thinking I should have attempted it, too (you know who you are).

Weather or Not This Constitutes an Adventure…

At last my bunions have been vindicated. For weeks they have been saying rain and all we’ve gotten has been humidity. As they say, be careful what you wish for.

I wrote yesterday about some heat lightning we had experienced. That afternoon a nice rain watered my plants. It was not until after I went to bed (I go to bed early, for maximum beauty rest) that the storm started.

I never heard such thunder! Some of it didn’t even sound like thunder. It sounded louder and meaner. Well, for all I know, it wasn’t all thunder. Maybe some monster trucks with muffler problems happened to be driving by. Or maybe they were actual monsters. I have a vivid imagination when I wake up in the middle of the night.

I could be wrong, but I believe it was prior to midnight when we lost power. I knew we lost power because the fan went off and I said, “Crap!” I went to the bathroom and, sure enough, no power. No night light in the bathroom. No LED coming from the computer room. No glow from Steven’s clock. I wasn’t too worried about the loss of the clock, because my alarm is battery operated. Also, I have my watch alarm, and my watch has Indiglo.

The loss of the fan, however, was soon felt to be a major detriment. You might think that all a fan does is blow around the hot air, but it seems to me the air must cool off as it moves or something, because the bedroom went from comfortable to sweltering in a very short time. Oh dear. I only had a limited amount of time to sleep. That, of course, is a deadly thought for an insomniac. As soon as you start thinking about the fact that you are not asleep, it becomes clear that you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.

Of course that is not really true, and I knew it was not true, so I relaxed as best I could and tried to think cool thoughts. I could hear Tabby panting. Poor doggy. First the thunder, now the heat. Later, when I realized I was thinking about a dream I just had, I knew I had been asleep. Phew!

By 3:30, my usual wake up time, power had not been magically restored. I woke up Steven and told him we were without power. We own one flashlight which, fortunately had batteries and even more fortunately was right next to my side of the bed (sometimes I read with it when I can’t sleep and don’t want to disturb Steven).

I got dressed in the dark, thinking, “This is what blind people do all the time,” and also about the joke, “Did you get dressed in the dark?” that you say to somebody who has made an unfortunate wardrobe choice.

I volunteered to go in search of coffee. Most of the street lights on Bellinger were out, so that was a little weird. All the lights were on at Fastrac, but they were not overrun with early risers in search of caffeine. Well, I guess a quarter to four is pretty early rising.

The clerk told me Wal-Mart was closed and the cops were out patrolling the streets. I wondered if I had been supposed to stay home. You know, “No unnecessary travel.” Then again, how would I know that with no TV or radio? That reminded me to turn on the truck radio. Nothing but music. It’s only in the movies where they turn on the radio and immediately hear the weather report or the breaking news story that’s a major plot point.

Steven wanted to turn off the flashlight to save the batteries and I did not want to sit in the pitch dark, so we had our coffee on the front porch. Even without the streetlights there was more light outside, and the temperature was definitely more pleasant.

I felt I had had an adventuresome morning. I don’t know how many readers will consider it blogworthy, but it was the most exciting thing to happen to me recently. So, unless something major happens before I get home, type this in and hit “Publish, this has been your Mohawk Valley Girl story for the day.

Musings Muddled by Mugginess

We’re back to Middle-aged Musings Monday with a contemplation of heat lightning.

I never knew exactly what heat lightning was. I just knew that sometimes I would see lightning and some grown-up would say, “Oh, that’s just heat lightning.” I thought the heat caused the lightning, and that always seemed odd to me. Lightning is, of course, hot, but to me it always seemed fast and clean, an exciting spark. I could not see what it had to do with the soggy, onerous baking nights that usually brought heat lightning.

I recently learned (via the Weather Channel, I believe) that heat lightning is the same thing as regular lightning, only it is too far away for us to hear the thunder. I was pleased to know the definition, only now I’m a little worried that some pedantic types will take it too far and start saying, “There is no such thing as heat lightning!” Some people love to tell other people that there is no such thing. It starts out with Santa Claus and goes downhill from there. Come to think of it, that could be a whole other blog post.

This morning I thought at first we had regular lightning, because I heard a faint rumble of thunder. As I drove to work the light show continued with no sound, so I thought, “Heat lightning!” Then I wondered if somebody at work would annoy me by telling me there was no such thing. Instead, no less than three people remarked on the heat lightning. I felt vindicated.

I don’t know if this is really much of a point to ponder: Does a given thing not exist just because it’s the same thing as another thing? Was that a convoluted enough way to ask that? Have I ever mentioned that I hate philosophical questions?

As I read over what I wrote, all I can think is that the heat has surely muddled my brain. Maybe a zap of heat lightning would bring me back to normal. Or turn me into Frankenstein, I suppose. The lightning stopped when I got to work. But the soggy heat lingers on. Happy Monday, everybody.

It’s Still Friday After All

It’s Friday and I’m doing a Lame Post and if anybody doesn’t like it, they just don’t have to read it.

I’ve been off for the past two weeks. One could argue that I’ve had plenty of time for Mohawk Valley adventures and no need to fall back on a Friday Lame Post. That person would further argue that since I have not been at work all week, this Friday must lack that glorious, soon-to-be-free-for-two-days feeling. I have to ask, why is this person arguing with me? Hasn’t he got anything better to do? I’m going to ignore him (or her as the case may be) and get on with the random observations and half-baked philosophies which I enjoy on Lame Post Friday.

The main observation I’ve made lately (and you can judge its random quality for yourself) is that everybody’s lawn is brown. I can’t remember the last time it rained, but I think it was in June. The humidity has been considerable, so I still feel ready to mildew, but the lawns have been drying the heck out.

My other observation is purely personal: I wilt in the heat. I get tired and lethargic. And if I try to do stuff anyways, I get irritable.

So much for random observations. How about some half-baked philosophy? No good. My brain is all the way baked. I can’t come up with anything.

I wrote the above as I sat on my deck in the shade and then my damn pen ran out of ink. In the middle of the next sentence! I hate it when that happens! It wasn’t that great of a sentence anyways. As you can see, this is once again degenerating into a post about why I can’t write a post.

We won’t go any further with that thought. And no further thoughts come to mind. Yes, it is pathetic. But if I hit “Publish” it is a post. At least it was short. Stay with me; I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

Cold Walk

Once again on a Saturday morning, I would like to blog about walking my dog. However comma (that is an expression I got from a sergeant I knew in the army), I did not take my dog for a walk this morning.

I tried to walk Tabby every day this week. I want to start running again, with an eye to the Boilermaker and my waistline, but it’s just been too cold and snowy for me (only those who go out and run themselves are allowed to roll their eyes, point and laugh or call me names). Still, walking in the snow is good exercise. It’s definitely more effort than bare sidewalk.

Tabby has definite ideas about how long or far she wants to walk, especially on very cold or very hot days (guess which we’ve been having lately). Monday she pulled me around our block and only around our block. It was a slightly longer walk, though, because twice we crossed the street to walk where the sidewalk was more bare. And, as I said, we had plowing through the snow going for us. Tuesday was another short walk.

Wednesday I had the bright idea to see how long it would take me to walk to Wal-Mart. See, on Thursday Steven and I had a dinner meeting of Ilion Little Theatre Club, and Steven had to work till 6:30, which would make us a little late. I had this elaborate idea that I would get home, walk Tabby to Wal-Mart, get the car, drive back home, put our dish to pass and plates in the car, then drive to pick up Steven at 6:30 to get to the meeting in a more timely fashion. So Wednesday was in the nature of a dress rehearsal (see my theatre background asserting itself). It was the coldest day yet, with wind chill. I had for once remembered my scarf, and it was not the miracle I was hoping for. We got a little more than halfway (I think; didn’t measure it on a map) when Tabby stopped short and looked at me. I know that look. We turned around and went back home.

Thursday, I made her walk all the way to Wal-Mart. She tried the stop short and look trick, but I assured her it was quicker to keep going. As soon as she saw the car, she felt better about everything.

I have been suffering from some bad headaches, so I have been keeping a headache diary, noting that I have had a headache every day in 2012. I noticed my headaches were often worse in the evening, so thought walking in the cold might have something to do with it. Friday, I made the experiment of not going for the walk. Tabby did not mind so much, because Steven was home and she likes to hang with both her peeps. Also, she had been to the groomers, which is very exciting for her and excitement tends to tire her out. Lo and behold, I had no headache. Could the fact that it was Friday also have been a factor? Hell, I’m no scientist.

Be all that as it may, I have a headache now. I did not take Tabby for a walk, but I did go out and help shovel the driveway. Tabby ran around in the snow while I did that, so she did get some exercise. I’ll probably break down and take her for a walk this afternoon if she cares to go, headache be damned. If it’s exciting, I’ll blog about that on Sunday.

Now I’m Pretty

I needed a hair cut, and Steven was nice enough to make an appointment for me at Cuts & Colors for Friday after work.

Perhaps some aggressively self-sufficient reader is saying, “What is he, your husband or your secretary? Why don’t you make your own damn appointment?” Well, Steven happened to be going to Cuts & Colors for a haircut himself. You see, they are good for all ages, shapes and sizes.

Steven had really waited till he needed a cut TODAY (that is, that day that it happened to be), so he did not go to our usual stylist, Jackie W. I think he went to the other Jackie (to us, I’m sure to her, Jackie W. is the other Jackie, but you know what I mean). Steven looked very handsome with his haircut, but I was happy to get an appointment with our Jackie.

Friday, you may recall, was when the weather was really really yucky. I walked out of work to see people scraping their vehicles. I optimistically thought to myself, “Perhaps they came in at 5. I came in at 7, so maybe my car has less to scrape.” Then I laughed at myself for being so naive. “Eight hours or ten,” I thought, “if they’re scraping, you’re scraping.” Imagine my delight when I discovered I had in fact very little to scrape. Maybe that two hours made the difference.

I was relieved that Cuts & Colors is right on my way home. It was not a day to make a lot of detours. I reflected sadly that I might have to brush or scrape again after my haircut, as it was precipitating in a very wintery fashion.

Jackie was glad to see me. She said they had several cancellations that afternoon. I told her I did not blame them; if I had had to go to far out of my way, I might have cancelled too. She assured me they did not blame people either. But I can see where it would be disappointing to a business. Probably disappointing to the customers, too. I would not have wanted to go through another week of bad hair days.

My hair, as usual, looked wonderful when Jackie had finished. We remarked, also as usual, about the ever increasing amount of grey I have. Jackie likes it. I guess I do, too. Normally when I leave Cuts N Colors, I feel so pretty I insist on Steven taking me out somewhere. Friday, I thought, not so much. I was happy to get home and stay there.

And my hair still looked good the next day, so there you have it. I love Cuts & Colors. They are located at 402 Mohawk Street in Herkimer. For more information call 866-8514, or visit their Facebook page.