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I Didn’t Mean to be Melancholy

I had meant to make a post about one of my recent Mohawk Valley adventures, but I’m afraid today is going to be more of a Middle-aged Musings Monday, if not Melancholy Monday, or even a Memories Monday.  Oh, all right, I’ll stop alliterating and start blogging.

Today on my Facebook On This Day, I noted that one year ago today we brought our sweet Spunky home from his foster dad’s (I even wrote a blog post about it).  Regular readers may recall that we sadly lost Spunkman (as Steven liked to call him) far too soon (I wrote a blog post about that, too).  I miss having a dog, but the time seems not right to adopt another one yet.

Logging on to WordPress, I noticed a post from a blogger I follow about how she and her guy adopted a puppy, Meet Harper, the Resuce Pup!  Full disclosure:  I do not read all posts by all the bloggers I follow.  This one I read.   Rescue dogs are the best!  And people who adopt them are awesome!  Oh dear, that sounded like I was tooting my own horn, but I was not, really.  For one reason, I have not adopted another dog since losing Spunky.  I don’t know if I ever will, although as I read somewhere, pets happen.

So I am remembering our little Spunky, and our sweet Tabby, who lived with us from 2007 to 2015.  Dogs enrich our lives immeasurably, but so is the sadness immeasurable when we lose them.  I suppose I could say something profound about how you have to have the sad to appreciate the happy, and I even know such a thing to be true.  But I’m afraid it would sound glib and trite, because profundity is not my strong suit.

I also feel I should apologize for intruding sadness into my silly blog, especially when the occasion for sadness is sometime past.  Then again, who can explain emotions and why apologize for them?  I like to say, sometimes you just have to feel that way until you don’t feel that way any more.  I’ll try for a better post tomorrow.

 

Not a Wrist to Forehead Run

I will probably be doing a lot more Running Commentary posts for the next month and a half (or so), as I continue to prepare for the Utica Boilermaker 15K.  I thought I was in excellent shape for it already, having run just over an hour yesterday.  My feeling is if you can run one hours, you can run two; just don’t stop.  And I have run the Boilermaker in under two hours each time I have run in.  Then again (second guessing myself is apparently my favorite indoor sport), I took a three hour nap yesterday afternoon.  Maybe I’m not in such great shape (although I still maintain that round and puffy is a shape).

Today I have a few things I would like to get done, and I will not have time for a three-hour nap, so I thought I would run less than one hour.  This is not my normal M.O.  Usually I make long runs on both weekend days, when I don’t have to work.  However, this is a three day weekend.  I can go for a long run on Memorial Day.  I will wear an army t-shirt and run in honor of fallen soldiers.  So today could be a shorter, easier run with no hills.

I made this plan while I was still in bed, knowing it would be a good idea to get up but really wanting to sleep some more.  I finally talked myself into rising and immediately started drinking water from the bottle I habitually keep next to the bed. I got right into running clothes and was out the door before I had decided which direction to run in.  I turned the opposite way from what I usually take, toward State Street instead of German.  I had only gotten a block when somebody called a greeting.  It was the owner of Chico and Bear, two neighborhood dog buddies of mine.

She was dressed for church and taking the pups for a business meeting.  I stopped my watch and went over to pet the pups and chat with the person. I told her I had thought of going to church yesterday but woke up from my nap twenty minutes after mass started.  When we finished our chat, I reset my watch to zero and started again.  This time I ran down Church Street toward Main.  I still had no idea where I would go but knew I could figure it out as I went.  The sun was in my eyes, so I turned up Prospect and headed toward German.

On German, I turned left, so the sun was behind me.  I decided to run up the hill by Valley Health.  Yes, I had thought “no hills” but one hill was not so bad, especially compared to what I ran yesterday and what I hope to run tomorrow.  As I got to Valley Health, I mixed things up a little by going around the building the opposite way I usually do.  It’s the little things that add interest to my runs.  Running in front of the building as I was, I realized I was on an upslope.  I had never noticed it being a downslope when I ran on it in the opposite direction.  And isn’t that a metaphor for life, I thought.  We don’t always notice when things are a little easier, but, boy, let them get the least bit harder and wham!

I did not mind the upslope, nor yet the steeper hill.  Soon enough I was running down the side I usually run up.  The view is much better the other way, but I appreciated seeing something a little bit different.  I ran down to the Jr/Sr High School, eventually going over the little footbridge.

I ended up running for 37 minutes, and I felt pretty damn good about it.  I got tired by the end but concentrated on my breathing.  I know how getting a VCD (vocal chord dysfunction) attack can rack me up later in the day.  I felt truly awesome on my cool-down walk.  I feel pretty pleased with myself that I have made my blog post already too.  It looks as if I am not going to have a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I hope everybody else’s weekend is going as well.

 

Getting Some Sugar at the Shack

I usually give shout-outs to Mohawk Valley businesses, but once in a while I like to mention favorite destinations when I travel.  One of the best is The Sugar Shack in Arlington, Vermont.  They are a country store selling Vermont products including maple syrup, cheese, baked goods and more.  You can also buy all sorts of touristy items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, glasses, post cards and other things.

Additionally, the store is home to a Norman Rockwell exhibit which was previously housed at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Arlington.  When the museum closed, the Sugar Shack gave a home to the displays.  My husband Steven and I were  so happy when this happened.  We used to stop at that museum whenever we were in Vermont and were very disappointed when it closed. We love Norman Rockwell!  We have several framed Rockwell prints on our walls as well as a few coffee mugs featuring his work.

Speaking of coffee mugs, one of our favorites is one from the Sugar Shack featuring the owner’s lovely dog Shack.  They have two dogs now, and the last time Steven and I were at the store, Steven noticed there is now a mug available with both dogs.  Our kitchen cabinet is quite full of coffee mugs.  Still, we might find room for a mug with both Sugar Shack dogs.

We follow the Sugar Shack on Facebook. We don’t need a reminder to visit when we are in the area, but it is nice to hear about fresh cider donuts and see pictures of the dogs.  The Sugar Shack is located at 29 Sugar Shack Lake, Rt. 7A, Arlington, VT, phone number 802-375-6747.  For more information you can visit their website at http://sugarshackvt.com/.  And you should definitely Like them on Facebook.

 

Wrist to Non-Sequitur Monday

Sometimes after you indulge in a Wrist to Forehead Sunday, the very next day you experience a Wrist to Forehead Monday.  And then what do you do?

Well, if you’re Mohawk Valley Girl (that is, me), you go ahead and post something anyways.  But what to post is the question?  I suppose I could go to my other standby: posting pictures.  What have we downloaded lately?

I like dogs.

Have I used this picture before?  It was in my Media Library here on my WordPress dashboard.  I have to appreciate a rebel.  I wonder what else I can find?

Isn’t he wonderful?

From dogs to cats, here’s Felix.  My husband Steven likes Felix the Cat.  I do, too.

One sacrifices one’s yarn basket to a sweet pooch.

 

Doggy buddies.

Back to dogs!  The top picture is our recently departed Spunky.  When I thought my yarn basket was still my yarn basket, Spunkman had other ideas.  He looked so sweet in it, I gave it up to him. I haven’t been using it as a yarn basket again yet, even though I suppose I could.  The second picture was taken at my sister-in-law’s house.  It is her husky, Sapphire, and our schnoodle, Tabby, both sadly passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

I see I am over 200 words, so I end on a sad note, thinking of our dear, sweet doggies.  Still, one must take the sadness of losing them after enjoying the joy of having them.  I suppose that is a trite, obvious thing to say, but it is the best I can manage.  I guess I’m kind of all over the place today, which gives me an idea for today’s headline.  I hope you will all tune in again tomorrow, when I will probably have a Tired Tuesday post.

 

Lame Me! I Guess.

I have mentioned this before but I repeat it now for reasons which will become obvious:  in one of the Georgette Heyer Regency Romances I adore, the heroine, during a time of great stress and exertion, has a glass of wine with dinner and feels “fresh as a nosegay.”  I feel sure it will be obvious to even new readers that I am currently sipping a glass of wine in hopes of experiencing a similar rejuvenation.  It seems to be working, which I can only suppose is placebo effect, which I do not scorn.

I got the bottle at Ilion Wine and Spirits.  I had stopped in to The Medicine Shoppe to pick up a prescription, and the two businesses are located very close to each other.  Additionally, I wanted to support Ilion Wine and Spirits, because they are a supporter of Ilion Little Theatre AND they are a sponsor of Who Shot JS? the murder mystery benefit for Herkimer County Historical Society.

This was not my only stop before going home.  I also had to go get certain feminine supplies, a couple of props for the murder mystery, and milk.  I thought with all this running around, it would be OK to not go running.

And then I went running.  Yay, me!  I guess.  It was not a great run or even a particularly good run, but it was a run.  On my cool-down walk, I met up with the doggy Mama of a couple of neighborhood dogs, and we walked a block or so together.  I had not talked to her in a while, so I told her about the sad passing of Spunky.  She shared with me the equally sad news that Nicky, another of my doggy friends, had died over the winter.  I was devastated.  I love Nicky!  I pretty sure I have mentioned stopping to pet him while running.

So now I am trying to finish my Friday Lame Post before Steven gets home.  Thank goodness for Lame Post Friday when I am so tired!  The nosegay effect only lasted for the first couple of paragraphs.  No matter.  I am over 350 words and my self-imposed word-count for a respectable post is 200.  Once again, Yay me!  I guess.

 

No Thunder, No Horror, Two Dogs

My intention was to run and make a Running Commentary post.  I did run.  I ran for 30 minutes. Now I am just too damn tired to write about it.  Well, maybe I can manage a paragraph or two.

The weather report this morning called for scattered rain with occasional thunderstorms this afternoon.  I was not concerned about that.  I figured I could run in place on the mini-tramp.  While I ran, I would watch  the silent movie, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore. I just finished reading a biography of John Barrymore, and I have that movie in one of my DVD horror collections.  Doesn’t that sound awesome?  Watching an old horror movie with a thunderstorm going on outside.  That would rock!

AAAaaand, no thunderstorm.  Not even any rain.  It was, in fact, pretty good weather to run outdoors.  It was warm enough for shorts and short sleeves, and cloudy enough not to be too hot.  I actually prefer running outdoors to running on the mini-tramp, even with something good on TV.  I did not even have to talk myself into it (or avoid talking myself out of it).  I had gone two days without running and did not want to make it three.  I even have it in my head to see how many days in a row I can run, starting today.  I’ll let you know how that works out.

So I ran and it did not go too badly.  It went slowly, or rather I went slowly.  I petted two dogs, both being walked by the same person.  They were beautiful animals, a red retriever (that’s not right; what is the red kind called?) and a German shepherd (this is really going to bug me, what are those red retrievers called?) (Wait a minute!  They’re not retrievers at all: they are Irish Setters!) (what a moron I am!).

Incidentally, still working on having my act together, I had a load of laundry in the washer while I ran.  I feel I should just mention, however, that the room I was determined to clean up a little at a time now is looking beautiful, thanks to the efforts of my husband, Steven and not to my meager exertions.

Speaking of meager exertions, I see I am over 350 words on this blog post.  My real Running Commentary posts tend to run longer than than, but I don’t think we can call this a Running Commentary.  However, I believe we can call it a blog post, and I declare that not too bad for a Non-Sequitur Thursday.

 

R.I.P. Spunky

What a cutie!

Our sweet pooch, Spunky, left us this morning.  He woke up when Steven came downstairs, then he laid back down, fell asleep and never woke up.  We petted him, and watched him breathe, but we pretty much knew he was dying.  I am too sad to make a blog post about it, but I thought I could share a few pictures of Spunkman, as Steven liked to call him.

The first picture was our first view of him, posted on Facebook by the Velvet Dog, who was fostering him when his first owner died.  He was just as cute in person.

One of many beds Spunky adopted.

The basket was given to me by my sister, Cheryl, to keep ongoing knitting or crochet projects in.  That is an unfinished afghan Spunky is getting comfy on in this picture.  I had to admit, the basket was a perfect size for him.  I took out my unfinished projects and made an afghan for Spunky to sleep on in the basket.  Now I suppose I can have it back.  Spunky had several places he liked to snooze:  on the end of the couch on an afghan, on my clothes I left lying around.  Um,  I mean, I never leave my clothes lying around.

 

Doesn’t he look comfy?

And here is one more picture, just to make it three.  I loved my little Spunky.  I hope there is a doggy heaven and that Spunky is there now.  And if people heaven is different from doggy heaven, I’d rather go to the doggy one (oh yeah, right, like I think I’m going to heaven).  Good-bye, little doggy friend.