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Tag Archives: Herkimer Now

Helping Herkimer Now

I’ve given a shout-out to Herkimer Now before. They are a group dedicated to revitalizing Herkimer, NY, beginning with Main Street. They recently held a fundraiser which worked out very well for me, at least.

The event was a Chinese Auction they held at the Polish Home on South Washington Street. Now, when I hear about a fundraiser for a worthy cause, I like to donate an afghan if I have one, which I usually do. I was not sure if they would want one, because I heard they were getting a lot of fabulous donations from area businesses. Of course it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Being me, I neglected to contact them till the event was less than a week away. However, the nice lady I emailed said they would love to have an afghan, could I drop it by the Polish Home Friday night when they would be setting up? I could.

It was just after seven when Steven and I dropped the afghan off. They were just getting started, but we could see that they had a lot of good stuff. They were pleased with my afghan, which was red, white and blue. They paired it with a patriotic pillow somebody else had donated, to make a kind of a theme.

Steven had to work the next day, but I found room in my busy schedule to go down and put in some chances. Gift certificates, baskets with various tantalizing contents, a gorgeous guitar, decor… I can’t even name all the stuff that was there. I put in for several of the baskets and a few of the gift certificates. I looked at the guitar, but since I don’t play I thought it better to leave it for those who do.

Anyone who bought tickets for the Chinese Auction was also entered to win the door prize, a beautiful floral arrangement. I also purchased tickets for the 50/50. Refreshments were available, but I was more interested in the prizes.

My awesome results? Two gift certificates and a Basket of Fun. The certificates were for Crazy Otto’s — a favorite of ours — and milk shakes from Stewarts’s — yum! The basket of fun included cards, dominoes, a jigsaw puzzle and a little stuffed bear.

I’m also pleased to support Herkimer Now, and I wish them success in their efforts to improve our village. For more information on Herkimer Now, you can visit their website at www.herkimernow.org and you can Like them on Facebook.

A Stroll But Not a Shop

I think Saturday Pedestrian Post is going to be a thing, till the return of Saturday Running Commentary, of which I do not despair.

It is raining in the Mohawk Valley today (Saturday, as I said). My schnoodle, Tabby, does not like to walk in the rain. She will go a few feet, then stop and give me a look that says, “What are we doing out here?” She won’t even go into the backyard to do her business till she’s desperate. She will stand on the porch and look out at the wet landscape speculatively.

When it looked as if the rain had stopped for the moment, so we gave it a try. Of course it had started again by the time I had found a proper jacket (damn weather that changes every five minutes), got Tabby’s harness on and made sure I had poop bags. However, Tabby seemed to want to go, so we started out.

It was not raining very hard. We headed down Bellinger Street towards Church. I had an idea to walk to Main Street, so see if anything was going on with Herkimer Now’s Shopper’s Stroll. This was to be a Christmas event featuring specials at participating businesses, strolling carolers, horse and buggy rides, a live nativity and more. I figured a cute little dog with wet paws would not be welcome in a business, but I figured we could see some sights.

Tabby wanted to go a different way, but I convinced her and we made it to Main Street. The live nativity was to be later (preview of coming attractions), so things were quiet at Herkimer Reformed Church. It started to rain a little harder as we started down Main, but I didn’t get the Look from Tabby, so I hoped for the best.

There was the horse and buggy! Two beautiful Clydesdales pulled the covered wagon, first at a walk then at a trot. Tabby seemed very interested. Perhaps she wanted to make friends with the horses. Or she thought all the people getting a ride would probably like to pet her.

The rain tapered off but did not stop. We crossed the street to the old Glory Days, where some people were putting up murals. I had read about these in the paper. They were painted by local high school and elementary students. They are beautiful and certainly improve the appearance of that sad building. I complimented the people putting them up, and thanked them for doing it.

I would have liked to stop in a Weisser’s Jewelers. Steven got me a lovely ring there for an anniversary. I wonder if I could find a nice ring there for him. However, I kept my wet-pawed doggy out of there and kept walking. Likewise we stayed out of Mary Anne Mothers Designs. We greeted Santa Claus in front of Brian’s Roast Beef Deli. Some people were taking pictures with him.

We did not walk by all the businesses that participated, and I apologize for not giving a shout-out to everyone. However, if any of my lovely readers would like to know more about the Herkimer Shopper’s Stroll or about Herkimer Now, you can visit their website at www.herkimernow.com. You can also Like Herkimer Now on Facebook.

Tabby on Main Street

I think Tabby would like to become a member of Herkimer Now. She had a wonderful time at their Superhero Sprint last Saturday. Tuesday night she joined them for their second Main Street Walk. Steven and I tagged along.

The first Main Street Walk was held last month (perhaps you read my blog post about it). Once again, people gathered outside Basloe Library at 6:30 p.m. We greeted people we remembered and who remembered us from last time or from the Superhero Sprint. Well, I guess they mostly remembered Tabby, although one woman had seen me on WUTR News (I had agreed to comment on camera). No news people were there this time (phew!), but Mayor Mark Ainsworth was on hand.

Another lady had brought her dog this time. She said her dog was kind of a snapper, so we did not let Tabby get too close, although both hounds seemed interested in each other. We walked north on Main Street as far as the 1834 Jail (one of my favorite spots), then crossed the street and walked south. Once again, people reminisced about what used to be where. Two gentlemen sitting on the stoop of an apartment building said hello. They knew one of the walkers, who stopped and chatted for a minute. I heard them express encouragement and approval.

When we passed Smokers Friendly, Steven went in to purchase a lottery ticket. I’ll let you know if he wins big. As we came out the door, Tabby encountered the other dog. Rowf! I think the other pooch wanted to fight, but her owner restrained her. We walked a little faster.

At State Street, also known as Route 5, people paused so we could cross the street as a group. It was almost dark by now. I remarked that it might have been better to start earlier and cross the busy street in full daylight. However, there were streetlights and a walk signal, and everybody made it across safely. One lady showed me that she had on an identification bracelet she wore when she rode her bike, so if she got hit by a car anybody would know who she was. I said that was a good idea, but, really, God forbid.

We hadn’t gotten to South Main Street on the first walk, so we saw some different buildings. Steven and I rarely cross State when we walk, so that was of interest to us.

St. Anthony’s Church hosted the group for refreshments. We hesitated about bringing Tabby in, but the lady in charge said it would be fine as long as we kept track of her. We didn’t let her off the leash, and she was, as usual, well behaved. One nice lady got her a dish of water. Steven and I enjoyed a cup of coffee and some treats. Tabby was a little disappointed that we didn’t share, but we made sure she got some treats when we got back home.

We walked back up Main Street by ourselves and managed to cross State without mishap. I was really glad we had gone on the walk. I think it’s wonderful that such a simple idea can make a difference and that people are willing to try. What tangible differences has it made so far, you may ask. I say good question. I’ll be watching Main Street and will be sure to report back.

I believe the two walks taken so far have at least made a difference to those of us who walked. I felt encouraged to see that people cared, were willing to come out and were optimistic enough to believe we can change things.

To watch for when the next walk will be, you can Like Herkimer Now’s Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

Superhero Tabby

When we last left our heroine… usually that’s me, but this time it’s my schnoodle, Tabby (when we last left me, I had my wrist to my forehead, but let’s not dwell on that). I was saying, when we last left our heroine, Tabby, the superhero dog, she was on her way to the Superhero Sprint, accompanied by her arch-nemesis, the Evil Woman CinCin (do I need to tell you that’s me?).

For anyone just tuning in, The Superhero Sprint is an event sponsored by Herkimer Now, a committee whose aim is to revitalize Herkimer, NY, starting with Main Street.

I talked on Saturday about getting on my Evil Woman CinCin outfit (arrow back if you’re curious; I’m too lazy to do one of those ping back things). Registration for the Sprint was at ten by Basloe Library. We left our house between quarter and ten of. I always get nervous about being late for these things.

As I walked down the sidewalk, it occurred to me that I was a middle-aged lady wearing a homemade super-villain costume, walking with my little dog. It might be appropriate or at least understandable, I thought, to feel just a little self-conscious. Then I thought, if anybody gives me a funny look, I’ll just say, “What? You never saw a super villainess out for a stroll with her arch nemesis?” Alas, I did not get the opportunity to say that line, but I could not resist sharing the thought.

A nice little crowd had already gathered at the library, mostly families. Now I felt a little self-conscious, attending such an event on my own. I knew I should have borrowed a small child for the occasion. Well, Tabby would have to do. I chatted up a few people and enjoyed looking at all the costumes. Quite a few people petted Tabby, so she was a happy dog.

Eventually a DJ started playing some tunes. I would have liked to dance but felt it would be making myself undesirably conspicuous. An adult Joker was dancing with a very young SuperGirl, and two other super girls danced together. I don’t think Tabby wanted to dance; she was looking around for more people to pet her (she found some).

When it was time for the race to start, Concerned Citizens went and stood in the middle of the blocked off street. Some of them had signs that said things like “Biff!” and “Yikes!” The Villain, who was rocking an awesome fake mustache, ran the course first, a simple down and back on the one block. The heroes were to pursue him, stopping at tables along the way. From the American Legion they got a flag, from the police department a D.A.R.E. sticker, and from the fire department a water balloon with which to ultimately vanquish the Villain.

Tabby had pulled me across the street to sniff a promising tree near the fire department guys. I had seen the box of water balloons and gotten a little nervous. I was in a villain costume, after all.

When the runners took off, I asked Tabby if she wanted to run with them. She declined. We retreated to a safe distance from the water balloons and watched the fun. I don’t know who played the Villain, but he certainly had a good sense of humor.

After the Sprint, the kids got gift bags, and prizes were awarded for the best costumes and by drawings. Granola bars, apples and bottled water were available. Tabby and I had some water. I had foresightedly put a small bowl for Tabby in my fanny pack. She drank a little, mostly to be polite, I think. I offered some to the only other dog there, who seemed happy to take a drink too. We did not win a prize, appropriately enough because, costume notwithstanding, I was there as a spectator.

It looked as if everybody had a good time. I’m glad to see the Superhero Sprint become an annual event. Perhaps next year I will participate as a volunteer. Maybe they’ll let me hold the sign that says, “Yikes!”

I Get Super

Yesterday, I dithered between the Sitrin Stars Run/Walk, the Superhero Sprint, or neither one. The Sprint won. Despite the name, it does not qualify for a Running Commentary. However, a few words about my gyrations getting ready may prove amusing, at least to me (in some cases, it is permissible to please yourself, because then you know at least one person will be happy).

The Superhero Sprint, for anyone just tuning in, is an event sponsored by Herkimer Now, a committee whose aim is to revitalize Herkimer, NY, starting with Main Street. The Superhero Sprint is a fun, family friendly event. Tabby and I enjoyed it very much last year. I had hoped to participate this year.

Last year, I was a super villainess, The Evil Woman CinCin. I made my costume: I bought some fabric paints and painted a giant C and the words “Evil Woman CinCin” on a pink t-shirt. Last year’s Sprint was on a sunny day in August. The black capes I have in my Halloween collection (well, doesn’t everybody?) were clearly ineligible for someone with my heat and sun sensitivity, so I pinned to the t-shirt a rectangle of sheer, spangly blue and silver material I bought for another Halloween costume many years ago. A pair of Steven’s shorts completed the outfit.

This year, I realized I had no idea where the t-shirt and cape were. My vacuum cleaner was wearing them, but naturally we have had occasion to vacuum since August (even in a house with mostly hardwood floors). Steven didn’t know where it was either, although naturally I accused him of hiding it (he usually hides my things right where I left them) (sneaky!).

Today is a cloudy, gloomy day. I thought a black cape might be OK, and I further thought I would be able to find a black cape in the attic. If anybody asked, I could always say my real outfit was at the cleaners. Um, I doubted anybody would ask, but one likes to be prepared.

Found the black cape. Also found a small red cape I thought might work for Tabby. Last year I couldn’t find that but put a large, velvet Christmas bow on her. That worked; why shouldn’t a superhero dog wear a velvet bow instead of a cape? This year I couldn’t find the bow (anybody see a pattern here?) (if so, you do not need to point it out to me, thank you).

I still wasn’t sure about this, but I like to support Herkimer Now. Then I thought of one last place to look for the Cincin shirt. Eureka! Success! Now I was in business. Since it is cooler this year, I put on my long johns with pink and blue flowers. A pair of light blue shorts would look nice with them. Then I came across a white handkerchief with pink trim. Since I am as usual a little sniffly, I thought this was a good accessory. My only regret was that I don’t know where my pink Converse high-tops are (what a surprise).

The little red cape didn’t work on Tabby, so I fixed her up with a light blue bandana, unrolled and tied around her neck, it looked like a cape. After stocking my fanny pack with poop bags, I looked up to see Tabby biting and pulling at the bandana, now twisted around in front of her, trying her doggy damnedest to get it off. So much for my future as a doggy costume designer. I tied on a little neckerchief the groomer have her some time ago. She was OK with that.

I was a little regretful about the fanny pack, which the shirt was not designed to accommodate. However, I had poop bags and a little Rubbermade container I thought I could pour water into later, if Tabby was thirsty. I was pretty sure they would have water at the Sprint, and I do not want a dehydrated doggy.

So there we were, Tabby the super if capeless schnoodle (yes, I did see The Incredibles and know the practical objections to capes; that’s a whole other blog post), ready to head out the door to the Superhero Sprint. Tune in tomorrow, when Cindy says, “Come on, Tabby! Don’t you want to run with the other super heroes?”

I Dither

As I contemplate the upcoming weekend, I feel fairly certain of making the wrong decision.

Last year I participated in the Superhero Sprint sponsored by Herkimer Now. I was a supervillianess, The Evil Woman CinCin, arch nemesis of The Tabbiest, which is, of course, the super alter ego of my beloved schnoodle, Tabby. This year’s Sprint is this weekend.

Also happening this weekend is the Sitrin Stars and Stripes Run/Walk to raise money for Sitrin’s Military Rehabilitation Program. I had said I would walk with my friend Sherry from Curves. Sherry is a real Curves success story. She has lost a tremendous amount of weight and really turned her health around. Her doctor raves about all the improvements she has made.

One of the goals Sherry set for herself when she started at Curves was to walk a charity walk. One reason she picked this one is to walk for her Uncle Leo, a veteran. She has gotten a whole team together.

I had originally hoped to participate in both events, thinking the Superhero Sprint would be in the afternoon, as it was last year. But no, both events are in the morning.

And so I dither (I know, always go with your strengths). I lean toward the Sitrin Walk, in the first place because I told my friend long ago I would walk a charity walk with her.

Also, how can I put this, it is more the middle-aged lady thing to do. Of course, not everybody on Sherry’s team is a middle-aged lady. However, I believe the average age skews higher than the Superhero Sprint. The Superhero Sprint, to be honest, is really more for little kids and their families. Of course, Tabby substitutes as a kid for me, but you see what I mean.

Also on the negative side for The Sprint is that I have no idea where my Evil Woman CinCin outfit is. It is not something I had other occasions to wear.

On the positive side for The Sprint, it is local. Tabby and I can walk to the starting line. I’m not even sure where SUNYIT is (I think it’s at SUNYIT).

I was lamenting my dilemma at work, but the only advice my co-worker gave me was to do what I wanted to do. That was no help, because at this point, what I really want to do is stay home and work in my yard. And go running. Not to mention at least three rummage sales in the area. Oh dear.

I’m thinking whatever I decide to do, I’ll probably be able to get a blog post out of it.

For more information on the walk, here is Sherry’s website: www.crowdrise.com/sherry-2013sitrinsstarsandstri/fundraiser/sherrythompson. For more information on the Superhero Sprint, you can visit Herkimer Now’s Facebook page.

But About Me…

Thursday night I went to a meeting of Herkimer Now, a group whose goal is to revitalize the Village of Herkimer, NY. I intend to write a fuller post about Herkimer Now, but today I’m going to talk about me.

When I walked into the meeting at Basloe Library (one of my all time favorite places), the guys that were there introduced themselves, so I told them my name.

“With?” one of them inquired. Oh dear. Of course, these were all local business owners or community leaders of some sort.

“Um, nowhere in particular.” Then, feeling some explanation of my presence was called for: “I write a blog about the Mohawk Valley. I thought I might write a post about you guys.”

So naturally they wrote down the name of my blog. One fellow asked was “girl” spelled with a “u.” Apparently that’s how all the cool gurls do it.

“I’m not cool,” I admitted. Hmmm. Mohawk Valley Gurl. Never thought of that. But now that I think about it, sometimes you see it spelled “Grrrl,” especially when it’s plural. I feel so conventional. It’s embarrassing.

Now, I write this blog every day. I get some pretty positive feedback. I know some of my posts are pretty good (if I do say so). But I’m still not entirely comfortable presenting myself as Someone Who Writes a Blog. Or even as a Blogger, which sounds younger, hipper and, it must be said, a trifle less literary. I worry that people will Expect things from me.

“That’s a good thing,” I can just hear somebody arguing, with or without an admonitory finger shake. “You should expect things of yourself.”

For one thing, there’s that dirty word “should” again. For another thing, setting up Expectations (Great or otherwise) has a distinct chilling effect on creative endeavors. Sometimes you have to back into these things.

My other concern is, as blogs go, this one is kind of, well, rinky dink. I was all excited to be over 150 followers. I’ve seen other bloggers get twice that many “likes” on one post. I am not exactly big time.

Then again, 150 followers is nothing to sneeze at. And every “like” or positive comment is appreciated. The Herkimer Now people may find my blog perfectly enjoyable.

Later on at the meeting, a man was talking about the newsletter and how he wanted to add articles, especially about local businesses.

“If only there was someone,” he said, “Maybe someone who just happened to walk into a meeting. Someone who likes to write about local things. Maybe who has a blog.”

I’m probably misquoting, but it was along those lines. I felt extremely flattered. Of course I would be happy to write for them. With writing and with theatre, if somebody asks me, my answer tends to be yes. Unfortunately, I left the meeting without giving them my email. It was the day my computer died, so I did not feel it was the best way to get ahold of me. I’m still computerless. In fact, I’m typing this on a computer at Basloe Library (did I mention it’s one of my favorite places?).

So perhaps we have a new feature: It’s All About Me Saturday. I like it. But stay tuned, I’ll have more to say about Herkimer Now. Um, later.

What All the Cool Villainesses are Wearing

Yesterday (Saturday) was the Superhero Sprint, sponsored by Herkimer Now, a group looking to revitalize downtown Herkimer, NY. I am completely behind that mission, so if I can help by looking foolish and having a few laughs, I definitely will.

Two days before the event, Steven and I went up to our attic and looked through some of our Halloween stuff. I easily found my big black cape, although I was skeptical of how comfortable that would be in the bright sunlight. Also, it looked a little vampirish. Then I found a large rectangle of blue and silver shimmery stuff and a piece of filmy white fabric. I could not find the small red cape I thought Tabby could wear, but I found a Christmas bow I could attach to her harness. I figured she would wear that without too much complaint and it would at least be costume-like. The rules stated all participants must be in costume, but I was sure they would use a generous definition of the term. Besides, who would tell a cute little dog she couldn’t run?

Steven preferred the blue and silver material for my cape. He said I could use the white, “But, remember, that’s the bowling pin’s Halloween costume.” Well, what does your bowling pin wear for Halloween?

I took a large pink t-shirt and drew a big C on it with fabric pen. I took another color and wrote “Evil Woman” over it and “CinCin” under it. I found a pair of shorts to go with it. Maybe real super villianesses wear tights (I’ve seen pictures), but perhaps they have a higher tolerance for eighty degrees in the sun.

My hair was more problematic, because it is growing out and has reached that annoying in-between stage where you can’t really do anything with it (I’ve been wearing a do-rag to work). Finally I put a headband on, then fastened to that the large white flower I wore a few weeks ago to the H.A.L.O. Luau Party. Pink running socks and blue running shoes completed my ensemble.

I pondered my eyewear for a moment. Generally when I run I wear a pair of old plastic glasses I got for cheap specifically for the purpose of running. Still, I didn’t think I’d be running very fast for this event. For one thing, I didn’t think Tabby would want to. And that sun was bright. I put on my purple prescription sunglasses. I thought they went with the outfit. I slathered on lots of sunscreen and put a couple of Tabby poop bags in my pocket. I was ready to go.

And I think I’ll sign off here, because I see I am over 400 words. Not a huge amount, of course, but I think I’ll find a LOT to say about the actual event. Stay tuned.