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I Held My Shoulders Still While I Typed

People who complain about their aches and pains all the time are tiresome. Then again, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I just got back from a nice walk with my beloved husband and dog so had thought to offer a Pedestrian Post. We’ll see how it goes.

We got some blessed relief from the frigid temperatures today with highs reaching 30. I know that is still below freezing, but it didn’t feel freezing. As these temperatures had been predicted earlier in the week, I had been looking forward to a walk the past three days (since Wednesday, the last day a walk was miraculously possible). That was before the pain, the pain.

I am susceptible to muscle spasms, also known as a crick in the neck (no, really, that is what a physician’s assistant told me once). For the past couple of days I have had an alarming stiffness in my neck and shoulders. It hurts to move! It hurts to lie still! The only thing that doesn’t seem to hurt is complaining about it.

Nevertheless, dogs like to go for walks. I was determined that at some point Tabby would get one. The other thing I was determined on was that Steven would not have to shovel the driveway alone. It snowed like the proverbial sonofabitch yesterday. We got out prior to 7 a.m. and had at it. I particularly enjoyed looking down the road at the bare trees against the white-grey sky. I felt somewhat badass as well. Middle age ain’t for sissies, and neither is living through a central New York winter.

Steven worked from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. When he returned home he heated us up some coffee for us, and I whined and cried about my painful shoulders. He said it was warm enough to be getting a little messy outside. Perhaps a walk was not the best idea. I couldn’t wimp out, though. It is supposed to get frigid again starting tomorrow. We must carpe diem, as the coffee cup says (I actually don’t have a coffee cup that says that).

Steven nicely agreed to accompany us. Tabby was beyond excited as he changed clothes and we got ready. We only took a two block jaunt, but it was very enjoyable. The most interesting aspect of it was the irregular patterns of cleared sidewalks. Fortunately, we stayed on quiet streets so could go out into the road in relative safety.

When we returned home my only chore before the relaxing part of the day was to make my blog post. So this is it. I didn’t spend too much time complaining, did I?

Another Scattered Saturday

I said last week that I thought Saturday Misadventures ought to become a feature, but on reflection, I think Scattered Saturday would be better. Two Saturdays ago I had a Scattered Saturday and I thought it made a pretty good blog post (although perhaps I flatter myself). At that time I was preparing for the busy, stressful week of Production Week for the play I am in at Ilion Little Theatre. At this time I am preparing for that play’s penultimate performance (love that word, penultimate). Next Saturday I will probably remain scattered merely because it is in my nature to do so.

Yesterday I said I planned to have a Mohawk Valley adventure without having a Mohawk Valley adventure planned. I woke up with morning with a plan. Yay me. Naturally I had coffee with my husband before implementing the plan.

The weather cooperated by being not too frigid, since the first part of my plan involved walking to the post office with my nice dog, Tabby. I had written my usual postcards. I love to write postcards. A light snow was falling, but the breeze was not bad. My thermometer said 23 degrees, which sounded about right. I could rock 23 degrees, I told myself. I could even run in 23 degrees, if I so chose. I thought with a play this evening a walk would be better. Tabby liked it, too.

Next I went to Heidelberg Bakery for breakfast (full blog post to follow). Then I went consignment store shopping (again, full blog posts to be written). I hit Cornerstone Consignments in Ilion, NY, and Gypsy’s Closet and Valley Exchange in Herkimer. Then I was tired, so I went home. Must recruit my energies, after all.

I guess Scattered Saturdays are actually Previews of Coming Attractions. With the play closing tomorrow afternoon, I may actually have time to write them. As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

Monday Misadventure

Hands up, whoever thought that with the play in production I would immediately return to making “real” posts? Heads down in shame, all of you who are pointing and laughing because you knew darn well I would not. I don’t mean you should feel ashamed because I am about to do a brilliant post about a Mohawk Valley adventure. I just don’t like it when people point and laugh.

I had thought to do a Middle-aged Musings Monday today, but a considerate co-worker brought me a copy of the new issue of Mohawk Valley Living, and I spent my lunch hour reading that instead of writing a blog post. I will instead type in a few words about the bad weather adventure I had after work today. By adventure, I’m afraid I mean misadventure.

The Mohawk Valley is having a winter storm, as is much of the northeast. It is cold and has been snowing like a sonofabitch all day (I love to say things are doing something like a sonofabitch). I suppose this made a bit of a change from the straight cold weather we have been having, but perhaps I am being too glass-half-full.

My misadventure began, as many of my misadventures do, with me thinking I am being clever. I left work and drove to my husband’s place of employment, to switch vehicles. This meant my SUV would be last in the driveway tomorrow morning, when I leave for work prior to 5 a.m. It further meant that Steven would have the 4-wheel drive for coming home after 6 p.m. After all, it was continuing to snow.

I could get the little old Stratus into the driveway. Just swing wide and power it through, right? Turns out, not so much. In my defense, I have not driven a vehicle this size since 1989, when I had a 10-year-old Pinto I fondly called Feather Car. Of course I got hung up at the end of the driveway. I felt I had a small blessing in that the car was completely out of the road at least. I turned it off, got out and grabbed a shovel.

I shoveled, tried to move the car, repeat. Things were not going well. I thought a good push would help. But there was only one of me. Then I saw my across the street neighbor shoveling his own driveway. He is a strapping young man, and a very nice one. I went over and asked his help. I wanted to ask him to drive the car while I pushed, because it is my car after all, but that seemed a little silly given our relative sizes.

He told me to back the car all the way out, which I did without getting hung up in the snowbank. Phew! He shoveled out where the car had been and told me to try it again. I felt really bad about this, because dammit, I am supposed to shovel my own driveway. Before I pulled the car back in I brushed off the windows again. I perhaps should have done that before I pulled back out of the driveway, but one does not always behave in the ideal fashion.

After my neighbor’s efforts with the shovel, I got the car in the driveway. I thanked him profusely. What a great neighbor! He asked me was I all set. I assured him that I was. I shoveled a bit more, including a short area in the back for Tabby’s business meetings.

Other areas have gotten more snow than I did. Other people have bigger driveways to shovel. Other bad weather travails outweigh mine. Other people do not have nice neighbors to help them. Well, I never said I was Job. I’m just telling you a little story about my day. I hope you’ll tune in tomorrow, which will be Tuesday but I hope not Tired Tuesday.

The Play is Definitely the Thing

For the next two weeks I expect to be obsessed. This is perhaps not a good thing for the blog, especially since I had a number of Mohawk Valley adventures in the last few days, which I would very much like to write about. However, I just returned from rehearsal and the play is on my mind (I bet you thought I was going to say, “The play’s the thing.” Well, I don’t have to indulge in every cliche, do I?).

We ran the whole show. It is not the first time we ran it; that was last Sunday. Did it go well? I think it did. I called for line a few times. I messed up a few times. Maybe several. I wasn’t counting. The funny thing is I have to have a cockney accent for my character. When we stopped running the play I kept talking in the accent. The director told me I have to slow down on one dramatic line. I tried a few times then said, “I’ll practice it at ‘ome!” Maybe you had to be there.

One kind of discouraging thing is when the director tells you to do something you were trying to do already. Damn! It didn’t work! I have to try harder. One thing I strive to do, though, is listen to direction. I have worked with actors who want to argue with everything. “I just don’t see the character that way,” they say, among other things. There is nobody like that in this cast. Phew!

I guess posts about rehearsal are not that exciting. Well, I don’t want to give away too much about the play, in case local readers want to come see it (and I hope they do). Perhaps I can manage a post or two about my recent Mohawk Valley adventures. We’ll see what tomorrow will bring.

Still Blaming the Play?

I just glanced back at the last week or so of posts and I see that I have been wimping out since last Monday. Oh dear. Not a Mohawk Valley adventure in a week? Say it ain’t so! However, the reason I have been so remiss is that I have been preoccupied with the play I am in (which I believe I have mentioned at least once). Ilion Little Theatre is a major Mohawk Valley asset. I think I have also mentioned the Mohawk Valley weather. So I have not completely lost my local focus.

Just to give an update on my writing: I seem to be over my Writer’s Block and am in the middle of huge case of Writer’s Blank. Seriously, I can’t think of a damn thing to say.

That is what I wrote before rehearsal. For once when I had nothing to say, I actually, truly — dare I say literally? — had nothing to say. I don’t have a great deal more to say now, but apparently I am capable of typing out more words. Maybe not good words, but as I often say, one can’t have everything.

The weather continues icily cold in the Mohawk Valley. Bill Kardas said it was going to get up into the 20s today (that’s the weather guy on WKTV. I don’t really know him; I just wanted to sound like a name-dropper). It did not feel like 20s to me. In fact, the cold this morning gave me a migraine. I took a couple of pills for it. They were over the counter, but they still doped me up somewhat. I believe that was the cause of my earlier Writer’s Blank.

So I guess I can only offer apologies for Wuss-out Wednesday (that sounds more planned than Blogger’s Sick Day, doesn’t it?) and, as always, try again tomorrow. Thank you for playing.

An Antique Adventure

One of the best things about discovering a fun place is introducing a friend to it. Saturday I introduced my friend Phyllis to Mohawk Antiques Mall. It is located in an old factory building just before Main Street in Mohawk crosses Route 5S and becomes Mohawk Street in Herkimer.

Phyllis and I were having a whole day of Mohawk Valley adventures, and this was our first stop. Full disclosure: I stopped there mainly because I want to write an article about it to submit to Mohawk Valley Living, my favorite magazine. I have not written the article yet but thought maybe I could warm up to it with a blog post.

It is a bright, airy place. You walk into a large room with an open stairway in the middle. We walked around checking out the different areas. In a hallway to the right I noticed some photographs by Gabe Oram, a Mohawk Valley photographer. Beyond that hung some more vintage prints and paintings. Later I noticed artwork by Vicki Ferrus, a local artist, hanging in the entryway.

Upstairs we looked at old toys, old books, musical instruments and more. Both Phyllis and I looked for things we remembered from our grandmothers’ houses, always a favorite thing to do in an antique shop. I saw some games I remembered from my own childhood. Oh well, I suppose everybody gets old sooner or later.

Back downstairs I showed Phyllis the vintage postcards in an old card catalog. She found a Christmas present for… I’ll never tell! Near the checkout there were a few tables with chairs. One table had signs on it reading, “Come sit for a spell.” CNN was playing on a TV, and one of the tables had newspapers on it.

The mall currently houses 47 dealers. A list can be found on their website, www.mohawkantiquesmall.com. You can also find out about upcoming events. 4PetSake, a food pantry for pets, often holds fundraisers there. The mall also has a Facebook page which regularly posts pictures of interesting pieceE. The mall is located at 100 e. Main St., Mohawk, NY. Phone number is 315-219-5044. They are open Mon. and Wed. through Sat. 10 a.m.to 5 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Getting Lost on an Awesome Day

I’m afraid it’s Wrist to Forehead Sunday again. Am I coming down with Monday Through Friday Syndrome, where Sunday becomes a depressing day in which dread of Monday overshadows all else? Say it ain’t so!

Oh, it ain’t so. I don’t loathe and despise my job, although I confess to some angst that I was not born rich instead of good-looking. After all, if I was rich enough I could always pay for plastic surgery. Just kidding. I’m not so beautiful I would want to go under the knife if I was less so. Actually, I’m not beautiful at all and I get by on force of personality. But I digress.

In fact, my wrist is on my forehead because I am tired. My friend Phyllis and I had quite the day yesterday. I got material for several blog posts but I am too brain dead to write them today. So let’s call this a preview of coming attractions and I’ll give you a brief overview.

I picked Phyllis up in the pouring rain and we went to Mohawk Antiques Mall, which Phyllis had never been to. Then we drove to Little Falls, where we promptly got lost.

“That’s OK,” I said. “Driving around Little Falls is always good for a blog post. I think I’ll call it ‘I’m Only Here for the Blog Post.'” Then later, “It really is an adventure” and “I do love looking at all these old houses as we drive by.”

At last we arrived at our destination, the Co-op, to find it had closed for the day. A little more Little Falls driving brought us to That Little Place on Main Street, a very nice little diner. Outside the diner we discovered Fall Hill Bead and Gem.

Back in Herkimer we walked around Gems Along the Mohawk and greeted Santa Claus. From there we went to the grand opening of The Looking Glass, a make-up and photography studio. Then we went to my house for a glass of wine and relaxation. We wound up our day with dinner at Applebee’s with our husbands, Steven and Jim, and Phyllis and Jim’s daughter Kelly.

It was quite the awesome day. I intend to write more about it. After a good night’s sleep. Hope to see you Monday.

Early Morning Stroll

The return of Saturday Running Commentary seems ever more remote. Alas. Looking back, I see it has been just over a week since my last Pedestrian Post, so I will attempt to write a little about the jaunt I took this morning with my schnoodle Tabby.

Steven had to work at 6:30, so we were up at an unconscionably early hour (I like that work “unconscionably.” I even spelled it correctly on the first try). Still, early mornings are nice. I wrote a few postcards, one of my favorite Saturday morning activities. As Mohawk Valley Girl, I feel I ought to point out that they were not postcards of the Mohawk Valley. They were some my mother picked up for me on a recent road trip she and my father took. I can only find so many postcards around here.

Tabby and I set out shortly after Steven left. I was wearing a cape my sister gave me. I felt distinctive wearing a cape. It was cool enough to make the cape appropriate but not so cold I wished I was wearing a hat. That was good, because my hair was still a little wet from my shower. I did not want hat head for the rest of the day.

It was still dark out. I love to be out before sunup for a fun purpose. Between the Army and the National Guard, I have many times left the house at oh-dark-thirty to spend way too long a day doing dreadfully uncomfortable things (yes, it is OH-dark-thirty; I never once heard it called zero-dark-thirty, although I suppose that is technically the correct term). Of course I don’t regret my time in the service, but it did rather warp my view of early morning hours.

We heard a dog bark. I thought I could see the little dog that lives up the street from us. His owners don’t put him on a leash. Was he going down the sidewalk? I couldn’t see in the dark. Then I could see him go back up the driveway and I saw the back porch light go off, so that was OK.

I could see a few lights inside houses on. More than I usually see when I’m out running prior to 4 a.m. I thought about the middle of summer when the sun is in the sky by 6:30. I love seasons. They add such interest to my days. Fall is my favorite. You never know what you’re going to get. We had some 70 degree weather this week, but we may get snow flurries on Sunday. You can laugh or you can cry; I prefer to laugh.

As we went across Meyers Park, I heard the jingle of a dog collar. Was that Nicky? It was! Nicky is a cute little dog I often pet when I am out running. We went up to them and said hello. I petted Nicky and Nicky sniffed Tabby’s butt. We walked a block together while Nicky’s lady and I chatted. We parted company when Tabby and I had to cross the street to get to the post office.

After the post office, we did not walk as long as we usually do, because I felt a few raindrops. We made it home before it was full-out raining, but after we were home I could hear it pour down. It kept raining for some hours. I’m glad we walked while the walking was good.

Adventures in Mohawk

Last Saturday as we drove out of Herkimer, NY on the way to the Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival, I pointed out Mohawk Station Bar and Grill, and Mohawk Antiques Mall. When we left the festival one sister suggested we get some lunch at the Station then browse the Antiques Mall. I thought it was an excellent suggestion.

The Mohawk Station used to be an actual train station and still looks like one. We all admired the decor as the waitress led us to a table big enough to accommodate our party of nine. We enjoyed sandwiches, salads, soup and pasta, respectively. There was plenty to pick from. Perhaps I should bring Steven there for dinner one night soon.

After lunch we drove across the street rather than walk, because it’s kind of a busy street. Also, we didn’t know how long we’d be at the Antiques Mall and didn’t want to take up the restaurant’s parking.

It is easy to spend a lot of time at Mohawk Antiques Mall. Three rooms downstairs and a long room upstairs house many dealers and a wide variety of goods. I’ve been there several times, but there is always something different to see (it seems silly to say “something new” about an antiques mall).

My favorite thing this time was an old library card catalog filled with post cards. It was wonderful! The card catalog by itself was a nostalgic item for me as I remembered the days when I could research a topic with some success (the Internet still mystifies me). Somebody went to the trouble of alphabetizing the post cards which filled the drawers.

The others in my group enjoyed the antiques mall as much as I did, so I was happy I had mentioned it. I told them about some of the special events held there as fundraisers for 4PetsSake, the food pantry for pets. We’ll probably return for some of those. Maybe I can write blog posts about them.

The Mohawk Station Bar and Grill is located at 95 E. Main St., Mohawk, NY. For more information call 315-219-5223 or visit their website at www.TheMohawkStation.com. The Mohawk Antiques Mall is at 100 E. Main St., phone numbers 315-219-5044 or 315-866-1209. Their website is www.mohawkantiquesmall.com. Both businesses are also on Facebook.

Gearing up for Garlic

For the benefit of local readers (if any), I thought I’d do a quick Preview of Coming Attraction (singular; it’s going to be a short post). The Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival will take place in Little Falls, NY, this Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I plan to be there.

Garlic is one of my favorite flavors (right up there with chocolate and a little ahead of deep-fried). I like herbs, too, but that’s kind of a wider category. The festival features plenty of both as well as other vendors, food, music and more. The event happens at Canal Place, in front of Stone Mill and the Little Falls Antique Center. Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts is nearby.

I’ve attended the festival several times. One sister tries to travel from Liverpool, NY every year for it, and family and friends from closer by often join me, too. Family, friends, garlic, what’s not to like?

I’m have often been amazed at the number of garlic farmers the area is blessed with, and I am kind of fascinated by the variety of kinds of garlic available. I always learn something new, try something new, and thoroughly enjoy myself.

For more information on the festival, you can visit their Facebook page: Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival.