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My Wild Weekend

This past weekend, my husband Steven and I were in Vermont.  I did not say anything about it at the time, because I didn’t want any local readers seizing the opportunity to burglarize my house.  Then again, I’m sure all my lovely readers are honest, upright citizens, who probably have much nicer stuff than I do anyways.  Be that as it may, I thought for today’s post, I would share a few pictures I took of my sister-in-law’s back yard.  She lives at the bottom of a mountain.  It’s really cool.

No, these are NOT my in-laws! What a suggestion!

The wild turkeys came and visited every morning and evening while we were there.  Naturally I grabbed my Tablet and took a few pictures.

You’d think they would have smiled for the camera. Turkeys!

I confess I felt like a lousy nature-lover when the sight of the birds made me crave roast turkey with all the fixings.

Of course I did not try to catch and cook any of these turkeys.

You can’t really see the colors of the feathers in these pictures, but when the sun hit them they became almost iridescent. I was kind of hoping one of them might lose a feather or two that I could find.  Maybe if I would have taken a walk in the woods I could have found one.

On the other hand, there are black bears in those woods. We saw one black bear.  Alas, I did not get a picture, because it was at night.  Additionally, we could only see him through the kitchen window.  When we went out on the deck for a better look, he ran away.  I said he was a scaredy-bear.

So that is my story about my Wildlife Weekend.  I know, it wasn’t like an African Safari or even a camping trip.  But for a Melancholy Monday (my new feature), I think it will do as a blog post.

 

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.

 

Covered Bridges on Wuss-out Wednesday

So here I sit on Wuss-out Wednesday, and not a word comes to mind to type.  Now I am sternly resisting the urge to backspace over what I just typed in.  I know it is not very good, but if I start that type-it-in-backspace-it-out I’ll never finish this post.  As I like to do in these situations, I looked for some photos to use.

 

Ah, summer is coming!

This is an old Vermont post card.  It is of special interest to me, because my husband Steven and two of his nephews are in it.  They were swimming beneath the covered bridge as they often did when the photographer came along.

A little blurry, but pretty cool!

Here is a closer view.  My silly computer won’t make this one any bigger.  I daresay you couldn’t see the participants much better anyways.  I wish I could find another shot to include!

Found one!

I don’t know any of these people.

I actually found a different one on Facebook and downloaded it.  Then when I went to upload it into this post, I saw this one in our downloads.  Steven must have downloaded it.  I don’t know from where or when.  It fits in better with the previous two than the other.  Then again, why not buck my usual trend and include four photographs?

Different bridge, different season, but isn’t it pretty?

I’ve driven by this bridge many times on trips to Vermont.   It is in West Arlington.  I can give a credit for this one:  John H. Knox of Vermont Four Seasons Photography.  I do like to give credit where credit is due.

So this is my silly post for today.  Heavy on pictures, light on words.  Happy Wednesday, everyone.

 

Runnin’ and Grinnin’

If anybody was wondering whether or not I have been running during my fabulous five-day weekend, I have. I did not run on Thursday, because we were not yet packed and anxious to get on the road, but Friday I was up and at ’em, as the saying goes.

Well, I wasn’t up very early.  We slept in till after 7 a.m., an almost unheard of occurrence for us.  Although I felt I had over-packed for the weekend, it soon became clear I had not packed enough, because I only had shorts and short sleeves for running in.  No matter, I was determined to run.

I ran a route I have run before when visiting Arlington, VT.  It took me out Ice Pond Road till it ends on Warm Brook Road.  The former was more appropriate.  Ooh, did a hot shower ever feel good afterwards!

We slept in even a little later today (Saturday)  (goodness, is it Saturday?  I get in such a time warp when I’m not at work!) (for anyone who thinks I’m rubbing it in that I’m not at work, don’t hate).  It was slightly warmer out but still under the 45 degrees which is my usual cut off for shorts.  Still, closer to 45 than yesterday.  I set off.

I ran in the same direction as yesterday but did not turn where I had turned.  I turned later on, up Buck Hill Road.  I thought it might be a dead end or it might loop around and come out on the road I was on.  In any case, it went uphill and I wanted to run more hills.  Up, up, up… this was as steep as some of my best hills back in Herkimer.  Was that the end?  Did it end in a person’s driveway?  No, it curved around.  And kept going up!  This was awesome!

The road got a little less road-y and more country-road-y, if you see what I mean.  How long did it go on?  It could go for MILES!  And end up in the middle of  NOWHERE!  The longest I wanted to run was 36 minutes, which increased my time by the recommended 10 percent from what I ran last week (and what I had run on Friday).  I decided I would look at my watch and turn around when it was 18 minutes.

After a while, I could see road to my left through the trees.  That was no doubt the road I would have been on had I not turned onto Buck Hill.  I felt more confident in my original plan to follow the road to  the end.

It came out on the road I had been on but further down than I had hoped. No matter, I told myself.  This was a good run.  It would make a good blog post.  Then I realized I could not remember the name of the road I had turned on.  That would make a GREAT thing to write about!  At last I passed it:  Buck Hill Road.  I could remember that, I thought.  Just think of Buck Owens.  Pickin’ and grinnin’.  Anybody who didn’t get that reference, sorry you’re young and missed Hee Haw.

I ended up running for 37  minutes, picking up the pace at the end in hopes of making it 36.  I even sprinted at the very end, which made for some not very pleasant breathing.  I felt great about having two good runs in two days.  I can only wonder what tomorrow will bring.

 

A Little Fuss, A Little Muss, A Lame Blog Post

Who knew you could sit in a library parking lot and get on their Wi-Fi with no fuss no muss?  I know, everybody but me.  In fact, I think I knew it too, because I often see people sitting outside of Basloe Library in Herkimer, NY on various devices.  So here I am, after some amount of fuss and muss, sitting in the parking lot of Cambridge Public Library, on my laptop, making today’s blog post.  Come to think of it, do I ever do anything without a certain amount of fuss and muss?  As they say, I gotta be me.

It seems I did not get any Likes on my Fake Friday Lame Post, so  I shall feel free to have a Friday Lame Post again today, on, you know, actual Friday.  In an age-old tradition of lame fiction, this blog shall be the tale of how I came to write this blog post.

Steven and I are in Vermont, enjoying a lovely long weekend with family.  We are staying with his sisters, who are not online. However, a very nice niece lives close by, and she is (we’re Facebook friends).  With her permission, we went to her house this morning, while she was at work, for blogging and email checking purposes.  I found where she had nicely left the password to her Wi-Fi.  I opened my laptop and clicked.

And soon realized I did not know what I am doing.  I had the password but I could not get the computer to ask for it.  More computer savvy readers (is anyone on the planet LESS computer savvy than I?) are probably shaking their heads and thinking, “What an idiot!  All she had to do was…”  I don’t think that is a very nice thing to say, however accurate it may be.

Moving on to Plan B, Steven and I made our way to the Arlington Public Library.  I knew libraries had Wi-Fi, and even if they don’t, they have computers you can happily get on.  That might be a better thing to do anyways, I thought.  It might have been, too, if the library had been open.  Rats!  You see, I did not know then what I know now, or I forgot that I knew then what I remember that I know now.

In any case, Steven and I drove on to Cambridge, NY to do some touristy-type shopping we had planned to do in any case.  As we made a purchase at Cambridge Food Co-op, I asked the lady if she knew of any place that offered free Wi-Fi.  She said the library but thought it did not open till six — even later than the Arlington library!  However, she said we could park in the parking lot and use their Wi-Fi.  She even told us the best place to park in order to do so.

And that is what we are doing.  And this is my Friday Lame Post about it.  At least I know where I can get Wi-Fi to post on Saturday.

 

Neither Loop Nor Lope

This is the second part of my Running in Vermont series (don’t worry; there are only two). I make bold to write about my other run because it features a covered bridge. One should always include a covered bridge or two on a trip to Vermont.

The covered bridge is at the opposite end of the street I ran out on Saturday. I had talked myself out of running on Sunday but talked myself back into it for reasons mentioned in yesterday’s post (soapy shower and not running later, if you want to know).

It was slightly warmer, and I started later, after drinking coffee and eating a doughnut (I sensibly waited an hour after the doughnut, like when you go swimming). I rather hoped the sugar and caffeine would help. As you may have predicted, not so much.

I made lumbering progress down the road, wondering why I couldn’t achieve the perceived lope of Saturday. Then I realized I was running uphill. Not a real hill, of course (even I would have noticed that), but one of those long upgrades that sometimes get you down. I felt better after I realized that. I didn’t have to blame the doughnut after all.

I remembered there is a small but definite hill right after the covered bridge. Well, it’s good to run hills. I could rock this.

It’s a one lane bridge. As I ran across I reflected that surely there would be space for me and a car if need be, even if I have put on a few pounds (I know, back on the South Beach for me). Then I realized a car was stopped on the other side waiting for me. How nice of that person. I gave him the thank you wave, and he waved back in a friendly fashion.

As I ran on I encountered a group of teenage boys walking in the opposite direction. We exchanged good mornings. I was looking at my watch by this time, knowing I would do a straight out and back. Luckily I was not too close to my turn around time. I did not want to come running up behind those boys. They might think I was stalking them, although I believe your typical stalker is more surreptitious than that.

Some distance ahead I saw a real hill going up and out of sight. If I had my run time built up, I thought with some wistfulness, I would be running up that hill. Something to aspire to for next year’s visit. I’ll probably write a blog post about it.

More Loop than Lope

As we drove to Vermont Friday afternoon, we saw some people running.

“I need to do that,” I said sadly, as many runners who are not currently running do.

“Maybe Vermont will inspire you,” Steven said.

I packed running clothes, based on the theory better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I figured I would talk myself our of it. Or it might rain.

Imagine my surprise when I got out of bed Saturday morning and put on running clothes. I think Steven was a little surprised too. There was no need to run too far, I told myself, especially since I had not run in… two weeks? Three weeks? I don’t even remember last weekend, and not for reasons which you may be forgiven for thinking. I figured fifteen minutes would be acceptable, twenty minutes respectable. Any more and I might be too tired to enjoy Vermont. Can’t have that.

Off I went.

And felt very cold. I had packed bicycle shorts and large t-shirt, which are usually good down to forty degrees. I don’t mind running in the cold, but I wished I had thought to bring a headband to cover my ears with. No matter. I said I wasn’t going to run very far, and I probably wouldn’t run fast enough to get much wind resistance. Just keep running.

The road my sister-in-law lives on is a quiet country road. Not completely quiet, though, which makes the complete lack of shoulder problematic. Most motorists slow down and move over, so that was nice. I made sure to give them the “thank you” wave when they did.

I ran to the end of the street, then around to another street to make kind of a loop, then back up the first street. I knew only a vague moment of hesitation before making the turn, thinking I PROBABLY remembered accurately where this one came out. It is always interesting running in an unfamiliar place. I usually don’t get too lost, but you never know, especially when roads loop as they tend to do.

As I ran, I reflected on the loopiness of roads. I don’t think I’ve ever gone running where the streets made perfect parallels and right angles. Army housing especially seems to be laid out based on a plate of spaghetti. Mmmm… I like spaghetti.

And so my thoughts ran, distracting me from my body, which might have started to complain at this point. Still, I seemed to be running along at a pretty good clip. I felt moderately pleased with myself.

As I started back down the first road, another runner passed me. He had on long spandex pants, a jacket, gloves and a hat.

“You’re better equipped than I am,” I told him.

“I’m actually working up a sweat,” he said. “I was thinking you were better dressed. Maybe something in between.”

I agreed, and he ran on. And then we came to the ugly truth about my pace, because he certainly left me in the dust. No matter. We all must run our own race. If my middle-aged shuffle feels like a loping gazelle in my head, who am I hurting?

One of the best parts of any run is the soapy shower afterward. Truth be known, that was my real inducement to run. It was my inducement the next day too. The other inducement was to run now and not have to run later. Or feel guilty about not running.