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I Walk, I Blog, I Interview

Winter returned to the Mohawk Valley, as regular readers may have noticed. I did not go for a run this morning, because I heard streets would probably be slippery. Additionally, I had a job interview. I walked to the job interview and multi-tasked to the extent of taking a few pictures for a blog post.

Isn’t he cute?

Full disclosure:. I did not intend to take any pictures till the snowman caught my eye. How could I resist?  I had left my house with plenty of time, so I paused to take a long shot down German Street.

You can’t see the snow on the trees as well as I’d like.

I confess to enjoying the winter wonderland.  I further confess to the fact that I was walking because I did not want to brush off and scrape my car.  I guess I am up to admiring but not actually dealing with.  So sue me.

Ooh, this one came out better than I thought.

I was early enough that I decided to walk around the block.  I had run down this street recently, and I soon encountered a vine I had almost run into.  Naturally I took a picture,  as you see above.

Black-eyed Susans!

I thought I was done taking pictures, but these remains of Black-eyed Susans tempted me.  I’ll have to get a shot of my own flower patch.

I was still early for my interview, which seemed to go very well.  Of course that doesn’t mean I got the job, but at least it was a pleasant experience.  So I continue to count my blessings,  and I’ll keep you posted.

 

An Abominable Monday

I don’t want to make a blog post now!  It’s Dateline day on OWN!  Oh well, nobody is forcing me to be a daily blogger; it is my own dumb idea.  So I will try for a Monstrous Monday.

I would like to be this relaxed about now.

I was looking for a picture of the Abominable Snowman but could not find one, so I insert one of my slippers.  I have completely worn out those slippers.  Steven got me new ones for Christmas, but not monstrous ones, so a picture of them will have to wait.

Getting back to the post at hand, it has been kind of a monstrous day.  Yes, that is usual for a Monday, but I was treated to a different kind of monstrousness today (my computer seems to think that “monstrousness” is not a word, but it is exactly what I mean to say).   It was beyond cold, below zero plus wind chill.  My husband Steven nicely went out to brush off my car  while I was still getting ready for work.  I joined him already in progress and moved a couple shovels-full of snow from the end of the driveway.  My hands quickly got icy and I decided to take my chances.  About this time, Steven said he was going back in the house while his hands could still function to turn the doorknob.  The car was pretty much clear by then anyways.  It only needed a couple of swipes across the windshield with the scraper.

I felt triumph when my little car got out of the driveway without too much problem.  It is the smallest car I have driven in years.  But this is supposed to be a Monstrous Monday, not an account of my day.

I found him! I found him!

After taking a break to eat some supper, I took another look for pictures of Bumbles, and I found one!

I see I am over 300 words.  Regular readers know I consider that respectable.  When I make these nonsensical posts, I feel it is best to keep them short.  Well, maybe one more monster picture.  Happy Monday, everyone.

You just know I was going to pick Nosferatu, didn’t you?

 

 

Remembering Adventures Past

I want to do a Throwback Thursday today, only instead of revisiting theatre pictures, I thought I would look for pictures of Mohawk Valley adventures.  I’m afraid this blog has been short on Mohawk Valley adventures lately.  I hope to correct that soon, but in the meantime, let’s look back.

My theatre costumes should look this good!

Here is one of the first pictures I used in the blog, from October 2016.  It was a display of Hollywood costumes at Sangertown Mall.  It takes something that good to get me to the mall any more.

Steven at the jail. How appropriate.

This is the famous 1834 Jail at Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners.  It has been the site of many adventures, for me and others, but this shot is from a walk I took with my husband Steven in July of 2017.

Mmmmm… garlic…

Here is one of our all-time favorite events:  the Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival at Canal Place in Little Falls.

I hope this is not a preview of coming attractions.

Ah, here is a Mohawk Valley adventure I hope not to repeat, although the weather reports are threatening.  Of course this area can get a lot of snow.  Well, I’m tough.  I can shovel it, I can drive in it.  I can even write another blog post about it.

For today, this will have to do.  Happy Thursday, everyone.

 

Can You Dig It?

Well, it is Wuss-out Wednesday today.  I got the day off work due to Winter Storm Stella (I like “winter storm” better than “nor’easter”; it makes me feel like I’m under 70 and I still have all my teeth) (was that a dreadful thing to say?  There is nothing wrong with being over 70 and toothless; I may be there myself one day) (but this is not that day).

Where was I?  Ah yes, telling you a little about my day.  The best part was going back to bed after I got up and found out all shifts were cancelled at my place of employment.  The worst part was spending over two and a half hours shoveling the driveway. However, even that had its moments.

I wanted to take some “before” pictures for this blog.  When the extent of the task became apparent, I abandoned the Tablet and just started digging.  For another reason, I was afraid the sheer whiteness of the view would make it harder to see where the snow ended.  I could barely see where the snow ended, and I was right there.

Our neighbor, who owns half the two car garage and has driveway rights, had snow-blowed a path from his half of the garage (where he keeps his snowblower) to the sidewalk.  That definitely helped, because the rest of the driveway was quite impassible.  I think he also blew out the very end of our driveway, because although it was completely filled in by the plow, it did not look as deep as other areas.  We dug and dug. I tried to keep my spirits up.

“We are bad-hyphen-ass,” I assured Steven.  Many things become more bearable if you can feel that you are bad-ass when you do them.  I paused to admire the bare trees against the grey sky.  No, I did not make it back outside to take a picture of those.  Sorry.

I sang, “High Hopes,” you know, with the verse about that little old ant who thinks he can move a rubber tree plant.  I tried to put new words and make the song about us, but I could not think of a word for “old farts” and a word for “snowbank” that rhymed.

“How you doing, honey?  How you feeling?”  I kept asking Steven.  This was not just me being silly.  People have heart attacks while shoveling snow all the time, and my husband is not a young man.  He also does not lead the healthiest of lifestyles, but perhaps I can help him improve on that.

At one point, the neighbor kids were out playing.  The boy did a cannonball off his deck into the snow.

“I wanted to do that!” I said.  Unfortunately, I did no such thing.  As we shoveled, my feet and hands were becoming more and more cold.

Finally we decided that good enough was good enough.  Both vehicles are clear enough to move, with enough space to make it to the road.  It ain’t beautiful, but it’ll do.  I hit the showers.

And almost cried when the warm water hit my toes! My thighs, which were bright red, stung like hell as well.  What a dreadful feeling!  It is good we did not take any longer than we did with our shoveling.  I do not need to lose any toes to frostbite; I need them to count to twenty!

 

Picture Me Without a Blog Post

If I do the picture thing today, can I still have a Wordless Wednesday?  You know what, I can’t worry about Wednesday.  I can’t even see Wednesday from here. I’m going into my downloads and pick a few pictures to share.

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Oh, I hate it when pedestrians can’t stay out of the road!

Ah yes, that’s what I was going to write my blog post about:  the weather.   As I drove to work this morning through heavy snow over icy, snow-covered roads (it rained then snowed last night), I thought to myself, “This is what we might call winter.”  I’m sure other people have more colorful ways to describe it.

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Full disclosure: I have no idea where this photo came from or who took it.

As I drove to work, I admired the snow-covered trees.  Um, I did not spend so much time admiring them that I was a danger on the roads.  I would like to take a walk sometime when everything is snowy and take a few pictures myself.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll steal other people’s pictures.

 

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I don’t remember actually taking this picture, but, really, who else would have?

This last picture (I like to have three, it’s kind of a thing, isn’t it?) is my backyard.  Alas, no snow.  I meant to take some pictures of the dead plants in the snow but have not gotten around to it when we actually have snow (it’s been coming and going this winter).  I have kind of a fascination with dead plants. These used to be black-eyed susans.  I think they look cool.

So this is my Tired Tuesday post for the week.  In my defense, at least I kept from whining about the dreadful cold which is currently making me miserable (oops)  so soon after I whined about a migraine.  What a mess I am!  But never mind that.  Now I must get ready for tonight’s rehearsal for Steel Magnolias at Ilion Little Theatre.  Perhaps I can take pictures of the progress on the set, for tomorrow’s blog post.  Hope to see you then (figuratively speaking).

 

It Took a While to Get to the Wine

I posted a Facebook status that read, “That moment on a day off when you have not accomplished nearly what you expected to, yet you want to begin the wine drinking portion of the evening.  Then you realize you have not eaten nearly enough to begin drinking without dire consequences.”

This by way of introduction to this week’s Scattered Saturday post.

I had declared to all and sundry that today would be Cookie Day.  I sort of hoped that if I said it enough, it would be true.  I did make one batch of cookies.  Oh dear, should I have included a spoiler alert before that?  No matter.  I am sitting at my keyboard, typing off the top of my head, as I usually do these days.  Yes, I am drinking wine.  Well, I cooked dinner, and you know how I love to cook with wine (should have included another spoiler alert).

The first thing I had to do this morning was call my mother, to get the cookie recipe I could not find in the messy cabinet that holds all my recipes and cookbooks.  One of my projects for 2017 is to clean out and organize that cabinet.  Maybe I will cook some of the recipes.  I could start a whole new blog about that, stealing the idea from Julie and Julia, adding my own twist (that falls under the Fair Use Doctrine, doesn’t it?).

It was quite wintry this morning.   However, I still had to pick up a few things at the store for my baking plans.  More importantly, I had to go by the post office and mail my postcards.   The people who get my post cards like to get them.  I am supposed to be sending out Christmas cards right along here, but one card at a time.  I brushed off my SUV with a push broom, an excellent way to quickly clear a large vehicle.  As soon as I set out, I realized I had not been as effective as I had hoped.  My visibility was just good enough to get to Hannaford, where I purchased a few more things than were on my list.  In my defense, they were all on sale “This Week Only,” according to the signage, and they were all highly nutritious, delicious food.

Back home I decided to wash the dishes before baking.  Soon I was ready to start.  And quickly realized I did not have sufficient sugar for my first recipe.  Oh don’t shake your finger at me for being unorganized.  I knew I had sugar. Steven puts sugar in his coffee; we always have sugar on hand.  However, this recipe calls for a bowl of sugar (it’s an old Italian recipe; the size of the bowl determines how many cookies you get.  I wanted a lot of cookies).  Moreover, the sugar that was there had gotten some moisture in it and was lumpy.

Back I went to the store.  This time I went to Rite Aid.  I wanted to get some beer for my pains.   Domino sugar was on sale, buy one get one 50% off.  Score!  Now we have plenty of sugar.

The cookies took a long time.  Maybe I used too big of a bowl.  Steven came home for lunch while I was baking.  I asked  him to taste test a cookie from the first batch.  He liked it.  I finished the cookies after he went back to work.  Then I took a nap.  In my defense, I had a LOT of hot flashes last night, with the accompanying insomnia.

After getting up from my nap and having a cup of hot tea for its revivifying qualities, I took Spunky for a business meeting and washed the dishes I had gotten dirty baking the cookies.  I took some butter out of the refrigerator to soften for the second batch of cookies I intended to make.  It was sometime during these activities that I made that Facebook post.  I snacked on a couple of things, planning ahead.

Steven came home before I got to the cookies, so I put the butter back in the refrigerator.  He poured us some wine, and we discussed dinner.  I felt quite proud of us for fixing something at home instead of succumbing to the temptation of ordering delivery.  Perhaps I could do a cooking post on what I fixed.

In the meantime, I see I am over 700 words.  That is almost unprecedented for a Scattered Saturday!  I hope people have read me to the end.  Well, anybody who did not will miss my wish for a very happy Saturday.  Hope to see you all on Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

 

Large Weather We’re Having Lately

So winter came back to the Mohawk Valley and it came with a vengeance!  I have never been so glad that I work a mere eight minute drive from home.  Oh who am I kidding?   love working so close to home each and every day, I’ll never get over it.  Be that as it may, I am home.  If only my dear husband was also home, my life would be perfect.

In the meantime, I need to make a blog post.  I hate having a Non-Sequitur Thursday after I just had a Wuss-out Wednesday and there is every chance that tomorrow will indeed be Lame Post Friday.  But here you have it.  I am tired.

When I got home, I first took my dog, Spunky, for a short business meeting.  I can’t say it was a walk, because he does not go far in this weather.  In his defense, he is a very small dog with a very short haircut.  I put his coat on him, but a coat can only help so much.  After he had done his business and I got him back inside and dried off (as best as I could get him with a towel), I went back outside and shoveled the driveway.

I felt somewhat ineffective, with the snow still pouring down on me, trying to move what had fallen so far.  There was not a whole lot to move, but I thought if I took out what was there, it might at least help.  And it gave me some exercise.  Back and forth, up and down the driveway I walked, pushing show.  Every so often I stopped and tossed a shovelful to one side or the other.   I also cleared the sidewalk in front of the house, although not quite as widely as the village sidewalk plow had done it earlier.  I’ll just take another opportunity to deplore the pedestrians I often see walking down the road when there is a perfectly good sidewalk (please don’t justify yourself if this is you; you will not convince me).

So here is my blog post for the day.  If only I could think of a punchy headline, all might not be lost.  Then again, if the headline is as dull as the blog post, at least it is truth in advertising.  I will try to come up with something better tomorrow.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

Mid-Winter Wrist

Is it the Mid-Winter Blahs, the Mid-Winter Blues, or just a common or garden Wrist to Forehead Sunday? I’m hoping it’s the third one, because tomorrow it will not be Sunday any more, but winter will last at least a couple of months more.

In other words, anybody who was hoping for a post of any substance from me today is doomed to disappointment.

I was ambitious enough earlier to drive to Chadwicks for church with some members of my family, notably my most adorable year-old great nephew.  He was quite interested in pulling my necklace.  I had taken the precaution of putting on a long strand of fairly tough beads in case of just such an emergency.

It was a fine drive over Higby Road to Graffenburg (oh dear, I’m not sure if it’s Graffenburg or Graffenberg; another reason to make the wrist-to-forehead pose).  Bare roads, not too windy.  We went to Salvatore’s in Washington Mills for breakfast after church, so my drive home was all Higby.  Nice views.  One day perhaps I’ll have a camera and can share some of the sights I see.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that before church I did the dishes, often the extent of my Sunday ambition (if in fact my Sunday ambition extends that far; it doesn’t always).  I did not dry and put them away, of course.  Waste energy drying dishes?  That’s crazy talk!  Anyways, by that time I had to get ready for church.

And now I’m over 200 words.  Hmmm…. This seems to me more like a Scattered Sunday than Wrist to Forehead. No matter, in the blogiverse (you know, like universe.  I think I’ve gotten too big for the blogosphere), 200 words is 200 words.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Not Wuss — Winter!

Winter returned to the Mohawk Valley last night (Tuesday, Dec 28).  I could hear sleet hitting the windows when I woke up in the night.  When I got up I saw the back yard was covered with snow.  Well, we knew it was coming.

I had planned to go running today.  For one reason, I could make a Running Commentary blog post.  For another, I’m getting fatter.  And for just one more, I promised myself I would run up the hill to Herkimer College before the end of 2015.  Perhaps the rain would stop before I got out of work.

During lunch I left stepped outside of my place of employment briefly.  Cold rain was falling and a bitter wind blew.  Even more ominous for my running plans, the sidewalks were covered with ice and ice water.  Yikes!  I could probably talk myself into running in the cold, POSSIBLY the rain (although I don’t usually).  Icy sidewalks, however, are to be assiduously avoided.  I revised my plans:  I would run in place on the mini-tramp while looking at a movie.  I might still have a Boris Karloff flick on my DVR.

I was feeling dreadfully tired by the time I got home, but rather than have a Wuss-out Wednesday post, I was going to try.  Then I saw a neighbor shoveling the snow from his front walk.  The neighbors on the other side had already shoveled their walk, as had other houses.  I felt I should be a responsible homeowner.

Shoveling snow is exercise, I assured myself.  Were the shovels on the back deck?  Yes.  I went inside only long enough to put my bag down then went out and got started.

It wasn’t long before I realized that while yesterday I had worn my work shoes home, today I had sensibly changed into my sneakers.  I told myself not to worry about it.  Even if my feet got soaked, I wasn’t going to be out there long enough for it to matter.  I would be out there maybe a half hour.  Half an hour is a good amount of exercise in the middle of the week.

I started on the sidewalk.  It was crunchy, iced-over snow, but it wasn’t too deep and it wasn’t too heavy. I had my reward right away when a nice lady came along walking her dog.  I petted the dog and chatted with the lady.  She said she had seen me walking a little white dog.

“Did you lose her?”

“Yes, she had cancer.”

She offered her condolences and I petted the dog again before they moved on.  I do hope to get another dog one day, possibly in the spring.

As I continued to clear the sidewalk, a gentleman from the apartment building next door came out and started shoveling the end of their driveway.  We chatted a bit about winter, commuting, and store-brand cottage cheese.  This shoveling wasn’t a bad gig at all.

When I started on the end of the driveway, things got a little less fun.  Between the snowplow piling more snow up and our vehicles going in and out of the driveway, the snow and ice was more stubbornly in place.  I worked away with determination.  I was rewarded with further conversation when the neighbor who lives on the other side came out and started shoveling their driveway.

I ended up shoveling for an hour.  I did not get the whole driveway done, but I cleared enough that Steven should be able to pull in and park.  I wasn’t sure I could get a blog post out of it but decided to try.  You be the judge:  is this better, worse, or about the same as one of my Wuss-out Wednesday posts?

 

Surviving the Squall

I had an adventurous drive on Sunday which I thought might be good for a blog post all on its own. We’ll see.

My destination was Chadwicks, to meet my sister and members of her family for church. She had told me directions over the phone Saturday night, which I had written down in a sloppy fashion in a notebook I happened to have handy. I wrote them out again in a slightly more legible manner (I am known for my terrible handwriting).

The directions seemed pretty straightforward: Higby to Graffenburg to Oneida Street. I knew that Higby Road was anything but straightforward: hills, twists, turns. Steven and I once had a rather alarming experience getting lost in the fog on Higby Road. However, no fog threatened Sunday morning. Just a little snow. What could possibly happen?

I had meant to allow get lost time, as I usually do when going to a new place, but I forgot I had to gas up. I almost took a chance on the gas, because “you go by a gas station” was included in the directions, but I thought better of it. Well, I probably still had plenty of time. I usually over-estimate these things. Anyways, it’s OK if you’re a little late for church. You just sneak in quietly and sit in the back.

I had also forgotten just how steep parts of Higby Road are. Up, up, up I went. Like many vehicles, mine does not like to go uphill for sustained periods of time. However, we both persevered.

More worrisome was the snow. It had been coming down in a gentle, Christmas-cardlike fashion when Tabby and I had taken a walk in Herkimer earlier. Now it was finer, more determined, and blowing. A mean snow. It was not exactly a storm, I told myself. More like a squall, perhaps exacerbated by the wide open farmland I was driving through.

Parts of the road were covered with snow, so I drove with care. I could rock this. The twisty, turny nature of the road was a little troublesome, but that, too, I could rock. Still, it seemed to be taking a long time to get to Graffenburg Road. Ah, there was the golf course sign. Easy to find.

And then things began to suck. The road had lots of snow on it. The wind blew curtains of white across my windshield. I slowed to a crawl and put my vehicle in 4-wheel drive. Not full 4-wheel but the “Auto” setting, which is kind of in-between. I wondered if I shouldn’t have chosen full 4-wheel but contented myself with going extra slow. It would be perfectly fine if I was late for church.

I soon found myself laughing out loud. I may have mentioned my odd quirk of laughing at bad weather. It usually happens when I am right out in it, not so often in my car when I am concentrating on staying on the road. I actually was not sliding around much, and the humorous aspect of the situation began to tickle me. It’s March, for heavens’ sake! I started running again. What is with these blizzard conditions? I wondered how late I would be for church and pondered an alternative route home.

At last I reached the turn for Oneida Street. According to my directions I was three or four minutes from my destination. I looked at my clock. 10:26. This could work. Once I was in the village the weather seemed calmer. Perhaps all the houses tamed the wind somewhat.

I made it to church just on time. I found my sister and her family. I could see the day brightening as the sun came out. Perhaps my ride home would be fine. As it turned out, we drove into Washington Mills for breakfast and I went home a slightly different way: lots of Higby, no Graffenburg. I was happy to get home where I could nurse the headache I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Some readers may now be saying, “Ah yes, that headache. Could it be that the drive was NOT that sucky but the headache made it seem so?” I say keep your tabletop psychology for yourself. I braved the elements and lived to tell the tale.