Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall is here!

I'm really not sure where the summer went. Lots of adventures and fun times. Kayaking, camping at Stillwater twice (once cold and wet, the second time hot and dry), Forestport, walking with Gracie and the big one - changing jobs.

I was incredibly blessed to be able to find a new job to further my career here in Utica. I don't have the drive to Oneida every day now and can get to work in about 5 minutes if all the lights are red. At my old position it was stagnate - there was no where for me to go, but now in my new position there is room to grow and learn and I'm treated with respect. God is so very good.

Went on a day trip to NYC yesterday with KS. Bus trip through her work. She suggested that I do the online lottery before we got on the bus to see if I could get tickets to Something Rotten on Broadway. She also filled out the lottery too. Well, I figured I'd get tickets, not understanding how it all works. And I did - at 10:48am I received a text that I had won two free tickets and to respond Yes to save them. I responded YES! and since we were only a few blocks away we walked over and got in line to pick up our tickets. There was a couple ahead of us that didn't know what they wanted to do yet, so they let us ahead of them (very sweet) and I gave the gentleman my ID and told him how excited we were. KS talked up the show big time (she's seen it 2 times prior to yesterday) to the couple and pretty much talked them into it. I watched the mans face at the ticket booth and he was smiling and kept clicking - then he says to me - we've got two tickets in the first row, you'll have to look up, is that ok? I just laughed and said absolutely! For $35.00 each, we got fantastic seats and honestly I felt like I was making contact with the actors on stage throughout the entire show! It never has a lull - it's funny, so very funny and just a joyful thing to watch. KS and I also had pizza at John's Pizza next door to the St. James theater, it used to be an old baptist church and it's beautiful inside. The pizza is really good - thin and crunchy! After the show we went to Chevy's Mexican and had chips and salsa as well as Margaritas! YUM!

It was a great day and the people that we met everywhere were fantastic! Friendly, helpful and beautiful. It was cool and misty rain was falling, but it didn't dampen the day at all.

I hope you all have wonderful days and God blesses you fully!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Catching up on a few items

The Tour de Cure was today, it was a fantastic day for a ride! I was actually a little chilly for the first few miles, but between the constant peddling and sun - that changed really quick.

The other riders in the 40 mile group were awesome. There was a group of about twenty that kept telling me to stick with them, but I just couldn't do the 16-18 mph that consistently. But I did have a better time than I think I ever have and feel pretty good other than a sore bum.

I used sunscreen - the spray kind. Where it did make it onto my skin it did great, but boy did I miss a few spots. I have stripes and spots.


The Utica Comets lost their bid to become the Calder Cup Champions, but Utica is so proud of them. Can't wait for next season to start, and it's not that far away!


I haven't done much more in my back yard. The plan is to take some pallets that I have and paint them white, use them as a decorative fence and hang fun things from them - or just put fun decorations on them. We'll see how this summer pans out. I've been really busy with a lot of different things - so it's been a little crazy.


That's if for now. I need to crash, so tired that I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Utica is rallying around the Comets! It's the Vancouver Canucks AHL team that came to Utica a few years ago.  This is an awesome article about the Comets written by Derek Jory who is a writer for the Canucks . It's pretty damned cool...

The Comet's Facebook page is awesome and I'll link it here too.

We need a miracle now - we're down 3 to 1 but with the heart that this community has and the strength and will of our team...I think we're going to do it.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tour de Cure 2015

I'm riding 40 miles on Sunday - really looking forward to it. I've been working on getting in shape and I think I'm doing pretty well with it.

The Tour de Cure is a ride to raise money for Diabetes. My Aunt Becky and my Grandma Gates both died from complications due to Diabetes. My Aunt Becky had type 1 and was diagnosed quite early and had a lot of issues with it over the years. She had a lot of problems and didn't really take care of herself, not realizing the ramifications of that. She died about 25 years ago and she was only 40. So very sad.

My Grandma was older and was my 'fairy godmother', it was wonderful when she came to visit. She would always make her jello with carrots and celery. LOL can't eat jello or necco wafers without thinking about here. Or the smell of the old time dry cleaners and the fluids they used to use (she worked in a laundromat that had drycleaning machines). The smell of wintergreen lifesavers.  I don't know exactly what happened but she was found a couple of days later, still alive but very weak. She died on June 8, 1981.

So....if you can donate - I would really appreciate it.

Tour de Cure 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Yard...part I

Christy and Terry came over yesterday to help me get my yard in shape. I've been feeling under the weather, and while I have managed to get a lot of raking done, there was a lot of other stuff that I haven't done and honestly I wouldn't have done, because I didn't know how. They came over with all their tools, beer and tequila. They know how to make gardening fun! The Wegelia in the front always needs pruning, but I've never done it like they did and frankly it's gorgeous and I had six bags of black mulch to really put a spin on it. They also clipped off a lot of the dead stuff and low hanging and oddly placed branches of the Purple Smoke Tree. I did work, I promise! I raked and carried mulch bags and filled up the bins of all the brush and stuff. We did work in the back as well, removing lots of old trees, bushes, weeds, moving the furniture out so it can be used and just plain enjoying ourselves.
The Wegelia after the pruning and mulching. The duck and umbrella were too cute not to put out there.
From the other side. Still have privacy while on the porch, but Wegelia will be so much happier and healthier.
These spinners are going crazy here. Christy took some of my purple irises. They needed to be thinned out!
The duck is too cute!
The purple smoke that has come out of nowhere. I think my mom had something to do with it.
This is the very happy Purple Smoke Tree after it's cleanup!
The purple smoke before we got it cleaned up.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Peaceful backyards

My friends, Christy and Terry, have a wonderful backyard with a pond with lots of Koi, lots of birds, trees, bees, butterflies. It's peaceful and the company is wonderful too!

The plants are in to help clean up the pond water.

The sun peeking through the trees - it was so warm and joyful.

Koi are very happy - they'll be even happier when the water clears - which will be shortly.

Beautiful flowers, just starting to bloom.

Tinkling windchimes and new plant growth - with a little peek of Budha in the upper right corner.

It felt good to sit and laugh and talk. Listening to the bees, the water, the birds. Nothing like it in the world. (well except maybe the ocean waves at dusk with the breeze).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A New Canal Adventure...

I brought Gracie to the Canal in Marcy this afternoon for a nice long walk. We met Ann and Bill, a very nice couple from Seattle. They are riding the Canal trail from Buffalo to Albany. They set up camp in Marcy and after my walk with Gracie we went to visit and talk about their experience so far and I told them about the trail coming up. They were fantastic people. They have my phone number, so if they need anything I'll be able to help them out.

It was beautiful - not hot, not cold, it was JUST right!

Gracie got a bath when we got home because the ticks were horrid.  But it's still worth the walk!

Gracie - loving the whole trail!

Looking East towards Marcy.

Looking West on the trail - towards Oriskany.

Temperature swings....

Last week and this past weekend were hot (80's and 90's) and dry until Saturday and Sunday - which was then hot and humid with some rain. Then....the temp started to drop. And I do mean drop. I don't think it got warmer than 55 yesterday with the morning low of 39 and today, well today we have a frost and freeze warning! But it will warm up to close to 70 tonight but tomorrow morning is another frosty morning.

So, which one do I prefer? the cool weather. Hands down. So does Gracie! We went for two walks last night and she is so much more comfortable. When it was super hot she would just pant like crazy. I bring water for her, but it's not enough.

This coming week has highs and lows too. I know this post is about weather, but it's important to understand that upstate NY has amazing weather swings and sometimes they are just hours apart.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 4, 2015


Everything is blooming like crazy - such a nice thing to see. I guess April Showers do truly bring May Flowers.

Mother's Day is coming up. I miss my mom fiercely but I am going to celebrate mom's day with RB and his mom. It will be a wonderful thing.

I love my new Charge Fitbit. So far it's working like a charm! Good to know that the One was great and the Charge is too.

I'm all over the place today, thinking about camping plans coming up in June. Travel to Sacramento coming soon and hopefully a trip to RB's camp soon - where we can relax and kayak and swim (if it's not freezing cold), bike, hike, sit by the fire and drink beer and wine. :)

It's been pointed out to me that I don't know how to chill out. LOL - I read the paragraph above and have to laugh because relax and the whole list of physical things don't necessarily mean the same thing. Very funny.

Ah well. Happy Monday - it wasn't a horrid Monday - I got some things done, found some issues, but all in all we'll make it through. That's the best you can do is to keep on moving.

Enjoy the beautiful, warm spring weather.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Oaks Creek

My plan for today was to go to Hartwick Seminary and plant pansies at my grandfathers grave, where I also have put ashes of my mom and my aunt. Usually I go the fast way these days - down Rt 5S to Mohawk and up Vickerman Hill and through Fly Creek to Cooperstown. I found myself going the way that Mom and I used to go, down route 8 to Stone Road, just outside of Clayville. And then back roads till I get to Rt 20 and head east towards Richfield Springs. We always went that way, but I found that I couldn't remember conversations or get into memories - I just saw the differences in properties, houses, new businesses. Memories stay still, life does not.
So I decided to make a left turn down a road that I'm unsure of the name but it's just past where route 80 hits route 28 before Fly Creek. My great uncle 'Tadpole' used to live down this road. And much to my surprise there is now a conservation area with hiking just as you make the 90 degree right turn through a property that was dissected by this road. There were also some very new, very large houses on this road. I then made it to the barn that my mom's family lived by. I used to think that my Great grandfather built it but I don't believe that is the case, nevertheless I always take some pictures of it.
The barn, I have so many pictures of it, in all seasons, conditions...

This is the view I tend to take of it most often,

I then left from Cat Town Road and made my way to Bed Bug Hill Road - the changes along that small stretch are huge. A large farm has moved in and they have beef cattle, sheep and who knows what else. It's good to see the land being used and taken care of but jarring all the same. I made my left on Bed Bug Hill road and drove slow and steady - it's a gravel and dirt road and even though they take good care of it, it's been very dry so I was causing a lot of dust. There is land for sale along there - I've never seen that before. And the B&B Ranch seems to be doing pretty well - it's at the end of the Bed Bug Hill that is taken care of even in the winter and the beginning of the seasonal road. The seasonal road wasn't in the best of shape, but considering our winter it was pretty darned good. Lots of new fencing and animals. No new buildings, but the land is being used.
I made it to the end of the road and hung a right and went to Fly Creek Cider Mill - that's never a bad thing. You can have a meal just by tasting all the samples. :)
Finally I realized that I had been stalling a little and I got back in my car and headed to the cemetery. I got there, pulled my gardening stuff, the pansies, the extra dirt and water from the back of my car and proceeded to clear the dead plants from last year, the leaves and get the ground ready for the new flowers. I also brought with me a microfiber cloth that allowed me to clean the headstone. It looks better than it did...
He and I share our birthday - he died before I was born. His nickname was Boone.

We usually stopped at Council Rock too. I used the panoramic function of my camera to get this picture.

It was a good day. My memories were hard to find but it's because of all the newness that seemed to be crowding them out. But I know my mom is always in my heart and I can find my memories when I least expect them.