Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It's been a hectic few weeks - as I am sure all of you have been dealing with as well. Since my Mom can't drive anymore and for the most part is house bound, I've been doing all of the shopping and running. It's not a bad thing, I've learned to really make the most of my time. But it's really hard on my Mom, she's been so independent and so gung-ho her whole life and now to depend on me (and others) , it's very hard for her, but we are making it work.

This Christmas was very nice - we went to my brothers house this morning and watched my niece and nephews open their presents so fast that they couldn't believe that that was "ALL" they got. LOL - I remember those days. But I think that they all enjoyed their presents and their day. Then later in the day my brother, wife and kids came over here to open their presents from Mom and I - I think that they liked them alot. I made clocks for the kids - all of them...

Football clock for Chad - the blue and red are for the NY Giants.

Tinkerbell Clock for Kaylie - I used a scrap book kit to make it.

Baseball for Kody - I actually had to make the baseballs for the numbers.

I made two other clocks as well - one was also football - but with a leather pattern paper and cool stickers. The other was WWE Wrestling for Zach - that one made me sweat. I bought a WWE Magazine and cut stuff out of it and created the clock face out of it. Not easy - but I think that he liked it. I have to get pictures of those two!

This Christmas has been a blessed one in so many ways. I've realized how truly blessed I am to know the people that I do and to have had them come into my life. Utica is way more than just a place to live to me. It's my HOME! Because I lived in so many different places I never would feel comfortable saying what my home town was - well I have the answer now - it's Utica. And unlike that man from Queens who won't accept the opening Senate seat being vacated by Hilary(ous) Clinton because he doesn't "Do Utica" - I do Utica - I live here, I appreciate it here, I love the people here and I'm staying here.

Merry Christmas all and I hope that you also had a blessed, safe and wonderful Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Funeral Home Humor

Well - I don't know if anyone else has noticed this. But on Delaware Ave in Buffalo, there is a Funeral Home by the name of Amigone. Do you get it? It took me a little while - made me crack up when I finally got it. AmIGone - too funny!
Anyway - looking at their website I saw that they do take their business very seriously! But it is nice to be able to find the humor in anything that I can!

Mom's HOME!

Mom - Thank You God! Is finally home from Buffalo. She has been at Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital since Tuesday the 4th! But the seizures are now under control - with medicine. The neurologists there are actually saying that these are not seizures but can't tell us what they are and the seizure medicine helps tremendously - they added to the one she does take (Lamictal) and added Topamax - the first week she still had the seizure episodes but they were a lot less traumatic - only lasted at the most half an hour and she could just take tylenol and go to sleep. Since they increased the Topamax to 50mg a day - the seizures decreased to about 10 minutes in length and she sleeps when it's over - no harm, no foul. But, again Thank You God!, she hasn't had any seizures in two days!

She called me from the hospital yesterday, Friday, and said that she was 98% sure that they were going to discharge her. It was about 3:30 - I was able to get on the road by 4 - had to change my clothes, get coffee and get money. I got there at 7:30 - it would have been faster - but the weather and roads were not cooperating. Imagine that! Upstate Ny - having snow???? Actually it's beautiful out, though a tad cold. But, I digress, when I got to mom's room - she still hadn't heard from anyone about leaving. I went to the nurses station and Virginia was very helpful and went through mom's information but it didn't say anything about discharge - so I went back to Mom's room and decided that I would call the Holiday Inn and get a room. I did that - and not more than 10 minutes later the Hospitalist came in and said "Do you want to go home???" LOL - we both jumped at that. He made sure that she got her meds and the nurse gave us more meds for mom in the morning - so I wouldn't have to try and get the extra Lamictal and Topamax. So I cancelled my room and we drove home. I'm insane! We didn't get out of there until 10 pm. And because of the lack of medicines for the morning - I decided to drive home. And once again, God was watching over us big time. I was exhausted but we did get home at 1:30am.

I pray that this will continue to go well.

Friday, December 12, 2008

View from my office

The snow is so deep on the bushes that it almost looks like the snow
is deeper than my window! I love it when it's like this!

Six inches of snow overnight!

This is the heaviest snow I've ever tried to move. My snow blower
isn't powerful enough to move it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The start of Christmas cookie making

These are the Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies. The Pecan Sandies (aka Nut
Balls) are in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


When I drove into Buffalo yesterday morning at 10:30, I was once again mesmerized by the downtown area and the beautiful old houses. My mom is at Millard Filmore Gates Hospital and I have a set route that I take because it's easy and I can get there from memory now. I take Route 33 west form the thruway - to Goodell Ave to Delaware Ave and head north. I've stayed at the Holiday Inn a number of times and feel comfortable there. As I was driving down Delaware Ave to the hospital I fantasized about living in the city of Buffalo. It's big enough to have that city feel, plus it's close to Toronto and close to Niagara Falls. There are so many beautiful buildings, Mansions actually, that have been transformed into offices downstairs - and I kept thinking that if I could live upstairs it would be really cool to live there. Well this morning changed my mind in a hurry. It was COLD!!!!!!!!! LOL - I know I live in Upstate NY - I should expect that. But it was really flippin cold!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually what I learned is that the wind blows off the lakes and it just takes the breath out of you. I walked out of the hospital this afternoon to leave and a gust of wind hit me and I couldn't breath. What a feeling! Plus it snowed last night - so the wind blowing the snow all over blinded me as I walked to the parking garage.

But, that all being said, Buffalo is a beautiful city. They are going through rough economic times - worst than us in Utica at this point. The price of gas is almost .50 cents more per gallon and the prices at the Walgreens next door to the hotel were exorbitant! I keep track of prices and some of the items were $2 to $3 dollars more than at home. Another good thing about Buffalo are the hospitals... Millard Filmore Gates is a huge Neurological specialty hospital. And a funny thing happened last brother called and said that a person we both know was going to be sent to MFG with 2 brain aneurysms. He asked me to call her husband and help him out with directions. I've known this couple forever it seems like. And they have the same last name as my mom, the hospital was a tad confused about two women with the same last name from Utica. But it all worked out well - the lady had her aneurysms repaired last night - one had bled a little, but she can see and she seems to have no mental deficits from the trauma of it all. The aneurysms were behind her eye and one was on her ocular nerve. Praise the Lord that she made it to the hospital and by 3am they had it all fixed! I spoke to her this afternoon and she was doing well. I helped her hubby get to the hospital this morning at 7 this morning because he got lost - thank goodness for my laptop, google maps and the love of reading maps. I'm familiar with my small route, but somehow helped him to get to the hospital.
Enough of my rambling...Buffalo is a beautiful old city and I hope that I can go there in the summer and spend more time seeing it's treasures. But Utica is my home and where my heart is...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have many things to be thankful for and sometimes in the day to day scariness of my mom's illness I forget, so I'm going to try and remember all of the things that I am thankful for.

I'm thankful for...
my mom
my brothers (Dan and Doug) and their wives (Melissa and Melissa) and my nephews and niece (Noah, Chad, Zach, Dakota, and Kaylie)
my job and my boss and co-workers (they deal with a lot of my drama when I have to leave work to meet the ambulance)
my church and family there. Pastor Andy, Bonnie and so many others are always praying for my mom.
my friends, Mel, Kelly, Brenda, Shelly, Tina, and so many others - I love you all!
God - for answering prayers
for living in America
for my health
for the wonderful people I've met through work, through mom's illness...
for my Toastmasters family
I'm thankful that I've been able to get an education, that I do have a good job and I can help people through it. I pray that everyone can find something to be thankful for...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sorry about lack of posts!

I do love living here - there are so many good things about Utica. But I have to post a GRIPE! We have two hospitals here - St. Elizabeth's Hospital and St. Lukes Hospital. My mom has been to both - St. E's 98% and St. Luke's 2% of the time. My grandfather always went to St. Luke's and he passed away at St. Luke's Home, so St. Luke's is just difficult to be in at times.

St. E's - well she's been there 3 times this week alone to the ER. Tiny bit of background - she has brain damage from radiation treatment of throat cancer. Apparently it hit the back of her brain and has effected her in such a way that she has partial simple seizures, uncontrollable blood pressure and brutal screaming headaches. We can handle the 'calmer' ones - but three times this week her BP has hit 240/120+. She had an appointment set for Thursday with a new Neurologist in the area - she had an appointment with him previously but I had to change it because she was in the hospital at the time. Well - the Doctor at the ER on Tuesday was really glad that she was going to see this guy- and don't you know - we got home from the ER and this neuro's nurse called to change it to December 19th. God help me, I wanted to go there and scream at him. We've been trying to get in there forever! We've called him, my mom's primary care has called him and yet we can't get in any sooner. My mom has been in the ER probably 30 times in the last few months. Finding a good Neurologist in this area is impossible.

Here is the optimistic side of me. The neurosurgeon that put the coils in mom's brain to stop an aneurysm and he placed 5 stents in her carotids and left subclavian artery (all of which were caused to be much smaller due to the radiation). Anyway he is in Buffalo - his name is Dr. Adnan Siddiqui - He ROCKS! well we have an appointment with him on December 2! I just pray that he will have something in his bag of tricks to help mom. These seizures, headaches and blood pressure fluctuations are killing her.

So - my lack of posting is mainly because I am finding it hard to get the words out. One of the blogs that I follow is and Elden is going through even more than I am with his wife Susan (WIN!). There is just so much stuff going on I can't seem to write any "warm fuzzies".

I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and please - if you have anyone in the hospital that you love and care for - be proactive in their care. Make sure their medicine is given at the right time and in the right way. Make sure that they are getting assistance when they need it.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Snow part 2

This is to the north west of Utica.

Snow is coming!

This is the view to the west. The snow clouds are banking up!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You Veterans!

I want to use this space to say Thank You! From the bottom of my heart for all of the sacrifices that you have made and all that our men and women are still making for this wonderful country of America! I pray that all veterans and soldiers are treated with respect and graciousness and are never overlooked.

My mom's side of the family has an interesting story about service in the Armed Services. My grandfather, and 7 of his brothers all served during WWII. I have a picture that was made of them that I will try and find and post. It's a great statement about patriotism and belief in what made America.

Without our Veterans and Soldiers we would not be able to say and do all the things that we do! Those of you who oppose war very vocally have our Soldiers to thank for the right and freedom to say what you will.

Thank you ALL! for protecting, serving and loving America!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Great Visit with Mel and Vera!

Otsego Lake, Cooperstown, NY

Mel and I did a lot in the 2 days that she was here. It wasn't fair that it was so short - and it didn't help that I am sick and coughing. But - we did get to hit places in Utica, south of here and Old Forge. I wrote of Fly Creek previously - I apologize - I have a feeling my writing was a distracted as my coughing is making me crazy. Old Forge was nice - it was rainy but we got to go to the Old Forge Hardware Store and Melanie was able to do a little more Christmas shopping. It was rainy and we had lunch at Walt's Diner - a nice little 'greasy spoon' diner. If you like fresh french fries it's the place to go. The potatoes are peeled, cut and fried to order! Yum!

There were still a lot of snow piles up there from the snowfall before Halloween. Of course most of them were mucky dirty, but Mel got to see snow!

We did go to Michael T's for Riggies and Greens - like Mel wrote before. The greens were very good - love the hot peppers. I had wanted to go to Chesterfields, but honestly didn't have the energy!

Then Mel was up bright and early and on the road - but had a safe and event free trip to JFK. I just heard from her and she is safe back in California! So, that is a good thing!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My First Greens & Chicken Riggies

Michelle brought me to Michael T's tonight for my first chicken riggies!

We started off with the Trunfio Greens - which we shared. They're escarole, sausage, sweet & hot peppers, breadcrumbs & Parmesan all baked to a new level of yumminess! You don't find greens very often in Southern California, so I'm not even sure that I've had them before, and definitely not like this! I think it would be worth the flight back just to have those again :-)

I have to admit - they're a lot more appetizing than this picture indicates :-)

After that came the Chicken Riggies. I've had similar dishes to that in CA, but never heard them referred to as "Riggies". This was rigatoni with chunks of chicken & green bell pepper covered in a pink sauce. Quite good, but I have to admit, I preferred the greens. But then, I haven't had much in the way of vegetables this week, so I may have just been craving them :-)

I have to hop on a plane back to CA tomorrow, but I have to say I've enjoyed my introduction to Utica cuisine. I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing a performance at the Stanley Theater (which I got to see - and the inside is spectacular!) and trying all these other places that Michelle has been talking about.

Bye for now.....


Friday, November 7, 2008

Karam's Middle Eastern Bakery

So Mel has been dragged all over Utica, Cat Town, Fly Creek, Bed Bug Hill Road and Cooperstown! But boy did we have fun!

Karam's was wonderful! As usual! We had hummous, tabboule, kibbe, meatless grape leaves and to top it all off baklava! For those who don't know Karam's Middle Eastern Bakery is in Yorkville on Campbell Ave. I was first introduced to it about 22 years ago by a Polish lady that I worked with at Fraternal Composite. I couldn't believe how yummy it was and never forgot it. I've always like going back there and have introduced many people to it.

But I must admit that today was wonderful sharing with Melanie!

After we went to Karams and enjoyed the flavors and tastes - we headed to Cat Town where my great great grandfather had lived and built a home and barn. Then, of course, I had to take her on Bed Bug Hill Road.

After the ride on a muddy road...and getting pictures of Georgie and Vera in snow... We have a lot of pictures of them at Fly Creek and in Cooperstown. I'll be posting them soon!

Mel got a ton of her Christmas shopping done and it was just a wonderful day.

Dinner was Trios Pizza! Yum! (and in case you don't know where that is, it's on Main Street in New York Mills)

And now I am sitting here, trying to type, but getting sleepy. I'll look at this tomorrow and most likely retype all of it as I am just too tired to continue and have a lot to tell you and share about our day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Heidelberg Heaven

Guest Poster Melanie here....

I arrived here in Utica after a side trip to Lake George (Note to Google - your directions aren't very clear!)

After a nice long walk around the neighborhood, Michelle & I went over to "The Balkan" - a restaurant & bakery by the Heidelberg bread folks (which I've never heard of).

After a week of bad hotel and conference food, this was such a treat! We shared a Rueben sandwich, made with Pastrami instead of the Corned Beef. It was so flavorful! And just the perfect light snack after a good long walk.

But even better than that was the apple tart! There's a wonderful case of all sorts of baked goods there at the restaurant. They had carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin cookies, several types of strudels. We picked the apple tart to share. It was made with puff pastry, with just the right amount of apples and cream. Delightfully light and sweet, it brought me to my happy place. :-) I highly recommend it.

My first taste of Utica cuisine was a raging success!

Mel is here and will be Guest Posting!

Apple Tart - Oh Yum!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mel's almost HERE!

My friend from California - Melanie, is in CT for business and is trekking all the way up here to spend a few days with me! Woo Hoo! We are going to try all kinds of local foods - since my mention of tomato pie and chicken riggies and halfmoons - we have to! But I also want to fit in a taste of Karams - possibly Symeons. LOL - we don't have the stomach or the time to do this. Trios Pizza on Friday night though! YUM!

But my plan right now is to go to Fly Creek on Friday - I love the cider mill and all of the cool stuff that they sell there - but going on the weekends is insane! Plus I can take her on Bed Bug Hill Road. And then on Saturday we'll go to the Amish store on Route 5 in Kirkland and then up north to the Old Forge Hardware Store - Mel will love it. And I hope that we can take a few walks and see Utica up close and personal. No bike rides for me I'm afraid - I've been fighting a lung infection and coughing is just not giving up. So walking will have to suffice.

So - look for some posts from me and Mel - I'll let her post her thoughts about Utica here! It'll be good to have an outside opinion - especially from a born and bred Californian!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thanks for reading!

This is a message to a person who left a comment on my topic about Coffee Houses...

OB - Welcome Back! I lived in California and Washington State for 6 years - then New Jersey for 8 years and in between came back and at the end moved back for good. Domenico's and Tramontane are awesome and the people who own and run them are from the area and are good people. Tell Robin "Hi!" at Tramontane - and Orin or Molly "Hi!" at Domenico's. As to the writing or book club - I don't know any but that being said there is a website called Meetup - they have book clubs listed and you can specify where you live and they give you meetings in your area.

I hope that this helps and that you feel welcome back in Utica!

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's gorgeous out!

This is a picture of the back of our office building. I couldn't resist the shadows the tree made and then how the branches above were trying to reach down. It's quite warm in the sun and it's a real pleasure to stand outside right now. I've had a cold for the last few days and am happy not to be cold and miserable - the sun feels heavenly. There was still snow on the north side of my roof this morning - but I figure that the sun has taken care of that now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What the????????

LOL - Yesterday was WILD! It rained, the wind blew and then it started to SNOW! It's October. Now I have to admit that Utica really didn't get much, 0.3 inches according to WKTV. But just north of here got up to 14 inches of the heavy, wet, white stuff! I'm including a link to the Utica Observer-Dispatch because of the school closings (It's October 28th!!!!), accidents - there were dozens, power outages around 2000 homes. It's funny how we all have to learn how to drive in the slushy stuff!

Well, most likely this will be gone before Friday - so no White Halloween! (bummer!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Pictures

The purple flower above was the only color in the grass that was turning - it was just a perfect little flower...hiding.

This is the 'crick' as my mom calls it that runs under Stone House Road and behind my great grandparents house. The house and barn are not in the family any more - but they are both still standing.

This is the barn that my great-grandfather built. I didn't take pictures of the house because I didn't want to upset the new owners - it's pretty awesome.

My mom is not doing so well again - her blood pressure is all over the place. But about 2 weeks ago she was feeling pretty good and we went on a left turn right turn ride - knowing that we would eventually end up in the Cooperstown area. We did our trip on Bedbug Hill Road - which is a seasonal road and pretty fun! It was dusty this year - not so much rain - we've been on it when it's been a mud bogging road.

I hope to get blogging again more. My friend is coming in from California in a couple of weeks and we'll be eating all the foods that I mentioned in a previous post!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A funny thing happened...

On Saturday afternoon - around 5, I decided that I would rife my bike to Joann's to buy some fabric that I needed for some projects. I was up at the corner of my street and Sunset Ave when I saw something in the road. It looked kind of shiny - I though glass, but it didn't look right. When I rode over it I realized it was change. Nickels, Dimes and Pennies (Oh My!) and there was a lot of it. I pulled my bike over, parked it, and started picking up some of the change. There were quite a few cars so it was kind of funny to be darting out to get this change and darting back to the curb. I was just about ready to give up - I'd only picked up about 20 cents - when this gentleman walking by asked me if that was money. I laughed, I said "yeah, and I can only imagine what it's doing here". He started picking up change too, it was easier with two lunatics in the street - cars were now slowing down for us. Then the man said that he would have to include this in his column, that was when I realized it was Joe Kelly. He is well known around here - he had a column in the OD forever. I used to love reading it, now he has a tv show on one of the local stations. He also wondered out loud if there were any cameras.

So Joe Kelly kept his change - and I kept mine. I can only imagine the story behind it. A child threw it out the window to make mom or dad mad? Or a couple driving down the road was arguing and the change was the "so there" moment of the argument. I don't know - but it was funny. The picture above is what I picked up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Foliage

I had heard that the leaves are spectacular up in Old Forge. Well this
little tree is pretty colorful.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stanley Theatre Murder Mystery

Yo Ho Ho and a

Barrel of Fun

The 2008 Stanley Volunteer

Murder Mystery


          At Port Stanley on the Isle of Utica, right in the middle of the 18th century Caribbean sea, Calico Jack Crowe is being tried for piracy on the high seas. This sets the stage for the 2008 Annual Stanley Volunteer Murder Mystery at 6:30pm Friday and Saturday October 10 and 11, 2008.


            There are plot twists however—not only is Calico Jack being tried for treason, but there’s an irksome murder in the courtroom and the revelation of a missing chest full of treasure!


            The suspects of murder are plenty – is it Lord Marshall Law, who is trying to keep order in Port Stanley? Is it Squid Lips Sid, the twin brother of Calico Jack? How about several prominent citizens – Mona Lott, who runs the House of Joy, Clara Byter, Jack’s neglected wife, or Sir Reginald Houser, the Innkeeper?  And where did Calico Jack hide the treasure?


             Attendees at this trial in Port Stanley will have to help  solve the murder – and find the treasure!


            This is the first Stanley Volunteer Murder Mystery to take place in the “new” Stanley Center for the Arts. Some of the “stops”  take place on board the Screaming Eagle pirate ship, in a voodoo parlor, and on the dock.


            When patrons arrive at 6:30pm, they are brought to the Royal Payne, the only remaining inn at Port Stanley. There they will meet the many characters of Port Stanley and the visiting pirate crews as scrumptious hearty hors d’oeuvres are served before the trial. After the  murder, no one will be allowed to leave until the murderer is identified and apprehended, and who knows, maybe a rich treasure will be found!


            Every year, the volunteers “recruit” a local celebrity to participate and lead the proceedings. This year Peter Loftus will play the part of Calico Jack Crowe, the pirate on trial.

Yo Ho Ho and a

Barrel of  Fun

6:30pm Friday and Saturday October 10 and 11, 2008.


Tickets, priced at $30 each, include hearty hors d’oeuvres from Utica’s 257 Steakhouse, a complimentary drink, and then all the shenanigans.


Desserts and coffee finish the evening.


Come join the fun!


Patrons are encouraged to dress as their favorite pirate or wench on this high seas adventure.


Tickets are available at the Stanley Ticket Office, 315 / 724 - 4000,

or online at



All proceeds  will be used for

improvements at the Stanley Center for the Arts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

DMV Miracle

I received my notification in the mail about 2 months ago that I had to renew my license. For whatever reason I postponed this until today - which meant that I had to go to the DMV because my license expires on Sunday. So - with dread in my heart - I left work at 11:30 figuring that I would be at the DMV till 2:00 - waiting in line after endless line. I was back in my office at 12:15 - in shock and holding my interim license. 

Is this a joke? No... Is it April fools day? No.... For whatever reason they have a way of lining people up and moving things along that works at the Utica DMV. This is twice now that I've been able to take care of stuff without wasting a few hours. I was able to do this on my lunch hour... can go enjoy the history of the Utica Train Station and get your stuff done at the DMV pretty quickly.... phew!

Of course the pictures still stink! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Title Image

This picture is of a Barn that my great grandfather and family built. This picture was taken last year when they had all of the flooding - my mom and I went there to see how things were. We need to head back there soon - it's a wonderful and peaceful drive. Bed Bug Hill Road is a fun dirt road to travel and I've not been on it either in a long time.... ideas, ideas

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is here!

The Autumnal Equinox was at 11:44am EDT today. It's actually felt like fall for a couple of weeks. The days have been in the 60's and 70's very pleasant and the nights have been chilly! There have been some frost advisories as well. From what I have heard this is perfect weather for the leaves to start changing big time, I can see it starting to happen and the air has that fall crisp smell. Makes me want to go to Fly Creek Cider Mill in Fly Creek and get some fresh cider, some Macintosh apples and cheese. The sweet tartness of Macs with a piece of sharp cheddar is just incredible. The apples in NY are very good and we have quite a few orchards just in our area. It's also getting to be time to bake apple pies, apple cake, make chunky applesauce and just make the house smell warm and inviting.

Are you all hungry yet?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


At our last Toastmaster meeting, one of our members gave an excellent speech about how to treat people when they are diagnosed with cancer. He was recently diagnosed and he knows what he's talking about when it comes to how people now treat him and the questions that they ask. I bring this up because one thing he said was don't tell someone "Just let me know if you need anything" - he said that it's hard to tell someone you need something when life has been turned upside down. I must confess that I do this - ALL OF THE TIME! I need to stop - and do what he suggested - something that a few of his dear friends have done and something that Kelly did for me last night. Just give a quick call - make sure that the person is home and show up with a meal - or a couple of meals - ready for cooking or freezing. With my mom being sick, that has been a big statement - "Let me know if you need anything" - I know that these people mean it from the bottom of their hearts but sometimes I don't even know when I should just go to bed much less what else I could possibly need. LOL - and if I told them that I needed my porch floor scraped and painted they would probably run away screaming. But last night Kelly called when I was with mom and said to call her when I left - I did. She asked what I wanted for dinner - and what movie and she would be over. Silly me assumed she was going to Panera's - I like their greek salad and I told her that. Well she showed up with a bottle of wine (guaranteed to make me relax and be silly), Symeon's greek salad, spinach pie and their baklava custard. And a silly movie that just hit the spot. We ate, drank (well that was mostly me), talked and watched the movie and I just relaxed. It's been a long week with all that has gone on with mom. And I hope you all realize that I am not complaining about when someone says "Just let me know if you need anything" I know you all mean it, but I didn't know I "needed" last night - but Kelly did and I really appreciate it.

A follow up about Rusted Root - I really wanted to go, but couldn't get anyone to go with me that I knew would enjoy it - so being that I was exhausted and knew that I would be scraping and painting the porch floor today I decided to forgo it. I've heard good things about the Music Fest and Rusted Root and I sincerely hope that it goes well enough that they can do it again!

Thank you to all of my friends who always check in on me and pray for my mom and me. Thank you, Thank you , Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update on mom

I haven't written anything in awhile because my mom has been in the
hospital and it's been crazy. She had a heart catheterization today.
It was good, no blockages severe enough to need intervention. But
that being said, her right renal ostial artery is blocked 75 %. So
she'll be sent to St Lukes to get that looked at and stented. Things
are looking up!

She is heading to St Lukes in the next couple of hours - just waiting to be discharged by her doctor. We weren't sure if the insurance was going to cover her trip by ambulance to the other hospital - it's a 2 mile trip, but apparently they will - so I don't have to figure out how she will go in my car! Sitting up makes her BP weird so does standing - and I really don't need her to flip on my on the way to the other hospital. 

I am so tired right now, I feel like my head is full of cotton! I've got an eye appointment with Dr. Frank Migliaccio today - I've heard good things  - so hopefully it will be a good and productive appointment. 

Thanks for all of the prayers and comments about Mom - I really appreciate it!

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall is coming...

I have been trying to ignore the signs for awhile now, but my neighbors tree is turning fast. It's only the 13th!?!?!? I still have to get out and mow, but haven't had the urge. Cooking waffles right now for mom and I, then we have little things that need to get done.

I noticed the other morning that the city parks are getting spruced up, there was an article in the OD about it today. Of course the OD always has to add a spark of pissiness to everything and got the former Mayor Ed Hanna all cranked up that his name wasn't in all the places it had been before. Just leave it alone - Holy Cow - the city is starting to look much nicer all around. And it's just really nice to see.

There was a singles ad - yeah I'm looking - but this guy was so anti-upstate I just wanted to send him a message and tell him to move! If you don't like it here - do what you can to change it or just go away. I would guess that most people that bitch about it here would bitch no matter where they were. The OD annoys me because they feed off of the negative - and while they do have the two little good news sections for Oneida and Herkimer counties - I know that there are more heartwarming stories and stories that could have been spun differently.

Ah well, that's my rant for the day. I hope to go for a ride today - but need the weather to behave.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I just figured out how to put my Flickr pictures on my blog - you'll notice on the right hand side there is a slideshow - those are the pics I've put up on Flickr over the past few years. Please check them out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mom update

Mom is coming home today. It's a little scary as she still tires out tremendously, but she has the tools and knowledge to get stronger. She had an appointment with Dr. Wassel, he's the only nephrologist (kidney specialist) that specializes in hypertension - in my mom's case lately it's hypo-tension. He ordered blood tests and will most likely be doing a catheterization of her renal arteries and maybe placing stents, he believes that she may have blockages in one or both of the arteries. We'll see.

As for the nightmare with the insurance - we're still fighting. I filed a complaint against mom's insurance company last week and lo and behold yesterday got a real letter from her insurance company instead of these stupid messages that they leave everywhere but with me and mom. I have to keep hounding them though because mom is getting a bill for her time at the home from 8/28 to today. Granted they are only charging her the negotiated rate - but we're talking a lot of money. I just pray that something get's straightened out and that she'll get her money back.

That's it for now, I'm going to read the OD and see what's happening in the Mohawk Valley!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rusted Root at Saranac Brewery!

WOo HooOoOoOooo! I went to Saranac's website and found the information that I wanted! Yes!
This is sooooo Cool! I'm trying to get a group together that wants to enjoy the music! Let me know if you are interested!

Utica Music Festival

I don't know a lot about this yet - but there are over 200 music acts signed up over 3 days at 19 venues! Holy Crap! There was even an article in the OD - Weekend Plus insert about one of the bands coming from Boston! Woo hoo! I had also heard that Rusted Root was going to be there too, but I haven't got the details on that.

If you want info on the Utica Music Fest - go to

If I find out more, I'll add it here! What a great idea for both the bands that can showcase their talent and the fans who can find any kind of music under the sun!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Now...I'm ready.

Friday was a rough day - I wanted to get on the road so bad! But finally at 1:00 I left, went to the grocery store and got ice, then went home, got my clothes and the stuff out of the frig and loaded up the rest of the stuff in the car. Since it was kind of thinking of rain I put plastic on my bike saddle and handlebars. Got the bike loaded up and then went to see mom before I got on the road.

I was on the road by 3 and made it to Seneca by 5. It was too funny because as I got closer and closer the smile on my face got bigger and bigger. The last 4 miles I kept doing the Woo Hooooo!!!! scream. Yeah - I know it sounds nuts, but I was letting off steam and getting rid of all of the crap that had been sitting on my shoulders for the last few weeks. As I was driving the last 2 miles - the Seneca Army Depot was on my left, I always keep my eyes out for the white deer. I think I've only seen them a few times over the years, but I just think that they are the coolest thing. And at the last possible place for me to see them, just before the train trestle, there they were - 4 of them with a few brown deer mixed in. I didn't stop to take a picture because there's no safe place to park there and I was too excited to stop at that point.

When I got to Sampson, I checked in and then found my spot. It was at the middle of the top of loop six and I had a beautiful view of Seneca Lake. The wind was blowing and it felt wonderful, it wasn't raining and didn't feel like it would so all was good. I started by setting up my screen tent, that way I figured I could put everything under it, if it did start to rain. Well - thank goodness I don't give up easy. There were a couple of times when I thought that the tent was going to become a kite. But I am stubborn and I kept praying that I would be able to do it and not get hurt or lose my tent. Then when I got the tent up, I dragged the very heavy picnic table under it and moved my stuff in there as I unpacked the car. Then I started on my sleeping tent. I haven't put that thing up in two years - and honestly I tried to put it up incorrectly the first go round and almost pitched a fit. But again a lot of stubbornness and prayers helped me to get that thing up. The thing that goes over the top - where the screen is almost took off on me but I managed to get it hooked down and then pumped up my mattress and got all of my stuff in there for sleeping.

Then I realized that I had to go to the bathroom something fierce - by now it was 7 - I'd been plugging along for almost 2 hours. I knew where the bathroom was and also knew that it was a little far to walk at that point because I was so stinkin' tired so I hopped on my bike and rode down, it was .43 miles to get there. I am so glad that I had that bike! When I got back to the site I opened a bottle of beer, cooked a hamburger, started a fire and vegged out big time. At 9:00 I had to call it quits. The people next to me were a tad LOUD but I was too tired to do much about it and I slept. At 5:00 I woke up cuz I had to go! Well - idiot me decided to hop on my bike - it's dark at 5:00 am! But I managed not to kill myself or the 6 teenagers who were walking back to their site - they had brains - they brought their flashlight. When I got back to the site, I went back to bed and the heavens opened up! for 2 hours it rained! And yes, my tent leaked, a lot!

So - I dragged my sorry, damp butt out of bed and drove to the showers - I figured riding my bike at that point wasn't an option. Then I went and bought ice and broke my car. You are probably thinking that this had to be the worst adventure ever - but really - it was a good thing. The bracket on my muffler broke, fell off, whatever so my muffler and all attached was hanging a little low and rattling really good! I just drove more carefully at the campgrounds when things got bumpy and prayed that it would break off, because that could be a bad thing!

My friends, Brenda and Dave, drove out to Sampson and we went on a Wine Tasting adventure. We hit Standing Stone Winery (overpriced and too snooty - didn't like Georgie at all), then we hit Hazlitt - LOL that's always a good time. The prices are reasonable - the wines are fun. How many of you know the Red Cat Chant? "Red Cat, Red Cat, It's an aphrodisiac! Red Cat! Red Cat! It'll get you in the Sack!" :) Yeah I know childish really - but amusing nonetheless. We all bought bottles there. Then we went outside where they have a great picnic area and I asked one of the men that work there if we could have our lunch out there - he was wicked nice and said "of Course". So we had a picnic lunch under a weeping willow that Brenda kept trying to eat. Dave got one of the Red Cat Slushies and Georgie enjoyed it too much!

We continued around Seneca and went to Arcadia Winery, Torrey Ridge Winery and Earle Estates Winery. Torrey Ridge has come out with the new Redneck wines - they are fun and tasty. :) Then we headed towards Geneva and then back around the lake to Sampson. Brenda and I vegged out at the picnic table, out of the sun, while Dave went and took pictures of the planes, boats, and war stuff that was in front of the Museum that's at Sampson. He was loving it!

Bren and I cooked hotdogs, she brought chinese coleslaw with her and finished putting it together and we had dinner - then they left and I vegged in front of the fire.

I slept so well that night it was incredible - didn't move till 5 when I had to go - but this time I brought the light on my bike and didn't try and run anyone down. :)
But alas - while it didn't rain on Saturday night - there was a heavy dew both outside and inside my tent. Everything got wet again! :) Thankfully the sun was so hot and strong though all dried without a problem.

Sunday morning I had my breakfast of champions again - bacon, blueberry poptarts and coffee! Then I headed to Watkins Glen, I stopped at the Walmart and bought two cans of silicone spray for my tent and to see if the mechanics could fix my muffler clamp. Well they couldn't because they aren't allowed to, but he was wicked nice.

Then off to Watkins Glen State Park - I got a very pleasant surprise when I went to the booth to pay my parking fee, because I had my Sampson Park camping pass up I didn't have to pay to get into Watkins Glen - it saved me $7.00. Woo Hoo! It's the little things that make me happy. I met with the "behind the waterfalls tour guide" and waited to start hiking at 11:00. Our guide's name was Hannah and this was her last day - she's a student at SU. Hannah was very good, you could tell that she was passionate about the Gorge and all of the aspects of it, geological, ecological, historical. The hike starts at 400ft above sea level and ends at 1100 feet above sea level. It's about 1.5 miles from start to end. There are 600 stairs to climb up on the Gorge trail and lots of places where it is wet and slimy and you have to duck to avoid beating your head on the wall. At the Mile Point, Hannah left us to do whatever we wanted - I figured I would head to the end and see what else there was to see. It seemed like it was pretty easy going - until I hit the last 180 stairs! When I got to the top I was beat! I bought a lemonade and some kind of granola bar and relaxed, got a picture of a chipmunk having a snack too. He was cute - wanted to get closer but it wasn't happening. Then I walked back to the beginning on the Indian Trail - it was a gravel trail - pretty easy. It takes you too the spiral staircase and then you get to go behind the waterfalls again and out of the gorge. I had a wonderful time and learned quite a bit.

I drove back to Sampson, sprayed my tent thoroughly, cooked dinner, ate, then got on my bike to ride for a bit and see if I could get any pictures - then as sunset approached I went to the marina to wait for the setting sun. I have a ton of pictures of it, plus two unexpected pictures of a couple on a jet ski in front of the setting sun - they are both cool! I got back up to the site after this and crashed - Monday was just cleaning and packing up, driving, unpacking and drying out the tents and putting stuff away and visiting with mom.

Note about the car - On Tuesday morning I brought it to the dealership because I wasn't going to drive it anymore and I knew that there was another issue too. $496.46 later - my car drives like a dream and handles like it was new! It needed new sway bars in the rear, new tires in the rear, new bracket, oil change, inspection and who knows what else - but again - it's all good. I love my car and plan on driving it to death! It's only got 68K miles on it and I get good gas mileage.

So, in a nutshell that's it for the camping. I have other stuff to tell but will do it later. Here are all of my pictures - on Picasa

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Little NUTS!

This was Georgie swinging from the weeping willow after trying Hazlitt's Red Cat! I can't leave him alone for a minute!

Yeah that's me! I made it home, packing went well and unpacking went well. I have stories to tell, but sleep is imperative right now! I am whipped! I'm still uploading my pictures to Picasa as I type. 300 or so - I had to delete some that were blurry and too dark... That's crazy!

So - I'll be adding stuff as the week progresses!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunset on Seneca

I took 307 pictures on my camera this weekend, that doesn't even
include the ones on my phone. I look forward to getting them on picasa
and the blog.

Watkins Glen

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Today was Marvelous!

Saturday morning

The bike is a little too big for Georgie but he has a place to ride in
the front so he ca see everything. Quick synopsis so far. It rained,
tent leaked, nothing of importance got wet, bacon, coffee and
blueberry poptarts for breakfast. Life is Good!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Feet up in front of fire.

Tent with a view

When I wake up tomorrow, this is what I'll see. Took me awhile to set
up as the wind is blowing and I am rusty. I love it here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm going CAMPING!!!!

Well - first I have to try and sleep tonight, then I have to sit through some work tomorrow. This is like Christmas to me! I'm so excited! (Or as my co-workers say - I am just nuts!)

Georgie is ready to go too! I had a bit of a scare, I couldn't find the little guy. He went with friends to Florida to DisneyWorld and was given back to me, but it was on a scrapping night. I'm never responsible for what I do and where I put things on scrapping nights.

So- the car is packed. The cooler and bike will get loaded on tomorrow after work - then I'll go see Mom at the home and I'll be "On the road again" woo hoooooooooooo!

I'll try and upload some pics and small stories while I'm camping - it depends on the Edge network out there!

Talk to you all soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Introducing Georgie - the Gnomad

Okay - this picture is from two years ago - but it still makes me crack up. Georgie was given to me 3 years ago (is that right Mel??), his cousin Vera is in California - and then there are all other relatives all over the place. They travel with us - we take their pictures and post them on Well - I used to be good about posting them, but I still take Georgie with me on my trips.

This is my tent - and the place I camped at last time on Seneca Lake. This time - the weekend, I'll be at Seneca Lake again - but in a different campsite - and no trees in this one area - but that's okay - I get to go camping and that is the most exciting part of the whole deal! Woo HooO!!!!

My plans, so far, include a wine trip on Saturday with Brenda and Dave! Woo Hoo! Sunday I am going to head down to Watkins Glen and do the "Behind the Waterfalls Tour". It's a fairly short hike and I'm bringing my bike with me, so I can go for a ride too if they have bike trails (I think that they do). I've got to do more hunting on the web for bike routes and the like. Riding at the campgrounds is nice but I've done it previously.

All of my camping equipment (that I packed up 2 years ago and hasn't been out) was still in great shape! Woo Hoo! I'm so excited I can't stand it. The washing areas are a distance at the site where I'll be staying - so I'm bringing extra water - I can wash my stuff with minimum fuss.

On the Mom front - she is getting stronger. The insurance company is looking at her case - which is much better than last week when they had closed it and that was that. I have complete faith that God has his hand in this and things will work out. Please continue to pray that she does get stronger still and able to walk without the weakness that seems to hit. Her blood pressure is staying very low now, when it hits the 13x/7x it is hard on her - almost like when it was when it hit 200/1xx's. I'll keep you all up to date as I know more!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

20 Miles on the Erie Canal

Victory at 10 miles! I love this picture - it was too bright out for us to see how well it turned out!

I don't think that I would have done this on my own. A friend - who I knew way back in 7th and 8th grade, emailed me about the blog and we kept talking about stuff we're going through in life. Somehow it ended up that he and I were going to ride together. LOL - it took us awhile - his bike needed emergency tire surgery and timing was off, but yesterday we did it. And he can ride like the wind! At least compared to me! :)

My average speed is about 9.5 mph when all is said and done - I tend to dawdle when looking for a good picture. Well yesterday our average speed was about 11.5! But we did it! I did tell him that I would be saying mean things about him today - I figured I'd be in pain - but thank goodness I am not. I've got the typical soreness -but nothing special.

He took the bugs for me too on our way out - LOL but he wasn't so kind on the way back! :)~~~
We were both spitting and sputtering. We are going to ride together again - there were three people older than us on the trail that kicked my butt - my friend probably could have gone faster were it not for me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer Mornings

So, here I am, sitting on my front porch with my cup of coffee. I just finished reading the paper, saw a "Happy Birthday" ad in there for a young man that used to be my little brother's best friend. There was a picture of him and his baby girl! Man that makes me feel old. My brother and this boy were inseparable when they were younger...they were a hoot together. Never afraid to try anything!

In fact this reminds me of some stuff that we used to do when I was younger. I think that I mentioned Left Turn Right Turn before in my blog. My mom used to take us on those LTRT trips - but then sometimes we would go to places that we saw as scary and mom and I would make the windows go up and down 'magically' and the engine would die and I would scream - LOL - you probably had to be there, but it was scary / funny. The doors would 'open' on their own. We'd imagine that Freddie was out there. Our favorite place to do this was out by the Marcy Prison - before the Walmart Distribution Center was built. We used to go over by Chaminade - that at that time was not being used - it was so scary. And we also used to go down Barnes Ave - LOL, what a bunch of goofs we were! My mom always told me that she hoped I had a daughter that could shriek like me - well I don't have any children, but my neice can hit my high notes with ease. My brother's friend, that I mention above used to go with us too!

We also used to, and my mom and I still do, go to Cooperstown down Rt. 28 - but before you hit Fly Creek there is a left turn that will eventually take you to Fly Creek, but down there is a little area with some very old houses and a creek - that was where my mom's grandparents lived. It's beautiful down there and at one point, if you make a left turn you get on this dirt road that leads into Cooperstown (eventually) called Bed Bug Hill - we love going on that road, it's an adventure all on it's own.

So - you get all this "walk down memory lane" because I sat on my front porch this morning to enjoy coffee, the paper and the neighborhood waking up noises. It is gorgeous out and I look forward to the rest of the day. I'm washing and waxing my car today - LOL - I honestly looked into buying a new one because I soooo didn't want to do this, but it will be a good thing. Honest hard work never hurt anyone - LOL - those are my mom's words.

Have a wonderful, blessed day!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Remember this?

Pink flamingo anyone? This one was shivering to death!

Isn't it beautiful outside right now? Perfect blue skies - 80+ degrees, dry and wonderful! I just figured I would remind us all that summer in upstate is a wonderful thing - and winter is long - so enjoy it as much as possible!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that my mom's blood pressure is not caused by a panic disorder or PTSD. The bad news is that it's probably - very likely actually - related to her having had 35 radiation treatments on her throat for cancer of the larynx back in 2002. (she smoked for 42 years - quit in 2000 and has had lung and throat cancer) And the other bad news is that the damage is not reversible and most likely it will be progressive. What does that mean? I'm not sure yet.

Dr. Stephen Messe at the University of Penn Med Center was very thorough, very kind and knowledgeable. He is the number 2 neurologist in the US. (According to my S-I-L's cousin Julie - who is a Biomedical Researcher at UofPenn). He was so kind in fact that if my mom's insurance doesn't cover him, he's not billing her.

He is sending her to a Renal specialist - it's more than that even - but I don't know the exacts yet. Most likely that means we'll be going to Albany or Syracuse to see this doctor - I only know of one kidney specialist in Utica area - and I believe he's not the type of specialist we are looking for.

So, my poor mom has a lot to chew on and get her head wrapped around. She has to get stronger so that she can come home. Please pray for her, that she'll have the strength for her exercises, the strength to face things as they come down the line and peace in knowing that God is with her and that we are all praying for her and will be there for her.

Thank you all...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Coffee in Utica!

Well, like all towns we have Dunkin Donuts and other donut places with pretty darned good coffee. Holland Farms has been voted best of the best forever.

Well, that's all and good, but for someone like me who enjoys latte's and cappucino's that are made with espresso from fresh ground coffee beans and the milk (or soy milk) is steamed to the correct temp and poured together in the right way. That is wonderful...and oh so decadent. About 4-5 years ago Cafe Domenico opened on Genesee Street, it's only a couple of blocks from my house. That wasn't a good thing for awhile there because I was stopping every morning for a latte and a scone and it was costing me more for that than gas (this was when gas was 1/2 what it is now). So, I stopped going daily and now it's a treat when I do go. Actually I went there tonight and enjoyed a latte, while trying to work on my next speech for Toastmasters.

But I do have a new favorite place! Tramontane Cafe - it just seems more relaxing and homey to me. Robin - the owner or one of the owners - has been in the coffee and food business for a long time - and she does it well. She used to own the Virgo Bat and Leo Phrog coffee house on North Genesee Street back in the late 90's early 00's. (I know I am getting some of this wrong - please let me know the 'real' story) Tramontane does lunches - homemade soups, special sandwiches, quiches - and yummy baked goods. Not to mention the wonderful hot coffee, latte's, cappuccino's etc... They offer specials for Vegans and Vegetarians.

So, while we don't have a Starbucks in Utica. And truthfully I am glad of it, we have these two coffee houses and others that have their own personalities, specialties and uniqueness. Thank goodness Utica is a city with a small town heart!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

15 Miles on the Erie Canal

LOL - well it's true. I road 15 miles on the Erie Canal trail from Utica to Oriskany and back again. It was a lot of fun, but very BUGGY! LOL - the bugs were swarms between Marcy and Oriskany and it was Gross! But I am so glad that I went. I got some pics too!
This tree was just too cool - it was so stark in contrast to the rest of the Marsh and canal area. Plus I have a thing for clouds and the sky.

This was wicked funny! I took this picture then saw the people fishing - I almost yelped. They weren't there on my way through 20 minutes prior.

This bridge is cool - there is a water fall below it (man-made) but the bridge is wooden, so it kind of sings when you go over it.

Lot and lots of space for birds and wildlife - of course we have made our mark with the powerlines.
The Marcy Lock - There are a lot of concerts here in the summer time. The park was full - lot of family picnics - I saw volleyball being played and people fishing and relaxing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I forgot

I think that I was going to blog about this and it fell out of my head....I went to Saranac Thursday last week with my brothers and sisters in law. I have to admit it was my first time down there in like 4 years. We met down there at Sickenberger Lane, right next to Hollyrock. My youngest brother and his wife were staying with my middle brother and his wife and they were coming in from Whitesboro. Since I only live a few miles away - I drove down and parked past Huntington Street on Cooper. LOL - it's good that I always wear comfy shoes.

I know that people love it down there at Saranac - but I must be showing my age - it's cool - but the blaring music - 5 different kinds from all the bars fighting to be heard is not pleasant to my ears. I knew quite a few people down there - but I also saw a lot of young women that didn't look any older than 15! LOL - that really shows my age!

But - not trying to bash Saranac Thursday - I think that it could be a ton of fun! Plus don't forget I'm a tad stressed these days - so not really my scene. But it was great to spend time with my brothers and sil's. I only stayed for a couple of hours, 5:30 in the morning comes early.

Oh - and when I was growing up - on Erie Street - not far from the brewery, Varick street looked nothing like it does now. The people that have opened the bars and stores and restaurants down there have done a very nice job in cleaning up and making the street look better. The police presence was very welcome, especially when I had to walk back to my car! While parts of west Utica are getting better other parts are still hurting, I hope that that can change soon.

I'm going camping in a few weeks and look forward to posting about that. I'll be on Seneca Lake and spending a few days just getting R&R...

Monday, August 11, 2008

God's Bowling

That's what my mom used to tell me when I was growing up when there was lots of thunder and lightning storms. It's funny - they don't bother me if I can sit on my front porch, with a pillow and or blanket and just watch and hear them coming down the valley. But lately it seems like all of our storms are crazy strong. That, or I am so stressed and tired they are amplified in my brain.

I got soaked 3 times today - all with a big umbrella - it was just raining that hard! Right now it feels like fall, but I am guessing by early next week the heat will be back.

Mom is still in Rehab - it's not a bad place. Actually if she had been sent to the place where my grandfather just passed away in I would still be crying a week later. She's getting physical therapy, she has company during the day, even when she has high blood pressure 'attacks' she is in a good place. They monitor her, give her oxygen (that helps with the headaches), they give her the good drugs that help her BP come down and her to relax. It doesn't smell bad there either. The other place that Yankee (aka grandfather) was in smelled so bad of all the sprays that they used to cover up the 'bad' didn't work.

She is heading to Philadelphia in a week to get some tests done and see what these doctors say. I'm not going - my sis-in-law, my brother (maybe), my nephews and niece and my sis-in-law's mom are going. I've been to Boston twice for this and Buffalo twice and don't have any more time coming to me.

I know that this isn't about Upstate NY - but I hope it explains why I haven't written as much. I'm at the home every morning and night...and trying to have a life in the meantime.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

12.69 Miles

That was today's ride. I was going to go up Route 12 again - heading south, but then at Seward Ave and Sunset, I took a right instead of a left and decided to go to the Rayhill Trail. So - I go out to Chanatry's - hang a right to just under the bridge and hang a left (can't remember the name of that street) and go down by the Ramada - the trail starts there and when you get to Commercial Drive in New Hartford you have to use the cross walks - but I will admit I feel safer when I do. Then up the trail to MiddleSettlement Road and continue across it. I followed it all the way to Clinton Street and then turned around.

It was a beautiful night for a ride. If you've never been on the Rayhill Memorial Trail - it's worth a walk or a bike ride. You can park, up off of 840 by Clark Mills Road. I would suggest not going on it at dusk - without good bug spray! LOL - I had to be very careful to keep my mouth closed at 11mph! I don't need that kind of protein.

There are areas where you can get off the trail and see the geese, fish, flora and fauna, it's really quite well done!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A glimpse of Heaven

I walked out of my office and saw this - but my iPhone caught it differently than my eyes saw it. To me this looks like an oil painting in the top because of the way the phone dealt with the sun. It was pretty awe inspiring...

I was trying to drive down the street to get home and almost ran into the curb because I was so inspired by these clouds. My real camera should be with me from now on, the iPhone does a good job, but it's not the same.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Symeons Greek Restaurant

A visitor to our area reminded me of a jewel we have in the Utica area. He's from Pittsburgh and when I mentioned that we had a Greek restaurant he wanted to try it, so he asked me if I'd like to go with him. Of course I said yes, because I love the food there.

We walked in and the smell was divine. We were seated and asked what kind of beverage we would like - I asked the waitress if they had beer - as you get a wine list - but no beer list. She said they did and first on her list was the Saranac Pomegranate Wheat which is by far my favorite Saranac. My friend said that he too would like one as I'd been telling him about it for two days. He loved it! Woo Hoo Saranac!

We order the Calamari which was phenomenal as usual and then our dinners came! Yum! He was very pleased - he's been to Corfu, Greece and to him the food just brought him back to the restaurant he liked the best - I believe he said it was Myra's. Oh and to make the whole evening awesome Symeon Jr came over and asked us how our dinner was - that thrilled my friend as well.

We are truly blessed in the Mohawk Valley with such a diverse culture.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Last night - feeling stressed and tired and wanting a beer or two or ten, I decided instead to walk until I couldn't walk anymore and listen to WTTM - that's Window To The Magic. It's a podcast that Melanie, my friend in California, told me about - it's all about Disney! There is one podcast in particular that I love - it's the live Aladdin show and it's a hoot. I digress, so...I put on my walking shoes, grabbed my iPhone and plugged into Disney magic. I went up to Genesee Street and then up Emerson, to Holland, to Harriet, to Oneida. At Oneida street I had to make a choice to go up or down. I thought that I could get into the cemetery where Justus Rathbone's statue was by going up. Well I was wrong. So then when I got up to the entrance to Master Garden Road and the other cemetery I decided to go up Master Garden. It's up and up and up some more. Well I took some pictures as I went up, I'll add them at the bottom of this post. But when I got to the top - I thought that walking down the grass hill/ski slope would be easy. LOL - I was so very wrong! There are times when I had to walk sideways because the slope was so steep. And it was muddy up there too! But it was a great walk and my thighs got a good work out. When I got home I passed out and slept better than I have in awhile. Today I was hoping for a bike ride - but it may have to wait until tomorrow when the weather is friendlier.

The image is a little dark - it was getting late. But it's still nice.

Update on Previous Post

Justus H. Rathbone -established the Order of Knights of Pythias. I decided to link to these sites, because I know nothing about this man. There is another site with more information about Justus, it's pretty interesting. Something I definitely knew nothing about in any way. The second picture is of the statue from the side. I walked up there last night - if anyone knows that hill, it's a doozie.