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...

So...you 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 www.uticamusicfest.com

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!