Friday, July 31, 2009

The rain is....gone?

Is that brightness I see? are the raindrops gone?

Yesterday was a glorious, blue sky, bright sun day and then at 3am this morning thunder woke everyone up and it started to pour! This is the first time all day that I've not seen it at least sprinkle.

Maybe I can cook the hamburgers outside after all???? With my garage gone I can't stand under the door and cook regardless of the weather and while the new shed is awesome - it doesn't have an awning - *note to self - build a place to cook regardless of snow, sleet, and rain!

So tonight Bren & Shell and their families are coming over for dinner.... hamburgers, packet potatoes (thanks PW), chocolate passion bowl (thanks Kraft) and Pomegranate Blueberry Margaritas (thanks Tastefully Simple). So if the rain holds off - the burgers will be cooked on charcoal and all will be good! Otherwise they just aren't as good on the stove!

Tomorrow we're going Blueberry picking! Yum!

And Saturday is an adventure - heading east!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Grass...hopefully soon

I'm talking about the green stuff not the smoking stuff...

That being said, with the garage gone we had to get grass planted, but I was gone for 3 weekends in a row. Well - tonight I finally raked enough and planted and fertilized. Now - I have to water, water, water and wait, wait, wait... I also cleaned out some of the area between our driveway and the lady's house next door. It looks better already. So tomorrow I'll do some more. My mom's been working on the inside so much, I figure I can help by working on the outside.

I have to work on more - but I'll try to get some pictures up of the area soon. The new shed is being installed later this week (I hope).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fatcyclist

I am not exactly sure how I learned of www.fatcyclist.com - probably Melanie told me. Regardless I soon became hooked on Fatty's (aka Elden's) adventures biking in Utah as well as the struggle his wife, Susan, is dealing with - metastasized breast cancer. Fatty has been working very hard to help his wife deal with the day to day struggles and while he doesn't mention things very often about her pain and suffering - he opened up on Tuesday. He had even mentioned a couple of things on Monday - but the Tuesday post really hit me hard. I cried - sobbed actually.

Elden has done so much for his family and through his blog he has challenged, pushed, cajoled, rewarded and just made us all want to raise money for the LiveStrong Challenge. Team Fatty (link to the Philadelphia fundraising page for Team Fatty) has raised the most money in the Seattle, San Jose, Austin and Philadelphia races. It's so awesome to see so many people from all over the world come together to fight cancer.

So - Please Pray for Susan, Elden, their 4 children and all the people who care for them.

WIN Susan!!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chicago

My only experience with Chicago has been to switch planes at ORD. But tomorrow that is all going to change... My friend Ash and his fiancee, Mitul, are getting married on Saturday in Downers Grove - just outside of Chicago. I am so excited about this! First and foremost is the fact that Ash is getting married and he seems so very happy. Meeting his family and Mitul are exciting too! It's going to be a big wedding and different for me because it's an Indian (from India - not Native American) wedding.

Tomorrow morning I head out to Syracuse to catch my flight. Tomorrow night is a dance - called a Garba. I don't dance much, but I guess I'll get over it! :)

I'll be adding more stuff - my laptop and camera will be heading with me.
Bon Voyage!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update on Bell Festival!

The rain came. The End.

That's pretty much it. The wind was unreal, the sky was black and then the thunder and lightning started and that was it for me. Everyone else had packed up about an hour prior to me - I'm nothing if not stubborn, and I just couldn't stick it out anymore. It was lonely on top of the hill in the gazebo!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boilermaker

I've never been more proud to live in and be a Utican. I volunteered this year for the first time. I got up at 5:30 Sunday and left my house at 6:45 - on my bike. Every road near my house is closed for the Boilermaker, but at least I can ride my bike. So I rode up to the golf course and the DPW - found my friend Brenda. We got our shirts, got all of our cups of ice ready - 2-3 deep covering the table. Everyone talked about how they always run out of ice, and most of these people have been doing this for 15 years or so. We had a demonstration of how to handle the cups so as not to make the runners fight for them or get soaking wet. It was funny - but important too.

The wheelchairs started at 7:30am and the runners started at 8:00 am. The first wheelchair was just a little after 8 (I think ) and then the elite runners were around 8:15 - it's poetry in motion watching them. They don't even look at the water or the ice! LOL!

As the rest of the pack came through we all yelled "Ice, Ice, Ice" - you don't want a runner to grab a cup from you thinking they are getting water and they instead end up with a chipped tooth or choking. So for about an hour and 30 minutes that's what we did. The runners that got ice - 90% of them said "Thanks" - which I found amazing because they are so focused on running! Then you get those who thank you for volunteering! I just did it because I can't run and want to be a part of the excitement, the action, the camaraderie.

But here is the best part of all. I went down to the Brewery for the post Boilermaker party, I'd never been there before so I was curious. It was awesome - huge - totally cool and lol - "smelly"! I mean it in a funny way - but you have 10,000 or so people who have been running - you have the sun beating on them, add some beer and it's going to smell a little. I was walking around, ran into a few people that I know and talked to them and then I ran into a family from Albany. They saw my volunteer shirt and asked me where to find Tomato Pie! My mind blanked! I could not think of a place that would have it on hand on a Sunday morning! How horrible! But then I remembered Roma's and my friend S - who's husband works there. I got Roma's number and was able to give them directions to it from Schuyler street. It was a blast to try and help them. But then the wife said to me that she was very impressed with Utica and Uticans! "The Boilermaker", she said, "is one of the best organized and friendliest races that she has ever been a part of". This made me very proud to be from Utica! Utica gets a lot of bad publicity and stupid comments - but it is a great place to live, work and be proud of!

Thank you to all who volunteered, participated in and worked at the Boilermaker! Every year I am amazed by the great stories I hear of people helping others and just the whole 'family' feeling that the race invokes in people.

Utica Rocks!

Friday, July 10, 2009

All set up - part 2

Keychains and necklaces! Oh my1

All set up! Part 1

Here are my magnets.

Bell Festival - New York Mills

The Annual Bell Festival - Every year New York Mills holds its annual Bell Fest. This is where the whole community gets together and celebrates yet another great year in New York Mills history with food, fun, and fireworks as the traditional ending.

Because of my Dominoes, my brother's Aunt -in-law invited me to sell my dominoes at the Bell Festival. So - I will be there. I'm setting up in the Gazebo - right on Main Street. Tonight the Floyd Community Band is playing at 7:00 pm and tomorrow night there is an Elvis Tribute. I've got a great seat for both!

I hope to see some of you there - I'll have my iPhone and I'll update the happenings as the night and tomorrow progress!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Synopsis on Camping

I did have a good time camping - for the most part. And no it wasn't the rain or mud that bothered me. I've found that I am offended by people's lack of respect for others space. I had two neighbors - the neighbor to the right of me was just like me. Quiet, relaxed, just wanting to enjoy the time away and with nature. I never even spoke to him or his wife, I did speak with his father and daughter though for a few minutes.
The neighbor to the left - another story all together. Walked through my campsite at all hours of night and day - in front of and behind my tent - when I was asleep - waking me up and scaring the tar out of me. The generator after 9:00 pm when it wasn't supposed to be on. The very loud music that could be heard all over the campground and to the lake even. He had bass boost on too - so even if you couldn't hear the music, you could hear the loud thump. At one point I thought that Jerry Springer must be next door because of the 'F' this and 'F' that. It makes me want to rent 3 spots next year and use the center one for myself.

But all that being said - I met some very nice people. A family from Long Island - on a 5 week vacation with their two boys. Mike and Lynn were very friendly and had a great dog named Socks.
Then there was the family that stayed where I had been last year - don't know their names, but the mom and I talked for awhile. I am pretty sure that she has been fighting cancer as she had the 'chemo' puffiness and no hair. She had a beautiful smile and eyes that lit up when she talked about all that they had done.
And of course the lady at the concession stand - working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Her prices were more than fair and the portions were huge!
Then there was the family down from me that rescued and hung up my towel for me, I had left for hiking and they found my towel in the road - it was really windy!
And of course all of the people that I met when I was out and about - Taughannock Falls, Watkins Glen, Captain Bills Cruises, Monteczuma Winery - etc...

I tried to even out this post with what makes me cranky and those things that make me smile. It was a good time - but I am going to try and get a spot in the 5 regular loops - they are quieter from what I understand.

Monday, July 6, 2009

MWPAI

Great music! Bluesy gospel awesome.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Good Morning Sunshine!

Absolutely stunning sunrise this morning!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stroller IV

Captain Bills Cruises out of Watkins Glen. I had a nice time have to
admit that the movement of the boat was making me wickedly sleepy. But
it was interesting to hear about the salt mining that takes place
1800-2200 feet below the surface. They said that there is enough salt
in that one spot to supply the world for 600 years.

It was also nice to see Hector Falls from the water, I appreciated the
height of them.

Lodi Point State Park

Yet another gem on the Fingerlakes. Picnicing, great playground and
boat launch. Very clean and well kept. And here's a note to the budget
conscious, if you are camping in a state park and visit other state
parks with your camping permit there is no charge. So Taughannock was
free as was Lodi Point and I'm now heading to Watkins Glen.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Taughannock Falls

Very nice hike to the falls.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Beautiful

It did rain earlier. Actually it poured. But when I got to my site it
had stopped enough that I could set up my tents (I did the screen one
first to put everything under if necessary). It has sprinkled a couple
of times but now as I am typing this there is beautiful, wonderful,
ever so lovely blue sky. God is good!

I had steak and grilled mushrooms for dinner. Yum! I was hungry after
all of the packing, setting up and unpacking. Now I'm ready for bed,
but I don't think that 6:45pm is late enough.

Have a good night everyone!

It doesn't bode well...

The skies opened up about ten minutes after I took this picture.
Poured hard for awhile, now it's just steady rain.