Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Adventure awaits

It was just January when I headed towards Cooperstown - well I'm doing it again on Friday and not alone! I'm going to introduce all the back roads I know and some I don't to RB. The weather is supposed to be wonderful - a huge change from how cold it was back in January.

We've talked about going to the Cooperstown Diner, the Ommegang Brewery, maybe even the Farmers Museum, and of course we have to walk down Main Street, look in the store windows, check out the lake (sans ice), maybe check out Glimmerglass Opera, or Glimmerglass State Park...There is so much there - and I did not even mention Baseball - and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

This is just to remind you that there is a lot in Upstate NY - A L O T! I didn't even have to look up "what to do in Cooperstown?" Oh wait - that's because I'm a nut! :)

There will be pictures to follow our adventures....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Trail under ice

I'm freezing. Period. Don't know how Jill does it. Of course she has
the gear and I wore shorts. It's warm in the sun, in my car, with the
heat on! I rode three miles - really need warmer gear.

Paris Hill Cat Hospital **Update

I'll be heading there soon. My poor cat Einstein isn't feeling well. He's not eating (which is just not like him), he's not 'talking' (he meows or makes some noise whenever I'm home) and he won't lay down for long - he has to keep getting up. So...all that being said I think I have a very sick kitty indeed - some kind of obstruction. And for kitties - the only place to go is Paris Hill Cat Hospital - I'm just waiting for 8 when I can call and find out what to do.
Please think happy thoughts for Einstein - he is such a good cat and such a pleasure to have for company. It's funny how much our animals mean to us isn't it?

**Update - Einstein had surgery for an abscess on his neck. My poor baby...I wish I had noticed sooner - but he kept hiding on me. I think that he'll be coming home tomorrow and I'll be his nurse, giving him his antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and pain meds.  I just hope that he heals up well.

**Update  - Einstein is home and is behaving as usual. His neck wound is open (yuck) but it seems to be healing fast. I am so very glad that he is home and that the Paris Hill Cat Hospital is here in the Mohawk Valley! They are wonderful!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A couple of things...

It's raining, still, and cold and not bike riding weather. So what's a girl to do? Should I bring the bike back in the house, haul it up the stairs and set it back up and maybe ride for 30 minutes? NO! I can't tell you how heavy that bike is and that combined with how short I am - it's dangerous to be hauling that thing up the stairs. And...honestly I don't like riding inside.

Saturday is supposed to be 48 degrees. I think that means I'm going to bundle up and ride. Little Falls to Canajoharie - 40 miles round trip. Not sure if I'll be able to go that far - because I'm going to wait for it to warm up.

On another note. I attended my 9th year of Project Sites - this is put on by MVEEC - Mohawk Valley Executive Engineers Council. It pairs students and local companies for an afternoon of learning, sharing and outreach. The students come from all over the area and companies open their doors to them. The company I work for is pretty small - there are only 12 of us - but we try to take a couple of students every year. It's amazing to me that even in this economy companies give up their time and workers to share their expertise and passion of their jobs. Mike, Bill, Jim, Chet, Ed, and so many other engineers spend weeks getting things set up for this and work so hard. Thank you gentlemen!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Murder Mystery

No - this isn't a news story about a murder - it's a reminder that the Stanley Volunteers are practicing hard to provide great fun and entertainment to those daring souls that buy tickets at the Stanley Theatre for "It's Just Not Faire!". Look - if I can learn how to do a dance and practice it in my house, office, yard, in front of people! then you can be helpful and buy a ticket to watch me do said dance. This is painful! Probably for poor Randy who is teaching us and the people in the dance that I keep bumping into too!

All that aside, this promises to be a very amusing show. So many people are working their tails off to do this and it's all to raise money for the Stanley Theatre.

Another thing that hasn't happened in the past is that we're going to have a series of raffles at the show. I don't know the prices yet of the tickets - but I do know that one of the volunteers wrote letters (by hand!) to about 75 local businesses asking for donations and let me tell you that the response has been INCREDIBLE! She has a notebook with the plastic envelope pages - FULL - in fact it's bulging and if she puts one more gift certificate in it, it will probably explode. So - just think - you pay $30.00 for hearty hors d'oeuvres, a fun show, and a tour of the Stanley Theatre and buy a few raffle tickets and you could be leaving with a gift certificate to a local restaurant, pizza place or some other wonderful thing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Raking and Cleaning Windows

I don't know that we have had a March like this one in a very long time. Raking? Seriously? In March? Yeah - the city is getting raked and swept and treated to a very early spring cleaning. It's quite wonderful - but you have to wonder if Mother Nature is going to pull a fast one and snow on our parade. Yes Virginia, it does snow in March, April, May and even in June from what I have been told.
My back yard is new and different this year. We took down the garage last year and put in a shed, but because of all of these codes and rules the shed is basically right behind the house - I didn't want it 8 feet from the fence line at the back of the property because stuff would grow between it and the fence and it would be wasted space. I'll have to put some pictures up to better describe it. But the major point is that I have a nice back yard now - lots of space - the grass I planted came up nicely. Raking today made it even look neater and I got the clippers out and really went at the pricker bushes and Rose of Sharon bushes that are too tall and needed to be clipped back years ago. I know from previous experience that they will come back - they are prolific if nothing else. After raking and clipping for about an hour I went inside - intending to sit and chill out.
That didn't happen. Here's my problem. I didn't ride today but I did the "Biggest Loser Boot Camp", when I do this my energy level spikes - so I tackled the front screen door windows, the screen (thanks to Einstein it had paw prints and pulls in it) and the two front windows - covered with muddy Einstein prints. So - at least my house is a little cleaner. I should have gone for a bike ride, but had dinner with dear friends and it was wonderful.
The snow that the weathermen were talking about earlier last week is no longer in the forecast - rain is - but we really need it. We've had a ton of sun and wind and it's dried things out quite a bit. Looks like the sun will be back out on Wednesday....maybe....they've been wrong before.
Happy Spring!

By Request

A little more information about me...

I was born here and through a series of strange happenings in my life I left (7 years), came back, left again (8 years) and in 1997 came back for good. I've lived in Prosser, Washington, Orange & Irvine, California, Bernardsville, NJ and a few small places in NY. College was interesting as I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up - but it helped, yes helped, that my father once told me that "I'd amount to nothing". Talk about having a fire lit under you... I decided, after a few years of all kinds of classes, to go into Mathematics. I like math - it's straightforward, it doesn't change and the rules are the rules. It took me a mere 13 years to get my degree, but I learned a lot and I only went to school full time the last 2 years. During that time I was a nanny/housekeeper, EMT for a volunteer fire department, worked as a tabulator for an art auction company, a clerk/asst manager/manager in a convenience store, a security guard, and salesperson at a clothing store. That's a real education - doing all kinds of things and learning from all of them.

I was hired out of college by a large local insurance company to do programming. I was only there for 9 months, I left as I was offered a job with a local IT company. I've been with that company for 10 years on April 3. I love what I do and I think I'm pretty good at it. I've been learning the whole time as technology changes faster than anything.

My mom and I bought a house in Utica 9 years ago. Thanks to my mom this house is in wonderful shape. She has moved to Texas to live with my brother and his wife and family, so now it's Einstein and myself. Einstein keeps me hopping!

Utica has been a great place to live and I've met so many wonderful people here. I stamp and scrapbook with Brenda, Shelly, Debbie and others as they come and go. Camping on the Finger lakes is great, biking on the Canal Trail is always an adventure, kayaking and hiking are in my future and friends are always welcome in my home.

Well Michaela, I hope that answers some of your questions! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What a wonderful day!

I just love this trail. You can see how half of the canal is still icy - on the left side. The water is fairly high at this portion of the trail - but just beyond here to the east, past Marcy Lock, the water is much lower. The canal isn't open for the season yet.

Stick with me and I'll be posting more about the canal trail and my adventures on it and in other places!

Obstacles on the Canal Trail

There were a lot of these on the trail. The first week of March here was windy - we were supposed to get significant rain but that seemed to head south and east of here (sorry NJ and MA). The wind took out a lot of trees - This one was interesting as I had to push my bike under it. Thank goodness for my helmet as it stopped me from bashing my brains out, I didn't duck enough.

I didn't know how far I would go today - and at the 7 mile mark in Oriskany I figured I'd turn around and just make it a 14 miler. Well I met Mike and Dale there and we started talking. And after about 15 minutes or so they asked if I wanted to go towards Stanwix with them - what the heck right? So I rode with them about another 3 miles and parted ways - I hope that I'll hear from them - Mike's wife rides as well so the three of them could come with me on the eastern portion of the trail.

There had to be about 5 obstacles on the trail - 2 you could ride around and another 3 that you had to climb over or go under...but it made for a fun ride anyway. I need to get in shape because the 100 Miles of Nowhere ride is coming up in May. I'll let you know more about that as it gets closer.

Ice on the Erie Canal

This is the earliest I've ever been on a ride outside. It's March! And usually we have snow, rain, snain, or it's just cold - not the case this year. It has been gorgeous, warm (50's and 60's) and most of the snow is gone. So I decided earlier this week that if Saturday was as nice as it's been I was going to ride. And so I did!

I started out late - about 12:45pm. I gave blood this morning so wanted to get enough fluids and food in me so I didn't pass out while riding. The first mile saw me laughing to myself - what a difference between riding inside and outside. The wind, the birds, the water, the people - boy did I miss that!

Whenever I come up on a person I usually warn them by calling out "Behind you" - well for some reason I didn't call out to this one lady - there was another bicyclist coming towards me, she had earbuds in and so I just went by her - but she turned to look at the same time and I think that she jumped a foot. I stopped to apologize and we talked for a few minutes. She moved here from Maui! - yep that's what I said - Maui! She was born and raised here and left for quite a few years and came back. There are a lot of us like that - Upstate NY is wonderful!

Please Read on....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

I didn't celebrate like a lot of people I know... The St. Patrick's Day parade was last Saturday and I am not really fond of going - simply because it seems to be for adults that want to get completely soused or for kids who want the free candy (that I understand). The getting soused part bothers me...and that reason was brought home even more profoundly when I learned that an acquaintance from SUNYIT Alumni board and a club that we both belong to was involved in an accident on Saturday. This acquaintance was at a parade (not in Utica) and apparently was drinking - how much - who's to say. But he/she was driving home from the day's festivities and hit a pedestrian. I believe that this person stopped, checked on the pedestrian and left, but did call 911. The person has been arrested for DWI and originally for Vehicular Assault. That changed on Monday. The pedestrian died. And this person that I know was arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter. It's sad - one person lost their life and another's life is 'lost' as well but in a very tragic sense.
Is it really worth it? Is it really necessary to drink and drive? I'll be glad to pick up any of my friends if they have been drinking and think that they need a ride home - and if I can't I'll call a cab for them. This acquaintance of mine is a good person, having fun, enjoying life - now the only thing this person needs is prayers and love and forgiveness - and the family of the victim need solace and prayers and love.
Please say some prayers for those who drink and drive and for those who are irreparably harmed by this.

I know this post isn't my normal kind - but this tragedy has been on my mind all week. Choice - it all comes down to that...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Walk I Made Today

I couldn't talk myself into driving my car to a parking area and then taking a bus when I live just over a mile from the Heart Walk start point. So I walked a little over 8 miles by the time I was done with the 5 mile route.

The residents of the Mohawk Valley should be proud - around 9000+/- walkers and runners went out again and proved that we have HUGE hearts and great contributors.

Bottom of Heartbreak Hill

It was an awesome day for the Heart Walk. I'm glad that I did it and thank you to everyone who sponsored me, I really appreciate it. I signed up for the 5 mile walk - which I did, but I have a wicked stubborn streak and couldn't see driving my car somewhere to have a bus pick me up and drop me off at the walk, not when I live about 1 mile from the College. It turns out it was a little farther because of the walking through the campus and all that - about 8 miles walked - but I feel good other than the bottom of my feet burning. I think I like to wear my shoes too loose so the friction gets me.

I think the walk was a huge success - lots of people turned out for it and it was a lot of fun!


Start line of Americas Greatest Heart Walk

Go Mohawk Valley!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"It's Just Not Faire"

Woo Hoo! It's that time of year again - the Stanley Volunteers present "It's Just Not Faire" on April 23 & 24, 2010 at the Stanley Theatre. It's $30.00 per person, but you will be fed well, laugh a lot and use your brain to solve the mystery!

Save the Date and have fun with us!