Wednesday, December 9, 2015


RB and I have a new home, it's not completely ready yet, but we should be in right before Christmas. :) I'm so very happy - we're going to be our own version of the Brady's - he's bringing Gracie and I'm bringing Einstein and Henry. We've been working our tails off. Pulled down the walls in the living, dining and master bedroom, put up sheetrock and everything is painted. RB put down a new floor in the living room and in the master tomorrow.

The house is a little smaller than RB's and a little larger than mine - but it has a Garage that is HUGE! I think that was the selling point for RB - he's in heaven out there. We won't be living in Utica, but very close.

My new job is going well. That's a good thing and it's so nice to work close to old and new home.

I'm so very Thankful for everything. God is good and I tell him thank you every day.

Pictures will follow...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall is here!

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Catching up on a few items

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

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

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


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


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


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

Saturday, June 13, 2015


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

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

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


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tour de Cure 2015

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

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

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

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

Tour de Cure 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Yard...part I

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

Monday, May 18, 2015

Peaceful backyards

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

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

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

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

Beautiful flowers, just starting to bloom.

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

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A New Canal Adventure...

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

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

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

Gracie - loving the whole trail!

Looking East towards Marcy.

Looking West on the trail - towards Oriskany.

Temperature swings....

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

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

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

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 4, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the beautiful, warm spring weather.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Oaks Creek

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Perfect Day

It's been an absolutely beautiful, perfect, wonderful day. RB let me sleep in late (8:30!!!). Gracie was waiting so very patiently for me to take her for a walk, she was so excited when I finally got downstairs that it just made me crack up. A dog is the best thing in the world for your heart and soul. She loves RB and I so much and she is such a good dog. So - she and I went for a very nice walk this morning. When we got back to RB's house we jumped in my car and headed to my house. I had some raking I wanted to do (my back yard was neglected last fall) and I did some extra cleaning up. I talked to my neighbor Toni and had a running conversation with Gracie. LOL - the things that dog could tell...

About 12:30 we hopped back in the car and drove back to RB's and I went for a BIKE RIDE!!!

I had planned to take a 2 mile ride,  just to get my butt in shape. It was so gorgeous outside that I ended up going 13.2 miles! My working out at Planet Fitness is really helping - I'm in the best shape I've been in for a long time!

Canal Trail between Whitesboro and Utica. Everything is just starting to bloom.

The famous Utica sign, it lights up at night and it's quite the beacon.

Stunning blue skies and gorgeous.

I was a tad white in this picture, but I do have some color after this ride.

The sweet ride from RB for my birthday last year. What an awesome bike!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thank you RB

I've had my Fitbit ONE for 2 years. RB saw the Flex last week and liked that it was a wrist Fitbit and not worn on a bra (that's my favorite place to wear mine). So he bought the Fitbit Charge for me (it's also worn on the wrist like a watch) it's very cool and I'm charging it up right now. Going to take a quick walk around the block to see how it does for me and RB get's my ONE. Now he can see how many steps he's taking every day.

I've been working out at Planet Fitness, trying to get in shape for the Tour de Cure that I'm going to ride in again. I'm signed up for the 40 miles again and I'm hoping to do better than ever. The Cybex Arc Trainer is my favorite cardio machine and it's really working on my thighs - almost feels like I'm biking, but I'm standing not sitting. I'm thinking if I keep doing the hilly versions on it and adding to my time, I'll get my legs in the best shape they've been in a long time. Plus I'm doing the weights which is making me feel like a million dollars. on a walk I go, the birds are so vocal this time of year. The trees are budding and flowers are popping up, even though it's been pretty cool. God is good!

Monday, April 27, 2015


Hopefully it does get warmer towards the weekend. I have plans! Well plans that are contingent on the weather. I'm hoping to go to Cooperstown and clean up my Grandfather and Great Uncles grave stones and plant pansies. I'd also like to get on my bike and not freeze. Yesterday started out nice with beautiful blue skies, but clouds soon blotted the sun out and it was chilly.

Not much to say today. It's Monday - I have to go to work and praying that it's a productive peaceful day.

Have a good one!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Walk for Autism

Yesterday was the walk for autism at SUNY Poly in Utica. What a great day and turnout! I brought Gracie with me, I was kind of curious to see how she would do with all the people and things going on. She was utterly fantastic. There were about 5 kids that swarmed over her and she just laid down and let them pet and pat her. Lots of petting and patting and Dave trying to hold her like he holds his Gizzy - LOL - she didn't care for that much, but her way of showing that was trying to jump down.

She cleaned up a lot of the fallen popcorn in the gym, so I'm sure that helped the janitorial staff! :) I hope that they raised a lot of money and that David will get to have even more chances to do stuff outside of his normal comfort zone. He's autistic, his parents were told he would probably have it bad, but they and all of their helpers have made such a difference in David. He walked with Gracie and I and just loved telling her to catch up with everyone, we need to beat them, and telling her not to get muddy, to stay on the sidewalk and when she pooped - LOL that just made him laugh. It was so awesome to have him walk with us and hear my nicknames for Gracie - they made him laugh too. "Crazy Gracie", "Dooo", "Chuckle Butt", "Silly Girl", "GDoggy", "Gracie Girl", "Love Bug", "Baby Girl" and who knows how many others. It's a wonder she knows what her name is.

Then after - we went back to RB's house and had lunch and then the plan was to come home, do laundry, chill. Well I thought of another plan which included washing and hanging RB's sheets and blankets on my clothes line, bringing Gracie to my house and raking. She and I were outside for over an hour raking and cleaning up. Then we came in and chilled, but every time the washer stopped I was up and running again. It wasn't until we went back to RB's house that she dropped from fatigue. Poor thing. She was beat!

She fell asleep between my feet, didn't even flinch when the flash went off. Poor Baby Girl.

She was trying to sleep at my house, but too many different noises and I kept getting up and changing laundry around. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April (snow,ice) Showers, bring May flowers?

On the way home from work today my car was getting pelted with small hail, then splatted with fat rain - snain - snow... and back to regular rain and back again to snain. Going from 86 in NYC on Saturday to 45 today - that's rough. It's been very damp and windy and I swore I wasn't going to turn on the furnace again, but when it hit 50 in here I had to. It was damp too and that somehow made it worse.

No biking outside yet, but on Saturday we do have the Autism Walk up at SUNY Poly. Gracie is going with me and we're walking with BP, EW and David. Should be a lot of fun - no rain forecast and it should be in the 40's around that time, just hope wind stays down. Grace will love all the people and attention.

Need to get to Hartwick, near Cooperstown to clean my grandfather and great uncles tombstones and plant Pansies. Those were my mom's favorite flower and they come back as Johnny Jump-ups the next year. My mom's ashes and Aunt Becky's ashes are both there (just some of them as they both wanted).

That's it for now. Time for shuteye....

Monday, April 20, 2015

NYC for the Day

Went to NYC with KS for the day. What a day it was - the weather was perfect down there! It got a little hotter than I expected, 86!
On the bus! Barely awake but ready for adventure!

Got dropped off at Bryant Park on 6th Ave. Blue skies!

Another view of the trees, NY Public Library (on the left) and high rises in the background.

Subway selfie under Penn Station

Just love this picture - the black and white seem suited to the old steel work that was done down in the subway tunnel.

Staten Island - looking back to NYC

Coast Guard riding along side the Staten Island Ferry. Kind of scary in some respects.

Lady Liberty

Freedom Tower in the background. I held my phone WAY over the side.

Skyline from the Ferry.

Two lovely British women we met on the Ferry. Liz and Val - very sweet and told us stuff about NYC we didn't know.

The view from our table top looking to the sky. This was Grimaldi's outside eating area.

The Best Pizza I've ever had! Fresh tomato sauce, fresh made mozzarella and basil leaves. Crunchy but not too much! So GOOD!

Bethesda Fountain at Central Park.

The Forsythia is in bloom at Central Park. The sun hit my camera in such a way that it's foggy looking.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 2015

It's been a long winter. Cold, cold, snow and more snow. Spring keeps popping up a little at a time. I'm trying to get back in the swing of things - it's been almost a year since I wrote anything here. No excuse - just didn't have the words.

Just finished reading "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. It has me thinking hard. I'm a lot older than she was when she took on the PCT, but in many ways (minus the drugs and sleeping around) I feel connected to her. I looked at the Appalachian Trail but I don't know who would go with me and taking Gracie, while it would be fun it would be difficult to carry her dog food. So another trail someone told me about is one in Northern New York. It is 130 miles give or take and this year I would probably just take on a bit of it. Or - I could bike more of the Canal Trail and maybe hike that too.

I'm trying to get in better shape. I'll never be skinny - never was a kid, always "thick" never really fat but kids aren't kind and always picked on me. But I'm realizing now that I am strong. I'm working on my arms and legs, using the arc trainer, sweating and getting my heart rate up. My bike is coming out soon. And I am going to move this summer. I'm going to be in better shape than I ever was in high school.

We've got a camping trip planned for Stillwater in late June, but RB and I are also talking about Moose River Flats. That would be awesome. It's different - drive right to your site, but you are in the middle of some pretty remote areas. We will bring our bikes, maybe our kayaks and we'll see what happens.

Traveling in June as well to Sacramento. I've already been thinking about water conservation and what I can do as a visitor to be more aware of my water usage.

And I'm just trying to be me again. To get out of the funk that hit me hard this winter and be the happy person that I usually am. I don't want to be stressed or angry. So.... going to be with nature and enjoy the spring and summer as much as possible.

I pray that all of you are well and have a great day, week, weekend, spring, summer, whatever....