Thursday, December 31, 2009

au revoir 2009

Not a bad year, as years go. There have been worse, for sure. Today is the last day of 2009. It already feels old doesn't it? I used to have so much trouble transitioning from one year to the next-I would write the wrong year for days. Now, I'm writing the wrong year days before it happens. Foresight? I think not. Today is also, what would have been my Mother's 78th birthday. Kind of a mixed day - sad with lots of happy memories. Peaceful Rest Mom. We miss you. Tonight's festivities begin around 8 PM for the public, but around 4 PM for those of us at the Glove who are working behind the scenes. It should be a lovely evening, now that the heat has been rescued. Crisis averted! Once again, Jerry has stepped up and saved the day. My guy. smooch. There is a scheduled polar plunge tomorrow at 1:00. The pre-game starts at Vrooman's Hotel at 11 AM. This is a bloody mary breakfast festival that we are planning on possibly attending. Possible plan. This is a new term in my vocabulary. It works much better than definite plan, or maybe, or other such nearly optimistic phrases. Possible plan means that we're not even at the planning stage yet. We're just mulling over the details and might consider making it a plan, which is even less definite than having a plan. Having a plan means you are definitely on board with something on your schedule. But less concrete than booking it. Planning it still leaves a door open, such as I was planning on that, but it didn't pan out. Not as though it was cancelled, it just never went any further than a plan. Ya know what I mean? Anyway, it's a possible plan. The other possible plan for new Year's day is nothing. Planning nothing requires as much forethought as any other type of plan. You have to make sure you have the right equipment (chocolate milk, french toast, chips and dip-whatever necessities will make your doing nothing plan do-able.) I'm thinking that showing up somewhere where THEY are planning the food is an integral part of my plan, which could also be considered home, as Jerry generally does the food planning. Hmmm. We have alot of decisions to be made for Jan. 1, 2010. I'm exhausted from all this planning and need a nap if I'm going to stay up until 1:00 AM. "Jennifer" and "1 AM" don't usually appear in the same sentence, unless its to say "She never made it to 1 AM". Happy New Year and many blessings to our family and friends in the new year. My resolution? Let's make more time to enjoy each other's company. I'm planning on it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

HERE SHE IS! The newest canine entry in the rowland-rasiak-dayton-carpenter clan. Winnie. she is Nicole and Mike's Christmas cutie and arrived via air freight from Tennesee on December 23rd. Welcome! We're putting together the New YEar show at the GLove, and our Wine/Beer permit just arrived from Albany, so we're home free. I don't drink, but I can tell you that a New YEar's party WITHOUT wine and beer would not be great. So, having our permit puts us in a good place. Now with the food and entertainment, it should be a good time. More blog tomorrow, today we're running ragged!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The after-party

Today is the day I have dreaded for a long time. The after-Christmas get-it-together day. I have been postponing all these chores until "after the holidays" because, well, I could. Now that the holidays are over (and I don't count new year's eve as a holiday-it just doesn't qualify) the piper must be paid. I have been piling "stuff" on my dresser because you need to access your "stuff" quickly when you're wrapping gifts. Pens, scissors, tape, gift cards, gift bags, tissue paper, etc. It all adds up. All of a sudden I can't see my dresser top, and I don't need any of this stuff any more. The holidays were totally wonderful, and now they are over. Reality bites. All of the little things that were magical last week are now simply an irritant. Tinsel on the floor is not "fairy dust". It is garbage that must be vacuumed. Of course, being away for a few days has added to the chaos. We came in last night about 6:30 PM, after picking up the dog family from the kennel. Aside from the fact that Bailey is leaning into my back as I type, none of them seem worse for the wear. He likes to be around all the time, so us being away would impact him. Jake is normally annoyed when we go away, he seems to have had a good time and is not bearing any ill-will. Daphne always has ill-will, so it's not terribly noticable. So that portion of our week is over too. Readjusting to home after being with friends and family for a few solid days. It was a great treat. Thank you to all our hosts-we loved every minute. Jerry is outside plowing the snow that got away from us while WE were away. It needs to be beaten into submission in the driveway. He's on it. I am looking into cross-country skiing this week-I may need to try that. I'm not sure yet. I could also try olympic napping, since Allison is away and I would not be missed. Television marathon, another sport that needs practice and dedication. I'll let you know how that works out. To everyone who is on vacation, I hope you find your sport. Keeping busy is the antidote to winter! Get started!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Getaway Day-Drive nice.

This is the day the rest of us who are traveling for the Holidays get on the road. We will all jockey for a great position in the mass exodus, and hopefully treat one another with the respect and courtesy that the season is meant to remember. The Birth of Christ, not the best parking spot at the mall. Sometimes these things can get confused. I have been shopping a bit this past week, and I am hopeful that I can get through the holidays without witnessing some bleak and discouraging evidence that humanity is failing miserably. So far, so good. I'm optimistic. There has been a light dusting of snow, and Jerry and Dan are on their way to the dog boarders. Dan to scope it out in case Angel is in need of boarding in the future. The lengths that Jerry went to to make sure our pets are comfortable while they are away from home is remarkable. I told him this morning that "they are lucky to have you". Jerry was looking for the Irish Weave afghan that Daphne likes so much. "Perhaps it's on Allison's bed" I said, because WE, THE HUMANS, LIKE IT TOO. So, we pulled a fleece off the Quilt hanger in the hallway and sent it with Daphne. she likes fleece too, but apparently prefers Irish weave. Well. la di da. Jake and Bailey were out the door because they are happy to go anywhere. Daphne however was onto the scheme and was sitting by me on the coach. She is nobody's fool. Having already been outside for her morning walk, the 8 degree temp is not something she was interested in re-experiencing. Whatever was out there was not as good as what was in here by the fire. Screw that. So Jerry picked her up and carried her out to the car. She looked somewhat disturbed. I know once she gets there and meets up with her old friend Sandy, the beagle, she'll be fine. They have a wood burning stove in the barn where the kennels are kept, and all our dogs get to stay together in one pen. They love it there - they have an indoor/outdoor door that allows them free reign and they can get outside to a fenced in area to run and play all they like. All in all, it's a nice gig. The dogs are happy, but we will miss them. Pets are not the perfect house-guests, so we try not to land on anyone if we can help it. Actually, pets ARE the perfect houseguests. But we're a little over the top with the three of them. And after all, it's not a bad tradeoff at all-family for the pets. It works for us - we're on our way! To all our friends and family far-away-Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and blessings in the New Year. Jen and Jerry and the gang.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

with a little "lilt"

I'm taking a little break from work because as the old year winds down, grant application deadlines pick up. I'm swamped! Hopefully, we will win a few and lose less. The theatre has been incredibly busy which is good. It has been snowing here ALL DAY LONG. There is not much more accumulation because when you spit in the ocean, it's kind of insignificant. That is how our snow works here. We have enough on the ground, and the roads just keep piling to the side. It's old news. We may take a ride to the mall tonight, because you can't start Christmas shopping soon enough, right? Oy. I'm in trouble. As Jerry's blog said, I am singing with the Irish Troupe from Iona, Sharon Springs, this Saturday. I am singing a song called the Wren, which is about the St. Stephen's day custom of killing a wren bird, carrying it around town on the head of a stick, collecting money for the bird's wake and funeral, and throwing the party with good and drinks. All because Celtic Mythology believed that the wren bird was responsible for "giving away" the Celtic Warriors to the Viking enemies by making noise and ruining their secret attack. So now, the "wren boys" make a nice little game of killing the bird on St. Stephen's day and parading the carcass around town. And we thought video games were harmful. Nice tradition eh? Anyhow, this song that I'm singing has "lilting" in it, which is sort of an irish scat. Not alot of people were willing to take it on, and to me, that just meant the challenge. So I got it after much practice, and will be singing with the dancers on Saturday. Singing with the irish dancers is like walking and chewing gum at the same time - evryone has a different beat and pace. Kind of scary. But what the hell. . . I love the irish dancers and I will be at the show anyway! We have a big weekend coming up, and next week is all out crazy. But it's all good. I saw an Amish buggy passing down Route 30A this morning. It was a roofless buggy with two men in it. I think the roofless buggies are kept for "courting" couples, and probably used as the second buggy if Mama and the kids are out in their buggy. Kind of like an Amish station car-not the one anyone wants to use. Well, they had a vinyl coverlet snapped on, sort of like a rain barrier that you might see on a child's stroller, only big enough to cover the two men with just their heads poking out. The horse was a little "skittish" as the snow squall was kind of windy and traffic was a little heavy at that moment. The whole thing looked a little precarious to me, so I was kind of holding my breath there and watching this all take place. It just made me realize how grateful I am for selter, heat and Jeep! Currier and Ives is lovely, but cold. Brrrrrrr.

Jen Doing a Little singing and ...It's Snowing Again!

Well Gang it's been a few days or more since I put something up in the Blog so here Goes! We have Been very busy volunteering at the Glove, I helped out for the kids Christmas / Holiday show..... I became very Close to Santa that day..
Last Night we helped out at a Irish Dance rehearsal, Jen even sang one song....Sat. is the show which is mostly Irish Dancers and they are great from what I saw...
We are getting a little snow as I type so here a few pictures.
Jen is going to sing with a country band New Years Eve , I snapped a few pictures from the rehearsal the other night . Jen is wearing a coat (white one) cause they keep the heat way down.
They sound Great....mostly cause Jens singing with them.
Brian , Ashly and Maybe Nicole coming up Saturday for the weekend.
I'm making with Brian a Lasagna which he asked for and I love to make. Hope he does not follow too closely as we make it....It's a well guarded secret.
Jen's having fun so she tells us and that's good for her.
Just got the Christmas tree in a few hours ago and soon we will be getting it decorated......We hope, at least lights going on it.
Safe trip up up guys, bring warm clothes with was 16 this morning when I got up.
Til next time....Jerry
P.S. I know I'm forgetting something...It will come to me.

Friday, December 11, 2009


December 11. How the F did that happen? I was peacefully laying out on our back deck, enjoying the sunshine and 80 degree temperature and WHACK! It's December 11. I have only myself to blame, and yet,I feel so blameless here. While everyone has been ranting and raving about Mother Nature and the white stuff she throws at us each year, I gotta tell you, Father Time has been wheedling with my world and really playing dirty. I am perusing the internet yesterday, in between meetings, and grant applications and rehearsals and there it was, plain as day. 14 days till Christmas. Are they KIDDING? Jerry handled the tree details yesterday. He went and wacked two in the back 9. One for us, one for church. So we're in good shape there. Putting the tree up and decorating it remains still to be done and to be quite honest, I don't have time for this. We are heading to the Island for Christmas (Island, not Islands, I know, I was disapointed too) and so Christmas here will be sparse. Of course, the outside has been decorated since sometime in Mid-July (only kidding, but I am placing bets that the lights don't come down-it's an upstate thing). However, it does require a Christmas tree. We are woefully behind in everything, and I'm busy planning New Year's Eve. We are working towards a great time, and hopefully, a great fund-raiser. Cause Funds is what we need. This fuel oil thing is making me crazy. Thank God we don't have oil here at the house, I'd be over the edge. In truth, if things ever got tough we always have the wood stove. That gives me a sense of security that is completely out of proportion to my lifestyle. I think I was Amish in another life way back. Too many things in their world are completely comfortable to me. Then again, they don't have 7-11. . . Bailey in his maturity has discovered snow. He is just too happy for words, and absolutely climbs over the other two disgruntled winter dogs to get out there and get running. He can't help himself. He stands still for a moment, lifts his nose to the air and quivers with anticipation. He LOVES IT! Then he peels out and heads for a snowbank off in the distance, just getting up enough momentum to crash through and make flying dust. Then he does it all over again. Every so often he runs back to check on us all because we are not joining in the revelry. He has a disappointed look on his face,but goes back to his mission-FUN! I love to watch him. It does take the chill off to be running around and crashing through mountains of snow, but then I would be in traction for a few days, I'm sure. So that is a double-edged sword. To let go with reckless abandon or pay for that craziness with sore back and legs and yada yada. I'm sure you know how THAT pans out. Allison and I are going to the YMCA next-making a newly concerted effort to get ourselves working out and MOVING. Now that the snow is here, and isn't going away anytime soon, we need to make an alternate arrangement for motion. Outside is just too cooooold. And yet, isn't this why we moved here? Yes! I've explained my theory in the past, but for those who missed it, here goes. There are no roaring fires in Tampa. People ask "why did you move north if you don't like the cold?" My response is that there are roaring fires here in the north, and I can sit by them all I like. My feet get warm. If we went to Tampa (or south anywhere) because we don't like the cold, all we would get is Air Conditioning. I know from which I speak. No one does anything in the south without air conditioning on. I would be freezing ALL THE TIME! And so, here we are in the toasty northeast. Makes sense to me. I realize I'm rambling a little today, but that's my point. If I focus, I will have to come to terms with the fact that it is December 11th, and I have no Christmas. I do believe. . . I do believe. . .

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

High Five to whom?

Who do you high five when no one is home? I can explain but first I must tell you we are experiencing the winter's first real snow storm. Bailey has finally accepted the fact that no, he cannot run outside and play with the snowplow. So, he is napping here on the couch. Quite comfortable actually. He does well when we're home with him. I am not home alone either. Allison is sleeping quite peacefully upstairs in her room because TODAY IS A SNOW DAY! WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO! Yes! We are here and the snow outside is at 12 inches so far, no wait, about 2 feet just slid off the roof, so here at the door, we now have about 3 feet of snow. The new metal roof is doing its job. Snow is sliding down, and accumulating here at the back door. The Porch is doing IT'S job and keeping the snow from accumulating at the front door, so we can still open it. I love when a plan comes together, which is where I started this blog. . . I want to high five SOMEONE because yesterday as I was leaving the theatre I thought to myself, snow. . . maybe. . .what should I bring home with me? And although I had already overnighted the wine and beer permit application to the proper agency, and they had received it, I thought, well, just bring the file home in case. And I thought for moment "are we being neurotic?" And although the answer was yes, I was being neurotic, (and by the way, who ever decided neurotic was a BAD thing? Doesn't it just make us more efficient people?) I tucked the file into my briefcase, which was already overloaded with OTHER things that were possible problems in the event that we DID get snow and we DID close school and we DID decide to stay home for the day. . . well. This morning at about 9:50 a.m. (Jackie, correct me if I'm wrong) I got a phone call from our Agency's contact person, (who shall remain nameless in case their being a contact is a conflict-ya never know), and asked me for YOU GUESSED IT-a copy of our permit application in the event that they needed to speak to the OTHER agency about our application. So far, our application looks good. New Year's Eve is a go-I can almost say that with authority. Almost. But in the big scheme of things, the fact that I had the application, was able to fax it to their office (because we CAN fax from here at home), and it was all completed correctly and on time, with the check, with the proper signature and mailed overnight to the correct place, AND I had made copies of everything and brought it home with me, because YES, I am neurotic. It made me look good. That doesn't happen as often as I'd like, and so, just for the record, my request for a high five was really just looking for a pat on the back because no one can do that for themselves. Well, really you can, but unfortunately for humanity, we don't give ourselves that same credit, and the credit doesn't feel as valuable as it should when it comes from ourselves, which is really a shame and we should work on that. I am almost positive that Allison would not be feeling the same sense of elation that I am feeling right now, and so I let her sleep. I know that Jackie is feeling it for me, but we are too far away to feel that "SLAP" that you experience when you high five someone for real. So the emotional SLAP that she is feeling for me is very much appreciated. Thanks Jackie! Jerry is out plowing the neighbors, because he is a good guy. He will only say "well of course, who's better than you?" and I also appreciate his constant support and expectation that I will be the best. He is good about that. He is an all around good guy. BECAUSE he's an all around good guy, he's not here either. So that SLAP of a high five must come from within. I'm not good at that. But today, I will give it my best shot. Nice going Jen. High Five. Cocktail anyone? New Year's Eve - be there. We'll be serving drinks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Spoiler Alert-Santa reality discussion. Hide the kids

Would you ever book a christening, a confirmation and a graduation party all on the same day? Of course not. That's insanity. Well, that's what we did at the Glove Theatre on Saturday. Not christening, confirmation and graduation, but Farmer's Market from 9-1, Children's Christmas Show and party from 2-4 and Evening Christmas show from 7-9; all requiring the full participation and work of the Glove Theatre's extraordinary volunteers. Without them, this whole house of cards would have fallen. It did not fall, but we did. By 9:45 when it was all over, and we had all been on our feet and working hard for 14 or so hours, we crashed. We had approximately 285 kids pass through the theatre at 2 PM, all there to see the guy in the red suit, who happened to be my favorite guy in the red suit as well. I have never seens such a great Santa Clause-truly. He was fun with the older kids, and paternal and gentle with the little ones. I was busy painting the faces of all 285 participants, one at a time. Someone had told the little cherubs that they must sneeze on the face painter as soon as they sat down, and that is what they did. Thanks kids. I woke up Sunday morning with what felt like golf balls in my throat. Allison made sure I was aware that it takes two weeks for germs to germinate into a cold, however I prefer to blame the little kids. It feels better. But I digress. . . Santa was amazing in his jolliness and his patience. His suit was a beautiful burgundy velvet from the costume shop across the street. He looked fantastic! The beard and hair were not the cheesy costume shop type, but the real Santa stuff. He looked fantastic, and each and every child who went to talk to him was left with a good feeling and the assurance that yes, there is a Santa Claus. As we were face painting across the theatre (these activities were going on simultaneously) we only heard two children in the process of a Santa freak-out. 285 kids and two freak-outs? Not bad. I was impressed. The freak-outs were particularly funny, as they started slow and got louder and more panicked the closer they were brought to the big guy. Not happening. So, they moved on to the cookie decorating, face painting, and other such activities, one of which was completing a Christmas Card to the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital. It was nice to hear the kids making comments about the soldiers, how brave they are, who has a brother/cousin/neighbor in the army, etc. If you are not feeling the holiday spirit, I recommend attending a children's party somewhere. It makes your heart hurt to hear the innocence and trust in these little voices. They believe. I asked each of the kids (after they sat down and sneezed on me) what they had asked for from Santa, and most of the requests were rather minimal. Matchbox cars, video games and a doll or two. Not alot really. Watching TV could lead you to believe that every kid wants all the crap that they are showing us. Not so. A few asked for snow shoes and mittens. I was amazed. And renewed. After working at the kids party all day, we then moved on to the evening show, which was presented by a local vocal group of young people. Ages from 4 to 25. It was a beautiful concert of laughs, christmas carols and a sing a long. Packing up at 9 PM, we realized it had snowed all day and we had a good four plus inches on the ground. Driving up the mountain to our house, we passed through our own Winter Wonderland. Seeing all the trees covered and the plowed roads and the christmas lights along the way was just beautiful. When we got home, we heard from Allison who had attended her own Winter Wonderland dance and was checking in from the slumber party afterwards. All in all, a special holiday weekend. If anyone ever says "let's book three events in one day" the answer will be a resounding "are you crazy?" But now that it's behind me, I can say it was a total success. Someday I will tell you the "Santa has had enough" story, right now it's a little too fresh. We need to let Santa get over it a bit. . . But let me say this-he's as good a sport as I've always believed he was. Who knew?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rain-in December?

Last year at this time, we were already well on our way to maximum coverage of snow. If I remember correctly, I had fallen a few times and was recovering in the recliner. What a difference a year makes. We are in full throttle at the Glove, and December is moving by too quickly. Our upcoming shows this Saturday are featuring Santa Claus, a guy I know VERY well. Mr. Claus actually lives here at Blueline Farm, and I'm counting on that jolly laugh to be at its best on Saturday, we're expecting about 150 kids to see the big guy. There will be the two musical Christmas Shows and a Farmer's Market - all in one day. My big concern in the upstairs offices is finishing the grant applications that have a December 31 deadlines, and completing the temporary wine and beer permit application so that our New Year's Eve "Fuel-Aid" concert can go forward. The concert will happen whether or not we have a wine and beer permit, but a dry New Year's eve is not going to be a big draw. It works fine for me, but not for the majority of Stan Devoe's groupies. He is a local "legend" - a Johnny Cash, country type of guy who has a rather large following. He has generously offered his band for New Year's eve because we need to raise alot of money, and we need to raise it NOW. My comments about this year's mild December is actually said as I sigh with relief, because heating the Glove Theatre is an expensive proposition. It is eating all our funds and we're still early in the winter. So, a Live Aid concert was conceived and all proceeds will go towards fuel oil. Not an original idea-Willie Nelson did it for Farm Aid-I'm just hoping we can pull it off successfully. Our season depends on it. So, if you find yourself saying "what should we do on New Year's?" think of The Glove. A $20 ticket with a cash bar (hopefully) is not a bad gig. Downtown Gloversville is starting to really pick up for the Holidays. This town may be going through hard times, but the Holiday decorations are beautiful. I had gone to the eye doctor last week to have my annual checkup, and had my eyes dilated. Driving down Main Street with dilated pupils was like driving through a kaleidescope. Really kind of cool. The colored lights all over were magnificent at dusk. Thankfully, I was able to differentiate between the decorations and the traffic lights, although it did require intense concentration. Fortunately, traffic here is mild or it could have been ugly. I'm working hard, and having fun. I have alot of collaboration with other creative minds (Thanks Jackie!) and I love every minute of it. Isn't that what we try to teach our children? Find a way to get paid for something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. That's my goal! Drive safe-we're out there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Albany, New York

I was inside the Capital building in Albany yesterday; the heart of New York's political business. It was exciting and beautiful. The history in the place is just palpable, and everyone there has a sense of respect and awe. It was a great experience and I was thrilled to have been included. The Governor notwithstanding, the government is being run by Doogie Howser. I looked around and was shocked by the youth of all the governor's assistants and aids. They are all kids! Then it dawned on me that maybe I have reached that age where everyone is a kid, except me. My rational head kicked in and said "of course not, I'm not THAT old". But it is remarkable that the government has so many "youthful" participants." I'm glad, of course. I think that the youthful perspective can only help us. But I am sure that the boy's department at JC Penney is low on suits. It was a kick to be there, and unlike the Salahi's at the white house, my name WAS on the list. Cool. The capital building is beautiful! It is worth being seen at any time. The artwork on the ceiling is just gorgeous and reflects the rich history of New York State. Mohawk indians, Henry Hudson, Erie Canal - all of it. I had a great time. Now, today, back to the theatre and the hunt for fuel oil. We're having a Fuel-Aid concert on New Year's Eve, and hopefully it will be well attended. We burn about 2 gallons per hour, and that's a painful reality. So, that's my priority. Stay warm.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How many different directions can I go?

I used to listen to people who said they had no time to check their e-mail and think "are they kidding?-how much time could THAT take?" and now. . . I'm there. I'm on the computer all day at work and when I walk in the door at home, I'm right to the computer to check-out music/groups on i-tunes. I put the headphones on and I'm at the computer for an hour or so. I get it. Signing on to e-mail is just overwhelming to me, because it opens up the door to possible problems and questions that I just can't answer anymore. "Tomorrow is another day", as Scarlet said. I apologize to those e-mail friends whom are nothing near to problems or questions, it's just the filtering that sends me over the edge. That being said, I am working on a resolution this year that will allow me to "gloss over" those e-mails that require "work" and move on to the good stuff. It's a good resolution for the new year, and I have a month to fine tune the points so that it is a workable solution. I'm never good at putting aside work when it's in my face. Once I put it aside, I can ignore it like nobody's business. There's a fine line that I need to find, because OVERWHELMED has become my middle name. With the holidays barreling down on us (I can't believe we just passed Thanksgiving), I realize that once again I am woefully behind. How does this happen when every year I vow to get a handle on the holidays? I'm determined, motivated and very thoroughly convinced I can pull it all together. And yet, here we are, December 1st. I have wrapping paper. Nothing to wrap, but plenty of paper. Go Jen. And yet, isn't this the prettiest time of year? I just have to find a way to blend the beauty and the chores. If I can achieve that-well, that's the goal anyway. Today, I'm off to Albany to attend a meeting with Gov. Paterson (really) for "women in business". It is a press conference that will be held at the capital building in Albany. I am not doing any shopping today, because THIS is a moment that I will need both hands in order to pinch myself. How did I get on this list? I'm thrilled, excited and proud. No time for shopping. . . although being in Albany puts us very close to the mall. The BIG mall. hmmmmm. This could work in my favor.