Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning. . . Not.

As I do every year, I have recently taken a look around the house, so warm and comfortable during the winter months, and decided that everything has to go. It is a rite of spring, this cleaning bug. One must feather one's nest in time for the change of seasons, and spring cleaning is the first step in prepping our little corner of the world for spring and summer and all the activities and enjoyments that go with the good weather. We're ready. The house is not. First of all, spring cleaning would normally involve window washing. As the pellet stove is still running 24/7, this is an effort in futility. We won't be turning off the pellet stove until the weather is consistently hovering around 60-65 degrees. This is based upon my inability to get warm, ever. So sitting by the stove and roasting my toes will continue on until my toes are in flip-flops, which is still a bit down the line for me. No windows will be cleaned today. We are also in the process of finishing the last room in the house, the living room. Jerry has ordered the Kiln dried wood for the walls and ceiling, and we will soon be pulling up the carpet/tile/ugliness that was here when we bought the house. This is big news. Even the dogs will be happy to see that mess go. The wood floor will be extended from the kitchen straight through the living room, up to the pellet stove and the windows, which are being replaced also. As you can see, this is a rather large project that will involve a big mess. We are weeks away from beginning this process, and I am not interested in getting everything all spring cleaned only to turn around and have it trashed through construction projects. I have lived through that-I have gotten wise over the years. So, essentially, spring cleaning is losing its sense of importance. Because no matter how we take it on, it will be mostly undone by the projects of the home. So I guess I am safe to say that for the moment, I am off the hook. Which brings me to my original judgement of life, which is that we should all just go fishing. I am gearing up for that activity as soon as the ice melts from the Sacandaga River. I pass by the creeks and streams on my way to work, and they are still lined with ice and snow mounds. The water swirling beneath the slowly melting winter cover is getting more and more active, thrashing the shores and wearing down the last evidence of winter. As soon as I can see a clear path to the river, you will find me standing knee deep in the rushing clear water with my fly rod and my waders and my Genny beer. That is MY spring cleaning. I will clean out all the stress and troubles in my mind and just watch them float away. Much easier. No Pledge or Febrize involved. Just some dry flies and a couple of beers. I'm sure Martha Stewart will be horrified, but as I have been telling my loved ones for years, I'm Not Martha. Yay Spring. By the way-the Pictures are the Lake at Caroga Beach Association. Nothing to do with the Sacandaga River, but simply a view of the water (Any Water)after it has melted-docks are going in and the mud is drying up. Something I am looking forward to. Thought I'd share. . .

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain, Not Snow.

This is a good thing. Although there are still mounds of snow here and there, I suspect that this is it for the season. There is still snow on Royal Mountain, but we are beginning to see patches of brown interspersed, and the lifts appear to be shut off. I'm afraid to say it out loud, but I will stick my neck out in the written word and say that spring has sprung. I'm not saying it with my mouth yet, just my typed words. The jinx is too dangerous. We begin rehearsals for Alice In Wonderland tonight, and the show will be presented live May 21-23. We have a cast with wide ranging ages and experience, and it should prove to be quite an undertaking. I'd like to take a moment to say hi to my family and friends, because I will probably be missing for the next six weeks or so. I hope I'm only kidding, but the possibility exists. It's a little scary and a little exciting too. We're on our way. . . Jerry is home from his LI trip and very much welcomed back by the canines and their Alpha Number Two. Actually, I think I might be Alpha number five, but I'm not giving up so easily. I've taken to calling Daphne "Diva" because, well, it fits. Essentially, she does what the hell she wants whenever the hell she wants to. She has been spending way too much time with Jake I guess. Bailey still listens to me, but it also takes a few more seconds for him to respond then it used to. I guess he's heading down that slippery slope with the rest of them. Saturday, after standing out on the porch and yelling and whisteling and basically doing the whole song and dance, I just closed the door on the whole bunch of them and rattled the cooking jar a bit. They came back expecting great things, but a few moments too late. I gave out NO cookies. My little passive-aggressive way of making a point. Did they get it? I'm not sure. We're not on a conversational basis, yet. Jerry peaks and they all hear him. How does that happen? I haven't figured it out yet, but I'm trying. I've even tried lowering my voice to that deep register that seems to work for him. Nothin. Nada. Zippo. Jerry's audiologist seems to think that his hearing loss only applies to the upper registers that include women and teenagers. I think that is just a wild excuse, not for "hearing Loss" but for "interest loss". That's a little too convenient, don't you think? If I ignore you, I will not blame it on Hearing. I'm just sayin. . .

Friday, March 26, 2010

Uncomfortable vs. Pain

I had my neurological procedure done yesterday and was acutely aware of the differences that exist between the medical community and the general public. When I tell someone they are going to be uncomfortable, that means your pillow will not be adequately fluffed and I should probably get you two bon bons instead of just one. Would that make you more comfortable? Uncomfortable means not terribly threatening but merely something that requires some small adjustment to correct it. When I am "uncomfortable" with something someone says, it usually means that I will make a mental note of that, but not necessarily confront them in an attack on their opinion or point of view. I might even say that "that makes me uncomfortable", but that would be said in a conversational tone, without anger or malice. In my mind, uncomfortable means simply with a little tweaking, we can all be comfortable again. No biggie. Pain, on the other hand, is something that gets your immediate attention. It hurts big time. Pain has different levels, like the little smiley face chart in the hospital rooms where they ask you to describe your pain. On a scale of one to ten, describe your pain level. The last smiley face (at ten) has a big frown and tears are drawn in. This is not adequate. In order to describe real pain, we must increase the levels to twenty, and the last couple of smiley faces would need to be animated so you could see the little frowning guy banging his head side to side against the little box he lives in, with his mouth wide open in a scream. This would more adequately describe levels of pain. A frown with tears is often how I feel when I awake in the morning, Certainly not my last option on a scale of pain offered up in the emergency room. They are delusional. Or, (and this is my real belief), they are not interested. Not because they are a compassionless group, but because sometimes there isn't alot they can do for your pain. It is a dilemma of discretion. So, when I received the information paperwork in advance of this procedure involving needles and electric shocks, I was quite concerned that the description of "you may feel some discomfort during this procedure", would not be an adequate nor totally accurate way of giving me all the facts. And, truth be told, I was prepared to pre-medicate myself with some over-the-counter product that would simply take the edge off what was described as discomfort. Being the "follow the rules" kind of gal that I am, I called the doctor's office to make sure that would not interfere with the program, or better yet, I didn't want to impede the possibility that they would be giving me something REALLY effective upon my arrival and finding that I had pre-medicated on my own, was no longer eligible for the "good stuff". As you can see, I know my way around medical procedures. Anyway, I was told in no uncertain terms that taking any pain meds would in fact interfere with the procedure as they needed my muscular responses to be unrestricted and totally normal. I did what I was told. I took nothing. Big, big mistake. I will leave out the gorey details. We can leave those for another day when I feel the need to rail against the world. Suffice it to say that medicating in advance would have been humane. Comparing my pain level to childbirth and commenting that "if I had survived childbirth, this should be nothing" was not a smart move by a seemingly very educated man. He should have known better. Of all the stupid things that people say, and we could devote an entire column to really stupid sayings, that one rates way up at the top. Essentially, if I whack this man in the southerly region (and by the way, that is not the term I used, shame on me), I can stand over him and proclaim that "compared to an amputation, that is nothing!-Buck up my friend!" as he writhes in pain on the floor. Are you kidding me? WRONG!!!! Just because I survived childbirth does not make me immune to pain. It makes me simply aware that pain is something I should avoid every frigging chance I get. Whether it is a ten or a twenty on a very inadequate scale of comparison is irrelevant. OUCH! that's good enough for me. OWWWWWW. This is more serious. Holding my breath as tears stream down my face uncontrollably, and breathing only enough so that I won't scream out in pain or start to sob in that downward spiral we've all had at one time or another, when sobbing is all you can do, now that is pain. Childbirth it's not. Obviously. But at that moment, I wasn't comparing, nor did I care. It was today's issue with today's inability to cope with it. Since he was not signing on for the whacking, nor did he comment any further on my reaction, I can only assume that he saw my point. He shook my hand and left, and the nurse was lovely, handing me tissues and giving me instructions for the afternoon. It was over. He had asked me mid-way if I wanted to stop the procedure and take it up another time. Obviously my answer was No. We had started-now finish. I was determined to get through it. So I never have to go through it again. Are we clear?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Stem On The Apple

As you May or May not know ,our daughter, Nicole & Son-inlaw Mike, are having a baby. Yesterday on my birthday ,they found out what the sex of our Grandchild will be. Seems Mike put the "Stem On The Apple".......It's going to be a Boy!..... Due In Aug. So that's The News here... We are so Happy. Other Goings on, I have gone back to work for a security company and at this point in classes and waiting for my Federal clearances. I Like getting back out there, sometimes the classroom stuff gets a little dull. Most of my coworkers are retired cops so with that we all speak the same language, within 5 Min.'s we are all friends... The weather here has taken a change and signs of spring are appearing... Soon we will see the return of migratory birds that pass by here, the Bees out at the Bee Yard are flying.... Of seven hives that I wintered over...only one strong hive survived . I hoping that they make it through the spring...I am feeding them sugar water & Honey. ( It's Tough using that tiny dropper and holding onto a bee) Jen's working on a play at the Glove Theatre... Alice In Wonderland, the last two days she has had tryouts and the turn out was HUGE.. Jen putting her own "Spin" of this play....Should be Great. Ali's seems to be doing fine here in the Adirondacks and using her love of photography to keep her busy.. That's about it for Now.... Til Next Time Gang.......Jerry

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


We are in production for our May presentation of Alice in Wonderland. Directed by yours truly, the possibilities of this play are endless and fun. It is the kind of play that really speaks to my funny bone, because the characters are twisted, neurotic, subversive, uncooperative and sometimes just plain mean. And yet Alice rises above all this and gets out unscathed. I love it. It has always been a favorite of mine and the opportunity to direct is making me very happy. That being said, we are all in for a bumpy ride. 24 hours in a day is becoming problematic. I have to figure out a way to better manage my time, and my energies. Surrounding myself with good people has already been done and it does help. Now I think I just need better meds. I am having a procedure done on Thursday that requires sticking needles into the muscles of my legs and monitoring the electronic response to different stimuli. Let me just say this-aaaaaaaaaggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh. I am not even close to being brave. I am a wuss, and this will be a festival of wussdom. Trust me-I know my limits. Needles and Jen-not a good combination. But supposedly it will help the neurologist in prescribing appropriate and effective pharmaceutical aids. For me, that is the key word. I'll do anything to be out of pain, so, needles it is. I'm bringing the knitting needles with me so that I can re-focus on something else. I may also use them to jab the Dr. if he gets a little too over-ambitious. Whatever. We'll see how it goes. Posting at least once per week has become my writers goal. And now that I am attending a writer's group at the Senior Center, I am responsible to myself for producing some type of creative effort. The blog has been so much more effective as a writing tool than a journal ever was. What's the point of writing if no one is to read it? I was never a good journal writer-no feedback. So, this is this weeks post-hopefully, there will be others, because so far I'm not impressed. But if you throw enough spaghetti against a wall, eventually SOMETHING will stick. That's my new motto. I'm throwing lots of pasta.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Opinionated so and so

Top O The Morning to Ya! Oh wait, I missed it. That was yesterday. I was at the theatre all day, preparing for GreenFest, which was our combined St. Patrick's/Recycling education program. Irish Dancers, Bagpipes and a representative from Fulton county recycling, with lots of giveaways. We had dinner catered by a local eatery-Lomanto's-a nice irish boy. It was delicious. And well attended. This is what we hope for when we're planning events. It's not always a successful endeavor but I do think those who attend are leaving happy. That's the goal. I've had a busy couple of weeks, and was able to fit in a visit to LI last weekend. While browsing a "retro boutiqe" with Joanne and Jackie I witnessed a young girl (probably about 6 or 7, maybe younger) cliimbing up a bookcase and pulling out books one by one to look at them. I watched her for a moment to guage the stability of the bookcase, and then walked over and said "Don't climb there honey, you'll get hurt". All of this seemed quite acceptable to me until I was walking away and it struck me like a bolt from the sky-I have become that woman who interferes in other people's business and speaks her mind. Good God, when did that happen? I was horrified. Not because of what I had done, but because I didn't care. When re-examining the whole episode I came to the conclusion that I would have done nothing differently. That's what scared me. Because in watching this small child climb up a well loaded bookcase I was able to assess what the damage would be when it fell. The damage to her was obvious to me. It would hurt and cause a very painful, conceivably hospital worthy injury. But the real clincher for me was looking at the bookcase full of shelves and feeling, really feeling, that some poor clerk would have to restock all the shelves with the books that fell to the floor. That is when my real compassion kicked in. So "honey, don't climb there" was really my effort in unity with a clerk who didn't deserve all that extra work or aggravation. My cosmic interference with what was potentially a big traumatic event in this little corner of the world felt totally justified and necessary. Which makes me that kind of woman. One who speaks her opinion and feels justified in doing it. Oh boy. And yet I feel a certain amount of enlightenment too. Isn't this a perfectly acceptable way to clean up some of the world's small injustices? If I just speak up, I can educate and possibly intervene at any moment and cause true change and improvement. This is heady stuff. There is still more snow than grass here, but slowly that is changing. Like a receding hairline, the green is showing more and more. I have witnessed numerous flip flops and the shorts are out in force. Not in this house, but locally just the same. I'm starting to look around the property and visualize where and how to plant things. Also, remembering that last year we planted blueberry bushes (we-get the we?) I am riding Jerry's coattails on that one-he did the digging-I did the cheering. But blueberry bushes we shall have. I can taste them already. Tonight we unveil the 2010 season at the theatre-a big deal here. I must remember to keep my opinions to myself-just for tonight anyway. Enjoy the thaw.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ski Jackets and Shorts

Yup-It happens here alot. You'd be surprised. As you can see from the dreary picture, these kids were heading home from school in the afternoon and pushing the spring thing a little. Speaking of pushing spring, on my way to the theatre this morning, I passed an older gentleman on a lawn tractor mowing the six foot patch of grass that had melted in his front yard. Now, you can see that the snow has not totally melted, and this poor bastard was riding his mower and participating in the most futile activity I have ever witnessed. On it's best day, his lawn was only mud. But he was tooling along as if it was the middle of June and he had a whole day's mowing ahead of him. That, my friends, is cabin fever. I bow to the pro. Of course, he was NOT wearing shorts-I leave that to the kids. The following picture is of the Great Sacandaga Lake, and as you can see, the ice shacks are out in the middle. This is a wonderful activity that was going strong until yesterday, when a truck and two cars went through the ice. Now, I can understand the first accident-it happens. The second one? Who sees a truck go through the ice and then pulls out there to follow? Not a wise choice in any instance. But that old "Let me try" mentality kicks in at the strangest times, doesn't it? Speaking of ice fishing, I have two takers to next years Great Sacandaga Lake Ice Fishing Challenge-my cousins Mark and Trish. They have picked up the gauntlet and are planning their thermal underwear strategy as we speak. There is room for more-don't hesitate to join in. I know this will be a good time-whenever we're together the laughs are memorable. I have decided that I hate mud season and plan to someday take this dog and pony show on the road-I dream of traveling the country from January to April, and coming back after all the mud has grown some grass. I think that is the ideal situation, don't you? Just pile all the canines into a little Minnie Winnie and hit the road. It could be done I think. I'll dream on that while I'm wiping off everyone's four feet as they come in the door. Jake actually gets in up to his ankles, he's that heavy. We have spread the hay around the driveway again this year, and it is working like a charm. Daphne and Bailey are doing OK with the mud, they have a lighter tread. I also think St. Patrick's comes at the perfect time-who knows mud better than the Irish? I think they put this holiday right smack in the middle of mud season so they could get inside, do a little singing and dancing and just forget about it. Brilliant idea. Next week we're halfway to April! Hang in there. Apparently, you can wear your shorts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Photos of Making Maple Syrup

Well Gang It's been a few Days or longer since I posted so here are some photos of what I have been doing.
I have been helping the North Bush Rd crew gathering Maple Sap and boiling it down into Maple Syrup, Here are a few of the shots.
Those two jars are the 1st of this seasons syrup.
The Boiler reducing sap
This building is something new this year made by Fred of Albany....It's a Pump House that sucks sap down the main line from the trees to a tank, seem to get more from the trees, not connected to all the 200 taps
Photo of the inside of the sap pump house
The Little pot on a burner is the finishing sap boiler
The large tank up on a stand is the raw sap waiting to run into the boiler
wood burning sap boiler
Having fun with this
We are still doing volunteer work at the Glove Theatre And this year Jen has a very exciting show line up. The weather has started to warm here and snow is melting fast.
Til next time gang,........Jerry

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not much going on.

The sun coming up over the mountains is the most beautiful part of the day here in Caroga Lake. Especially when spring is in the air. There is still plenty of snow on the ground, but it has that musky, mushy, spring thaw about it. I can see that we had better load up on hay, because very soon the driveway will be very muddy, and the dogs will be bringing it into the house and onto the furniture. Yeah spring. I guess this is the reason we need to have spring cleaning-because of all the mud. I always wondered why it was done specifically in the springtime. Now I know. Mud. Once the mud season is over, then spring can arrive in full bloom. It's just one of those things we have to get through. I guess it makes us better people, or at least more appreciative of the good things in life-we have to suffer a little before we get the goods. That's how I feel about spring. All off a sudden I have the desire to decorate in yellows and greens-pastels. I'm not a pastel kind of person, but spring will do that to you. The stores are all carrying those spring colors and "cruisewear". I'm not heading out on any cruise, but the spring clothes are very nice to see. The velvets and courderoys are slowly disappearing from the racks. It's still cold, but spring is everywhere. Our big Season Preview was in yesterday's local paper, and so far all the feed back is good. Jackie did a bang up job on our graphics, and hopefully this will generate some income for the theatre's spring season. That's our goal. The scripts are coming for Alice in Wonderland, and Saturday night we have a Mindbending Illusionist coming. Should be interesting. I'm off to the cardiologist today for the annual checkup, and Jerry and the boys should be down the road a bit watching the sap boil. Life rolls along here in the boondocks. It's all good.