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Definitely an LP, not a 45

What does one do when one is striving NOT to indulge in a Non-Sequitur Thursday post but cannot think of anything  worth writing a blog post about?

I actually have a delightful local business I have been writing about today, but that was for an article to submit to Mohawk Valley Living.  Don’t tell anybody, but it is not going as well as I had hoped.  One problem is that I cannot find the notebook I had with me the day we visited the place.  I remember some of the things I took notes about but cannot remember the notes themselves.  It is most distressing. I think I will be able to finish the article anyways, but I’m afraid it will not be as good.

As any writer can tell you, Fear of Not Being Good Enough can be paralyzing.  What is it called?  Inadequaphobia?  Probably nothing that explanatory.  It’s probably something derived from the Latin meaning “doesn’t have her act together.”  I should have taken a course in Latin.

It does not help that my spring allergies have kicked in big time.  I suppose it could also be a cold or the flu or some undefined virus.  Who ever knows what’s wrong with me anyways?  At any rate, I feel like crap and I am trying to get my work done while reminding myself that nobody want to hear AGAIN how lousy I feel.  What a broken-record kvetch I am!

For younger readers (if any)  that does not mean I broke a record for being the biggest kvetch (although that could be true as well).  It has to do with vinyl records on a turntable.  Get your grandparents to explain.

Now I’m thinking, “Oh, hell, my blog readers probably don’t want to hear about it either.” That is a problem.  Perhaps I can come up with another idea by the end of the day.

Well, obviously I did not.  However, I did get my article written and submitted.  Also, I’m feeling worse than ever and I don’t care who’s sick of hearing me complain.  Yes, I’m indulging in Non-Sequitur Thursday.  Now I’m going to indulge in Going Straight to Bed.


What’s In A Name?

Today’s post is under the heading This Is Embarrassing.  I suppose the Shakespeare quote headline is a little obvious and perhaps overblown, but sometimes one can’t resist.  At least I shall refrain from ending my post with “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”  Then again, no promises.

For the February 2016 issue of Mohawk Valley Living Magazine, I visited the Middleville Free Library.  My articles are headlined “The Everyday Adventures of Mohawk Valley Girl,” and the blurb at the end invites readers to follow my “frugal fun” at my blog (you know, here).  What could be more frugal and fun than a library?  Oh, I suppose some people would consider other things more fun.  For more frugal, I suppose you could stay home.  But that was not my point.

My point was, I got the library manager’s name wrong.  I said it was Sandra Zaffara and it should have been Sandra Zaffarano.  I did not realize this until a reader made a comment under my About page here at WordPress.  I was mortified.  I found the notebook I had with me the day I had visited the library.  I had written “Sandra Zaffara.”  What was that all about?

This morning, I called the library and apologized to Sandra.  She could not have been nicer.  She said it was no big deal about the name, a mere typo.  One friend had asked if she was in the Witness Protection program, which I thought was pretty funny.  Sandra had liked the article in spite of the mistake.  She invited me back to the library to see a model made of popsicle sticks she had forgotten to show me.  I positively must get the ability to post pictures, so I can include such things in my blog.

My takeaway from this is twofold:  Don’t just double-check names, triple-check them (although, in my defense, I think I got any other names I’ve used in MVL articles right).  And don’t get bent out of shape if the local newspaper misspells my last  name, as it has been known to do.  Be like Sandra Zaffarano.  Be nice.

By the way, if you get a chance, visit the Middleville Free Library, 1 S. Main St., Middleville, NY, phone number 315-891-3655.  They have some cool stuff there.  You can read about it in my article in the February article of Mohawk Valley Living.


Post Before Many More

What a day, what a day, what a day I have had.  Yes, I needed to say it three times.  Earlier in the week, my sister Cheryl contacted me and told me she had been looking through Mohawk Valley Living magazine and had a full day of Mohawk Valley adventures planned.   What else could I do  but go along and enjoy?

We did enjoy ourselves!  I met Cheryl, we picked up her friend Penny, and we took off.  We spent all day riding around hither and thither (or should that be hither and yon?).  I have so many things to write blog posts about and/or suitable for articles to submit to Mohawk Valley Living, that I don’t know where to begin!

However, I don’t need to begin right now.  In fact, I have found that it is often better to wait and let all my impressions jumble around in my brain for a while.  Somehow or other (who can understand the creative process?) (oh, YOU probably can) (you know who you are),  my thoughts come to some semblance of order and I can write.  How long must I wait?  Ah, that is the tricky question, but we need not answer it today.  Today my purpose is to make a Scattered Saturday post and get back to enjoying my weekend.

I shall give a brief overview of our day.  I’m afraid it won’t be too brief, though, because we hit a lot of places.  We began at the Westmoreland Winter Farmer’s Market.  I hope to write at greater length about that one for sure, because there were several vendors there I must give a shout-out to.  From there we went to the Westmoreland Antique Center.

From Westmoreland we went to Clinton, which I am not very familiar with.  Our first destination was the Adirondack Cheese Store.  We also hit Dawn Marie’s Treasures and Artisan’s Corners.  All three stops are well worth a blog post, as well as a return visit.

After Clinton we drove through Franklin Springs, past Oriskany Creek, through Deansboro and on to Berry Hill Books.  Yay, books!  You know me and books.  After that we found our way to Villa Verona Vineyards.  You probably know me and wine, too.

I was plenty hungry for lunch by this time, but first we made a stop at The Olde Kountry Market.  Cheryl nicely bought us a snack to hold us over.  The delicious late lunch we had at Symeon’s was worth the wait.  Incidentally, Symeon’s was the only stop of the day which I had been to before.

It was the most fun day.  We’re already making plans for next Saturday!  In the meantime, I hope to get started soon writing real blog posts about today.


This Writer Thing

As the weekend approaches (VERY slowly), I begin to think about what sort of adventures (if any) I might have.  And before I go further, my apologies to anybody who does not have weekends off and is jealous of anybody who does. Don’t hate. I’ve been there. I may be there again.

To continue, I say “if any” regarding my potential adventures because I really might be best served by NOT going adventuring but by staying home, off the phone and the internet, and WRITING.  I have a murder mystery to finish.  I have a novel flapping in the breeze.  I have a million other ideas on hold.

On the other hand, I also have a blog and a standing commitment to submit articles to Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  For the blog, I can and do limp along publishing nonsense like yesterday’s post or lesser adventures such as what I fixed for dinner (as you see, I take a broad definition of the word “adventure”).  For a classy magazine like Mohawk Valley Living (and it is a wonderful publication; check it out if you haven’t already), I must be more selective.

Another consideration is that I cannot repeat myself for the magazine as I do in the blog.  For example, this Saturday (Jan. 23) is Coffee and Conversation with a Cop at the Baptist Church on the corner of Washington and Green streets in Herkimer, NY.  This monthly program promotes healthy relations between the community and the police force.  I mean to attend and write a blog post about it.  I wrote an article about the program for Mohawk Valley Living some time ago.

So I have one blogworthy but not magazine-worthy adventure planned.  The question is, can I have another adventure, worth writing about for the magazine, and still have time to progress on my other projects?  The answer has to be yes.  Now there are other questions such as What adventure?  How will I find time? Am I just kidding myself with this whole Writer thing?  Wait a minute, don’t answer that last question.


At Least I Got a Blog Post Out of It

Early on today, I knew I was going to stop by Ilion Free Public Library.  You see, I am attempting to write an article about Russell Park for Mohawk Valley Living magazine and wanted more background.  So far I have the story of me and Steven walking through the park and a work friend’s reminiscences of boyhood visits there.  I wanted more background, especially about the park’s history.  Another work friend said they probably had a whole file in the local history section of the library.

What a great idea, I thought.  The library will hook me up, and I can also write my blog post about the visit.  You see how I utilize my resources for multiple purposes.  I felt pretty pleased with myself.   And that should have given me my first clue that things would not go as planned.

When I walked in and made my request to the librarian, she said, “Let me look up the hours the history section is available.”

Oh dear.

I had already missed the hours it was available today.  Tomorrow they are closed for Veteran’s Day.  Thursday evening I can come in between six and eight.

Feeling as foolish as I usually feel, I explained how I do not have my act together and my deadline is fast approaching.  In my defense, I had planned to write an article about quite a different topic, only that fell through (long story, may make another blog post).  One of the VERY nice librarians volunteered to go upstairs and see if there was anything they could photocopy for me.

While she was gone, I couldn’t help noticing the ongoing book sale on a couple of carts right next to where I stood.   Ooh, that one looked good… oh, I already have that book.  Then I found one I hadn’t read.  By the time the lady returned, I had two hardcover, two softcover and a book on CD by Bruce Campbell (I adore Bruce Campbell).  She had not found anything. I thanked her for trying.

“Hang on, let me go and take one more look,” she said.

I paid for my purchases while she went.  She still did not find anything, but I told her how much I appreciated all the effort.   My deadline is on Friday.  There is a chance I could go Thursday night and still get it together.  As an added incentive, I noticed the library is having a pie sale on Thursday.  I do like homemade pie.

In conclusion, Ilion Free Public Library is a great resource with extremely helpful people.  As for me, I mean to begin earlier to write my articles and do my research in a more timely fashion.

The library is located at 78 West St., Ilion, NY.  Phone number 315-894-5028.


Write, Write Again

So you may have noticed that I have been going through some crisis about writing or rather not writing.  Too many foolish posts, not enough writing otherwise.  What’s a blogger to do?  Seriously, I’m asking.  What do other bloggers do?  Never mind, I probably couldn’t do what they do anyways. We all must find our own path, or something profound like that.

All that by way of saying here is another Monday Mental Meandering, BUT… I actually wrote something other than a blog post.  I need to get my articles written for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  I tried to work on them over the weekend, but, well, if you read my blog posts you’ll know that didn’t work out too well.  I went to work early this morning and tried again.

At first I failed. I sat at my little table (there is a little table near my work area I can sit at during breaks.  It is most convenient) and stared at a blank page.  I just couldn’t get the lead.  I could just hear some superior type saying, “Never mind getting the perfect lead, just write SOMETHING.  You can always revise it later.”  Well, I have found that that method — if I can even do it and I can’t always — is only effective some of the time.  I turned back a page and worked some more on a letter to a friend.  One could argue that that is at least writing something, I suppose.

Anyways, I made no more progress than that until lunch.  When I wrote two perfectly good pages!  Yes!  I’m back!  Fist pump!

I went back to work feeling better about everything.  As usual, my mind began to wander.  I thought in a vague sort of way about writing this and writing that.  I thought about some totally unrelated topics such as a doctor’s appointment, the upcoming holidays, and the present I have to get for my great-nephew’s first birthday (not sure the exact date; must check that).

And then I started to think about a story.  I liked the idea (NO, I’m not going to tell it to you now!).  Suddenly the first sentence was in my head, and I liked that. I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and wrote it down.  I wrote another sentence or two as I continued to work.  Then when I finished my clean-up and still had a few minutes before time to punch out, I sat at my table, opened my notebook and wrote some more.

It was fun!  I LOVE to write!  I want to write some MORE!

I see that there is one small problem with this blog post.  I think writing about writing is much more interesting when you actually talk about what you are writing.  Well, sorry about that, but if I do that I may never write it.  However, once I actually finish something, I may write a more interesting blog post about it.  I’ll include a Spoiler Alert.


Where I Got the Wine

It was a whole week ago that I went to Rustic Ridge Winery as part of my day of adventures with Cheryl and Penny, and I still have not drunk the bottle wine I bought there. Aren’t you proud of me?  Or are you wondering what I was thinking?  But let me write a blog post about it…

It was a beautiful drive to Burlington Flats with views of mountains covered with color.  The color was perhaps a little past peak but there were still plenty of reds, yellows and oranges to delight the eye.  I know, I know, forget the scenery, get to the wine.

My plan was to purchase a bottle of either Untamed Red or Untamed White for our, wait for it, Halloweddinganniversaryweenary Party next weekend.  The label of the bottle has two big, mean-looking eyes.  I am buying several Halloween-ish-looking bottles for the party and thought this would be a good addition.

Therefore the Untamed White was the first wine I tasted.  It was yummy, but I already knew that.  However, I had not tried the Untamed Red.  I liked the bouquet.  It was good, but I liked the white better.  Of course I also tasted a few other wines while I was there.

The Lazy Days Dry Rose was nice.  The Cabernet Sauvignon ’11 was very dry.  I tried the Merlot this time, which I had not tried before.  Steven is more of a Merlot fan than I.  The man doing the pouring also gave us a taste of the Native Port, a dessert wine. it did taste very desserty.

The fellow doing the pouring was friendly and knowledgeable.  I foolishly did not ask his name, but I knew he was important, because when I talked about how I wanted the bottle with the scary eyeballs, he said he designed all the labels on the wine bottles.  One day when I get a fancy camera or phone that can add photos to the blog, I will return there and post pictures of some of the bottles.  Ah, good, another reason to return.

In addition to the wine, I found a Rustic Ridge Winery shot glass to purchase for Steven.  He collects shot glasses, although he very rarely drinks a shot.  On our way to pay, I saw a Mohawk Valley Living magazine and opened it to the article I had written about Rustic Ridge.

“Hey, that’s the guy that just did our pouring,” Penny said, pointing to the picture of Rick Bennett and his mother.

We really enjoyed our tasting, and I AM going to save the Untamed White for the party.  Rustic Ridge Winery is located at 2805 St. Hwy 80, Burlington Flats, NY, phone number 607-965-0626. Their website is



All About Me at Finders Keepers

I’m not one to shop as a fun activity, but I do enjoy a good “everything” store.  Finders Keepers in Richfield Springs, NY is one of the best.

I first stopped there almost by accident one Saturday.  Steven and I were strolling down Main Street waiting for the museum to open.  Sometimes these second-hand stores are almost a museum by themselves. You could spend hours looking around this one.

We did not spend hours, but we enjoyed picking our way through the crowded store, admiring a variety of items ranging over decades:  glassware, figurines, books, furniture and more.

I thought Finders Keepers might make a good subject for an article for Mohawk Valley Living.  With that in mind, I returned to Richfield Springs last Saturday.  This time I brought my sister Cheryl and friend Penny.  I almost forgot to talk to the lady that owns the place, because once again I got absorbed in looking around.  I had to tear myself away from the books, but not before I had found three to buy.  I picked out some post cards as well.

I did end up having a nice chat with the owner. I told her my plans to write an article. She was OK with that but said she was not one to call attention to herself or seek out publicity.

“Well, my articles are usually about me going to these fun places,” I explained, “so, really it’s mostly about me.”

That made her feel a little better.  I am fond of going around saying, “It’s ALL about ME!” but I guess it isn’t really true.  After all, it wouldn’t be much fun to be me if it wasn’t also about fun places to go and nice people to hang out with.  So I guess it’s really all about me and her and other people and places… oh, and you, my readers.  How’s that for a profound note to end on?

Finders Keepers is located at 138 W. Main St., Richfield Springs, NY 13439.  Phone number is 315-858-9633.  Hours and days vary.


Midsummer Monday

I began the week determined to write my blog posts in advance.  I would not spend the week composing nonsense at the keyboard, mostly about how I just can’t write a real blog post.  I was going to Write Real Blog Posts.

So far, not so good.

In my defense, quite a full weekend, ten hour day today, rehearsal tonight (you know, for the play I’m in?).  Oh, and temperatures in the 80s (92 in Little Falls, which is not that far away).  I do not work in an air conditioned building.  When I did work in an air conditioned building, I wore  sandals skirts with no pantyhose.  Now I wear steel-toed work shoes and BDU pants.  I say this with pride, not complaint.  I am bad ass.

Unfortunately, “bad ass” does not necessarily translate into “able to write awesome blog posts.”

I tried, I really did.  Actually, what I first tried to write was an article for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  I thought perhaps I could publish a shortened version for the blog.  It did not go well.  I tried to work on my novel.  I wrote one sentence on a scene I had previously written.  That effectively brought the scene to an end.  I started another scene.  Then I couldn’t remember if one character did or did not believe in ghosts.

How could I forget such a thing?  How long have I been living with these characters?  What kind of a writer am I?  I was too traumatized to write anything else.  I looked over my lines for the play then helped a co-worker with a crossword puzzle.

Now I must finish getting ready for rehearsal.  For anyone just tuning in, it is for Roxy, at Ilion Little Theatre.  I play Roxy.  And I just realized something:  yesterday was Severed Head Sunday.  Today I am going to rehearsal for a play in which I CHOP MY HUSBAND’S HEAD OFF!  Oh how delightful to have something in common with Joan Crawford!

So what if I can’t always write an awesome blog post?  I’m still bad ass.


Blog then Bed

Is it Mental Meanderings Monday or Middle-aged Musings Monday?  Discuss amongst yourselves.


I bet that wasn’t a very long discussion.  Probably a couple, “I don’t care what you call it,” a few, “Oh, no, not another silly post,” or even, “Oh, goody, another silly post.”   Perhaps somebody brought up my love of alliteration.  In admiration or annoyance? (Did you notice what I did just then?)


It seems I am too tired to write a decent blog post.  The reason I am so tired is that I have been working on my articles for Mohawk Valley Living, my favorite magazine.  I daresay I flatter myself, but I think they are pretty good.  If only I could get them finished, polished and submitted, my life would be perfect.  I know what some of you are thinking: why didn’t I just publish one of the articles for my blog post?  I have done that on occasion, but I kind of feel like it’s cheating (hey, that’s something else you can discuss amongst yourselves).


Another factor in tonight’s trouble in coming up with a blog post is that I really need to get to bed early.  My husband has an early shift at work, for which he prefers to rise at 3:30 a.m.  I go to work at my normal time of seven, making an early morning run a good idea.  Hey, that means I could write tomorrow’s blog post about the run.  Score!


In the meantime, we all know Monday can be a painful day for us Monday through Friday wage slaves, as is the day after a day or days off for those who work different hours.  As I said yesterday, all I can do is stay hydrated and try again tomorrow.  Happy Monday, everyone.