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Post-Christmas Shop Talk

I seem to remember NOT giving a shout-out to some of the places where I Christmas shopped, because of fear some recipient would have his or her surprise spoiled (could I have obviated the danger with a well-place Spoiler Alert?)(too late now). Well, Christmas is over, presents have been opened, I’m even almost over my post-Christmas letdown. Let’s talk shopping.

The Remington Country Store in Ilion, NY, is a fun place to shop. It is located on Catherine Street, attached to Remington Arms. You walk through the Remington Museum to get there (also worth a visit, but today we’re talking about shopping).

I got all my nieces and nephews Remington t-shirts. I decided to channel my Grandma, who used to get all her grandkids the same thing. Convenient, and you can’t be accused of playing favorites. Grandma used to divide by gender, but I decided to go gender neutral and get everybody the same thing (I could further discuss this decision with some half-baked philosophy on Lame Post Friday).

Full disclosure: my nephews may have felt ripped off, because I got them Remington t-shirts last year. I was still dividing by gender at the time. See, I’m still evolving.

I also got a green Remington beer glass for my Dad. He likes to drink his beer out of a glass, sometimes frosted in the freezer. For my Mom, I got some notecards with Jim Parker prints, and a Remington pen. My Mom writes a lot of letters and sends cards on many occasions.

There are many more items for sale at the Country Store. I don’t imagine I’ll wait till next Christmas to shop there again. The store is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 315-895-3200 or 800-243-9700 or visit


Cold New Year’s Walk

This New Year’s I learned a valuable lesson: Party anyways. I have spent the day feeling as tired and useless as if I had tied one on last night, and I really did not. Then again, I didn’t have a headache or upset stomach, so perhaps I am onto something with this moderation and early bedtime. Still, I thought some people would like it if I began my post with “party anyways.”

I deem it acceptable to do one more vacationish post (I am, after all, the arbiter of these things in my own blog). I could wax philosophical about New Years, as many people do (half-baked for me, of course) (I’ll save it for Lame Post Friday). Instead, I offer another pedestrian post.

The cold snap continues in the Mohawk Valley. The next two days are going to be even worse, so we were determined to take our beloved schnoodle, Tabby, for at least a short walk today. We bundled up. Scarves, hats, mittens. I did not put Tabby’s coat on her. I thought to save it for the even colder days to come.

It had snowed. Snow has the advantage of offering some traction, so I thought it would be a less dangerous walk. Then again, it was so cold the snow didn’t pack down at all, and ice lurked treacherously underneath. I kept warning Steven to be careful. Then I worried a little about myself, because just about the time I’m warning somebody else is when I get into difficulties.

The sun was still up, but behind rather extensive cloud cover. We admired the eerie grey light which bathed the neighborhood. I especially enjoyed the sight of bare trees against the sky. I pointed out that if we had waited till after dark for our walk, we could have noticed who still had their Christmas lights on and been disappointed at those who did not.

I don’t understand this passion for taking decorations down so soon after the celebration. Traditionally aren’t we supposed to leave them up till January 6th? The sight of a few lights still up helps ease my post-Christmas letdown. We saw one tree still lit in somebody’s window, and a fox lawn ornament with a New Year’s hat and Santa socks.

Some Christmas trees were already out by the curb. One had almost no needles left on it.

“Didn’t they water it?” I asked in a disapproving tone of voice.

We did not go for a long walk. I was grateful when we were almost home, because my nose was running. I had provided myself with scarf, hat, mittens and poop bags, but had neglected a handkerchief. Then I noticed my mittens were beginning to wear out. Oh dear. I called Steven’s attention to this, but pointed out that as I had stolen them from my sister sometime in the late ’80s, I really had no room for complaint.

Well, that seems to me not too bad a post for a tired New Year’s Day (on Wuss-out Wednesday, I might add). Or do I flatter myself? No matter. It is time to get on with 2014. Happy New Year, everybody.

Can’t Walk Away from the Letdown

So it got nice and warm, then it rained, then it got cold again. Oh, I’m not complaining about the return of winter temperatures; that is to be expected. But did it have to freeze so quickly after the rain? Now the sidewalks are covered with ice. It makes an attempt at a pedestrian post interesting to say the least (and when have you ever known me to say the least?).

Here I am, in the middle of my post-Christmas letdown, not inclined to do anything, let alone seek out Mohawk Valley adventures. When I got dressed I realized most of my clothes are dirty. I finally put on a rather nice-looking skirt. You would think dressing up a little would make me more inclined to leave the house, but not so much. Still, dogs like to take walks. Perhaps a little fresh air and exertion would cheer me up.

I most recently fell on the ice Christmas Eve. You would think that with my fat butt, falling on the ice would hold no terrors. Well let me tell you, all that padding does not necessarily help. But I thought, I was unprepared for that particular patch of ice at the time. I would be careful. This would work. After all, ALL the sidewalks couldn’t be bad.

Yes they could. At least they weren’t all smooth. Most of them, in fact, were pretty rough, with ripples or footprints. However, I soon found the best place to walk was in the crunchy snow beside the sidewalk. Tabby got a little confused, thinking I wanted to cross the street, but she is very adaptable and we went on.

We had a bad moment crossing the street at a four-way stop when some lady in a car did not want to come to a complete stop. It looked like she was wearing a fur coat, which kind of gave me an oh-no-wonder feeling about it. We were in the road well before she had reached the intersection. I tried giving her the thank-you wave, but I have a bad feeling that if I would have fallen on the ice just then, I would be roadkill instead of writing a blog post right now.

Tabby became a little indecisive after that.

“Do you just want to go home?” I asked her. It seems she did, and she began pulling me that way.

Then we heard a guy yell and saw a dog bounding across a lawn, making right for Tabby. Luckily, it seemed she only wanted to sniff (I think it was a girl name the guy called her). He hollered for her till she went back to him.

“Sorry about that,” he called.

“That’s all right; it just startled me.” We went back home, sticking to the crunchy snow as much as possible. A nice lady paused before entering a driveway we were about to cross. She waved us on before pulling in. That is what polite motorists do.

The whole walk did not take very long, but I felt it had been more effort than many shorter walks. The cold air did not freeze out my letdown, unfortunately, but I do not repine. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, sometimes you just have to feel a way till you don’t feel that way any more.

I’m Still on Vacation

To make this Non-Sequitur Thursday, I’m not even going to mention in the body of the post that I’m on vacation.


Be that as it may, today is Boxing Day. Not being ready to deal with my post-Christmas letdown, I decided to celebrate the holiday. I was not exactly sure the best way to set about this, so I got all 21st century and asked on Facebook. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I guess I could have googled or tweeted or something. Well, I’m not all that 21st century and I happened to be on Facebook at the time.

I got three suggestions (before I wrote this; there may be more now). One friend pointed out that it is also The Feast of Stephen, so I should eat something yummy. Excellent advice! I eat yummy things at every opportunity.

Another friend suggested a box of red wine. Brilliant! We all know I occasionally indulge in wine, box or bottle. In fact, I have a box of white wine on my kitchen table right now. I’m sure that would count.

The other suggestion (appropriately enough from a gentleman named Stephen) was boxing gloves. One of my stock greetings is, “Do you want to fight about it?” Based on that, I would say I celebrate Boxing Day every day. Come to think of it, one could argue that based on eating yummy things and getting a box of wine, I am a real Boxing Day maven.

I don’t imagine Boxing Day will ever obtain the prominence of Christmas in our culture. However, based on my limited knowledge and experience, I recommend it to all. Happy Boxing Day, and I hope to see you on Lame Post Friday.