Tuesday, March 28, 2017

One very busy week in March...In like a LION? or at least a WITCH.

Home/Central NY
March 2017

My week had started off ANGRY! Monday morning, Hubby decided we should skip the gym, Im not one to protest that recommendation at 4am.  I had an argument with my 14 yr old son about waking up to go to school. fruit juice from my fruit cup sprayed out all down my front like a waterfall of sticky syrup during breakfast, and I got into a battle of wills with one of my clients first thing at work. The rest of the day could only get better right? After my not so nice conversation call with my client, I made several attempts to connect with the local Department of Social Services only to get the run around. When I finally got a human voice mail my irritation was at it's peak and the poor recipient of my message got an earful. My angry client of earlier in the day called an additional three times leaving increasingly abusive voice mails and he called two supervisors.
By lunch time I had had enough. Luckily my Social Service calls had delayed my appointment and once I did get a hold of him to report I would be late, he wasn't available anyway. I can be grateful that I didn't get to his home to find out that he wasn't there, that would have set me into a RAGE after the morning I had.
Blessed I was  that two of my co-workers who begrudging listened to my rank about my morning events and willing to break any Monday diet plans were available to do a lunch outing. This was just what I needed to remove myself from the crazies I was feeling.
Renee, Amiee and I had a nice calorie free (not) lunch at Stella diner, before returning back to the office for a much better afternoon..
Despite a break and an easy afternoon, I simply could not shake my anger. I managed to make it home have an early dinner before my sign language class and was soon heading back to the city. Class was uneventful. I learned a few more words, but my fingers must have been feeling stressed as well as I couldn't seem to get them to cooperate.
Home again, my anger still bubbling my hubby got the last few words of my irritant, I was finally done. WOOOOOSH!!!! There must be some way to NOT let myself get to that point of where some minor actions around me allow me to get such an out of control feeling. I decided to BLAME the  missing 4am gym routine.

On a positive note I got my Farmgirl sisterhood package. I am officially a Farmgirl and have a patch to prove it. I have already started working on a few badges. One badge is to start a blog....HUMMM...I wonder if this counts? I might have to check the rule book on that one. If I can use this blog....I may start to show everyone my new found skills in between traveling. I guess we shall see.

  I have decided to started a blog dedicated to everything domesticated The Scrappy Owl. 

Tuesday went much better. Although waking my 14 year old up in the morning continues to be a nightmare. I made it to the gym at 4am. Did my workout and had some time to kill before I had to run off to work. :Love that I can slowly pace myself in the morning. 
Barb and I conversed on meeting for the Wicked performance and decided to have dinner 1st. 
We met and had a wonderful dinner at Pastabilities.

This restaurant in downtown SyracUIKEYINPUTDOWNARROWuse has been discussed often. Several of my friends worked there back in the day, I just never seemed to get myself out to enjoy a meal. Well tonight was the night.
The red hot oil and stretchy bread was so good. Although there was a burger choice, I had to have pasta afterall. Its is Pastabilities. I decided on a bowl full of hand made fettuccine noodles with Alfredo sauce.  

 Definitely worth the experience and the price.
We had a little time after our meal to slowly walk the street before the performance, although nothing against Syracuse....but by the time we got to the theater, I had my fill of people begging from me. It was almost nonstop. I know you need $, but I simply want to enjoy my evening,,,,please.

At one point Barb and I attempted to connect one guy with a food pantry and she gave him her card. 

 We finally made it to the theater and got a quick pic in front of the trucks parked out on the streets.

I had seen Wicked before and Barb had gone just last week with her niece and nephew. A one time experience is still not enough....even after this show I would go again. AMAZING! Both female leads knocked it out with their singing voice. I purchased a Wicked Magnet and a stuffed flying monkey. In hind sight I am really wishing I had purchased the CD soundtrack the music was beautiful.  

Our seats were not to bad. Balcony upper center. That was until a very tall man sat right in front of me. I was able to view the stage with my head bent to the right the whole night. Didn't matter....the show was INSANE!!! The last time I saw it I was third row...but I didn't recall the performance being as incredible as this one. I cannot rave enough about this show. Its no wonder it is so "popular" . (referencing one of the songs.) LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVED it!!!!!

The rest of the work week seemed to go fairly well. Things seemed to go as expected and I found I was not so stressed as I had been on Monday. 
I have been meditating at least 10 minutes every day. This was prompted by the FarmGirl Merit badge suggestion. The meditation did not seem to help me on Monday, but I have been trying to seek some relaxation to de-stress, (See my merit badge progress on Meditation at The scrappy Owl blog.)

Wednesday I was never so grateful to have my evening free of any activities. Thursday went smooth, there were no demands, Mark and I hit the gym at 4am the rest of the week and by Friday I was back to myself again. 
7 of the 12 Bunco members. I can't remember all of the gals names. 

Friday evening I played my first team Bunco. My friend Regina from high school had posted on facebook she was attempting to develop a bunco team and needed 12 committed members. Well I said "ME ME ME...and Renee too," although she did not know I was including her at the time.  She was okay with it!
I had only played a few times before, so I needed some basic's to recall the game rules. It didn't take long and I was "in the game"!!! For a bit I was on a winning streak! 6 wins in a row....that didn't last too long. I did however score three bunco's and two were in a row!!!! Whoop Whoop! There were only 8 of us this evening so we did more of a practice evening. No cash winners tonight! We should have an ongoing monthly game night starting in April. I met some very nice women and we did have a heck of a good time. I, apparently am much to animated or incessantly competitive....  I simply could not contain any winning excitement and shazbots on any of my opposers who may have taken the game from me.  

After Bunco, Renee and I stopped at Sandy's house for Sheila's goodbye party. Most people at this party were feeling pretty good!(there was a lot of alcohol being served.) We said our goodbyes and good luck and made our way out the door!  

Saturday continued to be busy. Mark, his mother and I had an early date at the 
Toyota dealer. It appears I will have another new to me Rav4 by Friday!!!! Mark and I have joked often that I have never had a car payment. My first car my dad paid for, It was a 88 electric blue mustang.  I somehow acquired a jeep at one point, my moms' old Subaru,  then my dads old red Nova (oddly its the one car I think of as being the best in the CNY snow), After the kids were born I bought an old car with cute gillie decals all over it....it never passed inspection and I ended up selling her for a mere $75-. During my single parent and poor days, I saved up twice to buy two mini-vans over the years it was just me and my older kids. Both worked out just fine. 
Right after I got married I actually got my very first brand new car. It was a Kia Sportage. Then I found out I was pregnant and realized three kids could have fit, but four including a baby seat...NOPE! I had her for a very short time and Mark paid for her. I inherited his mini-van. This lasted some time before the door refused to open and the battery shot the bed. I then got my very first lease,....and yes it was a mini-van. Mark paid for this too.  Every single car there after has been the auto traded in, returned or passed on to. I will be getting my third Rav4 all of which were originally owned by either my mother in law or my husband. Mark will be paying for this as well. So I don't complain...and I really don't mind. Its my lucky day...I get a brand new to me car! That works well!

Saturday evening Mark and I went to the Turning Stone for the Sapphire Dinner. 

 We played some slot machines and LOST, before heading to the VIP room for a few snacks and cocktails (Okay so I had the cocktails.) for some reason when I just lost at the games...I am compelled to drink as many of those "free" alcoholic beverages as possible. (Compensation, I guess.)
Up next we headed to the dinner. It was very nice indeed...and a few more of those "free" cocktails.
 Dessert was tiramisu (spelling?) I just found the one dessert I do not care for.  The canoli's were yummy however.

After our meal we headed back to the gaming floor. The place was PACKED!!! Finding an open machine was a chore. I finally found a video poker machine requested $30- from hubby and told him to come find me later. I can usually make $30- last for hours at a video poker game.....I pushed one button.....Lost!!! and I was suddenly $25- down. I'm not sure what I did or what had happened but I was bitter!!! Damn machine. I took one stinking hit. Well that was it for me, and Mark wasn't doing much better, We left stuffed, and broke!!!!Those gaming people sure know what they are doing. This is why I write FREE in quotations. 
Somewhat defeated we headed home with plans to meet up with some friends to listen to a country band play at a local pub. This was CA so Mark and I enjoyed a little tv time before CRASHING!

Sunday I had a few guests at my place for some crafty fun. Although we did more talking then crafting. I think I was the only one who made any progress on my paper supplies. I went through old albums and added journaling to several of my pages. Although I journal everyday in my day planner and I enjoying blogging, I never seem to get journaling done on my scrapbook layouts. Its always been that way. Not sure why. 
Megan, Aimee and Renee came over to hang out for most of the day. No pictures were allowed as we all confessed to lack of a shower that morning and looked less then picture ready. I of course do not care....but I did respect the requested wish. 
Sunday evening Mark and I enjoyed leftovers for dinner and watched a silly movie "Pop Star." Soon he was sound asleep and I crawled in to bed myself, I fell asleep watching "The walking Dead." Busy week....on to the next! Happy Travels 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rochester, NY Genesee River Hike

Rochester, NY
March 19, 2017

I connected with the Finger Lakes chapter of the National Women Outdoors group and attended a day hike with these very nice ladies in Rochester NY. Admittedly I was not sure what to expect. I haven't hiked in some time, and the weather had been so snowy and cold lately, I was concerned it may be a real mess. Add on that I had not met any of these women and it was a little anxiety provoking.

I met up with two very nice women to car pool. Michele an d Carol. Carol had been a member for some time, but it was Michele's first participating event as well.
We met in. Liverpool off the thruway and did a 11/2 hour drive to Rochester, NY.  This was not my first trip to Rochester, but it became one of my first trips to some areas I had never been to and I was very glad I went.

There were 12 women in the days group that day. I found that they all seemed very nice and welcoming. I was soon informed all about The Women Outdoors groups. Apparently this national organization has been around since the 70's. The Finger Lakes is just a chapter of the organization. Although welcomed to come on the events as many times as one would like there is a $30- annual fee to become a member. The hope is that you will join after a few events. Apparently members have insight into planning events, trips and a few member only privleges such as being invited to any group chapters nation wide. Sue reported that it always means you have a place to stay and a fellow women friend if your planning to engage in a event outside of your local chapter.
There was no pressure to join, so I thought I would just see how the day went before I pulled out my pockets.

Leslie was todays guide. She resides in Rochester. She came to Rochester in the late 70's where she worked as a photographer through Kodak. She currently teaches English to foreign speaking individuals. Kodak was once Rochester's largest industry and perhaps what put the area on the map. Leslie was well informed about the area and she appeared to enjoy the opportunity to share about her city.
The Genesee River runs through the heart of Rochester and this was the "theme" of todays event. We were going to hike along the river as it leads North instead of South (Apparently this is not the "normal" flow of a river.). First stop was the lower Falls.

Most of this trail was covered with deep white snow and the incline was pretty steep, but I made it down grateful for my boots, silly but warm hat and camera ready to catch nature at its best.

The days haze made the pictures look dull and there was cold spray that washed our faces as we looked out over the edge.

The waterfall was pretty. Leslie spoke about the industry that surrounded the falls. Mills that once stood, companies that were once powered by the every running flow of water history of production long gone. Some of these "ghost" clung to the hillside.

An odd statue featured faces and hands welcoming a place to sit and reflect. Leslie had made mention of its symbolism, she reported that the faces were those in the surrounding area, a memory of these people forever in stone. (Although it did not sound as if they were deceased.) Maybe I missed something. I thought it was plain odd and these faces looked more ghostly and trapped then provoking a sense of calm and reflection.

 In all that white and grey,,,this green ivy popped and caught my eye.

We hike a bit more into the lower falls park before we made our way back up the very steep incline of   snow. I made it to the top. I was impressed with myself I must say.

Next up we headed to a small historical grave yard, where Leslie told us of young Sam Patch "The Yankee Leaper". Apparently this young gent was seen as a historical dare devil. He would jump off into the waterfalls for show. (Some included Niagara Falls area)
His last jump proved fatal. He and is pet bear took the plunge. His bear went first (Cause bears are not that smart-) He actually threw the bear over.
At any rate,  the bear made the jump just fine but poor Sam was lost in the river somewhere and never resurfaced.  He was  found washed up in the ice some months later dead. It was quite a story.

 I thought this tree Swallowing the fence was neat.
 It really makes it look like the tree took a big bite.
 Leslie telling the tale of Sam.

Our next stop was the bridge.There was lots of history plaques along the walkway stop. I thought the whole thing was pretty cool. The draw bridge and the ferry boats that once would transport people to Canada. History is overall pretty cool.

 Way out there is Lake Ontario.

 One of the plaques with information along the shore line.
 This is a draw bridge, There is something charming about bridges that move.

Our next stop was at Lake Ontario Park. I am betting this place is amazing during the summer. I am thinking I will have to make a day trip, but today was also pretty incredible. We took a walk along the pier and it was as if we were walking in some Science Fiction novel. The ice and snow along the water was so foreign.

Here there is still ice floating along the waterway. 

 The railings along the pier were something out of a sci-fi movie.
 The beach area was just as odd looking. WOW!!!
 This was the hike we took out on the pier. The terrain was like walking on another planet. Ice mixed with snow and sand lined this long walk,

 Out past the beach was where the water met the snowy icy mess. All I could think about was Titanic.

 I have to say I have never seen anything like it. It was all pretty incredible.

 All that ice and snow, The water must be sooooo cold. Yet here are these beautiful swans. Hey do you know how to tell a make from a female? The male has a crook in his beak and a larger/thicker neck. It looks like the male is in front of the female,
 Also a surprise were these sailboats. WOW!!!!

Our next and final stop was at the Upper Falls (High Falls) where Sam took his final jump and Genesee Brewing Company.

 The Kodak tower. "Nerve Center of Photography". This is where the executive offices are. It also is the home of the peregrine falcons webcam, (where you can get an eye view of these birds in their nest.)

 The Genesee Brewery.
We got there just as the sun was really beginning to shine. Thank you SUN!!!

 Inside is a small museum, a tasting room and a restaurant.
 One of the members (Delhia) and I split a flask of samples. I was not impressed with the heavier brews. although the 12 horse ale was pretty good,

 I loved the old advertisements.

 A view from the brewery's upper deck.

 A few fun old time advertisements.

 A very late lunch included; of course a burger, It was incredible and well deserved after all the hiking we did.

 What an incredible day! I met some very nice people, had a great outdoor experience and learned some things. Rochester was a pleasant opportunity. I cannot wait for the next Finger Lakes Women Outdoor adventure. I may even have to pay my dues and become a full fledged National Women Outdoor member.