Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Rain Rain Go Away....

Im sure I used this title once already. But it deserved to be resaid.

Im really getting tired of all this rain. I would like to enjoy my summer sometime this...well... this summer. All day long the news was flashing severe flood warnings for all counties around. In some areas they reported four feet of flooding. Underpasses are glooded out and the warnings include telling people not to use secondary roads. Ummm.... Hello? Mother Nature? I think we have had enough.

Well tonight its raining again. Not just raining, pouring. Its coming down in buckets. Raining cats and dogs. Well, let me explain. I have a dog that needs to go out. The downstairs neighbor has a cat outside that needs to go in.

So tonight, just like any other night, I go out the back door and flip on the switch that lights the inside stairs and the outside yard. Nice little arrangement so I dont have to keep hitting switches. Mindy runs down the steps. I walk after her. There is no way I am about to run down a flight of stairs while wearing rubber Crocs. You know, the ones with the big holes that go around the front. As if the holes on the top of the shoes dont give you enough breathing air.

I opened the door to the back yard and out she went. But she wouldnt go off the step. I told her to hurry and pee and run back in. At that moment, the neighbors cat came up over the fence and meowed. Scared the bejeezes out of me. But I should have expected it. Poor kitty. Always left out in the rain. But then again, he has other families that take care of him too. I wont get into that though.

So I scooted Mindy back inside because she wont let the cat near the door. She gets along with her own cat but not any others. Now I have the task of thinking about how I will get to the other door without getting soaked in the rain. You would think that I would be a rocket scientist to perform this task. Well you are right. And I was not one. Well that was a little confusing. Lets move on, shall we?

Normally there would be enough room to go to the other door considering that it is a long patio under the overhang of my porch upstairs. But nope. Not counting the tent poles and the chairs and all that stuff in the dark that I cant see, there isnt room. But I can scooch between the grill that is on the ground in front of the patio and the post from my porch. Nope. I was met with resistance in the hip from the tent pole that I used to put up the tarp over the grill. Damn. Now what do I do?

I thought about it for all of 10 seconds before I decide to dodge the rain drops. Not and easy task. But remember, Im not a rocket scientist. No matter what they say about me. So I decided to make a run for it. I can take about 2/3rds of the trip under the tarp. So I make the mad dash across under the tarp. Now mind you that its dark under there because the tarp blocks out the light from the spotlight shining on the rest of the yard. Yep, another stupid idea at the time. But it works to keep the rain off the grill and off me when Im using it. Well, for the most part.

So I took the first step and off I went. Then something happened. Something completely unexpected. I stepped on something and it made an aweful sound. More like a squish and a sploosh and then a splat and a smoosh. No I didnt step on the cat. The sounds would have been completely different. This was me on my rear. On the ground. On a very wet and slippery piece of cardboard that someone left in the mud. Well it didnt do anything for the mud because that was now running down the back of my pants. My shoes were filled with mud and water. My hands were at least a foot into the wet grass, mud and my yard that resembles Lake Erie.

I got up, put the cat in and then I had to decide how to make it back. I guess now it doesnt matter because I look like a drowned rat. Covered in mud and soaked. So I just took a few steps out into the rain and reveled in it. Not like it made a difference. I walked back to my door. Went back up the stairs, opened my kitchen door and told Mindy to go back out and pee. I went back down the stairs and waited for her. I wasnt going back off the steps again. She peed on the grass that was under the tarp so that she wouldnt get wet. I guess shes the rocket scientist.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ho Ho Ho...

Christmas in July...

Yes its that time of the year again. This was supposed to have been written on July 18th but you know I tend to be lazy or forget to write. Well the case may be that but this time, I was just too busy. And also a couple of days in there, I was sick. Like yesterday and the day before. Its the freaking weather. Mostdays its raining and a few days there have been sunshine. But of course there is the humidity. We all hate the humidity. If you like it, you are insane.

We were actually worried that the rain would ruin this day for the kids. Last year it was so damn hot but this year its just wet. Wet and muddy all the time. Im quite sick of it. But I know complaining wont change it. Then again, the way the seasons have been, we will have summer and sweltering weather sometime in November. Before you know it, ski resorts will be opening up in June for the snow fall. Who the hell knows? But this is July and the show must go on. Of course its a lot of fun too.

So we got up a bit early to make sure we get there in time. Sometimes they have it at 10am and sometimes at 1pm. They never post the times in the news letters. So we got our butts there early just in case. Of course its 930am when we arrive and the sign on the board says that the party starts at noon. Ok, so there is time for some breakfast first.

We head to the camp and hang out there for a while. Then I get everythign ready that I need to take with me to the party. In other words, get the gifts set in a bag and taped up with her name on it. I need to get that there before she sees it. Not that she knows that this is a real deal with a real Santa or anything. Well, maybe she does. But thats besides the point. Its still fun to do.

So Cami and mom get in the cart and the gifts are hidden under the back seat. I drive the cart up to the rec-hall and Cami goes to play on the playground til Santa comes. This gives me the opportunity to get her gifts into the sleigh without her knowing. Thats not easy to do with all the other kids around knowing that its Santa that does the gifts, not the parents.

Eventually Santa shows up. Of course he is wearing sun glasses. He does need to change his outfit though. I think the red suit is just a tad too hot for this weather. But then again, his pants were hanging from the rafters. Yep. Tis true that they were. But he was wearing a different pair when he showed up. He isnt that much of a perv ya know.

And just like every year, Cami went out to greet him. And of course shes one of the only ones to thank him. I have to make sure to put that in here because its true. Sad but true. Not a lot of the kids really care except for the fact that they are getting something out of it. I mean really. Parents need to teach manners. Im not saying all. Just some.

After all the presents were handed out, the kids get a sort of hayride with Santa around the park. The kids all love this. I think its a great thing to have in a campground. They do a lot for the kids. Coming up on Aug 8th, there is a kids day with all sorts of activities to do.

And then of course, Cami's birthday!!

Alls Well That Ends Fair...

Alls Well That Ends Fair...

I know I forgot about writing about the fair. It was a great day. We had a lot of fun. When we first got there, of course I had to go into the Antique barn to see all the good stuff. Im a nut for antiques. I must have lived in a past life. Call me nuts but I like seeing the inside of older funeral homes because of the cool antiques. But enough of funeral homes. I dont talk about them too much.

Inside the door, the first thing we see is the old set up of circus trains on a track. Usually this is about 4 sheets of plywood laid out with all sorts of old electric trains and some sort of miniature town and circus. An older man was at one end with a switch box and you could tell he was enjoying the fun of playing with trains. Trust me, you wouldnt think it was fun but I grew up in a house that had a very simular set up. My brother Pat was big into trains.

Cami walked over and of course she was havign a blast watching them. The old man asked her if she wanted to drive a train. Of course she said yes. So she went over to the box and the old man told her which switch to hit and which dial to turn. Within a couple of minutes, she had that train going around the track and giggling. She then told the old man that her grandpa worked on the railroad and woudl always say that it sucked. So the old man explained to her that working on the railroad and playing with the trains were two different things. Cant have fun while you have to work.

Then we went looking at some other goodies. Everything was either behind a sort of low fence or behind glass in cases. In other words, look but dont touch. Which is a good thing when it comes to displays like this. All the antiques in there belonged to someones personal collection and quite frankly, I wouldnt want someone touching my very old valuables. Well not so much as touch, but think of 5,000 hands on your grandmas china and thinking that it could fall and break. Id be pissed.

But also, Cami was pointing out all the things she knew. Mostly the things we had. I collect antiques. But I use mine. Trust me, there is nothing better than frying an egg in an old enamel fry pan from 1920. Its the best out there. Nothing cooks better. Plus there were a couple of trunks there. So she did get excited to see that the ones I have are in much better condition. Some old bowls, and some utensils were things she was picking out that we use at home. Its not that Im too poor to get new stuff, I just prefer the old stuff. It was made better.

This brought the attention of the little old ladies that were sitting in the corner. The ones that volunteer to sit there all day and tell stories about the old times. One started to tell me that they do judging on the condition of the old things that are on display. Of course that would explain that everything had some sort of color of ribbons on them. We knew that though. But she was telling me that she heard Cami talking about all the things we have at home and that we should display them at the fair for next year. I said that we couldnt as we didnt live in that county. She said not to worry about that because she liked the idea that I had nice antiques in near mint and usable condition. Finally, someone that agrees with me. Too bad shes as old as my grandmother. Made me feel really young. *sarcasim* Its hard to explain that you have so much in common with someone three times your age. In a way that is a good thing because I love the past and I love history in general. Like I said, I lived in a past life.

The next stop was the agricultural area. The farm animals and all the things to do on a farm. Yet another area I like. I grew up on a farm so none of this stuff shocked me. It shocked a city kid though. Butshe went into the 4H archery area and shot some arrows. She did a hell of a great job too. Something she discovered that shes good at. She had great form and great height. Out of the seven arrows she fired, 6 of them hit the target. I was impressed and she won a little ribbon for it.

After that we went to see some of the smaller animals like rabbits and chickens. Cami even found a long haired guinea pig that had three different colors. She said, Mom, your hair looks like that one. I couldnt help but laugh. But you know I will be checking out a mirror soon. I just dyed my hair.

It was drizzling rain out but that didnt stop anyone. It actually kept the dust down and the air cooler. We headed for the midway and to get something to eat. Nothing better than the greasy mess of fair food. I stopped and grabbed us a couple of smoothies. Of course we have to get them in the cups that advertize the fair. We do that every year. Then she wanted pizza so I got some chicken. We sat in the chicken bbq tent and thats when all hell broke loose.

The rain came down in buckets. And I do mean a lot of it. Within about five minutes, the roads were flooded and people moving for cover. Of course that also meant business for the bbq tent. The stuff is good. I look forward to it. Of coure I look forward to the funnel cakes too but thats another tale.

After the rain, we moved out to the midway again and she played some games and won some animals. Another thing shes good at. Then she wanted an airbrushed tattoo and then we started for the gate to head home. It was a long day.

Of course, on the way out, we stopped for that much desired funnel cake.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Monsoon Season... again...

Monsoon Season...

I know I have been slacking. Well just slacking on the blogs. In real life though I have been busting my ass as usual. I promise those old blogs soon enough. But I will set up something in this one that I hope to sum up the past few weeks. Ok, that last sentence made no sense to me. But then again, nothing has lately.

As we all know, New York has four seasons. I know I posted about this before but this year something has changed a little. We have Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Monsoon/Construction. This year has been extremely wet. There has been hardly any sunny days. Its just no feeling like Summer to me. Its been raining and more to the cooler end of the thing with the red bulb. It sucks. It seems like all the plans that are made have to have a backup plan for something indoors. And usually that is how it all ends up. Indoors. Quite frankly, Im tired of it. Its dreary and dismal. I want some sun. I dont want extreme heat though. Just sun. I seem to be lacking in that area though.

The fourth of July parade went off really nicely. It was alot of fun and there were so many carts this year. Over 30. It was a great turnout. We never know what the theme is until about 2 weeks prior. Then we sit and brainstorm for a week before we can get everything up and running at the last minute. We cant really put it together til that morning anyway. There is a contest every year for the Best Theme and the Best Decorated for the carts. Yep. Carts.

In the campground, just about everyone has a golf cart. For some, it is a means of transportation because of some reason or another. For others, its a form of letting your teens drive them through the woods like a maniac. But I degress. These carts come in all shapes and sizes. We used to have a regular cart with regular wheels and a big blue hat on the top. The reference to that one can be found in my earlier posts.

Our carts, yes that is with an s, are the off road type. Clay Cars they call them. The roads in the park are rough in most spots and potholed with deep puddles. These are the perfect carts for this. Great suspension and big knobby tires. We have a whilte one that now has that big blue hat on top and we also have a red one that has mag wheels. Looks like a HotWheels car. Both have a roof and windshield. Yes, these are golf carts.

The white one has a trailer hitch on it and we tow a trailer for the parade. Every year we do very well in this little contest. But each year, there is more and more competition. And tougher themes. But also this year, we decided to enter both carts into this little bit of insanity. The theme this year was What or Who is and American? This was a tough one. But we settled on a covered wagon/pioneer/explorer thing. We brainstormed for days on this one.

My mom dressed up as a pioneer lady and Cami was Laura Ingalls. Wait, thats not spelled right. Oh well. My head is pounding right now so Im not going to bother to look it up. Mousie wore a coonskin hat and did the Davie Crockett thing. Even one of the signs on the trailer was something about Davie Crockett and the Bowie dude. So all day I was making comments about David Bowie. Good thing there were people there that knew what I was talking about.

I did my cart all in a sort of immigrant thing with signs that said I AM AN AMERICAN, YOU ARE AN AMERICAN, that sort of thing. Of course I didnt have a whole lot of time to do this. I think if I had an hour more, I would have done a better job. We all got up at about 530 am and went down there to get this all ready before 10. This was quite a chore to turn a simple small utility trailer into a covered wagon. Complete with pots hanging off the back and a bench for a seat. Even reins and some wooden horse heads too. I think it turned out wonderful. My cart was completly covered in anything red, white and blue. Streamers, garland, banners, ribbons, you name it.

The parade was alot of fun and I came in second place for the Best Decorated. No trophy for me. The covered wagon came in first place so we do have the trophy for Best Theme. Whoohoo!! It was well worth it and a great time by everyone. The person who did take the Best Decorated realy deserved it. She did alot of work on hers, and also had better signs and banners. She did the melting pot theme I wanted to do but my time was spent on the other cart. Maybe next year.

Back to the whole monsoon thing. Its been raining again. A couple of weeks ago, we went out to Utica to visit my relatives. On the way there it rained and on the way back it rained. Well for that trip, it was pouring with thunder and lightning. That seems to be the normal thing. Alot of electrical storms. I really dont like them. And I really hate the flooding and all the really nasty stuff that comes with these storms. They have been exceptionally bad this year. Power out, flooding, hail, high winds. Im not impressed and it can be very depressing and mood setting.

Yesterday was a day of the norm. We went again to Utica to see my relatives but this time we made another stop. The last time the other stop was to the Polish market for some meats. This is a treat because I love this stuff. I also like watchign Cami wander around the shop trying to read all the things they have. They have everythign from cookies to breads to milk and chocolate candies. All in foreign languages. The meats are butchered and made right there by little old Polish ladies. The best kind of goodness comes from them.

Also last time, we went on a side track of the old neighborhood. Well the trip was to tell Cami the history of her ancestors and all the land before it became the neighborhood. At one time, the whole area was all farmland. Not surprised? Neither was I. Its true though. Everything out there has some reflection of my ancestors. The names of the roads, the hospital, the factories. They all carry the family name. But there was one thing that set it apart. There is a small cemetery that I knew nothing about. I thought that the people in reference to that cemetery were actually buried somewhere else. This was a treat for me because I love doing my family history. Now I will finally get to "meet" them. But that was not to be that day. He kept driving past because we had to meet the living relatives at a restaurant for lunch.

So yesterday was the trip I wanted. He promised me a trip into the cemetery. This excited me. I have a thing with the dead. Not a morbid thing. One of those "feeling" things. I wont go into it because I dont want anyone thinking Im some sort of nut. But I really wanted to go in there and feel some history. We got up early and he picked us up at about 9am. On the way out there, it was raining. Of course. Such is the norm. We got there and I immediatly sought out one stone in particular. My great great grandfather. I also carry part of his name. This is the man I wanted to see. I had no idea that he was there. I thought he was at a cemetery 4 hours away. There are other ones that are in that cemetery that I want to find. But that will be an all day trip. I would like to take that one soon. That one also has my great grandfather there. But this place was the one I really wanted to see.

It was the old family cemetery from back when it was all farmland there. There are some other families buried in there but somehow everyone is related and you can see the areas marked off with chains or group plots. Most of my family are all in the front and they are all seperated with massive monuments. Their smaller stones are around the big ones. These are very impressive monuments and well fitting and deserved. Fancy carvings and beautifully engraved. Not at all what I expected. I was impressed and thrilled to see this.

This cemetery is very old and some of the stones are clearly marked with dates that go back to the mid 1700s all the way into the very early 1900s. My great great grandfather died in 1910. He once served in the Civil War and I have letters that he wrote home about all the things that happened and he even met Abe. They are awesome to read, even though he didnt spell too well. He mentioned alot of the other relatives in them. Also there are letters from the mountain house where the others are buried. It told me alot of their lives and where they came from. Now I get to "meet" some of them. I had no idea they were here. Even the first ones to come to the area were buried in there. I took alot of pictures of the stones and the areas around them. It was so peaceful and beautiful in there.

We even had a small visitor. A cat appeared out of nowhere near one of my relatives stones. She wandered with us for a little while. When we left the area of that section, she disappeared. It was a little strange. I went outside to take pictures there and then went back in. I went back to that area and she appeared again. As soon as I walked out of that area, she vanished again. I will chalk it up to her being a part of them. It was conforting and soothing. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed her company. I took pictures of Cami petting her too.

We met up with the family for lunch. Then we went to the nursing home to see my aunt for a while. While we were there, it started to storm. So we left and raced the storm home. A two hour drive. Once we got home, the sky opened up and it was raining and the wind and the hail. Rusty asked me if I played golf with the hail. They were that big. It was like Lake Erie out in front of my house and most of the underpasses were flooded out. As usual. Im tire of all this @^#&$)%( rain!!

Next post.... The county fair!! See you then.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Elvis Said Hello...

Elvis said hello...

I know that I havent blogged in a while but I wanted to post this one in the mean time before I finish the others that I have started. I know Ive been slacking. Actually I havent been slacking. Ive been very busy lately and its taking up my vacation time. Im supposed to be slacking now but that hasnt happened yet. I plan to work harder on being lazy. I promise.

I just had to post this one up though because it is true. I saw Elvis today. No I wasnt drinking or smoking anything. Im not one of those tabloid freaks. I really saw him. I went ot pick up my father today and he was there. At his apartment. I swear this is true.

When we got back from lunch, we were in the apartment when the manager came across the hall and said that the handyman was there to fix some things around in the building. He would be in to fix something with the kitchen counter and to measure the windows. As she put it, Elvis would be in soon.

The apartment manager is an Italian lady in her 60s. Shes a wonderful woman and shes a lot of fun. But when she said Elvis was going to be in, I thought she was off her rocker. But as she said it, in he walks.

He was a guy about 25 or so and looked like a young Elvis. He said he gets that reaction all the time. He said he tried to grow out his hair and change his looks but that didnt work. Im not much of an Elvis fan but this one was cute. And since he was in the foyer fixing something and Carm was watching his every move, Im thinking that she was thinking the same thing.

Elvis is in the house.