Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grand Finale BHM

Been watching the local paper for some good Black History Month stuff. Terribly disappointed. The best was a great full page quiz, but it turned out to be from an advertiser. Not available to link.

Today looked promising. A wonderful link to Info Please.

Until I scanned the entire site and never found my personal hero and saint at all.

No matter. Let's go to the common blogger's OED.

Ah, yes. Wikipedia's got the goods.

And if you type John W. Jones, Elmira, New York into Google, you get a whole day's tribute to him.

Happy Black History Month.

Little Pond

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Update to Mid-Winter Troubles

Last night the only difference from Friday was umbrellas. The random dripping has been staunched, but the tarps, garbage bags, and buckets remain in place.

As does the scratchy throat and skin that only arises at the workplace.

Little Pond

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Midwinter Troubles

Legend in Our Own Time? Or future recipient of a Darwin Award?

Actually, by definition we wouldn't qualify. Neither of us could reproduce, anyway. Both for the same reason. That's right, we were "fixed" ages ago.

Okay, so that's stretching it a bit. We were not in any real danger, except possibly from severe scolding and ragging. But Ellie and I got ready to walk along the Chemung River this morning.

Ready to go Riverdogging in February

No, we didn't wear the MuttLuks.

She hate, hate, hates them!
But we did go to the Grove Street Fishing Access this morning. Just as soon as I crested the levee, I knew we were going to experience some difficulties.

Here are the first signs of trouble ahead. Yep, that's ice.

We still had a lovely walk. No sense losing the solitude. No one was around the entire time. Good reason: the entire area is inaccessible because of the ice.
It was beyoootiful. Crunchy crust of snow made it hard for me to walk, but Ellie scooted easily over the stuff.

The Water Board plowed the road to the strange rock-and-chicken-wire structures on Foster Island. I walked the road and let her tire herself on the snow cover.

Then we walked the levee back to the Tracker. And found the ice was spinning our tires. We threw it into Four Wheel High and did some strategic tracking and back tracking. It took a good deal of time and a lot of whining from Ellie. (Cursing from me...) After about six or seven trips up the levee, we were able to crest and head home.

She's napping now, with her head on the windowsill.

This is all just extra. I'm really blogging my work experiences from last night. Keep scrolling down. And welcome to winter in Elmira, New York.

Of Course I'm Going to Blog This.

The Elmira Star Gazette is a card-carrying member of the Flat Root Society. Every year we get to guess where the ceiling will leak next. We should run a gambling pool on the next one.

Right smack in our department this year. The highlights included buckets strewn across the floor and desktops to catch the drips, and plastic garbage bags and dirty tarps to cover our workstations.

Removing the plastic garbage bags.

This is what awaited my coworkers Friday morning. Here, Erin starts a bright, cheery day.

Your greeter is Jen.

Please have a seat. Mind the tarps!

Game workers

From left to right:

Steph, advertising graphics artist.
Cathy, building main-tenance.
Linda, advertising representative.

All glad to be going home soon.

Repeat after me;

Black is slimming and white is not.

Yours Truly digging out the old dinosaur in hopes of finding some email.

Actually the wire above the machine should have been the first warning that the machine was largely useless.

Can't wait to see what waits on Monday.

Little Pond

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Heat Wave!

It is 32 degrees F. 0 degrees C. Freezing by anyone's definition. But it feels like warmth to us this week. The sun shone briefly this morning, and I swept the porch in my pajamas and slippers. (Basic black. Slimming, you know.) Then I shut the front door, and am waiting for a late-morning snowfall.

Indoors, all my floors are stained from icemelt. I vacuum and sweep, but won't deep-clean until after our next visit with the HuggaMutt.

There has to be a limit. My mother would wash the floors nearly every day when I was little. (Seven kids and an A Type homemaker! I will never measure up...) We even had indoor-outdoor carpeting (the very expensive kind, really quite beautiful, as I recall) in our kitchen, and she would wash it with a mop.

But in Little Pond there are only two humans now. There is that much less tracking. And it helps.

We can expect very cold temperatures again, shortly. Glad Ellie will visit then. Our little CuddleBum will be very welcome on the sofa.

Little Pond

Monday, February 19, 2007

Presidents Day Post

Anyone who watches the news or reads the paper around here will recognize our local civic leader Georgia Verdier. Ms. Verdier is a frequent writer for the Star-Gazette and president of the Elmira-Corning chapter of the NAACP. So it was with great anticipation that I began to read her oped piece.

I was not disappointed. The penultimate paragraph (almost saving the best for last!) deals with our own local history makers. Naturally Verdier mentions my personal hero (practically a patron saint!), John W. Jones. But in a sweet sidelight, she touches on Henry Washington, who brought his mother Mary Ann here, who became a cook at Quarry Farm, where Mark Twain wrote a few of his novels.

If you follow this link, it will open a PDF (takes a few seconds)--go all the way down to 1868, where the story is highlighted in blue.

Finally, in a separate block on our oped page, there's a short piece on golfers William and Renee Powell. William Powell was the developer (design, construction, proprietor and operator) of Clearview, the first course specifically for African-Americans, and his daughter Renee became one of only three blacks to play on the LPGA tour. While the Powells are not Elmirans, but this is a huge golfing area, so we surely can claim them as heros, too. More information on the Powells here.

This is a great town to live in during Black History Month for any history buff.


Little Pond

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Carved out feeding station

No paper, second day.
No crossword or sudoku, except for store bought.

Husband RJ says the birds waited impatiently for him to dig out their breakfasts.

It is so cold, he dug out all his old layering thermals and lined pieces and began insisting I wear them.

Ellie and I are going to feel our walk this morning.

Update: 9:00 AM. What is all the fuss? There isn't more than a foot of snow out here. It is frigid, though, and Ellie's paws need constant attention, because she won't walk in her Muttluks. Still, we had a nice walk and will go out to the bank later, after RJ gets paid.

Little Pond

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Go for walk, Ellie?

My everloving BlogMother, Sissy Willis, is an animal lover par excellence, and has requested a shot of Ellie dressed for the worst winter has to offer. She wants to see Ellie's "fashion sense."
When the temps drop below freezing, out comes the pink jacket. Below 20 degrees F (6C), on goes the "skirt," which is actually an old "turtle fur" neck warmer. Below 10 degrees F (12C), we tie the neck with a scarf, in case we need to wrap her ears. Hasn't happened yet, though. BTW, she refuses to wear her MuttLuks, so I have to warm her feet myself when we have a problem.
Fashion sense? HeeHee. YOU decide.
Little Pond

Sunny Sunday on Ice

Last one of this year. I can't get enough of my little mutt dressed as a bag lady, skeetering on the ice.
Neither can she.
We drove up river a couple of blocks for a change of scenery. And to test her whistle skills. She stays very, very close in the strange area.
To me, it all looks the same. River, floodplain, levee and dogs.

Doggie Park

Highly managed flood plain makes a great dog park. In fact, despite the frigid wind, we met with a yellow lab and three (!) golden retrievers. Ellie loves the big dogs, but is very wary of their owners. All the dogs run and run and play and tussle, but we owners just plodded along, to keep warm.

Ice Shards Taller than Ellie!

Looks iffy to me. Ice all bunched up and crunched together. They stick straight up from the ice. I don't remember the rivers doing this in Auburn, Massachusetts. But then, we weren't allowed to go near them. We skated on ponds.

Husband RJ was relieved when we came back. He has visions of us falling through. The ice is way too thick for that. I would bet a car could go over the ice now.

We were frozen by the time we rode home.


Little Pond

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Silent River

The Chemung is now completely frozen. People and animal tracks cross it and skirt along its banks. Ellie and I walked along the edges, walking up onto land when we found a good spot.

The only sounds are the distant traffic, and the doves that we continually disturbed along the way. This is not the Chemung that I know. It's been years since it has frozen quite like this. We walked in places that we only last used when the bed was almost completely dry during a drought, probably in the summer of 2005.

The silence feels good, though. I can hear Ellie's tags jingling as she scampers across the snow-crust. My feel move only a little at a time, because I am still afraid of hearing the sharp, scary report. We do not hear any cracking, except the thin crust. I see cracks, but they are old and already frozen over, too. It gives me the urge to waddle all the way down to Fitch's Bridge in Golden Glow. We don't. Let's not advertise this wonder.

I don't want to be there when the snowmobile owners discover what we learned this morning. We loved communing with the silent river.

Little Pond

Friday, February 09, 2007

Five on Friday for Valentine's Day.

It is no coincidence that Criminal Grace's Five this Friday is Roses are Red:

1-Favorite red food would definitely be cherry-pie-filling desserts. Topping the list (pun intended) would be cherry cheese cake.

2-Red clothes? One red shirt and some red shoes. Still working on the red blazer.

3-The only red item in sight while at the computer is "Mac Version Included" sticker on a SegaSoft virtual makeover kit. It's front has a lady dressed in a red top.

4-I was told that I ran a red light last fall at night, but I could have sworn it was green. Let's hope that I'm not having some sort of color problem at night. I've had trouble with reds and oranges before, but not red and green.

5-"Seeing Red" is not my style. Pale face and cold silence is more like it. Sounds white to me.

Little Pond

Monday, February 05, 2007

It is soooooo cold

that the power breaks in my car didn't work. My car had been sitting in the sunshine since dawn, too.

They froze on the way to my 9:30 doctor's appointment. I immediately backtracked towards home, but they got better by the time I pulled up to the house. Wasn't late for my appointment, either.

Felt like the time my electrical failed, and I had to really stomp on the pedal.

(Frozen) Little Pond

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What are you doing here?

You should be watching the Puppy Bowl III on Animal Planet! Kittens at half-time!

Little Pond

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why am I so fired up about BHM?

Black History Month is a huge thing here in Elmira, New York. It was a very prominent stop on the Underground Railroad. Our city was also hometown to some very prominent Afro-Americans. Our black community is very active politically and highly visible in social and church affairs. I won't say that the town is fully integrated, but my neighborhood certainly is, and that is not limited to racial integration. Finally a very dear, departed co-worker's angel sits on my shoulder when I am blogging during her favorite times of year, such as Kwanzaa and Martin Luther King Day. She nags the heck out of me during February.

To keep it interesting for you web surfers, I will only tout those black Americans we can feature with links.

BHM question of the day: Who was the first Black Woman Mayor of a major U.S. city?

Little Pond

Need Help from Game Geeks!!!

We have an old copy of Torin's Passage, that was a favorite of my daughters when they were little. It will not play on any computer or console, now.

I assume we need some sort of simulator. Help, anyone?

Leave a comment and I will answer.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Time for Five on Friday

with Criminal Grace.

Time flies. All the more appropriate on the eve of possible changes to extend daylight savings time.

1--I can usually get out the door in one half hour, shower and all. Do it every Sunday. Don't forget that I cannot use most cosmetics, so my hair and face are low maintenance.

2--It's a maximum of seven minutes to work. In fact, in the tiny City of Elmira, NY, there is no place in the city that takes more than seven minutes to reach.

3--I waste one hour maximum on weekdays and four or more on weekends, just playing video games. TV is a lot less. Not much for television. Comes from working nights. I do tape and watch, but lately we just delete them. There just doesn't seem to be much use in getting invested in changeable programming.

4--Including nuking the lunch, no more than one hour total on weekdays is spent on meal preparation. Because it is pretty much a leisure activity, I can rack up hours cooking or baking on weekends.

5--If you read the MS Companion, you may already know that for me, sleep is a problem, because I work nights. I get about 6 to 6-1/2 a night with about 1/2 to 1 hour nap at noontide. Weekends I try to grab 7 or 8 at night, with a snooze, usually in front of the TV, of about 1/2 hour. Old age is robbing me of those lovely, long ten hour sleeps that kids enjoy.

And there is never, never, never enough time to blog as much as I want.

Little Pond

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Black History Month

Okay, so I'm definitely white bread, but I was eating a chocolate-covered, chocolate biscotti with a glass of warmed milk, when I remembered what New Orleans Mayor Naglee said about chocolate and milk. I never had a problem with that, myself being a chocoholic. That got me thinking about Black History Month.

So I went over the LaShawn Barber's Corner, and sure enough, she's right on the money. Our local paper has already touched on her hero, too. The fellow who started the whole Black History movement.

But of course, if you are a regular visitor to the Little Pond, you already know who my local hero and saint is. I'm not telling just yet, because I will link to the paper when he appears. We have some other local black heroes, too. So watch this space, all month, for notable black history maker and news makers.

Little Pond