Archive | December 2012

Wintry Upstate New York ~

 Al and I went out looking for good places locally to take some wintry pictures to share, despite the bitter cold wind the sun was out for the most part.

Blowing/drifting snow across a rural road near Jordan, NY

Blowing/drifting snow across a rural road near Jordan, NY

Coming across a bridge over the NYS Thruway and some CSX train tracks, I caught this blowing and drifting snow across the road.  I had to take it quick as it’s a busy roadway and there was nowhere to stop and get out… so I took it through our wind shield.

Ducks huddle together on the edge of the iced over Erie Canal near Camillus, NY

Ducks huddle together on the edge of the iced over Erie Canal near Camillus, NY

I can certainly understand why they male and female ducks huddle close together for warmth.  The wind was biting!

Dog walkers and skiers on another section of the Erie Canal Trail near Camillus, NY

Dog walkers and skiers on another section of the Erie Canal Trail near Camillus, NY

I wanted so much to venture down onto the Erie Canal path to take more photos, but the trail head was plowed over with mounds of snow so access was limited to only the most skilled at climbing snow banks ~ leaves me out.  We did watch a family of (4) ~ two adults and their children ages 7 and 4 climb up over the mounds with their cross country skis.  It took about 15 minutes for all four to make it ~ even the dad pretty near wiped out!  They chuckled embarrassingly as I took their photos and thanked them for being so kind.

Snowboliers on the Erie Canal Trail near Jordan, NY

Snowmobilers on the Erie Canal Trail near Jordan, NY

These snowmobilers were zipping up and down the Erie Canal Trail right near our house.  We live about 2/10 away from this portion of the trail and we can hear the snowmobilers all day and night as they race back and forth.  I’m just happy that THIS YEAR there’s enough snow for them to enjoy.  Last year, mid-winter, there were many snowmobiles sitting by the side of the road with FOR SALE signs on them!

A CSX freight train heads right for me

A CSX freight train heads right for me

Al (my husband) has a fascination with trains, so when we saw this one coming towards us at a nearby train crossing, he couldn’t resist getting out and taking a closer look.  I insisted on getting as close to the tracks as possible to get a “head on” view.  My right foot was resting up against the rail as the train barreled down on me.  I hadn’t taken the time to check to see where the crossing gates would come down, and I almost got knocked down onto the tracks in front of the train by one as it came down right behind me.  Adrenalin rush!

Confessions of An Office Accessory Junkie ~

Yes, that’s me.  I’m shamelessly addicted to office products!  Since I was about 10 years old, and got my first typewriter, I knew that I wanted to work in an office when I grew up.  But I had no idea the addiction that would bring.  Slowly it started by harmlessly collecting pens and pencils in school.  But by high school, I was carrying six to twelve Bic pens in my purse on a daily basis ~ but only the blue  ones, I hadn’t yet “graduated” to black.

I guess things didn’t really start to go downhill for me in an uncontrollable manner until after I got out of school and started my first real job working at a non-profit help agency as their Receptionist.  It was there I discovered bullfrog clips, LARGE paper clips ~ I’d only ever seen the small ones before ~ and then colored paper and file folder labels.  And it began to snowball as I continued in my career as Receptionist, moved “up” to Administrative Assistant and then Executive Assistant! 

By the time I reached my position at the American Heart Association as Admin Assistant to their IT Director, Marketing Director and Planned Giving Director, I was all about “decorator” accessories.  I wanted my tape dispenser to be floral and my stapler to be zebra striped.  Even my pens had to be exceptional for every day use, but I kept Bic for professional needs and went on to black super fine point Sharpies for my Notary Public responsibilities.

Glitter Gel pens for scrapbooking or descriptive writing!

Glitter Gel pens for scrapbooking or descriptive writing!

"Standard" desk pens

“Standard” desk pens

eyeglass holder

Desk eyeglass holder

I still keep “unusual” mousepads on hand, and yes, I recently contact-papered my desk because I just could not stand that awful “file cabinet beige” any longer!  I’m so ashamed!  When I realized about 10 years ago that I had, what could only be described as a “stockpile” of various pens at home, I knew there was a problem.  I found them… they were in various parts of my house being held in zippered pouches of all kinds.  I think I found five or maybe even six pouches of pens!  Some were floral, some plain, some were glittered, all were colorful.  I kept them hidden from my husband for fear that he’d like one and try to take it from me!  I bought him some mechanical pencils to keep him off track.

Then it happened ~ I started a new job in 2008 (where I currently am); a job that entails a lot of manual hard-copy filing.  When I first went into what were going to be “my files” to manage indefinitely, I almost went into cardiac arrest.  The labels on the file folders were in complete disarray and inconsistent ~ and worse ~ filed wrong!  That’s when I knew I had hit an all time low and was going over the edge with file folders and their labels.  I could handle that the majority of my files had to be that God-awful manila 1/3 cut folder, but I was able to placate myself with some of the “lesser” files and recolored some using blue, green, yellow, purple and red file folders.  I was even able to print some of the labels in color using the laser printer.  Such relief!  (BTW, I did manage to redo ALL 1500+ file folders so that their labels matched in font and style at least, and I refiled them correctly so they were appropriately alpha-filed!)

black and grey fantasy file folders sew kitty file folders Bird Garden file folders

I knew it wouldn’t be affordable or feasible to get some of the prettier file folders for my office, and I grew accustomed to having to deal with that.  But I am planning on purchasing some of these newer finds for my home office in the very near future.  You see, I can’t resist!  The colors are intense and exciting, and they come 12 in a pack!  How could I not?!

Don’t judge me because I’m addicted, or because I have good taste.  Indeed, be kind, it could be YOU!

Next week, my quest to find a matching stapler, tape dispenser and (dare I hope?) a staple puller!

Snow Morning Musings ~


Al clears our driveway

Al clears our driveway

As much as I wanted to take so many photos on my way to work this morning, driving etiquette and common sense told me not to let myself get distracted… which was hard!

It only took Al about an hour to get our driveway cleared out enough for me to plow my Impala through what snow was left and head out to work in Syracuse this morning.  First he had to use our Farmall cub plow tractor, but the snow was up over the plow and the tractor is a lightweight.  Then he used our snow thrower.  I was nervous leaving him behind to finish up, as the snow was heavy and he’s not getting any younger.  But he urged me to go ahead, with the promise that he would text me once he got to work… an hour later, I’m still nervously waiting for that text.

I drove slowly through the rural area, then into the suburban and urban city that is Syracuse.  The roads were not good, but more importantly, there was lots to observe!  First on the list was our neighbor about 2/10 down the road from us, who had obviously gotten a new puppy for Christmas.  I slowed down as I watched him and his Rottweiler pup come out of their front door and the pup took his first step into some real snow accumulation.  Yep, I watched and chuckled as I saw him jump from the step and the brown and black bundle disappeared into the more than foot of snow that had fallen!  My neighbor (and I) laughed as the puppy launched himself into the air over and over again trying to follow his master across the yard.  Each time I’d see a flash of black/brown and then he’d disappear into the white snow.

Continuing on my way, I began to notice all the various rural people out trying to dig themselves out enough to get their vehicles out of their driveways to get to work, or wherever… much as we had to do.  But the methods varied greatly.  Most used snow throwers responsibly.  But there’s always that one guy who throws the snow right into the road, usually right when I’m driving by.  There were plenty of shovels, too.  Some of them having to shovel driveways and sidewalks of great length.  Some, not so much.  Then there was the guy who was standing at the end of his unplowed driveway, scratching his head, holding a BROOM.  That got a chuckle.  I also observed a woman whose husband had obviously just plowed out their driveway, only to have her come down and “somehow” end up in the deep snow he’d just plowed out.  She’d missed the opening and was sitting in her car with a curious look on her face.

As my drive became more suburban, I saw methods change.  There was a guy who had some sort of morphed tractor/plow thingy, with an immense rotating tiller on the front of his tractor.  It was wider than my car.  As I took the on-ramp onto Route 690 headed toward Syracuse, I immediately saw county snow plows traveling 2-3 abreast on the highway with miles of slow-moving cars behind.  The three lane highway was covered in snow, even with the plows (they were going the other way) and you couldn’t discern the lines that differentiated the lanes, so cars were kinda all over the place.  I knew it would be up to me to set the standard!  (LOL!)  Even still, it was a slow drive in to the city.

Once in Syracuse, getting off the blessed highway was a challenge.  I don’t know if Upstate New Yorkers don’t KNOW how to drive in snow, or they just FORGET from year to year.  Everyone seems to be in a panic mode and the normally predictable traffic patterns disappear into the few inches of accumulated snow on the city streets.  No, they have not been plowed ~ obviously, at least not in a long time!  And the sidewalks are also not cleared, sending pedestrians into the streets everywhere.  When I reached within a block of my parking lot, the street was suddenly obviously very UNplowed, as the snow came up over my doors and above the bottom of the underside of my car.  Yep, I was plowing the road for the city.  Not surprising.

Fortunately, our parking lot WAS plowed.  I was sure that it would be pretty well taken care of, as has been the case over the past 4 winters I’ve been parking here.  The one drawback… our landlord seems to have switched plow companys, as this new contractor seems to like to plow the snow from the lot up over the sidewalk and into my and my boss’s parking spaces.  Needless to say, that can be inconvenient.  I think I’ll go have a talk with building Management after I finish this post.

Parking at Jefferson Tower

Parking at Jefferson Tower

All that being said, did I mention that I LOVE snow?  There were so many places that I wish I’d have been able to snap photos of:  the huge pine trees, heavily laden with snow; the fields with acres of untouched white, fluffy snow that you can imagine seeing a skier enjoy; even the Thruway service area that was cluttered with big rigs that had taken the opportunity to get off the road last night and were now waiting to get out and back on their way to their unknown destinations.  This is Upstate (Central) New York!  And, despite the ridiculous taxes, I’m glad I live here!

Drive carefully!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Best People or Animals of 2012

Wow, has 2012 really come to an end?!  I’ve only been  blogging here since October, so I hope I get some slack for not having much.  Next year will be a different story!

ipiccy doms hat

Our friend’s funky hat at Eurobike 2012

Skaneateles Dickens 4

Dicken’s Christmas characters, Skaneateles, NY

Black horse

Curious about me black horse

braden smiles ipiccy

Grandson Brayden’s smile!

Winter and Toys ipiccy

Bird on the suet feeder

Hope you’ve enjoyed my contributions for 2012.   Please feel free to check out my other posts for other photos.  And, as always, check back with Cee for her next exciting Foto Challenge!  Thanks, Cee!


Share Your World: Week 52

Here are Cee’s Share Your World questions for Week 52 (with the help of Caddo Veil):

  1. Do you make New Year’s resolutions, or not?  If so, what one have you made and kept from the past?  I used to make New Year’s resolutions, but never kept them so gave up.  Now I just resolve myself to be a better Christian each and every day of my life.  Why wait till New Year’s?
  2. Do you prefer Nuts or no Nuts?  Depends on what the item is that incorporates the nuts.  I like most nuts on their own merit, but I’m not a big fan of nuts “in” anything.
  3. Do you like winter, or not, and why?  I love winter in Upstate New York.  I love the snow, and am looking forward to the huge storm currently on its way to us.  I particularly like virgin snow covering an open hilly field at twilight, with just a touch of snowflakes coming down to make everything sparkle and magical.
  4. Do you prefer to receive gifts or give them?  I much prefer to GIVE than to receive!  I tend to personalize gifts that I give, and find it a unique challenge to try to give something that the receiver would never think to buy for him/herself, but you know they would love because it incorporates a hobby or a sport or something they really like.

Thanks, Cee and Caddo for these thought-provoking and challenging questions for this last week of 2012.  Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013 to all!