!@#$ Punxsutawney Phil!!

The Truck Parked in Front of Fenway

The Truck Parked in Front of Fenway

In spite of Phil’s prediction of more doom and gloom, the best sign of Spring is occurring today in Boston.  It is a happy day known to Red Sox fans as Truck Day!

What is Truck Day, you ask?  Glad you asked.  It is the day that all the team gear leaves Fenway a truck bound for Fort Meyers, Fl., aka Spring Training Camp.

The next best days are Feb. 12th and 14th, where pitchers and catchers are required to report and their first spring training workout occurs, respectively.

And for my birthday on Feb. 18th, the Sox will have their first full squad workout.  Thanks Red Sox.  Good birthday present.  I appreciate that.

That means Major League Baseball is not that far away and better days are coming.  And after experiencing the Longest Winter Ever©, I am overjoyed to see the beginning of the season.  Bring on the heat and humidity, hot dogs and peanuts, and strikes and homeruns!

And yes, only us screwball Red Sox fans could get THIS excited over a truck.  And Marlene…I am not a truck.

Oh When the Saints Go Marching In…

siena_saints_logo…right into the top 25 in the RPI rankings!  How about that?!  For you non-sports types, that means that the Siena Saints Mens Basketball team is ranked right up there with the national powerhouses such as Syracuse, Georgetown, etc.

Okay, it just means that they are REALLY REALLY GOOD!  Undefeated so far in the MAAC this season and are on a rampage to March Madness. They are even getting some national coverage!

Sports Illustrated had a thing or two to say about the Saints.

Siena may have fallen off the radar after the Saints lost all three of their games at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in November, but now they have won 12 of their last 13, they’re undefeated in the MAAC and they’re ranked 20th in the RPI.  No team will want to see its name pop up next to Siena’s on Selection Sunday.

He then goes on to rank them #25 in the country in his own personal rankings.  I’ll take it.

They will be also be playing in Bracket Busters tournament that will be on ESPN and an ESPN writer already had some decent things to say about the team.

Wow. Yep, that’s my alma mater! Not bad for a little ole college in Loudonville.    While I’m not a huge basketball fan, and I don’t follow the Saints games that closely, I do keep an eye on them, go to an occasional game and get real excited when they make the NCAA tourney.  It’s fun!

So….GO SAINTS!!

Ice, ice and more ice.

We were pummeled by an ice storm that started on Thursday and didn’t end until late Friday morning.

When Hubby and I went to bed on Thursday night, we lay awake for awhile listening to the horrible snapping and cracking of tree limbs, and hoped that none of them fell on our house or cars.

When we finally did fall asleep, we were awoken at 1:30am by the furnace and the sump pumps (which are right under our bedroom in our one-level home) going on and off as the power fluctuated and finally sputtered out.  We grabbed our flashlights and proceeded to unplug major appliances just in case and went to bed with the horrible thought that our basement was now flooding because the sump pumps were not running.

Friday AM – The house was not freezing cold, thankfully.  It was cool, but not unbearable.  The basement, as expected, was now covered in several inches of water.  We turned on our radio and listened to the absolutely wonderful coverage by Don Weeks and the Morning team at 810 WGY.  They were wonderful in October of 1987 and were wonderful this past weekend as well.

Friday PM – We tried to nap or otherwise occupy ourselves but it got colder in the house as the day went on and no one could sleep with the constant sound of falling tree limbs. Seriously, it is a disturbing sound. My daughter also got stir crazy and it was decided that it was time to make the refugee trip to my SIL’s in a neighboring town that did not lose power.

We went outside to this:

Broken Trees

Broken Trees

Our two crab apple trees, which look so pretty in the spring in full blossom, had their main tree limbs cracked off by the weight of the ice. Across the street, a power line was laying the street and the local fire department had arrived to move it.

And while I am mentioning the fire department, I’d like to take the chance to thank our volunteer fire department from the absolutely bottom of my heart. Along with the NYSEG and National Grid, these people, unpaid, worked around the clock to remove trees from roads, pump out basements, or provide shelter at their firehouse. Thank you so much.

Anyways…we got in the car and proceeded down the main road out of town only to be detoured numerous times. We dodged hanging tree limbs and broken wires to the point to where we almost turned around to go back home. But we did make it out of town and to the warmth of my SIL’s apartment where my daughter and I stayed for the entire weekend. Hubby insisted on staying at home…must be a man thing.   He felt the need to protect the house.

Hubby had a hot shower, a warm meal and went back to the house to watch over a flooding basement and to take care of our beloved dog. What you have to understand about us is that we are avid campers so we have serious camping provisions at hand. Hubby was able to cook, have light and knew how to keep himself warm at night despite the fact that the temp in the house went down to 42. Brrrrr.

Sat AM – Hubby arrives at the apartment to shower and eat a hot breakfast. We then decide to venture out to scavage any useful things we may need in case of prolonged outage. I was not prepared for the scene outside. It was…beautiful! The sky was clear blue and the sun was reflecting off of the coats of ice on the trees. The world was literally dazzling!

Sparkling Trees

Sparkling Trees

This picture doesn’t do it justice though. It actually hurt your eyes to go outside. What was worse was was when the breeze picked up and all you could hear was the crackling and snapping of ice. It was a tad unsettling!

So Hubby and I went in search of propane tanks (none to be had), water (sold out) and where the open gas stations were (very few, all with lines). We went back to collect Little Sionna and back to the house to check on it and to collect my car.

The neighborhood was a wreck. I don’t have more pictures because I didn’t have my camera with me unfortunately. Perhaps it’s best forgotten! The house was freezing and the dog was going bezerk. She was warm enough but certainly cabin fevered. It wasn’t safe to go out for a walk, much less to just go out for bathroom business!

Sat PM – Hubby managed to put a claim on an incoming generator!!! He hardwired the furnace and the sump pumps to it and we could breathe a little easier about our pipes and flooding basement. Little Sionna and I went back to SIL’s to sleep and I worried about Hubby sleeping with the generator running….completely rediculous considering that he is a former electician and is totally safety crazy. But I worried just the same.

I didn’t get any sleep that night for another reason…I was sharing a double bed with Little Sionna who is apprently an active sleeper and a total bed hog! She hasn’t kicked me that much since she was in utero!!! Oy.

Sun AM – I get up to get showered because I was taking Little Sionna and her friend to The Nutcracker (yes, the show did go on!). Not even a minute after I stepped out of the shower…the power goes out. Crap. I managed to get dressed and then 10 minutes later, the power goes back on. Whew!  I met up with Little Sionna’s friend and her parents in town and off we go.  It was a nice diversion and the girls had a good time.

Sun PM – Power is back on!!!  Yee haw!!  Of course that means clean up time.  We have a lot of wet yucky stuff in the basement to toss and possibily some mold remediation to be done.  There will be the chainsawing of our apple trees as well, but we probably can’t do that until this weekend.

That was our weekend in a nutshell…one that I DO NOT want to repeat again in the near future, unless it is in the middle of the summer!!

The Party’s Over….

It’s over.  Strangely enough I’m okay with that.  Had this been pre-2004, I’d be royally upset.  It’s amazing how two World Series Championships will make a post-season exit much more palatable.  Go figure.

 

Aside from that, I’ve been trying to dissect why this loss doesn’t hurt so much.  I’ve come up with a few reasons.

 

1).  This is NOT your father’s Red Sox.

 

What does this mean?  Well, this is not the team that lost by an epic homerun by Bucky EFFIN Dent, or a ball between Buckner’s legs (to be fair, the Sox bullpen actually lost that Series, not Buckner), or by a devastating walk-off homerun by Aaron EFFIN Boone.

 

The team did not lose in dramatic, heartbreaking fashion.  There wasn’t a single unbelievable moment of bad luck that took this team down in a .ball of flames.  For once in their existence, the Sox lost the “normal” way.  How refreshing.

 

2).  They didn’t lose the ALCS to the Yankees.  No explanation necessary there.

 

3).  They were lucky to have made it that far!

 

Before you hurl rotten tomatoes at me, try to think about this from an impartial viewpoint.  Despite my crowing, the Angels really did hand the Sox the ALDS.  Throwing errors, base-running errors, and bad managerial decisions undid that team.  It was the Sox’s series for the taking.  And take it they did.

 

I grudgingly admit that the Rays were a better team and the Sox were beat up.  There was an admission after Game 7 that most of the Sox were injured in some way or form, (Which oddly enough, the article has mysteriously disappeared from Boston.com).  Not that it is an excuse, but it was certainly a factor. 

 

Sure they found a momentary chink in the Rays’ armor in that incredible Game 5, but it wasn’t going to be enough.  Any rational fan could see that this team did have that “thing” that was going to carry them to the promised land.  I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew it.  The Sox limped and clawed their way to a Game 7 which leads me to…

 

4).  They went down fighting, dammit!

 

Despite the injuries, the obvious exhaustion and their own mental demons, they didn’t fold up like a cheap tent after getting their heads kicked in during Game 2, 3, 4 and part of 5.  They lost the series with some dignity intact.  I can’t be too upset about that.

 

And on a selfish note, I can finally get some sleep.  I’m so tired.

We Love Autumn

And it seems to love us too.  It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend here in the great Northeast and we took full advantage of it.

Friday, I took Little Sionna and a friend of hers to the local corn maze in Schaghticoke, NY.  We had a blast.

Corn Maze

Corn Maze

We must have spent a good half hour or so trying to make our way around, going in circles and laughing when we hit dead ends.  Those clever people that own it put number markers in the maze and you take a list of trivia questions with you that correspond with the markers.  As long as you answer correctly, it tells you which way to go.

We took the easy way and used the girls’ kids questions to get around.  But it still wasn’t easy!  The markers are few and far between and you still have to find some of your own way around.

But the weather was fabulous.  Not a cloud in the sky.  In addition to the corn maze, there were rabbits, donkeys, turkey, chickens, an underground slide (which I was short enough to use, funny enough, but I declined to ride on the account that I didn’t want to get in line with all of the little kids!), other easier mazes made with pumpkins, and a moo-train.  The girls rode the moo-train and it went fast!!  They bumped and swerved all over the place and eventually went into another corn maze.

The Moo-Train

The Moo-Train

It was just a spectacular day.  We couldn’t have planned it any better.  It was quite warm too.  Almost too warm!

Afterwards, we feasted on warm cider donuts and took the long, backroad way home so that we could further enjoy the fall foliage that has exploded into bright reds and oranges lately.  Mother Nature has been kind enough to keep rain and wind storms away so the foliage has hung around a little longer than usual.We spent the next couple of days just enjoying the outside.  We went to a picnic on Saturday along the Hudson and took a leisurely car ride on Sunday to further enjoy the local foliage.

On Monday we decided to take a ride on the Berkshire Scenic Railway.   Little Sionna took another friend with her and we had a nice time.

Berkshire Scenic Railway

Berkshire Scenic Railway

The day wasn’t quite as nice as the previous and it was mostly overcast. But it didn’t matter. It was still a nice ride and something we had not done before (not counting the Adirondack Scenic Railroad which runs RIGHT in front of our camp).

A fisherman on the Housatonic River in Lenox, MA

A fisherman on the Housatonic River in Lenox, MA

We saw some pretty scenery and girls giggled and giggled the day away.  It was pretty fun to watch.  They got pretty silly as we waited in Lee Station to go back to Lenox, which I would post a picture of but WordPress is being temperamental.

Anyways, we are pretty lucky.  From here we can go the Berkshires, the Adirondacks, Boston, Montreal or New York City in a matter of day.  We have so much around us to enjoy and we intend to go out an explore more of it.  However, it is hard to do that when we have such beauty right in our backyard too! (Arrrg! WordPress is being difficult…I will post the remaining pictures when it decides to cooperate!)

Red Sox! Red Sox!!

In case you didn’t know, I’m a Red Sox fan.   (Yes, that was sarcasm.)  The Red Sox just pulled off a laborous win against the Anaheim Whiners Angels and we have found the fun in the form of an ALCS series against our new-found rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bring.it.on!  I can only hope that this leads to a Dodgers-Red Sox world series.  How good would THAT be??  (drools)