Life in Boonville, New York

In just six weeks or so, I’ve had enough unexpected, crazy experiences to fill a book. So, of course, catching up with things on this blog may take some time. And since I’ve  not been writing for our local weekly newspaper, I’m a bit out of practice.

I last saw the owner/editor of the Boonville Herald [newspaper] in a hospital room. Clad in a very unbecoming, too-large cover-up, concealing a variety of beeping and burping tubes and gizmoes, I lay practically immobilized. One move in the wrong direction set off an annoying, shrieking alarm, loud enough to wake patients in nearby rooms who may have been headed off to dreamland – as best you can in a hospital bed.

Okay, don’t get excited. The above is no longer accurate. Not one hundred percent, anyway.

Hi folks. It’s been a while since my last post here, but since I’m no longer in Boonville, New…

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Our Last Christmas in Boonville

Hello! And welcome to my blog. I haven’t been here in several months, and for that I apologize. I really meant to blog regularly, but as they say – “Life gets in the way!” So, for a quick rundown on what’s been going on, here’s a copy of the letter my hubby and I recently mailed out to friends and relatives. It’s not really a Christmas letter – it’s more like a New Year’s or end-of-year  letter. Anyway, here goes:


It’s been another busy year here in Boonville, New York.

Until recently, Keith has been working nearly fulltime with an electrical contractor. Since retiring as a writer for our local newspaper last year, Judy has continued her volunteer work, most of it at church lately.

In 2011, we commemorated several auspicious occasions. Judy’s parents celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in early February. Also in February, we observed the 30th anniversary of the day we first met! Yeah, we know, it’s unusual, but since we met under rather unusual circumstances, we celebrate that date probably more than we celebrate our wedding anniversary (if you’re wondering how we met, just ask us!). In August Judy’s high school class held a 70th birthday party, since most of the folks in her class turned 70 years old in 2011. It was another great time with long-time friends and former classmates. At the end of the month we celebrated Judy’s 70th birthday with friends at her favorite restaurant. She says it’s a miracle she could observe the occasion, since there were times in the past when she didn’t think she’d see the day!

But, backing up a bit – in mid-May we took our first trip by auto-train, meaning our car went with us on our train trip to Florida to visit daughter Kathi, her husband Chris, and our grandson Ryan. After an enjoyable stay, we drove the car back home, stopping several times on the way north to visit friends and relatives.

After touring “America’s Largest RV Show” at Hershey in September, we decided an RV was not for us. We had been toying with the idea of buying one for traveling back and forth between York and Florida in the future, but had to re-think our plans. After 22 years in Boonville, we figured it is time to move back home.

Judy, left, at 70th class birthday party with classmates (left to right) Dawn, Pat, and Wanda.

We recently found a suitable place in Dillsburg, Pa., and although we’ll miss our many Boonville area friends, we’ll be moving closer to most of our family in the spring. We also plan to spend winters in Florida (or other warm climates), so we’re still looking for something in the south also.

Since we’ll soon be fully retired and living in York County most of the year, we’re hoping we can visit with many of you much more often than we’ve been able to while living in Upstate New York. It will be great to see you all again.

God has been good to us, and we’ve enjoyed many blessings. However, Judy’s lupus and arthritis continue to be a nuisance! She’s scheduled for neck surgery on January 10. Part of the hardware from surgery three years ago must be removed. This has to be accomplished before she can have another hip replacement, which is really what she’s waiting for. We pray that she’ll be fully recuperated by the time we move.

We'll miss our friends Terry and Cathy and their family, with whom we had dinner several weeks ago.

We’re eagerly looking forward to a new chapter in our lives, and we trust that the New Year will bring good things to you, too! Hope to see you soon. Take care and God bless!



Thanks for visiting my blog. Please stop by again soon. I’ll try to keep you posted on our move to Pennsylvania and on my latest surgery. 

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Well, it’s official! I’ve hit The Big Seven-Oh! Praise God, I’ve made it this far. I’m truly  thankful that I’ve lived to celebrate my 70th birthday.  And not everyone observes a 70th birthday amidst warnings of a ferocious hurricane – in this case, Hurricane Irene. It will be a birthday to remember, for sure. And instead of being depressed about getting older, I’m eagerly looking forward to another year of my life – excited to see what lies ahead. I know for sure that it will be a year of big changes – like moving from our home of 20 plus years to – who knows where! We’re not a hundred percent positive where we’re headed, but we will be vacating our Boonville property, probably in the early spring of 2012.

Hello! Welcome to my Blog – about some of the things that happen here in Boonville, New York, at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains – and about some of the things that happen in my life!

Yes, August certainly was a memorable month, with lots of monumental moments!

Diane, Joyce, and Daryl - some of my Bible Study group friends.

I’ve done lots of reading this month – not the sort of reading I usually do, though. I joined a Bible Study group at church (www.boonvilleunitedmethodist.com), the subject of which is “Reading the Bible in 90 Days.” Since I  procrastinated and didn’t join the group until they were several weeks into their reading, I had a lot of catching up to do. But I’m now on schedule, and I look forward to our Wednesday morning discussions.

Getting back to the 70th birthday observance, I’m not the only one who passed this milestone this year. Most everyone in my high school graduating class either already hit 70 or will mark the occasion by the end of the year. So, of course, there was a big birthday party for the Dallastown Area High School Class of 1959. It was one I certainly didn’t want to miss.

Keith and I traveled to the York/Adams Counties area the first weekend of August, for the big event on Saturday afternoon, August 6. It’s always great to see lots of former classmates and friends, and this was no exception. It was a blast. The sad part is, every time we get together there are more names to add to the list of those who have departed.

Hail, Hail, the gang's all here! Daughter Kathi took this with her phone, and it came out a little dark! Left to right, Amy, Judy, Diane, Brian, Kris, Dan, Keith and John.

Prior to the class party, we visited my parents at their York Township home on Friday afternoon, and learned all the details of my mom’s upcoming back surgery. She underwent the procedure on Tuesday, August 9, and is now doing fine. Mom will turn 88 on September 4, and she certainly is an amazing woman.  (I’ll be updating my companion blog about the Druck family history soon, so check it out for more details: (www.judyroutson.wordpress.com). Following our visit with Mom, Dad, and my sister, Bobbi, our next stop was daughter Amy’s home in Mechanicsburg. This too was a big event.

Daughter Kathi and family had come north from Orlando to visit her mother-in-law, who had recently had surgery. Although it was quite a drive to Amy’s home, Kathi joined us for dinner. It’s a rare occasion when all four offspring can gather at one place. We missed the grandkids and Kathi’s hubby, but it was a great evening. They presented me with an early b-day gift: a digital picture frame, which I’d been talking about, and which I’m very grateful for. Now, all I have to do is get my many boxes of photos scanned and onto the digital frame…

My new digital frame with photo of DAHS classmates.

Another important date during August was an appointment with a photographer. Yes, for a change, I was on the other side of the camera. Our church is creating a photo directory, and Keith and I had our picture taken on August 17 – another rare occurrence. Usually I’m the one taking photos, so we don’t have many of us together. I’m also on the directory committee, so there’s another project keeping me busy lately, taking photos, doing publicity, and greeting people as they arrived for their photo shoot. All the while, I continue listing books and other things for sale on eBay (check it out at JKBooksAndMore).

Keith buying fresh goodies at last summer's farmer's market.

During August, we also visited our local farmer’s market and caught the final band concert of the season, followed by a spectacular fireworks display. I also did some volunteer duty at the Boonville Black River Canal Museum (www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com).

The historic Boonville bandstand during the final concert of the 2011 summer season, August 19.

The month wouldn’t be complete without several doctor visits, and one of mine this month was with a doctor at a hospital. No emergency, just a routine procedure, the details of which I’ll spare you. But I must have set some sort of record: it took four different nurses a total of at least 12 times until they got an IV in my vein! There’s always a problem, because they say my veins “roll,” but my previous record was seven tries. I felt like a pin cushion.

At the UMW Roast Beef Dinner, Saturday, Aug. 20, Cindy Damsky helps serve, along with Pastor Jim.

The 64th Annual New York State Woodsmen’s Field Days (www.starinfo.com/woodsmen/) during the weekend of August 19-21 brought lots of visitors to our usually quiet little village. It’s really an awesome event, held at the fairgrounds, rain or shine, to choose the best lumberjack and lumberjill in New York State!  Contestants come from all over the country – as well as Canada and New Zealand – to compete. Many local organizations take advantage of the increased populace and hold fund-raising breakfasts and dinners. Our United Methodist Women prepared our usual roast beef dinner on Saturday evening,  and though I didn’t help in the kitchen this year, Keith and I showed up to eat. We met friends Cathy and Terry (who moved to the city last summer) and enjoyed their company during dinner. Cathy and Terry also joined us for my birthday dinner the following Saturday night, August 27, at Red Lobster, in New Hartford.

Friends Terry and Cathy helped celebrate my birthday.

It was quite an evening, and the first time I’ve ever been serenaded by the Red Lobster wait staff. Yep! A group of them sang “Happy Birthday” to me, as they delivered my key lime pie, complete with a glowing candle atop the whipped cream. What a surprise! We had a grand time. The highlight of the month!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Please stop by again soon to learn what’s happening in Boonville, New York, and what’s the latest excitement – or not – in my life!

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Summertime, summertime, sum-sum summertime!

Hello! And welcome to my blog – Mostly about my life in Boonville, New York – but sometimes about other adventures, as well!

I can’t believe that August is here already – in fact, it’s the middle of August!! Where in the world did the summer go?

As usual, it’s been a busy time here at our home in Boonville, New York. Although I’ve tried to get out of some of my volunteer activities, it seems I’m always doing something for our church (www.boonvilleunitedmethodist.com) or some other local group! At least I’m never bored (actually, I don’t think I’ve ever been bored in my life!).

Our village bandstand, built in 1882, has been the setting for many summer band concerts.

During the month of July, we took in a couple of concerts by the Boonville Community Band  in the Little Village Park. Those Friday night summer concerts have been going on for many years, and it’s a good time to socialize with friends and neighbors, as well as listen to some great music.

Also, in mid-July, daughter number one, Kristina, came to visit for a few days. It was great to have her here, even if her stay was short. And it was probably the hottest week of the summer!

We took a day trip to Old Forge, where we joined the throngs of tourists exploring the many unique items at the Old Forge Hardware Store. We visited the new arts center (called the View), where we saw lots of beautiful paintings (www.ViewArts.org) . And we couldn’t leave without a stop at the candy store for some goodies!

Another day, we drove a short distance to what we used to refer to as one of the area’s “best-kept secrets.” However, it appears that ain’t necessarily so.

Agers Falls is a popular swimming hole, with – as you would expect – a beautiful water falls! But even on a weekday, it was crowded with people of all ages. Probably all trying to cool off! I didn’t venture into the water, but those who did said it wasn’t as cool as they had anticipated. probably because of the unusually warm weather.

We also took drove to Utica to tour the bridal gown display (Two Centuries of Wedded Perfection) at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica (http://www.mwpai.org/museum-of-art/museum-of-art-calendar/wedded-perfection-two-centuries-of-wedding-gowns/). It was a very interesting display of some unusual wedding dresses. Afterward, Kris practiced swimming at Rome’s YM pool (she swims competitively in a Master’s League, and had a swim meet coming up, so wanted to stay in shape).

Keith at the Old Forge Hardware Store (several years ago!)

On Saturday, Kris drove us several miles northward to Lowville in her new VW Jetta. The main reason she offered to drive, I think, was so she could open the sun roof! (Sure glad I wore a hat!) Keith wanted to show her the windmills at Lewis County’s Maple Ridge Wind Farm, always a fascinating sight. With 195 wind towers (as they’re called), spread over 21,000 acres, it’s the largest wind tower project east of the Mississippi.  Unfortunately my camera wasn’t working. Kris took a fantastic video on her Blackberry, but I can’t get it to download on this site! If you’re on Facebook, check it out!

After a brief stop at a farm stand, we headed to the Boonville Black River Canal Museum, where Keith and I have volunteered in the past. It was nearly closing time, but we wanted to give Kris a quick tour.

The Boonville Black River Canal Museum, built entirely by volunteers.

The following morning, she headed back home to Gettysburg, and we were sorry to see her go.

At the end of that week, on Friday, July 29, we drove to Indian Lake, in the Adirondacks, during a torrential downpour, to visit some friends we hadn’t seen in several years. It was great to spend time with Marge and Bill at their lovely mountain home, and catch up on all that had happened since we were last together. On Saturday morning, we stuffed ourselves on an absolutely fantastic breakfast that Bill had gotten up early to prepare.  A beautiful time, with some beautiful people, but much too short! (Again, no photos!)

We arrived home in time for the last day of the great Oneida County-Boonville Fair (www.boonvillefair.com) on Sunday afternoon. After all, what’s summer without a county fair?

Our main reason for going was to support our church’s food booth and take in the concert by Fritz’s Polka Band (www.fritzspolkaband.com). I just love that toe-tappin’ polka music. Wish I could dance the polka, but with my two left feet and my aching back, there’s no way! But FPB is great to listen to. I even bought one of their new t-shirts. (I took some photos with Keith’s cell phone, but have to figure out how to download them to this site!) Of course, we filled up on the usual unhealthy fair food – but that’s the fun part of a county fair, right?

And that, my friends, takes us to the end of July. But stop by to visit soon, and we’ll catch up with August, which included a trip to our hometown and an early birthday present for yours truly. What was it and how many birthdays will I celebrate? Well, it’s more than I care to admit, but come back and find out!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

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Five Pounds Too Much

I’ve finally lost the five pounds of body fat I accumulated during my trip to Florida and while enjoying too many covered dish dinners during the past month.

 Hello! And welcome to my blog, mostly about my sometimes-busy life (and sometimes not) in upstate New York, in a place called Boonville. No, it wasn’t named for Daniel Boon! It’s named for the founder, a Dutch adventurer by the name of Gerritt Boon, who brought a group of settlers here in 1795. (For more about Boonville, click on the Boonville Historical Club link at the right, and then click on the tab “Boonville History.”)

So how did I add five pounds to my 4-foot, 10-and-a-half-inch frame? Too much good food and drink and too little exercise! It wasn’t bad enough that we ate almost constantly while on vacation. During the month of June, it seems like there was one dinner after another sponsored by the Boonville United Methodist Church. I’ll say one thing for the Methodists – they sure do know how to cook! Those here in Boonville, anyway. But let’s go back – to Saturday evening, May 28, when we returned home.

Wreaths placed on this local monument, which lists area soldiers killed in action, on Memorial Day 2010.

We spent Sunday and Monday (Memorial Day) recuperating from our travels. We even missed the annual Memorial Day Main Street parade and services at the local cemetery. Guess we better make sure to get there next year, as it will undoubtedly be our last Memorial Day here. Boonville is home to many veterans of all conflicts, men and women alike, and as a whole the area is very patriotic. Various veterans’ organizations observe all the national holidays that call attention to the military or the flag.

Dan Duggan from the cover of his CD "For The Love of Friends"

By Friday evening, June 3, I had unpacked everything, stashed away the suitcases, and washed, dried, and put away all the laundry. There was a benefit program nearby that included one of my favorite musicians, Dan Duggan. Dan is one of the greatest hammered dulcimer players you’ll ever hear (see http://www.esperanceproductions.com). The concert was a fundraiser for the local Black River Canal Museum (www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com). So, of course, there was no way I was going to miss this wonderful opportunity. And the musical trio, which included Peggy Lynn and Dan Berggren, was fantastic, as I expected it would be. I just love that hammered dulcimer!

Pastor Bill closes the day's program with scripture, while wife Shari looks on.

The following day was one that many people in our church had worked hard preparing for. It was a farewell gathering to honor our long-time minister, Pastor Bill Mudge, and his family. Pastor Bill had been appointed as a District Superintendent in the United Methodist Church, which meant he would be working in another area of the state. Since his younger daughter Hannah still has a year at the local high school, the family won’t actually be moving until she graduates. Pastor Bill will be commuting to his new job, as of July 1.

The afternoon meal included just about everything you can imagine. I tried to restrain myself, knowing those extra pounds would be hard to shed. The many humorous and sometimes tearful tributes to the pastor and his family lasted until early evening, adding up to a long day.

 Monday night, June 6, I attended another dinner that included a surprise – for me!

It was our annual Boonville Historical Club end-of-season dinner meeting at a local restaurant. Again, the food was sumptuous. During the program, I was presented with the club’s Citizen of the Year Award. It’s something the club has done since 2002; however, it’s not presented every year – only when someone is nominated who meets the qualifications! I was honored and humbled to be chosen for this prestigious tribute, which included my name permanently engraved on a plaque and a lovely flowering plant.

Gerry Crumb, right, presents plaque to yours truly.

 Two nights later, I was off to another covered dish dinner (why we call it  “covered” dish, I have no clue. In some parts of the country, they say “pot-luck” or “pot-latch” dinner.) Again, it was a season finale for our United Methodist Women. During this evening’s program, a group of us were photographed for having earned our reading program certificates. Another woman and I had each read 20 books during the year to qualify for the Level IV certificate, the highest possible achievement.

We really should have attended the stamp club dinner Tuesday evening at a Utica restaurant, but Keith and I both decided we just couldn’t go through with another dinner. Our next dining experience was with our friends Ed and Kathy, on Wednesday evening, June 22. We hadn’t seen them in a while, so we spent several hours catching up and talking over our future plans, again while consuming more delicious food.

 And then on Friday evening, June 24, amidst severe thunderstorms and a torrential downpour, we made our way to – you guessed it – another covered dish dinner at church! This one to honor our associate pastors, both of whom are going in new directions: one to take over as a senior pastor in another church; the other to retirement.

UMW members who earned Reading Program certificates. Yours truly is third from left.

On Saturday afternoon, June 25, our friends Cathy and Terry  stopped by after attending a nearby wedding. They didn’t stay for dinner, but we did snack and drink a bit while they visited. 

But wait! There’s one more occasion for food! On Tuesday, June 28, I had lunch with some of the crew at the Boonville Herald office. At least it wasn’t a huge lunch – just a sandwich! It was more an excuse to get together with my former co-workers to catch up on all the news and happenings in their lives.

Associate Pastor Joan Ripp, front; Associate Pastor Lynn Lockwood, standing left; Senior Pastor Bil Mudge. All are headed in new directions!

Whew! Between all these dinners, as well as the church rummage sale, administrative council meeting, dentist appointments, walks along the canal, volunteer activities, and such, the month flew by. I can’t believe it’s the first day of July. That means the Boonville Concert Band begins their summer concerts in the bandstand this evening. I don’t want to miss that!

This is also the anniversary of the day Boonville’s own 97th Civil War Volunteer Infantry fought gallantly at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. But that’s another story for another post!

And those five lost pounds? I hope I never find them again.

Hey, thanks so much for visiting my blog. Please stop by again soon!

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In Memoriam – Catherine E. Routson, 1924-2008

Kit and Jack on their Wedding Day in 1942

I had fully intended to start updating this blog about all the things that have kept me busy in Boonville this past month, but then I realized that today would have been the 87th birthday of my late mother-in-law, Catherine Ella Lehr Routson.

Kit was born in York, Pennsylvania, on June 29,  1924, one of seven daughters of  Luther and Pauline Klinedinst Lehr. She was a graduate of William Penn Senior High School, York. During World War II, in October 1942, she married Wilbur Jackson “Jack” Routson, Jr., who entered the U. S. Navy two months later. Catherine and Jack had two sons, Keith and Randall. 

It seems like just yesterday that we first met. She passed away on October 28, 2008, while a resident of a York nursing home. We miss you, Mom! Happy Birthday!

Kit and Jack with family members at their 50th wedding anniversary party in 1992.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane


If you’re one of the few regular followers of my blog, you know I’ve been posting about our trip via auto train from Boonville to Florida, after which we took a road trip back to Boonville. On our way home, we made several stops.

Best buds – Ned, left, and Keith.


In my last post, I forgot that we had spent Monday night in Brunswick, Georgia, on our way north.  Tuesday morning, May 24, it was on to Bud and Kathy’s in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, after which our next destination was Cary, North Carolina. Why? Keith wanted to meet a childhood friend and former classmate he hadn’t seen in a long time.

We arrived in the Raleigh/Cary area late Wednesday afternoon. After freshening up in our room at a beautiful Marriott Residence Inn near Ned’s home, it was back in the car again. We could never have found the way to his lovely house, tucked away on a cozy street, had it not been for the trusty GPS. It led us through traffic and onto streets that would have been next to impossible to navigate, even with the most detailed map. Truly an amazing invention, that GPS! 

Keith and Ned had a great time reminiscing. Our host also proved to be a marvelous cook. His wife Bev, a long-time flight attendant, had to work (a flight to Switzerland – you call that work?). So Ned grilled us a delicious dinner, complete with all the trimmings. After a  wonderful, nostalgic visit, we finally said good night.

A classic combination - good friends, good conversation, good food, good drink!

Although Ned had graciously invited us to spend the night, we opted to stay at a Marriott. Because our daughter Kathi works for the company (she’s senior art director at their Orlando home office) we can get great rates at Marriott-owned hotels across the country, if they’re available.

I loved the Residence Inn. I could live there forever! It has everything you need in one compact, well-designed room. But, Thursday morning, we were on the road again. Keith wanted to show me the Martinsville, Virginia area, where he once lived and worked. In fact, it was his first real job out of college: a supervisor in the chemical laboratory at the DuPont Nylon Plant.

Martinsville Memorial Hospital

A once very productive manufacturing facility, the Martinsville DuPont plant started operating in 1941 making the first women’s nylon stockings. When WWII started, they focused on producing parachutes and other war-related items. At one time it was the largest nylon manufacturing plant in the world, with over 5,000 employees. But it closed in 1998, and it appears the town went downhill after that. 

We drove around the area, located the apartments Keith lived in, even found the hospital where his daughter Amy was born, and eventually drove to the former DuPont location, which had covered 500 acres, including a golf course. Keith sweet-talked a friendly older female security guard into letting us drive through the area, which now houses several other businesses and the municipal police station.

It was another day of reminiscing for Keith, as he recalled how he – a 22-year-old whippersnapper fresh out of school – for several years successfully supervised about 20 women employees, ages 40-60. Had he stayed with the company, he often says, he would have had it made – with a nice income and a great pension! On the other hand, he would never have met me! (Even though the Martinsville plant closed, employees were transferred to other DuPont locations.)

The DuPont nylon plant, Martinsville, VA, from the December 1973 company newsletter.

After a trip down memory lane, we arrived in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in late afternoon. A college town with lots of places to shop and eat, we soon spotted a Red Lobster, my favorite restaurant. After the usual seafood delights, it was off to another beloved haunt – Barnes & Noble. Among the books on sale was a Kathy Reichs novel.

Although I had vehemently vowed to not bring another book into our home, I couldn’t resist. She’s one of my favorite authors and the hardcover edition was a steal!

After a good night’s sleep at the Fairfield Inn (a Marriott hotel) we were back on the road heading north. Destination: York, Pennsylvania, where we arrived mid-afternoon at my parents’ home. My sister also joined us for a short visit. After catching up on Mom and Dad’s latest health issues, it was off to Gettysburg, where our beds were waiting at the home of Kris and Dan. But first, it was party time.

It was great to have Brian, Diane, Morgan, Brigitta, and Amy join us for a family cook-out, and as usual, with plenty of good food and drink. Again, it was a marvelous evening. Unfortunately – for me, but fortunately for everyone else – I couldn’t locate my camera, so I have no photographic record of the evening.

Next morning, we prepared for the final leg of our journey, each of us driving a car back to Boonville. How did that happen?

During our previous stay with Kris, she had talked about buying a new car. She would then give her old Ford Focus to daughter Brigitta, who was driving a 1988 VW Golf, a unique little 2-door hatchback with terrific gas mileage. According to Wikipedia, the Golf was later marketed as the VW Rabbit.  Although it was literally falling apart and needed a new clutch, Keith was interested in buying it, since we needed a second “junk” vehicle.

This is what a new VW Golf looks like

During our travels, Kris had followed through on her decision to treat herself to a brand-new car, opting for a VW Jetta. So – was Keith serious about buying Brigitta’s car? she wanted to know.

Yes, indeed he was.  That meant he had to drive the VW back to Boonville, and I would drive the Impala – all 300-some miles – by myself!

After a long, tiring trip, with several pit-stops along the way, we finally arrived back in  Boonville. The VW made it with no problems!

Fortunately, this time the raccoons, squirrels, and black bears had not caused any damage while we were gone.  It’s great to get away, but it’s always good to get back home again and sleep in your own bed!

Lovely flowering plants, like this African Violet on my windowsill, can help make a house a home!

Thanks for visiting my blog and traveling with us. Now that we’ve returned home, I’ll try to bring you up to date shortly on what’s been happening in Boonville, New York! Please visit again soon!

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Where in the world is Murrells Inlet?

OK, this is getting to be old news by now, but here we are, still on our Florida visit.

On Sunday morning, May 22, Kathi and Chris took us to Ponce Inlet for a tour of the lighthouse and museum there, before heading to a seaside restaurant for another fabulous meal. Boy, do those calories sneak up on you!

Ryan, Kathi, and Chris at the lighthouse/museum sign.

Soaring 175 feet into the sky, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida, and one of the tallest in the country. The brick walls are eight feet thick at the bottom and two feet thick at the top. Completed in 1887, it took three years and over a million bricks – shipped from Maryland and New York – to build it. Including the nine granite steps at the entrance, there are 203 steps to the gallery deck. Guess who climbed all 203 steps? Not me!

View from the top of the lighthouse

Since Kathi was still recuperating from back surgery, the view from the top was something that only Keith, Chris, and Ryan had the pleasure of witnessing. Yep, Grandpa made it to the top; he said he wasn’t even short of breath.

The Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station and Museum is another treasure that remains available for public touring, thanks to folks concerned with preserving, restoring, and maintaining these historic beacons of light. It’s one of the few Light Stations in the U.S. with all of the original keepers’ dwellings and support buildings intact (see www.ponceinlet.org). I’d recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area.

Chris, Kathi, Ryan, Grandma and Grandpa at the base of the lighthouse.

We stopped to check out  several of the dozen or so museum buildings before we all decided it was time to eat. So, it was off to lunch at an open-air restaurant called “Down the Hatch,” where we had a magnificent view of the water and the boats, while enjoying a lovely breeze, as well as another calorie-laden meal!

Grandson Ryan, Chris, and Kathi at Down the Hatch

Monday morning we enjoyed a final dip in the pool at Kathi and Chris’s, before preparing to leave the Sunshine State. I would have loved to stay longer, but we said farewell after lunch and headed north. With the help of Keith’s new toy, a GPS, we found our way right to the door of his cousin Kathy and her husband Bud in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, near Myrtle Beach. It was a wonderful visit, since we hadn’t seen them in a long time. 

We enjoyed their delightful hospitality and Kathy’s marvelous home cooking (more calories!), before turning in for the night in their lovely guest room.

Kathy A. preparing a luscious dinner for us!

The next morning – let’s see, where are we now – oh, yes – it’s Tuesday! We again packed the suitcases into the Chevy and were soon northbound toward Cary, North Carolina, near Raleigh. Keith was eager to see a former high school classmate. It had been many years since he had seen Ned, and they had a lot of catching-up to do.

But hang on a minute! We’ll continue this trip another time. Eventually, we will get back to Boonville, New York. But – this time we’ll each be driving a car.

Stop by again soon, and find out why – although we left with one car, we’ll be coming back home with two. 

Group shots with an automatic timer are always fun! Thanks to Kathy's high-tech camera, here we are: Keith, yours truly, Kathy, and Bud.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

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Looking for a home…

Thanks for stopping to visit my blog – mostly about my life in rural Boonville, New York. But right now, I’m continuing the story of our trip south and then back again to the North Country.

 In my last post, we had just arrived at out daughter’s home in the Windermere area of Florida. It was great to see Kathi and our son-in-law Chris and teenage grandson, Ryan.

Kathi and Chris smile for the camera!

Their pool was wonderful, too! I loved it, although the water was warm because of the high temps while we were visiting. But, it couldn’t get too hot for me. The pool was absolutely therapeutic. The warm water may not have been all that refreshing for most folks, but it worked wonders on my aching joints.

Kathi couldn't resist this photo-op!

People may find this strange, but my husband loves to visit grocery stores when we travel, especially those offering exotic and unusual foods. So, on our second day there, off we went to a place called Whole Foods Market (www.wholefoodsmarket.com). It truly is an amazing place. Not only do they sell hundreds of organic and imported brands of nearly every type food product imaginable (and some that you can’t imagine), consider this: in one corner of the café, they even offer massages!

As a belated Mother’s Day gift, my daughter insisted on paying for an upper back massage for me. I must admit – it felt marvelous.

The friendly waiter took a photo of Kathi, Chris, Keith, and I waiting for our meal!

Friday evening Kathi, Chris, Keith, and I (Ryan was off to a football game) headed to a unique restaurant with the unusual name, “The Social Chameleon,” a little hole-in-the-wall place that I’m sure only Florida residents are aware of. After the chilly, damp weather we had left behind in Boonville, it was great to sit outdoors in the cozy courtyard – such as it was!

Besides the usual soups and appetizers, the menu includes at least 100 brands of bottled beer from around the US and even around the world, some with really wacky and nonsensical names. I wish I could remember more of them, but how about “Tommyknocker Butthead,” for example?

They also offered some truly awesome pizzas and other main dishes. I don’t remember the fancy tongue-twisting multi-named pizza I ordered, but I couldn’t eat the whole thing, even though Keith and I shared it. As delectable as it was, I reluctantly asked for a “take-home” box. It served as part of Ryan’s lunch the next day!

Some of the unusual beers available at the Social Chameleon.

We spent Saturday mostly relaxing by the pool, except for a short afternoon trip that Keith and I took. The object of the shopping trip – well, it could change our lives! But more about that later.

We almost had to call the fire department later that day. When Kathi and Chris attempted to make salmon and shrimp on their outdoor grill, the grease somehow caught fire. There were a few frantic moments as clouds of dark smoke filled the patio. But the food was salvaged, the grill cleaned, and dinner was delicious!

And the purpose of our spur-of-the-moment visit to Suncoast RV (www.suncoastrv.com)? To check out the RVs, of course! The possibility of buying and living in an RV is an idea Keith and I discussed on our short drive between the Sanford train station and Kathi and Chris’s house on Thursday. An RV could well solve our problem of where to live when we move from this area – hopefully next summer (2012).

Kathi pretends frustration, after the smoke episode with the grill!

Right now, I’m in a dilemma. Should we move to our hometown area of York, Pennsylvania, where my aging parents and most of our family live (even though the winter weather there is not all that great sometimes)? Or should we move to a more southern location, like Florida, where usually the winter temperatures are kinder to aging and arthritic joints (and where Kathi, Chris, and Ryan have lived for many years)? With a moveable home, we could spend part of the year in one location, and part of it in another.

An RV may be the solution.

Of course, we fell in love with one of the first homes the salesman showed us (http://www.suncoastrv.com/InventoryDetails.aspx?St=UMC39347). For those of you familiar with the lingo, it’s a Class C, 31-footer, which means we would drive the RV, rather than pull it. It was beautiful and absolutely perfect for the two of us.

I love the compactness of the RV. There’s no room to accumulate “stuff.” On the other hand, what will we do with all the “stuff” we are now hoarding in our house?

We’re just in the beginning stages of investigating this possibility. There are many considerations. I’ll keep you posted as we head down this road. If anyone out there has any suggestions or comments about RV living, I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please stop by again soon, and you can walk to the top of Ponce de Leon Lighthouse with me! Hey, it’s only 203 steps to the gallery deck. Join us!

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Black Flies and the Auto Train

I love using my laptop outdoors on nice days. But it’s now black-fly season in this part of the world. The abundance of these tiny bothersome critters is the deciding factor when it comes to enjoying the sunshine or staying indoors.

My computer connects to the wireless network on our un-screened-in back deck, but it’s impossible to work there without being overcome by the little black bloodsuckers and their assorted annoying friends and relatives. The bugs and mosquitoes don’t seem to bother my husband nearly as much, but they absolutely love me – even when I’ve doused myself with tons of smelly insect repellent.

Our screened-in front porch is a lifesaver this time of year, as far as sitting outside to enjoy our beautiful scenery. But – alas no wireless! And it’s a monumental task to drag the Ethernet cable from the back office, and out the kitchen door, to connect to the laptop.

My reason for this rather involved explanation? When the weather is nice (which isn’t as often as I’d like) I take advantage of the opportunity, and enjoy the view from my front porch – which means that unless I’m really ambitious, I won’t be connected to the Internet. I’ll be reading, watching the hummingbirds and the goldfinches, or doing whatever else I can while protected from the bugs!

This is a somewhat lame excuse for not updating my blogs, I know. But we’ve also been away, so the month of May flew by much too quickly.

I fully intended to write about Lupus Awareness Month (www.nolupus.com) and Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month during May. Both of these maladies do their best to slow me down. But, I can always write about them later! So, let’s get caught up.

Keith patiently waits to board the train in Lorton, VA.

On Tuesday, May 17, we headed south to Pennsylvania. After spending the night with daughter number one, Kris, and her hubby Dan, and our granddaughter Brigitta in Gettysburg, we continued southward to Lorton, Virginia, near the Washington, DC area. I know – I had never heard of Lorton, either. But there it was – the Amtrak station and the beginning of a new experience: the Auto Train.

After a nervous, approximatey two-hour wait, we boarded the Amtrak to Sanford, Florida (near Orlando), while our car was loaded onto another part of the train. We finally pulled out of the station about 4:00 o’clock. As I said, this was our first trip on the Auto Train, and we learned a lot about traveling in this mode. There were good parts and some not-so-good parts.

One of the good parts was the delicious food. We also met some interesting people. It always amazes me that no matter where you travel, you meet someone with some connection to your area of the country! A not-so-good thing was trying to catch a few winks or even rest (we hadn’t booked a sleeper car, but we will if we ever travel that route again!). We managed to survive, and around 9:30 the next morning, Thursday, May 19, we found ourselves safe in Florida.

After we finally retrieved our Chevy – I swear it was the last vehicle off the train – we took a short drive to the home of daughter number two, Kathi, and her husband Chris, and our 15-year-old grandson Ryan. Kathi was still recovering from recent major back surgery, but was ready for some diversion. She had just gotten her surgeon’s approval that morning to ride in a car. So we were soon out and about.

But more about that later – I promise! I’ll be back shortly with another update. So please stop by again soon. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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Ode to a Poet

April has come and gone, and hopefully, so have the showers. You remember that little ditty – “April showers bring May flowers”? Unfortunately, much of the country has had more than showers, but the rhyme reminded me of National Poetry Month – which was also in April. I didn’t forget about it: actually I thought about it all month long. There just wasn’t time to post what I had in mind to mark the observance.

According to http://www.poets.org, the Academy of American Poets inaugurated National Poetry Month in 1996. It’s now held every April, “when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.”

While I’m not a poetry fan, I do like the works of Carl Sandburg and some of Emily Dickinson’s writings. And I’ll always remember the rhythmic words of a lengthy Edgar Allan Poe favorite that I learned in 10th grade:

Keeping time, time, time,/In a sort of Runic rhyme,/To the tintinabulation that so musically wells/From the bells, bells, bells, bells,/Bells, bells, bells–/From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells…

Edgar Allan Poe is honored on a commemorative postage stamp issued in 2009.

Of course, those are just a few words from the first stanza. The poem is appropriatelu title – you guessed it – The Bells.

On January 16, 2009, the U.S. Postal Service® commemorated the 200th anniversary of Poe’s birth by issuing a 42-cent stamp featuring his likeness. For more than a century and a half, Poe and his works have been praised by admirers around the world.
But, I guess I’d have to say that my favorite poet is a now-departed friend, who loved to write verse. In fact, during her time in Boonville, Irma Garbarino – whom I’ve written about previously in this blog – self-published four small booklets of poems, so that others could enjoy what she termed her “scribblings” and “shirt tales.” Not only did she write, she decorated the cover of one of her books, Tales of an Adirondack Summer, with her illustration of the village bandstand (see above).

Irma was a wonderful storyteller. I loved to listen to her tales of past adventures. And she was a talented poet. Sometimes her scribblings were whimsical;  sometimes sad; sometimes reflective and thought provoking.

She was so proud, when in March 2001, she was awarded third prize in an online poetry contest for her poem, “The Auction.” It’s about an event in October, and though I like the poem, I wanted to re-print something relevant to springtime. “Snowmelt” is what I chose. It’s found in her North Country Trails, published in 2001.

I know it’s late, but this post is my National Poetry Month tribute to a remarkable lady and my favorite poet, Irma Garbarino!

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They’ve Returned!

They’ve returned! My favorite birds, that is. I saw the first one just several days ago. No, not the robin, that perennial prognosticator of spring. My favorite bird is the goldfinch.

Goldfinches on our feeder tray last summer.

When I see the beautiful goldfinch at my feeder, sporting its gorgeous  yellow and black summer plumage, my happiness always jumps up a few notches. I just love to watch these amazing little creatures. When you think of how God created each little feather on each little bird, you can’t help but be awed! That well-loved hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” always comes to mind. When the goldfinches return, I know that spring has truly arrived here in the North Country. Now, if only the weather would cooperate!

I have to admit, I "borrowed" this photo from the Birds and Blooms website, so thanks to them you can see a beautiful goldfinch up close and personal

But thank God, we haven’t experienced anything like those whose lives are forever changed by the recent tornadoes that devastated the south. There was a report of a tornado that touched down a bit south of us, in a wooded area, but no one was injured. Unrelenting rain has caused some flooding, and we’ve experienced high winds. But nothing worse than that so far. I know I should be thankful. At least we’ve had a few t-shirt and shorts days this past week, when the temperatures soared to the seventies. But this morning, it’s back to the wood stove.

I’m keeping busy trying to list things for sell on eBay – just small items, like books and First Day Covers from my stamp collection. I’m also accumulating a pile of “stuff” for a garage sale this summer. Or maybe not; maybe I’ll just donate everything to some worthy charitable cause somewhere! A garage sale is time consuming, and the profits are usually not worth the effort, especially when all you’ve got to offer are small items. It’s a lot of fun, though. So, we’ll decide later.

Meantime, I continue trying to eliminate everything in our home that’s unnecessary. I’ve even started packing some items I can’t bear to part with. At least that way, I won’t have to dust them until we find a new place to live. It won’t be for quite a while yet – at the very minimum a year – until we move from this area, but I’m already thinking ahead to the task. Packing for a move is not one of my favorite things to do.

Today is overcast and gloomy – again! But hopefully, the sun will shine later. Meanwhile, I’m positive it will be a good day. Every day is a good day when I can get out of bed, put my feet on the floor, and walk to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. God bless the person or persons who invented the automatic coffeemaker! And God bless my “Superhero” husband, who usually gets up first and starts the process.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please stop by again soon!  

To learn more about goldfinches and other backyard birds, visit Birds and Blooms Magazine’s website: http://www.birdsandblooms.com/.

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A Musical Bargain

I love music. Certain types of music that is. For example, music from the forties. They just don’t make music like that anymore.

As I write this, I’m listening to a tape – yes, a tape – from “The Sweet Bands’ Most Romantic Hits” put out by Reader’s Digest. Listening to the sweet sounds of “Sentimental Journey” by Ray Anthony and his Orchestra is heavenly. And what can compare to the likes of Bing Crosby, Vaughn Monroe, Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters, Harry James, or Les Brown? It’s the music that was played on the radio in the forties, and the big band sound my parents heard when they were young.

How or why I acquired a taste for this music is beyond me. But the best part of all – it was a real bargain.

While running some errands this afternoon we stopped at the local library – Erwin Memorial Library – in Boonville, where they have a continuous book sale in progress. It often includes videos, tapes, and DVDs.  While I was talking to the librarian, asking her to look up a book I wanted, my loving and ever vigilant husband (who knows I love this type of music) found not one, but two sets of tapes (fortunately, we still own a tape player!). One is those  mentioned above; the second is titled, “Melodies and Memories.” Among the titles are old-time favorites like Chattanooga Choo Choo, April in Paris, and Moonlight and Roses. Can’t wait to play them all.

Theres no reason I included this photo, taken between 1981 and 1983, except that its always been a favorite! Get a load of those boots!

As I said, the music was a bargain – twenty-five cents for each set of four tapes. Keith  gave the librarian a dollar. Big-time spender! But hours of listening pleasure for me.

Thank you to whoever donated these tapes to the library. Just goes to show, it pays to visit your local library! You never know what you’ll find.

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Boonville Bag Lady

Paper or plastic? It’s not Earth Day until April 22, but lately I’ve been thinking about those nasty plastic bags you get with everything you buy. It seems I have no problem remembering to take our own assorted shopping bags with us when we do major grocery shopping (they’re always in the car); it’s those quick stops to pick up one or two items that get me.

Recently Keith and I had some stops to make in Boonville after we’d been to the city most of the day. After a doctor appointment, we stopped for groceries at one of the mega-chain stores (sorry, no free ads here). We filled several of our own canvas and other assorted bags with food for the week.

A few of the shopping bags we use.

When we arrived back in Boonville, we had to pick up a prescription, stop at the local “dollar store” for a few paper products, fill the Chevy with gas at a local convenience store, and then grab a box of specially priced ice cream. We really didn’t need the ice cream. It’s full of calories and fat, I know (but it also contains calcium).  I decided, however, that it was the perfect ending to a long, tiring day.

So into the store we marched for the ice cream. This time, however, I did remember to carry my little blue zippered and insulated bag with me. The clerk didn’t bat an eye when we asked her to put the ice cream into the bag. It was perfect for a rectangular box of frozen delight. The pharmacy was another story.

Some clerks at the big-chain grocery stores – and even at the locally owned ones – scowl when they see you approaching the check-out carrying your own bags (you need to be brave and ignore them sometimes). They’re somewhat apprehensive. Like, “Am I allowed to do this?” Others cooperate with no problem and even smile about it. But once in a while it’s difficult to convince a clerk that you don’t need or want their plastic bags.

What did we do before they became a household item? We carried our purchase out of the store without the benefit of packaging. Or we used paper bags. These days, most stores don’t even offer paper.

The worst plastic bags, by far, are the bright disgustingly Halloween-orange-colored ones the local pharmacy hands out like candy, even if your purchase is only about four inches square. I despise these bags. (Sorry, guys; I know it’s not your fault.) But sometimes it’s a challenge to keep them from putting one small paper bag containing a small plastic (there we go again with that p-word!) vial of 30 tablets into a somewhat-rectangular-shaped orange bag about 16 inches wide by 17 inches high, including the handles. On the day I’m describing, I removed the items from the plastic bag and transferred them to my own. And then I handed the store’s bag back to the clerk. 

Granted, these orange bags are sturdy and can serve other purposes – carrying your muddy shoes home, filling  it with trash, etc., etc., etc. And, I know there is a recycling bin at the store’s front door. But, I don’t need any more orange plastic bags! So I’m trying to make a real effort to take one of our own shopping bags with us when we pick up a prescription.

Did you realize that many grocery and drug stores offer their own shopping bags, usually for less than a dollar?

Often they’re small and don’t hold a lot, but some places also sell larger metallic-looking insulated ones. I fervently wish more people would start using them – even if you need two or three. You can also take a canvas tote-bag when shopping. The larger, sturdy ones are great for carrying canned goods. If you don’t own any, you can also shop online. Try this link: http://www.recycledpromos.com/ggistore/Products/tabid/617/mid/1271/ShowView/1/category/Bags/Default.aspx

I’ll have to admit, it took me a while to work up the courage to carry my assorted bags with me into the stores. But, after a time, it does become habit. I’ve even sent my poor husband back to the car for them when we’ve forgotten them. We use at least two large insulated bags for frozen or refrigerated items, and several others  (of various construction) for other things. Because they hold more than the cheap white plastic ones the cashiers like to fill with just a few articles, it also saves my husband several round trips carrying groceries into the house when we get home.

So – the moral of this post? Think green! Become a bag person! Buy and carry your own with you when shopping. Or at the very least, recycle them. Not using them in the first place is better, though.

Have a great day, and please stop by and visit my blog again soon. Comments? I’d be delighted to hear from you. Don’t worry if it doesn’t show up immediately. It’s screened for spam first. Please don’t let that stop you, though, if you have something interesting to add!  

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Millie Mouse

Millie Mouse is back on the job!

I can’t believe that I recently spent an hour or more of my precious time performing surgery on a mouse. Hold on a second. Anyone who knows me knows I detest mice. So, why am I doing surgery?

Actually, the mouse is a doorstop. Truth be told, it doesn’t even look like a mouse. More accurately, this unusual rodent’s nose resembles that of  a mole. But we’ve always thought of it as a mouse, and we’ve even named it “Millie.”

The object was given to us many years ago by my late mother-in-law, who bought it from a friend, who handcrafted the fat creature, dressed in a hand-made apron and lace-trimmed hat. She’s got a weighted-down bottom and platypus-like legs. Believe me, this rodent is unique.

Over the years, poor Millie has deteriorated. Since we often grab her by the nose to move her from her post, she has suffered greatly. Her hat was hanging on by a thread; her apron was a mess, and she was missing both button eyes!

After digging through the lovely sewing box that my mother-in-law had used, I found the perfect thread. There was also a needle with an eye big enough for me to thread (it’s been a long time since I’ve done any serious sewing)!

Millie’s hat is now securely attached to her head. Her eyes are back where they belong! Her apron no longer sags around her waist (if she actually has a waist). And Millie is back on duty. She guards our bedroom door at night, keeping it from closing too tightly.
Sometimes she’s called into service at other locations in our home.

Millie will probably be with us for a long time, so long as she does her job and stays in shape. She holds a soft spot in my heart because of her history.

And – she’s the only mouse I’ll ever tolerate in my house!

Please – stop by and visit my blog again soon!


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Women’s History Month Quiz!

March is Women’s History Month!

The month is quickly drawing to a close, but I can’t let it go by without posting a quiz. Yes, a women’s history quiz. I created it last year for our Boonville Historical Club’s March meeting, but we ran out of time. Club members never got to take the quiz. So, since I put all that time and effort into it, I decided why not put it on my blog for everyone to see.

How smart are you about women’s history? Are you smarter than a fourth grader?
Here’s the quiz. Sorry, you’ll have to stop by later for the answers! And you won’t win any prizes. But if you get the most answers, I’ll publish your name here (if you don’t mind)!

Test Your Knowledge of Women’s History

1.     What was the name of the mother who led a 125-mile march of child workers all the way from the mills of Pennsylvania to President Theodore Roosevelt’s vacation home on Long Island?

2.     Who founded Bethune-Cookman College, established the National Council of Negro Women, and served as an advisor on minority affairs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt?

3.     What Black woman refused to give up her seat to a White man, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, thus sparking the civil rights movement of the following decade?

4.     (a) Who was the first woman to run for President of the United States (1872)?  

     (b) Who was the second woman to run for president (while campaigning, she

appeared at the first Boonville [New York] Fair in 1888)?

5.     She took her job as First Lady seriously, traveling the country and the world to gather information about the problems and concerns of workers, children, minorities, and the poor. She wrote a daily newspaper column and made frequent radio broadcasts. Who was this active wife of a president?

6.     Who was the first Black woman elected to Congress?

7.     What leading suffragist was arrested and convicted of attempting to vote in the 1872 election?

8.     Her 1939 Easter Sunday concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial drew a crowd of 75,000. Who was she and why was she singing there?

 9.     What woman was turned down by 29 medical schools before being accepted as a student, graduated at the head of her class, and became the first licensed woman doctor in the U.S.?

10. What former slave was a powerful speaker for the rights of women and Black people?

11. When was the Equal Rights Amendment first introduced into Congress, who drafted it, and what was its purpose?

12. Which woman was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for holding religious discussion meetings in her home? 

13. Who drove a stagecoach across the roughest part of the West without anyone knowing until she died that she was a woman? 

14. Who was the first Hispanic woman to serve as U.S. Treasurer? 

15. Who was the Shoshone Indian woman who served as guide and interpreter on the Lewis and Clark expedition? 

16. What journalist traveled around the world in 72 days in 1890? 

17. About 20,000 women shirtwaist workers staged a strike for better working conditions. Their action was called the “Uprising of the 20,000.”  When and where did his strike occur? 

18.  Before the 1960s, farm workers in the U.S. were not paid even the minimum wage, and had no influential representatives to fight for their rights. Who was the woman who helped change that situation? 

19. She opened “Hull House” in a run-down Chicago neighborhood, a community center to improve conditions for poor immigrants. The program of English-language classes, childcare, health, health education, and recreational opportunities soon inspired hundreds of other settlement houses throughout the country. Her name?

 20. What woman served as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, freeing hundreds of southern slaves and leading them to safety in the North?  A $40,000 reward was offered for her capture. 

21. Bonus Question: When did officials of Little League Baseball announce that they would “defer to the changing social climate” and let girls play on their teams? 

(Some of the questions courtesy of the National Women’s History Project www.nwhp.org)

A U. S. Postage Stamp, featuring three important woman suffragists, was issued in 1984 to commemorate "100 Years of Progress."

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Remembering Three Special Ladies

I helped my friend Irma Garbarino, right, put together a book of poetry about the Gardens of Boonville in 2002.

Howdy, folks! Welcome to my blog. It’s mostly about my life in rural Boonville, New York. But not always! So come on along, and see what’s up this time.

They say things happen in threes. And sometimes that’s true. Scary, but true.

Lately, I’ve been writing about my visit to Pennsylvania and my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary  – but today I’m taking a break. Since this is Women’s History Month, it’s especially appropriate that I honor three wonderful women, who’ve recently passed away. They all have a special place in my memories.

The first time I saw Irma Garbarino, she was reading her poetry. Well, reading is putting it midly…she was performing her poetry! A great actress, she dramatized with simple props, and wowed the audience with her energy. What a delightful woman she was. And the most voracious reader I ever met. Whenever I visited her home, there was a new stack of books on her table, newly arrived from the local library,  where she often volunteered.  

Irma  had been a teacher for many years. She had lived in several areas of the U.S. and had traveled quite extensively.  Irma  was also a fellow philatelist – a stamp collector. During our many long drives to and from stamp club meetings in Utica, I laughed and commiserated with her as she discussed both the past and the present.  She had taught English, drama, speech, and creative writing, and was a teacher of the gifted for 10 years in Florida. At my invitation, she also became an active member of the Boonville Historical Club.

A beloved wife, grandmother, and mother of three, Irma lived life to the fullest. This talented and witty woman published three booklets of  poems, was a radio-show host, and taught art classes during the summer. She loved her cats and dogs and watching the deer that visited their river-side home. Her idea of a wonderful evening was to curl up with her cats in an easy chair and “get under the covers of a fascinating book.”

Having survived several bouts with cancer, a few years ago, Irma  and husband John  – also a former teacher – moved back to Florida to be closer to her family. John died in Melbourne on February 1, 2007. Irma passed away on November 20, 2010, in Palm Bay. She was 82, but much younger in heart. Those who knew and loved her already miss her.

The plant’s not too healthy, but this white, hand-painted flower-pot always reminds me of Irma.

A small ceramic flower-pot that Irma painted sits on my kitchen windowsill. It reminds me constantly  of the many enjoyable times I shared with this dear friend, one of the bravest and most delightful and charming ladies I’ve known. 

Although Irma was the first of my three special ladies to pass away, I didn’t get notice of her death until almost a month later. A few weeks earlier, I received word that a former Dallastown Area High School classmate had died. At the time of her death, Beverly Haupt Scott was the mayor of Dallastown.

I knew Bev even before I joined the class of 1959. She and I were both infatuated with trombone players in a local youth band. We both married the boys in the band, and we both later divorced them.

Bev eventually became involved in politics, serving on the Dallastown Borough Council from 1991-95. She was the borough’s first female and  longest-serving mayor (from 1995 until her death). She helped found the Dallastown Area Historical Society and several other organizations. Bev was also involved in many area service groups. She was a Class of 1959 reunion committee member, and worked hard helping to organize the class gatherings.  

During a class reunion in 2009, I presented a copy of my family history book to Bev for the Dallastown Historical Society library.

In recent years, her health had deteriorated, just as my friend Irma’s had.

On the night of December 8, Bev’s daughter discovered the mayor’s body in their backyard swimming pool. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital, and an autopsy later declared that death was due to accidental drowning.

About the only time I saw Bev after we graduated was at class reunions and parties. But, she was a busy lady, devoted to her family and dedicated to making her hometown a better place to live.  She will long be remembered for her many contributions.

Survived by two daughters, Bev was very proud of her only grandson, a U. S. Marine corporal. Bev will be missed by all who knew and loved her, especially by her classmates.

My third special lady was also a well-known figure. She was one of the first people I met when we moved to Boonville.

After a long illness, Jaun Lee Deitch passed away at the age of 79 on March 15.  She and her late husband, Paul Lee, operated a dairy farm for many years in Boonville. Jaun became a passionate advocate for Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE), while at the same time serving as pastor for a small local church. A Sunday School teacher for many years, she had also been an active member of the Boonville United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women’s group. I recall the enjoyable time we had when she invited the group to her camp for our annual June picnic.

Jaun Lee Deitch

The mother of three sons and three daughters, Jaun was a generous, compassion, and loving person.  She welcomed me to the community and invited me to her home several times. When I interviewed her about WIFE for a story in the local newspaper many years ago, I realized how intelligent she was and how dedicated she was to her cause. She was also dedicated to serving the Lord.

I stood in line for quite a while to pay my respects to her family on Friday afternoon, March 18, at the funeral home. Even though I was early, there was already a crowd. I wasn’t able to attend her funeral on Saturday at the church, but I heard there was a crowd there, too.  Jaun was a well-known, well-respected, and well-loved lady. She will be greatly missed.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog. Please stop by again soon and find out what’s going on in my life in Boonville, NY!

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An Anniversary to Remember!

The temperatures are rising and so are the creeks! My roof is leaking, the laundry needs to be taken out of the dryer, there are bills to be paid, and dishes in the sink. But -I feel the urge to write. 

One of several bouquets my parents received for their 70th anniversary.

 That statement reminds me of an old (1986) movie, starring my long-ago Hollywood idol, a young, fresh-faced, boy-next-door-looking Tom Cruise. In “Top Gun” he says, “I feel the need – the need for speed!” A navy aviator, he was referring to his urge to get in his jet, and fly – at an incredible miles-per-hour rate.

Sometimes I feel like that too. Just want to fly away from everything and have a good time. But, this is reality. Although I’d like nothing better than to sit here with my buzzing (will the fan die soon?) laptop computer and write all day, life gets in the way.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m enjoying it! Just feeling guilty that I haven’t blogged for so long.

So, welcome to my blog! Hope you enjoy your visit!

Maybe my itchy fingers are a result of having come out of “retirement” to write a story that appeared in this week’s issue of our local newspaper (www.boonvilleherald.com). It was about our long-time United Methodist Church (www.boonvilleunitedmethodist.com) pastor moving from the area, and a new pastor coming to take his place. Writing what developed into two stories made me realize how much I miss writing.

But back to why I’ve not been blogging… 

I spent two weeks in Pennsylvania, visiting my parents and my oldest daughter. Felt I needed a change of scenery, and I don’t get to visit my aging mom and dad very often.

Keith and I arrived at their home just in time for dinner, on Saturday, February 5. He headed back home to Boonville early next morning.

It took some getting used to: no Internet access at their house! No e-mails! No Facebook! No blogs! But lots of time to read, and enjoy the many anniversary cards arriving daily in the mail. Mom and Dad celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, February 8, an accomplishment not many couples achieve.

Some of my family gathered to celebrate our parents' 70th wedding anniversary. Left to right, my brother Benn and his wife Linda; my brother George "Ted" and his wife Linda, Mom, and yours truly. Seated is my dad.

I had originally thought about hosting an open house or some sort of celebration for this auspicious occasion. But Mom convinced me that  – because of Dad’s health issues –  instead, I should just “ask everyone to send cards.” She mentioned how much my 92-year-old father enjoyed getting cards in the mail. So – ask everyone, I did! I also sent an announcement to their local Sunday newspaper.

As a result, Mom and Dad received nearly 200 cards – from people all over the country, and even Belgium. What my amazed parents didn’t know was that I sent out a request to everyone on our Druck family reunion list, posted it on Facebook, and even put a note in the Boonville newspaper!    


Mom looks at some of the cards they received.

Mom and Dad were truly surprised that so many people – even strangers – took the time and effort to mail a card. They couldn’t believe it. I’m sure they’ll remember this anniversary for the rest of their lives. 

On the evening before the big day, mom prepared her “famous” chicken pie. Delicious! She had invited two brothers and their spouses, Ted and Benny (both with wives named Linda) who live nearby, for dinner.

Mom prepares her delicious chicken pie, referred to in some areas as chicken "pot pie"

 It was a great evening, reminiscing about the old days and celebrating our parents’ anniversary. We missed my only sister, Bobbi, who was in Arizona, and my other brother, Phil (Butch), who lives in northern Pennsylvania.

On their anniversary day, I treated Mom and Dad to one of their favorite dinners – spare ribs! Mom and I picked them up from a nearby restaurant and brought them home to enjoy. Problem was, Dad says he didn’t get enough to eat!

On Wednesday, my Aunt Mots, my mother’s sister, came to visit. She and Mom and I went out for sandwiches for lunch, and brought them back to share with Dad around the kitchen table. (Although he’s in good shape for his age, it’s sometimes difficult for him to get around.)

Dad during the family anniversary dinner.

On Friday afternoon, I went with Mom – who’s 87 years old – to see a doctor about some back problems she’s been having. It’s hard to imagine that she’s gone through life thus far with no major medical issues, when some of us in the family have been burdened for years with chronic illnesses and major surgeries. She has been blessed!

The doctor recommended an epidural injection to relieve the pain. They scheduled it for Monday, February 14, Valentine’s Day! My brother Ted was prepared to take her to the medical center for the procedure, since I’d be at my daughter’s by that time. So, did the injection help?

Please stop by again soon to hear more about my visit to Pennsylvania and about the injection from hell? Really?

My parents, Hazel and Ben Druck on their 70th anniversary, February 8, 2011.

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Oops…Wrong Date!


Mom and Dad (seated) with my Aunt Martha, and her son, Steve, and daughter-in-law Margaret.

Howdy folks! Welcome to my blog. If this is your first visit, I hope you’ll stop back again! It’s about my life in Boonville, New York…and since my life is often rather boring, I also try to bring other interesting items to your attention.    


The Druck family gathers for a picnic in August 2006.

This  post is mainly to correct an error I made in my previous post about my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary. I wrote that they were married on February 7, 1941. Actually, they were wed on February 8th, not the 7th. I suppose February 7 was in the forefront of my mind because that’s the day my hubby and I met. Only it was in 1981, 40 years after my parents had exchanged vows! Keith and I celebrate the day we first saw each others’ faces, more than our wedding day.

Mom and Dad with kids and in-laws celebrate their 50th anniversary! Left to right, Ted, Linda, Butch, Carol, Mom, Dad, Judy, Keith, Bobbi, Mike, and Benn.

I wanted to do something special for my parents on this momentous occasion, but my dad has a hard time dealing with several people in the same room at the same time. Wouldn’t you, if you were 92 years old? He’s also hard of hearing and can’t understand what’s being said most of the time, which often frustrates him. But not many couples celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary! So, what to do?

My mom suggested that instead of the open house I wanted to hold, everyone could just send cards. She said Dad loves reading cards he gets in the mail. So that’s the plan. It won’t take much time and it won’t cost much. Buy a 50-cent anniversary card at the dollar store or make your own (you can spend more if you’d like!), stick on a 44-cent stamp, address it, and put the card in the mailbox or drop it off at the post office. For less than a dollar, your good wishes and congratulations will make Dad’s day! Even if he doesn’t know you. And I’m sure Mom will enjoy them too. Here’s where to send a card:

Ben and Hazel Druck, 392 Sparton Road, York, PA 17403

Don’t forget! Mark your calendar, so the card will arrive on February 8th! Your time and effort will be greatly appreciated. 

More about my parents and their 70 years of togetherness coming soon. Please stop by and visit again.  

 I’ll also be adding more to my Druck family history blog site, www.judyroutson.wordpress.com, so I hope you’ll visit there, too.

Thanks for visiting!

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What’s in Store for 2011?

This group photo was taken with the automatic timer on my camera. Hilarious! From left in front, Brigitta, Morgan, Judy, holding Frankie, Kris, Amy, Diane; in back, Dan, Joshua, Keith, Brian

It’s incredible! We’ve survived another year. Where did the time go? Seems the older I get, the faster time flies. Wasn’t it just a few days ago – weeks? – that we were ushering in the year 2010? And here we are: almost the middle of January 2011 already!

What New Year’s resolutions have you made?

Unfortunately, no matter how much I resolve to keep them, resolutions just don’t work for me; instead, I now think of these annual promises to myself as “goals” for the upcoming months. Do they work any better? Not always! But here’s what I’m attempting in 2011:

  • Say” Thank You” to someone every day (other than my husband, who tells me I don’t need to thank him for every little thing he does)
  • Say “I Love You” to someone every day (other than my husband!)
  • Try to give words of encouragement to someone every day
  • Try not to criticize, condemn, or complain
  • Try to keep in touch with family members more often (you remember that old commercial: “Reach out and touch someone”!) Now we can also do it online, but I don’t always take the time to ask, “How’s your day going?”
  • Try to read the Bible every day
  • Start reading the books on the “banned books” list!
  • Try to get my stamp collection organized, so I can sell my extras on eBay!

Notice, I’ve prefaced most of  these goals with the word “try”? That way, if I can’t accomplish my goal, I won’t feel as though I’ve failed. The least I can do is “try”! It’s my philosophy for the New Year.  Who knows, it might work for you, too! I’d be interested to know your resolutions.

No doubt there will be many changes in the coming year. What will they be? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if scientists found a cure for cancer, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and any number of other life altering illnesses? Could peace become a top priority for world leaders this year? Will 2011 go down in history as the year in which illiteracy, poverty, starvation, physical abuse, and mental depression ceased to exist? I guess that’s asking a lot, but at least we can hope and pray for all these things.

Yours truly with daughter number one.

Speaking of keeping in touch with family, we recently returned from another wonderful weekend in Adams County, Pa., with daughter number one, Kristina,  and her husband Dan and daughter Brigitta. For the second year in a row, we decided to skip Christmas with the family – too much hustle and bustle. Instead, we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Day together on January 1.

Having headed south to Pennsylvania on Thursday, December 30, we had lunch with my parents at their York County home the following afternoon.  They are a truly amazing couple. In a few weeks, they’ll be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Yep! That’s not a typo – they were married 70 years ago, on February 7, 1941. Quite a record!

Mom and Dad in their younger days.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve at one of my now-favorite Gettysburg restaurants –  Gettysburg Eddie’s (www.gettysburgeddies.com), where Dan’s parents, Clay and Janice, joined us for dinner. 

This unique eatery honors a native son, a one-time famous left-handed pitcher and 1946 Baseball Hall of Famer named Edward Stewart Plank (1875-1926). The story of his career is a fascinating one, and the restaurant is dedicated to preserving his legacy.  

Last New Year’s Eve, Kris and Dan introduced us to a new recreational activity at Gettysburg Eddie’s called Buzztime TriviaBuzztime Trivia is an interactive electronic game that’s played in selected restaurants and bars across the country; Kris and Dan are devoted fans. In fact, they’re listed among the top  scorers at Gettysburg Eddies. I didn’t join in the game this time, since I was busy talking, but Dan, Kris, and Clay were pretty fast with the answers. (For more about Buzztime Trivia and Gettysburg Eddie’s see my previous post at http://judyroutson.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/teaching-an-old-dog-new-tricks/.)

On New Year’s Day, we were joined at Kris’s house by son Brian and his family (wife Diane, and Morgan and Joshua), and daughter Amy. We missed our Florida daughter Kathi, her husband Chris, and our grandson, Ryan. Kathi hates cold weather, and usually doesn’t head north during the winter months!

It was another fun-filled day, topped off with a hilarious game of Trivia Pursuit. And what did we get for Christmas? That’s another story. Since it’s time to stop and make dinner, I’ll continue this post another time!

Please come back and visit again soon. And remember, comments are welcome!

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Too Much Turkey

A long day in the kitchen! Here I am, stirring the gravy.

Not much to report here. Christmas was quiet, but I didn’t get as much time to relax as I thought I would. As expected, the 16-pound-plus turkey was much too big for the two of us, so we’ve had lots of leftovers! Now to haul the carcass out of the frig and stuff it  into a big pot atop the stove.  I’ll boil it to clean the last remnants of meat from the bones. Then, I’ll probably freeze the broth and make soup later.

I’m so glad for the news about Dr. Manoj Vora, the area doctor I’ve written about many times before. Yesterday afternoon I received a call from his wife, telling me he had made it to the top of Mt. Vinson, in Antarctica. Success! He has now climbed to the top of each of the tallest mountains on six of the seven continents. Unfortunately, he did not reach the summit of Mt. Everest last spring, and it’s the only peak he has yet to conquer. Will he attempt it again? He says not, but he may very well change his mind.

Dr. Manoj Vora in the Himalayas during his Mt. Everest climb.

I’ve been fighting the side effects of the new medication the pain management doctor has prescribed. Well, actually, it’s not new; I’ve taken it before, but he’s increased the dosage.The pills  make me light-headed and drowsy, tired and weak, and a bit spacey, but they seem to be helping my pain. Hopefully, I’ll soon get over the side effects, and will feel much more energetic!

I just finished reading “Hornet Flight” by Ken Follett, an exciting novel about the German occupation and the Resistance movement of  Denmark during the early days of World War II. The main character is a young man, Harald, who has secret information he must get to the British military. With his friend Karen they decide to take the photographs to the RAF the only way possible: an incredible flight across the North Sea in a small, lightweight derelict  Hornet Moth airplane they repaired. The novel is a great read, filled with lots of suspense and espionage adventure as Harald and others are pursued by Danish authorities. If caught, they will be shot as spies.  Unless my husband decides to read it, the book will be up for sale on eBay soon! Anyone interested?

Going to make my favorite Holiday Pumpkin Nut Bread soon. It’s very easy and delicious. Plus, it’s healthy for you. Two grams of fiber and three grams of protein. Here’s the recipe:


 (Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

 2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups, plus 4 teaspoons sugar, divided

1 Cup whole-wheat flour

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

½ cup canola oil

½ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup chopped pecans

In a bowl, combine the all purpose flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

Combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil, water, and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in pecans.

Spoon into two 8” x 4” x 2” baking pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining sugar (can use less).

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Yield: 2 loves (12 slices each)

 Nutritional Analysis: One slice equals 197 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 124 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please stop by again soon, and learn what’s happening in

My Life in Boonville, New York!

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Holiday Pumpkin Nut Bread and Crunchy Chocolate Bars!

Hello Again, and Welcome To My Blog!

 New Year’s cards? I’m sure it’s happened before.

Since it’s almost Christmas, and I’m a few days behind schedule, guess what I did yesterday: addressed New Year’s cards, instead of traditional Christmas greetings.

In recent years, we’ve shortened our Christmas-card list, considering the rising cost of postage and the fact that many friends and relatives have e-mail. But we still like to send personalized, usually handmade cards to folks we don’t see often. This year, however, I procrastinated. Being  sick further delayed things! So the few names remaining on the list – all of whom live out of town – will be getting cards with the notation, “Hope you had a wonderful Christmas…”

I’ll get to those cards later! But, before the news gets any older, here’s more info about some of my recent posts, which alluded to lunches, receptions, and so forth that we’ve attended lately. I’ll try to update things without making this too long. Sorry, some of this is old news, and I hope it doesn’t bore you too much!

On Friday, October 22, my friend Kathy and I had a long, chatty lunch at Freddy’s Diner on Post Street, Boonville (I did most of the chatting). Thankfully, management doesn’t care how long you occupy a booth, just talking and sipping coffee. The fifties-themed diner is a great gathering place. In fact, owner Karen Kapfer even joins senior citizens who meet there regularly to play cards!

The following afternoon, Saturday, October 23, Keith and I stopped by Boonville’s Black River Canal Museum (www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com) for cake and coffee. Museum trustees sponsored a reception to thank volunteer guides who had served at the local landmark over the summer.

Yours truly takes a break at the museum while on duty in May 2010.

Canal Museum volunteers enjoy refreshments during a "thank-you" reception.

It was very thoughtful of them, and we enjoyed meeting other guides we didn’t know. Although I didn’t help as often as I would have liked because of health issues, Keith and I did enjoy several afternoons there, meeting and greeting visitors and showing them the beautiful, recently completed complex. Hope to do it again next summer! They are always in need of guides, so if anyone reading this is interested, let me know, and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Canal Museum vice-president Lorna DeSantis, left, and director Daphne Larrabee, 3rd from left, chat with volunteer guides during the reception.

Keith checks out the inventory in the museum's gift shop.

It was great to join some of the gang at the Boonville Herald (www.boonvilleherald.com) for lunch in the office on Tuesday, October 26. I do miss working with them. They’re a great bunch, and always lots of fun. A few days later, I got up early Saturday morning, October 30 to attend what was pegged, “Ladies Day Out.”

New Creations Ministry Parish Nurse Kathy Warren, left, with her niece Crystal, preparing lunch during "Ladies Day Out."

 Nothing too exciting there. Our church (www.boonvilleunitedmethodist.com) parish nurses – bless their hearts – planned a stress-relieving, informational day, including a healthy lunch. Too bad only a few women showed up, most of them at my urging!

Our Boonville Historical Club met Monday evening, November 1. Guest speaker John Slade lamented the effects of acid rain on the Adirondacks (see my blog www.boonvillehistoricalclub.wordpress.com) for more details. 

I baked a loaf of my favorite Holiday Pumpkin Nut bread for the United Methodist Women’s (UMW) Election Day dinner on Tuesday, November 2, but we skipped the dinner. Instead, we drove to the Utica Stamp Club meeting in New Hartford, the first meeting we were able to attend in quite a while. A fun evening with fellow philatelists!

Carol, left, and Louise check out the ingredients on a box of healthy snack crackers during the "Ladies Day Out".

I donated another loaf of the delicious (in my opinion) pumpkin-nut bread for the bake sale at our church’s annual Holiday Craft Show and Luncheon on Saturday, the 6th, where I helped at the UMW’s table for a few hours, selling items for our fund-raising efforts. Lots of fun working with UMW members and meeting customers. Keith joined me for a delicious lunch, prepared and served by our UMW ladies.

Carol checks out the many items available at the silent auction during our church's annual Craft Fair and Luncheon

Gabbie, Sophia, and Liz wait for the turkey during Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Cathy serves dessert.

Cathy in the kitchen with her older daughter Christine.


The Boonville Black River Canal Museum complex along the banks of the canal.

Monday evening, December 6, our Historical Club met at a member’s home for a lovely Christmas gathering that included signing cards for our 10th Mountain Division adopted platoon soldiers, currently serving  in Afghanistan, and singing familiar carols.


The following day was another busy one.

On Tuesday, December 7, which by the way was Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I saw my primary care provider, Terry Smith, at Northeast Nurse Practitioners. It was a routine follow-up (necessary when you have a chronic illness). But I also had wax buildup in my ears. Terry tried to flush it out. It worked, I guess, but my right ear is still driving me crazy. Feels like fluid sloshing around in there. Hopefully, it will disappear soon, or I’ll need another visit.

Since we were already in the area, we killed some time shopping until 6:30, when the Stamp Club’s annual holiday gathering took place at Casa Too Mucha, a Mexican restaurant. By that time it had started to snow quite heavily, and only a few people showed up. But we still had a grand time, and I brought home half my dinner for lunch the next day.

Speaking of lunches, there was another lunch on the calendar for Friday, December 10, although it was more like a feast. Friends Ed and Kathy invited us to their Constableville home for the noonday meal. On the way, I stopped at the Boonville Herald office to deliver part of a chocolate cake I had baked. It was a 13” x  9” pan, and way too much for Keith and I. The crew at the Herald loves baked goods, so I’m sure they enjoyed it! It was one of the most delectable, quick-and-easy chocolate cakes I’ve made in a long time. I’ll post the recipe here soon. But back to lunch…

I took our hostess a loaf of – not pumpkin bread this time, but something called Hearty Quick Brown Bread. Very healthy, made with whole-wheat flour and buttermilk. We all enjoyed the bread, as well as Kathy’s delicious meatloaf, mac and cheese, cole slaw, applesauce, and various other homemade goodies.

 Soon, I was baking (well, actually cooking) again. For our annual UMW cookie exchange Tuesday evening, December 14. Not many people showed up on the chilly wintry evening. Those of us who did venture out sampled assorted holiday baked goods and brought some home.

Some of the UMW ladies who participated in the 2nd annual cookie exchange at the Boonville United Methodist Church.

My contribution was a favorite handed down from my mom. It requires no baking: a Cheerio, peanut butter, peanut, and chocolate-chip combination that our family loves. Here’s the simple recipe:

 Crunchy Chocolate Bars

1 – 12 oz package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces

¾ cup – crunchy-style peanut butter

3 cups – Honey Nut Cheerios

1 cup – dry roasted peanuts (honey)

 Combine chocolate morsels and peanut butter in a large, heavy saucepan or non-stick one. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently till just melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal and peanuts till covered with chocolate.

Spread in a waxed paper lined 8” x 8” x 2” baking pan. Chill. Cut into bars.

OR drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper (this is what I do – so simple!) Chill before putting into closed container.

Best if refrigerated (unlike M&Ms, these WILL melt in your hands. You can add a tiny bit of paraffin to help prevent this, if you’d like, but I usually don’t.)

Makes about 36 delicious pieces.

Well, I guess I’d better get to those cards, or my friends won’t be getting them until the Fourth of July!

 Thanks for visiting. Please stop by again soon. Who knows, by then I may decide to create a recipe blog – as if I don’t have enough to keep me busy now!

Comments are always welcome, although they won’t show us immediately.

Note: As usual, this was written about 2 days before it was posted!


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The Best Laid Plans…

How’s that expression go about the “best laid plans of mice and men…”? Well, forget the mice, but I’m sure that includes women!

An incapacitating 24-hour stomach bug attacked me early Sunday morning. It definitely interrupted my “best-laid” plans to attend early church service, bake some Christmas goodies, and address holiday cards. Frankly, it was awful; I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

I hear this bug is “going around.” My daughter in Gettysburg said several co-workers were bitten.

I probably picked it up on Friday, the 17th. Although I try to avoid crowds this time of year, I had no choice Friday. The day started with having blood drawn at a local medical office. I’ve always maintained that the best place to catch something is at the doctor’s office: even if you’re healthy when you visit, there’s a good chance you’ll pick up something contagious. Following the blood draw, we stopped for breakfast at Burger King. Then it was on to another medical facility in New Hartford to see my pain management doctor.

Dr. Gould explained to me – again – why the steroid epidural injection he attempted on November 18 didn’t work. He showed me a model of a spine and told me how it was impossible for him to see on the monitor where to insert the needle (they use what looks like a TV screen to show the spinal column). The doctor told me, as he did while I was lying on the table, that my vertebrae were too arthritic. There’s no way he could get a needle into the exact spot for the injection. So, it’s back to experimenting with drugs to determine what will relieve the constant pain from my degenerative disc disease.

One of the items I'm selling on eBay

After seeing the doctor – who was wearing one of the craziest reindeer neckties I’ve seen in a long time – we grabbed lunch at another fast-food place before shopping at Lowe’s. Among our purchases was an indoor-outdoor thermometer, a Christmas gift to us. I can proudly tell you that right now it’s 20.3 degrees Fahrenheit outside and the humidity is 36 percent.

Next, grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, followed by a quick stop at Staples before picking up dinner at KFC. A long, painful, and tiring day for me, with exposure to lots of people and lots of germs!

You wouldn’t believe how sore my ribs are from that ghastly, demeaning, humiliating experience referred to politely as “throwing up.” Call it vomiting, up chucking, heaving, puking, or whatever you want, but in my opinion, it’s the most disgusting function of the human body (although I know it serves a purpose). My husband was an absolute saint through it all, but now he’s worried he’ll catch it, too.

With Christmas almost here, I certainly hope this bug or any other doesn’t strike you or anyone in your family. Remember these tips to help keep yourself safe and to avoid spreading germs:

  • Always wash your hands before eating or use an alcohol-based antibiotic sanitizer
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or better yet, sneeze into your armpit – well not actually, but somewhere in that area of your arm!
  • Get lots of rest and avoid stress
  • Eat well, drink plenty of liquids, and take your vitamins!

While these steps may not always work, it’s worth taking precautions. If you’re among the working crew or a student, it’s impossible to avoid contact with other people. But by keeping the above tips in mind, you may escape a debilitating illness that could ruin your holidays and make you feel like you’ve got one foot in the grave!

 But on to more pleasant subjects – I hope you’re all prepared for Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas) and that you’re looking forward to a bright New Year.

Please stop back and visit my blog again soon. There’s still lots to share – including a recipe or two.

And I neglected to mention in my previous post that if you’re interested in the “stuff” I’m selling on eBay, you can find it under the seller name JKBooksAndMore. Look us up!

Until next time, stay healthy! 

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I Never Intended to be a Journalist


Welcome once again to my world – in Boonville, New York!

I’ve felt so guilty about not keeping this blog up to date, that I’ve put everything on hold for a few hours while I try to catch up. After all, what’s the sense of having a blog, if it’s not updated regularly, right?

A collectible ornament from a local event is among my items selling on eBay.

I can’t honestly say it’s because I’ve had a busy social schedule that my writing has taken a hiatus. Well, it’s been busier than usual, but if I were dredging up excuses, I’d have to blame it on my dedication to listing “Stuff” for sale on eBay. Selling books and other miscellaneous items brings in a few dollars, but it’s tedious and time consuming. When you figure it out, I’m probably making about a dollar an hour!

One of the many books I'm selling on eBay.

The reason I’m so gung-ho on selling is two-fold: I’m trying to eliminate anything in my possession that doesn’t serve a purpose, so that when it comes time to move, we’ll have less to pack (yes, we’re moving out of Boonville, but more about that later!). Secondly, I’m trying to earn some extra dollars to add to the till. We have a few debts we need to pay off. The sooner we’re out of debt, the sooner we move!

            The other excuse I could use is that lately I’ve been helping my husband with lots of things for his business: he tells me I’m his administrative assistant. As they say – that and a dime (make it a quarter these days) will get me a cup of coffee!

And then there’s always the inevitable housework, laundry, and cooking. A person could devote every minute of the day to warding off the Board of Health, but is it really worth it? We live in a very small and humble abode, but by the time I finish cleaning each room, it’s time to start over. A friend gave me a good excuse the other day – her house is dusty, she explained, because they heat with a woodstove! Hey! I guess I can use that one, too.

SSGT Anthony Riggs, one of the soldiers in our adopted Ft. Drum platoon, serving in Aghanistan.

I could throw in Christmas as an excuse for my being busy this time of year – but that’s not really a very credible one. Although it took a day or two to decorate (just garland and two tiny trees), and I did mail about two-dozen cards to the soldiers in our Historical Club’s adopted platoon, Keith and I haven’t even started to address our own cards yet. Nor have I been baking up huge batches of Christmas cookies.

Over the past several months, I did, however, create several items for friends and for local bake sales and dinners and such. I’ve also put a lot more baked items on our table than usual, including a delicious quick and easy chocolate cake and a pecan pie. Seems when the weather turns colder, I get the urge to try new recipes in the oven. Quick breads are my favorites.

Factor into the equation that I’m trying to reduce stress and get more rest. So, I’m devoting more time to my stamp collection (actually getting it organized, so I can sell the extras on eBay!).

And I usually take an afternoon nap. It’s no wonder I get nothing done!

Keith couldn’t resist taking this photo of me sorting through thousands of postage stamps.

But – getting back to my social calendar.

One of the most memorable events in October was another Mt. Everest show by Dr. Manoj Vora. Although a fellow journalist had phoned and asked me to attend, I had no idea that show sponsors would honor me for writing about Dr. Vora’s escapades. No blue ribbons, gold medals, or anything fancy – they just asked me to stand and be recognized, and then later put a photo of me with Dr. Vora in the local newspaper.

I had followed the doctor’s journey over several weeks, while he attempted to climb the indomitable Mount Everest. Everest is not only the tallest mountain on Earth; it’s the highest in Asia. Dr. Vora’s dream is to set foot on the tallest summit on each of the seven continents. He had already conquered five by the time he headed to Everest on May 16. Unfortunately, he came short of reaching his goal; but at least he made it home safely.

After his Everest attempt, Dr. Vora said he wouldn’t climb for at least five years. But on Thursday evening, October 21, during his Utica show, the Lowville internist told me – and later announced to the audience – that he would climb Antartica’s Mt. Vinson soon. And that’s where he’s headed as I write this!

Mountaineering internist Dr. Manoj Vora, right, with Ron Geiskopf at the doctor's Utica slide show.

Had I known that Dr. Vora would attempt another summit so soon, I wouldn’t have turned in my press pass just yet – that card that tells officials I’m an “authorized and responsible” writer/photographer for the Boonville Herald.

But, in early October, I met with friend and mentor Joe Kelly, the owner/senior editor of our local weekly newspaper. Over adult beverages at Boonville’s historic Hulbert House, I told him that for various reasons – the main one being my continuing health problems – I’d no longer be submitting my weekly column and other feature stories.

I never intended to be a journalist; never dreamed of being a Pulitzer-prize winner; never studied journalism in college. It happened on a whim.

A local, now-defunct newspaper advertised for a contributing writer. I applied and got the job. But after a few articles, a phone call enticed me to write for the Boonville Herald instead. I never regretted it.

My first assignment was in November 1993; my initial column appeared in early 1995. And then, six years later, I wrote a “farewell” column. Chronic illness was to blame. By 2003, however, I had returned to writing. But now, I’ve decided to abandon my accidental journalism career for good. It’s been fun, and I’ve enjoyed it. How could I ever forget all the wonderful people I’ve met and interviewed?

Even though I’ve given up the deadline stress, I really can’t get away from writing and research. This thought struck me recently while working on my post here about Going Home Again. Fascinated by the author, Thomas C. Wolfe, I continued to dig up more details about him. Finally, I told myself: Stop! Enough is enough! And that’s exactly what I’m doing now.

Thanks so much for visiting! Please come back again soon. I’ve got more news and photos about an unsuccessful medical procedure, fabulous lunches and receptions, interesting meetings, a craft show, my husband’s emergency eye surgery, a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, and lots more!

Comments are always welcome.

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The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

 I really couldn’t let today pass without some sort of recognition and expression of gratitude to all our veterans. However, because my itinerary is presently overloaded and the day is drawing to a close, I’ve decided to take the easy way out: I’m reprinting (with a few revisions) part of what I wrote last year about Veterans Day! Here it is:

Today is a special holiday. And it’s not just because all the government offices and the Post Office are closed.

Sometimes in years past, I may have completely ignored this day, not giving a second thought to its purpose. This year, however, it has a new connection, although I’m ashamed to say I didn’t get out of bed early enough to attend the Veterans Day services at our local park (although I wrote this in 2009, I didn’t make it this year either, I’m sorry to say).

November 11 is the day when the fighting ended during the First World War. Although the official peace treaty wasn’t signed until June the following year, an armistice, or temporary truce, was declared between Germany and the Allied nations on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. My paternal grandfather’s brother, Benjamin F. Druck, my great-uncle (pictured below), was a member of the cavalry during that war.  uncle ben2

A year after World War I  ended, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day. It was changed to  Veterans Day – a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars, not just World War I – in 1954.

Serving their country is a tradition that began with our ancestor, George Druck, son of the immigrant, Johan Georg Druck, who – although he reportedly never saw action – volunteered to serve in the York County Militia throughout the late 18th century.

Since then, other family members have served in the military (that’s York County cousin, Robert P. Druck, in the photo below)and have fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Several still serve today, and at least one has been injured in the War on Terrorism.

 What’s the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

Bob Druck

Memorial Day was originally set aside as a day to remember and honor military personnel who had died in the service of our country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. And while those who’ve died are certainly remembered on Veterans Day, this day is intended mainly to thank and honor living veterans for their service, in wartime or peacetime.

Veterans Day is also an opportunity to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to recognize that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.

  So, today and every day, remember to thank a veteran for helping to keep our nation free.

Thank you, veterans, wherever you are, and whether you’re a family member or not!

The Veterans Memorial atop Cemetery Hill, Boonville


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Going Once, Going Twice…

Just before Labor Day, while en route from the Maryland/Virginia shore back to Boonville, we planned to visit my parents in York, Pennsylvania. On the way, we passed by my childhood home on Sparton Road in York Township. I spotted it immediately.


It was with a heavy heart that I read the words on the sign in front of the house: Public Auction. September 30, 6 p.m.

The phrase, “You Can’t Go Home Again,” immediately sprang to mind. And then it hit me. Once the place was sold, it would become a reality. I truly could never go home again.

Originally part of a 40-acre tract, the farmhouse and barn up for sale had been used and recently vacated by the company my dad started in 1969, Ben Druck Door Company (see http://www.bendruckdoor.com).

As the property appeared in an old photo, about the way it looked when my parents bought it.

The land was once owned by the Keller family, who sold it to Levi Keener and his wife. Besides the house and barn, the long-ago property included several of the usual farm-type outbuildings, among them a pig-pen and the proverbial “outhouse.”

My parents bought the farm in December of 1947. I was in pigtails and in first grade. It was my home until I moved away in 1961.

The Drucks, including yours truly, center, in the remodeled living room. Wild wallpaper was in vogue circa 1950!

When we moved into the old house, alongside a narrow, dusty dirt road, it had no running water, no indoor bathroom, and no furnace. I had a younger brother and sister at the time, but it wasn’t long before a baby brother joined us.

A big old-fashioned four-burner wood stove in the middle of the kitchen was used for cooking and to heat the downstairs. I’ll never forget the sight nor smell of wet socks and soggy snowsuits hung behind the stove to dry during the snowy weather.

Eventually, my dad modernized the place; he even installed indoor plumbing! A year or so later, another brother arrived. It was a busy place. The house, together with the barn and the fields, hold vivid memories of the days growing up there.

Many of these memories include the sound and smell of cackling chickens. Chickens became predominate for about 10 years when the family went into the egg-producing business. Later, as the chickens “flew the coop” so to speak, part of the farmhouse became office space for Dad’s expanding garage door business, a business that gradually took over the entire house. My parents moved out about 1977. The business stayed.

Actually, it was then that the old homestead ceased to exist as it did in my childhood memory. That was when the phrase, you can’t go home again, first entered my subconscious. But even though the house as I knew it no longer existed, it was still part of the family. I could – and did – stop in to visit occasionally.

My dad surrounded by daughters and daughters-in-law holding a view of the farm, circa 1950s, presented to my parents at Christmas 1991. Left to right, Bobbi Druck Kehr, Judy Druck Routson, Carol Forbes Druck, Ben Druck, and Linda Jamison Druck.

My siblings operated the garage door business until early 2008, when three nephews took over ownership. The company continued to grow, so a move to the city was the next step. Unfortunately, the gutted former family home was left standing desolate along a now very busy macadam road. So, the property, which had recently been sub-divided, went on the auction block. A “nine-plus-acre farmette” was how the auctioneers described the sale  (http://www.auctionzip.com/Listings/927589.html).

Since the event coincided with my husband’s week-end high-school class reunion, we agreed to make the trip to York a day early. I wanted to take one final look inside the house. And I was curious to learn first-hand what would become of my childhood home. 

Me, my sister Bobbi and brother Ted.

I did take one last look around before the bidding started on Thursday evening, but I was actually disappointed. Having been converted to office space, and now absolutely empty, it was a rather dreary and dismal looking dwelling.

So what happened? Not many buyers were interested in the old two-and-a-half-story house and the big, empty barn. No one was willing to even meet the reserve bid. So, one of my younger brothers and his wife agreed to buy it from the others, with the intent of remodeling the house and renting the property, something they’re experienced at.. A disappointment to the sellers, yes, but at least it will remain in the family for the forseeable future.

New owners of the old homestead, my brother Phil and wife M. Carol Forbes, taken in Aug. 2007

Incidentally, you may be wondering – if I’m so nostalgic – why I didn’t buy the property. First of all, at our ages, my husband and I have retirement plans that don’t include a fixer-upper needing extensive revitalization; secondly I could never live that close to a busy road; and third – even if I had an inkling to live there again, I wouldn’t be able to negotiate those murderous steps (again, it would take big  bucks to convert the place to meet my needs).  

Waiting for the auctioneer to start the bidding, Thursday, September 30, 2010, at 6 p.m.

I know I promised more news about my husband’s York Suburban High School class reunion and a few other events, but it seems these posts always run longer than I intend. By now, you’re tired of reading – and I’m tired of writing – so again, I’ll continue this episode in a future post. Hopefully, that will be soon!

Thanks for visiting. Please, come back again soon.  And feel free to leave comments!

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You Can’t Go Home Again!

You Can’t Go Home Again!

 Have you ever heard that expression? Thomas C. Wolfe, a major American novelist of the early 20th century, wrote a book by that name, which was published posthumously in 1940. It’s true. You can never go home. Why? Stay tuned; we’ll find out.

The farmhouse where I grew up in York Township, York County, Pa.

 My last post ended rather abruptly, before I had a chance to tell you that I’ve handed in my press pass (more about that later, too); spent a long weekend in York, the major focus of which was a 45th high school class reunion; saw another presentation by Dr. Manoj Vora, the mountain-climbing doctor; and witnessed the auction of the York Township home where I grew up. So, really, I can never go home.

 Author Thomas Wolfe’s novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again,” is the story of fledgling author George Webber and his first book. In the book, Webber references his hometown; residents become offended, going so far as to issue death threats to Webber.

Born October 3, 1900, in Asheville, North Carolina, Thomas Clayton Wolfe became very famous in his own lifetime. He’s known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. He wrote four lengthy novels and many other short stories, dramatic works, and novel fragments. Wolfe died 18 days before his 38th birthday on September 15, 1938. On what would have been his 100th birthday in 2000, the U.S. Postal Service honored Wolfe on a postage stamp.


You Can’t Go Home Again” is one of his more popular novels. In it – as in many of his other stories – Wolfe explores the themes of a changing America, including the stock market crash and the illusion of prosperity, and the unfair passing of time, which inhibits the main character, author George Webber, from ever being able to go “home again.”

The novel’s title comes from the finale when George Webber realizes, “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.

So, the expression, You can’t go home again has become a part of American speech.
But, what does it mean? It suggests that after you’ve left your humble beginnings for a sophisticated metropolis, “you can’t return to the narrow confines of your previous way of life.”

The phrase also reminds us that generally, “attempts to relive youthful memories will always fail.” Some psychologists suggest the spoken phrase implies that “you can’t return to your place of origin without being deemed a failure.” In this regard, the phrase is used as a self-admonition or warning. You can’t go home again, ambitious Americans tell themselves. They say it as a warning to stick it out: to not dare go home and subject themselves to the prospect of being a failure in the eyes of their family and the friends of their youth.

All that psycological babble aside, many of us can’t go home again simply because there’s no place to go home to! Most of my peers are in the same situation: We can’t return home – meaning the place where we grew up – because our parents and families are no longer there. 

To be continued . . .    

The three Mooseketeers?

Who are these good-looking dudes? Stop back and visit soon to find out.
 Meantime, comments are always welcome. Thanks for your time!


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How Many Days Until Christmas?

Hi again!

And welcome to my small world in the Town of Boonville, New York!

 Pop quiz – how many days are there until Christmas? Honestly, I haven’t counted, but would you believe the decorations are already on the shelves in the local shops and stores? I guess that means the holidays are not too far off, although we’re only at October’s mid-point; Halloween is more than two weeks away. And I have a major problem. I guess I’m not much of a detective, because I can’t figure it out: how did summer just up and vanish? And when did the month of September make its exit?

It won’t be long now until these lovely yellow, red, and orange autumn leaves – piled atop summer’s once green grass – will be hidden for months underneath that fluffy white stuff. (I can’t bear to mention that four-letter word – although, admittedly, to many outdoor enthusiasts it brings hours of pleasure).

For me, September started out as a continuation of the last days of August – feeling like I had one foot in the grave!

My parents, on the other hand, are in good shape – considering their ages. Mom celebrated her 87th birthday on September 4, a birth date my older granddaughter shares. You can see more about Mom on my companion family history blogsite (www.judyroutson.wordpress.com). Granddaughter Brigitta opted to spend her natal anniversary this year at college (she’s a sophomore at West Chester U, a Pennsylvania state college.

Ten days after my mom’s birthday, my dad turned 92. Although he’s taken a few falls lately, he’s still doing well for his age, both mentally and physically. Dedicated to exercising every day, he says it’s what keeps him going. I’ve written about him several times on my other blog, also, and although I promised something for his birthday observance, I’m sorry it hasn’t yet materialized, thanks to my own health situation.

My appointment with the pain management doctor – which I had made about two months earlier – finally arrived, on Friday morning, September 10. Nothing surprising there! After reviewing my two-inch-thick pile of paperwork, he decided to schedule me for a steroid epidural injection. What happened? We’ll see later. (Just an observation – though he appeared older in a photo I had seen of him, the doctor actually looked young enough to be my grandson. Wow! That’s when you know you’re getting old…..er. When I was a kid, I thought doctors looked about the age of my parents; and as I grew older, the doctors also grew older. And then, they began to look more like grandparents. Now, we’re going down the other side. Even though I continue to age, the doctors these days are getting younger all the time!)

What was the most exciting thing that happened to me during September?

Undoubtedly, it was finally meeting the mountaineering doctor I’d been writing about in the Boonville Herald for the past several months. We’d sent e-mails back and forth and spoken briefly on the phone, but had never met face-to-face. What a thrill to actually meet Dr. Manoj Vora, chief of internal medicine at Lewis County General Hospital. He had a goal: to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. He had summited five by the time he attempted the world’s tallest peak – Mount Everest, at 29, 035 feet.

Yours truly (right) with Dr. Manoj Vora and his daughter after his presentation at the Town Hall Theater.

On Saturday, September 18, Dr. Vora gave a presentation to a large, appreciative audience at the Town Hall Theater. I was excited to be in that audience. I was also humbled and honored when he acknowledged my presence and thanked me for keeping his followers informed with my weekly updates. 

The 50-year-old internist had turned around at 26,300 feet, within sight of Everest’s famous summit, on May 16, after finding himself stretched to his “physical and emotional limits.” It was an agonizing decision, but one that his friends and family are glad he made. 

Dr. Vora and his wife, the former Sheree A.  Davison, have a 15-year-old daughter, Shamaa, to whom he dedicated his Everest climb. Explaining why he enjoys mountaineering, Vora said that when he is climbing, “I conquer myself, not the mountain.” 

And with that, I’ll wrap up this post. Seems like I’ve been working on it for two weeks or more, every now and then. So, it’s time to stop. Come back and join me again soon, as I try to bring my life in Boonville up to date.

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How Many Candles Was That…?

 Hello! Welcome to my world! It’s good to be back.    

I should be embarrassed, though. I’ve written absolutely nothing for weeks, and it’s time to bring things up to date, if for no other reason than to remember where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and why I’ve done it!  Truth be told, I wrote this some time ago, but for one reason or another, just never got around to posting it. I didn’t want to waste the time and effort I had put into it, so decided to post it, even if it’s shamefully late. Bear with me, please!    

Standing for the band's opening number, The National Anthem


 I’ve been plagued with various annoying medical issues, and it’s not been fun. Nothing too serious, thank goodness. Stomach pains hit the first week of August, so severe I couldn’t stand up. I went to bed to stretch out, something I rarely do, no matter how bad I feel. The pain continued to annoy me until recently. But back to this saga later.    

 After returning from a week in Pennsylvania at the end of July, we again joined friends for another exciting,  fun-filled garage/yard sale. Terry and Cathy are moving soon, so were attempting to get rid of stuff. Although hubby and I won’t be leaving this area for a while, we’ve starting cleaning out our stuff now. Hopefully, there won’t be so much at the last minute.      

"One man's junk is another man's treasure...?"


Boonville's DPN Art & Community Center


August was busy enough, beginning with a volunteer stint at the Dodge-Pratt-Northam (DPN) Art and Community Center in Boonville from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4.  The large red brick house on Schuyler Street was built in 1875 by one of the founders of Boonville’s First National Bank. The mansion – Neo-French architecture of the late Victorian period – sits on a limestone foundation, and boasts a slate mansard roof with cupola, grillwork and spire, as well as dormers and cornices. The lovely interior is virtually as it was over a century ago, with dark carved woodwork, molded plaster ceilings, and some original wallpaper and carpets. The last owner, Hazel Northam, a Brooklyn undertaker, willed the house to the Erwin Library in 1972. The library board decided the house should be preserved and used as a community and arts center. Admitted to the National Register of Historic Houses in 1974, the DPN has had its financial ups and downs over the years. A recent funds shortage sent the board looking for summer volunteers, willing to spend some time there, in case any visitors wanted to tour the historic building. Just one person came in while I was on duty, and she was interested only in the photography exhibit.    

After counting the offering at church on Sunday morning, August 8, Keith and I headed to the Boonville-Oneida County Fairgrounds for the Mohawk Valley Bluegrass Association Festival (http://www.mvbga.com/) and some lively pickin’ and grinnin’ by several groups.     

The Ingersoll Brothers onstage during the Bluegrass Festival.


Unfortunately, it was not very well attended. Too bad. Of the  groups appearing that afternoon, I particularly enjoyed the Delaney Brothers, along with the talented young picker, Nick Piccininni (http://www.myspace.com/pickin5strings and http://www.myspace.com/thedelaneybrothers). 
But those grandstand seats are murder on the back! And I was having one of my stomach attacks at the time. So, although I enjoyed the music, I was glad to get home and hit my bed again!   

Blue Lightning - a favorite group (http://www.thebluelightning.com/)


We managed to get to the Boonville Farmer’s Market (http://www.boonvillefarmersmarket.com/) several times during the month. Among our purchases were some tender steaks for the grill. Cleve and Kathy Lansing, operators of Mill Creek Cattle Co., have “melt-in-your-mouth, grass-fed, Black Angus beef.” We’re not red-meat eaters, but occasionally we deviate from the norm.     

We also bought end-of-the-season blueberries, baked goods, and a bottle of wine from the Thousand Island Winery for Daughter Number One. During a Boomer’s Day visit, we won gift certificates for a coffee at Stewart’s – not worth a whole lot, but as Vinnie, a late friend of mine, was fond of saying: Better than a poke in the eye!     

We also enjoyed a band concert in the Little Village Park. As usual, an exemplary program of toe-tapping music by the talented Boonville Concert Band. I do wish they’d play more marches, though. Nothing stirs the spirit like a good ol’ J. P. Sousa tune.     

To celebrate my birthday on the 27th , (I won’t tell you how many) we indulged in dinner at Applebees, about 25-30 miles south of Boonville. It’s second to Red Lobster as one of my favorite places to eat, and the meal was fabulous, as always.      

There aren't nearly enough candles on this cake!


The following morning, we hurriedly – as usual – packed the car and started southward. First stop: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for dinner with daughter Kris and son-in-law Dan. Daughter Amy joined us for shrimp and crabs on the patio. The grand finale: a delicious, refreshing ice cream cake that Amy had brought! Great company, great food!     

By Sunday afternoon we were on the road again to the Maryland/Virginia border. Keith was helping an electrical contractor with work at a NASA tracking station on Wallops Island there. I spent time relaxing in or near the hotel pool while he went to work in the hot sun.  

We started hearing forecasts of Hurricane Earl early in the week. It had already struck some islands in the Caribbean, and meteorologists weren’t sure which way it would travel. Tuesday evening we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, where warnings already forbade entering the ocean.     

Chincoteague Island, Virginia, is famous for its annual wild pony roundup. It’s the basis for Marguerite Henry’s 1947 children’s book, Misty of Chincoteague, although the ponies actually live on nearby Assateague Island.         

As we headed toward the beach, we saw a few ponies grazing in the backwaters, but you won’t see them here  – I forgot my camera. Later we stuffed our faces with succulent seafood at a popular eatery called Steamers. We had enjoyed dinner at a restaurant near the hotel that specialized in chicken on Monday night. Wednesday, we opted for Ruby Tuesday, another of my favorite spots.      

After Keith finished work around noon Thursday, we headed back toward York, Pa.      

On the way north, however, he decided to check out his old stomping grounds at Ocean City, Maryland. He was sure it would show signs of deterioration. But surprise, surprise – not necessarily so. The boardwalk looked much like it did when last we visited, a long time ago. We greedily gobbled down those famous Thresher’s French Fries, and I couldn’t pass up a Kohr’s frozen custard. Dee-lish!      

Although storm warnings prevailed, the boardwalk wasn’t without a thin crowd. This from a national news report: “In Ocean City, Md., a sprinkle of tourists lined the main drag Thursday as families and couples strolled toward the boardwalk with towels and beach chairs in tow. The soft breeze and clear blue sky was no indication of the rain and high winds expected to whip through the area within hours. Hurricane Earl will pass through, about 200 miles from the town’s coast, beginning early Friday morning and continuing until Friday afternoon.”      

Ocean City Boardwalk


I don’t know when or how hard the storm hit Ocean City, as we were out of there by mid-afternoon and didn’t look back. After spending Thursday night with Mom and Dad, we left York County Friday morning, and drove back to Boonville for a long and lazy, uneventful Labor Day weekend.   

Come back to visit my blog again soon – one of these days, I’ll get it up to date! 

Next time: You can’t go home – well, maybe some people can, but I’ll tell you why I can’t. Please, feel free to leave your comments. I’d love to hear from you.     

Just before Hurricane Earl came inland, Thursday afternoon, September 2, 2010.



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Playing “Catch-Up” Again

Hello! Welcome to My Life in Boonville! 

Part of the crowd who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Boonville Black River Canal Museum Grand Opening celebration on Saturday morning, July 10.


It’s been a frantic few weeks since last I wrote. And it’s not easy to keep this blog up to date. 

I can’t believe where the time has flown! It’s been more weeks than I care to count since last I posted anything new. My last entry took us to Friday, July 9, and it’s now more than four weeks later. A lot has happened since then. 

Dedicated and hard-working trustees Daphne Larrabee (left) and Carol Keller.


It’s been over a month since the Black River Canal Museum celebrated a grand opening (on Saturday, July 10)! 

Ken Stabb, Municipal Commission Superintendent, representing local government, is ready to cut the ribbon. At left is Jan Squadrito, Senior Program Officer with the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc; at far right is Thomas Yousey, Executive Director, The Pratt Northam Foundation, next to Ed Fynmore, museum board president.


After many years of volunteer work, the complex is completed – well, except for organizing the archives and other historical documents that have been donated.  (See http://www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com). 

The  grand opening was a success, with lots of people touring the museum complex. The complex consists of the Hemlock Mercantile (visitor center and gift shop), the archives room, a gallery, a life-size canal boat replica, and an activities room, once an original canal warehouse. 

Canal Museum entrance, opened in 2007. Serves as visitor center and gift shop.


On Sunday, July 11, after counting the Sunday morning offering at the Methodist Church, Keith and I took our turn working as volunteer guides at the canal museum from 1-4 p.m.  Another volunteer, Joan Ferguson, joined us. It’s a good thing, as it was a busy afternoon, with lots of visitors. 

Lots of things have happened since then, including my family reunion in York, Pa., (you’ll have to click on www.judyroutson.wordpress.com to see more about that awesome event!) and another garage/yard sale. 

Hopefully, I’ll get back here soon and update this blog with something a little more exciting! But for now, this will have to do! 

Museum trustee Walt Schriber explains the mini canal to visitor Jerry Wallace.


Comments here are always welcome. Don’t worry if they don’t show up immediately; they’re screened for spam first, before they’re allowed onscreen. But don’t let that stop you. I’d love to hear from you – good, bad, or otherwise.   

Some of the BBRCM Trustees and Volunteers during Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony.


Y’all come back! 

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Saturday through Friday

Hello! Welcome to My Life in Boonville, New York.  

It’s not a very exciting life! 

(Note: As usual, I’m late posting this! I finished it Friday afternoon, July 9, but am just getting it online Monday evening, July 12, 2010.) 

After last Friday night’s foray into the bustling Village of Boonville, the rest of the Fourth of July weekend was very quiet. By choice. Plus the fact that my head was spinning from my meds. So, the week slipped quickly and quietly by, while the thermometer climbed to near record highs here in Boonville. 

Strange-looking clouds were over head Sunday morning. They're called "mackerals" because they resemble fish scales!


I didn’t do much at all Saturday and Sunday, the Fourth, except stay inside most of the day, and try to keep cool. I didn’t even go to church Sunday morning. Monday was a repeat: reading, watching videos, working on the computer. Most people would call it a boring weekend.   

Tuesday night was the monthly meeting of the Greater Utica Stamp Club, but I didn’t feel up to going. That’s Stamp Club as in philately, or stamp collecting. Keith and I have been club members for several years, but lately, we haven’t made it to any of the meetings, for one reason or another. So, I doubt I’ll renew my dues. Which are now due. 

Even though he’s not all that into stamp collecting, my wonderful hubby drives me to the meetings, so he thought he’d help support the club and become a member a few years back! I’ve been collecting U.S. stamps for I-can’t-remember-how-long. I have albums and boxes full of stamps, but since I’m planning to move out of here in a few years, I’m already thinking ahead to how I’ll dispose of all those stamps and First Day Covers cluttering my shelves. 

Sitting and watching the birds at the feeder was about as exciting as life got last week!


I’ll probably end up putting them up for sale on eBay. Anyone interested? Check out my eBay page(www.eBay.com) at JKBooksandMore  to see what I’m selling. Right now it’s mostly books, but I’ll probably put the stamps up for sale soon. So check back, please. 

Wednesday through Friday were uneventful, as I tried to adjust to my new narcotic pain patch. After a phone call to my PCP, she told me I should stick it out (the nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, etc.,) at least until I’ve gotten through the fourth patch (I put a new one on every three days). Said the side effects would lessen in time. So, I’m hanging in there, hoping for relief soon. 

Can you see the critter stealing the birdseed?


Missed the Thursday weekly Boonville farmer’s market. But my sweetie stopped and picked up some fresh greens for us. Meanwhile, I interviewed another Korean War vet over the phone. It’s for the series I’m writing for our weekly newspaper, the Boonville Herald (www.boonvilleherald.com). I also managed to finish the first article in the series, which I turned in Friday. Still hadn’t handed in my weekly, though!  

Friday night the Boonville Concert band had scheduled a program in Erwin Park. But, even though one of my favorite tunes, Ashokan Farewell was on their playlist, I just wasn’t up to going out. Plus, the weather was iffy. In case of  rain, they move the concert to the local high school. An indoor concert just isn’t the same as one in the park. So, we opted to stay home. I’m glad we did. Found out later the band played in the auditorium, even though it didn’t storm, after all. Temperatures have been in the nineties all week, so it’s thunderstorm season. 

Like many others, I used to think Ashokan Farewell was a traditional Civil War tune. But no! Musician Jay Ungar wrote it in 1982. A waltz in D major, the haunting melody was the title theme of the 1990 PBS TV miniseries, The Civil War, by Ken Burns. 

The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell — performed by Jay Unger, along with wife Molly Mason — was nominated for an Emmy. Since then, many musicians have recorded this tune. You’ve probably heard it. Check it out at www.jayandmolly.com/ashokanfarewell.shtml

Musicians Jay Unger and Molly Mason


Stop back and visit again soon. Who knows, maybe my life will become more exciting!

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Fifty Years Ago on the Fourth

Fifty years ago, on the Fourth of July, I woke up in a strange room.  

This is me in the summer of 1958, two years before I became a Fourth of July statistic!


How weird is it that this memory occurred to me just the other night. I awoke in the wee hours of Sunday morning and suddenly remembered: On July 3, 1960, a head-on collision sent me to a hospital with serious multiple injuries. Fifty years ago!   

It’s hard to believe it happened that long ago. It’s hard to believe that the medical techniques used to mend my fractured femur even existed that many years ago. So what happened?    

It was late afternoon/early evening on a Sunday. I was a front-seat passenger in an old Plymouth sedan.    

My future (first) husband was behind the wheel, but the car belonged to me. The two of us were on our way home from a day of sun and fun by the lake at a popular Pennsylvania State Park, about an hour’s drive from my York Township home (there are two lakes, but I can’t remember which it was). (See http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/pinegrovefurnace.aspx)   

I honestly can’t remember what happened, though I tried often over the years. I do remember that the insurance company lawyers who represented us during a civil suit later (and who settled out of court) made me memorize this statement: “The last thing I remember, we were on our side of the road.”    

Bits and pieces of what I’d been told have stuck with me all this time. “Bloody shirt…had to cut it off.” “A plastic surgeon was on call.” “They couldn’t reach your mom and dad.”  “It looked like you had four lips” (this from my dad). “Cigarettes were all over the car floor – were you smoking?” (This from my mom. Uh-oh! Yes I was, but only out of curiosity – I was 18 at the time!) “You must have had an angel riding on your shoulder.”    

In truth, I remember absolutely nothing about the entire day, including which side of the road we had been driving on. I was told later that we hit another car head-on, and I think there were two youngsters in the car with two adults, all of them injured slightly – or at least complaining of injuries.    

On the morning of July 4, as I struggled to open my eyes, I heard the nurses talking about my fingernails, as they held my hands in theirs. Incredible as it seems, that’s what I recall. They wondered: Why did I have those white marks on my nails?    

I was totally confused. Where was I? What happened? Why was my right leg suspended in traction several feet over the bed? My mind was a total blank. But, after seeing the car later, I realized that my face had smacked into the windshield, diffusing the glass into what looked like an enormous spider web. It’s why they wouldn’t give me a mirror in the hospital, I suppose.    

I don’t know how many stitches were sewn across my forehead, in my upper lip, and my chin, but fifty years later the scars are still visible. After all this time, you’d think they no longer bother me. But there are times when I’m still self-conscious about them. Maybe that’s why I’ve always hated to have my photo taken.    

It’s a miracle I didn’t go through the windshield. This was way before the days of seatbelts and airbags. Besides my facial cuts, my femur (the long bone in the upper part of the leg) was crushed when my right thigh slammed into the bottom of the dashboard.    

We were taken by ambulance to the Carlisle Hospital, now known as Carlisle Regional Medical Center, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (http://www.carlislermc.com/default.aspx). When admitted, I was in critical condition, probably because I had lost a lot of blood. During my two-week stay, I received several transfusions and eventually underwent surgery to repair the fractured femur. Doctors first wired the broken pieces at the bottom together, and then inserted a titanium rod through the bone from my hip to my knee. A year later, the pin was surgically removed.    

After my discharge, I used crutches to get around for about three months. I also remember I couldn’t go up steps for a while, so had to sleep downstairs. When I had healed sufficiently, I went back to work as a secretary at a downtown York law office, hobbling around on my crutches. Of course – since my old car was totalled –  someone had to drive me to and from work, but I honestly can’t recall who that was.    

Sometime later, I was allowed to walk unaided. What did I do?    

Went horseback riding.    

All went well, until our return to the stable. The mare I was riding saw her colt, became excited, and reared up. I slid off her back and hit the ground – landing on my bad leg. The femur was broken again, and I was back on crutches. It was the first and last time I had ever been thrown from a horse. And I haven’t been on one since!  

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Happy Birthday to a Favorite Aunt!

My "Auntie Mots", at left, with my daughter, Kris, center, and my mother.

Until I acquire the habit of writing (blogging, journaling, posting – whatever you call it) every day, I first need to bring myself up to date by grouping several days together.    

Today is Saturday, July 3, and my previous post took me to Sunday, June 27.
As stated earlier, this immediate past week (Monday, June 28, through Friday, July 2), was much quieter than the one before it. In fact, you might call it boring, had it not been for Tuesday’s visit to my Primary Care Provider, or PCP. I have to say Primary Care Provider, because she’s not a doctor; she’s a Nurse Practitioner. That’s quite a mouthful, both to say and to write. “PCP” is much easier.    

But let’s back up a day, to Monday, June 28.    

It was my Auntie Mots’s birthday. She’s my mother’s older sister – by about 14 months – and her real name is Martha Ellen. Named for their mother (my maternal grandmother), the younger Martha has always been known as “Mots.”     

Auntie Mots, left, summer of 2002, with my sister Bobbi.

My siblings and I always called her “Auntie” Mots. With our York County/Pennsylvania Dutch sloppy speech – sorry to offend fellow native York Countians, but we always slur our words together – it sounds like we’re saying “anniemots.”    

Auntie Mots has always been very close to our family. She and her husband Richard (who passed away in 2002), and their only child, son Steve, spent a lot of time with us while we kids were growing up. I sometimes babysat for Steve, who’s about the same age as my younger brother Phil. And though Steve is married and lives not far from his mother, he and his wife have never had any children – just cats! So, sadly, Auntie Mots has never been a grandma. But she’s a terrific aunt, a great great-aunt, and even a wonderful great-great-aunt!    

I made it a point to call Auntie Mots on Monday to wish her Happy Birthday, and she seemed happy to hear from me.    

 The next day, June 29, would have been my mother-in-law’s birthday. Her eighty-sixth. But Catherine Ella Lehr Routson 

Catherine Routson, left, on her birtday in 2008, with her youngest sister, Helen.

passed away on October 28, 2008.    

Catherine Routson, right, at Nag's Head, summer of 1998, with hubby Jack, and granddaughter Amy

On Tuesday, Keith and I drove to New Hartford for a follow-up visit with my PCP, Terry, mainly to discuss the MRI of my back, taken in May.    

The test confirmed what Terry and the physical therapist had already told me: my degenerative disc disease has worsened considerably.    

The only section of vertebrae not previously “surgicalized” – as Terry put it – has deteriorated further, causing bulging/herniated discs, which in turn are pinching nerves, which is causing my debilitating lower back pain! Nothing surprising there. Now – what to do about it?    

The Lidoderm (lidocaine) patches I’ve been wearing around my waist since my last visit are helping to relieve the pain to some degree, but even combined with Darvocet (pain pills), I usually have a lot of back pain. Terry says more surgery is not an option.    

So, I’m experimenting with a Fentanyl patch. It’s a small, sticky piece of clear plastic, with a narcotic painkiller on it. The patch (attached to my upper arm) is making me nauseous, light-headed, and barely able to keep my eyes open. Unfortunately, it hasn’t eliminated the pain, even though I’m taking the Darvocet, too. And wearing the Lidoderm patches!    

I’ll try the Fentanyl a few more days to see if the side effects subside; otherwise, it’s not worth it.    

Nothing exciting the rest of the week.    

Finished a John Grisham novel, “The Rainmaker,” probably the only one I’d never read. But I did see the movie. I love John Grisham’s books. Wish I could write as well as he writes. (See http://www.jgrisham.com/.)    

Also interviewed another Korean War veteran (over the phone) for a story I’m working on for the Boonville Herald (www.boonvilleherald.com). Painful memories choked him up, almost made him cry. Me too.    

Thursday morning I sent in my weekly column for the Herald. Late again! Deadline was Wednesday, because of the holiday. This week I wrote about war. The reason? The Revolutionary War, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Korean War. They all have a connection with this timeframe. Plus the fact that another local soldier was killed in Afghanistan (Click on this link for the story http://www.uticaod.com/breaking/x1849220007/Rome-serviceman-mourned-at-funeral-Mass-at-Fort-Stanwix-ceremony.)    

Friday night, Keith and I were in Erwin Park for the Fulton Chain Gang performance. The country/rock group  drew quite a crowd  –  probably because of the fireworks later. We left before the Chain Gang (www.fultonchaingang.com) finished their gig and headed to Stewart’s for a sundae.    

The Boonville Village Bandstand, the scene of many summer band concerts.

As we passed by the Little Village Park, we heard the last two numbers the concert band was playing.  What a shame – both groups playing at the same time. I don’t know how that happened, but it’s too bad. Hardly anyone in the Village Park audience.   

Twilight at Erwin Park before the fireworks began.

Luckily, we beat the crowd and got out of Boonville before the fireworks started. I’ve seen enough fireworks in my lifetime, the most awesome of which were the ones in Minneapolis many years ago.    

Next up – a 50th anniversary I’d rather forget!

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So, What Else is New?

Last week was probably one of the busiest on my June calendar. Besides something to do or somewhere to go  every day, Monday (June 21) through Thursday (June 24), I was becoming  frazzled planning a family reunion. It’s scheduled for Sunday, July 25, in my hometown of York, Pennsylvania, and I’ve got way too much to do yet (see www.judyroutson.wordpress.com).  

Besides the usual mundane chores  – you know: laundry, cooking, cleaning the bathroom, dish-washing, etc.,  – I’m always busy. Writing, reading, blogging, taking a walk with my husband when my back pain is tolerable, and such.  

Canal Museum entrance, opened in 2007. Serves as visitor center and gift shop.

During this particular week, I was also putting together a story for our weekly community newspaper, the Boonville Herald (www.boonvilleherald.com), about the upcoming  grand opening celebration at the Boonville Black River Canal Museum (www.blackrivercanalmuseum.com), which I did manage to turn in on time. Also began working on another story about several area Korean War vets.   Continue reading

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Hello world!

Hey there! I just started this new blog. Why? It’s anyone’s guess.

It’s not that I don’t have plenty to do, believe you me! But I’ve been thinking about this for some time now. My other blog, www.judyroutson.wordpress.com,  was started mainly as a family history site. The Boonville Historical Club blogsite, www.boonvillehistoricalclub.wordpress.com, which I created and maintain, was designed to promote the club and its activities, particularly the Adopt A Platoon project.

So, I’ve been thinking: To keep my personal activities separate from my family history page, another blog might be the answer. Not that I have an especially exciting life. But people with less to share have written about their every move, from breakfast to bedtime. Often, after reading some of those blogs, I think: Who cares? Give me something with some content!

I’ve never been able to bring myself to keep a journal. When one writes for a living, who wants to record their day’s activities at bedtime? All I want is to open a good book  – and hopefully read a few pages – before I hit the pillow. Of course, many people journal during the day. But I’m always too busy.

Maybe I can discipline myself to write about my activities here. Who knows? Someday I may go down in history. Or someone may write a book about me. Afterall, look at Julie and Julia. Who woulda’ thought they’d make a book, and then a movie, about a woman cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook? Continue reading

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In just six weeks or so, I’ve had enough unexpected, crazy experiences to fill a book. So, of course, catching up with things on this blog may take some time. And since I’ve  not been writing for our local weekly newspaper, I’m a bit out of practice.

I last saw the owner/editor of the Boonville Herald [newspaper] in a hospital room. Clad in a very unbecoming, too-large cover-up, concealing a variety of beeping and burping tubes and gizmoes, I lay practically immobilized. One move in the wrong direction set off an annoying, shrieking alarm, loud enough to wake patients in nearby rooms who may have been headed off to dreamland – as best you can in a hospital bed.

Okay, don’t get excited. The above is no longer accurate. Not one hundred percent, anyway.

Hi folks. It’s been a while since my last post here, but since I’m no longer in Boonville, New York (we moved at the end of March 2012), I’m starting a NEW BLOG SITE. I might even remember to post something interesting from time to time!

It may not be up and running by the time you read this post, but don’t give up! Come visit again soon, and see what’s going on in my life in Dillsburg, PA, and why I was in the hospital in my above notation (which I actually started a long time ago, but never posted!). There have been many changes in my life.

Thanks to everyone who’s been here in the past. I do appreciate your loyalty, and I hope you’ll follow me on my new blog,

Dilly Dallying in Dillsburg.


DSCN1653 - Copy

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