Tag Archives: Recreation

Illegal Nocturnal Activities

Oh no you didn’t. 

Oh yes we did.

Despite that Bridgette’s family has not held the deed to this home for years we decided to visit, dig up some lilies and head back out.

At 9:00 at night we drive straight to the Home Depot and buy a LARGE shovel.  I wanted a little one to be less conspicuous – she wanted a big one to get the job done quicker and this was a source of heated debate in the garden section for several minutes.  Punctuating the fact that she determined the conversation was concluded, she swung the LARGE shovel over her one shoulder, pretty purse on the other, and we began to receive interesting looks from the workers and the other late night patrons.  I can’t understand why.  Two women in Home Depot on a mission to buy a LARGE shovel, and only a large shovel, at 9:00 PM hardly seems normal.  After the 3rd gaping stare, Brit looks at me and loudly says, “What are we going to do if the Cemetery is closed?”

Why they sold us this shovel, I will never know. 

We hop back in the car, and head to our childhood home.  It felt like we should have parked in the driveway and headed right back up the back stairs.  Instead of sneaking in some boons farm wine – this time we have graduated to a new level of dubious activities.  Stealing lilies. 

We circle the block like Bonnie and Clyde as we “case the joint”.   We park the car, get out dig up 2 lily plants, (of the hundreds of lilies that were there) put them in a Stewarts plastic bag, tidy up the spot, jump back in the car and head out.  Took about 3 minutes.  Just a day in my life. 

Here is how I worked this out:  Brit misses her grandmother and she remembers the day her grandmother planted those flowers.  They spread like wildfire.  The house is largely unkempt because it is a rental property now and it is for sale.  I hardly think the owner or the renters will miss two of those bulbs.  They will proliferate again next year.  Brit just wants a living piece of her grandmother close to her. These lilies fill that gap.  I get that. 

When the home finally lands again in the hands of a loving owner, Brit and I will return and pay it back our misdeed by giving them a purple lilac bush so it will flourish in their yard.  It will be nice to have next owner know how their home was loved by its previous occupants.  Maybe that will make up for the fact that their attic loft may or may not be partially insulated with empty beer cans.


Filed under adult education, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind, Summer vacation

The Magic Box

I have this box the loft of my camp.  It is a trunk, really.  It is about 7 ½ years old and it has been locked shut for almost that long.  No one knows where the key is,  and no one knows what is inside. 

I have tried not to think about that box for the past 7 years and I must say I have been quite successful.  Until a little beautiful blue-eyed boy happened upon it and couldn’t resist the mystery.  He was also motivated by the fact that he had a use for this chest and needed the lock opened and the contents removed.  He is in a pirate phase and this “treasure chest” fits right into some scheme that he has cooking in his world of make believe. 

He has bugged me for more than a week to open it.  Today I finally acquiesced. 

This trunk belonged to my Poppy, my paternal grandfather.  He was quite sick and in a nursing home for the last couple of years of his life.  His mental faculties were quite well considering he was confined to a wheelchair and had suffered 9 consecutive strokes.  The staff in the nursing home would take a liking to his belongings and often they would turn up missing.  He requested a locking storage unit and I bought him this trunk on his last Christmas.  That is probably how I ended up with it again, but I simply don’t remember. 

My husband and my son just took the trunk to a neighbor’s house since he had the tools to cut that lock.  In the woods up here at camp, I heard the snap of the lock echo against the trees.  That was all it took for the tears to start.

I just realized as I was typing this that I realized that today marks the 7th anniversary of his death.  The universe works in strange ways. 

Here I sit, waiting with dread to sift through the contents of that chest. 

Top image taken from:  http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3180/2734790279_f616a8f466.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.flickr.com/photos/lamaquinaderetratar/2734790279/&usg=__KfbvM1qn2XypJKDv6hM4PUH6CqE=&h=376&w=500&sz=110&hl=en&start=9&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=D8zuw0QSu0cfWM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dthe%2Bmagic%2Bbox%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26tbs%3Disch:1


Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind, Summer vacation

A Dilly of a Camp

I have a predilection with Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.  If you have ever been here you share this addiction. This lake is only about 30 minutes from where I grew up and this close proximity made the lake seem as though it was right in my back yard.  What is cool about this lake is that it is a man made reservoir.  In 1929, five farm villages were evacuated and subsequently flooded to create this lake.  This fact tantalizes the imagination of anyone who visits.   Legends of graveyards that were never adequately removed were a subject of great ghost stories by camp fires.  For years I believed that on a sunny day, if you knew where to look you could see the old steeple of a church at the bottom of the lake. 

Each year my aunt and uncle would rent a cabin for a week or two and my girlfriend and I would be invited to come up and share the camp with her.  These were old fashioned camps that could have been built in the 1950’s that had each their own character.  We’d sleep on cots on the porches after a great camp day.  One year we found an abandoned old camp with a sign that said, “This is a DILLY of a camp”.  What a hoot.  We pretended that this meant it was haunted and had some difficulty sleeping at night with a ghost so close. 

When you think of how short a week is it is hard to believe how one week can be so influential on a person’s life.  Whenever I visit Sacandaga Lake time becomes altered, in the very best possible way.  It stretches out.  The first thing that hits you when you come here is the smell of the air.  It is clean and has a permeation of suntan lotion, lush greenery, pine sap and camp fires.  That right there slows you down, and you stop to notice the beautiful trees that grow so high and sway back and forth in the slightest breeze.

When we spent the week our schedule went like this:  we’d get up obnoxiously early to go fishing and then spend the remainder of the day swimming and basking in the sun.  You would end the day with hot dogs by the fire and then watching an amazing sunset while fishing again. 

Occasionally you would find yourself in a local town getting needed supplies and feeling as if you were taking a step back in time, you would tour all of the mom and pop shops in that town.    

It is no surprise then that early on it became the mission of my husband and I to have a camp of our own one day.  My husband and his dad built ours just a few years ago – right down the road from my other Aunt.  It is a work in progress.  Despite this, we have had such good times with our friends and family here.  Each day I hope that my son looks upon this place with the same nostalgia that I have for camp and for Sacandaga Lake.  My camp is a dilly of a camp – and I love it because it brings me close to this lake.   

The Great Sacandaga Lake is simply part of my soul.  Being here restores my faith in a way that no Cathedral could produce. 


Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind, Summer vacation

Grandmaster funk

I am in a funk.  I am not too thrilled with school right now either.  I know, this sounds really hypocritical of me.  I wrote a book about going back to school as an adult.  It is my life’s mission to inspire adults to do it too, and here I am complaining. 

Like everything else in life, not all days can be good.  Today is one of those days.  See, I should be done with the summer semester.  I have two projects to finish.  I had to ask both of my professors for extensions on these projects.  So while my classmates are free and clear, I am chained to this desk.  My son and husband just went to the park.  It is gorgeous outside.  GRRRRR… 

My heart has not been into it this semester.  Did you ever have a couple of bad weeks?  When you have a couple of bad weeks in the middle of a 6 week semester, well you have a bad semester.  That’s the problem with summer sessions. There is absolutely no forgiveness.  One missed class, a missed project could sink the whole affair. 

I am trying to take my own advice.  I am two projects away from being free from the summer.  I’d better just get to it.

Got to dunk the funk.  Funk a dunk, dunk.


Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind

My final project for Crisis Management

The Leggacy Winery

My husband and I love wine and we love to sample new wines. We have visited the Finger Lake region in New York a couple of times to go on their various wine tours. It is so much fun and quite a beautiful trip.

Recently we discovered that a winery exists right in our backyard – The Saratoga Winery on Rt. 29 in Saratoga. One weekend we had a babysitter and ventured there with our friends. I loved this place! Better yet, I loved their wines. The Saratoga winery introduced us to a new type of wine called melomels that became my new favorite. They do a really amazing job with these. They are just so delicious.  If you like wine, you should check it out. www.thesaratogawinery.com

In any event during my visit I became intoxicated with the idea of making my own wine. That is how these guys started.

As it happened, my final project in my Crisis Communications class was to put together a crisis plan for a business. The idea is that we are all woefully unprepared for a crisis when it strikes and we should have a plan in place to handle it.

So the Leggacy (play on words using my last name as an inspiration) Winery was born. A fictitious winery inspired by The Saratoga Winery became my imaginary business. The idea is that if you think about as many possible crisis situations that could plague your business, then you are best prepared for a prevention plan to side step that crisis.

This business became very real to me. I started thinking that I could open a winery one day. I put together a really great crisis plan for this winery dealing with everything from customer intoxication to wine taint. I couldn’t stop. It was great fun.

If possible, I try to be practical in my efforts. In this way I like to take a course requirement and turn it into something that I could use one day. Now, I have never made a batch of wine, but I will when the semester is over. I may never open a winery, but maybe I will. I had a great romance with this idea as I developed this crisis plan. It was a really fun assignment.

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Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind

The Arizona Hangover

Coming home after a vacation is analogous to hangover.  While you were having fun, you gave little thought of tomorrow.  Then the morning comes and while you are reaching for the aspirin and the Visine, you regret the spirits of the night before.

The time change is only fun when you gain time.  Not when you lose it.  Thus, on the day we left we were on Arizona time all day and got in too late at night to feel rested the next day.  For two days, my house looked like the aftermath of a hurricane sight. Maria (my imaginary maid) has inconveniently taken a sabbatical.  My house is less welcoming to me when it is a disaster.  For days, I had a total disinterest in tidying it up.

It took me all weekend to get that motivation.

So let’s assess the damage of the Arizona hangover:

  • An unkempt house.  An unkempt mom / wife.  All weekend, I looked worse than my living room, which by the way was decorated in luggage that has been opened and rummaged through in a fitful attempt to fish out needed items.  I had to laugh when I thought of my last post.  It was all nostalgic about my desire to return home. 
  • Neglected pets. I think one or both of the hermit crabs did not fare well being on their own for a week.  I am contemplating on whether to conduct a private investigation and subsequent funeral when my son is at school.  The last hermit crab funeral was awful.  I was not ready to face the questions about heaven and God again today.  Maybe he’ll just forget about his little shelled pets. 

Yeah, right.

  • A weary child. For two days, son came home with bloodshot eyes, a head he couldn’t hold upright and a wad of homework that made my stomach flip.  It was all due today.  All of my neglected housework and his schoolwork had to be immediately attended to.  The weekend was a blast. 
  • Mail, mail, mail.  Bills, bills, bills.

So I am finally starting to feel a bit better.  At least his homework is done and my living room is… well livable again.  

Next task for me is to just get caught up on the bills today, go to class and then make a list of all the things I need to do for my school to get myself back on track.  Sounds lovely.

I really adjusted gracefully to the return home.  Can’t you tell?

Despite the Arizona hangover, it was still so worth it.


Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Home Sweet Home

This trip was an amazing once in a lifetime experience.  I am so grateful to my in-laws to have given it to me and sacrifice their time and their gas to let me experience it. 

It is time to leave. I must confess that I am a bit excited to get home. 

We all complain of the “daily grind” but I am looking forward to it.  I love the life that we have built for ourselves in New York, with our modest home that is decorated with pictures and trinkets of our experiences together and now joined by our wonderful son.  I like the routine of our life and look forward to getting back to it.

Arizona is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and I am happy to have been here.  I feel enriched by the experience. 

So I am sad to leave it behind, knowing full well that I will not be back again for a very long time.  I am comforted by the fact that tomorrow night at this time; I will be resting in my soft bed with my clean sheets hugging my big, burly man next to me. 

Just like Dorothy, I know that no matter where I go there is no place like home.

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Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

A train ran through my house

Each day can be a roller coaster ride.  The morning started out on a high note.  I was getting ready to chaperone a field trip with my son when it occurred to me that I am finally living my dream.  I am a stay at home mom, full time student and a writer.  This is what I have always hoped to be. 

Just one small flaw in that plan – no income. Well, yet.  I have to work on that.  It is really a problem.

But anyway the show we saw on the class field trip was really great.  My son watched certain parts of the Little Mermaid with great interest.  Like the part when the witch was concocting the magic potion by mixing various liquids together.  I didn’t realize that this scene was foreshadowing a future event in my life. 

After school was over, we race home to wash up, get a snack, do Kindergarten homework quickly and then I have to head for my evening classes.  Kisses to all – goodnight to my boys.

Class was great.  I sure was tired.  I couldn’t wait to get into my PJ’s.  On the way home I call my husband.  The tone of his voice tells me that the evening was eventful. 

Once I arrive home, I realize that the first floor of my home has been transformed into what appears to be a frat house.  There is clothing, boots, school books, food containers and empty beverage glasses strewn from one end to the next.  The recyclables have been organized in a highly irregular fashion on the kitchen floor.  

My goodness, how long was I gone?

I go to the bathroom quick before I can even think about this mess.  I go to wash my hands.  There is red paint all over the sink, on the bar of soap and there are no towels to be found. 

Uh oh. 

I go find my somewhat frazzled husband who proceeds to tell me the crimes my son committed this evening.  There were several:

  • A science project went awry.  Apparently there was a “potion” concoction of juice, seltzer and an unidentified powder like substance (I think it was pop rocks and fun dip mixed together).  This is the part where my son received his inspiration from the little mermaid.  He also told his father that the juice was “just fine” and we should drink it.  Yum. This was apparently the cause for the first intensive clean up of the evening. 
  • Daddy’s little helper tried to assist with an car oil change and ended up whacking himself with one of the tools.  The oil change was halted in favor of the medical attention required to fix the “boo boo”.  Clean up number two. 
  • In an attempt to stay out of Daddy’s hair, there was a painting excursion where Drew took it upon himself to take out my acrylic paint and do some painting.  Evidenced by the paint I found in the bathroom.  Clean up number three.

Suddenly, my husband’s irritated mood makes a bit more sense.  We clean up the house together and I get more and more information about their evening together.  Supper consisted of left over mac and cheese and sweet and sour chicken.  Not abuse, but not something recommended on the food pyramid either.  There is some sort of a cryptic note from my 5-year-old to his “daaD”.  I think this was either the confession or the apology letter. 

As I was driving the bulldozer through my living room mess I realized how tough it can be to balance college with everything else.  I am not even working now.  I can barely keep up without a job.  I think that today is evidence that I am not doing such a great job at “keeping up”. 

I am not discouraged yet.  All things considered, the day was still pretty great. 

And while today was my ideal dream day, I don’t think my husband can say the same.


Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind