Posts Tagged ‘Batavia NY’

I am so thankful to all my Team Members and Sponsors for their support this year. We had a great day for the walk, near eighty degrees and super sunny. Dwyer Stadium in Batavia is a great location and this is the third year we have participated and it has grown so much since we started. I’m not very good at ball parking numbers in crowds but I would easily say the number of walking participants has quadrupled. There’s still time to help Team March reach our goal of $5000 (we are a bit shy of our goal) so please click HERE to help get us there! Every little bit helps.

I want to take a quick public bloggy moment to say a special thank you to my Cousin Courtney who has outdone her fundraising self again this year. At the time of the Walk MS on Sunday she had collected from 52 sponsors for a total of over $2,000! And a special thanks goes out to all her co-workers at Fisher-Price in East Aurora, You are helping so many Upstate NY MS patients and families – Thank You so Much!


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I just realized I forgot to tell y’all that in November I twisted the (fencing) Coach’s arm one day and asked for a special class = Mom’s with Swords – and got it! (Thank you Colin!) So I started fencing!! But there aren’t gonna be any photos of that. It’s strictly a women’s class for all of us ladies that want to get out and learn something new and frankly I can’t stand walking the treadmill or elliptical staring at the same walls the whole time (I’d rather be hiking). Besides nobody wants to see a picture of me all sweaty and yucky after being in the fencing get-up, AND I think I’d get impaled by the others if I even tried to take the camera out the bag during a practice session (they all know where the photos would end up).

After watching for almost a year, it was time to try on a mask, chest protector, glove, jacket and foil annnnd…… I loved it!!! I did keep going back and brought a partner (thanks Kristi). It is very mentally and physically challenging.  Much more different from the team sports I participated in high school and college (soccer & basketball). I get a great workout, it fills my competitive side, relieves stress (oh boy did I need this desperately in my life), has helped my coordination and balance (I’m not getting any younger), and I do believe is forging new mental pathways (this is especially good for me, again the not getting younger thing, and couldn’t we all use a new mental challenge?). And after all these benefits; I have been pacing myself against the Crafter Monkey with sit-ups, crunches, push-ups and now that we’re on break…  jumping jacks! I’ve sent packing twenty-one twenty-three pounds and don’t plan on ever wanting them back again! (I love that my skinny jeans have become my fat ones) It’s crazy but I really don’t feel like it’s hard to go or even like it’s exercise, I look forward to it, to the challenge, it’s something so foreign to myself and my muscles that I learn so much that it ends up being and education and workout all in one. Some of us Mom’s have commented at practice that we find ourselves lunging while doing laundry or advancing and retreating while putting dishes away, we laugh, but I secretly think the Coach thinks we’re nuts (hey we gotta work on our form in our own way)!

On the CM’s fencing anniversary – her one year anniversary of her introduction to the sport I had the opportunity to spar with my daughter. Now of course I do not have that much experience – only about six or so lessons versus whole year under her belt. She did not wipe the strip with me, I did give a bit of competition, nobody got hurt, we shook hands at the end, and I still gave her a ride home. But really all kidding aside…. it was so fun to fence her. I’ve watched her style develop over the months, so I kinda knew what to expect but she still had a few tricks up her sleeve and she is much faster than her ‘ole Mom… the bout ended 2-5 CM. Not bad for my first time, (I did score the first touch) I won’t let her live that one down – can you tell we had some verbal bantering going on beforehand? It was so great to see her get frustrated not only trying to figure out how I fenced but also because I fence left-handed, not because I am a lefty, but because my right hip was giving me trouble early on in practices, so I switched and now it’s much more comfortable. Although working with the left has put me at strength disadvantage it’s been a great way to balance out my body.

So now that you know what I’m doing in the New Year to stay fit and mentally challenged, What are you doing?  Are you looking for a new challenge? Join me!

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And so began an exciting second tournament for the Crafter Monkey! She was pumped, prepped, focused and ready! All week-long I had never seen her so determined to prepare herself: practicing in the back yard, conditioning on the back patio, having me time her jumping exercises, lunging at empty beer cans (yeah I know – it’s the white trash way to practice fencing at home!)

This Molten Sword Tournament was different from the last for three reasons: new electronic scoring system,  Coach moved the tourney to a larger location = local Salvation Army Gym, and hired a professional referee (in previous tournaments coaches from the club had been the referees).

The fencing was great, the sportsmanship = very friendly off the strip and very competitive on, as it should be. But as always, there were smiles, hand shakes, and salutes after every bout.

Great intensity by all the fencers, but I must admit I was a tad bit disappointed in the fans. They were very underwhelming to begin with. After being at many Horse Shows, a Rodeo, soccer games and other sporting events this summer where loud cheering and borderline obnoxious encouragement of the players is sanctioned, the fencing fans were so subdued I thought they may have mistaken the tournament for a funeral at the library. I began applauding after each point was scored but did not go wild when the Crafter Monkey won her first bout (I did not want to embarrass her, you know how kids get sometimes..). But the Coach did encourage me to get a bit rowdy in an effort to spur some other parents and supporters on. Do not fear though, I did not pull the cow bell or air horn out of my bag lest I mortify the CM! But after a few more bouts some more audience participation followed.

Another surprise among the audience was the addition of laser eye pieces worn by Monkey Boy and Wee Monkey and deftly crafted by the Mr. Monkey in their spare hours before the tournament. Take note of the cross hairs for citing of opponents. There were strict instructions given not to destroy opponents until after matches.

Be afraid, be very afraid! They were the hit of the non-fencing youth! And Mr. Monkey had quite a few inquiries as to when he would be going into production for the holiday rush. I swear there were a few people who wanted to place orders!

Alongside all the off-strip fashions were the on-strip fashions. “Fashions?” you wonder.. Yessiree! I realize that there are not many personalization options in a fencing uniform – white, white, white and more white. As a parent, I’m really glad there is no mud involved in this sport! The only part of the uniform that does allow for a bit of flash and pizzazz are the socks. So I’ve noticed when it comes to showing off ones individuality – It’s All About The Socks!

I don’t think any of the kids is superstitious enough yet to have a pair of lucky socks yet and I really hope they never do, because that could only lead to the drama of forgetting a sock or heaven forbid — the evil dryer eating a lucky sock!!

But I digress…. here is a last picture of the winning trio of the youth fencers! All the kids who participated did a fantastic job, but I must add that the CM was really happy to have a trophy to add to her Horsey ones at home!

I just want to send out a huge thanks to Coach Dentino, Mrs. Coach, Mrs. Vogler and many other volunteers who helped out to make the tournament a success. Everything went smoothly, we loved the changes and updates and I know the CM is looking forward to giving her all to training for the Travel Team this Fall. If you or your kids might be interested in sport fencing in the Batavia/Genesee County area, check out EnGarde Batavia. (and no, I’m not receiving any kick-backs – but do tell them I set you!!)

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Fencing Friday

As one of the official GS leaders of our troop, I organized a field trip…..

Of course I took a picture of a book. Do you know how hard it is to find good kids books about fencing??


And of course we all had a blast! I did get equipped up and learned (or at least tried) a few of the basics, and really enjoyed myself too. I think most of the adults watching had a lot of fun watching me…

The girls were posing in their gear, but taking the prep for the tournament seriously. I think we could have use a few shields for practice. But the best part of it all was that there was a great fencing facility right in Batavia, NY. No traveling and carpooling  to the big metropolises of Buffalo or Rochester. Colin Dentino is the Head Coach and owner of En Garde Batavia and her was so patient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic that I couldn’t help myself but really work hard on my posture and lunges. My Crafter Monkey loved it so much she did not want to leave and has been hinting for a return trip ever since. So guess where I’m headed this Friday? Yep – our first fencing class.

Our Troop and one Brave Dad!

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I had lots of belated birthday goings on this past weekend. My Dad and I spent the afternoon touring the Erie Basin Marina, enjoying a relaxing lunch at the Templeton Landing Restaurant, getting lost amongst the grain elevators along Lake Erie and finally finding the Central Terminal in Buffalo. I really look forward to Daddy Daughter Day every summer.

On Sunday I was treated to lunch with my little brother! We ate locally @ Alex’s Place and enjoyed a delicious Beef on Weck with extra horseradish of course. Followed by a cafe  mocha at Coffee Culture. It was so great to just linger and chat. I cannot remember the last time we caught up like that. The older I get the more I appreciate time spent with those I love just doing nothing but savoring the moment.

Some really great things coincided with my birthday: A new LYS opened up less than 40 minutes from me. Dancing Goat Yarn Shop in located in Warsaw, NY and I see a road trip in my future.

Also one of my favorite designers and I share a birthday! I’ve knitted up a few of her designs here and here with plans for more. Love your designs Laura & Happy Belated Birthday.

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I keep casting on new projects and scrambling for needles. I just received a Holiday gift in the form of a pattern and of course couldn’t let it just sit there. (Thank you loneknitter!) So I consulted the stash and found the perfect yarn, this local alpaca I purchased last fall to celebrate National Alpaca Days.

This pattern from Laura Chau of Cosmicpluto uses a short row shaping technique I’ve never tried. Well here goes nothing…. I think my next row has a short row turn in it! I really love Laura’s patterns, this is my second. I see many more in my future.

I also had the opportunity to visit the Yarn Boutique while in the big city of Rochester this week and treated myself to some lovely fiberness! I’d love to be able to claim them as my LYS, but to be honest there really aren’t any ‘local’ yarn shops around me. I’ve got to travel at least 40 minutes to various points on the compass to indulge my need for great yarn. Yes, sure there are the typical Joanne’s & Michaels, but I have become a yarn snob.

I do love to knit with local wool, and that can be an adventure in itself to find, but most times the trip is well worth it… Make a friend, bring home some new fiber and I usually score a barn tour out of it for me & the monkeys. What’s not to love?

But I digress…. A true LYS is in order for the city of Batavia. Anyone looking for a partner? Will work for Malabrigo!

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Well,  actually Batavia, New York has been keeping a secret from me! And now I must share my discovery…. The Oatka School of Glass and glass studio. Wow! This great studio & school is housed in a very unassuming building in the city.

My eldest Monkey’s Brownie troop attended a glass workshop class the other night and I was so bummed I couldn’t stay to make some ornaments myself. The studio would not have been the best place for my two younger monkeys to play.

Amanda Taylor, artist and co-founder was wonderful with the girls and has some beautiful pieces of hers on display. I can’t wait to go back and explore more without my entourage.

I love learning about new places in this small city I call home.

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