Friday, October 17, 2014

burger catch up: take two

Last week we had to get passports renewed in preparation for a basketball tournament in November down in Rochester, New York.  It is always such a great time and I am very much looking forward to that weekend away.

John was off last week and so we were able to sneak away for a little lunch date.

The Works. 

I was hook, lined and sinkered once I saw the salt and pepper shakers!  Light bulbs....like honestly I love these.


Then the lemonade.....in a measuring cup!  It was so good!!


The onion rings were amazing.


Burgers were delicious. I had to take the fries home.  Way too much food.   



I would say that The Works definitely went head to head with Chucks and came in pretty much at a tie.  Both had great food, great service, great atmosphere....just all around perfect.  I walk a fine line between eating meat and not.  I often am thoroughly grossed out by meat and then along comes a real good burger. As long as both of these places are around I think I will always end up staying on the meat side of the fence....well turkey dinner kinda keeps me there too.

We came home and both ended up napping.  Shelby told me later that it was a sign of getting old...an afternoon nap.  It is funny cause as I was laying in bed beside John as he was snoring (he claims he does not...he does), I thought to myself and smiled....yep we are getting old.  Although I do think it was more burger overload kinda napping, I love that we are at a point in life where we can just nap sometimes....although it does not happen nearly enough in my opinion!!! And I love that I am getting old with him!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

burger catch up: take one

A while back John and I went on a lunch date to a really great little burger joint.

 Chuck's Burger Bar.

While we were there I had thought to myself how this place so needed to be on You Gotta Eat Here. After we stumble home in our drunken burger stupor, John started to watch t.v.....more specifically an episode of You Gotta Eat Here and they were featuring....yes you guessed it....Chuck's Burger Bar.



I love love love these little dates we sneak in.  I am not sure how John feels when I pull out my phone to snap pictures.  I do it cause I like sharing here for one but as well when I am old and gray I want to be able to read and remember these times.  I want my girls to read about them.  I am not sure he gets what I get from this space here.  It feeds my soul.  Writing makes me happy.

Back to the burgers....


Great little place.  Just one of those small awesome hole in the wall type places.  Love love love!!!




The lemonade was homemade.  Amazing....and in a mason jar.....well that made it perfect!!!


Honestly the most delicious food!


There were chocolate donut holes.....bacon chocolate donut holes.  I had to order them.


I ignored the fact that the bag was the icing on the heart attack waiting to happen meal we just had.  




They were so good!

Yes and I took a picture of the silver pig statue in the bathroom.....could not resist!!!


Prior to our burger coma induced meal we popped into this great little shop.


This was a little piece of tea cup heaven.


I think I am going to take a trip back down that way soon and buy a few of these.  I love fancy tea cups.  They are the best!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

thanks a day late

Our big turkey meal was Sunday.  I have learned over the years that I have been making turkey dinners, that it is unrealistic to think you can serve a full meal like this with everything warm at the same time unless you have a second oven.....maybe even a third.  So because this unrealistic expectation has been thrown out the door, I usually try to get as much done the day before Tom goes in the oven.  So Saturday I was busy getting stuff done.



There are two dishes John loves.  For the most part I could eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich for every meal and be happy.  Sure I love food and sometimes I love making it but I am not fussy really. My food can be served to me cold.....I don't need meat and potatoes for dinner...fruit loops work....you get the idea.  I have written before about how I feel about these big holiday meals.

John is the opposite of me.  He likes his meat and potatoes.  He looks forward to turkey dinner so I do my best to make sure he enjoys a really good meal.  It is the least I can do when after visiting his parents he came home with an early birthday gift for me.  From the talented Tara.  I have raved about her amazing stuff before.

The spoon is hand stamped.  
It says, "I love you".  So bloody amazing!!! 

It is the ying and yang of marriage.  I am sure driving extra after an already long drive and then browsing a pottery studio isn't first on his list but he did it because he knows I love that shiz.  Well the exhausting process of turkey dinner isn't first on my list but well I know he loves that shiz.

So the two dishes that are a must are scalloped potatoes and this broccoli cauliflower dish.  Every turkey dinner we have had for as long as I can recall has included these two things.  The turkey...well dried out turkey sucks huge....so for years I have cook the turkey in these great roasting bags.  I can't say we have ever had a dried out turkey.  So at Easter, John's nephews wife got me onto cooking the turkey, breast down in about an inch of water.  You then cover the bottom of it in bacon. Tent with foil and cook.  As well no stuffing in the bird. Well hands down best way ever to cook a turkey E.V.E.R!!!!!!  Even better then the bags.

John usually makes his way into the kitchen to help with the gravy, stuffing (which we now make from scratch on the stove top...soooo good!|) and to carve the turkey.

It is an exhausting two day process that at times has me wishing we were all vegetarians but once all is said and done...everyone is fed and happy....the huge chore of cleaning up is done....I am thankful.

What was nice this year is that my day yesterday was free and clear.  There was turkey soup in the crock  pot.  Tons of leftovers which meant no cooking at all had to be done.  It was great!!



I ate pie for breakfast using one of my beautiful new mugs and the spoon.  I let my Halloween candles burn all day.  I knit quite a few rows until I ended up in the attic with John when he woke up.

Project get stuff out of the attic officially began I think!!!  John has a lot of stuff up there....I am thrilled he went through a few things.  I am a get rid of crap kinda of gal.  Now yes I am the anti-hoarder...I get that.  That is the result of seeing hoarding at it's worse in my family and swearing to never let my stuff take over my life.  So do I jump the gun sometimes getting rid of things...yes but for the most part I have found a good balance of trying to have just what I need.  Thankfully clutter makes my skin crawl so that makes getting rid of stuff very easy for me.....unfortunately everyone else in the house has pack rat/hoarder/clutter issues.  It makes me anxious often.  So anytime someone is looking to go through stuff and purge I am so there!!!!!

Well in our attic was all of sweet Gran's photo albums.  John took them when she passed with the intention of trying to scan all the photos and make discs for everyone.  Well it has been a good seven years....it would be so time consuming to scan hundreds of photos and in the grand scheme of things just unrealistic to accomplish.  That is why they were still up there so I said to him that maybe a better option was going through the photos and dividing them up for his cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews.  Pass them along and let everyone enjoy some fond memories of Gran and her love.  So I began the task of this yesterday.  So many photos.  So many great memories.  I am hoping everyone will enjoy them as much as I have been.  


Now this year I lucked out so completely.  I was asked to work a Saturday morning shift this week. Well because of the holiday and the fact that my work is very strict about casual staff going over 20 hours a week I ended up with a huge long weekend.  I have had today off.  I have been working on more bunting.....to go with this absolutely adorable candy corn bunting I made.


I hope all my fellow Canadians enjoyed a great Thanksgiving yesterday.....it is hard to believe there is only like 72 days till Christmas!!!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

do i wanna be that needle in a haystack?

So the other day I was online and I stumbled across this blog post.  Wow right?!?

Well it got me thinking and I took the time to go through my years and years of blogging and be sure I only have my own pictures on my blog.  For the most part I did.  Copyright infringement while blogging is not something I want to have going on.

A little later that day, in an unrelated search, were I was looking around trying to figure out how I can place a Pinterest button on certain photos on my blog so that they can be pinned to Pinterest.  I have yet to find an answer to this......only a way to allow all photos to be pinned and I can't say I want that......I stumbled across this blog post.  Okay double, triple, quadruple wow!!!

I can't say I feel any urge to pin anything ever again.  Now I know it is a needle in a haystack kinda of thing.  Out of the millions that blog and use Pinterest what are the chances I would be the target of someone complaining and requesting compensation for a photo I shared (Facebook is included in this), pinned or blogged about??  Well I don't really care to find out.  Not to mention I would never want to share something unknowingly that someone does not want me sharing and so the easiest way to ensure that does not happen is to only stick to my photos here, link instead so traffic is directed to the source of an idea, picture or reciepe and no more pinning or face book sharing.....not that I do the later often....I am not really a huge fan of face book.  I took time and deleted any pictures I pinned on Pinterest.  Many were Ralvery patterns and so I was able to bookmark the sites for later use of the patterns.  For the other ideas that did not have a site I could refer back to, (pretty good indication no permission was given to share the photo and or idea), I made notes of the idea for future use.

Now it certainly does not mean I won't go looking and get great ideas from a place like Pinterest and use those ideas for my own enjoyment....I just don't feel quite right putting myself in a position where I am the needle that gets found in the haystack and be made an example of.  If you read the second blog post I linked you will see that in their terms of agreement, Pinterest completely does not have your back if you were to get in trouble this way......you are screwed.  And here yet another very informative article.  An interesting blog post that at first had me sad about my beloved instagram but my faith was renewed in the end.  And yet another interesting blog post here.

I can't even imagine the users on Pinterest with photo upon photo upon photo...idea upon idea upon idea that is being shared without, at the very least a link with what is being pinned (which still does not make it okay from my understanding) and in most cases no permission whatsoever from the source of the photo, recipe or instructions.  I was new to Pinterest so I only had a few things and so it was fairly easy to go back and save links and delete my albums.

Bottom line is that I totally do not need that kinda drama in my life and I can't afford a lawyer and some huge bill to compensate a copyrighted image that in the grand scheme of things, I do not need to get my point across....no how, no way, no thanks!!!

Originals are the way to go.


Miss Amber in a jumper I made her....I love this photo.  I was way ahead of my time...were was instagram back then???

Friday, October 10, 2014

acorns, burlap and books

So this fall I decided to not take a course through the college toward the ten I need to get some more opportunities within the library system.  I felt a little torn....I want to get these courses done a.s.a.p. but I felt like I needed a break.  A few months to just do whatever I want during my free time and not have the obligation of having to read pages of lectures or accomplish assignments among the chaos that can be my life some days.  My last course went very well.  I ended up with like a 98% I think and so that was awesome but I had a tough time pushing through that last course so I am very glad I took that break.  That I listened to my inner voice that was telling me to go easy for a bit.

I think when you are someones caregiver it is very easy to burn out.  I think you have to listen to your inner voice and take those breaks to rejuvenate your body, mind and your soul.  Rejuvenation happens for me when I can create.  It is hard to explain.  My life sometimes is not my own because I am responsible for Shelby's personal needs 90% of the time.  I get relief here and there but for the most part everyday I am responsible for another human beings needs...toileting, bathing, dressing and much more.  I can't just go away.  I can't just change my plans at the last minute.  There always has to be a plan.  That can be hard on me.  It has been hard on me.  If I sit and think about it too long I feel a wave of panic that threatens to creep into my soul.  My creating tames that panic.  It keeps it at bay and gives me control of something because the bottom line is I can't control the lot in life I have been given.  I have to ride along and keep my sanity......crafting is my drug of choice.  Good thing I suppose since there is far worse out there.  I love creating.  I love sharing my creations.  It is a high.

I have seen so many cute ideas for bunting.  Burlap and bunting.  What a great combination!


I made templates for the flags.  Once they where cut out I used mod podge and I painted it along the edges to stop the burlap from fraying.  It dries clear and worked fantastic.

I then made letter stencils and using basic black spray paint I made letters on the flags.  Worked like a charm!  Once they were dry I sewed casing with twine placed in the casings as I sewed.  This allowed me to make the casing nice and small and there was no worry of having to thread through the twine after.


 "gobble"


"thankful"

I have so many more ideas for burlap buntings.  A sweet idea for a shower I will be having for our dear nephew Christopher and his sweet wife Lee-Ann.

Burlap is a ton of fun.  I went a little further creating with it. This picture gives you an idea of how I used the stencils.




So these where cut small pillow size.  Once they were dry I sewed three sides and turn them right side out.  After stuffing them, I closed them about 2 1/2 inches from the top using twine and a darning needle.

                                                  

The outcome was just absolutely adorable.  

                                         


I saw this idea and had to try it out!!!  I was knee deep in cut pages when John walked in the kitchen and I said to him..."You didn't want that book did you??"  He looked shocked and said..."What book???!??"  I told him I was kidding, that it wasn't one of his books.


It was a good thing I had only enough hot glue to make one or I can't say what would have happened that night....no book in the house would have been safe.  How unbelievably cute is this???


There are acorns as well.  I tried a batch with some I gathered that were very mutant like.  No where near the ones I saw on Pinterest.

(oh and yes there were some finished knitted socks going on as well....these were gifted to my beautiful niece)


Once they were painted they lost a great deal of the mutant factor until.....


.....I found out my friend Leigh Anne had beautiful perfect acorns from her oak tree all over her front yard.  Those others do not really seem as cute now.
.

Looking forward to painting these!!!



Friday, September 26, 2014

the 80's came calling

A few months ago the 80's came knocking. John and I had an opportunity to see Platinum Blonde and Glass Tiger perform at Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY.

We went for a bite to eat before the show.  At Mister B's.  A total hole in the wall type restaurant. Dark and kinda sketchy.  We were a little apprehensive to be honest.  A co-worker had suggested it to me.  John is always nervous of my ideas.  I get it....sometimes I am way out there.  In the beginning this idea was not looking so good to him.  From the outside it looked fun!



The food looked amazing in the pictures.


My sweet sister and her husband.


Her husband had to use the flashlight on his phone to get a good look at the menu.


John and I in the shadows.


It was one of those places where all the guys at the bar were regulars.  Were every inch of wall was covered in memorabilia.


So the verdict was still out at this point with John.  He felt like we had driven through the ghetto to get to the restaurant.  Here we were in this shady looking place were a flashlight was needed to read the menu and the guys at the bar were on a first name basis with the bartender.


Once the food arrived and we began enjoying our dinner...well holy heck, the best little hole in the wall restaurant ever.  Amazing food.  Too much of it.  The price was so reasonable.  Great service. We would visit there again for sure!!!!

On our way to the restaurant I saw so many sad houses.  You would be driving and there would be a family out front of their house and then a few doors down a condemned house boarded up, sad and vacant.  House after house.  This isn't something you see a lot of in our neighborhood.  Yes sad houses that need some work...ours was one of those.  But vacant, make you wonder were the family went that lived there houses.  In fact when we crossed the boarder into Niagara Falls, NY, you would assume that there would have been a booming little neighborhood.  You have people coming across to the casino all hours....there was store front after store front boarded up.  It was like a ghost town.  It was sad.  





I could not help but feel a pang of guilt for enjoying such a nice meal just minutes before I took these photos and a pang of guilt that my girls have such a secure life.  It isn't fair.  It makes me very sad sometimes.  I don't understand how the world can be so uneven.  How a child can be going without, how a family can lose their home and just a three hour drive away, a family has what they need.......heck two doors down a family has what they need.  I have a hard time wrapping my head around it all.

In a neighborhood where there were such sad lonesome homes....boarded up store fronts....there was also bright and amazing that danced over that bit of gloom and somehow made the neighborhood sing.  Made it happier.



If I recall this was actually a church.  Amazing.  So much fun and colour.  It was like a ray of sunshine spreading out across those sad lonely empty homes.

We ended up at the casino for the show.  So a few things.  First there is smoking in the casino.  I did not even think places could legally still do this but apparently they can.  For that reason I would probably not ever attend a show there again.  It was gross.  There wasn't smoking inside the show but in the lobby/casino....you had to walk through a haze of smoke to pee.  Gross.  Gross.  Gross. Second, Platinum Blond needs to stop performing.  Way past their prime.  Defiantly expired.


During the intermission we were sitting there and I snapped a photo of our hands because I wanted to remember a few feelings I was having.  A bit of a longing for the easier years in our relationship. When we were just teenagers listening to this music and life was easy.  There was no complications.....no stress....it was just easy.  It made me feel like crying to be honest.  Also just that there we were listening to that music from over twenty years ago.  How some way we always seem to make it work.  How we slowly are growing older peacefully and gracefully.  There is a comfort that has worked its way back into my life.  It was gone for awhile and I missed it very much.  At this moment I felt its presence around me.  


The second act...Giant Tiger.  Well they seemed far less comatose on stage and so I suppose if they continue to perform that is fine although I can't say I would seek out going to see either band again.


The 80's were fun but I am kind of glad we got through them and have moved on.  It was a fun night out.  We enjoyed good company and a run to Walmart for chocolate and beer after the show.  Gotta have your chocolate and beer for Walmart!!