Friday, July 31, 2009

Photo Phriday - Placki

I was across town today so I stopped at Polska Chatta and had lunch. Now that's some placki! For those unfamiliar with the Polish, that's a potato pancake. Delicious!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Life According to Pink Floyd

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think!

Pick your Artist: Pink Floyd

Are you a male or female: Julia Dream

Describe yourself: A Saucerful of Secrets

How do you feel: Comfortably Numb

Describe where you currently live: Obscured by Clouds

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: San Tropez

Your favorite form of transportation: Run Like Hell

Your best friend is: Arnold Layne

You and your best friends are: Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict.

What's the weather like : Goodbye Blue Sky

Favorite time of day: Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast a)Rise and Shine

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Shine on you Crazy Diamond

What is life to you: High Hopes

Your relationship: Young Lust

Your fear: Brain Damage

What is the best advice you have to give: Careful with that Axe, Eugene

Thought for the Day: The Show Must Go On

How I would like to die: Terminal Frost

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

I recently finished reading The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale. It's a nonfiction piece written in the style of a detective story. It's a thoroughly researched true crime story about the Road Hill Murder of 1860. The career of the professional detective was just starting as were fictional detective stories and the book gives interesting descriptions of the beginnings of these fields. What is also interesting is the parallels to today's world. The sensationalizing by the press, the public looking at the minutia of the people involved and making their own determinations, the rapid switching between idolizing the police to chastising them; how public opinion can ruin reputations. The heinous crimes occurring then as now and the fact that children can commit them. If you're looking for a light read, this is not the book for you, but if you're looking for a well documented piece of history that's as interesting as it is well written, check out this book.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lemon Whippersnappers

I love reading mysteries. I love eating food. Therefore I especially love reading mysteries about food! I read several culinary mysteries, among them Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series. Hannah owns The Cookie Jar and makes, you guessed it, cookies. While I copy all of the recipes, last night was the first time I actually made cookies from the book. I made Lemon Whippersnappers and they turned out super. My dad said they were the best thing I ever baked. My mom was in awe. I was laughing because they were so easy to make! I guess I'll be making these at Christmastime to give as gifts!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Around the House

Today was a work around the house kind of day. I did laundry and took a chance and hung it out to dry. The sky was blue, aside from the big gray cloud over my house, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Lucky me, it didn't rain. I also did dishes, cleaned a rat cage, worked on an article, scanned some pics for another one, cooked dinner, talked to my folks. I still want to bake some cookies and do some other tasks. We'll see what else I can accomplish today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Grand Opening

I went to the grand opening of a new Target today. It's next to my Wegman's-a very convenient location. They had some great specials and they had sent me some great coupons-so I made some great deals. The place itself is huge. They even have a full grocery section-with meat and produce as well as frozen foods. I probably won't buy much of that there-but it's nice to have the option.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ganondagan Dance & Music Festival

I spent the day at the Ganondagan State Historic Site for their Native American Dance and Music Festival. What a good time I had. Unfortunately, I won't write much about it as their are major thunderstorms in the area and I want to get off line. To make a short recap of my day-I ate a lot, learned how to make a corn husk doll, talked to some great people, watched a chef make a bison steak as well as sea bass, watched Native Dancers, listened to Arvel Bird's fusion music, and bought some Christmas gifts!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Own Pickles

I made my own pickles and jarred them this morning.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Flying Time

Today just flew by. I was up early, but spend too much time on the computer. I finally started my errands after 12:30. I got to the barn around 1. Harley was in his stall and we quickly got ready and worked a bit. My back was bothering me-so we didn't work too long. I cooled him off, gave him a shower-misted myself and was done just before 2. Then I stopped at the Hallmark shop as I had expiring coupons. I picked up some good Christmas gifts-that store always has some good clearance finds!. From there it was PetSmart for cat food...and dog food and dog treats and rat treats. Coupons played a part there too. Right next door was JoAnns-it was there Coupon Commotion and I picked up a few things. A few minutes down the road was AC Moore. I had a 50% coupon for the solvent ink I needed and I also picked up a few clearance items. Then a stop at the grocery store. I needed jars for my pickles, and pasta sauce. I also found some clearance gifts, and I picked up dinner-a main dish and 2 sides for $6! I got chicken French, garlic smashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. Yummm. I had to run home as I was expecting a call for a follow up to a TV survey. I unpacked the car-missed a call from the dentist and my editor, but I had 20 minutes before the survey people. I unpacked the car and put my dinner in to heat. But then, I smelled a smell. Not a good smell. I soon found the source: Barrett had an accident. As I was cleaning up the mess the phone rang-the follow up interview. Sigh. I completed the interview-they were more interested in the commercial than the program-which was lousy, by the way. Then I reheated the dinner, ate, quickly back on the computer. I then did a short Wii Fit session-my back was still bothering me. I washed a few jars, checked the pickles (not quite ready) then time for my shows, a Bones episode I haven't seen and the 100th episode and results show of So You Think You Can Dance. Whew!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Focus Group

This evening I'm going to part of a focus group. I've never done this before, so it should be interesting... although we'll be talking about tires. Hmm. Oh well, I don't have any other plans. I've been doing research this morning and this evening all I have planned is watching So You Think You Can Dance and Top Chef Masters.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medical Technology

Technology is a pretty neat thing. I went in for my third spinal injection today. When I told the doc that the first 2 didn't do much he said, "Hmmm, where did you get your MRI". When I told him UMI-he clicked the computer screen and within seconds he was looking at my MRI. Although I don't have any symptoms below the knee, he felt the other herniation looked pretty bad to him, so instead of injecting me at L2L3 "Why inject you there when it's not doing anything", he decided to inject me at L4L5. Well, he wasn't kidding when he said the skin is more sensitive the lower you go on the spine. I nearly came off the table when he inserted the first needle. That was painful-much worse than the other 2 shots. Then when the nurse told me to sit up on the table, I couldn't get up. The other times I jumped right up-this time it took me 3 tries to get up! They say that's a good sign. We'll see. Now I've been assigned more physical therapy and will go back to the neurosurgeon on August 13.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Another Surgery for Barrett

I dropped Barrett off for surgery this morning. He has 3 areas of new tumors. Surgery went well, but there are more questions. What the vet thought was a fatty tumor, isn't...the area where his cancerous tumor was has these little lumps all over-so a biopsy was done, and the other tumor is odd as well. All have been sent out to discover what they are. The good news is that Barrett is home. He's snoozing right now. At the moment, he's e-collar free, but I know I'll have to put it on him eventually.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Festivals

There are so many wonderful local festivals occurring at this time of year. Yesterday I stopped by the local Italian Festival. Although not nearly as grand as the one is Buffalo, which has a Mount Vesuvius that erupts every 15 minutes, it was nice. I made it to the demonstration tent-which is where I stayed. They made pasta...and ricotta...and showed how to make prosciutto, and sausage, and wine. And they all had samples! Then I took a plate of braciole home. Today I went to the Oatka Festival. They had lots of craft vendors. I got a Christmas present for my dad, homemade dog and cat treats, and an Italian charm to finish my bracelet. Then I ate. And I'm still stuffed. I had a HUGE beef on weck with horseradish, these great fries (and they had vinegar!!!) and fresh squeezed lemonade. Then, I got go... a candy apple and cinnamon taffy, and a banana taffy too. No need for dinner tonight!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Coldest July

I heard on the radio that this July has been the coldest on record. Me, I think it's fantastic. I haven't had to turn the A/C on once yet. Thank God for older houses. My walls are so thick; it gets cold enough at night to really cool things down and it just doesn't heat back up. It was gorgeous earlier-around 70, rain came and it's a bit chilly now,around 63. I'll take it. I feel bad for my friends in Texas with their continued days over 100-yuck. I'm so glad I'm back North!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Photo Phriday - The George Scott Big Band

Today I drove to Buffalo to see The George Scott Big Band. The gig was held at the M&T Plaza as part of their summer concert series. Sadly the concert was cut short about half way through as a downpour arrived. Still, it was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

If I was a Witch. . .

I always thought it would be neat to be like Samantha Stevens. Twitch your nose and your room is clean! Yes, I'd love to be a witch, a Hollywood type though, that could do almost anything. I'll agree to some ground rules-you couldn't make yourself independently wealthy-although you could conjure things you need and want. You couldn't heal the sick or raise the dead, or find miraculous cures and solve world problems with a click of your fingers, or a twitch of your nose. That being said, if I was a witch, what would I do? I would totally clean and organize my house-and have it remain clean and organized. Everything would have a place. The craft room would have appropriate shelves and everything would be easily accessible. Lost things would return to me in a snap-I've been looking for that rubber stamp for 3 weeks now, to no avail. I would magically do home repairs-indeed I'd do some major remodeling-new kitchen cabinets and a dishwasher! A big bathroom, a remodeled basement. I'd be able to have weeds come out from the root with a look and those damn Japanese Beetles wouldn't be able to enter my property at all! Yes, I would like to be a witch. If you were a witch, what would you do?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bat Signal

A friend of a friend wrote the following and I thought it important enough to share. Sad to say, cancer has effected and continues to effect almost everyone I know. My grandpa died of colon cancer, a friend is fighting breast cancer, my dog has had his cancer return and will have surgery on Monday.

According to recent reports, advances in cancer treatment are reducing overall cancer death rates. Yet, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer has not changed in 25 years. The survival rate is at best two years. My Mom almost made it to a year.


It’s this little word that means so much more. I remember hearing the word for the first time come out of my dad’s mouth. Sitting in the park at fifty-ninth and fifth with a hundred people walking around me I heard the word my Dad said. He told me that what they found on her pancreas was cancer. He said "cancer" and all I heard was him telling me that Mom was going to die. In my mind cancer equals death.

I didn’t go back to work. I cried, really I wept. Amy did her best to make me feel better but after doing research online about pancreatic cancer the tears started back up. You hear about people beating cancer. About it going into remission. Full lives lived.

That doesn’t happen with pancreatic cancer. You die with pancreatic cancer. I hate cancer. I really hate it. I want to punch cancer in the face and then kick it in the crotch.

I want to make cancer my bitch.

So this page, this walk that I’m doing on a Sunday in July, this is my way of kicking cancer in the nards.

If you know anything about me you know I’m an avid fan of the comic books. Bruce Wayne took up the mantle of the bat after his parents were gunned down by criminals. It didn’t take Batman long to figure out that he needed help in his quest. Batman recruited Robin, and from Robin came Batgirl.

I need your help.

This is my call to arms to kick cancer’s ass and I’m turning on my bat-signal to get your attention. I need you to give.
I don’t mean that I need you to give just cash. I know the state of the economy and that some people can’t give. I need you to give me some time. Something my Mom doesn’t have anymore.

Most of you are on Facebook. I’m asking you to post a link to this page there. (I’m not biassed, if you’re on myspace then post there too.) I won’t even judge you if you tweet about it. If you’ve got a blog then that means I’ve probably read it or supported it at some point. I need you to take a second and tell your readers the info you found out when you looked at the wikipedia entry on Pancreatic cancer.

I’m asking you to turn on your bat-signal.

Cancer doesn’t have to mean death. Together with everyone I know, with everyone you know that I don’t, we can all help give people with pancreatic cancer a fighting chance.

To visit my fundraising page: Click Here

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


When most people think of sage, they think of turkey dinners. What else do you do with sage? I will chiffonade a tiny bit (when it comes to sage I think a little goes a long way) and add it to scrambled eggs. I'll also rub it on some meat before cooking. But honestly, my sage tends to just grow in the flower box and not do much else. I was reading a great gardening blog, A Garden for the House by Kevin Lee Jacobs, and found this exquisite recipe. Talk about easy, just it's unbelievably elegant-Fried Sage Leaves. The recipe calls for canola oil, but I didn't have any-so I asked if olive oil would be OK. The concern is that the olive oil will burn too hot and quickly. I didn't feel like waiting to get some canola oil so I made the recipe using olive oil and it came out fabulously. I'll give a big caveat though. I used a very small frying pan and put the leaves in the moment the oil was hot. I also only did one batch. If I were to continue, the oil may have become too hot to cook the leaves properly. That being said, you simply must try this appetizer. The results are deliciously unique. It's like eating a crisp cracker. And it's not too "sagey" either, but delicate and simply wonderful. So here's the recipe:

Fried Sage Leaves

Large, whole sage leaves, long stems attached (plan on 5-10 leaves per person)
Canola oil
Kosher salt
Freshly-ground pepper (optional)

In a heavy skillet, heat one inch of oil to just below the smoking point. Place a single layer of leaves into the hot oil, and fry until crisp, usually 30 seconds or less. Properly fried, the leaves will turn hunter-green, not brown. Remove leaves from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula, and set them on layers of paper towels. Sprinkle, while hot, with salt and, if you wish, freshly-ground pepper. Serve at once.

I told you it was easy! You can check Kevin's site for pictures of the dish as well. I also highly recommend Kevin's site. It's been listed on my Blogs I Read for a while now, but if you haven't checked it out-now's a great time. He gives great tips on gardening along with great recipes such as this one. Today he wrote about using scented geraniums with vodka for a delightful cocktail. If only my one scented geranium wasn't citronella scented! At any rate, go check out his blog and let me know your results with fried sage leaves.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Home Body

I am such a home body it's almost ridiculous. I woke up early, even after getting to bed quite late (darn addicting computer games) and had a series of phone calls I needed to make. I accomplished those quite quickly and then I was completing my general computer tasks. After that I was ready to leave for the errands I needed to do. I was hoping to get Barrett in to see the vet today, but we got an appointment for tomorrow. OK, that was out. I was hoping I'd get a call saying the inks I had ordered were in and I could go pick those up. Then I realized it was Monday and the store was closed. I had already dressed in decent clothes, but I could change and go to the barn...but I didn't. I realized I needed to start working on submissions for a photo contest, and then there was the big project I needed to start for my aunt's Christmas present (I sew slowly), there were lots of things I needed to do at home. So...I'm staying here. Hopefully I'll be able to complete several tasks and make good inroads into others.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Missed it

Drat! Today was a glorious day, sunshine with low humidity and the temperature around 70. A really perfect day. A perfect day to go out and enjoy something. And I could have gone out and enjoyed a great event...except I found out about it too late. My folks came up around noon today and left around 1:30. It wasn't until then that I realized how great it was outside and wondered where I could go. It was too far for the Sterling Renaissance Festival, and I didn't feel like dealing with parking and shuttles for the Corn Hill Art Festival, so I looked online and saw the Lyons Peppermint Days. Perfect! Arts and Crafts, tours of historic buildings (including the peppermint factory), even a ghost walk! Talk about perfect...and right up my alley. Then I saw that the last event was listed at 3PM. It would take about an hour to get there. It was currently 2 PM. Sigh. No peppermint festival for me. Drat! Why didn't I look this up earlier in the week?!?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Need More Hours

I've spent the day writing. I accomplished a lot-but I can't believe how quickly time has flown. I need to wash the dishes and do my Wii Fit. I need more hours today!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Photo Phriday - Callie in the Kitchen Window

Calumet enjoys looking out of the kitchen window. I guess she wanted a bit more air today.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chopped Recipe

Have you ever seen the Food Network Show Chopped? I kind of like it. It starts with 4 chefs who have to create a 3 course meal, one course at a time. After each round one of them will be chopped. The trick is, for each course, they have to use all the ingredients from a mystery basket. Of course, the items don't go together at all. It's pretty fun to watch. The other night I saw Chef Giuliano Matarese making these fritters-he didn't finish them, but they sure looked good. I don't remember exactly what he did, but I'm going to try to replicate that dish tonight. He took pizza dough and mixed in prosciutto (I think) and something green. I'm going to go with some fresh herbs from my garden (sage and oregano). I'm also adding Parmesan/Romano cheese. After mixing it all up, he dropped the little bits into hot oil. We'll see how it goes! I have more groceries just in case it doesn't work out!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It is with sadness that I write that Paulie lost his battle with cancer last evening.

I adopted Paulie along with his brothers from Lollypop Farm, the local humane society On October 24, 2008 and he was thought to be 1 year and three months old. When I first saw Paulie's picture, I thought he was a PEW, however, he was a first Himi. He was a sweet boy, by far the most outgoing of the 3. However, he had health problems from the start. He had horrible sneezing which, even after many rounds of meds, never totally cleared up. But he seemed happy and active. Then, just recently, I noticed a dramatic weight loss. He was still extraordinarily active and eating well. I trip to the vet led us to the conclusion of cancer. He was taking prednisone, but, although he loved to get his medicine, he was still losing weight. But, he was active to the end, enjoying treats and running around exploring. Paulie wasn't with me very long, but he brought joy and love into my life. He will be missed.

September 17, 2007- July 7, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Second Spinal Injection

I received my second spinal injection today. When I told my doctor that the first shot seemed to actually set me back, bringing back symptoms that had faded, he changed the medication. This one didn't burn as much and, although still very unpleasant, didn't seem quite as bad. Although I'm still in pain from the injection, it doesn't seem as bad as last time either. Hopefully, I'll get some good results. I get to see my doctor again in 2 weeks for the final shot.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I'm tired today, and I don't know why. Barrett woke me in the middle of the night by trying to get into the closet again. It was storming outside with lightning and thunder. But he quieted quickly, as did the storm. He got me up early as well, but about the same time he has been getting me up. I did some laundry-actually getting the stuff on and off the line before the rain came. Well, drops were hitting, but the stuff didn't get too wet. I did some weeding under the Mountain Ash and I started to clean up the iris bed under the Maple tree-but that's when the rain started, so I rushed off to get the stuff off the line. Now I'm going to clean a rat cage, then I may just take a nap. I'm getting my next spinal injection tomorrow-oh fun-so I'd better do my Wii Fit too, 'cause I sure won't be doing it tomorrow!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Phone Issues

I'm having phone issues again. I figured I needed to replace the battery in my cordless phone. I couldn't find a suitable battery-my phone is a Southwestern Bell I got it Texas over 10 years ago...maybe even longer ago than that. I wound up at radio shack and the guy found a battery that looked perfect. When I got home it fit in the phone so I let it charge-the little green light was on, so I figured problem solved. When I awoke the next day I picked up the phone-nothing. I put in a corded phone and still had issues. I looked in the computer adapter jack-sure enough corrosion. I've had that problem almost every year after hard rains. Luckily, the phone guy gave me an extra one-so I switched that out and it seems that the corded phone is fine. Unfortunately, still no luck with my cordless. I don't know what the problem is. The battery does fit-but it's not working. This afternoon I'm off to look for a new phone.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July! On this day in 1776 the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. I celebrated the day with my folks-it was the first 4th we've spent together since who knows when-possibly the first in 19 years! Mom and I went to the cemetery and cleaned up the graves, adding flowers as well. Then it was home for chips and dip and champagne while we watched Yours, Mine, and Ours, a fun movie with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. Both widowed they get together-she has 8 kids, he has 10!!! After a while Dad put steaks on the grill. Everything was delicious, juicy steaks, garlic bread, and salad, for dessert-ice cream with homemade strawberry topping. Now I'm back home relaxing with the kids. A nice holiday.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Photo Phriday - Harley in the Shower

After I worked Harley today I gave him a shower. Here he is in the shower stall.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ark Time?

I have the animals...only I don't really have pairs, and the dog, cats, and horse are fixed, and I only have male rats. It is raining every day. Raining hard, real downpours too with lots of thunder. No drying the laundry on the line. Barrett doesn't mind storms, except when the thunder is very close. Then he'll stand and bark at the ceiling. Last night I was woken by thunder, then I heard Barrett who was trying to get into my closet. There was no way he could get in there, but he did his best to try, knocking things over and moving my bed. I have no idea why he wanted in the closet, maybe he was scared. He finally gave up and we both eventually got back to sleep. We'll see what happens tonight. More thunderstorms are on the way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Writing is an interesting skill. I consider myself a good writer. I enjoy doing it as well. However, every once in a a while I look at what I write and say, "This is garbage". Yet I'm not sure how to make it better. At the moment I'm trying to write something and for some reason am having a very difficult time of it. I've got 4 pages of . . .well, garbage. That's not quite true. I have thoughts written down and certain points, but none of it gels. It's difficult as I have more specific ideas, but this piece needs to be more general and introductory. I think I know what I want to get across-but it's just not working. It's quite frustrating. I think I'll work on something else for a bit. Hopefully a muse will hit me and I'll write it out of the ballpark. I can hope anyway!