Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Think She Is Holding A Grudge

Ever since this morning when she thought I had yelled at her, stung her, and beat her she has given me this attitude. She keeps her distance and just stares.


Of course, one person is really happy with the whole situation. It is his lap she now prefers.


Now before you start feeling sorry for me her attitude is starting to soften. She sat in my lap after dinner and has started to wag her tail again. Of course, as I write this she is downstairs with D in his office. But, hey, I will take the small victories. The battle for her affection is far from over.

We Are Losing The War, The Last Who Was Standing Has Fallen

Sad but true.

Just to recap this has been the wasp summer from hell. Just last week D was stung for the fourth time. I should say fourth incident because one of those times involved numerous stings.

I was four I believe. Until this morning that is. I was walking Jo in the yard and saw that some of the mulch under one of the trees had been scattered out onto the grass. Being the good gardener I am I kicked the mulch back where it belonged so it would look neat and tidy. That was a mistake. I stirred up a wasp nest in the mulch and Jo and I were being swarmed by very angry wasps. Of course I start speaking in a louder voice than normal and try to pull her away. We get maybe 20 feet away and they are still attacking and I ended up getting stung. Now I am yelling about that because it hurt and still trying to drag her away from that tree. Then she yelps so now I know she has been stung but she is looking at me like I did it. I drag her another 20 feet and see one of them is one her back so I took the end of the leash and start hitting at it hoping to knock it off of her. She thinks I am beating her so now she is cowering on the ground. She has some abuse in her past so this is not a good thing. Eventually we made it back in the house where it was safe.

By the time it is over I have been stung and she has been stung at least once if not more. She thinks I have now been yelling at her, stinging her, and beating her. The result of all of this I am sitting here at my computer and she is DOWNSTAIRS with D on his lap. She never is with him if I am anywhere around. Of course, he is taking full advantage of this situation. Jo, would you like a treat? Jo, would you like to sit with me? Jo, would you like to go for a ride in the car? Watch out, D, I will win her back.

And just for the record this one sting has hurt more than the other four combined. I am now at five. D at four. Jo at one. Would anyone else care to join our party? We love to share.

On a brighter note, New York Strips on the grill tonight with my not that much younger brother's marinade. D loved that one. Tomorrow, pork wrapped in bacon, another D favorite. Stay tuned because my cookie review will be coming next.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Was I Right?

Do nice things come in blue boxes?


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy 26th Anniversary To Us!

Yes, today was our 26th anniversary. Don't let anyone try and tell you that we don't know how to celebrate in style.

Of course, no anniversary is complete without a nice dinner out to celebrate the occasion.


And where did we celebrate this five fork gourmet meal? Why, here of course.


And no celebration is complete without after dinner entertainment so we watched the last remnants of Fay hit the windshield.


And before you start feeling to sorry for me, the best gifts come in little blue boxes.


I have no complaints.

The Girls Will Understand

I'm not home yet but should be by dinnertime. Jo will be happy I am sure. My sister-in-law forwarded this to me a while ago and so in the meantime I thought some of you would enjoy this because it is so true.

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.

You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn't - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants,
and assume ' The Stance.'

In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold 'The Stance'.

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, 'Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!' Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. 'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious,
tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, 'You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.'

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the
inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.

You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.'

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, 'What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck'

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public restrooms (rest you've GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Yes, I must bid you goodbye for a few days. I am going with D on a business trip. We leave tomorrow and will be in Cincinnati for the night visiting his family. From there we go to Indy and while I stay there D will take a sidetrip to Louisville. From there on to St. Joe. He has business in Benton Harbor. Isn't that convienent? So I will be doing a midwest tour this week.

I have been meaning to post some random pictures from our last trip Up North and tonight seems as good as time as any. Maybe when I get back I will have some more randomness to share.

First up. A barn. Who doesn't like barns. This beauty is near Sleeping Bear Dunes. In fact, the original owner once owned all the property surrounding his farm including Sleeping Bear. I believe he donated what is now Sleeping Bear to the state. If it wasn't so late and I wasn't so tired I would look it up but it is and I am so I'm not. Sue me.

sleeping bear, mi, 7.08

Not too far down the road we came across a blacksmith shop. We were lucky enough to arrive just as the blacksmith was starting another demonstration. Since it involved fire and steel D was all over that. In fact, when the demo was over he had to stay and talk to him about who knows what. While he did that I took pictures.

I used a filter called "faded" on this photo. What do you think? Does it work for you?

sleeping bear, mi, 7.08

We came across this near Suttons Bay. We drove by it quite a few times before D finally stopped so I could take a picture of it. It is by far the biggest hanging basket I have ever seen.

suttons bay, mi, 7.08

Speaking of Suttons Bay we found not one but two of these in town. I have no idea why they are there or how they got there. I loved them in London and I still think they are the coolest phone booths around.

suttons bay, mi, 7.08

And this is just for Sarah. This was out where we were staying in Leland. We rode our bikes by it every day when we would ride into town. I used a filter called "old newspaper" on this photo.

leland, mi, 7.08

When I get back it will be the end of the month and time for the Cookie of the Month. This time I decided to do things a little differently. I am going to take names for the cookie drawing now so I can send them out at the same time as dad's cookies. And there will be only ONE winner this time. So cross your fingers and your toes. The cookies up for grabs are called Cherry and Chocolate Chip Cookies. So who is in? Leave a comment and let me know. If I don't have your current address make sure you email it to me so I can get them sent out to you just in case you win. You know where to find me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Have I Told You

that it is ball and berry season? Yup, we are right in the middle of it right now. You probably didn't know it but they really do go together. It seems where the blackberries are the thickest, that is where I find the most balls. Go figure.


Last year it was a steller year for golf balls and a not so great year for berries. Maybe because of the lack of rain? This year has been the exact opposite. I haven't been finding a lot of balls this year but I can't pick the berries fast enough to keep up. Maybe because of the lack of reasonable gas prices?

I know some of you are much more interested in the golf balls than the berries. Did I tell you where D played golf last week? Here's a hint of the location. Does that fairway look familiar?


No? You have probably seen it on tv. Here is another look. Looks like that might be the clubhouse in the distance.


Closer? Your wish is my command.


Please tell me now you know where he was last week. But just in case you are still struggling, here is your last hint.


Where does one get a job like that I want to know. Getting paid to golf at Firestone. It doesn't get much better than that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just Thought You Would Like To Know

Today one of my scrapbooking layouts is featured on Scrapbook & Cards Today blog. If you care to take a look, it is here:

And if that is too much work you aren't going to get off that easy. Here is the layout they are featuring.

treasure layout, 8.08

Thanks, Katie, for the picture and the story.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Matt's Outtakes

I enjoyed Shae's video so much that I found some outtakes made by the same guy. Watch until after the credits.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Concerts and Fireworks Don't Mix

Last week D and I went to the Pirates game.


Let me tell you it was one of the worst games I have ever attended. It lasted all of three hours and they lost 3 - 1. Boooooring. So boring that this is the most interesting thing I took a picture of during the entire game.


I wasn't the only one who thought it was a horrible game. This was the Post-Gazette's write up of the game.

As long as REO Speedwagon has been riding the storm out, the band might never have had an opening act bomb quite like the Pirates' offense did in an exasperating 3-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds last night at PNC Park.
Try 10 men left on base.
Or 2 for 12 with runners left in scoring position, with one of those hits actually driving in a run.
Or that all eight hits were singles.
Or, simply, isolate on a maddening seventh inning in which the first three batters singled and no one would touch home plate.

The blah tone was set even before the game, when no more than 7,000 of the paid crowd of 35,439 was seated for Ian Snell's first pitch, evidently satisfied to show up for the SkyBlast show and concert scheduled to follow. In sharp contrast, the place was at full capacity all through the show.

The only reason to sit through a game like that was to get to the concert at the end.

While they set up the stage they played clips of last summer's concerts. Do you recognize this band?


If you said Styx, you would be right.

The game may have been horrible but the concert was great. Sort of. It was a combination concert and fireworks show. But instead of showing one and the the other they alternated REO playing with fireworks. Two songs, fireworks, two songs, fireworks. I didn't like it. I thought it was really disruptive. Just as the concert would get going they would stop for 5 minutes to set off fireworks.


The fireworks were really cool as you can see but not only did it disrupt the flow of the concert it caused one teeny, tiny problem. Take a look.


What do you see? That's right, not the band. Because the air was so still that night the smoke didn't clear very fast from the field. There were times you could barely see the stage and at times even the screen. Someone didn't think this through very well.

Despite all of that it was still a good concert. How can it not be? It was REO after all. At one point I looked ahead a couple of rows and I saw a guy holding his cane over his head pumping it up and down in time with the music. At one point he started playing it like a guitar. Too funny. I wish I had gotten a picture of that.

I will leave you with a some concert footage from that night.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

Some people may get excited about finding cookies in their mailbox but this is what makes me smile.


Yup, chocolate. Dark chocolate. It doesn't get any better than this, people.

Thanks, sister!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just Sayin'


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this page may or may not be those of the blogger.

Just sayin' :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Last summer we had five dead trees cut down in our yard. They were all by the sand mound (septic system) and had died because of the dirt being mounded around them. We paid around 800 dollars to have them dropped in the woods and stumped. By all accounts, according to our friends, that was dirt cheap. Well, we had forgotten one that was in the back corner of our lot so we called them again to come out and cut it down before it came down on our house. This summer's quote, $125. Much to D's chagrin I even said to the guy, "That's all?". So much for my negotiating skills.

Yesterday was tree cutting day and unlike last summer I was around to watch. Last summer they came while we were on vacation. We even had to call to find out what we owed them so we could send them a check. We must have looked trustworthy when he came to give the quote.

Here is the tree early yesterday morning.



Here he is getting started. That's a big tree.

butler, pa, 8.08

I hope this tree is going to fall where he thinks it is.

butler, pa, 8.08

The second cut.

butler, pa, 8.08

A job well done. The tree fell where it was supposed to. That's always a good thing. I couldn't believe the noise when it hit the ground. I could feel the ground shake from where I was standing. In fact, it was so loud that the groundskeepers from the golf course came over to see what was going on.

butler, pa, 8.08

Now on the other half of the tree. This time they tied it off to make sure it went where they intended which was right on the lot line between our house and the house next door.

butler, pa, 8.08

Be careful, buddy, my greenhouse is just a few feet from where that tree is supposed to land.

butler, pa, 8.08

Will it land where it is supposed to?

butler, pa, 8.08

There is goes, and yes, it did fall right where it was intended to.

butler, pa, 8.08

That was one big tree. Good job, Thoma Tree Service.

butler, pa, 8.08

And here is Jo showing what that tree looked like laid out on the ground.

butler, pa, 8.08

On a happy note everything went as planned. On a sad note, quite a few trees on our lot are dying. We had wanted a some dead branches cut out of some of our trees and the guy said don't bother, they're dying. Seems the heavy equipment brought in to build the house damaged the root systems of quite a few of the trees. He said evidence of root damage shows up about 5 - 10 years after a house is built. We are right on schedule. He said it could take up to another 10 years for them to be completely dead. I told him I hoped he was wrong, but if not we would be calling. Bummer.

Just want you to know that today when I was cleaning up some of the small sticks out of the neighbor's yard I was stung again. That would be number four for those of you that are counting.

Tomorrow we are going downtown to watch the Pirates. The exciting part is what is happening after the game. REO Speedwagon will be performing. Who cares about the game? Not me, it's all about the music tomorrow night.

Monday, August 11, 2008

That Hurt

It has been a rough couple of weeks in the G household.

It started about two weeks ago when D came in the house and asked if we had any benadryl. Why you ask? Because while he was mowing the lawn he had gotten stung by a hornet on his calf. Ouch. And to top it off we didn't have any benadryl. Why would we? Allergies aren't an issue at our house and we rarely get sick. His leg swelled nicely and itched for a few days but he recovered and life went on.

Not a week later he was mowing the lawn again and ran the mower over a wasp/hornet's nest. This time he wasn't so lucky. He got stung at least half a dozen times on his leg. Again. But lucky for him I had bought some benadryl that week "just in case". Why tempt fate? I figure if I buy it we will never need it. So much for that theory. Poor D his leg swelled up something terrible and itched like crazy. And to top it off he had to deal with the side effects of the benadryl. Poor guy.

Now last week I was in my greenhouse and guess what? I got stung. He got just a glancing blow on my hand but it stung enough to get my attention. It really didn't bother me until a couple days later and then itched like crazy.

Fast forward to this past Saturday, I was in the garden and felt that familiar sting on the back of my leg. Yes, I had gotten stung again. I have gone years without nary a sting and now I have been stung twice in the past week.

Now we are at today. I am doing my usual walk, listening to the radio and thinking how much my leg is itching and cursing that wasp in my head. And guess what? Do I need to spell it out? I got stung AGAIN. This time right next to my eye. It must have gotten caught under my glasses and clearly wasn't happy about it. So now I have forgotten about my itchy leg and am now walking down the road holding my eye and cursing this wasp out. I figure I have two days before my eye swells and starts itching like crazy.

Two weeks and five encounters with these stinging creatures between the two of us. What are the odds? August has not been kind to the G household this summer.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And The Winner Is....

Before we get to that maybe a review of the weekend is in order. The weather was absolutely beautiful. In fact, more than once, D said it felt like fall. He was right. It does feel like fall. And I, for one, am not complaining.

Saturday we took our bikes the state park and biked the bike path. It was completely redone last year and it is so nice. No bumps. It follows Lake Arthur's shoreline for about seven and a half miles. So in and out it is about a 15 mile ride. I love that bike path. Then the afternoon was spent working in the yard, church, and then dinner at Sibas. I can hear Sarah now saying, "No fair". I had lobster mac and cheese. It was excellent.

Today D went back to the park but I stayed home to bake COOKIES. Yes, those cookies that someone is going to find in their mailbox this week. I am warning you right now there are a few walnuts in them so if you are allergic, too bad. And just to let you know, freezing the brownie bites worked. They came through the mixing process in chunks this time instead of large crumbs. Score one for me.


Don't they look good?

This afternoon I painted the stairway to the upstairs and D worked in the garage. I have to touch up the paint in the new bathroom and I figured if I am going to get the roller out I might as well make it worth my while. I have been putting off painting the stairwell because of the gymnastics involved but no more. I have it all cut in so all that is left to do is roll. This week sometime. We just have to get light fixtures and the bathroom will be done. I will post pictures on that happy day.

Then on to dinner. It was a repeat. Ribs. Excellent.


Before I get to the winner I have a little mystery that needs to be solved. When we moved to Butler two and a half years ago we decided we would subscribe to the Pittsburgh paper and only the Sunday edition. Pittsburgh is like Detroit in that they have two daily newspapers. I picked the Post-Gazette for no good reason. Honestly I was only getting the paper for the coupons anyway. So for two plus years every Sunday morning the Post-Gazette is at the end of my driveway. Except this morning. This morning the Tribune-Review was at the end of my driveway. That would be Pittsburgh's other daily paper. Why? I have no reason why that paper showed up in my driveway this morning. And no, I didn't get the Post-Gazette. It will be interesting to see what paper shows up next week.

And now on to the only reason you have read this far. The winner of the Cookie of the Month is.......


You really didn't think I was going to tell, did you? Nope another mystery in the G household. I assume the person who receives this box will let the others know they are the winner this month. It goes in the mail tomorrow so I expect by the end of the week someone will be happy.

Bon Appetit!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Who Will Be

getting these little beauties baked in a cookie this week?


The brownie chunks are safely in the freezer as I write. Will freezing the brownies help them to hold their shape in the cookie? Will they taste as good as the first batch of cookies tasted? Who will be receiving a package in the mail this week? Ah, life's mysteries.

Friday, August 8, 2008

On the Move

Our local cable station bought the lot next door to their offices so they could expand their parking lot. Unfortunately a house was in the way but fortunately they were willing to sell it for a dollar to a buyer who was willing to move it. Our friend Rob's dad as a young boy had been in the house and, in fact, had been named after the origianl owner. Rob couldn't take his dad downtown to watch the house being moved so he asked D if he could do it. He was all over that. What could be more fun than watching a big brick house being moved a couple of blocks to its new home?

And it is a BIG house.


It's on the move. Look how the tires are flattening as it goes over the curb.

butler, pa, 7.08

butler, pa, 7.08

I don't think I would want to be that close to a moving house.

butler, pa, 7.08

It is almost on the street.

butler, pa, 7.08

There it goes! Looks like D wasn't the only one interested in watching this house being moved to its new lot. Do I see someone under that house. Crazy man!

butler, pa, 7.08

It's now coming around the corner. It even has a greenhouse attached to it. Impressive.

butler, pa, 7.08

Wow! You don't see that every day.

butler, pa, 7.08

That's all I have. They ran into a snag that stopped them for a bit and then D had to go before they got it moving again. But rest assured the house made it to its new spot safe and sound.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cookie of the Month

As many of you know for Christmas I enroll dad in the Cookie of the Month Club. At the beginning of every month he receives a package of cookies in the mail baked by me. In all of the years I have been doing this I don't think I have repeated a recipe. I have done different recipes of the same type of cookie but haven't baked the same recipe twice.

This month as I was searching on the internet, through my saved cookie files and my cookie cookbooks and just couldn't find anything that struck my fancy. Then one night I was reading Bon Appetit and I found my Cookie of the Month. Brownie-Chunk Cookies. Something familiar but yet with a twist of having brownie chunks mixed in. Have I got your attention?

First, the ingredients. Nothing too out of the ordinary here.


Everything is mixing up just fine. Looks like your typical chocolate chip cookie dough.


It is now ready


for that special ingredient, brownie chunks.


They look good so far. Now I did have a problem with mixing the brownie chunks into the dough. This is a stiff dough and the brownie chunks are somewhat soft, even though they had been in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Needless to say, the brownies didn't hold their shape as well as I would have like them to.


Coming out of the oven the finished product looked like this.


What do you think? I have to say for taste they earned five spatulas out of five spatulas. For presentation, three and a half spatulas. I like my cookies to look as good as they taste and these didn't live up to that. I want to see the chunks of brownies and these didn't come through the mixing process in chunks. I even had mixed them in by hand to try and not break them.

I usually send cookies into work but this time I hadn't because I had added walnuts and one of the women at work is allergic to nuts. I plan on making these again next week for D to take to work but with one little change. I plan on FREEZING the chunks before I mix them in the dough. That should take care of the breaking apart. I also am only going to make one batch so I'm not mixing so much at once which was really hard to do. I had a lot of brownies to mix in that stiff dough. I will let you know how it works with my new plan of attack.

And before I go just one more picture of all of that goodness and sweetness. She never disappoints.


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I'm strange, but I've got a great sister!

Newton's Cradle