Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday Bullets

  • So I took Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving quiz “What side dish are you?”  Evidently, I’m mashed potatoes and gravy.  I’m OK with that 

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

 

 

  • I know it’s probably not a big deal to most people out there, but to me it is – I learned how to fill grease fittings… yay me!

  • On Monday I started seeing commercials for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which will be opening in Universal Studios in 2010.  I’m curious to see how the reviews on the place will be.  I think the park will either be super-great or it will bomb.  I’m hoping for the former!

 

  • It looks like cable prices might be going up again.  I think they are too high as it is.  WOW! cable in Ohio offers the same cable package I have for $35 a month less than what I’m paying.  I wish WOW! would come to Buffalo.  As it is, Time Warner is looking for the public’s input – we can vote on their website on what we would prefer:  Keep all the current channels and increase our rates or lose channels to keep rates from going up.  What a choice    To vote, go to Time Warner’s website and click on the “Roll Over /  Get Tough” button on the lower left side.

  • I think that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  No gifts are required but we still get to be surrounded by our family and eat an extra-special fantastic meal.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pendleton Castles

So how many people know that we have castles in Western New York?  There is Oechsner Castle in Williamsville and Warner Castle in Rochester, but the most intriguing for me were the Pendleton Castles.
For as long as I can remember, there were huge pieces of plywood outside the property gates saying “Keep Out” and “No Trespassing”.  I never knew what was back there until I moved into the area.   It was then I started hearing all kinds of stories from friends and neighbors about how when they were young, they would sneak back onto the property to catch a glimpse of the castles back there.  “Castles?!”  I remember thinking the first time I heard them mentioned… “You’ve got to be kidding!”
And they weren’t kidding – they really are there!  You can’t sneak on the property anymore – there are way more alarms set all over than you can shake a stick at, but you can go on a tour of the property.  I got to go yesterday 
Our guide, Bill – who is connected with the Pendleton Center United Methodist Church - was really personable and very interesting to listen to… he was no slouch when it came to the history of the place!
The grounds and the castles are in disrepair, but as we walked through, it was easy to see how grand the place must have looked in it’s day.  Unfortunately for the owner of the property, her husband passed away before their plans for restoration could get underway and she wasn’t left with the money to do them herself.  I think that it is really nice of her to allow people to tour the property.
There are two castles – one French castle and one German castle.  They aren’t the big huge medieval castles that you see in King Arthur movies, but they are still castles.  We could go inside the French one, but not the German one – evidently the floors have all rotted away in that one.  The German castle has a real moat all the way around it!




French Castle
The French castle on the hill

German Castle
The German Castle

Moose Head
A badly deteriorated moose!

Bridge Over the Moat
One of the bridges going over the moat.  (I photoshopped out a very distracting plastic tote that was in the water)
German Castle
This made me think of the French taunting in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Statuary
This place must have been magnificent at one time

DSC05373a

Statuary
I think these were from the Pan-Am Exposition.  They were originally on pillars, but they were either stolen or broken.  Now they are chained up so that they won’t “disappear”…

I will put more pictures up on Flickr within the next few days.
***Update***  Finally done!

We were there for a little more than an hour and there was no charge.  For information on upcoming tours, you can contact the Pendleton Center United Methodist Church (which happens to be right across the street from the castles).
***Update*** The Pendleton Center United Methodist Church no longer offers tours of the castles.
 
Oh, and you don’t see big “No Trespassing” signs outside the gates anymore either.  Evidently the owner allowed a film crew to shoot part of one the Chainsaw Massacre movies on the property a few years ago and the movie company didn’t want the signs there.  They promised to replace the spray-painted pieces of plywood with some nice custom-made signs.  They never did.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Good Day

Today was a pretty smooth day for a change.  Actually, it’s been the first one in a long time.

The highlights of my day included:

Shopping.  Yes, you heard right – shopping.  As I’ve posted numerous times before, I absolutely, totally, irrevocably, without reservation hate shopping.  Today I experienced what probably was the most successful and stress-free time shopping that I can remember.  And it’s even more remarkable in the fact that I have no money.  But I can say that I scored some really great deals.

My sister’s chicken showed up.  Yesterday my sister thought she lost another one of her chickens, Polksa – her white Polish chicken.  We were both really happy when Polska showed up to join the rest of the flock this morning.  I’m guessing she (the chicken, not my sister) got distracted or side-tracked by something and just never made it back to the coop at night.  She must have found a place to hunker down for the night – but I’m sure it was a cold and lonely night for her.  Hopefully she learned her lesson and will stick with the rest of the group!

And speaking of chickens, I caught one of my ladies laying an egg today 

One of My Ladies at Work

 

The sad news is, we may never know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop 

 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ladybugs!

Has anyone else been finding a bazillion of these guys around???

Another Ladybug!

I know that they don’t hurt anything except all the aphids they eat during the summertime and they are just looking for a place to hole up for the winter, but man!  They are just all over the place 

The more I use Windows Live Writer, the more I like it – I thought I had it all figured out the first time I used it (it’s that easy!) but I keep finding new things every time I use it… Yay!

 

 

Hottie Adrian Paul

I was never a big fan of the Highlander movies, but Highlander: The Series was one of my favorite TV shows (note to self – must make a list of my favorite all-time TV shows)… it was a sad day for me when the series ended.  Much to my delight, the Syfy Channel has been showing the reruns during the overnight hours.  I’ve been taping them and just started re-watching some of the episodes.  I love this show – thank you Syfy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good Things

To steal a line from Craig from BUFFALOg… Pigs are flying and dogs and cats are getting along – I almost fell over when I saw this news story.  I have mixed feelings of disbelief, shock and extreme happiness in the fact that Governor Patterson is actually not forcing us to get new license plates next year.  Maybe it’s sinking in that we don’t need/can’t afford more fees and taxes.  Hopefully the trend will continue 

And then I saw this story which made me just as happy if not happier – we won’t have to worry about She-Never-Did-Anything-For-Us Hillary Clinton coming back to New York (hopefully).

I should have bought a lottery ticket today 

As a side note, I couldn’t stand Russell on Survivor, but after this past week, I have a love-hate view of him.  I hate the way he talks about people, but I love the way he’s playing the game.  I can’t wait to see how much longer he can hang in there…

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Harvard

So homemade Harvard beets are absolutely-fantastically-wonderful!  They are just as good, if not better than the stuff from the jar.   And I discovered that they are even better warm.  I’ve always had them cold before, but because I couldn’t wait for mine to cool down, I ate some right away.  Mmmm-Mmmm Good!  For sure I am going to I plant a lot of beets in the garden next year… I’ll have to figure out if there is a way to can or preserve them if I make a lot next fall 

 

Mmmm - Harvard Beets!

 

And I need to update my commercial list – I was remiss in omitting a series of commercials I love:  The Free Credit Report.com commercials.  I liked the first ones better, but I still can’t help but sing along with any of them when they come on    I think that there are supposed to pirate hats in all the commercials…Kind of like a Where’s Waldo.  I’ve found them in four – possibly five - of the commercials.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

Thank you to all the Veterans and people serving in our Armed Forces.  Thank you so much for your sacrifices for our country 

Today I went to the Connecticut Street Armory for the Veteran’s Day Commemoration and the public tour that followed.  The armory is only open to the public twice a year – on Memorial Day and on Veterans Day. 

It really is a beautiful building.  Warren was our guide and was sooooooo knowledgeable about the armory and was very interesting to listen to.  I just wish we could have seen more of the building… we got to see the Great Court – where the commemoration took place, the Cavalry room and the 74th Regiment room – which were side rooms off of the Great Court and we got to see the back storage/vehicle maintenance area.  There was a lot of memorabilia and history in the two side rooms.  I totally understand why we couldn’t have free run of the place, but I would have loved to have been able to go upstairs and maybe have seen the basement.

From the tour, I learned stuff about famous Buffalo people.  Names I’ve heard of before, but never knew why they were famous.  Among other things, I now know why Donovan is such a prominent name and I now know that the highest decorated military people in WW1 and WW2 were both from Buffalo.  In high school social studies classes, we learned all about China and medieval times and the ancient Egyptians, but we never had classes on the area we live in.  That is such a shame.  I feel pretty stupid the history of Buffalo.  I think I need to go on more tours.

 

Conneticut Street Armory

The Great Court

Commemoration Ceremony

Back Wall of Great Court

Vehicle Maintenance Area

Doughboy in Front of Connecticut Street Armory

Monday, November 9, 2009

Commercials

This weekend we had a conversation/debate on the best TV commercials showing now. There are a lot of really dumb ones out there, but there are a few that are classics in my book. The funny thing about the commercials we were bringing up was the fact that we could describe the commercials, but a lot of the time we had no idea what they were advertising. I’m thinking that kind of defeats the whole purpose of the commercial

My top commercial picks are:

My sister wanted to have a ‘Steve’ on her front lawn for Halloween


I think this commercial is just brilliantly executed

This commercial is good in an annoying kind of way…

Beet

Sunday was such a nice day and I had plans to get a million things done.  Unfortunately I spent the day jumping from project to project and wasn’t able to put the “Finished” checkmark on anything 

One of the things I did work on was cleaning out the garden.  I picked the last of the veggies for the year – Happily, I actually did end up getting some beets from my second planting…  I’m going to attempt to make Harvard beets with them.  I’ve always loved Harvard beets from the jar, but I’ve never had them homemade before.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that what I make will be just as good!

Beets

The chickens are enjoying our Indian Summer days – it’s like they know that they have to find all the grasshoppers they can now because in a little while they will be gone until spring…

I laugh every time I  see the cochins running around – they are just so funny looking…

My Fluffy Nugget

 

Watch out – chicken on steroids coming through!

 

 

 

Fluffy Chicken Butts

 

Banana's Butt

Have you ever seen such a big fat, feathery, fuzzy butt before?????? 

 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Delay

There are a bunch of blogs that I enjoy following.  I subscribe to them by RSS feed and I usually peruse the bookmarks to see if there are any new posts so I don’t have to visit every blog every day (way too many blogs for that!).   I don’t know if that is how the rest of world follows blogs, but that’s how I’ve always done it…

I’ve noticed the past month or so, it takes a really long time for new posts to reach my bookmarks, and I don’t know why.  I’ll see a new post someone put up and when I go to visit the blog, it looks like the entry was posted a day earlier.

If that happened with only one or two blogs, it wouldn’t bother me so much – I’d figure that the entry was pre-dated or something, but it seems to happen with most of the blogs I follow.   I even see it with my blog when I post a new entry.

I guess in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal, but I wonder why that happens…

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Creepy?

I think that for the first time ever in my life, everyone I voted for on election day actually won! Let’s just hope now that means good things are coming.

I was watching TV last night and I saw a Billy Mays commercial. Is that right? Should they be showing his commercials anymore? Not that I was creeped out or anything (like I was with the Orville Redenbacher commercial they brought out), but doesn’t advertising a product that with a person that is dead kind of make the product not feel fresh? A movie that has dead people in it can become a classic, I’m not so sure the same can be said of commercials…

Thinking

For those of you looking for Christmas decorating ideas, this might be one way to go (I’m looking at the house on the right….)

Christmas

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adjustment

A couple bloggers I follow have recommended using Windows Live Writer, so I am finally giving it  try.  This should be a good post to try it out on because I have a lot to catch up on…

I guess the biggest news is that I am now amongst the ranks of the unemployed.  You’d think that not working would free up all kinds of time to get stuff done, but being laid up with Whatever-It-Is-That’s-Going-Around coupled with previously made plans and of course job hunting, I haven’t had any real time to work on much extra.  Go figure…

I’m feeling better than I did last week, but my stomach and ribs hurt from all the coughing.

I dream a lot of weird things when I am sick, and I had some pretty interesting dreams last week.  I haven’t had any fever-induced dreams in a lot of years.  It’s amazing the concoctions your brain can come up with when you’re asleep.  And yay - I’m finally getting my appetite back.

Halloween was fun this year.  I haven’t really done anything for Halloween in years, but now with my niece and nephew around, I enjoyed getting back into the holiday spirit.  This was my nephew’s first year trick-or-treating and of course he had a bit of a meltdown, but what can you expect from a two-year old?  He and his sister were soooo cute!

My Brother-in-law, niece and nephew

 

Before I got sick, I was able to enjoy a return trip to Letchworth State Park while the leaves were still in color.   We were there past peak, but there was still plenty of color…  And it wasn’t raining!

Letchworth State Park

 

Remember the Monster Egg?  A couple days later, I found an even bigger one in the nesting box, if you can believe it.  I cracked them open and found them both to be double-yolkers  :)  They made a mighty fine and tasty omelet, courtesy of my sister.

 Double-yolkers!      Double-yolk Omlet

I have to say that Windows Live Writer is definitely cool – it offers a lot of options that writing from the Blogger dashboard does not… at least not with tinkering with the html.  It’s really easy to use and best of all free!  I like this a lot – I’m glad I tried it out.

Hopefully things in real life will fall into place as nicely.  I still have a bit of adjusting to do - Cross your fingers for me!