Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Favorite Gift

Who wouldn’t love a Christmas present that offers a person a bit of culture in their life?


Easter Island Statue Guy


Especially when it has more than one use?


Tissue Holder!


I will never be able to get a tissue without laughing again!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Too Cute!

One of the guys at work told me about this site and it is great for anyone who has or knows some kids.  The site helps you make a free video from Santa, personalized with the child’s name and photo.  All you have to do is answer a series of questions and upload a photo (optional).  You then get a personalized video for the child.  I sent one to my niece and one to my nephew.

I remember getting letters from Santa when I was small, but this is a whole ‘nother category in itself – you have to check it out!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Why is it when a big movie comes on TV, it shows up on ten different channels and that’s all we see for weeks and weeks?

One station shows National Treasure – then for the next four or five weeks, a bunch of other stations show it too.

One station shows The Mummy – then it seems like whenever you change the channel, there it is!

One station shows The Devil Wears Prada – then it shows up on other stations for weeks to come.

Maybe a station rents a movie and and passes it around to all the other stations it owns until the movie has to go back?  I don’t know…

I don’t mind if it’s a really good movie, but sometimes it just total overkill.


And… drum roll here…  it’s out!  It’s Uncle Jay’s Singing Year in Review! 

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I have been faithfully getting two eggs a day from my Red Star chickens, Granola and Pumpkin.  I know that one of my New Hampshires has been trying to lay for a while a now, but hasn’t been quite there yet – there have been quite a few shell-less eggs on the roost.  Well today I think everything fell into place for Cocoa – there were three perfect eggs in the nesting box this morning    I guess we’ll see this week if she really figured it out… 

I love the color of the eggs my Ladies lay…

Bee-yoo-tiful Eggs!

I had to bribe The Ladies with some scratch to be relatively still for some pictures today…

PumpkinPumpkin – one of my faithful layers – with some snow on her face 

BananaBanana will talk your ear off if you let her

 Fuzzy! I will never worry about these guys getting cold

All Lined UpCocoa is the one on the left – hopefully she will keep laying! 

As a side note, check out the video at Mike’s Pub – If you’ve never seen Silent Monks sing, you’re really missing something!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Meme

I usually don’t blog memes, but I liked this one I saw on Please, Stop Bouncing – so here I go!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper

2. Real tree or Artificial?

3. When do you put up the tree?
I try to get it up the first week of December

4. When do you take the tree down?
After January 6th – it has to stay up until the Three Kings get to the manger

5. Do you like eggnog?
Oh yeah!

6. Favorite (or most memorable) gift received as a child?
Brand new albums for my stamp collection (yeah, I'm a geek)

7. Hardest person(s) to buy for?
My niece and nephew

8. Easiest person(s) to buy for?

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Of course

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Story

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When I start getting ideas and have $$$

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No – I’ve been tempted a couple of times, but always chickened out

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My Mom's broccoli and homemade cheese sauce

16. What do you want for Christmas?
A job would be nice. If I can't have that, I will be happy that my family will be all together and we are all relatively healthy. It's funny how priorities change as we get older.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
If you count driving to Cheektowaga travel, then travel

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Of course

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star - it was my Grandmother's

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
When I was little we were allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve and then all the rest on Christmas morning. I'm not sure when it happened, but now we open everything on Christmas Eve.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The fact that Christmas starts right after Halloween

23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
I can't choose - I love all the ornaments I put on my tree

24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner?
My Mom and sister are really good cooks, so what ever they make is my favorite for dinner

25. What do you want to do for Christmas this year?
Relax and reflect

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Death Calculator???

I have a Facebook account, and admittedly I really don’t do too much on it.  I play Farm Town, but that’s about it.  I prefer blogging to updating my ‘status’ - I think there is more substance to a blog and I find blogs a whole lot more interesting.

That being said, I did some poking around this weekend.  It’s amazing how many requests can pile up when you don’t look at them for months weeks. I found a couple funny quizzes I took and I also decided to check my horoscope.  This is what I got:

Death Calculator????

OK – can someone explain to me why they would put a Death Calculator on the side bar (or anywhere else for that matter)???  Who would design such a thing?  Who wants to know when they are going to die?  Who would ever click on that button????

Not me!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Downtown Lockport is so pretty with the holiday decorations up along Main Street.  I think that the bedecking is even more appreciated when times aren’t so good.  I also had the chance to drive down Main Street in Clarence and through downtown Batavia, both of which are all decorated for the Christmas season, too.  I just love seeing the streets all festive!


“You have to see the Christmas decorations at this house…”, my sister said while visiting her. 

“OK.”, I said.  I’m always up for some holiday merriment.

So we jumped into the car and took a ride to house that was pretty much around the corner from her house (relatively speaking for someone who lives out in the middle of farm country, anyway).

Wow.  That’s the word that pretty much summed up my reaction at the house on Fargo Road in Batavia    This house rivals pretty much anything that is up in Niagara Falls – either present day Canadian side or past American side!

If I had to take a guess, the family here must have at least five or six acres and it is just totally covered with Christmas and holiday lights.  There are trees and trains, Santas and snowmen… all kinds of lighted displays.  The entrance to the property is so inviting, you can’t stop yourself from smiling.

There is a lot of frontage property, so you can see a ton of the displays from the road – but it looked like people were allowed to walk the property if they wanted.  We saw lots of people walking around.  And if that weren’t enough, there was Christmas music playing from an outside loudspeaker somewhere.  Even enjoying the sight from the car, we felt the holiday spirit in the air.

I can’t even begin to imagine how long it takes to put the whole display up, but my sister said that she heard that they start some time shortly after Halloween.

I took some pictures, but I found this link that put my pictures to shame (but in my defense, I was taking the pictures across the street from the car).  If you happen to be out in Batavia after dark, make sure you take a ride down Fargo road!

*Update* – I found this link with more details on the DiSalvo’s yearly Christmas display.  They seem like really super people!

Holiday Lights


Thursday, December 10, 2009


  • Yay!  Today I took my last antibiotic pill for my kidney infection    I’m feeling a million times better than I did a week and a half ago - I never want to go through that again.  I’m still not eating normally yet, but I’m getting there.


  • I’m working a temporary job in downtown Buffalo.  It’s nice to know that I’ll have another mortgage payment or two covered.  The building I’m in affords me a great view of the city and lake.  Today while on break, I was able to witness a bird’s eye view of the storm coming in off the lake – that was cool!  I wish my phone had a camera in it so I could have taken pictures…


  • The chickens have learned over the past couple of days what winter really is.  When I went to see them after work today, they were not happy campers at all - especially Banana.  She was complaining from the moment I saw her until the moment I went back to the house – she wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise    Well, maybe now they will listen to me when I tell them to appreciate the nice weather when we have it 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Officially it’s called Dent Tower.  It used to be a bank (I’m embarrassed to say I can’t remember which one).  Anyway, I call it the Time and Temperature Building.  If you’re from the Western New York area, you know it – you see it off the 290 between the Sheridan and Millersport exits.  At the the top of the building is a big digital clock.  And that is the cause of my complaint.

Dent Tower ClockPicture used from the Express Sign Systems website 

From since I can remember, there was the clock at the top of that building.  And for all those years it always flashed the time, the temperature in Fahrenheit, the temperature in Celsius and then repeated the whole pattern.  Endlessly.  Hour after hour, day after day, week after week.  It was something I could always count on. 

My favorite thing to do when driving by the Time and Temperature Building was to catch the first temperature I could and then convert it to the other scale before it displayed.  I usually nailed it – or if not, I was usually within a degree or two.  It was a game that I never failed to play when driving by.

Quite a while ago, they changed the clock.  The digits are now smaller and they are red instead of yellowy/white.  More importantly, the clock will flash the time and date (combined) and then the temperature in Fahrenheit.  That’s it.  It just repeats between those two screens.  Driving home tonight, I was irritated once again that it doesn’t flash the Celsius temperature anymore for me to play my game.

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make your day – and they are missed when they aren’t there.

Friday, December 4, 2009


So last night was the first time in a week that I slept straight through to the morning.  And today was the first day in a week I didn’t feel like throwing up (and I didn’t!).  My side still hurts, but it only feels like someone punched it fifty times instead of putting an axe through it fifty times.  I’m hoping that recovery is on it’s way    I haven’t been able to drink anywhere near the amount of water I’m supposed to, which I’m sure isn’t speeding up my recovery, but I’m trying my best 

I am sooooo hungry.  I guess after not eating for a week will do that to a person.  And all they are showing on TV are pizza and sub commercials.  I am so dying for a slice of real pizza – not the frozen stuff, but a real fresh-from-the-pizzeria pizza.  But I know that there is no way my stomach could handle that right now.  Ugh.

My chickens saw their first snow today.  At first they didn’t know what to make of it, but once they found out it tasted OK, they were fine with it.  I wish I had the energy to get pictures, but I just didn’t have it in me today…

Tomorrow is going to be a hugely busy day.  I hope I make it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Without exactly pinpointing my age (let’s just say that I’ve been around over three four decades) – I was admitted to a hospital for the first time in my life. I was hooked up to my first IV ever.  It wasn’t as scary as it looks on TV.

I went into the hospital in more pain than I have ever been in my life.  I know that time dulls the memory of pain, but I really don’t remember my abscessed tooth/root canal being anywhere near the pain I was in over the weekend.  If you have a choice – don’t go for the kidney/bladder infection.  It’s nowhere near as much fun as it sounds.

Especially if you have no income and no health insurance.

I’m still not feeling that great, but still leaps and bounds better than I was.  I hope I’m sure once the antibiotics are more underway, I’ll start feeling like myself again. 

All that being said, I have to say that the doctor and nurses at St. Joe’s Hospital were wonderful.  It took forever to get admitted (or maybe it just seemed that way when I was nearly passing out from the pain), but once I got a bed, everyone was really good.  I don’t know if being in the hospital can ever be considered a pleasant experience, but I guess mine was as pleasant as it could be.

But it’s an experience I don’t ever want to repeat.

And a huge thank you to the person who invented pain-killers 

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!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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

This place must have been magnificent at one time


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


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!