Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gambling Problem

Something strange has happened to me recently, I have been really interested in gambling. There is a football pool at work that I have been making "picks" for.  This is pretty funny to most people that know me because I know nothing about football.  I generally look at the records for each team for the season and go with the better ranked team.  If it is going to be a close one, I go with the team with a more northern latitude than the other.  For instance, if the San Diego Chargers were playing against the Philadelphia Eagles, I'd go with the Eagles.  Hands down.

At any rate, last night at the Stars on Ice show I overheard the camera crew betting on how many re-skates they were going to have to re-tape.  It was $5 to play.  Just like the football pool at work I gave my bet, but didn't put any money in.  I said there would be eight re-skates. 

I had volunteered as an usher so I could watch the show for free.  Luckily I know the right people and for the last two years have been placed on ice level seating the VIP's.  For the first time watching Stars on Ice, I was more interested in how many times the skaters fell or flubbed their program.  From the first act there was going to be possibly four re-skates and so going into the second act, I thought my chances of reaching eight was pretty good.  
Unfortunately the second act came and went with only one re-skate.  The main camera guy was going to be the winner with a pick of five.  He's been doing this for years though.  I know what you must be thinking, "This person is seriously demented and needs to immediately check themselves into Gamblers Anonymous." But like I said people that know me also find my "gambling problem" funny because they all know I'd make a pathetic gambler, I'm way too frugal.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Riverside Thrift Shop

I had a couple boxes of things I needed to bring to Riverside Thrift Shop in Wilmington and figured I'd also scope out any Thanksgiving decorations they may have had.   I was looking for a festive table cloth or something harvesty for the Thanksgiving I am hosting tomorrow.  

One of the first things I contemplated was a pillow.  
After taking the pillow down, I decided it was definitely more chicken like than turkey and so I put the bird back so she could nest amongst the other pillows.

Going into another room of the thrift shop I came across some shelves with linens.  I was thinking here I could find something, but the only thing I came across that had some Thanksgiving dinner potential were these place mats.  
Unfortunately, the place mats you see there on the middle shelf were made of an icky vinyl and there were only three.  I needed at least four.

Something else that caught my eye was this basket of plastic fruit. 
I was seriously contemplating crafting up some sort of cornucopia and using the fruit as a centerpiece.  With more thought, I decided against the plastic fruit because I probably wouldn't have used the pineapple in the cornucopia and couldn't imagine breaking up this family of fruit on Thanksgiving.  

I had scoured the thrift shop and wasn't able to come up with anything for Thanksgiving.  There was a little creamer with leaves and an acorn on it, but I already have a couple creamers.  I think I even brought one to them today.

My brain must be programmed to think (just like American advertisers want it to be) that as soon as Thanksgiving thoughts are done, you should be on to Christmas.  That is exactly what happened to me, even here at Riverside Thrift Shop.  Here, they have an entire room upstairs dedicated to Christmas.  
The one item I wanted was in the hand of another woman!  It was a Christmas tree skirt.  If I had only checked out the Christmas room before the rest of the Thrift Shop, it could have been mine.  They did have three other tree skirts on the shelf, but not like the one I coveted from the woman's hands.  She even said to her friend, "I think this is the smallest tree skirt I have ever seen."  I thought, "That's right, put it down.  You need a much larger one."  But, my silent thoughts never reached her and before I knew it, she was headed downstairs ready to pay for it.

Well, I did leave with one item for $1.  I can't tell you because it's going to be a gift to someone that reads this blog.  I didn't come away with any Thanksgiving items, but I did wait until the day before.  All in all, I think this trip was successful.  

You too can drop off your unwanted items or shop here every Wednesday or Saturday from 9-2.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'll miss you Top 40!

I have a confession to make...I love top 40 music.  I might lose some "cool" friends with this confession, but I can't help it, my sister got me into it.  People that drive with me for any amount of distance seem to be annoyed that I don't have a cd player in my car, XM radio, or even a tape player.  I know most of you are thinking, "How could someone live with only a regular radio?" My love of top 40 hits from the 80's, 90's, and today generally leaves me very satisfied.  There are of course the exceptions, Meatloaf, Phil Collins, Celine Dion, etc. and when I hear their voices I turn to North Country Public Radio. One of the best things about the weekend drive to and from work is listening to STAR 92.9 based out of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont.  On the weekend they have the "flash back - feel good weekend."  It sure does play some feel good music, like Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Richie, and Annie Lennox.

I find it amazing that I can listen to this radio station all the way from Jay to Lake Placid, but cannot get Lake Placid's top 40 station 93.3.   I love STAR 92.9 and am feeling very sad that starting today, they will be playing all Christmas music.  I will be without my top 40 music for over a month!  I am sure I will be listening to some seasonal music, but will probably spend more time with NPR for the next month and might even plug my ipod in.

Until regular 92.9 returns, here's one song that always gets me dancing in the car driving along the Ausable and that would be from Mr. Michael Jackson:

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Smells of Stars on Ice

A few of my readers have mentioned that I write about food a lot and some even find themselves feeling very hungry when they look at my pictures and read my descriptions of items such as wings, root beer floats, muffins, etc.

Well, I am starting to think there might be a bit of the blogging karma going on.  The Stars on Ice skaters are in Lake Placid and have been practicing at the Olympic Center.    Here's the problem, I sit in the room directly next to their dining area where I get whiffs of bacon and fresh coffee in the morning.  Pure torture!  
I couldn't hear any voices behind the door that separated me from the bacon.  So, I decided to make a run for it through the secret door to find my friend in the kitchen to steal myself a scrap of  bacon.  As soon as I opened the door and peered inside, I was greeted with a smiling Sasha Cohen stretching with her leg above her head.   I kid you not.  

I went back to my desk behind the door with a grumbling belly thinking, Sasha Cohen probably doesn't even eat bacon!  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Autumn Gargoyles

I decided to go the longer way to work today to check out the gargoyles.  I could see from a distance that there was something bright and shiny on them.  I thought it was so nice to see the gargoyles wearing their bright autumn wreaths because the drive has become a blur of brown and gray.  The gargoyles always make my day a little brighter, even though they're always sticking their tongues out at me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Driving home tonight through Wilmington with the snow coming down, I really thought I had skipped a month and that Christmas was only a week away.   The town of Wilmington has all their Christmas decorations up. The reindeer are flying over the road and the telephone poles are decorated with gigantic candy canes, snowflakes, and all of Santa's friends.  

A few friends and coworkers think this is way too early (the town put them up about 2 weeks ago).  Normally I would agree, but just a couple miles up the road is Santa's Workshop. Knowing that Santa works year round preparing for Christmas Day, I wondered if maybe Wilmington, being so close to Santa's Workshop at the North Pole and all, should keep their decorations up year round?  Just a thought.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tonight was a very special evening for me and my lady coworker friends ranging in ages 22 - 85 years old.  A bunch of us that live along the Ausable met at Steinhof's in Wilmington for Wing Night.  Every Thursday the sign goes up advertising their 25 cent wings.  I am ashamed to say that I had not been to Steinhof's before.  Nancy, Becky and I arrived on the early side and took a seat at the bar and ordered a drink while we waited for the rest of the group.  The bartender was quite friendly and made us feel comfortable being there, even though we were the only ladies.   Once the rest of our group joined us, we went to the dining room and quickly made our food selections.  Five out of six ordered wings, that's what we were there to sample after all.  On wing night it is eat in only with a minimum of 10 wings per order with a choice of mild, medium, hot, or sweet & tangy.  I had asked Becky earlier what kind of wings she ordered and she said, "I don't like wings.  I'll get a cheeseburger."  Wondering what she doesn't like about wings, she said: "they're veiny."  

So, the Sportsman's Cheeseburger it was for her.  
A few of us sampled her fries and all thought they were homemade.  The fries were delicious, seasoned with just the right amount of salt.  

Onto the wing report...three ordered the mild wings, I ordered the medium, and one ordered the sweet & tangy.  Marie thought her mild wings were, "Very good, nice and moist.  They're just the way I like them."  
Cristina who also had the mild said, "They're just right, not too hot. Those ones are really good too."  She was referring to Lisa's sweet & tangy wings.  
I had tried one of Lisa's wings because I wanted to know what the sweet & tangy was all about. Lisa described them as, "a little like barbecue with a seasoned tang."  I too really enjoyed my wings and thought they were just the right crispness on the outside.  Nancy summed it up best, "They're fingerlicious good."

All of us agreed that we wish our server had brought us some more napkins from the start. But we thought that maybe Steinhof's is trying to go green and only hands out extra napkins if customers ask for them.  Sure enough when we asked, our server brought them right away.

Overall we had a great evening, good food and lots of laughs.  What more could a bunch of ladies ask for?  I will definitely be back!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Animal Heads

About a month ago I had gone to Dartbrook Rustic Goods in Keene.  This is the home store and workshop to the Adirondack rustic furniture maker George Jacques.  Knowing that his furniture sells for quite a bit of money, I knew I would only be browsing.  However, Dartbrook also carries home accents such as baskets, rugs, prints, and of course animal racks.  I am not really a fan of decorating my home with dead animal heads, I think it's a feng shui/dead spirit kind of thing for me.  At Dartbrook there is a wide selection of racks that you can purchase.  Here is the simple deer rack:Or you could have the great Moose Rack:  For some reason I wasn't bothered by the deer or moose, maybe because it is pretty common to see them smiling at you at restaurants in the area.  I was a little taken back by the raccoon though.  Look at the cute little furry face on this guy.  I think this would be a little creepy having the little guy on my living room wall watching tv with me.  

I was pleased to see that Dartbrook has a rack for those of you that would like to have one in your home, but not able to commit to the dead animal head, there is a cardboard deer rack:  
Personally, that was my favorite.  And for those of you that aren't willing to hang one of these in your home unless you proudly killed it yourself, Happy Hunting Season!

Disclosure: No animals were hurt or killed while posting this blog.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gargoyles for Change!

What a week to be a proud American Gargoyle!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pumpkin Vandalism

Upon letting our cats out this morning, I noticed a couple of our pumpkins were taken off of our porch.  After taking a quick glance around for clues, there in front of me was our "Welcome Pumpkin" laying there on the lawn.  I never intended for this pumpkin to be an invitation for someone to mess with our pumpkins.  Right next to the "Welcome Pumpkin" was another small pumpkin.  As you can see the culprit really enjoyed the pumpkin.  They scooped out the pumpkin guts and appears to have had a most delicious meal.  I am thinking this was probably a raccoon, only because it was a small pumpkin and I don't think a bear's paw would be small enough to do this. 

I looked around for some scat to identify and was not able to see any.  I did see one strand of dark grey or black animal hair on the pumpkin and that is all I have to figure out who did this. I know it was definitely not a teenager wanting to smash some pumpkins, this was a hungry animal.  What kind of animal though?

I think this happened around 10:30 pm last night when Drew and I heard a loud crash noise. We thought the cats were to blame.  After the second crash, I got up and made sure the doors into the house were all properly shut and did not see an animal in our breeze-way or mud room and knew we were safe.  At least I learned my lesson from last month's bear poop incident and now all I have to clean up are some pumpkin guts.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Last week I got my car inspected at Devin's in Jay.  Here, I'm always happy to see Hillary on the garage's shelves along with all the masculine NAPA auto parts.   I ask of you my faithful readers, please vote this Tuesday, because if you don't Hillary will squeeze you with her stainless steel thighs or she might even crack your nuts!