Monday, March 30, 2009

Mud Season and a Confession

Spring is upon us in these neck of the woods and so we enter mud season.  After a winter's worth of sanding the roads, the snow banks start to look like this:  
Rather than calling it mud season, my husband calls it "Beer Can and Dog Poop Season." Charming huh?  Areas south of us are experiencing flowering trees and blooming daffodils.  We have beer cans and thawed out dog poop springing up everywhere.

I was contemplating all of this the other morning when I was walking a friend's dog while they were out of town.  Strolling along a side road, I was seeing just how accurate his seasonal phrase was.  

Then it happened, Gwen (the dog) went over to a grassy patch and pooped!  I know dogs poop and all, but the owner told me that she would just pee a bit and then I could bring her inside and give her one cup of food.  I didn't think she was going to poop on my shift.  I was totally unprepared to scoop it up in a baggy and bring it back to their trash bin.  I had to leave it. 

I am sorry that I added to this dismal Beer Can and Dog Poop Season, but at least Gwen's poop is a little more organic than this Natural Ice can I spotted. 
I may have left the poop, but I picked up the beer can in hopes of better karma.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Treasure Hunt

Today my friend Emilie and I got together and went to check out Russuz Treasure Hunt and Consignment Shop near Ausable Forks.  We were both hoping we would find, well...a treasure!  Neither of us had been to the Treasure Hunt Shop and couldn't wait to check out what was inside.  

The first gem that I came across was this Sewing Susan needle kit.  The kit advertised 70 golden needles with a threader, but upon opening the kit, there were only like 8.  I mostly liked the vintage box cover, but didn't feel like this was my treasure. 
We found other fascinating items, such as a ceramic urinal for our friend Jan, who just broke his pelvis, but decided against it because we would have felt bad buying the urinal without it's bed pan friend.

Emilie came across some nice old cards that we dug through and decided on purchasing a few of those.  

I found this nice hanging wire basket.  I am always on the lookout for new ways of organizing and storing things and for only $5 I thought it was a bargain!  

We saw some great vintage advertisement signs and I would have really liked the Baking Powder sign for our kitchen, but I just didn't have enough money today.  My birthday is in a few weeks though, so you never know!  

We left the Treasure Hunt today spending $21 between the two of us.  We were so happy with our treasures, we brought them back to my house to admire them a little more.  
Emilie ended up with a circa 1970s oil lamp that will be perfect for her electrically challenged home yurt, a beautiful costume jewelry necklace for her sister's birthday and a get well card with little kitties on it.  I ended up with just the three tiered wire baskets, a card to send to a friend in California and an antique postcard of Jay, NY.

We recommend a visit to the Treasure Hunt because as the owner would say, "Look up, look down, look all around, you never know what can be found."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Will you come tap my tree?

Since buying our first home a little over a year ago, I've had this weird sense of pride in the flora and fauna on our property.  I really noticed this change in me last Spring when I was waiting to see what would spring up on our property.  When the lilac trees finally bloomed, we had dark and light purple lilacs, and they were OUR lilacs!  When the blue jays made a nest in the cedar outside our picture window, I felt like they were OUR blue jays and when they flew off without me seeing it, I was heartbroken.  These were all feelings I had never experienced prior to home ownership.  

Now that Spring is in the air, I wanted to take advantage of our big old maple tree. I had asked around to see if anyone wanted to come tap our tree and mostly people thought I was a little crazy.  Generally people said, "No, not one tree."  Alas, Monday morning I had gone to the bank to drop off a deposit and the teller mentioned that her husband was sugaring that morning. Of course I got all excited and said, "Will he come tap our tree?"  Pat, "  Not for one maple.  But, I could give you the items to tap it yourself."  I was thrilled!

So, off we went on a field trip to the Coolidge Homestead in Jay to their Alpaca farm and Sugaring House to watch the process.  

You can see that the Coolidge's have a beautiful piece of property and I felt so lucky that Pat invited me over.  Pat brought us into the sugaring house where her husband was boiling the sap down.  Oh, the wonderful smell inside, an airy sugary smell my writing skills can't even come close to describe!  

When it had reached the correct thickness, he gave us each a little cup of syrup.  As soon as I had my first sip all the taste buds in my mouth exploded.  A little sip of heaven in the Glen! 

When I was done asking a million questions, they provided us with the spouts, buckets, and a drill to collect the sap from our lone tree.

We had determined that our tree was large enough for three buckets.  Here is Drew drilling the first hole.  Immediately, sap started flowing out of the small hole since it had been a cold night and we were having a beautiful 50 degree day!

After tapping the tree and placing the spout, I hung the bucket.  Very exciting!  

I realize that it's going to take a lot more than our three little buckets of sap to produce anything substantial, but we'll keep collecting and hope for a least another little cup full of OUR very own maple syrup.

I leave with all of you a picture of our beautiful maple with it's three buckets hanging in all their glory.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dessert Night

Driving home from work last night, I noticed that the Country Bear in Wilmington was advertising a Dessert Night on Monday.  I called this morning to find out the details and learned that it was their first Dessert Night and that it would be $ 6 per person for an "All You Can Eat Dessert Buffet" with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.  Convincing Drew to go with me was not much of a battle.  

They had over twenty desserts spread out on the counter and they all looked delicious.
We selected a few desserts each and took a seat.  For round one, it was obvious we had no plan of attack.  We came back with similar plates.  Drew had chosen Creme Brulee, Boston Creme Pie, and a miniature Canoli.  

My plate was exactly the same, but instead of the Canoli, I grabbed a little cake that resembled an Oreo Cookie. Drew is a huge fan of Creme Brulee and he thought it was, "Really Good, Yummmm..."  My favorite thing from Round 1 was the Boston Creme Pie.  Actually, on second thought it was also the Creme Brulee.

We smartened up for Round 2 and selected a few more desserts that we would sample together. Round 2 was the more nutritious of the rounds.  I selected a Lemon Pound Cake, Cherry Cobbler, a Miniature Strawberry Shortcake, and two Chocolate Covered Strawberries.  
A 10 year old at the counter recommended the Lemon Pound Cake and I am really glad I grabbed it because it was excellent.  Oddly, our favorite from this round was the Chocolate Covered Strawberry!  The strawberry didn't even seem out of season and the chocolate on it was perfect.

I'd like to say there was a Round 3, but we had already sampled enough!  There was no clear winner for us since everything was good.  The Country Bear is thinking they'd like to offer Dessert Night on the third Monday of each month.  I would like to go back, but I'll definitely have to come up with a better game plan!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bookstore Plus

Drew and I had an appointment yesterday in Lake Placid and upon arriving, found out it had been pushed back an hour or so.  So, we headed on down to the Bookstore Plus on Main Street to kill some time.  
You are usually greeted by the lovely dog, Flicka.  I am not much of a dog person since I've been badly bitten before, but how can you not love friendly Flicka?
I've never had her slobber on me or sniff me in inappropriate places.  She never judges me when I judge books by their cover.  
And when I buy a card for someone, I never feel like I have to hide what card I picked out and turn it around to only show the price.  
I also know that if I bought a Paint by Numbers Kit from the store, she wouldn't bark at me if I painted a number incorrectly.  
So, if you happen to stop by the Bookstore Plus in search of a good book, be sure to give Flicka a pet for me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Parking Machines

To some this might be a very dull topic, but for some reason I am fascinated by the new parking machines in Lake Placid.  Most of Main Street has new fancy parking machines that accept credit cards or your money!  I always thought the old machines to be a bit cumbersome because I never had enough quarters for the meter.  One quarter only gives you 15 minutes and quarters are sometimes hard to come by.  

I went into the Bookstore Plus and asked one of the owners for a demonstration.  Sarah showed me how you can use a credit card or money to pay for your parking and then a little ticket will come out for you to put in your windshield.  Her husband Mark pointed out that with the ticket you are able to move your vehicle.  For instance, if you are parked outside the News Stand browsing magazines for 30 minutes and then decide you want to grab a sandwich at Brown Dog Deli, you can move your car down the road and still have time on your parking ticket for a new spot!  They both feel that this will improve the parking situation on Main Street, but realize that there will be a learning curve for locals and out of towners.

For those of you still uneasy about the new machines, no need to fret, there are still some of the old meters located at the lower end of Main Street where you can use as many quarters as you want!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hollywood Theatre

I had heard last week that the movie theatre in Ausable Forks was going to be having Ladies Night, so my friend Elizabeth and I made a date to go watch "He's Just Not That Into You."Ladies Night is a special offering the owner has from time to time where you can get together with your girlfriends and B.Y.O.B. to the movie!  

When Elizabeth and I went to get our tickets, there were two ladies at the counter, Sierra (the owner) and her friend, Vicki.  Turns out Vicki has been reading my blog and recognized my hat from a previous posting and asked, "Are you the blog lady?"  I replied, "Why Yes, Yes I am." Turns out Vicki just started a blog and so we exchanged information to go on a future adventure together.
I hogged the counter while chatting with them and it may have annoyed the people waiting to buy tickets behind us (sorry about that).  Before going into the theatre Elizabeth and I bought some popcorn. How could we not with such great prices! 
We settled down in the theatre and enjoyed watching the movie with other ladies.  Once seated, I realized that I forgot to ask Sierra if men ever try coming to Ladies Night?  I can't imagine many men going to see a movie like "He's Just Not That Into You" so it probably isn't an issue. 

I really liked going to Ladies Night and am looking forward to the next one.  Unfortunately, things are about to get real slow in the area and so the Hollywood Theatre will be on vacation until May 1.  At the next Ladies Night, I hope to see a theatre packed with fellow Along the Ausable ladies!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lake Placid Pub and Brewery

I would like to start by apologizing for taking so long to write about Lake Placid Pub and BreweryIf it weren't for the Pub's infamous "Two for Tuesdays" and a warm night in August of 2001, I'm not sure if my husband and I would have ever gotten together.  He wasn't even there that night with our group of friends, but my friend Amy was and well... you can only imagine.  At any rate, Amy was with me tonight along with Jen and that is what I will tell you about. 

An employee at the Pub, who just happens to be a fan of my blog, was working and she gave me a behind the scenes tour of the brewing process.  I won't pretend that I know anything about hops, malt, and fermentation, except that it smelled great back there.  I was excited that she let me get up on a little ladder and look into the big beer vat!  
After checking out the gigantic grinder, the hops, and the vats, I was ready for a beer!  When I got back to our table, Jen had already ordered a pint of the Three Putt Porter and Amy ordered up a famous UBU beer.  
Their new Three Putt Porter is "a traditional dark beer with black and chocolate malt which provide a roasted, coffee like flavor."  After Jen's first sip she said, "This is how beer should taste."  Amy took a sip from Jen's beer and exclaimed, "Oh my God!  Wow! It's just right."  They sold me on trying it for myself and I said, "It IS just right." 

The UBU Ale is their strongest beer at 7% and has been known to do dangerous things to people.  Amy didn't care tonight.  She took a sip and said, "Mmmmm, the same old strong UBU."

I tend to be a light weight and knew that I would be driving so I asked if I could order a half pint of the Three Putt Porter.  Upon seeing it Amy said, "It's like the Laura Ingalls of beers, the half pint." Here is a picture of Amy, our elite triathlete, pointing at my half pint.  
I might add here that she would be proud to have Lake Placid Pub and Brewery sponsor her!

When it came time to ordering some Pub Grub, we went for the Pub-style Steak Fries drizzled with their own beer blue cheese and hot buffalo wing sauce and the Pub Quesadilla.  
I had never had the Pub Fries before, I usually order the Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich, but I wanted to try them because I had heard such good things.  Sure enough they were really good. Jen agreed and did a little shimmy dance when she popped a fry into her mouth.  Amy loved the hot sauce.  We all liked the fries, but the hot sauce got to us at times and had to take a break and eat a little quesadilla.  
I thought the quesadilla was excellent and would order it as a meal on my own.  The quesadilla is filled with pulled pork and cheese with beans and apple sauce on the side.

Towards the end of the meal I said, "I feel like I want to stay and get drunk!"  Of course I did not, but that is a pretty big statement coming from me because I'm not really a big drinker and usually stick to wine.  The music was good tonight and the people watching was most excellent (think British Bobsledders), but most of all it was just great to be with my best girlies!