Saturday, December 24, 2011

Robo's Craft Beer

The Sunoco station in Lake Placid otherwise known as "Robo Mart" now offers the craft beer exchange. For the last month or so, I had noticed the sign whenever I had stopped to get gas.

For years, Robo was always my go to place after work if I wanted to pick up a special beer, like my favorite Samuel Smith. Now you can go there and put together your own craft beer 6-pack or have a growler filled up with fresh, draft beer.

So, when Drew called me at work on Christmas Eve asking to bring home some beer, I knew I'd stop by Robo and treat him to a growler. I should mention that you get a free growler with one beer fill.

There were twelve different beers on tap and I had a hard time deciding what to bring home, but ended up getting Magic Hat's Winter Howl for him. Being able to have someone fill a growler at a gas station almost makes the task of getting gas something to look forward to. Fill 'er up at Sunoco now has a new meaning.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

M & M Diner

The other night my friend and I went to the M & M Diner for a bite to eat. I was looking forward to eating at the diner because at this time of year it is decked out for the holidays and it feels like you've stepped back in time with all the vintage decorations.

They always run a special of the day, I personally love Chicken and Biscuit night, but we veered away from the meal du jour. Even before we arrived Susanna knew what she wanted to eat, a turkey club sandwich on rye sans tomato. She would have liked french fries, but they only had homemade available and she prefers the frozen ones, so she went with the onion rings.

She thought her sandwich was, "Delicious, really good... their turkey clubs are my favorite and I've eaten a lot of turkey clubs in my day."

I ordered an egg salad sandwich and thought it was good with a faint taste of mustard. We also shared a piece of marble cake with chocolate frosting.

The only problem with sharing a piece of cake at the M&M Diner is that the frosting is so good, you'll want your partner to want more cake than frosting and you might secretly angle the slice in your favor. However, 'tis the season to give so I let her have the side with the frosting. We shall see how well we share next time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Annual Free Tree

We spent the afternoon walking around an undisclosed property along the Ausable searching for a Christmas tree to add a little holiday cheer. Yes, we were permitted to cut this gem down from the secret forest.

I'm thinking there are slightly more branches than last year's tree. After adding lights and decorations, Charlie Brown ain't got nothing on us!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gargoyle Hats

Recent studies have debunked the myth that 'you lose most of your body heat through your head'. In reality, you lose no more than 10 percent. The rate of heat loss is roughly the same for any exposed body part not just the head.

What does this mean for stone-cold Gargoyles?

Gargoyle or human, to reduce heat loss when the temperature is cold, get yourself a cozy hat.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


There are some things in my travels that I often ponder, some longer than others. This odd sculpture sits just above the sidewalk on Saranac Avenue.

K. Cole Artist?

The bust always seems to grab my attention when I drive by the Paradox Lodge in Lake Placid, but I usually forget about it as soon as I turn into Hannaford's parking lot and start grocery shopping. However, the other day I finally stopped to take a picture and put a little more thought into it. After looking at it up close, it reminded me of a ceramic head I made in high school art class and wished that I hadn't left it in my parents basement for years. An act that ultimately led to its demise in some landfill. So shameful and now every time I drive by, I feel guilty about not treasuring my own art work and finding a nice place for it in our garden.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Little Bit of Brooklyn

Recently I had one of my childhood bff's swing by for a brief visit before Thanksgiving. He always seems to visit during the shoulder season when not a whole lot is going on and I can never figure out what to do with him, not that it really matters because no matter what, there is always laughter.

This time was no exception. After meeting for lunch in Lake Placid we headed back to my house and I showed him the two additions to our home in the last year, saloon doors and the Soda Stream. Many of my friends own a Soda Stream and share the love of the seltzer, but if like Phil you have been hiding under a rock, you must watch this:

He immediately wanted a demonstration and after his first few sips he suggested we make egg creams. I had never tasted an egg cream before and he informed me that it contains neither eggs or cream. All we needed was the Soda Stream to make our soda water, milk, and chocolate syrup to create the fizzy beverage.

Although the fountain drink is highly associated with Brooklyn, you can make it anywhere, even along the Au Sable. His father was from the Bronx and that never stopped him from treating his kids to an old fashioned egg cream.

Phil was in charge of mixing the drink for us and used the following recipe: equal parts milk and seltzer (about 1/2 cup each) and three big squeezes of chocolate syrup. He tested it out before serving it.

When I asked him what the verdict was, he said, "It's not the best thing in the world." Drew said, "sure, sure." After a couple more gulps it turned into, "yeah, good." Always an optimist and not wanting to hurt Sal the Soda Stream's feelings, I thought it was okay but it would probably have been better if we weren't using 1% milk and tap water. Or maybe, just maybe we needed to follow a previously tested recipe? Phil admitted that he remembers feeling obligated as a kid to liking egg creams because it was considered a treat.

Bad egg cream or good, it's always a treat to see my pal Phil.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Future of a Mansion

On Monday, November 21, 2011, the historic Wellscroft Lodge, a tudor mansion will be sold to the highest bidder in Collar City's bankruptcy real estate auction.

The mansion built in Upper Jay in 1903 was sold in the 1940s due to financial troubles after the Depression and has had several owners since. Unfortunately, the most recent owners have had the same misfortune and the future of Wellscroft remains unknown.

As a tween, a popular fortune game that my friends and I played was called M.A.S.H., which stood for Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House.

You would list as the picture above shows; four different cars, four boys, four jobs, and number of future children. Then you would make a squiggly or spiral in the center of the box until your friend said "Stop!" and you would then count the lines and that would be the number you would use to go around the box, crossing selections off until you only had one in each category.

If you ended up with a shack, you obviously had no future, even if you landed on lawyer for your job. A mansion was the best thing to get. For sure. Who wouldn't want the mansion?

The other day when I was walking around the Wellscroft mansion during a preview with my husband, I couldn't help but think about the fortune game again and how his name was never, not once on any of my M.A.S.H. games. I also realized how wrong I was about ever wanting a mansion because when I walked into one room and called his name, I couldn't find him. That fortune game never told me that some day I'd be much more comfortable in an 1100 square foot home as opposed to a 17,000 + sq. ft. mansion. M.A.S.H. predicted nothing accurately, but honestly I'm happy with how things have turned out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Question Quest?

Have you been to Wilmington, New York before? Have you seen this sculpture along the Ausable river? Do you know where in Wilmington it is? Who is the artist?

I know where it is, do you? Which business with a "?" sign do you think can answer my question? If anyone will know it will be someone at Wilmington Visitor Information, don't you think that's a good place to start?

That's funny they are usually open Monday - Friday from 8 - 3:30 pm, I wonder why they would be closed on a Tuesday at 1:30 pm? Maybe I'll walk across the street, do you think the pizza man will know?

What did he say? Turns out Bob said, "I've lived here my whole life and I've never seen that, do you want to go for a walk and show me?" Who else would know? Do you think that T & T will know the answer?

Wait, what? Why is T & T closed on Tuesdays and Sundays? Okay, where is the next question mark? I thought I remembered seeing a ? sign at the Adirondack Holiday Lodge, did I imagine it there?

Here it goes, Have you seen this sculpture before? "No, where is it? Is that something to put the chairlift on?" Do you think the motel across the street will know?

They might know, but why is Mel's Diner closed and why is there a sign at the Green Mountain Lodge saying that they are closed for the winter season 2011/2012?

There is only one more ? sign left in all of Wilmington to ask, will the Little Supermarket have the answer to my question?

I showed a picture and asked Jami the pizza and deli goddess, do you know where this is? She asked me, "Is it at the beach or is it near the lift chair near the bridge?"

Wait, is that customer the manager of the Candy Man looking it up on her smart phone? Did she discover anything on google? No she didn't, but that makes me question why the Candy Man Store doesn't have a ? sign, why don't they? I wonder if the 90 year old that just came in to buy her 2% milk and newspaper that has had a home in Wilmington since 1945 will know? What was her response? "Oh my heaven! I have no idea, I've never seen it before, what is it?"

I think I got the Little Supermarket ladies on the case, will they be able to come up with the answer? Wait, what was my question again?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

RIP Rosa

It has been an emotional week. My beloved car Rosa's little body couldn't take it any longer and was put out to pasture. On her final journey along the Ausable this morning, we shared one last song on the radio together, Bust A Move.

I don't think there could ever be a better farewell song for a car like Rosa. She moved all the way to her final resting place.

I leave you with the last picture from our final photo shoot today next to a phone booth in Keeseville.

R.I.P. Rosa, Honda Civic LX, 1997 - 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Auto Repair Sign

Imagine for a moment that your nickname is Al or to some, Big Al and then picture yourself in a happy mood listening to music at the Recovery Lounge and having a slight buzz. Now keeping all of this in mind, you notice a sign in a corner of the basement that says, "Cal's Auto Repair." You inquire about the sign and someone tells you that you can take it. For free.

Jump ahead a few months, the monstrous sign is in your garage and you start thinking winter is around the corner and it would be nice to park your car inside. So, you drag the giant sign outside and clean it and ponder the name Cal. Cal not Al.

Next thing you know, you see your husband getting out the blow torch and a razor blade and starts focusing his energy on the letter, C. After only a few minutes, the C is gone. You now have a white spot in front of Al's. Then, as any Fine Arts major would do, you get out the art supplies.

You discover the best way to blend the white into the aged sign is by using a combination of colored pencils and the Milk Yellow and Golden Ochre oil pastels with a paper towel. Your neighbor stands above you shaking her head and you find yourself taking pride in your work.

Then, the moment you had been waiting for arrives and you are standing inside your garage with your husband admiring your new sign, Al's Auto Repair.

After all that, you can finally pull your car into the garage. It's just too bad there's no Al that can actually do any auto repair that lives there.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Breakfast Club

Last week we had friends come to visit. Since they used to live here and are familiar with all the restaurant choices, we decided to try a place that none of us had been to before and dined at the Breakfast Club in Lake Placid.
All I knew about this place was that they served more than just breakfast despite the name and they had a large selection of Bloody Mary's to choose from. We went for lunch after going for a hike so we were hungry.

Amy and I ordered a couple of drinks, while the boys decided to rehydrate with water.

Amy described her Raspberry Blush Mimosa as "a tangy, bubbly fruit drink." I had the BC Bloody Mary and was impressed with the pickle, olive and celery stick it was served with. I liked it, but thought it had too much worcestershire and spiciness in it for my tastes. Amy liked the Bloody Mary a lot and said, "I love salt and I love pickle juice, why wouldn't I like this drink?" I found this surprising because she usually doesn't like spicy, but this had a kick to it that she thought was delicious.

Drew ordered the Maple Balsamic Chicken salad and Chris had the Crab Cake sandwich.

Either they were too busy cleaning their plates or they just don't think they could get a word in with Amy and I, because when I asked them how they liked their meals, they simply said, "It's good."

I ordered the Turkey, Apple and Brie French Toast Sandwich. I thought the sandwich had a nice, mellow taste and probably should have paired it with a mimosa rather than a spicy Bloody Mary.

Amy had the Smoked Salmon Bene and thought that it was "easy to eat and the flavors blended well."

We were all members of the Clean Plate Club at the Breakfast Club and we all said we would come back, so I think that's the best way to sum it up.

I know I'd like to go back some time this fall for one of their Wednesday 80's movie nights. Tasty drinks and an old flick like Goonies or Weird Science, yes please! Now, if I can just get Amy to fly back to join me. I'm pretty sure my sister, a total 80's fan, would like this place too!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Up A Creek

Just out of curiosity, if you were opening a restaurant in a building known for a recent wave of temporary businesses, would you dare name it Up A Creek?

Me? Not so much. According to the Urban Dictionary, "up a creek" an adjective "is the same as up shit creek, which means to be in trouble with no solution." For example, I was up a creek when the bill collector came.

I hope the owner's didn't jinx themselves when they named their restaurant. Best of luck to Up a Creek, may there be nothing behind the name and your business will last longer than the ones that came before you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Exploring new slides.

Where is this one you ask? I'm afraid I can't tell you because my husband barely told me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Phone Booth Saved

When I had Drew turn the car around in the A&W driveway this afternoon, I wanted to inspect a wooden kiosk structure that I thought I had seen a phone inside at the North Pole Campground. I was thinking maybe I should be easier on other structures that could be defined as a booth for using a phone. I shouldn't be so strict about my idea of a phone booth, I mean it could include other kiosks, stalls, or cubicles.

Right when I was about to adjust my expectations, there 50 feet away of the questionable phone kiosk, I spotted an actual phone booth! Do you see it? It's right next to the garage in the background. I felt like I was having an out of body experience seeing it. It was hiding from me all this time.

How could it be that I've driven this road a couple thousand times and have never seen this phone booth just off the road? I know for a fact that even on one occasion I ran by it while exploring the campground.

It is a very well maintained phone booth and has been painted a nice shade of green to match the trim of the buildings in the resort. To top it off, it works. I heard a dial tone. Did I call anyone from it? No, I was caught up in the excitement of finding a phone booth I never even knew about and didn't even think about making a call at the time. As any modern lady would do, I used my cell phone to take a picture of it and then sent it to my email address.

I talked to the owner of the campground and told him to never let anyone take it away from him. He said, "Don't worry, I own it. The company that installed the phones let me buy it from them and now they're bankrupt. No one will take it from me." That is wonderful news, one more phone booth saved from extinction.

Falling Sidewalk Update

Last week I managed to make the sidewalk fall. The town was quick to respond and is giving pedestrians plenty of warning about the safety of the sidewalk.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where the Sidewalk Falls

As a child, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein was one of my favorites.

The poems and drawings inside were brilliant and always made my mind wonder if such things could actually happen. Nah, never. It was all for fun.

Think again.

The other day as I was walking near the Covered Bridge, the sidewalk gave out. Yes. Little old me managed to break through the sidewalk. I did not fall to the center of the earth as you might be imagining right now, but mid-stride a cobble stone fell out and down to who knows where.

My left foot was on the sidewalk while my right foot and shin had been grabbed by the sidewalk. I had no idea what had happened because there was no hole for me to step in. It was true, the force of my weight and the push of my stride broke the sidewalk. After pulling my foot out, I investigated and looked under the stones. I have come to the conclusion that since this part of the sidewalk was near a grate, water must have been rushing underneath during the recent flooding and washed away the ground below.

I realize that the Town of Jay Highway Department has a lot to do right now trying to put roads back together and such, but I did call (as any good citizen would) to inform them of the falling sidewalk near the Covered Bridge.

They are probably running out of cones and/or signs to warn other pedestrians from this happening, so consider yourself warned. Oh, and for the record, I did not break my ankle.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gargoyle Flood Relief

Slowly, things are getting cleaned up around here. Even the gargoyles have been pitching in.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wells Memorial Library Flood

Irene hit our neck of the woods on Sunday and drenched us with 11 inches of rain. The Ausable River proved it was too much for her to handle and our communities took a beating. Many roads, houses, and businesses have been damaged and destroyed. Our home up on the hill kept us safe and we were very fortunate to not have any damages. Friends and favorite businesses were not as blessed and my heart aches for everyone affected.

Here is a picture taken across the road from the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay during the storm.

Before the river receded it was six feet high touching the top of the speed limit sign. Many tears were shed the next morning when we walked in and saw the main floor covered in inches of mud with the basement completely flooded to its ceiling.

Over the last few days we have shoveled out mud, pumped the water out of the basement and have begun the process of discarding several books and other items that were caked with mud and completely drenched.

The library cannot thank members of the community enough that have been able to help us in the first steps to recovery. This will be a long process of restoration. Now is as good enough time as any to thank you once again for helping me raise over $1300 in my run for reading. The money was placed into our capitol fund and that money will be used to help us get the library back up and running.

However, we are finding out it will take much more. We are getting a tremendous response from those after hearing that we have lost about a half of our books, but we are not ready to take book collections at this time. The library is focusing on the needs of our building and equipment. Financial contributions outweigh our need for books at this time. If you are interested in helping in anyway, please send donations to:

Wells Memorial Library
Post Office Box 57
Upper Jay, NY 12987

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great Blue Heron

I am happy to report that after the recent stoning of a heron down at the Covered Bridge, I was greeted by a new heron sitting by the rapids this morning.

After seeing the other heron on many morning runs, I was so sad to hear that one of my daily pleasures had been taken away from me. This morning's heron filled me with happiness, what a great way to start the day.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gone Postal

The time has come when I can finally reveal the use of the thingamajig that we purchased at the Adirondack Attic last week. A mailbox post to rest the fabulous mailbox my crafty sister painted for us!

I'll provide you with a close up of her paint job.

Landscape with Covered Bridge, Jay, NY

I have to say, I'm pretty lucky to have her as my big sister. As kids we frequented a mailbox that played music and since she remembered how obsessed I was by it, she took a musical card that played, "Super Freak" and had an engineer at work attach it so when you opened the mailbox, it would burst into song. The postman first opened it this morning and had a surprise tune. I'm guessing the music startled him because he delivered a letter addressed to the wrong person.

After 3 1/2 years of driving to the post office for our mail, we can simply walk down the driveway to retrieve it. Now we'll just have to see how our mailbox does against the snow plow this winter.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Let me tell you a little story about what happened to me at work today. I was helping a customer and before he left, he asked me what my favorite color was. I said red. He then made me a balloon animal. Super fast. Like, really really fast!

Apparently he is the world's fastest balloon artist. For real. He goes by, Thomas Blacke, Mysteriarch. Oh, and then he showed us his speedy rubik's cube skills. Impressive again. Not only did I get a balloon animal for my desk, but I also got to tie together the hands of the world's fastest magician and escape artist with a leather belt type thing and in less than a blink of an eye his hands were free.

Just last year he escaped from a pair of handcuffs underwater in 8.34 seconds! I can't make this stuff up. How was your day at work?