Tuesday, January 30, 2018

T Stands For Krispy Kreme

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of hype about Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. How to die for they are. While grocery shopping with the Eldest, we came across a box of Krispy Kreme Boston Cream Pie doughnuts. The Eldest indulged me and bought a box for Saturday morning breakfast. I couldn't wait to try them. A fluffy doughnut stuffed with custard cream and topped with chocolate frosting.

The results? Where’s the creme or the cream?

And the cream wasn’t the nice vanilla, custard cream but the overly sweet frosting. The verdict: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are overrated. Dunkin' Donuts are way better.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pay Back

So before The Eldest left, I did a bit of shopping for her. Picking up things that she would need to set up her new home. Kitchen things. Mixing spoons in her favorite color, pink. A cheese grater Dust pan and brush, envelopes and stamps, duct tape, a pink tool kit. Mattress pad, pillow protectors, a duvet cover similar to a quilt she saw at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Some things, I had extras of like measuring spoons, mixing bowls, a hand held mixer I used once, towels.

They weren't big things, but added up would save her a bit of money that she would need for bigger purchases. A bedroom set, mattress, microwave, toaster oven, vacuum, washing machine. My mother started me off this way, and now my turn to pay it forward.

Me: (as I lugged in another bag of stuff ) Man, is she expensive!

Himself: I seem to recall your father saying the same thing about you.

Yup, pay back's a bitch.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have no idea how my garden is faring as I am in Pennsylvania until the end of the week. So here is how The Eldest's garden grows.

She's on the first floor and there's a patch of dirt underneath her living room windows. The landlord told her she could plant if she wanted to. She could even put out a chair so she could sit outside during the nice weather.

The mailboxes and green newspaper boxes are steps from her front door.

So is the dumpster.

There are no designated parking spots, but people tend to park in the same spots. This is where the Eldest has been parking. The red building behind is a storage shed where she can keep stuff like lawn furniture

One of the neighbors told us about a brook which runs behind the property. He made it sound like you could go down and sit by the brook. Except the brook is at the bottom of a cliff.

One of the tenants had a couple of bird feeders up. I thought I took a picture of them, but I didn't.

Critter prints near the bird feeders

And my big foot prints in the snow. We had some warm temps on Friday and Saturday it rained so the little bit of snow got washed away. Another storm is predicted for Friday, the day I'm supposed to fly out of Pittsburgh. Figures.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Fair Winds and Following Seas, Mr. Morton

Robert Dowdell
10. March 1932 - 23. January 2018
Another of my heroes has passed on. Robert Dowdell played the Exec, Lt. Cmdr. "Chip" Morton on the television program Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea from 1964 to 1968

Fair winds and following seas, Mr. Morton.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Went shopping with the Eldest for uniform scrubs. Thanks to my SIL and her wonderful boss for the discount from  Work 'N Gear

2. Had a nice visit for the annual after Christmas get together at The Brother's.

3. Because of the frozen pipes, Heating Guy sent someone to put anti-freeze in the system. I really hope we are done with the cold weather.

4. Left with the Eldest to help move her to Pennsylvania. Lunched at Cracker Barrel stopped for the night in Wilkes-Barre (like Barry) which is the halfway point.

5. Arrived at the apartment. Internet was installed (she doesn't want cable right now), the free furniture was delivered. Was a long day so she had pizza, salad, cinnamon bread sticks for dessert. All delivered.

How was your week?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Turn Around

Today is a bittersweet day for me. Today, the Eldest moves into her new home far, far, away to begin the adventure of her life.

 So I thought I would show the invitation to her high school graduation party I made long ago in 2006.

The text was the lyrics from a song Turns Around (Where Are You Going, My Little One) and used by Kodak for a commercial in the 1960s. Have a listen.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

T Stands For First Road Trip to Pennsylvania

or eating our way through apartment hunting.

Rather suddenly, just after Christmas, the Eldest announced she had accepted a job with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Horizon and would be moving to Pennsylvania with a start date of 29. January. Pennsylvania didn't seem so bad. Not too far from the New York border except The Eldest was moving to the other side of the world to Western Pennsylvania a spit away from the Ohio border where she had no family, no friends, and didn't know a soul. She blithely announced she would look on Trullio  or some such website for an apartment. When I went to the website, I found the apartments looked like holes. Not a nice, clean, Hobbit-type hole, mind you, but a pit. A run down, rented room in someone's shed.

So I suggested she contact a real estate agent found on the town's chamber of commerce page. And since Himself and I were on Winter Break, we could all take a road trip to check out the area and The Eldest could see about finding a suitable apartment. She contacted the real estate agent, who turned out to be awesome and would meet The Eldest mid-morning on Wednesday

Tuesday morning, we packed our belongings and ourselves into the car to begin the 9 or so hour ride. Our route would take us down I-84 through Connecticut to I-81 and I-80 in Pennsylvania. While driving the highway we spotted a sign for a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Fishkill, NY, and we decided to stop for lunch as we were well acquainted with the restaurant and liked the food. The fun thing about Cracker Barrel is all the restaurants are set up the same way. There's a country type store, restrooms, and the restaurant.

So grab a mug for your favorite beverage as we eat our way through the week.

The Eldest had some La-Di-Dah  (Latte) a new addition to the menu.

I had a welcome cuppa.

Himself had a Coke.

A bacon cheeseburger for The Eldest. I love a restaurant where you can get breakfast all day long. One of the things, I love about Cracker Barrel. That and the grits that are served with breakfast. Grits, a fluffy, biscuit, Sawmill gravy, bacon, scrambled eggs, and warm apple slices.

Himself had breakfast, too, with pancakes, but no grits.

On the way out, The Eldest spotted this cookbook. We needed to get on the road so I didn't have time to look at the book, but noted the exit of the restaurant so when I drive down with her to help her move it, we'll make another pit stop. I doubt the book will be gone.

The foothills of the Catskill Mountains.

Sustenance for the long road ahead.

crossing the Hudson River.

by way of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge as seen through my filthy windshield. I had hoped to take snaps of the scenery, but the wet day and road mist made that impossible.

A comfort stop somewhere in Pennsylvania, I think. While Himself and the Eldest went for a comfort stop, I gave the windows a much needed wash. After what seemed like decades in the car, especially the last hour when the digital readout on the clock stood still, we finally reached our destination. A lovely Cobblestone Hotel. While hunting online for hotels in her town, I spotted the Cobblestone and across the street a Perkins Restaurant.

In 2006, while attending a Western Writer's Convention (okay, a Big Valley FanFiction Writers Gathering) in Minneapolis, MN. My friend and real author, Erika Vetsch introduced me to Perkins and their out of this world pies, especially the Heath pie. Disappointingly, no longer on the menu.

I had a Cherry Coke.

We ordered an appetizer sampler: mozzarella sticks, fried pickles (don't knock them until you've tried them) and some chicken fingers.

I shared my salad with The Eldest because she loves cheese and I think raw cheese is nasty. Will have to remember to ask the waitress to hold the cheese next time we visit.

I had chicken pot pie.

The Eldest had salmon.

and Himself posed with his pepper steak also showing off his tee shirt. Never underestimate an old man with a chemistry degree.

We packed up the leftovers for awesome dinner the following day as our hotel room had a fridge and microwave.

Our room was clean, spacious, and very comfortable.

After enjoying cocktails (a white Zinfandel for me) and a Tequila Sunrise for the Eldest, we settled in to watch the premiere of The X-Files followed by a good night's sleep. After a nice hot breakfast buffet (included), we met the real estate agent for a tour around town and to visit 6 properties she had picked out for The Eldest to see. 

The first, was a second floor apartment in an old house. Parking was on a side-street and the street was  not plowed very well. The apartment was nice enough, lots of windows and light.

The next stop ended up being a bust. Another apartment in an old house. The real estate agent got a bad vibe about the property so she wouldn't even show us.

There were two units available at a small, apartment complex about 2 miles from the hospital. Both on the first floor and each  had 2 bedrooms. The complex was a little dated from the 1970s, but the property was clean and well-maintained. The landlord was very nice and told The Eldest of the work he was finishing up. Both apartments had hook ups for a washer and dryer. The Eldest liked the unit that had central air. The other unit had a large, wall-unit air conditioner. 

A two bedroom apartment in the Boston area would run over $2,000 per month. No utilities. So while salaries might be decent, the cost of living is so high one can't afford an apartment on one's own. The Eldest didn't want a roommate that she didn't know. So she lived at home while paying room and board.

The rent for all the properties we saw was 1/3 the cost for the same salary back home. Utilities were still not included, but the rent was very affordable.

The next property we saw was right next to an Arby's (fast food, roast beef sandwiches) drive through. The apartment was in another old house and looked a bit like the house that Jack built. The landlord was also very nice and had another apartment right next to the railroad tracks.  The Eldest declined to see that property.

We took the real estate agent out to lunch at Perkins, and the Eldest told her she liked the unit with central air at the small apartment complex. She contacted the landlord so the Eldest could sign the lease agreement the next morning.

The real estate agent also told us she had a client, an elderly woman who was either down-sizing or going into a nursing home and had some living room furniture the Eldest could have. She also thought there was a washer/dryer available.

We had planned on touring the area on Thursday and heading back home on Friday, but the threat of a monster ice storm had us getting out of dodge. We decided we would leave on Thursday after the lease agreement was signed, drive halfway home, and stay in Clarks Summit (a bit out of  the way as it turned out. It didn't look that far off the highway on the map.) 

The hotel was in a busy area. There was a restaurant about 1/4 mile away on the same side as the hotel, and we thought we could walk. No sidewalks and mud from recent rains made that idea impossible.

The restaurant was JJ Bridjes and from the outside looked like a dive, but looks can be deceiving.  Very few people were in the restaurant. We were shown to a table where there was some sports memorabilia. Autographed photographs of the Splendid Splinter, number 9, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox. He played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1960. 

There was a poster of Rocky, from the movie of the same name. And some Yankees baseball players, Mickey Mantel. Even though great baseball players, they were Yankees. There's a big baseball rivalry between Boston and New York.

It wouldn't be long before a group of church ladies showed up for dinner. They were planning a fund raiser. A family group was shown into the area behind our table and soon the restaurant was very lively.

A Pepsi, the preferred cola drink of choice.

An appetizer of cheddar cheese and bacon potato skins.

I had a Philly cheese steak sandwich with sweet potato fries.

The Eldest and Himself had Veal Saltimbocca with a side of pasta. I had some, too, as I have always have a taste of whatever Himself orders.

Sadly, we had to leave our leftovers behind as we still had a long way to travel and no way to keep the food temperature safe.

We got back on the road Friday morning well ahead of the storm and made it safely home by early afternoon. Just in time for some nasty weather of our own for the weekend.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The calm before another Winter storm. The squirrel got angsty closed the hatch on the feeder again

and again

The storm, more of a nuisance storm dropped about 3 or 4 inches on us. Just enough for me to shovel as Himself had to teach classes.

Yay! The mailbox survived!

An artisan, hand-crafted driveway.

The snow was wet and not too heavy to push around. Odd needle-like flakes though.

If you wait long enough, the sun comes out, the temps warm up and you don't have to clear your car of snow or shovel your side of the driveway.

No snow on the walk

The back birdfeeder is doing a booming business

A road map drawn by moles, voles, or mice.

Snow melting off the solar array. Not enough sun today to make electricity.

All the Garden Kites I made from brown Kraft paper (paper bags) have blown away through the various storms we had through the Summer, Fall, and Winter. The only one left is the origami crane. Battered by the elements, still she persisted.

Though it feels like Spring at 46 oF (7.78 oC) compared to the below zero temps we had, it still looks like Winter. 150 days until the first day of Summer. Deep sigh.