Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hot Off The Rainy-Day Hook for Someone Special ♡

SollSkiCousins Conquer Gore!

First Ride On The Gore Gondola
In their first trip to a big mountain, the SollSkiCousins lucked out. Torrential rains here in Monti stayed away from North Creek for a few extra hours, affording our precious Grands a day of awesome Spring skiing. Thanks to roaming Instagram photogs, Bri 'n' Kell, for their captures.
Be still, my heart!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Photo Contributions by Joe

Spring Skiing at Hunter Mountain - Two Aspen Days

Thursday, March 27, 2014

For Michelle ♥

Our sweet friend needs boatloads of prayers and her family can sure use some help.
If you're on the Island, this weekend… go share pasta with Michelle.
If not… I'd be happy to provide her mailing address.
There are no words to describe just how special this girl is. We love her.

Very Cute Movie… "Stand Up Guys"

Joe found this one on Netflix. Dynamite cast. My favorite scene? Al Pacino shares a few dance moves beyond his famous tango…

Cute flick.
Gotta luv a good mobster, or three.

Cold Feet

Retail Therapy at Sunrise
Thoughts of Gran have been prevalent, of late. Must be 'cause her birthday is coming up. Or maybe it's 'cause a good friend of CMI told me he enjoyed a recent Gran anecdote. She'd love that, especially coming from a man. She was a flirt. I thank him. Gran thanks him.
Back to today's topic, a problematic pair...

My feet. Ugly as sin, with genetically acquired crooked toes that now make me smile daily, considering the connection. Thanks, Dad. Besides, the entire Hawaiian population walks around in flip-flops, gross digits or not. A turning point, that trip!
And how this relates to Gran…

The Old Homestead's foyer boasts a gorgeous black slate floor. Thick stone, set in concrete… forever cool, in every sense of the word. Since 1971, each of our pooches has found therapeutic values there, as have my all-seasons-bare feet. I love cold feet.
But when Gran would come for long visits, she'd read me the riot act...
"Honey, you need to put something on your feet. Otherwise, you'll develop arthritis, when you're my age."
Lucky for me, that never happened. 
Hanging 'round barefoot or in flip-flops all winter long does have its ramifications, though.
Nothing a pumice stone won't cure. Even better? Get past the image of wearing socks to bed and spend
just a few nights doused in therapeutic, organic
Coconut Oil.
Time to think Spring.
Time for smooth heels 'n' toes.
Time to move bare feet or flip-flops to green grass and ocean sands.
Time for a sunrise session of retail therapy..
Time for some appropriately named "Shaved Ice" from Hawaii.

Now, before I get another variety of cold feet and decide not to post "Cold Feet",
here goes...

This post is dedicated to Niece Vicki, who loved to taunt me with her perfect toes, as we sunbathed during many a summer vacation.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I've Been Pinned!

When we were kids, Ronnie and I were pinned to our garage door in Massapequa by a large Irish Setter. Big Red had one paw on my head and another on my brother's. Lucky for Baron, Sly, Ike and Mambo that I overcame such trauma! Moving along...

C'est Moi
Party Dress by Gran
Gran pinned dress components together before sewing them on her factory Singer, to lovingly create gorgeous frocks for me.

As I've often mentioned, Gran and I shared a room. She was very cool and didn't mind that I pinned pictures of Ricky Nelson, Johnny Mathis, the Everly Brothers and Elvis on the back of our bedroom door. Gran did, however, once comment that she felt stalked by rock-star peepers, as she dressed. Gotta luv Gran and her sense of humor.

Okay. Enough. Today's version:

 Y'all have heard of Pinterest, by now. Yep. Scour the Internet and repost, or pin, someone else's photos to your site. Don't ask why I don't have an account, 'cause I just might get preachy for an hour or so. Not judging others, though, especially since a couple CMI recipes have made it to a random Pinterest page. 

Sure, flattery will get you everywhere, but not to worry. This hasn't gone to my head. After all, the collector's site has no fewer than 30,000 - thirty thousand - pinned pictures and ideas. Ahem…

That's a lot of browsing time, don't ya think? I'm buried in the shuffle, albeit pinnedWhere's that pulpit?

"I've Been Pinned!" is dedicated to my wordy pal, Bernadette.

LOOPY is on Sale!

Billy, Jimmy and Loopy continue to intrigue me. That lion sleeping had to have been the best sales pitch ever (a few posts below). Sure, I immediately checked it out in the App store, where it cost $7.99. But patience paid off, 'cause today, it's on sale for $3.99. It's a done deal, and…

 My mind is spinning with ideas for the kids. They'll figure it out in a heartbeat and be inspired to practice a song to record...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Malaysian Flight 370

Today's agonizing news that search efforts shall cease seems incredibly sudden, after seventeen days worth of constant, frustrating, conflicting and mind-blowing reports seemingly offering glimmers of hope. Hope, at least, that answers would be determined. 
We're left to select from the disturbing list of possibilities, as to what exactly happened to that plane. We can only imagine 
what the families of the poor souls onboard continue to suffer. It's as though their loved ones died twice.
We extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to them.

"A dozen aircraft from Australia, the United StatesChinaJapan and South Korea will scour the seas some 2,500 km (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth in the hunt for potential debris…"

A Good Wife Gone Bad? Might be a spoiler...

Josh Charles aka Will Gardner

"The Good Wife" aired late, last night… you know… basketball. I'd been up since five a.m. and couldn't keep my eyes open. With a request to Joe to waken me when Alicia and Will began, I dozed. He complied, but I fell right back to sleep till about ten minutes prior to the show's end, at which time I asked Joe what I'd missed in the series we've watched for five years. He responded…

"Nick,  you have to go up right now or you'll spoil the show for yourself. What a twist!"

With that, he actually dragged me off the couch and upstairs. How funny is that?
Seven solid sleep hours later, I watched on demand…

…after which I researched the unfunny "Why?"

It seems that someone's contract was up and he decided to leave the show. 
The audience suffers… and Cousin Gina is upset enough to have commented
on Twitter that she's seriously considering a break-up with her boyfriend
also known as TV.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

LOOP THIS! And ask me how much I love Billy Joel...

Vid Screen Capture
Convinced that this is supposed to be on my blog… a little inside reference here.
Lovin' on Billy… always gracious and the best sport!

Photo Bombing and a Recommendation

Ben Lami Photo with
Adopted Child??

Working the party we recently attended was Photographer Ben Lami, happily capturing Kodak moments. I inquired about what seemed to be a hood on his camera. He enthusiastically demonstrated what was instead a Gary Fong diffuserUsed with an external flash, it transforms sometimes-harsh light into a soft version that resembles ambient light. Very cool.  Back to the party…

We were asked to pose. As we readied ourselves, the cutest little boy photo bombed us. I have no idea to whom he belongs, but he obviously recognized our grand-parently status and thought us to need enhancement! Precious.

If an occasion arises and you're in the tri-state area, give Ben a call at 201-634-4111.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I've Been Amos 'n' Andy-ed

Some of my favorite gifts from Joe have been of the "unbirthday" variety. You know. No occasion. Just a surprise gift from the heart…

A few days ago, he asked me if I'd heard of Amos 'n' Andy bracelets.
"No; can't say that I have."
But after a few minutes, I realized…

"Do you mean Alex and Ani bracelets?"

"You must have been in a Pandora store, to have seen them," continued I.

"Yes, I was; you know - the one in Rock Hill," he responded. "I'm kind of tired of looking at Pandora." 
Here I should mention that thanks to Joe, my kids and grands, my
P-bracelet is overflowing and positively gorgeous. Photo to come.
I digress…

Hmmm. I should have taken the hint. Must have been having an off day. Then, yesterday came the surprise. Yep, I was Amos 'n'
Andy-ed. Seems that Joe loved the show, as a kid, and thus the reference. Boomers reading will know… others will be clueless. Whole episodes are available on YouTube, where I watched in order to recollect. Hey, I'm a couple months younger. :-)

Thanks for the surprise, Honey. You're the best. I love you. And these Amos 'n' Andy bracelets are just too cool

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sparkling Springtime

Well, it's here and we're giving thanks. Little Pal Marley's precious handmade
card arrived with perfect timing  to afford us a sparkling start!
Old Sol just might cooperate in a timely manner, too...
Let the Sun shine in!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Dare You?

When I wrote A World Gone Busy in April of 2011, I had not read this NY TIMES article, published just prior. Honestly. It took me till last week to come across it in a Google search worded, Is a phone call intrusive? Try the same. You might be surprised by results. Little did I realize that Miss Manners' tutelage is required. So before I continue, I'd like to offer…

Sincere apologies to those I've intruded upon.

Not to worry, though, 'cause walls are up and precious time is rarely sacrificed. An immediate voicemail might arrive via a cell phone that I just spoke into:

"Sorry, I was too busy to answer," says the recipient of rudeness.

"Oh, that's okay; another time," I respond.

You'll be happy to know bad behavior is limited to just one try, as I envision the callee glancing at caller ID and thinking, "Screw her!" Shallow one-liners might ensue for months, via text or social media (anti-social media???), till I've surely forgotten why I called in the first place. With amusement I remember: 

Sharing a simple rotary phone with Gran, allowed in our bedroom when I turned sixteen.
I miss Gran.

The fancy-schmancy phone Mom had on her night table, circa 1970 or so, like the one pictured above.
I miss Mom.

The phone Neighbor Milt gifted us upon becoming frustrated when our cable connection would go out. His model, circa the late 90's, bypassed Time-Warner and gave him a sense of security. We were reachable. By phone.
I miss Milt.

But do I miss those olden, golden phone days?? Well, I didn't think so, 'cause now I have trusty iPhone to rely upon when I crave the sound of a beloved voice. Ah, WRONG! Modern manners dictate a brief text and not a chime or ring or vibration or song.
Who knew?

"RIP, Ma Bell."

Monday, March 17, 2014


We guesstimate that about 130 people gathered at the fabulous Erie banquet hall in Port to celebrate the 90th birthday of Joe's customer/pal, Dennis. When you have eight children and scores of Grands and Greats, the numbers mount quickly. It was a perfect party, with every little detail tended to in a bee-keeper's theme. Why the bees…

Though retired as a well driller, this man has enthusiastically continued on with other hobbies. He still hunts with one of his sons. No four-wheeler for him.
He travels to a blind on foot. And he still keeps bees, providing honey for all.

It was quite a surprise for us to be seated at the head table, with Joe placed right next to Dennis. They had a lot of catching up to do. Joe brought along the bill for our own well, pounded out over the course of an entire month in 1971. $500.00. That's right. Can you imagine the thousands of dollars it would cost today? And furthermore, our neighbors yield inadequate water from their rotary wells, as our 300-and-something-foot deep puppy continues to provide an abundance of aqua. 

What an interesting man, the celebrant. We had a great time and wish him continued good health, as he accepts lovin' from those who surrounded him, Saturday night past.

How Irish Are You?

Posing Like a Good Boy!
Top of St. Pat's mornin' to y'all! And who doesn't love a parade? Rock Hill's ambitious fire company has begun a tradition that
continues to grow. Rain held off on Saturday to afford them an afternoon of honkin' and hootin' fun for all. 
Emily and Gavin cooperated with smiles, but Aubs was hidden from view
on their very cool 4H float!
A/G's Cousin Aiyana and her waving pal gifted me the capture of the day!
Bri waved from his new truck and childhood friends, Glenn 'n' Jon, stepped up the pace,
as they all rocked on down the highway.
Bri saved the day with this pic in which we see Aubs-in-horns
and all the kids.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

We Went To See Eagles, But...

Through-the-Windshield Tom

We're not sure exactly what's goin' on down by the Rio, this year. Not an eagle in site. Nada. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our chicken salad sandwiches and Dunkin' in the glorious surroundings raptors normally call home… and then… 

On our way down Plank Road, there they were. Big Toms. Three of them.
Just strutting their stuff.

Okay, so they're not baldies; but we take what we can get and thank
Momma Nature.

Matthew McConaughey Again?

Jeesh, I'm becoming obsessed. But I have to tell you, we're two episodes shy of catching up on the HBO series, "True Detective". It's a feat, on MM's part, to get my attention, as there's a bit more violence than I can normally tolerate. But outweighing that fact is the incredible character development, throughout. Wow! And the synopses after each episode really add to the depth of the story, pointing out details one might have missed.

Woody Harrelson's fabulous, too, but he's not a contender for bumping my current favorite actor out of his #1 spot. Mr. M, on the other hand, is… and, if he wins an Emmy for this performance, he'll go down in history as the first to acquire Oscar and Emmy in one season. Highly recommended. On the other hand...

…is the movie, "Gravity". Ugh. Just bludgeon me. Once George was out of the literal picture, there was over an hour of Sandra grunting, groaning and spinning. Mentioned in fairness, Joe did enjoy it.

Karate Kid

My iPad and iPhone beeped in unison, the other night, with Gavin on FaceTime. He was excited about the Sun-Moon exercise he'd completed in Karate class. Only recently did he start classes. Ever so quickly, though, he's excelled and shall soon test for a yellow belt.
  "G'ma, there are 19 steps to this drill!"
I passed the device to Joe, so that Gav could execute the moves for him, too.

Then, Friday morning, I had a surprise in my Inbox; Bri had recorded the actual event. How fabulous is this movie-of-the-week?! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Glory Day

Let's Get Naked!

No, no… not that kind of naked! After all, this is a family blog. So stop worrying. But sometimes, less is seriously more, right? Especially in light of today's hint of springtime and 54-degree temps. Consider Mambo, nearly naked by comparison to his thick, wintry coat... 
 In anticipation of today's brilliant sunshine and temps, I gave him his warm-weather "do", yesterday. Yep. It took us 4 hours of bonding time, during which he cooperated 100 percent. He looks gorgeous. But he's still exhausted and hiding in the dining room, just in case his human decides to pamper and trim even more. Such a cutie pie. Then, there's windows and doors...
Let the sun shine in! G-d, I enjoyed taking the privacy covers off the front door windows. Long days mean late daylight and no surprises looking in from a darkened portico. This, dear Friends, is liberation, especially in combination with verticals completely aside great room windows. Sure, it's gonna take a while for those huge piles of snow to disappear, but who cares? The process has begun.
And then there are LIM baked goods…
I'd heard about 2-ingredient cookies, the other day. Grind 2 cups of oatmeal in the Cuisinart and combine with 2 large, ripe, mashed bananas till the mixture is dough-like. An arsenal of other ingredients can be added, or not, before they're baked for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Interesting. More like chewy granola bars, in texture. But a good hit for sweetness and low in calories. I added chips, figuring that everyone will at least try them if they see chocolate. The verdict isn't in, but what's to lose? Check out the complete recipe and interesting website here
We taste-tested. Joe thought them to be "Okay," but nothing like his favorite "real thing". That's a given!! I did not like them at all, but shall leave the recipe up for others to try, based on the concept - a healthy one.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

We Recommend...

While I watch...
"Scandal". Who knew? We didn't. That is, we were clueless that this show currently airs on ABC and is in its third season. But what a pleasure to have picked up the slack after "House Of Cards", by finding yet another series to binge-watch. Back to the White House with a different President, an equally snarky First Lady and another corrupt Congress. However, now we wait, 'cause we viewed Seasons One and Two on Netflix. ABC-On-Demand begins with Episode Eight of the third season. No can do.
It's a wrap, till the show is scandalously streamed in its entirety.

Meanwhile, Time Warner must know we've left them to watch Smart TV. Do you feel spied upon? Ahem. A gift card with TWO free movies? Unheard of. Competition is a good thing. So….

"Nebraska" it was, this morning. Bruce Dern is amazing, as is his entire supporting cast. The movie is bittersweet and surprisingly funny. Fathers and sons - husbands and wives - questionable relatives and friends. Old age. The mystery of it all. We were pleased to have watched; and…

Multitasking is in full swing, with Easter ZooKids being mass produced!

Steelhead Trout and...

We stopped at Adam's the other day, when I rode shotgun with Joe. It's such an amazing store in which to find awesome ingredients, like the pure ricotta cheese that Aubrey loves. It's fresh from the city and like no other I've tasted in a long, long time. And the fish…

Pretty as a picture and well represented, in terms of what's fresh or fresh-frozen and what is farm-raised.  No one should consume farm-raised fish. Period. If you don't have an honest fish monger, don't eat fish. Period. 
On Thursday, cod loins and steelhead trout were my choices. We'd never tried the latter. It looks just like salmon, with veins of healthy omega fat running through it. What a treat, with a topping of honey mustard, EVOO, lemon and a few breadcrumbs,
baked fast at 400 degrees. 

We're on our springtime eating regimen, now, and had a big salad (Elaine/Seinfeld) for lunch… sooooo… we didn't feel guilty enjoying a side of potatoes, carrots and lots of garlic, all mashed with unsweetened coconut milk and a bit of EVVO. No butter.
Sprinkled with paprika and into the oven with the fish for a quick warm-up and some color...
Lordy. Sunday dinner was spectacular. And we learned a helluva lot about a species that lives in saltwater but spawns in freshwater. Please Google, if you're so inclined. Meanwhile…

Buon Appetito!

Today's Version - Cole Slaw

With roasted red peppers just out of the oven and fresh scallions on hand, I made a little coleslaw, today. A sure sign of spring??
For a dressing, I whisked together small amounts of white balsamic, EVOO, pepper and sugar. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Mighty Hudson

Torches, the restaurant, was warm and cozy, but the view from its primo location was a frigid one. The thaw on the mighty river shall be a long time coming, this year, in spite of the passing of Fat Tuesday and the pending time change. If you're a farmer, I guess you'll appreciate Daylight Savings Time. However, I'm not sure of its usefulness for the rest of us. Sacrificing an hour of the weekend is huge! I digress...
Lunch was delicious, the scenery gorgeous. Upon our return to Stacey, the sunset as seen from the road below our Old Homestead…
well, it was nothing short of spectacular.

Here's to Shotgun Thursday.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Have I Mentioned That I ♥ Whoopi?

Oscar Shoes In Honor Of Dorothy 'n' The Wicked Witch
To Be Auctioned For Charity
Internet Photos

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Inside Looking Out… Look Who Came For Dinner

Shall I invite them in? They're pretty hungry, right about now, with deep snow making it more difficult for them to find food. Here, they've returned to the remains of Hunter's and Chloe's snowman, just outside our front door and beyond the portico. Hmmm, they are obviously the culprits who ate the cucumber nose and carrot adornments, last week!
RealTime 'n' Lovin' Mother Nature