Archive for Misc

A Tavern in the Hills

While I was out of town for my Grandmother’s funeral, we all took a break and went out to dinner. There aren’t many options in the area where Gram was raised. We went to the biggest restaurant in town. This restaurant is smack in the middle of nowhere, deep in the hills of Southwest PA. There’s nothing special about it from the outside — it’s a tavern that looks kind of cobbled together and ramshackle. Imagine my surprise upon entering and seeing this —

The owner traveled to Africa several times to go on safaris. He apparently like to shoot things. Lots of them. As stunned as I was by the number of stuffed real animals, I was equally puzzled by the number of stuffed play ones on display. The stuffed Christmas moose right in front of the gazelle being suffocated by a lion just made it all seem kinda creepy and weird to me. There were artifacts all over the place, too — hooves in the bathroom, on lamps, strange footstools, and equal amounts of fluffy toys. Bizarre.

The food was good. And cheap. Makes one wonder how so many trips to shoot and kill were funded by $3 BLTs.


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Winter Games

Indoor field hockey season started last week.
Along with it comes another resolution of mine — to take better photos. It’s hard to catch my fast-moving girl. Oh, this is one resolution I will have fun trying to keep.

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I’ve made a few resolutions for the new year. Here’s my list of things I want to accomplish — other than my ubiquitous lose 10 lbs, exercise more, be more patient, etc.:

1. Get over my fear of power tools (John got me a miter saw! Eeeek!!)
2. Learn more about woodworking (see #1) and install crown moulding
3. Learn how to lay tile (see also #1)
4. Spend more time training the dog
5. Take piano lessons
6. Knit a sweater
7. Paint the boys’ room
8. Plant a garden that I don’t lose interest in by mid-summer
9. Keep a neater & cleaner house
10. Give up on growing roses (darn beetles!) and espalier apple trees instead (hmmm….does this fall under #8?)

We’ll see if I accomplish anything. Already, I’m failing at #9 but that’s no surprise.

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Right now my roses are in full bloom. I look at my yard and smile. I walk around and lovingly greet each bloom. Hello old yellow. This was the only rose bush on our property when we moved in. It has survived 7 years of our neglect and abuse. It deserves and award for being so persistant.

Hello rose red, don’t you look beautiful this morning!

Good morning, little strawberry & cream roses! You look so pretty I could eat you up!

And look at these happy, golden & shiny faces!

This one looks so serious.

There are many many more on the verge of blooming. So many I get giddy just thinking of them! I love them inordinately. Maybe I love them so because I know it won’t be long until the brutal hot day of summer arrive along with the beetles that will destroy them. Also coming soon is the black spot fungus that will turn my thriving plants into leafless twigs and my heart will break. Somehow they will limp through until the following spring when they bloom afresh and I can dance through my flower beds with glee.

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My favorite flower of all is the peony. In my yard, the first blooms usually appear by Mother’s Day. We were away this year. Luckily, due to our prolonged cold this spring, my flowers waited for me to return.

Look at all the ants on it!!!! They keep me from snipping all the blooms and bringing them inside. The ants would probably feel right at home in my house. They can make friends with all the other currently invading my kitchen.

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Home in the Spring

Oh how I love spring!

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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Scenes from a rained-out yard:

Yes, I know April showers bring May flowers but at this rate, the flowers will be floating away.

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