A blog about "nothing"!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Why Bother?"

I was getting ready to shower a couple of days ago, contemplating "did my legs need shaved" when this video popped in to my head.  Made for the David Letterman Holiday Film Festival back in the 1980's, it is a classic, and I was thrilled to find it on YouTube.  My mother and I quoted it frequently, especially "Why Bother".  Enjoy! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6Jfs8bK6WQ&feature=player_detailpage




Sunday, July 28, 2013

More Balloons?!

It's fair/festival/carnival season in this neck of the woods.  These events can be sponsored by a church, community or organization and as long as the weather cooperates, they can be a great way to raise money.  A lot of them are an "old home week" feel as well, I know of many families who plan family reunions around a particular event, and some school groups even plan their class reunions that way as well.  The season starts just after Memorial Day and continues through to Labor Day with a few stragglers after, it's just that the weather situation tends to be a bit questionable once you get closer to October.

Last year we found out about one not far from our house with an interesting twist.  It's a carnival to raise money for a local fire department, somehow they have paired it up with a hot air balloon event!  We tried to go last year, but the weather was not cooperative, I don't think a single balloon managed to get in the air the entire weekend.  We decided to give it another try this year, and Friday night we met up with friends for a fun evening of watching balloons followed by dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.  Does it get any better than that?!

Here are some nice shots of a balloon going from flat on the ground to in the air:





 
These ones at this stage make me think of giant beach balls!

 
 
Some more up in the air--there were about 10 total launched.


 
A couple more about to be airborne! 
 
And last but not least..... 

 
You would think that after all the balloons we saw in New Mexico in October that we would be sick of them by now--never!
 
Happy Sunday everyone!  Check out the "blog hop" over at Blissful and Domestic. She always has great ideas and links from other bloggers with fun stuff!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Preppy Bargain!

The heat has finally broken and we are back to normal in this section of the country--hurray!  We went to the movies on Saturday to see "The Lone Ranger", I don't see why the critics have been blasting it, I thought it was really cute.  Nothing like the TV series I remember from my childhood, fortunately I didn't go expecting that.  I've been busy picking stuff from my "garden" and trying to get caught up on laundry that I didn't feel like doing last week when the temps were approaching 100. 

Today I decided to get a bunch of errand running out of the way and do a little bit of shopping.  We have a TJMaxx just 5 minutes from our house, I LOVE TJMaxx, but my last few trips I came out empty handed.  It really is a bit of a crap shoot when you go there, but once in a while...........   Today was one of those good days, I got a cool locking container that will be great for packing hubby's lunches, a new purse that I'm going to save for fall, a bottle of Burberry perfume that I have been looking for the last two months when I went in there (yipee!) and these:


I have a pair of leather Keds slip ons in white that I love, but I was really wanting a pair in some sort of fun pattern.  I had looked in a few places but they not only didn't have any slip ons, they were $35!  I have a hard time spending that much on canvas tennis shoes.  I couldn't believe when not only were these my size, they were also on clearance--$16 :)  I love that they are pink and green, plus while they look like they are lace ups, they aren't, they have hidden elastic gores in them so they are super comfy.  And no, those spots on the right one aren't dirt marks, that is from my nosey little dog sticking her wet nose all over them smelling them.  ARGH!   Thank heavens I don't suffer any OCD issues about dog germs, she does that with everything. 

Once in a while patience pays off.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Too Hot!!!

Most of the US is experiencing a major heat wave this week, and here is no different--it is currently 88 degrees, but feels a lot hotter because of the humidity, supposed to reach 91 before the day is out.  I've had a headache all morning, I think mostly because of the goofy barometric pressure, we've had "rumble rumble" of thunder off and on for the last few hours.  Unfortunately it is supposed to be like this the rest of the week, no relief in sight until the weekend.  I sure hope they are right!  I tossed a beef roast and veggies in the crock pot this morning for dinner so I don't have to do much preparation, plus it keeps me from heating up the kitchen.  I'm so not a hot weather person, if I wanted it this hot I would live in Florida, not Pennsylvania. 

I did make a pleasant discovery this morning while I had Laney outside.......
 
See those things in the bowl......yeah, those long stringy green things..........GREEN BEANS!!!  Finally my beans have started to produce something, yay!  I'm going to leave these ones in the refrigerator until Friday, hopefully by then I'll have enough to actually cook, there were quite a few coming on but not quite ready yet.  I picked 4 more peppers, lots coming on too, we will be having the sausage stuffed pepper recipe again this coming weekend.  And last but not least, a couple of my onions.  They hardly seem big enough to pull just yet, but I do need to thin them out some, so I figure I will pick a few here and there for cooking.  We've had three tomatoes that were wonderful (note "were", they are history!) with quite a few more coming on, and the lettuce is thriving, I picked a bunch of it off this morning to make a salad for Lee to take with him.  I am definitely loving having fresh produce right outside my front door, knowing that it hasn't been sprayed with pesticides, grown with non-GMO seeds, and a product of my own hard work (and the hubby too!)  I will definitely be growing these again next year, maybe add one or two more things to it.  Mmmmmmmm!
 
Stay cool (and safe) everyone!  Look out for your neighbors and your furry friends too.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Huzzah!

Saturday the weather cooperated and we got to do something we hadn't done in a couple of years--go to a Renaissance Festival.  We have two in the summer within a two hour drive of us, this year we decided to go to the Great Lakes Medival Faire.  A pretty woodland setting (although a little muddy thanks to all the rain from the week before) set on acres of open meadows makes the perfect setting for such an event.  The only drawback was the humidity had moved in earlier than expected, making it a bit uncomfortable for someone like me who hates the heat.  Oh well.

The entrance

One of several musicians throughout the faire

Would love to know if this was made just for this or if it is a former part of a carousel?
 
So you ask--what was the Tardis doing at a Renaissance Faire?  Well, it just happened to be Alter Ego Time Travel Experience Weekend--you could come dressed as your favorite Sci fi character, toon character--whatever!  We saw everything from Spiderman, several incarnations of Dr. Who and many Steampunk costumes that were unbelievable.  There was one couple in particular who I really wanted to get a picture of, but they kept disappearing on me, so I didn't :'(
 
We had two acts that we really liked--the first being Danny Lord.  His act was along the lines of Chips Cooney (if you are familiar with him).  Luckily the audience seemed to "get it" as well, it's not something that everyone would enjoy.

I was most impressed when at the end of the act, he decided to speak (his whole act is silent for the most part) and told us that the guy playing the guitar with him was not his usual partner, that it was the first time they had performed together.  You could have fooled me! 
 
Our other favorite act was The Washing Well Wenches.  We had seen them before, but these two gals seemed to have a great chemistry together and they were particularly good.  "Pearl" and "Gerty" kept us all entertained, and a few people got a little bit wet. (hee hee)



 
All sorts of fun stuff to buy too, I was good and didn't buy anything!  Truthfully, I have enough Celtic/Irish style jewelry of my own to start a store, but I really like looking if nothing else.  This particular festival is juried for the crafters to prevent too much repetition as well as making sure that the items are truly hand made and not mass produced "made in China" crap.  I appreciate that tremendously as there are some very talented artisans out there. 
 
We had a lot of fun, just wish it hadn't been so humid.  I do have to say that they have made some changes to this festival since we were last there, some good, some not so good, but I think they are in a transitional stage as they were having financial issues (as have so many of these festivals over the last couple of years).  If you have never been to a Renaissance Festival you really should go--lots of fun, tons of tongue in cheek comedy and laughter, amazing crafts and food--I forgot to mention the yummy cinnamon/sugar peanuts I bought--heaven!  If you are curious about the Pittsburgh festival, check it out here
 
For your enjoyment--Here is a short clip of the guitarist who accompanied Danny Lord:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UukVYfdm7ws&feature=youtu.be
 
 
 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Yummo!!!

Busy week here and I was a bit under the weather on top of it.  What I originally thought was a bad case of indigestion Saturday night from eating a greasy dinner turned out to be some sort of bug!  I finally started feeling better yesterday, but it certainly threw a monkey wrench in a lot of plans I had for the week.

Today I'm going to make up for it by doing some serious cooking.  It's food that I've been wanting to make, but both recipes require the oven, and the weather forecast starting Sunday is not exactly oven weather, so time is of the essence.  Dinner tonight is going to be sausage stuffed peppers and apple crisp.  Leftovers for lunch on Sunday!!!! 

Here is a picture of two of the peppers I "harvested" earlier this week from my plants.  Both plants currently are just full of peppers, so I shouldn't have any difficulty getting enough today for my recipe and probably again next weekend. Hoping to have enough to freeze enough for a recipe too.   I'm so tickled :)

I thought it would be nice to share the recipe-- I look forward to banana pepper season every year just so I can make it.  My sister and a friend of hers came up with this particular recipe, it's so good!

SAUSAGE STUFFED HOT BANANA PEPPERS

8 Hot Banana Peppers, cleaned and seeded
1 pound country style bulk sausage (I use Bob Evans)

Stuff the sausage in the peppers.  You can slice the peppers lengthwise to make stuffing easier.  If you want yours really hot, don't clean the seeds out as thoroughly, the heat is mostly in the seeds.  Arrange in a large casserole dish.  If you have more sausage than you do peppers, just roll it in to meatballs and put them in the casserole as well. 

Prepare the Sauce

1 #8 can of whole or diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small green pepper finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I've used garlic powder too)
salt & pepper to taste
1 small can tomato sauce

Saute onions till soft, add garlic and cook a minute or two.  Add the tomatoes, green pepper, seasonings and tomato sauce and simmer till reduced a little.  Remove from heat and stir in:

1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Pour the sauce mix over the stuffed peppers, cover with foil tightly and bake at 350 degrees for 1/1/2 hours.  Remove foil and cover the peppers with approximately 8 slices of swiss cheese.  Return to oven and bake till cheese starts to bubble all over.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

One of the nice things about this recipe is you can do a lot of advance prep work--I've stuffed the peppers the night before as well as make the sauce, just keeping it separate until just before I was ready to put it in the oven.  That makes it a great recipe for a working person, and the time it takes to bake gives you a nice amount of time to "wind down" :)

The apple crisp will be made using this recipe, just substituting the peaches with apples instead.  I leave out the nuts since I'm allergic, but I've thought about trying it with peanuts, I wonder how that would be.  I love this recipe, the seasonings in it are spot on, I could eat it every day with either apples or peaches. 

Have a great weekend everyone!  We are hoping to go to something tommorrow that we haven't been to for a couple of years--I will definitely have some fun pictures to share if we get to go. 



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!!!!




Fireworks have long been one of my favorite things to photograph, I haven't done any for a couple of years though.  I need to change that!  Have a great 4th of July everyone and stay safe :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

$3.9_

I did really well in June by not buying anything in a thrift store.  I think the last time I went that long was last fall, and that was partially because I was sick and then on vacation.  My last purchases weren't all that great, my sister and I went to a Goodwill that I usually do well at the last weekend in May, and all I came out with were two VHS movies for 49 cents each.  I was overdue for some good buys!

Monday I decided to run to the Goodwill here, not a ton of stuff that even caught my eye.  However, I did see this from a distance--"is that what I think it is?"  I made a beeline for it, and my eagle eyes paid off--a Vera Bradley Hipster bag, in immaculate condition!  I really don't think it was ever used, I did wash it just to be safe, but not a stain, tear, mark on it and the zippers worked perfectly.  $3.99, these bags run from $30 - $60 normally, and this is a discontinued pattern that I really like.  :)
 
I hadn't been to Red White and Blue since I went with my friend in May, so I decided a trip to Pittsburgh was in order yesterday.  It was a bit of a let down, I have noticed that a lot of the thrift stores are low on merchandise at the moment, not sure why.  At the first one I found this nice periwinkle colored Croft & Barrow polo shirt, in brand new condition, it still has the fold marks in it.  It is a bit small at the moment, but I will put it away for next spring.  $3.95.
 
That was all I purchased there, and I figured I was that far, I might as well go check the other store on the other side of town.  I found this pretty tunic style shirt, I've been wanting one like this, and I loved the fact that the print is along the lines of Lilly Pulitzer.  Not familiar with Sigrid Olsen, but for $3.95 I would take a chance. (notice there seems to be a trend here with the price?!)
 
I also found this cookbook, I have thought about buying this several times and for the price I couldn't pass it up--$3.95 again! 
 
Last but not least--my favorite purchase of the week!  I stopped at the Salvation Army in the town I used to work in, and about fell over when I saw these:
I was THRILLED to find these, not only are they hard to find at thrift stores around here, but these ones are in immaculate condition.  I have a feeling they were in a cabinet and barely (if ever) used.  For those who don't know, they are Hall China/Jewel Tea, in the Autumn Leaf pattern.  These are highly collectible, and this particular creamer and sugar would go for premium prices because the gold leafing is still perfect, usually that is what is worn on them.  They have been reproducing these for a collectors club, but these are original issue--whooooo hooo!  I got them BOTH for $3.98, on Ebay they are selling for anywhere from $13 - $20.  Definitely worth the stop, I almost didn't go there! 
 
Now back to being good.........this ought to hold me over for a while. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Garden Report............

Feeling a bit like Les Nessman giving the WKRP update here.......the "garden" project is still going very well.  I officially started harvesting some lettuce this past week, and I expect to be picking at least one tomato in the next couple of days--yay!

I've never grown onions from seed before, and I'm really pleased with how they have come along.  They look a bit thick right now, so I think I'm going to start thinning them a bit by pulling some of these little starts and using them in cooking.  I pulled one out of curiosity and was really surprised at how strong smelling they already are, they are definitely onions!!
 
Here's the tomato plants--the one is really loaded with tomatoes, the other has quite a few, but the super hot spell we had last week didn't help it along.  The one tomato is about ready to harvest, I can't wait to taste it, there is nothing as good as a home grown tomato. I'm hoping some cooler temps, water and fertilizer will revive the one plant.  I bought tomatoes yesterday when I went to Aldi, hoping I won't need to buy any again for a few weeks. 
 


 
I've picked a lot of lettuce the past week, it always amazes me how quickly it comes back.  The left side of the container is where started picking at the beginning of the week, it has almost caught up with the little bit on the right where I haven't picked yet!

 
The green beans bounced back too--no sign of beans yet, but the plants look good and healthy, so I am hopeful :)
 
And last but not least--the peppers.  These are sweet banana peppers, and have they ever taken off!  At this rate I'll not only have plenty for a recipe I make, but quite a few to freeze.  I'm more than likely going to have to tie these up to a pole, they are so weighed down with peppers--and look at all the blossoms, peppers yet to come!

 
So far I would say my attempt at mass container gardening was a success, definitely something I will do again next year.  Not as pretty as flowers, but tastes better :)  Take that you stupid deer!