A blog about "nothing"!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Photo of the Week, March 30, 2015

I haven't posted very many photos of our dog Trick, and when I came across this one, I just had to use it.  She was a mixed breed dog, chow-chow, some sort of retriever and we suspect German Shepherd, and as a result, her ears kind of had a mind of their own sometimes.  Frequently she would have one up and one down, unless she was really wanting to hear something, both would go up, we referred to that as "Tricky Radar".  She was very expressive with them, it was very funny!  They were so soft too, she would sit her head in my lap and I would just pet her ears, it was like petting velvet. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Photo of the Week, March 23, 2015

Several years ago on a trip to New York City, we decided to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I loved it and one of these days I want to go back.  So much beautiful artwork to see in all sorts of mediums.  I was especially taken by the display of Tiffany glass, particularly the windows.  This one was probably my favorite.  The title is "Autumn Landscape" and it is huge, measuring 11 feet by just over 8 feet.  I could have stood there and looked at it all day.

For more info on this piece: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/25.173a-o

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Photo of the Week, March 17, 2015

Yeah, the photo of the week is a day late, but for good reason.  Saturday we went to the Pittsburgh Penguins game.  I didn't take my camera with me, good thing the hubby had his cell phone along.  I was so excited when the team skated out in their practice jerseys--green, complete with Irish flags on the sleeve and Gaelic names!!  My husband was really confused at first, he was trying to figure out what was going on LOL!

If you would like to read more about it, there is a really neat article:


Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Cleaning

The weather has been so nice the past few days, warmer, sunny and the snow is melting off.  We can actually see grass in our yard again!  Winter seemed to last forever and now we are being rewarded. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, spring always gets me in the right mood for cleaning.  And boy does it need done around here.  Last year I didn't really do spring cleaning as such because we knew we were going to be remodeling the bathroom and I couldn't see the point in doing that all twice.  I didn't get my usual fall spruce up in either because we all of a sudden had several things we were dealing with.  So things are a bit messier than what I would normally like here.

I haven't taken a box of donation stuff to the thrift store for quite a while, so that's a priority.  I need to scrub the living room rug, that's on my list for next week.  And we are going to do some furniture "re-appropriating" as well as getting rid of a piece or two.  I've also started to list things on Ebay again, I had put that on the backburner when the weather was so terrible.  I always feel better after I've done these things, I feel in control of the clutter again. 

Now that the weather is getting better, what's on your "to-do" list?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Photo of the Week, March 9, 2015

I loved the gnarly look of this tree.  I took this about 7 or 8 years ago, I wonder if the tree is even still there now or did it disintegrate into a pile of sawdust?  Trees can have so much character, the textures, colors, patterns of different species.  I miss the catalpa tree we had at our old house, it had been struck by lightning so it had some interesting marks on the trunk.  The ones here are rather boring.  Maybe we need to plant a tree?

Warmer temps here, it's officially melt off time.  It's going to take a while though, still quite a bit of snow on the ground even with a nice warm weekend.  Looking forward to seeing mud though, hopefully followed by some new grass.  Spring will be here soon!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Feeling old...

Most of the time I don't feel my age.  I keep up with current trends and news, I am in to most newer technology and most days I don't "think" old.  Physically is another story, but that's the result of arthritis that I've had issues with my whole life, so I don't count that.  The past week though, I had an experience that made me feel old.  But not in a bad way.

Last week I went shopping with my sister-in-law, we went to my favorite thrift store in Pittsburgh and then to IKEA.  We had a good time, had a great lunch and found some good bargains.  I count it as a good shopping day, even though I didn't buy all that much.  It was nice to get out (this winter has really killed my desire to go much of anywhere, I can't wait for spring!) and get a change of scenery if nothing else.  IKEA is always fun to check out, although I have to resist the urge to throw out all of my furniture and go there to replace it all.  (I include this info to show you that I'm not against shopping or going out or any of that.  I promise, it will all make sense later on.)

Saturday night we went out to dinner with friends.  We had a good time with them, but the rest of the experience was just...bizarre.  I think because the evening was such a contrast to my shopping trip earlier in the week.  First off, we went to The Cheesecake Factory, we had never been to this location and it had been years since we had been there at all.  Sounded like a good choice and it was somewhat centrally located for all of us.  My husband and I went there early, assuming that it would be a good idea to get our names on the waiting list since it was a Saturday night.  That's the understatement of the year.  We arrived just a little after 5PM, and we were told there would be a 2 hour wait.  Yeah, you read that right-2 hours.  Okay, I guess we can deal with this since the restaurant is attached to a large shopping mall. 

This particular mall was built in the 1980's and over the years I have visited it many times.  I used to go there a lot, but over time, I found myself going there less and less. In fact, it had been close to a year since my last visit there (when my friend Heather and I went shopping.)   My shopping habits had changed, the stores there had changed, and we've had a lot of development closer to home that eliminated the need to drive that far for certain things.  Since we had two hours to kill, we decided to go walk around.  The four of us didn't walk that far when I suggested we find a seat.  We all agreed that there was absolutely nothing in that mall that interested us.  NOTHING.  I bought one thing that cost $4.  Wow.  I hope they aren't relying on folks like us to support them.

While we sat, I people watched.  It was interesting to see what people were wearing and what they were buying.  For the younger set, it seemed like there was almost a uniform to wear while shopping.  I saw a lot of people with no bags and the ones that did have any, didn't have very many.  I couldn't help but wonder, how does a mall this size survive if that's all people are buying.  I've heard that the shopping mall is a dinosaur and that many of them around the country are being torn down or converted in to other things.  After seeing this, I can see why.  And it wasn't like the mall was empty, it was packed with people.  But not many buying.  Which is weird considering it's the end of February when clearance sales are at their best prices.  Odd.

Finally the time passed and our table was ready.  Dinner was okay, mine was good, my husband's was just "okay" as he put it.  Our friends were also a mixed bag, his was good, but hers was burnt so badly that it had to be sent back.  And then our bill came.  $48 for my dinner and my husband's and he had dessert, but I didn't.  No alcoholic drinks either, just Pepsi.  Wow.  If it had been an amazing meal, I probably wouldn't have thought much about it, but it wasn't.  I'll be honest, I felt completely ripped off.  I doubt I will ever go back to the Cheesecake Factory again.  Not when I can eat, closer to home, no 2 hour wait, and be thoroughly stuffed for under $30 for the 2 of us, AND support a local entity. 

Apparently I'm alone in this thinking though.  When we left it was around 8:30 PM, and there were still a large number of people waiting to get seated.  I just kind of shook my head.  Really??  Am I missing something??  Then it dawned on me--it's all about the hype.  "Look at me, look at me, I'm waiting to go to the Cheesecake Factory."  Or, "hey, I shop at this really high end mall, so I must be somebody."  No thanks.  It's one of the few times in my life where I'm happy to be an old fart, satisfied with who I am and what I have, and not needing the approval of others to make me feel good. 

So pardon me while I continue to shop at thrift stores and online, eat at fun, privately owned restaurants with great atmosphere, good food and better prices.  I don't aspire to be a trend setter or even follow them.  My time, my money and my mental state are worth more than any shopping mall or chain restaurant can provide me with.  Getting old is good.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Photo of the week, March 2, 2015

Right after we got Laney, I got this idea to take a picture of her once a month on about the same day for her entire first year so we could see how she changed.  I did really well, I did manage to accomplish that, and I still try to take a photo of her every year on her birthday.  This photo is one of a series that I took of her in March of 2009, she was really in a posing mood that day and it was hard to pick a favorite.  I do have to laugh though, she was very sick of having her photo taken after that first year and for a time she would run whenever she saw me pick up my camera! 

They said on our local news that it's only 18 days until the first day of spring.  Looking out the window I find that hard to believe.  We have been hearing a lot of birds lately though, so maybe?