Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cooking & Retreating

 Last weekend, I bought $16 worth of tomatoes from the farmer's market and made some spaghetti sauce.  Goodness, I love cooking my own sauce.  Mushrooms, ground turkey and onion added a little bulk to the sauce.  For dinner, I added tortellini and yum!  And I put two big containers in the freezer for winter consumption. 
The rest of the week has been a bit of a blur.  I had retreat with my students Tuesday and Wednesday and a training on campus today.  Between those events, general back to school issues and getting new staff members up to speed, things have been crazy busy.  I'm grateful I got to spend a little time down by the lake at retreat, just enjoying the water.  That's my kind of office! 
I can hardly wait for the weekend.  I have nothing planned.  Well, except a trip back to the farmer's market for more tomatoes so I can have some blanched ones in the freezer for chili this winter!  What are you up to this Labor Day Weekend? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kitchen Nesting Continued

I went into Michael's looking for one of those big cardboard letters so I could cover it in yarn.  No luck!  But you lose your craftiness card if you leave Michael's empty handed, right?  So I bought three small wooden letters and a wooden board.  Because "yum" is perfect in the kitchen.  And I had extra red paint left from the painting the kitchen chairs.  Add some of the varnish I had from a prior project, a bit of drilling and some ribbon and you have a new little kitchen sign.  Loving my new (less than) $10 project! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ontario, It's Incredible!

That's the tagline from an old Ontario tourism commercial.  Maybe circa late 80s/early 90s?  
Anywho.... I forgot to share one other little find from my trip!  In Hammondsport, we wandered into Hammondsport Mercantile during the morning of our last day there.  What a gem!  I meandered and searched.  There was a number of delightful treasures.  I fell in love with a 1950's (ish) toy cash register.  I couldn't come up with the perfect home for it in my home so I walked away.  There was also a large collection of vintage glass bottles.  And bowls.  Yes, it was amazing.  The store is essentially a consignment store with a lovely couple operating it in their retirement.  I ended up leaving with just this map of Ontario.  I have a lot of love for Ontario.  Not only did I grow up 20 minutes away from my favorite Canadian province but my stepfamily used to vacation there on Lake Muskoka every summer.  I love a little reminder of that awesomeness.  This treasure needs a frame and then I'll find a perfect little place to make it at home!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hammondsport Getaway

My love and me at Heron Hill Winery
Last update on our trip!  We left Buffalo on Monday and headed down to Hammondsport, NY.  It is Budget Travelers "Coolest Small Town in America" for 2012.  And it's pretty cool.  Hammondsport is part of NY wine country.  We visited three of the local wineries on our Tuesday there: Bully Hill, Dr. Frank's and Heron Hill
All were great.  The tasting at Bully Hill was $5 for five pre-selected wines.  They do tastings every 20 minutes or so and there were probably 20 people in our tasting group. We left with a couple of bottles, one for my mom who was dog sitting Rosy and a Spring White Niagara to satisfy my sweet wine tooth. 

At Dr. Frank's we kind of fell in love.  The tasting was complimentary but we definitely paid for it in bought bottles.  We came home with a Chardonnay, semi-dry Riesling and the one favorite we both agreed on, a Gewurztraminer Reserve.  I think that bottle will be consumed on our anniversary! 
Our last winery was Heron Hill.  It's a quaint place.  We paid $3 for a tasting of five previously selected wines.  They were yummy and we picked up a couple of bottles to return with - Game Bird White and a wine I had tried the night before, Game Bird Blush.  We stayed at Heron Hill for a while, as they have a cafe too.  The stuffed mushrooms were crazy good.  We followed them with a crab pizza which was also yummy. 

Stuffed and happy, we headed back to town to hang out for a while.  It's a lovely place to walk around.  We were about 2 blocks from the lake so we walked there to enjoy the view.  There really is nothing like the sounds of waves lapping the shore to calm your mind and refocus your thoughts. 
The view from The Waterfront at dusk
For dinner that night we went to a place recommended by a friend of mine from college, who grew up in the area.  The Waterfront not only has great food but we were able to sit on the dock over the water and see the sky change colors as the sun set behind us.  The above photo was taken there and really doesn't do the view and overall atmosphere justice. 
Keuka Lake
It was a great trip with my love.  I'm so glad we were able to get away for a bit and just enjoy time with each other.  We're both often so busy that it is nice to just be with each other.  I'm truly blessed.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cave of the Winds

A little more about our trip to Buffalo....

On Monday, before heading out of the Western New York area, we went up to Niagara Falls and visited Cave of the Winds.  In all of my time living in WNY, I think this might only be the 2nd time I did it. 
 And it's such a cool experience.  You pretty much walk under the Bridal Veil Falls on the American side.  The entrance is on Goat Island (the island where Nik Wallenda started his tightrope walk across the Falls).  After you get your special non-slip sandals, you take a elevator down the equivalent of 18 stories. 
 Once down at the bottom, you get your raincoat and can head out to the wooden walkways.  It was a gorgeous day and not too hot.  As always with Niagara Falls, the crowd was quite diverse.  I love hearing the happy exclamations in a dozen different languages. 
 You certainly get quite soaked.  Thank goodness for that great yellow raincoat and the plastic bags you get for your belongings!  I'm so glad we went.  It really is an amazing way to get up close to the Falls. 
And there was a double rainbow people!  Who doesn't love that? 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flea Market Finds: Part 135(ish)

 By now, you know I love a flea market.  Especially the one in Clarence, NY by my mom's house. (Ignore the fragment!) I'm just back from another trip to Buffalo and managed a flea market trip.  I hit pay dirt I think.  I got the above cake tray, a Christmas gift for a friend, for $15.  (Hopefully she won't lurk around the blog so it'll be a surprise!)
 I also fed my love of Pyrex with a little bowl.  This one is about 7 inches across along the top.  It's a little scratched up but not bad.  And it in such an oh so cheerful color, how could I leave it behind.  After all, it was only $5. 
 And I bought a cake plate for me.  It was also $15, at the same vendor.  I thought it would coordinate perfectly with a plate of my great-grandmother's.  It doesn't, as it's a darker green.  But they still look nice together and I'm happy for this little gem. 
And lastly, I have been looking for a globe.  I have a high entertainment center and bookcase in my living room and I thought a globe would look nice on the top of one of them.  This one - post USSR era - was only $10 and has already found it's home on the top of the bookcase.  It had to suffer through a number of "I've got the whole world..." jokes but I don't think it's any worse for the wear. 

I'm grateful for another successful flea market trip.  And also for a patient manfriend who accompanied me and didn't mind the browsing.  Great time!! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quote Friday

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time. ~ Dean Acheson

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tote-ally Christmas

Yes, I recognize that's a cheesy title.  But really, is this the first time you realized I'm a bit cheesy?  Okay, a lot cheesy.  Anywho, this coming Saturday is Christmas (in August) for my extended family on my mom's side.  We each pull a name and give a stocking worth of stuff plus a "big gift."  I have one of my aunts.  I have picked up some fun stuff - as well as gag gifts - and am all set.  And in order to deliver everything with ease, I decided to make another simple tote bag.  This one has piping on the sides.  Yeah, that makes me crazy happy for some reason.  I'm not entire sure why.  But I love it.  And I'm hoping she does too!!  Bring on Christmas!!!!