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Monthly Archives: October 2013

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Trick or Treat

Have some fun this Halloween.

Happy Halloween from Rory and Lucy Marie.

Happy Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve. It’s going to be a fun day. I can’t wait to go to work and tell everyone to “take off your scary masks!”  Of course the favorite activity for children is trick or treating. I don’t know about you but I have never cared for bobbing for apples; the water got dirty and there were teeth marks in the apples. But it was a game we played every year. Growing up in the 1960’s, our costumes were almost always home made. Politically incorrect too; a lot of bums. Our parents didn’t fuss like they sure do now. You need a bag to carry your trick or treat candy?  Go grab a pillow case. The fun part was spilling your candy all over the floor and making candy trades with my sisters. “Wait, how did you get the candy cigarettes and waxed teeth and not me, we went to all the same houses?”  Oh, and in case you need a joke for today to share here are a couple. What do ghosts have for dessert (I-scream), Why couldn’t the ghost find his mom and dad? (they were transparent).

 

 

Is Halloween Going To The Dogs?

Reading, Texting and Arithmetic

Do you know someone with beautiful cursive hand writing? Praise them!

 

Do you know someone with beautiful cursive handwriting? Praise him or her. It’s a lost talent. Pictured here is Stephanie who has enviable, tasteful, chic, and stylish cursive handwriting. Who doesn’t want to get a hand written note from Stephanie? It’s a thrill. Yep, she owes it to the nuns at St. Thomas Aquinas grade school where penmanship was part of the 2rd grade curriculum. Sure, you remember the work sheets with the little arrows to follow on the paper with dotted lines. Bad news kids–everybody texts today. Kids use keyboards. Kids print. R U there? Teachers don’t have time to teach cursive handwriting because there’s no time. What are we to do? Don’t kids realize how unique our handwriting style is to each of us – like a snowflake or a fingerprint! Up and down, slanted forward, slanted back, loops, curves and bends. Black ink or blue ink. Next time we write a thank you note (wait, that’s a lost knack too) or pull out a scrap paper to write a list; practice cursive writing. When was the last time you wrote a capital Q? IMHO, TTYL, THX. (In my humble opinion, talk to you later and thanks). Where’s the bounce and style in that?

Go Nuts!

Only one ingredient. Unsalted dry roasted peanuts.

Only one ingredient. Unsalted dry roasted peanuts. Go Nuts!

When my husband and I were newlyweds, we discovered that we were both fans of Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter. Sure, we liked Jif too. But then about a decade ago we made the switch to natural peanut butter to avoid hydrogenated oil. We switched to Smuckers All Natural and would store the jar upside down so the oil on top would mix in. We enjoyed them all – TJ’s, Lexington Co-Op’s, Peanut Butter and Co- you name it! Well, we are onto something better and I have to give Evan credit for this one. He pulled out the blender and said “I’m making my own.”  Maybe it was the rising cost of peanut butter, maybe it was the added oil or sugar, maybe he was watching an old episode of ‘Father Knows Best’ or maybe it was the extra peanuts in the cupboard; whatever the reason we have not looked back since. Simple. Delicious. Only one ingredient. Unsalted, dry roasted peanuts. Chopped in a ninja blender. It’s that easy. Sure, you can add honey and oil (peanut oil) or molasses or salt or sugar. But why? Go Nuts!!

 

 

Meet Beauregard

This handsome cockapoo was acquired at the Buffalo Animal Shelter.

This handsome cockapoo was acquired at the Buffalo Animal Shelter.

It’s time for another dog story. Since I am the poodle walker, I have the good fortune to meet other dog walkers. Timing is everything folks. When you go on walks you can only hope you will run into your favorite dogs and those of your dogs. After all, certainly your dogs have friends too. And your dogs certainly hit it off with some dogs more than others. Who knows why. Well, as luck would have it, today we walked with the precious Beauregard. Beauregard, we believe is a cockapoo, but we cannot be certain. This handsome guy was acquired at the Buffalo Animal Shelter at 380 North Oak Street. He was found emaciated, flea infested, and tied to a fence. He was abandoned outside a well known drug house to die. Adopted with love by a neighbor, Beauregard was named (who knows if he even had a name), fattened up (went from 15 pounds to 30 pounds), cleaned up (fluffy no fleas) and was told by the Vet that he was most likely under the age of 2 (by looking at his teeth) and a cockapoo (by his obvious good looks). Remember, everybody has a story and every dog does too.

 

 

I want to be a better person.

I want to be a better person

I want to be a better person. Fr. Joe and Martha share a hello after mass.

Recently at mass, our pastor Fr. Joe spoke of a text message he received from one of his friends after a heartwarming funeral of a mutual friend. The funeral mass was as crowded as the 4:30pm Christmas Eve mass because this man impacted so many by living a good life. The text message simply read “I want to be a better person”. Fr. Joe knew his friend was inspired by the funeral and said ” start by saying ‘I’m sorry ‘ and ‘thank you’ more often.” Hummm. He went on to say, start with your spouse and family since they are the ones who probably hear it the least and should hear it the most. Fr. Joe added to avoid the expression “whatever” and “whatev” because what you are actually saying is “I don’t care”. If you want to be a better person, try something straightforward, honest to goodness, undecorated and underused. “I’m sorry” and “Thank you”.

Oh, and thank you for reading this post.

What’s so special about Trader Joe’s?

Just Another unique seasonal offering from Trader Joe's. Spread goat cheese on top and it's simply delicious.

Just another unique seasonal offering from Trader Joe’s. Spread goat cheese on top of these crisps and it’s simply delicious.

 

As a Trader Joe’s fan, people ask me all the time – what is so special about Trader Joe’s? I mean, we have the Lexington Co-op,  Wegmans, Tops, Dash’s and plenty of places to shop and buy groceries. Well, now that we have one in the area, it’s time for me to explain it’s appeal.

1. It’s the perfect size! 12,000 square foot stores. I don’t need the 140,000 square foot mega supermarket. If the grocery store is too big, it’s too exhausting.

2. The cashiers! They are all happy hippies. They are not young kids. They are men and women who engage in conversation and are so darn positive about everything you are buying, they just reaffirm your purchases. They smile, they hand out stickers, and bag your groceries in nice handled brown bags. They may be middle aged but they could not be happier doing what they are doing. They don’t need to be a big shot in the world; they are a cashier at Trader Joe’s and loving life.

3. It’s fun! As soon as you walk in, you are stimulated by the colors and sights of the flowers and vegetables. The signs are hand painted with creativity. The bell rings. The samples are handed out. The packaging is appealing. There are workers who walk around looking to help.

4. The merchandise! Unique private label products packed with appeal and quality. They don’t sell corn tortilla chips. They sell quinoa and black bean tortilla chip.

5. The price! Not bad at all. And everything you buy gives you so much satisfaction, and the cashier is telling you how everything is so fantastic, you can’t wait to go home and give them all a try.

Sold Out!

M&M's Pumpkin SpiceFor a special treat this year, the Mars company teamed up with Target to be the only retailer of seasonal M&M’s in pumpkin spice. It’s hard to be exact in retail but the Mar’s company certainly did not expect these tasty pumpkin spice candies to sell out like they did. They are on to something. Sold Out at all Target stores near and far. From Massachusetts to Virginia. I checked the Target web site and it said that they are available at the North Buffalo Target store on Delaware Avenue. False information dear readers. They have been out for over 2 weeks. (update your web). Now they do have (and it’s not a Target exclusive) the M&M’s in candy corn white chocolate. But, I say why bother? Who likes white chocolate? That’s blood curdling! Now, it’s hard to keep track of all the flavors of M&M’s. It all started with plain and then peanut. But now we can choose peanut butter, pretzel, raspberry, dark chocolate, dark chocolate peanut, coconut and almond. Let’s not forget personalized M&M’s, seasonal colored M&M’s and sweet and salty snack mix. From the looks of it, pumpkin spice may be the next to permanently join the rotation in the Fall months. What is it about pumpkin spice that has America going insane over?  I’ll tell you right now. We love a little flavor to enliven the senses for a limited time. So pass the pumpkin latte, with the pumpkin spice jello, pumpkin spice marshmallows, pumpkin spice pringles, pumpkin spice bagel with pumpkin spice cream cheese. Oh just pass the pumpkin pie. Ahhhhhhh! It’s getting scary out there!

Reasons To Entertain

 

Bring people together, make memories and get over your insecurities are a few reasons to entertain.

Bring people together, make memories and get over your insecurities are a few reasons to entertain.

Yes it takes time, money and energy. Three things that we seem to all be running low on. But there is very few things that are more satisfying than entertaining in your home. It is something that we need to do more often and talk about it all the time. I figure if I write about it, maybe it will encourage us to put something on the calendar.

Let’s list some REASONS TO ENTERTAIN:

1. It will make you clean your house. There is no better motivator than having people over to your house. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it will feel good to at least be presentable.

2. It will make you get over your insecurity that “nobody will want to come over to my place, it’s too small, I have no one to invite.”  Be confident, be at ease,  and just think of an excuse and host something! And remember some will say no. That’s OK.

3. It will give you a reason to use your wedding gifts, your china, your serving pieces, your ice bucket, wine glasses, a tablecloth– anything you don’t normally use on a regular basis. Dust them off and use them!

4. You will always feel closer to the people who have been in your home as well as you in theirs. You never really know someone until you have been to his or her house.

5. Once you invite friends over, chances are they will invite you over to their house and suddenly you have a social life!

6. Save money. Add intimacy. People feel like valued guests if they have been a guest in your home. A home cooked anything is less expensive than going out. Heck, we have Wegmans and Trader Joe’s now to help.

7. You can bring people together and make introductions. What’s better than making memories?

8. You can set an example to your children and even your pets that your home is  meant to be a welcoming place . If you are married, it helps validate you as a couple and it’s something you work together on. If you are single it will make you feel like a grown-up. I can do this – I don’t need a spouse or a big house.

9. You get better at it the more you do it. Dare I admit one of our first dinner parties we did not even check if we had briquettes for the grill and served virtually raw chicken.

10. You are giving. You are giving of yourself to others. And really nothing feels as good as giving. Shoot, I didn’t even mention the joy of left-overs. Party On! Let’s get the invites going. 

This 7 year old male weighs 160 pounds

 

He weighs 160 pounds and is 7 years old. A Newfoundland named Gus.

He weighs 160 pounds and is 7 years old. A Newfoundland named Gus. This picture was taken just 2 weeks after his emergency surgery.

Since I am a Poodle Walker, I meet many dogs on my walks. One of my favorites is Gus. Gus is a 7 year old male Newfoundland dog who is gentle and sweet tempered. I hadn’t seen Gus on our walks lately and found out that he had a scary attack of twisted stomach or bloat. It came out of nowhere and his owner said he started panting, and jumping on and off the furniture. He was unable to vomit and could not get comfortable. It was completely out of the ordinary since it was 2 0’clock in the morning. The owners were trying their hardest to go back to sleep but Gus kept acting very distressed. Fortunately the owners did not go back to sleep. They got in the car and immediately drove to Orchard Park to the Emergency Veterinary Hospital where they were able to diagnose the bloat right away and get Gus into surgery. Bloat is something to know about since certain dogs (large, deep chested) are more prone to this troubling conditions. Get to the Vet ASAP if you suspect bloat in your dog. And, if you see Gus on his walks he likes to take his time, roll in the grass, and wait for the kids to get off the bus. That’s Gus.