Friday, December 31, 2010

Sabres, Starbucks and Sucky art

Today SSon and I went to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo to see a special exhibit celebrating 40 years of the Buffalo Sabres Hockey Team.

It was mostly large photos from the beginning of the team to current players. He loved it. They had one room called 360 (meaning degrees). They had placed small cameras on the player's helmets to record the action on the ice during a game. They then showed these -multiple at times-videos on a very large screen with full audio. Holy earmuffs batman, it was loud and the players moved so fast, it was like a carnival ride. I kinda side-stepped out, and proud I was that I did not barf!
Here he is watching it.
The gallery got a lot of bad press in the past few years when people like me did not approve of the direction that they are taking the museum-modern art (note lack of capital in art-you can tell I think it is mis-categorized) was being more spotlighted, with masters put into cold storage-or heaven forbid-sold!.

They have a very large open stairwell there, and in the past few months, they "installed" a work that entailed scribbles in circles done by many people according to a master plan by the artist-in a variety of densities, so some areas were dark and some showed the wall through. Are you kidding me?
Here is the start of the stairwell, and then a close-up so you can get a good view and make up your own mind.

Out front of the gallery, they also have a cheese curl looking thing-about 4' tall by 10' long. Yep, right in front of the art gallery-just to give you a little taste (pun intended) of what awaits you inside.
The only big variety of what I call classical ART was for sale in the form of note cards in the gift shop-how sad.

I know, I know, everyone has their own taste in Art, but this is my blog, so you get to hear my opinion-right or wrong.
When we were done there, we drove through Delaware Park, some lovely statues are placed there-including a replica of the famous statue of David-here is a photo of another replica of that statue-I took this picture in Florence, Italy, where there are many versions of "David" Statues.

We next stopped at Starbucks. I knew there would be a long line at the Delta Sonic car wash, but wanted to go anyway, so this bribe was just to keep SS from getting antsy. A little bit of a peppermint mocha coffee goes a long way for appeasing him. Here he is in his new Sabres hat.

When we got home, he did a little shoveling to clean-up the driveway (probably caffeine fueled), and then RODE HIS BIKE!.

Yep, it was 51 degrees,
and how often can he ride his bike on New Years Eve in Western New York?
Later, we went out for supper. We are so wild with our NY's Eve Soiree, I had salad and mac'n cheese, SHusband had soup and half of my salad and a big glob of my mac and cheese and SS had a fish fry. We do not take him often for a fish fry, not even every month-that meal has the lovely name of "Heart Attack on a plate", and for good reason, probably the most unhealthy meal in WNY.
Tonight, for some reason, I thought I wanted to wash my kitchen floor, so I did-I had changed the sheets and cleaned the bathroom today-I must have a "Clean-start" for the New Year mindset?

My mentor said recently that 2010 was shi**y. I agree, and I hope we all have a Blessed, healthy 2011. I am going to really try.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Family Travels

We have had very mild weather here for about a week. No appreciable snow, temps in mid to high 20's-we will take it! Makes traveling better.
Yesterday, we (SHusband, SSon and I) visited SSister#1, SB-I-L#1. What a nice fun time. Her SDaughter and two of her SGrandkids were there and so were my SDaughter and SGrandson. When the boys get together, they talk game-techno talk together, and her SGD stayed upstairs with us. She is 10 and so funny, I am sure she gets it from her Mom. SD got to visit with her cousin, and that is always nice. Great visit for all of us, we loaded up the car with cookies to go home, took SGS with us, and I managed to back out of their driveway without running over their reflector stake-this time.

Last night was just a quiet night with SGS, he playing with his bakugan, and fell asleep in minutes.

Today, SS, SGS and I went to see
"Gulliver's Travels" at the movies. SH stayed home for some R&R.
I am amazed at the cost of a matinee ticket $7.00! When I see a family of 6 walking in, with popcorn in each of their hands. that comes to over $50.-for a 90 minute movie. Wow, that hurts.

Before the movie, we had gone to get SGS's glasses adjusted, SS got a Starbucks, and both guys had haircuts, I was worried that my quest for efficiency would be uncomfortable for them with itchy hair on their neck during the show-but they both were fine-they must have done a good job with that piece of stuff they put around your neck to trap the hair from going down their necks. I have had the misfortune of taking them places before when that was not the case, and jeez, they had ants in their pants the whole time until they got a shower to get the dreaded itch-maker hair OFF!

After a great time with Mr. Gulliver (which by the way was set in modern times, and enjoyable for all the inside jokes that the adults would appreciate and the great song "WAR, what is it good for!" from 1970 at the end, by Edwin Starr) we went for something to eat.

In memory of Matka, we went to Pizza Hut for Lupper (lunch and supper or would it be Sunch?). Last year for Christmas, she gave her grandchildren a Pizza Hut Gift card for Christmas, so they could take her beloved great-grandkids there. So, starting this year, this is my new tradition to remind me of her generosity and love for her family.

Tomorrow we will have Christmas Breakfast with SH's SSister, SB-I-L and our two SCousins. SS is already asking if we can stop for coffee on the way-no he is not addicted, just a slight problem. I gave him the look, and he laughed.

I made some granola bars for tomorrow, and the smell is wonderful-honey is the base for the bar, and when it is heated it just slides through the house, it even overpowers the smell of Fancy Fest which I just gave to Boo Boo Marie-she gets only 1/2 tsp per day per Vet's orders.

I hope you are able to visit those you love, even if it is on the phone, via e-mail or on FaceBook!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Puffy Eggnog Pancake

Puffy what?

Well, Do you know that I love to read recipes? I read cookbooks like a novel sometimes-no intent on making all the recipes, just find the ingredient mixtures interesting.

In the paper this week was an article about brunch recipes, and I saw this one:

Tonight, because we only have EGGNOG in the 'fridge during the Christmas Season-I made this for supper. In my mind, EGGNOG is (say it with me: three words) DIS-GUS-TING. SSon loves it. And I know, it is against some peoples religion and or political affiliation to eat breakfast food at supper-but not us!

The recipe turned out really well, and I only changed it a smidge-I sprinkled cinnamon on it before baking, and as soon as I sprinkled, I realized that it should have been nutmeg-isn't that what they put in EGGNOG when they drink it? Too late.

It turned out very nice-puffed as advertised. See:
Blurriness caused by me being in such a garl-darned hurry to take a picture before it collapsed!

I served it with fresh pineapple that I just cut and sliced bananas (we call them baanoonskees-I know weird is our strong suit). SS also had some yogurt for supper, I think that on the side with the fruit piled on top would have been nice on each plate also-next time.

SHusband and SS loved them, the sure sign is when the empty pan is scraped with a spoon and a spatula for every last crumb.

I myself, do not like eggs, when I made the recipe-I put all the other stuff in the blender first to hide the eggs as they slithered down into the blender. And I do this while I unfocus my eyes, you know, slightly crossing them so that they do not see sharply.

I was OK with eating this too-even though it has a strong egg taste-UNTIL. Well, until we were playing our usual game of "name 5 ingredients that I used in this dish". The guys seen to enjoy this game, and I get some very creative answers. There were only 5 ingredients if you don't count my "gilding-the-lily" cinnamon. And when I started to think about all those eggs while I was chewing a piece, I did a little gagging thing, and that was it-could not swallow. The thrill is gone for this dish for me, but I know it will be enjoyed by others whenever I make it. I think you could use some regular milk and vanilla flavoring if you don't have eggnog, and I think you could also use that slimey egg substitute stuff also. I would spray the pan the next time though, stuck a bit I thought.

So, there it is, a new recipe from the paper to me to you. Hope you like it.

And "me for my part"*, if the guys like it, it will be made.

*a phrase that my Grandma V. would use to express her opinion on something, SSister#1 reminded us of that this year, and Matka would laugh when SS#1 said it. Matka loved to laugh, and that is one of my special memories of her today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010




Assignment, should you decide to accept it:

Read "Popular Astronomy" by Simon Newcomb, published 1877 while nestling SCat on chest.

Results: Assignment Completed

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Today, I was driving down Transit Road, which is a major north-south road in Western New York. Every few feet there is another store driveway and another stop and start driving experience. As traffic stopped, I stopped, and happened to look over to my left-a woman in her late seventies-or looking like she was-all made up, nice hairdo, nice vehicle, clearly mouthed the words " F--- You" at me, and slammed her hands down on her steering wheel. She then zoomed-off in her car. Apparently, she wanted to turn into the driveway that I happened to be blocking the front half of. When I go to this store, I never try to get in via that driveway-oncoming traffic is just too fierce. I choose to instead make a left turn with the arrow on the block previous and go in the back entrance. There is usually not a place to stop on this road that is not partially in a driveway. If I would have seen her, and that she was waiting to turn in, I would have as usual, if able, left her room to turn, but that is not the case always.
I am not a shrinking violet, I have been known to be very worldly/wordy, and familiar with swear words in a couple of languages, using them sometimes at traffic, not at people. But REALLY, I would not have done that, and I was surprised that she did. I took it as personal attack, and really, newly more thin-skinned as I am now, I was upset by it. All I could think of is my gosh, she is so full of rage, and at her age, shouldn't she have sorted out which are the right times to vomit out things like that? I know I have, and I am probably 10 years younger. And then I thought what it must be like to live with someone like that, and what a risk she plays with working herself up to that level at a missed driving desire. I wondered what is going on in her life that she was so on the edge of her emotions, manifesting itself in inappropriate behavior. I actually said a prayer for her because the last thing that should happen is for her to have a stroke over something so inconsequential. Life is short.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Even the birdies are celebrating:

SGrandson is coming over this weekend!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Spirit

SSon and his SFather (wearing Santa hats in the back row) delivering gifts to patients at the VA Medical Center in Buffalo. They are members of the Buffalo Bills Booster Club.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The kindness of strangers...

Last night, I was driving SSon home from the WINNING Buffalo Bills football game, in the dark, traveling on one of the side roads in my small town. A driver coming towards me was flashing his bright headlights, and since I just turned mine off, I assumed that was the reason he was "flashing". Then I saw him repeat the flash, and the reason was:
art: WINTER VISITORS by D.R. Laird

As this painting shows, deer travel in herds, see one, most times more will follow, and this could have been painted right in my town-the deer love living here side-by-side with us.

A herd of about 6 deer crossed the road just in front of me. Apparently he could see them, and wanted me to be sure to see them. I slowed down, let them go on their way, and all was well-for man and beast, because of the kindness of strangers. I flashed him back after they crossed safely as a way to say thank you. Has a stranger showed you kindness today?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Comfort from Matka

So, I know I am not the only one in the world to lose their mother. I get it. But, you may not know that Matka raised us alone-all 5 kids. We lost any parent we had all at once and she was good enough all by herself. This is so affecting the five of us.
I am such a strong person, why can't I get through this? Last night was a great night for SSon, I drove him to his annual work Christmas Party in downtown Buffalo. We got to see some pretty lights downtown, he was super-hyped about the party, he looked really handsome.

When I went to pick him up, I was upset to see some group home support staff chatting to each other with those that they were responsible for just tagging along behind them-fending for themselves-these are people with a variety of handicaps, along with their mental challenges. Some had poor choices of clothing on for the weather, some were just trying their best to keep up with those in front, and since some have agility issues, they were stumbling a bit-unseen by those who were there to take care of them, not being cared for. There were a few groups where the staff were engaging with their charges, that made me feel better. There were some private drivers like me picking up their family or friends. All I could think of is that when it is time for my guy to go to a group home, when it is better because of my age that he get settled into the next phase of his life, I was wondering how I could protect him from being one of those left to flounder. The answer is I can't. As much research as I know I will do, staffing in every workplace includes the great and the not so great. I know that a group home is the only answer for him. He has a loving sister, but he belongs in a situation with others his own age and abilities. I must accept this reality.

Then my guy comes out the door-smiling bright enough to melt the snow. He had a wonderful time, a little Christmas stuffed animal gift in his pocket to show me. A belly full of pizza, and a long list of the songs that were played-and not played. He went on to mention the two times when he didn't attend his work dance in about 20 years-one when he twisted his ankle and was on crutches and last year when a storm came through making travel there impossible. He has a great memory.

I dropped him off at his father and stepmothers home-he has tickets to a hockey game in Buffalo that they will be driving him to and back tonight, and also a football ticket on Sunday with his father-so he will be gone and well cared for this weekend-we all, including the cat will miss him!

So, now you know where I am mentally, driving home at 10pm, worried about SSon's future, tired from a long day, missing my SHusband whom I only saw a few hours that day, and missing Matka. I am playing Josh Groban's "Awake", my go-to CD in the car when talk radio has no allure for me. You know what is next. The tears start and really get out of control. So I tell Matka that she really needs to help me get through this Christmas season. And within SECONDS the next song that Josh sings is called Lullaby, and the first few verses are "Hush now baby, don't you cry. Rest your wings my butterfly. Peace will come to you in time.... Although I must leave my child.............".

Thank you Matka, from all us 5 kids.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I need to........

I need to..................get a grip.

I am not sleeping................ I am crying.

I am happy one minute........................and overwhelmingly sad the next.

I am trying my best to get through the holidays................. without looking like a cry baby.

I am trying my best to remember all the good stuff about Matka........... I can not see past the heartbreak of missing her.

It is not working.

If this is handling grief...................... I fail.

Here she is doing what she loved best-visiting a sweet baby, a great-grandson. This little guy is 7 years old now. Lucky him to have had her in his life.

Cute Card

This is a card that our SFriend sent-a little smile just looking at them.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Heart Ornament for the Heart

Thank you SFriend for being so thoughtful.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good news~!

Yes, that is anti-bacterial soap they are soaking in, and I did the case also.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello Winter

Winter dropped by this morning, and it looks like for an extended stay. I needed to drive to downtown Buffalo this morning to pick up SSon and our poinsettia order. His Workshop sells them as a fundraiser, and since he can not bring a large box on the van, we always pick them and him up. As the weather started to get very nasty this morning, I called and arranged to pick them up two hours earlier than scheduled. It really was one of those white-knuckle drives, very slow, and limited visibility. Once I got to Transit Road, about a 15 minute drive usually, but today it was about 35 minutes, the snow turned to sleet, the streets were only wet, not snow covered. By the time I drove to SS's work, it was a little drizzle. His caseworker must have thought I was acting like chicken little when I said I wanted to come pick him up early due to bad weather. I am always thinking "what do people think of me?". That is a sign of my insecurities I guess.
This is driving home around noon. It is beautiful. I was going about 15mph with my 4 wheel drive on. We saw two cars in the same ditches that I was hoping not to end up in.
SS took this picture above.

This is our beautiful Plum Bush with decorations by God.

A view of our burning bush, and a nice snow hat on one of our rocks.

SS carrying in a box of poinsettias. He is wearing a Buffalo Sabres jacket that SBrother #2 just gave him. He really loves it.

Instead of our usual lunch date when we bring home the poinsettias and finish delivering them (not to my Matka this year...........), we stopped for takeout at Tim Horton's. Of course, by the time we got home, the hot coffee wasn't.
So please enjoy the beauty of the snow, from your window if possible. If you are driving, as I say to my kids, "There is only one of you, please be careful."