Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cut Above the Rest

As I was walking Petey the other day, a neighbor mentioned my über manly beard.

Despite what Rebecca and Jon think - it does not make me long for a razor nor make me look a 'wee bit homeless'.

Anyhoo - Mark (the neighbor) asked what 710 thought of the beard. I contemplated for about 12 seconds and said: "he hasn't said anything about it one way or the other - so I'm assuming he isn't a fan."

"He's a good partner..." came the reply.  Indeed he is.

My mother hasn't said word one about it either, so I'm sure she loathes it. C'est la vie.

Granted, the beard was a little out of control, and I knew at some point I would have to trim the thing - or shape it. I was just getting it to a point where I could and it would remain full.

At lunch yesterday, knowing I had a meeting on Monday, 710 "suggested I get a trim, which I said I would do. But he wasn't really leaving it up to me - suggesting, after we were done with lunch that I go to a barber and have them trim it.  ....something I've never done.

For the most part, I haven't stepped foot into a barber shop in at least 15 years. I buzzed my own hair. Actually, five years ago, I did got to a barber in Columbus so he could shave my head and then I took it over from there.

As we were on our way to my mother's house for a visit, the only barber shop of which I was aware was the one I went to as a child: the Mug & Brush.

We walked in and only one of the six chairs was occupied. Five barbers were sitting there. The dichotomy of the shop was amusing. I'm not sure - save the Playboys being removed -that a thing had changed in 40 years, except for the fact that each barber was sitting there looking at their iPad of smart phone.

Charlie, the guy who cut my hair (and my fathers, and my brother in law and my nephew and a few people I used to work with), had died a few years back. The bigger surprise would be: he only died a few years back. But the first question they asked me was if I knew Charlie. I tried to regale them with stories of my visits as a child - yet no one seemed to care.....or look up from their iPads or smart phones.

Vince (I think his name was), did an ok job trimming my beard. It's a little shorter than I wanted and there are still some stray hairs I need to clean-up myself. Oh, and at first, he forgot to put the cape on me, much to his co-worker's chagrin. He also made the neckline uneven - so I have to fix that myself.

The trim cost:  $5 (plus tip, of course).

I guess you get what you pay for.

But I'll be neat(er) for my meeting and now the beard has a little shape - and I'll see where it goes from here.

Song by: Bananarama

Pic a Day in May - 31

Prism II

Like last year's Pic of the Day in May ender, you get a prism pic. 

It wasn't the intention, but it worked out that way. The same piece of cut glass gave out more rainbows in the kitchen. 

Again, as we move into June, Pride month, and the soon to be SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage, it seems appropriate. 

As I always state, I'm not that into Pride events, though depending on the SCOTUS ruling, I suppose attending this year would be the good thing to do.  I can always pray for rain - you know, like Texas did four years ago. And look how that turned out.   

Congrats to the other known bloggers participating in Pic a Day in May. They did a fantabulous job. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

the Great Escape

Just another week in the life of Petey & Sophie.  BFFs.

Petey greeting me after his parole from Pet Lodge U.S.A. 

It's really all about those eyes in this pic. 

Driving Miss Ellie. 

Petey used my mother as a prop to look out the window on way home from the kennel. 

Watching. Always watching.......

A scene you've all seen before. 

Petey goes into play mode when he sees Kegger. 

He loves dogs bigger than he is, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback {puppy, still}, is one of his faves. 

Petey has never learned to read. 

Song by: bt

Pic a Day in May - 30


best. seat covers. ever??

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Don't Touch Me There

What can I possibly say about the Duggar mess - well the part about incest, as their entire family is a mess - that hasn't been said?

I guess the biggest takeaway is that for a lengthy period of time, people can keep a secret.

The Duggars (what - there are about 1,382 in the immediate family?), the police, the DA, an Arkansas trooper (who is now serving a 56 year prison term for child pornography), church elders, the head of Hobby Lobby, who also 'helped' the family.

All of them, keeping their traps shut for Jesus.

I love how one hears that Josh Duggar was counseled for his behaviour.

I hear squat that his sisters (and other victim(s)), got any kind of therapy. be fair, they're girls and don't really count.

.....that was a joke people.       a joke.

But the joke is as funny as the Duggars themselves. Sanctimonious bastards - calling for death to child molesters in the past. Just not their son, of course.

Oh - and while it's not said, they don't really mean straight child molesters. They mean the ones that are men who prey on boys.

The parents have what - 19, 20 kids?  Odds are two of them are gay. At least one. And at least one is a pedophile.

A pedophile with three children of his own.....and no doubt 174 nieces and nephews to sate his never ending ravenous appetite for young, nubile flesh.

What?  Am I being unfair here?

You mean - like how the Duggars and their supporters act not using full facts when denouncing people, practices or other ways of life than their pseudo semi cult of sister-wives?  And a buttload of unfortunate hairdos and dress styles for the women?

Hmmm....maybe they don't have a gay in their midst after all.

In all seriousness though - not that there isn't truth in humour - this isn't more (or less) fucked up than other stories out there. They just happen to have gotten caught. They just happen to be, for lack of a better term, media figures. But like most of them, they are hypocrites to the Nth degree.

I love the candidates who have sidled up to Josh and his family. I love more the way Mike Huckabee has doubled-down on his support for a self-admitted pedophile. It's not like his candidacy was really viable anyways, but way to shoot yourself in the foot.

But Mike isn't one to talk about how to raise kids, when his son tortured and killed a dog for fun. Though Mike says, 'EVERYONE' makes mistakes.

Indeed they do. Usually they're not sexual felonies.

At least, for the most part, the other candidates have the smarts to keep their pie hole shut. And this is where you'd think that a politician - any politician - would be savvy enough to keep away from the religious right. It almost always backfires in hypocrisy.

But what increasingly amazes me, and so far, I have not heard a beep about this in the 'liberal media' - including the gay or political blogs - is that no one has said 'boo' about the girls themselves. The ones that are still part of this family. The ones that still lived under the same roof with him for years and put on a pretty face (metaphorically speaking, of course) and do all this media shit with the family - the one that clearly favoured their son over them.

It has to be like being touched - down there - all over again.

UPDATE:  I totally forgot to include this......

Song by: the Tubes

Pic a Day in May - 29

Oh Dear

As seen while taking the trash out to the end of the drive.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baking with Blobby

Well, so far in 2015, you've gotten a cake recipe and two cookie ones. Not there's a third.

While I love chocolate chip cookies (and M&M ones), it was time for a change up. I found a great (well, allegedly) lemon sugar cookie one. I think I love lemon cookies more than 710, so I hesitated making it. But a link from that recipe to one for Triple Chocolate Cookies.

I mean if some is good, more (3x more) has to be better, right?

Well........yes......and no.

Sometimes more is just more. Don't get me wrong, the cookies are good, but me, being me, am used to 2-3 cookies per night. These are so rich, one must change their eating habits a bit. 1-2 is the most I could possibly do - and the glass of milk needs to be larger.

Since I'll be eating fewer cookies, the lbs should just melt away - no?

Anyone?                   Anyone?????

It seems a lot of ingredients, but no more so than CC cookies. And the clean-up seemed a little easier, though I think I'm better at prep, so things go back into storage much more quickly. I plan better.

Flour - 1 c
Baking Powder - 1/4 t
Salt - 1/4 t
Cocoa Powder (unsweetened) - 3 T
Milk Chocolate chips - 1 c
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - 12oz (1 bag)
Butter - unsalted - 2 t (room temp)
Butter - unsalted - 4 t (room temp)
Granulated Sugar - 1 c
Eggs - 3
Vanilla - 2 t

Preheat oven to 350F

In a bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder. Incorporate fully. 
Make sure to get a curious dog's face in your picture (check!)

Melt 2 t of butter and the semi-sweet chips over medium low heat. Make sure everything is melted and smooth. 

I thought this would mean it would be liquidy, but it wasn't. At least mine wasn't. The chocolate melted and no lumps, but it bound together. 

Either way - let it aside and let it cool. 

Cream the butter and sugar - maybe for 3 minutes or so (paddle attachment, thank you!)

Add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high for 7 minutes (which seemed like a lot)

Add the cooled chocolate mixture. 

The more solidified (but still soft) chocolate blended easily into the mixture.

Add dry ingredients. Let them incorporate. 

Hand mix in the milk chocolate chips. 

Dog turds.  Well.....kind of. 

Make sure they're spaced 3" apart. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes (rotate racks and direction half way through cooking time).


The recipe said it would make 24 cookies. I got 37. Maybe my eyeballed 'tablespoon' was too small. Actually, I used a melon-baller, like I do with all my other cookies. 

They, more or less, turned out the same size and shape. They taste good. The Triple Chocolate Cookie can go into rotation, but I'll still experiment with other cookies.

Pic a Day in May - 28


Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater - in Lego form.

A few of you expressed interest in seeing the finished product when 710 build it a month ago. I'm just getting around to posting that image.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Crosseyed and Painless

Sunday turned out not to be a yoga day. I think we already knew it, but David and I hadn't seen each other for two weeks, so it sounded better that we were actually active as opposed to just meeting for tea.

Lululemon has Crossfit this month. The first time we didn't know and did not dress appropriately (i.e. Birkenstocks do not make for good Crossfit footwear).  Sure Lu2 needs to expand who comes into their store, as every 28-54 year old white female has already purchased all the store has to offer.

Crossfitters can wear see-through leggings too, ya know!

Secretly, the first day I was happy I didn't have workout shoes. Mentally, I was not prepared to do Crossfit bootcamp. And as physically demanding as it is, mentally it is a lot worse. One must stretch that grey matter to get through that hour.

But Sunday, we were prepared - as much as the two of us ever can be. And we liked the idea that they'd (Crossfit Independence) be doing this outside, as it was a beautiful day.

There were an odd number of folks, so breaking up into teams of two didn't work. Three of us guys (minus Frankenasian) teamed up. The rest of the group were women. It could be argued that two of us three guys were girly too.

You know a Crossfit guy or gal from soon after meeting them - because they LOVE to talk about Crossfit. I cannot tell you how many countless plane flights I've had with a seatmate extolling the benefits of this 'miracle'.

Honestly, some people do good with it, some people are just mental. And the latter skews higher. But so do the injuries. I'm already battling more than my share of exercise related maladies, I'm not looking into adding to those - let alone pay for the ability to become an invalid.

Let's be honest here: what we were doing was Crossfit Lite.

There were no hardcore overhead presses. There was no dead-lifting 350lbs. There were no picking up of tractor tires over your head. No chin ups. No pull ups.

We had six stations of activities. One minute working. 10 seconds resting. Times three, per station. And one minute resting between stations. Even I can do just about anything for 45 minutes.   ....well, except sex with a woman. {shudder}

Just due to where we were standing, I think we ended up at the hardest station first - mountain climbers. This was a blessing, as who the fuck would want to do that last?  Not us.

We did jumping jacks. Had I known, I'd have worn tighter undies, as Blobby Jr. was jumping all around too.

We did back bends, lunges, squats (oh, I felt those the next day), throwing a 20lb ball and the ropes you see at the top.

It was fine and all, and we broke a sweat, but it's not selling me on driving 25 minutes each way to Crossfit. My shoulder and elbow would never let me lift the way they do - and unlike yoga, where there is not to supposed to be judgement - I'm guessing there is finger pointing all around at that place.

Even our female instruction, used the lovely "c'mon ladies......", like it was being called out by my 6th grade P.E. teacher. So I called her on it - good natured, of course.

It really wasn't too bad at all, but not for me for a long period of time.

Even our yoga class the next day was much much much more difficult. I actually considered burning my mat, for fear of never being able to get it clean again.

Song by: Talking Heads

Pic a Day in May - 27


I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do love the smell.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015


The summer blockbusters are out in full force (no Lisa Lisa or Cult Jam) - and we've seen none of them.

No Avengers. No Fast or Furious. No Tomorrowland. No Mad Max. Certainly no Poltergeist. San Andreas isn't out yet.

So what is a gay man to do?

We went to go see Iris.  Duh.

We had seen previews while taking in other movies at the local art-house cinema. While a documentary (from the now late director, who made Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter), it is fully entertaining.

Never had I heard of Iris Apfel.  I'm not a gay man who knows that much about interior design or fashion - as I think any of you could surmise from my choices in clothing or house works. But I think it would be a mistake to call it a movie about fashion or interior design.

710 joked that it is a PBS version of Hoarders, but in reality, it is a portrait of a woman who has lived a life as she wanted to, in a time where that did not happen much. It is a story of an individual and individualist, who also happened to marry a man not unlike her in spontaneity, charm and love - as they have been together for over 66 years.

While clearly slightly eccentric, she is a 90 year old force with which to be reckoned. Iris has exhibits of her collection(s) at various museums and helps educate fashion students, as she believes most designers are just fame whores who don't even know how to sew. As I have never even watched 34 seconds of Project Runway, I can only surmise that she is 100% correct.

Oh - she also sells a line of slippers and costume jewelry on HSN.

Iris and her husband did well enough in interior design to have their Park Avenue apartment, her mother's old apartment (for storage), a warehouse (for storage) and a Palm Beach condo.

Iris is less than an 90 minutes. It was interesting and worthy of a viewing. It doesn't have Captain America. It doesn't have Vin Diesel. It doesn't have tectonic plates.  But Iris is entertaining and there are parts that make you laugh aloud - and that's saying something.

2015 Movie Count / Goal:  5 of 12

Song by: the Goo Goo Dolls

Pic a Day in May - 26


Sweatiest. Yoga. Class. EVER.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

My Music Monday

If you had not noticed, I had a My Music Monday theme this month: songs titles with first names.

There are a lot of them out there - or at least in my music liberry. Though there are not a lot of songs with guy's names out there - or at least that I have.

Obvi, there are a lot of guys singing songs about chicks. But oddly enough, I have a lot of girl-on-girl action going on too. Blondie sings about "Shayla" or "Maria". Stevie Nicks sings about "Sara". Sarah McLachlan or Patty Griffin about "Mary".  Mindy Smith about "Jolene".

Now and again there are songs sung by women for men:  "Jackie" by Sinéad O'Connor and two weeks ago with the Bangles and "James". "Frederick" from Patti Smith too.

And to flip the table, you almost never see a guy singing a song titled after a guy's name. That would  I guess like Joe Jackson says, it's different for girls.

I think I've been through my entire music liberry twice to find another female singing a song titled with a man's name. I've already done two of the ones listed over the years, and I think I'll skip Sinéad for the time being.

That leaves me with some girl-on-girl action, which for the most part isn't really gay. Though this song seems to have a lesbian element to it: woman befriending newbie at art school.


The song is called "Valerie".  Oddly enough, I have three songs with that name - in various spelling variations:  the Monkees, Steve Winwood and yes........Quarterflash (oh yes, they still have a website!).

Sue me: I liked a handful of songs by the sextet, even if a normally screeching alto sax would pierce my eardrums. Alto sax was to 80's music as that fucking penny whistle was to a lot of 90's songs. Dreadful.

But I liked that a woman (Rindy Ross) actually played the sax for the band. Right or wrong, that is usually a guy thing. I'm all about breaking down the walls of musical instrumentation.

Besides their three hits ("Harden My Heart","Find Another Fool" and "Take Me to Heart") they had a few enjoyable songs - one being "Valerie".

And yes, the song talks about getting involved a female student (or instructor?) at art school. And yes, the song is sung by a Rindy Ross, but it was written by her husband - so maybe it's his perspective / experience and she just sings about it?

I don't know - nor I'm getting more invested in this than I already seem to be. Just listen to it already....or not.

Quarterflash - "Valerie"

Pic in Day in May - 25


....straight ahead

Other known bloggers participating in Pic a Day in May: 

Patrick - Pac's Pad

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Talkin' Bout a Revolution

Cleveland is the new Ferguson....or Baltimore...or........(fill in the blank).

In reality, one our incidents of cops vs. the African American public pre-dates Ferguson or Baltimore, though I'm not bragging by saying "hey, we were first!". This is not a contest one wants to be winning.

And we were hardly first. There have been multiple cities with police and unarmed minority victims over the years.

A high speed car chase through multiple cities, involving dozens of officers, shooting (137 times) and killing two unarmed African American folks.

One victim had 24 wounds. One had 23.  That only makes 90 shots that went..........somewhere other than intended. Clearly, a few into the windshield.  .....but many of them came from the officer on trial, who was standing on the hood of the victim's car, shooting directly into it.

That officer was just acquitted of all charges yesterday.

While there is much to school the police in terms of process and procedure, somewhere on that 'to-do' list needs to be more time at the firing range.

Yes, the incident was tragic. Yes, there was clearly excess in terms of the number of police involved. Yes, police commanders on down completely ignored their own protocols in terms of pursuit and deadly use of force. Forgiving the pun, it was overkill.

Cleveland police, investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and given a horrible report on their behaviour, has so far poo-poo'd their findings - which doesn't surprise me. But this car chase and two other cases pending - all eyes are on Cleveland and their court system.

Not only was no other officer charged in the incident, all - or at least most - who were called as witnesses refused to testify, or pleaded the Fifth. A big blue wall of silence.

The police kind of fucked up a few big cases: you know, three kidnapped girls sitting right under their noses for a decade. Then there was the 11 women who were killed and buried in a back yard - but you know, they were minorities, drug addicts and / or prostitutes, so the police didn't really look for them.

Still, the acquittal comes on the heels of other cops being let off the hook for similar behaviour. But in a way, I knew he would be - with one question from his defense to a witness:  yes, the officer's behaviour was against procedure. When followed up with - 'was it against the law?', the answer was 'no'.   ....and that was in the second week of the trial.

At least as of this drafting, no one has burned the city to the ground. No one has looted. There have been peaceful protests - mostly marching or blocking of traffic. Truthfully, I believe the local new outlets are disappointed. For weeks up to the verdict, they kept asking (hoping!) this would be the next Baltimore. Lordy, they wanted some action to report on - it was almost like they were baiting the public to do something.....anything.

I'd say these police actions with no legal repercussions cannot continue. But they might. And at some point there will be a breaking point, and it won't be pretty.

My fear is that even innocent law enforcement will be convicted in the attempt to appease a broken system and the fear of reprisal. Trust in the system has evaporated.

Song by:  Tracy Chapman

Pic a Day in May - 24

Bikini Bottom

Items to put in the bottom of your fish tank. I thought it was brilliant.

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Patrick - Pac's Pad

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Everything Zen

We are a little Sophie-lite this week. I'll make up for it next week.

Petey getting a little left over CapN Crunch milk - the stuff Sophie left behind. 

Nature Calls

Sophie - surveying all that is hers.....even if she's not allowed outside. 

Petey taking his after-walk treat. 
I'm saving my fingers by putting it on my knee. 

....and now, your moment of zen. 

Petey has a space that his first dad knows. No matter how hard we try, we cannot replicate Petey's pleasure zone. 

Song by: Bush

Pic a Day in May - 23


Other known bloggers participating in Pic a Day in May: 

Patrick - Pac's Pad

Friday, May 22, 2015

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there! 

Since making Brandon Flowers a My Music Monday selection a few months back, and informing you all of an impending album release with the Desired Effect, you kind of had to know this album review would be coming - right?

On one of his new songs, "Never Get You Right", Flowers sings "'s a coin toss".  While he's not speaking about his record, he could easily being doing just that.

As I had pre-ordered Mr. Flowers' album, about one song per week has been released to me. I had 40% of the album in my "hands" well before the actual album release date, but that came with very mixed results.

I am still finding "Can't Deny My Love" to be my favourite song of 2015. I would expect that to change as the year went on, but he could surprise me.  It will be in the top 5 for sure.

The following two songs sent pre-release were a disappointment. "Still Want You" is the antithesis of "Can't Deny My Love".  It. Is. Horrible.  Just one of the worst songs ever, let alone his. I can't imagine that Flowers and his producer sat around the studio afterwards, going "man, this is really good!!"

"Lonely Town".  Meh.  Like a lot of songs by the Killers, it has an 80's vibe, but this one isn't a good vibe. The keyboards are bordering on DeBarge and Nu Shooz territory - and there is no way that some of the vocals (at the 0:59 mark) don't sound exactly like the lead singer from a little known group - Cock Robin.

Flowers covered his 'lonely town' laments much better in his last solo release with "Playing with Fire". We get it - being a Mormon in a small town wasn't ideal for you. The crass auto-tune moment does nothing to help the cause. Even if he changed these elements, the lyrics are way more repetitive than most of his songs.

With "I Can Change", we get redemption. While more than a little sampling Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy", Flowers makes the song work. I like the vocal arrangement, I like the chorus more than the verse, but that works too. The song abruptly drops off, for a very weird transition, yet it kind of still works on that level as well.

The rest of the six songs are like the first four: hit and miss. None truly rises to the heights of "Can't Deny My Love" or "I Can Change". A few try. The hits don't make it as high as those two songs, and the misses don't really sink to the levels of "Still Want You" or "Lonely Town".

"Dreams Come True" and "Between Me and You" have a Sam's Town quality, but more like a song that didn't make the cut to that album. And the title in "Dreams Come True" is repeated far too often. But when Flowers opens it up like at the 1:10 mark in "Dreams", he is golden. The problem is, he doesn't do this far enough or for long enough.

Unlike his last solo disk, Flamingo, Flowers seems to strive to sound more Killers-like ("Digging Up the Heart", "Never Get You Right" and "Untangled Love").  Some of this works well - like "Untangled Love", but some of it I think would have been in better hands with the band. I don't think it is coincidental that "Untangled Love" features the Killer's drummer.

I can certainly do without "the Way It's Always Been".

I've said it before with other artists, and will no doubt say it again:  an artists will be remembered for the great songs and the awful ones. It's the mediocre that drowns you - the songs no one will ever remember - and when you only have 10 songs on a disk and 3-4 of them fall into that category, it weighs the entire album down.

Flowers is capable of so much more, but he's not producing it here.

Pic a Day in May - 22


My favourite pic of the month (obviously).   ...and it wasn't even taken by me.

Morty sent me this, when he was in Siesta Key, FL, which oddly enough is where my parents had their place in Florida (though not the same condo complex).

Other known bloggers participating in Pic a Day in May: 

Patrick - Pac's Pad

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cooking with Blobby

It's a two-fer.  A main dish along with a side.

I suppose I could break them up into two, but nah. I'm a little lazy that way.

You know I'm always looking for a new way to prepare fish. I'm a little tired of butter and garlic sauces. I've tried mustard. I've tried mayo.  They're all find and good, but.....I needed something more.

Tilapia fillets - 4-6 oz each
Egg - 1
Cayenne pepper - 1/4 t
Tortilla chips - 1 cup, finely crushed
Lime juice - 1-2 T
Salt - 1 t
Pepper - 1/2 t

Tartar sauce
Mayo - 1/2 c
Garlic - 1 clove minced
Lime juice - 1 T
Jalapeño - 1. seeded and diced

Administer lime juice, then salt and pepper to both sides of the fish.

Dredge fish in beaten egg, then into the cayenne and tortilla mixture

Place on parchment paper.

Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes.

For tartar sauce, you mix all ingredients into one bowl. Stir well enough so the lime juice is no longer runny and incorporates into the mayo.

Since it had a southwestern thing going on, I diced a tomato and threw it on after the fish cooked.

I really liked the flavours. The cayenne provided heat, as did the jalapeño. This definitely goes into the dinner rotation.

Then there's the side:  a version of smothered green beans.

I'm usually fine with spinach or broccoli as a side, but 710 wanted a change up. I get that. Like I usually say, the hardest part about making dinner is coming up with what to eat. Shopping, preparing and clean-up are the easier parts.

710 suggested green beans which are fine, but I had to find a way to make them interesting to me.

My sister does something with soy and sesame oil, but it seems I've been doing Asian inspired things a lot lately, so opted to find another method.

Smothered Green Beans

Green beans: 3/4 lb
Water - 1/2 c
Onion - 1/4 c chopped
Garlic - 1/2 t minced
Bacon - 3 thick strips chopped
Salt / Pepper

Cook bacon in pan until fat begins to render.  Add onion and garlic. 

Add beans and water. Cook until the water evaporates and the beans are tender. (add more a little more water, if initial water boils away and beans are still not tender.)

Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

It all worked very nicely. I let the bacon cook too long after I added the beans. But very crispy bacon is still bacon. I just needed to time the fish cooking with the beans better so that nothing overcooked. 

Good enough for mid-week, but good enough for company too. 

Pic a Day in May - 21

Jellyfish seen at Niagara Falls State Park

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Graduation (Go On)

It was a little less than four years when my oldest nephew graduated from high school. Where the last four years went, where this last weekend we were attending his college graduation, is beyond me.

While going to his ceremony was nice and I have always had a strong bond with my nephew, I didn't feel I needed to be there. I was more compelled to go so I could take my mother.

Being 86, she didn't have a chance to see my oldest niece graduate two years ago. My father couldn't travel and she couldn't leave him. And being that she's 86 and her next grandchild won't graduate from college in at least four years....well........this might have been the only time I could do this for her.

So after putting Petey up at the kennel {sob}, 710 and I headed out and picked up my mother. We were going up the day before graduation, as it was too long of a drive to and from the Finger Lakes area of NY to do in a day.  And graduation started at 10:30, so.......

As we went to pick up my mother, 710 and I decided if the weather held, we would make a slight detour and take my mother to the American side of Niagara Falls. I know she didn't have a passport, so we couldn't do the Canadian side.

As it turns out, she kind of dozed off outside of Buffalo so she didn't even see me make the turn-off without ruining the "surprise". We were much closer when she snapped to and asked what 'that river' was. The jig was up.

She had been to the American side, though I didn't know that. And we haven't been since maybe 2000. I was surprised how much has changed there. Not of the Falls, of course, but the actual park - improvements in parking and buildings - they had shuttles. It was a little commercial, but ok. I love this side of the river for the beauty of walking through and over the rapids without the tackiness of the Canadian side.

We tried to get some pics, but I think I took more pics for other people who asked for my assistance. I was happy to do it.

After that, we made our way east to meet up with my nephew and his parents for a few drinks on his porch.

Lord - no matter where you go, campus housing still is iffy - at best. While Matt lived in a house, it was considered campus housing. Shared living areas, kitchen and bathrooms, but everyone had their own bedroom. Both men and women lived there. Each house has a theme, and his was the 'Writer's House'.  It was still kind of a pit, but I suppose with eight early-20 somethings, that is to be expected.

Matt, being Matt, was lackadaisical about the entire thing. He "forgot" to open some letter, so he missed a ceremony the day before where he was to receive his cum laude medal.  Oops.  He claims graduation practice was meaningless, but I'm 94% sure he never even went.....he was just avoiding upsetting his parents. When it came to dinner reservations, he said the restaurant told him there were openings, but he failed to remember whether he secured a reservation (he had).

The grounds for dinner were great - right on Lake Geneva (or is it Geneva Lake?). While warm out, the water was not, so fog rolled in. It was neat to see.

Dinner, for however nice a place this was, was questionable. Our server was nice, but the kitchen was abominable. My brother-in-law who is never mad, was mad. We (or he) ended up with free drinks, free dessert and a $50 gift certificate. The latter was nice, but when would we be up this way again to use it?

As it turns out, Matt was staying an extra day, so he went the next evening and took his girlfriend.

Graduation day was beautiful............and HOT.  87F by 11:00a. I didn't prepare (as usual). No sunscreen. No hat. No water. As it was, I had to force my 86 yo mother to move to the shade. She would have withered and died.

But we got to see the speakers (David Gergen was the big one - though I have seen him before). And we got to see Matt cross the stage.

Since he was staying and his parents weren't, we loaded up my mother and made the trip back. The long long long trip back. And we had to spring Petey by 19:00 or wait another day to get him {as if!}.

I love my mother, but honestly, it's the first car trip I've been on with her since high school, and it had its moments of enjoyment and, if I had any, times where I would have pulled my hair out.

The downer of the weekend was looking back at the pictures. I see my mother weekly, but until I saw her in pictures, I didn't realize how old she looks. I was no prize to view in any of the pics either.

I am glad we did it - for her, and for us.........and for Matt. He might seem bored with it all, but some day, I think he'll look back, glad to know that we were there for him.

Song by: the Wet Darlings