Tag Archive | weekend

Bright Lights, Small City (a blog post)

I’m generally the sort of person that likes to have plans, well, planned out well in advance. 

But sometimes a friend drops a link in your chat box and says “do you guys want to go to Binghamton tomorrow?”

And… well.  It looked good  — the link, the hanging out with close friends, the relatively short drive (1-½ hour or so).  And we didn’t have anything urgent to do that Saturday, and…

So we drove to Binghamton. 

Binghamton is… well, let’s start.  NYState is in the Rust Belt, which I’m sure you know if you live around here.  It has a lot of remnants of former glory — for instance, I grew up in (near) Rochester, which is the birthplace of Kodak, Xerox, and Bauch and Lomb (film cameras, photocopiers, and eye care/vision enhancement).  You can see not only, say, the Eastman House (George Eastman founded Kodak) but the old Kodak building, the Xerox tower, the great mausoleums for all these people, then Gleason (works) and Strong… hold on I need to google… oh ha.  Henry Alvah Strong, first president of Kodak. Via Helen Strong Carter, his daughter, First Lady of Hawaii in the early 1900s, go Rochester. 

…Strong Museum of Play, it turns out, is a totally different Strong family.   Continue reading

My Weekend, with Beets


I haven’t done one of these in a while, but let’s see.

I have two major non-writing, non-work things going on in my life right now: Getting the yard ready for autumn/winter, and Finishing the $*( attic.

This weekend was mostly yard.  We dug up potatoes and beets (yes, we’re pretty sure that’s a beet).  We chopped down the horseradish and walking onions so that we can dig up the horseradish soon. (“this smells like an angry Polish soup.”)

We planted garlic!  (And hyacinths…)  We cleared out one of the back beds of weeds and planted a cover crop of oats (an experiment).  We harvested mustardseed and eggplants and peppers.
(and that beet….)

We brought the bay tree and lavender inside, the lime tree having already come inside.  We dumped some pots and cleaned them out for next year.  We trimmed back the asparagus.

(The Kale, parsley, and sage will be fine for at least another month).

We put the grill in the garage.  We bought a lawnmower.

(We bought a lawnmower!)


At about that point, T. asked how tired I was, and I could manage about “uh-hunh.”

But now I’ve bought more garlic, I’ve bought some Liquid Nails and some spray foam, and today:  BACK TO THE ATTIC.

I mean, once I get out of work.

But hey, we got some garlic planted!!  We’ve never managed that quite on time before!


Weekend Projects with Variable Success

Pantry Cooking and Bird Eviction

This weekend, the major projects were cleaning up the pantry cupboards in our kitchen and evicting a bird family from our house framework.

Our “pantry” is the five cupboards on one side of our kitchen where we keep mostly dry ingredients and a few meal mixes, along with “oh this looks cool.” So we pulled everything out, made a few things, tossed a couple things in the compost, and cleaned it out.

We made: sweet bread with a pecan-royal jelly filling, tapioca (well, we started it) from non-instant tapioca (soak overnight), black cherry gelatin, orzo and yellow lentils with curry and grape tomatoes, and then, for lunches, barley-split pea soup with cream of broccoli soup mix, broccoli stems, and dehydrated vegetables (and some ham).

The bird problem was, ah, less fun.

Behind the gutter in the back of our house is a tube of wood, clearly built to pull the gutter out to the roofline. It’s not closed on either end, and behind it is bare wood, not siding or house sheathing or even paint.

Birds love it.

The plan was to pull out a couple years’ worth of old nests and tack screening over the openings.

I say “plan was…” because it turned out that the nesting was 3-5′ into this narrow tube, packed rock-solid and very very tricky to move. In the end, I managed to budge it with a hook T. screwed into the end of a long plastic stick, but there’s still a bunch in there.

Next plan: several yards of shop vac extension tube!

…at least the pantry clean-out food was tasty 😀

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Now THAT is how a weekend should be

Weekends like this past one remind me what I love (and hate) about living down here.

Saturday was a trip to Horseheads to get T. fitted for a tux for an upcoming wedding we’re both in (Horseheads is the closest town with a Men’s Warehouse; it’s about an hour away). This involved driving through some of the most depressed and depressing parts of Southern Tier, NY, but it also involved random sights like this, a stop at a winery above Watkin’s Glen, a stop at a really nice restaurant, and a really nice drive with my spouse-person. I’ll chalk it up as a win: I’m still full from those ribs!

Sunday we were still feeling like driving, so we headed out to Liedenfrost Winery, where we stopped last weekend, got a little more wine, stopped at Atwater Vineyards for a tasting (Really, really, really good wine!) and then took a hike in the Finger Lakes National Forest.

We started discussing the history of the Reiassani people while we were walking & driving, so I’ll have some worldbuilding notes and maybe an exodus map later this week.

Food and Wine

I love my dinner train of thought looking at cupboard: mm, not in the mood for matzo ball soup. Want Jambalaya. Don’t have a Jambalaya mix. Maybe Dal palak with the chicken in the fridge? That sounds tasty.

We ended up making naan with a side of chicken, sausage, and mirepoix.


Today was a do-it-yourself wine tour. 🙂

Penguin Bay Winery was having a buy-two-get-one on their very nice Percussion wine, so we headed there.

I’ve wanted Red Newt’s Hellbender Soiree port since we stopped there this autumn (there was a line), so we stopped there on the way to get a bottle of that.

After Red Newt and Penguin Bay, I turned into the first winery that looked really interesting, which turned out to be Leidenfrost Estates. We tasted … well, most of their wine list, and ended up buying a Log Cabin White, which is a nice versatile semi-sweet wine, and their dessert wine Encore. (their Gewurztraminer was also very nice).

Then… we stopped at Finger Lakes Distilling, and split a rather more high-octane tasting. Nom. Delicious. We’re going to have to go back and buy more.

All in all, a nice way to get out of the house for a few hours. 🙂

Weekend Glory and La-De-Da

When I was working at the department store Bon*Ton in the housewares department, I had a co-worker who was concerned about the health risks in… pretty much everything we sold, but for this story, specifically the pans, non-stick, this, that…

So I asked her, well, why not All-Clad?

They’re a bit expensive, aren’t they?

Well, we just buy them scratch-and-dent, and we love the way they work.

And she said, I shit you not, “Well, La-dee-dah, you and your All-Clad.”

This has become an in-joke for us, now, one of the few in our house that doesn’t involve the Simpsons (“that video game with the great digital eyelash rendering,” for example).

So, this weekend, in the middle of a very wonderful trip with E.Mc and Kris, in which we did Christmas (it’s still January, that’s not late), they gifted us (Husband-person, really) with an All-Clad saucepan. La-dee-dah, us and our great weekend!

I love my friends. It’s good to be me.