Monday, April 30, 2012

When life gives you popcorn,

Make Popcorn Balls!
JWS has been wanting a popcorn machine.
He has searched all the regular sources,
Ebay,
Craig's List,
Restaurant Warehouse,
Etc.
Not just for at home,
he thought the fair needed one.
There was one,
years ago.
And
that brought back the memories
of
Don Pennington.
I am not sure how I met him,
but he became a friend.
Twenty years older than me,
but we both had a love for all things old
and primitive
and worn out,
long before
"primitive"
was popular.
He would dig around in old barns
and attics
and
basements
and find stuff that no one else wanted
or even knew they had
and bring it home
and fix
and clean
and strip
and refinish
and
a treasure would be born.
He would stop at my house
and stop at work
and tell me to drop in his workshop
and see his latest treasures.
The original "picker".

He always had a project for me
and
I have to say that he was the person
instrumental in getting me involved
with helping at the fair.
Years ago,
two small little girls in tow,
we would head to the fair
to work on whatever painting
he would get me into.
Then,
a few days before the fair
he would show up with the coveted
gold passes for those same two little girls
so that they could have their week
at the fair for free.
So many memories.
But,
back to the popcorn.
Don always ran the popcorn concession at the fair.
Some time,
no ones knows when,
the popcorn concession ended
and the popcorn machine
became a lost mystery.
It was sold,
It was given away,
It was scrapped...
until yesterday, when
JWS digging under the grandstand,
found something wrapped in black plastic,
and there it was.
The Missing Popcorn Machine.
He cleaned,
he buffed,
he ground,
and
scraped.
Then he wanted to go to Lowe's.
At four thirty yesterday,
after I had managed to recuperate
from a night with two of the
grandchildren,
we headed to Lowe's for some parts
and
$50
later,
(and some more cleaning)
here we were.
Not the greatest pic,
but this is one
huge
fast
popcorn machine.

Propane
and
Electric.


We didn't have enough bowls to catch it all.

And the boys could not eat it fast enough.

The birds are going to love our place today!
Now the fair has a popcorn machine again.
JWS is happy.
And Don?
He would be so proud!
Not only is his popcorn machine
back in operation
again,
but
done in the fashion that he would have done it himself.
Picking in a dark,
cobwebby
area
and
finding a treasure!

Don,
I could not have missed you more yesterday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Conneaut Lake Park

Another weekend of clean-up and repair.
This is the midway, deserted now,
but cleaned up and almost ready for the season.
Sixty or so volunteers
from all over the area,
all with a love of the park,
and a desire to see it thrive,
showed up this weekend
to
clean,
scrub,
rake,
paint,
and
fix
what could be done on a cold and rainy weekend.



I spent most of my time here with my crew.
We arranged and scrubbed tables,
and then painted them.

Don't you just want to take a picnic lunch there
and spend the day at the park?
I know I will be this summer!

Dad and I stayed at the Hotel Conneaut.
This is a picture from last year.

And while I don't believe all the ghost stories,
when they offered the ghost tour,
I went along in order to see more of the hotel.
The ballroom is beautiful,
with amazing views of the lake.

If you haven't been there in awhile,
it is worth the trip.
The park is trying to stay open.
The coaster is one of only two Vettel coasters left in this country

The carousel
is amazing!
Well worth the trip!

There is a very nice beach
and a boat ride also.

The park has it's issues,
but when so many of these historical parks are going under,
it is nice to see so many people that care
and show up to help them out.

I am honored to be a part of it all,
and I love that my Dad and I can share it together.




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hang on to your hat post!

OK, here goes.
I haven't been around for awhile
so there is a lot to tell.
See this adorable pic above?
Well,
below is what it took to get it.





Think we have a little live wire there? 
And finally,
when I got the "good" pic.
I had to crop it to remove the boob shot
that Dianna gave us all!

We had our Easter celebration on Friday.
Somewhere along the line,
I decided to make a favorite dessert
for each of my son-in-laws.
So,
Friday morning
I made two peach pies,
two chocolate chess pies,
one peanut butter chocolate pie
and
an
apple walnut cake.
Whew...
I used to bake, but rarely do anymore.
Jennifer didn't know me then.
She couldn't figure out where I bought the pie crust.
I guess that's a compliment?

Saturday morning, had me searching for an Amish to make a new awning for our porch.
First Amish Farm
"Well, uh, you go to the end of this road and turn right, go to the driveway before the woods
and turn right again"
Wave to the 14 kids under the age of seven.
(I really don't know how they do that)
Carefully turn around,
counting kids and making sure that none are behind my car.
Second Amish Farm
"Well uh, that would be Harvey,
go out this road and make the first right and watch for the
sign that says 'Canvas'
and turn right again."
Again
14 kids, turn the car around.
wave, wave some more.
Canvas Sign
Turn Right
Third Amish Farm.
Find the right building out of the fourteen buildings on the property,
go to the door.
The sign reads.
I am not working,
I broke both my wrists.
It will be three months.

OK, didn't
First Amish Farm
know that???
So,
I travel on out the highway to where I know is another
CANVAS
sign, following the pic above for quite awhile.
I really think that they need rear view mirrors on the buggies.
Finally, 
it is ordered.  

Monday night,
I had to do this.
Remove everything from the floor of
my paint room,
our bedroom
and
the family room.
JWS heated up leftovers while I moved stuff.
(That above will be an important statement to remember for later in the story)
Tuesday morning
the carpet cleaning guy shows up.
He walks around,
he looks at my nine year old,
never been cleaned carpet
and says,
"Do you have pets?"
I don't.
Some people might take that as an insult.
I should have showed him the first pictures in this post, right?
I told him that I have six grandchildren,
six and under
(Almost sounding like the Amish now.)
Of course, the carpet cleaning man sells carpet also.
I tell him that I will be calling him when Garren graduates.
So, Tuesday the carpet gets cleaned,
Tuesday night, I start to put things back
and that is when I find the contract for
Create and Decorate
and realize that I have missed an important
submission deadline.
(not only that but my taxes aren't filed yet,
but we'll leave that for another post)
My head was saying April 30th.
Theirs was April 1st.
OH MY GOSH!

This is getting long,
so I am going to give you the abbreviated version.
Wed AM
Start to pull everything together for a late submission.
The magazine, not the taxes.
Go to work,
Work,
After work,
JWS to fairgrounds to work
Yes, it is that time of year AGAIN!
I finish up at work at 6:30.
Come home.
Make a bowl of popcorn.
Nutritious supper, right?
Eat it on the run,
while I finish putting things away in the family room.
Pour a bowl of frozen strawberries and open the microwave.
THERE ARE THE CHEESY POTATOES FROM MONDAY NIGHT!
I set them down on the stove,
warm up my strawberries and
finally sit down in my chair,
leaving the container of cheesy potatoes sitting on the stove.
In the middle of Modern Family,
JWS comes in from the fairgrounds,
goes to the kitchen
and I yell out,
"Don't eat those cheesy potatoes sitting on the stove!"
He ignores me.
Typical.
He walks in to the living room
SCOOPING
cheesy potatoes
into
his
mouth.
and says.
muffled and mouth full,
bits of cheesy potatoes
flying.
"What did you say?"
How could you not laugh?

Four days old in the fridge,
three days in the microwave...
dairy.

That can't be good.

The rest is pics.
A newly painted canister set,
tin
and
hopefully
Wyatt Proof.

Our sewing event at the church is this weekend.
Some dresses already finished.



And the I Spy quilt is back out.
I swear it has been the
four year project.
I am finishing it this year.
Before the kids get too big for it!

Whew!
I need to post daily.
If you made it this far.
Thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, April 9, 2012

In Search of the Elusive Maryland Crabs

First of all, I must say that I am not sure where the last two weeks
have disappeared to.
How does time fly by so fast? 
I haven't posted in a week,
and haven't visited anyone in two weeks.
Hopefully this week will be better,
or slower anyway.
And now,
on with the story.
Several weeks ago,
JWS and I were watching one of the many food shows
that he likes.
Since the remote only fits his hand
and
somehow cannot leave
the bubble that must be surrounding his recliner
I am a captive audience
to whatever crap educational program that he decides to watch
most of the time.
This, however, looked interesting.
An island in the Chesapeake Bay.
Drum Point
and the BEST crab sandwiches around.
We were going to be "close" to that.
"Let's plan on going there!"
I said.
A little over a week ago,
we headed to the DC area for a one day open house
at one of our shirt suppliers.
We were turning it into a two and a half day trip.
We had not been away together alone in over two years.
It was to be an eye-opening experience.
Wednesday afternoon
had us lost somewhere in West Virginia.
The lesson learned?
Don't rely on the GPS on your phone.
How can there be that much of the country that does not have cell phone service?
Finally,
a map
and
a local gas station
with some great directions
(while JWS parked as far away as he could and sent me in to ask
while he sat in the vehicle, head down, sunglasses on,
trying to remain incognito
lest he be seen needing directions)
and we were back on track.
What we discovered on this trip?
JWS, who could at one time
drive right through Manhattan,
drive a 40 foot motor home through downtown Pittsburgh,
a cattle trailer through Chicago,
hold the record for a 13 hour trip to Florida,
drive straight through to Colorado,
....
no longer really likes to drive.
And
while I like to drive
and don't mind driving...
it seems
that no one else
really likes my driving.
What a quandary we were in.
Anyhow back to the island
and the crab.
Thursday morning,
we head to the island.
At least three maps in hand.
Local maps,
Maryland maps,
Virginia maps.
It really didn't look that far.
Several wrong turns,
several tense moments,
a lovely cup of coffee
and the cutest little coffee shop
and
147 miles later
we arrived at the ferry to the island.
AND
it doesn't start running until
MAY!!!
A little homework here might have been a great thing!
So,
I ask the nice lady at the marina,
while JWS assumes the
"asking directions position",
"Is there anywhere we can get a crab sandwich?"
"Sure!" she answers,
"At Cockrell's Deli,
they have the greatest crab,
nice place, on the water,
great atmosphere!"
And
she gives me directions...
only nine more miles.
Which turned into close to fifteen,
because of course,
we got lost again!
Finally,
we find it and this is the sign.




It was Thursday, March 29th.
So,


we ate here.
Cute little restaurant,
a couple of burgers,
I had to lay napkins on the plastic tablecloth to keep my arms from sticking to it.
It took two hands to lift my coffee cup off the table,
again,
sticky.
and
JWS found a rather large bug in his iced tea.
And then we began the 150+ mile trip back to civilization.
We did manage to find some cute little antique shops,
and
some thrift shops.
No great finds.
I thought everything was a little pricey.
And then,
Supper time.
we found this place,
and
Wow! 
All I can say,
was that all was not lost.
It was worth the wait.
If you are ever in the area,
you have to eat there!

Get out your GPS,
it is not easy to find.
You wind through a back road,
cross the railroad tracks
and travel  up a gravel road
between the tracks and the river.

It was amazing,
Great food,
Great Atmosphere
and the waiter we had
was awesome! 

and
so were the crabs!
Well worth the 300 mile search!

Friday,
we went to our shirt company.
This is a pic of the warehouse.
It was a fun event
with tons of really good food!

We hit the ground running on Saturday morning and all of last week was craziness.
Hopefully this week
just brings "normal" crazy!