Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Foils, Foibles, and Follies of MaraBella and Me

There seem to be two distinct types of obedience training.  Alpha Dog and Positive Reinforcement, otherwise known to me as treat training.  At Golden Grange Kennel, where all three of us go for lessons in obedience the philosophy is positive.   I have little morsels of tasty training treats that MaraBella can gobble up hardly breaking stride when we walk.  With her front clip harness on, the treat reinforcement and the occasional tug reminder to "leave it" or "lets go",  her pulling has decreased dramatically as we walk.  I keep a handful of treats in my pocket so I can quickly reward her good behavior.  Our  morning walk  is at a clip and we do about 2 miles.  I have lost 8 pounds since she arrived.  So I wasn't that upset when this happened.
Chewed right through the pocket, lining and seat.

I figure I have to take most of the responsibility for leaving those little morsels in a pocket that she was able to reach after stripping for the shower and hopping in, giving her just enough time to get  naughty.  After all, the pants were size 12 and falling off anyway.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents: Dont Kick the Can...Open it.

I have three can openers in my home and without hesitation there is just one I go to all the time.  I did a quick search of the web and although I suspect this product is made in China, I could not find the details of where it is manufactured.   The electric can opener by Krups, a German company, is big and bulky taking up space in my cabinets. The good old fashion one made in U.S.A. by Ecko  hurts my fingers as they push through the holes in the handle while turning.  The smooth black handles on the Progressive are comfortable to hold, easy to turn and it works every time.  All it takes is a little elbow grease and we can all grease our elbows a bit more. Although the electricity required by the Krups is probably minimal, the Progressive requires non at all. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Delaware Views Hues of Red

He was just so cute with that red in his hair and kind enough to let me take this photo.
Ill tell you about chewing at the restaurant on Foodie Friday.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Funday

Ok so the day was not that much fun since I spent most of it inside cleaning and doing food prep, while hubby worked on getting the boats ready for the water.  I took a break to enjoy the day and met a new neighbor.
The evening was a little more entertaining as I met some friends at the Grand Opening of the BAR at Dominicks in the Crossing.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Foodie Friday: Delaware Chews at Back to the 50s Diner

I rarely have the occasion to post anything but fine reviews on Foodie Friday.  Today I will make an exception.  Took a motorcycle ride out for breakfast looking forward to try out a new diner in Furlong.  Looked really cute on the outside.
It looked even better on the inside, with all the 50's paraphernalia,  Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and even Betty Boop, adorning the walls.
It was crowded, always a good sign.  We decided to wait for a booth.  The service was friendly and excellent.  Furman ordered an omelet and was content.
I ordered a mixed plate of eggs, pancakes and Canadian bacon.
You would think that it would be hard to mess up.  The pancakes were tough. 
I never had to work so hard to cut into pancakes.  The syrup FAKE. 
The Canadian bacon hard and dry.  The easy over eggs over cooked.  The orange juice was pretty good and I suspected it might have been fresh squeezed...another positive.
With so much going for this place, the service, ambiance and perfect distance for a morning ride, perhaps we will try it again.  I'll definitely go with a different selection. 
Just one more time to be sure.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Delaware News

Yippee, Yahooo, Yabadabadooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! 
 Sold one


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Foils, Foibles and Follies of MaraBella and Me

I sit here almost every morning on the soft grey leather couch to catch the morning news and prepare my posts, and even play a few games of Words With Friends, if time allows.  Next to me on the old pink and grey Mexican blanket lies MaraBella.  Unless of course she is driving me crazy or sitting on the back of the couch looking out the window as she is right now...dang cat.
From the time I brought her home, I noticed that she had a distinct odor that smelled familiar but I just seemed unable to identify it.  It wasn't horrible but it wasn't completely pleasant.  It wasn't puppy smell, and for days I found it frustrating that I was unable to identify this familiar smell.  Like trying to say a word that you know and it just wont pop into your head.  It finally became clear during a web search. Corn Chips...and guess what?  It even has a name FRITO FEET.  That just cracked me up because I never noticed it with any other dog.  I think MaraBella was a bit anxious upon arrival and was nervous and sweating through her feet.  She is much more relaxed now and I have to say I don't smell it as profusely as I did when she first arrived...or perhaps, I've grown accustom to her smell.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents and the Friendship Garden

Spring Spring Spring...finally has arrived.  The Daffodils are blooming.   I can see little buds on the Columbine and the Bleeding Hearts.  The Peonies are springing up from the earth as are the pointy green leaves of the Irises.  All of these flowering beauties and more are in my garden courtesy of friends.  The cost quite simply something from my own garden.  Contributors are well aware of what has come to be known as the friendship garden....the sharing of multiplying plants that rather than toss when we divide are shared among us.  These flowering beauties make great subjects for photography. 

You can purchase your garden plants at a nursery and I suppose for the annuals you must, but if you prefer your garden to spring up from the ground each year without spending your money you can engage in the lovely habit of sharing your perennials at no cost.

I had the most pleasant surprise one year after seeing window boxes decorated with Pansies and Pussy Willows.  I had been offered cuttings from a neighbors Pussy Willow bush and tried to reproduce the look.  To my surprise, one of the stems grew ROOTS!  I immediately placed it back in the pot filled with dirt and let it winter over in a protected spot in the yard until last Spring when I planted it in my garden.  Today I have my own small Pussy Willow and in a few years will no longer have to take clippings from my neighbor to make these lovely arrangements.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Delaware Views Hues of Red

In the winter I so enjoy making a good hearty soup.  As the weather warms I want to eat local fruit.  There will never be pineapples growing naturally in my area, but soon the strawberries will be in and the blueberries will be local and there is nothing like it.  There will be NO WHITE in the strawberries and if you pick them yourself from a local farm on a warm sunny day they will be RED and warm and delicious when you eat them.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Funday

It always amazes me how many hours it takes to prepare my home and the food to serve when a holiday arrives and the family gathers.  OK well what amazes me is not just the time it takes to prepare but the contrast of the prep time to the time of the actual gathering.  A day for picking up the groceries and cleaning house.  Hours of food prep.  Luckily, I made a Turkey which does a lot of sitting around first in the brine and then in the oven.   That leaves plenty of time to set the table and conduct the final clean know, that dog hair that just keeps on appearing.
The guests began to arrive just before 2pm to enjoy some appetizer. Not everyone can appreciate chopped liver but cousin Ronnie makes it so well and I love it. My 84 year old mother prepared a delicious Matzo ball soup that we served at about 3, then the main meal, side dishes contributed by sister and mother in law, and finally the desserts also provided by the guests.  Those chocolate covered strawberries made by my niece were just YUMMY.  Seems like everyone puts in there time to enjoy the family company.  By 7pm the last guest departed. So approximately 2 or 3 days in prep time and 5 hours to enjoy the group....or I guess I should say, serve the group. 
I wont even get into the after the gathering clean up.
I love my family and the days it takes to prepare for a gathering of 12 is well worth the hours I get to enjoy them.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Foodie Friday and the Wooden Bowl

I was chopping up some spinach the old fashioned way with an oval wooden bowl and a rocking blade.  That would not be very interesting if it wasn't for the fact that both belonged to my maternal grandmother.   While I was prepping the spinach, I wondered what my grandmother made with these  tools.  I felt comfort in knowing I was the third generation in my family using them.  Somehow it connected me to the women who came before me and prepared meals for their families.  We are entering into another Holiday season and I will be glad to prepare a holiday meal for my family.  It will be a very different celebration from that of my grandmother as far as the food and traditions go.  It matters not, the food will be prepared with love and the family will gather to share it.  That part will be the same.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Delaware NEWS: Exhibit at the Full Moon Cafe

I got to the Full Moon Café in Lambertville, NJ on Monday, and with the help of two pairs of extra hands and eyes managed to hang quite a few images.  Some were printed on canvas and mounted in floating frames by Easy Canvas.  Some were printed by Large Format Printing of NJ on canvas boards and I framed them myself.  OY...should I mention that in my crazy tizzy I mounted the hanging hardware on one of the images UPSIDE DOWN.... Yes I did and now will have to pull it apart and reframe.  No worries.  There is a nice variety of size, sepia, color, and even one selective color image.  There would have been two but alas, I wasn't the only one to err as the printer made a boo boo too, leaving one of the selective color images useless. Cut off the end of the red canoe in the printing.  How about I show you them here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Foils and Foibles of MaraBella and Me

Rescuing MaraBella from certain death in a North Carolina Shelter has been a challenge and a major time consumer.  Walking her or perhaps I should say, pulling me along on the leash has become much easier as she learns the "lets go" command.  But she doesn't "stay" long enough for me to snap the spring blooms as I might like.  She is a devil dog, and I love her.  But let it be known: she just interrupted my posting by bringing me a sock from the laundry basket.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents

Back at the Pennington Market, I'm checking out the prices of the cleaning products that fill the shelves and comparing them to the cleaning products I tend to use.  I have been mixing up white vinegar, water and a few drops of scented oils I generally have around the house.  Once again, I find the prices in favor of my own concoctions.  I did not price in the lilac, lavender, or honeysuckle scents, because I only use a few drops, and they last so long that I forget what I paid.  It is possible to use fresh lemon juice instead.  In general, I use 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar and a few drops of scented oil to cut the vinegar smell.  The aromatic smell of the oils actually makes it a pleasure to wipe down the counters.

Baking Soda is another great inexpensive product for cleaning.  I use it most for getting rid of any foul smell that might come from my sink drain.  I spill a little bit into the drain with the strainer in place to hold it.  Then I pour in some vinegar and watch it bubble up.  I follow this by a water rinse to wash the rest down.  Recently, I was talking to a professional framer and her idea of the best, no streaking glass cleaner was equal proportions of denatured alcohol and water.  I have not tried that yet but you can be assured I will.  Don't be fooled by all the advertising/propaganda/marketing tricks that are there to make you spend YOUR hard earned money, on products that are wasteful, and potentially damaging to your home environment.  USE COMMON CENTS! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Delaware Views Hues of Red

We were temporarily lucky to walk in on a class at the Museum of Arts and Design and listen.
Our luck didn't last long though because once the instruction was over and the students allowed to roam they became rather loud, so we went to another area of the museum and were not disappointed.. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Funday NYC

Another great day in NYC.  Went in early on the train and hopped right on the subway to head to the  Museum of Arts and Design.  Was very interested in the OUT OF HAND exhibit to learn about the arts and 3d printing.  It was fascinating.  Technology is advancing faster than I think I can keep up.
I don't even know how to explain what I saw other than once scanned almost anything can be reproduced using the 3d printers.  Check out the link to learn more.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Delaware Chews at Bellissimo's

Finally warm enough to venture out on the BMW motorcycle.  Layered up with riding pants and leather jacket I stayed quite warm riding in the afternoon sun. It was good to sit behind my man and cruise through the cool spring air.  It was my goal to find a new restaurant for our lunch stop and so we did.  Although this cute little place on the river with bar room and dining room has been around for a while, and we had stopped at this very place twice before, we were unable to try it.  The first time we stopped, a private party was occupying the whole place.  The second time it was closed for repairs.  What we found this time was a delightful little Italian place under new management, Bellissimo's on the River in Upper Black Eddie.
The lunch menu was varied and reasonable in price.  My companion ordered Rigatoni Vodka which was served with a choice of soup or salad.  When I saw Clams Oreganato on the appetizer menu, I had to try them, so I ordered a Caesar Salad to start.  This place had class.  From the linens on the tables, to the impeccable and friendly service, to the delicious food.  Makes me pretty sure we will go back again.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Delaware News

Just four more days to get everything framed and ready to hang, at the Full Moon Café, in Lambertville, on the 14th.  Good thing some of the images were ordered already framed.  Love the floating frames from Easy Canvas.  Still deciding if I should keep it themed all sepia or add a few color images. 

I think the color would add a little POP....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Delaware Views Anew

I wasn't sure what was going to happen when I started to play with Mondays Red...but when I spotted and photographed those colorful, glass vases I knew I was going to play with them.  They were  distorted in filters.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents: Dog Treats

I don't know how many times I will have to tell you that it was NOT, NO WAY, NO HOW, Common Cents to bring MaraBella home.  But what is done is done and it brings me to this.  I started BASIC OBEDIENCE classes last Monday and tonight will be class number 2 at Golden Grange.  Joe, the owner and trainer suggested soft treats for training.  I purchased these and cut the soft sticks up into lots of little pieces. 

He also said hotdogs where a good soft human treat that dogs really like.  I wasn't sure I liked that idea.  I didn't want MaraBella to learn "beg" when we are eating hotdogs off the grill this summer.  We NEVER eat Pup Peroni.  Never the less,  I went to the Market today and conducted a price check.
That would be $4.00 cheaper on the hotdogs per pound.  Now that just might make it Common Cents.  Sadly, I makes me wonder just how bad we are getting ripped off by the dog food industry.  Those blessed beef franks must have more value than Pup Peroni.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Delaware Views Hues of Red

Lines, color, repetitive patterns, circles.  These little glass vases on a shelf just begged to be photographed.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Funday

Finally had the opportunity to take advantage of my membership to the Michener Museum and what a joy it was to share my visit with my good friend Kathy.    Last time we were there we were able to vote for the Peoples Choice of the permanent pieces and this time we were able to see the winners.
We were also able to enjoy a wonderful  exhibit, Where Children Sleep: Photographs by James Mollison.  The photographer ingeniously matched portraits of children with pictures of their bedrooms.  The diversity of the children was eye popping.  From a little American pageant girl with a bedroom full of award ribbons and crowns, to an unnamed Romanian boy whose room was a field with a mattress in it that he shared with his parents.  Some of the exhibits in the museum have signs indicating NO PHOTOGRAPHS.  Although, I have seen many a museum visitor ignore those signs, I never do...I believe this was from the exhibit, In a Relationship: Art, Science and Medicine. There was not a sign in the room where this image was and I just loved the idea, color, lines and composition so pulled out my Iphone so I could share it and perhaps entice you to go visit the museum.

See link above as I took this pic of someone else's image

Friday, April 4, 2014

Delaware Chews at Chambers 19

I guess it was a few weeks ago I mentioned Chambers 19 and going to see a movie at the County Theater in Doylestown.  I was not that hungry so I ordered the French Onion Soup.  My companion ordered a Turkey Club.  The soup was unlike any I have ever had before...not to say it was the best...just different.  I am usually pretty good at distinguishing herbs, spices and different flavorings but there was something that made this different that I could not identify.  It was pretty tasty but towards the end was leaning toward the rich side and I had a hard time finishing it.  As I recall there was a mix of cheeses on top and I think that is where the unusual flavor came from...I just couldn't figure it out.   The Turkey Club was standard and devoured.  The place is quite large with a dining room on one side and a bar room on the other.  So many eating establishments in Doylestown to try and since I like to explore, I would love to try them all.  Never the less, this is a good fall back and go again and again kind of place.  In regards to food photography, I like showing the two meals, the first sharp and in focus and the one in the rear soft.  I always ask to sit by a window if there is one so I can take advantage of the natural light.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Delaware News

I don't always have news to share about my efforts because sometimes I am just plain lazy.  Or perhaps I suffer from fear of failure and as a result don't act at all.  Spring is here and after suffering this long, cold and snowy winter, I am feeling inspired.  Yesterday I stopped at Seasons Garden Center, the place where I sold my first piece of fine art, and dropped off a selection of note cards for sale.  Today, I am meeting with the owner of Countryside Gallery & Custom Frame Design in Newtown, PA to explore options for hanging my work in her shop.  Word on the street is that the business of fine art and framing has experienced a real slow down.  Word on the stone reminds me to seek harmony with what I imagine and create.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Delaware Issues Common Cents

I already confessed that it was not common cents at all to rescue MaraBella, who has already cost me a small fortune. 
She is dropping short needle like black hair at a rate more alarming then my own shedding of long grey strands.
This little tool cost around $35.00 and I use it everyday after our morning walk.  Must be helping some because I get a few full comb loads before I quit.  Don't think I did not question the price...the store clerk's answer:  it will last a life time.  Not to mention it is called a FURminator.  For those who know me, you cant possibly miss the joke!