Saturday, March 30, 2013

Berkshire Bourbon

March 30. 2013

I've been trying new bourbons lately. They all have subtle differences much like wine. But maybe that's just my opinion. Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden, Elijah Craig( which I did not like at all.) Last week I bought Berkshire Bourbon by Berkshire Mountain Distillers. They are located in Sheffield, MA. Since I've been spending a lot of time recently in that area I decided to try some.

I admit I was skeptical. I almost got a bottle of Makers 46 just in case I didn't like it. After all isn't Kentucky the home of bourbon? How could New Englanders produce a smokey rich bourbon? But I have to say I am enjoying this. A close second to Makers. Sheffield Mountain Distillers is the first legal distillers in the Berkshires since the Prohibition. They also have gin, vodka, rum and corn whiskey. Never heard of corn whiskey but it is described as smokey with notes of fig. I love figs! Maybe I'll try that next.

So tonight after I finish cooking for Easter dinner, I will toast to the Berkshires with my Berkshire bourbon in my Cape Cod glass. New traditions, indeed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pancakes for Breakfast

March 27, 2013

I love a really good breakfast. ( OK, I feel the same about lunch and dinner) Making it was always HIS job so I had to brush up on my skills. I can make eggs, soft and runny like I prefer. Most restaurants never get them soft enough (except for the cook at the Mandarin). But I have those down pat. And I make great home fries. Microwave red or yukon gold potatoes, or use the last nights baked potato, then fry it up with oil and a little butter, onions and some herbs. Yummy.

But pancakes? I was never good at that. We haven't made pancakes since the incident but this past Sunday Hilary and I decided to have some. I looked up a recipe on line. Martha Stewart's. How could I go wrong? But go wrong I did.

To say they were thin is an understatement. They looked like the rubber discs you use to open jars. Hilary very kindly said, "They look funny but they taste good, Mom." Even she didn't have the heart to make fun of them. So I can't make pancakes. Big deal. I should have suggested going to Lena's Cafe in Westville where they have the best pancakes I have tasted in a long time. You can sit by the window and watch the hustle and bustle on Whalley Avenue and not even have to clean the dirty dishes.

I will have to keep trying in the pancake department. Just like I had to make many attempts to perfect the anginettes (thanks to Annie.) Although I don't believe Josh will ever think mine are as good as Jennies, they are a close second. And I WILL master the pancake.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Town Fair Tire

March 25, 2013

I know I have written about my tire pressure light in the past. And I thought I had solved that problem. But every once in a while the light would come on and I would fill the front driver side tire with air. Then one day a few weeks ago I noticed a small nail in that tire. But I ignored it. After all it was such a slow leak. I went to Rhode Island and the Berkshires knowing about the nail.

Thursday night the light went on again. And for some reason I didn't feel I could ignore it. I needed to drive to Farmington and then to Clinton on Saturday. And as much as I did not want to go to Town Fair Tire on a Friday after work, I did.

Of course it would be a two hour wait. Hilary very kindly picked me up and brought me back at 5 PM. There was my tire in the shop. "This can't be fixed," the man said. The nail was too close to the rim. It couldn't be patched. And they did not have the right tire there in the store. "OK, just put it back on and I'll come back when the tire comes in." But he refused to put the tire back. "It's unsafe to drive with this tire," he replied. I was frantic. I begged him to put it back. Then I realized I sounded just like the patients who can't understand why they are being cancelled for eating or drinking close to their surgery time. "We'll put the donut on just don't go over 55 MPH." Was he kidding?!!!  How would I get to Farmington? I knew I was overreacting but I couldn't help it.

Well, I took Hilary's car the next morning. Of course I not only woke up late but I spent 15 minutes in the driveway trying to orient myself to her car. I couldn't figure out how to get the CD out in the dark so I drove listening to her music. I felt very out of sorts. I missed my seat warmer and bluetooth.

But when I returned home they had the tire for my car as promised. It took less than 45 minutes to put it on. I don't know what possessed me to go get it checked when I did. Something told me not to drive on it anymore. I can still hear my father (who was very particular about car maintenance) saying, "Lucy, get that checked. What's wrong with you?" Maybe Sal is STILL watching out for me!

Friday, March 22, 2013


March 23, 2013

I've been really busy these past few weeks. Both personally and professionally. But I thought you would enjoy this song from P!nk. I LOVE her!
Because I can't figure out how to include the link for the video I will try to share that on Google+ and Facebook.

"Just Give Me A Reason"

(feat. Nate Ruess)

Right from the start
You were a thief
You stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts of me
That weren't all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them
Now you've been talking in your sleep oh oh
Things you never say to me oh oh
Tell me that you've had enough
Of our love, our love

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
We're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

I'm sorry I don't understand
Where all of this is coming from
I thought that we were fine
(Oh we had everything)
Your head is running wild again
My dear we still have everythin'
And it's all in your mind
(Yeah but this is happenin')
You've been havin' real bad dreams oh oh
You used to lie so close to me oh oh
There's nothing more than empty sheets
Between our love, our love
Oh our love, our love

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
I never stopped
You're still written in the scars on my heart
You're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

Oh tear ducts and rust
I'll fix it for us
We're collecting dust
But our love's enough
You're holding it in
You're pouring a drink
No nothing is as bad as it seems
We'll come clean

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
That we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
That we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
Oh, we can learn to love again
Oh, we can learn to love again
Oh oh, that we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring?

March 20, 2013

The calendar says its the first day of spring but the cold and snow outside tells a different story. I was just able to see my grass and the upcoming daffodils when it snowed again. Come on Margo, even YOU have to be tired of it by now.

Looking forward to daffodils and tulips, robins and open windows. Winter be gone!!! This is the time of year I dream about moving to a warmer climate. Not down south but west. Southern California or Arizona. What am I doing here? But the grass is always greener. Maybe I would actually miss the four seasons. Each with their own special attributes. The fireplace on a cold night, the rainy springs, the first real beach day and the crunch of leaves under foot. Maybe the anticipation is part of being a New Englander.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blinkers Optional

March 18, 2013

I'm confused. I have a fairly new car (my consolation prize, or as someone so kindly put it, my victory prize) and mine came equipped with blinkers. And I use them every time I turn. Sometimes I even use them when I am turning out of my own driveway. So what about the majority of people who don't bother? Are there models that don't have blinkers? Is it not being taught in driving school? Or are people just too cool to use them?

Am I supposed to know when driving behind someone lost in thought that they are going to turn left into a store or their home? They abruptly stop right in front of me and SIT in the street while I slam on my brakes and use a variety of off color words. And off color words have become my speciality. Words I never thought I'd use and didn't even think in my mind. I save the really good ones for ANITA PEDULLA but I've amassed many others. Some even suggested to me by other people.

So lets get back to the blinkers. Today an old geezer almost ran me off the road as he slowly moved over into my lane in front of me without putting on his blinker. THEN he proceeded to travel at 20 miles per hour. 1. Why not just let me pass? 2. Just use your BLINKER!!!! I would have let you in if I had any idea what you wanted.

So please, those of you who are to special to follow the rules of the road, please tell me how difficult it is to flip the switch on your blinker. Are you the same people who throw wrappers out of your car window, blare your music, text while you drive or are you just a(n) _______? (fill in your favorite word)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Egremont Village Inn

March 15, 2013

My last two hotel visits were extremely luxurious. So much so that I wasn't sure I should actually be allowed to stay at such fine establishments. Was I dressed correctly, was I too loud or inappropriate?Probably inappropriate. It's hard to be a nurse for all these years and not be a little inappropriate.

Anyway this past weekend I had no such worries. I went to the Berkshires with my friends Margo and Annemarie. We met in grade school when we were 12 years old. We grew up in each others homes. They saved me corned beef and turkey and I saved them lasagna and anginettes. I was daughter #3. Three other women were there and we had a blast. But elegant it was not!

Although there was a bathroom in our room the inn was actually closed for renovations. We were the only ones there. (A long story) No fireplace, no food, no help except the inn's owner. But did we have fun? You bet we did! Consignment store shopping, telling old stories and laughing at new ones. We brought our own drinks and snacks and sat in front of the heater until way after my bedtime. Once laughing so hard that we were crying. And were we loud? Of course we were! AND inappropriate!

I would return to all three places without a second thought. But every time I wear my new velvet jacket with the pearl trim I will smile to remember the Egremont Village Inn.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Comcast, Again

March 14, 2013

The TV saga continues. So, the cable boy leaves and everything is seemingly working. The picture, as I said, is awesome. I don't watch all that much TV so I don't notice right away that something is amiss. But yesterday afternoon, after a VERY busy day of errands I decided to take a few minutes to watch the coverage on the Pope. He seems so down to earth and I just thought "adorable." I decide to treat myself and sit in the family room to rest for a few minutes.

I put on the TV and after a few minutes I notice the sound doesn't seem quite right. Oh, the surround sound box is not on! But, then why is there sound? It's coming from the TV itself. I keep trying to turn the stereo box on but nothing happens.

I call Comcast anad explain my problem. The technician did not hook up my surround sound. I am told they can not "touch my equipment." But didn't they touch it when they UNHOOKED it? Yes, but that was easy, I'm told. They just pull the connection out of the box. But apparently putting it back involves so much technical skill that they can't take responsibility for that. So later today I have to call Art's again and beg them to hook up my surround sound. Pretty soon they will stop answering my calls!!

Is anything easy??? Should I change to Uverse? Oh, I forgot, my picture is up in the AT&T building for chasing their technician in my car after he left me without phone service several years ago. So I guess I'll stick with Comcast for now.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cable TV

March 13, 2013

My TV saga still baffles me. My plasma TV wasn't working correctly. Sometimes it would turn on and sometimes not. When I called Comcast they insisted we trouble shoot over the phone. Something I really hate to do. But we did and they told me it was a "TV issue." Really? I didn't think the TV was that old. (Annemarie told me I need to keep a file for everything I buy so I can look up the date of purchase.)

Another few weeks go by and I call someone to service the TV. Instead of testing it out in my house they insisted they had to take it to the shop to test the "boards." Ok. I call them after a week and am told something needs to be replaced. Something expensive. And they couldn't guarantee it would work for long.

So I go to Art's Appliance Store. The same place where I purchased my beautiful refrigerator. Ten minutes later I leave. They were to deliver my new TV later that week. Friday came and so did the TV.
But the cable connection was iffy. They were here for a while and I thought I would be late for work. But when they left everything was perfect. The picture was awesome. Almost freaky. It felt like  the actors were right in the room with us.

I went to the Berkshires for the weekend with my oldest friends in the world. I told the all about the fabulous TV I had purchased. I looked forward to sitting in front of it on Sunday night and watching a show. But when I walked in the door Hilary said,"the TV isn't working!" How did I know that was going to happen? It simply said "No Signal" every time I tried to turn it on. 

Why do things like this happen on the weekend when you can't call anyone for help? Except Comcast. I called them and insisted they make an appointment for me. Of course for a few minutes they tried to patronize me but by that point I was having none of that. I told them I was NOT going to reboot, crawl under the TV or unplug anything. That is what I'm paying them to do.

So, yesterday the very young cable boy came and replaced the box. It wasn't working, imagine! Now I have a brand new TV which I didn't really need. But it is awesome. The repair people insist there is still something wrong with my old TV but I'm thinking of having them bring it back here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ocean House

March 7, 2013

Is it weird that I am so into hotel bathrooms? Especially the bathtubs. This weekend I went to the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island to celebrate a friend's birthday. She has been raving about this place for a while. Since my foray into the world of luxury hotels I decided to see how this compared to the Mandarin in Bangkok.

Although it was typically New England it was close to the pampering I received at the Mandarin. Everyone knew us. I drove up separately but when I got there the valet knew I was joining "Miss Hart." I was whisked to the room and welcomed by name. And no tipping!! Anywhere. Just gracious, civilized service.

An oyster tasting and a wonderful dinner that evening. After dinner treats to take to the room. My friends enjoyed a beautiful spa experience (something I need to try next time.) And a great brunch in the morning.

And the bathroom! Not a big as the Mandarin in space but the tub was luxurious. A TV to watch and bath products that I am told are high end. Even a loofah. Robes and slippers! Maybe I can get a job just rating hotel bathrooms!

I guess it makes up for the messy weather this week. Pampering always helps.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Advanced Directives

March 5, 2013

Last night I saw a story on the news about a nurse in California who refused to give CPR to a resident in a retirement home. The 911 dispatcher was begging her to give CPR but she refused citing her facility policy. And without knowing any of the circumstances the nurse was condemned in every article I read on the internet.

This morning several publications have now stated they do not know if the woman was actually a nurse. At the time of the news story it was not known if the resident had a Do Not Resuscitate order. Just a generalized disgust at the person who claimed to be a nurse.

I do not know all the details of this particular circumstance. Apparently the elderly woman did not have a DNR order. But ANYONE can give CPR. To immediately exploit the story to bash the "nurse" is irresponsible. Would I have done the same thing? Maybe not, but I have no way of knowing. Perhaps the woman was afraid she would jeopardize her job. Perhaps she wasn't really a nurse. Let's wait to hear the whole story before we start to condemn a whole profession of dedicated care givers.

And while I'm at it EVERYONE should have advanced directives. Patients jokingly respond when asked, "He/She gets everything." Not the same thing at all. I don't care who is getting your jewelry or your house. I need to know who is responsible for making health care decisions for you. PUT IT IN WRITING. It is the kindest thing you can do for your family.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Another Top Ten

March 1, 2013

                              Top Ten Things I'm Not Embarrassed About Anymore

1. Not knowing anything about car maintenance and relying exclusively on my mechanic.

2. Ditto for heating, cooling and plumbing.

3. Using the fake logs in the fireplace.

4. Hiring someone to do ALL the yard work. Including planting and pruning, things I could easily do
    but don't like.

5. Not having the cleanest house in town.

6. Sending back food in a restaurant.

7. Checking a bill and sometimes questioning it.

8. Calling workmen on the phone and dealing with them when they arrive.

9. Asking for help.

10. Putting myself first.

After your husband leaves you for a lesbian and then spends the next six months doing everything
he can to humiliate and hurt you there isn't much left that can embarrass you. Just looking at the silver lining now.