Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our "hang out" - The Grill House

The Grill House is right outside of town; a short 3-ish mile ride.  It's like our "Cheers."  A fun place with good food and music on the weekends.

The reason it's called The "Grill" House is because there's a big ass grill inside.

                                                                See?  I told ya.

So, here's the drill.  You go into the grill room and select your dinner meat: beef, fish or kabobs.  If you're not sure how long you should grill your choice, the "grill master" will guide you.  It's a very popular activity and people come from far and wide to participate.

If you're not into grilling you can always order from the pub menu.  Wraps, burgers, pasta dishes, etc., and always specials to pick from.

                  Let's go back outside.  When the weather cooperates, this is my favorite place to be.

                                                              This is the courtyard.

 If you want to have dinner in one of these coolio gliders you either need to get there at 3p or make a reservation.  They're very popular.

This fountain is in the middle of the courtyard.  If it's breezy out there it's not a good idea to sit too close to it.  Ask me how I know.

 To one side of the courtyard is an outside bar with tables and chairs.  Hey, look, there's Dave and Diane.

                                                 A "Buffet" feel to the whole area.

I don't know these people but they looked like they were really enjoying themselves so I asked if I could take their picture.  Immediately, the guy on the right stuck his fingers in his nose.  Who let him in????

 This old silo has been there forever.  When Dan and Marcia (the owners of the Grill House) decided they needed a place for wedding receptions, etc., they attached a building and called it . . .

                                                 That's right!  Boy, you guys are smart. 

                        This is the back of the Silo.  There's a beautiful deck and plenty o' parking.

                                              A nice "country" flavor, doncha think?

                                                            Let's go back inside.

This area is the lower level of the Grill House called the Rock Bottom.  This place "rocks" with boisterous folks.  Take my word for it.  You can't hear them but they were loud.  Having a good time, though.

This is where you can find us when the weather isn't cooperating.  I didn't get a shot of the tables in the bar but there are several and windows all around.  Again, the whole "Cheers" feel.

I mentioned music earlier; during the winter there is music in the Rock Bottom and during the summer?

Famous singers perform on the stage in the courtyard.  If this fantastic woman ever graces the stage again, you do NOT want to miss her.  I'm telling ya, the crowd went wild when she sang.  Standing ovations after each and every song.  Her voice was being compared to . . . have I gone too far?  A little much?  Sorry.

If you're ever in the area come on out to the Grill House.  Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you that it's haunted!  And the Grill House has been featured on two different "food" shows on TV!  How cool is that?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More details regarding my college career.

A ways back I posted about my one year at Stephens College in Columbia, MO.  I wasn't going to embarrass myself by giving up more details about that time but, what the hey.  If I can't laugh at myself who can I laugh at?  Wait - that's not a good example because my life revolves around laughing at people.

If you need to refresh your memory or if you're tuning in late - feel free to go back and, you know, refresh.

Here's a picture of Stephens taken off their site.  Nothing looks familiar.  Is that bad?  Well, it has been over 40 years so - what did you expect?  Also, let's remember I was only there for a year which is, in reality, 9 months.


Here's my dorm, Roblee Hall.  And, no, I didn't remember the name.  I looked at the list of dorms and by process of elimination I came up with this one.  I was on the 3rd floor.  There was an elevator but we weren't allowed to use it except when we moved in and when we moved out.  From the web site I see there is a dorm that allows pets.  That hadn't been invented when I was there.  Lucky girls now, eh?
I also got a look at some of the rooms.  We didn't have lofts back then nor did we have the luxury of ceiling fans.  Wow, things sure have changed over the past 40-some years.

Greek life:  back in the olden days there was a local sorority - nothing national, though.  It sounds like I cared but I didn't.  We, in the Brachman family, have a long-standing tradition against fraternities/sororities.  My great nephew, Cody,  has broken through that particular barrier at American University.  We haven't decided how we feel about his rebellion - yet.

My classes:  they were grueling. 1) Flower arranging.  I had to know the scientific names for the flowers.  Wait a second - you mean a rose isn't a rose?  I still kind of suck at the arranging thing too so I'm thinking that was a waste of money.  2) Art.  I will never forget a painting project the class had.  Afterward we put our pieces up in front of the room for the professor to critique.  His words were, "Brachman, I can tell which one is yours from here."  Not in a nice way.  The sarcasm was thick enough to cut with a knife.  Bastard scarred me for life.  Not really, I just wanted to call him a bastard.  3) Dance.  I believe I talked about my experience in dance class in another post - something about what a fabulous dancer I am now but I'm not sure so here's a recap.  I had never taken a dance class in my life before walking through the doors of  Stephens and it was glaringly apparent when class began.  Think "Ellie Mae" from the Beverly Hillbillies.  I couldn't even get my leg up on the barre.  I did, however, kill when it came to castanets.  Too bad I was supposed to be doing something with my feet at the same time.  That was a mess.  4) Lastly.  I'm sure there were more classes.  I periodically have horrid flashbacks, still to this day, of my time spent in English class.  Ds all the way through.  What the hell was she talking about anyway?   But let's talk about something less horrid:  my newspaper reading class.  I'm pretty sure that wasn't the name of it but that's all I can remember.  It sounded like a cinch.  All I had to do was read a newspaper everyday.  It was even delivered to my dorm room.  You're already getting an image of a mountain o' newspapers (unread) in the corner of my room, aren't you?


As I said in my earlier post (you've gone back to read it, right?), I don't regret my time at Stephens.  After all, that's when I met Petey.  No he wasn't a student there, silly.  Remember?  All girls college?  It was a good experience and I met some cool people.

We will not revisit that time again.  I promise.  How much can one take, eh? 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Need a haircut?

I get my hair cut every 4 weeks without fail.  My stylist is a busy gal so I always make my next appointment before I leave and almost nothing will cause me to cancel or change that appointment.  Nothing, I tell ya.

This is my place.  I've been going there for many years. Conveniently located across from McDonald's and next to Little Cesar's - not that I ever go to either place - much. ha! That "A" needs a little work I think.

When I find someone I like I stick with them.  The first woman I entrusted my hair to was Sue.  She worked miracles for several years and then had the audacity to retire!  The woman that worked at the chair right next to her took over that spot, right next to the window so she could wave to passing cars, and I just stayed put.

I miss Sue but I love, Michelle.  She's such a dork.  hehe  We laugh and cry together every month.  She is a kind hearted soul; her ultimate goal is to make sure you're happy with what just happened in her chair.  I always am.

This is co-owner, Shirley.  Shirl and I went to school together - she's old. hehe  She's one of those multi-talented people, too.  I hate her.  She makes amazing cakes and other sweet treats.  If you've been reading my blog for a while you saw pictures of her goodies at my open house last spring.
Hey, Shirl, get out there and fix that "A" on the awning, will ya?

 Here she is giving someone (didn't catch her name) a manicure.  I haven't had many of those in my life; maybe two but Shirley gave me one of them.  Mighty nice.

Last February I sat in this chair so Shirley could work her magic on my tootsies just before I left for Florida.  I deemed them "beach worthy."  I believe I took a picture of my flaming red toes and put it in the March entries.  If you're dying to see them (you know you are) check out "March."

I love this place.  It's like a "hair bar" for me.  Everybody knows your name.  Get it?  The Cheers theme?
I love how clever I can be - don't you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A huge influence on me. Meet . . . .

                                                            Miss Pat Ankney.

I have a long list of people that have helped to "shape me" over the years (I would have appreciated thinner thighs, though) and an equally long list that continue to influence me.

Right at the top of my "formative years" list is this woman.  She was a force to be reckoned with; a dynamo.  I never had the privilege of being one of Miss Ankney's students but she taught me a lot as the choir director of the Congregation Church.  I sang in the children's choir right up through the adult choir.  That woman could get blood from a stone.  That's where I learned to keep one eye on my music and the other on the lady waving her hands in the air.  She didn't use a baton for the church choir. I'm pretty sure everyone was afraid she'd throw it at whoever wasn't paying attention.

I also participated, along with several other Allegan kids, in the high school musical, The King and I.  I was one of the princesses.  Even back then I was destined for royalty.  ha!

In one of my earlier posts (the one about going to camp in a wheelchair) I talked about going to music camp up in Caseville, MI.  Ms.Ankney was the musical director there as well.  We spent 6 weeks rehearsing the production.

I'll never forget the year that Ms.Ankney's brother, Ron, was playing "Billy" in Carousel and wasn't giving the soliloquy "enough" so she kept pushing and pushing until he hit that last note with everything he had and then fainted.  Her response was:  "that's the way I want to see you do it tomorrow night during the performance!"

I told you, she was tough.  But whatever she did was excellent.

She left Allegan in the early 60s and went up north to finish her career.  There's a school auditorium in Essexville named for her.  She left her mark there as well.

I sent Ms.Ankey a birthday card every year for many, many years.  We shared the date.  I remember being at a basketball game when I was quite young and they announced that it was someone special's birthday that day and asked the crowd to join in singing Happy Birthday.

I was thrilled.  How did they know?  I'm just a kid and all these people were going to sing to me?  You don't know how close I was to standing up and making a complete fool of myself.  That was when I learned we were both born on January 25.  I threw that in in case you want to write it on your calendar.

Pat (I got to call her that when I grew up) has left the director's stand but she has left behind a ton 'o memories for many, many people.  

Were you lucky like me?  Whose face popped into your head while reading this post?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hungry? You might want to check this place out.

       Here's the over-all view of Dailey's Kitchen and Stella's.  Oh, yeah, you're in downtown Allegan.

 Now you're inside Dailey's Kitchen.  Hey, who's that behind the counter?  That's Jack Dailey.  He was in charge the day I was there because Stella was elsewhere prepping for a big catering job the following day.

If you sit at this table you will be alarmingly close to the delicious desserts.  Just wanted to give you a heads up.  It's a dangerous stop - full of temptation.  Not that I've ever fallen prey to those temptations. hahaha

                         Now you're on the other side of the dessert case.  Much safer territory.

                                               The kitchen - where the magic happens.

This is the other half.  Get it?  Kind of a play on words, eh?  Jack and Stella are a married couple.  hehe
This room is perfect for a large group.  As a matter of fact, Tomas the Magnificent's class reunion was     held here Saturday night and I understand a good time was had by all.

Notice the microphones against the left wall?  Jack and Stella, known as the Dailey Duo, perform here sometimes - and elsewhere.  Jack is one of the best guitars players I have ever had the privilege of watching/hearing.  Together, this married couple will entertain your socks off.  If you're wearing any.

 This room is just off the larger room separated by a few steps and doors that can be closed.  It has a great view of the river front boardwalk.


Right outside the larger room is this wonderful two-tiered deck.  There's also a patio area at the bottom of the stairs which I didn't take a picture of - sorry.  Great for summer dining.

Since Stella wasn't there on this particular day I took this picture of "the kids" so you could get a look at her.

                                                      Stop in for lunch sometime.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What's in a name?

This morning as I was walking Augie I started thinking about nick names.  Not like Katie for Katherine or Billy for William.  Yes, they're nicknames but I'm talking about the ones that don't resemble the "real" name, like Buzz.  You know that's not on his birth certificate.

My pal, Tomas the Magnificent, (that's not really a nick name because Tomas is Thomas in Spanish and besides, he gave it to himself so that doesn't count) stopped me on my walk this morning and said that Buzzy was looking for me; he wants to talk about my blog.  The old people from the Class of  '62 are having their 50th reunion this weekend and Buzz is a classmate that has lived away for many years and came home to hang with the AARP/Medicare crowd.

Anyway, that's what led me to the topic of nicknames.  That was probably a longer explanation than you needed, right?

I started to rattle off the nicknames of people that I personally know:  Skip, Chip, Thumper, Biff, Bink and, of course, Buzz.  Some of these guys I don't even know their real names.

And speaking of guys; I thought it was a guy thing at first.  Then I remembered the girl that lived down the street from us when I was a kid - Winky.  And then I remembered another woman here in town - Chick.    Oh, yeah, the lady that lived up the hill - Spot - who happens to be Bink's mother. No clue to their real names either.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering if I have a nickname.  I have a few but the one I like the best is . . . .
wait for it, wait for it . . . . EB BEAUTIFUL.  It doesn't really count, though, because it's my initials and I gave it to myself.  Well, what was I going to do? - no one gave me a coolio nickname so I had to give it to myself.  Just like that Spanish dude, Tomas the Magnificent did.

It's your turn now.  Whatcha got?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It was a "tasty" Tuesday.

We had plans for this day.  A while back we decided we were going to drive to lakeshore towns on either Tuesdays or Thursdays of every week until the summer was over.  Well, we didn't make it last week which was going to be the first day trip of many.  I can't remember what got in the way - so we put Saugatuck on the schedule for this week.

We're both dealing with summer colds - the worst - and friggin' high temps. We laid around all day after putting off the Saugatuck trip which was going to include lunch and window shopping.  Then we decided we'd go somewhere for dinner.  Some place we'd never been to before.  New - ya know?  Well, the decision didn't come easily.  If felt like it dragged on forever but we finally ended up here.

I know someone who is reading this blog right now and yelling at me.  Jane, my friend since forever, has been trying to get us over here and we just haven't made it - until tonight.  I swear it wasn't planned ahead of time, Jane. 

If it hadn't been so dang hot we would have eaten outside so we could wave at passing cars.  That will have to wait for another visit.  This night we decided to go inside.  Come on - let's walk through that door.

This place hasn't been opened very long and the whole building has been transformed into a very coolio restaurant.

                                      Cool interior, eh?  Hey, who's the old guy in the blue shirt?

Check out that bar.  I should have been more interested in what they had to offer in the beer department since they're a brew pub but . . . . remember, I'm the non-drinker so it never entered my mind.

Their menu has a lot to offer.  We got sandwiches.  Mine was a BLT on sourdough and Petey got the reuben.  Yum and yum on both accounts.

I saw this chalkboard across the room and admired the artistry so I thought I'd take a picture.  I asked the people sitting at the table in front of it to duck and they just laughed at me.  Hey, I wasn't kidding!

The proprietor (I like that word much better than "owner" don't you?  I mean, it goes with "pub" better), Scott Zylstra seated us and waited on us as well.  Nice guy.  We liked him.  He told us to make sure and check out the upstairs.  So we did.

Great place for a banquet or wedding reception, eh?  They have an elevator in case you're not up to climbing these wonderful stairs.

They serve dessert but they are also conveniently located right next to Plainwell Ice Cream so we thought we'd spread our wealth.  And, I thought I remembered that they had peanut butter sauce and I've been jonesin' for it since my friend, Deb, talked about it last weekend.

                   This one is mine.  Underneath the peanut butter sauce is their Deer Traxx.  OMG!

                                                       Petey's choice was hot fudge.

Doesn't he look happy?  It was a very nice way to spend a really hot evening.  I recommend visiting both joints.  In Plainwell - I forgot to tell you.  Yikes, that's kind of important, doncha think?