Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The "new" bedroom

Somewhere back in the early days of this blog I'm pretty sure I wrote about our house.  For those of you too lazy to go looking for that particular entry (including me - I'm not positive I even wrote about it)I live in an ancient one and a half story home.  Built in 1836.

When we bought this house 34 years ago there was a room on the main floor that we used as our den.  I'm pretty sure that the old lady that lived here used it as her bedroom.

This old house also has only one bathroom - on the main floor and, naturally, the bedrooms (2) are upstairs.

A few years ago Petey and I started talking about making a bedroom downstairs.  I just couldn't picture it so we just kept putting it off.  Something happened in August (nothing specific - just a feeling of "let's get this thing going") and it came together by mid to late September.

This room is not as big as our bedroom upstairs which has a king sized bed in it so we knew we had to go smaller.  Hence, the queen you see before you.  We also knew, because of the room size, that we didn't #1 want a foot board and #2 the head board needed to be "see-through-ish."  Mission accomplished.

Next up was a closet.  This house doesn't really have any.  The one upstairs is kind of a "Homer and Jethro" closet so we were shooting for something better.  At first we thought we'd have something built in the room but then we took a look at our little laundry room right behind the "new" bedroom.

Because we didn't build a closet in the room, we had enough space to leave a recliner and small table. The door on the right leads into the enclosed back porch where I have my torch.

Ta-da!  We're calling it a walk-in closet.  Just like the rich folks.

And now all I have to do is make an about-face and I can hang clothes up, quick like a bunny.  It's a wonder, I tell ya.

The absolute best part of being downstairs is the nightly trip to the bathroom.  I actually danced my way there the first night.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012


 Did you think this blog was going to be about small birds?  hahaha, gotcha!
It was chilly on Friday afternoon but the sun was out and Petey has been wanting to go to Robinette's for days so we threw Augie in the back seat and took off.

 It's a 49 mile drive north of us but worth the trip.  We went a few years ago and enjoyed it so much we wanted to repeat the experience.  We also knew it was a good idea to not go on the weekend.  Several thousand people would be getting way to close for me.  There were still plenty o' people there but I didn't have to fight them off for candy corn. hehe

The first stop was the gift store. Cool wine stoppers, eh?

 Then the wine tasting bar.  Even though we don't drink wine (I think she could tell by looking at us that we were a couple of squares but that didn't stop her from being so, so very nice), the people there were having so much fun, I had to take their picture.

 These guys were seriously flirting with me.  It might look like they were "into" the ladies behind the bar but, no, it was all about me.  Seriously.

 This guy tried the flirting thing but, honestly, I'm not really into the old guys.

Here's just a sampling of their wine.  When your last name is Robinette, you might as well take advantage of it and run with it, eh?  Smart marketing tactic.

Then we went upstairs.  Fun stuff.  I love these wiggle pens.  I could easily visualize writing important papers and then whipping my pen up against the filing cabinet next to my massive desk and having the magnet do its thing.  Wait.  I don't have a massive desk or a filing cabinet.  But still . . .

  And who doesn't want/need a pop gun and a cowgirl hat?

 I absolutely love pop-up cards.  You don't see them very often anymore and there was a whole rack of them here.

Coolio night lights.

 Hay ride anyone?

There's Ms.Robinette giving instructions to the horses.  They don't appear to be listening.

 Here's Ms.Robinette again - with her prankster pal.  Notice the very tips of the rabbit ears behind the boss's head.  Very nice ladies.

 Apples for sale and all things made from and with apples for sale.

 They were making apple cider right on the premises.  How fresh can you get?

 OMG!  The caramel apples looked amazing.  Don't tell Ms.Robinette but I licked the tray those apples were sitting on.  Just kidding.  Not really.

Then we went next door to the bakery.  Dangerous territory.  The smell.  I wanted to bottle it.

I don't know how this ended up in front of me.  Must have been some sort of Halloween witch craft kinda thing.  But it was there and I didn't want to anger a witch this close to Halloween . . . so I ate it.

Apparently the same witch tempted Petey with an apple fritter.  He's such a push over.

So, if you have some time on your hands, get on up to Robinette's.  It a lovely place to hang out for a few hours.  Take the kids or your granny and make sure to say "hey" to Ms.Robinette.

Friday, October 26, 2012

How do you feel about mustaches?

I saw a guy yesterday that had an outstanding mustache.  Unfortunately he was driving a car and I didn't have my camera with me anyway.  He was an older fella (probably my age - or younger) with a tan face and a white, white mustache.  One of those Foo Man Choo things.  Striking.

Then I started thinking about facial hair; in particular, 'staches.  Petey had one way back in the day.  It didn't last terribly long and it was decades ago so I can't remember how I felt about it.

Are you married to a mustache?  Currently dating one?  Those questions are for the ladies.  If so, your thoughts, please.

For the men:  do you have one?  How many years have you been sportin' it?  Do you feel like it plays a significant role in your identification?

I like them.  Not the long, scraggily ones, though.  I have been unfortunate enough to be seated across the table from one of the way too long ones and I was transfixed.  Couldn't take my eyes off it.  Food gets stuck in there.  The constant napkin swiping.  Ugh!
Then I wondered if he smelled his meal for the rest of the day.  And then I wondered about the poor thing he was probably going to kiss later on.  Double ugh!

Have you ever known a guy who had a mustache or beard for many years and decided to go naked?  If it's just a mustache removal it takes a while before people can figure out what is different.  If the beard went bye-bye, you're like "who's the new guy over there by the punch bowl?"

I'll close this blog up with a very profound observation:  facial hair for men can be a good look.  Not so much for women.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Something Sweet

Something Sweet is the name of a candy store in downtown Allegan.  Boy howdy, are we lucky to have it, too.

I'll be honest.  I wasn't sure that Allegan would support a really nice candy store with quality candy.  I was a bit afraid we were too much of an M&M town.  I am so glad I was proven wrong.

Yes, the candy is excellent but a lot of the credit for the success of this store goes to this woman.  

The woman on the left, not the darling sidekick on the right.  This is the owner, Diana Doest.  She has never once wavered in her attention to every single customer.  You could take in an old, stained coffee mug and ask her to fill it up with goodies and she would and also, she'd wrap that thing up and slap a bow on it to boot.  BTW, I apologize to her granddaughter for forgetting her name.  I was so sure I wouldn't but I took this photo last week.  That was a loooooooong time ago - in my book anyway.

Drooling yet?  If you can't find it here, it hasn't been made yet.

I always think of this as the "retro rack." I know, there's some Skittles in there and they certainly aren't considered retro but I see Neccos and that's what takes me back.  Remember those?

This display holds different flavored teas, coffees and hot chocolates.  Yum!

Seasonal gifts.  Great for the teacher, mail carrier, hair dresser, etc.

This is just one example of what Diana can do for you.  Stop in.  You won't be sorry.  Tell her Ellen sent ya.


Friday, October 19, 2012

All Bridge Mix is not created equal

Do you like Bridge Mix?  I certainly do.  I'm not positive (about anything anymore) but I believe my paternal grandparents introduced me to Bridge Mix as a kid.  Thanks so much, Grandma and Grandpa B.

I try not to make a habit of buying it because whatever the quantity, I will eat it until it's gone.  I did that recently.  As I age, however, I have found that a half pound doesn't settle in like it used to.  What does, eh?

Anyway, a while back I was rewarding myself for doing something spectacular although I can't exactly remember what it was but it must have been fantastic because I sprung for the "high end" Bridge Mix from Something Sweet downtown.  

This delightful mixture is worth every single cent of the $14.00 per pound.  Humongous nuts, several varieties and the chocolate is top notch.

Not into that price range?  Take a walk down the block to Huff's (ok, so it's called Springrove Variety now, I'm still calling it Huff's) and get some of their Bridge Mix.  They used to carry Brach's but they started buying from another company called Old Dominion.  I hope that's the right name.  I swear I was going to remember so I didn't write it down but that was a whole four days ago.  Jeez, what did you expect?  Anyway, Lynn Huff, told me she thought it was better than the old Brach's.  So I tried some.  Ok, a half pound!

 You know what?  She was right!  This particular Bridge Mix sells for $4.00 a pound.  Mighty, mighty tasty.  That's a sale price for this month but the "real" price is very affordable although I can't remember what it is.  Dang it!  Should have taken notes.

So, my next stop (I did not do this all in one day) was the grocery store.  I had to finish out my survey with a bag of Brach's.  Guess what?  They don't make it anymore.  Another company bought them out.

Not nearly as good as the other two.  Don't bother.

So where do you go for your Bridge Mix if you happen to be jonesin' for some and you happen to be in downtown Allegan?  Flip a coin and then maybe take a peek inside your wallet.  They're both good.  Each one has something special to offer.

I think I'll be an equal opportunity Bridge Mix buyer from now on and switch back and forth.  Just not too often.  I can't afford to grow out of my jeans.