Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lung cancer

Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with lung cancer?  How can you not; it seems like an epidemic anymore.

Has someone that you love died of this terrible disease?  Again, how can you not - it's every-frigging-where.

Have you ever been involved in a conversation with someone when you've related the information about this friend or relative who is struggling with the disease only to be asked "was he/she a smoker?"

If you were to answer "yes" does that mean they deserved to be stricken?

I had a friend some years ago that said she was a bit jealous of all the attention that breast cancer got.  Not that it didn't deserve it but she felt as though lung cancer was put on the back burner cuz - well - they smoked so what did they expect?

I said "had" because my friend isn't around anymore to have discussions with - she's dead and I miss her very much.

I wish everyone would stop smoking.  I hate to see people drawing poison into their lungs.  I hate the smell.  I hate to see butts thrown all over the damn place but do those people deserve to get cancer?  Hell no!

A doctor friend of mine told me that it used to be just men that he saw in his practice that had lung cancer but recently the number of women had increased alarmingly.  Non-smoking women.  

Someone else I loved very, very much died 10 months after being diagnosed.  A non-smoker.  I thought we would spend many more Christmases together.  Never in a million years did I see that coming.

My point is - the next time you hear of someone living with or has recently died because of lung cancer, please hold yourself back from asking the "were they a smoker" question because it translates into "they got what they deserved."

Oh, and while I have your attention - I wish we could abolish the phrase "he/she lost the battle."  That one makes me cross eyed.  No one's a loser - they led the fight.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Another "duh" moment

I've lost count.  They seem to be happening in double digits lately.

So I've gotten back into yogurt recently.  I am also a very big fan of adding crunch to anything so I thought this new Chobani thing with the side cup looked like a winner.

Bought some and, by golly, it was good.  

The only issue I had with it was it wasn't very user friendly.  I mean I had to stick my spoon into that little side cup and move the "crunch" in there into the yogurt side.  It took a good 4 or 5 trips to the side before everything was transferred to my liking.

Then one evening I was watching TV and a commercial came on for Chobani yogurt.  I turned to Petey and said "that's the stuff I've been buying lately.  I think you'd like it."

And then I saw the hand model (hard to tell if it was a man or a woman but it doesn't really matter, does it?) flip that little side car over and the contents dumped right smack dab into the yogurt.  With a quick stir it was ready to go.

And then I got up and went to the fridge and looked, closely, at my recently purchased yogurt and this is what I saw.

See the word "flip" prominently displayed right there in the middle of the damn lid?  How the heck did I miss it??? 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Altamore Ristorante

A while back I was noodling around on FB and put in our name and was surprised at the number if Altamores I found.
Kathryn Altamore tipped me off to a joint in Illinios that we should check out - Altamore Ristorante.

So we did.

Here's Petey outside the entrance to the restaurant.  You enter through the back and park back there as well.

Here's the entrance.  Can you hear Sinatra singing already?

The waiting area is cozy and has things to buy.

Need any cookies?

How about some olive oil?

This is the front.  I can't tell you how seeing our name on a building felt.  Smiling like goons we were.

And on a lighted sign?  Over the moon!

The seating area upstairs has a very comfy feel to it and the same goes for the downstairs.

See?  Can you spot Petey?  Where's Petey?

We were treated like family.  Before the evening ended we felt like it too.  The food is all prepared on the premises by AnnaMaria, (Alberto's wife) and his mother, Nancy and I'm tellin' ya, we have never had anything better.  It was amazing!!!

Here's Petey and his new "cousin" Alberto, the proprietor extrodinaire. 

We decided that this needs to be an annual event.  Without getting too sentimental I have to say that it was emotional.

And we also decided (ok maybe it's just me) that we're taking the original pronunciation of our name back.

No more Alta-more (like the opposite of less).  
It's Alta-mor-eh. Accent on the "mor."

Got it?  

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Rural Gem

Petey and I have been members of the AAAC (Allegan Area Arts Council) for many years. They host wonderful events and sponsor some great classes.

The annual meeting was held yesterday at a place we didn't know existed. It was one of those "holy cow how long has this place been here?" moments as we pulled into the parking area.

The Barn at Monterey Valley is an amazing sight pulled together by owners Pat and Jack Dendel.

A beautifully landscaped area with pond and stepping stones bordered by lovely plantings leading up the hill.

A close-up of the tiled piece in front of the pond.

This pond is directly behind the barn.

This is a closer look at the little chapel on the far side of the pond.  The bell gets a work out after each wedding ceremony.

The interior of the barn.

Artist members were encouraged to bring examples of their work.

Centerpieces befitting the venue.

Belly up to the bar.

Everywhere I turned there was another special touch put in place by someone who has a great eye and a fantastic design mindset.


Mother Nature wasn't cooperating yesterday so we didn't get a chance to check out the labyrinth.  Another time.

This is Pat Dendel.  I wish there had been more time to get the back story on this fabulous place but, also, that will have to be another time.

Check out the art on display.

A sing-along ensued led by the Ukelele Ladies.  I know that's not what they're called but I can't remember what it is and I'm liking my version.

The Barn at Monterey Valley.  Check it out.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Diggin' the Oldies?

I'm talking about music here not people.  Depending on your age, the Oldies have a different definition.

When my peers refer to Oldies they're digging Motown, the Beatles, the Rolling Stone, etc.

The other day I was talking to a classmate and she said something along the lines of "this stuff is the best."

Confession time:  I don't listen to the Oldies.  Never.  

Oh, every now and then I'll catch Aretha doin' her "Respect" thing and I'll sing along . . . cuz I kill that one . . . but, honestly, I never seek those tunes out.

Does that make me a bad child of the 60s?