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Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Little Fun With PicMonkey

I decided to go take a peek at PicMonkey, the new (free) photo editing program that seems to be taking the blogosphere by storm, since Picnik went bye-bye.  I have to say that I'm impressed. It has just as many, if not more, features and it's really easy to use. You can get the app through Facebook and do your photo editing from there as well.  I chose a photo of my grandoggie, Tonka and just messed around with the features. My daughter wasn't amused by the tattoo I gave him. killjoy... Click HERE to check PicMonkey out for yourself.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thank You ~ STMUSS

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

My dad was a veteran of WWII or "The Big One" as his generation called it. He spent 4 years in the European Theater of Operations in France, Germany and England. He was proud of his service to his country and he made and kept several life long friends during those year. I still exchange Christmas cards with one of his Army buddies and his wife. They're in their 90's and I am just thrilled to be able to keep in touch with them, long after my own folks have passed. We spent many a summer vacation at at their home in Maryland when my brother and I were growing up and they are just simply some of the nicest people you could ever meet.

We also have friends who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Sadly, we lost one of those very dear friends just a couple of months ago. He served 3 tours in Vietnam and when he came home, I'm sad to say, there was no "hero's welcome" for him or for his fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and corpsmen.

This song was written recently by Dave Mason and Johanne Sambataro and the video was produced by Mark Pastoria.  Dave is a co-founder of an organization called Work Vessels For Vets, an "all-volunteer movement assisting returning veterans to begin their civilian careers or educational pursuits by acquiring and distributing the necessary start-up tools. Founded with the gift of a fishing boat that began a commercial fishing career for a returning Iraq veteran, the foundation is expanding its outreach to other industries to assist our returning military." Source

If you'd like to, you can make a donation by going to Dave Mason's official website where you can also listen to or download the song and you can also see the lyrics. You can also make a donation at the WVFW website. (link above)

Now, as most of you know, I usually do a now and then of the videos that I choose for STMUSS (it just wouldn't be a STMUSS post if I didn't, now would it? LOL) BUT, I'm actually going to post a newer version of an old song that Dave wrote and helped to make famous with the band Traffic, back in the late 60's and early 70's. This performance was filmed during Traffic's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2004.  The musicians on stage include: Mason, Steve Winwood on keyboards, Jim Capaldi on bongos (both fellow inductees and band mates in Traffic), Keith Richards, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, ZZ Top, the Temptations and other greats in the music industry. Fellow band mate Chris Wood was inducted posthumously. His sister Stephanie was there to accept for him. Jim Capaldi passed away from cancer at the age of 60, not quite a year later in January of 2005.

Happy Memorial Day! Have a happy and safe weekend!

Here's the link kids!

Songs That Make Us Sing

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adirondack Weekends ~ Rathbuns Maple Sugar House

I thought I'd try something new here at Spilled On The Kitchen Table, as a way to fill you in on the places around my region where the Hubbs and I spend our free time. For the time being, these posts will not be a regular or scheduled feature. That could change down the road, if you all like them and as long as I have the time to do them. I'm tentatively calling this... Adirondack Weekends. (** See the note at the bottom of this post)

As many of you probably know, I'm a weekend golf widow. In the Winter months, it's "indoor golf" and then when Spring and Summer roll around, it's any/every golf course within 100 miles of our home. There are a couple of courses where he plays more regularly and he has a group of buddies who are right there every weekend with him. Yup... Golf. Saturday and Sunday. He's addicted to the game.

I really don't mind that Hubbs plays golf. Really. Put simply, it makes him happy. And when he's happy, I'm happy. Maybe that comes across as a little old fashioned to some. Maybe I'm a bit of a dinosaur, in this era of the (alleged) "war on women". But, I certainly don't feel that way. (Frankly, I don't see where a war exists, but that's for another day and another rant post.) Basically, we've been happily doing this marriage thing for almost 30 years and plan to continue doing it til death do us part, so I'm pretty sure that we're doing something right.

I do have one rule.... The weekends are 50% mine. On Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings, I get his undivided attention. Simple, right? Not much to ask? He doesn't think so. Ya see, over the last decade or so (since I've been sick) I've learned that I have to lay low during the week, so that I'll have the energy and the physical wherewithal to spend time hanging out with him on the weekend. My illness tends to cause periods of extreme fatigue and more often than not, even small increases in physical activity can result in days or possibly weeks of elevated pain. Luckily, he totally gets that and we both feel like my "rule" is a fair one.

It doesn't have to be anything earth shattering. It can be as simple as going to the grocery store and/or running other errands that we don't get around to during the week. Or, we might work around the house or in the yard like we did this past weekend. Or, on a cold winter day, we might spend hours in the kitchen making a big pot of "Sunday Gravy".

We'll usually go somewhere for lunch or dinner on Saturdays, and every Sunday morning we go out for breakfast. From time to time, he'll pass on golf for the entire weekend, so that we can take a short trip to visit friends or family a couple of hours away.

Obviously, this little schedule is flexible. Even though he loves the game of golf like it's his calling, I can ask him to take the weekend off for absolutely no reason in particular and it's a done deal. Likewise, there are weekends where he might have a tournament that spans two or three days and he's on the course the entire weekend. Like life in general, nothing is truly set in stone.

Last weekend, we decided to hop in the car and head over to North Granville NY (about a 30 minute drive and just shy of the Vermont border) to a place that we've both loved since we were kids... Rathbun's Maple Sugar House. Rathbun's has been a working sugar house for over four decades and is owned and operated by three generations of the Rathbun family.

Of course, Rathbun's claim to fame is their pure maple syrup and a myriad of other maple products, but they also have a quaint, rustic little restaurant, where you can slather that maple-y goodness all over a big plate of made from scratch pancakes, eggs, french toast, Belgian waffles, old fashioned oatmeal and country sausage gravy with fresh biscuits. They also serve some of the most incredibly delicious sausage and crispy bacon that I've ever tasted.

They have a sweet gift shop out back where you can buy their syrups, candies and other maple products, plus a great selection of gifts, including enamelware, dried flower and herb wreaths and pottery. Of course, I always come home with a little something for my pantry or to add to my ever growing collection of dishes, serving pieces and accessories. (See what I just had to have at the end of this post)

We always enjoy wandering around the property after breakfast, taking photos of the old farming and sugaring equipment that's been left there for Mother Nature to do with what she will...

Or just soaking up some warm Spring sunshine or later in the year, marveling at the bright reds, yellows and oranges of the trees and breathing in that crisp New England Fall air.

In the very early Spring, during "sugaring time" you can watch them boil the sap down to make the syrup and weather permitting, you might even be able to take a sleigh ride around the property or have a little taste of their pure maple syrup on scoops of fresh snow... kind of like a maple snow cone.

In the Fall, they serve warm apple cider and sell pumpkins and other autumnal goodies to decorate your home and yard. Whether you make the trip to enjoy a delicious breakfast or just to browse around the grounds and gift shop, Rathbun's is a unique and thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning. About 20 years ago, my inlaws went for breakfast on a Saturday morning and came home with a new puppy! Now, I'm not saying that's one of their regular offerings, but it just goes to show... you never know what you might find on a trip to the country on a weekend morning.

Here's a peek at the goodies that I couldn't live leave without on this visit...

** I have not been asked to review/write or been compensated for this post in any way. All opinions, photos and details are my own, or those of my family and friends.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

You Can Never Go Back... Or Can You? STMUSS

(This was the yearbook from about 20 years before I graduated, but it looks pretty similar)

A long time ago, in a time and place that seems light years away from me now, I was a high school senior. At the beginning of that school year, we were asked to make an important decision before we graduated. A decision that could have a profound impact on our futures. It was something that we fretted about; something that kept our young, brilliant minds awake at night.

Yup, you guessed it... (insert blaring trumpets ~ da da-da daaaa!) The year book quote. (gasp!)

It should come as no surprise to those who know me relatively well, that my senior yearbook quote comes from a song. I know... Big surprise, right?

Can you guess which line or lines from this song I chose as my quote?  I'm not gonna spill it just yet, but I'll update this post on Monday with the answer.

Man... I hadn't heard that song in a very long time, but hearing it now that I'm just a little, ahem... older, had me a bit puzzled. On the one hand I was saying to myself, "what the hell was I thinking"? Then, on the other hand, when I consider the fact that I was 17 years old when I chose the quote, I pretty much get where I was coming from at the time.

There was a definite theme to the the Top 40 lineup of the day and I suppose it wasn't really much different than it is with today's music. There were a lot of songs about lost or unrequited love.... A running theme of the proverbial "woulda, coulda, shoulda" or "if only" platitudes, that seem to be the infinite mantra of teenage angst. Nope... Not really much different than it is today.

I found loads of oldies but goodies, while perusing Youtube for a decent version of Time Passes On.  I really spent way too much time futzing around,  playing one song after another, but I consider it time well spent. They say that you can't go back again, but I'm not sure that's entirely true. Because for an hour or two, it sure felt a lot like 1979 to me...

I still absolutely love this song....

Apparently, so does Dave...

Come on, you knew I just had to do "then and nows", right? ;~)  Here's another one...

The "old timers" never really get old, they just get better. (and maybe sometimes a bit more, um... "eccentric"?)

And... One more. (we can't forget the ladies, now can we?)

Ann and Nancy Wilson will never stop rockin'. They'll still sound like this in another 30 years...

Unfortunately, embedding was disabled for this video, but I beg you... Please click on the link to watch it.  Die hard Heart fan or not, you won't regret it.  I promise.


Of course I'm linking up with my good buddies Ginger and Becca for Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday. (Come on... What have I gotta do to get you guys to join us? Geeze! Ya really don't know what you're missing....)

Songs That Make Us Sing