Wednesday, December 27, 2017

On the Third Day of Christmas

Today, the Third Day of Christmas, I mailed my Christmas cards. Well, I mailed seven of them. I took them to the North Buffalo Post Office. It was about zero degrees. There was a line, how about that? Perhaps others too are observing the 12 Days of Christmas!

Carefully I selected a variety of Christmas designs. Stamps are kind of cheesy these days but the Madonna and Child stamps are not too bad, and I kind of like the caroling stamps too. Or I did before I saw how tiny and cheap they are. Well, still cute, with the "Fa la la."

Fa la la la la la la.

I wished the clerk Merry Christmas and she said the same to me. When I mailed my cards I asked if she would take my picture and kindly she complied. That was nice of her! Now we have that nifty picture up above.

The seven envelopes I did get done looked spiffy.

Anyway. Seven down, about 107 to go. That is all right!

I am enjoying myself!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

On the Second Day of Christmas...

Today I celebrated the Second Day of Christmas by writing and addressing a few Christmas cards. It is not as easy as it looks!

Now I see why all these years I never get around to sending Christmas cards. Leonard Pennario used to send Christmas cards and if he could find time to do it, I can, you know?


Where do you find people's addresses these days? I have some close friends who, I do not have their addresses.

Not only that but, my slogan in life should be: "It is never time for the artist to lift her brush."

I am never done!

I am making touches on the card I am mailing. I drew and painted them myself, which does not help things along. My sister and I began drawing our own cards to send to each other and that started it. This is one design of about 20 I have --

... and now I have become obsessed with decorating envelopes. These people I am sending cards to will be so embarrassed! The whole neighborhood will notice these cards.

On the other hand ... on the other hand ....

I do not devote huge portions of my life to this. I had to work today. I had to do other writing. Doing cards is something you can do with shards of time here and there. When Howard is on the computer. When he is watching a video of some pianist lecturing you on how to play Schubert. I can listen while doodling around with this stuff.

Late at night is also a good time to do this.

You will go to bed with visions of sugarplums!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Buon Natale!

I wish I had been doing a better job of chronicling my Christmas season. I will get better at that!

Meanwhile, I have been having the best time. Besides getting done things that need to get done, I have -- let me think -- gone tobogganing at Chestnut Ridge, gone cross-country skiing in Delaware Park, baked cookies, painted my own Christmas cards, had a Tom & Jerry's at Rohall's Corner, gone Christmas caroling TWICE, with 20 friends each time -- and what else? I made peppermint ice cream with my niece. I have been enjoying all of the Celestial Seasonings Christmas teas. On a dramatic snowy night, I viewed the Festival of Lights at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine.

And best of all --

This morning, going to Mass at St. Anthony's, I got to tell people "Buon Natale."

We did not have a coffee hour today, it being Christmas Eve, and a lot of people being in too big of a hurry. I was not one of those people! Had I had my druthers we would have held the coffee hour. But anyway, I hung around long enough after Mass to greet the people arriving for the next Mass, the Italian Mass.

And I got to tell them "Buon Natale!"

"Buon Natale," I told my friend Peter LoJacono, who was setting up for the Mass. That is he in the picture up above! I did not mean to take his picture but he turned up in it. Peter said it back to me and he said it beautifully and musically and authoritatively, so I got to emulate him.

In front of the church when I was leaving I greeted people coming in.

"Buon Natale," I sang out, hoping I would sound like Peter.

And I must have succeeded, because this couple coming in totally acted as if it were business as usual.

"Grazie, grazie," the husband said. He and his wife then wished me Buon Natale.

Is that great or what?

You could shell out to go to Italy or you can do this.

Surely Leonard Pennario was looking down on me smiling, this being the church where he was baptized and everything. He loved Christmas, and still does, I am sure. It is funny to think I was with him 10 years ago tonight on Christmas Eve. You do not have to ask what we were doing. We were eating!

And I was wishing him Buon Natale!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The first "The Sound of Music"

 I found this movie, "The Trapp Family." Long story why I found it, but it was "The Sound of Music" before "The Sound of Music."

It was a German movie, made in 1956 and based on Maria von Trapp's memoirs. It's fascinating to see. You don't have the songs, of course. But I was surprised by how well I liked it. I haven't watched the whole thing, I must admit. I watched it until a little bit after their wedding. But still.

The Maria in this movie looks sort of like Julie Andrews. She was a German actress named Ruth Leweurik. Being a classical music nerd I happen to know she was briefly married to my favorite singer, the baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Watching the movie I see why. What a beautiful actress. She died last year at 91, yikes. But anyway...

This movie is really interesting to see. Scene by scene it is a lot like "The Sound of Music." I have to think it influenced "The Sound of Music." How could it not?

There is a beautiful scene where Maria is leaving the convent and hears the nuns singing the Salve Regina. We sing that Salve Regina a lot at St. Anthony's. It is fun in the wedding scene how the sisters get Maria dressed up and it looks as if the Mother Superior is giving her away.

Also, being that today I put up my Christmas tree, I have to alert you to amazing Christmas footage in this movie. It begins 33 minutes in.

You have Captain von Trapp, up on a ladder, trimming this gigantic Christmas tree. By the way, this Captain von Trapp, I do not know who he is but he is really cute. Really. Actually the scene where he and Maria fall in love is as good as in "The Sound of Music."

Anyway, back to Christmas, you see him up in this ladder, attending to this big tree. Then you have the candles on the tree. And the singing of Christmas carols. All in this breathtaking mansion. Then Christmas Eve with all these presents, and a lavish dinner. ...

Why can't my life be like this??

Immediately I set about putting up my tree and doing the lights just right. Here is a trail of lights leading up to my Christmas tree for the great work of art in progress.

There is no way in the world that I am going to measure up.

But I must try!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Back to the drawing board

I am doing a watercolor challenge. I love these art challenges you find on the Internet, and I have hooked onto one of them.

This is from Doodlewash, an international group of, ahem, watercolorists. I like that they are better than I am. I want to play with the big kids. I did some painting when I was a kid but I have no pretentions. I would like to learn from people who are better at it than I am.

So every day I do a watercolor. It really only takes minutes. The one I did today, Tree, I did in the morning between eating breakfast and making Howard's lunch.

But seriously, you do learn. You try this and you try that and eventually you find something you like. The picture at the top of this post is my painting of, ahem, Holly. That was the prompt the other day.

And before that was "Lights." I was kind of proud of these lights, you know?

OK, so the green one was a little bit whacked. The rest look pretty good.

There is something so relaxing about watercolors. They just know where to go. You dip your brush in water and you dip them in the paint, and then the paints take it from there. In my humble and limited experience.

Also doing something like this ever day reminds you that you can work more artistry into your everyday life. Leonard Pennario told me that when he was a kid he decided that he wanted to enjoy everything he did. This is cousin to that.

For instance last Sunday I enjoyed making my coffee hour signs.

What is next for me? That question is easy to answer.

Tomorrow is "Star."

Another day, another drawing!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

We're putting the tree up ...

... or we should be, anyway!

Driving to the Philharmonic last night, I said to Howard, all the better houses have their Christmas trees up already. Up and down Nottingham Terrace, those trees were sparkling. I cannot remember a prettier Christmas. They all had their trees up.

I do not!

I love putting the tree up. The day I put my Christmas tree up is one of the happiest days of the year. If not the happiest. It depends on what happens the rest of the year.  And it is funny because almost invariably it is just me. Howard is not home yet. I have a new tradition with myself, I put on the Carmen Dragon Christmas album pictured above, and I pour a glass of wine, and I trim the tree, and I am happy.

This year little George and Barbara, my niece and nephew, have been lobbying to be part of my tree trimming. But I do not know about that! I look forward to this date with myself. Well, I could be persuaded.

But anyway...

The day I take the tree down is one of the saddest days of the year. I hate taking the tree down, I just do. I always do it under duress.

I might wind up being one of those Charlie Chaplin people who keep the tree up all year round! My friend Melissa does that. It can be done.

However then you would miss that happy day when you put it up! And that is what I am awaiting right now.

Today was the first Sunday of Advent. I love this day. It thrills me. Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. There will be signs in the moon and in the stars. It is time for the tree. There are people at church who try to remind me that Advent historically was a time of penance, but I am sorry, that horse...

... is out of the corral and there is no putting him back in.

And so I am seeking to put up my tree. It is just that it has been hovering around 50 degrees and that is too warm. Also it was November. As a friend said, you need it to be December. Now finally it is December.

We have been having caroling practice at my house for several weeks now and so I am thinking it is time.

Perhaps tomorrow is the day!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Walk in the park

It is amazing how just on a normal morning walk you can take inspirational photos!

I am proud of the one up above. It cries out for a quote.

"And I will go unto the altar of God, to God Who gives joy to my youth."

"Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning."

"Tut tut, I think it's going to rain."

"I think that I will never see/A poem lovely as a tree."

(Well, I thought this tree was lovely.)

"Let the sun shine in!"

What can you say, when you're an artist, you're an artist.

I am an artist!

Monday, October 23, 2017

A visit to Mozart

Another thing I did the other day on the funky bike path was, I stopped and said hi to Mozart in Delaware Park.

There is one thing especially I love about where I live and that is that the closest musician memorial to me is Mozart, whose music I love more than anyone's. By the way that bust of Mozart is Buffalo's oldest piece of public art. I like that about Buffalo, that when it came to putting up statues, Mozart was the No. 1 priority. He went up before George Washington did!

As I have pointed out before, Mozart looks a little like Babe Ruth. Well, so what? Maybe they did look alike.

Anyway, there is a website that told me Mozart was the closest to me. And this is also cool: The second-closest musician is ....

..... Who?

... . Hint, he is on Hertel Avenue.

Give up?

It is Jerry Garcia! Another musician I love. Garcia's mural is at Terrapin Station.

Anyway, that is magical about where I live. But Mozart, I usually see him from the expressway. I always give him a smile. The German word for statue is "denkmal," sort of translating to "think a minute." You think for a moment of that person.

I think of Mozart.

And it is a treat to get up close because I do not usually do that.

I took a picture from the funky bike path (actually not so funky when it wends past Mozart):

... and then approached with deference.

Now I have succeeded in emulating those cooking weblogs I hate, that give you a million photos that look almost exactly alike.

But I am sorry, that made my ride on the funky bike path well worth it.

Get close to genius!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The funky bike path

Today I rented one of those Reddy Bikes and took a ride on the funky bike path.

I mean the Scajaquada bike path, that runs parallel to Scajaquada Creek. As Charles Dickens would say, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times. The path gives you great views by the History Museum ....

.... and then you get views such as at the top of this post, where you feel alone in the world and surrounded by graffiti and worry you will be beset by highwaymen.

The path takes a turn and you think: Oh, no, it continues?

I passed a person pushing a shopping cart. And two kids who, all I could think was, they looked like Halloween goblins. Just up to no good, you know? And a couple who, they were having a tense moment. Just standing in the bike path arguing, making up, you couldn't quite figure out what.

The path spat me out on Niagara Street, as I knew it would. I was hoping to find my way to the Riverwalk but I never did. I made it to Niagara Street and could go this way or that way. The signs, if there were any, were vague. Down one way was a threatening-looking guy loitering under a bridge, so I nixed that. Going the other way, I ran into a family coming out and I asked them where the path went. They said it was a dead end and we were laughing about that.

Now this is the greatest. I made my way to Broderick Park and saw this:

Oh no!

That was what I had been hoping to find, a path right by the water. There it was! And it was closed.

But you know what? I had fun.

It reminded me of being a kid, just bombing around, riding down Niagara Street, looking at things. Eventually I had to tell myself, Mary, you have work to do, you can't just go riding aimlessly around Buffalo forever.

I honestly could have kept at it all day!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

My fair share

We are entering the high eating season of the year.

You pass the September Ember Days, and you are into it!

This morning for our St. Anthony's coffee hour I made two pumpkin delicacies. I am sorry if I was jumping the gun a little but I could not help it! I made a pumpkin wreath, one of those big coffee cakes I make with yeast, and I also made a Bundt cake I called Buttercup Rum Cake. There is this amazing recipe, Whiskey Squash Cake, which was the first successful Bundt cake I made a couple of months ago. I riff on it now and this version used rum instead of whiskey, as well as deep orange Buttercup squash.

I assume it was good because it vanished pretty quick!

I have been having a good time with the farm I joined, this CSA. This is the same ol' organic farm I used to belong to, Porter Farms. I just do not remember having as much fun with it then as I have been having this year.

The deal is, they deliver to the office. And so every week, on the appointed day, at the appointed hour, all of us are going downstairs and collecting these bags of produce. It is hard not to smile when you are toting this big bag with collard greens sticking out of it and so it is always a bright and cheery day.

I took the picture up above of one share. That was especially heavy because of the cantaloupe which was like a bowling ball! But it was so sweet and good, worth the long haul across the parking lot.

Here is the share from Sept 7.

I love how the farm says one share does for four people, or for two vegetarians. That Sept. 7 share, I think I ate it pretty much single-handedly in two days! The cantaloupe on the other hand lasted us a week. We ate every bit of it.

This current share included an array of peppers which, I used them for this Mexican cheese soup I made for the coffee hour. The coffee hour sees a lot of the vegetables. A few weeks ago I made yummy white bean soup with greens from the farm.

Bring on the fall eating season.

I am ready!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The aimless, No Goal bullet journal

I keep a bullet journal as I may have mentioned. It grew out of this story I wrote for The Buffalo News on bullet journaling.

Speaking of growing ... The other day I am drawing up my October calendar spread. I wanted it to look sort of brooding and October-ish, so I began doodling a barren tree. That is it, in the picture above! Anyway, I am having fun drawing this tree, la la la la la la. Then I realize...

That is the column where I usually put my goals for the month!

Things to do, stuff I want to get achieved. Such was the case in bright, cheery August.

The goals column is skinny but you would be amazed what you can fit in there. That is, unless you start doodling a big old tree.

I guess I will have no goals for October! October will be the month of No Goal. That is a hockey catchphrase up here in Buffalo, dating from some long-ago game where we were cheated. It applies to me this month.

I will look on the bright side.

October will be fun!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Riding the Reddy

Today I took a break, borrowed a Reddy Bike at Canalside, and rode down to Tifft Farm Nature Preserve.

What fun! I love taking a ride like that, particularly in a sun dress and sandals, which I did today. You get to go over the Ohio Street bridge. I always ride over the grating so I can see the water beneath my feet.

Landscapes like that one up above, I love it.

I want to have a picnic here.

That is the Cotter at left, our 1905 fireboat. Here is another pic I took.

Sometimes I like the take the boat north from downtown, to LaSalle Park. But now I am seeing that south is the way to go. I love the grain elevators, the Old First Ward, the Outer Harbor. There are endless bike paths. Which, those bike paths are not everywhere. Everyone loves to tell you, we are all connected by bike routes. That is not true.

I ride Reddy Bikes so much they lose money on me. I love them so much I did a story on them for The Buffalo News. Plus if I take a ride at lunch time I can skip the gym at night, giving me more time to work on important things.

"Fun!" That is what I exalted, sailing down that ribbon of highway.

It is!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Can stand the heat

This heat wave, I love it! Above is a picture I took of torpid Hoyt Lake.

One of the things I have been doing to celebrate the heat wave is go swimming. The other thing I will get to in a second.

The swimming has been great. No, you do not swim in Hoyt Lake. But there is plenty of other opportunity! The other day, I went to Beaver Island with my brother and my niece and nephew. There were no lifeguards or parking fees because the season is over, at least so they say. Hundreds of people were on the beach, folks of all stripes. All of us unsupervised! It was so peaceful and beautiful.

We kept gloating about it being late September and here we were swimming. Except as George reminded me, we have been swimming at Beaver Island much later in the year than this. We do get beautiful autumns here in Buffalo, or should we say, beautiful summers.

Today I went swimming at LA Fitness but even indoor swimming is wonderful. They have huge windows and it feels so refreshing.

So... what was the other thing I was doing to celebrate the heat wave?

I have had the oven going full blast!!

For our Tridentine Mass coffee hour, I made Orange Cornmeal Cake out of Martha Stewart ...

... and Cocoa Fudge Bundt Cake...

... and one of my signature coffee wreaths, from King Arthur Flour. Howard took all these pictures and he photographed the wreath before it went into the oven. When it came out, it was huge!

The Orange Cornmeal cake was really interesting because you top it with sugar and the sugar forms this crust. The fudge Bundt was a great old Betty Crocker recipe that mixed up all in one bowl.

I will have to remember that.

Along with this heat wave!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Dollar Tree Hoax

Today I got my chiro adjustment, and after that I am supposed to take it easy, and so to relax I made a stop at Savers. I met my friends Tracy and Lizzie and Nike.

We were hanging around Office Supplies, having fun, and I selected with Nike's help a baggie of old Crayola crayons. That is another story for another day. For now I have to get to the shocker.

Lizzie and Nike told me that they had read in the paper this morning that Dollar Tree was closing!

What in the world??

Tracy and I immediately began to protest. Dollar Tree had just opened new stores. It was impossible. They always looked as if they were doing well. They --

"It's right here," Nike said, and she pointed at her phone.

No way! I was too upset to think properly. Shortly after that Nike and Lizzie left to go, you guessed it, to Dollar Tree. I did not want to go with them. I was too sad. Tracy and I wandered around buying this and that and mourning the loss.

I have written before about my great love for Dollar Tree, which ranks up there with my great love for Mozart, Leonard Pennario, and the Catholic Church. Where would I now buy Totally Awesome cleaning products? What about cheap Lime-A-Way toilet cleaner? About once a month you find a coupon in The Buffalo News and Dollar Tree takes coupons.

How about their writing implements? I love that brand name Jot. I just bought a cute Jot notebook a few weeks ago to keep track of my chapter revisions.

Cookbooks. Coloring books.

Wrapping paper. Gift bags. Nail polish. Wax paper. Bar ware. Made-in-USA glass candle holders. Hot sauce. Those 50-ounce drums of Totally Awesome dish soap. (They never did disappear.) My head was spinning.

And what about Tevive Tea? Just yesterday I enjoyed a cup of Peach Passion.

And oh, the holy frozen food!


Guess what, I get home and I look in the paper to see where this Dollar Tree story is, so I can put it on Twitter (where I am, under @MaryKunzGoldman), and post, "I am devastated."

I could not find that story anywhere!

Subsequently I did a search and sure enough.

Fake News!

I should have guessed. How could Dollar Tree close, with me keeping them in business? At first I was really mad at Nike and Lizzie for causing me this stress. But a second later, I was over it. Number one they love Dollar Tree as much as I do, and were as distraught as I was.

And secondly, who cares?

Dollar Tree lives!

I will appreciate it double from now on.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunset over Hertel Avenue

Sometimes the best pictures of sunsets are in urban settings!

I personally prefer the above picture to the greatest inspirational pictures of the sun setting over a peaceful ocean. It is Sunset Over Hertel Avenue! I took it from the lot of the Lexington Food Co-Op.

Another shot that same evening. This was a minute or so earlier if memory serves me.

Speaking of the sun, here is my masterful photo of the solar eclipse a month or so ago.

That was August 21, yikes! I can barely bear to look at my camera roll, the weeks and months are passing so fast. Barely bear, that is a phrase I like. It is like manly man or girly girl.

Jeoffry does not care what the sun is doing.

As long as he has his bird, he's happy!

All right, it is back to work with my fine self.

There is one thing the sun never sets on.

That is procrastination!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Bless me, Father, for I have cooked

Today for church coffee hour I went back to a cookbook I've had for years and had completely forgotten about. It is this cookbook from Cape May's Mainstay Inn. It is called, "Breakfast At Nine, Tea At Four."

Why, you cute cookbook!

I made Banana Crunch Coffee Cake, p. 104. While it was baking I turned a few pages and found Orange Kuchen. I had an orange. I had everything I needed. So I made that too.

Here is a funny thing. Both the Banana Crunch cake took about three times as much sugar and butter as the Orange Kuchen. Both baked in the same pan, the 9 by 13, one of my favorite pans, I must point out.

Well, even though the banana cake took enough sugar and butter -- and coconut, too! -- to sink a ship, I made it as written. Give the people what they want! Several times I have skimped and tried to make things healthy and in that case nobody eats it.

Both cakes were a success. My friend Oscar complimented me on the orange cake. Oscar comes from some South American or Latin American country I can never remember, but he is an authority on baking and he loves the taste of orange peel. As do I! It is most zesty.

Another way in which I was a winner, I made a crock pot of white beans and greens, the greens being the collards from my Porter Farms CSA, which is another story for another day. One of the gentlemen complimented me on that! He and his wife were on some kind of plant-based diet and he could not believe his luck.

Long story short, here I am kicking back and listening to Harry Connick Jr. and basking in my greatness. Oh! There is one more thing.

Lizzie and I both managed to make it to Mass in a timely fashion! The Kyrie was just beginning which was not bad for us. Last week, even better, we made it in time for the Asperges. What are we doing right? We were trying to figure that out because it would be great if this trend continued.

I think with me, it was because I made two big coffee cakes instead of any number of smaller ones. That plus I made Amaretto Coffee Wreath ...

... which was huge too. Howard took that picture of it on its parchment paper! I threw these treats together yesterday easily, among doing other things. Howard helped me carry them out to the car this morning so that was something else. He usually helps me but this morning he did the lion's share of it. Not as many pans, and a lot of help! That made a difference.

Now if I could only bring this kind of productivity to the rest of my life.

Onward and upward!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Weber wondering

So I get a big tray of spareribs from Tops. They are all spiced up and ready to barbecue. I scanned the ingredients and it all looks nice and natural. I've got all my ducks in a row, right?


What do you do when ...

... the package says to grill for 7 minutes a side, and ....

.... every cookbook and online recipe says to grill for about two hours?

What do you do??

Whom do you trust???

Do you start them in the oven and then finish them on the Weber?

What about Constanze Weber, Mozart's wife, pictured up above?

She was the first soprano soloist in Mozart's "Great" Mass in C Minor which is challenging, but I do not think she ever had the challenge of grilling spareribs!

Constanze Weber did not have a Weber!

I do. With which, I like to cook and I like to think I have gotten good at it. However, I have a confession. Meat confuses the daylight out of me.

Every cookbook I see tells me that this or that cut of beef could be called this or could be called that. There is no consistency. Every book tells me --

Oh, wait, the husband is home. The ribs will be cooked, one way or another. I do not need to point out that this impossible situation came about thanks to Eve being created from Adam's rib, you know? The rib situation is complicated from the word go.

I will report on how this goes.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Me, the mermaid

I have been doing a new class at the gym, Aqua Fit.

That is not exactly our LA Fitness class in the picture but it may as well be. That is exactly what it looks like. I remember a year ago or something I glanced at Aqua Fit while it was in progress and I saw this big group of men and women of all ages and races and shapes and sizes advancing in the pool like an army, smiling and laughing, hefting these weights. I thought: I should try that! Finally I did.

You get to be in a pool which is fun. I love swimming. So if the teacher is late, as is often the case, no big deal. I've learned enough of the exercises so if the teacher doesn't show up, which is often the case, no big deal. If you get a lazy teacher, no big deal. Unlike in Zumba, where a lazy teacher drove me crazy.

So. I have been doing this Aqua Fit off and on for about six weeks. And this is the truth: Things fit me that did not fit me before that.

No kidding, I bought a pair of pants at the Temple Beth Tzedek sale and they did not fit me then and now they do! And there is nothing else that could have done this for me aside from Aqua Fit. I have made no other lifestyle changes, God knows that.

Perhaps it is just that I am going to the gym three or four times a week because I enjoy this class. Perhaps it is the nature of the class. Oh, who knows.

There was one thing weighing on me. This is great now that it is summer and you feel like jumping into a pool. What about winter?

Then just last night that question was resolved. This other gal in the class, she and I were hanging out in the pool afterwards, paddling around and looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows.

She said: "Just wait till it's winter and it's snowing outside. This will be awesome!!"

She is right!

I just needed someone to point that out!

The important thing is, it's fun, and it works. On top of everything else the class is easy as pie. It is not like Boot Camp or even Pilates. Pilates feels great but it is work, I will tell you that. There have been Pilates classes where I have rolled over on my mat afterwards and thought: I am ready now to audition for the Alvin Ailey. I am a superhero to have gotten through this class.

Aqua Fit on the other hand is a walk in the park.

Exercise does not have to be miserable!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Last call at Little Vegas

Today my friend Lizzie and I spotted an estate sale sign and, as usual, screeched to a stop. The sale turned out to be bittersweet. It was the Little Vegas tavern in Lackawanna.

The tavern had been a stop a few years ago on a Forgotten Buffalo tour we were on! Lizzie reminded me of that. And I remembered -- well, sort of anyway. I must have had a good time on that tour, what can I say. Well, what happened in Little Vegas stays in Little Vegas.

Inside we learned it was the last day of the sale. The owners' daughter was pretty much taking all offers. I tried to talk her into stretching the sale out for another weekend, so I could help get the word out about it. But she was in a hurry to get back to Florida. Which, I can understand. You can only take so much of this kind of stuff, you know?

I regret I did not buy the cash register.

And a case could have been made for buying these vintage Santas and other Christmas decorations that were in the basement. You could just imagine the bar's regulars waiting every year for these old fellows to reappear.

There were tons of decks of playing cards behind the bar. Of course I went behind the bar just so I could feel what it would be like. I took this picture from behind the bar.

 And yes, I did say, "What can I do you for?"

And: "You and me both."

The playing cards must have been in keeping with the bar's name.

I tried to interest Howard in the vintage beer cooler but to no avail.

Howard is less sentimental than I am. I am sentimental!

I did also love this old scale.

In the end I bought a chalkboard for $2 and Lizzie spent a couple of bucks on some very cool decorations. We had to have some kind of memento.

It is a pity saying farewell to an old bar even if it was not exactly on your turf. These mom-and-pop taverns are disappearing.

Goodbye, Little Vegas.