Saturday, August 27


I don't like superhero movies, with the exception if the Iron Man series. They take themselves too seriously (whereas Iron Man was pretty funny). I heard this movie was also funny, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Not my kind of humor, though. The plot was interesting enough, but overall I was disappointed in the film. I guess I'm in the minority, but that's how it goes.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, August 26

bad to worse

So, the hedge situation...the rest of the hedges were removed last weekend and it looks even worse than we anticipated. We had some things up against the hedges (rock pile, compost bin, etc.). It looked fine before, but now it looks like we have a bunch of garbage sitting in the middle of the yard.

Brian took care of the rock pile by putting in a dry rock foundation around the shed (the shed is raised off of the ground and the ground slopes, so there was a pretty big space between the bottom of the shed and the ground on three sides). It looks amazing! I don't know why we didn't think of this idea before. And almost all of the rocks were used in its construction, so that takes care of one problem.

We're going to move the compost bin to the garden area. This means I will be losing one of my raised beds to accommodate it, so that is disappointing. The bed is currently planted, so we won't be able to move it till the fall.

Lastly, we've decided that we don't trust the neighbor to plant new hedges in a timely manner, so we're going to plant a number of evergreen trees this fall. It's not going to be a whole row of them--just enough to block the view of their patio. Next spring, we'll fill in with some additional plants (hostas, grasses, etc.). With the sale of our house looming in the near future, we need to fix what we can ourselves.

Sunday, August 21

10/09 kitchen

We've been wanting to go to 10/09 Kitchen ever since we heard about it a few years ago when one of the owners attended a series of marketing seminars that Prime Design Solutions did. In addition to that connection, the chef/other owner of the restaurant was one of my brother's childhood friends.

Well, we finally made it there yesterday. My parents went there earlier this year and couldn't stop raving about the place, so my mom thought it would be nice to go there for the August birthdays (my mom, dad and grandmother all celebrate birthdays this month). 

They weren't wrong about the place--the food was excellent. The menu is pretty limited, but very high quality. We will definitely be going back.

Friday, August 19


Years ago, our neighbor to the back threatened to remove the hedges. For whatever reason, it never happened...until this week. I heard someone running a chainsaw and saw that the hedges were being removed. This was confirmed yesterday, when the neighbor stopped over to let Brian know.

In the spring, new hedges will be planted (supposedly), but I have to think it will be quite some time until they are effective. And, we will likely be out of here by the point of effectiveness. In the meantime, I guess I will have to glare at the neighbor when I see him from the back yard.

If there's any plus side to this, it's that it is getting pretty shady in the back due to all of the mature shade trees on our and neighboring properties, so at least my garden will get a little more sun.

Sunday, August 14


After countless years of seeing their ad in the paper, we finally made a trip to Smithmyer's Superette in Loretto to grab one of their meat bundles. The price was definitely right--$70 for 25 pounds of meat (pork, beef and chicken). I've been struggling with our meat purchases ever since we stopped going to Costco and also since our beef supplier quit raising beef cattle. So, I figured this was worth a shot. We try to stock up at Giant Eagle when things are on sale, but it seems like we're never able to build up a stash in the freezer.

The superette was super nice, as were all of the employees. It was like taking a step back in time--it felt like the 1950s in there (not that I'd know what that was like, but that's how I picture it). They had a decent selection of groceries, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend the store for heavy duty grocery shopping (it reminded me more of a grocery store you'd see when you go camping).

I was pretty happy with what we got and I'm sure we'll be making a return trip in the next month or so.

Saturday, August 13

the revenant

Do you like brutality and revenge? Well, I have a movie for you.

We finally got around to watching this movie last night. We intended on seeing it in the theater, but that did not work out for whatever reason. It was quite good, but hard to watch at times. And that bear scene did not increase my liking of animals in the wild.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, August 9

fcmf 2016

We really enjoyed the Flood City Music Festival this year. We went down there three of the four days. While the artists are typically not familiar to us, we always check out their videos and then go see the bands that most appeal to us. This tactic has worked out great. My top three acts this year were: Grace Potter, Samantha Fish and Tab Benoit.

We ran into a ton of people--clients, co-workers, friends. The place was pretty packed. And, to top things off, the weather was beautiful. All in all, a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 3

the dream is not dead

I've been wanting to get chickens for quite some time, but the zoning in Upper Yoder does not allow for it. Given the popularity of chicken-raising, someone else has taken the lead and was called before the zoning board for having chickens. The board is going to make a decision in 45 days. I will be surprised if it goes in favor of the chickens, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, August 1

more work

Summer is coming to an end, so Jake started looking for another job for when his summer job ends. Em's Subs called him last week and he had an interview with them this morning and was offered the job! He starts on the 15th of this month.

To top that off, he went to work at Westwood Garden Haven this afternoon and they extended him an offer to stay on after the end of summer. So, I guess he's going to be busy from now on. This job will pretty much be limited to Saturdays during the school year. I don't know what kind of hours he can expect, but it can't be too many.

Coordinating his work schedules with his two employers may prove to be a challenge, but hopefully everything will work out because with these two jobs, he's pretty much set on employment through college.