We are 17 going on 18

 new-years-eve

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
He loves my heart for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides.
His heart his wound receivèd from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still methought in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

-Sir Philip Sydney

I know I post this poem every year but it has special meaning to us as it was included in all 3 of our Ceremonies (Commitment, Civil union, and Wedding) in some fashion be it Invitations or Wedding vows. As the clock strikes Midnight we will be toasting in the New Year with our Friends and loved ones, as we always do. This year will be bittersweet as we celebrate without My Mom and Sister-in-Law who left us way too early but we share our tradition of celebrating with our son The Kid. Wherever you may be at Midnight I raise a glass to you! Year 17 may have kicked us while we were down but we vow that year 18 together will better than the last.

Happy New Year 2015

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Hung With Care

IMG_3370I know I am not usually this risque when it comes to blog posts but I couldn’t let the opportunity to brag post about this fantastic night go by without pictures. Proceed with Caution.

IMG_3371This is Go Go Gadget. He is Fiiiiiiiiine. He does Boylesque (I’m not sure if that is an actual word or not but I’m using it). Not only was he the pre show entertainment but he was also the Emcee for the evening.

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Isn’t he cute all dressed up too?

IMG_3397 BroadwayBrassyI love the Christmas Bows in her hair.

This is Broadway Brassy, and man she needs to get noticed and quick. Although she kept her clothes on, she has a set of pipes on her and really wowed the crowd with 2 songs.

PoppyTartThis is Poppy Tart in her Ballerina Outfit. Trust me when I say it didn’t stay on long.

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This butt belongs to Go Go Harder, otherwise known as Chris Harder. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

IMG_3377During the intermission there was some more Go Go Dancing between the Burlesque acts. I figured if the drunk straight women can fawn all over him and take selfies then I could too. Don’t worry I slipped a few bucks into his thong.

IMG_3411Here we are at the end of the show with the host Go Go Gadget on the left. He has this problem with keeping any clothing on. In the middle is Poppy Tart who was a Mermaid for Gadgets last dance. And to the left is the Stage Elf for the evening, I can’t even remember his name but you bet your ass he got a few bucks tucked into his underwear.

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This show was proudly presented by some local Poughkeepsie, NY businesses in conjunction with Big Gay Hudson Valley run by some friends of ours Steven (on the right) and Patrick (on the left) some pictures borrowed lovingly from their facebook page) and the Cuneen-Hackett Arts Center (run by the woman in the middle).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookiepalooza

I present to you the 2014 Cookies. Some old standby recipes some new.

IMG_3418Bacon Fat Gingersnaps

https://bourbonandbrownsugar.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/bacon-fat-gingersnaps-with-a-hint-of-bourbon/

This was a new recipe for this year and I do believe these will become a staple in our household. Even The Kid likes them.

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Vanilla Honey Sugar Cookies

http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2011/12/vanilla-honey-sugar-cookies.html

Since we have a kid in the house I figure it might be good to try my hand at some Sugar Cookie Cut outs.

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Coconut Macaroons

These are a staple at Christmas in my house, the recipe comes from my Cook’s Illustrated (the people who bring you America’s Test Kitchen) Cookbook. Their secret is half sweetened, half unsweetened coconut.

IMG_3417Pignoli

This recipe came from somewhere online, it was featured on Good Morning America and I believe from Sarah Moulton. I do one thing differently and that is mix the pine nuts in with the batter instead of pressing them on top.

IMG_3425Pecan Cracker Bark

http://www.gottobenc.com/promotions/recipes-nutrition/cooking/pecancrackercandy

This was a request last year from The Hubby and has quickly become The Kids favorite as well. I made 2 batches, one with Walnuts as I am allergic to Pecans. These are so easy I don’t know why I don’t make them for other holidays. Hmmmm maybe I will.

 

 

 

Holiday Train Show

Choo-Choo! Here comes the NY Botanical Garden annual Train Show! This is our second year attending with the Nephew but the first for The Kid. He really seemed to enjoy himself as did our Nephew.

IMG_3259Rockefeller Center

IMG_3266Former TWA Terminal

IMG_3260The Skyscrapers of NYC

IMG_3263The Globe from The New York Worlds Fair Grounds

IMG_3258One of the many trains

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IMG_3253They have spans of Bridges with trains that run through one portion of the Conservatory.

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In the warmer months this is a reflecting pool filled with water. I love how they fill the space with the trees decorated with giant balls and bulbs and stars.

 

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We always have to take a ride around the Garden grounds on the Tram. Here are The Hubby and The Kid.

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After lunch on Arthur Avenue we headed home, had some dinner, and then made gingerbread houses. I baked the gingerbread and made the icing, all of the candies were bought. The Nephews is on the top, The Kid’s is on the bottom. As of this writing The Kid’s house is still standing and in one piece.

Happy Hour

So I started this post about 10 days ago. Between being sick and just busy as all get out I am finally getting around to posting it. Sorry! I will do my best to be better about it 2015.

 

IMG_3154On that day of giving Thanks we lit a candle for the 2 wonderful women missing from the table. As exciting as Thanksgiving was for all of us with the new family member, it was also a time to reflect on the year that hurt us so much. I was unsure about whether to get the centerpiece or not, I eventually felt that it was my honor and duty to secure it and set it in it’s rightful place.

 

IMG_3152The feast as always was fit for this family, and having The Kid along for the ride made it that much better. His first official holiday and he fit right in with the rest of us. He watched the parade, and the dog show, he ate, he was the only one that napped though.

IMG_3170When all was said and done though it was just another Thanksgiving same as the others, too much food, too much family, and not enough wine.

IMG_3167The niece certainly enjoyed having some quality time with the Uncles and Aunts, but she wasn’t up for the selfies.

Friday found The Hubby up and at em at 6am and out the door, he couldn’t sleep so he figured why not hit some Black Friday sales before heading off to work for a few hours. And as was the case, he didn’t find very many of the deals worth the effort, to which I reminded him that’s why we don’t do Black Friday. The Kid and I met up with him for lunch and to swap cars so that I could do some additional shopping for The Kids Christmas gifts. Although some of the Early Bird deals aren’t around it really wasn’t that bad shopping in the afternoon, all the Shopping Lunatics were home napping I guess.

IMG_3221On the Saturday after Thanksgiving The Hubby and I had the pleasure of attending a fabulous concert at one of the Casinos on the other side of the state.

Straight No Chaser has to be one of my favorite singing groups. Not only are they all great singers, but you can tell they really like to have fun with it. Enjoying A Capella music is rather new to me and honestly it’s due to them that I fell in love with it. This is the 3rd time they have come to Mohegan Sun Arena, and since it is always late Nov/Early Dec that the tour stops here they always end up singing some Holiday Songs.

This year the tour name is The Happy Hour Tour and man are these 10 guys Happy!

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As you can see we had VERY good seats this year!

 

 

 

 

 

Deck the Halls 2014 recap

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758 miles door to door traveled the entire weekend before Thanksgiving. The destination? Seneca Lake, nestled above the quaint town of Watkins Glen, NY. The Mission? To hop around the Wineries A-HH and hit as many as possible in 18 hours over the course of 3 days.

Mission Accomplished!

Our game plan consisted of breaking the lake up into 3 parts, the Eastern shore (EE-U), the Western shore (G-S), and the Northern Tip (FF-F) from the map above. Based on previous trips up here we immediately knocked out 6 of the wineries we knew we weren’t going to visit. The premise of the weekend for those that may have missed last years post on this is to pick a winery to start at, get your grapevine wreath, and then at each subsequent winery you get a food and wine pairing along with an ornament to decorate the wreath.

We had a fantastic time, a bit of snow on Friday didn’t dampen any spirits at all. So Friday morning off we went to one of our favorite breakfast hole in the walls called The Crossing Diner. The food is greasy spoon and the locals are local. I had a sausage and cheese omelet and the hubby had stuffed french toast. It was delicious as always and made for a good base for the wine we were to consume.

Friday’s Route was G-S (it was originally going to be the top of the lake but some last minute plans for Saturday changed that), and without fail we managed to hit all of the wineries we needed to that day. 2 years into this I realize that Friday/Sunday are the slower days of the weekend which helped us on our quest.

IMG_3118Friday night we traveled over to meet our friend Toppie, who lives in the area, for dinner at “The Rustic Lodge” as I dubbed it. We were pleasantly surprised to find the food totally didn’t match the ambiance of the place.

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Saturday we picked a different place for breakfast that was a diner, then a BBQ Joint/Diner, and now is just a diner again. The food was just as good and we ended up going there again on Sunday for breakfast since we were on that side of the lake again. Saturday was the “Top” of the Lake as we were going to be meeting up with someone The Hubby knew from one of his little online games (Game of War) who lives in the area. We had a great time at lunch with Mike, the conversation flowed as if we had known each other for a very long time. We tackled all of the Wineries we set out to do and then headed back to the Motel to relax before dinner.

The problem with this area in the winter months is the lack of establishments that stay open off season. That and there are not very many eating establishments to begin with and having some closed doesn’t help the options. We ended up at Seneca Lodge, which can best be described as the Lodge house for what is a campground. The place was packed but we were able to get a table in the back corner out of the way. Another couple was sat at the table behind us but they very quickly left. I thought they were a little too fancy for this place anyway.

IMG_3136Sunday was the final day to get our wine on, with all the cold and snow over the weekend a few of the falls (as seen above) were frozen over and melting slowly. We proceeded to breakfast, and then up the East side of the lake to the furthest winery on the list and just dove in head first. The east side includes quite a few of our favorite wineries. We spent a little more time at those than we did at others and are always quick to chat up the Owners/Workers.

Sunday night found us invited over to dine with some new friends we made up there, the husband and wife each work at different wineries (which also happen to be our 2 most favorite). It was nice to just sit and talk and eat with them, and again the conversation just flowed as if we have known each other forever. It’s also good to get some of the dirt on the other Wineries around the lake. Not that we gossip or anything 😉

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Until we meet again in July, I bid the Finger Lakes Adieu. Sleep well over the winter…….