Saturday, July 30, 2011

Explorations: Clarks' Landing

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One of the hardest things about not being a native to my town is not knowing all the awesome things that used to be here before I moved here.  Which is why I am so excited that Clarks' Landing has opened in Kittanning.  Everyone talks about this great restaurant the used to be in town, called Clarks.  Family restaurant, great prices, good food, whats not to love?  Well, it shut down last year, before I ever got to try it.  So, when I learned that it would be reopening at a new location, with a slightly new name, I was super excited to try it out.

Today, I got the chance.

The first thing we noticed as we walked up was the adorable outdoor seating.  I love the bright colored umbrellas, and the nice view of our town.
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We walk inside, and we are greeted by a bright, friendly interior.  Everything is shiny and new!  I liked the look of the place, very warm and inviting.
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Similarly, the staff were all friendly and helpful.

When we got the menu, I was flabbergasted.
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There were so many different things to choose from.  The menu is so extensive, there is no way someone, even the pickiest of eaters, could not find something to suit their palate.  Everything sounded so delicious.  Hubby settled on a burger, and I ordered my favorite, a buffalo chicken salad.  A restaurant's whole reputation, in my opinion, can be won or lost on their buffalo chicken salad.  When the salad came, I took a deep breath, and prepared to make my determination.

Verdict?  Absolutely the best buffalo chicken salad I have had in months, possibly ever.  I have tried them from so many different places in town, and I am telling you, this one was hands down the best in town.  I ate every bite of it.

Hubby also opted for a piece of pie, which looked delicious, but I was too stuffed to even taste it.  He was very happy with it though.
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We got a copy of their carry out menu (many more buffalo chicken salads in my future I predict), and I can guarantee we will be back.

Clarks' Landing reopened in the midst of a site that is being redeveloped as Kit-Han-Ne Village.  The plans look gorgeous, and I really hope some more businesses move in, I think it will be great for our town.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Save a Life

This week, I had an opportunity, as part of my new job, to be trained in CPR, and learn how to use an automated external dibifillator, or AED.  I hope to goodness I never have to use these skills, but I am thankful I have them.

I have been trained in CPR before, once as part of a CPR/First Aid class in college, and once as part of previous employment training.  I have not held certification in over 10 years (wow, I am old.).  One of the things I loved about the training I had this week was how "home town" it was.  The training was held in a local fire station, and pretty much everyone in the class knew everyone else, except me, I only knew my coworkers.  They talked about things going on in their towns, babies being born, the upcoming fair, it was all so personal.

And because it was so personal, I think everyone took the class really seriously.  Because if we had to use these skills, it most likely would not be on a stranger.  It would be on a friend, a neighbor, or a loved one.  When we got to infant CPR, the instructor talked so frankly about how scary it is to use these skills on a baby, and how upset we would probably get if ever we were in that situation.

Because many of the people in the class were part of the medical and emergency community, I feel like I learned things about CPR that I never knew, like why it is so important to make sure the compressions are deep enough, and why you wait for the chest to completely recoil.  I feel so prepared to use these skills, I just pray I never need to.

It makes me so thankful for the emergency services here in my town, and everywhere.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday: Fruits

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Fruits are evident in my life.  Not the "apples and oranges" kind of fruits, the "goodness and kindness" kinds of fruits mentioned in the passage from Galatians.  These kinds of fruits nourish my soul the way the other kind nourish my body.

These fruits are not always easy for me to see.  I am not the most patient or disciplined of people.  I get anxious a lot.  But when I take a moment to reflect, and trust in God, these fruits become more evident.  However, I must do my fair share of the work.

My job is a perfect example.  The opportunity for a job that was perfectly suited for me arose when I least expected it.  God was clearly opening a window for me to experience fruits of the spirit.  But I had to do my share.  I had to apply, and be patient, and work hard at showing why I was the perfect one for the job.  So I worked, and now am reaping the fruits.

For some people, seeing these fruits seems effortless.  I will never be one of those people.  I have to work really hard at discipline, in order to see the fruits of self control.  I have to work at being kind when I lose my patience.  But the work worth it, to see the fruits, and be so filled with joy, the way I am now.

I will work as hard as I need to, in order to be nourished by these fruits.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Out of Town: Garrett County Bear Trail

As I mentioned, we recently returned to Deep Creek for our friends' wedding.  However, it also served as a little mini holiday for us, so we spent some time just the two of us as well as with the wedding revelers.  We went with no real set plans, and stumbled upon the coolest thing ever.


Our first night there, at the Wisp, we saw this cool, brightly painted wooden bear.  We later came to find out, there was a whole trail of bears, 20 in all, throughout the county.  You got this passport, and each business sponsoring a bear would stamp your passport for you.  At the end, you had the passport verified and were entered to win some cool prizes.  Given that we just did a geotrail this summer, and we completed a search for the Erie frogs earlier this month, this was right up our alley.  Challenge accepted!
Picnik collage

We spent parts of the next two days finding the bears.  It was a little tricky being from out of town, we backtracked quite a bit.  But in the end we found all the bears.  We had one left to get, and we decided to hit it up on Sunday, after we checked out.  Much to our dismay, the business that fostered the bear was closed when we got there.

 I called the Discovery Center, who sponsored the Bear Trail, and the worker said if we brought her a picture, we would accept that.  So, in the end, we did finish the trail, and got to enter to win the prizes.

The coolest thing is that these bears will be auctioned off in November, and all proceeds go toward the creation of a Forest Canopy Walkway, which will be gorgeous.  I would love to buy one of these bears, and I think Hubby would too.  He really took a shine to a couple of them, Barnella Quiltbeary and Vinny V.


To see more all my pictures from the Bear Trail, click here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do you remember ....... sun tea?

Photo Credit
The other day, I looked out my back door and noticed our neighbor was brewing up a fresh batch of sun tea.  Until I noticed the jar on her sidewalk, I had completely forgotten about sun tea; we used to make it all the time when I was a kid.  

I distinctly remember that we had a small sidewalk at our house, and my mom would put a jar of tea out to brew in the sunshine.  We would leave it there for a few hours, then bring it in to the house to chill it.  It seemed like a little piece of heaven.  But I thought people had pretty much stopped brewing sun tea anymore, since it has a propensity to create bacteria.  Apparently the water has bacteria that is boiled off when making tea the traditional way, but its growth is actually fostered by sun brewing.

As the summer days blaze on, I, like most, tend to increase my fluid intake.  Surprising though, I find myself drinking more coffee.  While a hot drink on a scorcher of a day might seem crazy, I think it is actually the caffeine I am wanting as opposed to the heat.  Sometimes I will even make iced coffee.  I think I would be too nervous making sun tea, because it is just my luck that mine would be chock full of bacteria, and I would get sick.  I guess it is best to leave this drink in the memories of my childhood.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I am beyond blessed to have a wonderful group of friends that I have met through my husband.  Some of the wives of his friends, some are the friends of those friends, and we form this little cohesive group that is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  We have nicknamed ourselves the Real Housewives of Armstrong County.  We try to get together once a month for a girl's night, and try to help celebrate the wonderful things going on in each other's lives.

Erin got to become an official member last weekend, since she was now a wife and not a fiance.  And while the wedding was a celebration of this, we decided that we needed to help officially congratulate them, and specifically Erin for become a full fledged member of the "Real Housewives".  What better way than to flock them?


Flocking is something that people do with flamingo lawn ornaments.  A local youth group is raising money by having people pay to have a neighbor or a friend flocked.  I decided to put a little spin on this, and instead of decorating just the lawn, we decorated their whole house with tropical flamingo decorations.

What couple would not like the luxury of their honeymoon being extended for another day or two?  That is what we did, by decorating their house, and showing them some love.  We even put a couple of home cooked meals in the freezer so they would not need to cook for a couple of days.

One of the great things about living in a small town is that I have had a chance to create such close, meaningful relationships, not only with my friends, but with their families as well.  Erin's sister knew about our little plan, and helped keep the secret until the newlyweds got home today.

It was so fun for us girls to help extended the celebration for a day or two by surprising Erin and Jason.  We truly love them from the bottom of our hearts!

Out of Town: Erie Frogs

If you remember my posts about our trip to Erie in April, you may remember I mentioned the Erie Frogs.  In 2004, The Lake Erie Art Project was named Leap Frog, and consisted of fiberglass frog statues being created and decorated by artists, then placed in different Erie locations.  This was a follow up project to the 2001 Go Fish project, which was of course fish statues.

This is the kind of thing Hubby and I adore, so imagine our excitement when we realized that there was a multistage geocache involving the frogs.  Unfortunately the April snow was not conducive to doing it, so we determined we would return to Erie sometime to complete the cache.  On July 4th, that opportunity arose.

The way the cache is set up, you go to a location, find the frog, answer a question about the frog that results in a number, and plug that number into the correct spot in the coordinate for the final cache.  So, we got up early, packed up the dogs, and headed to the first frog, which is one we had seen on our previous trip.


Some of the frogs were in kind of bad shape, but remember they have been out in the elements for 7 years or so now.  We still had quite a blast finding them all.  

Hubby thinks this one looks like the offspring of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.


Towards the end of the frog hunting, we were getting a little punchy, as you can see.

But finally, we found all the frogs to get the final coordinate. It took less than 2 hours, and was really fun. We plugged the final coordinate in and headed to the final cache location. Unfortunately, when we got there, we saw a big sign that said NO PETS. With it being hot out, I was not going to leave the dogs in the car alone, so I stayed in the car while Hubby went to the final cache location, which was very fitting according to the theme, but that is all I will reveal!

Since Erie is so close, I am sure we will visit again, and I plan on doing more frog hunting.  With over 100 statues, I am sure it will not prove difficult.  

Some people go to the beach during summer, some people go to amusement parks.  Us, we go see odd or unique things in towns and cities nearby.  And I love it.

To see all the pictures I took on our frog hunt, click here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tiffany's Soapbox: Summer's Eve

tiffanys soapboxWhen I was a child, we had an elderly neighbor named Edna Bigly.  It seemed to me she was ancient, but in reality, she was probably about 80.  We would visit her often, and I remember a story about her once telling my mom how disgusting television commercials were.  She specifically disliked the commercials for Summer's Eve, and said that those women did not need to be talking about washing their vaginas on television.  Back then, I found this hilarious and prudish.  But today, I join the ranks of Edna Bigly.

I think the new Summer's Eve ad campaign is disgusting, and completely objectifying of women.  The commercial is slick, and of high production quality.  It features women from different historical time periods, and talking about this thing being the cradle of life, the center of civilization, a thing fought and died for by many men and perhaps the most powerful thing on earth.  Then it cuts to a woman buying douche and says, so show it some love ladies.  The catch phrase at the end is  "Hail to the V". Um, what?  So, the thing that rules the world is vagina?  All women really are is a vagina, in other words.

What marketing director okays a message like that, when your entire customer base is female?  Apparently the same one that uses racial stereotypes, and suggest a campaign that indicates a fresh douching will give you the confidence to ask your boss for a raise.

I find the whole premise of this ad campaign disgusting.  I get that your products are geared towards the lady zone, but come ON.  You pretty much just set the woman's movement back an entire millenia.  I am sure some feminists love this campaign, and see it as women owning their sexuality.  But to me, I think it is just the opposite, with women being treated as sexual objects.  And, ew, get that grossness off of my television thanks.  I know this makes me sound old and cranky.  I rarely watch tv, and when I do, it is usually dvred, so I skip commercials.  A recent heat wave, however, has me parked in front of my tube in the air conditioning, and I am simply appalled at what I see.  I am sure it does not help that I have been watching a lot of WE, Bravo, and Oxygen.

To be fair, these are not the only commercials I find gross.  The new Huggies commercial, where the little boy urinates all over the room is awful, as is the Luvs commercial where cartoon babies are in diaper filling contest while the song Poop There It Is plays in the background.

So why the graphic grossness about sensitive bodily parts and functions?  I attribute it to the social media age, where anyone can, and most usually do, share any and every intimate detail of their lives, including things about their vaginas or bowel movements.  People forget to filter themselves, and now that is apparently the accepted mode of operation, even in the marketing world.  Well, get it off  my television.  And get off my lawn.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Living near the river has lots of advantages.  Pretty much guaranteed gorgeous scenery all year round.  Easy accessibility to those aquatically inclined.  A fantastic riverside park.

It also has some downfalls.  One of these is the annual mayfly infestation.

One night earlier this week, as Hubby was driving home, he called me to inform me that the mayflies had hatched, and were everywhere.  He suggested I grab my camera and he would pick me up to go take pictures for the blog.  I love that he encourages this dorky behavior.

So, I run out to his car, which had a few mayflies clinging to it.  When seen one by one, while not what I would call cute, they are not that bad.

And then, we reached the bridge.  The mayflies were swarming around lights and on telephone and electric wires.  My pictures are not great, because there was no way I was rolling down the window or getting out of the car.

The ground was so thick with them, we could hear their bodies crunching under the tires.  It was disgusting.

And this was the beginning of the infestation. Here is a video from last year, during the thick of things. I bet you itch when you watch it.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Made My Day: Cricut Cricut

My husband is ridiculous and funny and witty and I love it.

Sometimes, my hubby and I have ridiculous conversations.  Today was one of those times.  But first you need a little back story.

So, I mentioned that things have been busy for me lately.  This is because I started a part time job last week.  I have decided not to go into specific details, but I will say that this is a job that includes doing lots of social media, photography, and a lot of things I completely adore.  It is the perfect job for me.

Today, at work, I got to use a Cricut machine for the first time, and it was awesome.  So awesome, I mentioned using the Cricut in my Facebook status.  This led to the following ridiculous conversation, completely via text message:

Hubby: What the #@*! is a Cricut?

Me: I will explain later (thinking it is too complicated to explain over text)

Hubby: It sounds like a cross between a crockpot and a cricket.  Or a crickpot or a crocket.

Hubby: Or maybe it is a gun you use in the kitchen.  I BET IT IS A KITCHEN GUN.

Hubby: Or did someone just misspell tricut? Harry Potter and the Cricut Hallowstone.

Me: You are ridiculous. I love it.

Hubby: Hey you always knew I was a cricut above the rest.

Yes, yes you are honey.  I love how ridiculous we are!

He will be disappointed to learn what it actually is.

Word Filled Wednesday: Two Better than One

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

As I mentioned yesterday, this past weekend we attended the wedding of our dear friends Erin and Jason.  It filled me with so much happiness to see them so happy, joyful, and in love.  These two are perfect together.  The verse above mentioned that "two are better than one" and that is never more evident than in this case.

I did not know Jason long, about a year, before he started dating Erin, but many of our other friends did.  Everyone remarks about the positive changes in Jason since he met Erin.  He is so full of love, and joy.  She gives him the confidence he needed.  The same can be said of Jason's effect on Erin.  Her lifelong friends have remarked how good it is to see Erin treated so well, and to be so happy.  These two truly balance each other out.

Jason and Erin have supported each other over the past two years, not only through wedding planning, but through many things.  They have truly strengthened each other, and along with God have formed a threefold cord that I truly believe will never be broken.  My heart soars with happiness for these two.

And truly, two are better than one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Out of Town: Wedding Bells

This past weekend, Hubby and I went to Deep Creek, Maryland.  This is the second time we have visited there, but this time we did some different activities than last time.  But the most important thing we did is attend the absolutely gorgeous wedding of our dear friends Erin and Jason.

Hubby has been friends with Jason since childhood, so he was so honored to serve as one of his groomsman.  And Erin asked me to help with a very special project, taking pictures of the guests for a photo guestbook.  I thought it was so sweet that Erin and Jason found ways to include so many of their friends and family in the wedding prep and ceremony.

We arrived in Deep Creek on Thursday, and that evening we went to a bonfire for those guests that came in early.

We had so much fun.  The next evening we had the rehearsal and dinner, and had a chance to visit with a group of truly wonderful people.
Isn't this location beautiful?

Then Saturday, of course, was the wedding and reception.  Every aspect of the wedding was so perfectly Erin and Jason.  It perfectly summed up their relationship and love for each other.  I absolutely adored seeing the glow of love on their faces.
Note Erin's bouquet.  It is a brooch bouquet Jason had made to surprise her.  


I could not help but feel a little nostalgic about my own wedding, and I know then exciting times ahead for Erin and Jason.  Hubby and I are truly blessed to call this wonderful couple our dear friends, and we are thankful we got to be part of this special day.  Thank you so much for including us, we love you both!

Monday, July 18, 2011

BlogFest 2011 Winners!

I am pleased to announce that the two winners of the goody bags are.....

Linda and Melissa!

Thank you all for entering, I was so pleased by the response, and I absolutely adored reading the comments where you all talked about what you LOVED about your lives.  So much positivity, even in the face of adversity.  It really made me smile reading all the comments.

I am so excited to get to know my new readers, and to share my little town with you all!

Friday, July 15, 2011

BlogFest 2011

Photobucket Yes, I am still alive blogosphere.  I have just been super busy with some exciting developments in my life, which I will be writing more about next week.  But, in order to atone for my lack of posts, I have decided to reward you all by participating in BlogFest 2011 and hosting a giveaway.

The giveaway gives me a chance to talk about something I have been wanting to discuss for a while.  The phrase I want to discuss is "just a housewife".

Having worked a full time, corporate America type job the entire time Hubby and I dated, I surprised many people with my decision to stop working once we got married.  The decision was based on what made sense for us as newlyweds, given the fact that we were also settling into a new house, and to us, it made perfect sense.  But since I was not staying at home to raise children, and could not have the title of stay at home mom, I quickly got labeled by many as "just a housewife".  The label was not intended to be nice.

For me, I love being a wife, and taking care of our home.  I love cooking delicious dinners, and baking cakes, and creating all sorts of amazing projects and adventures for us.  I take care of our pets, I have a lot of side projects going on at all times, I have lots of hobbies.  In short, I live an incredibly fulfilling life.  But some people see me as "just a housewife".  I have learned that people who criticize the lives of others generally are dissatisfied with their own.  To those people, you can call me 'just a housewife".  In fact, call me anything you like.  As for me, I simply call myself happy.

To celebrate my status as a happy housewife, I am hosting a giveaway of two goodie bags, suitable for housewives, moms, single ladies, and anyone in between.  It is all about loving your life for where you are.  So, two lucky readers will be getting a bag full of goodies!

Check out the bags:

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2011-07-14 07.05.22

Each bag includes a t shirt, a journal, a bookmark, a little plaque, a mini pedicure set, lip balm, hand cream, and some cute stickers.

Entering is so simple!  Here are the details:
  • In order to win, you must be a follower of my blog and a US resident
  • The giveaway is open from 12:01 am July 15th to 11:59 pm July 17th.  Two winners will be chosen on July 18th.  
  • Entering is SUPER easy, just leave me a comment below with your name, your email, and telling me how you follow my blog (GFC, Networked Blogs, etc). 
  •  Follow me on Twitter and get and extra entry by leaving a second comment with your Twitter name.  
  • "Like" me on Facebook and get an extra entry by leaving a third comment with your Facebook name. 
  • Leave me a fourth comment telling me what you LOVE about YOUR life and get an extra entry.
 So, you can get up to 4 entries.  Simple right?  RIGHT!  So, best of luck!


The fun does not end there.  Check out the following blogs, who are also participating in Blogfest 2011 by sponsoring some great giveaways:

You can see the full list of blogs participating in Blogfest 2011 at A Journey of Books

Hope you all enjoy Blogfest 2011.  Keep track of all the giveaways you enter here!  Good luck!