Monday, June 29, 2009

Vintage Bottle Hanging Bud Vases

My husband and I stopped at several antique shops on the way back from the Shelburne Museum yesterday. There was one shop that had many things decorating trees and the yard. One of the things was an old bottle just hanging by a wire, with a couple of beads on it. That inspired me to do something with some of the vintage bottles we have collected over the past 15 years. I took two of the bottles, some copper wire we had in the garage and a few beads. I came up with these hanging bud vases. I have these two hanging on my porch. They were very fun to make and they are a great use for bottles that have been in boxes for years! I am sure I will make more.

Buildings at the Shelburne Museum

These are just 16 of the 44 different buildings on the grounds of the Shelburne Museum. Eddie and I had a great day there yesterday. One of my many favorite buildings is not pictured. It is a 1950's house. When you walk in, you feel like you are walking in to your grandmother's house, right down to the blankets in the closet and the tins in the kitchen cabinet. It really gave us a neat feeling of being in that time period. Every building was full of interesting exhibits and history. Visit their website at for more information on the museum. Anyone in the area should go and see it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tiffany Glass & Jewelry

There were three rooms in one gallery at the Shelburne Museum with Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) stained glass, jewelry and lamps. These are original and authentic pieces. I wish I had taken more pictures of some of the jewelry. It was all very beautiful. Now I am interested in learning more about this artist.


This authentic apothecary was one of the buildings on the grounds of the Shelburne Museum that we visited today. I loved looking at the old medicine bottles. I really loved the walls that are full of glass door cabinets and drawers! The things I could do with a room like this!

Hatbox Collection

Today, my husband and I went to the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. I took many photos of the grounds, buildings and exhibits. I will share them in other blog posts in the near future. I enjoyed many of the exhibits, but was unable to take as many pictures as I would have liked.
This room in one of the buildings displayed a beautiful collection of hatboxes. It was called the "Bandbox Room" I loved how they were displayed and how the collection and the wall had a blue theme.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

AJ's Emperor Scorpion

This is my son's newest addition to his home zoo. It is an Emperor Scorpion, also known as an Imperial Scorpion. It is currently about 3-4 inches long. It can get up to 6 inches long and live for about 8 years. It does have a sting, but it is no more dangerous than a bee sting. It is native to the tropical rainforests of West Africa. AJ generally has reptiles and amphibians in his collection, but has had a fascination with scorpions for a few years too. It is an Arachnid, but it is not a spider. He absolutely hates spiders. As much as he loves snakes and other things that I consider to be repulsive, he will avoid any size spider! He has already fed it a cricket to watch him eat. He will add it to his animal displays, but it must stay in a darker area, since UV light can cause it stress and even untimely death. I am tolerant of his animals since this is his passion and possible future profession. I am holding strong to my rule of no constrictor or venomous snakes!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Last night my husband called me outside to see this beautiful sunset. I love how the puffy clouds in the distance look like they are on the ground. I have always loved watching and photographing sunsets. I took many sunset photos when I lived in Hawaii and Florida. I also have several from locations in New York and anywhere I may have seen a beautiful sunset. Someday I will scan all of them and have them for projects such as note cards. They are all from the days of 35mm cameras and I do not have them all scanned transferred to disk yet! That is a project to tackle when I get time.
In high school and college I decorated my rooms with posters of sunsets and photos of sunsets that I had taken. When my husband and I were dating, the first time around, I visited him in Naples,Florida and he knew I loved sunsets. He took me to the Gulf of Mexico to see a beautiful sunset. In those days, he wasn't really romantic, and while I walked the beach and enjoyed the beautiful view, he sat in his truck. I still have the photos I took on that day. Now, more than 25 years later, he sits and enjoys the sunsets with me!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

When my son started playing football in 8th grade, he would have his dad help him practice. I just love that my husband went out there with his stock car racing helmet to practice with him. He is a great dad! My dad is also a great dad and is still there for me when I need him. Happy Father's Day to all of the great dads!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

First Job and Community Service Project

My son is 14 this year, he will be 15 soon after he enters school in the fall. He has his first summer job working at the Sox Market in Lake George, New York. It is in the factory outlet strip before you get into the actual village of Lake George. His job is to sell socks! That is basically all this store sells, with the exception of gloves and the occassional umbrella, flip-flop, scarf or other random accessory.
He has decided that he can also work a community service project into his job. He received permission from his manager, to place a box in the shop and ask for people to purchase an extra pair of socks to donate. This will also help the store by increasing sales. He will collect donations until the Christmas season. He will then donate the socks to his school to be distributed to needy families in the district through the social workers and programs that the school has to help families during the holidays.
This is an excellent way for him to combine earning money for the first time as well as starting a community service project of which he can be very proud.
If you are interested in shopping at a Sox Market, there is also one in Kittery, Maine; Manchester, Vermont; and Burlington, Vermont.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hot Dog Stands

Another popular upstate New York phenomenon is the Hot Dog Stand. In New York City they have the famous street carts, and Nathan's, but I am talking about long standing, locally famous and irresistable hot dog stands. Many of them are famous for their hot dogs with the "works." From my experience this is usually mustard, onions and the specialty meat sauce of the particular place.

My very first "favorite" hot dogs, and still my number one choice, were from "Hot Dog Charlie's" in Watervliet, NY. They are 3 inch long hot dogs made locally and distributed by Hembold's in Troy, NY. They are served on steamed mini-buns and come with mustard, onions and a thin meat sauce. The Capital District area of Albany, Troy and Schenectady, NY is home to the small hot dog. Other places to get these small hot dogs are at "Gus' "in Watervliet and at "Famous Lunch" in Troy.

When I was little, my dad would take us to Hot Dog Charlie's. I remember going and watching them make the hot dogs. The owner would line the buns up right on his bare arm from his wrist to elbow as seen in the above picture.He would then build the hot dogs and place them on your tray. This wouldn't pass any current health code I am sure, but it was a great show before we worried about things like food preparation safety. One of the problems with these small hot dogs is that I can easily eat 12 or more of them! I can only eat three full size hot dogs but for some reason I can eat an amazing amount of these little hot dogs. They are delicious and addicting!

When I moved out of state I missed being able to get Charlie's hot dogs. When I lived in Florida, my parents brought me some of their bottled sauce and I was able to find small packaged hot dogs in the lunch meat section of the grocery store. I think they were made by "Ballpark Franks." I can't find them in NY, but they worked in Florida for a Hot Dog Charlie's feast. My in-laws lived in Florida and they also remember Hot Dog Charlie's from when they grew up in Latham. We all enjoyed those pseudo Charlie's.

When I moved back to New York, I was able to get my fix of these hot dogs again. I buy the sauce and have it on full length hot dogs when ever I want, but nothing beats those little hot dogs once in a while. I think we are due for a trip to get some soon.

There are also many local famous hot dog stands in the Glens Falls area. There is New Way Lunch in Glens Falls which is well known for it's Dirty John's Hot Dogs, or Dirt Dogs as the locals call them. There is the Dog Shack in Hudson Falls, and Mandy's in Hudson Falls. All of these places are famous for their hot dogs locally and I have enjoyed all of them from time to time.

There are surely other local favorite hot dog places, but these are mine.

Visit to order their meat sauce. If you live in upstate NY you can buy it at some Hannaford stores.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's Go Out for Ice Cream

Rookies Cookies and Cream

This is a picture of my current favorite ice cream stand. This picture was taken a couple of years ago. They have since added a huge chocolate/vanilla twist cone to their roof and a drive thru window. This is Rookies Cookies and Cream in Fort Edward, NY.

For as long as I can remember, going out for ice cream has been a way to spend time on a hot summer day or an after dinner drive. "Let's go out for ice cream," could be heard many days each summer in our home. The first place I remember going on a regular basis was what I called "the stand" when I was about 8 years old. I loved getting my cone dipped in the cherry coating that hardened. It was so good, but probably the messiest choice I could have made.

Our family moved to a little town called Tomhannock, NY and our new place to go was the local Stewart's Soda Shop in Schaghticoke, NY. They are a large chain in New York and I think they have spread to Vermont. They have "make-your-own sundaes" and I loved it when they brought out the tray with all of the syrups, sprinkles, whipped cream, cherries and nuts. Stewart's shops all have tables inside to enjoy your ice cream in comfort. We also sometimes drove about a half hour away to a restaurant called Bubbles, We would get dinner and always knew we could have ice cream too.


We moved again when I was in 8th grade. Our new ice cream places to go were the Stewart's shop within walking distance in Glens Falls and the very famous Martha's in Lake George. I loved the root beer floats at Stewart's. They had a root beer float flavored ice cream for a while. I can still taste it! Martha's was the place to go for the best soft ice cream in a variety of flavors. The lines were always long, but the wait was worth it.


I moved away from upstate NY in 1991 and returned in 1999. While I was away, I lived in Hawaii and in Florida. They do not have such a thing as local ice cream stands in these places! If they do, they are not easy to find! Hawaii did have great Shave Ice Shops, but it's not the same! It seemed so funny to me that the states that could sell ice cream year round did not have the number of places that we had in the cold north. There were food court Dairy Queens or Baskin Robbins shops. You could buy ice cream in the supermarket, but there was not the family tradition of going out for ice cream and sitting outside eating it feverishly while it melted. There was no sense of summertime being different from other seasons, so ice cream was no big deal. I missed that!

In 1999 we moved back home. I took my husband to Martha's and we also explored other local ice cream shops. He was amazed at the lines of people waiting for ice cream on back country roads and out of the way places. He spent most of his life in Florida where this is not a phenomenon! Upstate New Yorkers love their ice cream!

We currently like to support our local ice cream shop, "Rookies" pictured above. They open on April 1st every year and the lines are usually steady until they close around labor day. They are known for their unique soft ice cream flavors, such as mocha, creamsicle and maple. They also have sugar free ice cream. One April, they opened on a day with a foot of snow covering their tables....they had customers!!

We also live only a few minutes away from "The Ice Cream Man" shop in Greenwich, NY. It is a beautiful log cabin stand. In 2007 it was featured on an episode of the Food Network's show "Throwdown with Bobby Flay." They have excellent homemade ice cream flavors using as many local ingredients as possible. I love their strawberry with huge chunks of fruit from a local strawberry farm!

There are great ice cream shops in every town around here. If there isn't a Stewart's shop, there is a local stand. There is a local joke that when you give directions to someone in upstate NY, you use the landmark "Stewart's" at least three times in your explanation ..."Go to the intersection, there will be a Stewart's on your right. Turn right and go about 5 miles. Take a left at the Stewart's..." I have also found myself using local ice cream shops in directions I give because everyone knows where Rob and Deb's, Martha's , Sprinkles, Rookies, Farmer's Daughter, and many, many more are in this area!

We moved back to NY when my son was 4. We kept the ice cream tradition going with him. It's just a fun thing to do!

The Ice Cream Man

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Flannel Pajama Quilt

When my son was a toddler, my mother-in-law began making flannel pajamas for him. He received a handmade pair or two every Christmas. As he outgrew them, I did not want to get rid of them because of the sentimental value. She made them for him until just a few years ago. He is 14 now. One day, after coming across a large bag of the pajamas, I decided to make something out of them. I made a quilt and pillow for my son and I made a pillow to give to his Grandmother. I used all of the pajamas by cutting the material into squares. I used an old Pokemon quilt, that he loved for several years, as the back of the quilt. I had fun making it. It was my first quilt project and it is not perfect. I hope my son will cherish it as a reminder of both his Grandmother and me and the love we have for him.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Yesterday my husband discovered these beautiful Iris flowers growing in the front corner of our property. We have lived here 10 years and we have never seen these before! We don't usually go to that part of the yard, but I'm so glad he found them! Seeing them brought back some memories. When I was small, my mom had a huge row of Irises across the front of our yard as a natural fence between the yard and the road. I have very vivid memories of her cutting them and placing them in vases throughout our home.

As a college student, I became friends with a guy from Tennessee. The Iris is the Tennessee state flower. He collected Iris and Herringbone Depression Glass. He and I would go to antique shops and search for pieces to add to his collection. After college, I continued looking for pieces of this glass and started a collection of my own. The Iris and Herringbone Depression Glass was produced by the Jeannette Glass Company in Pennsylvania from 1928-1932. It was made in a clear crystal as well as an iridescent color as seen above. I had pieces in both colors. Some of the pieces were also produced later into the 50's. After I got married, I stopped collecting this glass and eventually sold my colletion on ebay.
I have always planned to plant Iris bulbs on our property, but haven't yet. When they are ready, I will dig these up and replant them where I can see and enjoy them. I was sure to cut them and bring them into the house to enjoy the same way my mom used to.