Friday, September 16, 2011


Last night, Mandy and I had a great dinner and excellent company to go with our meal as we were treated to a great supper at the Hotel 1921 in Philipsburg, PA by my cousin, Ruth Ann and her husband, Bernie.

Ruth and Bernie live in Austin, Texas but are here in Pennsylvania this weekend so they can attend the 50th class reunion festivities for her high school graduating class! First time, I think Ruth said, that she has been able to attend one of these functions.

The Hotel 1921 is really a very nice, upscale restaurant -something a bit unusual in this vicinity as most of the restaurants around here are more on the restaurant-bar type side -not that the Hotel 1921 doesn't have a bar, as it does -but it's just that this place is much more on the "posh" side of establishments. The building was a hotel -and a very nice one at that -for many, many years then, it was closed down, building was sold to a nursing home who had it revamped into assisted living quarters but then, they closed that down as they built other facilities all in a very close radius here in Philipsburg. The two women who took over the hotel and remodeled the place opened the restaurant for business I believe it was 3 years ago now -either this past January-February or it will be 3 years this coming January-February. I've been there 2-3 times before and always enjoyed the food very much but had never had a really big dinner meal there.

Having the time though to spend visiting over a meal with my cousin and her husband however is the thing that truly made this occasion very, very special. Since she's been living in Texas for oh, probably 35, maybe even 40 years now or very close to that, needless to say, she doesn't make all that many trips back home and I sure have never had the opportunity -nor will I ever most likely unless I should happen to hit the lottery -to go visit them down in Austin so we made the most of the time available to us then last night, for sure!

This then is something you will very rarely see me posting on my blog but the cute little redhead is my cousin Ruth Ann and the much larger old lady is, yes, me! I tease Ruth a lot about her smile but it's that smile of hers that really gets to me as she looks so much like her Dad, especially when she smiles! Her Dad and my Dad were brothers and growing up, I spent a good deal of time at their home -which was my Dad's family homestead. And so, her Dad was one of my most special uncles to me -just a sweetheart, he was. Ruth's granddaughter, Ally, who is a year older than my older grandson (meaning Ally is 15 and Alex is 14 now) has this same smile too though so it just gives me a great feeling to see that and think as long as they are around, so is my Uncle Arch -through them!

This is Bernie -Ruth's husband -and a great guy he is too! She definitely hit the jackpot when she found and married him! Bernie is a chef -actually he is a pastry chef instructor at a Culinary Institute in Austin and wow, can this man ever put out some really great dessert dishes!

And here we have my daughter, Mandy -along with Bernie -as we were getting ready to part company last evening.

Mandy and I were talking on the way home from dinner about -of course -family things and Ruth and Bernie and one thing we both thought of is that our dear late aunt -Aunt Mike, as she was known to all her nieces and nephews and other assorted family members -only had the opportunity to meet Bernie once I believe. Ruth, her daughter, son-in-law and their three children had driven up to the family homestead back in the summer of 2003 to visit Aunt Mike but I don't recollect that Bernie was with them on that visit. (That was the year that Ruth almost froze to death when she and Bernie had moved back to Pennsylvania for about 10 months or so, living in York, PA, and the first that she had lived in Pennsylvania and experienced "Winter" in many, many moons! She hated the cold, the snow, the ice, etc., and that summer when Bernie got a offer to teach at a place in Alabama, they jumped on that deal with both feet! (Can't say as I blame them either because, judging by the weather -the temps mainly -here today, I think I would actually give a lot of consideration to moving south too! I had to go outside today to walk the dog and I was wearing jeans, a long-sleeved turtleneck under a knitted crewneck sweater along with a wool blazer over that and very thick socks on my feet -along of course with my walking shoes -all that just so I could get my fingers to thaw out this afternoon. Yes, it was THAT cold here inside my house today and the temp this morning was a low of 32 degrees!)

But anyway, I digressed there -which is nothing unusual for me, as you all know, way too well. The thing was that our Aunt Mike had only ever met Bernie the one time during that year that Ruth and Bernie lived in York and that was when they came up home for Thanksgiving Dinner that year. Bernie had brought two fantastic desserts with them too -which had been quite well received by all present. And, Mandy and I were discussing the fact that Aunt Mike really had liked Bernie very much on that first meeting and we both agreed, had she had an opportunity to be around him a bit more, she really would have fallen completely for him as he fills the bill in that his build is that of the type of man Aunt Mike always had a soft spot for -Big BUILT men! Yep, Mandy and I figured that Bernie could definitely have given my older daughter's ex-husband a run for the money in that department as that former son-in-law -frequently referred to by all of us in the family as "Big Daddy" was one man that our late aunt definitely loved to pieces!

So anyway, I suppose because Ruth is here to attend her 50th class reunion event, the subject of class reunions has thus been on my mind a bit of late. Anyway, I talked to one of my "monthly lunch" friends this a.m. then about our next scheduled lunch -to be on Sept. 29th -and suggested to her that perhaps it would be a good idea if we girls invited a few of the men from our class to join us at that lunch and thus, get started doing a little prep and planning maybe for our own class reunion next year -which will be our 50th anniverary then too! Gad! Are we getting old or are we getting old? Anyway, Rose agreed with my idea, as did 2 other girls I then talked to and I went ahead and tried to make contact then with a couple of the guys from our class who live in this vicinity. And, as a result -so far -at least two of the guys (Ernie and Herb) said they'd love to join us! Joe initially said he would be there but then about five minutes after we hung up, he called me back to say he was wrong and that on the 28th of the month, he and his brother Phil were going out of town for a few days and wouldn't be back till the following Sunday so, as a result, he wouldn't be able to come after all. But he gave me instructions to "speak for him" there and get a place fairly close to the home front, reasonably priced but nice and one that serves alcohol too! No problem with that request Joe! I promise I'll try to do my best, just for you, old Buddy, old Pal!

A little bit of news today on the cookbook front and the status of that project is that today I received an e-mail from our customer service rep at the publisher's and she sent me the url to the proof of our recipes! I now have until Monday to go through all 586 recipes as shown on this proof to ascertain that the spelling is as near to correct as I can tell and any other errors that may show up on there, I get to notify the publisher by Monday to give them the corrections on that! Phew! Now there's a rush job if ever there was one. Right?

Since I am the one who had done all the typing of those recipes as well as the one who did all the initial verifications too of those recipes, I thought that perhaps I'd best try to find someone from our women's group to help with that work. But who to ask? Not very many of the women in our group have computers much less an online connection too so that didn't leave me many to approach for help. However I did find a lady who is a retired school school teacher and lo and behold, she agreed to help me! The problem here being for me to scan through these things, since I had done the typing/verifying, the odds of my catching other errors weren't in our favor that way but fresh eyes, now that would be a better way to edit and proof the stuff. Just really happy that Cathy had agreed to do this for me!

And finally -last but not least -I'm gonna leave you with this little story -about exploration, of a sort! Don't be offended by the words here but these are straight from the little horse's mouth! Just thought it would give everyone as big a chuckle as it gave to Mandy and to me!

A few weeks ago, Kurtis had to have a procedure -out-patient surgery -on his ears to remove a large ball of wax that was surrounding the tubes he's had in his ears for oh, about 3 years or more now. So since, then, she has to take a q-tip to his ears after every bath and this past Wednesday night, after bathing him, she had him sitting -naked -on the vanity while she proceeded to clean his ears with the q-tip.

As she was doing that, he was running his hands up and down his body -a pretty normal thing for any 5-year-old to do ya know -and at one point, he stopped as he got hold of a certain lower body part and at that time, he asked Mandy, "Is this my wienie?" She replied that yes, it is and then he says to her, "Well how come it looks like a mushroom then?"

Gotta love the things small children say and do, don't you?


Anonymous said...

Honest, I won't be offended by the word wienie. Or mushroom. We are indeed getting old ... your post reminds me that next year would be my 50 year reunion. You just had to do that, didn't you? Bringing in an outside proofreader is the way to go ... I can skip over my own typos until the cows come in. And ... good to see some faces to go with the names!

Palm Springs Savant said...

out of the mouths of babes, I think they say. Anyway...I was going to remark about that sweater and tweedy jacket you were wearing, until I read the comment about the weather. Wow that's like winter wear Jeni. By the way, nice to see a new photo of you, a real treat for us all!

Travis Cody said...

We try to do a dress up date night once a month or so, and spend a little money for good food and a classy atmosphere.