Category Archives: Uncategorized

Roosevelt Baths

Monday was a treat day! My sister, mother and I went to the Roosevelt Baths in Saratoga. My sister had given us gift certificates last Christmas and we just got around to using them.

Saratoga Springs has a long history of natural mineral springs and was a hot spot for health. There were a lot of bath houses built and the Roosevelt Baths are one of the original ones. It was built in 1930. It was eventually bought by the state and became part of  Saratoga Spa State Park.  It is kind of referred to as a campus, I guess. Lots of buildings that look like this:


It is almost like an old university campus:


We have been to another spa in Saratoga and that one was very posh and more modern. The Roosevelt baths are original, which is pretty neat! Obviously some of it was modernized, like the locker area:


My sister took a picture of me in my robe. It almost looks like I am ready to go to a karate lession!


The three of us had different services. I had an aromatherapy bath and then a massage.  Once you get changed, you go into the relaxation room while you are waiting for your treatment.


This is an area with tables and chairs. There is a section with teas and fruit as well.


There are also these nice lounge-y things:


This room was empty when I came in. I think I had one of the first appointments of the day. You can go back and forth to the steam room from here while waiting for your treatments.

Here is an original cast iron 1930s bath:


The mineral water is that brownish color. It’s also effervescent and you float like crazy!  These tubs are super deep, too. It goes below floor level. When I sat upright, the water came up almost to my shoulders. I want a deep tub like that.  For the aromatherapy part, you are given a teeny little bottle of an essential oil of your choice (eucalyptus, clary sage, pine or peppermint). I chose peppermint and you just sprinkle it in the bath.

After my bath, I moved over to the table in my room for a massage.


It’s funny how these pictures look a little like a prison LOL! It didn’t feel like that, let me tell you.  I’ve never had a massage before, mostly because I have personal space issues and don’t like strangers touching me. But I thought I would give it a try. Orginally I was scheduled for a sugar scrub, but the person who does them broke her leg, so they gave me another service choice.

I liked the massage. It was a little hard for me to relax, but eventually I did.  Once the massage was finished, it was into the steam room (no pictures there!) and then back to the relaxation room for a while.

My mom and sister popped out at different times. I was done before they were and enjoyed a nice shower and relaxing.

It was pretty late after we finished, so we headed out to lunch in Ballston Spa. Our first choice had a big wait list, so we tried a new restaurant. Henry’s Pub.  It was good!  I decided on an appetizer for a meal, which was the poutine with corned beef on top. I asked for a half portion, but they made a mistake and gave me a full portion:


They only charged me for a half portion, too. There was plenty to share.

We decided against dessert, but I got a kick out of the selections:



We had a great day! It was definitely needed and long overdue.  I definitely will be back to these baths again.


Gnocchi and women teachers

Sorry I haven’t been posting too much lately. I just haven’t been doing anything terribly interesting to talk about here.  Just some tidbits of things.

I shared this on FB so some of you will see this twice, but I had a really good dinner the other night. I lost the football picks for the first week of the playoffs (fantasy) and John wanted to go to Comfort Kitchen in Saratoga. Their food is so good, especially the macaroni and cheese, but I saw a new item on the menu, which was sweet potato gnocchi!


It was in a brown butter sauce with swiss chard, ricotta cheese and some sort of walnut chunks. Breaded, maybe? So good!  It rivals their mac and cheese now.  Any locals that haven’t been there need to go.  I’d like to try making gnocchi from scratch some time, but I’m afraid it would turn out gummy.

More work in my parents’ kitchen.  It is a little slow going just because I have to go over there to work and there are limited hours in which to do it. I guess that’s what happens when you have free labor 😀

The paint is on the walls and the upper cabinet doors are in place.


Color is a little funny because of the time of day, but you get the idea. Below the cabinets will be tile. Hopefully next weekend John and I will do the laminate countertop.

I got a new soap stamp made to stamp my soaps. I was using a fleur-de-lis, but I wanted my logo made. I went to Etsy and found someone to do a stamp for me and I tried it out this weekend:


I like it! I need to get consistent with how much pressure is needed to imprint.

During my volunteer hours at the Chapman Museum, I was organizing files for the suffragist events going on this year. Even though the US ratified the 19th ammendment in 1920, New York allowed women to vote in 1917, so there are centennial events happening this year.

I came across this nugget of information:


I you can’t read it, here is the text:  “No married woman shall be appointed to any teaching or supervising position in the New York public schools unless her husband is mentally or physically incapacitated to earn a living or has deserted her for a period of not less than one year”.

Gotta love it.  You could only teach if you were single. Now think of how many women — single or married — are a huge part of the teaching workforce.  Progress can happen.  I always wonder if I was born during that time period, would I be on the front lines for womens’ rights?  I like to think so, but I guess you never know.

Light box pics

One of my goals for the New Year was to get back into a structured lifting program. I can do that at home, but it’s not as fun. We got our renewal form for our insurance and now it will cover up to $600 in gym fees for us if we go 50 visits every 6 months. So, I’m thinking about signing up at my gym again since there is a new yearly membership special of $149 for the whole year.  That’s a pretty good deal and the insurance will reimburse every 6 months.  So, I might go for that. Not sure if John will or not. He doesn’t care for the gym so much 😀

When I posted about the light box a few days ago, Ali asked about pictures with and without it to see the difference, so here they are.

This is an example of the light box effect.  This first shot is with a light directly shining onto this object (annatto seeds).


It’s kind of dramatic, really, but not the look I’m going for.   Note I used some leftover flooring for my backdrop (although  I ditched this in favor of white later).

This is the light pointed through the sides of the lightbox with a light on the other side as well:


It diffuses and softens it. I took these with my phone, but my camera has a light ring on it so I can get forward light to reduce shadow even more.  I still need to play around with what looks good. I’m not a photographer 😀 This is one final shot I used.


White background much better here, don’t you think? In case you are curious, annatto seeds can be used to make a natural yellow colorant and is used in makeup and food industries.

Since I’ve been so busy taking pictures and what not, John’s been doing most of the cooking this week.  He did a pan fried sesame ginger tofu with rice and ginger sauce. The broccoli is my addition:


Yum! I’m actually liking the tofu when he cooks it that way. The tofu is crispy.

Tonight is more painting at my folks’ house. I am done painting the cabinet doors – finally!


This one just needs a couple coats of polyurethane and it’s done. It will be good to get these out of the house LOL!

New light box!

It’s now at the point where I feel like I can start doing the things I had been planning on doing for a while, but just wasn’t able to make enough time.  More work has been happening in my parents’ kitchen.  The cabinet doors are just about finished and I have to tell you that it will be a  happy day when these are not taking up all the spare room in our basement.

They look good, though!  Paint started going up on the walls on Saturday. My mom picked out Gracious Greige as the wall color.


Paint going up.


It looks a little darker here than in real life. John and I will be doing the countertop in a couple weeks. Laminate sheeting. I did that in our old house. Not my favorite thing to do as it is unwieldly and has to be really precise, but the results are good.

I got a new toy to play with – a new light box! ( my amazon link). My old one I made of cardboard kind of bit the dust. It was only $20, too. Right in my budget.


Me messing around with the setup:


It comes with some different background covers, but I’ll use my own that aren’t wrinkled LOL! The nice thing about this is that it folds back up (with some finagling) into the little pouch for storage.  It’s about the size of a Frisbee, which is pretty cool!


This is for taking new photos for the business. It’s going to take some work figure all the lighting out. It’s fun so far, but really time consuming.



So while John was away, I kept myself quite busy. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don’t have to do everything all at once. It’s not like the world will end tomorrow and I have to get everything finished right now.  It’s time for a spa day 😀

Bird tracks

Yay Friday!  Boy, this week went so fast. I got a lot of stuff done, though. It’s amazing when you don’t juggle multiple jobs how much you can accomplish  😀

It’s a slower time of year, so I spent a good chunk of time reorganizing our work area (basically the entire basement). It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and it feels good to actually get it finished — or somewhat finished anyway…

I did get a call from my old job wanting help with something. I knew that would happen since they waited so long to get replacements. They were asking me something about the software and setting it up for an initial user. I did that over a year ago, so I can’t remember what happened now. They called me twice to try to “jog my memory”  since I can no longer access the software and I finally said to call the manufacturer. Hello? They have the answers, not me.  Go away.

I tried a new yogurt this week. Noosa.  Have any of you tried it?


Normally I get plain Fage, so this was really sweet to me. I thought it was weird that the yogurt part was sweetened when it has a swirl of caramel. It didn’t need it.  It was a fun change, but I like my Fage and all it’s protein.

The temps have been all over the place this week, but I have been getting out for walks. Today was really cold, so I bundled up to walk:


This is my handknit scarf from Ireland, BTW. Very snuggly.

We got a dusting of snow last night and you could see perfect animal tracks everywhere. Birds are so light they usually don’t leave clear prints, but check these out!


Isn’t that cool? Like reptile feet.

I know some snow and icy weather is going to hit you southerners – so stay safe!

Happy Christmas weekend!

I’ve decided that I like when Christmas and the eve fall on the weekend. The nice thing is that we can host our Christmas Eve dinner earlier in the day since no one is working.

This year we put a tablecloth on the table. And a real one at that, not a plastic one LOL!  I got these for doing my shows and thought they would look good for our dinner.  Set up with my great grandmother’s dishes.


This year was the turducken. Our local grocery store had these in the meat department.  I got a 3 pound roast, which ended up being about the perfect amount as it was all polished off.  It kind of fell apart while cutting it.


John made a cheese souffle. This is Alton Brown’s recipe and we made it once before.  He actually made 1-1/2 times the recipe and did a smaller dish on the side in case we needed more.  Check out how it came out!


The souffle was done before everyone got here, even though we planned for people being late, so it was a little deflated by the time we ate.

My plate:


Everyone seemed to like the turducken and every bit was eaten. Me? It was okay, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again.  I’m so used to brining turkey that I felt it was a little on the dry side. I would have brined it if there wasn’t stuffing already tucked inside.  The souffle was delicious!

We did our interfamily gift giving and a little music playing. Then it was time for dessert and games. This spread. Seriously.


The famous Cake is in the middle. My sister made it this year. We don’t go overboard or anything… We did make sure we got in a lot of exercise this weekend. Some cookies were also taken to the neighbors.

Game of choice this time? Telestrations!  If you don’t have this game, you need to get it.

One of my drawings:


It’s not too bad, I think. And if you guessed thumb tack – congratulations!  It didn’t travel well to others, though.  The next drawing:


Which was somehow interpreted as this:


She was thinking it was a wall picture and a candle. Of course, the next person had no idea it was supposed to be a thumb tack and drew the word.


I think the last guess was Holy Candy or something like that.  There were many that either weren’t drawn well or guessed well LOL!

We were laughing before it even started and then laughed so much during that my stomach hurt and my face hurt from laughing!

Christmas morning was quiet time for John and I with present opening. Here is Pixie’s little stocking:


She was fairly interested in her presents and batted them around, but seemed to love jumping around in the paper most of all.


She was kind of hyper LOL!

Later on, we all headed down to my sister’s house for games and dessert.


Game this time?  Ticket to Ride!


This is a fun strategy game.

It seems we cram a lot into a couple of days, that’s for sure.  The Broncos played Christmas night and I was hoping for another gift, but they lost and pretty much are done for the season. Oh well.


Now looking back at all that food, I have an urge to get on the treadmill again tonight…

How was your weekend?

Merry Christmas!

It’s festive time! Or Festivus time, right?  😀

On those days I have insomnia and am up too early, I like to put the tree lights on.


It’s so pretty. We have always had multicolored lights, but when we got this tree last year, we went with the all white and I really like it.

Last night we were out to dinner. John finally won a week for football picks and chose Sushi Aroydee.  It’s pretty close to our house, so we can walk there.  Good food, but they need proofreading on the menu:


I tried the panaeng curry with scallops.


Delicious! The broth is a coconut milk based broth with a nice bit of heat to it. The cool thing is that as we were leaving, we got to pick a numbered ball out of a basket and we won a $10 gift certificate!  Yay!  Early Christmas!

It’s definitely going to be a white Christmas this year.  More snow fell yesterday.  We bought some solar candy cane lights for outside and it looks like it’s wearing a little hat.


These are really cute, too. Picked them up at Home Depot.

The sun came out today and I took advantage to go walking. Most of the walks were clear, but some people were kind of lame about shoveling.  Here is our downtown park.



We got some cookie baking done today in between working and walking.  I tried my hand at some rugelach this year.


They came out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.  I used this recipe, only I omitted the raisins and replaced half the white sugar with brown.

Saturday is the dinner at our house. Need to get cleaning LOL!

Ms Pixie is taking the night off.


Animals are so cute when they are sleeping.

Have a merry Christmas everyone and safe travels wherever you go!  

Trying a turducken

It’s almost Christmas!  As per usual, we are hosting dinner on the eve.  John is making cheese souffle for the vegetarian dish and I decided to try something I’ve always been curious about:


Turducken!  I wanted to make something that would fit in a roaster since the souffle will be in the oven and we won’t be opening and closing the oven during the cooking, so this fits the bill.  I hope it’s good. If not, at least Denny’s is open 😀

We grocery shop once a week. If we run out of something, we make do until the next weekend (unless it’s milk). This helps keep the grocery budget down because there is no impulse buying. Now that I just said that, I went out to pick up the turducken and a couple other things for baking and I couldn’t resist a gift for Pixie’s stocking:


She is  in my lap as I type this. I can talk and write all I want about her gift because she can’t read! LOL  Of course, she will likely want to play more with the ties that hold these to the package than the actual balls.  I’m a sucker.

Projects are happening finally. Painting the cabinets for my parents’ kitchen:


I decided to bring all the doors home with me so that I can paint them as I can rather than going over there multiple times for multiple coats. The paint is Valspar enamel for cupboards, so hopefully it will hold up.  Do you like my sophisticated numbering system ( 8 ). Scraps of post-it notes just so I can keep track of which door goes where.

I also fiddled with my new desk. The woman I bought it from said the drawers needed to be adjusted. A good look at it showed it’s not the drawers, but loose joints in the frame. Refastening and glue drying:


Now the drawers fit much better. You can see the veneer chips along the bottom better in this picture. I wonder if I can actually put veneer on this.  I probably won’t do much else with this for a while since my parents’ kitchen is the priority now. At least the desk is functional and I can use it.

Lots of stuff to cram into the next couple of days, that’s for sure!

Root canal number 2

As we wrap up 2016, I had to get in that last health expense with another root canal. That was on Thursday.


I cannot say enough about my dentist. It was a totally painless procedure. The only part that stung was getting the numbing shots.  Then I took pictures in the room while they left me to my own devices for the anesthesia to take effect 😀    The procedure is just long, though. It took about an hour.  I am glad I had this done. My tooth was feeling pretty good after the antibiotics and I was rethinking wanting to get it done; however when he drilled into the tooth, I could smell the necrotic tissue from the root. Ick. (sorry, TMI).  So, best to get that taken care of.

Now I can’t chew on that side for a couple days and then only soft food for a few days. In a week it should be good. I have to keep reminding myself not to chew on that side. If I forget, it really hurts!  I won’t get the crown until late January. The dentist is backed up because of breaking his ankle and the holidays.  That’s okay, though. I don’t mind putting off the $800 crown.   I will have spent over $3000 on my teeth in the span of 1 year. That hurts more than the actual root canal 🙁

We are part of that arctic blast coming through. It was bitterly cold and so windy yesterday!  And even colder last night.  This was at about 6:30 this morning


It’s funny because the temperature actually dropped a little more after that.  Definitely an indoor exercise day.

It was slower at work today, so I went over and started the work on my parents’ kitchen. The cabinets are going to get painted first, so I took the doors down on the uppers. I hope to get there next week to start painting.  After that – I met John for a latte. He was downtown donating blood.


Yay!  That’s soft food, right??

Soft food for dinner:


Eggs and toast.  It’s tasty, but now that I can’t have crunchy stuff, that’s what I want!

We are in for the night and most of the day tomorrow. More winter weather coming in — another 4-6 inches of snow.  At least we will have a white Christmas this year!