Saturday, July 31, 2010

I WON!!! I WON!!!! Scroll down to see what I entered. I won a $70 gift card from CSN !!! I'm sooo happy!!!! The Thrifty Grove blog is the BEST!!!!! Now is the hard part..... what to get????? I LOVE this!!!
I'm all finished packing. PJ and I are leaving tomorrow to go camping in Ithaca. WE can't wait!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Today Scott and I went to visit my Grandfather in City Island. His mind has really gotten a lot worse since our last visit. He thought there was a party going on upstairs. he doesn't have an upstairs. Then he was wondering how 'they' were going to pay for the party. He really brightened up when Scott asked him if the ladies are still chasing him. He put a big smile on his face and said I certainly hope so! After our visit, I took Scott down Fordham St, just a few blocks away, where one of my cousins lives. She's about 5 houses in from the water. We walked down to the water and I was telling Scott about all the happy memories as a kid playing and swimming at that beach. I loved looking toward the Throgs Neck Bridge and seeing all the cars on it while I was having a fun time on the beach.
That story got Scott and I talking about houses. He saw a very creepy house last night in Plainedge that he wanted to see in daylight. I told him that there's one in Bellmore that I wanted to check out. You can see that one being built as you go over one of the bridges to Jones Beach. So we decided to check them both out!
First we went to the Bellmore house. It was a little confusing to find it without street names but we finally did. It's in a court. The backyard faces the inlets. This house was HUGE!!! All of the houses surrounding it were gaudy and ugly. This one, even though it's massive, was very pretty and well done. It looks better in real life.
Next we went to find Scott's house. He remembered that it was off of Hicksville Rd, north of Jerusalem Rd but wasn't sure where to turn. He thought one street's name sounded familiar so we turned down it. He didn't recognize any of the names but said to keep going. Then he saw something that he recognized and we found the house. It's on Daniel and Margaret Streets. It's actually on one of those and about 3 houses in from where they intersect.
It was really weird to see this house in a neighborhood of capes and ranches. there was a sign on the door that it's an Historical House. I couldn't find anything on it on the web though. The windows were all covered and the back yard was like a forest. It really was weird looking. Scott said it was really scary looking at night.
That was the end of our car trip and we really enjoyed ourselves!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last week PJ and I went to the Penn State Seed Trials. I had never been to one of these so I was glad that I got the chance to go. The plants were beautiful... for the most part. My photo editing software doesn't work so my pics are coming out very bright.
They test seeds from Burpee, Park etc in sunny, semi shade and shade conditions to see where they will do best. They document EVERYTHING... size, germination rate, how many flowers after germination, height, width etc... EVERYTHING! The vegetables are all weighed also.
It was very interesting to listen to the conversations of the people that were there. It was like they were speaking a different language. Everything was spoken using botanical names, chemical names etc. It was pretty funny to be a guest! I do the same with some plants because that's how PJ refers to them so that's what I know!
Every grouping of plants had a label saying what it was so these growers could see what they would order to sell to their clients.

Different varieties of Ipomia, Sweet Potato. These are used a lot in hanging baskets and window boxes, more so than growing for the sweet potatoes.
Impatiens under the shade cloth. They were beautiful and HUGE! The ones in the full sun were still nice but not as huge.
Sangria, chili peppers
I can't think of the name of this right now!... maybe Rudbeckia?

PJ on the phone with work... as usual!

Hummm, how many plants did they plant in that one pot to look like that? Let's dig through!
Impatiens under the shade cloth again

Then we walked through the theme gardens. This Mennonite woman was taking extensive notes. I liked how she looked behind it. Mennonites are allowed to have their pictures taken (I think), unlike the Amish.

We don't know what this was but the berries were like marbles. Very glassy and interesting.
We thought this was funny

They gave is a nice catered lunch and then we went out to look at the vegetable trials. We only got to the first row and it started to POUR. That was enough for us! We ran to the car and decided to go find some Jake and Amos jarred goods. YUM!

Now this sign would be better understood if I could zoom in but I can't. As we were driving to Lancaster, we saw one of these and I thought it said... "BRAKE... RETARDS PROHIBITED WITHIN TOWNSHIP LIMITS! We had such a good laugh that I had to take a picture of the next sign. Then we found out what it really said... Brake Retarders Prohibited Within Township Limits. It was really funny!

We stopped at our favorite market in Bird In Hand but it was closed. Oh well. Time to head home in time for volleyball!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Today is a Bite Your Nails Kind of Day!

Today is a bit of a nerve wracking day. Scott is up in Lake Placid in the Ironman competition.
He finished the swim part (2.4 miles) coming in 44th % in his division. He's is now starting the bike part which is 26.6 miles. It's kind of weird looking on the website, and get LIVE results at each check point. He is bibb # 144. After the swim he was 44th in his division.
I guess I'll keep updating this post so I have all of the results in one spot.

I'm writing this part at 3:26 PM. Scott has finished the biking.He went 112 miles in 6 hours and 29 minutes! He's now 38th in his division!

Next will be 26 miles of running!
** It's now 7:25 PM, a little more than 12 HOURS since Scott started and we just got word that he FINISHED! I'm so glad that's over with!

For his run (26.2 miles), he ran it in 4 hours and 13 minutes. He's finished being
29th in his division!!! Good job Scott!!

I'm so glad that's over!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Thrifty Groove Giveaway...

One of my favorite blogs is having a giveaway and I'd love to win it. It's a $70 Gift card that would be sooo nice to win! This is copied from the Thrifty Groove's blog to explain it all:
"Now on to the giveaway!!

We all know and love the folks at the CSN Stores! And they are doing it again! They are offering one of my readers a chance at a $70.00 Gift card!! Woohoo!

I have to confess, one of my absolute favorite CSN stores is! They carry the most amazing stuff. I have a tendency to head there first 9 times out of 10!

You can find wonderful cookware brands such as
Le Creuset. Or check out my personal favorite, all the amazing dishware!

Or maybe you are looking for something for your patio or garden. The
CSN stores have it all!

The rules and the How-to's:

Open to USA and Canada residents

The giveaway starts Now and will end on July 30, 2010 (at Midnight EST)

How to win:

**Leave a comment on this post that you would like to win.

** Leave a another post telling me you are a follower or you just signed up to be a follower

**Blog about this giveaway, leave a link back to your blog post in a separate comment for another chance to win.
Thats it folks! Good Luck to all of you!! "

Here is the link to her blog also. Check it out, you may enjoy it. Today's post is about a picnic basket that she won. It's just like mine except a different theme.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ahhhhhh... a Happy Day in the Zukowski Household!

Yesterday I went food shopping at Guintas Meat Farms in Farmingdale. We love this store. Yesterday made it even better in my mind. As I was going up the isle with the 'greens', I saw a sign that I thought said Wegmans Lettuce but I wasn't wearing my glasses so I couldn't be sure. I got so excited! I quickly put my glasses on and YES... that's exactly what the sign said! There they were, clear boxes of different lettuce, all from Wegmans! I grabbed my cell phone out of my bag and took a picture of a box. I sent it to my family! PJ was especially happy! He never texts back, or even reads texts for that matter. I got a text from him within about 30 seconds!
When we shop at Wegmans,
we really never buy the lettuce because it would just go bad without a refrigerator. (We camp in the area) I just really like the fact that their produce is from mostly local growers (Finger Lakes region) and they also grow their own on their farm. While I would prefer getting my produce from farms that are local to me, getting it from upstate NY is better than California where most of the grocery store produce is from.
As I was checking out, I told the girl that I was very happy that they're carrying at least one Wegmans product etc. I think she thought I was crazy!! Maybe she's right but who cares!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Your kids will always be KIDS!

Yesterday afternoon and thunderstorm came through. It was pouring outside! It was a welcome sight though because it's been so dry here and I'm tired of watering my flowers!
Before I knew it, Scott and Alyssa were out the door. They decided to go for a walk in the rain. They've always loved doing that, even as little kids. Some people never grow up and that's ok.

Monday, July 12, 2010


This weekend was a rather busy one for me. I have discovered a blog The Thrifty Groove and it has sparked something in me to get moving on updating the look of my house. We have too much of the same decor as we did 20 years ago. I have to get out of that way of thinking. Alyssa and I painted the living room a blue color. It came out too pastel looking but whatever. Scott and I decided on Friday that we would make this room into a 'beachy feel'. I have some 'beach' frames so that got me started. I took the glass lamp out of the dining room that had potpourri in the base and I filled it with shells that we had collected from various beaches. The shade is a pierced shade that allows the light to shine through the cut out pattern, which in this case is flowers. It was already painted a pumpkin color which went with the dining room decor at the time.
Saturday morning I was reading The Thrifty Groove and realized that a can of spray pain can really do wonders! Alyssa and I bought some paint to update out 'things'. She got a can of metallic gold to paint a wicker table for her room. It used to be plum but is just beautiful now!
I bought a Caribbean Blue for the lampshade. I think it turned out pretty nice!
The next project was the coffee table. My last one was used to color/ do crafts on etc when I used to BB sit. While at a garage sale with Judy last year, she spotted this table and it was only $5 ! I have pretty much scrubbed off the glaze though w/i the last year.
While looking at the spray paint with Alyssa, we got all excited with the can of paint that we spotted... STONE Ancient Ruins by Valspar. It looks just like the sand at Jones Beach! There's little tiny flecks of sand in this so it looks official. We're very happy with how it came out!
Then on Sunday, I took myself to a few sales in Huntington. One lady had a bunch of items with grapes on them and being that my kitchen decor is grapes, I couldn't pass this one up.
This Domed Butter Dish cost me $1.50. I searched online and found it here for $84.95!!!!!
I went to another sale and saw this. The box was never opened and I was just going to trust it which is a downfall of mine. I asked the man how much it was and he was going to ask his wife but she ran to the store. He said $5. DEAL! When I got home I saw a sticker on the box hand written $20 on it!
The lady with the grapes also had these mugs... 6 for $2.00, still with the stickers on them!
I also got these placemats from her, 4 for $ 1 ! They're heavy and backed with cork!

My favorite item was found in Northport at an antique flea market that is held every Saturday through November. Who knew??? It's now in between the kitchen and living room. It opens to put a candle in it. I got this for $10.
This was from the man where I got the Olive oil set from... $1. The little square plates have a few chips in them but I liked the bigger piece so it didn't matter!
I had a great garage sale day. I look so forward to reading the daily posts of The Thrifty Groove to inspire me more!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alyssa and I decided to get prices on installing an air conditioner in her room where the very old one is. We were going to get prices from a few different stores. First we went to PC Richards in Merrick. They won't install it because it's not the same size as what's in there now and they would need to do carpentry work. So we would need to hire an outside carpenter.
Next we figured that another thought would be to put a window in where the old air conditioner is and then have a window air conditioner to use. She doesn't have any cross ventilation in her room so that was making a bit of sense. We thought we'd price windows at Lowes and see if it made as much sense as we thought. On the way up Meadowbrook Parkway, the sky all of sudden got VERY dark!!! We went a few miles it started to rain as we got close to the Hempstead Turnpike area. The rain turned to down pouring and bad flooding within minutes!
We arrived at Lowes and sat in the car thinking that it would let up soon. We saw people walking out with huge bags over them! I wish I had a picture of that! The rain just kept coming down in sheets!
We decided to make a run for it! We were drenched! Alyssa was wearing a white shirt but was smart and held onto her boobs as she ran so her shirt wouldn't be see- through in those spots!
We went to the window department and it ends up that it's not such a good idea. This is turning out to be a major production!
As we were leaving, the door man made Alyssa and I capes to wear so we didn't get wet!
We left and drove to Marlin Appliance in Seaford. It hadn't even rained one little drop!! Dry as a bone!!! They can do the installation but will come to about $600 dollars at the very least! I told Alyssa that she should move in with Dave who has central air!

Who's the BEST waiter.........

Who's the BEST waiter in the world.... why it's ROB! He's sweet, charming, always (NOT!) remembers our favorites and is just an all around great guy!! Of course, this post was made especially for HIM to read!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BABY ....... IT'S HOT!!!!!

We're having a heat wave here. It's unbearable!!! I took this picture at 10:00 last night! It hit 90 degrees in the house. The thermostat doesn't go higher so I wonder how HOT it really was in the house!!! We obviously don't have air conditioning!!! Today is supposed to be close to the same temp as yesterday. It hit 101 on Long Island yesterday!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On our trip last week to Ithaca, NY, we stopped off at our favorite Farmers Market... The Ithaca Farmers Market.
We always find something new there to try and this time was no exception. We happened to notice people checking out and buying these curly looking scallions (or so we thought). They were buying a TON so we knew they couldn't be scallions because REALLY, what do you do with a TON of scallions. We kept walking around and found another 'farmer' that had these interesting curly things. We asked him about them. He explained that they are Garlic Scapes... the stems and seed heads of the garlic plant. For about 2 weeks in June, they curl and that's the perfect time to pick them. He explained that if they don't look like a pigs tail, they aren't ready! He said that people can't get enough of these things and will travel for hours just to get them! I read on someones blog that they actually drove 451 miles (8 hours EACH WAY) to get them! Another guy liked them so much he started his own business pickling them. He goes throughout N.Y. state gathering up whatever he can to use for his Pickled Garlic Scapes.
People saute them, pickle them and make pesto with them. Well, PJ and I LOVE garlic so we HAD to get some of these and give it a try. It was too early in the week as we weren't going home for 5 more days so he told us where his farm stand is and he'll pick some Tuesday night for us so they would be nice and fresh for us to bring home.
Throughout the week, we became more and more intrigued with these things. Thoughts were running through our heads of using our land in Ithaca to grow garlic and then have a side business of Pickled Scapes etc. This is even before tasting them! Just the thought that people can't get enough of these things made us get our brains rolling. Of course that will never happen but it's always fun to dream!
We ended up buying 5 POUNDS of these things. I LOVE canning so my plan was to make pesto and pickle some.
After making these, I must have really smelled like garlic. I shower twice a day but that didn't help. I had a dream that PJ pulled the car over so we could sleep (in the dream we had been to the wineries). I didn't know where we were though. I remember opening up my eyes (even though I was dreaming) and it was completely dark. I didn't know where I was but smelled the garlic. PHEW! I thought he pulled the car into a field of Garlic Scapes! Then I woke up to realize I was in my bed, in a dark bedroom smelling the garlic still on/in me! I thought it was pretty funny!

I have put the recipes on my cooking blog...
I made 6 jars of pesto...
and 9 jars of Pickled Garlic Scapes.

I love learning about new culinary things!