Archive for the ‘Everyday’ Category

MaryAnn Loves Pickles

MaryAnn and I have been friends since 7th grade and can still stand each other, if you can believe that.  I don’t know how anyone can stand me after all those years, but MaryAnn just grows more loveable as the years pass.

There’s one thing about MaryAnn that I wish I could change, because it would make us that much more compatible.  She’s not a sweets person.  She likes candies, cookies, cakes, pies, but in limited quantities.  For example, you’ll never know MaryAnn to eat a half pound of cream filled chocolates in one sitting, unlike me, who can go through two pounds of the same.  MaryAnn has a salty tooth, and her favorite salty thing is pickles.  She loves pickles.  She makes pickles.  At the MN State Fair she spends money to eat a giant pickle on a stick.

That said, I finally got the opportunity to celebrate MaryAnn’s birthday with her, months after the facts.  As a change of pace, instead of taking her out to lunch I invited her to my house for an afternoon of girl time.  I prepared snacks, sandwiches, and also served the birthday girl some much wine.

But who has a birthday without a birthday cake?  MaryAnn loves salty more than sweet.  MaryAnn wants pickles.  Thanks to Google I found a recipe for pickle cupcakes.  Yes, there is such a thing, and for my good friend of many years I would make those pickle cupcakes just for her.  Not only that, I would make those pickle cupcakes with the pickles she made!

It was mostly for a joke.  After all, who ever heard of pickle cupcakes?  How good could they be?  How bad would they be.  As MaryAnn is a gracious guest she hesitantly approached the culinary experiment I presented, just for her, in honor of her.  She’s a good friend.

As you know you must sniff all questionable food before you eat it…

And then, taste…

OK, it looks like she’s ready to barf there, but she didn’t.  Even I, who thought pickle cupcakes would be truly barf-worthy, thought they were actually pretty good.  The combination of pickle batter and a cream cheese frosting was actually…good.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of MaryAnn’s delighted face when she tasted the special treat I made for her.  Trust me, she didn’t barf.

If you’d like to try these unusual cupcakes, visit Delish.  Despite my not being paid to promote the website, I recommend it for many wonderful recipes.  An absolute go-to if you’re searching for all things delicious.

Happy Birthday, MaryAnn.  May there be many more pickles in your future!

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It’s November now, but the Halloween spirit is still with me.  Maybe not the “Halloween” spirit, per se (trick or treat), but the lingering sense of the spirits, the other-worldly…they linger, and remind me of what I saw on my last visit to Door County, WI.

Husby and I took a jaunt to Door County again, which is, of course, something we love to do at least once a year.  The countryside is lovely, the sea air (sans salt) is invigorating, the local food and wines are delectable no matter what the season.  However, I was a little bit creeped out when we arrived at our usual motel.  It was a scene from some Hitchcock movie.

Turkey Vultures.  At least that’s what Husby and I determined them to be.  The photo shows just a smattering of them.  Seriously, I was afraid to go out and take a picture from many yards away.  They ruled the pier and shore.  There was no way we could go out and sit on those benches to take in Lake Michigan as we normally do.  I warned Husby, “if we go out there they’ll peck our eyes out!”

At some point during our stay the vultures weren’t inhabiting the pier, so we walked out.  I, the one who points out all things creepy, noticed something we’d never noticed before.  Lots and lots of bones.  This one was laying there, right on the pier.  A miniature femur bone?  Like from a leprechaun or fairy?  Obviously it was picked clean.  And creepy.

With further investigation, as the vultures were fewer but still circling, we found more evidence of evil.


Bones everywhere!  Picked clean.  Creatures washed ashore, left to die, only to be culinary fodder for some other species.

Ah, it’s the circle of life, right?  Within two days of our stay the vultures had vanished, having gotten their fill, and Husby and I could venture out to the pier without the risk of getting our eyes pecked out.

It was creepy to me, and that’s the word I used when describing the scene to Husby.  He laughed.  He knows I have a love/hate relationship with creepy stuff.

I’m not sure what caused the fish to wash ashore in the first place.  Perhaps it was a natural thing, cyclical?  Perhaps it was a result of human interference?  The vultures got their fill of delicious Lake Michigan fish, and I got my fill of creepy.  I hope the lake is clean, and no matter how much big fish scare me, I want them to thrive in their natural habitat.

And if the fish don’t wash onto the shore I hope the vultures don’t peck my eyes out for lack of food.

Image result for the birds movie eyes pecked out

Photo credit – ack, I don’t know, it was taken from the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds.

Happy belated Halloween.  And always remember, natural phenomenon can be deadly.  And human interference with natural phenomenon can be catastrophic.


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In Between

Welcome to autumn.  Sure, the peak colors might be gone by now, but we’re still in between autumn and winter.  This time of year invigorates me.

As I looked out my window to the back yard I saw some wonderful colors.  By this time of year the golds and reds and oranges of the trees are fading fast, but these colors were at ground level.  Lily of the Valley remnants shown brightly in the otherwise overcast day.

Last weekend I spent time at the family cottage, closing the place down for winter.  There’s raking and cleaning and gathering to be done to tuck our little property in for the cold months ahead.  It was October 20th when we woke up to this…

In between.  Winter is coming and snow has begun to fall in some areas.  Autumn is still here with the falling leaves and crisp but not quite cold air.  In the Midwest of the United States we’re in a transition of seasons.  The change of seasons is one of the reasons I love living where I do.

The wildlife in my backyard is also getting ready for the coming winter.  A squirrel nabbed a fallen apple from the neighbor’s tree and “hid” it in the big spruce tree in our yard, ready to carry it to its nest.

I love this in between time of year.

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Falling In Love With Cologne

Thank you, Charlotte, for reminding me that three years ago today I fell in love with Cologne.

Tourists, of course.  Adolf Hitler presented one of his speeches from the balcony of this hotel.  No one seems to take notice.  Seemed eerie to me.

The city was quaint, huge, filled with history, and overall very friendly.  The countries and cities as a whole during our Rhine River adventure were so very much different from my experiences in the United States.  Cologne, however, made a very big impression on me.

The Compatible.  A Russian ensemble made up of accordions, a tuba and a violin.  Ah, the sounds heard across the square!  Charlotte and I stood in awe, even brought to tears for the glory of it.  I bought the CD they were offering.  Who could resist?

Cologne?  Does that word ring a bell to those enamored by fragrances?  Of course we visited the shop that sells the original Eau de Cologne, a fragrance originally mixed in Cologne, Germany in 1709.  Of course I had to buy some, and when the bottle is used up I’ll return to Cologne, Germany to get some more.  BTW, it’s a glorious scent.

I ration it, although I know I shouldn’t.  Who wouldn’t like smelling like this every day of their lives?!

Of course, who could ignore the Cologne Cathedral?  Imagination doesn’t even begin to tell the story of this magnificent structure and the things contained within it.


“Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880.[6] The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires. The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world. The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church.[7]”  ~ Wikipedia

So, it’s ancient, and filled with treasures and the remains of important people acting in the Roman Catholic faith.  Tombs and jewels and relics ~ oh my!  It was so utterly awesome, like take-your-breath-away awesome, and I’ll never forget it.  The art within the cathedral’s walls was stunning.

Of course, Cologne, Germany is not only about perfume and music and architecture.  OK, so it mostly is, but I will never forget partaking in the best cherry cheesecake I’ve ever had.  Charlotte and I sat at a café/bakery on the square and savored that cheesecake more than any cheesecake we’d had before.  We hadn’t had any like it, and we never will, unless we return to Cologne.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood of Germany, be sure to stop at Cologne.  There are so many memories (and photos) I have but couldn’t contain them all in one blog post.  So much history, food, music, architecture, and really nice people.  The “Old Country” made so many new experiences for me, and I treasure them so.

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Buy It Friday is a nice addition to Auntie B’s blogging adventures. Not only does it give me the opportunity to show some of my fabulous products, it gives you the chance to buy those products directly from this site. Just click the “Pay With PayPal” button and pay with your PayPal account or a credit card. Easy Peasy!

Rock and roll was born before me, and will probably die after me.  There are so many legends in the field of rock and roll, but I curated a set of six of my favorites.

Rock and Roll Legends: Mick Jagger, Ozzie Osbourne, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, and Jerry Garcia


Rock out kids!  (You’re kids as long as you can get into Rock and Roll.  That means you can be at least 80 years old!)  You can get these drink charms for your next party.  Claim your favorite.

If you’re a rock and roll fan and like to throw parties, these drink charms are totally for you.  Mark your stemmed glass or mug with the artist of your choice.

Play the classics and serve up the libations at your next party.


Rock Legends Drink Charms ~ Set of 6

Drink charms have never been so much fun! Slip these little beauties on the stem of your glass or handle of your mug and you'll be able to keep track of your drink all night long. A blessing for germophobes and hostesses alike! No mistaken glasses and no need to use more than one glass per guest throughout the evening. Genius! Each set contains six (6) drink charms. Images are cut by hand before being affixed to flattened bottle caps with archival quality adhesive, then sealed with resin. Each of the six charms will have its own unique bead color. The colors of the beads are at the discretion of Auntie B and subject to availability (may differ from those shown in the pictures). The charms come on a white cardboard label describing the use of drink charms and the names of the images included. The Rock Legends set includes: Mick Jagger, Ozzie Osbourne, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, and Jerry Garcia Each bottle cap charm is approximately 1 1/4" (3.17 cm) diameter These charms are not dishwasher safe but can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.


Price includes shipping within the US only. If you’re outside the US and would like to purchase, please contact me at auntiebswax4u@yahoo.com and I’ll provide an adjusted price.

Auntie B has many other things for sale in the Etsy shop. You can also seem me in person at these venues.

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Tonight is the Blue Moon.  If you don’t know what a blue moon is, Google it.

The Blue Moon brings memories to me, sparks inspirations, and swirls up romance.

Listen to the first artists to record the beautiful song Blue Moon.



Wishing you a love of your own.

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Warning: This Post Is Kind Of Gross

I’m sick.

I’ve been sick for five days now.

It started with lethargy and a cough that sent fumes that smelled like cauliflower into my nasal cavity.  I had eaten no cauliflower.  The cough became more severe and very productive.

Then came the sniffles, which led to a lot of sneezing in addition to the coughing.  I’m a very noisy sick person.

Before I knew it sniffling was no longer possible as the mucus in my sinuses had become thick globules of snot that refused to be blown out by force.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t try, which attempts put me in fear of blowing my eyeballs out of their sockets.

There was a fever early on, but it never was over 100°.  At least it put some roses in my cheeks.  My temperature got back to normal after a couple of days with the help of some fever-reducing blue pills.  I also took some antihistamine, but that didn’t do much except convince me it was keeping that gunky stuff locked in my sinuses, which I want extinguished as soon as possible.

The exertion caused by the coughing and sneezing started making my back, chest and stomach muscles ache, and soon I couldn’t do either without bending over from simple muscle pain.

My head is still clogged, which has led to a throbbing sensation at the base of my nose between the eyes, a severe loss of hearing, and a slight bit of dizziness.

Fortunately, I’ve had Husby to look after me.  He leaves me alone when I want to be left alone.  He feeds me when I’m hungry.  He doesn’t dry heave when I make all the sick noises I tend to make.  He knows exactly how to make things as good as they can be short of waving a magic wand and making it all go away.

“The Dangers of Influenza are manifold, but they can be avoided or minimized by correctly fortifying the system. The use of a pure and wholesome stimulant is approved and recommended by medical men, and analytical tests of ‘Black & White’ Scotch Whisky have justified their recommendations. You can be sure of these distinctive medicinal qualities by purchasing BLACK & WHITE Scotch Whisky.”

I’m still coughing and sneezing, but not as much as when this nightmare began.  My head is stuffed with what seems like a bowl of thick ass-pick aspic my mother-in-law used to make – slimy, gelatinous, and so very distasteful.  I’m deaf as a post and have to walk with a wide gait to prevent from tipping over for dizziness.

Today Husby woke up coughing and feeling unrested after a full night’s sleep.  As the day is wearing on he feels more listless and is coughing more.

The care-giving torch is being passed.  It’s time for me to buck up.

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