Yard Sale Memories

A few weeks ago, the Mr. and I helped his mother with a yard sale of epic proportions.

The picture doesn’t quite do it justice, but trust me–there was a lot of stuff.  And that pic above was taken near the end of the second day.  Yep, I said second day–the sale went on for three days!  Apparently that’s the norm here in Brockport–yard sales start on Thursdays and end Saturdays; who knew, right?  In the end it turned out to be totally worth it for my MIL (I’m not sure what the final total was, but it was definitely over $600), so we were glad to help out.

Plus, the best part was that it was like a mini trip down memory lane.  How’s that possible when none of the stuff belonged to the Mr. or to me?  Well, mostly because of this:

Mom and Devri–do you remember that?!  See, when I was growing up, we had that exact same TV mounted underneath the corner cabinet in our kitchen.  It was black and white, and you had to twist the knobs on the right to change the channel . . . totally wild, right?!  Oh, the olden days . . .

Of course, we weren’t the only house on the block hosting a yard sale.  It just so happened that the neighbors next door were having one as well.  Now, even though their’s was quite a bit more focused on antiques, we still had to go over and scope out the competition.  But instead of it being a strict reconnaissance mission, it may have turned into a plain old shopping outing.  Yep–seeing greener grass is always dangerous–it led to me begging asking the Mr. to go back over and buy me something . . . what, you ask?  Well, I have a slight addiction to mirrors.  Yep, mirrors.  I’m not sure if that says something about me (narcissistic personality disorder maybe?), but there it is–I just like ’em.  So when I saw this one, and the price tag (only $25), I knew I had to have it.

And seeing how the Mr. lives and breathes to make me happy (right Bunches?!), he went and got it for me.  But, being the shrewd businessman that he is, he talked the guy down to only $20!  Not bad, eh?  Can’t you just see it with the frame painted in a high gloss white?  or maybe black?  or maybe even a bright poppy yellow?

Anyone else doing yard sales this summer?  I have a feeling this won’t be our last foraging adventure–now that we have to furnish a whole house, I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of the Mr. showing off his newly bargained-for wares . . . stay tuned!

Oh, and seriously–what’s your vote on what color I should paint the mirror frame?

Spring has Sprung!

Yet another housing update.  From yesterday, you know that we finally heard back on our offer.  And, like we thought yesterday, we did end up making a counter-offer of $178k for the Carport Castle (I’m thinking that might be its new name . . . sounds classy, right?  or wrong?).  So thus far this isn’t much of an update, but more of a regurgitation.  So here’s the actual update: we’ve heard nothing.  Consider yourself updated.  But, we do have an appointment to see it again this Saturday, and this time we’re bringing flashlights and a critical eye (not sure if it will be mine or the Mr.’s yet).  Maybe we’ll even get more pics to share . . . but, until then, here’s a little post to disprove my family’s theory that Buffalo is covered in snow year-round.

Yes–this is a thermometer.  Yes–it works.  Yes–it’s in Fahrenheit.  Yes–the reading is 102 degrees.  And YES–it made that reading while being outside in Brockport, NY just this past week!  Take that naysayers!!

Brockport Reaches 100 Degrees!

And, because this was not a one-time-flash-heat-freak-of-nature-type occurence, that means that this has finally happened:

Rochester Blooming

. . . and this . . .

Brockport Blooming

. . . and this . . .

Morning Dew

Basically, the Mr. was right–spring has EXPLODED in Upstate New York and it’s absolutely gorgeous.  We got our fill this past weekend at Rochester’s annual Lilac Festival (which is currently ongoing for anyone who’s interested–it runs from May 13 through the 22nd this year, and best of all: it’s FREE).  You can see and smell not only all different types of lilacs, but tons of other blooming beauties as well . . .

Lilacs

More Lilacs

The smell was intoxicating . . .

Stop and smell the lilacs

The flowers on this magnolia tree were bigger than my head (and that’s saying a lot)!

Huge flower

Isn’t nature incredible?

Magnolia bloom

There was also a huge array of tulips to marvel at, and marvel we did.

All in all, the lilac festival was a great time, and despite the threat of thunderstorms, there was a pretty sizeable crowd present:

Lilac Festival Crowd

So take that family–see all those tanktops, shorts, and open-toed shoes! 🙂

Buy Local Moose!

Every Saturday, flocks of people head to the Rochester Market to browse, shop, eat, and get a bargain.  Moose (my father-in-law) had told us about the pilgrimage, proclaiming how much we would love it because of two things:

  1. A cheese and olive shop where the owners actually made their own olive oil on a small farm in Italy; and
  2. Scores of goods from local farmers and merchants.

Now, Moose basically had us at one word: cheese.  We love the stuff so much that some days we even like to pretend we’re European and dine on a crusty baguette, a few varied cheeses, and a robust Cabernet for dinner.  Of course, we probably eat way more of it in one sitting than most Europeans, and we doubt that Yancey’s Fancy Buffalo Wing Cheddar usually makes the cut on most Parisian tables, but still—we at least like to pretend we’re refined.  (Yancey’s Fancy is a local cheese producer located about mid-way between Buffalo and Brockport; they make a wide variety of cheddars, all of which are available at Wegman’s, so needless to say that when Mr. Bunches caught a glimpse of a combo of Buffalo Wings and Cheddar Cheese, you know it ended up coming home with us.)

So off we headed to Rochester one Saturday afternoon in hopes of snagging some awesome cheese, and maybe some local booty too.  I’ve always loved a good farmer’s market, and in Boston you can easily get spoiled by the sheer number of them that descend upon the city every April . . . I even had one right outside my office, so buying local was simple (which was a good thing since Mr. Bunches wasn’t always up for farmer’s markets—whenever I would spot one on our travels around town, he liked to say it was closed and we’d have to go another time . . . real nice, huh?  But one of our agreements upon moving to NY was that every market was going to be “open” from now on.  That’s right—Mr. Bunches was going to become a farmer’s market groupie . . . I wonder if that might look something like Vacation Bunches?)

First stop: Cheese Store (which we learned upon arriving was called VM Giordano Imports) where the sheer variety was overwhelming.  And with free tastes of anything they had, we probably could have spent hours in there!

VM Giordano Import and Cheese Shop

And of course, Moose knew the owner, so we got tastes of everything and left the place with about a pound of cheese (we chose Manchego and an aged goat cheese), a bunch of olives, and some fresh-pressed olive oil from that little farm in Italy he’d told us about.  This place was awesome—you could even order fresh made sandwiches in the back (they had a whole assortment of imported meats, pastas,  you name it . . . it was quite the gourmet find).  Score one for the Moose!

VM Giordano's

Now, Moose says it’s only open on Saturdays, the market day, but I’m not so sure he has that right . . . okay, I just checked their site and they have open hours on Thursdays as well.  Phew.  Crisis averted.

After gorging ourselves on all that is good from cows, goats, and sheep, we headed into the market to peruse the “local” goods Moose promised.  Now, since Moose already delivered on some pretty outstanding cheese, I had to cut him a little slack on his definition of local.  I don’t know if we just haven’t been to the right parts of Western New York, but I haven’t seen a single citrus tree yet . . .

Rochester Market Citrus Fruits

Sorry to burst your bubble Moose!  But all was not lost . . . some of the vendors were in fact local.  And one was our most favorite type of vendor: WINE!  Nothing like some northern NY wine to go with that pound of cheese we just picked up, right?

Thousand Islands Wine

And with free tastings, how can you go wrong?!  Moose was on quite the generous kick and bought us a bottle of our favorite: Thousand Islands Merlot.  I’m thinking it might get even better with age, so we’re probably going to hold onto it for a little while.

Thousand Islands Merlot

And yes, that’s another Mozzeroni’s box in the back . . . we just can’t seem to get enough of the good stuff!

So all in all, the trip to the market was definitely worthwhile, and I can’t wait to see how it expands during the summer months . . . with all the fertile land in WNY, I’m sure the local produce offerings will grow exponentially.  Until then, at least now I know a good place to pick up some beans:

Married to Snow White?

I think I may have married Snow White . . . I don’t know what it is, but animals just flock to Mr. Bunches.  We woke up this morning, and he called me off the treadmill so I could see this in the backyard:

And the other day, he called me on my way home from work–he had just arrived home to find 5 deer in the front yard and Woody the Woodpecker in the back yard . . . not quite the same as this . . .

. . . but still.  He does like to whistle while he works . . .

Fine Dining: Brockport Style

With the move to WNY, we’ve made some pretty hard sacrifices: saying goodbye to family and friends; leaving the comfort of our cozy condo; relegating almost all of our belongings to the company of snakes and carpet rolls . . . but all of that just might pale in comparison to the loss of one of our most favorite weekly (and sometimes bi- or tri-weekly) activities:

New Rod Dee

So of course our friends and family mean more to us than thai food, but believe me, this place is crazy good.  New Rod Dee has the BEST Pad Thai ever.  Ever.  Oh, and Tom Yum Noodle Soup–if you’re feeling sick or you’ve got a cold coming on, this soup is literally a magic cure.  I’m talking real MAGIC, people!  We ordered takeout from there at least once a week, sometimes twice a week.  Sigh.

BUT, no sense dwelling on the past right?!  While we haven’t found a thai place (or really any ethnic food) in Brockport (unless you count HO HO Grand Buffet, which I refuse to go to based on the name alone), we have found some excellent pizza & wing establishments in town.  Shocking, I know–good wings and pizza in NY?  No way.  Our first taste of WNY pizza came from Main Street Pizza, aptly located on Main Street.  Now, as many of you may know, I can be picky about the quality of my food, and new pizza adventures can sometimes be treacherous–I have to say that our pizza trials in Boston inevitably all ended in failure (which is probably why we ended up starting our own pizza place, but I digress).  Right before we moved, we tried Naked Pizza, the new Pizzeria Regina in Allston, and Little Pizza King.  We wouldn’t recommend any (although the original Pizzeria Regina in the North End is excellent).

Okay, but back to Brockport . . . Main Street Pizza was a nice surprise: the crust was just right (thin, but not too thin, with a crispy, chewy edge) and fresh toppings.  Oh, and then there’s the Buffalo Wings–meaty, spicy, with just the right amount of sauce . . . mmm.  Yum.  So, of course, thinking that we just had beginner’s luck, we decided to just keep ordering from there, for surely Brockport must suffer from the same good-pizza-shortage that afflicts Boston?  But no–we can plainly say, it does NOT!

In fact, Moose convinced Mr. Bunches to try out Mozzeroni’s for the allegedly homemade sauce.  I say allegedly, because as former restaurant owners, we know that there are lots of products out there advertising themselves as homemade, but really, unless someone’s living in a factory, I’m not buying it.  But in this case, Mr. Bunches attested to the home-brewed goodness of Mozzeroni’s sauce–he saw them making it right in the store!  And I can attest to the taste–totally fantastic:

Mmm . . . sausage and cheese (it would have also had green peppers, but apparently that was too complicated for Moose to order–he kept saying pepperoni instead of peppers . . . wonder why that is? 🙂 ) We both agreed that the pizza from Mozzeroni’s just edged out Main Street Pizza, but not by much.  And the wings? (Yes–apparently now Mr. Bunches has decided that every time we order pizza, we need to get a dozen wings too . . . I’m not so sure how that happened, but I’m going with it.)  Well, MSP’s wings were hands-down better than Mozzeroni’s–the MSP ones were just so much meatier.  And you know we love us some meat.

First Stop: Brockport!

You know how when you’re growing up, you picture where you’ll be in your 30s . . . maybe married, with a couple kids, a dog, living possibly in the suburbs of some great city?  What you probably never thought was that you’d be living in your mother-in-law’s house, in a small village in Upstate Western New York called Brockport (I’ve been here a month now and have learned that I don’t live in Upstate New York, but rather in Western New York–big difference, but more on that later), with 90% of your belongings in a snake-infested warehouse.  But what you probably never could have guessed is how much you’d like it!

So here we are, back in Mr. Bunches’ hometown, and so far–the reviews are good.  We’ve only started exploring, and I hope to post some of our discoveries soon . . . there’s a lot to say about Small Town America.  Of course, only recently has the weather started to cooperate–since we moved here on March 14th, we’ve had snow, ice, fog, rain, sun, wind . . . you name it, we’ve had it.  I’ve even experienced all of those in one day during my commute!  (One of the only drags about living in B’port is my 1+ hour commute to Buffalo every day, but knowing that it’s just temporary makes it bearable.)  But now I’m just willing it to be Spring, and Mother Nature seems to be cooperating:

It might not seem like much, but it’s something.  Mr. Bunches says that Spring explodes here–the trees can be bare one week and then everything will be in full bloom the next week.  I’m thinking the explosion will happen during our upcoming trip to the west coast, and we’ll come back to a lush green oasis (I can dream, right?).  Sigh.

But for now, here’s a picture of the M.I.L.’s home that she has so graciously offered us while we house-hunt in and around Buffalo.  Lucky for her she has a new home on Lake Ontario, so she doesn’t have to deal with us crazy kids 30-somethings, but we are so, so, so thankful to have such a great place to stay!  Isn’t it purdy?!  I’ve never lived in a single-family home before (growing up in NoVA meant lots of pretty great townhouses for us):

Now if we could just get that temperature dial to inch up a bit more . . .

House*Tweaking

Goodbye Boston, Hello Buffalo!

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