Category Archives: Personal Rant

I really hate to do this…

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Well, folks, I’ve considered it a lot lately, and I think I’ve decided to export Creative Chronicle over to Blogger for a bit. I’m just starting to feel really limited with what I can do with the blog and what I can/can’t have with WordPress.

I’m still in the process of re-working the design, but I do hope you will visit me at the new site while I decide to try it out. If all else fails, I will return to old faithful here, but I’m going to throw caution to the wind and give blogger a shot.

NEW LINK:

http://mycreativechronicle.blogspot.com/

UPDATE:

Scratch that! I’ve decided to go ahead and take it a step further – I’ve got my own domain now…You’ll find the blog you love here now:

http://www.mycreativechronicle.com/ 

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Lucasville Swap Meet & a Visit to The Ribber

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The Lucasville Swap Meet is a Southern Ohio gem and one of my favorite summer traditions. It’s held three times a year at the Scioto County Fair Grounds – this year being the second weekend in April, the first weekend in June, and the second weekend of October. There have been times when I have slept in my clothes the night before just to get up early enough to be in Lucasville before the crowd hits. I should have done that this past weekend, because by the time we made it to Lucasville, parking was outrageous. We had to hike a little to get to the fair grounds, but it was well worth it. Swap Days are only held on Saturday and Sunday, and most vendors try to start packing up around 2:00 on Sunday, so get there early! It’s only a little over an hour’s drive for me, but thousands of people travel from out of state just to attend this ginormous event.

What is the Swap Meet, you ask? Well, it’s only miles and miles of the most interesting and varied goodies. You can literally find anything here from live peacocks to an early edition of a comic book. It’s like the best flea market you’ve ever been to got stretched out so far that it takes your whole day to see every booth or vendor, and even then you’re not sure you saw everything.

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Yes, they even have some taxidermy. Creepy, but fun. More often than the taxidermy though, they have live animals. Tons and tons and TONS of live animals, and I don’t just mean cats and dogs (although there are plenty of those!). Like I said, there are peacocks, but there are also parrots, teacup pigs, pygmy goats, flying squirrels, baby raccoons, baby skunks that have had the stinky gland removed…and one of our personal favorites… SUGAR GLIDERS!

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Check out his adorable white cowboy hat! I found it rather cute that his sister was wearing a beaded necklace. These little critters are just too adorable. We got to hold them both and watch them “fly” to Mister and myself. Mister wants one so terribly bad, but I just can’t help but picture them as a very expensive toy for the cats. They are adorable though and incredibly soft!

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This is Ava! She wasn’t for sale, but we spotted her crawling circles inside a tire at a vendor’s booth. Their son had left her with them the night before so they were babysitting this precious turtle and were more than happy to show her off to us. They let her out onto the grass to show us her speed, and I’ve definitely never seen a turtle move that fast. Mister has two turtles – a paint turtle and a box turtle – and while I have no idea what kind of turtle Ava is, I do know she will get to be much bigger than either of ours. The vendors told us that Ava would be upwards of 300-500 pounds, and that their son had others that big at home. I can’t even imagine!

But there aren’t just animals at the Swap Meet. It’s also home to some of the strangest goodies you can find. Things you never expect to see. Like this…

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At the same booth as Ava, I spotted this treasure poking out from between some other household items. I couldn’t help but go into nerdy girl mode, grabbing Mister and going, “Austen…that’s Jane Austen…oh…my…Jane…” while trying not to jump with joy at this ornate find. How much did the Jane Austen tile door hanger set me back? Oh, a big whopping 50 cents. My absolute favorite find of the day.

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I guess since I was all hyped up in English Major glory at the find of the Jane Austen hanger, it took everything in me not to pull out a permanent marker to correct this to “PEN”, but I still couldn’t help but get a giggle out of it. Only at the Swap Meet…

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I’m pretty sure this guy never ages. He’s been at the Swap Meet since I started coming when I was younger. He never changes a bit. He’s a walking talking infomercial for these as seen on tv knives, and if you stick around for the demo, you’ll get a free knife and maybe even a juicer gadget. We definitely came home with a couple of free knives. 🙂

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Here’s Mister (toting my pink “satchel” – isn’t he cute?) digging through some nifty kitchen utensils. I’m pretty impressed with the spatula he’s holding, since with the press of a lever it fans out to three spatulas to flip some extra big burgers. Can’t wait to try it out!

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It’s all kinds of people from all walks of life selling all sorts of random things…from the hippies I bought my new favorite purse from, to seeing the lawn game that was discontinued for being too dangerous (and seriously considering purchasing it if we’d had a little more cash), to the spice man who gave me the excellent idea to add mango extract to my next batch of homemade bread. The experiences you have at the Lucasville Swap Meet are one of a kind. We may not have bought much, but it’s the fun of searching through odds and ends and meeting all sorts of new people. What did we come home with? Well, here’s a photo of our total haul:

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And now for the other part of our trip! – THE RIBBER!!!

About 10 miles back down the road from Lucasville, we made our stop for dinner in Portsmouth, Ohio. Normally we’d stop at a little diner named Hickie’s, but being Sunday it was closed. I knew of one other place I was dying to go, since it’s rare that we are up that way. A couple of months ago, my family discovered The Ribber thanks to some co-workers suggesting it to my sister. We didn’t know what to expect when we finally found the place. A small building off the main road a little ways and close to the river. There didn’t seem to be much special about the building itself, just a brick building in small town Ohio.

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You might not even give this place a second glance…if it weren’t for the arsenal of smokers they have going out back, 3-4 going on a regular basis for the restaurant and their own fleet of portables ready to go when needed. When I first saw the smokers a few months ago, I knew there was going to be something worthwhile about this place, and believe me, I was right. We’ve been making trips to Portsmouth ever since just to come eat at The Ribber. The best part about getting to go after the Swap Meet was that Mister had only ever tasted their food when I would bring it home for him. This time he would get the full Ribber experience in person.

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Even on the inside, you start to wonder what has people so crazy about  this place. Sure, it’s a small local restaurant with as many seats crammed in as humanly possible and a bar that seems to always have every stool full. It’s dimly lit and packed to the brim with all the small town characters you’d expect. But what makes The Ribber such a hit?

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The first time my family and I went, there was a rather long wait for our food, but even the menu warns that that will usually be the case because of the smoking process. It just had us curious because people were tripping all over themselves to get into this place, so wouldn’t they balk at a long wait for their dinner? Why would people keep coming back if they had to wait so long? …Well, let me tell you this, and believe me even this is an understatement…it is worth every single minute you wait for your food. There is absolutely nothing better. I have never been more impressed with a little local restaurant than how blown away I was by the Ribber.

Why was it so impressive? Well, unfortunately when I first went, I only had my iPod to take a picture of my food… which by the way was a 32oz ribeye that I split with my mother. It comes as two 16oz ribeyes, but I really wish there’d been a scale handy because I’m pretty sure everything weighed double what they say it does. There was no way even between the two of us we could finish it off. We ended up taking one whole steak home and splitting it again at another meal. Let’s see if I can dig up a handy dandy iPod photo of this bad boy…

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Doesn’t  even begin to do it justice, but quite literally one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. It’s even better if you ask for a cup of the “drippin’s”, basically the au jus of delicious steak juices. Incredible.

So to start our meal off, Mister and I ordered a cheeseball appetizer. I know, right? A restaurant serving a cheese ball as an appetizer. You don’t see that very often. Usually you just see the ones you make at home to bring to parties, but oh buddy…is this one delicious cheeseball. I’m not sure what they are doing to it that makes it so different from cheeseballs we’ve made at home, but whatever they are doing, they are doing it RIGHT.

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As tempting as it was to get the steak as I’ve done every single other time I’ve visited The Ribber, I finally opted to try something new. Both my sister and my father have had their “ribs” and highly enjoyed them. I exaggerate the “ribs” with quotation marks because these aren’t exactly what you think of when someone just tells you ribs. Ribs, those bony little things you have to eat like a whole rack of to get full, right? No. Not at all. Not at The Ribber, no sir, cause that’s just not how they do things. Don’t look at the menu and say, “Two piece rib dinner? Pshhh…forget that. Give me five.” That would be an overwhelming mistake. Why? Because these ribs are country style and about the size of pork chops.

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Again, I ate for two days on my dinner. Although, I can’t help but giggle because one of my ribs seems to be shaped like a rather lewd anatomical part. Sorry! Had to say it! You know you were thinking it, too. Anyway, I also adore those wonderful Ribber fries, the crispy fried potatoes that are somewhere between a chip and a french fry. Delicious! The Ribber is one of a kind, and the food will definitely have you coming back for more. It’s certainly worth the trip.

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All in all, a very fun and fantastic day we shared at the Swap Meet and Ribber. I’d consider it a success. Oh, and check out our matching tie dye shirts from the previous Creative Chronicle post! Aren’t we just a-dork-able? Until next time, go out and have some adventures of your own (or come to the next Swap Meet and have some adventures with us!) !

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Our Hippie Dippie Easter

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–Otis says Happy Easter in his adorable Easter bow tie–

You should see the amount of projects piling up around here, finished and unfinished. There are so many special events happening all at once. One friend has a birthday next week and really wants one of the Secret Compartment Wooden Book Boxes. Another friend’s wedding shower is coming up in just a couple short months, and I’ve already had to go back to the drawing board on my gift because I’d be ashamed to show you all what an epic crochet fail I had (twice). Then i have another friend who recently found out she’s about to have a baby girl (so exciting!), which means dozens of baby projects (I already have two blankets in progress). So many projects, so little time!

When Easter rolled around, it was nice to take a day off to do something different for a change. For the first year ever, my family didn’t do the mad dash cleaning and cooking spree. Instead, we packed up some finger foods and sandwich goodies, and we were off to the lake for an Easter picnic. Mister and myself made these excellent “Pig Skins” – potato boats with pulled pork inside. Delicious! (I apologize for iPod photos here, I didn’t pull out my fantastic camera until the picnic, and by then the pig skins were gobbled up!)

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We all went on a hike around the lake with my little niece toting all of her bug catching equipment I’d picked out for her family Easter basket – the one that doesn’t come from the bunny. As excited as she was to wave around her little net and try to catch butterflies, she wasn’t nearly as excited when we spotted this millipede creeping through the leaves.

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I am pretty proud of her though. When we had hiked for awhile and everyone else wanted to turn back, she wanted to keep on exploring. She is just too cute.

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When we got home, Mister and I figured the weather was still perfect enough for a little tie dye extravaganza. We filled up the bottles, tied up some shirts, and set to work! It’s been almost a year since our last Hippie Tie Dye Adventure.

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Here’s Mister hard at work on a splatter painted shirt:

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Even the paper towels we used to clean up the mess looked neat and psychedelic, so we dried them out to reuse later in some project.

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All in all, I think the shirts turned out pretty cool. Wish mine had had a little less white, but Mister wrapped them a little too tight. I won’t even show you our epic  fail at tie dyeing the big fluffy robes I’d wanted to dye then embroider. Needless to say, those will need to be redone. The shirts however are ready to be worn in all their hippie glory.

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Hope your Easter was as much fun as ours! Oh, and here’s a peek at the Easter basket I made for Mister. You can never go wrong with wine 😉

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Our Visit to Hocking Hills

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Our Visit to Hocking Hills

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Last weekend, Mister, Otis, and I took off for the day to visit some of Mister’s family and let them meet our adorably furry bundle of joy. We had planned on the possibility of getting to visit Hocking Hills State Park since we were so near, but the weather didn’t act like it was going to allow it. Finally, after the last big storm blew through, the sun came out in all its glory and the doplar didn’t show anything else coming near us. We packed up the puppy, and we all took off down the road. I was especially excited since this would be my first visit to Hocking Hills after hearing so much about it. I was used to hiking at Lake Vesuvius near home, and the only time I’ve experienced hiking and caves together was the almost yearly field trip we’d take in elementary school to Carter Caves. Hocking doesn’t have the same kinds of caves though, with only one “true” cave – the Rock House – which we didn’t get a chance to visit. These are recess caves, carved out through many years of glaciers and erosion. They are full of these beautiful naturnal waterfalls, sandstone beaches, and history.

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We got to visit Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave during the few hours we were visiting the park. Ash cave is the easier walk, and is even wheelchair accessible, but I really enjoyed all of the twists and turns of Old Man’s Cave. Around every corner was a new waterfall, and I went absolutely crazy with the camera. Here’s Mister and I at what I believe are the Upper Falls of Old Man’s Cave:

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There’s really so much to explore, but do be careful…there are very few handrails and plenty of slippery cliffs. Here’s Tamie and Rob investigating in a rather slippery spot:

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Tamie is even working on a children’s book that is set in Hocking Hills and includes several of the park’s geographical features and native plants and wildlife. It’s an adorable tale that I can’t wait to see published!

In between the two caves we visited, we got to stop by the park’s bird conservatory, home to a gorgeous great horned owl and a one-winged red tailed hawk (hoping we can go back and learn his story!). The owl kept his eyes on our little Otis the whole time, making him rather nervous to get too close, but I think we got the perfect shots of both feathered friends.

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Ash Cave has one of the most breathtaking waterfalls of the park, and the cave floor feels much like a beach, a quality Otis rather enjoyed. He left his little paw prints everywhere he could.

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Otis was such a trooper all day and barely ever had to be carried. He climbed rocks, walked across fallen trees, and ended the day a muddy mess. He definitely slept the entire way home without a single complaint.

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It really was a wonderful visit, and I only wish we had been able to stay longer and explore more. I’m certain we’ll be heading back soon though. Plenty more to see! I thought it was fitting though that we ended our visit by playing our hiking game of finding hearts formed in nature (our last visit to Lake Vesuvius had us finding heart shaped mushrooms and heart shaped rock openings). At the end of our visit to Hocking Hills, we spotted this heart formation. Until next time…   😉

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We’d like to introduce you…

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Mister and I would like to introduce you to our precious new addition to our family – Otis Bartholomew Percival Doodle Remy! Oh yes, quite the big name for such a small dog, but we like to make him feel super special. Mister and I had wanted a pug so badly, it bordered on obsession. I had pug slippers, pug purses, pug salt n pepper shakers, and more all before we ever had Otis. It’s taken us almost a year since we started looking, but we finally have him, and he really just fell into our laps. Our Valentine’s Day was less than spectacular since I worked all morning and afternoon, and Mister worked from afternoon until late at night. Needless to say, we didn’t celebrate. The day after though, we had a few fun things planned, but first Mister needed to run to our Walmart to go to the bank. As we rounded the corner of the parking lot, I spotted a woman holding a small pug puppy up in the air (think Lion King style here). As I later found out, she’d been there less than ten minutes before we pulled up. She was supposed to get her female pug fixed before the end of February, but mommy and daddy pug had other plans. This litter was born December 18, 2011. There was only one male – our Otis. Our perfect Valentine’s gift for each other. 

He’s been absolutely perfect. Only 8 weeks old, and he was already potty trained! He’s never even had an accident. He’s Momma’s little boy, that’s for sure. I just can’t get enough of him. I’m probably driving him nutso with all of my constant lovin’ and picture taking. I can’t help it though, he’s too adorable! Especially when he lets me dress him up 😉

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Talk about one embarassed puppy. I make up for it though by spoiling him rotten with the best treats and toys. He’s already claimed a stuffed Mickey as his best friend and will not go to sleep without his little cuddle buddy.  You can’t deny how cute this is…

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No doubt you will be seeing a lot more of Otis around the Creative Chronicle blog. 🙂