Sunday, January 23, 2011


One of the shows that I watch when I'm really bored or awake late at night is Hoarders.  If you haven't seen this program yet, believe me it can really make you think about the stuff you have in your own house.  Everytime I see this I begin to panic about the sheer number of THINGS I have cluttering up my house - and even in the middle of the night, I tend to get right up and go pick up some things to toss into the trash.

Attic 20 years ago when I moved in
It's so easy to accumulate 'things' that just seem either too good to toss in the garbage or sentimental to pass on to someone else.  I got a laugh this past week when looking through some old photos of my attic right after I moved in and compared it to how it looks today.  Well, it is funny, but then again.....not so much.  Over the course of 20 years I've managed to clutter up the space with bits and pieces of things that seemed to make sense keeping at the time.  Extra ceiling tiles, old doors and moulding trim, old suitcases, 3 or 4 christmas trees, 4 or 5 boxes of holiday decorating stuff (note here that I haven't decorated for the holidays in over 5 years now), an old gas heater and a bunch of stuff that mom and dad left here when they moved to Florida several years ago. 

Attic 2011 - where did it all come from?
So this month I'm challenging myself to lessen the burden of my attic and see if it can't be put back into some sense of spaciousness. Let's see if I can report back here with success in 3 or 4 weeks.

Yesterday was a bright, sunny 17 degree day here in northeast Ohio and I took every advantage of the sunshine to try to perk myself up a bit.  I got out of the house fairly early and headed up to the Countryside Conservancy Indoor Farm Market at the Old Trail School on Ira Road.  This was the first indoor market this winter and I looked forward to finding some fresh winter vegetables. 

I think everyone was surprised to see that the place was packed with people - and packed EARLY!  By the time I arrived most of the good stuff was already gone.  I still ended up with some rapini, a couple sweet potatoes, a wedge of locally produced havarti cheese and some badly needed fresh eggs from Brunty Farms.  I had a nice chat with the people from Red Run Bison Farm when I picked up a nice strip steak to try, and a friendly chat with Kevin Noon, the gentleman that does on-site knife sharping.  Sad to say I missed out on most of the items on my shopping list. 

Pasture raised egg next to mega
egg farm produced
Well, too bad. I mentioned above that I was in need of eggs and now that I've become a "local" egg shopper, it's not as easy to get a dozen when I want them.  Two weeks ago I had to find some eggs at the grocery to do some baking with and I thought I'd take this opportunity to show you what the difference is in these. 

I cooked a couple eggs today for my breakfast and grabbed one from the mega-grocer and one that I picked up yesterday at the market.  Just by looking you can see there is a difference. The egg on the right is the egg from Brunty Fams where the chickens are pasture raised on good feed.  Compared to the lighter yellow of the other egg, it simply looks more appealing, don't you think? 

Earl Klugh at Stage Door in Akron
Saturday evening my friend Bev and I headed out for the evening to celebrate her birthday.  We stopped at The Office for a nosh and a glass of wine and then back downtown to EJ Thomas' Stage Door to spend an hour with jazz guitarist Earl Klugh. This was a solo appearnce for Mr. Klugh and it was what we've come to appreciate from a Stage Door performance, both professional and yet intimate.  With mentors like Chet Atkins and George Benson, this man is definately in his element.  With tunes ranging from American Standards like The Shadow of Your Smile, jazz standard 'Round Midnight and a nod to South American Bosa Nova and some blues tossed in to round out the hour or so that he played to this sell out crowd.  This was an enjoyable, friendly evening.

Mr. Klugh is traveling to Japan and Asia for the next couple of months - but be sure to look for his CDs (there are several at the Akron Public Library) and for him to return next year or the year after.

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