Friday, November 30, 2007

News Flash--Bricker Solves Mystery of Moose Milking

Thanks to everyone who put in guesses this week on the big news. Very creative answers. And NO, I am not pregnant. I've got a book coming out called "How Do You Milk a Moose Anyway?" It's a collection of funny stories and columns, some new, some old.
Here's what an initial review had to say about it: "She has a really dry sense of humor, so just about everything she says is funny. She writes on anything you can imagine, from grape stomping to the liquid progesterone she has to put her moody horse on. I loved the book. I'm first in line to buy it when it comes out..."
Thanks to photographer Jay Reiter for his awesome cover photo shown here. I was going for the contemplative look. How'd I do?

Details to follow soon for online ordering of this book for Christmas delivery.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One More Clue

The big news on Friday has something to do with a new enterprise I'm undertaking that relates to this photo. Pregnancy has been ruled out. Moving to Maine has been ruled out. Becoming an actor has been ruled out. Moose stew has been ruled out.

What else could you make from a moose? And what kind of business venture could I have that comes from that?

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What is Going on Here??

Why am I dressed like this? And why is there a moose in the photo?
Here's a hint---it relates to the big annoucement coming soon.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Channeling my Inner Cranky Old Man

I feel like a bit of an old time cranky townie man with this little rant, but I have to get it off my chest. Have you noticed the new top and sign over at Dunkin' Donuts? Nice huh? Here's my issue. So it's nice that they just spent who knows how much to make it look fresh and new, but here's an idea--why didn't they invest that $$ to fix the traffic pattern? I know I'm not the only one who avoids this place because of what a nightmare it is to get in and out. The drive-through is usually backed out onto Portsmouth Avenue and try parking in a regular spot, which is nearly impossible because you have to get around the drive-through people. Forget about trying to get back out onto Portsmouth Avenue when coming out of the drive-through. I always end up trying to make another lap around (through the drive-through people again) so that I can get out by the Globe Plaza.

Okay, I feel better now.

Anyone else feel this way??

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Saga of Fort Rock Farm

I was really bummed out that I couldn't make it to the big ZBA meeting for Fort Rock Farm last Tuesday. No babysitter. Each day I am amazed at the amount of community involvement in the issue. I've been here 10 years and can't remember anything that even comes close. Maybe the Citizens For Smart Growth or whatever the anti-Wal-Mart group was. But even that dims in comparison to the scarcrow brigade.

No matter where I go these days, people are talking about the campaign to save the farm. We stopped in at the Tavern at River's Edge last night for a quick cocktail on the way home from dinner in Newburyport and even days after the meeting, it was all the buzz. Owner Jeff Roth said the issue has been great for business. People flocked to the bar after the meeting last week.

For those who missed what Alex Booth is calling the "near riot" in the downtown by people who couldn't get into the Town Hall, check out the piece by NHPR, which really captured the mood. Click here for the NPR piece.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Young Love

In preparation for their romantic cruise through the waters of Florida next week, Willie and Lynn got together for lunch today. Willie thinks she's cute but is not so sure about her forward and flirtatous ways (Note his skeptical sideways glance at her). Lynn made herself at home with Willie and decided to try a piece of his grilled cheese. To add to the romance, she fed him a graham cracker. Oh young love.

Big News Coming Soon

Big news is on the way on this blog. Here's a hint: I'm not pregnant. Curious? Check back next week for more clues.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Look Ma, No Hands

Turkey, Port and Portugal

We went to Kenny’s brother Brad’s house in Nashua for Thanksgiving. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about what we might eat. Brad’s wife Osvalda is from Portugal and had never cooked a Thanksgiving meal before. I love her Portugese feasts, which have a good quantity of meat (usually cooked in wine or beer with garlic), yummy Portugese sweet bread and wine, followed by dessert (usually made with some form of liquor or cordial), followed by Port.
But Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving.
And you need the mashed potatoes, stuffing, mushed orange vegetable of some kind and cranberry. You know the drill.
So I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What would a Portugese Thanksgiving look like? Would we eat drunk turkey?
We arrived to find the traditional Thanksgiving spread that would have put most cooks to shame. Willie turned on the charm and ate about five boxes of crackers before dinner, so alas I didn’t get to see his reaction to turkey, stuffing or the like. I did however get to see the reaction of someone else experiencing Thanksgiving for the first time. Kenny’s nephew Tim just married a girl from Australia. Her Australian cousin, Tami, was thrilled with Thanksgiving and the desserts. We had the standard fare–apple, pumpkin and mincemeat. But Ozvalda made a traditional Portugese pastry cake that--while I’ll probably be burning it off for the next month due to the butter content--was absolutely amazing.
I was glad that Ozvalda had been willing to embrace our cultural traditions with a Butterball and some spuds. And I was more than willing to embrace hers with a little snifter, or two, of Port. Yeah, twist my arm right? And how about a side of super Portugese pastry cake for the ride home.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Am Thankful For.....

This year I am thankful for the fact that Kenny doesn't dress wee Willie to go out in public often. This morning was my morning to sleep in. We try to trade off on the weekend days so that for at least one day we get to sleep past the crack of dawn.
Just after 8 a.m. I arrived downstairs. Willie had on a red onsie that he outgrew months ago, unbuttoned with the flaps hanging out, paired with aqua blue pants. He looked, well, a bit of a mess.
"What's that?"
"That's a daddy outfit," Ken responded, before going on to explain that Willie had spilled coffee on his other shirt.
"Did you think to button the shirt, or tuck it in?"
He just laughed. "It's a daddy outfit."
Apparently that is supposed to be explanation enough.
Come on Willie, I said. We've got to make you presentable for the official family viewing of the turkey and the little boy.
And folks, this is why men need us in their lives--to make sure their clothes match. And I hope on this momentous day that Kenny (and Willie) are thankful for that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Word on the Holidays

So there we were in the car the other night. I had just made my first official entertaining meal in some time. And it looked and tasted great. I was on a roll.
"I can't wait for Christmas," I told Ken. "I'm going to have so much fun making appetizers. I think I'm going to make little spinach tortilla roll ups that I form into a triangle shape and then slice and put on toothpicks. They'll look like little Christmas trees. Isn't that great?"
He rolled his eyes. "Are you on crack?"
Oh that's right, I said, You're the Christmas crab.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Eating for Two, Again

Lately I've been feeling great sympathy for those women in the before and after shots on those supermarket women's magazines. You know, the stay at home moms that gain like 300 pounds and then have the nice "after" photos where they're skinny and healthy.
Why you ask?
I have two words for you--children's menu.
You know, chicken fingers, fries, grilled cheese, mini pizzas or in the case of Margarita's, goey cheese filled quesadillas.
Willie loves to go out to eat. He especially loves Margaritas. He also likes Applebee's, The Sylvan Street Grill in Salisbury and well, just about any restaurant where he can act cute and flirt with blond waitresses. And of course, eat grilled cheese. Did you ever notice how much better grilled cheese at a restaurant tastes than the one you make at home? Addictive, that's how much better. Willie usually only eats half of his grilled cheese. I usually can't resist eating one piece and then of course feel bad that it would be thrown out if he doesn't eat it. Maybe this is because I had that whole starving children in Africa thing drilled into my head when I was a kid. Who knows, but the next thing you know I've eaten a whole half of his sandwich. Plus my own.
I know this is a slippery slope.
And I'm sliding away. How about those pieces of french toast sticks he doesn't want to eat in the morning? Yummy. What about mac and cheese? Even better.
I'm starting to feel like a crazed pregnant woman eating all sorts of food and blaming it on her cravings. (For the record-NO I AM NOT PREGNANT AGAIN).
I hope you don't pick up Women's World in the near future and see my kid's menu inflated body on the cover advertising the next great fad diet. How about the grilled cheese diet?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another Deli?

My super secret sources tell me this old cabinet shop next to Walgreens may soon become a New York style deli. The good thing is that if you get heartburn from that New York pastrami or other deli delights, a tub of Maalox is only steps away.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

By Land, By Air and By Sea

The ongoing and very visible campaign to Save Fort Rock Farm took to the river this morning. An alert reader and local watchdog snapped this photo of a boat with the Save Fort Rock Farm flag Saturday morning.
With the ZBA meeting only days away, the issue is really heating up. Several billboard-like signs went up on Newfields Road this past week and check out the Ioka too. I just hope I get a seat at the meeting, or atleast can get inside the Town Hall.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Avenue

Exciting news for those of us that love to go out for breakfast but don't have the patience to wait in line at the few spots in town offering an egg and toast. The old Pizza Hut on Portsmouth Avenue is sporting shiny new silver accents on the outside and a nifty new sign went up Friday. Steve's Diner will open soon and one of the owners told me it will be all homemade food. Here's the best part--it's not just breakfast. It will be open for lunch and dinner too. Hooray.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Willie Is Ready for Snow

I got Willie boy a new Thomas the Train hat but it was way too small. He tried on some of grammie's hats instead.

Silence and More Silence

Entering day two of no voice. I thought it was back this morning and although it was not 100 percent, I tried to talk. Bad move. Ten minutes of talking equals another day of a lost voice. Ken thinks he is very funny as he keeps saying "Am I in heaven? It's so quiet here" or "What, did you say something?" Payback is a *@#$% I tell him....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Do We Need More Tacos?

Okay, so we all know this place has some sort of bad luck attached to it, right? I mean every place that goes in here goes out of business. Remember the Li Li? What about the Ho Kong? The New Old Ho Kong? And the Old New Old Ho Kong?
So then why would someone think to start a taco stand less than 1/2 mile from the big shiny new Margarita's up the street? I don't get it. But then again, this is Exeter. If two restaurants of the same ethnic food style couldn't survive within 1/2 mile from each other than there's no explanation for all of the pizza and Chinese food joints in this town. They're still in business.

Can You Hear Me??

I woke up this morning and couldn’t talk. To me, this is almost a fate worse than death.
I’ve never lost my voice before. Being a bit stubborn, I kept trying to talk this morning. But no matter how I tried, the only thing that came out was a horrible rasping sound like someone who’s smoked way too many cigarettes. I tried whispering. This was extremely difficult and even worse for my grandmother who has a hearing aid. I tried to mime to her. Little Willie just laughed at me as usual while he woofed down his raisin toast.
"This is going to be the quietest day of your life," my husband told him.
Then one of my editors called. "Oh my God, the girl who talks more than anyone I know can’t talk??"
But I can channel all that frustration of not being able to talk into writing. It reminds me of the story of how I ended up in journalism in a way. I was in my junior year of college, majoring in, yes, it’s true, horses. I had gotten to the point where I was riding some of the more dangerous horses. I was falling off a lot. I started to think that perhaps long term stability was not a part of a career with horses. I wondered what I could do if I fell off one of these horses and landed in a body cast.
I can write, I thought. Yes, I could even be one of those people who writes by using a pen in my mouth if it was a bad fall.
And so here I am. Writing.
After looking up some self care tips for what to do when losing your voice, it appears this is all I’m going to be doing. One of the myriad of online health forums advised that I: moisten my throat, use a humidifier, avoid talking, give your voice a break, and avoid whispering.
My husband, upon hearing this, said, "Lara, I mean this with all due respect, shut the blankety blank blank up."
Apparently it’s going to be me and my computer for a while.....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Home Improvement Time

So my long suffering Ken has taken the day off tomorrow to build a brick walkway. This is a good thing since we will no longer be walking over the nice muddy loam on our newly rebuilt lawn and sinking in up to our ankles. This is bad in the sense that the weatherman says it's going to snow tomorrow. But hey, who am I to discourage him.. Stay tuned

Entering the World of High Technology.. Again

So, I know, I've complained before about high technology. More so as it relates to trying to get my internet set up with some guy in India, etc. I thought I'd give this blogging thing a try. After all, it's the new hip thing to do. And (sit down for this one) until a few months ago I had no idea what it was all about. So here goes.....
Want to know what' s going on around Exeter? Like, for example, what's happening at the bad luck restaurant on Portsmouth Avenue next to the nail salon?? Check the blog. Chances are I know. And I can't keep it to myself.
Stay tuned for a major annoucement on this blog in the very near future...