Saturday, July 26, 2014

On Vacation - So That's How It Works; Supper at Five Guys

After Godzilla, it was time for supper. We decided this would be as a group. Those who went to the movie would find a place nearby and go for dinner, thereby extending the camaraderie. But, a number of other guild members, who didn't want to see the movie, also wanted to participate in the dinner. Where to go which would accommodate a bunch of people, some of whom had never met, in a relaxed setting without us being too much of an imposition? There are a lot of eating places around the theatre and the group decided on Five Guys.

I've never been to Five Guys. It's only recently made it into the Chicagoland area. I really knew nothing about the chain, but other people said it would be the perfect place to rendezvous after the movie. It was perfect.

Ollivor and Jorlynn and Zylostout and Wendrah joined us so we shoved four tables together and had a blast.

The place was billed as the burger equivalent of Culver's, an upper Midwest chain. I guess that would be an apt description. You place your order under the "Order Here" sign and then wait for your number to be called. Nothing is made ahead of time. It's all fresh. You get a huge bag of fries with your order and I was told to order the small side of fries. It was still pushing it to finish. I found the burgers just average. I've had better burgers in other locations, usually at small spots who are not part of a chain. The fries were good, but nothing I'd bend time and space to have if I craved fries.

The service was a bit slow. I'm not sure if it was because we descended upon them in a mass and they weren't quite prepared for all of us all at once, or they were understaffed, but we had to wait a good 15 minutes for food. In the pseudo-fast food area, where Five Guys is positioned, this is a long time. I had to wonder how they handle the Tuesday lunch crowd because I would cease coming to a fast food place that took that long to prepare my food.

And that does bring up one of my "favorite" pet peeves. These people, working on a Saturday early evening to prepare food for people on vacation who have Saturday off and had just watched a movie, are considered "unsuccessful", because they are cooks at a burger joint. I applaud them for choosing to work here so I could try the food.

I did learn a new skill at dinner.

Perhaps you have seen these new beverage dispensers at Wendy's. They always frustrate me. How the heck do they work? Wendy's advertises that these dispensers will give you well over 100 different choices of soft drink. I just want a Dr Pepper. Is that possible? My daughter, who is way smarter than me, shows Wendrah how to operate the machine. After watching, I could get a Dr Pepper mixed with Coke or Root Beer or Sprite or orange or all of that. Now, I'm not intimidated by this machine when I go into Wendy's, which is the only place I've seen them. Funny thing, I haven't been in a Wendy's since April.

It was a great experience to be with guild members, sharing food and friendship. I'm glad I had the chance to eat at Five Guys. It's not bad, I would eat there again, but it's not a place I'll go out of my way to find. Perhaps, if I gave other menu items a chance, instead of just eating a burger, I might find something I like much better.

Beverage:  Huckleberry Tea


The Next Crafting Project

I went to  JoAnn Fabrics last week to get an item to finish this wedding present. While I was there, I noticed bolts of cloth sitting on a rolling cart.

Oh my. Carole's boyfriend, Larry, is a huge Star Wars fan. He also doesn't have a Hawaiian-style shirt made by me, in a loud fabric. I could certainly use one of these prints to make a shirt. This one was particularly attractive to loudness.

So I asked Carole which print would be the most attractive. I have no illusions about whether the shirt would be worn. It was more the idea of him having a shirt this "loud" in a print he would like. It's the proverbial Christmas gag gift.

Carole's response?  " about curtains, mom?"

Now, I haven't made curtains in years, decades even, but rod pocket curtains are very easy to make. The problem, for me, is doing the math to figure out how much fabric I need. But, heck, I can do this. It will be fun. Normally, I would wash the fabric to get the sizing out of it, but, for curtains, I don't have to. My friend, Pam, and I sat in JoAnn Fabrics surrounded by all the bolts of Star Wars AND a bolt of Star Trek fabric because Carole said that would be cool, and did math. In the end, I didn't need that much fabric to cover 4 windows.

Here's what I purchased.

I have curtain material for the side door, above the kitchen sink, the dining room and the home office. Now, about that chunk of Hawkeye fabric on the end there. It was off to the side. Someone had taken the rest of that bolt and this was to be added to the remnant pile. It's about a yard in length and is 60 inches wide so there is a lot of fabric. It's soft. It's a very soft flannel.

As I was waiting to have my fabric cut, I could hear it whispering me. "Hi there. You're a Hawkeye fan. I know because you keep looking my direction. You've picked me up a couple of times, too, and noticed I have football and basketball emblems on me, as well as Herky and the tiger hawk. Buy me. I'll be greatly reduced in price because I'm a remnant and the only piece of this bolt left in the store. Buy me. You know you want to." I got the remnant for 75% off. Since this fabric wasn't on sale, that was a big reduction. The rest of the fabric was on sale for 30% off AND I had a coupon for an additional 15% off everything. Not bad for curtain material.

I did purchase material for the shirt. That will show up in another post. I have no idea what I will make with the Hawkeye material. I have two other chunks I need to do something with. Maybe I should consider that Hawkeye "patched-look" blanket I've been thinking about making.

I am on a deadline. I will be back in Virginia in October for a Highland games and I want to bring the curtains along at that time and hang them. The shirt can wait for December and Christmas. There is a book on the ottoman I should finish reading. I'm up to book number 8 and I don't want to abandon the drive to read 12 books this year. So many things to do.

But, this is my next project and I'm excited to get started just as soon as I clean off the table.

Beverage:  Huckleberry Tea


A Strong Recommendation

I only recommend things I like. This is one of those things.

I bought these sandals back in May. They were on sale and proceeds go towards animal welfare and rescue. After I fell and my feet and legs, especially the right foot and leg, swelled, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to wear them. I took them to Virginia. On the day we went up into the mountains, I tried them on and they fit. The elastic on the top stretched enough to get my still swollen foot into the sandal. They were light weight enough that walking didn't feel like I was dragging around a ball and chain. My tennis shoes, back in May, felt very heavy on my battered leg. I preferred going shoeless, but that's not an option in the office. Plus, if I took off my shoes, I sometimes couldn't get the right one back on as my foot would swell during the day.

Since that day, I've been wearing these to the office and on errands. The thick sole is great for my stability, as is the fact that they are almost more of a shoe than a sandal. They have great flexibility and are comfortable. Plus, I can get them on when my hands don't want to work.

So, if you are looking for a sandal that is almost like a shoe, these are fantastic and come heartily recommended.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


So You Don't Have To

You know that time when you MUST eat something not at all healthy? I had one of those times recently. Here was my purchase.

And you know what? They weren't bad.

The vanilla cookie was typical Oreo quality, crunchy and solid. The inner filling was the usual texture of the vanilla filling in a typical Oreo, only it was lemon flavored. It was not overpoweringly lemon, either. It wasn't like taking a bite out of a lemon. It was light, just enough, I feel. The overall taste of the cookie was very good.

I like lemon cookies. You can buy "generic" brand lemon cookies in this style. Is there a benefit to buying Oreo brand? Not really. Still, they were on sale and, if I found them on sale again, I would consider buying them. I divided the package into smaller bags of 5 cookies each, after I'd eaten one side of the bag during a WOW raid. I grabbed a package with my lunch and 5 cookies was just enough to make a long afternoon at work feel not so long.

So, unlike other foods under this headline, I think these are okay and can recommend them, if you like lemon cookies. These aren't dunking cookies. I don't think I would eat them with milk, but they are a fun flavor in the seemingly endless versions companies are churning out in the drive to increase market share.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea