Friday, August 29, 2014

Serials and Scenarios ~ Restaurant Review. Omaha's Block 16

 I have been remiss. And I apologize. Somehow. I have not reviewed Block 16. That's going to change, now. 
Located on Farnam Street at the outskirts of the historic Old Market district in Omaha is a row of restaurants. Smack dab in the middle between 16th and 17th is Block 16. 

The restaurant is simple with a neighborhood bar/bistro feel. The line drawing art of a pig, butcher-style, bike with areas of interest noted, and a M or W written on waiter pad paper for the bathroom doors kind of says it all. What you see is what you get. 

I've been to Block 16, or been treated to their menu items a dozen or so times over the past 2 years. I have yet to be disappointed. 
Fries. PB Bean Burger and Vegan Reuben.

Simple decor. Local feel. 
Several times, as I've waited for take out I've had the opportunity to chat with staff members and have  enjoyed doing so. The chef owners are well traveled and have perfected some sweet skills with seitan and other vegan meat subs. The menu is not going to annoy any meat eaters in the group either. This isn't a hippie joint and there are many hearty animal flesh items on the menu. 

However, as a vegan I really appreciate the fact that the chefs can pull off very satisfying alternatives. 

I think the vegan Reuben served at Block 16 might just rival any Reuben on the planet. Seasoned strips of seitan, capers, thin slivers of beets, and slaw on rye. I am drawn to it every time I step foot through the door.       

Additionally, Block 16 is where I first tasted jack fruit. BBQ pulled pork style and dang, it made a fan out of me. A "fish" Tartine sandwich made with breaded tofu and smeared with mayo and lettuce is a delicious, satisfying meal. Other monthly specials have been buffalo "wings" and Mexican offerings. I attended 2 Vegan Omaha events there and one offered some delicious Thai food. The chefs know their stuff. 

Finally, Block 16 offers a peanut butter smeared bean burger that is off the charts. Pickles, peanut butter and a very satisfying burger that doesn't turn into mush when you bite into it or taste bland. 

Most sandwiches are under $9.00 and you can get fries and a drink for around $11.00, too. They use a local bakery for the sandwich bread and shop our local farmer's market. With influences from some of the best vegan communities in North America they know their vegan. 

If you are headed to Omaha and you are intrigued to have a taste of Omaha in all it's local, simple glory, give Block 16 a try. I don't think you'll be sorry. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Real Smart

 The pups are pretty stinking smart. I use this word cautiously, mind you. 

Evidence of this? Not in the massive wrestling picture below. No. Not sharing their smart skilz there. 

The picture of the bone is the picture we should focus on. Now. I was highly annoyed when we came home from church on Sunday to discover that someone or someones had gotten a wee mite bored and decided to dig a hole in their bed. (Beagles can dig. Beagle puppies can dig and boy do they love to dig. Digging might be their favorite, after treats, that is.)

So while cleaning up all the happy stuffing snow I discovered a heavy object in the bottom of the bed, near the hole. A bone. They were clearly just burying a bone and didn't have access to dirt. Poor babies!  

Second evidence of smartness? They were jumping onto the couches at will and helping themselves to whatever we happened to be eating or drinking lately. So. They had to be taught "Lie down" and "Stay!" The first night resulted in a very cold dinner for me. Every time they actually stayed and relaxed I gave them a treat. Every time they did not I picked them up, gently pressed them into a down position and gave my commands. Times 2. Yes. That's a lot of puppy wrangling. However, the 2nd night of this training resulted in less incidents of breaking stay. 3rd night they ran for the puppy bed and jumped in instead of jumping right up on the couch and seemed pretty content with the drill.  Three nights to get something. That's rock star smart. (No comment.)

And, they aren't quite 100% on the potty thing. So. There's that. But I'm going to tell myself they are super smart and will get all that eventually. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ What I Do When I Should Be Doing 5,000 Other Things

I was inspired by Michelle's Infographic free site. And I thought, how fun. Maybe I can make one and use my own pictures in it. And I should find a free site that lets me cartoonize my pictures for extra fun on my Infographic. 

Well, I did find a site. And I did cartoonize some of my pictures. HERE is that site. But I wasn't able to use them in the Infographic that I am working on. Oh, well, cartoonizing pics is way fun.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ So...Hope You Aren't Expecting Brilliance...Oh, Wait, You Probably Are NOT...

after all, you are here.

And in the total random style of my blog you probably never expect brilliance.

You will not be disappointed. No brilliance here, just keep on moving down the road, kids.

There was a long babysitting session on Saturday. My daughter is amazing and young. A good combination because, dang, as great as the kids were, the energy level was OFF the CHARTS. Not mine, mind you. 

A crazy thing....the puppies, with three kiddos and their huge nieces, Lily and Lola around for the majority of the day, had a PERFECT accident free day. Woot! Woot!

And the puppies were plenty pepped up, too. As evidenced by the fly-by crazy half face photo bomb. 

And since I haven't shopped for games lately, I was amused to see these two on the shelf. Doggie Doo and Pop the Pig! I may have to put those on my list. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Long, Hot, Week that Left Me with A Total of1 Hour to Blog

However, I did write an article, and went to a going away party and a family get together and a violin lesson. I also spent a few dozen hours in the sun, or the rain with puppies frolicking amongst the weeds.

Here's hoping you had a good and relaxing week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Hump Day Chillaxen

New trick. Able to puncture a water bottle lid for a DIY water fountain with one well aimed chomp.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ First World Puppy Problems

 The pups had a busy weekend. They visited my folks place with me and saw a whole different world. The last time we were there they were wee little mites. This time they found uber things to explore. One of those things was traumatic. Oh, so traumatic. 
My mom and dad have this awesome collection of fun yard ornaments. One of those collections includes a Billy goat family. At one point we came around the back side of the papa Billy goat and Gertrude started a barking frenzy. I couldn't figure out what the problem was until I saw her focus. The goat. After strongly encouraging her to stop barking, I tried to coax her to meet the goat. She was having none of that. Her sister finally made peace. After Gladys's brave show and my tapping on the goat and getting tin can sounds she loosened up. A nose sniff and all was good. Crazy puppy. 
The other craziness? I bought a bag of treats that are banana. They love peanut butter and sweet potato treats so wouldn't they love banana? Not so much. Seriously. Like turn their little noses up and look at me like I've ruined their lives. I swear if they had opposable thumbs they'd be noting my failures in little notebooks for future visits to their psychologists.
Banana treat issue solved. 
And worse case scenario. I dumped the banana treats in with the peanut butter treats and now they are forced to taste the banana ones before spitting them out. Here's what I did. I melted equal amounts of peanut butter and honey (about a 1/2 cup each) with about a TBSP of coconut oil. Then I dumped all the treats in the bowl and stirred. I dumped that mixture out on a greased cookie sheet, baked it at 200 for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Then I turned the oven off, leaving the sheet in there and when they were cool I broke them up and put them back in the treat bin. Let's just say there is no complaining now.   

Friday, August 15, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ My Next Repurposed Project

 I shared that I was on a crafting mission and have repurposed some items that have been waiting for a new life.  I had one more. 
I didn't take a picture of the item in it's circa 1989 glory but wait for the description. 

Ready? Remember the sunflower craze? And the checkerboards with the decorative accents painted around the border? This tree board used to be a sunflower bouquet topped checkerboard. I painted the whole thing over and tried to come up with a creative idea to utilize the shape. A tree. Bingo. And a tree with birds even more BINGO! 
This was actually pretty easy to do. And it's going to look terrific on my wall. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Pickle Dots and Skewishness...

Perception is as unique as fingerprints. And as convoluted as a blown up picture of the whirls and swirls of an thumb.

I had an amusing conversation with a 90 year old patient yesterday. She was a real sweetie with quite the attitude. She shared that she has a family member a few years older who has never been hospitalized a day in her life. But one doesn't ask how she is because that opens a flood gate of complaints. Even though she is alive well into her 90's and basically as healthy as it gets she is a miserable little thing. Had my patient known about Sweet Brown she might have said "ain't nobody got time for that!"

My patient then shared a little about her own skewed perception. She has failing vision and in certain lighting really has trouble. She was given a sandwich, chips and pickle slices one day for lunch. She had almost cleared her plate but for one stubborn pickle that just wouldn't cooperate. She leaned over and asked to use her grandson's fork as hers just wasn't cutting it. 

He looked at her. "Can I help?"

"No! I just need a better fork for this pickle. Besides what can you do that I can't?"

"Well, Grandma, I can see that the stubborn pickle is actually a decorative green polka dot on the plate." 

We both had a nice long laugh over that. 

After she left I got to thinking about my own perception. How many times do I miss the forest for the trees? Or complain about the minutia when I've been given so much?  Or chase green polka dots hoping that they'll feed a need? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Scuffs

While I was pondering what to post a 12 pound blur leapt over a couch cushion and Wet Willied/ Mike Tysoned my ear. While I was wiping the side of my face a fight was ensuing at my feet. Somehow I had a nipped toe and thigh before it was over. 

We have entered a new phase. Kind of like the 10-year-old-boy phase wherein he is all arms, legs and feet and doesn't quite know how to use them. And is stronger than he knows and things get broken. 

So the babies can work in coordinating and/or opposing combinations of moves and I get to go along for the fun or resist and know that resistance is futile or painful. :  ) But I'm sure they don't mean to be naughty....look at those faces. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Some Success with Crafting and Repurposing

The weekend included some crafting time. With Michelle and Ada here with Ada under-the-weather (uhhh, not so much, but she did have stitches so she was restrained or running free with puppies not so much down time as we expected...but I digress) Michelle and I planned some crafting. 

She is redoing her downstair living area after a forced remodel due to lots of rain and a sump pump issue. UGH. But that's her post. She made some pretty cool things. 

My focus was making gifts, using up some items I purchased to repurpose or repaint, and finishing up a couple of things that had been bugging me. 

My first project was to repaint my folks farmhouse window yard decor.  This time I did something a little different, very colorful and super cool. (I think) I have some varnish to add and Rob needs to silicone the glass into place so pictures later. 

Secondly, I wanted to make a couple gifts. I found out that & says "I love you to the moon and back and a million times around" to her kids. And I found out the girls need a few more pieces of decor in their room. Blue and silver and yellow and blue were the color needs. So. I made a box to hold jewelry and hair pretties that says "She leaves a little sparkle everywhere she goes." And two little metal wall pockets that say "I love you to the Blue Moon and back and a million times around" She'll stuff them with silver star garland. 

And then I had a brain storm. My brother's wedding is coming up real soon. He and my future sister-in-law have a special connection to the whole blue moon thing. The wedding will be casual and quirky. So I couldn't resist the sign and the box with their initials and a big blue moon theme. 

For me? I'm not done yet. I have a few more projects, but the one I finished is perfect in my book. And repurposing. Yay. 

I have a spot on my picture wall that is too high for pictures and I wanted the perfect square item to put in it. I found a cabinet door at a thrift store and intended to paint it. I also had some, laugh, love that were boring, blah, brown metal. 

I painted the board, put some paint on the edge of the words and wired it all together when it was dry. 

I love it. So me. 

Friday, August 08, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles~ Post-Surgical Ada

Michelle and I share a fondness for a bargain.  That is why she came to Iowa for Ada's spay. It's a 1/3 of the price that it is in her neck of big city life! Needed was the dreaded "cone of shame" and the clinic suggested the soft inflatable cone available at the pet store.  So while Ada was under the knife we checked out the luxury cone.

With the luxury price tag!  So we put our thinking caps on! She found the lightweight, comfy human neck pillow for $7.99. ( a 1/4 of the price) sewed it to her collar with embroidery floss loops and Bam! Perfect!

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Meet Harriette Houndini

Yes it's true. Harriette aka Gladys escaped again!  I need nanny-cam.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Excuses

Well, after trying to clean and get some pre-guest cooking done I now have an accurate awareness... Ready?  Puppy wrangling aka making sure they potty outside and don't potty inside, keeping their tiny little teeth out of places they don't belong, and cleaning up after fails takes up 37.8% of my time.