Notes - August 2019

Thu, Aug 15

Today is the third Thursday of the month, which means it's a Toledo Art Loop day in downtown Toledo. Over the past couple years when we have attended the Art Loop, we have spent most of the time at the Gathered Glass studio. And we did that again this evening.

Deb and I arrived at Gathered Glass at 7:35 p.m. The building next door showed a movie. The two buildings used to be open to each other, but the wall was filled in.

Ramona Collins and Trez provided the live music. They were supposed to be setup outside, but we experienced moderate to heavy thundershowers in the late afternoon and early evening. They performed in the shop area. Sometimes when it's cooler, the live music is setup in the glass studio area, but it can be quite warm in that part of the building.

Live glass piping demos occurred in the studio area. That always attracts a nice crowd. As usual, a little bar was setup in the studio area, serving beer. But customers have to buy a Gathered Glass studio glass cup, and but then free refills exist.

Tonight, they served an amber bach beer made by Ernest Brew Works, which was tasty. Deb bought a tall glass for $18, and we refilled it three times. We shared the one glass of beer. That was enough. We have purchased several glasses this way from Gathered Glass. We decided that on future visits that we will buy two small glasses for 15 dollars a piece, and then give the glasses away as gifts to friends and family.

My main daily water drinking glass at home is a tall, heavy duty glass made by Gathered Glass studio, which is home to multiple glass artists. The store area sells a lot of great glassware.

Ian worked the desk for buying glasses for the beer. Ian maintains his printing press studio upstairs. He teaches at Bowling Green University and/or Owens Community College. He also works in the framing area at Michael's, located in West Toledo. He framed a lot of our artwork last year. We bought one of his print artworks a couple years ago at the West Oak Walk fall festival. He's talented. He has been buying and renovating old, early 20th century printing presses. He now owns at least three that function differently. One is used for book printing, I think. Ian etches his artwork into copper plates, and these are used in the print process.

We watched Mona and Trez briefly, and then Ian said that he was going to give a tour of his printing process. At 7:55 p.m., we went upstairs. Multiple artists have their studios upstairs, including another printing press artist who we met last year when he gave us a tour of his old letterpress printing presses. A lot of old iron machinery.

Near Ian's setup upstairs was an artist, Chelsea Younkman, who works with charcoal and pastels. I admired her artwork, and we started talking. She does commission work. It would be great to have a charcoal painting of winter and summer Barney looks. She likes to create a lot of monochromatic art, but her pastel artwork of New Balance running shoes was done in color, and it looked great.

We watched Ian's printing press demo. The other press that he bought recently and is renovating uses limestone blocks and not copper plates. The artwork is etched or carved into the limestone blocks, instead of into copper plates.

We went back downstairs and stood in the shop area, listening to music and sharing a glass of beer with occasional peeks into the glass studio area to see the glass piping/blowing demos. People moved all about, through the two first floor areas and upstairs and entering and exiting the building. Buses dedicated to the Art Loop stopped outside the building. The decoratively lit golf cart/ATV taxis were busy.

One of these times, we will explore more of the Art Loop. Prior to being fixated on Gathered Glass, we only strolled the West St. Clair Street portion of the Art Loop. We need to visit Uptown and the central business district area.

Mona and Trez like to sing a lot of "old" songs, mainly from the 60s and 70s with some 80s mixed in. About the only youngster that they like to cover is Bruno Mars. They sang a doo-wop song that might have been from the 50s. Dad would have enjoyed it. They performed songs by Marvin Gaye, Sly the Family Stone, The Spinners, The O'Jays, Lionel Richie, and many, many other great artists.

Deb requested Etta James, and Mona sang "At Last," which sounded amazing. One of my favorites is when they perform Steely Dan's "Call Me Deacon Blues." We try to catch Mona and Trez as often as we can.

Mona and Trez concluded with a Marvin Gaye song, finishing up at 9:15 p.m. Everything seems to end too early.

A large food trucked parked outside of Gathered Glass all evening, but we did not buy anything. Ian said that they sold a great perch sandwich.

We moved on to Black Cloister, arriving at 9:20 p.m.. We last visited Black Cloister in the summer or fall of 2017. Tonight, we sat at the bar. Deb ordered a wit beer, which tasted great. I drank two Boochy Mama kombuchas, which tasted fabulous. We shared a pizza with no cheese, since I rarely eat dairy anymore. The pizza contained extra sauce with veggie toppings.

It was trivia night at Black Cloister. They have hosted trivia on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a few years. But trivia ended a short while after we arrived. We chatted with the bartenders or the bartenders chatted with us. When the one bartender learned that a customer had not seen the movie "The Princess Bride," she jokingly cursed at the customer and told him to get out and go watch that movie.

We left the Black Cloister at 10:40 p.m. and headed for home. We parked at the self-pay lot, located at Washington and Huron. It used to be a $2 lot. It now costs $5. It's easier to park here than try to find a spot along the street.

Fri, Aug 16

Three years ago today, Dad passed away, shortly after 10:00 a.m.

Two years ago today, Deb and I birdwatched for a few hours at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and then we traveled to Elmore to visit a yarn store and a wine business.

Last year on this day, it was a Thursday, and it was the first day of our garage sale with Kim and Brent. Kim and I worked the garage sale that day. We experienced rain in the morning, but that did not slow down the crowd. Then Gabbie spent the weekend with us, start

This morning, I walked Barney, and I exercised on the elliptical machine in our basement. I'm currently watching the Goodfellas movie.

Deb took today off from work. We left the house around 9:15 a.m. and headed to CP and Brad's home. Brad worked until Noon.

Deb, Catherine, Dominic, Gabbie, and I went to the Toledo zoo for about 1 hr and 45 min. Brad joined us shortly after Noon.

After the zoo, we went back at CP and Brad's, and we stayed until about 6:30 p.m.., playing with Dominic and Gabbie. On the way back from the zoo, Deb and Brad got El Camino takeout for our late lunch.

The daytime weather was mostly cloudy at the start of our zoo trip with temps in the low 80s. The sky cleared some while at the zoo. It was a partly cloudy to mostly cloudy afternoon with good sunshine but pleasant temps.

In the evening, we went out with neighbors Kim and Brent. We started by sitting outside at Element 112 and its Next Door menu of drinks and food items. I drank a peach-infused bourbon drink that contained lemon and caramelized onions. Yep. It was tasty. Deb and I ate tiger shrimp.

We arrived at Element 112 between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m., and we left about 9:30 p.m. The patio exists along the street. White lights were strung over the patio. The clear bulb lights that have the old, yellowish glow.

Kim ordered a bourbon drink that used cinnamon smoke. I liked it better than mine, but both drinks were uniquely tasty.

The evening weather was pleasant. Not hot. Not cold. Light wind. Raindrops sprinkled a bit shortly after 9:00 p.m., but it was no big deal.

After Element 112, we went to Mancy's Italian because Kim's cousin Kyle was playing. We arrived during Kyle's break between sets. We sat at the bar. Kyle played until around 10:15 p.m., maybe a little later. She sang Pearl Jam and Prince songs that I have not heard sing in the past. She's talented. She ended by singing the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere," which pleased the people in the bar area.

Kim, Deb, and I ordered Old Fashioneds. Brent ordered a beer. The Mancy's Italian head bartender named JJ works Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The rest of the time he works as a manager for Mancy's Italian. He's an excellent bartender.

He makes his Old Fashioneds with no cherries because the original recipe from 1806 did not use cherries. Cherries were added during the prohibition era because people made crude alcohol in secret, and this booze needed some softening, therefore they added fruit, like cherries. That ingredient stayed with the Old Fashioned recipe.

JJ smeared an orange peel around the top the glass and on the side of the glass near the top. He also added a lemon peel to the drink. He discussed the vermouth and the mix of bitters that he used too, but it was too much information. The drink was fabulous.

He also makes a great Manhattan that I might like better than the Old Fashioned, which normally does not occur. Deb ordered a Manhattan for her second drink, and I drank some of it. Kim agreed that the Manhattan tasted amazing.

JJ also makes a barrel aged Manhattan. He mixes up his Manhattan recipe and lets it age in a small barrel for three months. He noticed great improvement after one month, and then after two months, and then again after three months. But since he noticed little change from three to four months, he starts serving he barrel aged Manhattan after three months. He gave us little samples of the drink, and it tasted spectacular. On our next visit, I'll order the barrel aged Manhattan.

JJ mentioned some kind of ancient gin drink called Trident or something like that. I for got to ask him about it.

JJ finished making the Old Fashioneds at the bar. We got to watch his artistry.

Deb and I ordered a Margherita pizza, which tasted great as always.

Mancy's Italian closes around 11:00 p.m., and that's when we left.

It was a long, enjoyable day and evening, spent with family and friends.

Wed, Aug 21

Late afternoon, left TOL for Deb's parents' home in central MI, approx 3.5 drive due to traffic.

Thu, Aug 22

Lansing, Janet, eyelid surgery. left at 6:30 a.m. arrived back at house around noon or 1pm. walked barney in the afternoon.

Fri, Aug 23

Deb and I visited Gladwin. Got coffee at Northern Espresso coffee shoip. Sat down in small garden area between buildings drinking coffee. Shopped at the florist store. All in the downtown area. Then we drove to the grocery store in Gladwin.

Visited Aunt Carol in the afternoon.

Deb made pizza for dinner.

Sat, Aug 24

In the morning, Deb and I worked on chores and tasks for Deb's parents.

Left Deb's parents' house around 10:30 to 11:00 a.m.

At home in the afternoon, we relaxed. I exercised.

Then shortly after 6:00 p.m., we went downtown, Warehouse District.

Met Monica and Brian for dinner at Holey Toledo in the Hensville area. Then after dinner, we went up to the top and outside on the three story building. Small outside bar. Music setup. Chairs. Table umbrellas.

The Accidentals played from 9:00 p.m. to 10:40 p.m. Great band. Excellent music. Amazing setting and scene. Sunset. Outside rooftop. Low lights on the rooftop. Cool almost chilly, breezy weather. People wore jackets or long sleeves, except me. Temps were in the upper 60s, but the brisk breeze made it feel cooler.

After the music, we went home.

Sun, Aug 25

At Monica and Brian's house at 12:15 p.m. At 12:20 p.m., we all left for Wilson Lake, located near Hillsdale, MI to visit Deb and Kevin's place on the water. Large, long yard from the house to the water. Big porch and deck area, facing toward the lake. Kev's music room with a stage. Pontoon boat. We were out on the water for 90 minutes or so. Brian fished and caught a lot of small largemouth bass on a six-inch purple curly tailed plastic worm. He used a Texas rig with a 1/8 ounce sinker. Fun to be on the small lake with clear deep water. Wooded with some development, homes. I birdwatched.

Back at the house, Deb and Kev made a fine meal. We left around 8:30 p.m. Deb and I returned home around 10:00 p.m.

Fri, Aug 30

Took Barney to Christie and Craig's at 10:15 a.m.

We left Toledo around 2:20 p.m. for the Inn at Honey Run, located near Millersburg, OH.

Sat, Aug 31

Inn at Honey Run only.