Thursday, March 27, 2008

Best Blog of the Week Award!

This week is the week that our Blog - "Muffins, Mutterings, and Musing" - has been named Blog of the Week on the I Love Inns Bed & Breakfast Directory! Our thanks goes out to for recognizing us and awarding us this honor! Yea!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Were Wowed!-

Wow! Wow! Wow! That's all I can say about our discovery today! We viewed an eye opening display of contempory American culture through the artists use of mathmatical statistics and the digital camera. Let me explain!

It's spring break and when grandparents are looking for things to do to entertain an 8 year old granddaughter, you look for "Things To Do Close to Home!" So today our adventure led us into our own 'backyard' of Oberlin to the world famous Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM for short) part of Obelin College. It had been quite a while since our last visit so we knew exhibits had come and gone and come and gone again!

What we found here was a phenominal exhibit that I am just thankful for having had the opportunity to view. When you come to visit Oberlin, and you know you want to!, you need to make the time, no you must make the time, to see the photography exhibit entitled "Running the Numbers." This is a collection of 14 thought-provoking works from photographer Chris Jordan in which he marries statistics and photography into a display of our society's mass consumption, waste, public health, and social justice through haunting, large scale images that really blew us away! And you know that if an 8 year old is impressed, everyone will be!

Each photograph portrays a quantity of a particluar item: 2 million tiny
photo's of plastic bottles (represent 5 minutes of consumption ending in the landfills: 426,000 tiny cell phone photos represent the # of handsets retired daily: 29,569 tiny gun photos representing gun-related deaths in 2004; 1.14 million paper bag photos represent an hours use. Looking very closely at the plastic bottle photo, you can clearly distinguish all the brands of water and pop. They're all represented!
"Skull with Cigarette" is made up of cigarette packs and represents deaths related to smoking.

Jordan's work show us that statistics on the use of these products and many
others can be abstract and meaningless, but images stir our emotions and call us to action. He creates his photographs with view cameras and digital cameras and in some cases, computer downloads. These images are then manipulated using Photoshop software and then are digitally printed. All of these tiny photos are assembled into one large, thought-provoking display of human consumption and waste. It made us feel regret that we are a part of this waste but it also made us feel pro-active to do our part to reuse and recycle.

The "Running the Numbers" exhibit will remain at the AMAM until June 8, 2008 so you have plenty of time to plan a trip to Oberlin. Why not come for a few days and check out the other fine museums that we have (Come back to read an upcoming post). Dine in one of our fine restaurants, explore a quaint college town, see a movie in a 1940 theatre, listen to some fantastic music at the Conservatory, pedal on the bike path, and stay at Hallauer House B & B! And best of all, the AMAM IS FREE! The Museum is closed on Monday but open Tues. - Sat. from 10:00 - 5:00 and Sunday from 1:00 - 5:00.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just When We Thought It Was Over?

Just when we you think the snow is over for the year, you turn on the news and what to your wonderous eyes appears but a map of the weather with snow on the rise!

Yes, again, northern Ohio is poised to get yet another snow hit tomorrow evening and into Saturday morning - 3 to 6 inches! The stuff from two weekends ago finally melted away and with the first day of spring, we thought we would be on the temperature upside. But, I guess we will wait a few more days and when the warm up finally arrives, it will be oh so much better!

To cheer myself up, I ventured out into the garden, muddy paths and all with
snow still covering the shady areas but spot them I did! The tiny green tops of the primroses and daffodils! So all of you with cabin fever, like me, take note! They're out there! They're coming! All the little flowers are just itching to poke their heads up and catch some rays! It will happen! Let's only hope it's not too much longer!

One bright thing happened this week - our giant amaryllas finally bloomed! This is the latest that has happened as they usually pop open in February. I guess they haven't enjoyed the extremely cold weather either. So we can enjoy their blooms for at least the next few weeks and by then maybe the spring perennials will be well on their way to showing off their stuff for this season!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another Restaurant Review!

It's 7:00 p.m. and I'm still not hungry after having eaten a very substantial lunch at 1:30 at another one of Oberlin's fine restaurants, Tooo Chinoise. This local eatery is located just opposite Tappan Square in the heart of Oberlin. Joe and I decided to eat lunch out and since we hadn't been to Tooo for quite a while, it seemed appropriate that this was the time to go. Like all restaurants in Oberlin, there is no large neon sign telling you to "Come in here!" The sign is subdued with the window welcoming you with it's selection of fine wines. The entrance door leaves a lot to be desired but don't let that fool you. We were quickly seated in a booth by the friendly hostess and our server came promptly to take our beverage order. Forget the American and order a Chinese beer. The lunch entree list was substantial and we had a difficult time choosing but after much thought Joe chose Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and I chose the Pepper Steak. Both were priced at $6.00 each and included steamed rice and egg drop soup. Dinner entrees range from $7.00 to $11.00 and there is a nice selection of vegetarian and noodle dishes.

While we waited for the chef to prepare our food, our gaze took in the hip and trendy atmoshere that makes this Chinese restaurant many notches above others that we have been in. The booths are spacious along the wall and the tables align the middle and are separated by panels that offer a small level of conversational privacy. The modern formed booths along one wall were specially constructed for only 2 people, so make for a small intimate space. The wall was simple with small alcove shelves holding various Chinese article. The overhead light fixtures were very unique, large, and covered in fabric to blend with the rest of the decor.

And then came our food, served in bowls that looked like boats! Very chic! Joe's dish had a generous amount of shrimp and the lobster sauce was oh so good! My beef was tender and nicely flavored with peppers and veggies that were tender crisp. A substantial mound of rice was presented with each dish and the water glasses were kept full - the sign of a first class establishment, so we were told many years ago by a well known restauranteur!

When you visit Oberlin, Tooo Chinoise, should be added to your list of places to eat! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, March 14, 2008

For All You Renaissance Fans!

Take yourself back in time and imagine it is somewhere in the 13th to 15th century and you are a nobel knight in shining armor! You put on your 90 pounds of armor plating, mount your trusty, armor clad steed, and prepare for the next jousting tournament or the next battle of the war.

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to actually put this stuff on? Well for the next 2 1/2 months, until June 1st, you can get up close and personal with the actual armor worn during the medieval and renaissance period of Imperial Austria. The exhibit can be seen at the Cleveland Museum of Art and offers a rare
opportunity for people to experience works from Europe's largest and oldest intact armory. It is show that will appeal to everyone who might have an interest in fabrication and craft, a love of history and a sense of romance.

The Cleveland Art Museum is only a 40 minute drive from Hallauer House B & B in Oberlin so when you visit us, do plan a day to go
see this fantastic exhibit. You won't be disappointed! Unfortunately during this visit you will not be able to see the permanent art collections as it is not on view while the museum is undergoing renovation and expansion. Collections can be viewed on line or you can make a return visit after the grand re-opening. So we invite you to come to Oberlin! Come to Cleveland! Come to Ohio! You know you want to!

Tickets for the "Arms + Armor from Imperial Austria" can be purchased online to Exhibit hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Admission is $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for seniors 65 and older. $10.00 for children 6 to 18 years and older students with a college ID.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Recommended B & B's by Hallauer House

From a previous post, I wrote about our youngest daughter going off to the Coast Guard Boot Camp at Cape May, NJ. Well, she graduated on Feb. 29th and is already at her first station on the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk out of Key West, Fl. She wrote that it is sunny and 84 degrees! And here we are enduring cold and snow!

Anyway, on our way to her graduation, Joe and I took a mini vacation along I76 to explore Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and Cape May itself, staying at bed and breakfasts along the way. And in this post I would like to highly recommend the two that we stayed at. After enduring the horrendous Philadelphia 2 hour traffic jams along I76 and I676, we finally arrived at the downtown Thomas Bond House Bed & Breakfast.
We were greeted at the door by Tim and Dan who welcomed us, showed us around the common areas and then up to our room. After we were settled, they offered us wine and cheese in the parlor where we shared stories about inkeeping and the historical locals of Philly. The breakfast was fantastic and the conversation lively. If you are going to Phiadelphia, this is THE place to stay, within walking distance of everything important! Thank you Tim and Dan for an Inn well done!

And then off to Cape May, NJ where we checked into The Bacchus Inn on Columbia Ave.
Here we were warmly greeted by Lisa who introduced us to the Inn and then offered us a welcome array of cheese, crackers, cookies, and more wine! We met John, Lisa's other half, a few hours later and enjoyed a lively conversation about numerous topics related to innkeeping and Cape May itself. The next day when we experienced major car trouble, John assurred us that he would get us to the Coast Guard gradaution on time. As it turned out, we ended up renting a car while ours was in the garage, but John and Lisa have to be commended for coming to our aid, showing us great hospitality, and letting us have a late check-out after retrieving our repaired car!

To all of these Innkeepers we say "Thank You!" The food was fantastic, the conservations lively, the local information most helpful, and the friendliness most appreciated. And to all of you tourists and vacationers who may be heading to Philadelphia or Cape May, you will not be disappointed while staying at either the Thomas Bond House Bed & Breakfast or The Bacchus Inn!

It's a Blizzard!

If you're not in Ohio this weekend, you are missing a real snow blizzard! It began yesterday (Friday) around 11:00 AM here in Oberlin and is predicted to last until 4:00 AM on Sunday! Now it is blowing and causing drifts and when all is said and done, we should end up with well over 20 inches! Airport, shopping malls, libraries, just about everything is closed or canceled except the Cavaliers
basketball game and the Playhouse Square production of 'Wicked' in downtown Cleveland. The snow is quite a site to see and a lot of fun for some but when it comes time to clear the driveway it is a real bummer! Oh where is spring?

The pictures taken at Hallauer House show the snow but with the drifting and blowing, it's not as deep as it would be. We can only hope that the sun will come out tomorrow and melt it all away!