An Anniversary Trip Down Memory Lane

A wedding anniversary is ‘kind of’ a big deal.  It isn’t necessarily a time for elaborate gifts or extravagant celebrations, but it deserves a pause from this hectic thing called life to take a trip down memory lane.

Things have been a little hectic for me lately,  I have a lot of irons in the fire and have a been  juggling a lot of responsibilities, so it was welcome relief and appreciation when I received a simple e-mail from Dear Hubby that invited me for a “date” on Saturday night to celebrate our Anniversary.  I usually take the lead on planning for these sorts of things, but I think this year he sensed that my resources were low, so he took charge.

I did not know what he had planned but he told me I could dress casually, so I did.  Of course, I did have some tiny concerns about whether I was dressed appropriately because it’s a bummer to show up at the prom dressed in your picnic clothes, but I decided to trust him and just went with it.  As it turns out, he was correct.

He took me to Cusanelli’s,, which is a restaurant in the area near where we grew up and began dating.  In fact, we had some of our very first dates here stopping in after a movie.

Cusanelli's Restaurant
A quick phone shot of one portion of the famous mural.

Tonight I had the cannelloni with 1/2 red and 1/2 white sauce and Curt had some kind of a steak.  The food was not fancy but tasted good.  The crowd gathered there was casual and it was clear that this place is still popular with the locals.  They have great pizza, and although we were stuffed like a Christmas turkey when we left, we could smell the pizza as we walked to our car and we both agreed that it smelled delicious, even though we were far from hungry.

I did not realize this place had such a rich heritage when we were younger and dropping in on a date.  Cusanelli’s has been in business for 55 years, but prior to the birth of this Italian/American eatery, the structure itself was an Inn that dates back to the Spanish occupation west of the Mississippi.  Much later, in 1939, it was determined by a survey done during road construction to be exactly 8 miles from the courthouse at Market & Broadway, so the name 8-mile house still sticks even today.  Read more about this establishment’s fascinating history on their website.  There were a number of famous people who visited, including one individual who still has an outstanding bar tab.  They also have a facebook page.

The structure’s history is all cool, but our self-absorbed memory of this place has more to do with two teenagers with stars in their eyes who eventually fell in love and raised a family.  Now that’s a historical memory that has some real value.

Nostalgically yours………….DebraJ

I did not receive any compensation or receive any free gifts when I created this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Oscar Bingo?! — How much fun can one girl have!

Oscar Bingo – What fun!

I just printed the bingo cards for tonight’s Oscar presentation.  Follow the link to join the fun!

Now where are those buttons???……………DebraJ

Oscars 2013 – Who will win?

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Image Courtesy of worradmu/

It is so easy to get caught up in the presentation of the Oscars every year.  I’ll admit it is a little more difficult for me to manage my score card now that the number of movies has increased from five, but I still try.  We have usually seen some of the movies by the time the event rolls around, so we feel like we have a stake in the competition with our own objective subjective opinion (which is highly educated and wholly insightful, of course) Laughing.

The Oscar presentation is a good opportunity to cook up something special, whether for a crowd or simply for the ‘fam’ at home.  Tonight we are going to a throw-back from years ago and we’ll have a quasi-Mexican style casserole (recipe to follow later).  Will you be serving anything fun for the Oscar presentation tonight?

oh dear…what shall I wear?…………DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products (nope, no Oscar goodie-basket) to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Movie Marathon – Batman – Part 3

The Dark Knight Rises is the final movie in this marathon.  One thing that can be said of these three movies is that they are very dark.  I realize that is the effect needed, but I feel like a need a flashlight to watch them.

We had a lot of chores and things to accomplish today and I kept thinking that once finished we would be able to relax with our final movie.  What fun!  Sometimes movies are like mini-vacations.

We liked the middle movie the best.

We watched this one through Amazon’s Instant Movie feature streaming through Roku. I love the convenience of the streaming service and equipment.

This marathon is officially over….DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation of free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Check here for our impressions of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Movie Marathon– Batman – Part 2

The Dark Knight is the second movie in this series and we began watching it this evening.  We had checked out a copy from the local library, but as it turns out it was so damaged we couldn’t reasonable watch it.  Poo!

Plan B  – go through Roku and rent the streaming version from Amazon.  I love living in this age of technology.

I found this movie to be much better than the first movie (Batman Begins) and Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker was phenomenal.  I also thought Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman) was much more refined in this movie.  Maybe he is more comfortable in his role after all his experiences in movie # 1.  Be right back

There were other good supporting actors in this movie, but Heath Ledger’s performance was overpowering.  He was seriously creepy.

Now I am looking forward to the third in this series.

Return later for The Dark Knight Rises – DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.

Click here for our impressions of Batman Begins.

Movie Marathon – Batman – Part 1

We frequently fall behind on the popular movies only to find that two or three sequels have been released and we have yet to see the first movie.  One of the secret pleasures of this condition is when you finally decide to ‘catch up’ with the rest of the movie-loving world and do a movie marathon.

This week-end we have managed to get our hands on a copy of all the recent Batman series, and our Friday evening movie began with Batman Begins.  This is the version starring Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes and Michael Caine were supporting roles.

There was some great scenery and believable special effects.


Stay tuned for The Dark Knight…. DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.

Now this is the way to see a movie!

We love it when the Oscars roll around every year, and we try to see as many of the movies as possible before the event.  Usually we don’t meet that lofty goal, and this year is no different, but we thought we’d take in one this past Friday night so we could at least see half of them (okay, really only 3).  One of our local theaters recently converted to a Dine-In Theatre, so we decided to give it a try. 

ARGO has been at the top of our list so we decided to see the movie and the new dining set-up all at the same time.  I purchased the ticket through the website and was excited to see that we could select our seats in advance.  When we arrived at the theater we skipped the ticket line and went directly to the area where kiosks were set up for advance purchases.  There were a lot of them so it was very convenient.  One swipe of the credit card that purchased the tickets led to the immediate production of the tickets.  No questions to answer and now buttons to push!  Easy!

We were greeted by very friendly staff and shown to our seats.   WOW!   Now this is the way to see a movie!  (I hope I don’t fall asleep in this cozy comfy chair).  We sat in plush and roomy recliner style chairs with a pull over table.  The chair reclined in various stages so everyone can find that sweet spot where perfection is achieved.

The waiter came to us immediatly and explained how things would work and offered us some water while we perused the menu.  Yes!  I was thirsty after all this excitement.


After looking at the menu several times and playing with all the buttons on the chair, we finally ordered.  As frequently happens, even with about 50 items on the menu, we ordered the same thing.  Exactly. the. same. thing.  The Thai Bang Shrimp Tacos and a Woodchuck Cider.  Everything on the menu looked good, but I would like to see a few more healthful choices added (hint, hint).

BB_2013_Feb_ARGO.2  BB_2013_February_ ARGO

Yummy, yummy and  a lot of crunching while violating our low-calorie, low-fat diet.

The movie was great and I loved the suspense.  I had recall of many of the events surrounding this time period, but the movie did a great job of putting the viewer in the shoes of those people who took some courageous risks.  I was shaking at the end.  Ben Affleck has certainly evolved from an actor into other roles now that show he has talent.  Plus he still has that frown that tends to melt every female in the room.  I looked around the theater to see if it had the same effect on everyone, and I think it did, but it was hard to tell with everyone sitting in recliners with their feet up (I think a couple of people had dozed off, and I was just glad it wasn’t me).


We love going to the movies, and this is definitely flying first class.

Until Later — DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.