RIP Billy Mays and Like Father, Like Son

The kids are having their friends over late this afternoon for some fun in the pool (probably hot tub as well) and dinner.  Michelle had thought about hotdogs for dinner, but  we talked about it and decided upon grilled chicken,  potato salad,  rolls, and chocolate cake for dessert.

No problem with the potato salad.  I prepared it before eight this morning and it has been in the refrigerator since.  I baked a chocolate cake from scratch.  This one is a killer!!! I really am not fond of chocolate, but this cake is more like a moist, chewy, delicious chocolate brownie with lots of walnuts in it!  The only problem was,  I didn’t have any shortening to grease my bundt pan.  I thought perhaps a little oil with a light coating of flour might work, but I thought wrong.  The “top” of the cake still remains in the pan. ARGH!!! It’s okay….I am sure the kids won’t mind.


That leaves the chicken.  I got the chicken out to thaw.  I put just a bit of teriyaki sauce on it, because that seems to give it a good flavor.  Then, I got out my Kickin’ Chicken grinder bottle by Weber.  My family adores this seasoning. We all know that freshly-ground spices always tase better, no?

spice in jar.small

I had a ten-pound bag of chicken to season.  Have you *any* idea how PAINFUL it becomes to one’s wrists to repeat a grinding action over….and over…..and over again?  So, I am sitting on the couch now, complaining because “this is just taking far too long”!

Enter Ben.

Ben takes said bottle of seasoning and reassures me he will grind up as much as I need.  While he is swinging.  Reluctantly, I hand over the bottle, aware he really has helped me with this task previously. Ben walks to his room, then comes back through the living room with a smile on his face and a roll of duck tape in his hand. 

“I’ll be back”! 

Several minutes later, the door bursts open and in comes Ben, grinning ear to ear! I look and see Mark’s unmistakable green cordless drill in Ben’s hot little (well, not so little) hands.

they pay grown men to think of such things.small

Remember, Mark went to college for Mechanical Engineering!  When I saw this, my mind flashed the thought that this must have been the kind of thing my mother-in-law dealt with when Mark was a lad! Ben placed the grinder directly above the bowl the chicken was in, revved the motor, and….


ba da boom ba da bing.small

Within seconds, the chicken was coated in the delightful seasoning.  Not sure how Mark might take this, I took the “modified” drill to him and I suddenly recognized the SAME silly grin Ben had on his face just a while before!  Thus, Michelle took her turn with the contraption.   And, Mark took his turn, calling out all sorts of wild claims about this new invention.  He sounded *just like* Billy Mays!  It was so funny, I nearly fell down laughing!

A  while later,  I got my computer and went to my Twitter account.  I noticed Billy Mays’s name come up.  How funny! It was then that I read of his untimely death and felt so bad.  When I told Mark and Ben, they both looked as though they had lost a dear friend….they said watching his show was one of their highlights! 

Rest in peace, Billy Mays!

Our Lady of Victory Basilica

As Mark and I pulled into the botanical gardens,  my eye caught sight of a most spectacular church…

I toured the gardens, thinking whenI was done, I really needed to check out the church;  I had been to the gardens more than once or twice, but somehow, I missed this! The funniest part was that as Mark sat in the parking lot, *he* noticed the church, too, and asked if I needed to check it out!

After taking many photos of the church exterior, my interest really piqued!  After all, this is unlike any other church…or building for that matter…..found in Buffalo!

almost breathtaking.small

the sign sums it up.small

this church is nearly a block big.small

At this point, I will interject that a comprehensive history and tour of both inside and outside the basilica can be found here:

I just have to note on the statue below. (I found this info on the link above)  This basilica was the dream of a priest named Father Baker.  He wanted to build this edifice and worked to get the funding for it.  The two large statues were created in Italy of marble and one was to feature a nun, representing the sisters who worked at the various facilities there. The other was to feature a priest.  When the new statue arrived and was unveiled, Father Baker was most upset to find HE was the “brother” represented!  After some hot words  from the priest, he finally conceded….

beautiful adornments.small

so amazing.small

impressive structure.small

My very favorite part of this church is the four giant copper angels, facing north, south, east, and west.

love those heralding angels.small

one last glimpse at the enormity.small

It would be interesting to see the inside of this church. From the photos given on the link I provided,  it looks like it would be an awesome sight!