Tonawanda News

Features

November 17, 2013

CRIB NOTES: Why exactly are we doing this again?

Tonawanda News — Once again, I am — painfully — working my way through one of those parts of fatherhood they forget to put on the brochure.

I’m sitting in the recliner with three giant tubs of Halloween decorations towering over me — yes, by the time you’re reading this, the Halloween decorations will be put away. I packaged them up the other day, but I just haven’t mustered up the energy yet to put them into their home in the crawl space upstairs.

That lack of desire isn’t entirely my fault, though. While taking care of this latest decor swap, I pulled something in my back that makes most activities — including, most ironically and unfairly, sitting — uncomfortable. So instead of dealing with it and getting the chore over with, I’m contorting around in the chair trying to find a comfortable position for my back while also hoping the boxes will magically walk themselves upstairs.

That won’t happen, of course. Nor will it happen in a couple weeks when I have to get the — much larger pile of — Christmas decorations out of the other crawl space and bring them downstairs. So I will just have to deal with the pain and get the task over with.

I don’t hate decorations, mind you. In fact, they’re fun to look at. But they are a huge pain to assemble. First there are the heavy boxes. Really, how does a box full of one-ounce glass ornaments weigh so darn much?

Then there’s all the bending and twisting to get things out of the crawl space, lugging everything downstairs, the countless hours needed to go through each item and take out broken pieces, and the hours needed to stand outside in the cold while decking the halls. In fact, speaking of back pain, I hurt my back so badly in our crawl space a few years ago that I was in the emergency room and then confined to the couch for a week. And that week just happened to be my week off for vacation.

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    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

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  • SUN LIFE terrariums 1 072014.jpg For the love of nature

    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

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    “They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”

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    I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Calling all the basic locavores!

    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

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  • SUN LIFE NT tours 071314.jpg A closer look at NT

    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

    Now the organization is looking to the future and trying out ways to highlight the other unique aspects of the Western New York region. The tours change out each month, but the more popular ones will circulate back in, according to Explore Buffalo Executive Director Brad Hahn. This month it’s test-driving its “North Tonawanda: Lumber City” tour, one of only a few to take place outside the City of Buffalo. (Although a Lockport tour is in the works.)

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     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

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  • SUN LIFE muscoreils 1 071314.jpg Beyond the bakery

    For years, Muscoreil’s Fine Desserts & Gourmet Cakes has been a go-to location for desserts and wedding and occasion cakes in Western New York.

    This summer, even as the bakery deals with the rush of wedding season, changes at its associated bistro aim to create a revitalized focus on that side of the business, as well.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - Crib Notes 2014 RGB.jpg Figuring out the birthday-party rules

    The options when you escort your child to a birthday party are endless, really. Everywhere you turn, there’s another thrill to uncover.

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