Monday, February 28, 2011

Bring On The Applications

Last summer Husby and I made a couple of appearances at Marketfest in White Bear Lake.  As usual we made aquaintences with our booth neighbors.  They sold those little wooden croaky frogs and also flowy, brightly-colored clothes for women. 

Fast forward a couple of months ~ we were visiting the Minnesota State Fair and in the International Bazaar were the croaky frog/flowy clothes people with their croaky frogs and flowy clothes.  Wow, I thought.  The Minnesota State Fair!  We were hobnobbing with famous people!  (Because if you have a booth at the fair you're probably pretty famous, or so is my opinion.)  Of course we went up to them to say hello, and I gushed all over them, impressed that they were selling their wares at the best venue in the state.  You've got such a good location, and you must have a blast working here, I said to the woman.  She was nonplussed and responded, "well, it's a job." 

? ? ?

This is the time of year I start looking for and applying to shows, festivals, and events around Minnesota and Wisconsin.  I always have such high hopes for the new season of selling in person.  Husby usually accompanies me on these stints as my roadie and back-up sales person when I'm otherwise indisposed.  One thing I've learned after years of doing in-person's not worth putting out the time and money if it isn't fun.

If a show has lots of cool vendors and an attentive and accomodating host, the potential for fun is there.  If the show has high attendance there is more potential for fun, assuming you actually like interacting with your own species.  Most importantly, if you have some kind of emotional investment in the wares you sell, you won't be able to help but have fun when all the customers ooh and ah over them.

I'm toiling over all the possible venues at which I could sell this year.  Of course I have some favorites to which I'll return, if they accept my application.  There are also some venues I've previously visited as a shopper and know they would be worth a try as a vendor.  There are still other venues I'm going to walk into cold, choosing simply by the description in an art fair publication. 

But the thing is, I don't want to turn out like croaky frog/flowy clothes people who approach these shows as "just a job."  I was telling my friend Charlotte about some of the shows I'm applying to and she said, "they sound like little vacations, and you make money too!"  Yep, that's the idea.  Sure it's great if you can make a big pile of money by selling your handmade things, but in the end the things you talk about, the stories you share, are all about experiences and people you meet.  That's why I think getting out and selling in person is so important ~ having face-to-face contact with your customers is invaluable.  Meeting a bunch of people who are doing the same as you, putting themselves out and selling what they make, is interesting and great for networking.  If the make-big-money attitude is held in check and the relax-and-have-fun attitude takes control, you can't help but create experiences you'll talk about for a long time. 

So here I go, diving into the applications.  Be sure to keep checking the 2011 Events page on the sidebar of this blog.  I'll add my in-person venues as the acceptance letters arrive.  You can bet they'll all be fun!

Chateau St Croix 1

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happily Grateful

Well I just give up with trying to get my blog photos to show up on Facebook.  Today there will be no photos.  I don't think.  We'll see.

My new canopy finally arrived.  Not that it took a long time, but I've been meaning to order one for a long time now and just never did until recently.  I wish the snow would melt so I could put it up in the back yard ~ Husby thinks we could clear out our rumpus room and set it up there, but that just seems wrong.  I should probably check it out somehow to make sure everything is included in the box and that there are no tears or other flaws.  Of course I got it from a reputable source so I'm sure it's wonderful.  The fact is I'm just eager to see how much easier it is to put up compared to my old canopy, which was a hand-me-down from another hardcore art/craft show circuit person.

Get one here

The other good thing that happened was the Midwest Art Fair publication arrived.  I know I get all excited about that every year and have probably written a post about it each time I get a copy.  But it's so much fun!  It's a great source for crafters and artists to find events and festivals at which to show off their wares and also fun for the art/craft show enthusiast who likes to shop at venues such as parks and historic buildings rather than icky strip malls.  I've been looking through it whenever I can sneak a moment from the duties of my day job.  The 2011 Events page of this blog will be filling up soon if all goes well. 

Get one here

Still another good thing that happened is I finally got my tookus down to the bank to talk to the guy about what I need to do to accept credit cards at all those events and festivals I'm going to apply to.  Most of my items are under $20, but you people out there don't walk around with cash anymore ~ you've got that dang debit card thing going.  Unless I have some kind of terminal to process those cards I won't get your business.  So tuck that card into your back pocket when you come to see me in person.  More than likely I'll be able to process it by then.

The last, but certainly not least good thing that happened ~ my Etsy shop is open.  I know, you heard about that before, but I'm still kind of excited about it.  For those of you new to this blog, I've had an Etsy shop for a long time, but decided to change it up and move to a different location (from AuntieBOnline to AuntieBsWax).  One of the latest items listed is this:

Elvis Drink Charms ~ Get one here

There you have it.  Gratitude for four things today.  If you're grateful, you're happy. 

Oh, and about those pictures?  You can see them here, but you probably won't be able to seem them on my Facebook status updates because I'm such a drutz (a word used by my German grandma meaning numbskull).  Oh well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Winter Fun

With temperatures nearing fifty degrees last week the piles of snow we got this winter were finally shrinking.  But with February and March the snow loses its lovely, crisp white color and changes to gray, brown, and even black.  The waning of winter and introduction to spring is ugly and uncomfortable to me.  It's my least favorite time of year.

Lo and behold the temperatures dropped and we were afforded another chance at winter with a major snow storm.  Most people complain about the foot of snow that was dumped on us, but I'm glad to see the clean whiteness of the earth again.  I don't want to think about it turning dingy and dreary right now, even though I know it will.

*awkward segue here*  There's a new addition to Craftland I'd like you to see.  Can you guess what it is?

Not a very good picture, but yes you got it right ~ it's a penguin.  But do you really know what it is?

Over five years ago this was salvaged from my grandparents' garage.  It was my mom's sled.  It has to date back to at least the 1940s and I just couldn't bear to see it end up in an auction, or worse yet a landfill.  There's too much history here, and a sentimental piece of my mom's past. 

With the new snow I should just take this old thing to the golf course and ride it down the hill.  But I remember my cracked coccyx and think it's better where it is, mounted in Craftland.  Thanks to Husby this old sled has a new home out of the way and against the wall in Craftland where I can admire it every time I go to work.

What a cool piece of memorabilia, even though the only memories I have of this sled are the ones of it stored in Grandma and Grandpa's garage, way in the back, where it was dark and scary.  It has a much better home up against the orange walls of Craftland.

Do you have any large pieces from your parents' pasts?  Are you storing them away where they can't be seen, or are you thinking of creative ways to display or use them?  I'd love to hear the stories!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Featured Shop ~ Cindy Lindgren

According to Wikipedia, the "Arts and Crafts movement advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration."  The Arts and Crafts movement is also the inspiration Cindy Lingren uses in her art.

Cindy's shop is full of botanicals and things of nature.  At this time she offers her illustrations in the forms of prints, cards, and rugs.

The palette Cindy uses has a calming sense to it.  The designs are simple, yet hold the true essence of that which she illustrates.  Who wouldn't love a friendly, hand-written note on these beautiful note cards?
And any room could be brightened up with a rug decorated with Cindy's design, like this one:
There are also textiles with Cindy's cheery illustrations available at her shop.
The shop of Cindy Lindgren is full of wonderful things to brighten up your life in a style reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts period.  Check it out ~ I bet you'll be happier for it!

This article will soon be published on the HandmadeMN blog, a blog I'm sure you will enjoy.  Not only do they publish my Featured Shops, but have lots of giveaways and interesting articles presented by many Minnesota artisans like me. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Weary Week

It was a long week for me.  I'm still trying to find my groove, although I'm happy enough to have been somewhat productive.  Here are some highlights and lowlights:

1.  Charlotte, the most organized and effective person I know, gave me some pointers on how to accomplish more in the measly twenty-four hours we are afforded in a day.  I've been working hard at applying her advice.  Don't you know, it actually works.  Interestingly enough I watched a presentation given by Etsy regarding the same subject and heard a lot of the same things Charlotte told me.  What?  Did everyone know about this stuff except me?  Maybe some day I'll share what I learned, even though you probably already know it.

2.  I can't remember what it's like to just sit and watch TV and actually pay attention to what I'm watching.  Formerly known as the TV Queen I'm a little ashamed of how I've fallen out of the loop.  More disappointing is how I can't find even two hours a week to just sit and watch a movie.  I'll have to keep working on #1 above, organizing and prioritizing so I can have a movie on the weekends without distraction.

3.  I've started a new regimen of no caffiene after coming home from the day job.  There will be a day when I cut it out of my daily routine completely, but for now I'm liking the juice and water in the evenings.  You're reading this post and laughing out loud, wondering what kind of person doesn't know how to plan a day or drink juice and water on a regular basis.  A person on autopilot who is spread too thin, that's who.

4.  Spent some time last week with my dad, who had a bad run-in with a kidney stone.  After a lot of treatment on his part and no sleep on my part, I've had a hard time this week figuring out what day it is.  Luckily I know today is Friday and I won't be going into the day job tomorrow.

5.  The new shop is open!  This is really exciting for me; however, starting an Etsy shop from scratch brings on some challenges.  The feedback from my old shop isn't readily available.  I haven't made my first sale yet and I think people will be afraid to jump in and get the ball rolling.  I make good stuff.  Really.

6.  I have a big, fresh bag of M&Ms to tear into and munch on throughout the weekend. 

7.  This weekend sleep will be mine. 

Have a lovely one, my friends.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nature's Art

Spring is on its way.  Really.  I mean it.  You can count on it.  The snow has ceased to be white and is turning grey, brown, and even black in its melting state.  That's a sure sign spring will be here eventually. 

I got an e-mail from my friend MaryAnn with some photos that really got me in the mood.  And because she would rather send e-mails to everyone she knows rather than share this cool stuff on her blog, I thought I'd show these pictures on my blog instead.  I don't know who to credit for these amazing photos, so if I'm stepping on any toes, please let me know.  Or if you know the source of these photos tell me so I can provide a link.

Now, can you tell me what this is?

No?  Maybe this will help...

I'll give you a hint.  You probably won't see this while flying over Nebraska.

Have you guess yet?  If not, this next one will surely reveal the secret.

Yep.  Tulips.  Millions and millions of tulips.  What represents springtime better than tulips?  These photos were taken in the Netherlands.  They're famous for their tulips, you know.

Not only do these pictures make me eager for spring, they awaken my wanderlust.  Have any of you been to Holland in May to see the tulips bloom?  I can't even imagine how overwhelmingly beautiful it would be.

So there's my promise that spring will once again return.  If you can't wait for the tulips to bloom in your back yard, refer back to this post and enjoy the view.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Comfort Food

We're all familiar with the term "comfort food."  Some people don't think food should be associated with comfort because soon enough it will be associated with love and the whole eating disorder thing gets rolling.  I think people who think like that are a little extreme and don't give those indulging in comfort foods enough credit.  It isn't about overeating or substituting food for emotions.  It's about getting a cozy feeling from a particular food or dish.

One of my favorite comfort foods is Grandma's Hotdish.  I'm pretty sure I've written about it before, or at least referred to it.  It's weird that I like this dish so much because it is associated with the grandma who wasn't exactly known to be cuddly, lovey, or doting like grandmas usually are.  In fact, she was kind of mean.  But she had some pretty good food and this dish, originally named Plantation Supper, was my favorite.  As a kid I didn't know it was called Plantation Supper, so I just called it Grandma's Hotdish.  I found out later my grandma referred to it as "Sara's Hotdish" because I loved it so much.

It's very simple to make: a pound of hamburger browned with an onion with a little salt and pepper added.  Throw in a can of cream of mushroom soup (of course!), a brick of cream cheese, about 3/4 cup milk and a can of corn, drained.  Then stir in your half bag of cooked egg noodles (or eight ounces of any kind of noodle/macaroni) and you've got yourself what I consider the most wonderful bit of heaven on earth that was ever born in a fry pan. 

To make it the meal really legit you have to serve it with Grandma's buns and red jello.  I do have the recipe for the buns, but am not a very accomplished bread baker yet, so I just use the canned crescent rolls.  I am very adept at making red jello though, and it is a must with this meal.  Just jello.  No fruit in it, just the jello.  And it must be red.  It can be cherry, strawberry, raspberry, even pomegranate, but it must be red.  And of course pickles.  Every hotdish must be served with pickles.  With this dish they can be dill pickles or bread and butter pickles, but not sweet pickles.

It's not exactly a well-rounded, healthy meal, but comfort food isn't about being responsible.  In fact, it's an escape from responsibility.  It's an id-satisfying solution to the demands of your superego, which you're pretty tired of by now.  If you're not familiar with Freudian lingo, I'll just say this meal pretty much says "take that, world ~ I'm feeling good now," at least for me.

How about you?  What's your comfort food? 

Monday, February 14, 2011


Here I am, in case you were looking for me.

I've been away, partly because I was helping take care of a kindly old man in the hospital.  He fared the poking and prodding and overall discomfort of his condition pretty well, and is quickly on the road to recovery.  For that I'm grateful, because if he is homebound for much longer I'm afraid he'll make a scene.

When I/he/all-of-us left the hospital we were greeted by a deep freeze.  I think the others managed well despite the subzero temperatures, but I froze solid.  My fingers were stiff from cold, unable to type, which as you know is kind of a requirement when presenting a blog.  My brain was unable to fire synapses or whatever kind of electrical thing it does to make a body and mind function.  My bones were brittle, dried out from the bitter breath of Old Man Winter.  I'm not complaining by any means.  I am one of very few Minnesotans who likes wintertime.  It's just that sometimes it renders me completely stone-like, as though I had cast my eyes upon Medusa.  It's a survival thing, conserving any bit of heat left in my body.  I sit quietly and wait for it to pass.

Within the span of a few days the temperature went from ten degrees below zero to fifty degrees...above zero.  I can't tell you if spring is on its way, but I know I thawed out a little, and my fingers are able to type again.

With the melting snow comes a new energy.  I've been receiving invitations to apply for spring and summer craft shows.  I've been organizing my new craftland, business paperwork, and home.  I feel the spring cleaning surge coming on.  And finally, after nearly three months of planning (which isn't nearly enough), I will be reopening my Etsy shop.  Look this week for the first of hundreds of items to be added over the next few months.  I'll have lots of the same items for sale you found in the previous shop, and will do my best to also keep things fresh with new items thrown into the mix.

So I guess the thaw has been good for me, be it permanent for the season or not.  I'm pushing forward with a new energy.  I hope it lasts.  Happy Monday everyone!  And give your sweetie a kiss ~ it's Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Put Off Procrastinating

A little while ago I wrote a post about conquering your fears when it comes to becoming an entrepreneur, featuring a link to a really great article regarding the same subject.  The advice given is great for anyone who finds themselves stuck, unable to move forward, even if they aren't an entrepreneur.

Along the same lines of letting fear get in the way of getting things done I'm going to now address the obstacle of procrastination.

We all know how easy it is to put things off.  There are much more enjoyable things we'd rather be doing instead of what we know we should be doing, or more importantly what must be done.  You find yourself saying "there's always tomorrow" (Clarice in the holiday favorite Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer) or "tomorrow is another day" (Scarlet O'Hara in Gone With The Wind).  The thing is, we might be getting a high score on our favorite video game but the necessary things in life just don't get done.  Procrastination, like the fear mentioned above, is just another obstacle to moving forward in our lives.

Over a week ago I was disappointed at all the things I didn't get done, most of which concerned housework and other home-related tasks.  Husby said to me "you've got next weekend to get this stuff done."  Truth of the matter was I didn't even have to wait until the next weekend to complete the tasks on my list.  I could have worked on them throughout the week.  But did I?  Hell no.  I had next weekend to complete the tasks so I lollygagged around all week accomplishing next to nothing.

Then the weekend came.  All set to be the white tornado around the house I was prepared to hunt dust bunnies and wash a window or two, just to mention a couple of nagging chores I had left behind from the weekend before.  Then, at 2:20 a.m. on Saturday after getting about three hours of sleep I got a phone call.  Someone needed a ride to the emergency room.

Of course the health of a family member always takes priority over washing dishes or doing laundry.  But let me just say that the trip to the emergency room extended into an entire weekend of hospital time.  Ensuring the well-being of the person who fell ill was of course the most important thing on my mind.  The weekend consisted of many hours of watching and waiting and assisting and very few hours of sleep.

During the short amounts of time I was at home throughout the weekend I met up with the dust bunnies and they mocked and taunted me.  "We know you hate us," they said.  "We're taking over your house even though you're stronger than us and our destiny is in your hands.  Thank you for allowing us to survive and multiply.  Because you procrastinated last week we now rule this dwelling and will torment you." 

The point is "there's always tomorrow" and "tomorrow is another day" do not always ring true.  Unforeseen circumstances much greater than what you have on your list of things to do may crop up, leaving the plans you put off until "tomorrow" lying there limp, lifeless, and unfinished. 

Making sure a sick family member is taken care of does not constitute procrastination, but that high score on the video game, watching that movie you've seen twelve times, and updating your status on Facebook and reviewing the updated statuses of your 395 "friends" does.  I played that video game, watched that movie, and spent a lot of time on Facebook during times I should have been killing the relentless dust bunnies. 

Get stuff done during the time you budgeted to get the stuff done.  Just do it.  Live in the moment of the task at hand without distraction.  You'll feel so much better about yourself and your accomplishments.  Then, when something spontaneous presents itself to you, whether it is an emergency or an invitation to an impromptu party, you can tend to that without distraction too. 

My dad always said, "plan your work and work your plan."  Great advice.  Work that plan today, because tomorrow, for whatever reason, you might not be able to.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Happy Birthday, Diggy

Dear Diggy,

Today you would have turned forty-four years old.  I can't imagine you being that old.  I can't believe I'm even older than that!  In the past four-plus years that you've been missing in action (aka dead ~ but I hate using that word as an adjective to describe my little brother) I've gotten to know you quite well and have taken to embracing the somewhat unsavory traits we have in common.

One thing we have in common is our tendency to be compulsive.  I know, you're laughing at the understatement, but this letter is going to be posted for all to see so I want to be kind.  As I write this I'm chowing on an endless supply of M&Ms sitting next to me on the table.  I can't stop.  Compulsive.  But I don't have to tell you that; you've probably got that all-knowing thing going for you now.

To be even more specific, we have the gambling compulsion in common.  I don't know about you, but I love losing myself in the dark casino, enveloped in the smoke while having a cocktail or two, my head ringing with the bells and clangs of the slots.  It's like a drug, and when you take it you forget all about everything else.  Such a glorious escape.

Some people will honor your birthday by going to church and saying a prayer.  Me?  Yeah, right.  I'm headed for the casino to slip a hundo into that lovely lady called Chance.  I know you'll be right there with me.  Do me a favor and pull some of that supernatural stuff so I can hit a jackpot or two and quit my day job.  For a dinner break I'll have a heaping plateful of peel-and-eat shrimp and toast you with a tall glass of chocolate milk.  Because that's what we do.

Happy Birthday, Diggy.  Ya big weirdo.



Thursday, February 03, 2011


Well, it's pretty much done.  Can you believe it?  I can't.  I really, really can't believe how much better the new and improved Craftland is.  Remember the old Craftland?  No?  That's probably a good thing.  Even I can't remember the squalor in which I worked.  But let's refresh our memories.

Here's a picture of the ickiness that was a dumping ground for...whatever.

And here is the mess that was my disorganized shelves.

Look at the improvements I made to that wall!

Oh sure, it may still look all jumbled and disorganized to you, but I know where everything is and there really is a rhyme and reason to how it's all arranged.

Remember my sorry desk/work space?  Or should I say lack of work space?

Now I have room to write, cut, glue, package, or just sit and contemplate my next move.

I have room for some little trinket holders, a clock, my timer, and Kleenexes and room to work.  What could be more luxurious? 

And remember that other shelving unit?  It scared me the most.  Way too much stuff on it. 

When I was going through everything on the shelves I found things I forgot I ever made, creating new products to offer my adoring customers!

Now look at this tidy unit!
All of my craft show props are on the bottom shelf.  All of my molds are on the shelf above that.  And see all of those bottles?  Those are my fragrance oils.  And yes, they are in alphabetical order!
A few weeks ago when I took the "before" pictures I was too ashamed to even take one of my candle-pouring area.  It was functional, yes, but small and cluttered to the nth degree.  Thanks to Husby and his shelving unit prowess I have a candle-pouring station more than twice the size of my original set-up so I can really s p r e a d  o u tIt makes me positively giddy.  It's so long I couldn't even fit it all in the picture!
I really love the shelves underneath the work area for storing my waxes, dyes and myriad of candle-making tools.  And check out the cushy floor padding!  There's also a rug under my desk/work area that makes everything look and feel homey and cozy.
I'm also happy to announce that my mascot, Dolly, still stands in a prominent place in Craftland.  She always smiles approvingly at whatever I create.
There are still more improvements to make.  Husby is going to help me hang some old prints on the walls as well as rig up an awesome wick dispenser.  We're also going to have an electrician come in and provide me with better lighting. 
For the most part, my little corner of the creative world is up and running.  Finally!  I have room for everything I need and room to grow.  Fancy aesthetic elements will cozy up the area before too long.  Now that creation can resume, my new Etsy shop will be opening in the very near future.  I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Dive Night ~ Meister's, Shoreview

Dive Night is a once monthly adventure undertaken by me and Husby, along with our friends Ruthie and Ray. Each couple alternates choosing a restaurant, one which must come under the category of "dive." Our definition of dive: a neighborhood gathering spot hiding under the radar. Casual atmosphere and good food. We're out to find the best food in the Minneapolis/St Paul area without having to pay a fortune or dress up. A sip of beer or wine doesn't hurt either. 

It's cold and snowy here in Minnesota, but that doesn't stop the Dive Night crew from braving the weather and checking out another year of dives.  Unfortunately what became a tradition was not the best choice of places to kick off the 2011 dive adventure.  Meister's, which was really good in Stillwater and pretty good in Scandia turned out to be kind of mundane in Shoreview.  Of course that's just my opinion.

The decor is frighteningly ordinary, except for the occasional dancer you might find in the hallway outside the restaurant.  You see, Meister's in Shoreview is contained in a strip mall and shares a hallway with a dance studio.  We got to see a spinny guy in a matador costume when we were there.  But other than that the place is pretty ho-hum.

These little cut-outs of German people (we called them Heidi and Hans) were taped to a mirrored wall on one side of the dining room.  The room itself was pretty well lit and except for Heidi and Hans was pretty devoid of any character.

There was also a very large party of people in the dining room, and they took up the whole length of the room.  They were all really old, and one guy had exactly one tooth.  I think it was Grandma's birthday, because the lady at the head of the table looked to be about 127 years old.  I thought it was sad that Meister's was the place her family chose to celebrate what could be her last birthday, but who am I to judge?  Anyway, the four of us were seated in the back corner booth, which was fine. 

First we ordered our drinks.  Ray and Husby got a big old pint of beer and Ruthie and I ordered a glass of white zinfandel.  Our wine choices were generic.  I don't know why I think I can get a good glass of wine in a dive, but I'm always a little disappointed when I can't.  I should probably start drinking hard liquor if I want to get a good drink in a dive.  Our wine came in little splits and tasted like the kind you would get out of a box with a spigot.

No matter, we're there for the food, not the libations.  First of all I will give Meister's kudos on the temperature of their food.  Everything was hot.  Like, really hot where you'd have to let it sit for a while before biting into it.  That's good.  The choice of appetizers was limited and pretty ordinary.  We ended up getting onion rings and mushrooms.  The mushrooms came with a little ranch dipping sauce.

 Ray couldn't resist getting a cup of the sausage tortilinni soup, which he said was tasty.  It came with three packets of crackers.  Very generous indeed!

As for the entrees, we each had something different.  I had the philly sandwich (sans green peppers *burp*) with au jus, Ruthie had taco salad, which was huge, Husby had a buffalo chicken wrap sandwich, and Ray had a rueben.  As I mentioned, everything came to us really hot and tasted fine, but in my opinion the menu in general and my dinner lacked any kind of originality or pizazz.  The rest of the gang might have different opinions.

And what kind of dive would Meister's be if it didn't have a Friday Night Meat Raffle?  Of course we had to buy a couple of chances because who doesn't want to go home with a hunk of raw meat after an evening out?

Unfortunately none of our numbers were winners. 

Long and short?  We kicked off the third year of Dive Nights with a tradition, but the least favorite of the three Meister's.  Nothing about it was outstanding, but nothing was icky either.  It was just...zzzzzz. 

One thing I must mention is the service.  That was pretty decent.  Our waitress was very attentive and did a good job of keeping up with us and the large party of old people.  Nice and friendly, but not too friendly to get in your way.  I like wait staff like that.  Our waitress was excellent.

So that wraps it up.  I feel a little guilty not being more positive.  I will say if you're going to go to an average place to eat you should be accompanied by superior company, like Husby and I are every time we're out with Ruthie and Ray.  Thanks, guys!
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