Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I admit it - I've been ignoring you. I've just had so much going on and I'm still trying to process it myself. This afternoon I'm interviewing for a position at a large pharmaceutical company and if I get a reasonable offer, I'm taking it. I'm not excited to go back to work - I'd be fine with never working again - but I want the money to go on with some other parts of my life. The fantastic hubby and I want to expand our family and I'll be the first to admit - I love to spend so I know I'll want to spend tons on the little addition.
I need to get ready for the interview - wish me luck (though we know I'm fabulous and they'd be silly if they don't love me).

Friday, November 2, 2007

American Dream

Dreaming of eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast? Steaming coffee on your mind? Come visit me at work - we'll hook you up (and for a very reasonable fee).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Slave to the man

Working sucks.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Another branch on the family tree

Addison Laura Bak
7 lbs, 3 oz. 20" long

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Smells like an open house

Yes, it is what you think it is; warm, yeasty, crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside bread. Here's the deal: I took Martha's Baking Handbook out of the library the other day and have been perusing it daily, drooling and wishing for cold hands and more patience. Today I couldn't take it any more. I made my first cup of coffee and started out bright and early sifting my ingredients. I followed the recipe exactly, and everything was going well until I turned the dough out onto my board to begin kneading. Splat. So I added more flour. And kneaded. And added more flour. And kneaded. And added more flour, and more flour, and kneaded some more. This went on for quite a while. Finally, after much trial and error, I hit the right dough consistency; smooth, not sticky and pliable. I was thrilled - even baking isn't an exact science! Who knew? I might be hooked.

I have joined

the rest of the ratrace and have become gainfully employed. You can find me in the Macy's Marketplace (hugging and snuggling all of Martha's new treasures).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

As American as...

I am not a baker. I'm not exact, I'm not measured and I'm definitely not predictable. I'm not that great at following directions, and I believe someones got to be different (and that's usually me).

But weirdly enough I want to be a baker. I dream of fresh loves of bread, with perfectly chewy interiors and crisp, crunchy crusts. I imagine holidays filled with savory, sweet pies, the house perfumed by wonderful, homey aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. I buy book after book on baking, desserts and breadmaking and stare longingly at the pages. But I believe in change and growth and chances.

So I baked a pie.

It's not perfect; the crust didn't brown as much as I would have liked, and pastry is not my specialty, but it's a pie. And it'll taste fine.

And that's enough.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Feeding Frenzy

Unfortunately this post isn't about a feeding frenzy on anything I cooked, but instead on a feeding frenzy happening outside my house. Apparently tired of black walnuts and stolen birdfood my neighborhood squirrels have moved on to the next feasting fad; decorative pumpkins. This little guy was happily nestled in with my mums to create a lovely and welcoming fall front doorscape but instead became the centerpiece for a squirrel banquet (along with 2 of his friends). It seems when they tried to steal this guy he got his just dues however - the got stuck in the fence as they were trying to take him away. Resourceful creatures they are however - they gnawed away until they could fit him through and then dragged him up a tree to safely feast. This picture was taken shortly before they got him through.

I have friends (and they have birthdays)

Happy birthday neighbor!

How Bout Them Apples?

What's a better way to spend a fall day than shoveling down donuts and traipsing all over squishy fallen apples?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hospitality is dead

This morning as I was doing my weekly lawn pooper scooping (one of the joys of pet ownership) one of my neighbors popped her head over the fence to say hello. The quick hello turned to a conversation about fall, new neighbors, pets and getting together. Soon afterwards I was chatting with my friend(also my neighbor) on the phone and I asked if they recalled the chatty neighbors name.

Neighbor Friend: "Sure, it's Chatty Neighbor (CN). Why?"
Me: "She came over to talk to me today and I couldn't remember her name. It was kind of weird actually because they never really talk to us."
Neighbor Friend: "Oh, well I was talking to CN yesterday and I mentioned how welcoming and friendly you and cute husband had been since I moved in to the neighborhood. We talked about getting everyone together for a bbq or something. Maybe that's why CN stopped by.
Me: "Huh."

I don't mean to sound unfriendly or snotty, I was just surprised. We've lived in our neighborhood for over 2 years now, and although I've had passing over the fence conversations with the CN family, we've never really gotten to know them to well. I think getting together would be wonderful. But the thing that struck me more about the conversations of the day was how surprised and thankful neighbor friend was over my family's friendliness.

Neighbor friend is new to the neighborhood, and upon arrival I did go introduce myself and bring a welcoming gift - as I think a good neighbor should. I also send cards to celebrate my friends' birthdays and anniversarys, I volunteer to babysit children and pets for vacations and evenings out, I send thank you cards when I'm invited to dinner and I bring host/ess gifts when I'm invited to someone's house. I send out cards and give out cookies for the holidays and pass out candy for Halloween.

I don't do any of things these things to please other people; I do them for me. I love the domestic arts - cooking, decorating, and crafting, and I truly enjoy creating a family environment with those I know and love. I love the celebrating the holidays and spreading "good cheer" (I've already got my xmas cards picked out!).

But I'm surprised (or maybe not) by how many people just don't do any of these things anymore. I've been to weddings and showers bearing gifts and never received a thank you, and the number of Christmas cards we receive never seems to be as many as those we know.

As I said above, I don't "give out to get" but everyone likes getting personal notes in the mail - including me! I like knowing you enjoyed and appreciated dinner at my house as much as you like hearing it from me, and I love knowing how your family is celebrating the holidays. I live in town because I want to know and share the company of my neighbors, to pass out candy to neighborhood children and see how they've decorated their houses for the holidays. Am I the only hospitable person left?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Yummilicious - and on the way to being even more so

I love food. Everything about it is exciting to me - it's origin, where it comes from, how it grows, the different ways it can be prepared, preserved and presented. One of my favorite places to shop is the grocery store, and I beeline for any store selling kitchen or food related products. I'm a weekly (and often more often) shopper at the farmer's market, and I buy my apples and pumpkins from a farm or orchard (not a parking lot stand). I'm so excited to serve food grown in my garden. I've even found great local wine!

Previous to this year I didn't give much thought to where my food was coming from. I lived in consumeristic bliss, happily making the bulk of my food purchases from the local Meijer, preparing my meals with little concern for the seasonality of my food.

I'm not sure where my transformation started. Maybe it was Fast Food Nation. It progressed to the Omnivorous Dilemma, and Animal Vegetable Miracle. It moved to Local Harvest, Fair Food Matters and Eat Local. And somewhere along the line, my feelings about food and concern for where it comes from started to change.

My first real personal change concerned the origin of my meat products. I'm an animal lover, a foster "mother" and a often guilty feeling omnivore. (I've tried vegetarianism but I love a good bologenese sauce way too much). So if I can't change my taste at least I can change where and how I get my meat. I stopped buying meat from the grocery store and started making my purchases from a local butcher, Quality Meats. I lost my squeamishness for venison and started adding it to more and more recipes. Recently I located an organic farm offering a meat csa and I'm currently plotting my purchases to store in my freezer.

Next I reconsidered my veggie choices. With the Farmer's Market open 3 days/week I've been really successful in limiting most of my vegetables to locally grown, but I've been troubled about my options for the winter, and still getting my out of range produce (i.e. lemons) from my local megamart. I was so excited to learn there are several local growers offering winter csas.

I'm really interested in finding more sources for local food. I'm not sure I could ever limit myself to living totally local - there are some things I just couldn't give up. Recently I read somewhere that even those who eat local allow themselves 12 items outside their food shed they just can't live without. So I started thinking - what couldn't I give up? Let's see..
1. Real Parmesan cheese (and maybe all cheese in general. I did find a local producer of ricotta cheese, and keep perusing the how to make cheese website - which may soon be another blog!)
2. Olive oil
3. Cocoa power/chocolate
4. Vanilla
5. Flour
6. Spices (can I make this one entry?)
7. Salt
8. Milk/soymilk (though I'm doing some research on local options)
9. Rice/cornmeal/couscous
(I'm actually surprised to find that at this point it's getting hard to think of other things I couldn't live without or find a local source for.)
10. Coffee
11. Soda
12. Fish

Update: I stopped at Centre Street Market today and found a flyer for a local cheese producer, which led me to a website listing several local producers. I'll continue to post my food finds in my blogroll for those of you interesting in pursuing other food options as well.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I'm finally done painting and very glad to be - I was getting so tired of it I was starting to slosh paint other places than just all over me (well, and the walls, floor and animals of course). The tape has been pulled off, the furniture put back in places and most of the decor put back up, so now starts the really hard part: deciding what fabric to use for curtains. Last night I stopped at Field's after dinner with my lady friends and 8 samples later was almost chased out the door by the sales clerk (I would have kept going but they were closing). There are just too many choices! That and they have an entire section of Amy Butler prints that I can't get enough of. Any advice on good decision making tactics (than iny meany miny mo)?

I met with a gentleman from SCORE this morning (they offer small business counseling) and Sarah and I are slowly making our way to getting our catering business soon as we register our name, register for a Federal Tax ID, register for a MI tax ID, get approval from the Health Dept, submit our paperwork for the LLC, meet with a lawyer to draw up and operating sometime around 2112 we'll be able to cater your event.

I also spent some time helping out in the Growing Matters garden this morning doing some harvesting with the garden manager...seeing someone else's garden always gives me lots of inspiration. And makes me want a bigger yard.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So fresh and so clean

I'm painting. Again. Lime green in fact. In my living room. Oh the horror!

I hate the painting process - the taping, the gathering of tools (usually half should have been thrown away last time or are unlocateable), the numerous trips to the store to get forgotten/new items, the drop cloths, the priming, the edging, the taping (I really hate the taping). But the painting - I actually like the painting. I like to see the walls slowly transforming from the boring basic primer white to the exciting new chosen color. I love the smell of new paint and the way it makes a room seem clean and fresh and new.

Painting always throws my house into chaos though. First there's the piles of furniture and wall decor, the stacks "found" items (like the random dog toys and socks you find under the couch), the piles scattered about of necessary "tools" for performing the activity and then of course the animals littered about making a mine field of the not only doing any work but also the moving of any equipment without incurring an injury that requires medical attention.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Here comes the bride...

Weddings are always so much fun. I don't know if it's the love in the air, the beautiful bride or the free food and drinks that always get everyone in such a joyous mood, but weddings always seem to bring out the best in people. Maybe it's the reminder of young love or fresh beginnings. Or the alcohol. Our wonderful friends Stephanie (the best stylist ever!) and Chad we married this weekend and the wedding/reception were full of all the things one should be; great food, family, free drinks, wild dancing and lots of laughter and love.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Seasons change

It's starting to happen. At first you don't even notice it. The first time you wear jeans instead of a skirt out in the evening. That first night you shut off the air conditioner and open the bedroom windows. The first night you rise in the early morning hours to pull an extra blanket onto the bed. The first time you shut some of the windows as it gets near dusk. The first time you grab a sweater before heading out the door. Oh the stores have already known about it; they've had their Halloween decorations out since July, but you're not ready to realize it yet. You're still enchanted by the smell of charcoal in the air, still drunk on the sound of Cicadas, still enjoying the feel of sun baking your back and the droplets of sweat on your brow. But even as you ignore it it's happening.
I realized a hint of it as the hum of Cicadas gave way to the rasping of squirrels grinding their teeth against the tough, green hulls of the walnuts from the tree in our backyard. I felt it again during my hike at Al Sabo when I was chilled by my sweat as I hiked back into the cool, shadowy woods. It was there when I pulled out a blanket to cover up during a movie this week, and present as I put my slippers on as I crept out of bed this morning.
You may not want to realize it, may want to push it back or delay it's coming but the inevitable will soon be here.
It's turning into fall round here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I'm not a very "religious" person, but I've always felt luck and blessed in my life to have a wonderful family, a loving husband, great friends and enough health, wealth and happiness to keep my days full. I probably don't say it enough, but I'm so grateful for all the things I have - and all the things I don't. As today is the 6th anniversary of September 11th, I wanted to express my appreciation for everything that makes my life so special - and recognize those who have sacrificed to make it so.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You need one

Yesterday evening the cute hubby and I joined forces on saving a wonderful friend of ours from the depths of overkittenization. What is overkittenization you ask? It is a horrible, terrible state, typically caused by long periods of exposure to overly cute kittens, excessive amounts of sleep deprivation and a general lack of all things chic and fashionable such as late night ice cream devouring sessions and meals with fun and entertaining people outside the house. Symptoms include an increased appetite for chips, a focus on mathematical formulas and bathroom habits and a desire to wear only yoga pants.

With our years of experience, we quickly determined the only way to save my dear friend from the horrible fate in which she was trapped was to steal her away from the clutches of the 10 cats (yes, I said 10 cats) and force her to ingest excessive amounts of cheap Italian food and make witty conversation.

It was a dangerous and challenging mission, fraught with rapid fire quips and educated judgments. Late night rations of waffle bowls and chocolate were required but luckily with our experience we knew to come prepared.

Fortunately we were able to catch the disease in it's early stages and our applied treatment was successful. In such case that the above treatment were not successful, large amounts of vodka and dancing would have been required to save her from the horrible fate.

Below are case study photos of subjects under the spell of the dreaded host animals.

Beware - the images below are highly sensitive and may cause intense feelings known as need-to-have-one-right-now. In such case these feelings do occur, immediately contact KAR for the required antidote.

Proceed at your own risk.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No rest for the wicked

I'm looking for a job. Anyone know of any good prospects?

Love - an update

Monday night I was hit with a wild craving for turkey burgers on the grill - and what goes better with a grill than squash.

They were fantastic - very similar in flavor to yellow summer squash but with a few more seeds and a slightly thicker skin. I dressed them with a little olive oil and sea salt - delish!

Going bananas

As part of my gardening fever, I've become slightly obsessed with collecting new and different species of plants, especially those that are native to Michigan or are just plain wild and fun. So last Saturday when I was browsing at the Farmer's Market I couldn't resist this little (ok not really little) delight.

It's an ornamental banana! I've heard they can actually produce bananas but I'm in love with it's spotted foliage either way. It nearly fills my crafts room so hopefully I'll be able to move it outside next year where I can enjoy it - and my neighbors can too!

A little piece of paradise

Last night I had the pleasure of touring a private garden with the garden club I just joined. Being a aspiring gardener myself, I was in awe - not just of the sheer size of their garden and landscaping but of the magnitude of maintenance it must require. After having grown up in the country, I've never been excited to go back, but seeing what they've done with the space they have really had me wishing for more than my small city lot boundaries.

Here are a few pictures to give you a tiny taste of what it was like.

The pond above is the lower of two ponds, fed by a small brook that falls over a small waterfall into the pool (see left hand corner of photo). Both ponds are full of small carp - I even saw a few frogs resting the on lillypads of the upper pond.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?

This is a super interesting site and video - really makes you think about the lengths we go to trying to measure up to the (impossible) standards of beauty we've created.

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm in love

Aren't they the cutest things you've ever seen? I saw them at the Bank Street Farmer's Market this afternoon and just couldn't resist them. I have no idea how I'm going to prepare them but I'll keep you updated.

I'm super excited for the upcoming Harvest Fest - it's being held at Tillers and features great great entertainment, exhibitions and a celebration of local food and farming. There's even a week long celebration of local food called Eat Local, Kalamazoo! I'm definitely going to be checking the events out - including the book signing at KPS by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon for their book "PLENTY: One Man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating".

Also on my horizon - the Master Gardener class beginning early September. I dropped off my soil samples today and am looking forward to getting the results.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Girlie Food

Let's say your husband is working the night shift on a big project, it's hot as a griddle outside and your local farmer's market had the most beautiful beets on display...what would you do?

Well I don't know what you'd do, but I'd make bortsch.

Alright, I'll admit, I was a little skeptical at first too. I'd seen it on a rerun of Barefoot Contessa and was intrigued by it's vivid color and ability to be served cold. It's been so humid here and I've been craving lighter suppers and drinking everything in sight. But is that weird pink soup is actually going to taste good? Ina was in character and excited about it. What the heck? I'm culinarily adventurous.

I was thankfully pleasantly surprised (a good thing because my backup plan was hotdogs at the Rootbeer Stand, and you know how good those things are for you). The soup is sweet, with a thin broth and mild tang from the vinegar and lemon juice. The sour cream adds a richness and creaminess and the cucumbers add a slight nice crunch. I even had seconds.

A quick warning note: Beet juice stains turns everything it touches a rich pinkpurple color, so dress accordingly for preparation.

Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa.

5 medium beets
2 cups chicken stock (I used homemade)
16 oz sour cream + extra for garishing (I used lowfat)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons champange vinegar
2 cups diced cucumber, seeds removed
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill + extra for garnishing (I used ~ 1 tablespoon dried)

Bring beets to a boil in salted water. Boil for 30 - 40 minutes until beets can be pierced easily by a knife. Remove beets from cooking liquid (reserve cooking liquid) and cool beets until they're comfortable to handle (I stuck them in the freezer for a few minutes), then peel off skins. Cut into medium dice and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine chicken stock, ~ 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, sour cream, sugar, vinegar and dill. Whisk to combine. Add chopped beets, cucumber, scallions and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and additional chopped dill before serving.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Yesterday we had my sister's baby shower (she's due early Oct.).

The Happy Parents


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hell's kitchen and for a good time...

See that above? That's the devil's handiwork. I've put up a fence, let the dog hang out in the backyard and mercilessly chased every small critter I can find out of the yard but nothing is keeping whatever it is from eating my beautiful bounty. Grrr.....

On a much happier and less murderous note, I took my friend Stella to Jungle Joe's .
I've been hearing what a great place it is and after checking it out for myself - I believe every word of it. It's only an extra $2 for adults to play too - and I recommend it. Along with some headache medicine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's 5:30 a.m.. I'm wide awake. And I'm unemployed

Awaking at such an early hour isn't such a problem when one has a job. It can actually be kind of nice. Get an early start on the day, finish up early and have time after work to do some extra things you've been meaning to.

But when you're unemployed, finding yourself awake so early well, sucks. Everything is still closed, it's still dark, there's nothing (worthwhile) on television and you can't call anyone. You're pretty much stuck with yourself. Which wouldn't be so bad, except...early morning tends to be the time I can't turn my brain off. Over and over it likes to ruminate worries, fears and other nasty tidbits I generally can't control, driving me crazy.

It's not that I'm not tired, I am, but it's almost like I'm too tired to not worry. It always ends up me against me -

Jen's brain "what if this? what if that? oh, my gosh what will I do?"
Jen's sense of reality "please, please, for the love of ----, shut up! You're being ridiculous!"
Jen's brain "okay.....but oh no! what about..?"
Jen's sense of reality "stop it. right. now."


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Vacation (again!)

Palmer family vacation 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007


Preggers x 2

Bump magnified

I've got a teenager...

Happy second birthday Chloe! (Doesn't that make her 14 in dog years? Does that mean I have to let her start dating?)

Local produce

Since we've been out of town the past few weekends, I haven't been getting my weekly fix of local produce, plants and flowers, so Saturday morning bright and early I dragged the hubby to our local farmers' market. Blueberries are everywhere, along with cucumbers, zucchini and squash, tomatoes, greens, and flowers. There was a yum-a-licious pie recipe in one of my magazines this month, so I picked up some blueberries, got a screaming deal on some pickling cucumbers and picked up bunches of autumn colored sunflowers and pink gladiolus.

Quick Pickles
About 5 Kirby cucumbers, sliced
2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
red pepper flakes
pickling spice*

*Usually contains mustard seeds, dill, bay leaf, peppercorns, and then additional spices depending on the brand. Mine is from Penzey's but any one of your choice will do.

Place cucumbers in mason jar. Heat vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pickling spice in a saucepan and heat while stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Ladle vinegar into jars and let cool, uncovered. Refrigerate pickles until ready to serve (wait at least 24 hours to allow flavors to meld).

Friday, July 20, 2007

The question portion of the program is over

I copied this article from another poster - this chick hit it right on the money. Hope others of you relate.

My Turn: Stop Setting Alarms on My Biological Clock

If I'm ever going to fulfill my dream of becoming a mother, I'm going to need some better role models.
By Carrie Friedman

July 23, 2007 issue - I am at a party chatting with a woman I know slightly. As her young son squirms out of her embrace, she slips her hand under my shirt. She's not getting fresh with me. She's touching my tummy with her cold hand and asking me, in a concerned voice, "Why aren't you pregnant yet?" I smile, break free from her touch, and head to the food table to fill said empty belly with her brat's birthday cake.

I love children and definitely plan on having them. Maternal instinct is oozing out of my pores: I've infantilized my dogs; I've gotten down on my hands and knees at the park with babies I barely know. My marriage is wonderful and solid, and we are both blessed with good health. I've been a nanny, a teacher, a youth-group leader. I've taken childhood-development courses solely for the purpose of someday raising happy, balanced children. I have always looked forward to becoming a mother.

So why don't I have kids or even the inkling right now? It's because of you. Yes, you: the fanatical mothers of the world. It may seem like ages ago now, but you weren't always like this. You, too, were sneering at the obnoxious parents who brought their infants to fancy, adult, nighttime restaurants or R-rated movies and let them carry on, ruining things for other patrons. You've been terrible advertising for the club that you so desperately need others to join.

If you want me to join your ranks—and you've made it clear with your cold, clammy hands on my stomach that recruiting my uterus is of paramount importance to you—I need to set some ground rules.

First, please stop asking me when I'm going to get pregnant.

For all you know, I cannot have kids. For all I know, I cannot have kids, as I have not yet tried. But imagine how painful this line of interrogation would be if I had submitted to all kinds of procedures, only to come up empty-wombed. It would be emotionally devastating. Yet ever since the day after my wedding two years ago, I have fielded this question from the eye doctor, the dental assistant, my yoga teacher, the bagger at the grocery store. All of them feel entitled to ask. Don't. It's none of your business.

Next, don't completely abandon your own life and passions. You're setting a bad example for aspiring mothers-to-be like me.

I recently expressed my happiness over an achievement I had at work to a mother-friend of mine. She said, dripping with condescension, "Well, you don't know happiness until you've had a baby."

That's very possible, but don't rain on my parade, as I've never said to you, "Remind me, when you went to that expensive college you majored in diaper-rash prevention, right?"

I happen to love my job. It fulfills me in ways no other person—even a child—could. I learned through my own mother's example that the best lesson you can teach your kids is to pursue their passions. It's not selfish to have your own life. In fact, it's selfish not to.

Now let's talk a bit about manners, as in please teach your children some. The world has rules, and kids should learn them. And being well mannered does not infringe on their individuality and freedom.

I crouched to meet the eye line of an acquaintance's 4-year-old to greet her, and in response, she punched me in the face so hard my mouth bled. What was more baffling was the mother's reaction: nothing to the child, but to me she said very sternly: "You really shouldn't talk down to kids."

I also shouldn't be punched in the face by kids whose parents don't know how to set basic boundaries. Experiences like this don't exactly encourage me to hurry up and get pregnant.

Finally, don't make your kid an extension of your own narcissism.

No one could possibly love your kids as much as you do, so stop inflicting them on others. Don't bring your kid to adult parties when you're not sure if it's kid-friendly. If they didn't invite your kid, they don't want your kid there. If you don't want to get a babysitter, stay home.

My husband thinks some people, particularly mothers, behave in these ways because it helps them validate their own choices. But he doesn't truly understand how infuriating it is, and that's because nobody badgers men with questions about procreation.

Becoming a parent was your decision, and I am thrilled for you. All I'm asking is that you let me make that choice in my own time. And keep your hands off my belly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Picking favorites

I always hate picking favorites, but Laurie asked for me to post songs that I would want played as I marched my fine self into different situations. Now I have to say I have music playing in my head almost all the time (both songs we all know and those I make up myself) but here are a few that I think help me march to the beat of my own drum.

Oh, and the song I'd like to play for my nemesis? Pretty much I think any pop music today will be sufficient torture.

Let the bidding begin!

I'm off to Shipshewana today to wheel and deal...okay maybe just look and see. I've never been, so I'm sure it'll be an interesting trip.

I've been drafting my lasagna recipe to pass on to my neighbor - hoping to finish today and share with you as well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Auntie to be

I've been trying forever to snap a picture of "the tummy" to show you all - success!

Ancient History

It seems like forever ago (okay only 2 weeks ago) that my family made our pilgrimage to Traverse City, but since I made so many promises to do so, I thought I'd share with you all how it was.

We stayed at the Grand Traverse Resort. It isn't actually in Traverse City (it's in Acme) but it's only about a 10 minute drive to TC and the resort is so big it's worth it. Our condo overlooked the golf course, which the boys did brave while the ladies hit the gym.

There are a few highlights of our trip definitely worth mentioning. The tour of the Old Mission Peninsula wineries was scenic and delicious - with Chateau Chantal as the absolute creme de la creme. Not only is it a winery but also a beautiful bed and breakfast.

The Spa at Grand Traverse Resort is FABULOUS. The hubby treated me to a half day of relaxation and pampering (I know, I'm a very lucky girl) including a pedicure, facial and haircut. My sister and mom enjoyed some pampering as well; mom-to-be got a pedicure and massage and mom (or soon-to-be-nana) got a facial and pedicure.

For lunch the hubby and I tried the Apache Trout Grille. We tried to get in with the family for dinner one night - 2 hour wait. The food is okay - nothing too fancy/special - but the view and drinks are the main attraction. There's even a tiki bar!

And finally, the scenery. Let's face it - Michigan is a beautiful state. (Not to say we shouldn't do our complaining about the temperature, wacky seasons, lack of good employment options, but) with its forests, lakes, sunrises and sunsets, Michigan is a great place to get outside and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In Hope

I stumbled on this site while doing some browsing for volunteer the movie by clicking on the "In Hope" icon towards the bottom of the page.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that has - MARGARET MEAD

My heart hurts. Not from sickness, but from the thought of all the things we can do to make a difference that we chose not to. That we chose to look the other way on, or pretend they don't happen in the background. Global warming, pet overpopulation, poverty, the food crisis...there are so many causes to get involved in and so many of us have so much to give...but don't.


Because we don't think it will make a difference.

Is that really the truth? Think about it. If everyone you know - not even everyone in the world, just everyone you know - gave a little bit, lets say even just one hour or $10 a week to a cause they believe in - what would that add up to?

Think about it.

Is it really that you don't think it will make a difference?

Or is it that you'd rather pretend things we don't like just aren't happening?

Please - I beg, I pray, I beseech you - do something, give something, anything, to a cause you believe in.

Just don't do nothing.

It is ALL of our responsibility. What are you going to do?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Laundry, dishes, unpacking...

Just because I know you all are dying for them, here are some more vacation photos to tide you over until my vacation catch up ends.

Old Mission Lighthouse


Beautiful little piglets, courtesy of my sweetie.

View from Mission Point

Michigan Wine Country

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Rested soul

Ah, its good to be home, even if it is to mountains of laundry and a dirty house.

We had a fantastic time on our trip - golf, swimming, sunning, wine tasting, eating, spaing and playing. I'll give a better rerun tomorrow - here are a few pics to tide you over.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Long time no hear

Yes, I know, it's been forever. Some quick updates.

My sweetums celebrated a milestone birthday. To commemorate the occasion he requested a delicious meal of... Jack's Naturally Rising pizza, frozen corn and Jello No-bake cheesecake with Cherries. I tried not to consider it a comment on my cooking abilities.

I've been feeling rather creative this past week, which lead me to paint my bathroom orange and make these two fabulous items. (Yes, I said orange. It's awesome and I love it. You all shouldn't be so afraid to have some color in your lives.)

Curtain for bathroom

Super cute apron

I'm in love with Amy Butler's fabric (which is now available at Fields). I recently purchased one of her books, In Stitches, and have been making aprons like it's my job.

My garden has been kicking production into high gear - I've been giving lettuce away like nobody's business. Here are a few other things I picked this week:

I visited the beach for the first time in years with my friend Alicia, and let me say - you have got to go. Van Buren State Park is just south of South Haven - less busy, way less commercial and well, fabulous.

We're off to Traverse City tomorrow with the family. Hope you have a fun (and safe) holiday!