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!