Socially Responsible Coffee

There is an AWESOME coffee house in Redford now...First Cup. Corner of 5 mile and Inkster roads. For those of you in the area - please check it out. You know I'm a coffee snob, and this is some GOOD coffee! Fair Trade, Organic, not a chain, local business! WOW!!!

Check it out, man!


quick update on a busy life

I haven't had the camera to take too many pictures lately, so I haven't had anything interesting to blog about. At least, I can't think of anything to blog about.

Little Joe is doing fantastic. Kindergarten is quite becoming of him. He is mostly staying out of trouble, we still get a few instances here and there. He is starting to read to me a LOT now...which is pretty cool. I'll have to get some video of him reading on here. I can't belive my baby is growing up!!

Oh - funny story:
Little Joe was getting into the shower on Sunday morning, and he turned to me and said:

"Mommy - sometimes it's OK for me to touch my penis".

"Uh...Why is that, Joseph?"

"Well, you know the things that hang down under my penis? Well, sometimes they stick to my legs, so I unstick them. So - that's when it's OK".

I was laughing so hard that I cried. You know you would too!! Oh, the joys of little boys!!

In other news:
  • work is crazy, and I'm trying to keep my head above water.
  • There is a month left until the Turkey Trot - Ha! My butt is NOT going to be ready to run 6.2 miles. but, darn it, I'll try!
  • No deer yet, but Big Joe is making a valiant effort!! I need venison in my freezer darn it!!
  • Halloween is Friday, and I still have to finish making Little Joe's cloak for the Harry Potter Costume. ugh. I don't know if my sewing machine will work or not...It's kind of a beast.
  • The garden is officially pulled out. planning for next year now!!
  • There is probably more - but I can't think right now - I'm too busy!!
  • :)

7 things

7 random facts about me:

1. I'm scared of the dark
2. I don't like peeling oranges
3. I don't like being alone
4. I wear size 9 shoes
5. I wish I had gone into the medical field
6. I lived in Indonesia for 3 years
7. I will run screaming from a little bee - I'm deathly afraid of them.

Now - your turn!


The model #2

Little Joe, the model

These pictures are taken in Hines Park, near Nankin Mill (Across Hines Drive from the Mill). Joe LOVES having his picture taken. I serously took about 80 pictures - he was being such a ham. These are some of my favorites...

(This is his favorite bridge. There is some history behind it too. It used to be in one of the cemetaries in Detroit somewhere, but was removed, then it spent some time in one of the County's yards...then it was later moved to Hines Park, to span across the Rouge River for a trail. These pictures don't do it justice...It is beautiful and historic and rustic and well...it's a bridge, but I can still be emotional about it!!)

Haunted House

You see here the remnants of a toy train. Here's why...

We have spirits in our house. Ghosts, specters, souls, people, you get the idea. We have known this for a long time. Little Joe has told us many times that there is an old man in his closet, or under his bed, or in the corner of his room. He doesn't talk to him, and he isn't scared of him. There is just an old man with us.

Before my mom died, she really became interested in spirituality and angels. She told me that she would be around. And, she kept her word. I know she is with us. Little Joe says that she watches him sleep, and keeps him safe.

Both Big Joe and I have felt a presence in the kitchen as well. Like you know there is someone behind you, but when you turn around, there isn't. It's not scary or ominous...it's more like there is just something there. I'm not sure who it is...but there is certainly a "something" in our house..

So, you ask why the train is in pieces? One evening last week, the boys were sitting in the living room, and there was a noise in the kitchen. The train was making noises. and there was NOBODY in the kitchen. Big Joe went into the kitchen to see if he could get the train to stop making noises. He did, at first. Then, a few moments later, the train started up again, and he couldn't get it to stop. So, he made sure it was in pieces. It hasn't made a noise since.

Dinner with an old friend.

Last Friday, I went out to dinner with a girlfriend from high school whom I hadn’t seen in almost 15 years. I think the last time I saw her would have been graduation…June 1994. Wow. We went to Steve and Rocky’s in Novi – YUMM!!

It was the most wonderful evening – we talked about how our lives have changed, and how we have grown up, and the things (and people) we remember from High School. There are rumors that our class may be having a reunion next summer. It would be nice to see people again, and how people are doing. These are the people who helped form our way of thinking. The people that you grow up with, undeniably, make an impact on your life, whether you remember it or not. Growing up is tough, and teenagers are impressionable – and those friendships make a difference. Now – now I’m getting sentimental, but you get the drift. HS is full of emotions and blooming hormones, but after all of that stuff goes away – there are life lessons and impressions that are formed.

But I think most of all, having dinner with her reminded me of the wonderful people that used to be in our lives, and for whatever reason, they no longer are. I challenge you to take 2 minutes and reach out to someone that you haven't spoken with in a while - a friend from grade school, a long-lost cousin, anyone. Friendships are what we make of them.


Practicing for Halloween

Can you guess who Joe is going to be for Halloween?

I was practicing my scary witch face...or maybe my evil pirate face...
Joe - being a goofball!!
at least it's an OK picture of me!
Joe was in a beatnik mode - the smiles stopped abruptly, and he refused to smile even for the camera.
I'm going to make the robe for Halloween (I refuse to pay $29.99 for a robe he'll wear once. Black fabric with a belt around the waist is just fine.)

Anyone read this?

This was on the table at the Library - I like Edith Wharton for her Landscape Studies - but who is Ethan Frome??


Longdistance Friends

My best friend moved away a few years ago. She moved to NJ, and I miss her alot. We've known each other forever. Since 1st grade. We grew up together, both went to MSU, we had different paths, but always remained just like sisters. I obviously don't have any sisters, so she is kind of like my quasi-sister.

Here is a picture of us from last Saturday (we met up at Greenfield Village). She is back to MI alot, as she comes to visit family, etc. Ignore the fact that I have no makeup on...It's our thing to take self portraits. I take the picture, as my arms are longer than hers. We've got some great self portraits from Vegas, Mackinac, etc. Anyways - point of the story - this is my best friend.

Coffee and Emotions

Every day, I get to the office early, make a pot of super strong coffee, and login to my computer. I get a lot of compliments on my coffee cup - check it out. Very cool.

I think the cup that coffee comes in has a lot to do with how much you enjoy it. Not necessarily the flavor - but the emotion elicited by the vessel. (I sound all philosophical..don't I?) Think about it when you are drinking your morning coffee...how does your cup make you feel?



For the ladies – Seriously. This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you live in the Detroit Area – check out this link for activities in the area that support, empower and recognize Breast Cancer Issues. For the guys – tell your wife. Tell your sister. Tell your mom. Tell a friend. It’s not taboo. This should be talked about, not ignored and swept under the rug. And it isn’t just women – men can get breast cancer too.

It's OK to ask questions. It's OK to find out answers. It's OK to talk about.


art and architecture - Please help me.

Please help me decide whether to print this photo as B/W or sepia. I'm printing it out as art for the semi-bare walls in my house... (It's the abandoned Michigan Central Depot in downtown Detroit) Love the architecture...I'll probably do a museum frame.


I'm not 18 anymore...

So, I decided to join a co-ed volleyball league that is offered here in Redford, through the local parks and rec department. It's good - because you don't have to have a "team" to join - (I don't actually know many people that play volleyball, and also live in Redford).

It started last night - and it is every Wednesday night for 12 weeks or so (skipping a few holidays here and there). I was so excited. I don't do too many extraneous activities, and I thought this one would be perfect. Joe doesn't have meetings on Wednesday nights (well, he does sometimes, but not every week).

It was Amazing. Seriously - I had so much fun!! The adrenaline was pumping and I felt GOOD! These people play to a high level, not just play on the beach at the picnic with a beer in your hand...but REALLY good. I was really enjoying myself. Until I looked at the clock, and it was only 8:30PM, I still had an hour to play, and I was starting to get winded and tired and I kept thinking of how bruised my arms were going to be in the morning.

Oh - did I also mention that I have started my "training" for the Turkey Trot (10K race in downtown Detroit on Thanksgiving Day). Which - if you don't know this - I'm not exactly in any sort of running form right now - So...I ran 2 miles on the treadmill yesterday at lunchtime at the gym too.

Fast forward to my out-of-shape 32 year old body - quads a bit tender from the treadmill - attempting to play volleyball with people who are really good. Now, I don't suck at volleyball - I have a great technique - A solid passer, server, libero player. I'm only 5-8, so the hitting at the net always eluded me...I can be aggressive, but just not in your face hitting.

I woke up this morning, barely able to walk. My gluteus maximus is SORE!!!!! My fingers are swollen, my forearms are bruised and sore to the touch, my quads are screaming, and my neck muscles hurt. Oddly enough though - my upper arms feel fine.

And I can't WAIT until next Wednesday!!!

Just Like a Good Hunter's Wife...

I had the yummiest ever breakfast...venison tenderloin quesadilla. Oh yeah - you know you want some! I had roasted a rosemary-encrusted venison tenderloin the other night, and I still have some leftover...so I was trying to be creative. Yumm-O. A little bit of diced red onion from the garden - toasted on the griddle, and yummy melty cheese. mmmm...I bet none of the other latchkey moms had such a cool breakfast. (hey - I never said my kid actually ate the quesadilla - he had cinnamon toast).


What a GREAT night!!!

So, what were YOU doing at 1AM this morning? I was cleaning up puke.

When Big Joe is gone for the night, Little Joe sleeps in Mommy and Daddy's bed. I sleep in Daddy's spot, and he sleeps in my spot. This is also the occasion that Dax can sleep on the bed, because there is room for her. So - about 1AM, Joseph starts coughing. He is starting to have a little snotty drainage in the back of his throat. One thing about this kid - he has the WORST gag reflex. So, needless to say - he sat up in bed, and proceeded to puke. mostly spit and phlegm, but EW!!!!! So, being the awesome mom that I am....it took me a total of 3 seconds to get him out of the bed, face him towards the bathroom and give him a shove in the right direction, get the dog off of the bed, rip the sheets off, and grab a towel if there was anything I missed. sigh. Not the way that I (or the dog) wanted to be woken up in the middle of the night. The funny part is...when Little Joe got into the bathroom, he was still half asleep, so he thought he was in the bathroom to pee. So, he dropped his drawers and started to pee in the toilet, except his body was still in puke-mode. So, the poor thing is puking and peeing all at once. I did my best to console him...while fending off the dog, because now she thinks it is time to go outside and pee. (Obviously - she can't tell time). We ended up sleeping on the couch, as I was in no state of mind to put new sheets on the bed. I grabbed the comforter (which was clean still), and a fleece blanket, and we both snuggled into the couch.

In my earlier years, I had a lot of stomach problems, and I mean a lot of stomach problems. My mom kept a bottle of "chalk pills", as she called them, next to the sink in the bathroom. And she also kept a box of saltine crackers underneath the bathroom cabinet. This started when I was in Junior high, and went through most of HS. Then it went away. The doctors thought it was stress, and I was developing an ulcer (at 15!??!?!) Anyways - I equate the sick stomach with saltine crackers. They always make me feel better. Even now, if I don't feel good, I'll put a saltine cracker in my mouth and just let it dissolve.

So - right after Joseph's episode last night, he asked me if he could have some square crackers (saltines) while we laid on the couch. I gave him the sleeve of saltines...and he proceeded to eat 1/2 of the sleeve before he finally fell back asleep. I think my mom was watching this, chuckling the whole time.