Local Art and Peach Pie!!!!

I went to the Farmer's Market this morning in Redford. Now, it isn't Royal Oak or Ann Arbor...not even close. Nowhere near it...that being said...I'm all about supporting a local, Michigan business. So, I walked to the market downtown with a neighbor-friend. We looked at the veggies - nothing really jumped out at me. There was a farm that was selling bi-color sweet corn from Howell. They said they had just picked this morning...we'll see how it tastes!!

But, aside from the small farmer's market, there was an Art Fair in the Township parking lot. Uh...OK. I didn't hear anything about it...it wasn't very well advertised - it was small, maybe 30 booths, but we perused...and I found some great things, all done by local artists. I bought some cute prints...(I'll post about them when I hang them). AND...I found this wall tile, made by Sarah Radeback of Sarah's Stones (www.sarahsstones.com). How cool, right??

And my other great news...On Friday, I commented to Joe that I wanted a peach tree. I had one growing up, and I LOVE fresh peaches. So...he told me to get one. So...I did. But, here is the best part...I bought the tree at Meijer...not exactly somewhere you would expect to buy a tree. It was priced at $30. Ouch. Not for a small fruit tree. But...through a small series of events...I talked the guy down to $10. oh yes. 66% off!!!!! And it is a GREAT little tree! Check it out!!

So, when the tree actually starts producing fruit...we either (1) won't be living in this house; or (2) we'll be having Gluten-Free Peach Pie!!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

New evening ritual...

We spent last night out in the backyard - with a fire in the chimnea, marshmallows roasting, munching on popcorn, bat-watching, like we usually do. However, we had a new addition to the ritual. Joe's telescope! We had to set it to look at the Moon. Which was GREAT, except the darn moon kept moving! that telescope is VERY touchy...and I'm not so great at using it. But, little Joe loved it!!


I am an only child.

No, I really am. It may come as a surprise to many people - but I have no blood sisters, no blood brothers - no stepbrothers, no stepsisters. I was spoiled, until my Dad remarried. I am an only child. Yup.

I'm often jealous of those that have siblings - they share a special bond together - even if they hate each other. I find myself longing for a sister. or a brother. I watch my husband and his brother interact - and it may not always be happy-joy, but at least they have each other.

However, I loved being an only child - I got all of the attention, and I didn't have to share! If I had secrets to share, I'd share them with my dog, Chips. He was a great listener.

What does this have to do with anything? I had a surprise revelation this past week. I had to go the hospital for yet another test. They were putting me under, so I couldn't drive, and I had to have someone take me. Therefore, I asked my friend, K. I've known K since I was 6. We grew up together, went to school together, stood up in each other's weddings, etc. She has 2 other sisters, B and B. I'm friends with all of them. I went to college with one of the B's and she was in my wedding too.

So, K is in the prep room with me. She's keeping me calm, chatting, gossiping, keeping my mind off of the needle in my arm and the impending drug-induced unconsciousness that I will soon be experiencing.

K needs to leave the room for a minute, and she says something to another nurse about her sister. Then I realize...

She. Is. Talking. About. Me.

And I smiled.

I have a sister. I have SISTERS. This small insignificant revelation meant more to me than you can imagine.

The 4 of us have shared alot. I've lived with them, held their hands, dried their tears, laughed, cried, held their hair while puking, consoled them, and they are the closest thing I have to real sisters. I am sometimes called "the 4th sister". and now, I realize that I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have such awesome "sisters".

Love you guys!!!


Happenings in the Garden

Chekc out the size of this Walla Walla onion - they shouldn't be ready to pick yet, but this one was forcing it's way out of the ground - so Little Joe plucked it out!

And here is the recent bounty:

Zucchini, beets, carrots, red potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, snap peas. YUMM!! I've been trying out new zucchini recipes - stirfrys mostly, but they aure are yummy!!!!

A friend sent me a recipe for an Indian carrot custard. I'm SO on it. YEAH!!!

Celebrations and Good-bye dinners.

As a celebration of Joseph learning how to dog-paddle (It sort of counts as swimming right??), AND a farewell to bread for me...I went on a date with my little man on Friday night. We dressed to the nines, black cocktail dress, vest and tie, 4-inch heels and all!! Obviously - I wore the heels, not Little Joe!!!
We went to Paesanos in Ann Arbor - one of my favorite restaurants ever. When I was growing up, my Mom and Dad and I would go there to celebrate just about anything. I even had one of my bridal showers there - it was perfect. They have the BEST bread in the world - hands down, and herb butter to go with. Yumm.

I started with a yummy gazpacho (which I never thought of as Italian, but whatever).
Followed with a wonderful pasta bolognese...so good. the sauce was amazing - the pasta was just OK - a little undercooked and rubbery for my taste...but good, nonetheless.

And the bread....MMmmmmm.

And for dessert...tiramisu...of course.

But the funniest part of the whole evening...Little Joe fell asleep before the first course even arrived. He finished his PBJ, and crawled under the table and onto my side of the booth and promptly fell asleep.

Maybe this is why Little Joe is a watershed-geek.

Last week, I had a work tour of some storm water BMPs in the Ann Arbor area...and I brought Joe along with me. He learned more about storm water than any normal 6-year old should know...

Here he is on the Huron River - and a streambank stabilization project that the City did:

Porous Pavement on a roundabout/traffic circle in a residential neighborhood. ( I still don't get the difference between a traffic circles and a roundabout)

Checking out the storm drain...
At least I don't take him to the sewer treatment plant. Wait - I already did that too. :)



So, I uploaded the video of Little Joe onto a website called “MIEarth”.  It’s a website kind of like YouTube, but for Environmental Issues only, and in Michigan only.  www.miearth.org  I did this yesterday morning.  I didn’t think much of it – I figured I would share it with my work friends, nothing more.

Today – Not only is it the most viewed video on miearth.org within the past 24 hours…I got an email from Detroit Public Television – THEY WANT TO USE THE VIDEO ON TV!!!!!!  It will start airing this upcoming Monday.  And, it gets better…THEY WANT MORE VIDEOS FROM LITTLE JOE!!!!!

OMG!!  How cool is this??  I am such a proud mom!  I am so excited!! 


The new PR face of Watershed Awareness...

Here is a video of Little Joe - I didn't have to prompt him or anything...he came up with this on his own...

(you'll have to go to the website to view the video, you can't read it in email)


I Did It!!!!!

After WAY too long...I finally finished the quilt I started for big Joe...over 6 years ago.
and here it is!!!!
It ended up being huge, and I love it! I made it big so that when Big Joe watches UMich football, he can wrap up in it and be comfy.
The lump is Big Joe - he wouldn't smile for the camera.
Now I can check something off of my 101 thing to-do list. :) YEAH!!!!!


horoscope again....

So….today’s horoscope says:

There are many things you would prefer doing. But you have the satisfaction of knowing you are doing what is necessary.


Wow – sounds like the stars have my number!  My to-do list is overtaking me again.  I need to hunker down and get some things done!  Including post a blog about our trip to MN!  J



Views of Excelsior

So - as you know, we went to visit my aunt in MN this past weekend. She lives right on Lake Minnetonka - in the most adorable little town called Excelsior. Google it. It's like Northville on a huge lake. It got great shopping, a great restaurant that has Thursday night ladies night (I am so in love with Espresso-tinis!!)a great coffee place and water everywhere.

This is my awesome Aunt Nancy. She's my birth mom's sister and my Godmother and I kind of consider her the Mom force in my life. She is bluntly honest and caring and wonderful and so cool. I don't tell her that often enough (and I know she reads the blog...so...now I'm telling you.)

On the morning of the 4th, my cousin and I ran a 2-Mile run. Yeah. I didn't feel so good. but, it was fun...we finished. Whatever. My younger (and in better shape) cousins ran a 10K. I was so proud of them...

Can you see us in this pic?

And here we are - done with the run. Little Joe wanted to run with us...but then when he realized how far it was, he backed out. But, he was a good cheer-er for all of us crazy runners.

After the run, there was a kids bike parade through the downtown. Little Joe and Aunt Nancy decorated the most awesome scooter with pinwheels and streamers. He was quite the festive little guy!!

And here is Little Joe's new found guilty pleasure. The Wii. We don't have video games at home. I don't really want to get them until he is older, I kind of believe in the whole "get outside for fun" thing. But, he got kind of good at the Wii.
One afternoon, the cousins all got together and went strawberry picking. Um, yeah. We decided at 2:50 to go, and once we found out where the place was, and how long it would take to get there...lets just say I'm glad we are all family, so we can all be crazy together. It took almost 45 to get there, and the farm closed at 4. Yes, 4 pm. We arrived at the farm at 3:34. With 26 minutes to pick. How many strawberries can you pick in 26 minutes? Um...17 pounds. Oh yes. My cousins are rockstar strawberry pickers.

And we had a GREAT recipe for strawberry mojitoes. Actually - we MADE UP a great recipe for strawberry margaritas...and there is no way we could recreate the same one twice. So GOOD!!! Here is my cousin Darcy enjoying her Strawberry Mojito...

All in all - we had a GREAT time in MN. Of course, it was way too short and we didn't have enough time to really hang out with everyone. There were GORGEOUS fireworks over the Lake that we got to watch. Of course, Little Joe fell asleep before the fireworks started, and we couldn't even wake him up to watch them. Big Joe and I sat on the screen porch just watching the fireworks and avoiding the mosquitoes! The rest of the family went down on the dock to watch. 4th of July can be such a wonderful holiday - it makes you so thankful for the country we live in, that we are provided so many freedoms that so many people take for granted.


gluten-free bread is horrible

No, seriously. 

I went to the grocery store yesterday and found a Bob’s Red Mill bag of gluten-free bread mix (http://www.bobsredmill.com/product.php?productid=3748&cat=126&page=1).  And there was a recipe on the side for the mix to be used in a breadmaker.  So, I figured I’m game…what the heck, right?



Wet heavy sponge.


I tried everything – toasting it, butter, homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam, peanut butter.  NOTHING could make this bread taste any better.  It is sitting in my fridge, waiting to be thrown out to the garden for the birds.  I’ll bet that they won’t eat it either.  J 

On another note – my Aunt Nancy found the most amazing pecan shortbread cookies that were gluten-free…OMG!  SO GOOD!!  I am going to hunt these down at our grocery store, they are my new favorite.


I love Music.

Why does some music make me cry? No, seriously - there are some pieces of music that will reduce me to tears...and it's not like they are sappy love songs either.

1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky
9th Symp. - Beethoven
Pines of Rome - Respghi
Firebird (last movement) - Stravinsky
Angel Eyes - Jeff Healy Band
Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul and Mary
Lullabye (Good night, My angel) - Billy Joel

Ugh. I'm such a sap.

I had a friend recently give me a compilation CD of some music that she liked, and I'd never heard of. It's on my IPOD right now, and I'm listening to it. I think some of it is REALLY good - and it amazes me that while I think my musical knowledge is pretty good - I have never heard of any of these musicians. I don't profess to know everything - but it's almost like my mind is being opened up to a different world of music.

I'm glad that music is prevalent in our house too. I have different tastes in music than Big Joe does, but I like the music he likes too. I don't "dislike" any music, but I do have some favorites. I recently discovered XM65 - old school rap and hip hop. I think it is called "Backspin". So good.

And I'm glad that Little Joe likes music. All kinds of music. He loves classical. One of his favorite pieces in the 2nd movement in Verdi's Requiem. When he was 2, he would ask for the "Big Music". I would turn it up loud and he would get this goofy grin across his face and start "conducting" and moving his arms to the music. I loved that he loved doing this. Little Joe also loves R&B, he loves to play the piano, he dances to anything. We've been watching the Michael Jackson tribute stuff on TV, and he loves to dance to MJ songs. So very cute.

Enough about music - we're going on vacation this weekend - to MN, and I'm so unbelievably excited!! I get to see my family, which I miss incredibly! I only see my family once a year, maybe twice if I'm lucky. Therefore, I look forward to these little visits that we have - because it makes me appreciate the people I love even more than ever. We'll be lounging and relaxing by the Lake, boating, eating, drinking, and sharing good times. I'll be sure to post pics when we return. Happy 4th!!