you all know how much I am obsessed with the Michigan Central Tration Depot in Detroit...right? Check this out. Make sure your sound is on. And grab your kleenex.


Blueberry Orange Marmalade

I don't know if this is really just a "jam", or if I could call it a "marmalade"...but....I don't care.
I used a combo of blueberries from Michigan (yeah!), and some blueberries from Minnesota (thank you Sarah's boyfriend's Mom!!) Added a little bit of orange peel, boiled it down...and YUMM! Too bad I can't make a scone to go with. Oh well. It still is tasty!! Maybe if you make me some yummy GF bread, I'll share some jam/marmalade/whatever with you.

Help! We've been overrun by tomatoes!

I knew I was going to have lots of tomatoes...but I didn't know what I was in for.

We had some Sunrise Heirlooms:

And some Brandywyne Heirlooms:
And some Green Zebra Stripe Heirlooms:

And about 150 tomatoes (not including cherry tomatoes) in our kitchen. In. One. Picking.
There are more out there. I hear them at night. They are taunting me...."Come pick me!"; "Make more tomato sauce!". Seriously. I dream about tomatoes.
Don't get me wrong. I love them. I think they are wonderful. In January, I will be missing them. But right now, I feel like I'm being assaulted by them!!
If you are in the area and want some...just ask, I can even deliver. Heck - better yet - just come over here during the day and let yourself in the yard and you can even pick them yourself!!!

Little Joe wants a new pet...

We have cicadas. Lots. Of. Cicadas. Our yard is an overture every night with the cicadas and the frogs all competing for their mates. The other night, Little Joe found a cicada on the deck, just hanging out. So, as every other little boy in the world would do…he wanted to pet the cicada.

Like a dog.

Like a “pet” cicada.

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

So, the Saturday after we returned from vacation...I was feeling all crappy still...but I didn't want to sit in the house...and I remembered that the Ypsilanti Community Choir was singing at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival sometime on Saturday afternoon. So, I did what any sick person would do...I packed up my kid and drove 35 minutes to a community festival in the town where they grew up to see a concert for a choir that her mom used to direct, see some familiar faces, spend money on carnival things, check out the steam engine thingies (I got a bag of freshly made cornmeal for free!), check out the old Ypsilanti Train Depot and go to dinner at a favorite local restaurant with a family friend.

Oh yeah. I was even sicker when I returned, but I am SO glad we went.

There was a robotics group from the local high school. Joseph noticed that they looked like high school kids, and asked if he could build robots when he went to high school.


The old Train Station...not in use, obviously. Amtrak goes right by here. For those of you familiar with Ypsi, Sidetrack is kitty-corner from the station. But you would know that if you were familiar with Ypsi.
Here is Joe, explaining to our family friend, Bob, about how trains work. I'm pretty sure Bob knows, as he was the one telling us most of the information in the first place. Nonetheless - I liked the pic.
I just love the doors on the freight house building. The colors are amazing...this pic doesn't do it any justice. It is such an amazing piece of history. They are in the process of preserving/ restoring/re-purposing the building.

If you are in the area...check it out. Even the history of Ypsilanti itself is pretty amazing. If we didn't have to live closer to Troy, I would LOVE to live in Ypsi.


I was able to get ONE eggplant out of my garden this summer. There are many flowers on the plants, but none of them are turning into fruit. So, I figure one is better than none, right?

I tried a GF recipe for eggplant parmigiana, but I completely changed it…because that’s what I do. I cut the eggplant into thick slices, liberally salted them, and then let them sit in the colander for an hour. After some of the bitter juice came out, I dried the slices with paper towel, and then coated them with a mixture of cornmeal, dried rosemary, dried oregano, garlic powder and S&P. No egg wash, no flour. Just dry. Then, I sautéed them in EVOO. Once crispy, I pulled them out and dried them on a paper towel. I also treated some thick sliced ripe tomatoes the same way. I then stacked the cooked eggplant, the cooked tomatoes slices, some fresh basil leaves, marinara sauce and cheese. I put the while stack in the oven so the cheese could melt…and then I enjoyed one of the most decadent homegrown GF meals I’ve had in a long time.


ugh. sick.

doc says mono. yes, you read that correctly. MONO.

I won't find out until Monday, which means I'm miserable for the whole weekend.


Vacation 2009

On the way up north to our week long camping trip, we stopped at Holiday Inn in St. Ignace. They had already given away our room, but they made up for it by giving us a hot tub room for the same price. Um...OK? So, Little Joe enjoyed the tub, and Mom and Dad got to relax in it after he went to sleep.

After arriving at our campsite on the Lake Superior Shoreline (Porcupine Mountains, Union Bay Campground)...we met up my my cousin and her family, and started vacation. We went hiking one day to The Lake of the Clouds:

And then we hiked to Observation Point, the highest point in the State Park...and about a million stairs!! (it was actually 243).

And then we headed over to the mouth of the Presque Isle River, and saw some great waterfalls and lots of great small hikes.

Aren't these rock formations cool? They were formed from eddys in the river, scouring away the layers of stone...(we're such science geeks)

I love this picture...
This is us, headed out toward Lake Superior, at the mouth of the Presque Isle River...

I love these little rock statues....I made one of our family. I think I might print it in B/W as a 8X10 and frame it.

Back at our campground...Little Joe trying to be SCARY!!!
Starting the fire...campfires are so nice...especially when you can look at the stars on a clear night.
Me and my cousin, Christine. :) with the Lake Superior sunset behind us.
Standing on the Lake shore, looking back at our camper. See - I told you, we were RIGHT ON the shore.

The next day, we went swimming in Lake Superior. It was COLD!!!!

See that little speck in the middle of the picture? Yeah, that's Big Joe, swimming in the FREEZING water!!
After my cousins left (they had to get back to MN for work)...the three of us went on a LONG hike to Trap Falls. The whole hike was just over 5 miles...and Little Joe made it the whole way!! this is one of the "rustic" backpack campsites that we found...we also decided at this point that we would never be backpack campers.
On the way to Trap Falls...
Little Joe, playing in the river...
Not Trap Falls...but close...

And we made it to Trap Falls!!! It was SO worth the hike!!!

And after all of that hiking...I got sick. And I mean really sick. The next day,my throat hurt, my head was pounding and every single joint was aching. I felt like a Mack Truck had hit me. It wasn't from the hiking though...it was something else...SO...we ended up packing up camp and heading back to St. Ignace. Back to the same Holiday Inn, and I became very good friends with a bottle of Nyquil.
On Thursday, I stayed with my new friend, Nyquil, in the hotel room, and the boys went to Mackinac Island. I was jealous, but not enough to drag my pathetic self out of bed. So...this is their visit to the Island, without me.

What a GREAT view of the Bridge...
The Grand Hotel...
Downtown Mackinac...

At the fort...
Little Joe got his first cap rifle while on the Island. (I wasn't there to exert my parental influence). :) But, we've been talking to him alot about guns vs. toys, etc.

And a good finish to the vacation...when we dropped the camper back off at the cabin, Little Joe got to go for a 4X4 ride with Dad...what a fun time!!