Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Sometimes we leave notes for the fairies, and flowers and snacks....and all things lovely...and guess what? Sometimes they write back!!!! (I was instructed by Bronwyn not to photograph the fairy note because the fairy queen would not be happy so as anyone knows you do not mess with the fairies but rest assured there was a note!!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Really though...all three of us girls are sick...summer colds??? Allergies??? There are low grade fevers and lots of nose issues....coughing... and for myself some gastro is this fair? It is summer!! We are supposed to be healthy and frolicking in the great outdoors...laughing, giggling, not moaning, hacking, and listlessly lying around the homestead...and I still have to head off to work in an hour...truly there is no justice in the world... (above photos are Friday's camp B and her counselor and Ella in dress up with her toy she made) Hope all the rest of you are healthy and enjoying your summer day...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another week...

I managed to get a two day weekend which was packed with things... I got to pick blueberries with a friend, still not put up yet but picked!, I got to go out with my book club and friends and see Mama Mia which if you haven't made it there yet is totally worth the time and even better if you can find a full theater to view it in! I also seemed to cram in an impromptu kitchen dance party which if I did more often would mean my joints would hate me so very much less than they still do today!!!!!!!! We also spent Friday finishing off camps. Bronwyn's was called the village and they were responsible for building their shops and people and everything from things they found or could barter for. And by the time I had made the requested spaghetti and meatball dinner for my campers I was bone tired!!!!!! Also I picked up the CSA this week, which was beets, broccoli, green and yellow beans, lettuce, squash (a lot of squash) and it is getting better because that was my share after it was split with my csa partner! Oh and eggs as well! So now I head back in to work for our busiest week ever and least staffed week in the history of our busiest week ever and try not to be disgruntled and sour and mean and try to survive....sigh...the end of my last two day weekend for a few weeks....roll on retirement!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Did I mention that my word for the year has morphed from breathe into growl??? I am aggravated and defeated and exhausted and feel like laying down on my couch and having a big ole toddler style tantrum. Every time I think, ok I can do this, I can get through this, it will be ok, yet another needle is piled on my very topply haystack!! Six day work weeks, more night shifts, change, change, change...oh and did I mention this is our busy season so I don't even want to be there at all much less more more more....ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GROWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need my blankie....I still wonder how to get through this without feeling every ounce of frustration and bitterness...needing to be grateful for being employed and having a job to get aggravated over...but I sometimes wonder is it worth what my insides feel like right now? Is it worth the pinching nerve in my shoulder from all the tension I store up there....when is enough enough???? Sigh.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Drive in...

Well finally the drive in post! We got to go to the Cherry Bowl Drive In near Beulah, MI. Although the top photo refuses to load properly. It was 8.50 per adult and kids 12 and under are free. It is a double feature, but let me warn you being dark wasn't until almost 10pm and the first feature wasn't done till 12am we didn't exactly make it for movie number 2! In fact our youngest made it all of 15minutes into the first one! The drive in prides itself on being family friendly and I would have to say they do a great job. All movies are PG-13 or under, they have employees walk up and down the aisles during the movie to keep an eye on the old time drive in activities, you know what I am least if you are my age and older you do... There is a miniture golf course (which we were too late to do), a hula hoop area, a frisbee area, and the fun little cutouts above. We had to hit the concession stand as well...because well you just do at the movies. The most expensive bucket of popcorn (which was gianormous I think you can almost see it in the car picture) was 4.95 and everything else was very reasonable (think hotdogs 1.75, fries 1.99...) so even if your little people or even yourself just have to have some junk you can afford to do it! And unlike the old days when I used to go to drive ins with friends you can actually hear these movies, you can tune in your radio station and use the 1950's speakers which the girls thought was funny. We were fortunate they were showing Walle as we were wanting to see that this summer. So as I said Ella fell asleep snuggled in quilts, in her jammies, with her Teddy in the back of the car, Bronwyn sleepily made it till the end, John and I snuggled into our hoodies and blankies cold and fighting off huge man eating mosquitoes!! But my Irishman enjoyed the novelty of the American drive in, Browyn liked getting to sit in the back of the car, and Ella is under the impression she saw the entire movie!! I love the trip down memory lane! So if you find yourself near Traverse City it is worth a journey to the ole Cherry Bowl Drive in!

Also go over and check out she is giving away a fantastic quilt that I hate to encourage competition for but want more chances...double edged sword really but go over and enter! It is fantastic! And if you win you can give it to me for my Birthday! So I am here to help really!

Ok, my one day weekend is underway, overtime on Friday, growl...but a friend is kindly taking our lovelies for a sleepover tomorrow so John and I get to have a date day! Mind there isn't much to do here but just to have coffee and watch a movie and not have to say stop, don't, come here, leave her alone...will be good enough....unfortunately I will have to get up crazy early Friday for work...can't have it all can you??? But really 4:45am the day after date day...when there will be no one in my home poking us for breakfast...or yelling or running...sigh enjoy John!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good mornings...

Ok so really my house isn't quite this dirty...but this morning I came down to the kitchen to find a lovely little message in the dirt!!! (dirt that had hidden itself under the kohlrabi from the csa) And better yet I went all goofy inside! Once upon a time, there were letters, many, many letters that passed between us now there is love in dirt!!! How far we have come in our 19 yrs of togetherness!! I am a lucky woman!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Greens, Greens, and uh Greens!!

Top photo is today's CSA bounty...I am going to get good at my greens before this is over! Today we got collards, chard, spinach, leaf lettuce, kohlrabi, a few pea pods, and some broccoli. I have been surfing through veg web and have found some really great sounding recipes for the chard. One is Tuscan beans and chard which really sounds good to me today, not entirely sure why but it really does. (Plus I have a bean loving friend coming later so she might enjoy some with me!) I have finally felt like cooking and playing in the kitchen again. That used to be one of my favorite things to do on a "weekend" but for some reason I let work beat it out of me! Yesterday, I made loaves of lemon tea bread, two loaves of hand made white bread, a loaf of cottage dill bread (machine) I also did some lemony herb chicken some cheesy potatoes and some garlic and herb wheat noodles. I was on a lemon kick yesterday and was really happy to be herbing everything up with stuff from my yard!!! So here are two bread recipes for those interested...
Lemon Tea Bread
3/4 cup milk 1 Tblsp fine chopped lemon balm
1 tblsp fine chopped lemon thyme
1 tblsp grated lemon peel
2 cups flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt 6 tblsp butter
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup and it is lovely) 2 eggs
Cream butter and sugar and eggs and beat well.
Add dry ingredients and milk. Mix till just blended
Bake at 350 for 50 min.
Glaze: To the juice of 2 fresh lemons (I only had one and it was plenty) mix in just enough confectioners sugar to make a glaze consistency Pour over tea bread while it is still hot from oven.
Cottage Dill Bread
Put these in your machine according to your machine directions
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp. salt
2 tblsp sugar
2 tblsp marg. or butter softened
3 1/4 cup flour
1 tblsp dry milk (if I do not have I leave this out with no noticeable effects)
1 tblsp dry minced onion
1 tblsp dill seed ( I used several sprigs of fresh dill from the garden)
1 1/4 tsp yeast
Use Setting 2
Other photos, 2nd is Artist Gwen Frostic's shop/printers. They print her hand carved designs onto all sorts of things and are so inexpensive! The shop itself is something to behold and has many trails behind! All her work was based in nature and is really nice. They maintain a website where you can order online and read about her!
3rd is the Pt. Betsie lighthouse. We were able to tour it and walk to the top for a fantastic view of Lake Michigan. Interesting stories and nice work in progress on it's restoration and very inexpensive to tour I think it was 6 dollars for two adults and two children. The beach nearby is great for rock hounds!!!
The last is our self portrait at Frankfort with another smaller lighthouse in the background. Another fantastic beach on Lake Michigan. More photos of the trip to come we still haven't gotten to show you the Drive in!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


These are but a few of the many images from our trip up north. My lovely friend Christine has had her cottage (see last photo) for years but her husband Mike had just finished renovations of the guest cottage out back so we were very pampered with our own bathroom, kitchen sink, and fridge! We crammed a lot of exploration into a short visit! We saw the 4th of July parade (which was very!! long), went to Crystal Lake Beach (I avoided the water which was cluded with very delayed Mayflys!), browsed the downtown (see first photo), had a fire complete with smores!!, went to fireworks, and the next day Ella got to enjoy a bath in her outdoor clawfoot tub it even has hot water!! I was just jealous as I would have loved to have had a bath at night under the amazing sky full of stars! (Alas the mosquitos were very sad I didn't do some stargazing!!) It is really lovely up there. She has 4 acres of property with a little trail you can walk through the woods and all her incredible flowers and plants...and to be so near the water and the beach is fabulous! Why I am not somewhere on a body of water I will never wrap my head around really...I am drawn to it, I thrive on it, it relaxes me and calms me and I could spend days just sitting and watching it...maybe when I grow up...more photos tomorrow plus I get to give a csa update as I go pickup our weekly haul tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Culinary Disaster

Well sometimes when you have a disaster something rather yummy can come from I tried (for the first time maybe the only time) to make blue corn tortillas. The ingredients were simple the directions were simple yet the tortillas seemed persnickety...I didn't produce one that had even the remotest appearance of being a tortilla...they tasted like tortillas but nothing we could use for tacos that is for since I already had a disaster why not keep on I had hoped to be able to make the tortillas to one day make blue corn I put some oil in the pan and tore them into bits added some salt and fried them till crisp and voila they began disappearing from the plate before I could get dinner even close to ready!! Sometimes you need a little disaster in your world...

Friday, July 4, 2008


We will be escaping to a friends cottage up north for the holiday weekend! It will be lovely to hit the beach and snoop around in a new little place! Enjoy your 4th and have a peaceful weekend. Updates when we return. Oh and did I mention this trip offers the hope of a drive in movie?!! The kids are uber excited about that and the Irishman is curious! Seems I am the only one in the household to have ever been to them...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


We finally got some goodies from our CSA...the season is just behind here in Michigan. Not that I was impatient or anything! But the CSA will keep us up on our veggies and trying new eats!! Tonight the haul was slim...a basket full of turnip greens and what I think may be mustard greens though I am not sure, some lettuces and the brightest red radishes I have ever seen (oh and do they pack a punch!!) and should I forget eggs!! So tonight I pulled out my big book of everything veg and surfed my very favorite to find what exactly to do with greens...and I kind of threw together some butter, olive oil and onions in a pan heated those, cleaned my turnip greens, threw in some vegetarian bacon bits, and the greens in the heated oil, and some salt and pepper and I must say it was really quite tasty!! I think I might just get why people crave greens!!! So next week I go do the pick up and see what we get in our basket next week!! So go on and have some greens they really are good!!