Sunday, April 30, 2017

Fun, Family, Friends and Food

Our son, Michael, is visiting from Thailand.  When his cousin, Mike, found out he was coming home he hopped a flight from Philadelphia to spend a little time with him.  

Bonus - he brought his wife, Michelle along and extra bonus - his son, Andrew as well.

Time was short so we packed as much as we could into yesterday.

A trip to Saugatuck included lunch at Phil's and a little shopping. 

We rounded out our time there with a trip up Mt.Baldy.

A different perspective of the "big lake" was had from the channel in Holland - Ottawa Beach and "Big Red."

The evening was capped off with a delicious meal at our new, local restaurant, The Redtail.

L to R:  Michael, Mike, Peter and Andrew

Michelle and me

Steps up to Mt.Baldy - 303 of them times 2 for coming down.

They lived to tell.  No one fainted.

No sweat was involved.  The quads squawked a bit, tho'.

No photos of the other meals.  I was totally focused on these fantastic ribs.

Michael's 2 buds (Travis in the middle and Chris on the right) came to sweep him away for a while.  They were only missing the "4th amigo," Ryder but we'll see him soon in Traverse City.
I was going to do a blog about Redtail when I took Petey there for his 70th birthday lunch but never got around to it so here are the pics I took for that blog.

This one and the 3 above are all of the bar.

This is the dining area looking back toward the kitchen.

This is John.  One of the smiling fellows you'll see making the goodies in the kitchen.

A good time was had by all.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Mom

Life is different without mom but she left a lot behind.  She left her love of reading which my sisters and I share.

She left a zest for life which everyone whoever met her felt.

This is a picture of 4 generations and I'm so grateful that the 4th generation shared many, many visits with mom.

She got a real kick out of her younger (by 13 months) brother as did the rest of us.

When mom wanted to know how to do something, she searched until she found someone that could guide her.  This day, the experience of riding a Harley fell into her lap and she couldn't jump on fast enough. That was mom.

We adored her.  So did her two son-in-laws Peter and John.  Her grandchildren Laura, Jeff, Mark, Chris and Michael.
Her influence on her two great-grandchildren, Cody and Kaelyn, will be felt for the rest of their lives.

I haven't cried much since mom died because I was so grateful that she died content and comfortable but something is dripping from my eyes today.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to my sisters and me.  Your calls, cards, emails, etc. have meant the world to us.

I read and heard, over and over, two words:  "Influenced" and "Inspired."  Mom touched so many people.  If you were one of the lucky ones - you know what I mean.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Wind Chimes

How do you feel about them?  Do you have any?  Are they the ones that emit the light, fairy-like tinkling sound or the ones that sound like a soft gong?

If you have wind chimes, do you have neighbors nearby?  Do they like your wind chimes?

I think it's kind of like your favorite music that you're sure everyone else loves too. You want them to hear your favorite tunes - all the time and at max volume.

Possibly not.

We had very close neighbors at the family cottage in South Haven. When I say "close" I mean when someone next door sneezed, someone in our cottage would politely say "bless you."  Well, we really weren't "bless you" people but I don't know how to spell the German word others use.

Anyway, those neighbors had a wind chime that hung from a front corner of their cottage.  It was small.  It was made of glass.

You can imagine what it sounded like when the wind blew.  

Yeah, glass breaking all damn night long.

I finally couldn't take it any more so I politely asked them to take it down.  The lady was nice and complied.  If it had been up to the man (whom we did not like) I would have had to make the thing "disappear" in the dead of night.

So if you have wind chimes you might want to think about your neighbors.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Do you dream?  I'm sure you do.  Some people don't remember their dreams.  I had one the other night I wish didn't remember.  It involved mice.  They were jumping around on a shelving unit that was right next to my damn bed.  And of course, a couple of them jumped ship - right onto my bed covers!  There was some screaming (me - not the mice) and flailing of arms.

Dreams can be fun.  They can scare the hell out of you.  They can be sad and dare I say, sexy. 

Let me ask you this, though.  Do you hear sounds in your dreams? I've heard the phone ring several times.  Real enough for me to pull out one ear plug and reach for the phone.  I've heard my dog bark and did the ear plug removal thing, too.

I've only ever had a tactile experience once.  It was so real.  I placed my hands on the face of a friend who had died several years ago and asked him if he was ok.  He smiled and said yes.

I don't remember if I've ever had a smelling dream or a tasting experience.  Except that time when I ate a huge quantity of Mexican food - wait - that was real.  Never mind.

Have any dreams you'd like to share?  Not the sexy ones, please. You need to keep those to yourself.  TMI.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Recent observations

Am I the only one that has noticed how men are wearing their sports jackets lately?

They look too tight and they're only buttoning the top button leaving a gap below where you can clearly see either their shirt or the bottom part of their tie.

They look like they've outgrown the jacket but that can't be because I'm seeing it a lot - on the young, thin guys.  Weird. Unflattering.

The other thing I've been noticing is what appears to be an epidemic of burned out headlights.  Just one.

If it's not the headlight it's the smaller one on the front - whatever that one is called.

I'm tellin' ya, they're everywhere.

I want you to start paying attention and get back to me on the sports jacket/headlight thing.  Ok?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

How weird are you?

I have a question for you but first - let's set the scene.
You're sitting at the dinner table and this is a full blown meal; not just a burger and some chips.

Your plate has at least 3 different items on it.
My first question is: when you look at those 3 selections have you already picked the one you want to be your last to taste?
That only applies if you're not one of those weirdos that finish each one completely before moving on to the next.
I'm addressing the adventurous people that do the mix and match thing.  That also includes the real rebel that might spear two goodies with one forkful.  My hero.

Example:  let's say applesauce is on the plate and you want the last thing you taste - bringing the meal home - to be sweet apple.  So you schedule consumption to make that happen.

Second question:  are you ok with stuff touching?  Are you more comfortable with "warm touching warm" but completely freak out if "cold touches warm?"

I may or may not have blogged about the fact that I was a shimmer as a kid.  I usually used the odd spoon to shove under my plate so I wouldn't have to experience the horror of blending.

I'm all grown up now.  For the most part.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas tradition with a twist

Occasionally I twist some memories.  Ok.  Alright.  Sometimes I "borrow" them from others and make them my own.

This one I'm about to tell you, though, I swear is mine.  All mine.

When we were teenagers it obviously became a bit difficult buying for us at Christmas time.  If you've already survived that phase you know what I'm talking about.

You get what you think is going to be the coolest (such dorks) gift and your teenager looks at you like you should be institutionalized.

My mom was brilliant.  She bought us clothes.  I know.  Brave, eh? How could she know they'd fit?  Well, she blindfolded us and had us try them on before she wrapped them up!

I can remember running my hands over the clothing trying to figure out - was it a kilt (yes, this was back in the 60s),  a jumper (again, 60s), a cardigan?

So my sister, Lisa, has taken that tradition and tweaked it a bit.
She recently came back from a visit to Thailand and bought everyone in the family the same piece of clothing but in different colors.  One size fits all.  Should be interesting.

She had Peter and me come down and pick the ones (folded in such a way on the back of the couch it was difficult to tell exactly what they were) we liked - color wise, before shipping the rest out.

Brilliant, eh?  Mom's going to be so proud.

I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't tell the rest of the family that we got first pick.  Might be some hard feelings because we got preferential treatment.  Well, we're special.  So there!