Sunday, July 26, 2015

Just a reminder.

If you've ever thought of visiting Michigan, here are some pictures that will encourage you to finally make a plan - and keep it.

If you live in the "mitten" and have forgotten just how beautiful our shoreline is - these pics will also refresh your memory.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ellen Good-enough vs Ellen the Good

Several years ago Petey dubbed me Ellen "Good-enough."  Why?
A fair amount of what I do doesn't come from the perfectionist part of my brain.  Yes, there's a small segment labeled "tight ass."

No "Type A" happening here with any regularity but with some tasks I dig deep and glazing my paper beads is one of those tasks.

I glaze each and every single one of those little suckers with 3 coats of hand painted glaze.

Sometimes that pesky Ellen Good-enough will whisper in my ear while I'm glazing and say, "Come on, El, who's going to know if there's one or three coats on 'em?  Give it a rest, sister, your eyes are crossing and your favorite show is coming on in a few minutes.  Wrap it up!"  

Then Ellen the Good pipes up loud and clear.  "Who's going to know?  You will.  It will haunt you when you try to sleep tonight.  Besides - I'll still be screaming in your ear.  SLACKER!!! So buck up and keep telling yourself how pretty your little babies look all shiny and happy."

Don't they look like little soldiers standing at attention?  Can you hear them chanting "glaze me, glaze me." Three times?

And so I do.  All the while listening to the sage advice of Ellen the Good.

Don't they look happy?  See their little smiling faces.  Doesn't it bring a tear to your eye?  Yeah, me too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Family dinner

Neither Petey nor I come from big families.  That's why we were so desperately trying to claim Alberto Altamore from Altamore Ristorante as a cousin recently.  A couple more visits and I think we'll have that relationship cemented up.

So imagine how thrilled we were when we received a text from our nephew, Mike (Peter's sister's son), last Saturday asking if we could meet for dinner in KALAMAZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Mike, his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Amanda were working their way across the midwest from Philadelphia checking out college campuses.

They landed in Detroit and got their "maize and blue on" for the 
U of M and then rented a car (changing colors on the way) to drive to Notre Dame so a natural stop for eats would be "the Zoo."

We picked out a place to meet up and were extremely happy with the result.

I'd heard about this fairly new restaurant.  I'd heard good things.  Those reviews were RIGHT.

I should have taken more pictures but I was so excited to see Mike and the family I . . . lost my concentration?  That's the excuse I'm going with.  We met @ 5p and this is what the place looked like.  We left @ 7p and it was packed.  On a Monday night!
We hadn't seen them in a year and it was wonderful to catch up.  We missed having Andrew with us but he was busy at a sports camp.

We're really pulling for Amanda to pick a college near us (Go Blue!) so we can constantly drop in on her and sit around her dorm room telling funny stories.  I'm sure all her new friends would love to spend afternoons with us, don't you?

Family - it's the best.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A tick!!! Eeeeeeeeeeek!!!

I didn't sleep well last night.  Something to do with the overhead fan and the cool air that was circulating around my head.  I kept waking up and trying to move the covers into a position that would be more sleep conducive. 

I finally stumbled out of bed at 6:15 this morning and dragged my tired bod into the bathroom - right after turning on the coffee pot.

As I flicked on the light I noticed a black spot on my chest.  I immediately thought it was chocolate.  That wouldn't be totally out of the question for me.  Sometimes a chocolate chip misses my mouth and lands elsewhere on my body but I didn't remember eating any cookies last night.

I was also pretty sure it wasn't a mole or a big ass freckle.  I mean it wasn't there yesterday (I would have noticed) and they don't grow that fast.

So I went to wipe it off.  It didn't move.  Then I tried flicking and that was unsuccessful.  I don't have long fingernails but they're functional when it comes to prying stuff of places so I gave that a try.

The spot came off - partially - but some of it was still STUCK TO ME!

I don't exactly remember what happened next.  The panic must have frozen my brain.  I found myself looking at the black spot on the edge of the sink.  I guess I put it there but I don't remember doing that.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I hadn't put my glasses on yet so I was operating under less than perfect conditions.

Ok, back to the conscious moment when I realized it was a BUG and not just any BUG . . . . A TICK!!!

I didn't run screaming for Petey.  He was still asleep and really - what was he going to do?  I'd already removed the little bugger and then flushed him/her down the toilet.

After Mr.Sleepyhead got up I checked him for ticks because, hello, it had to have been in our bed.  I also gave Augie a once over and they were both fine.

First time tick encounter for me and I really, really hope it was my last.  I've been scratching ever since.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lung cancer

Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with lung cancer?  How can you not; it seems like an epidemic anymore.

Has someone that you love died of this terrible disease?  Again, how can you not - it's every-frigging-where.

Have you ever been involved in a conversation with someone when you've related the information about this friend or relative who is struggling with the disease only to be asked "was he/she a smoker?"

If you were to answer "yes" does that mean they deserved to be stricken?

I had a friend some years ago that said she was a bit jealous of all the attention that breast cancer got.  Not that it didn't deserve it but she felt as though lung cancer was put on the back burner cuz - well - they smoked so what did they expect?

I said "had" because my friend isn't around anymore to have discussions with - she's dead and I miss her very much.

I wish everyone would stop smoking.  I hate to see people drawing poison into their lungs.  I hate the smell.  I hate to see butts thrown all over the damn place but do those people deserve to get cancer?  Hell no!

A doctor friend of mine told me that it used to be just men that he saw in his practice that had lung cancer but recently the number of women had increased alarmingly.  Non-smoking women.  

Someone else I loved very, very much died 10 months after being diagnosed.  A non-smoker.  I thought we would spend many more Christmases together.  Never in a million years did I see that coming.

My point is - the next time you hear of someone living with or has recently died because of lung cancer, please hold yourself back from asking the "were they a smoker" question because it translates into "they got what they deserved."

Oh, and while I have your attention - I wish we could abolish the phrase "he/she lost the battle."  That one makes me cross eyed.  No one's a loser - they led the fight.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Another "duh" moment

I've lost count.  They seem to be happening in double digits lately.

So I've gotten back into yogurt recently.  I am also a very big fan of adding crunch to anything so I thought this new Chobani thing with the side cup looked like a winner.

Bought some and, by golly, it was good.  

The only issue I had with it was it wasn't very user friendly.  I mean I had to stick my spoon into that little side cup and move the "crunch" in there into the yogurt side.  It took a good 4 or 5 trips to the side before everything was transferred to my liking.

Then one evening I was watching TV and a commercial came on for Chobani yogurt.  I turned to Petey and said "that's the stuff I've been buying lately.  I think you'd like it."

And then I saw the hand model (hard to tell if it was a man or a woman but it doesn't really matter, does it?) flip that little side car over and the contents dumped right smack dab into the yogurt.  With a quick stir it was ready to go.

And then I got up and went to the fridge and looked, closely, at my recently purchased yogurt and this is what I saw.

See the word "flip" prominently displayed right there in the middle of the damn lid?  How the heck did I miss it??? 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Altamore Ristorante

A while back I was noodling around on FB and put in our name and was surprised at the number if Altamores I found.
Kathryn Altamore tipped me off to a joint in Illinios that we should check out - Altamore Ristorante.

So we did.

Here's Petey outside the entrance to the restaurant.  You enter through the back and park back there as well.

Here's the entrance.  Can you hear Sinatra singing already?

The waiting area is cozy and has things to buy.

Need any cookies?

How about some olive oil?

This is the front.  I can't tell you how seeing our name on a building felt.  Smiling like goons we were.

And on a lighted sign?  Over the moon!

The seating area upstairs has a very comfy feel to it and the same goes for the downstairs.

See?  Can you spot Petey?  Where's Petey?

We were treated like family.  Before the evening ended we felt like it too.  The food is all prepared on the premises by AnnaMaria, (Alberto's wife) and his mother, Nancy and I'm tellin' ya, we have never had anything better.  It was amazing!!!

Here's Petey and his new "cousin" Alberto, the proprietor extrodinaire. 

We decided that this needs to be an annual event.  Without getting too sentimental I have to say that it was emotional.

And we also decided (ok maybe it's just me) that we're taking the original pronunciation of our name back.

No more Alta-more (like the opposite of less).  
It's Alta-mor-eh. Accent on the "mor."

Got it?