26 May 2008

Memorial this.

Saturday evening, Brad and I had our first official bbq dinner of the season. It was such a beautiful night, how could we not? I picked up some goodies at Plum Market, and we enjoyed a delicious meal. "Brooklyn burger" for Brad -- beef, steak sauce, and green onions. Greek turkey burger for me -- turkey (duh), feta, sundried tomato, herbs. My Michigan asparagus, some leftover pasta salads... We'd also been craving key lime pie all week. When I walked into Plum, there was a Zingerman's table right up front -- "would you like to try a sample of our key lime pie?" Hells yeah I would! It was so good, I bought an entire pie, and we dug in for dessert. I also had a little slice of my cherry pie bite from the Farmer's Market.

Heidi and George even seemed to enjoy the bbq. Heidi, normally a real pain at dinner, behaved like a little angel, and George followed suit. So they got a few nibbles.

This may also be the last bbq we have for a while... We forgot to put the umbrella down, and while we were both out today, the wind sent the umbrella crashing across the deck, smashing into and completely shattering our table. Fantastic. Anyway.......

Gardening, gardening, and more gardening... Today, the landscaping people dropped of a gigantic pile of mulch. Let the shoveling begin. Brad tackled the front, I finished up my little area, and we still have a huge pile of brown in our driveway....

Finally, I capped off a lovely weekend with my first trip out to Manchester this spring. Jordan, always a cutie... It's so fun to watch him grow, and I can't wait to spend more and more time with him. Here he is picking flowers for grandma. When I left, I said, "can I have a kiss?" And he leaned in for a big hug and a kiss. I said, "I love you, Jordan." And he said... "I love you." Melt.

He also continues to be mesmerized by my camera. "Me! Me!" So I hand him my camera, we agree on three photos. He takes them, hands the camera back. I put it away. "More! More!" How can I resist? Hmm, someone has a birthday coming up!!! Here are a few highlights from the Jordan Album.

24 May 2008


Spring has sprung many interesting visitors into our yard, most notably my baby birds. Who, by the way, are all grown up! I didn't check in for a day or two -- the next thing I knew, they were birds. Last time I looked today, the nest was empty..... hopefully they were just out for a practice run. I'm not ready to be an empty nester yet.

I see you.

Less welcome is Mr. Snake, who has set up shop in our front yard. I don't care how irrational it is, I'm absolutely horrified of snakes. Horrified. Now, clearly, I know a garter snake is not going to hurt me. Nonetheless, the knowledge that it's in my yard, day after day, is terrifying. How did I find it, you ask? I nearly stepped on it, barefoot. So since Wednesday I've basically been avoiding the front part of our yard (where the dogs go out), making the dogs pee anywhere but there. I had all sorts of grand plans for yard work this weekend... alas, I'm too afraid to even consider kneeling in the grass over there. Brad took on that side today and discovered he's apparently living in our electric box!! Lovely.

I will eat you.

After finding Mr. Snake's home, and knowing he'd likely stay in "his" space, I figured it would be safe to do some cleaning up of our front garden today. Note: I encountered earthworms early on... and didn't freak out and give up! Go me! Luckily, roly polys don't bother me, so I was able to power through the barrage -- they were everywhere in our garden! Anyway, I'm quite pleased, as I can't stand all the messy mess right in the doorway. Now it is nice and neat.



Yard work is tiring.

Spring always gets me in a cooky mood, and I'm pleased to say I've cooked every day this week except for Friday. Monday I wanted to work in my in-season, local asparagus, and I'd also picked up some stir fry chicken (remember, I'm easing my way in.... I don't have to touch stir fry chicken at all to cook it!), so that was the basis for my plan. I also knew I wanted to use this chicken recipe I found in Under the Tuscan Sun, which I'm currently reading.

Super simple but sounded super tasty. The chicken and asparagus alone didn't seem super hearty, though, and I was too lazy to make rice. I'm not a salad person at all, but I had some fresh romaine and thought what the hell? Toss in some mushrooms, top with some shredded parm, and you've got a Tuscan chicken salad! And it was DELICIOUS.

There was leftover chicken, so the next day I threw together a yummy sandwich on some Zingerman's paesano bread, with some fresh Zing mozzarella, and it was just as delicious.

A final food note... I hit the Farmer's Market for the first time this year!! Lisa Z. picked me up bright and early, and we headed downtown in search of yummy treats. I didn't start going last year until everything was well into season, so it was definitely interesting -- LOTS of baked goods and flowers, asparagus (got some more), and, of course, the Zingerman's cheese booth (note: "Cheese Guy" is named Mike. Guess he got sick of me calling him "Hey! It's the cheese guy!" and introduced himself today). My tummy's been handling eggs better lately and I've been making a lot of sunny side up eggs for breakfast (mmmm), so I bought some local, happy eggs, as well as some pumpkin cookies, cherry pie bites, and mozzarella. It is very important to note that... da da da... we found... in... season... TOMATOES! I'm so happeeeeeee!

We finished our market date with a trip to the Zing deli, where I was lucky enough to experience Lisa's very first Zingerman's sandwich with her. As always, everything was delicious (have I used "delicious" 100 times in this post yet?) -- I got my usual, a small #77, Jimmy Wants Rosemary's Baby. Oil, mozzarella, tomato, and rosemary ham. YUM. Why oh why can't I have Zingerman's for lunch every day???? Sigh.

I'm so happy spring is here.

...minus the snake.

18 May 2008

Boogie and wag.

Another long, not-so-fun week... Culminated in an awesome weekend! Just the highlights because I've got a stack of new cookbooks from the library calling my name...

Friday night I hit boogie fever with book club -- our celebration of the end of The Artist's Way, ha ha! We had a fantastic time and I feel really lucky to be part of this amazing group of women. (And thanks to Ryan for joining us and for being a good sport as always.)

Saturday was Walk & Wag with Brad, Lisa, Heidi, George, and Macy. Who knew, but there's no "walk." It's more of a giganto doggie carnival, which I'm sure the dogs enjoy more anyway. Heidi nearly gave herself a heart attack on the walk in... soooooo excited, pooches and people everywhere! Everyone had a blast, we met lots of sweet pooches, and the event raised ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for HSHV!! Special thanks to everyone that sponsored us. Pooch smooches to you all.


PS. I bought asparagus today. MICHIGAN asparagus. My first in-season produce purchase of the year! WOOHOO! (....and I don't even really like asparagus. But you bet I'm gonna eat it and love it!)

PSS. The babies say hi! Chirp chirp!

10 May 2008


The babies hatched!!! I just went to take my daily peek, and I saw a teeeeeeeeny little body heave ho-ing, breathing a million miles a minute. Dammit I wish I had a better view. I can't wait until they start chirping!

Look closely for a peek at its little body...

Update, 3:30: I can't stop checking in on the babes. I just went over for one last peek before I come in for the afternoon.... and they're chirping! I can see their big alien eyes and their little tiny beaks just barely moving. I'm in love. :) Wait...... I can hear them now! All the way from inside! Awwwww!

09 May 2008

Moth love.

I just finished reading Prodigal Summer, which was perfect springtime reading. I must say first that I love love loved this book. At least as much as, perhaps even more than, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I keep describing it to people as the fiction counterpart to AVM... I think that's pretty accurate -- in PS, you get to read about the mountains BK lives in, her world, her values and beliefs, in a fictional setting, spung among three interconnected stories. I just really loved it. Anyway, PS is very nature-y, and Michigan is just gorgeous in the springtime, so I felt inspired to take in my surroundings -- since these things change so quickly this time of year.

Like tulips. How cruel to bring us such lovlieness.... to turn around and snatch it away from us in just a few short weeks... Either way, thanks, lady that lived in our house before us -- she didn't plant many flowers, but she did leave me a handful of tulips... Note: the beauty that is the green powerbox.

Two summers ago, the hornets built nests underneath our deck. My ass knows this all too well (stupid bee stings!!). This year, while I'm sure the bees are headed our way eventually, right now we have a much more pleasant visitor underneath -- a mama robin and her little eggs!

Mom's a smart cookie -- she built her nest in a spot that is impossible to get at, even for a photo. I have to get down on my hands and knees like a fool and stick my eye right up to the space in between the boards. Luckily, she hasn't pecked my eyes out yet. I better be more careful, now that I think of it! If you can believe it, neither Heidi nor George have even noticed our little friends. Even when they're standing right on top of them!!

Last week Brad installed (and painted to match!) a hardcore puppy gate, making the deck secure for the beasts. This means some extra running space for the maniacs, and, surprisingly, they BOTH love to sunbathe. So we've all spent a lot of time outside the past two weeks. I wish spring would never end. Sigh.

PS. Has anyone ever noticed that the murders on Dateline are always in Michigan? What the hell? Right now it's about the murder of a comic book store owner in Clinton Township in 1990. Michigan's gonna get a bad rap! Sheesh. Wait, did I say "gonna get"? ;)

08 May 2008

Moooom! Not the dingleberry scissors!

I've seen him twice, I watched him win Last Comic Standing, and his jokes are STILL funny. John Heffron, can't wait to see you again tonight. If you read this and don't have anything going on tonight, tomorrow night, or Saturday night, consider going to see him at the Ann Arbor Comedy Club. Hilarious, and a hometown guy (he's from South Lyon [and went to hs with my old nazi boss!]).