Friday, October 31, 2008
It's that time of the year again. A time that I loathe. It's the putting away of all things summer, which makes the yard look so bare and lonely. Here is our hammock, ready to be put away in the garage for its winter hibernation. I took these pictures on a sunny fall day, one that made me miss summer already. And to think this is only the beginning of the cold.
I'm not the only one who is clinging to the idea of summer. Here are our last tomatoes of the year:
Thursday, October 30, 2008
On the way home, I thought of shrimp stir fry. But stir fry is a go-to recipe in our house. We have it for dinner almost every week. Then I thought of fried rice. I used this recipe. We had all the ingredients we needed, so that was great. I doctored it up with the following: I used brown rice instead of white rice, added a bit of fresh ginger and added peas. It turned out great.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The other day I went into another store that sells Levi's and tried to do the same. No dice. I knew that I would have to go up a size, due to my previous pairs being stretched over the years and the gluttonous year that I've had. But I didn't think that I would have to go up 2 sizes! Especially since they are supposed to be the same jeans. So not only was I subjected to seeing myself in the awful fluorescent lighting that they have in dressing rooms, but I also had to come to grips with the idea of wearing 2 sizes bigger than my current jeans.
After trying on various styles of Levi's in various lengths and styles, I ended up buying another brand. I think I'm happy with them. Maybe I should take this as a sign to get a grip on this gluttonous year.
Maybe after Thanksgiving.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I love this sign on a restaurant there. Ernest Hemingway did spend some time up north and a lot of the places there have signs that say things like, "Hemingway sat in this chair" or "Hemingway wrote a draft of one of his novels here". But I like this one the best:
Saturday, October 25, 2008
We are also having my family (the Chicago and NW Indiana family) for Thanksgiving this year. Everyone is making the trek over to see us. Because we are the out-of-towners, we have never hosted a holiday. We thought we would ask if people were interested, and it turns out everyone is! I'm glad that I'm off the day before Thanksgiving. I plan on getting a lot of the food cooked that day so all we will have to do is reheat things on the day.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Here is a view as we got closer to the other side:Once we got across, I remembered that Boyne Mountain, a ski resort, had one of their chair lifts open. Unfortunately, it clouded up a bit while we were there, but the view was still great:
At the top, they had one of their restaurants open. We stopped in for a drink, and sat by the huge fireplace. I can imagine that this is a favorite spot for skiers on a frigid day in January or February. This was the view from the top:After all of this activity, we definitely needed a nap. That's exactly what we did when we got back to Petoskey.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I couldn't help but get these shots of a quintessential fall scene:
Monday, October 20, 2008
- Staring at water
- Staring at changing trees
- Taking long, scenic drives
- Stopping in roadside places for local foods
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
We leave tomorrow after school for Petoskey. I can't wait. The weather forecast is sketchy, but as you recall, that doesn't really matter to us. What matters is time away, staring at water, changing trees, and having no schedule. Just meandering the streets looking in small shops, taking long, scenic drives, stopping in roadside places for local foods, and just doing whatever we want.
Trips during the school year remind me of the many trips that our family took while we were growing up. A day off here and there, attached to a weekend, leaving right after school. Going places familiar and unfamiliar, eating fast food in the car, and arriving at our destination late at night. Only to be greeted in the morning by a completely different place than we saw at night.
My blogging may be spotty in the next few days, but I'm sure I'll come back with stories and pictures to share. Have a great weekend!
Monday, October 13, 2008
After dropping Dean and Beth at their hotel, we went up to Chris' place where we got to catch up with her too. She was taking it easy since the marathon was the next day. We went out to dinner and ate outside with Chris and my brother Rick that night. All weekend the weather was gorgeous (not so gorgeous for the runners on Sunday) so we tried to be outside most of the day.
Sunday morning Stein drove Chris down to the race and I slept in a little. We met Shark for breakfast at one of his favorite places, S&G, before starting our day of spectating at the marathon.
Our first stop after breakfast was our friend Ellen's house in Old Town. She lives on the street that was right after mile 10, so it was a great place to see some of the race. We missed seeing Dean, but saw Chris when she stopped by. Her brother Mike was jumping in with her at this point, and he ran with her the rest of the way. Here they are before starting on their way:
I especially love this picture because of the kids sitting on the wall in the background. They all had matching shirts on that were made for their friend or relative in the race. That's what I love about watching marathons. Everyone is so gung-ho about rooting for their friends or relatives. As it should be.
I got to see Chris two more times after mile 10, at mile 16 and then 20. Stein and Shark went ahead to try to catch Dean but they only saw him once. I traveled by el to different parts of the city to see Chris. Each time I would see the same people who were running just ahead of her and know that she would be by soon. For the five seconds that she ran by me, I would jump up and down and yell, "Go Chris! Alright Chris!" That's about all I could fit in in those 5 seconds.
At the end of the race, we were able to see Dean (I still need to get pictures from him) and congratulate him. This was his first marathon and he did really well, despite the heat. The day was extremely hot, in fact they were one "warning" away from cancelling the race. (Last year's marathon was on an even hotter day with terrible consequences, so they weren't taking any chances.)
Chris finished a little while later. She finished. I was so proud of her. I was lucky to also see her run the marathons in Dublin and New York, and each time I felt the same way. So proud. So impressed. So glad to see her accomplish another great feat. She felt good, a little sore, but okay. She fared much better than a lot of people who suffered from dehydration and overheating. Our friend Sarah's sisters ended up in the hospital that night. Luckily, they're fine now.
Stein and I stuck around to see Chris and her parents, and then we all took the el back north. We said our goodbyes and Stein and I were off to endure a marathon of our own: construction traffic on the way home.
So here's to you, Chris and Dean. You did it. 26.2 miles. We're all impressed and so, so proud.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
And so that night, he heated some oil in the big pot over the stove, poured in the kernels, and waited for the popping sound that makes you giddy with excitement. While he waited, he heated up the butter, and poured it over the popped corn that shriveled from the liquid. He sprinkled some salt on top and poured it all in the big metal bowl. I wasn't hungry before, but suddenly I found myself digging into the bowl, and stuffing huge fistfuls of popcorn into my mouth.
This whole scene was a weekly ritual in our house growing up, down to the metal bowl. My mom would make huge batches of the stuff, while we would pour some Coke from a bottle (ah, Coke in a bottle...) over ice in a glass. Then we would get our napkins ready, unfolding a corner so it made a sort of pocket to hold our popcorn. This was done on weekend nights, and we would watch TV while we crunched our popcorn. Maybe 20/20 on a Friday night, or Love Boat on a Saturday night? It didn't matter. What mattered was the warm crunchy popcorn, flavored with butter and salt. Yum.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
He ended up playing about 7 or 8 songs. He was by himself, with his guitar and harmonica. It was awesome. And he played Thunder Road, which is one of my favorite songs.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday night, we met teachers from school out at the bowling alley to watch the bowling league. It ends up being a happy hour where bowling is being played in the background. We typically end up staying for dinner and drinks, so it turns into a night out too.
Saturday morning we went to watch Mia's soccer game. Nothing like a bunch of 5-year-old girls mobbing a soccer ball and moving around the field. Mia likes to stand in the middle of the field chatting with her friend, only to be surprised when her name is called to kick the ball. She also likes to scan the crowd after she does something well, to see who was watching. What a ham. The opposite of her game was her brother Eric's soccer game on Sunday. He is on a 9 and under traveling team. It's pretty serious, down to the matching uniforms, backpacks, and warm-up suits. They actually play offense and defense, unlike the mob mentality of the 5 year-olds. Eric rarely looks at the crowd, unless the coach or his parents cheer him on or direct him to do something.
Saturday afternoon we went to the U-M game. All I can say is that it was a really bad game and it got really cold. I won't get into the specifics of it, but they didn't look good. My friend Sarah even made sure to rub it in when I received a text message from her that said, "I-L-L-I-N-I". Thanks Sarah. The opposite of this game was the Bears game on Sunday where they won big over the Lions. They played well, and I didn't have to be in cold weather watching it. I listened to some of it on the radio, and watched some of it on TV. Not bad.
Saturday night we went to see our friend Doug play hockey. He plays in an adult league with our friends Dean and Steve. His game was at 9:30, so the group that tailgated with us just moved to the ice rink before the game. We were able to watch the game from the restaurant/bar that has windows overlooking the ice. The Cubs game and college football games were also on the 30 or so TVs that they have there. (And that's all I'm going to say about the Cubs game. Ahem.) The opposite of the adult game was Ben's (Doug's son) hockey game on Sunday. It was at 1:00 in the afternoon, and this time we sat in the stands in the rink. A lot colder than the warm restaurant/bar behind the glass, and a bit more annoying with some screaming parents in the stands.
Next weekend? No big deal. Just watching Chris and Dean run a marathon in Chicago.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Like pumpkin bagels. Tasting these in the summer never appealed to me. But when the weather starts turning cooler, I get a hankering for these. (I had to email my friend Megan at Einstein's and ask when they were coming out this year). When I worked in the stores, I would have one every day while they were available. I would grab one out of the bin, zing it through the slicer, and slide it into the toaster. Then I would spread butter on it and savor it.
Now I have to ration them. Stein brought a dozen of these beauties home a couple weeks ago. I save one for Fridays, a treat for getting through the week. And then I usually have one on Saturdays too. So I guess that means that in about 4 weeks they'll be gone. Until then, I'm savoring every bite. It tastes like fall.