Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Spin-off of Crazy & Loving It!

Jro & Gunny are in the midst of posting about their trip to the UP (Michigan's Upper Peninsula for you non-Michiganders). I have to laugh because she keeps giving us cliff hangers. At this moment, I dream that she is sitting at her computer waiting for midnight, so that she can post the day 3 of their humorous adventure.

Their trip so far has been about Whitefish Point, and Tahquamenon Falls.

Flash back to 1998. Den and I had been married for 1 year, and had no children. We decided to be adventurous and head up to the UP with Mike & Donna whom we commonly refer to as Ken & Barbie. I vividly remember driving up in our dark green Chevy Blazer, and jamming to music. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot - that song played about a gazillion times on the radio. So much so that I still can not listen to it without wanting to gouge my own eyes out with a fork! Then K.C. & The Sunshine Band came on. "Get down tonight!". Den and I were shimmying our shoulders as we barreled by Barbie & Ken, looking at them and dancing while we drove.

Jro talks about the area being desolate. She isn't kidding. When you see signs for Paradise, it isn't what you think. I refer to Paradise as palm trees, warm beaches and awesome drinks. This is trees, trees, and more trees, with a blacktop road running through them. At one point, we had the radio on and when we hit scan, it went in a complete circle without landing on a single channel! Cell phones? Forget it. Not even if you drove around with a 15' antenna on your car.

As we got closer to our campground, we saw a bunch of cars pulled over on the side of the road. Off in the distance, standing very tall and eating grass, was a Moose! We were so excited to see it, and thought "Cool! There are moose up here!". We should have taken note of the number of cars pulled over, with tourists shooting photos. This would be the LAST moose I would see! Even now, 11 years later, I still haven't seen a Moose in the wild since.

Barbie & Ken set up their pop-up while Den and I pitched our 3 bedroom tent. Lord knows why we needed such a monstrosity, but it sure was roomy! We put down tarps and fixed them "just so" with the hopes that no water would come in if it rained.

During our trip, we had the brilliant idea that we would hike from the lower falls to the upper falls. After all, it couldn't be that far. :-) A guide at the park said it was approximately 1 mile to the upper falls. Definitely manageable.

We made our way through the forest as happy little hikers. About a mile into the jaunt, Barbie trips and sprains her ankle. Did I mention we are about a mile into the forest? I also haven't told you that Mr. Park Guide was wrong. It wasn't exactly 1 mile to the upper falls. As we stood there in the wilderness, we are all 4 looking around thinking, OH CRAP, as we are watching Barbie's ankle swell up like a bowling ball. There is no way we can carry her out, and there is no way someone can come get her. This was up and down, turn here, turn there hiking on a very narrow dirt path that looked like it was made about an hour before we all decided to become stupid!

Barbie was a total trooper. She toughed it out and continued the hike. 3 fricken miles later, we were all worn out, pissed off, and no longer speaking to each other. Had we known it would be 4 miles, 1. we would have drove, and 2. we would have taken at least a water bottle or something to keep from dying of thirst!

We spent a total of 2 minutes looking at the stupid falls while seething that we were now FOUR miles from out campsite with an injured camper and NOTHING to drink! PLUS there was a very cute little gift shop with a plethora of beverages chilled to the point of almost being frozen, and yet we had not a dime between us. Being that the upper falls were only supposed to be ONE MILE from the lower falls, why would there be a gift shop there? Who would have thought of that?

We decided to take the road back. Tired, weary, dehydrated, injured, and PISSED, we all walked the 4 miles down the road to our campsites. No one said a word the entire time. We got back and all parted our ways. Everyone napped for about 2 hours, then got up and everything was fine. We were talking again, laughing and having fun... until we played UNO. The game that NEVER ends.

I don't remember a lot about the trip, but those things are as clear as the monitor in front of my face. After we arrived home, our phone rang and it was Barbie & Ken. They weren't ready to say goodbye yet, so we met them at a restaurant which is now called Tin Fish on Lake St. Clair. We had drinks on the deck as we watched the boats and the sunset. We laughed and laughed, and to this day are still GREAT FRIENDS.

I can't wait to see Jro's next installment!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Genius in the Room

For MONTHS I have been looking online, and reading as much as I could about hooking up an Mp3 player (or iPod in my case) to my car. I have one of those radio doohickeys that plug into the bottom of the ipod, and you tune it into your radio. It's like listening to your favorite jams on AM 950.

Some cars have a port to plug in your iPod, however mine does not. Then the other day, it hit me like a lightening bolt. We have a DVD player in my Envoy. Directly behind the screen, are A/V jacks. Hmmm.... A/V jacks. On a whim I searched on Bestbuy.com under iPod accessories, for an Audio cable. Sure enough. They make one! AND it's only $5!

Within 1 hour I was up at Bestbuy picking up my cord. Life is good, and now I can cancel XM radio! Yeeehawwww! I AM A GENIUS!! lol

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I'm so sad. Well, not sad, but well... sad. I can't think of any other wording for it.

Today was Emily's last softball game on the Macomb Eagles (click this link). When you go to their website, you see the photo that was taken of the girls after the Plymouth Canton Pride Tournament, after they took Second Place. The coach on the left side of the photo is Coach Brian. He is the reason Emily was an Eagle this year. Last year she was on his recreational team, the CVGSL Falcons. They took second place in the playoffs, and then he encouraged her to try out for travel fastpitch softball. We took him up on that recommendation and before we knew it, Emily was soaring like an Eagle!

This year was the most fun we have EVER had watching her play sports. It all started last August...

Before we headed to Beaufort S.C. for my brothers retirement ceremony from the U.S. Navy, we attended the tryouts for the Eagles. We told the manager, Matt that we would be on vacation that he could call us via cell phone if need be. One night while in our hotel room, we got the call. Coach Matt asked if Emily would like to play on the Eagles. She was SO excited I thought she was going to rupture something. She was jumping up and down squealing.

That was just the beginning. Starting on Thursday nights, the girls met at a school gym to practice for an hour and a half. This went from September to February. Then in February, the girls started going to an indoor batting cage facility on Sundays, and an indoor soccer arena (for fielding practice) on Wednesdays. It was a lot of training, but the excitement was building, as we were looking forward to seeing all of this put together in competition.

And compete they did! The girls made it through most of their season undefeated. Then the ONE TIME Emily missed a game due to a fever, they lost a game. However the team they lost to, were also undefeated. Thanks to a double header, the Eagles lost the first game, and the Heaters lost the second game. Both undefeated teams were once again, tied for first place.

Mix all of these double header Wednesdays in with 5 tournaments, one being in Plymouth/Canton, and the other being in East Lansing, and it was one hell of a season. It was the most fun we have ever had.

The girls are all so much fun, and being that we spent so much time with these girls and their parents, we really got to know each other well. On every team Emily has played on before, we barely knew the parents. In fact, one of the girls on the Eagles, was with Emily on the Rec team "The Falcons" last year. Her mom and I have gotten fairly close this year, and yet last year, I didn't know her at all! In rec ball, people come, their kids play, and then you go home. It can be very clicky, and you really aren't there long enough to get close to one another.

In Federation (travel) ball, it is a totally different ball of wax. When we were "newbies" on this team I looked at the seasoned parents and how they seemed to know so many people on different teams. I then realized that even though you are so attached through out the year, the girls will eventually move on and their parents go too. THIS is why I am so sad.

It was our first time with a federation team, and it was the best time we've ever had. The coaches did a tremendous job of organizing everything, including fundraisers that helped out with the cost significantly. One of Emily's friends was on another team and when I heard they paid close to $1,000 for her to play, I just about fell over. There is no way I would be willing to let Emily play for that amount of money. The fundraisers were a HUGE help and a pretty good success, even with the current state of the economy.

We always knew where we were supposed to be, we always knew what hotels to stay at, and we never really had any questions. The coaches did a tremendous job and I am just so worried that the chemistry won't be there on another team.

With that, I found out that the Eagles Manager, Matt is moving up to the 14U team, Coach Brian is not taking over the 10U team (which is what we hoped for), and someone new will become the coach. Whatever happens, we really just hope that it is a great team like this year, and that things will run as smoothly as they have so far. Most importantly we are going to do what Emily wants to do. If she wants to try out for other teams, we will let her, although I will never forget this very short period of time we spent with the Macomb Eagles.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


In the movie Home Alone, there is a scene in which Joe Pesci & Daniel Stern tell Kevin that they're going to cut off his kahonies and boil them in oil. Greg LOVES this scene.

Yesterday while on their 2 day stay at Nana & Papa's, Greg told Emily he was going to cut off her kahonies and boil them in oil. Emily told us about this in the car on the way home last night. After a really good laugh, I asked Emily, "Do you know what kahonies are?" In which she replied, "Yeah, fingers and toes". lol After an even more laughing I told her that kahonies are actually "boy" parts.

It was very cute.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Somebody Stop Me...

If you've read this one before.

Have you ever seen The Wedding Planner? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the part where Mary goes to the park to watch that old classic movie. It actually happens twice during the movie. Once at the beginning and again at the end when she wins the smoking hot guy.

This is the part where I wish all of my blog readers lived near me...

I wish that I lived near a park that does something like this. However... I wouldn't want it to be dedicated to kids movies. PG movies fine. Nothing too scary, nothing pornographic... you get the picture.

I googled "Movies in the Park" and was very surprised at how many entries I came across. There were some right here in Michigan, however even though they were somewhat close... they weren't that close.

I wish my girlfriends lived near me, so that we could all get something like this rolling... together.

Movies in the park, a bottle of wine, and great friends. THAT would make for a GREAT summer.

Monday, July 06, 2009


There is nothing better...
than kids sleeping in,
a cool, gentle morning breeze,
wind chimes in the distance,
and a great cup of coffee.
Life is good.

Friday, July 03, 2009

What I did

Yesterday was my official last day of class. I have to say that I had so much tension in my back and neck that I could actually feel my neck muscles wrapped around the base of my skull. It took me hours and hours to come down off the ceiling. I was just that amped up! Not that I was excited by any means, I was just that stressed out.

Today I woke up abruptly at 8:44 am. I couldn't believe that I was still sleeping that heavily at that time. I got up and got busy. The house looked like a tornado has been camped out here for the last 6 weeks. Den came home and took the camper for new tires. OMG... did I tell you we got a camper? lol OOPS. Ok, that will be another blog post coming shortly. Now that it is at it's "storage" area up in Armada, which is where I'll be celebrating the Fourth of July tomorrow, I will be sure to take photos inside and out! Our awesome friends Mike and Donna live on acreage up there and are letting us keep it there when we aren't using it.

Where was I? Oh! So the delimma for the day... where the hell are all of these tiny little ants coming from inside the house?! I have no idea what the heck happened, but we are getting these tiny little buggers in the laundry room and in the office. I've sprayed what I could, vacuumed regularly, but still... ants. I'm ready to tear my hair out.

Regardless, I got a lot done today, then we took the camper up to Armada. It was a breeze to drive it there, but I never thought of how narrow their drive way is... until we had to make that turn. lol. White knuckle moment for the Griswolds.

After that we went to the Putters House (my parents). I folded my hands, put a pout on my lips, and batted my eyelashes at my mom and asked her if she has anything I can pilfer for the camper, ie; towels, skillets, etc. I spent the next 2 hours going through the attic, the garage, the pantry, the linen closet. She is a gem, however she gave me a really nice mattress pad that I don't think she should have given me. It is too nice and I think I may return it to her.

Den, Greg and my Dad fished in the canal, and Emily earned a few bucks doing some things for Nana.

Finally we left and hit Kroger on the way home. Because tomorrow, I'm making THIS...
Barefoot Contessa's Caprese Salad

Here is the recipe:

12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.
Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature.

Trust me when I tell you that I CAN NOT cook. But this blows peoples socks off. It's my current, "Yep I made that!" dish! lol. It's worth EVERY effort my friends, so give it a whirl.

******Happy Fourth of July America!******

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Time to Re-Group

Stick a fork in me, I'm done. I finished Microbiology today and am on pins and needles until I see my grade. Praying to the BioGods I say, "Please let me get an A, Please let me get an A." That was one whirlwind of a class. I mean really. I wrote a gazillion research papers... no wait, let me count them... I wrote 22 papers in 6 weeks, took 3 lecture tests, 2 lab tests, and had 7 other assignments that I completed. Stick a fork in me, I'm done! lol

As soon as I scrape myself off the ceiling and relax, I will write something more fun and creative. I promise.