Friday, September 30, 2011

sleeping through anything

I am going to sleep through the apocalypse. I just wanted you to know.

I sleep through anything.

Apparently the storm that came through last night was so bad, entire trees are down. Just down the street, a very large branch snapped off the tree.

I had no idea. I slept through the howling wind, crashing thunder and who knows what else.

I've slept through a fire alarm in college.

I slept through a Police chase that was right in front of our house (our neighbor told us about that).

I'm convinced that I would sleep through a herd of elephants running through my room too. But I don't want to test that theory. I'll just trust my history.

You may be jealous, if you're a light sleeper. You wake up at every little sound. The fridge kicks on, you wake up. The street light hums, it keeps you awake. The wind blows, you hear it. Let me point this out to you: you don't need to fear sleeping through your demise. Or sleeping through a tree falling on (or near) your house (or car). Me? Well, I don't fear that, I just accept it as the reality that it is.

What have you slept through (or been awakened by)? I'm curious...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

what is art?

Art Prize 2011 is here. I got to walk around last night checking out a few venues with the young adult group from our church. I love seeing interpretations of what the artists find to be art. There is a little bit of everything. Many are sculptures. Does art have to be a painting? It's all about interpretation and it's all beautiful.

I try to make the composition of the piece, a work of art itself. Sometimes it works, sometimes I need to show scale or can't get a good angle/lighting.

Here are a few photos of a few of the things we saw...

the cut paper is all one piece

I think the flowers were plastic (bottles???) of some kind

bears in the fountain


This is one of those times the lighting and scale affected my photo. The stanchion in the background gives you an idea of how large this sculpture is. The detail was incredible, she has drops of water on her skin, and there is sand on the other side of the "water".

This is a piece from last year, but you can see a wonky door in the background that is a piece from this year. I was trying to capture a good view of the city.

The old railroad bridge (known as the blue bridge) with monkeys!! (this artist came before the HPC for approval since the bridge is historic)

Rocks form hearts in the river...

Steam Pig's best friend??? I don't know if it's the same artist, but it's cute! (I do not know the people in the photo, they were there and help show scale).

Last year's winner, "Calvary", medium: graphite. Size, big (this is hanging on a wall inside a building and I was about ten feet away from it, this is only half of the mural).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

spill the beans

Oops! I spilled the beans.

Literally. I didn't tell a secret that no one else knew. No, I spilled the beans while I was rinsing them. I'm making spicy beans.

It smells really good. I'm excited.

And hungry.

And excited to be hungry.

And hungry to be excited.

It really smells good.

We'll be putting the beans on nachos. I'll let you know how they taste.

Check out the recipe, you might like them (again a shout out to Shannon for getting me hooked on PW).

Editor's note: I did not find the beans to be spicy. The cook time (and the fact that I removed the seeds) helped tone down the jalapenos that the recipe uses. The beans are delicious on nacho chips. It makes a lot, so feed your family of seven or be ready to have tons of leftovers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another Tuesday, A delicious dinner, and work work work

What a day!

Bill and I have both been working like... well, you can decide. We've been working a lot and with our noses to the grindstones, that is for sure. Since we finished painting the Credit Union, I thought I'd be able to catch up. Instead I feel like I'm falling further and further behind. November is looking open.

If you've emailed me, you likely haven't received a response from me.

If you messaged me on Facebook, similar. In fact that's even worse, because I have to do something to see that I haven't written back. I'm still keeping up with the blog. So at least you know what's going on in my life. It feels a little one-sided.

So call me. Let's make plans to have dinner. I still have lots of new recipes to try.

Like tonight's dinner; ravioli with a spicy, butter-garlic sauce. Simple and delicious. And spicy. I can tone down the spice if you aren't into it.

Tomorrow, spicy beans to go on nachos.

Monday, September 26, 2011

pictures from Iowa

It's picture time. Here's Dubuque, in case you don't ever make it there (but if you're ever passing by, you should try).

This is the shortest, steepest train.

We got on from the bottom

Here we are going up.

Here's the view from the top, the trees in the background are Wisconsin. There's a bridge (the arch to the right) and to the right of it is Illinois. And the trees and city are Iowa.

This is a view to show how steep the track is.

Here's the inside of St. Luke's (the organ was restored by a company from Michigan!)

Row houses

I really liked this fence and the flowers behind it were so pretty.

This was the view from our room.

This was the clock tower.

I have more pictures, but I just wanted to give you an overview.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday in Dubuque, one of America's prettiest cities (er, towns?)

After a morning full of more sessions and more "business" (it's not really business, but it's not lectures, I don't know what to call them),we are supposed to be finished by noon (local time). Then Pat and I will be on the road home. We're not holding our breath that we actually will be done by noon. Hence, the blog now; even though I have very little to tell you. By the time I get home tonight, I will need to unwind (Bill, please have a glass of wine ready for me), make popcorn and unpack. And go to bed. I can foresee myself not remembering or not having the energy to post by then. Or I will. You can check back if you like. But don't be surprised if it ends here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

five things that make me laugh

Dubuque, Iowa has to be one of America's best kept secrets. It's a lovely town. It is picturesque, quaint, and friendly. I have been out walking and took some photos. I walked down to St. Luke's United Methodist Church which happens to have been the first church built in Iowa (in 1834). The current building was built in 1896 and has Tiffany windows (according to the brochure; five large and ninety small Tiffany windows were installed by 1897, but two more were added in 1916 and two more by the 1930's).

As I approached the church, there was a group headed inside, so I asked if I could go in and see the windows. One of the women replied that she wasn't sure if anyone was in there. Just then a man walked out (I'm guessing the pastor) and she asked him if I could go in. Of course. He took me in, turned on the lights and then showed me how to turn them back off when I was finished. He got the brochure for me and told me to take my time.

I love the Midwest.

Here at our Central Area Meeting, we had a session today about laughing. Roseann (the Kenosha-Racine V.P.) gave the brief lecture, titled, "She Who Laughs, Lasts". She talked about the healing power of laughter. She told us that we all need to go on a laugh diet. To begin, don't let those people who are negative bring you down with them. Hold up your hand and tell them to stop. You're on a laugh diet and that you want to hear something good going on in their life. Whether they walk away or tell you something good, you'll be better off. Let's try it.

Also, she wants us to keep a laugh journal, or at least keep track of the things that bring us joy. She also gave us a homework assignment. To write down five things that make you laugh. Can you do it?

1. Bill, he makes me laugh and he helps me find the humor in every situation.

2. Hearing my mom and Bill's mom laugh. If he gets them going they're snorting and guffawing like crazy. Er, um. No, I mean they're very lady-like and gentile in their laughing... It doesn't make me laugh at all.

3. Juliette and sometimes Atticus. The way Juliette runs in circles to chase her toy, or the way Atticus chases shadows (often his own) on the wall.

4. Skylar, she's got some good jokes and anytime she laughs it can make me laugh.

5. When I get frustrated with an inanimate object and it's clearly operator error, and I finally figure it out, I try to laugh and if I'm not having an easy time of it, I'll think of what Bill would say. And then I can laugh.

Obviously, my friends can make me laugh. And watching a comedy, either a tv show or a movie can make me laugh. Hearing a joke sometimes can make me laugh, or groan depending on the joke. The youth can make me laugh, and we often laugh together in Quota. Oh yeah, that photo of me from Chandra and Jason's wedding makes me laugh.

Have you laughed today?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Road Trip!

I'm headed to Iowa this morning. I'm going to Dubuque for the Central Area Meeting for Quota. Pat (who is currently our club President) and I are driving there. It's not too far, six hours. I've never been to Iowa. Not that I can ever remember.

I heard they have a great State Fair. But I think we're going to miss it.

What else is in Iowa?

Corn. Probably lots of corn.

I'll let you know.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stop means Stop and Green means Go!

Of course there are more important things in this world; like hunger, war, disease... but when did we as a nation stop caring about traffic signals?

Sure, you can go to Naples, Italy and take your life into your own hands and the hands of others, and cross the road without any traffic signals for pedestrians or drivers (we've been there and done that, it is exciting to say the least).

Here in the good ole' U. S. of A. we have traffic signals. Maybe we could save the government some money though, and just get rid of them since no one seems to mind them.

Why is it when the light turns green, people don't go? I have learned to wait and count to three before honking. In Jersey (one of the very few things I found that I liked about living there), if you didn't go immediately when the light changed, everyone honked. Having moved there from Savannah, it was a blessing.

And on top of why people don't pay attention to traffic signals, why does my mail carrier refuse to do their job? I left out two pieces of mail to be picked up. They were in bright green envelopes, hanging from the little hook (our mailbox is attached to our house, not out at the street like modern subdivisions). After they missed it yesterday, I decided I would leave them out to get picked up today. You know, give the carrier a second chance.

Apparently they don't want my mail. The carrier did not pick it up today either. So I took it to the Post Office during outing of being stuck behind people who didn't go and almost being killed by the people that weren't stopping, and the woman at the Post Office asked if we had received mail.

Yes. Both days. But what you're telling me, is that if the mail carrier does not have mail to deliver it is not their job to also pick up mail???

What then, exactly, is the job description of the mail carrier? Because I think I want that job.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

living in a fairy tale

This morning, I took my walk like I normally do on Wednesday mornings. The sun was just starting to peak above the horizon. It was not as chilly as it has been, but I still wore my sweatshirt.

I passed a couple of other runners.

I had a couple of eager dogs come tearing out of their house after me.

As I neared the end of my walk, I passed a mom and two girls on their way to the bus stop. I smiled and said good morning to each of them, and even said, "hi puppy!" to their little dachshund.

I was on the last leg of my walk when I passed by the bus stop. The two girls were there with their mom, and so were several other kids and parents. Before I could even say good morning, the oldest of the two girls said, "It's nice to see you again."

Isn't that sweet?

I wished them all a good morning and a, "Have a good day at school!"

As I continued on, I heard the girl say, "We passed her on our street!"

It was one of the cutest things I've ever heard and one of the best greetings I've ever received. I looked around to see if there were any birds or deer to carry me home, but there weren't.

That's okay, I made it on my own.

The End.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday randomness

There are a couple things on my mind, so in the random fashion, I'll blog about all of them.

Ellen. I love her show. She is funny and I know that the best thing is laughter. I easily fall out of the routine of watching her during the summer, but once her new season starts, I find it easy to get back into watching. I also like watching her because she's so honest and true. She (like me) does not read the tabloids and questions her guests out of her own curiosity, not out of what everyone else is asking.

Bullying. Ellen addresses this constantly. I have found it very difficult working with the youth, that they are feeling so bad about themselves that they turn to things like cutting. Bullying is often the cause. I urge all the youth out there to find someone to talk to. You are not alone.

Quiet Tuesday Morning shopping. It was so quiet at Meijer this morning, I wondered if they were actually open. They were. It was pleasant for sure.

New Album release day. Needtobreathe's new album, "The Reckoning" is on the shelves today. I tried going to buy it on my way to Meijer, but it was too early. I'm hoping Bill will take me out after dinner to purchase it. As big of a fan as I am of Needtobreathe, I think I'll be watching them from afar. They are popular and tickets are no longer the cheap $10 or $12. I'll always be a fan, but don't care to get lost in the crowd. I liked it better when the shows were small and intimate. *sigh* At least I can still buy their cd.

That's it. If you have any thoughts on any of these subjects, you know I love to hear from you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

an Ode to Laundry

Oh laundry! You start off like a seed,
planted in the depths of the hamper.
You are added to day after day.
You grow whether there is sun or rain,
you never stop.

The pile grows higher
reaching above the top
until you overflow,
spilling out onto the floor.

I cannot keep up with you.
You grow too fast.
There are only two of us,
what if there were more?

Monday is wash day.
I work all day long.
The pile grows smaller,
and then it is gone.

All folded neatly
laid on the bed.
Put away in the drawers
until the next day.

Then comes the seed,
it starts all over again.
The whole week goes by,
the laundry never ends.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

a stroll in the park

Today, all of the District 20 Quota clubs walked in unity to show that Quota Cares about healthy hearing and helping those who have hearing loss. If you haven't checked out Quota of Grand Rapids, please do! The blog doesn't have too much going on, if you're on facebook, you can find us there too! Join our facebook group to keep in touch with our events. We work with the Cool Cats (about whom I've blogged previously), DHHS and others in Grand Rapids and around the world.

We're making a difference!

Back to our walk. The Grand Rapids club walked at Riverside Park. There are lovely views of the river and it's a four mile walk. For our walk, we don't care how far you go, just that you go at your own pace. Bill and I walked 2.5 miles, most of that with Cindy (the Cool Cats teacher) and three of the Cool Cats themselves; CJ, Amy and Summer.

The weather warmed up, the sun peeked through the clouds and there were plenty of participants. If you missed our event this year, be sure to look for it next year.

As always, it was a lovely stroll in the park.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

into enemy territory

We went to Kalamazoo today (after we finally finished painting the Credit Union, can I get a Woo-Woo??). Central played Western (for those of you not Michigan savvy, that's Western Michigan University and Central Michigan University, MAC team rivals, the latter being Bill's alma mater). Originally we were going to go to the game. Thankfully we did not waste, er, spend the money on tickets. Western beat Central 44-14. Ugh. That's not pretty.

Instead we went and watched Maria play soccer for Kalamazoo College, where she is a Freshman (they won in overtime, beating Albion). Then we went to dinner with Gary (her dad) and Maria. Then Maria gave us a lovely tour of "the zoo", as they call it. It's a lovely, quaint campus. By quaint I don't mean Realtor talk for "small and cramped" but I mean it like storybook talk "pretty and charming". Yes, it is small. But with only 1,800 students, what would one expect? Western is right next door, so you can get the big-campus feel if you need it. Or you can wander around this quiet, pretty campus that is nothing like a zoo.

We had a great time, even if we were in enemy territory. Thankfully no one recognized us as Central fans, so eggs were spared. Now if only I could figure out how to navigate ESPN's website to find other scores...

Friday, September 16, 2011

so close

yet, so far away.

We had planned on finishing the painting today. We got there at 7am. We worked hard and we worked all day. But we haven't finished the painting yet.

You may remember my post about the painting...

So, we ran out of paint. Those walls sucked in the paint like a sponge. And that was after two coats of primer. So we managed to get one coat of "Realistic Beige" on the walls, but that was literally all the paint. We went and picked up a quart, but by that time it was too late in the day to go back to paint (it was 4:30p).

In all we used:
ten gallons of primer
four gallons + a quart of Realistic Beige
two gallons + a quart of Web Gray
two gallons of Snowbound
one gallon of Mega Greige

We can't give you a number of how many square feet that covered. Bill had it figured out, but that piece of paper got thrown away once we bought the paint. Neither of us thought we would care. Yet, now I do. Why? I don't know.

Maybe because I'm too tired to blog about anything else. I can't possibly come up with something clever and new to write about. This is what I've been living and breathing for the last two weeks. Again, it could be the paint fumes. Don't worry, after an hour or so worth of work tomorrow, we'll never speak of this again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the story of Amy and Dell

There once was a couple. She was as beautiful as the sea at sunset and he was as handsome as the snow-capped mountains. They lived happily in many different parts of the world, traveling around for his job.

The day came that they arrived in the one place that they loved dearly. They settled down and grew quite comfortable.

Through all the traveling they had done, they had picked up an odd accent. Therefore, whenever they introduced themselves, people often misheard them. Many people called them Amy and Dell.

Rather than correct the kind people in the place that they loved, they just let people call them Amy and Dell. Only those who knew them well, knew their real names.

Emily and Bill.

And that is the story of Amy and Dell.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the full moon theory strikes again

This time it strikes the Credit Union. Yup, even they feel the strange-ness that occurs during a full moon.

The phones stopped working.

They couldn't print any Cashier's checks when drawn off a Money Market account, yet when drawn from other accounts, they printed just fine.

The voicemail stopped working (that probably coincides with the phones not working).

And I needed something to blog about.

Bill's been making fabulous dinners and I'm very thankful that he has taken this upon himself without complaining. While it's been mostly burgers... they've been delicious and I haven't had to fix them. I'll be back to cooking next week and I'm already thinking about my menus... Now that it's cooling off outside, I can bring on the oven baked, warm-you-up, comfort foods.

Outside of painting, not much has been going on. I've missed the new episodes of Ellen. I had to just let that go. I'll watch them when I can. Otherwise, life goes on. She makes me laugh, but painting is making me money. Ellen will still be on next week.

Hopefully this wasn't too bad of a read. I think I've inhaled too many paint fumes...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I met Heather in Mt. Pleasant. From there we drove over to Midland to check out Dahlia Hill. Pretty much all I can say is wow.

Dahlias are my favorite flower. A few years ago Bill and I went to the Dahlia Show at Meijer Gardens. It was amazing. I had never seen so many flowers, let alone dahlias, all in one room.

Today was like that. Only they were all still alive and in the ground. I very much have my grandfather's blood in me. He loved to take pictures of flowers and so do I. I took 77 photos of dahlias. I have a problem.

Not really. Heather took a lot of photos too. I will only bore you with ten. Ten, that will hopefully give you an idea of what exactly Dahlia Hill looks like (and it's free!). This is near the home of the artist Charles Breed (check the website for more info) so you'll see his studio, art and house in the background of a couple of the photos.

Remember, these are all from my little Sony point-and-shoot camera.

This gives you an idea of the multitude of dahlias with part of a sculpture in the background.

I love the contrast of this one.

Here was a memorial garden showcasing the use of dahlias in a perennial garden.

Sculpture, a pure white dahlia and the beautiful willow in the background.

Looking down the hill.

An up close picture of a full bloom and one about to open.

Rows and rows of dahlias

Here's the sign up at the top of the hill.

The sculpture at the top of the hill in between the memorial gardens where you can have your ashes planted with dahlias (once you've passed away...)

I like the composition of this photo.

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. This was the perfect time of year to go. If you ever come to visit and want to see this for yourself, let me know. I'd be happy to go back.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday was a blur

I can't wait to get back to my normal routine. I miss it. I miss my daily walks. I haven't taken a walk now since last Monday.

I did make it to the grocery store. I enjoy going to the store. Apparently I have an odd gene. Not many people I know enjoy this "chore". I don't think of it as a chore. Sometimes, when my schedule is hectic, I find it a little nerve-racking. But typically I enjoy it.

I know. I'm odd.

I especially like my routine of going on Tuesday mornings. I know the clerks who works at the registers. I know the greeter at the door. I even see a couple of fellow shoppers (a little old man and his wife are my favorite, we've chatted in line several times, they liked my pink hair).

It's mostly quiet. I go in the morning, before it gets too busy. That usually means waiting in line, but I've heard it's good to let your mind wander, as mine does, while doing mundane tasks. Of course, it's when I'm standing in line that I often realize I have no coupons with me. Ugh.

But today was different. It was Monday and I had to get the shopping done today. Tomorrow I'm meeting Heather W. (which I'll likely blog about tomorrow). Did you know Monday is "screaming child day"? If you're a parent, I'm so sorry. And I'm sure that your children don't scream like the ones did today. The one girl sounded like she was being tortured. I think between the screams she was yelling, "get me out!". So I'm guessing she didn't want to be strapped into the cart.

Apparently Monday mornings bring screaming children. I don't think I've tuned screaming children out. I certainly couldn't tune them out this morning.

Tuesdays are better. I like Tuesday shopping.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering and Forgiving

No doubt, you have heard mention of 9/11 at some point already today. It is a day to remember. We will never forget. If you are tired of hearing about it, then you should think of the families whose lives were torn apart in one morning.

I've realized that our youth from church were all very young when it happened. They barely remember. And so, as it was with Pearl Harbor, the Challenger and all the other memorials, we must remind ourselves of the horror we watched unfold before us in a way that we had only fathomed in Hollywood.

We must remember, so that we can forgive.

This morning in church, our pastor pointed out the Lectionary calls for Matthew 18:21-35 to be read on the second Sunday in the month of September, every three years (that's a lot to remember). I'll summarize it, in case your church (or for those of you who who didn't make it church), didn't follow the Lectionary. It's the parable of the master who forgives his servant of his debt when the servant pleads for mercy. Then, in Jesus' typical twist, the servant is asked by a fellow servant to be forgiven of his debt to the first servant. The first servant refuses and has the second servant thrown in prison. The master finds out that the first servant did this, and calls him out. Then the master has the first servant tortured until he can repay all of his debt.

Pretty extreme. It is preceded by Peter asking Jesus how many times we should forgive. As our pastor pointed out this morning, Jesus' answer is basically saying you shouldn't even keep score. Imagine if you tried and use Jesus' answer of seventy times seven. Four hundred and ninety times. You would need a spreadsheet for all of your friends and family and the people who piss you off on the road.

This brings me back to September 11, 2001 and how in a country that was hurt in such a horrific way is spending the day in Remembrance.
And that, in churches all over this nation, we are praying for the very people who caused these horrific acts.
That their purpose and drive will be changed.
That we can forgive them.
And that Hope, above all, will reign.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"A" is for almost finished...

Painting that is. Okay, I'm taking the "A" is for too far. I should have moved on to "B" and "C" but I didn't, so I'll finish the week with one last "A".

We painted more today. Bill and I worked hard and we worked from 8:30a-8p. We stopped and ate some Subway for lunch, but other than that we didn't stop to rest.

Here are some things I do when I paint:
I stand on the counters and sit on the floors to paint
It's fun. And call me lazy, but it's how I work.

My hand started going numb like Bill's does. Repetitive stress syndrome, yay. I have my wrist wrapped up and am looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow.

I don't like blue tape. It hoovers beyond anything. I can cut in like a pro and it irks me when I pull of the tape only to see paint seeped through behind it, no matter how much I press the tape into whatever it is I'm taping off. It becomes more of a hassle to tape than to just cut in. Although my wrist is feeling the cutting in...

We're hoping to be finished by Friday. We won't be able to go in at all on Tuesday, so we'll see how we do. I'll keep you posted! (Because I'm sure you're all on the edges of your seats waiting to see if and when we will get this done, there's nothing more exciting. Don't worry, TV returns in just a couple more weeks. Then you'll have to force yourself to check my blog.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

"A" is for A+ pies

The apple pies turned out perfect. My best pie crusts ever. The humidity, amount of cutting in the shortening, the stars, everything must have been aligned right. They are flaky and flavorful. It's the same pie crust I've always made. I do think I cut the shortening in more than I have in the past. That must be the key. At any rate, next time you come visit, request a pie. I make a pretty darn good one.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"A" is for Apple Pie

It doesn't get more American than that. Unless of course you happen to know that today is official start of Pro Football. And I do.

So I made a couple of apple pies. And I'm watching Green Bay play New Orleans. And I'm okay with that.

I finally used the pie "form" roller thingy (I'm sure that's its official name since I'm all about being official today) from Shannon. I know if she's reading this, she just gasped. I know. I'm sorry. You gave it to me for my birthday. I wanted to wait until something was in season (uh, let's see, I could have made pecan pie...). But summer has come and almost gone and I hadn't used them yet. I thought about making a blueberry pie, but for some reason, never bought enough blueberries (I think it takes something like a gallon of blueberries to make pie). Plus I have my chocolate blueberry cake and the blueberry crumb cake which are divine. Apple pie is my favorite (fruit in a pie, pecan takes the cake, er pie, as my favorite).

Unfortunately the pies aren't for us. Our church hosts a week of Family Promise (formerly known as Interfaith Hospitality), which is housing for those who are in between housing. Bill and I helped with this program in our church in Toms River. Yes, that was five + years ago. I've been making dinners for the program here only for the last year or two. Tomorrow night I'm providing dinner.

The menu:
Sloppy Joes ("sloppy joes, slop, sloppy joes" -that was for you Bill) which I'm famous for in the Jr. High youth group circle
Macaroni and Cheese
And for dessert: Apple pie a la mode

Yup. I went all out. I'm staying to eat with them, and honestly I'm super excited. I think it's a nice, simple meal. It's not too fancy but it's still comfort food. It's not too heavy for a summer time meal (no really, I'm not in denial, it's still summer, read my blog from Labor Day).

What's your ideal comfort food meal?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"A" is for apples and they're back

Late summer means some of the best fruits and vegetables are fresh (editor's note: you may disagree with me and that is okay, these are my favorites and since this is my blog, I can say things like this). Corn is one of them. Apples are another.

One of my all-time favorite lunches consists of fresh apples with peanut butter. Mom and I went to Robinette's so she could get peaches. They had an early harvest apple, whose name I have forgotten... (Mom, what kind are they?) We bought a bag and split it. They're very good. And I'm super happy to be eating apples with my lunch again.

I've also decided that today is the day I meet my quota for my fruit servings. Like a years worth, in one day, today. I had oj for breakfast, watermelon and blueberries for a snack, banana bread and the aforementioned apple. I'm feeling like I should go squeeze some lemon into my water just to balance it out.

I should point out that for dinner last night, I made a harvest soup. It had an onion, a leek, a butternut squash, carrots, a potato and an apple in it (and it's so good). It's perfect for this lovely late summer weather.

Who knows what dinner holds, hopefully a salad with some tomato and olives...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spam-A-Lot, shuffle and painters

Today, I took my iPod with me while I painted. I have now listened to all 299 songs on my iPod. Okay, so 299 isn't a lot but it has taken me three years to get through all of them on shuffle. Not just listening to the different playlists or going through every song. Nope, there are those of us who have some weird ambition to listen to all of them on shuffle.

Now, back to the 299 part. Three years ago we gave our Mac to my parents who then were able to join the 21st century and get email (and internet access). That was wonderful. But before I could update my iPod and put more music on it, Bill announced that he had cleared it off. It was ready to go to my parents. Bummer. So I have been stuck with 299 songs. We were unable to replace our Mac. That was sad.

But the songs are interesting for sure. From Christmas songs to Spam-A-Lot it has been fun listening to them on shuffle.

While I was painting, a man wandered around the corner and stood in the doorway. For some reason he looked like a painter. My guess was correct because then he said, "Hm, painting. I'm a painter." I have no idea how I knew that, but it was a good guess. He didn't linger for long, but he sure made me nervous. I mean, he's a professional painter. I've painted a lot, but I don't do it for a living. This is just for extra cash. I was actually surprised it took this long for an actual painter to come into the Credit Union.

At any rate, it's another late night. There is banana bread in the oven and I have to go make the struesel topping for it. Yum!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day (it's not the end of summer)

I'm not a Union worker, but I do enjoy Labor Day. The extra day off is always filled with some activity. Today was no different. We (Mom, Dad, Bill, Amy, Adam and I) watched the last Whitecaps game. It was the clincher between the Fort Wayne Tincaps and the Whitecaps as to who would continue into the playoffs. It also just so happened that the Cool Cats were singing the National Anthem.

The Cool Cats did a wonderful job! I'm so proud that Quota helps them and gives them opportunities that they might not otherwise have (we had nothing to do with them singing the National Anthem).

The Whitecaps, on the other hand, did not seem to really want to make it to the playoffs. We left after the 7th inning and the score was 3-1. Amy sent me a text at the top of the 9th, it was 5-2. They're the AAA Tigers team. If you're not keeping up with the Tigers, Bill and I stayed up to watch them beat the White Sox 18-2 last night. Holy cow! So the Whitecaps didn't win (the final score was 7-2), but the Tigers seem to be doing okay. For a Detroit team (that's another blog for another day).

We often forget, especially with the weather that swept through overnight, that summer is not over. It's not over until September 23rd, so while we enjoyed some 60 degree weather today with the smells of autumn in the air, we must remind ourselves that it's not over yet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

euchre with the parents

This is going to be an interesting post. Why? You ask, because we're currently playing euchre. As in, I'm sitting at the table with my laptop on my, er lap, typing away. While the cards are shuffled and dealt around me. It's already taken me two rounds to type this much (I just took a trick with a Queen).

I've blogged about euchre before. If you can find the post, you win a prize!

Oh wait, no you won't. I just forgot for a moment that I'm not Pioneer Woman and I don't give things away. Because I'm poorer than she is. If I could give something away I would. No, wait don't leave. I'll give you a free dinner. There. That's a good prize (and I mean it. You just have to come here or invite us to wherever you are and I'll cook).

Bill fixed his big breakfast and it was, as usual, delicious. After that we played a round of euchre. It's Mom and me vs. Dad and Bill. The men won two out of three rounds this afternoon. Currently Mom and I are up one round and we're in the middle of the second (and the score is 6-5). I'm getting yelled at because this is only slightly distracting. So go google euchre if you don't know what it is and if you do, I know you understand.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

pork, beans, and corn

Dinner was fantastic. Bill made his ribs. The ones where he gets up at 6:30a and makes a dry rub. The ones where he makes homemade sauce (say it with a Jersey accent, saw - ss). The ones that taste divine. They're amazing.

I made homemade baked beans (a recipe given to me by Shannon). I adjusted it tonight and it worked. A can of lima beans (the only way Bill and I will eat them), kidney beans, and butter beans. The recipe calls for a can of pork and beans. But I decided why not just try a can of northern beans? It works and there are still plenty of beans (oh my goodness there are beans leftover). I didn't adjust the sauce I made, and even thought it wasn't thick like a pork and beans out of a can, it was still good.

The corn on the cob was delicious. And none of us had anything to do with that other than knowing which stand has the best corn at the Farmer's Market and Mom helping me husk it.

And that was dinner. We're too stuffed to do anything now. Although it appears that storms are springing up all around us. The Tigers game just got rained out. The Notre Dame game got rained out. No rain here. Not yet anyway. Weather Man Bill has given us his predictions (that's my Bill, not the news Bill. And my Bill has done a better job than any of the other weather people on the news). We shall see what the weather actually brings.

Friday, September 2, 2011

up to our "ears" in corn

I know, clever right? I thought of it while Mom and I were cooking the corn. We bought three baker's dozen ears, saved seven ears to eat and froze the rest.

Twenty-two cups of corn. All scraped off the cob and frozen into creaminess. Yum.

I like corn.

Remember that blog about a deep freezer? Now we really need one. Mom also froze some peaches. And we stocked up on bread for some apparent reason. So the freezer, it is full. Don't worry, we are headed out to buy some ice cream. It's just what we need. It'll go straight into our bellies, no need to bring it home and put it in the freezer (plus it'll be on cones, so that would make it quite challenging to put in the freezer).

At any rate, we are set on corn for the winter. Yum! Corn dip, corn cakes, corn lasagna (it's actually really yummy), corn casserole, just corn, corn chowder... I think those are all my corn recipes. I think... I will try to remember to blog about them when I make them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

how to get out of cleaning the bathroom

Insist that gloves must be worn to protect your delicate hands.

Discover that gloves sold in your area are all sized for giants and that your mom can buy them for you in her local store.

Wait for mom to buy them, use them.

Get holes in gloves.

Gloves are no longer doing their job of protecting your skin, therefore you cannot clean the bathroom until you get new gloves.

See? Isn't that easy? (Of course it would just be easier if they sold size small gloves in our stores here, yet they do not.)