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Friday, May 26, 2006

The week flew by!

I cannot believe how fast this week went by. It was my birthday this week and that was fun. A friend and a couple of family members stopped by. Then my husband and son took me out for Italian food to the place where we had our wedding reception, we ate outside and it was wonderful! I had lobster ravioli. Yum! My husband got me some really nice things, some music, a really nice soup pot that has baskets for steaming or cooking pasta and a barrister's bookshelf. That's a shelf with glass doors that come down. It's for my colletction of Breyer Horses that I started getting when I was a little girl. I haven't had them displayed for many years so I am excited to unpack them and get them out. I even made little leather shoes for them that I painted silver! It used to be so much fun. I hope they are in good shape as they were not packed very well. They haven't been moved much so hope they are ok. I'll know more later!

I had no idea that you could "catch" wild yeast from the air and grow it in water and flour. I have never made sourdough bread before and did not realize that that's how it worked. I have my dough rising in pans (a lot slower than normal yeast dough) and I'll bake it in a couple of hours. It will be interesting to see how it turned out. I didn't use a recipe at all, just 1 cup of water to 1 cup of flour and let that sit out for a day, then I "fed" it with more flour and water last night. This morning my "sponge" was big and spongey and had a rather pleasant smell so I figured that was a good sign. I'll report back on my bread later!

My in laws have a summer home in Au Gres, MI and we're heading up there tonight to spend the night. They go there on and off all summer. It seems to be a central meeting place for family so it should be nice.

Sunday and Monday we are going to spend here, working on getting some things done. I know I want to get my horses up and I always have a lot of stuff to do... and Clane will probably do car work.

I will report back later on how the bread turned out. In the meantime, the Baltimore Orioles are back! I have put out dishes of grape jelly for them, and they always announce they are there with a nice whistle. Last night I was weeding the flowers right near the part of the deck with the jelly, and the male was really mad at me and scolded me til I left. Then ants get into the jelly so that usually attracts redheaded woodpeckers and catbirds! We get some interesting birds around here. I haven't seen any hummingbirds yet but earlier this year we had a pileated woodpecker at my suet! I will have to dig through my pictures and see if I can find one to post. I unfortunately didn't get any really clear, good ones. The orioles are not happy when I try to take their picture but I'm not going to give up!

Hope everyone has a good holiday weekend!

Monday, May 22, 2006

It's Monday UGH

I've got the Monday blahs! This weekend was pretty good, other than I have not gotten rid of this cold yet. If it's the same one my son and husband still have, I can look forward to being sick until the end of June. No fun!

I got a little free time on Saturday and went out shopping alone. I had a gift card from Bed Bath and Beyond so I went and picked up some things for the kitchen that I've been wanting. I have a straw dispenser (my son loves straws), a pitcher with glasses (I love a pitcher for cool drinks in the summer), one of those plunger style measuring cups for soft, sticky ingredients so you don't have to scrape out the cup each time and a mist can that I can fill with my own oil so no silicone dioxide in my food! Clane picked up a huge tool chest yesterday and spent a bunch of time sorting his tools in the garage. He needed one and we both feel better now that he has one. It's good! And the amazing thing was that it fit in the back of the Durango and the door closed! That was lucky!

Yesterday I made a stir fry for dinner. I like doing those because I get to use up veggies that are in the fridge. This one had sirloin, peppers, broccoli, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic and bamboo shoots. Will had a sampling of everything. He decided that broccoli is finally ok, we call them "trees" and he just went to town on them! He liked the beef a lot too. I have decided that I will now purchase most of my beef from Hensler's Farm in Freeland (just past the airport, WELL worth the drive and the extra few $$ per pound) or Graham's Farm in Rosebush (I get this through our co op). I cannot believe the difference in Hensler's beef vs. the beef from the grocery store... theirs makes the grocery store beef look anemic!! And the difference in taste is amazing. But best of all, the animals are treated well and that is a huge concern for me. I will happily pay a farmer to take a caring attitude toward their livestock. I just do not think I can get grocery store meat anymore, and that's fine, I look forward to not handling drippy meat packages! Yuk!

Tonight I have a meeting in Saginaw, part of my training to become a volunteer lactation counsellor. I'm not sure what we're all doing but I'm looking forward to it. Will gets to stay home with his Daddy because I won't be able to pay a bit of attention to anything happening in the meeting if I am chasing him all over! Otherwise I'm hitting the mountain of laundry today and trying to get a few other things done, perhaps even catch a nap with my son.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Now I've got a cold...

I wound up having to call the doctor's office to find out if everyone has this cold that just hangs on for weeks. And they said it's going around. I at least could get some cold medicine for Will that has helped, although he and Clane seem to be feeling better. Now I've had a sore throat since Saturday and my nose is getting plugged up more today. My mom left this morning and she's got a cold too! Hopefully we don't have them for weeks!

The house is all quiet now that my mom is gone. I miss her already! It was really nice having her here. She and Will had so much fun together.

I found another place to get local eggs today! I'm happy, and they are only $1.50 per dozen. They are nice and big too! I got a big jar of honey from the farmer's market, along with a good loaf of bread and a hanging flower basket for the front. It will be really nice when summer gets going and there are more people selling things there. Anyone who lives locally here should go check it out!

Over the weekend I made a really wonderful Hungarian walnut torte called a dios torte. It calls for a dozen eggs and not much flour at all! And coffee buttercream. I brought it to a potluck at my sister in law's new house, and it went over very well. I enjoyed it! But it's one of those things that you have once every few years or so! Yum! :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Oh... about Will

He is 18 months old today!! I can't belive how fast the time has gone. He is still working on that molar, his gum looks so swollen and sore, I can hardly stand to look at it. Hopefully it will come through soon!!

Rain ARRRRGHGHGHGHGHGH!!!

My mom is here visiting as you know and our guest room is in our basement. I woke up this morning and met Mom in the kitchen and she said, my bedroom floor is all wet! So I said "NOOOOO!!!!" and went downstairs. When I saw all the water, I said "NOOOOOO!!!!!" Then I came up and called my husband at work (which I never do that time of morning) and when he saw who it was he thought "NOOOOOO!" and then I told him what happened and he said "NOOOOOO!!!" and came home from work. I vacuumed and emptied the shop vac probably 6-7 times today and we still are not done. We took out the carpet from the guest room because the padding was acting like a big sponge and keeping all the water inside it. The other room is where the main computers are and a bunch of parts and our stuff from college, papers that we didn't want to toss but didn't need to be up in the filing cabinet, etc. That room is SOAKED.

I think it will take a few days work to get that room sorted out enough so that we can pull out the carpet there too. I am actually glad to see the carpet go, I think it is silly to carpet basement floors, especially with padding, unless you know you are going to always have a dry basement. We have always had water problems in our basement. We put gutters up but I think the ground got so wet and two of the spouts drain near a drainage ditch that is full... all of these things did not help. What a mess!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

RAIN and TEETH!

It is FINALLY raining! We haven't had a good rain since over a week ago, and it was at least a week to 10 days before that. It is raining now and will rain for the next several days. Good thing because it's been so dry. My flowers will be happy! I've been watering them but rain is better I think. Of course that will water the weeds too but maybe the ground will be soft enough for me to pull them out.

And, my son is FINALLY going to get a molar! He hasn't had a new tooth since November. He's got all 8 of his front teeth in but nothing more. His gums have been swollen for a while now but on one side it is getting purplish and I can see the tooth beneath the gum. So I wonder how long the poor little guy is going to suffer this time around?? Teething must be really awful, good thing we don't remember it! I don't recall my wisdom teeth bugging me though when they broke through, I was in high school and it didn't hurt or anything.

We are having a good visit here with my mom. She had medical stuff and so far so good. She's all pooped out between the 14 hour bus ride that was more like 16 hours this time (she said an accident delayed the bus) and we've been running every day since she got here. Tomorrow we don't have to go anywhere til dinner time, then we are going to a potluck for Green Seed. I am making hummus and tabouli for that, and throughout the day I will be making a big pot of ham bean soup. I have a ham bone in the freezer and I've got beans soaking right now as we speak. If it's raining and cold it will be a good day to make soup.

Our gutters are working pretty good, my husband worked so hard to get them up and then we had no rain for so long. Today was the first real heavy rain we've had in a really long time, and the gutters were like a waterfall!! They are working well. Although we'll have to do some experimenting with a couple of downspouts because they cross sidewalks.

Maybe I'll be able to update this more in the next few days because we don't have a lot of running to do!

Friday, May 05, 2006

It's the weekend again!

It's FRIDAY! Friday is always my favorite day. Hubby is home from a long week working, we can spend the evening relaxing, it's just a big relief! And, tomorrow my mom is coming for a visit. She'll be here around 2 weeks I think. It will be so nice for her to see Will. She hasn't seen him since Christmas, this will be the first time she saw him walking. We are going to have a busy week next week, I have some co op stuff to do and she has a couple of medical appointments. It looks like the weather is going to be wonderful. Monday will be my first visit to an organic farm where the co op gets pasture fed beef and chicken and eggs. I'm really looking forward to the visit. Will loves cows so if he can see some close up it will make him happy!

I don't have many interesting things to report right now. Will still has some post nasal drip that is giving him a gunky sounding cough but it's slowly getting better. We did not spend time out in the pollen today so hopefully that will mean less coughing tonight. We went to a friend's 1 year old's birthday party today and that was fun. He played really well, I think he is finally learning more about kids his age, he is starting to play better with them. Although he did hug the 1 year old and he hugs hard... knocked the poor little guy to the floor (Will towers over him!) and made him cry! But I think all was forgiven in the end. I'll plan to have them come play here soon. He also said his first name today, it was "Ella"... she's a friend of his, 1 year older to the day!

As for weekend plans, I am pretty sure the Midland Farmer's Market opens tomorrow morning so I think we're all going to go see what's there. I want to do a lot of shopping there this summer. Buying locally is important to me! Even if I go and just get a loaf of bread. I know my mom will want to get some groceries and I'll be getting a big bunch of produce from the co op on Monday. Otherwise I'm not totally sure what else we have planned. We might go visit my in laws as well.

Most of the flowers I planted this past week are doing well, there will always be a couple of annuals that don't look so good but for the most part they are happy. I cannot believe we have lilac bushes blooming down here already. We had an early and warm spring! It's really dry though, we sure could use the rain, if nothing else to wash the pollen out of the air! The pollen I think has been especially bad this year, but I haven't had trouble which makes me happy. Maybe it's all the raw honey I've been eating. I hope so!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hysterical!!

I just absolutely think this website is hysterically funny!! Go check it out and have a laugh on me!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Want to support a good cause?

I am a member of La Leche League of Saginaw, which as you might know provides information, help and support to breastfeeding mothers. We are doing a fundraiser right now, to raise money for books for our library (we loan them out to anyone who wants to read them), pamphlets for people who need help and we want to be able to buy breast pumps to loan out as well. You can help by going to Current, Inc. and just start shopping. When you are done, you need to select "Michigan" from a drop down menu, then on the next page make sure to select "La Leche League of Saginaw" since there is another group there which is plain "La Leche League" and if you pick that one, our group will not get the funding. Then continue to fill out the rest as usual, and that's it!

Current sells gift wrap that is nice, greeting cards, scrapbooking stuff, garden stuff, housewares and a lot of other little things! And our group gets 50% of all sales. Thanks for your help!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Wrecking crew!!

Even though dinner turned out really good, my son destroyed my kitchen in the process! Then when I was finally done and exhausted, instead of running away from me like he'd been doing for the past couple of hours (outside and in) he decided he wasn't going to leave me alone!! I finally got him playing by himself so I could put my feet up for 15 min. I did not take pictures of the destroyed kitchen but maybe the next time I will.

My husband will probably find a spatula under his pillow and a sippy cup in his underwear drawer!

Flowers and cooking

I took this picture yesterday when I was playing around with the camera. Flowers are proving to be tricky, it seems like the camera wants to focus on everything but the flower even though the flower is in the little rectangle! I'll just have to keep practicing. I think this is called a flowering plum, in any case Clane got it for me for my birthday a few years back. It's my birthday tree!

I am making stir fry tonight for dinner. It will have chicken, red pepper, onions, garlic, ginger, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I might throw a little carrot in there too. I'll serve it with brown rice. I love stir fries, they are so good and you can put about anything in them! Yesterday I made some biscuits that had yeast in them. Never tried that before. They came out ok. They were Paula Deen's recipe from Food Network.