Monday, May 26, 2008

Spring is in the air

It's taken a while here in Michigan for the feeling of spring to sink in. We've had one of the chilliest springs I can remember. It was a warm and wonderful Memorial Day reaching close to 80 degrees but tomorrow's weather is going to be a let-down, maybe reaching 60 degrees.

A pair of cardinals has nested in a bush that we have alongside the east side of our house, about 6 feet from our constantly opening and closing back door. I was able to open the bush to let enough light in to take a couple pictures of the nest. In this one you can see a baby head and beak sticking up on the right side of the nest.
This is the best shot I could get of the newborns.
The brilliant-colored daddy likes to hang out on our porch, around to the south-facing front of the house. I think he hangs out there to try to intimidate us with his sharp chirp. He gets pretty close to the house, usually landing on one of the chairs we have out there. Here he is on the back of the chair.

I think on this particular day he could see our cat through the window and he was chirping a warning to her. He gets pretty bold here hopping on down to the ottoman of the chair, chirping at the window.

Here is one of our cats, Pebbles, wishing she could have a break from dry cat food. She was making these funny, hopeful sounds as she sat watching the show Mr. Red was putting on.

A new feat (oh, those were the days!)

Hannah has reached another milestone in her young life. She has learned to ride her bike no-handed. It took quite a few pictures to get a semi-clear one but the results were pretty interesting, I think.

"Look, Ma! No arms!"

"My head is on fire!"
"Wheee! This is fun!"

"There are two of me!"
Did you see that ghost??

Finally, a clear enough shot that you can actually see her. Great job, Hannah. Keep practicing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waxing poetic on the refrigerator

Everyone's seen them, those magnetic word sets for the refrigerator that you use to make poems, sentences, or anything that suits your fancy. We have a set on our refrigerator and I'd like to share the inspiration that overcame the word-artistes in our family. I only wish I knew which child composed which saying or phrase.

I do know that I started it all with the following poem. (All the '/' you see denote the use of a separate letter.)


a symphony of languid moan/s
dream/y in their mean/ing
no frantic moment/s I will have
drunk in my garden play/ing

Now here are the rest of the works.

please smear only luscious chocolate lather

fluff still think/s like his puppy

eat then swim in honey

y not fall from my death

peach/es can sea my shadow

the blue milk is gone

rock these shake/ing gorgeous pink butt/s

purple sordid juice incubate/s

crush winter with ugly finger/s

why leave a man when his enormous apparatus fiddle/s a beauty/ful woman

worship a moon

after skin would white wind cry

you tell spring to iron rain

lie on her drool & you/r tongue will chant red flood/ed goddess

take not but stare at the bitter language

life shot the boy

I have black mist/ed dress/es heave in sweat

rob a gift club and lust repulsive/ly

lick raw meat & like it

i egg/ed pound/s

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh, happy day!

It's right around the corner...the day Michigan goes smoke free! I am so extremely happy about this that I could...could...well, something! It's about time to clear the air.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fun on Mother's Day, May 11, 2008

What a wonderful Mother's Day! Thank you to all my children for making it special. Thanks to Richard for all the hard work he put into the pizza making. And thanks to Patti, Steve, Michael, and Clare for bringing my mom, the gem of the family, to our house.
These are all my favorites that I received on Mother's day: Clematis, my favorite climbing vine; cupcakes from Pronto (where Chelsea works); patchouli soap; dark chocolate truffles; a jar of dark chocolate peanut butter; whoopi bars; a beautiful glass sea urchin vase; and the best cheese in the world, French Chaource. Richard gave me the fun solar lantern to hang either from the table umbrella or in our weeping cherry tree in the back yard when we entertain. It has small LCD lights inside that charge with the sun. I can't wait to see it glow!

We had a small houseful over for brick oven pizza and yummy desserts. The process of pizza-making is shown here for all of you who have not been over to witness it firsthand. Richard makes the pizza crust dough ahead of time from scratch. He has a pretty dog-gone good recipe figured out. We start by rolling out enough dough for a small pizza, transferring it over to a wooden pizza peel covered in corn meal. The corn meal prevents it from sticking to the peel and allows a smooth transfer over to the metal, long-handled peel used to place the pizza in the oven.
The oven is nice and hot, ready for cooking.
First, Richard must make way for the pizza by brushing out the ashes.

In goes the pizza!

The pizza must be turned half-way through the quick, 2-minute cooking process. Today the temperature of the oven averaged 750 degrees.
Checking to see if it is done...
...nope, needs a minute longer with a turn.
A view of the inside.
Voila! It's done and ready for hungry, anticipating bellies and salivating mouths! Good job, Richard. It's not burnt; Sarah will be happy.

As if pigging out on pizza wasn't enough, everyone finished with dessert. Hannah's homemade brownies were a big hit; the whole pan was gobbled up (thanks to Jonah!).
From the left: My mom, Elsie; my sister-in-law, Patti; my brother, Steve; Jonah; Steve's and Patti's oldest son, Michael; and his girlfriend, Clare.
Ha! I caught Chelsea with a real smile on her face instead of a silly face. Oh, and Hannah helped out with the brownies, too.

Jonah trying to hide his second brownie by shoving it in his mouth.
A very sweet shot of Sarah and Courtney.
Just for fun I am including this time-release movie of Richard making a pizza. I thought I was making a video; I didn't know the camera was set on time-lapse. It's fun if you keep clicking on the pause button.

Mommy Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers out there in my blogosphere! And an especially warm wish goes out to my mom, the best mom in the world!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Peaceful South Haven, MI

Richard and I visited our friends Lori and Dan this weekend in South Haven. Dan owns a house just about 1/2 mile from Lake Michigan and about 4 miles from downtown South Haven. We had a very relaxing and enjoyable time kicking back with them. Saturday night we ate dinner at the Thirsty Perch then shot a little pool on their short tables. Although I did sink a great side-pocket shot right before sinking the 8-ball to win the first game, I couldn't quite get the feel of the way the balls stay scattered so close together on the abbreviated surface. I didn't shoot very well overall but Richard was doing great. And Dan is very good at the game.

Sunday was a beautiful, blue sky treat with just a slight hint of coolness in the air that found Richard getting golf lessons from Dan. Dan's home is on 10 acres and he set himself up with a driving range complete with a wooden statue of a golfer at about 200 yards. After lessons, Dan and Richard headed off to the golf course for 9 holes while Lori and I lallygagged into the city. We enjoyed our walk along the water and had lunch at a small place that overlooked the river in town. It was a perfect way to spend a gorgeous day. Thanks to Lori and Dan for their hospitality!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Comedy Tonight!

My good friend Rose Randall Warner is performing in a production of 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum' and it is wonderful! It is composed by Stephen Sondheim. If you aren't familiar with the production you should rent the Zero Mostel 1966 production. It's playing at The Barn in Farmington Hills.

Here are some videos of Rose singing in the production. In the third one at the very end where they are singing '...comedy tooooniiiiiiiiiight!' you can really hear Rose's great voice standing out through the others.