Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Favorite Things -- Moroccan Mint Tea

I love a good Morroccan mint tea -- and this one is my favorite.  I bought it from a local vendor while at the Frankemuth Farmers Market this summer.  The tea is high quality and packaged in neat little pyramid shaped bags.  The perfect accompaniment to Sunday morning.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pictured Rocks, Munising MI

This is the first batch of vacation photos that I shot last week.  Charlie and I went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a week long trip.  The trees were turning spectacular colors and our weather was wonderful the whole week (except for a little fog Friday morning).  
I shot hundreds of photos and am still sorting through them -- but here is the first batch.  We took a 3 hour boat tour of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  The water was so bright and colorful -- just gorgeous!  The rock is part of a large basin of sandstone and the brilliant colors come from the "seepage" of water and minerals.  More photos will be posted later.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Colorful Harvest

This morning was such a lovely morning to be outside.  I pulled a few things from my garden after tending to the chickens.  We've had a bumper crop of yellow squash and zucchini, and also cherry/grape tomatoes.  I am starting to get a few eggplants and I am excited about that.  I bought the plants from an organic farmer from our farmers market.  I realized once I got them home that they had mites.  I separated them from the rest of my plants and treated them with an organic spray.  The plants were sad looking at first and now they are doing great!  The variety is called "Fairy Tale" and are picked fairly young and small.  I plan on grilling these up today along with some squash, onion and green peppers.
I think Charlie and I are going to a blueberry farm today to get some berries.  I've been freezing fruit lately to add to smoothies.  This week I had healthy smoothies twice a day (made with spinach, sprouts, fruit, ground flax seed and sometimes non-fat yogurt).  The frozen fruit makes the smoothie cold and it covers the flavor of the veggies and flax.  I have a bunch of reasons for doing this -- but what it all boils down to is HEALTH.  Although I am a vegetarian, I still have some bad eating habits.  I'm trying to make some positive changes right now and start to take better care of myself.  The smoothies definitely make it easier to get a bunch of healthy stuff packed into one meal.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Detroit Zoo and a Week of Vacation

I just had a week off of work and enjoyed quite a bit of that time with my family.  Charlie had to work so I took my mom to Detroit for a couple of nights.  We spent one day at IKEA (I'm in love!) and the other we went to the Detroit Zoo.  It was incredibly hot, and we were disappointed that most of the animals were not visible because they were trying to keep cool.  We did enjoy the creatures we could see though and had a good, exhausting time.

They had a butterfly garden (not as big as the one they sometimes have at Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens)

They had a nice bird exhibit -- there were some birds there I had never heard of.

Some tired, hot animals.

They had peacocks, but we had more fun looking at the pea-hens and chicks that ran around freely.

We were really looking forward to the arctic circle exhibit.  There is a tunnel under water and the polar bear swims around so you can get a close-up view.  Well, the seals were having fun swimming, but the polar bear would have nothing to do with it.  

We were very exhausted after walking all over the place.  Probably because we spent 3 1/2 hours walking around IKEA the day before.  Did I mention that I love that place?
After the two days in Detroit, we headed home to my place and relaxed.  We went to the coffee shop and a few stores in Frankenmuth before Mom headed home.  Then, the next day I headed to her place.  I spent an afternoon with my grandma, making our favorite veggie soup (to freeze for easy lunches).  I helped her get her Super-8 projector up and running -- and was able to watch a vacation movie from 1966.  We have many more to check out in the future.
Mom and I also made a quick drive out to Spring Lake, MI to visit Lake Michigan.  It doesn't feel like summer to me if I don't visit the big lake at least once.  I didn't get my feet wet, but we walked the fisherman's pier and enjoyed the lake air.
This weekend, Charlie and I have just been chilling out and watching the olympics.  Tomorrow I head back to work.  It is always rough after a good vacation, but it'll only take me a day to get back into the swing of things.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

I hope you are having a good Memorial Day weekend so far!  I took a vacation day yesterday so I ended up with 4 days off in a row.  I needed a nice relaxing weekend after a stressful week though.  

This morning, Charlie and I went to the farmer's market together and had a nice time.  I bought a few plants to add to the garden (eggplant, sweet potato, lovage, chives and mint).  Charlie bought a few Rada knives from the 4-H group and some cookies from a local bakery.  I treated him to a cup of coffee   at the Harvest Coffee House and we watched a little bit of a bicycle race that was running through town.  It was a very pleasant morning.  

This week was stressful for me because I lost two chickens from our flock.  The two in the front row on the right in the photo above are dead now.  Prudence, my Speckled Sussex, had a prolapsed vent.  I didn't realize it right away -- I thought she was just being broody -- until I noticed some blood.  I researched what to do, but after bathing her and examining the situation, it didn't look like she was going to get better.  We put her down with quite a bit of sadness.  Poor sweetie.  :(
Then two days later, I came home and found Gertrude, the Buff Orpington, dead in the coop.  There had been no signs of sickness/weakness at all.  I'm not sure what happened, but I'm assuming it was a heart attack.  I am, however, keeping a close eye on the rest of the ladies.

The other sad news is that my gorgeous outdoor cat that we had grown to love has not been around for a couple of weeks.  At first, I was hoping he was just out trying to find a female friend.  Now, I'm afraid he is gone forever.  Perhaps he was injured in a fight, or ran into a coyote.  I didn't see him along the road, but being hit by a car is also a possibility.  Regardless, I miss his friendly greetings and his funny antics.
So, it has been a sad week.  I try not to get too attached to my animals, but it is nearly impossible for me.  I get upset over road killed raccoons and possums and I only kill insects when absolutely necessary.
This four day weekend is just what the doctor ordered.  I intend to relax as much as possible.  I'm also looking forward to a week long vacation in late June.  We've booked an overnight trip to Detroit and left the rest of the week wide open so far.  Hooray for time off of work!