Saturday, July 31, 2010

Matt went fishing this morning and we went to the Farmer's Market. The results-----a totally local dinner! These perch pan fried beautifully! The blueberries may or may not go into pancakes in the morning--depending!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


We are all about good food and great music-esp when enjoyed outside at Jazz in the Garden! I always laugh when I remember how we smuggled in our wine one year in a coffee thermos. I swear I saw 2 people carrying in a wine rack this year! Tonite on stage is local great Ramona Collins!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The coldest I have ever been was at a football game in Bowling Green where I watched the University of Toledo take a beating in a windy frigid stadium. Where even the hot chocolate couldn't warm me up. And the hottest I have ever been----was last weekend in St. Louis in Busch Stadium watching the Cards beat the Dodgers. Where even the cold beer couldn't cool me off. Thank goodness our seats were in the shade! As we walked through the streets of the city, the firefighters had their pumpers at various sites providing a cooling shower to anyone who wanted to take advantage of the water!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Random thoughts while trying to get out of vacation mode.

  • I think the best thing about going out of town is not being able to do all those little things that need tending to. As in "I would weed the garden if I could, but since I am out of town---

  • My body is still on vacation but my mind is making me feel guilty.

  • The Farmer's Market is all decked out in local finery! I bought green beans to freeze(tomorrow---read the bullet point above). cauliflower to pickle(tomorrow), Hungarian sweet peppers that debuted on pizza AND SWEET CORN-HOMEGROWN!

  • It is great to be a mom of adult children. While in Indiana, there was a mix-up on our reservation and I lost the confirmation paper(Adam found it), we bought some wine and the box tipped over in our car and broke(Adam re-packed it for us), AND he had a guest room ready for us complete with guest towels!

  • Whatever happened to 80 degree summer days with a breeze and kids playing outside. It is so hot that nobody is seen outside. This is OHIO not Arizona!

  • If you have never been to Southern Indiana, stop in and look around. It was so pretty--hilly and rural with streams and gorgeous barns. I wish I had taken more pictures of some of the unusual barns, but I didn't want to aggravate the driver with "STOP the car, I want to take a picture"

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer---it is almost August already.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour--Unknown. I keep that quote above my desk as a reminder to what can be found if you are lost. And lost we were a couple days ago in Indiana while looking for a bike trail. But look what we found!! The home of Damon Bailey! Dan and I would be glued to the TV when he would take the basketball court in the early 90's for the University of Indiana under Bobby Knight. He was a hustler and exciting--and although he was short, he was a record holding scorer for IU who took his team to the Final Four. So although you may be reading this and saying Damon who? to us--coming across his hometown was exciting---and worth being lost!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unexpected Self Portrait

We visited the home and grounds of T C Steele---an Indiana artist of prominence during the first part of this century. The gardens were designed by his wife and I thought I was snapping a picture of the lush blooms. Upon closer inspection, there is a happy couple in the gazing ball! I love it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It doesn't get any better than this. A picnic lunch enjoyed in the pastoral setting of the Oliver Vineyards in Indiana. Afterward, a little stroll among the grounds and then on to a wine tasting inside! Life is good!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Greetings from vacation land! We spent the weekend in St. Louis and what fun it was. Things just came together and in spite of the HOT temps, it was a lot of fun. It started with a Cardinal game and ended with a trip up in the Arch and a Clint Black concert thrown in for fun!! We will be spending the upcoming week in Bloomington with our bikes and Adam too. Have a great week!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

As this building will tell you "Be Yourself" and as St Francis de Sales might add "and try to do that perfectly. Kind of flashy---but unique!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hay, look what I came across last Sunday! Just a few horses grazing on a lazy summer afternoon. I've driven by them several times on the University of Toledo campus but we had a chance to check them out up close while we were on our bicycles. They remind me of a "sculpture" we did in art class when I was in grade school--using lots and lots of wire. And the shape I created then----a horse!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This poor deer was sighted on busy Bancroft St last Sunday--in front of the University of Toledo. The poor little guy looked stunned---and so did I. He hoofed it down the middle of the street for awhile and then headed into the University. It made me remember a few years ago, I was walking from the bookstore in the middle of campus and saw a young deer that had been hit by a car and was so frightened while laying in the road. At the time I thought it bizarre to see a deer in the middle of this campus but now I am thinking, it isn't so unusual!

Monday, July 12, 2010

There are fairy gardens amongst us---and I never even knew!!! I saw this fairy ladder in a little garden and immediately knew what it was for! Look closely when you are out and about---you just never know what you will see hidden amongst the ferns and fronds.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It was a year ago this week that we were vacationing in Charleston, SC,and now I find myself getting homesick for an area I've only visited once. Perhaps that has to do with the beauty of that city, or maybe it's because I've been spending the past year reading novels based in South Carolina, including Pat Conroy and Karen White and watching movies that were filmed there---like the Patriot! And then there is this wonderful blog I stumbled across takes me back every day-- I hope to go back someday soon and walk those cobblestone streets, peeking into gorgeous gardens through wrought iron gates and eating the delicious food.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fairy Gardens! Doesn't those 2 words evoke magical thoughts! We have visited 2 gardens this summer that featured them and are intrigued. So much so, that we both want to create one. Sooo---Dan and I each have some ideas(which will be kept secret from each other till completion!) Right now we are slyly trying to find out where the other is installing their garden---so as not to be too close. I am POSITIVE that Dan's will involve an airplane or two--but we will see! I am going to put mine under the leaf of a HUGE hosta plant---and that is all I am saying. And if you visit, you will have to discover them on your own. When we visited Ft Wayne, they had a series of Fairy Gardens--left to discover on your own. So as we were admiring the established plants and trees, there were sometimes a little Fairy Garden peaking out!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm starting to think the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Think about it-----no obsessing over buying presents, planning meals, decorating the house to the smallest detail! It just all comes together in a laid back kind way and you can have fun. And fun we had! My in-laws are a wonderful, large group who appreciate traditions. And one of those traditions is "4 o'clock on the 4th". Everyone brings a dish and a cooler of beverages and we eat, laugh, talk, swim---eat(oh did I already say that?). Afterwards we meet at the fireworks, or not--however the mood strikes! Everyone has fun---and we all miss those who are out of town and couldn't make it. My mother in law is 92 and her appearance made the party complete!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

One of the best 4th of July's we have known was spent several years ago in Boston--kind of an unexpected pleasure. We spent the actual holiday walking the Freedom Trail with stops like Old North Church(the scene of the tower signalling "one if by land and two if by sea"), Paul Revere's house and the Old Meeting House where the Tea Party seeds were planted. The day started with a parade that had units from all military regiments in the Revolutionary War--including Continental Army, private militia and Redcoats. The parade route ended where the original Declaration of Independance was first read to the masses and as in 1776---someone read it to all of us followed by cheering. I bought a walking tour for our Ipods and was instructed on the taped recording to go to the Old Meeting House and say to the receptionist "this meeting tonite can do no more to save the country"---a quote by John Adams and she would give me 2 free tickets. I did as instructed and she looked at me and said "huh". I fumbled and said " I said I wanted to buy 2 tickets". I later posted on a travel site about that and the creator of the taped program contacted me and apologized! We had planned to go see the Boston Pops on the banks of the Charles River with fireworks but we were so tired we watched it from our hotel room and could hear the rumblings of the fireworks!! I plan to do it all again someday-----soon!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

As Bob Marley says--We jammin! I found this incredibly easy recipe online with 2 ingredients and knew that our local raspberry farm had huge juicy berries for sale! You can't beat local produce! Not only that but I mentioned to the grower I needed 4 cups for jam and she reminded me that jam recipes call for "4 cups mashed" so thanks to her I came home with the correct amount. Here is the recipe---and note it doesnt' call for pectin because raspberries have a natural thickener("natural" all the better!). I don't mind the seeds so I am definatetly not going to go through the fuss of straining!

Raspberry Jam--Super Easy

4 cups MASHED raspberries

4 cups sugar

In large kettle bring raspberries to rolling boil. You will know it is a rolling boil when it doubles in size. Boil for 2 minutes and then add sugar. Boil an additional 2 minutes. Mix with rotary beater. I used my Mom's vintage hand crank rotary blender. I think this justs pulverizes the fruit further. Pour into sterilized jars and process 10 mins. The recipe didn't call for processing but I felt better about doing that.