Friday, July 28, 2006

Cyn at 15

Just 15 years old, taken maybe around the holidays, 1968. I hadn't met Pete yet...that would happen in Aug. of 69'.
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Now, we all know how pasta is not good for you. Fattening, nasty carbs!
At least, not the way Cyn prepares it!
First off, I almost always purchase Dreamfields pasta, which has only 5 usable carbs per serving. (not that I always stick to one measly serving!)
Then, I am careful about the ingredients I add. Tonights recipe was a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of meal. But it was so delish, I had to let you know about it.

1 box Dreamfields spaghetti, cooked according to package(save 1/2 cup cooking water)
4-5 Tbl pesto (I used some I had just made 2 days ago with organic basil straight from my kitchen garden)
3 chopped heirloom tomatoes
1 lb pre-cooked shrimp, defrosted and de-tailed
calamata olive and garlic spread, added in small amounts if desired (I had a small jar in pantry)

To drained pasta, add all of the ingredients, except the calamata olive spread...we added that to each individual plate, to taste
may need some of the saved water to thin out the pesto

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Monday, July 24, 2006


Ave and i had lunch a few weeks ago at a 'fast food" kiosk at the mall. Ave got a "Subway", and Cyn being Cyn, I chose the unusual. When Ave was done with her 6", she began "helping' me with my lunch! She couldn't help herself. The noises I was making convinced her she had made the wrong choice! I had the most incredible hummus, and a spicy chicken dish, and tabouleh. Served with sides of pita triangles and a creamy garlic sauce for dipping the chicken in.( which I found out afterwards, had mashed potato as the thickening agent.) We loved it so much, we went back to get extra for our supper that evening. Enter: FOOD NETWORK. I know how to make hummus. Do it almost weekly. But never tabouleh. Came up with the following recipe from the Food Network.


1 cup bulgur
2 1/2 c water
4 c loosely packed, rough chopped flat leaf parsley
7 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 chopped green onions, with some of the green
1/4 to 1/2 c loose packed, rough chopped mint leaves (less is best)

For the dressing:
1/4 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teas minced garlic
pinch kosher salt
1 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil

Bring water to boil, pour in bulgur, stir, cover, turn off heat. Leave alone 20-30 min or till most of the liquid is absorbed. Drain off any extra liquid.

Whisk dressing ingr. together in non-reactive bowl.

In large salad bowl toss together tomatoes, parsley, mint and green onions. Add bulgut. Pour dressing over all, tossing to combine.
Endless variations.
chopped cucumber (that is what I add)
boneless, skinless pieces of grilled chicken
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Back when I was maybe 13 years old, I LOVED being out on my dad's small cabin cruiser. Living in Connecticut, we had 3 minute access to the Atlantic Ocean, and spent most weekends on the boat. I have very fond memories of our times together. Times like this, looking at old photographs, I miss my dad.
Seize the day.
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Sittin on the dock of the pond....a Michigan Crane. We have them often during the warmer months, as they seem to know our pond has near 1000 fish. (fishes, fishies, whatever) We started with 7 fish (see above) and they have multiplied over the 5 years we have been here. Our pond is NOT very big. We had it dug when we had the foundation to the farm house dug. It is filled by a couple of springs. However, the lack of rain the past couple of seasons has really lowered the depth, which, when we dug it, was only 5 ft at the center.

Close up of our crane. We have to be quite stealthy when taking his picture, as they are, by nature, very skittish. I quietly moved about our deck, under cover, so to speak, until I could zoom in with my trusty Kodak digital.
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Saturday, July 22, 2006

The tomatoes are coming, the tomatoes are coming

The first of my heirloom tomatoes, just about ready to pick. How shall I prepare it? I could slice it, and have it kissed with fleur de sal and freshly ground pepper. I could slice it, top each slice with a smear of goat cheese, topped with a bit of pesto, and lightly sprinkled with a rich, syrupy aged balsamic. I could use it on a TLT....that's turkey, lettuce, and tomato. (I don't "do" bacon. Not a "religious" thing. A "fat" thing.)
Oh tomato, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

I plant these sweet 100's, just for pickin and poppin. I pick them off the vine....and pop em in my mouth. They rarely, if ever, see a piece of lettuce, or a dribble of dressing.
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CHICKEN COMPULSION X'S 2's a mutual compulsion. A mother/daughter thing. We both love the 'girls". What can we say???

This is "Mangles" (the cowlick gives her away)

This is Ave, going a bit loonie with one of the girls. I am not sure if it is "Mangles" or not. Either way, both of them look a bit on the crazy side. Runs in the family, I think.
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Thursday, July 20, 2006


The "girls" had their first foray outside of their coop this evening. We let them out for about 45 min., until one found a piece of dried up glue, which she ran around with, defying any of the other girls to take it away. We chased her around, in the hopes that she would just drop the glue, but no...she ate it. We can only hope she passes it with no difficulty. Dumb chickens. They will eat anything.
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Monday, July 17, 2006


Sam and his friends Derek and Paul, fooling around after a day at the beach. They usually end up at our place for pizza and shenanigans. We are blessed to have a son like Sam, and blessed that he has awesome friends. Aren't they cute????!!!!
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Here are a couple of the girls, chowing down on leftover bits of tomato and cucumber.

One of our Aracaunas...this one gives new meaning to the word "chicken". She is such a scaredy cat! At first we thought she might be a "he", but if that is the case, the other girls will be walkin all over him!

Another of our Aracaunas

Here are the girls, scurrying around the hen house for the japanese beetles I pick off the Jens Monk shrub rose several times a day. I fling them in there, and the girls go crazy fighting each other over them! Who knew!!! What I once considered a plague, has become the girls favorite treat!
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The "first-fruits" from the garden...a cucumber!
Plenty more where that came from.
There are zucchini and summer squash, ripe for the pickin. Tomatoes that are weeks away from being edible. Winter squash that will be literally months before being ready to harvest. And peppers that are barely beginning to bear fruit. Thank God for the Fulton Street Farmers market, where last Saturday I loaded up on organic tomatoes, lettuce, swiss chard, and eggplant!
What feasting there was! The tomatoes were incredible. I can only hope...
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Sam and a group of his friends from church, went to the midnight showing of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Sam, being Sam, had to dress as close to a pirate as one can, living here in the midwest! Not a lot of pirate paraphenalia to choose from around here!

His sis, Ave, and her girlfriend Kearstin, helping Sam with "Johnny Depp" eyes, and costume.
The kids had a ball. How fun is go to the midnight movie??!!!
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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Finally...the pool is open. Let the games begin!

My 4 girls, all in the pool at the same time!

Grandson, Austin.

My mother-in-law Donna, and Cyn

We were able to get the pool up and running last week, just in time for the pig roast at my stepdad's. Joined by family and friends, we had a wonderful day. It's always so nice to have all of us together in one spot. Seems the bigger the family gets, the harder it gets to have these special days. I am so thankful for my family.
God Bless America!
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I just love seeing these two having fun together!
After cherry pickin on Wed., we walked over to the farms petting area. The kids couldn't keep their hands off all the sweet babies. No kidding...we spend almost an hour cuddling up to some of the cutest babies ever.
Here are Sam and Ave holding baby bunnies.

Holding 3 week old chicks with cousin Adam and Aunt Kelly.

Miniature horses, nuzzlin each other.


baby goat has his eyes on me!!!!

Ave and the ponies

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006


O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!


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Monday, July 03, 2006


Aahhhh Michigan...gotta love her! Asparagus in the spring, strawberries and cherries the first of summer, peaches and apples towards the end....WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE???
MICHIGAN WINTERS!!!!! (but I digress)

Cyn and her sis-in-law, Kelly, hot and sweaty after picking

Kelly, pickin the "Queen Anne's"

Ave knows she has cherry juice all over her face, mirror!!!

Her Aunt Kelly points out the stains!

Sam and his cousin, Adam, doing mostly eatin

Ave picking her bucketful

What a fun day we had. Rasch's Cherry Farm was many cherry trees, we wondered if many would go unpicked. Along with the cherry trees, they had a small petting farm for kids. Next blog will show some of the awesome pets they have.
We ALL had a good time....even the teens!
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WHAT A HOOT!!! Pete went out 2 nights ago, around 11 pm, to peek in on "the girls". He quickly came back in the house and told me to grab my camera. All ten of the gals were on the top roost, crammed in there together. Reminds me of the childrens story..."Ten Little Monkeys"... This is SO much more fun than TV!!!!!
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