Was I Out of My League?

I never win anything.  I mean rarely am I the winner.  I have yet to even win a dollar from a lottery ticket.  But last month I did.  I called into a radio station and won two concert tickets to see Capital Cities and Fitz and the Tantrums.  The concert was a month away and I foolishly thought that getting a babysitter on a Sunday night wouldn’t be that difficult.  My husband and I could finally have a date night!  yay!

Yeah, well, no babysitter meant no date night, but maybe I could find a friend to go last minute……crickets chirp…….so I was left with a very uncomfortable feeling.  I never win anything.  I can’t afford to pay for concert tickets, it’s a frivolity that our budget doesn’t always allow.  So, do I dare go to a concert downtown Detroit alone?  I hated that I was missing it yet I could feel the resignation of a life less lived settling in, an all too familiar feeling……I have always thought about the regrets in my life as mostly things I wish I had done.  I hope to teach my children that as well….to ask yourself “Will I regret this if I do not do it?”  So I had to ask myself the same thing.  And the answer was yes.

So I go.  I weasel my way up as close as I can without being squished and possibly groped by a desperate hipster who has mistaken me for a cougar. Meow.  I could not have found a better spot as I sidled myself up next to a few ladies and proceeded to enjoy the music.  I realized I was getting old as I wished for a place to sit in between sets and my back started to ache.  I also noticed that I was really listening to the music and enjoying its capabilities to transport me.  The hornist (is that a proper term?) for Capital Cities was phenomenal and sounds just as good live, if not better than on the track.  Here is a little taste:

 

Don’t believe me?  Here it is live from the concert I was at, and no that is not me singing.

 

The horns reminded me of the olden days of Duran Duran and the Rio album.  Sublime.

But the headliner is who got me going and who got me to call in to the radio station to begin with.  The female vocalist is amazing and soulful and lyrically they got it right on!

 

And one more….because the lead guy reminds me of the 80′s. Love.

 

What most impressed me was how incredible both bands sounded live.  Maybe even better than on the radio.  There are a few artists that I have heard live and found them just as good if not better then on the radio.  It is a sure sign of true talent in my opinion.  So no regrets.  I danced by myself amongst a bunch of 20 somethings and it felt great.  Thankful in my old age that what anyone thought of me was far behind me and yeah, I would totally do it again.

Breaking Amish

How exactly did I get this busy?  I never finished blogging about summer and along comes fall.  It’s November 4th already???  Well, I will tell you one thing.  If I have not been very proficient in my blogging, I have been proficient in doing one thing.  Each month, I am for mid-month, I bake/make something.  Something I may have never done before, or something I have not done in a long time.  I started the adventure  in september with bread making.  it was an overall success, if not boulangerie worthy.  I didn’t take pictures of the process, but enjoyed it enough to try it again and will document it when I get time to do it.

This past month I attempted applesauce.  we took our annual trip to an apple orchard and plundered the trees to bring home a 1/2 a bushel of apples.  I won’t talk about how many we ate while out in the field….

Applepick Applepicks2 Applespicks1 Kids LuLu AppleNow the applesauce recipes I read all stated that one would peel the apples as part of the preparation.  However, my dear friend whom grew up in Eastern Germany, (yes they used to be divided and a communist state!) stated that once they are cooked, the skin will easily come right off when you press the pulp through the sieve. Hmmm….. well I am perpetually lazy so no peeling! So this is how it all went down……

ApplesFirst you get a bag o’apples, about 4 pounds worth.

Apples2Let them soak for 10 minutes in a mixture of cold water and vinegar-to clean them.

Apples3Slice and core. Slice and core. Slice and core….

Apples4Toss them in the pot.

Apples5Add cinnamon stick, sugar, dark brown sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice.

Apples6Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes.

Apples7Scoop and pour and smash and pull out skin and smoosh and sigh a lot.

Apples8pour into jars.  The end.

 

Overall, applesauce making is sticky.  If you are not Amish, perhaps you should avoid this.  If you enjoy peeling apples maybe you are Amish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Against the Wind

And so the adventure began.  we travelled across the Mackinaw bridge under a wind advisory.  We were only allowed to drive 20 mph over one of the longest suspension bridges.  It is amazing how oblivious of potential death kids can be.  I was acutely aware.  So much so i was sure I was going to throw up.  Obviously we survived and hit up a meet and greet with Paul Bunyan and his great ox Blue

 
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Like I stated in my previous post, the weather had turned to a brisk 64 degrees fahrenheit.  However, it did not deter us!  Next stop?  Tahquamenon Falls!

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Since it wasn’t getting any warmer and we were already in the upper peninsula, we drove a little bit further north and headed to Whitefish Point on Lake Superior. It was incredibly windy, choppy and cold.  As we are true adventurers, it did not deter us!  Rowen even met a little friend!

_DSC0387 _DSC0384 _DSC0389 _DSC0397 _DSC0402 _DSC0404 _DSC0427 _DSC0428 _DSC0434 _DSC0436 _DSC0440We wrapped up our day and headed back south.  Along the way you could really feel the isolation and the “wilderness” of the UP.  we dd not see much for wildlife besides some cranes along the side of the road, however, this left an impression:

porcupineI call this image “Porcupine’s Revenge”.  Dead porcupine and a car with two flat tires. Ha!

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One of my favorite images.

We headed back over the Mighty Mac and got back to camp in time for an enchanting sunset.  Thankfully the wind advisory was done and I was able to take some pics of the bridge.

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Summer Adventure Continues……

So we continue on the odyssey of the solo camping trip with the children…….  This is LuLu helping set up the tent._DSC0205

 

 

Not too bad if I say so myself…..

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We took in some beach time…

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And a bit of putt putt…

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The next night was the night of the thunderstorms.  The thunder woke me about 1:00 am and by 2:00 am I had to go to the bathroom really, really, really bad.  So I got up and braved the elements to pee int he woods, only to find it lightly misting, so I bolted to the bathroom.  Of course, when I got back the rain and thunder had stopped, but the wind kicked in.  I was sure that we were going to be blown away.  I was awake until 5:30 am.  We got up the next morning and it was 52 degrees out and this is what LuLu thought would be good to wear!

_DSC0311But the sky was blue and held the promise for an adventurous day ahead!

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Grand July!

In came July.  We spent a day at the lake with my brother to celebrate the fourth and then later in the month, I, by myself, decided to take my youngest three kids camping.  In a tent.  Many people called me brave to do this by myself.  I really did not think that that was all that courageous.  What really tested my courage was the thunderstorm that rolled through and driving across the Mackinaw bridge with a wind advisory.  Do you know that when there is a wind advisory the speed limit is 20 mph?  Its like, let us make sure that if you get blown off this bridge that is the third longest suspension bridge, in the world,  that you do so in slow motion so we can get really news worthy footage.    In any case, we had a lot of fun, despite the night that I was awake the whole night because I was sure we were going to be struck by lightning or a tree was going to collapse on us while all the kids slept right through it.  Here are some images of our grand July!

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Our camping trip started with a stop in Oscoda to visit with our old neighbors and then off to Alpena for the first night in a motel.

_DSC0053 _DSC0074 _DSC0080 _DSC0094 _DSC0098 _DSC0105 _DSC0155 _DSC0169 _DSC0175 _DSC0182I think I’ll make you wait for the rest of the camping pics…..

Summer Synopsis, I

Hello out there!!!!  Oh my goodness, I had no idea how long it has been since I was actually posting.  What happened to me?  Oh yes, I remember, life.  Not an overwhelmingly exciting full of exotic adventure, but just rather life.

I hope everyone was able to squeeze out all the joy of summer and then can some for mid January.  This is the first back to school year where I really was not super organized.  I made up for it in a weeks time, but I guess my heart was not in it.  However, the last two weeks of summer, with my kids staring at me,  with an occasional wide eyed blink, made me realize that perhaps they needed to be at school.  Or somewhere else.

Our summer did not have a grand vacation, but rather a couple of adventures.  I had a couple of my own, as well.  We had too many to just sum up in one post, so I will inundate you, repeatedly, with antics of our summer.  Aren’t you lucky???

School’s out and Rowen has a birthday and a piano recital. We have a neighborhood pool party and India wraps up her gymnastics career.

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Say hello to Enderman.  enderman, say hello to everyone!

 

 

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Not sure if he looks more like Mozart or Beethoven….

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This guy, or girl, hung around most of the summer in one of our flower beds.  The one right next to the driveway, where I park my car and when I would get out in the evening  he would scamper around inside the leaves and scare the crap out of me.  I am pretty sure he was giving just what he was getting.  Touche, little turtle.

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Olympic hopefuls can now relax, Miss India is opting to head back to horseback riding.

 

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Stay tuned for when the excitement never ends……

Because It Matters.

I know, I know, I have not posted in AGES!  But it is summer vacation and soon I will have a “What I Did on My Summer vacation” post, but right now there is something a bit more important.

As everyone knows, Detroit is bankrupt.  Financially is the proclamation for now, but bankruptcy of a different kind has taken place long before that.  The people of Detroit have suffered from a decline in self-esteem, worth, value and significance brought on by corruption, racism, poverty and neglect.  Now I am not here to step further on top of what many shout out as the hell hole of America.  Quite the opposite.  I will be the first to shout out about all the beautiful places in Detroit.  The smaller, magical spots that people overlook and the grander more obvious places.  One of those places is my favorite place in Detroit.  A place I take others, or get lost in all by myself.  A place that fills my eyes with delight and in a turn brings tears to my eyes.  Good tears.  The DIA.  Never been there?  My header is looking out onto Woodward from the front steps, just look around “Le Penseurs” buttocks.

You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate all the beauty and mastery dating from primitive times until now.  There is something there for everyone, every age, every mood, every heart.  because of that, it is in integral place in the heart of Detroit.  Its architecture alone is a gem in a neglected mine that is being dusted off and re cultivated.  A bright spot in the gray matter.

It hurts my heart in a way that no metaphor can mimic to think that any of these valuable pieces of history could be sold to pay for someone elses mismanagement.  The DIA did not mismanage, the city did.  I’d like to say that I get it, but I don’t.  I get that if I was a retired or current city employee I would be pensive, to say the least.  But I will never “get” that the idea of taking what is great, from a city that was once GREAT to raise it to mediocre is the only option.

I am hardly an eloquent speaker of what art means, but I can tell you it must mean something since the cavemen were creating it way before our more refined versions ever arrived.  it was there before words and numbers. It was there to tell stories, to celebrate and to document history.  The DIA is an enclave of history, stories and celebrations.  it is one of the most important places to help this city to raise to GREAT again, and when things in this city are valued by the city, then people start to value the city and when that happens everyone starts valuing the city, and when I mean the city, I mean everyone in it.

Never been?  Here is what you are missing….

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Seriously, Calder, Kandinsky, Rivera, Rothko, Warhol, Van Gogh, Matisse and Detroit’s own Charles McGee…what are you waiting for?  Go, give your heart a lift, give the city a lift and for goodness sake, if art is the greatest asset to the city, make it a great asset to you.

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