Saturday, April 22, 2017

Quick Trip to Florida

Two weeks ago I made a quick trip to Florida to surprise my mom for her 79th birthday.  She was SOOOO surprised and excited!

My mom and dad are just so cute. I'm incredibly thankful that they are both still so healthy and enjoying life.


We spent a good chunk of Sunday holding an open house to sell this view from their house.  I still can't believe they've had this house for 20 years.  It will be awesome to have them back in Michigan more but I know selling this place is hard on them.


I love these Bird of Paradise flowers - just so cool!

While I was visiting south Florida, Madison was up in Gainesville visiting her hold childhood friend, Rosalee.  Rose has been living in Florida for over 10 years now when her family moved to south Florida after her Dad had a heart attack.

On my last evening in Florida, I headed down to Naples where I spent some time enjoying an ocean view.


Then this beautiful woman came to hang out with me!  My sister-in-law, Lettie is my Latino sister in so many ways!

She is sassier and saucier than me but we adore each other.

And as a special treat, she brought along her daughter, Grace.  I haven't seen Gracie in soooooo long. She's Madison's sister-cousin. They share a birthday.  She has grown into such a special woman.

And this is why I adore my Latino sister - we are always laughing together!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Random thoughts...


April Showers...and I turn into a Smurf.


I'm such a dork sometimes.  I wanted to check out my new sleeping bag purchased for my Iceland trip this summer.  So I slept in it on my bed one night.

April Showers also sometimes turn into a blowing wet snow...

...covering up my newly sprouted daffodils!


This cracked me up.  I'm not a Rose fan but Madison loves it.  LOL!

I'm slowly making progress on the kitchen cabinets and finished two more.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Beautiful Horse World

Boarding your horse isn't cheap.  And it isn't a huge money maker for those who board horses either.  But I do feel very lucky to have my horse at Valboa Farm.  The beauty of this traditional red sided farm with white fences is beautiful from every angle and at all times of the day.  




 Having time to watch Madison teach Vince to jump is beautiful.



Forgot to crop this one but watching Madison teach this same silly gelding that the road isn't going to eat him alive is also beautiful.


 Okay, shedding season isn't so beautiful but finding that sleek horse beneath all that winter fur is pretty awesome.



Sweeping up a couple of small dogs worth of fur isn't so great either but it comes with the territory!!


And all of it is worth it because every view through the ears of a horse is beautiful!












Monday, March 20, 2017

Madison's Future


Found this in some stuff I was cleaning out...


I'm pretty sure this was from kindergarten.  We had a good laugh about Brazil.  Madison said that was because whenever we would do the Santa Tracker website he would always be near the big Jesus Statue in Brazil!!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Austin's Apartment

Rather than moving into the dorms at school this semester, Austin thought living in one of the school's apartments would be a better option for him with less drama.  I was seriously worried about his ability to live in this kind of environment, especially when I hadn't actually seen the apartment but I agreed.  It was pretty inexpensive and maybe it would get him out of the drama scene that was so bad his first semester there.

I had to do a mid-week business trip to Kalamazoo which wasn't far from his school so we agreed to meet after classes at his apartment and go to dinner after.  Then I had an idea and sent him the following text messages:




I was cracking up - the "Art" I'm referring to is the apartment manager. I never planned on staying there.  LOL!  And boy am I glad - the beds are these boxes with vinyl mattresses.  Of course, MY kid had told me they were queen size beds so he doesn't have a mattress pad to fit them.  not that he would use it.....  Here he has two beds pushed together.  This is a THREE bedroom apartment with two beds in each room but he's in here alone.  The whole apartment is his.




I was shocked that the majority of his clothes are actually IN the dresser and some are folded.

This amused me.  This tiny table with only three chairs for an apartment that could sleep six.  

Typical apartment kitchen.

No dishwasher.  His friend told me he washed all the dishes for Austin before I got there.

Two of Austin's friends.  I had met the girl on the left last semester and she is his "sister".  The boy on the right (not her boyfriend) is a nice kid from Livonia.


The other half of the living room.  I think that is the smallest door mat/rug I have ever seen!!

Austin told me he had a surprise for me when I got there.  Can you tell what it is?

Yup.  He got his ears pierced.  He thought I would be mad but I wasn't at all.  The odds of him actually keeping earrings in and cleaned for 6 weeks are fairly low.  I got him some peroxide to keep them clean when we stopped at the store after dinner.....

Friday, March 17, 2017

Now and Then

Found a packet of photos taken about 10 - 11 years ago and was flipping out at how young we all looked!  I think this is seriously one of the best pictures of me I ever remember.


 Mom and Dad from that same year compared to now.  Dad doesn't look all that much different but Mom is quite a bit thinner.


And OMG has Austin changed!  This boy has my heart and soul always.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Semi-home Made Pot Stickers

I love pot stickers but since moving, I'm not close to any really good Asian markets that sell them freshly made so I've been stuck with the frozen versions.  They are okay but....

I came across this "bowl" thing in the produce section of the grocery store.  Hmmmm.  Maybe?

I cooked it according to the directions but left out the rice.  After letting it cool a bit, I dropped spoonfuls onto fresh Won Ton wrappers.



I was experimenting a bit with the shape.  The four sided shapes seemed to hold better than the triangles.

My intention was to be able to cook these in the Instant Pot for fast and easy.  I cooked the first batch that way and wasn't happy with them.  Tough and chewy.  Although I do think the cooking directions I followed allowed for way too much time.  Maybe less time would have worked but batch two I cooked the usual way with oil and water in a fry pan.  MUCH better.

I didn't take a picture because I had froze the leftovers as a "blob" so on defrosting, my cute little folds didn't hold so the result looked more like stir fry than pot sticker!!  But they tasted good and the few that still held some sort of shape were awesome.