Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Something old...

This is kind of a cool story that I don't want to forget.

My grandfather (Gibbs) worked for the Ford family as their personal accountant.  While he had an office, he often went to their home in Grosse Pointe to have them sign papers, etc.  Occasionally he would bring my dad and his brother and they became well known to Tom, the Ford's driver and "keeper of the cars" in the garage.  This was probably because Grandpa would leave the boys outside near his own car.

My Dad would go on to work for Ford Motor Company for many years until he retired. His brother also worked for Ford for a while until he left to open the Dairy Queen in Boyne City.  But those are other stories.  This one revolves around a small silver pitcher.  It's a little bigger than a quart mason jar although it looks like coffee cup size in this photo.

When my Dad and uncle were both young men and recently married, they were asked to help with parking cars at a party being held at the Ford estate.  This wasn't all that unusual.  They had been asked before and it was some nice side money.  They were hanging out in the garage with Tom, the driver, when my uncle noticed a black can of wire rods sitting to one side.  I'm not sure if he knew what they were or not, but he asked Tom if he could have them. Tom said sure, and handed him the can of rods.

My uncle's interest was only in the rods.  He showed my mom the can of rods as he dropped off my dad on the way home.  Nobody really remembers why he was so interested in them but apparently they were quite a find.  He was going to toss out the old black can they were in.  My mom said she wanted it.

Mom has always had an eye for "good stuff".  She took that old black pitcher and started cleaning it.  She quickly realized it was sterling silver.  And sure enough, it was stamped "Oneida LTD."  A once beautiful sterling silver water pitcher had been relegated to holding steel rods in the garage of one of Detroit's great families.

The bottom is scratched and dented (showing how the rods were dropped in it pushing out the bottom). It still needs a bit of cleaning again but I'm happy to have this bit of history with such a good story to go with it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Beth has been doing our hair for many years now.  Back when she was only 17 she was our babysitter.  She loves the we let her experiment with color and highlights and Madison makes a great model!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Crazy Cat Lady?

Just to prove I'm not a crazy cat lady (I only have one!), I'm including a dog pic.  This is Annie, Maggie's puppy conked out with her head under the barn roof!  It was quite funny since she was snoring and the barn roof made it extra loud.

Henrik LOVES when I make the bed with fresh sheets and constantly gets in the way.

Sometimes he gets covered up!

He also likes to help me when I'm at my desk this very moment as I type he is hogging the back half of my chair forcing me to sit on the edge.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Old Friends

My sister's friends and their mom's have gotten together at Christmas time for quite a few years now. A while back they started including their own daughters and some of the sisters started coming as well.  This was the first year that Carrie had her own mom in town for it and I was available as well.

The three mom's are on the sofa with our mom on the left.  I'm right behind her and Carrie is right behind me.

The core group of friends are the three standing on the left, skip the one with glasses and the dark shirt, and then the next three.  Pam is the one I said to skip, she's the older sister of the one with the Argyle sweater.  The two young girls on the right near the one in the white sweater are her daughters. Grandma is also wearing white!

Nice  pic of Carrie, mom and me.

Carrie, me, Pam and Amy.  Pam and I are the same age and graduated together.  It was nice seeing her and being able to catch up a little!  We both have adopted our children and have some similar life experiences.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Baltimore! Part 3

New Year's Day we woke up hungry. After packing up our suitcases to leave with the doorman for our flight out later in the evening, we set out to find food.  We passed this very cool church. I'm not sure what style you call this but I liked it.

Close up of one of the side doors.

Close up of the Baltimore Washington Monument.

 Our plan for the day was to do a tour of these great ships.  I swear their website said they'd be open on New Year's Day.  They were not.  We had hoofed it downtown to the bay since it was a fairly nice day so we continued on to walk around the area - we hadn't been in this part of Baltimore yet.

The harbor is pretty and there is a nice walkway around much of it.

Madison was threatening to jump in.  She didn't.

They did let her drive a ship.  On the pier.  LOL!

Another of the ships we were supposed to have toured.

And a submarine.  I liked this view showing how narrow it is.

Next stop was this cool little park with this hedge tunnel.

And some fun swings. I joined her in this one and we relaxed in the sun for a bit.  Later, we went to a tiny Italian restaurant where we had GIGANTIC desserts.  Neither of us hardly dented them.  Should have taken a picture!

And then it was time to head to the airport.  Throughout this whole 21st birthday trip, Madison hadn't been carded a single time. Until we were at the airport bar and ordered a beer.

Happy 21st birthday my dear daughter!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Baltimore! Part 2 - New Years Eve

New Year's Eve day was rainy but was extra special and warm in a way that had nothing to do with weather.  I have been friends with a group of women for over 12 years that were all joined through our love of horses.  One of our group passed away just before Thanksgiving leaving us all a little sad.  So it made it that much more special that it would work out that Tree (Teresa) would be able to pick us up in Baltimore and take us out to her farm.

Tree and I are soul sisters.  But we had never met in person. From the minute we hugged and I got in her car, we were finishing one another sentences. She is an amazing person who has left the corporate world to run her own therapy riding business.  Mostly she has autistic kids and adults and they have been able to accomplish amazing things with her!

Madison enjoyed Tree's company but mostly she loved the "hot rocks" that they keep sitting on the wood burner to warm cold hands and feet.  And cheeks.

 Tree's cats loved me. One behind my head, one under my hand..

I hope the joy in our faces expresses how much we enjoyed one another's company.  We got to tour her farm and help fix a fence that a boarder horse had knocked over.  Later we went out for lunch that was FANTASTIC with real Maryland Crab Cakes and tricked Madison into telling a young waiter that he was very handsome, totally making his day.  Later, we spent some time with Mark, Tree's significant man, where we learned that he had told Tree's mom that she was marrying the wrong man, marrying the "safe one" at her first wedding! Luckily she ended up with the right one.

Back at the ranch, I mean apartment, I found myself drinking coffee and putting on makeup at 9:00PM.  Yes, PM.  I haven't done that since I was in my 20's! But it was New Years Eve and we were going to spend our last night in Baltimore doing it up right.

Our destination was decided by the simple fact that Madison had lost an earring on our pub crawl 2 nights before and wanted to go back to the bar where she thought it had fallen out.  When we got there, we saw the bartender who remembered us. But he didn't have it.  Next we saw the owner who said he would look for it and sent us to his other bar next door where the band was playing.

Within minutes, he was back at our sides with the earring!  Unbelievable luck!  While Madison had a rather brave little guy hitting on her, we had a lovely time and rang in the new year with smiles.

Our intention had been to take a Lyft back to the apartment but it was about 5 times as much as it had been to get downtown.  We decided to walk a ways and then try again.  The rain had stopped and it wasn't very cold.  And we passed some pretty spots!

In the end, we ended up walking the entire way back, joined half way by two rather drunk 20-something boys.  But it had been a light day with only 3.21 miles of walking...before midnight.  Since we didn't get back until after 2:00AM, we logged another 2 miles before bed.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Baltimore! Part 1

Back in August Madison had asked me about taking a trip for her birthday - she would be turning 21. She didn't want to be at home where her friends would be pressuring her to get shit faced doing shots. Smart girl.

We had tossed around many different ideas of locations but when I found out her car insurance would be doubling because of a few accidents and tickets, I said we had to go CHEAP!   We found Baltimore to be the place to go.  Some fun stuff to do there, cheap flights, and a great little AirBNB for $50 per night.  We also lucked out with some halfway decent weather - around 50 degrees most of the time we were there which was warmer than Michigan!

We arrived early the first day and set off on foot to explore.  I had read that Baltimore has many murals and we found several right away.

How a mom dresses for 50 degrees with wind and sun....

How a 21 year old dresses for 50 degrees in wind and sun!

One of our stops was at the home of Edgar Allan Poe where he had lived with some family members.

It's a very small house in a not so great neighborhood now.

 Another mural.

The Walters Art Museum was on our agenda for 1:00 where we did a "Fashion in Art" tour that was really interesting and then covered the rest of the place on our own.

This is the Washington Monument in Baltimore.

Back in our little AirBNB apartment, we admired the view of downtown Baltimore from the windows.

You have to loo hard but just left of the tall buildings in the center, you can see one of the bridges over the bay.

We got changed and headed out to dinner at "Duck, Duck, Goose" where Madison had duck for dinner - what she claimed to be one of the best dinners she's ever had!  After, we wandered around a bit before we met up with our tour group for a "Wicked History Pub Crawl".

The Pub Crawl ended up being a ton of fun and we rang in Madison's 21st birthday with a crazy group of three 50 year olds and 2 couples in their early 30's.  While we didn't drink TOO much, we drank more than I have in a long time and stopped for some food before heading back.  I had a big pretzel which I didn't finish.  Madison grabbed it to take with us. After losing it and then finding it in the LYFT, I found it again the next morning in her makeup bag!  Maybe she was a little drunk!

And so we ended our first day with 8.27 miles.

The next day we took the train to Washington DC.  Not the best time to be visiting there with the government shut down but our destination was Georgetown.

The Christmas tree was still up in Union Station.

We were lucky to have another decent weather day on the 30th.

After a walk up the hill, we got the Tudor House where we walked the grounds until it was time for the next tour.  We loved all the great old mansions lining the streets there!

The Tudor House was designed by the same guy who designed the White House and was owned by Martha Washington's granddaughter.  The house stayed in the same family until 1983 when it became a museum.

Do you think she minds modeling?

Me, not so much so!

The master bedroom of the house had this huge closet - very unusual for the time.  I had to take a picture because I remembered this brand of hat box being in my own grandparent's house.  As it turned out, our tour guide had grown up in Detroit and had gone to the same high school as my dad.  Small world.

While the back of the house, looking out towards the bay, is really impressive, the front door is rather unassuming in comparison.

After dinner at Clydes, a famous Georgetown restaurant, and a bottle of wine (half off night!), we got back on the train to Baltimore where Madison promptly fell asleep.

After returning to Baltimore we went to a small bar near our apartment called Sugarvale where we relaxed and celebrated Madison's birthday with a cocktail and a piece of Creme Brûlée pie.