31 August 2014

The Hot Seat

Just starting my day like any normal human. I was still a bit groggy, but quickly realized someting new and strange was happening. Nothing like experiencing boiling potty water. First it was warmish on my hiney, then steaming.

Definitely a high water table in Door County, with some predictable sewer whiffs. Do they heat the water every so often to keep down the fumes? Also, occasionally we noticed a sulfur smell (exinguished matches). Made me think of friends from years ago who kept matches in the WC. Strike a match: freshened air. So to speak...

30 August 2014

Spur-of-the-Moment Road Trip

Sunset Beach. Fish Creek

Wheatless, I'm feeling better than I have all summer. Probably a lot longer than that. I have renewed energy and big ideas. Anyway, we'd a holiday weekend in front of us with very loosely-constructed plans.

I need the ocean. A few times a year. Yes, my cousin BZY and I are going to Kiawah and Charleston in two weeks while CA is in Fort Collins. Yet, I kept needing the ocean.
Lake Michigan is the nearest "ocean" we have. I kept ruminating on years ago vacations to Door County, WI, which lies on a thumb-like penninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. During the past week, CA and I'd toss around vague travel ideas for Labor Day weekend and then dismiss them. He obsessed a bit over accomodations and whatever, but we still made no plans. Our vacation itineraries are set for mid-September. No need to jump the shark.

But, at 6:20am today I poked him in the ribs to make sure he was awake and said, "Let's go to Door County." By 8:00am we were on the road. No reservations.

It is all so familiar, even though it's been 25+ years since we visited here. We came many times with old friends, and a few times with our kids (cousins or friends) in-tow. We stayed mostly in Fish Creek, but once in Egg Harbor and once on Kangaroo Lake. We always ate at the Cookery in Fish Creek and had ice cream at Wilson's in Ephraim.

I "antiqued" in Door County with my then best friend. A lot. But, not this time. Our decor is pared-down, antiques passed on; and my tastes have migrated to French Country. Linen and lighter, tonal colors. There are still antiques mixed in, but now our floors are almost bare wood and surfaces are bare or simply embellished. I still need less, not more. I look, but I almost never buy and antique shops cast no spell on me.

Today we drove up the Peninsula, marveling at how much is still the same, and not so very much different. We kept our eyes alert to vacancy-no vacancy-sorry signs. We optimistically stopped to inquire a few times, only once or twice offered a 3-bedroom unit or a luxury(?) penthouse rental. I hate it when the two of us stay in a 2 or 3 bedroom vacation rental. It seems so wasteful. We should have brought along friends or family!

We were never frustrated in our search. We'd expected to drive the lone highway today to re-orient. Just as we'd decided to abandon the search for a room on the Penninsula (planning on a 30-minute drive south to Sturgeon Bay after dinner), we saw an old-fashioned motor court in Ephraim that actually looked promising. It was. It is. Clean, comfortable, and very dated. Very dated, not kitschy. We're here for 2 nites @ $100/nite (motel spelling!). We're smiling. Peninsula Parkview, Room #11.
The owner has given us dinner and breakfast recommendations; there's a pool, fire-pit, grill, and coffee in the morning. What more could anyone ask for?!

We're off to Settlers' Square in Fish Creek, a short drive. Tomorrow we'll sit and gaze, walk and graze. We've books and iDevices. But mostly, we'll use our 5 or 6 senses and our smiling muscles.

29 August 2014

Nostalgia, in No Particular Order

JE 1980

DM and JE 1982

DM and JE 2004

JA and LG 2008

LE 2010

LE 2012

January 2010

January 2010

LG 2008

Mary Poppins 2008

LG 2010

KF 2009

KF 2010

LG 2010

NJ 2010

KF 2011

KF 2011

DM and NJ 2011, Austria

NJ 2011, Vienna

2011 Vienna

2011 Vienna

NJ Vienna, 2011

KF and LG 2011, Vienna

KF. Vienna Naschmarkt, 2011

LG Vienna, 2011

Marielle and LG Chicago, 2013

28 August 2014

School's Starting


LE (4th) KF (1st)
LG (4th) NJ (pre-K)
KF (1st)
KF on left.
LG, our oldest.
LE (K)
LE and LC (3 yrs)
LE and bestie.
JA (2nd)


27 August 2014

Too Cute Not to Post

First day of kindergarten for LE. She's so ready.

Our very precious sweetheart. Generous, kind, loving, verbal, creative, imaginative. Leads easily and fairly. Lover of all things pink and shiny. Strongly prefers dresses. Consummate hostess and party planner.

Lucy. 5 years, 5 months.

Shown here with LC (3 years, one month). He owes it all (mostly) to her!

Lucy and Levi (aka Pottyman)

On Friday we observed her on the trampoline with LC. He was being bossy and demanding as he was anxious to demonstrate his sommersault flips (amazing!). He crossed some definitive boundry with her, as she very effectively and quietly body-checked him.
He deserved it. She scared herself and immediately demonstrated remorse (or acted like she was remorseful, depending on your perspective and experience).

I was shocked. And, also quite proud to see her stand up for herself. High fives!!!!!

26 August 2014

Chicken Curry Tonight

Oh yeah!
My Americanized version in process.
White raisins are the all-round best.
Curry paste and coconut milk added.

Secret ingredient.

Dinner in less than 30-minutes.



21 August 2014

Late Afternoon Storm

Front Garden looking right.


Front Garden looking left.


So happy my Apple devices date photos, as I'd never have remembered the date of this magnificent storm. It's rare that my big-girl camera is accessible in the moment.


15 August 2014

Busy Friday

Stopped by Trader Joe's last night to get a 5 lb. chicken. I'm not acknowledging soup season is fast approaching, I just want some homemade chicken stock for a few recipes that deserve good stock.
So, in addition to re-organizing my pantry and two cabinets, I spent a good part of the evening in the kitchen.
I've made Berta's Chicken Stock from The Silver Palate cookbook forever. It's the best. It's not a difficult recipe, just requires a few hours of my presence and a tiny bit of attention. The messiest part is straining off the stock and disposing of the chicken and vegetables.
Tonight I retrieved the parsnips and carrots for our dinner veggie, which accompanied an oven-roasted pork tenderloin with peach sauce. We also enjoyed some seasonal figs with honey, oven-roasted and topped with goat cheese and bacon. I no longer have the patience to stuff and wrap individual figs. Layering works, and the flavors are divine.

Sizzling hot, oven-roasted Figs with Honey.

Topped with Goat Cheese and Crispy Bacon.