Friday, July 22, 2011

Vixen- Book Club

Hostess: Kelly
Book: Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Food:Cheese Pesto tortellini, hummus, veggies and dip, strawberry/pineapple fruit salad, baguette, Kelly's cheese puffs, watermelon, Coldstone Creamery Cupcakes
Wine of the Night: Sangria (we never made it past the huge jug of Sangria- although the Lulu B. bottle looked cute!)
Month: July

Last night book club was sultry with a side of sultry.  The hottest day of the summer, and our group of women were feeling it.  Hot and humid, we combated the heat with wine glasses full of icy sangria. Even the wine bottles were sweating.  Kelly's table was set so picturesque, by the way, that I have resolved to bring my camera to future book clubs. However, this weather did not bring book club down- in fact it led to one of our most entertaining book clubs to date, I think. 

Most of us had read the book - which I have to say looked perfect on the table in Kelly's house.  Kelly was upset that the end was a cliffhanger; I said it was hard for me to remember they were still in high school.  It would throw me every time one of the characters would mention that they had school the next day.  Most of us agreed the characters were not that likable, especially Gloria- she was boring and even her rebellion seemed too perfectly cliche.  I actually liked Lorraine - she was a hot mess, and that made her interesting.  Jennifer said that it drove her nuts when Clara referred to her ex-boyfriend as the Cad, and I couldn't stand them constantly referring to Clara as "Country Clara" every time they talked about her.  I get the point already!

While the book had its ups and downs, it was the perfect book to discuss on a hot night - jazz, booze, boys..all our book club needed last night was jazz.  It seemed we strayed off the topic of the book quite often to discuss our favorite characters on True Blood - mainly Eric and Alcide.  And Sam and Jason.  And how they looked shirtless.  Which is not something we ever sit around and discuss! Blame it on the sultry air and the sangria. I am.

Next book club is Alyssa's pick - I will let you all know what it is when I find out. 

You can read my whole review of this book at my book blog, Quixotic Magpie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Foggy Morning {Wordless Wednesday}

Shenandoah- where I fell in love with these mountains and with photography.

At the Table {52 Photos Project}

Ice cream is not always my thing- I eat it a few times a year.  But since Michigan is in the middle of a heat wave, it seemed like a good time for ice cream for dinner.  I happen to be lucky enough to live somewhere that has many fabulous ice cream parlors.  I took this photo at Stroh's, a place I have been visiting since I was probably three years old.  The ice cream flavor is Brownie Nut Fudge.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wyandotte Street Fair

Larry Lee Band- took this pic for the Wyandotte Patch
I was feeling kind of sentimental this year about the street fair- it has been a part of my life every summer for as long as I can remember. The only thing that has changed through the years has been me, and my own involvement in it.

When I was young, like little enough to be carried around on my father's shoulders, my favorite way to travel when I was two and three, I was there as an observer.  I didn't have much of an opinion on the art that if for sure- I think the only thing I cared about were these marionettes made from hot pink feathers that were sold there for a few brief years.  I loved those.  I had one.  I wonder what happened to it. Visiting the fair solely with family was pretty much my involvement for 14 years.  Later, as a high school student, I was allowed to go with my friends and walk around.  I would get a tropical shave ice and just hang out, looking for people I knew.  During college, I worked downtown at Gail's Office Supply, now out of business.  I worked 4 days straight, 12 hours a day.  They were long days, but I always had a blast with my coworkers.  I told my boss I would work the whole thing if I got to work outside the entire time, which she did.  I loved soaking up the atmosphere, watching the crowds go by, seeing what they bought, listening to the music.  It was probably the four best days of work a year.  After graduating college, I spent a few years just visiting the fair with whoever would go with me- Billy wasn't always down for going.  Later, I spent several summers in a row volunteering with various animal rescue groups at their booth.  This year I managed to do all of the above- I visited the fair with friends. I visited the fair with family- twice. Once for a leisurely morning with my mom, later a crazy Friday evening with my dad, stepmom, and nephew.  Both times were great fun and brought back memories.  I also worked one night for the Patch, and also volunteered the next day at our booth.  I managed to visit the fair all four days, each in a different way. And somehow I never got an elephant ear!
M y nephew - enjoying his first art fair.

Everyone has their own traditions and secrets about street fair - the best place to park, the best place to eat, the best day, the best time to go.  Some people go just for the music; some go only for the art. And some people just go for the beer tent.  Personally, I like to take it all in, from all perspectives. I have my own street fair traditions and ideas - this year, I even found a new place to eat after 33 years! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blue Skies {Wordless Wednesday}

I love summer fairs! 

A Summertime Treat {52 Photos Project}

For me, a summertime treat is being able to walk around barefoot, drinking iced vanilla lattes.  Although not necessarily at the same time, but it has been known to happen.  I struggled with this photo prompt a bit, but only because my feet are ugly, and I didn't want ugly in my picture.  But then I realized, where would the honesty in my photo be?  So here I am, showing my feet, drinking my latte, sitting in the grass.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A thistle for my grandma

This weekend I have seen thistles everywhere, like a sign from my grandmother.  

My Grandma (McIlroy) Keedy was a tiny woman with strong emotions, good and bad.  She was a beautiful lady, headstrong, small, sometimes prickly, most of the time loving.  I have great memories of my grandmother, from family gatherings spent at her house, most of which she spent in the small kitchen that I now use, her face red from the hot baked food on the counters and from the heat of the oven.  Her shortbread and Yorkshire pudding come to mind immediately.  I picture the way she walked, with her pinky finger out, jiggling her Leo key ring. Drinking tea with her, at her dining room table with the lace tablecloth, and creating toys out of nothing, like empty spice bottles we would wash out and fill with food coloring.  I remember when I had the chicken pox at the advanced age of 16 years old, I spent these long itchy days in my grandmother's sitting room, watching game shows and reading her giant astrology book.  I always thought it was weird she had that, just like I thought it was weird she had a framed photo of the Pope hanging in there, since my grandma was Scottish Presbyterian.  

The thistle to me symbolizes my grandmother - last year I had one tattooed on the back of my neck, in honor of my grandmother.  Not sure how she would feel about tattoos, but I do know that she would approve of doing what you think is right, no matter what.  The thistle is a symbol of Scotland too - and there is even a  "Most Ancient and Noble Order of the Thistle", whose motto is "'no-one provokes me with impunity".  I am pretty sure this was my grandma's motto too.  And I have to admit, I take a page from my grandma occasionally as well.

We have thistle growing as a weed in our backyard, thanks to my bird feeders.  It is pretty rampant, and we have to keep on it.  I do leave some standing though, I can't help but think it is pretty.  And this weekend, we went to the Celtic Festival in Saline, where I obviously saw thistle everything, even this Bagpipe group with a thistle as its logo.  

I couldn't help but think, at this time so close to my grandmother's birthday, that she was whispering to me to remember her.  And I do.   

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Garden Fireworks

My lilies were late bloomers-it appears they were waiting for Independence Day!

Also linked to the 52 Photos Project.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unfinished story

I hate to leave a story without an end, and the other day I blogged about Penny and her testing, but didn't finish the story up.

The vet called me regarding her urinalysis, which was fine. He said the next step was to get her bloodwork done again, a more complete panel. So Penny and I trooped up there to get her blood drawn. Penny was starting to balk at going into the vets at this point, and I had to force her into the office, where she shook and shlumped to the ground in her Penny schmooze that she does when she is freaked out. Poor girl. The vet took her blood, and we were free to go.

A few hours later, he calls, he has the results and would like us to come in and discuss them. Which freaked me out- I figured if I had to physically go in, it was bad news. But it wasn't, not really. He told us that her bloodwork was perfect. With this bloodwork and her urinalysis, he said that he really only had Cushings Disease, Kidney Disease, and incontinence to rule out. To rule out Cushings, I need to bring Penny in the following day for an 8 hour test! This was hard on me and her both. The next morning I took her for her test; she sat up in the car, looked around the parking lot, looked at me, started shaking, and refused to get out of the car. I had to lift her up out of the car and set her on the ground to get moving. Then I had to practically drag her in. Not really how I wanted to start this process, with me forcing her to do things she didn't want to do. When I left, she looked at me so pathetically betrayed, that I felt guilty all day.

The day passed with me in various stages of being ok with it, being worried she was there, and then anxious to pick her up. Finally they called and said I could come and get her. When I got there, they told me that the third and final time they had to draw her blood, she wouldn't come out of her cage, just looked at them like "Nope, not gonna happen people!". Then once they got her out, she wouldn't go back in-they had to gently kind of push her in. Where, being Penny, she got scared and froze up, which means she slumped over on her back and hid her face. And wouldn't move- she plays possum when totally freaked out. Which freaked the vet tech out, until she realized what was going on.

Friday I got the results of the test - no Cushings. And no kidney disease either. And the vet doesn't think it is incontinence, since she is aware of what is going on, and not just going in her sleep, etc. So that leaves she just didn't want to "hold it" those times we were gone, and maybe never will again, or that she was upset over the changes that have been going on in our routines. With Penny, the answer is never simple or easy. But we love her, our complex, crazy dog.