Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!! It's pretty quiet at the Desmet house, once upon a time we really rocked it on Halloween. To quote Michelle Shocked "We was wild then..." This year none of my kids even dressed up- it's sorta like the first Christmas they didn't believe in Santa. A little bit sad.

I found a sangria recipe for the rehearsal dinner that sounds great. I'm adding more fruit- pineapple and raspberries as well as the limes and oranges.

4 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon, warm
1 bottle White Zinfandel, warm
3/4 quart orange juice
2 small cans pineapple juice
1 can Sprite
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
3 oranges, wheeled
3 limes, quartered
6 strawberries, halved
Let the ingredients sit warm in a vat for 2 hours. Then refrigerate overnight. When serving, pour over ice and add fresh fruit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Here's M with her new buddy. She's in love.

I just finished the book "Cupid & Diana" and it was quite good. Some of her observations are deeper than your average chick lit read. For instance, when she's describing her flamboyant sister she says, "Being related to her made me feel like a ore interesting person.." I loved that. That's the way I feel about my adventuresome sister Nancy. Downside of the book- it's a debut and sometimes she lets her plotline drop.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A lil' trouble falling asleep last night, the whole family suffered. (Well, Dan and Petey slept like little lumps) I think the kids were dreading Monday, I am feeling ill-prepared for the wedding stuff. I need to make a list today so that all my thoughts don't keep spinning and flitting around my head. My mama was a firm believer in lists- nothing like them to gain a little focus.

I wish I had my mama and dad this week. I never stop missing them. It's interesting, there are so many different WAYS of missing them- there's the need to share a good story or an interesting factoid, there's the need for a good hug or confirmation of my lovability in the way only a parent can do, there's the need to ask advice, or lean on them. No matter how old you are when your parents die, you're still an orphan. Seeing my son marry without them there, that will be bittersweet.

My card for the day, the Sun, reversed. I need to stop fooling around, make that list, and get my act together.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Last blog I began with what I was up to 2 weeks ago. THIS time I start with what I'll be doing next week at this time, my eldest's wedding should be just finishing. How did my little baby, my sweet little Dan, become old enough to get married, to be a dad. I wish nothing but the best for them both. Danny is really happy.

This is a pic of Margaret's new hair, it's a wild change from the blond it was. The wedding colors are red and black so we figured we were consistent with the theme. She's had the blues since she broke up Joey, so today we bought her a Guinna pig, Stuie. She is delighted, Petey is a little frightened and perplexed- it's not a squirrel, it's not a dog or cat- what the hell IS it??

I have my saurbraten in the oven and it's making the house sing with the delightful fragrance.

Wanna make it?
4lbs top or bottom round roast
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teas. salt
10 crushed peppercorns
1 onion, sliced thin
2 Bay leaves
2 tbls pickling spice
3 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup gingersnaps
1/2 cups sour cream

Two days before suing it, put the beef in a deep glass or pottery bowl. In saucepan mix the wine, salt, peppercorns, onion slices, bay leaves and pickling spices with 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Remove from heat. When cool, pour over beef. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 days, turning meat in marinade at least twice a day.

On prep day preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt shortening in covered roasting pan or casserole. Remove meat from marinade, pat dry, and brown on all sides in warm shortening. Drain fat, strain marinade, and pour over meat. Cover and cook in over 2 - 2 1/2 hours, or until tender.

Remove meat, keep warm on platter. Put roasting pan on burner, add the gingersnap crumbs, stirring until gravy is thick and smooth. Stir in the sour cream, letting it warm but not boil (it will curdle) Slice the meat, serve with gravy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Two weeks ago this was the view we had on our walk at Ocqueoc Falls. This is a view from one of the sites at the State Forest Campground... If I were to pitch a tent, THIS would be the spot.

The fires in California are so frightening, my birthday girl sister is off to a conference in San Diego today. She's interested in what she'll find. However, I heard a little news bite from Entertainment Tonight which made me laugh out loud, "The Stars rescue puppies from danger..." I'm sorry, I know it's a serious situation, but the thought of "the stars" all clustered around some reluctant puppy, while cameras flash and photogs cluster.... it just seems wayyyy too "Zoolander".

My card for the the day is the 3 of Pentacles- all about plans and time management. Very appropriate as we come into the wedding home stretch- my son's weeding is next Sunday! So happy that my 3 of Pents is positive, it bodes well for our projects this weekend. (Thank God we work best under pressure. )

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I had my eBay class tonight, next week is our last night and I'm really going to miss these guys. They have been a lot of fun.

When I returned M showed me the awesome picture they took of the sky- isn't this amazing?? The clouds look like they are on fire.

Monday, October 22, 2007

How cute are these little votives?? Debbie sent me this pic as an example of what my rehearsal dinner favors are going to be- I couldn't be more pleased! Check out her site for the finest honey projects, and may more candles!
It's raining again, but Dan has fixed the leak on our porch, and the ceiling is just about all painted. Best of all, James and Dan did it, and I didn't have to help! I'm such a disgruntled and unskillfull painter.

A woman hit a deer this afternoon right in front of our house- bummer for the gal and the deer, but Dan was pretty happy, he came home and butchered it. He worked, took care of the deer, and worked on the porch- whatta guy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Today was improvement day, and we painted the porch ceiling to the accompaniment of the ipod shuffle, we're on song 377 now. My fave in the shuffle today was Bleed to Love her, ahhh Fleetwood Mac, you have always been there for me. James was most happy with Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner , God love you Warren Zevon. Dan got home really early from his party last night- I think it was before 10. he rolled in to Sniff n' the Tears on his satellite radio, and he's been humming it ever since.

The porch looks lovely- the ceiling is
Valspar "Fragile Fern" and the walls will be "New Leaf"-Very appropriate.

The kids have no school tomorrow, so M is off with her girlfriends to sleepover and watch scary movies, James is going with Danny to
The Haunting, again. Dan and I will have the evening together, I have lovely cheeses and crackers for a savory snack tray, and some champagne.

The picture is a tree we saw on our drive to town when we were at the cabin.

OMG- it has been weekend of the
6 of Cups- seeing all kinds of people from my past and present life. I felt like Scrooge in A Christmas carol, ghosts everywhere, but like the 6 of Cups in the positive position it wasn't unpleasant-

  • Jill from Supplyside, with her mom and baby, at the football game
  • Denise and her mom came in just when we sat down to breakfast, it was like we'd planned it. (They went to the same restaurant we did BEFORE, too, but it was too crowded... weird.)
  • Kenny & Claire Wilt- she is soooo tall!- at the grocery store.
  • Mary Wells- at the grocery store
  • Brian- at his house
  • Richelle & John, in Big Lots parking Lot
  • Mike from Tc3net @ lowes
  • This woman who was a cook at my first job @ big Boy at lowes.
  • Carol the cleaning Lady from lifestyles @ Lowes.

This was more people than I have seen in months. It was kinda crazy how they all just kept popping up.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Isn't this a cool picture of James? Even his shadow on the trampoline was good! You can see the beans are down in the field, and the trees are turning all around us now.. I think we're just on the edge of the peak fall colors. It makes the drive to work much sweeter. I mean, as sweet as a drive to work can BE.

It's been a great day- I found just the cloth napkins I need for my son's rehearsal dinner, and at Big Lots the price was divine. My mother LOVED that place, she was probably looking out for me today. Then my husband, and kids were fitted for their tuxes, etc. Wow, they are all going to be tres sharp. Dan and I went to see Brian today, we all picked up pine cones for the table arrangements I'll be making- I'm so excited that it all seems to be coming together.

We're having it at Sunnyside, a local Mexican restaurant. It's not feasible for me to do tablecloths, so on the tables I'm doing creamy cloth napkins, with small silk maple leaves tightly scattered in the middle, with tiny papier mache gourds and pine cones on top of those, surrounding small glass globe vases which will be filled with flowers. I'm giving each guest a pine cone beeswax votive as a keepsake. All round the outside of the restaurant we'll have pumpkins carved into star, heart, and D + D designs--no jack-o-lanterns. But it will be Nov. 3rd so I think Pumpkin luminaries are appropriate, don't you? I also have to come up with a good sangria recipe. I wasn't sure how i was going to do all this, how to kinda make this restaurant feel special, and I think it will be good.

Dan and I started an iPod shuffle on our anniversary trip, and we have kept it going. it's on song 277 of 1568. It's kinda an experiment. Don't you think some shuffles are better than others? Like if it starts with a couple of songs that DO NOT suit my mood, i will restart for another shuffle set. And sometimes, if you get a good shuffle, it's almost mystic the way the songs come along at the right time. This has been a good shuffle.

Today I had a couple of songs come up that were just good to hear; I had forgotten I had them in my lists. This My Chemical Romance Song came on when I was shuttling kids to their friends house, and it hit the spot. This Patty Griffin song came on in the morning, driving toward town on a sunny day, feeling glad to be me today.

Well, I cleaned the frig today, and I'm working on my pantry... Dan is off for cards with the boys, so my evening plans consist of a fragrant bath with candles and a book. The book, Riding with the Queen, I am finding surprisingly satisfying. However, I must say, I find it more convincing when the author speaks of the feelings and emotions this wannabe blues star has toward herself and her craft; I find her relationship with her mother and her sister to be a lil' more stilted. But really, a delicious soaking in the tub chick lit with some substance.

I have my fave brown sheets on the bed, 600 thread count, and I am happy.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another picture from our trip up north- the Ocqueoc river, isn't it lovely? Last week at this time I was on vacation, walking through colorful and fragrant woods, ahhh, it was lovely.

Today however, is a regular working day, with a football game tonight. James' band uniform is clean and ready to rock, and the band has a whole new program for the game tonight. Cross your fingers that it doesn't rain!

I heard from an old and dear client, Jill in Virginia, who I have been for since wayyy back in 1999! Gotta love those loyal Tarot-lovers! I hope the reading was satisfying for her...

I did a couple of readings for myself this morning, it still amazes me when the cards hit the nail on the head. I feel like a conduit, as the cards and their message flows through me, telling me things I wouldn't have seen with my own eyes. A few months ago I put some unhealthy friendships behind me, and I feel confirmed in this decision. These people needed me as a settling influence, a listening ear, but didn't have as much concern for my heart and feelings. If I don't take care of my heart, who will?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Look at that handsome dog in the wilds of the north country! It's hard for Petey to come home- here he has to be watched carefully because of the road we live on- we've lost too many animals on it. But up north he's a free dog, able to open up the door at will and romp. Plus, he loves to go squirrel hunting with Dan. Coming home is a culture shock for the poor guy. He's now filthy, matted, and a little bummed out. Actually, that's kinda the way we all came home- there's no shower in the little cabin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Welcome to the working week for me... (As Elvis C. sez..."I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you"!) What a wonderful time up north! The colors were terrific, and the weather was cool, but just right for a big fire in the fireplace. It was hard to close up the cabin for the winter and say goodbye.
Our anniversary adventures began on the 10th, after 26 years we don't have bells and whistles for our big day, however, Dan came home with flowers, champagne, and steak and shrimp- which he made into an outstanding dinner! I was floored- he's not generally the king of thoughtfulness, but this really gave evidence that I have a "new-improved" Dan. So lovely! Our vacation just continued with those good feelings, we went shopping together, walking and exploring, challenged each other with our fire-building, and took some lovely naps on our crippling little bed. (Wow, coming home to our large and comfy bed with the many thread count sheets is what makes coming home a little easier...)

The kids were fine without us, James had some issues staying with big bro. He wasn't included in some of their activities, we'll rethink that one next time. However, everyone survived and we were soooo happy to see our babies again!

So, home again home again, jiggedy jog. And back to reality, after our lovely break in the big north woods.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Attended my cousin's funeral yesterday, Alan Rickard 8/5/55- 10/4/07, This ones for you Al. We heard it as we were driving home, and it seemed appropriate.

I'm prepping for class tonight, I start a new session of selling on eBay. I think most of my students will be returning from the Intro session, but it's always a lil' exciting.

Margaret is in a deeeeep relationship funk. The beloved Joey turned out to be a dog, so her sadness is radiating from her, just as visible as her happiness was... I wish I could wave a magic wand for her and protect her from stuff like this. Again, the Wheel of Fortune keeps on rolling.

Tomorrow is our 26th wedding anniversary! Amazing, it's been a long, strange trip. Speaking of trips, we are heading off for a long weekend, sans kids, on Thursday. We're up to the cabin to close it down for the winter, and hopefully we'll hit the colors at their peak! Some years our anniversary has been great, some years it was a little bittersweet, but this year we are both really looking forward to spending the time together. We are kinda sorta seriously in loooove. It's nice to fall in love with your husband again, or, maybe it's more remembering and treasuring the things I love about him. And I'm feeling pretty treasured,too. 26 is a good year.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Fabulous Peter Jennings, lazing on the trampoline.
He loves it there, he runs the edge when the kids jump.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

James and Colin- I caught James with his hat half on- they have to wear their hats backward if the team wins...

Hey y'all! It's a lazy Sunday morning and I'm blogging in bed. It's gorgeous out my window, all the trees are starting to turn and the cicadas are shrilling. I've got to go get pumpkins soon, I am going to store some to carve for the night of my son's rehearsal dinner. We're having it at Sunnyside, the tastiest Mexican restaurant in all of Adrian. We will have the restaurant for our private party, and I want to have carved pumpkins with candles out in front- it's Nov. 3, just after Halloween, but my pumpkins will be hearts and stars and stuff, more like luminaries. I have silk Fall leaves for the tables, and I'm not sure what I'm going to have, tiny pumpkins with flowers maybe?

Then, the wedding is on the 4th. Whew, my first baby is getting married, it just doesn't seem possible, but Denise is lovely. And my new granddaughter Ally is delightful. That Wheel of Fortune card- life keeps rolling on.

Here's James' pic in his band uniform. He's making a face- I am not the best photog and my batteries were running out, but you get an idea of his awesome marching presence. Friday was Homecoming and we went to the game- M was in the choir at pre-game, James in the band, Dan and I on our blanket on the hill enjoying the cool breeze and the nice night. We sat on the visitors side, but because it was Homecoming it was full of Adrian Fans, so we didn't stand out like freaks. We had an awesome spot until some little girl hurled, repeatedly, about five foot behind us.... Her parental units covered the offensive mess with a big hunk of cardboard, but it was pretty gross knowing it was there. Anyway, other than that, it was a near-perfect night of family togetherness, yet all doing our own thing...

Yesterday we went out to breakfast with the kids, then stopped at the vo-tech agricultural center down the road, which was having an open house. They grow hydroponic tomatoes, and raise pigs, cows and pheasants. We got to pet baby pigs and I got a batch of excellent green tomatoes. The kids were adorable with the animals, even though they are all teens, they still love baby pigs. It was the great leveler.

Wow, I heard a sound outside and looked out the window, it was a bunch of leaves blown off a the Hickory tree and skittering down the road, clicking on the pavement... Fall is here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gosh, I haven't given life updates in days!! This year James is in band and soccer, and I am hauling kids all over hell's half acre, with Thursday and Sunday being the only respite from my life as a driving drone.

I finished my Intro to eBay sessions, and I start the selling section next week. They both turned out to be great class groups- all on a pretty equal footing knowledge-wise, fun "collective"class personalities (Some groups are just not fun, these guys were...), I hope my selling classes go as well.

Last night after I taught I shot out and picked up Dan and Margaret and we headed over to good ol' Maple Stadium to watch James and the Marching band. It was a showcase of all the bands in Lenawee County (The smallest had only 20 kids...) and we got there halfway through because of my class, but it was totally enough. In general, a little marching band goes a long way. Anyway, the Adrian band does this high stepping thing where they just pour onto the field with that proud marching- very very cool. It's also quite strenuous, and James had a wardrobe malfunction with his pants zipper, and it blew out as they began to high step. He spent the show marching, playing the clarinet, and trying to sneak a hand down to hike up his pants. The band STILL rocked!

Today I got a root canal- whoo hoo. I'm numb to my ears, i keep getting itches, but when i scratch them I can't feel it. weirrrrrrd.