Sunday, February 26, 2023

Mother Nature!

On Wednesday, Mother Nature sent freezing rain to Michigan. Schools were closed in anticipation of the ice storm, and that evening our power went out twice but came back on after a few minutes. Thursday was another story, however.  Around 7:30 that evening, the power went off, and didn't return until today [Sunday] while we were at church.  My girlfriend said she heard on the news that this was the second largest power outage since they began keeping records.

As we pulled out of our street on the way to church this morning, I saw a few DTE trucks and crewmen, and became hopeful our power would soon be restored.  I quickly grabbed my phone to take their picture.

From Friday morning until today our Honda generator has been our treasured friend. While it wasn't hooked up to our furnace, it did keep our side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, chest freezer and other small appliances [electric tea kettle - had to have my tea during the crisis; iPhone chargers - so we could check e-mails, time, and other relevant information; a lamp - so we wouldn't stumble and fall in the dark; and a heating pad to warm up our bed at night] functioning until power was restored.

Amazing how we take electricity for granted.  I can't count how many times I walked into a room and flipped on the light switch out of habit even though I knew there was no power.  The inside thermostat went down to 52 degrees, which was a bit chilly.  Our son, Steve, invited us to come stay with them, but we dressed warmly in layers and managed okay.   Yesterday was a work day for me at The Whitney, so I was assured of getting warmed up there.

As I sat in church this morning I thought about how blessed we are as Christians that there's never a power failure with God.  We can always depend on Him to be there when the storms of life come as well as when things are going smoothly.

Life is good as I type this post, everything's up and running again... the furnace, my computer, my stove, and I'm grateful, warm and contented.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Ice Sculptures

Michigan has lots of ice festivals throughout the state, with most occurring in January and February.  Three cities near me have festivals, but I didn't make it to any of them this year. Instead I traveled vicariously to Medina, Ohio [via the Internet] for their 29th Annual Ice Festival that was held last Friday [February 17th].  Had I gone by car it would have been a 3 1/2 hour drive, but I got there instantly on my computer, and in the comfort of my warm, cozy home.

Medina has a lovely tearoom called Miss. Molly's, which I've visited twice.  Their ice sculpture was so cute and appropriate for their tearoom, I decided to share it in today's post.

[Internet Photos]

Do you enjoy going to ice festivals and watching the skilled sculptors carve ice?


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Happy Paczki Day!

In Detroit and surrounding suburbs [where I live], there's a large population of people who are of Polish descent.   Just as the French celebrate Mardi Gras before the Lenten season begins [when rich, fatty foods will be abstained from during the 40-days of fasting], the Polish celebrate Paczki Day on Fat Tuesday [or Shrove Tuesday].

The saying is "Everyone's Polish on Paczki Day" [thank goodness, because I don't have any Polish in my ancestry].  I got in line at a bakery yesterday to buy Paczki for my hubby and me. Below is the bakery sign near the street. 

I was hoping to beat the crowds by going yesterday instead of today, but I still stood in a long line.

It was worth it though.  My hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed our cannoli cream filled doughnut this morning.  I don't even want to know how many calories were in it.  While I was there I bought my hubby an apple filled doughnut for tomorrow and a lemon filled one for myself.  $14 for four doughnuts, but Paczki Day only comes once a year!

Paczki Day is always a good time to bring out my Polish Pottery, which I did this morning.

I have several first cousins who live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where Mardi Gras is celebrated.  Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday" and King Cakes replace Pazcki.  I've only made a King Cake once - a rich, brioche dough with a wide variety of fillings [mine was cinnamon].  They're frosted with a powdered sugar glaze and sugar sprinkles in the royal Mardi Gras colors of gold, purple and green.   They're beautiful and festive-looking.  One year during Mardi Gras, my aunt sent me a King Cake from Gambino's Bakery in New Orleans.

One of my cousins posted some Mardi Gras pictures on Facebook yesterday taken in New Orleans [French Quarter].   The crowds are so large she said they weren't going this year.

    [David Nola Photography]

Do you celebrate Paczki Day or Mardi Gras?

Monday, February 20, 2023

Happy President's Day!

In July, 2020, our youngest son invited my hubby and me to go on a family vacation with them out west.  It was a great trip.  We traveled through 10 states, but camped and saw the sights in five states, including South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore.

Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Theo. Roosevelt and Lincoln

The sign below was posted in one of the eating areas at Mt. Rushmore.

In honor of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, I made a Cherry Cobbler today, topped with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.  Both presidents were big tea drinkers too.

On this President's Day, may I be faithful to pray for those in authority over me.  [1 Timothy 2:1-2]

[Internet Photo]

I always say you meet the nicest people over tea - both in person and on the Internet.  I belong to a Facebook group called Christian Tea Time and Hospitality and one of the members posted a George and Martha Washington vignette.  It was so pretty I asked her if I could share it on my blog today and she graciously granted permission.  Thanks, Beverly!

She told me the teapot, tray and salt and pepper shakers are from the Mt. Vernon gift shop.  Martha Washington is pictured on the opposite side of the teapot.  Isn't it lovely!

Many years ago when I was an Avon lady, I sold their stemmed George Washington blue glass goblets, and accompanying oval Mt. Vernon dish.  I displayed mine for a long time in my curio cabinet, then finally sold them in a garage sale.  Now I wish I had them back, but they're fairly easy to find in antique stores and online if the urg to buy them again ever overtakes me.

I visited Mt. Vernon with my parents when I was in high school, but that was long before I had any interest in acquiring china pieces.  Below is a picture of my mom and me sitting on the porch at Mt. Vernon.  My mom is in the stripped dress and I'm in the blue dress.  I was too young to appreciate being there as a teenager.  I'd love to go back again now that I have an interest in history.

How are you celebrating President's Day?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Valentine's Day and Backyard Tree Removal

I hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day.  It was a quiet one for my hubby and me, but a nice one.  I baked a Carrot Cake from scratch for my daughter and son-in-law's fourth Wedding Anniversary. They were married on Valentine's Day so it's easy to remember.  This is Dave's favorite cake and the one I made for their wedding, so it's become a tradition to make a Carrot Cake every year on their anniversary.

Last fall we had a tree removal company come out to give us an estimate on removing two large Maple trees from our backyard.  They were only a couple of feet tall when we planted them in 1978 when we moved into our new home.  One was from my parent's backyard Maple tree and the other from my in-laws.  We had no idea how mammouth they'd become over 45 years!  While they shaded our backyard in the summer, my hubby worried about their roots disrupting the underground sewers or them falling on our house during a storm [both had split trunks], so he said they had to come down.  After several postponements from the tree removal company, they finally came yesterday.

Jerry picking up leaves for the last time fall of 2022 in anticipation of the tree removal guys.

Trees covered with snow January 25, 2023

Happy sight for my hubby yesterday!

Tree #1



Tree #2

~ The Crew ~

When the left yesterday tree #2 was at this stage.

Even though today is a sunny, warm day [57 degrees], it was too windy for them to finish taking it down, so they'll return tomorrow to finish the job.  All the shade will be gone from our backyard now, but my hubby will rest easier.  

On another subject... I've been having lots of computer woes which is why I haven't posted in a while.  My computer is nine years old and has served me very well.  I thought it was dying over the weekend because it was running so slow and wouldn't let me access blogger, e-mails or photo files. Our tech guy said there was nothing he could do to resolve the issues and recommended an upgraded computer.  To my amazement however, when I restarted it this morning it allowed me to access everything including uploading the photos from my iPhone for this post.  Go figure!  While it's in working order I've been diligently transferring all the photos on my  hard drive to a backup device so I don't lose them if my computer decides to fail again.  If you don't see another post from me within a reasonable amount of time, you'll know I'm out shopping for a new computer.  I hate the thought of having to learn Windows 11 [I have Windows 10], but technology never stays the same.


Thursday, February 9, 2023

Lunch at The Vault

Yesterday I drove to Wyandotte, MI - my hometown growing up - to have lunch with some gals I went to high school with.

The Vault Restaurant opened in the spring of 2021 in the former National Bank of Wyandotte building on 1st and Maple streets.  Ever since I learned of its opening I wanted to visit, so I was happy when it was the location for this month's lunch gathering. 

You can always tell a former bank building built in the 1920's - 30's. They were intentionally solid stately structures, usually with classical columns conveying financial stability and security and projecting a strong civic presence in the community.

Both the night deposit vault and cash vault remains to add a bit of nostalgia. 

~ Night Deposit Vault ~

Two gals were missing from our group, but the five of us had a nice visit.  Peggy, second from right, worked in this building in the 1960's when it was a bank.

I ordered a California Reuben which is a Turkey Reuben.  It was very good.

After we finished eating, we walked across the street to a new European Patisserie.  Wyandotte is getting classy!  The interior of the building is beautiful.

You could almost gain weight just looking at the pastries!

I ended up getting an Italian Cannoli.  It was $3.75 which was a bit higher than I pay at my local Italian bakery.  The price of their Carrot Cake was $6.75 a slice and $60 for a whole cake [it looked like a 8 or 9-inch].  Yikes!  I'm going to make a Carrot Cake for my daughter and son-in-law's Valentine's Day Wedding Anniversary and it'll probably cost less than $10 to make.

It was a fun afternoon and a nice diversion to my normal routine.  The next lunch date is March 29th, and the location hasn't been determined yet.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Birthday #76 Is Good!

I've had a wonderful time celebrating my 76th birthday yesterday and today, and I'm always grateful to our Lord for another birthday to celebrate.

We met our daughter and son-in-law [Lori & Dave] at Olive Garden yesterday after church for dinner.  I ordered Chicken Marsala Fettuccine.   After our entrees we had Birthday Cake.

We had a nice visit then went to our separate homes.

Today our son, Steve, came to our house at 10:30 a.m. and we left for a day in the 'D' [downtown Detroit].  I had a list of places I'd been wanting to go to but didn't want to drive there by myself not knowing exactly where I was going.  I had never been inside the David Whitney Building so that was on my list.  It's recently undergone extensive restoration and is now a hotel and apartments [instead of retail shops, doctors, dentists and attorney offices as previously].  For being built in 1915 [in honor of David Whitney, Jr. built by his son], it's remains a beautiful building and Detroit landmark.

The Neo-Renaissance 19 story building was Detroit's tallest skyscraper at the time it was built.  Today, floors 5-9 are hotel rooms and floors 10 and above are apartments.  An event center [ballroom/banquet room] is in the making but hasn't been opened yet.

The four-story atrium lobby is made of marble, terra cotta and gold leafing.  The skylight is amazing.

View from Second Floor

Bust of David Whitney, Jr.

From there we went a little further down on Woodward to see the progress of the new Hudson's project.  They're moving right along.  It is scheduled to be completed next year.

We drove by Michigan Central Train Station to see the progress being made there.  The website said it was open, but we didn't see any cars so apparently it's not open to the public yet.  It's looking good and such a beautiful landmark.  Being a designated historic site saved it from demolition.  Its restoration has been a huge expense for Ford Motor Company, but it has regenerated the whole area.

Close to the train station on Michigan Avenue [in Corktown], is Slows Bar-B-Q.  That's where Steve treated us to lunch.

We each got something different.  I got a Brisket Sandwich, Jerry got Brisket Enchilladas, and Steve got Brisket and Mac 'n' Cheese.  It was very good.

Since today was my B-day, I got a complimentary piece of their signature Carrot Cake.  We shared it three ways.

Very hard to smile with brisket in your mouth!

It was such a fun day and I'm grateful to my hubby, kids, grands, and friends for making #76 so special!  When I got home Jeremy, Samantha, and the three Grands called to wish me a Happy Birthday and we'll get together with them in the not too distant future.