The November List – 2015

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I am scrambling to put things together for the list this month. November came and went in a flash. Here goes….

1)  It seems like as soon as the cold weather came through, we got the decorating bug again. We got dining room furniture (finally!) which took forever to pick out.

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Our table had to be  just the right size and it  had to extend to just the right size for larger gatherings. And it had to not be too formal (my request) or too rustic (husband’s request), but in the end we did go with a distressed one because it fit (lucky me).

My husband got the final say in the chairs (although I picked the color) because we went with my choice for the kitchen/family room (see below) last year.

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They are a bit formal for me BUT I have to say I really, really like them. I almost went with a light plum with the color instead of mustard, but that was more of a risk and I’m not much of a risk-taker when it comes to decor.

2) We also bought a bar…

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…which we’ve been wanting for a long time. My husband has taken a liking to scotch (which is very Grosse Pointe of him). I love the concept of drinking scotch or whiskey –  the different bottles and the square ice cubes and the cool glassware. But unfortunately I don’t love the taste.

And yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. A lot of these photos were taken just today because like I mentioned, I am behind on everything.

3)  Which brings me to my next decorating obsession: trays (see the round one on the bar?).

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I bought a tray for the living room, for the powder room, for the master bathroom. How have I gone my whole life without trays?!

4)  We replaced house number plaque that the former owners put up, with Heath Ceramics house numbers. It was quite the project. The old plaque was stuck there with tons of epoxy, which my husband spent all day taking off with various tools, electric and non. They are gorgeous.

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5)  Now our maroon front door looks extra out of place. Our painter was here yesterday (I know, I know. Separate post) and I asked him what he thought. He said he would definitely paint the sidelights (new vocab word for me) the trim color and not make it the same color as the door. I’d never thought of that and it seems like a great idea to me.

Here’s an example of painted and unpainted (not my house, obviously). What do you think?

Here’s our actual door (I can’t even talk about the doormat/rug right now so don’t ask).

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6)  I’m hosted book group last night and I loved the book, but I can’t tell you what it was because I’m giving it as a Christmas gift. So I give you this book instead.

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it’s the first in a trilogy. I’m on the third one. It’s a great read if you like light fantasy (elements of magic, but not too crazy). I guess you could say it is Harry Potter-esque, but it is also very different. More grown up (which doesn’t necessarily mean better. I did love Harry Potter). The second was just okay, but I am getting into the third book. Hopefully the ending will not disappoint.

7)  We got our first snow of the season on the 21st.

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Our littlest ran outside as soon as it started to fall (if you look closely you can see snowflakes in her hair). It didn’t start sticking until evening and we didn’t get a whole lot, but there was enough to play in for a day or two and make a small snowman.

8)  I finally saw a show at the historic Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.

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Photo via OlympiaEntertainment.com

The girls and I were invited to go see “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with another mom and two other girls. The girls were just adorable and the theatre is beautiful. We had a suite, which was extra awesome.

9)  Earlier this year, I won a blow out party at the salon I go to, Chez Lou Lou (which hands down has given me the best haircuts ever, even compared to the six different hair stylists I had in San Francisco).

IMG_3555 (768x1024)I redeemed the prize this month. A handful of gals and I were treated to champagne, tea/scones and had our hair done. Then we went to the Yacht Club for dinner and walked around their Holiday Mart.

10) Speaking of Holiday Mart, it seems like every time I turn around I see a sign for a different Holiday Mart. The War Memorial, churches, libraries, clubs, you name it. I don’t think I went to (or heard of) one Holiday Mart in San Francisco. You either shop in your neighborhood or online.

11)  We raked leaves for the last time this past weekend (the last week for leaf collection by the city was this week).

IMG_3438 (1024x768)Our birch tree is still dropping leaves (you can see it in the pic), but all our other trees (except the evergreens, of course) are bare.

12)  We had a great thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family.

FamilyThanksgivingWe started with appetizers and a champagne toast (for my husband’s birthday) at Uncle Jim’s and then went to the Yacht Club for our meal. There were 19 of us! One baby, five kids and 13 adults. It was my first time having Thanksgiving at a restaurant, but it was pretty nice and of course there is no prep or clean up, which is fantastic.

This post had a lot of “stuff” in it. Furniture, accessories, theatre tickets, holiday marts. I am grateful for all of it but I thank my lucky stars even more for the non-material things – a roof over my head, a safe neighborhood, healthy kids, a family who loves me. The list goes on and on.

Enjoy your December and I will see you back here soon with another post about paint!

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The October List – 2015

IMG_32901)  The fall foliage this year is beautiful per usual (my per usual is one year’s worth), but the leaves haven’t been great for collecting. Most of the ones that have fallen are already wrinkling or crispy or have black spots on them. Although in the last few days I’ve seen fresher ones. I remain hopeful.

IMG_2996 (1024x896) IMG_2997 (1024x940) IMG_2999 (1024x878)IMG_3022 (1024x1014)2) Mums the word. In a big way. How should we decorate for Fall? I’ve got it – mums! In planters! Flanking the front door!
(To prove my point, the first three photos were taken on the same block!)

I’ve always been annoyed by mums. I have no idea why. They annoy me like carnations annoy me. I get that they are one of the only flowering plants around this time of year and seeing their pops of color around town is kind of nice, but it’s a trend I just can’t get behind. (I will probably be eating my words next Fall as I decide what color mums to buy for our porch).

3)  I turned 43. So that.

For my birthday, my husband bought me a new iPhone. I’m not a big tech person, so I don’t know about all the other upgraded features, but I was excited to try out the new camera. At first, I didn’t notice the difference, but after a couple days, I picked up my old phone and flipped through the photos and wow, huge difference.
IMG_3211 (1024x1024)4)  I bought these fabulous shoes as a present to myself. I was so thrilled to have them (I’d been on the waiting list for weeks) that I wore them to go run errands one afternoon. It felt very Real Housewives.

IMG_30675)  Sort of also for my birthday (I like to celebrate all month), I took a solo weekend trip to San Francisco. I am usually really freaked out about flying, but this time I was giddy when I got on the plane. Five hours all to myself. What a treat.

It was so nice to be surrounded by familiarity. The sights and sounds of the city, and the people who know me to my core. It felt like home.

6)  My friend Erin and I stopped by Baker Beach one day to kill time and she made me get out of the car (I didn’t want to). I surveyed the trail I used to run every weekend, the cold Pacific Ocean, the glorious Golden Gate Bridge and the homes of Seacliff perched above the water.

It was too much to take in and I quickly jumped back in the car. Next time I think I can handle it. And I’ll be sure to pack my running shoes (which I purposely left home this trip).

IMG_3098 (898x1024)7)  Artisanal toast has not yet made its way to Grosse Pointe. A woman whose kids went to preschool with my oldest was on the cusp of this trend eight years ago (NPR even wrote about it here). But, San Francisco being San Francisco, the $4.00 toast is so yesterday (and when I say toast, I mean a piece of toast with butter. For reals).

Enter the $7.00 avocado toast. Some come with an egg or soft cheese or other garnish. Mostly all of them have olive oil or citrus oil or insert fancy oil name drizzled on top. I split one with Erin. Ours came with poppy seeds (and ricotta). It was delicious. Was it $7.00 delicious? Of course not. I figured out the profit on this meal and it’s pretty darn high. I’m envisioning a food truck parked on Mack Avenue, selling dry cappuccinos done right and avocado toast. I’d keep it in business.

IMG_3131 IMG_31328)  I haven’t spent much time in Sausalito, so it was fun to spend a morning there with a friend who recently moved in to the cutest apartment that almost (I said almost!) makes me wish I were single again. On top of the quaint architecture, the apartment offers sweeping views of San Francisco, Alcatraz and Angel Island that are to die for. We walked down the hill to town and along the docks. I felt like a tourist (I was a tourist) – it was awesome.

IMG_3255 (1024x768)9)  When I told people I was co-chairing the Book Fair this year, they would look at me like I told them I was a heroin addict (I’d have said cocaine, but heroin is the new drug of choice, at least at the local high school. But I digress).

It really wasn’t that bad, especially since the other chair had done it before and knew exactly what we were supposed to do and when, etc.

Side note: our school’s Book Fair is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) in the region. Pretty impressive.

IMG_3184 (1024x782)10)  I finally went to Seldon Standard, one of the most talked about restaurants that has opened in Detroit within the last year (and there are a lot).

There were lots of scotch choices (and my husband enjoyed the $25 a pop one. hope it was delicious), the service was great and the food was delicious. Even though the experience was superb, we still think Chartreuse’s food is the best we’ve had here so far.

11)  I’m in a book group – wahoo! I started it with a friend of mine who I don’t know very well, which was part of the point. To get a group of women together who might not otherwise hang out. We are 10 strong (which is kind of a lot for discussions, but we will make it work?) and picked a spooky first book for Halloween.

It was….entertaining and amusing. A light read in terms of character depth (not much) and plot (meh). But it was a page turner, so I’ll give her that. I may start a monthly “what I’m reading now” blog post or I may just include it in my monthly lists, but expect to see more book “reviews” in the future.

IMG_3303 (1024x1024) IMG_3286 (1024x753)12) The Grosse Pointes are all decked out for Halloween. Even this fairy garden has a ghoulish visitor.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!

The September List – 2015

IMG_2904September flew by. It was one of the craziest months I think we’ve had since moving to Grosse Pointe. Our oldest started first grade and our youngest (who turned four this month) is in preschool. Doctor appointments, school shopping, teacher meetings, lunches, homework. I am finally finding some kind of rhythm to the school day as we settle into Fall.

IMG_2687havenotused (1024x1024)1)  When I was out trimming our dogwood, I looked down and saw this little nest. I think maybe the vibrations of the hedge trimmer made it fall out of the tree, but it had been long vacated anyway. I really wanted to take it inside for decoration because it was so perfect, but my fear of potential bugs and germs trumped that thought.

Beignetshavenotused2)  Went to Eastern Market and got beignets from the food truck for the first time. Oh MY. The guy in the truck was a little bossy, telling people exactly where to stand and getting grouchy if you stepped out of line to throw away your coffee (um, so sorry), but the deliciousness of the beignets made me think his crabbiness was actually kind of cool.

IMG_1805 (768x1024) IMG_2656 havenotused (768x1024)3)  There are several little pedestrian pathways in Grosse Pointe that I’ve come across on my runs/walks. At first I was afraid to go down them (would I be trespassing?), but after seeing a couple other folks use them, I decided it was okay  (although the second pic lies behind a wrought iron fence. Definitely private). Now I use them all the time, just because I can. And because it’s fun.

IMG_2734 (769x1024)IMG_2770 (768x1024)4)  The first time I witnessed the dinner napkin as guest towel was during my first visit to Grosse Pointe in 2006 (my husband then boyfriend brought me home to meet the family). I was part confused (am I really supposed to use this beautiful napkin just to dry my hands?), part flabbergasted (but the trees!) and part intrigued.

I didn’t realize it was a thing until I moved here and started seeing dinner napkins in people’s bathrooms! I’ve never seen this outside of Grosse Pointe (although Oklahoma friends, help me out? I don’t remember it, but maybe I just never noticed). And, now I’m thinking of getting some for our powder room downstairs for special occasions. IF I can justify the environmental impact (better to waste water on washing hand towels or better to kill a tree?  Hmmmm).

IMG_2906 (765x1024)5)  My husband and I went to a bowling clinic. And he bought a bowling ball. And I bought bowling shoes. So that.

IMG_2763 (869x1024)6)  Just when I thought it was safe to put away my garden supplies, I saw Shirley over the fence one day and of course she offered me more plants. She dug them up right then and there. They are called corydalis and are used a lot for ground cover. Hoping they will take root quickly and come back next Spring with pretty yellow flowers.

IMG_2945 (768x1024)7)  HOWEVER. I don’t even know why I bothered to plant them because the stupid squirrels have been digging them up EVERY DANG DAY in order to bury the acorns that have been falling by the hundreds each day. From our neighbor’s oak tree. That mostly hangs over our house. And no they won’t trim it because they love their trees so much (we offered to pay 50%). Sigh.

8)  Speaking of squirrels, another one died in our yard. My husband buried it in the exact spot where the girls like to dig. Really?!?

IMG_2970 (893x1024)9) Did I ever show you this? Our four-year-old likes to draw and color pictures for our dog. We tape them to a piece of cardboard near his dog bowls so he can enjoy them. It’s really cute.

hallIMG_2718 (768x1024)10)  We bought a new console table (and cute little succulents – yay!) to replace the bench that was in our entryway (which you can see in the second pic). Now if only we could find a rug to replace the maroon one that we inherited from the previous owners. I will say that the rug is very cushy and feels nice underfoot. Still…I can’t look at it very much longer.

IMG_2927 (1024x768)11)  This is what happens when you see the lunar eclipse and you only have your iPhone camera. Hahahaha. My husband and I sat outside by the fire with drinks (whiskey for him, bloody mary for me) and chatted and checked on the moon every now and then. It was pretty great.

IMG_2963 (1024x1024)12)  Fall is slowly making its way through the foliage. It’s definitely sweater weather now (okay, sweater weather for ME), and yesterday we turned the fireplace on for the first time since winter. I’ve said this before, but living with seasons makes life seem to go back that much more quickly.

Wishing everyone a wonderful October!

The August List 2015

August got away from me. I was on vacation in upstate New York for half the month, so I’m excused. But now I have a post to write and all I have is spiders. So I’ll start off with that and see where it takes me…

IMG_17961) We’ve had a terrible amount of spiders this summer. All the landscape and plant shop people have confirmed this. We’ve already sprayed twice (and yes SF, it’s safe for kids and animals), but every morning we walk into new webs. This guy posted up on our back gate. As I opened the latch, I disturbed it and actually said, “oh sorry” out loud. I get that they control the bug population (although not doing that great of a job in our garden!), but they give me the creeps.

IMG_2587 (768x1024)2)  This flower popped open, giving us a beautiful surprise. I didn’t know what the blossoms would look like when I planted it. It’s a monarda and one of the plants I got from my next door neighbor, Shirley (don’t ask me about the spots on the leaves. I can’t go there).

3) Speaking of Shirley, I was in her garden at the beginning of the month and spied an eggplant growing. I commented on how nice it looked.

IMG_1799 (1024x946)IMG_1800 (768x1024)You want it? Here. Is what she said and so I had an eggplant. I made eggplant parmesan and it was delicious. Even my husband liked it and he doesn’t like eggplant. I really hope to grow a vegetable garden next year (those darn bugs, though).

I mentioned to someone the other day how it has been hard for me to read people here because everyone is nice. As in cordial, super polite, well-mannered, etc. And so I can’t tell who is actually nice and who is just acting nice. Plucking your only eggplant and handing it to your neighbor without a second thought. That is genuine niceness, people. Take note.

IMG_1744 (932x1024)4)  This is someone’s actual vehicle. As in, not a working truck, but the car that you would drive to the Yacht Club for a day at the pool. God Bless America.

IMG_20315)  Shoutout to our dog, Sam who is the best traveler. Eleven hours in the car and he did not make one peep. Or say that he had to go to the bathroom 20 minutes after we left a rest stop.

IMG_2385 (1024x1024)IMG_2386 (1024x1024)6)  I love barns. I’m obsessed with barns. My dream house is a renovated barn. So of course I loved being back in dairy country for vacation. We drove past this barn whenever we went into town and one day I finally stopped to take a couple photos. I would have taken more, but I was technically trespassing and I’m not a risk-taker. In that sense, anyway.

IMG_2203 (1024x1024)7) While on vacation,we drove to my cousin’s spot on Lake Ontario one afternoon. I do love the quietness of my Dad’s place on Chase Lake, but being on a boat (and jet ski) was so fun, especially for the girls.

Hedge8) Remember how I complained about my yard guys last month? I met with our landscape company and went over what I’m going to start taking care of vs. what they will handle. Hedge trimming now falls under me. I’d never used a hedge trimmer before, but it wasn’t difficult to get the hang of.

However, after about 15 minutes, I felt like my arms were going to fall off! Haha. Good workout. (Also, I realize this photo is hideous. I don’t have a better one, sadly. I’d just gotten back from a run and am wearing a stained maternity shirt (why!?! I kept it because it was “cozy.” I threw it away within minutes of seeing this photo).

IMG_2563 (1024x464)9) I never heard anything back from the Yacht Club about the letter I wrote urging them to implement a recycling program, but I did see this blurb in the latest newsletter. It’s a start.

IMG_1783 (1024x851)10)  We got a new orb. Excuse me, magical orb. The old one we inherited from the previous homeowners was silver and in perfectly good condition, but we (my husband and the kids) decided that we needed a new one because something about old magic vs. new magic so… now we have a blue one.

image via missouribotanicalgarden.org

11) I had our magnolia tree treated for scale. Which are tiny little white bugs that don’t look like bugs but that are definitely bugs. Yucky bugs that wreak havoc on the tree. It was $120. It helped. I think. Yesterday I noticed that one of my lilac bushes was covered (I mean covered) with scale. I’m done spending money on the yard this year (budget is spent and cold weather is coming   soon), so I’m hoping and praying it doesn’t die. It’s my favorite. Please, please, please.

Acorns12) Acorns are already falling. Noooooo! Our neighbors have an oak tree that mostly hangs over our yard, driveway and garage. So plunk, plunk, plunk they go, all day long. When I was out planting the other day, I put a bowl on my head like a hard hat. I wasn’t taking any chances.

Here’s where I say I can’t believe it’s already September, but the truth is that I have been waiting for September for the last couple of weeks. I had the best summer, but I am so ready for school to start and excited for a new season to roll in. Have a great month!

The June List – 2015

IMG_1365How is it already July? Summer is flying by, as it should. We’ve had many nice days and many rainy days, including a wild lightning storm that went on for hours (the lightning woke me, not the thunder).

maplebranch (769x954)1) One recent wind storm blew several branches onto our backyard, including this huge section of a maple tree (resting at the base of our birch tree).

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IMG_1073IMG_1071 (768x1024)2)  We’d been wanting to try Rose’s Fine Foods, a quirky diner in Detroit featuring locally sourced food, for quite some time and finally went for breakfast. I had pancakes, which were too heavy, and the Crybaby donut (a house specialty) of the day (blueberry), which was fantastic.

I would definitely go back for breakfast (but not for the pancakes), although the lunch menu looked more exciting, with items like rainbow trout and ground lamb tacos.

IMG_1194 (1024x1024)3) Our oldest graduated from Kindergarten with a formal ceremony and punch on the lawn and everything. She wore Lilly Pulitzer, which is pretty much a requirement here in Grosse Pointe.

4)  Speaking of formal, everything in Grosse Pointe (dinners, gatherings) is soooooo formal. In San Francisco, if I asked myself, “am I under-dressed?” the answer would always be No. Here, the question is, “am I over-dressed?” and the answer is always No.

On one hand, I find this amusing (hilarious, even). On the other hand, I kind of love it. I’m a girlie girl. I like dressing up. And it’s nice when other people make the effort, too (can I get an amen?). Sure, I wear cutoffs and tank tops (which I bet I do more than anyone else here) but I also like that at any given time, if I want to dress up, I can. Without anyone asking me if I just came from a baby shower.

IMG_1082 (931x1024)IMG_1084 (768x1024)IMG_1091 (1024x889)5)  Went to the first Tuesday Market of the year at Eastern Market with my mother-in-law and our littlest. I picked up the yummiest cheeses – aged gruyere, white cheddar and imported parmesan (which was the most expensive at $12.90 a pound and of course the only cheese the girls will eat now).

We had lunch at Supino Pizzeria. The thin-crust pizza was delicious and my favorite part was the shaved sausage. Genius. I usually don’t like sausage on my pizza because I hate the chunks. Problem solved with the shaved technique. Why didn’t I think  of that?!?

IMG_1249 (1024x1012) I also bought small cilantro and parsley plants at Eastern Market for I think one or two dollars each? And re-potted them in larger pots (vs the ground, thinking I might want to bring them inside at some point for decoration. The mint I bought at a local nursery. All the herbs seem to be doing well with very little care. Such a change from San Francisco, where I tried so hard to keep herbs alive with never any luck.

IMG_1119 (768x1024)IMG_1124 (768x1024)IMG_11336)  The local shoe shop wasn’t able to fix a broken zipper on my beloved Frye boots (the guy said he couldn’t fix it and if I found a place that did fix it, it would cost more than the boots were worth). The guy at Tip Top Shoe Repair in downtown Detroit didn’t blink at the broken zipper and fixed it for under $20.00.

When I went back to pick up my boots, I noticed an urban garden (I later looked up the name – Lafayette Greens) was right next door to the shop. I took a little detour and walked through it.  The veggies looked amazing – so healthy! – and the quirky sculptures were fun.

beds7)  I gave our four-year-old’s room a summer makeover by exchanging the fluffy pink comforters with Hawaiian quilts made by a) my grandma (the one on the left. I used it as a kid) and b) the little old lady who lives next door to my Hawaii family (she made one for both me and my sister, just because).

fairygarden8) Speaking of next door neighbors, on Father’s Day the girls went next door to help our neighbor set up her fairy garden. They were beyond excited. Super duper cute.

fishfly IMG_1256 (1024x1010)9) The fishflies are here. Every summer they come for a couple weeks. It’s a lake thing. I just read that a female fishfly lays up to 4000 eggs. They stick to everything (as you can see) and smell like fish (surprise).

They live for only about a day, so, for instance, if a few hundred of them happen to land on one of the trees in your backyard and then die, the next day you may be walking under the tree and a slight wind will blow, causing all those fishfly carcasses to rain down on you. Pretty darn gross.

IMG_1106 (1024x768)10)  We amped up the backyard with a new teak dining set from Thos Baker (our summer budget has been blown. ouch). The table arrived split, so we had to wait another three weeks for a new one, and then the umbrella arrived cracked, so we had to wait another several weeks for that. But now it’s all here and we’re enjoying it.

We wavered between a dining set (husband’s idea) and lounge chairs (my idea), but ultimately went with the dining set and it has worked out great. Sometimes he’s right, what can I say.

Weber's Way to Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling

11)  We also bought a new fancy Weber grill, another of the husband’s wants that I didn’t see the need for (at least not for this year). But guess who has been grilling several times a week and who just bought a new grilling cookbook? Yep. I think I was anti-grill because I didn’t understand it, but now that I’m figuring it out, I am loving it. Go me.

IMG_1255 (1024x1024)12)  When people find out I’m from California, the first thing they ask is how I like Michigan. They want to hear that I love it and there are many reasons why I do. I always say that I love the weather (with a reminder that Northern California weather is nothing like the rest of the state). Summers here are picture perfect, with boats on the lake and lush greenery and sounds of kids playing outside ’til the sun goes down.

So even though I still feel very much in limbo and even though I feel like living here has brought some disappointing realizations (friends stuff, music stuff, other things that are seemingly trivial but such a big deal, especially when I am tired and cranky, which I pretty much am all the time), I have never regretted the move.

So…I’m on the right path. I just need to keep walking it. Sometimes in cutoffs and flipflops, and sometimes in Lilly Pulitzer and heels.

The April List – 2015

IMG_0171 (1024x765)1) We finally put some artwork up in the family room. What a big difference! The SF prints were hanging in my husband’s basement office, but he kindly gave them up for the good of the house.  They look much better proportioned in real life (they look weirdly small in the photo for some reason).

2)  “That was my favorite squirrel” – our youngest, looking out the window at the dead squirrel in front of our house.

As the days went by it got more and more squished (“ooh I see blood” and more “my favorite squirrel” language) so I decided to call the city to see if they would scrape it up.

Me:  Hi. I’m new here and I’m not sure if you do this sort of thing but…there’s a dead squirrel on the street in front of our house and it’s freaking our kids out. Could you come pick it up or how does that work?
City Worker:  Now, where is the squirrel, in the middle of the street?
Me:  Umm, pretty much in the middle of the street, yes.
City Worker:  And you say it’s in front of your house? Is it right in front?
Me:  Yup, right in front of our driveway, I would say.
City Worker:  Okay, can I get your phone number, in case there are any questions?
Me: About the squirrel?! Umm, sure.

Can’t fault her for being thorough.

3)  My sister bought me Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Goldfinch” for Christmas, which I finished this month. Not once during the 784 pages did I feel like it was tedious or dragging. Do yourself a favor and put it on your summer reading list (I almost wish I had saved it for a summer read). You will thank me.

4) Michigan vs. San Francisco terminology:
Park = Playground
Pop = Soda
Carry Out = Take Out
Chinese = Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese or all of the above

IMG_0493 (872x815)5)  I finally got a shot of the elusive pheasant!

6)  April 4th marked the one-year anniversary of our move. I went for a run that day and thought about everything that’s happened since we arrived. New house, new remodel, new school, new routines, new weather, new friends. I miss San Francisco more than I can express, but I’m also happy here. I haven’t thought too much more about it, but I will reflect on it more and when I do, I will report back.

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7)  I’m not allergic to shellfish! Best news ever! Unfortunately, we have no idea what brought on my hives last month, but at least we can rule out shellfish. The allergist wanted me to come back for another appointment as a precautionary measure. He said I would need to set aside 2-3 hours, bring a piece of shrimp with me to the office, eat it and wait. He referred to this as an “open food challenge.”

Me: Can’t I just stand in front of a hospital and eat some shrimp? That would be a lot faster, and more convenient.
Allergist: Oh no, don’t do that. The next thing you know, the papers will say “a patient of Dr. R’s dropped dead in front of such and such..”
Me: Don’t worry, I won’t sue you or anything.
Allergist (concerned): Just make the appointment, okay?
Me: Okay.

I walked out of the office without making an appointment. Two days later, I ate an a-load of shrimp at a party. I’m good.

IMG_0344 (1024x1024)8)  April showers bring May flowers. That’s great and all, but the cold! Enough already. April was full of cold, cloudy days and even some snow. We did get a couple days of sun and warm, giving us a sneak peak of what’s to come. I can’t wait.

IMG_0482 (768x1024)9)  Speaking of flowers, I walked outside one afternoon to a beautiful surprise. A blossoming tree in our backyard. I don’t know what kind of tree it is, but the flowers are fluffy and big, similar to magnolia blossoms. So pretty!

IMG_0450 (892x1024)10)  Something you would never see in San Francisco – dry cleaning hanging on a door. One, because I can’t think of any dry cleaner there that delivers and two, because it would be gone in two seconds. Especially if you live near Golden Gate Park like we did.

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Photo from: GPFoundation on Instagram

11)  The Grosse Pointe library system lends out gardening tools. How cool is that? They also have a seed library, where you can search a physical card catalog (containing seed packets instead of cards) and “borrow” seeds to plant.  Residents are also encouraged to save and donate their seeds to the collection. I plan to use both.

IMG_0391 (1024x1024)12)  I have one more month before school is out, which means I can say goodbye to daytime “me” time. I hope to get a sitter a couple times a week so I can work (oh yes, I do have a day job doing payroll for my husband’s company), but also so I can have some down time. Summer will be fun, I know that, but sometimes a girl (especially an INFJ girl like me) needs her space. Can I get an amen.

Enjoy May, everyone!