Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Homecoming was this past weekend.

We managed to find acceptable dresses, with a little bit of compromise, and some alterations. I hate the current styles. I mean I HATE them. The sexualizing of young teenage girls I find despicable. But this is the world we live in and we have to do what we explain limitations to the girls, still allow them to feel that they fit in, as much as possible....It's a very difficult task. Every year.

My niece Monique drove several hours round trip to do the girls' hair for them. She is so sweet.

Mary went with a group of girlfriends.

Liz went with a good friend with a large group of people.

Here is Monique at work. She has always been so creative, so clever.

People thought Mary and Liz had had their hair done professionally.

Can you tell I compromised on the shoes?? LOL

Monique sending off her cousins. She's a doll.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Biking!! My new, fun knee therapy..

I think I may have mentioned here that I have been having trouble with my knee. I went to physical therapy for a number of weeks and it improved quite a bit. Since then, I've been doing my home exercises, but for a while it just really seemed to be getting worse again.

Then I started riding my daughter's bike. In physical therapy they always had me ride the stationary bike for ten minutes before doing anything else. They said that was to get the joint very lubricated.

So... I thought maybe I should try it at home too. (Or perhaps the Lord was nudging me to do something that would help.)

Anyway, I've started riding the bike everyday. I'm really enjoying it! Mind you, if the truth be told, I really don't like to exercise. Generally, I think it's boring. I like to read and to write. My favorite place to read? In bed! While it is very uncool to say so these days, I must admit I am rather sedentary by nature, I think.

Each day I think I've ridden a little further than the day before. We have a lot of bike paths in Ann Arbor and I'm discovering where they are. It's been a lot of fun. The time just flies.

AND I THINK IT'S REALLY HELPING MY KNEE!!!!!! That's the very exciting thing.

Yesterday I rode from my house to Gallop Park, a beautiful large park surrounding a pond, with a bike path that goes all the way around the pond. It's about 3-3.5 miles from my house. Well, I made it there, rode all the way around the pond--an absolutely lovely ride. It was heaven. Then I started back home. I did have to stop and rest on one of the hills, but only for about five minutes. When I arrived home I pretty much hurt all over. :-) But I stretched, took Lucky for a little walk to cool down, and went to bed early.

Today, I have NO PAIN IN MY KNEE! I'm feeling good. I guess that means (to be said sarcastically and as part of a moan..) that what people say about exercise really is true-- that it makes you feel better and cures practically everything. I'm going to keep it up. I have to keep it up. I want to be able to walk. I need to be able to move freely without pain. Unfortunately, soon there will be snow here and it will be too cold to bike. I may have to join a gym or buy a stationary bike. Me? Join a gym? May wonders never cease. LOL

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kale Slaw Recipe....

At Mimi's request, here is the recipe for kale slaw. I believe I found it in the magazine Cooking Light although now I am not seeing it in their online index.

2 large bunches of kale (about 10 cups) (I use a little less.)

1 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper

2 carrots, thinly sliced crosswise

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup salted peanuts, divided

2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Slice kale crosswise thinly. (so it looks like that crinkly green packing material :-)

Thinly slice pepper lengthwise. Then toss with the carrots and kale.

Puree 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 1/4 cup salted peanuts, 2T brown sugar, and the salt.

Pour dressing over vegetable just before serving. (Actually I do it right away because we like it wilted a little and it seems like the flavors blend a little better.)

Coarsely chop remaining 1/4 cup nuts and sprinkle on top.

It's delicious. But even if it were not, you might want to eat it for the incredible nutritional benefits. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not Homecoming Outfits...

LOL. OK. These are NOT the homecoming outfits. It's homecoming week and each day has a theme. Today the theme was the eighties. I don't quite remember dressing like this in the 80s, although some of it is vaguely familiar. I remember the bright colors and the leg warmers....also side pony tails.

Anyway, they were pretty fired up and even let me take this picture. You know they were having fun when they pose for a picture WHILE getting ready for school. Too funny.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Very rainy day today. Overcast and pretty much rainy all day.

Managed to mail three packages today--one to daughter Anne in Atlanta, one to Jim in Dallas, and one to my sister in St. Louis. Great to get that stuff off...even if I did have to walk through the rain.

Yesterday I went for a 40 minute bike ride. It was nice. Beautiful day. Made me feel young. And it takes a LOT to make me feel young these days...:-) Today, my knee is feeling pretty good. I'm thinking that biking really helps it. All that moving, lubricating the joint. Today I couldn't ride it again though because I wasn't quite up to riding in the rain. It doesn't make me feel THAT young.

Since I haven't been writing as often as I should there are things I really want to write about!

----like about the new camera I now have :-)

----posting some of the pictures I have taken with the new camera!

---the beautiful kale plant in my garden and the kale slaw recipe that we've been trying in our family. Some of us love it. Some....not so much. But kale is SO NUTRITIOUS I keep trying to get my family to eat it.

----my annual frustration with trying to find decent homecoming dresses for my two teen daughters. And when I say decent I mean literally decent. This story, this year, has a happy resolution!

So....that's my preview of upcoming posts, and the nudge to me to write, because I do indeed have some things to write about.

The beginning of the school year always feels so busy, settling in to schedules, figuring out what I can do and what I can't do, etc.

God bless!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11--10th anniversary

It doesn't seem like ten years.

Seeing the images again on the doesn't seem like it's been ten years.

It was such a shock. Such a horror. I feared for my cousin's life. He worked just a few blocks from ground zero and made frequent trips to the World Trade Center. He was OK. He had to walk a number of miles back to his apartment. But he was OK. And when he was finally able to contact my aunt by cell phone she was able to stop hysterically pacing the floors of her small apartment, praying for his safety while clutching her crucifix and statue of the Blessed Mother.

I found out when my sister called me, practically shouting into the phone, "DO YOU HAVE THE TV ON?!?!"

Seeing the collapse of the towers over and over again on the television as we watched for more details about the rescues, the terrorists, etc, I had not realized how traumatic the scenes were for my young daughter. Mary was six at the time.

Several weeks after the attack I was sitting in a doctor's office at the University of Michigan Medical Center. I don't even remember why we were there. The news came on that a plane had crashed in New York City-- a private plane, I believe it was, terrorism was not suspected, you know, the usual lines.

The fireball of the wreckage was being broadcast over the news. Mary was watching, quietly crying, asking an occasional question, a look of great anguish on her face.

Apparently someone at the reception desk spotted Mary's face. By this time a number of people were gathered around the television, maybe 20 or 30. The waiting areas in this medical center are adjacent to the main hallways so everyone going by was stopping to watch the TV for news of what had happened.

This receptionist, God bless her, came out from behind her desk, looked right at Mary and said, "Would you like to watch Sesame Street?" Mary, all teary-eyed nodded yes. The receptionist walked right up to the TV, switched it to Sesame Street, and walked right back to her desk without so much as a glance at the stunned faces of all the adults who were waiting for more information about the crash. I glanced up at the woman as she walked by and mouthed the words, "Thank you." She just gave me a quiet, gentle smile.

God bless her. A child was upset. There was no one in that group who needed to know immediately what had happened. She cared more for the child, my Mary. She was one of those people who just understands that the needs of children come first.

God bless her. It was a simple, small act of gentle kindness. It was also an act of courage. How many of us would ignore the desires of a room full of adults in favor of the needs of one small child. God bless. her.

I think I've written about this incident before. Sorry for the replay if you remember my previous post. :-)