At the Wayne Garden Club meeting last week, someone mentioned that the lilacs were in bloom along the walkway at Fair Lane. Fair Lane is the estate of Henry Ford located in nearby Dearborn, Michigan. I have seen the signs for the estate many times over the years and have always wanted to stop and visit. I just never took the time. But that one word, “lilacs”, had me. I love lilacs. I have a big lilac bush in my backyard. When it blooms for two weeks each spring, you will find me sitting in the swing underneath soaking in the fragrance.
Ali agreed to go with me to see the lilacs at the estate.
I love historic markers and learning about places I visit. I had never before heard that Fair Lane was named after a road in Ireland. I also found it interesting that Thomas Edison laid the cornerstone for the powerhouse on the estate.
The first building we came upon was the powerhouse. There is a dam behind it, but we couldn’t access it because paths were closed due to construction. Fair Lane is currently undergoing a renovation so only the grounds are open right now. I was surprised that the grounds are closed on weekends and only open until 6pm weekdays. Good thing I didn’t decide to go out there on the weekend.
I can’t imagine walking along this path any other time of year. It was lined with lilacs and the smell was amazing! This pathway leads from the powerhouse to the house. I had to keep stopping to smell the lilacs. Ali didn’t have much patience for this…
Here is the mansion. It has a drive through area. Of course, I had to peek through the windows.
The beautiful entryway. You can see Ali reflected in the glass. I just love all the details.
There was some huge yellow flowers near the entryway. I don’t know what they are called, but I tried to get the daffodils in the photo so you can see the size comparison. I think it would take about 5-6 daffodils to make up one of the other flowers.
We meandered over to the side of the house. There is a wonderful, large patio that I can just imagine fancy balls spilling out onto. The Rouge River is off to the right behind the house.
Ali and I walked along this area. Follow the “path” and there is a pond at the far end. I can only imagine what it was like growing up here and having all this land as your playground.
I couldn’t believe how close this squirrel let us get to him. It appears he was eating a walnut.
We finally arrived at the pond. There are a few benches to sit and watch the ducks. There were about 4 ducks swimming around where we were. There was a path/trail off to one side, so we decided to check it out.
We came upon a cute little stream that went under a stone bridge.
We sat along the pond and enjoyed for a short while. But not too long because Ali always has places to be and things to do. R-E-L-A-X!
The first walk in the woods Bob and I ever took happened in Oregon where he was fascinated by mushrooms growing in the forest. So of course, I had to take a picture of a huge mushroom growing out of a log.
Ali discovered this chipmunk. I can’t believe I can actually see the chipmunk in the photo!
I saw this tree stump along the path and found it intriguing. I thought it looked like a wolf head. Now that I look at it, it reminds me of a dolphin. What do you think?
We discovered a couple doors that went underground. Ali noticed they were locked. I wonder what was kept there?
This is a little farmhouse that was built for the Michigan State Fair way back when. It was used to teach urban children about farm life. It was over at Greenfield Village from 1938-1983 and then was moved back to the estate.
Here we are back at the mansion. This is the back of the mansion. This view makes it seem more like a castle and you know I love a good castle.
And back to the lilacs. I’d like to share a few more photos with you….
Thanks for coming along on my little journey of the day.
I read about this “tag” on Erika’s blog. I thought I would follow along and talk about my love of books.
1. What percent of books do you get from the library and what percent do you get elsewhere?
I used to get 95% of my books from the library. I had a list of books that I wanted to read. Every time I found a title that sounded good, I would add it to my list. The first of the month, I would order 3-5 books from the library and wait for the call telling me they were available to pick up. This caused a bit of a problem because I also love to go to bookstores and buy books. However, since the library books had a due date, I would read them first and by the time I finished, the first of the next month came around and time to order more books off my list. This year, I have made it my mission to not check out books from the library. I am trying to read the books I already have that I haven’t read. I am going to guess I have 100-200 books still to read.
2. What character would you want to be and why?
I think I would like to be Becky Bloomwood from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. I can relate to her character and the things she does when I read the books. I am currently waiting for her newest book Shopaholic to the Stars to come out in paperback.
3. What is your favorite book from your childhood?
I have my collection of Nancy Drew books that I loved reading. I also read the Trixie Belden books; I still have those too.
4. What is your favorite book?
I can’t say that I have a favorite book. I have some books that I liked better than others, but couldn’t name those off the top of my head. My favorite author since I was about 16 is Danielle Steel. I have all of her books, but some of those are on my to-read shelf. Every time one comes out in paperback, it makes its way into my house.
5. Which book series do you have the most books of?
I have all of the Harry Potter books, all but the latest Shopaholics series by Sophie Kinsella, a bunch of Meg Cabot Princess Diaries books, and though not a series, I collect Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult novels.
6. Do you buy used books or use swap.com?
I’ve never heard of swap.com. I buy used and new. I love shopping at bookstores, but Barnes and Noble is not just down the street from me. I can’t keep away from the library book sales. I did better at the last one I attended; I bought only books that pertained to Russia as that is the country I am trying to learn more about this year.
7. Who is your favorite/hottest guy or girl?
I don’t think I have a favorite. If I did, I am sure I could name one.
8. What is your favorite book cover?
I do judge a book by its cover, but I can say I have a favorite cover.
9. What is your favorite type of book cover?
One that has something to do with the story.
10. What was the first book you read?
I have no idea. I can say I loved reading The Snow Queen that my cousin, Brenda Foley, got me for my 10th birthday.
11. What is your favorite book to movie adaption?
The Notebook. Love love love The Notebook. If I am flipping channels and it happens to be on, I will watch it. Same goes for Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing.
12. When did you start blogging? (original question was “When did you start making Youtube videos?”)
I started blogging, or should I say I started a blog, 4 or 5 years ago. It wasn’t until recently that I paid more attention to it. Last year I tried to blog about new experiences I was having. This year I am just trying to blog about whatever interests me.
13. Where is the best place to read?
On my swing in the front yard. It’s like my porch area where I can watch the neighborhood activities, see the birds and squirrels and just have peaceful time. In the winter, it’s my couch.
14. Have you written your own fan fiction for a book?
I have never read nor written fan fiction. However, I did write a book for NaNoWriMo in 2013. That would be National Novel Writing Month.
15. If you could only read 3 books for the rest of your life what would they be?
First choice off the top of my head is the Bible. After that, it could be anything. Maybe some type of daily devotional. Then maybe a cookbook since I would now have so much more free time I could actually start cooking more.
16. What is the longest book you have read?
Gone With The Wind. I read it in 12th grade for a book report in Ms. Robbin’s class.
17. If you were to write a book what would the title be and why?
Well, I did write a book. I don’t have a title for it. It’s about 3 ladies who don’t know each other who win the lottery. The kicker is that they are triplets.
18. How many books did you read last month?
I read 4 in March:
- Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France—Peter Mayle
- Provence A-Z—Peter Mayle
- Adventures in Mixed Media Art-edited by Amy Johnson
- The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian–Phil Doran
19. What is the last book you read?
20. Do you fantasize yourself in books you like?
Never have. Although while reading art books, I do fantasize about all the art I want to do.
21. What is your favorite bookstore?
I remember the days when you could go to the mall and find a bookstore or two. Ah…those were the days. All that is left for me is Barnes and Noble which is maybe 30 minutes away in good traffic. Wait! I forgot! Powell’s Book Store in Portland OR. I could spend days in there lost among the stacks.
22. Hardback or paperback?
I like paperback. Cheaper and much easier to hold and read, especially before falling asleep.
23. Do you have more than one copy of the same book?
Of course! How could you not when you still have 100-200 books to read. Inevitably you end up buying another copy of something while at the book sales.
24. Would you rather read about vampires or werewolves?
Neither. Although we have the Twilight books, I have not yet read them. Ali read them and said they are good. Remember, she is a teenager. I prefer non-fiction right now.
25. Do you own more than 150 books? if not would you?
I own at least that many still to read. And at least that many already read. My husband would probably say I have over a thousand books.
I was going to include pictures of my books, but I will leave that for another day.
I hope you enjoyed reading this.
I have always loved writing. I remember writing a book in 5th grade based on pictures from a coloring book. I am pretty sure it had to do with Princess Carolyn. Now that I am older,I consider myself the Queen of the household. However, my friends know me as the Queen of Pink. I used to have this as my email address, but we switched internet providers and I lost it. Maybe I will get it back one day.
Above is a notebook I created for my plethora of ideas. The crown came on the notebook that I found at Michaels. I added silver rhinestone letter stickers. They were really sticky, thus a little crooked. But isn’t that the way life goes sometimes?
^^^This is a sign I have in my kitchen. It is complemented by another sign that says “If God wanted me to cook, why did he make restaurants?” It is not pink, but I am now realizing I can change that. Summer project!^^^
^^^I also have a fascination with Paris. I don’t know why. I’ve never been there, but it’s on my bucket list. More like spending at least one month living in Paris so I can soak in the culture. I hit the jackpot when I found pink Eiffel Tower! Thanks to AKA Treasures in Wayne.^^^
^^^Lest you think I am all about the pink, I am also all about the peacock. I always look for the peacocks at the zoo. If I lived in the country, I would want a peacock or two in my yard. I love the blues, purples,. greens of peacocks. I did the painting above at Pip’s Painting Pub in Wyandotte. Ali and I did a girl’s night out and had so much fun. It’s amazing how so many people can take the same class and come up with such diverse paintings.^^^
So now you know that I love pink, glitter and sparkle with a touch of Paris and peacock. I am hoping to include these loves on my blog as the weeks go by. I also want to include posts about books, art, travel and flea markets/thrift stores.
I hope you will come along with me on my journey. If you want to be sure not to miss a post, sign up to follow my blog where you see the button. I can’t wait to connect with you!
It took me 12 days, but I finally have my goals for 2015 listed and I am ready to rock!
- Pay bills on payday.
- Save $40 every payday which will go towards a Christmas spending fund. 26 paydays x $40 will give us $1040.
- Pay at least one bill off this year
- Read at least 52 books-one per week
- Read at least 4 magazines per month-current subscriptions include Oprah, Better Homes and Gardens, Marie Claire and soon, Entrepreneur.
- Learn to play my new instruments-ukelele/drums/guitar
- Dust off the violin, tune it up and start playing it again
- Attend at least one concert with Ali for mother/daughter memory date
- Do at least one activity with John that he enjoys
- Monthly date night with Bob
- Plan weekly menus and cook for whoever is at home that night
- Make snow globe cookies for Marnon Family Christmas Party
- Prepare house to be “company-ready”
- Stay current on weekly scrapbook pages Monday-Sunday
- Do Bible Study daily utilizing 5 Minutes a Day Every Day until I finish.
- When I finish above, find a new way to study the Bible daily.
- Visit at least one new church in the Wayne/Westland area each month.
- Drink at least one bottle or the equivalent of water each day
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Ride my bike
- Have hair colored and styled
- Create and maintain a makeup routine
- Maintain nails
- Learn to wear teeth and smile brightly!
- Develop Queen of Pink blog. Write at least 3 entries per week-Books/Pink/52 Friends
- Have a job that brings in a regular income
- Make 52 new friends
- Reconnect with friends I’ve lost touch with
- Stay in touch with other friends more often, at least once per month.
- Host a cookie exchange in November
- Host a Peacock-themed party
- Visit Paris, MI
- Go camping
- AROUND THE HOUSE
- Have garage cleaned out by the end of the year
- Make new pond plans and start implementation
- Remodel bathroom
- Attach doors to open kitchen cupboards
- Paint side entry door
- Install bay window in front of house
- Move dryer to better location
- Finalize scrapbook area in the basement
- Fix garage door opener
- Have afternoon tea (tea and snacks) at least once per week
- Daily entries in 5 year diary
- DREAM-REALLY STRETCHING…..
- Pursue “creativity person” idea with Taylor Swift
- Pursue law school
- Go to Harry Potter World with Ali
- Write 2nd draft of 2013 NaNo novel
- Collaborate with Taylor Swift on “Heart” idea
The overall idea is to break these goals down into what I need to do monthly and then weekly.
Did you set goals for 2015? If so, I would love to hear about them!
There is a movement within the online scrapbooking world called One Little Word, started by one of my favorite scrapbookers, Ali Edwards. For the past few years, I have chosen a word that spoke to me in advancing my life. Last year, it was Dare. 2013’s word was Create. 2012 was Peacock. I didn’t go far with my words those years. This year, I would like to change that. My word this year is Pink. What does pink mean? What does it connotate? What kinds of things are pink? I am going to try to look at it from all angles. I am going to envelop myself in pink.
One unfortunate circumstance is that I no longer have the queenofpink email. We changed cable providers and it was suggested that I use gmail for email and not to be at the behest of the cable companies with my email. queenofpink@gmail was not available. Tears for me! I looked into getting a website named queenofpink.com but it is already spoken for. No one uses it, but it’s not available. And I don’t want to pay godaddy $70 to negotiate on my behalf to get it. Kind of a letdown because I had planned to learn how to make a website this year and declare my love of pink. Maybe there is something better for me down the road. God may just be delaying my plan. When some of my friends heard of my email change, they were sad to see my queenofpink go because they found it so fitting for me. I never had to spell it out like I do my name now.
On another note, I decided I needed some help cleaning out my garage this year. This is the year the garage will get, at the very least, clean enough to hold a car. I know I am not the only person in the world who doesn’t have room in their garage for a car. I’m just the only person I know. I thought about how I could accomplish this. It’s cold outside in the winter in Michigan. The garage is not attached to our house. Sometimes in snows in the winter so deep that we have to dig a path for the dog. It’s going to be a big job and probably not one I can do in the spring/summer alone. What if we have one of those unbearably hot summers? I like to sparkle, but I don’t like to sweat. One of my favorite bloggers, Elise Blaha Cripe, recently posted about a yearly calendar she created so you could work on your goal a day at a time and at the end of the year, see what you accomplished. You can see her calendar here. I decided to try to make my own version. I didn’t need anything fancy. With my calendar, I would then be able to mark off each day that I did something in the garage. My goal is to do a little bit each day-it might be to clean out a bin stored in there; it might be to pick up some loose stuff on the ground. It might be to organized the camping equipment. It is my hope that the little bits done everyday in 2015 will lead to a much better organized garage. Below is my version of the calendar. It is just circles under each day of the month. I had hoped to put the numbers inside the circles like Elise did, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that. I am pretty proud of what I did accomplish with the circles because I had to learn how to do those. I printed my calendar on pink cardstock with Jan-June on one side and July-Dec on the other. Nothing fancy like Elise’s, but it will do the job for me.
It is now 11:09pm in my neck of the woods. My nephew is in Michigan for a few days and was able to meet with us and the grandparents for a few hours this afternoon. I haven’t ventured out to the garage yet on this first day of the new year. I don’t want to “fail” before I even start, so it off to the garage I go. Wish me luck!
Do you have a word that you choose each new year to stretch yourself? If so, I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment and we can connect. Thanks for reading my blog and for being my friend.
Did you know there is more to Northside Hardware in Wayne MI than meets the eye? We try to use Northside for our hardware needs before hitting the big box stores. It’s important to support your local small businesses. I love it because when I am looking for a little nail or doo dad, I can go back to that section and there is always a friendly gentleman to direct me right to what I need instead of looking at miles and miles (a slight exaggeration) of little boxes with pictures of them.
Northside had agreed to participate in the Wayne Main Street Holiday Window Display Contest. I had to take a sign in to them and ask them to display it in their window. The cashier up front called someone and sent me to the office. I was thinking the office was that little area in the back of the store near the bicycles since they have a counter back there. Nope. I had to enter the holy grail of the door back by the sink fixtures. Down the ramp past the cutting area. Keep going further, an employee told me, through another door. Wow! Look at everything they have stored in this area. Like a warehouse! Keep going, someone else told me. Further and further I walked. I felt like I was intruding being in this area. Turn left! someone said and knock on the door. There was a door in front of me-the other door! When I talked and was let in, I was pleasantly surprised. After going through the store and the warehouse area, the office was a completely different world! It was warm and welcoming and brightly lit for the holidays. More modern, I would say. A nice experience. And the ladies were very friendly.
Well, as you might know, the employees at Northside are very friendly. The only one I know by name is Howard because he has been cashing me out what seems like forever. Back in the days when I actually took film in for processing. I wonder if they still do that there? Anyone know?
Tell me: Have you been to Northside? If so, what is it you like about the store?
Last week I happened to be at the Wayne Main Street office right before a city council meeting. Our WMS office is in the Wayne Activity and Banquet Center. The City Council holds their meeting in the large room there. On my list of new things to do in 2014 was to attend a city council meeting. I had intended to go to a Westland one since that is the city I live in, but I figured Wayne would be just as educational. I found a place to sit and grabbed an agenda to see what would be covered that night.
There was a crowd at this meeting. I thought “wow, so many people attend the Wayne meetings!” Apparently, that isn’t so. Some young women were being recognized for being Wayne-Westland Distinguished Young Women. Some were family members and friends to see the swearing in of the new Police Chief. Some were there with the Sisters who were buying a piece of property the city owned next to their school for $1. Once those people cleared out, it was down to the size of the audience I see when I happen to catch the Westland council meetings on cable TV.
The meeting didn’t take long. The council members seemed friendly. Nothing got too heated. All in all, a pleasant experience. It’s a good way to learn more about your community and what is happening.
Tell me: have you ever been to a city council meeting? If so, are you a regular attendee?
What in the world is cookie butter? I wondered this when I was at Trader Joe’s last week. I hadn’t been in this store for at least 5 years; it is not convenient to my home. I went in looking for a tiny Christmas tree I had heard about. No problem finding that; it was right inside the doors. While Bob went over to the Omaha Steak place next door, I perused the aisles looking at the unusual items you don’t see at Kroger, my regular shopping spot. I saw little cookies shaped like cats that came in three flavors. And then there was something called Cookie Butter. I had never heard of it before. It looked interesting, but what in the world would I do with it? It didn’t sound like something I would spread on bread like I do peanut butter. So I left all those jars sitting on the shelf and went about my day.
Fast forward to a few days ago. I come across a recipe for Millionaire Shortbread Cookies. I love shortbread, especially the kind my mother-in-law so graciously bakes and gives to me and the kind my sister-in-law, Stefani (check out her goodies at ChefStefs.com) bakes. This recipe had what looked like a layer of caramel and then a layer of chocolate on the shortbread. I am all about the caramel and the chocolate! I printed the recipe (which can be found at foodnetwork.com) and was gung-ho to make me some shortbread. What’s this? The recipe calls for cookie butter? Slapping myself for not buying the cookie butter when I saw it, I now have to find it locally. Of course, Kroger and Heartland don’t carry it. I called up Holiday Market in Canton and lo and behold, yes they carry it. So this morning I trotted my little behind to Holiday Market and went right to the aisle to pick it up. (I had asked when I called where I would find it when they said they carried it). What is cookie butter? It says it is made from biscotti cookies. I haven’t opened the jar yet to taste it. Oh alright, You convinced me I better taste it. It kind of looks like peanut butter. It doesn’t smell like peanut butter; more like a bag of cookies. The texture of peanut butter, but it tastes more like a sugar cookie. Not too bad. I’ll let you know how the shortbread turns out when I make it.
Let me know: have you ever heard of cookie butter before today and if so, what do you think of it?
This post is short and sweet. I learned that you can listen to a voice mail on your computer. I got an email from a friend that had a voice mail message attached to it. I never knew you could do such a thing! I can barely get my voice mail on my phone. It’s a hit or miss process. Sometimes I get them and sometimes I feel like an idiot because I can’t remember how to do it while knowing that I can do it because I’ve done it before. Ever have one of THOSE moments?
Anyway, learning how to do it can be saved for another day. The fact is, I now know it can be done and so do you! And if you do know how to do it, I would be most appreciative if you shared here so I and others can learn. Thank you. Now go out and enjoy that freezing cold snow!
After a not-so-successful meal at the nearby Beaver Creek Saloon and Grill (note the new name), Bob and I took the gift cards given to us by his folks and headed out to try the Deadwood Bar and Grill in Novi. We had learned that the owners of the 5 restaurants (including The Moose Preserve in Bloomfield Hills, Camp Ticonderoga in Troy, and Iroguois Club in Bloomfield Hills) are the same people who are restoring The White Horse Inn in Metamora. We learned there were problems when they sold Beaver Creek to its new owners, thus Beaver Creek isn’t accepting any gift cards that were sold under the old owner, despite the cards being for Beaver Creek. That’s the long story.
Anyway, we headed off on our 23rd anniversary to try to use the gift cards. Vera, my GPS system in the truck, took us to a bulding that looked very vacant. Turns out the restaurant was a few buildings down the road. So we arrived.
The first thing I asked was whether they were going to take our gift cards. Who knew when we went to Beaver Creek that we would have to confirm they would take Beaver Creek gift cards? We weren’t going to be fooled again!
The place was actually rather cozy inside. I love the lights hanging throughout on “tree” partitions.
I also loved this chandelier. I am a great lover of chandeliers, much to Bob’s dismay. He doesn’t like them. Still, at least I have one hanging in our house in the kitchen over the sink and it gives off the greatest light! Much better than the light that it replaced ever did give off.
And certainly not what I was expecting for a dumpling. It tasted more like a thick noodle to me. But maybe that’s what goes for a dumpling these days. Not those big thick fluffy mounds of goodness that grandma made. Yes, that is a dumpling on my spoon. Glad I ordered a cup of soup and not the mug.
And here’s a little something I discovered in the restroom–this is the very first one I have ever seen tampons sitting in a decorative container on the sink counter, free for the taking if needed. Hmmm.