Saturday, December 29, 2012

Exploring Denver

On Saturday night, after a fun day in Longmont and Nederland with Dan's Mom, Dan and I headed up to Denver to spend some time with family and friends. We got tickets in advance for the Nuggets - Bobcats game and we were lucky enough to be seated in the Mt Loud section where they gave us fun little noise makers and we were supposedly extra loud nosebleed guests :-).
Ellen and I with our noise makers

Gabrielle and David Enjoying our Birdseye View of the game
 Towards the end of the game with the Nuggets handily beating the Bobcats a chant started from the upperdecks; "We Want Tacos" . . . apparently if the Nuggets win and score 110 points Taco Bell gives out one free taco per fan. We fans went home happy on Saturday - a Nugget victory and free tacos :-). After the game Dan, Chris, Ellen, Brian and I met up with Alicia and Forbes, some old friends, to catch up.

On Sunday morning after having a sleepover at David and Gabrielle's house we toured around their neighborhood, Lowry, which is an old Airforce base that's been converted into a housing development.
Lowry Plane on Display
 For lunch we met up with my friends Adrienne and John who were visiting Colorado from San Diego! Ellen, Chris, my niece Audrey and Brian also joined us at this really yummy vegetarian restaurant, Watercourse. Ellen knit an adorable hat for Audrey - we think she'll grow into it by age 12 or so :-)
Audrey in her Knit Hat

Lunch Bunch

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Pup

We're in Colorado visiting with Dan's Mom and family for Christmas (we'll also get to see Ellen, Chris and Audrey before they take off for Michigan). Today we had fun playing with Cody. We dressed him up in a Santa suit and sang carols together.
Dan and Santa Pup in Front of the Tree
Cody got his revenge by attacking Dan with a face full of puppy kisses.

Cody Licking Dan
After breakfast we decided to go up to the mountains and explore hippie central; Nederland, Colorado which is infamous for being the home of a frozen corpse brought there in the 80s by a Norwegian guy. We went in to the Carousel of Happiness which is a beautiful hand carved and painted carousel that was 26 years in the making.
Mom Cozying up with a Gorilla

Mary getting friendly with a Peacock

Dan loved this Giraffe
After doing some Christmas shopping in the toy store we grabbed lunch at some train cars that have been converted into an adorable little cafe. We ate our burritos in one of Buffalo Bill's Circus train cars. This car was very old, beautiful and made of wood.
Dan and Mom in front of the Train Car where we Ate

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Battling Homesickness

After returning home from Ann Arbor my running around caught up with me. I was exhausted, worn out and home sick. To help me combat my sadness Dan, Annie and I decided it was time to get a Christmas tree. We piled into the Scion and drove to the Troop 69 run Tree Lot where we picked out a nice, tall Fraser Fir that barely fit in our hatchback
Boy Scouts at Work (Gotta earn that tip!)
Then we took our tree home and Dan and I set to work putting it in some water - but our tree stand couldn't handle a tree of this size - Dan ran off to get us a sturdier tree stand while Annie and I rearranged the living room furniture to make way for our new decor. On Saturday, December 1st we held a tree-trimming party and we shared our Zingerman's cheeses, Toffee Squares, my Grandma's Mushroom Croustades, Egg Nog and more with about 20 neighbors and friends. Annie was on her best behavior and by the end of the night she was curled up next to the Chair of the History Department getting lots of attention and cuddles!

 Dan's final idea to combat my homesickness was to explore Missouri! We drove to Noel, Missouri on the day after our tree-trimming party and mailed out our Christmas cards then later in the week we went South to Branson were we enjoyed dinner and a show; Legends of Kung Fu starring the dancers who performed and opened for the 2008 Bejing Olympics!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Although Thanksgiving was over two weeks ago I am using this opportunity to express my gratitude because thankfulness never goes out of style. On Friday after Thanksgiving (after pierogi making) my parents treated me to a wonderful concert at the glamorous Fox Theater in Detroit - we saw Chris Isaak!

Kathleen and Kevin Looking Good Pre-Concert
 After the show I was dropped off downtown to see some old friends - I am lucky to have so many old buddies in Michigan always willing to meet up for good times.

Mary and Jeff at Rush Street 
 On Saturday morning my parents and I had an old-fashioned tree-trimming party. My parents and I assembled the tree then Alex, Liz and Becky came over to help decorate the tree with ornaments - what a fun morning!
Dad Putting on the Tip of the Tree 
 My mom was the ornament director and narrator and she put on the last one, the oldest ornament which is a banana from her great-grandmother. Here she is telling the story of the banana ornament.

Mom Telling Everyone the Story of the Banana Ornament
 Becky and I then went off and had a wonderful afternoon snuggling and watching Michigan football. Sadly, Michigan only decided to win the first half so we'll have to wait until next year when OSU comes to Ann Arbor to get another shot at those Buckeyes! On Saturday night Mom, Dad and I had a magnificent meal of crabcakes and as a special dessert treat we enjoyed Bill & Jill's wedding cake (Dad had squirreled a couple large pieces home after the grand affair). What a lovely meal! Followed by a smashing win over USC by the Fightin' Irish.

Dad and Mom Enjoy a Good Luck Smooch pre ND game
 On Sunday Mom and I got up early to go to church at St Thomas then hopped over to Zingerman's Delicatessen where I spent too much money on goodies to bring home to Annie and Dan in Springfield.
Zingermans - Notice the Snow!
 It wouldn't be a trip to St Thomas without a trip to the Washtenaw Dairy afterwards for some donuts.

Mary at the Entrance to Washtenaw Dairy
 After dropping my mom at home and having a quick skype session with my Aunt Wini in England I scurried off to meet up with some dear friends at Sava for a lovely brunch.

Darby, Erika, Adam, Lauren, Kristie and Mary at Sava's
 In short I have much to be appreciative for; my wonderful parents, their generosity and good food, my fabulous friends and their good cheer and love. Tis the season. Spread the love :-)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thanksgiving and Pierogi Making

Dan, Annie and I split up for Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving morning Elaine and I ran the Turkey Trot 5K in Springfield.
Elaine and Mary Pre Race
Annie and Dan stayed here in Springfield and spent Thanksgiving weekend with friends, at the Dog Park and doing some Christmas Shopping. I flew home to Ann Arbor, arriving Thanksgiving eve, and spent Thanksgiving at the Dixons with a fabulous meal. 
Post Thanksgiving Meal Walk with Ruth and Mom
On the day after Thanksgiving I drove out to the country to hang with the Cornell families. Andrea, Jason, Jenn and I had a quick workout in the barn and around their property then we got down to business making Jason and Jenn's Grandma's Polish pierogis!

Andrea, aka Rollin'

Rollin' and Jenn, aka Slow Boil Filling Pierogis

Rollin' crimping Pierogis

Jason, aka Crimp Daddy Filling and Crimping Pierogis

Pierogis ready to be added to a Slow Boil
We had so much fun making pierogis and hanging out - Jason, Andrea, Jenn and played softball on the Decepticons together and we have awesome Decepticon jerseys - Jason and I wore ours for Pierogi making.

Darrin and Scarlett showed up after her nap to visit - Scarlett was bundled up as it started snowing lightly.
Darrin and Scarlett Keeping Warm

The Cheez, Scarlett, Slow Boil, Crimp Daddy and Rollin
Don't even bother asking for the recipe because a) it's top secret and b) they didn't give it to me! I traded the Cornell Clan some Dixon cookies for some Cornell pierogis and Ruth has promised to save some for Dan and I in her deep freezer for the next time we're in Michigan . . .