roses of Sharon

A tiny fraction of the roses of Sharon along the driveway.

hosta flower

Hostas in bloom.

dahlias

Wee dahlias and false indigo.

rose

Pink roses.


The garden is finally filling in, now that it’s July. (In the back anyway. We won’t talk about the front yard, where I killed my accent plants through negligence in a heat wave.) Mostly this has nothing to do with me. The driveway is filled with blossoms from the neighbor’s roses of Sharon, which form a huge hedge of pink extravagance. Hostas will be hostas, and grow to inordinate size with no help at all from me. I did plant the dahlias, which are annuals I got at Flower Day in May. I also have raspberries (thank you, freecycle, last autumn) and tomatoes (thank you, Maple Creek Farm) coming, too. Come join me for a drink on my patio and listen to the cicadas!
roses of Sharon

pinball

Can you find Jim and Stacey in this photo?

Star Trek old school

Star Trek old school game. These dudes are ripped.

Star Trek pinball

Wee Enterprises.

Star Trek pinball

You get three balls to live long and prosper.

pinball players

Players.

pinball

From a movie-themed game.

pinball

Jim gets a K.

pinball

Happy Popcorn.

pinball

LOTR game was popular and had two towers, a Balrog and everything.

pinball

Is Gandalf wearing high tops?

pinball

Run!

pinball

Bobby Orr Power Play! It pits the Chicago Blackhawks against the Canadiens.

pinball

Or maybe just vs. the whole country of Canada.

pinball

Another self-portrait.

pinball

Slapshot!

Jim gratified his ten-year-old self by attending the inaugural Michigan Pinball Expo today. I came, too, and shot over his shoulder. I’ve never seen so many pinball machines. They ranged from old school with gas-station rotary numbers, to the latest “Ironman” and “Lord of the Rings” games. Some owned by collectors and loaned for the event, some for sale. $15 at the door gets you unlimited free play. Pretty cool.

Fishflies adorn the house

A new decorating scheme? Only an ephemeral one.

Oh, Stacey, you’ve redecorated! What is that fancy paint finish called…oh…wait…is it…moving? Yes, the fishflies are here, my friends. Forming very large arrays. Hitching rides on hapless runners. Flocking to streetlamps in the night and dying in big smelly heaps. Crunching under your car tires as you drive over their piled up corpses. As bugs go, they’re really rather benign. They don’t bite. They don’t even fly all that much. And they don’t come in the house much – at least not without being noticed. ‘Cause they’re large, you see. The easiest way to remove one is to pick it up by its wings, which are about the size of the pads of your thumb and forefinger, and find it a new location. The only thing really creepy about them, besides their numbers, is they way they all face the same direction on any given surface. Like they’re praying. Or in contact with a great leader. Best not to think about it.

fish flies on the house

While they often cluster on white or light-colored things, they seem to like the blue house just fine.

fishfly/mayfly

A sunlit fishflie on the siding. They come in dark brown, ivory or even green.

array of fishflies

They tend to form very large arrays.

fishfly and sock

This photographer was arrayed in fishflies herself while taking these pictures.

fishfly

They have lovely long tails.

fishfly

...and lacy wings (also used as handles).

yellow crocusesLook! Look! Spring IS coming.

My crocuses seem to be nightly devoured by rodentia, but they..ahem…spring back…almost instantly!

There are leaves on the trees, and the hostas are preparing to take over the world.

purple crocuses

daffodil

easter eggs

Grownup eggs.

easter bunny pancake

Buncake.

macaroons

Milk-chocolate-covered macaroons.

When was the last time I colored Easter eggs? Well, it was last night, thanks to Jessica and Peter. That’s her lovely cityscape there…almost too pretty to eat.

This morning, it was time for pancakes and somebunny came to call. What, you’ve never made a pancake shaped like a mysterious chocolate-giving rabbit?

Speaking of chocolate…

I thought I was retiring the hat for the year last week when I went on a run in 70-degree weather…but then this morning it was 25, so there may be a hat photo or two to come.

Ice on the lake in January

Ice on the lake in January

Ice on the lake in February

Ice on the lake in February

Inflatable snowman

Inflatable snowman

The actors welcome us back

The actors welcome us back

John came for Valentine's Day

John came for Valentine's Day

Whassup doc?

Whassup doc?

I'll pose, but I won't smile.

I'll pose, but I won't smile.

I mean it.

I mean it.

Jessica the Perky

Jessica the Perky

the hat

the hat

Ah, remember the hat?  It is still my winter running hat, and photos of it adorning my head are still sent to a select group of people by cell phone every time I run in it.  For the 5:30am run/yoga/runs, I do wait until I get back home.  A few selections are below.

big snowman

Big snowman at Barnes School (where I do yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays)

wreath

My front door with its (leftover holiday) boxwood wreath.

christmas in seattle

Christmas in Seattle

balaclavaclad

Balaclavaclad in Michigan

with backpack

Yoga mornings I run with a backpack for my mat, block and strap.

new year's day 5k

New Year's Day 5k in Chicago with Stephen!

jessica

My new Michigan running buddy, Jessica!

So, my friend Mari and I were looking for a wee race to run in December, and we found a Jingle Bell 5k.  There are scores of these events across the U.S. put on by the Arthritis Foundation as fundraisers each winter.  This one was December 5 in Northville, Michigan.  Perfect!  The cause is dear to my heart, because my mom lives with arthritis, and the Jingle Bell theme – well, it called out for costumes.

So it began.

Stephen, suddenly discovering unused vacation days, was prevailed upon to join us, and we were to be a flock of three.  Then, in the eleventh hour, a crisis!  Mari had to drop out of the event.  I went on a mad scouting mission for someone to fill her fleece…and found Andy.  We left in the chilly predawn for our event.

And we emerged victorious…or at least we won the costume contest! (Click to enlarge any photo below.)

(You can also download an iPod version here.)
The boys and I went on nearly the perfect end-of-summer vacation last weekend. A cabin on a lake, a run through vineyards and orchards, wine tasting, good food, gorgeous sunny weather, no bugs, a hammock, a fire pit, early morning coffee in the hot tub watching the mist roll in over the lake. I’m tellin’ ya, it was over-the-top, ridiculously, stereotypically, cheesily grand. Just like the video, which is the sappiest thing in the world and which I will watch all winter whenever I’m feeling blue. Here are a few more photos, too (click to enlarge).

Stephen basks on a rock near Lake Michigan

Geraniums in the late afternoon light.

Sunset over Bass Lake

Baby beets after steaming and peeling.

Baby beets after steaming and peeling.

Aw, man, how can these little babies be so flippin’ gorgeous and tasty, too!  Honestly I was just cooking, on a holiday, in my pajamas, and my salad made me clamber outside to the deck and pray for the thunderstorm to hold off so I could photograph my food.  I mean, come ON.  Lovely, lovely creatures, beets.

Sliced with their steamed greens.

Nestled in their steamed greens.

Topped with lightly pickled red onion, blue cheese and ground pepper.

Topped with lightly pickled red onion, blue cheese and ground pepper.