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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Very busy day with three doctors appointments between the two of us.  Gary went first, with a trip to the cardiologist.  I liked him, very informative.  He said Gary's angina is normal, and his medication that was doubled in the hospital will be doubled again.  Next appointment was with Dr. Karr, pretty routine. 

In the afternoon I had my appointment with the eye doctor.  Hadn't been there since 2007, and then GM cut our dental and eye care.  Now we pay for our own.  I expected to get bad news about the small cataract in my left eye or that I have macular degeneration like my brother.  The doctor said my eyes haven't changed in 13 years!  Sounds good to me!  Eligible for new glasses though, so I'll be doing that soon.

I blearily found my way to the car, and then we went on to Red Robin to use one of Gary's birthday coupons.  The coupon was for a free "burger", which means any sandwich, but they'll substitute any entree.  He loves the chicken bruschetta and had that.  I had the Fajita Fiesta Pollo Salad with regular ranch dressing (not the recommended salsa ranch, which I don't care for). It has corn, black beans, red onions, green pepper, and chicken on top.  Everything was good, except my salad was too wet with water.  Changes the whole aspect of the salad and dilutes the dressing.  Gary also got a free sundae.  Nothing great.  Hard-as-a-rock vanilla ice cream with negligible hot fudge (or chocolate syrup?).



Then home to let my dilated eyes come back to normal.  Gary took Gracie (3) to get fruit roll-ups.  She called last night to ask him to do that.  She ended up buying jello cups, a healthier option in my opinion and better for the teeth.

I didn't have to go to my mom's, because my brother is down.  Enjoyed a nap on the couch while my eyes undilated.  Then I worked outside for awhile.

Tomorrow is F Night, and we will be eating at The French Laundry in Fenton.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I think I should've bought the dvd/vcr combo instead of just the dvd player, so Elmo would have a bigger box to snooze in!

Hot & steamy yesterday, but today temps won't get above 69! Pretty nice! It'll be fairly cool all week, but sunny.

Made a fun Jibjab video today, but it won't work on here. I put it on my Facebook.

Ate at KFC tonight and had a 3 chicken strips with 2 sides & a biscuit meal, and Gary had the Tuesday special (in Clio) of a KFC bowl with a pop.  I always print up their online coupons before we go, and I used one on my meal.

Then we stopped at Amanda's. Later she found Emily's first tooth, and she's not even 4 months!  Gracie said to me, "Sing that song that Grandpa Briggs used to sing to Madilyn!" She meant "She's Too Fat For Me", because she'd seen one of my videos.

Typed up a list of Gary's meds, as he has an appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow and also Dr. Karr.  In the afternoon, I go to the eye doctor.  Then we will have to decide which one of Gary's birthday coupons to use for dinner while we are out that way.  It could be Logan's, Red Robin, or Moe's (never been there).  Seems like there's another one, too.  Oh, I remember, it's Ruby Tuesday.  Too many calories there, though, if you get an entree and the salad bar.  It should be one or the other, because their salad bar is my favorite anywhere!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Night, "E Night", June 24, 2010

It's been awhile, hasn't it?  I'll cut right to the chase.  It's "E Night" for us, and we opted for El Charrito's in Davison.  For the uninformed, the Richfield Road location is not actually El Charrito's anymore, but that's a long story. 

We hadn't been to El Charrito's in a long time, because we always go to Senor Lucky's for Mexican.   It is no longer the tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant that it was.  They expanded last August into an adjoining area which fronts on Mill Street.  Now you can enter from the south, east or west.  The new dining room is tastefully decorated and roomy.  The food and the music are authentic Mexican.

We started with the homemade chips and salsa, probably the full order, which was $2.25.  Gary decided on the large fajita salad ($8.99), instead of his usual tapopo salad.  I had the deluxe wet burrito (single order, which means it is without beans and rice) for $4.25.  Sorry to say it is not nearly as big as it looks in the picture!  We also ordered a side of "meat", cubes of beef in a gravy-like sauce.  Our bill was about $22, plus tip, making it a refreshing change from our last three weeks of pricy meals.  Everything was tasty and authentic, according to my Mexican friends.  I'm sure we will go back sometime.

Now here's the rest of the story:  We couldn't help but compare it to Senor Lucky's down State Road and also in Davison.  The chips and salsa were similar, but they are free at Senor Lucky's.  The Senor salsa tastes "fresher", the vegetable and herb flavors are noticeable.  Still, they are good at both places.  My wet burrito at Senor's is twice the size, but half the price.  I'm betting the El Charrito one is more "authentic" in taste, but I think I prefer Senor's, which has shredded beef, instead of cubed.  The "deluxe" part of the name at El Charrito's comes from that miniscule pile of lettuce, tomatoes and onions, and also the cheese.  The overall price at both places is reasonable. 

As far as the setting goes, the front door at El Charrito's SLAMS everytime someone goes in or out, shattering the mood.  I do love the late sixties/seventies music at Senor Lucky's, and it is so our taste that it is one of the main reasons we go there. 

I do like both restaurants, but we will continue to go to Senor Lucky's often for the food, music, and friendly waitresses; and we'll go to El Charrito's occasionally, mostly when Gary has a hankering for a tapopo salad.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kind of a hectic day.  Had to finish my spaghetti salad this morning, take Amanda our minivan to borrow for the day, and went to a free clothing sale at a little church in Mt. Morris.  Very nice!  I picked up about three things for Emily, and now know that will be a good place to take stuff, since that church wants to give back to the community.  Also got Madilyn some very cool pink decorated shoes at a rummage sale for $1.  They look new and are from the Children's Place.

Cameron's open house started at 2:00, and we spent four hours there.  Lots of good food and fun.  So nice to see a lot of people that I haven't seen in ages!  The weather was warm and breezy, so it wasn't too hot.  Lynn's family has spent a lot of time remodeling their old farmhouse, and it looks great!  I love the porches, one enclosed and one not.

At 6:00, we went up the road to our church Fathers' Day party.  The Rodman kids were exhausted, but didn't know it!  We didn't stay long, and were glad to get home to cold Diet Cokes. 

I asked Gary what he wanted to do for Fathers' Day, wondering what restaurant he would choose for after church.  He said he wants to take the backroads to the deli Christen runs in Davisburg and get something to eat there!  That'll be nice!  It's such a pleasant drive.

Well, retiring to our cold bedroom air conditioning sounds good right now, but first I need to get the sheets out of the drier and onto the bed.  I have favorite yellow sheets that are such nice fabric that I hope they last forever. I try to always use those same ones! They are Pinzon, and I should search online for more, because I can't seem to find them in stores even though I've heard of them often.

Goodnight all!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday Night, "D Night", June 17, 2010

Eating Through The Alphabet again, and "D Week" was a success!  We dined at Da Edoardo on Holly Road in Grand Blanc for the first time.  We used a restaurants.com coupon, which entitled us to $25 off a $35 meal.



Our friendly waitress, Carrie, seated us by the window after giving us the choice of a table for two or four.  She was well-informed on the use of the coupon.  I ordered the Petto di Pollo al Vino Bianco con Limone, which is a boneless chicken breast sauteed with white wine and served with fresh mushrooms in a lemon butter sauce, for $16.95.  My husband ordered the Bistecca Alla Griglia, a 14 oz. chargrilled New York strip steak, for $24.95.

I started with the house salad of mixed greens with homemade bleu cheese dressing.  My husband had the popular Minestrone di Verdure, which is a creamy and savory soup.  The bread was fresh from the oven and crusty, but soft inside.

Our meals were promptly served.  My chicken and the accompanying sauce were perfect, not too lemony.  My husband's steak came as requested, very rare.  Each of our meals was presented with broccoli and large potato cubes which, like the bread, were crusty but tender in the middle.



Our only complaint was that the cloth table covering was oddly topped with a square of white paper.  However, our food was everything we expected, and we plan to go back again for lunch.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Felt like up north today!  Very windy with a high of 70, but felt somewhat chilly because of the wind.  I did a little work outside and watered the backyard flowers.

Dinner was at KFC in Clio.  I had a $5 chicken strips meal which came with three strips, one side (coleslaw), a biscuit, and a pop.  Goes to show I need to know when we are going there so I can print coupons from their site.  They do have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday specials.  I think they are only available at the Clio KFC.  The only one I care for is the Tuesday special, a "bowl" and a pop.

After going to my mom's, Gary wanted to go to Menard's to get Frontline for the cats' fleas. They were out. WalMart and KMart don't sell that brand.  Great!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday, June 14

Nice day, often looked like rain, but it never happened.  Cool breeze blowing in the living room window now.

What did I do today?  Nothing much I guess.  At 3:00 we went to dinner at Senor Lucky's in Davison.  Everyone thinks I'm talking about the regular Lucky's.  They don't realize there is a Mexican one with the same owners.  We had our usual favorites: ala carte wet shredded beef burrito for me and the pecan-encrusted chicken salad with raspberry vinaigrette for Gary.  The cook accidentally made mine with shredded chicken, but I didn't realize it right away.  So next time I might get that instead, since it would be a healthier option.  Dined to the music of Jim Morrison, Bob Seger and Bob Dylan.  Glad they've got the old music format back!

Also babysat for Madilyn, Gracie and Clark while Amanda and Doug went to meet new friends at McDonald's in Clio.  Clark fell asleep right away, and the other two were pretty quiet for the most part.

Tomorrow, funeral dinner at church that I'll have to help at.  Another funeral dinner later in the week!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What a nice Sunday! First to church and we were the last to leave after fellowship, because we were fellowshipping! (Good snacks, too!)

Then we went to Menard's so I could pick up a couple things, including Miracle Gro and Command hooks, so I can stick one on my computer desk to hang USB cords out of the way.  Then to Rally's drive-thru.  I had a Rallyburger and Gary got a couple things from the 2/$3 menu, a fish sandwich and a double cheeseburger.  Also found Revlon Colorstay lipstick 75% off at VG's, making it just over $2!  Now that's a deal!

Then we went home and I did laundry, and Gary planted dahlias.  I fertilized and watered the flowers.

I babysat for Madilyn, Grace and Clark while their mom and papa went to the choir practice for the August concert of pop/show tunes to benefit Hurley's NeoNatal Unit.

I didn't have to go to my mom's, as my sister was coming down.  Altogether a very nice day.  The humidity was down and the temps were in the seventies.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12, 2010

Enjoyed a humid day with temps in the eighties.  Amanda's blood pressure zoomed up this morning, so after Doug went to work, we took her and the kids to McDonald's to eat and play and, I think, make her day a little easier.

Then we went to Penney's to spend Gary's birthday certificate there.  He was able to use that and another coupon together, which would have made it possible to get $25 off a $25 purchase.  Actually, he bought more than that (khakis and a shirt), and he spent under $20 cash.

We went to Walker's Greenhouse and bought a flat of petunias to go in the four pots he put out by the turn-around.   I quickly planted them and he did the watering, so we could head for the Swiss Steak Dinner at the Genesee Church.

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11, 2010

Pretty quiet day today.  Spent a lot of time on the computer working with my photos, blogging, and trying to upload my Flint Journal restaurant review of Cranberries Cafe to no avail. 

At 6:00 we had a high school graduation open house to attend.  The featured entree was tacos with a large assortment of fixings.  Very good!

Planned to watch our Netflix dvd of Old Dogs (John Travolta and Robin Williams), but the dvd player wasn't cooperating.

June 9, 2010

Going home today, as I can't spend more than five days away from my 94 year old mom.  She has people spend every night and dinnertime with her, and I visit every night.  I can sometimes arrange people to take my place at least a couple of those five days.



It rained most of the trip home, and we were driving into tornado warnings, so we changed our route.  We ate dinner in Grayling at a mom and pop style restaurant.  Nothing great.


June 8, 2010

Today we decided to make the trip up Mt. Arvon again, Michigan's highest point.  We did this a couple years ago, but in the past there has been no view.  Some clear-cutting has gone on with the purpose of making a view.  We drove as far as we could towards the top, but the sign said we had to walk a half mile and it had gotten rainy, windy, and colder, so we decided not to.  We later found out it is actually only a quarter mile.  We had to cross the Hundred Dollar Bridge going both ways.  Important to keep to the center!


Then we went on to Irene's Pizza in Baraga.  Gary thinks it's the best pizza in the state.  I'd say it's one of the top two anyways!  You usually get your own silverware and plates.  The "waitress" is often a guy in shorts and hiking boots.  The pizza we order is a thin, crispy crust with pepperoni and green peppers, and a lot of cheese on top of that.  It IS delicious!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 7, 2010

Today was our Keweenaw Day, and it couldn't have been more perfect!  The temperature probably hovered around 70 degrees all afternoon, but it was warm and sunny.

Around noon, we headed for our ultimate destination of Copper Harbor.  At Jacob's Falls, we stopped at the Jampot for their irresistible goodies.  Purchases included my favorite hermit cookies, sugar cookies, and, for Gary, a peanut butter and jelly brownie and a jalapeno caramel. The cookies had to be divided up to give Amanda's family an assortment.

The Jampot is run by a group of monks, whose monastery is across the road.  See their webpage for more interesting information.  http://www.societystjohn.com/store/
There is a waterfall next to it on Jacob's Creek.  No picture this time.

From the Jampot, we headed north, stopping by Lake Bailey for a quick picture or two.


After that, we headed up Brockway Mountain.  The Keweenaw Raptor Survey is winding up there, and can be monitored online.  http://keweenawraptorsurvey.org/  I've enjoyed reading of the numbers of hawks, eagles, peregrines, etc. migrating through the Brockways.  They love soaring on those wind currents.  Many groups are protecting the natural resources of the Brockways and surrounding Keweenaw areas.  I am surprised that there are many species of orchids there!

After driving to the top, we enjoyed walking around, enjoying the view, and shooting the breeze in the tiny gift shop.  I don't think I'd like to man the raptor survey booth in a high wind!
The last photo is from the Copper Harbor overlook, most of the way down the mountain.  Next up is our ultimate destination, the Harbor Haus, for dinner.  We ordered our usual favorites: planked whitefish for Gary and beef rouladen for me.
After that we headed home, passing by the monastery at Jacob's Falls and enjoying their beautiful gardens. They also grow many of their own fruits, which are enjoyed by the neighboring bears.


Then on to a quiet evening at the cottage.  No TV there, thanks to the new digital boxes or lack thereof.  Sometimes we have the radio on, 97.7, the Wolf, which features music from the sixties and seventies.  But most of the time we just enjoy the music of the waves and the birds. Even the hummingbirds take a break sometimes!

June 10, 2010

For the third time, we are “Eating Our Way Through The Alphabet”. This is “C Week”, and our destination was Cranberries Café in Goodrich. We’d been wanting to eat there for some time, and this was our excuse.


We arrived at 4:30, and were promptly seated by our hostess in the small area inside the main door. I didn’t realize until later that the restaurant was actually at least twice that size. All other diners were ushered into an adjoining (and nicer) room. On each table was a fake tiger lily in a wine bottle, not even worthy of being called a silk flower. We were using a restaurant.com certificate I had purchased that day ($8.80 for $85 worth of food from two different restaurants). The waitress was well-informed about the use of the certificate and able to explain it’s usage to me.

We discovered we had to order at least $50 worth of food, so we began with an appetizer of deep-fried pickles with ranch dipping sauce. They were quickly prepared, hot, and tasty. I had a regular side salad, which was entirely iceberg lettuce with red onions, two grape tomatoes and two cucumber slices. My bleu cheese dressing came in a plastic lidded container marked with a B. The salad was very wet, leaving a puddle of water when I was done. My husband’s house salad was mixed greens with walnuts, red onions and raspberry vinaigrette (a little too vinegary). Pecans would’ve provided a better compliment. Savory, warm, seasoned bread was served in a basket lined with a paper napkin, which stuck to the bread and had to be carefully peeled away so as not to leave any bits of paper behind. Both of our entrees were perfect, but lacking in presentation. I had the twin tenderloins, well done, topped with a portabella mushroom and bleu cheese topping. My husband also had twin tenderloins, rare, with a cranberry and peppercorn sauce.





This brought our bill to $49.71, so we ordered a delicious chocolate layer cake for two. Actually, it could have been for four, as we brought half of it home. It was served with a dollop of whipped cream on the side, but, again, there was no presentation befitting such an expensive meal.



Our service was prompt and good, but I wouldn’t return as the meal was not worth the price we would have paid without the certificate. Each entrée was $19.95, and for that price I expect more than fake flowers, plastic tubs of salad dressing, and unadorned plates.

June 6, 2010

Ahhhh, vacation!  We had to heat water to bathe this morning.  Just like the old days when we bought this cottage, and our first time there we discovered the pipes had burst.  Gary had to replumb everything, and we had to use the outhouse and haul water from the lake!

After Gary did the necessary repairs this time, we still had no hot water and needed to replace a fuse.  So that necessitated a trip to L'anse (about a half hour), but their fuses were way too expensive, so we went on into Houghton, which was fine.  We probably would've went there anyway.  We went to WalMart (why is that so much fun up north?) and ate at Applebees.  We did the 2/$20 and had the spinach artichoke dip with chips for an appetizer.  I had my usual Fiesta Lime Chicken and Gary had a perfectly done steak. 

We took Pike Lake Road for a leisurely trip back.  Such a pretty drive, especially in the fall.

Gary replaced the fuses, and fortunately that completed the repairs, and now we have hot water!

June 5, 2010

Took the long trip (9-1/2 hours) to our cottage in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula today! Our cottage is in Aura on the Abbaye Peninsula, north of L'anse.  We look west across Keweenaw Bay (Lake Superior) to the Keweenaw Peninsula.

We stopped at the visitor center in Seney for a bathroom stop.  We always enjoy our time taking in the sights there!  We watched an osprey on her next and took pictures of that and the flowers.




We ate at Marquette's Big Boy, a favorite stop.  Usually Gary gets the Brawny Lad (a hamburger) with the salad bar and takes the hamburger to go for later.  I had a Slim Jim with a side salad.  They have the best bleu cheese dressing!  Since they have wireless internet there, we stayed a little longer, and that meant Gary ordered a piece of strawberry pie for us to split.  Everything was yummy!

The air was becoming chilly, but I hear it is that way in the lower peninsula, too. 

Stopped in L'anse to pick up milk and a newspaper, and then on up the peninsula.  As expected, the grass was high.   Gary doesn't complain too much about mowing it, because what a view!  Also no hot water, so he worked on that. He has to replace a fuse tomorrow (which we have to purchase) before we have hot water.  Grrrrrr!

Got the hummingbird and bird feeders out, and the birds will be here any minute.

A nice night for my flannel moose sheets and comforter!

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 4, 2010

Last day of school! Going to the UP tomorrow, so Keweenaw posts and pics are coming!

Ate at Twin's tonight and had the good pizza: pepperoni, bacon and green peppers!  There's a picture of one in my May 21 blog, minus the bacon. I can't seem to find it to republish.

I'd better go pack!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 3, 2010

Only a half day of school left.  Almost there!

After school, Gary and I went to lunch at Classic Coney Island (formerly Tom's) in Genesee. We both had tasty meals!  Mine was a special: turkey and Swiss on a croissant with a side of coleslaw.  He had the gyro platter.  You assemble your own gyro, and it comes with a Baby Greek Salad.

Relaxing afternoon.  I did have to run to Family Dollar for graduation cards and to Rite-Aid for my mom's Prilosec.  Got a great deal on that by buying the storebrand.  I had an in-ad coupon for $6 off the 28 tablet box which was on sale, but they upgraded to the 42 tablet box for the same price! 

Tonight we went to Pastor Bruce and Candy's farewell dinner at Thetford.  We had a full house and an abundance of food.  Gracie kept covering her ears because it was so noisy!  I had to leave early to get to my mom's.

Temperatures are in the seventies today.  We might have a little rain tonight.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010

Two more days of school left, and they're half days!  I think we'll make it!  Tonight is graduation, so Gary has to spend a couple hours handing out diplomas.  I don't think the gym will be too steamy.

Tonight we decided to go back to Senor Lucky's after a bad experience there (see May 10). I had written them a letter about it (and got no response).  When we walked in, two favorite waitresses accosted me, and said, "You wrote that letter, didn't you?"  They were very supportive of it.  Because of my letter, the music has been changed back to that from the seventies (tonight we heard the Byrds and the Who, among others).  The meal starts with free homemade chips and salsa.  I had my favorite ala carte shredded beef wet burrito ($2.99), and Gary had his favorite pecan-encrusted chicken salad (with bleu cheese, red onions, dried cranberries, raspberry vinaigrette and more).  Everything was good this time, and in the future I'll have to make sure we don't have that bad waitress again.

June 1, 2010

June snuck up on me after a three-day holiday weekend. Should've paid bills during that time, but I'll have to tonight.

Had a yummy dinner across the road, at Smitty's.  My chicken, bacon, ranch wrap was so good.  The chicken was warm and there was cheese involved!  Gary had a cold roast beef sandwich, and he proclaimed that really good, too.  It came with a side of potato salad.  I very seldom like potato salad at restaurants or from delis; same with this.  I expect it to taste like my mother's (or mine), and that's not happening.

Spent some time transferring old camcorder tapes to the computer tonight, and then putting them on youtube.  They are of some of my daughter's musical performances.