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Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday Night, "J Night, July 29, 2010

We hadn’t been to Joe’s Garage in awhile, and, since it’s “J Week” as we eat our way through the alphabet, we made the trip to Cow Corners. Joe’s is in the building that used to house the Greenery, on M-57 between Clio and Montrose.

We stood at the doorway for a few minutes, wondering if we were supposed to seat ourselves. Finally we caught the eye of a waitress who said we could sit anywhere. We chose a booth on the back wall. The walls are decorated with automobile signs and memorabilia, and the silverware is wrapped in red shop rags. There are several TV sets, and  there are video games in the bar area. They now have Wednesday cruise nights featuring music with a dj and live music on weekends. Joe’s is favoring the sports pub theme more than it was a couple years ago. Their website is However, the menu doesn’t seem to be up-to-date, although it is basically the same.

We took our time browsing the menu and finally made our decisions. Our side salads took a very long time, and we were afraid they were going to be brought with our meals. While we waited, the sound system played “Ice, Ice Baby” and other songs from that era. When our pleasant waitress brought the salads, she said the bread was still in the oven. Although the salads were iceberg lettuce, they were topped with bleu cheese crumbles and dried cranberries, as well as tomatoes and red onion. Very nice! The bread came as we were finishing our salads, but we were surprised with a choice of flavored butters.

Our entrees were a pleasing riot of colors. My lime chicken ($13.99 with two chicken breasts) was just OK. There was no noticeable lime flavor, and a wedge of lime on the side would have helped. The chicken was char-grilled and the edges were overly charred. I ordered homemade chips with mine, and they were good dipped in my leftover bleu cheese dressing. Both of our meals came with fresh mixed vegetables, tender crisp and flavorful. My husband’s apricot chipotle shrimp was a special ($12.99) and quite tasty. He ordered onion rings with it, and it came with pico di gallo.

I think next time I would order the cinnamon pork loin, which we’ve had in the past. The food is mostly good, with the exception of the above-noted flaws coming from the kitchen. Possibly they were just slow because of the special touches they were adding. Joe’s Garage is the kind of place to enjoy with a group of friends. The owners are definitely working hard to make it a fun place for all ages.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Very hot and humid today.  Only this bad for one day, though.  Tonight it is supposed to cool down appreciably and I do appreciate!

I babysat for the Rodman three today while their parents took Emmy to the urologist.  Clark screamed for the first hour!  Then Papa picked up the older two girls and took them back to our house to resume selling corn to make money for school clothes and books.  After the parents returned, everyone went to our house for awhile. 

I chose Twin's for dinner, because we could enjoy their air conditioning and split a huge chef's salad.  It WAS comfortable, and the salad was great.  It comes with breadsticks, and we choose meat sauce to go along, although I dip mine in bleu cheese dressing.  I need to ALWAYS take my camera!

Almost forgot to mention that three of the five photos chosen for pastycam's pictures-of-the-day were mine today, taken at Seney a couple weeks ago! I wish she had noticed I had flower pics from there, too, because those are better than the ones chosen! Still always a thrill though.

Seney is the BEST bathroom stop in the Upper Peninsula.  I'm not crazy about the seven-mile drive, and we only did that once many years ago. Not much to see on it.  But we LOVE the visitors' center for the displays and walking the perimeter of the building, where you can see nesting ospreys, swans, birds, chipmunks running over your feet as they chase each other, piles of turtles, and bathrooms with interesting things to read on the doors!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Night, "I Night", July 22, 2010

Today was a double restaurant day for me. Now I'm sounding like Gary. Last week he had the trifecta: breakfast, a luncheon BUFFET, and then dinner with me!

For lunch, I picked up my high school best friend, Pam, and we went to Classic Coney Island in Genesee. I hadn't seen her since 1981, and we hadn't been in contact until we both got on Facebook last year.  We enjoyed our conversation and the meal there.  Classic Coney Island has an extensive menu, and everything is good.  I'm going to have to submit a review to the Journal soon. Pam had the small crispy chicken salad which came as a special with a cup of soup and flatbread.  The price was less than it would have been to have just the salad and flatbread.  It was huge and loaded with chicken and veggies.  I'm going to have to get that next time.  I just got a turkey and Swiss sandwich, since I knew I'd be eating out later.

Dinner for "I Week" was at Italia Gardens. The only other choices in Flint were Ivanhoe (are they still open?) and a restaurant on Welch Blvd. called It's All Good Soul Food.  I'm not a fan of Italia Gardens, simply because I don't eat pasta or ribs, and those are about the only choices. Gary had seafood alfredo, and said it was good.  I had chicken piccata.  You get 4 small flattened pieces of chicken on a huge platter.  Way out of proportion! The lemony chicken with capers would have been good if it wasn't less than warm.  On another plate was red skins and veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, squash).  The vegetables were cold and I didn't want to send it all back to be warmed up, planning just to take the vegetables home anyway. I did mention it, though. Plus, I'd just as soon the waitress carries my food around as little as possible.  Does anyone else have a problem with the waitresses thumb being in the dish after she's cleared someone else's table, coughed, and handled money? I'm referring to waitresses in general, not this one in particular. And then when they want to put my leftovers into the box for me, I'm quick to say, "I'll do it myself!" I want to choose what goes into that box and handle it myself!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

S'mores party on our Keweenaw Bay shore tonight!

Earlier today, I took these pictures:

Sandhill cranes.

He was absolutely beautiful and very vocal.

These horses cracked me up! They kept going in circles, so a different one could pose at the front!

July 17, 2010

What can I say about the Aura Jamboree? It's the oldest music festival in the U.P.  This year is the 34th annual "fiddlers' jamboree".  It goes all day long, with acts on stage changing every 15 minutes.  On the shady grounds, you can find musicians jamming with others or performing with their own groups.  All kinds of foods are offered, including our famous open kettle bean soup and, this year, cotton candy.  At about 9:00, the "Old-Time Dance" begins.

Friday, July 16, 2010

After Gary spent the day preparing for the Jamboree, we made the jaunt into Houghton to have a tostada pizza at The Ambassador.

The Jamboree begins at 5:00 and goes until midnight tomorrow!

Thursday, July 15, 2010 (Our 38th Anniversary!)

As planned, we made the long, but enjoyable, trip to Copper Harbor to eat at the Harbor Haus for our 38th wedding anniversary.  I had my usual beef rouladen, and Gary tried the ribs this time, instead of planked whitefish.  The ribs were good, but didn't rate a 10.

Afterwards we drove back to the new Hunters' Point Park. Maybe next time we'll take the walk out to the point.
We drove on to the Devil's Washtub.
Across the road from the Washtub, is the new Dapple Grey Bed and Breakfast and antique shop. I was excited that they now have the shop, so I could peak inside the beautiful and huge log home! I should've taken  a picture of it. These flowers are from their gardens. 
We got back to L'anse about 7:30, in time for the Thursday night concert in the park.  This week it's the Jamboree warm-up, so there's a big crowd.  The weather was perfect, and it was an enjoyable evening

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Going to the Upper Peninsula today! We had to take a back way through Reese, where we had to go to the elevator to get the 50 lbs. of navy beans for our open kettle soup at the Jamboree.  Gary took this picture of a farm along the way.

We stopped at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge on the way up and I took a few flower pictures:

We had our main meal at the Big Boy in Marquette, as always.  I got the Slim Jim with the soup and salad bar, and Gary got a Swiss Miss with the bar.  Good stuff. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday, Church Day.  Tiffany preached today, and her whole family was there.  After church, we went to Bob Evans in Birch Run.  They no longer have the stacked and stuffed hotcakes with sliced bananas, vanilla cream, pecans, caramel and all that tasty artery-clogging stuff.  I ordered the stacked, stuffed hotcakes with strawberries, bananas and vanilla cream.  Tasted pretty much the same.  Gary had his usual farmer's omelette and banana bread.

After a Sunday drive, we met the Rodman family, minus Madilyn, at Bluebell Beach.  Everyone played in the water while I held Emily.  It was hot, but breezy enough to cool us down comfortably.  Gracie surprised everyone by quickly scaling the climbing wall tower.  The only way down is a fireman's pole, and she was having no part of that!  So 6'9" Doug climbed up those little kid-size fake rock steps into the "cage" area at the top, where no adult is meant to fit, let alone one of his size!  He lifted Gracie over the side to Gary.  Then they all went back to the picnic area while I sat near the playground on a bench holding a sleeping Emily.  Well, I blinked, and the next thing I knew, Gracie was on top of that same tower again, following a similarly-sized little girl!  After spending much time trying to coerce her to come down the pole, Doug finally climbed halfway up this time and she let him carry her down. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We made the road trip to Reese today to buy the navy beans we need for the bean soup at the Aura Jamboree next weekend.  The bean soup is made in a 50 gallon open kettle.  Well, anyway, the elevator there was closed for the weekend; so we'll have to go again Monday.  Gary stopped at the Methodist Church there, which had a table of baked goods out for the adjoining Farmers' Market.  He bought a plate of goodies, most of which we dropped off at the Rodman house.

Then we headed for Frankenmuth, as I had an agenda.  I wanted to take Gary to River Place there and stop at The Crepery.  The crepes weren't at all what I expected.  I was thinking of a fruit-filled crepe on a plate, dusted with powdered sugar, that I could eat in a ladylike way.  Ha!  Nothing ladylike about it!  There were several choices of sweet or savory crepes.  Gary chose the Bananas Foster and I ordered strawberries and chocolate.  The crepes are made and assembled before your eyes.  Mine was very hot, topped with sliced strawberries and drizzled with Nutella.  Then it was folded in half, and cut into 4 wedges, but not cut all the way through.  Then it was folded on the cut lines and put in a paper cone.  Big mistake!  It was so hot it all turned to mush and was a mess to eat.  The chocolate was leaking from the cone, through the cafe table (which was like a grate), all over my khakis.  Tide-To-Go sticks were a wonderful invention.  I couldn't lay it down to go ask for a plate and fork, so I waited for Gary to finish and go get me one.  That helped the situation, but it was still a pile of mush.  Imagine toilet paper dipped in a bowl of water, and that was my crepe.  The owners are going for a cool-looking presentation, but failing miserably.  A plate would be much better.  Gary's wasn't as messy as mine, as it was topped with sliced bananas, brown sugar, and nuts.  I'm not doing so well with my food choices (of which there aren't many) at River Place!  Remember my yucky chocolate-dipped bacon suckers last week?

I bought 3 butterfly nets and a blue bracelet for myself at the Dollar Store there!  Then we headed north through town to locate the kite store.  That was my excuse to head into McDonald's for a much-needed Diet Coke.  My McDonald's Diet Cokes are always much needed.

Then  we bypassed the kite shop, as there was no parking lot.  Gary wanted to go into Willi's meat market for a bratwurst.  We got them topped with sauerkraut and mustard sauce.  Next time I'll leave off the sauce, as it was too sweet for my taste, and ruined the wonderful sauerkraut flavor.  Does it seem like we ate all afternoon?  I guess we did, but actually it wasn't much. 

I stopped at the Rodman's and hung out while Gary mowed the lawn at the church.  Then home for a bit before it was time to go to my mother's for Lawrence Welk. 

Almost forgot to mention the t-shirt Gary was contemplating.  I couldn't see him wearing it though, since it was a loud, obnoxious tie-dye.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

I went to Target today and bought Madilyn 2 skorts, shorts and a top and Carter some plaid shorts for his b'day, all for $18.

We had taco pizza again at Twin's.  It is so-o-o-o good!  I wished I had taken my camera in, as it looks as good as it tastes!  Next time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Night, "G Night", July 8, 2010

We had a hard time choosing a suitable G restaurant.  There were the run-of-the-mill: Grandma's or Gillie's, lots of Chinese buffets (Grand this or Golden that), or restaurants deep in the hood.  We settled for Gracie's in New Lothrop, although I've never been crazy about it, not being a steak lover.  I was coming into the experience with an open mind, though.  Really.

The entryway had their usual funhouse mirrors and missing tiles on the floor.  Hasn't anyone told them that your first impression is at the door? Nothing has changed there in the last 40 years.  Same garish lighting they've always had.  Same salad bar that impressed everyone in the seventies, right down to the pea and peanut salad.

Not being a fan of steaks, I had a hard time ordering.  I probably should've went with the pork chops.  I was reading the menu from right to left, and not finding anything that thrilled me.  I settled for chicken strips (!) for $13.99, which come with a potato and the salad bar.  I couldn't help but think of the chicken planks we get at Twin's in Clio.  There we receive a huge plateful that we share for $7.99 and bring home half of!  Gary ordered a steak, very rare, at $17.99. 

The salad bar was pretty good, and I enjoyed the garlic toast and cheese spread.  The salad greens were very nice, too, with a bowl of mixed greens and another bowl of spinach, frise, etc.  There were a suitable number of toppings and other salads.

My chicken strips were skinny (read: not much chicken per strip), greasy and odd looking:

Gary was very satisfied with the quality of his steak and that it was prepared as requested. However, our baked potatoes could've been baked longer.

The dessert bar had a fair selection of cakes, brownies, pastries and cookies.  My brownie had been sitting out for too long, though.

H Week will work out perfectly for us, as we'll be in Copper Harbor at our favorite restaurant ever: The Harbor Haus!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hadn't planned to go out to lunch today, so I had already eaten when Gary came home and wanted to go to Sweet Charley's in Clio.  He'd been there for breakfast with Fred and enjoyed it.  Today temps were in the upper 90's and we walked in through an open door, and I knew that spelled trouble! No air conditioning, but there was a fan, and it could've been worse.  I didn't eat, just had a Diet Coke and a bite of Gary's turkey club, which he loved!  This is in the main block of Clio and is only open until 3:00 p.m.  Turkey is roasted every morning for the sandwiches, and there are fresh baked goods.

A few hourse later it was time for church potluck!  I made the hamburger/Tater Tot casserole and a salad of broccoli slaw with raisins, slivered almonds and sesame ginger dressing.  Faye brought macaroni salad and a rhubarb cake.  Amanda brought chicken and potatoes, and Sandy contributed pizza. 

This hot and steamy weather is supposed to begin to leave us after storms tomorrow.  Hope so!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

I had a 9:00 hair appointment this morning, and that's the way to go! No makeup to make raccoon eyes when my hair gets washed, didn't wet my hair down when I took my shower, so no blow-drying!  I was ready in no time flat!

I drove through the Davison Road Arby's to get the free Junior Deluxe after purchasing a pop.  It was bigger than I expected and very good.

Then I went on to Big Lots, because they had advertised videos for Sunday and Monday specials, 3 in a package for $3.  The ad showed a Lassie one, and I thought the kids would like that, and it'd be a nice change from  cartoons.  I expected to find videos from old Lassie TV shows, 3 packaged together.  Actually, it was the Lassie movie packaged with three other random movies, not necessarily for kids, but I bought one anyways.  The kids watched it this afternoon with me, while their mother and Emily went grocery shopping.  The movie wasn't that great.  I'm going to have to check online and see if I can find what I was looking for. I think they'd enjoy the TV shows much more.

Then Gary (who had been to a Chinese buffet with Tim for lunch) wanted to go to Arby's for dinner.  So we went to the Clio one and got the freebies again!  I didn't mind.

Then I went to my mother's and came home and watered the backyard flowers, started laundry, and vacuumed.  Now I'm relaxing and sitting in front of the fan on a 95 degree day.  It will be hot all week.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yesterday we went to Battle Creek to meet up with family. When we got there they were at the Air Show, so we found them there.  We got to see the F22, which can go up to 1900 mph and then stop in mid-air, hover for a period of time, and reverse!  Pretty cool.  Madilyn enjoyed climbing into the cockpit of an old plane.  Some people paid $400 apiece for a ride in it!  There were helicopters doing stunts and harrier jets.

After going back to Margaret's for a little while, we moved on to Mary's where a Mary-party was in full swing.  We enjoyed some good food, but didn't stay long before heading home.

This morning Gary did a super job preaching at Thetford and Genesee churches.  Maybe his best sermon ever!  No pianists were available at either church, and we all sounded pretty good!  After he was done at Genesee, we went out to eat at Classic Coney Island with a few Genesee folks.  I had the Greek hash, which is so-o-o good.  Loaded with feta and delicious.  I always bring home half of that for the next day, and my leftover toast and egg is for Gary.  He had the Grecian omelet, which contained gyro meat. 

Then we headed on to the Vassar cemetery, because I wanted to take a picture of my dad's grave, thinking the flowers would be in full bloom.  No such luck, so I didn't take the picture. All the flowers needed deadheading.  Then we went to the Birch Run outlets and got a diet root beer at the A & W.  I ran into Bon Worth to check on patriotic tops, but they didn't have anything good. 

Amanda's family stopped in on their way back from Battle Creek and had bratwurst and macaroni & cheese with us.  I couldn't visit long, because it was time to get to my mom's. Madilyn stayed with us to go to fireworks in Clio, and it's about that time now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010 (Gary's 64th B'day!)

I had a bone density test (routine) scheduled for 9:30 this morning, so that got me out the door for a busy day.

From there I went to Penney's to check out Izod shirts for Gary, but they didn't have what I was looking for.  After driving through Tim Horton's for a Diet Coke and a bagel with light cream cheese, I headed north to Frankenmuth.  I was looking for Sugar High, the latest trendy bakery.  I was sure I'd seen it before on Main Street, so I drove all the way to the end of town and back twice to no avail.  Finally, I parked behind the Visitors' Bureau, and the young man there told me it was in River Place and gave me a map to help me locate it.  I had never been in River Place before and was pleasantly surprised!  Judging from the exterior, I wasn't expecting much.  If you haven't been there, you need to pick a beautiful day like today and check it out.   I was seeking chocolate-covered bacon for Gary's birthday, and I knew it was a popular item at Sugar High.  The owner gave me a sample of her gelato.  About 12 flavors are sold there.  The bacon was wrapped around a stick and then dipped in chocolate, with a drizzle of white chocolate.   I bought three at $2.00 each.

Then I went to the Outlets in Birch Run, returned an outfit at Bon Worth and bought a scarf there.  I also went in Easy Spirit, but the basic black sandals I needed to replace mine were not on sale yet, and I wasn't in the mood to pay $54 at this time in the season.  I bought Emily what I will call her flower power dress at Children's Place.  The bright flowers remind me of the sixties!

I was surprised to find an Izod outlet there, but, once again, it was all polos. They do not do online sales!  So on to WalMart and  I found a blue rayon Hawaiian shirt for Gary.

Gary wasn't home when I got there, so I had my chocolate/bacon treat.  I did not like it!  The bacon was not crispy, like I expected.  If I made it, the bacon would be super-crispy, not wrapped around a stick, and then I would dip it in chocolate.  I might just try that!

Gary went for his walk with Fred at 8 a.m. and then tried out the new little restaurant in Clio, Sweet Charley's.  He said his stuffed French Toast was very good, and we'll have to go there sometime.  The owner/cook/waiter makes turkey breast every morning for the lunchtime sandwiches.   After breakfast out, Gary went with Tim to look at houses, and then they picked up Keith and, you guessed it, went out to lunch, Fortune BUFFET.  He got home about 3:30, in time for our Friday night tradition of going to Twin's in Clio.  If it wasn't his birthday, I would've suggested not going, but I knew the waitresses would be expecting him.  We ordered a taco pizza, which we've never had there, and it was delicious!  I wished I'd had my camera!  Then the girls made us a dessert for a birthday treat.  It was two pieces of plain cheesecake on a plate, topped with cherry sauce, maraschino cherries, Oreos, and whipped cream.  It looked very cool!

Then we stopped and fed and watered the Rodman pooch, as they are in Battle Creek.  Then I went on to my mom's.  I tried to water my front yard flowers, but the hose has officially kicked the bucket, so Gary ran to Home Depot to buy another.  Hope it's long enough to reach everything!

Tomorrow we are hoping to make the trip to Battle Creek to see all the fam for July 3rd.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday Night, "F Night", July 1, 2010

For "F Night" we visited the French Laundry in Fenton.  We'd been wanting to go there for quite some time, and this was our excuse.  The French Laundry is trendy and upscale, but casual.

We made it in time to use the extensive lunch menu and save a few bucks.  I ordered a side salad of mixed greens. It was HUGE and contained all kinds of veggies. However, I was only given a small container of bleu cheese dressing. I normally don't use much, but this was about half of what I needed.  My entree was macaroni and cheese, made with Grafton Vermont Cheddar, for $6.95.  It was good, but needed garnishment.  It didn't even show up in the picture below left! 

Gary's turkey meatloaf dinner came with red skins.  The meatloaf was studded with vegetables, such as zucchini, and cheese, which wasn't noticeable. He didn't care for the meatloaf, as it was too salty and seemed to be more breadcrumbs than ground turkey.  His side salad was included in the $10.50 price.  Dinner prices after 4:00 are higher.

Our entire bill, before tip, was $28.40.  We enjoyed the comfortable decor.  Every formica table was different, with four unmatched chairs around it.  A fresh flower was on each table.  Many people at neighboring tables had ordered the huge sandwiches, but I'm not a fan of a huge sandwich that is difficult to eat.  We probably won't return, but enjoyed trying it out this time.