Michigan cherries are legendary. Northern Michigan, Traverse City in particular, is the ideal location to grow cherries. From what I understand, it's the climate that allows these fruit trees to really flourish, and we are lucky enough to have one really fertile Montmorency (tart) cherry tree, on our property. We have two trees actually, but only one produces a lot of cherries.
This past weekend my brother's girlfriend, Kathryn, enlisted my five year old's help, and the two of them picked and pitted enough cherries to bake a wonderful homemade cherry pie. I'd show you a picture, but it was gone before it had the chance to take one.
So for the next few days, I'm going to watch these cherries carefully, and as soon as they're at their ripest, my son and I are going to do some major cherry picking for cherry pies, cherry cobbler, and maybe even some cherry jelly if I can figure out how to make it.
I swear I can see her growing everyday. This was Sarah when we first got her:
Here's our Sarah today. Keep in mind she's just 15 weeks old. Take a look at the size of her paws. She's gonna be a big girl.
She's still doing pretty well behaviorally but she still, as all puppies do, has her issues. Just yesterday, when my 5 year old came into the house, Sarah jumped at him and started biting his clothes in much the same way she bites at Sammy our Golden Retriever when she wants to play. We yell "no!" in an effort to keep drilling it into her head that that behavior like that is simply not allowed, but she's got that puppy brain still and she forgets. My husband even went so far as to spank her. We're taking her to weekly obedience classes on Thursday nights, so we think that will help quite a bit. She also gets the chance to meet customers on almost a daily basis, so she's getting quite a bit of socialization. On the whole, she's doing well.
To celebrate the 4th of July after a day of hard work, we hosted a cookout for our family and our employees. I went down to the Valley Food Center in Pinconning, the only place to buy fresh, quality meat at a great price. If you live in Northern Michigan and haven't tried Valley Food Center, you need to experience it. It is well worth the drive. This is the great deal I got:
1 slab of Select New York Strip loin cut (for free) into 18 individual 3/4 inch thick steaks for $48.50.
1/2 slab of Prime Rib cut (for free) into 6 individual 3/4 inch thick steaks for $23.50.
10 pounds of choice ground chuck for $19.10.
And the meat was fantastic. We used the Montreal Steak marinade from my McCormick Grill Mates kit. Dena, one of our employees whose grandfather used to own the livery, did all the grilling. Since she used to own her own restaurant, you can just imagine how tasty and perfectly cooked our NY Strips, prime rib, and burgers were. We had home made potato salad and taco salad. And to top it all off we had a fantastic home made cherry pie made with the cherries from very our cherry trees.
Once everyone's stomachs were full, the guys lit up cigars. Everyone had a great time talking, laughing, and just having a grand ol' time.
It's Fat Ticker Friday once again, and I'm pleased to say that I lost another pound! I still feel like I need to get on the stick because at this rate I'm not going to meet my 8 pound weight loss my July 25th, but I, again, will take a pound any day.
So here are my goals for the coming week: Keep eating well as I have been but add exercise, and I'm doing that in a bit of a nontraditional way. I normally work in the office of our canoe livery checking in customers, taking reservations, etc. Three days this week I am going to go out with the guys and help put people into the water. That means I will help load and unload canoes, rafts, tubes, and kayaks. That will be a nice workout that's both equivalent to weight lifting and aerobic exercise.
Today is the first time that I'm participating in Life Doesn't Suck as Much as I Thought Thursday hosted by Mrs. Fussypants. There are so many things that I'm thankful for, but today I'm going to focus on my husband in honor of our 10th wedding anniversary tomorrow, July 4th.
Steve is a very hard worker and takes on a lot to support me and our kids. He travels to and from Toledo every week to maintain his law practice 2-3 days so we can continue our lives up here in Northern Michigan. On top of that, he opened up a law practice here, and he runs our canoe livery when he's home, which is 4-5 days a week. He's a very busy man and takes on a lot of stress just for us. I'm thankful for his dedication to our family.
I made a new dinner tonight that was inspired by this recipe at allrecipes.com. I say inspired because the original recipe was too much work for a quick meal, so I simplified it and used chicken instead of tuna steak.
1 16 package of angel hair pasta 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, mined 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed or soaked in oil 3/4 cup sliced marinated artichoke hearts 2 teaspoons Thyme leaves (honestly, I don't know how much I put on the chicken.I just sprinkled it until I liked the aroma.)
Boil water for pasta. Cut up the chicken. Add olive oil to skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add chicken and cook until almost done. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook for 8 - 10 minutes. Add thyme and stir until the chicken is coated. Add sun-dried tomatoes (Do not drain) and cook for several minutes. Add artichoke hearts (Do not drain). Stir until the chicken is cooked completely through and the tomatoes and artichokes are hot.
Once the pasta is done, drain it and coat with olive oil to keep pasta from sticking together. Toss pasta and chicken mix together and serve. It's really delicious. My husband also packed up what was left for his lunch tomorrow.
Today I went to my hair salon, The Cutting Castle, to get my hair highlighted, colored, and cut. Not only are the stylists wonderful - Marry does the best job on my daughter's funky hair - but the salon has a wonderful small town atmosphere. It reminds me of Truvy's Salon in Steel Magnolias, where all the local ladies congregate to gossip and socialize.
Not only did Kris do a great job on my hair - again - but I also got virtually my whole face waxed. In May, as you may remember, I got my eyebrows waxed for the first time and loved it, so this time I went for the entire kit 'n caboodle and had almost my entire face waxed. Yes, I have some - only some; I'm not gorilla woman - extra hairs on my face, and for the first time, I got them all waxed off. Kris did my eyebrows, my upper lip, and my chin. I know that sounds gross, but I have these dozen or so annoying little hairs that like to grow out of my chin and taunt me. No matter how often I tweeze them, the come back and I swear faster than they did before. And honestly, I don't remember having them until after I had kids. Really.
But now they are gone. Ha!
So this is what my face and hair looked like when I returned from the salon. Don't I look so pretty with my red face?
The first thing I noticed was that my eyes look puffy. First, I didn't sleep well last night. Second, I, unfortunately, have my dad's eyes. By that, I mean the upper portion of his eyes are starting to hang over his eye lids. He looks like he in dire need of having eyes done, and I have a feeling that in another 10 years or so I'll need to get my eyes done.
I think I need to do the spoon in the refrigerator thing.