the umbrella

i took these two alexander kiddos to the park today. we played "narnia" (watchman insisted we talk with british accents. he's 4, people! this kid is hilarious!); we went down the slides; we monopolized the swing set. the highlight of the day? it was the red umbrella of course! it's so funny, the things that adults don't think about as being cool. and then a child looks at it and "it's a sword! no, it's a parachute!" genius. so we had fun charging the bushes with the red umbrella, followed by "jumping" out of a plane. (and then in my most reponsible manner, i emphasized the fact that we could only pretend jump, that to really jump we'd need an umbrella the size of a house and, of course, adult superivision. just call me bethany "debbie-downer" weaver.)


ben, the baker

with all my talk about food, i just had to show off the bread that ben baked today. delicious! it's traditional french loaf made with whole wheat flour. beautiful, huh? that ben is a man of many talents..


oh happy day!

i looked out my window today & saw some bluebirds happily munching away on something in the trees. and then it hit me: the figs! the figs are here! i feel a little like a cheshire cat right now, quite pleased with myself & basking in the glory of the fresh fig. and, well, how convenient! i was about to make lunch! it was destiny. so here we go, some mixed greens, some quartered figs, a little salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar & fresh basil. it doesn't get better than that. (well, unless the figs were wrapped in some thick bacon and popped into a hot pan for a few minutes. now that is also a thing of beauty. hmmm, maybe for dinner..)


the firepit

we dug this firepit, surrounded it with stones, then lit some wood on fire & scorched marshmallows. it was a thing of beauty.

ahoy, chattanooga. we'll see you tomorrow!


happy 4th, people!

ben took this little sailboat out today as it was the perfect mix of sun & breeze. there were quite a few other people zooming around on boats pulling water skis, inner tubes, pretty much whatever works to be pulled behind a boat that zips along at 4o mph. there was one kid in particular being pulled around who was whooping up a storm, obviously enjoying himself. i thought he was dying at first, he was so loud. i sat around and "sunbathed" (which consisted of coating myself thickly with spf 50 and sitting in the shade), enjoying our last couple of days up here. in a minute, we'll be building a little campfire on the edge of the lawn next to the water to listen to the sounds of early fireworks which have already started. you can see them just over the ridge where they're being fired into lake michigan. we'll head over to see the real show tomorrow.

i think i'm hearing the same kid from earlier making the same "delightful" sounds from earlier. reminds me of my brother. love you, brother!


michigan 2009

we are in michigan again for a week and a half. oh, blimey heaven! i've been reading this book, 'desert queen,' while we've been here. it's about gertrude bell, this woman who dashed around what was called "arabia" back in the early 1900's all alone. she had all the sheiks and warlords wrapped around her little fingers, and is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for the founding of modern iraq after world war 1. she was the first (and only at the time) female political officer in the british forces, and was friends & cohorts with t.e. lawrence, better known as "lawrence of arabia." interesting lady & wicked smart. anna thomas recommended the book to me, and i've been enjoying it immensely. speaking of anna, i just remembered her for some reason hounding lang back in florida (over the wedding weekend two weeks ago) to "meow" for her. (random hilarious memory of the moment which just made me chuckle out loud.)
back to vacation update, this is our 2nd dinner out on the deck. we did grilled tri-tip (thanks trader joes!) with a homemade dry-rub concocted out of pretty much everything we had on hand. coffee, cinnamon, orange peel, lemon zest, dried thyme, salt, pepper, sugar, and probably a few other things i'm forgetting. a fresh arugula & avocado salad with shaved raclette to go with it, and voila! delicious! we then topped it off with two bottles of wine. yeah, vacation!

from the deck: had to include the cheesy sunset picture over the water.
cheese with local strawberries & blueberries after a swim. bread we bought at a local farmers market straight from the baker, this sweet lady wearing a handkerchief in her hair & carrying a baby while her husband was playing the guitar next to her. oh, and benny looking cute.
i like this bowl. we found it at a local potter/ceramic artists studio named benjamin maier. if anyone wants to buy us the 9 1/2 inch version of this, please don't hesitate!
middle eastern / mediterranean dinner last night. lamb kebabs rolled in cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, salt & pepper, with grilled potatoes, red pepper & red onion. couscous salad with dried cherries, toasted almonds, lemon vinaigrette & fresh basil. yogurt sauce with honey, lemon, chili flake, and tons of chopped basil. and homemade whole wheat naan! it was my first time making it, and it turned out pretty well. the blades of grass looking things are actually garlic chives. yum!
it's been super relaxing being up here, like always. it'll be sad to say goodbye to the cabin for good next year. ben grew up coming here every summer, so he very much has a strong attachment & tons of amazing memories of this place. and this being my third time sharing it with him, it'll be sad for me as well. c'est la vie! we'll build new memories together! and probably dine our way through those as well..