Thursday, August 23, 2012


Tomorrow is my son's 15th birthday.  I think of sunflowers as "his" flower, because the place where I went for my midwife appointments during my pregnancy had a giant field of sunflowers next to it, and they were in full bloom the last few weeks before he was born.  I used to grow sunflowers in my yard, and had a glorious crop the summer he was born.  When we brought him home from the hospital, I showed him the sunflowers before I carried him into the house.  I also grew sunflowers the following summer when he turned one.  They bobbed around outside the dining room window, and he was very entertained by them as he learned to sit in his high chair and eat solid food.  I even had a little singing sunflower toy hanging over his changing table.  It played "You Are My Sunshine" when you pulled the cord on the stem.

I was thinking yesterday:  fifteen years before he was born, I was fifteen.  In that fifteen years, I completed high school, moved away to college, graduated from college, moved out of state, worked full time, moved back in state, got married, got a graduate degree, worked again, and bought a house.   Then he was born, and for the past fifteen years, I've mostly taken care of him (and his sister). I spent that fifteen years before him doing everything I could do to be ready for him, and I've spent the last fifteen years enjoying him (and his sister).  How lucky I have been!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bonus Day

Thanks to both children being away at two different music camps at the same time, my husband and I got to enjoy some vacation time alone, just the two of us.

My daughter was here:

which is close to here:

I grew up going to the beach in Grand Haven.  It was close enough that we could decide in the morning it would be a beach day, and off we'd go.  Walking that boardwalk and pier is the stuff of teenage dreams.  As an adult I like walking it because it brings back memories, and I love the lake, anyway.  I don't visit Grand Haven very often any more (it's been at least 5 years since I've been there), but I was thrilled for the opportunity to spend a day there with my hubby after we dropped our daughter off at camp.

My son was at a camp near Sleeping Bear Dunes, so my husband and I had a bonus day there this year, just the two of us!

We brought our bikes and tried out the new bike trail.

My children both enjoyed their camp experiences very much, and I'm glad to have them both home again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The tomatoes are ripe, and boy howdy, do we have a lot of tomatoes!  I have been making salsa, salads, and sauces, and there are still tomatoes to give away, plus plenty more to freeze for later.  Tomatoes from the grocery store are never as tasty as home grown tomatoes, so I've given up on those.

I had a hankering for a baked tomato.  I've never had a baked tomato before; it just sounded good to me.  I looked at a few recipes online, and from those I improvised my own, which turned out well.  You can't go wrong with fresh ingredients.

I sliced a tomato into slices--not too thin--and laid them out on a cookie sheet.  I drizzled each with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and fresh minced basil.  Then I topped each with some grated parmesan cheese, baked at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then broiled for two more minutes.

How do you like to use your tomatoes?