Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mamma Mia

Okay, I admit it...I LOVE the movie "Mamma Mia." I love it so much that I have seen it four times already. I think that I know the script by heart now but I will say, each time I see it, I see something or hear something that I hadn't heard before. Pierce Brosnan can't sing but looking at him makes up for it. Who knew that Meryl had such great vocals particularly in "Winner Takes All." If you are going to see it, stay through all of the credits, there is a surprise at the end and it is fun. Sing out loud at the movie and enjoy it for what it is worth....a fun, lighthearted movie with songs that we all know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Monday nights are Bingo nights for me here at Mullett Lake. I usually go into Cheboygan with a group from the Lake. I used to drive and take the ladies in but since I began doing that, I never won so now I drive myself and I win. I still sit with the ladies, I just don't drive them. I usually get to the Knights of Columbus hall around 5:45 for dinner. Dinner will cost anywhere between $1.50 and $3.00 and it is all homemade by "the guys" except for the pizza which comes in from "This Old House" a great pizza place here in town. Last night there was homemade hamburger vegetable soup, brats on a bun, and hot dogs. Of course, there is popcorn, candy bars, ice cream during break, soft drinks, etc. Bought my cards from all the guys lined up to sell it to me. Began with speedball...I was close but obviously not close enough. After speedball came early bird where in the first game you had to have an "X" to win. Nope, didn't win that but I did win the next game having a "T" on my card. I was the only winner and won $47. The night was starting off good. Later I went on to win $5 when someone bingoed on my number that I bought for a dollar and then another $5 when I won on second chance bingo. A successful night and I am still driving by myself!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do you know what a Wanagan is?

Here in Cheboygan, the Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Wanagan Races. It sounded intriguing so my husband and I went down to the Rt. 33 bridge over the Cheboygan River to see what was up. It is the most random race ever! You need to build a raft that will float on the river. Typically 4-7 people are on the raft paddling. On the raft you have to build a structure and in the structure you have to cook a gallon of chili to a temperature of 160 degrees over a wood fire ALL while you are paddling 4 miles down the river. All rafts had themes; most rafts looked like they were going to sink in the river, some rafts had beer in coolers floating behind them and all looked like they were having a ball. The winner of the race? It was "The Beaver Trap" with their flag, a pair of thongs, flying from their structure. I'm trying to talk my kids into doing this next year. Do you think you would try something like this?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wedding Shower

Our only daughter Lisa is getting married on October 11th to a wonderul guy. She and Nate have dated for over 5 years after having met at JMU - James Madison University in Virginia. I flew back to Virginia for her shower at Notaviva Vineyards in Purcellville, VA owned by Stephen and Shannon. Stephen is the son of my longtime friend Mickie. The Maid of Honor Angela and the bridesmaids Nena, Haley, Amber, Natalie and Jenna did a fantastic job. The winery looked amazing, the food was scrumptious, the wine never stopped pouring and the gifts were very generous and much appreciated by the happy couple. A nice touch that the Maid of Honor did was to place a card at everyone's place and have them write down their favorite memory of Lisa. After Lisa opened a gift, Natalie and Jenna read a memory and Lisa had to guess who wrote it. It was a nice way of sharing some of our memories of Lisa with her future in-laws so they would cherish her as much as her family does. The last gift she received was a recipe book holding pictures and recipes that we all had sent in to Haley. This is a beautiful hardcover book. On the page that has your recipe, a picture of you was inserted. When she made your recipe, your photo was right there to guide her. I would highly recommend this company and their site is:

Later that evening her Bachelorette Night was held. Her future sisters-in-law are college students and they wouldn't have been able to come back to Washington DC for a party closer in time to the wedding. After a Mexican dinner, they were picked up by a limo that had Nena in it. The limo took them to different clubs in DC and and at the end they crashed at her brother's house in DC. The guys, you see, were having their Bachelor Party at Atlantic City, so the house was free. These are moments that Lisa will always remember and look back fondly on.

Boat Races

As I mentioned earlier, we live on Mullett Lake in northern lower Michigan. This past Saturday were the boat races. The race took the boaters from Indian River through Mullett Lake, down the Cheboygan River to just before the locks where they turned around and went back to Indian River. I had wondered how they would do it as there are signs in the Cheboygan River that you need to go slow, no wake. I found out that the Coast Guard and the Cheboygan sheriff's department close down the river to all trafficers except for the racers. We stood on the Rt. 33 bridge and watched the boaters coming and going. WOW...some were so fast, some were singles, some were doubles. all different classes for this boat race. Afterwards we went into downtown cheboygan for the kickoff of Riverfest. There was an entertainment/beer tent in the parking lot of the Citizen's Bank. Admission was free but we had to wear a Budweiser wrist band to show that we were over 21. Great music, good beer...a fine time..

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Simple but Delicious Dinner

My in-laws live a few doors down from us and Darrell and I try to help out with cooking. My mother-in-law was a wonderful cook but as she got older, cooking became more difficult for her. My father-in-law does the cooking now and it is a treat for them both when we cook them a meal or invite them over to our house. They are most appreciative of our efforts and never leave without making sure that we know how much they enjoy our meals. Tonight I needed to use some ground hamburg. We had burgers last night and I didn't want to repeat that. My mother loved my Hawaiian meatballs and I thought that I would make that tonight. I added a tomato and fresh mozzarella cheese salad with cucumbers, purple onion and parsley. I'm proud to say that the tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley came from my small garden. I drizzles Briana's Blush salad dressing over it. Mmmm good! Here's the recipe for the Hawaiian Meatballs:

Hawaiian Meatballs

1 ½ lb ground beef
2/3 c cracker crumbs
1/3 c minced onion
1 egg
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ginger
¼ c milk
1 TBS shortening
Mix beef, crumbs, onion, egg, ginger, salt and milk. Shape into meatballs and cook in skillet with shortening. Drain fat.

2 TBS soy sauce
4 TBS cornstarch
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c vinegar
1 can 13 oz pineapple tibbits, drained (saved syrup). If no tibbits, then buy chunks and cut them up

Mix cornstarch, sugar and stir in pineapple syrup, vinegar and soy sauce till smooth. Pour into skillet and stir until thick and boiling. Add meatballs and pineapples

Up North

Our home is in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We just moved there in May having sold our home in northern Virginia. We were only there about a month before we came up north here in Michigan. We have a home on Mullett Lake in northern lower peninsula Michigan. My husband had been coming here since he was 3 weeks old. His grandparents had a cottage here, his parents now live there and we purchased a home here 4 summers ago. This area is very unique in that it is very generational....cottages are passed down from one generation to another. All families know each other and when you first meet someone, rather than asking them their name, you find out which cottage they are associated with. We made the decision in 2005 that rather than move further south for the winters, we would move north for the summers and escape the oppressive heat and humidity of Virginia. This also makes a nice destination for friends and family to come when they want to visit us. We have a country club with a 9 hole golf course here in Mullett Lake Village, decent fishing in the lake, toys for the lake such as windsurf boards, wakeboards, water skiis and a Sunfish sail boat. Our village is around this bay in the northwestern section of Mullett Lake. I just checked the temperature and it is 96 degrees in Virginia but here at Mullett Lake it is 72 degrees and no humidity. Where would you rather be?

At Last, my first blog!

Let me begin by explaining my blog name. I grew up, went to college, married, and had two of my three children while living in the Boston suburbs. My husband Darrell came home from work one day and said he had been transfered to Washington DC. I suppose that shouldn't have surprised me since he worked for the government BUT we had just purchased our first home 10 months earlier, had a baby three months prior, had a three year old, and was just beginning to settle in to our new life. I headed to the DC suburbs looking for a new home and settled in northern Virginia. I really stood out with my Boston accent (dropping my R's), and an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan. I was surrounded by BBQue with cole slaw on top, learned to say soda instead of tonic, had to tolerate Redskins fan, Orioles fans and more recently Nationals fans. Having lived in Virginia now for 26 years, I have come to appreciate and adopt all things southern but still have very strong northern roots.