Monday, July 26, 2010

Winter Lake

Glencoe Lake

I have been neglectful here lately. Sorry folks. We've been busying ourselves with too much these days, even if it's never enough. I always feel like we have to take advantage of the nice weather before it is gone. I've had good intentions to write more often. I will get better. I promise. We should have loads more new photos and material by the beginning of next week. (Waiting for some film as we speak to be developed. Get excited!)

That said: The heat has been reminding me of winter walks. This photo was from the lake surrounding our apartment in Ypsilanti. I cannot say that I miss the apartment, but I miss the winter walks.

What have you been thinking about lately to stay cool? (Other than ice cream; I have been thinking way too much about ice cream. Someday I am just going to have to buy a maker and all elastic pants. :))

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Empty Nest

Bird Feeder

Empty nest. Well, pm and I are many years away from this day considering we still have find our nest. This, however, is not what I wanted to talk about in my post today.

I went for a brief walk today around lunchtime. I wanted to get some fresh air and warm up after being in the a.c. most of the morning. It was a pleasant, quiet walk. Although one part of it definitely did not put me at ease.

I was approaching a sparrow and was very surprised on how close he was letting me get to him. It was when I was just feet away that I realized that it wasn't because he didn't see me, it was because he couldn't move. This poor little bird must have been taking his last few breaths.

This situation made me think about how very little we seem to actually see the animals in nature die around us of natural causes. We see flowers die, trees die, plants die with the changing of each season, but not animals. Not that they want spectators; it's not like any of us want spectators when that day comes. I just couldn't help feeling bad and sad.

That's why it is so important to live each day like it's your last. Hope that sparrow has all the bird seed and worms it could ask for now. He got me thinking deep thoughts today.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home improvements

Sunday, normally a day of rest, was re-organize day at the ampm household. We've been meaning to get a second dresser now for quite some time. I'm not sure what was holding us back - it certainly wasn't our sanity. We got a new dresser yesterday and have spent the better part of today setting it up and organizing our living space.

The results -- a much more homey living space. We moved a "junk" table to the kitchen to remove the card table. We switched also switched around our desks. [pm has been wanting to rid our place as of late of all "college-type" decor. The card table fit this bill, as did the built-it-yourself wire shelving.]

I'm starting to feel like a real adult now. No more hodge-podge furniture. (Okay, I lied. We still have it, but it works. Yes, I swear it does.).

I think our place is slightly more sophisticated, but still unique. We still have to declutter of lives some, but at least we are in a step in the right direction.

+Like the Pritzker Auditorium super sampler photo? This photo totally works in our space. It's a nice reminder for us that we live in this city. Sometimes it is easy to forget when you spend the better part of the weekend on home improvements and connecting with old friends.

All in all (despite the heat and no a.c.) it was a SUPERB weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lightning Speeds Ahead


This photo is an oldie from back in the days when we used to live in Southern Florida. I'd say, oh those were the days, but they really weren't. This isn't to say living in Florida wasn't fun while it lasted, but we were happy to move somewhere that actually has seasons. (Okay, so pm wasn't as excited as I was. :P).

What I do miss though are the walks on the beach, afternoon rain storms and sunshine. Oh and mojitos at DaDa's in Delray Beach. The best part about living in Florida was always having some place to go when we got bored --- for a walk on the beach. I miss being able to do that now. Say what you will, but the ocean isn't the same as Lake Michigan. They may look the same, but the air isn't. And, obviously neither is the water.

This photo was taken on my first digital camera - no flash, no tripod. I took a photography class and surprisingly was able to knock out some very decent pictures on my Olympus Stylus; a now retired model. Almost everyone else in my class had much fancier photo equipment. Goes to show that you need more than just good (aka expensive) equipment. I talk about equipment because I remember when I was showing this photo to the class my teacher kept saying it could not have been taken with my small digital camera. Well, yes it can.

It's now been three years since we left Florida. Time sure does goes by lightning fast, just like this train.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Somos los mejores del mundo!!

There is some celebrating in order -- Spain won the World Cup! (This is obviously not new news, and if you've been following our blog for awhile you know that pm is from Spain).

Needless to say - it's been an eventful day at the ampm household. Too bad we weren't in Spain to partake in all the victory fun. I bet the partying is probably still happening in streets all over the country. They sure know how to party hardy in Spain.

For me it was a rather lackluster game. Granted as a fellow (be it past) soccer player myself, I understand what big games and pressure can do to your head. I guess I was disappointed that the final score was only 1-0. I would have liked to see some more scoring from both teams. They certainly had their chances on both ends. *sigh

So here's a cute little side note about the game and the Spanish goalie, Iker Castillas. He's obviously a shy, and very emotional guy. (Did you notice that he never stopped crying once Spain finally scored? :)). Anyway, so his girlfriend is a Spanish journalist and they've been keeping their relationship pretty hush-hush during the World Cup. This video just goes to show how much you want to celebrate the happy times with those you care for. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Canned Goodness

Canned Goodness
While I wouldn't self identify as a hippie, pm may beg to differ. Instead of hippie, I'd call myself a global-concernist. (Yes, I may have just made that term up. If it makes it big, you can contact me for all royalties).

We've only got one earth and I like to look out for it. I recycle whenever possible, whatever possible. I've done this since I was in pre-school. In fact, I remember bringing home my sandwich baggies every day to wash for reuse. My mom had to inform me multiple times that this was not necessary and that it was okay (and more sanitary) to use a new bag daily. Eventually I conformed.

I'm getting long winded before I get to the point of this post -- Canned Goodness. Canning and preserving food has always fascinated me. I've tried once before and while I wouldn't say it was unsuccessful, it did not yield the results I would have hoped for. I believe my fascination with canning stemmed from my love of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. Read all those books cover to cover more than one back in the day. I consider canning to be a very earth-friendly activity as it reduces food waste.

Anyway, last night, despite extreme temperatures in the kitchen, we made peach preserves. We bought loads of peaches (can you guess where?!) with the desire to try our hand at canning. It is a time consuming process and I hope that it pays off. I am still waiting for the preserves to set a little better. If they don't I'll use the contents as pie filling. Always have to be resourceful.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Feet Planted Firmly

Sandals & boat shoes

Hope you haven't been missing us too much these past few days. After posting something for one month straight, we've been easing back into posts. (To our defense we've been a little sluggish because of the heat).

I've been thinking a lot lately about home; and by home, I mean home as a place. Turns out where you live doesn't matter as much as who you live with and by. Part of the reason I've been thinking so much about home isn't because we're planning another move. Quite the contrary, we're planning to plant our feet firmly on the ground, just as I mentioned in the title.

My parental units, however, are moving. This is what has got me thinking so much about the meaning of home. Will I miss visiting my family in my childhood house? Yes. Will I still drive by the house on occasion to see how it's changed? Yes. Will I miss the house? No. I won't miss the house. I don't see the point in missing an item. I'll still have the memories made in that house and I'll still have my beloved family. (Admittedly, I did take multiple photos - film & digital - of their old home. Got to have something to refresh my mind someday!)

I've come to an age-old conclusion as I've been thinking about home: Home is where the heart is. Doesn't matter where it is, how long you're there, or how much stuff you have inside - I'd be nothing without having others in it to make you happy. What's home for you?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

DIY: Beer Light

Beer Light :)

Do you like beer? Do you like decorations that involve beer? Yeah, I thought so.

I saw these lamps at the Leinenkugel Lodge not too long ago and thought they were interesting. I also looked at the price and realized it would be easy to do something like this on your own for much less. Lamps are an easy dig at any thrift or resale shop. Collecting beer labels to add to the lamp shade is equally easy, if not easier.

Someday when pm and I have a cabin, it will be adorned with these lamps. (I can't even write that with a straight face, but one can dream, right?). Maybe instead of the cabin a basement would work. This would be a perfect addition to when we get a tap as well. Here's to hoping!