Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Ending of the Week

itsbetterthanbad rolf & valerie hannestad couch 1963

Rolf & Valerie Hannestad on the couch 1963

“What do you see Valerie?”

“I see the weekend Rolf!”

Well today marks the end of my first week at my new school. I am slowly and surely getting into my groove. I walk through the doors every day and can’t believe I am getting to work inside such an amazing building with such wonderful people!

I feel content. I am happy beyond measure. I am tired when I get in at night, it is an early just before 5 o’clock rise in the morning to make sure I have time to get ready, for Mr. Michie and I to work around each other, do my morning things and get to the train in time. I have a lovely walk to school at the end of my train and tube journeys, a chance to collect my thoughts going to work and coming home.

So, I am tired by the end of such a busy day, but it is a good tired, I am sleeping at night with happy dreams. Did yo notice there is a lot of happy in this post?

Here’s to the weekend and to happiness and to wishes coming true!

{Image: It’s Better Than Bad}

South of Broad

Pat Conroy South of Broad

I have spent the past two days doing a major cleaning overhaul in the cottage. I have gutted my closets and have bags of items to donate to the charity shop as well as a few pieces that are going to become cleaning rags. I have gone through the cabinet under the sink in the bathroom, you know which cabinet I’m talking about, the one that all bathroom things somehow get relegated too and they quietly build up into a dusty mess. I have also revamped the den, putting a few Fall things out, even though we are still in the hot throws of Summer and today I am going to change around the kitchen.

I don’ have a picture to share with you today, what I wanted to share with you was a book. I love reading! I need to read, it satisfies my soul. I have mentioned before that my Mom and I trade books. She gave me a Pat Conroy novel she had finished reading and I have had it sitting on my ever growing book pile since Easter. I dove into it in July and furiously read it on the plane ride home. It was immense. It was called South of Broad.

The book focuses on the life of Leo King and the friends he makes while a teenager in Charleston, South Carolina. The story grows and gives roots to these characters who stay a part of each other’s lives, even as they grow older. The description that Conroy gives of Charleston, left me breathless at times. I felt as if I too was riding my bike through the main character’s (Leo King) newspaper route. I know those roads like the back of my hand. Charleston has long been in my blood and for many years it was my home. I could close my eye and follow his route in my head, seeing the streets and homes I would pass.

As I read, I drank in his words like a cool mint julep flowing over my lips. The bite of bourbon, the sweetness of the sugar and the refreshing taste of the mint all mingling together on your tongue before you swallow. I savoured Conroy’s use of the English vernacular, I savoured his use of the Southern vernacular. He wrote about home between those pages, the smell of the tide coming in and the pluff mud as only a Charlestonian would know it. He wrote life between those pages.

His words as majestic as the full moon rising over the incoming tide in the Ashley River, as heavenly as sweet tea and hot buttered biscuits on your tongue. The taste of the dough and butter oozing over your palette as sacred a ritual as taking communion.

I felt as if I knew the friends between those pages, that I had somehow become part of their story, peering through their windows as I walked along the Battery. This book was a truly scrumptious read, from teenage life into adulthood, the friends we meet along the way who change us, as we change them, and a book about life and the paths we all take, whether the crossing of one’s path to another’s, betters it, destroys it, or enriches it.

“What’s important is that a story changes every time you say it out loud. When you put it on paper, it can never change. But the more times you tell it, the more changes will occur. A story is a living thing; it moves and shifts” – Pat Conroy, South of Broad

The 50th Annual Blueberry Festival {Part 2}

Jennifer Michie Clementine's 1Jennifer Michie Clementine's 2

After exploring the town of South Haven, we had worked up quite an appetite! It looked like everyone was heading toward Clementine’s, so that is the direction we took too!

We were not disappointed! The atmosphere was fun (it was housed inside an old bank), the staff were friendly and the food was GREAT! They even had a special blueberry menu for the Festival.

My Mom and I split a piece of blueberry pie for dessert in honor of the festival. Gigi and Foxy were with us too. Foxy came out of my bag for a piece of pie, the blueberries turned his whiskers a lovely shade of deep blue, he spent the rest of the evening trying to lick it off, while we laughed, he looked quite charming with those blueberry whiskers!

South Haven is an adorable town, I’m putting it on my list of places to visit again! Maybe, I’ll time it just right and there will be another Blueberry Festival! One can always hope!

The 50th Annual Blueberry Festival {Part 1}

Jennifer Michie Blueberry Festival 1

Last weekend, my Parent’s took me to South Haven, Michigan, where the town was holding their 50th Annual Blueberry Festival. It was so much fun!

We walked down the main street, did a little antiquing, wandered into the General Store, went into the official Blueberry Store, where they had made pretty much anything you could imagine out of blueberries and were selling fresh blueberries too, the smell was amazing!

It was here that I spotted an old photocopy of Miss Betty Jones, who won the pie contest in 1970, of course I snapped a few pictures of it, I love old recipes, especially ones that had newspaper writes ups like this one, they are special! I wonder what Miss Betty Jones is doing today? I want to make her pie!

Jennifer Michie Blueberry Pie Recipe 1Jennifer Michie Blueberry Pie Recipe 2

We decided to head down to the riverfront and listened to the Jimmy Buffett cover band and watched the boats come in, it was such a beautiful day! We were truly lucky!

Jennifer Michie Blueberry Festival 2

An Afternoon Treat

Jennifer Michie Afternoon SnackWhat could be better than getting exactly what you want? And how often does that actually happen, when the stars collide and it all turns out perfectly? Not, that often, but it did this particular afternoon with my Mom. We had some errands to run at Target, so I got the Mocha Frappacino’s and she picked up the mini Target cupcakes and the perfect afternoon snack was created! All filled with wonderful, wonderful S-U-G-A-R! After all, we had to keep our shopping energy up!

P.S. I made it home in one piece with a lot of surprises in tow for Mr. Michie. I am going to be spending the next few days, catching up on life here and posting pictures of my trip home, I have cookies and babies and a Blueberry Festival to share with you yet!

Eddie’s Steak Shed

Jennifer Michie Steak ShedMy family loves cool and unusual places. Last night, my parent’s took me to a very unique place. We went to Eddie’s Steak Shed. This place has A LOT of character. The sign is reminiscent of the 1960’s, with great  personality, the place you go to for a good steak and a liquor drink and if it was the 1960s a Mad Men cigarette, I could see Don Draper coming here!

Their road sign is graced with a blue bull, but it reminded me more of Paul Bunyan’s Ox and the size of the steaks reminded me of the “Old 96’er” that John Candy eats in The Great Outdoors. Between all of us last night we might have eaten a mini cow, but it was delicious!

So, if you are ever passing through Granger, Indiana, I would head toward the Shed, because it is an experience not to be missed.

P.S. I am winging my way back across the great pond today, so I might be radio silent for a few days while I get back into my England groove of things. I wish that my time here would just go on forever, because being with my family, makes me more than happy.

The Road Back Home

We headed back home last week, but this time through Walnut Creek, Ohio. It was beautiful! We stayed in the heart of Amish Country, drove through fields with hay stacked almost as if it had come out of a Monet painting and feasted on cream sticks and cinnamon twists and grape and cherry hand pies. What could be better? Happiness is…

Jennifer Michie Road Home 1Jennifer Michie Road Home 2Jennifer Michie Road Home 3Jennifer Michie Road Home 4Jennifer Michie Road Home 5Jennifer Michie Road Home 6Jennifer Michie Road Home 7