Friday, March 27, 2009

A Very Michigan Weekend

This past weekend, Keith and I headed out for a brisk walk around our neighborhood. Not surprisingly, we ended up walking along the Grand River, which cuts through the middle of the city. And then we found the entire town, and their cousins from the next town over, fishing. I'm talking hundreds of people fishing an urban river. Isn't that kind of strange? And then we saw something even more entertaining: the fish ladder. Apparently it's the hangout for all the fishermen's kids because there was another hoard of people gazing at a stair-step structure of rushing, dirty brown water. Every now and then a giant fish would spring out of the water, doing it's best to jump one level higher. Some of them were really good at it and were finished in a matter of minutes, happily on their way to spawn in the calm waters beyond the gushing ladder. Others, well, kept hitting the same wall over and over. Too bad you can't fish out of this thing!

Below are a few of our snazzy iPhone photos, which we understand would be better if it had a zoom lens.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Heat Wave

It's 71 degrees this afternoon! Forget the Nivia tanning spray I just stocked up on, I can practically plop a lawn chair underneath our sky light and come out a few shades darker. I'm so thankful for such a wonderful spring treat, even though we have a bit longer before it's a regular occurrence. 

Just now when asked if he was so excited about the weather, Keith replied: "Yeah"

If you ask me, he's just a bit bummed he didn't get to see the ice waves, which are now just plain old waves. Sorry hun, that's a bummer.

Happy Birthday Jim

For your birthday, Jim, I've written you an acrostic poem:

Middle-Aged (hehe)

Happy Birthday Jim, who has been so faithful to leave little blog comments behind just like a magical leprechaun handing out shamrock candies. We love you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Young Couple Seeking Young Couple

I still select the "CA" option from shipping drop down menus. I'm not quite adjusted to being asked "Smoking or Non?" every time we dine out either. And is it my imagination or have they always played California promo ads every Wednesday during LOST?

But far beyond any of these little reminders of missing California is the raw emptiness of missing our friends. It's the first thing either of us will say to anyone inquiring after what we miss most about California. Which is then followed by me running out of the room bawling while Keith covers for us.

"Some ice waves, huh?"

But seriously. We miss you guys.

And missing all of you is only magnified by the fact that we have few friends here. Can I count the coffee shop owner, the dry cleaning people and my hair stylist? We have plenty of middle-aged acquaintances, but most of their kids live either out of state or are busy with an already large family.

So where do we fit? We're hoping we'll meet more young couples at church. Or maybe I'll ask if we can just place an ad in the bulletin, "Young Couple Seeking Young Couple." Maybe we can even stick a photo of ourselves in there too. That'll do it. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kim and the Fantastically Cold Ice Waves

If time allowed, Keith and I would drive up to Mackinaw City, scuttle a few yards onto Lake Huron, and ask the closest ice fisherman to snap a photo of us standing in front of these frozen waves. Maybe we'd make this photo into postcards and you'd stick one on your fridge for a few weeks, pointing to Keith and the girl in the ski mask standing next to him whenever someone asked how we were doing. But for now, all I have are a few pictures of a stranger, we'll name her Kim, standing in front of the ice waves.

Michigan has had the coldest winter in decades. Apparently these "waves" occur when water cools extremely quickly and expands to break through the surface ice, freezing into these minty-blue ice sculptures. This phenomena is seen in Antarctica, but this year, the lucky residents of Mackinaw City in northern Michigan were presented with this lovely little reminder of how freaking cold it is outside.

Kim being silly, as usual

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hope, Change, and Rachel Zoe

We have four large, lovely windows in our main living area looking out to the street. We live on the second floor of an old restored building located on a small street in the heart of Grand Rapids. Below us are retail stores, West Coast Coffee is directly under us (which means we can move furniture around a little loudly if they burn our lattes).

I'm pretty sure we can be seen by everyone living on the other side of the street, including the ominous Select Bank offices. And I'm pretty sure there's a bank security camera trained on us too. At least, as far as I can tell it's monitoring the entire street around the bank. And every time I pour myself an orange juice.

It's this view, however, that helps me stay up on my Michigan fashion. Smoking is definitely in. Long down-comforter coats are in. The jeans with white tennis shoes look is definitely everywhere. I can't really say anything too condescending though without noting I practically plan what I'm wearing around what wool socks I have clean. And not much looks exciting with the same darn coat every day either. I hate my coat now. I once adored it. It's even in my new drivers license photo, peaking up around my living-in-an-Austrian-cellar white face. Ug.

But every now and then a beautiful splash of color walks down the sidewalk and I know deep down there's hope. Not everyone here loves a man with a ponytail, or dies* over hunting camouflage jackets (no pun intended). And I'm sure once it's a little warmer, the clothing choices can only get better. Hopefully.

*copyright Rachel Zoe

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I just want you to know, I’m no longer the person I was when writing my first post. At that time, I was totally unaware of how painfully annoying the wrong tape dispenser can be, how hard bubble-wrap is to find in bulk, and how wonderful something called GorillaTape could be.
So next time you’re about to pack your entire post-college life into a box, and you’re looking at the TapeGun2000 and thinking hmm, that's just a bit much, don’t ya think, and perhaps snicker under your breath as you imagine the dumb butt who will be drawn in by the steel-tipped tape blade and snazzy comfort grip handle. Well, don't be fooled. You will need this. And I don't mean junior-high-whiny-voice need, I mean more-than-want definite need. Or borrow my tape gun I eventually went back to purchase three minor tape dispenser cuts later.