|Dilly turned into this the night before I left. How long until a butterfly? Variable: 2-6 weeks.|
|they collect kites at the lovely house that I stayed at|
|green zinnias downtown Holland|
|Shanna and family suspended umpteen stories high over Chicago|
|This was uncovered recently in Downtown Detroit. It is where my mom worked when she was 16 serving bumpy cakes and hot fudge puffs. Wouldn't eat chocolate again until she had Alzheimer's and forgot she hated it|
my first cousins twice removed or my cousin's grandkids. It was the one on the right's birthday. I met up with my aunt (96!!!!!) and my cousin's family in Holland after I visited my friend. The younger girl here is a few weeks older than Allie but is half the size. Allie is about the same size as the 6 year old.
I am back from my short adventure on the West coast, Holland Michigan. I stayed with a former colleague and her husband just outside of the city. The area has many bike paths, which we rode together on and I ran on the next morning. Very flat. They cut through acres and acres of blueberry farms. My friend has a very extensive vegetable garden which was very lush due to her care and the fact that they get much more rain than we do on that side of the state. She likes to grow unusual varieties so we picked long. thin twisty eggplants with a Japanese name, round bright yellow prickly lemon cucumbers and a unusual type of summer squash to roast on the grill along with romaine and salmon for dinner. Very tasty. She also raises chickens.
We ate lunch on the pretty shore of Lake Macatawa before our bike ride followed by paddling around in my water hammocks in her pool, a very nice way to spend a summer afternoon.
After the wonderful grilled dinner, we drank wine and talked well into the night. Holland had sidewalk sales which we visited the next morning. I bought some cute wraps for not much. Where am I going to wear all these dressy things?
On to my relatives. My cousin and aunt live about 30 miles north where I love to visit but they thought it would be more convenient for me if we would meet at her son's in Holland as I was already there (to get there, I took a road which changed names every half mile it seemed). One of the little granddaughters was having a birthday. Fortunately she loved my present and both of the girls spent much of the time playing with it. Later she was going to have a mermaid and pirate party with her friends. I think my handy cousin sewed the mermaid costumes.
My aunt must be the healthiest, best looking 96 year old there is. She is very sharp, reads a lot, travels still. She has some macular degeneration that makes focusing difficult and a very mild tremor. Otherwise, one might guess she is years younger. She also looks very much like my mother (her younger sister) and has the same voice so that's always a bit disconcerting. I was glad to see her. She has many photos of her and her siblings though mainly of the older ones (my mom was a younger one) that will go to me at some point. My other aunt is now in Michigan too but on my side of the state. I will try to get them together.
My cousin's daughter-in-law was a chemistry professor from the North of England so she has a very interesting accent. She said in school they never discussed short and long vowels as I guess everything is pronounced as if it has a long vowel. According to her, her husband mispronounces his own name. Here in the Midwest bury, berry and Barry are pronounced the same as is merry, Mary and marry.
My cousin's husband, the beer lover, brought some of his collection so that was tasty thought I couldn't sample much due to the long drive I had. With two expressways out that I would have usually taken, I had more time to go through the small towns of Western Michigan.
I tried to make up for the relative slack in exercise and finally ran at a more respectable pace early this morning followed by a 21 mile bike ride and lifting of weights.