I want to thank Summer over at Summer’s Nook for passing on the following award to me!  I love it! 

It is also a great reminder to please consider choosing organ donation in the face of a tragic situation. 

The rules of this award are: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same**

I would love to pass on this little award with my lovely bloggers that regularly comment here:  Thank you for all your support!

Big Binder,  Eastowers, The Diaper Diaries, The Gift of Green, Ames  


Yes, believe it or not, I do have some quirks.  I know that most of you think I am an absolutely normal, sane and high class lady.  However, I like to say that I am like school in the summertime….”no class!”  (I love that phrase and have been waiting to use it forever and not offend anyone personally :))

I have been tagged with a meme from my cheeky monkey over there at Big Binder.  I am supposed to share with my 10 loyal millions of loyal readers (and thank you, everyone.  I couldn’t do this blog if it wasn’t for the millions of you who benefit from my mindless dribble.)  6 of my totally unspectacular quirks.  A difficult task for someone as regimented as me in both mind, body and spirit (note the sarcasm flowing off that last sentence).  But alas, I don’t want to let my fans down so I persevere.

1.)  I can not understand/remember/sing the words to any song correctly.  No matter how right I think I am, I am oh so wrong.  For example, for a long, long, long time I thought part of the lyrics to the song “The Freshman” by The Verve Pipe was “can’t believe we’d ever die, forty cents, we were merely freshmen”.  The actual lyrics are “can’t believe we’d ever die for these sins, we were merely freshman.”  I was kindly (more like mockingly) corrected by my husband who just couldn’t understand why I thought my lyrics made sense for 2 years.

2.)  I am generally not obsessed with cleanliness.  I can stand a little clutter here and there around the house.  However, there is one thing I can not stand.  That would be when the Fisher Price Little People or Diego characters are mixed in with any other toy baskets.  If I see that they are not in their proper home, I have to sit and sort it all out immediately.  It really bothers me.  Not all the toys need to be sorted, just those for some reason.

3.)  I am a picker.  I will pick just about anything.  I will pick your zit (if you let me). I pick my kids nose if I see a booger.  I clean their ears frequently and we have earwax competitions (Anson ALWAYS wins for the most wax.  I am so jealous).  I will pick at anything that will pop, ooze or show bodily gunk.  In elementary school, I received a microscope set for Christmas.  After a while, I had an awesome collection of scabs, fingernail/toenail clippings, ear wax and boogers from everybody in my family.  I thought they were all fascinating things.  And yes, everyone willing gave me my samples after I pestered them enough.

4.)  I don’t like cartoons in general.  I can stand some of the cartoons my kids watch.  But I loathe any cartoon made for adults.  Simpsons, The Family Guy, etc.  Sorry, I detest them all.  I don’t care what they say or if they are funny.  I don’t like them.

5.)  I have to know where an outfit is before I go to sleep at night.  Okay, this one is kind of strange OCDish (as if the others aren’t).  Before I turn out my bedside lamp at night, I have to know where a weather appropriate outfit is in case of a house fire.  I would hate to run out of the house in my skivies and have to wait out in the cold with the neighbors gawking.  I am getting better.  In the past, I would have trouble falling asleep if I didn’t have something sitting out available near the bed.  You really wouldn’t have much time in a fire, you know.  But now, they just have to be readily accessible.

6.)  I love the way new books feel and smell.  I like to touch their pages and smell the fresh ink on the new paper.  Sometimes, I just have to hold a new book a little while before I “break-in” the binding.  My mother feels that books were sacred.  She doesn’t like to take notes in books or highlight in them.  I feel the same way (I hate to admit it, but my mother rubbed off on me).  Studying in college was a little difficult for me because they kept insisting that you highlight everything!  Uggh!  The Humanity!

7.)  Bonus!!!  I have one more…My mutti and I like to talk in German (me) and Dutch (her) when we are out shopping at stores, especially higher end stores.  We feel you get better service if the store’s staff thinks you have enough money to travel the world.  So far, it’s proved to be pretty much true. 

If you are reading this and have not been tagged with this meme yet.  Consider yourself tagged!  Just leave a comment letting us know it’s up on your site.

 Go to fullsize image My good buddy over at Big Binder tagged me to take the “Eat Local Challenge” for one meal.  I admit I was a procrastinator.  I thought about it a lot.  Almost obsessively.  Almost to the point of self destruction.  Well, not really that much.  I was simply having a hard time thinking of something to make with lots of fresh veggies and local fare that everybody in my picky pants family would want to eat. 

I had a sudden revelation on Wednesday night about this predicament.  Why does eating local have to be such a big deal?  Why does it have to be a fancy dinner that requires a ton of time and effort?  I don’t think it does.  It didn’t say anything about having to spend hours slaving over the hot stove to prepare a four course flavor explosion of gourmetness (I know.  I just invented that word I think.) for the eat local challenge.  So, I hitched up my pants and headed out to the favorite local store for some local grub.

Here’s my local dish.  It’s nice.  It’s easy.  It’s family friendly.

I made Hamburgers.  That’s right I hopped on over to Heffron Farms where they sell high quality meats that are hormone free.  I grabbed some ground beef and a little cheese to go on those soon to be tasty patties.  Our household loves a great hamburger fresh off the grill.

I then swung by another locally owned business for the fixins, Horrocks.  Tomatos were on sale this week.  Grown in Michigan and tasty fresh.  There was also a great sale on squash.  I grabbed a couple of those to make babyfood with later.  I finished off my produce selection with a bag of Michigan potatos, green beans, and some onions.

I then cruised through the “adult beverages” section and snagged Tomas’ favorite local brew, Bell’s “Oberon”.  You must stop by Bell’s if you ever go to Kalamazoo.  Fun and Yum, wrapped into one.  I was feeling in a wine mood, so I selected a fine white produced by one of my favorite wineries up north, Good Harbor Vineyards in Lake Leelanau, Michigan.  If you ever go there, pick up a few bottles of Harbor Red for me.  I can not find it at any store and it’s one of the best reds I have tasted for the price. 

I couldn’t forget the appeteasers and selected a container of Garden Fresh Gourmet Original Hummus (made in Ferndale, Michigan) and some Pita Chips also made by Garden Fresh.  Those were for my enjoyment.  Nobody else in my humble abode likes hummus.  I know, it’s hard to believe that anyone could not like something so yummy and easy to eat.  I had a container of “Jack’s Special Salsa” by Garden Fresh that I purchased at Costco for cheap ninetynine a couple days before.  Tomas loves this salsa and so do I.  It tastes so fresh and has just the right amount of fire for us (Garden Fresh has won several awards for their great salsas).  Although, Jack’s Salsa does not compete with the salsa that comes out of Big Binder’s kitchen.   The Costco brand tortilla chips are made in Seattle, Washington, so I couldn’t count those as local but close enough (not really close at all).  By the way, if you can picture the Horrock’s store that I shop at you can see how I did one really fast loop and easily grabbed these local products.

Once home, I prepped the burgers and potatos with onions while grazing on the locally made appeteasers and drinking some wine.  Tomas fired up the grill and in twenty minutes we had a great meal for the entire family.  Grilled hamburgers, potatos and onions grilled in foil packets, steamed green beans, and drinks (the boys had milk from Bareman’s Dairy).  We decided that since it was such a special meal, dessert was in order.  I grabbed the big vat of Hudsonville Icecream (made in my hometown of Holland, MI) that Sam’s Club now carries from our freezer and some strawberries that I had picked and frozen at a local farm this past spring.  Whalaa!  Strawberries and icecream!

That’s all it took to make a great family meal from local products.  I will definitely seek out more options for our favorite foods.  I think if I read labels and do a little research, it would be easy to do a local meal regularly.  Sweet and simple that’s how I like it.  “Oh yes, what about Gret’s dinner?”, you may be thinking.  You can’t get anymore local than her.  She drank some delicious milk produced right on site by me, the person who fretted for days about this local challenge for nothing.

If you are interested in eating local, please check out this website.  There are many, many reasons why you and your community would benefit from this very simple act.  Eating local is also a very simple way to incorporate going green into your home and we all know that I am all about that!  Thanks Big Binder for forcing me to broaden my views by making me stay local.

Ooh, Ooh, I also just had the thought that this could be a post for “Feed Me Friday” per my new calendar (it would help if I followed it once in a while) for Tweenie’s Greenies.  Two for the price of one!  Aren’t I a lucky little girl!

I grabbed this meme from over at Diaper Diaries .  I thought it was fun and if you would like to join in, try it out!

1.  YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)

Brandy Caravan

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)

Chocolate Malt Supreme Monster

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),


4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
 Blue Moose

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)

Ann Holland

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)


7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Red Cabernet

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)

Cornealius Gerrit

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Heavenly Seafoam 

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )

Anna Allan

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)

Kraai Kalamazoo

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Lilac

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)

Strawberry Jeanie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)

Muffin WeepingCherry

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Gardening Wind Tour

wedding memeI have been tagged with “The Marriage Meme” by Summersnook!  I just realized this after reading her post about let’s see….hmmm…a week ago.  (I read it and thought wow, that’s cool and then went to bed.  Not too smart because now it’s a week later.)  Sorry it took me so long but here it goes! 

Eight Things About My Marriage:

1.  I have been married for 10 years.

2.  I have known my husband since the 7th grade. That’s about 20 years now!  I thought he was a nerd then and he thought I was well….let’s just say, “not so nice”.

3.  We got married on the day my husband graduated from college.  He had to walk on a different date.

4.  I truly married my best friend.  Even when we weren’t dating, we were friends and hung out with the same people.  We tell each other everything.

5.  We didn’t go on a honeymoon (and hope to this year, FINALLY!)  We were too poor at the time and then life took over.

6.  We constantly tease each other and play practical jokes.

7.  We are total opposites in many ways.  Except for looks.  Examples:  He never yells.  I tend to be “louder”.  I hate to read directions.  I like to just try things out first.  He breaks out in a sweat from panic if he loses instructions/directions.  But when we have gone to events, people have asked him if I was his sister.  Needless to say, we tend to balance each other quite well.

8.  We both have a hidden spontaneous/artsy sides to us.  Before kids, we would take off on a whim.  Such as drive across country to Colorado for the weekend to visit friends.  We decided to go on Wednesday night.  We left the next day.  Pulled back into town to go to work on Monday.  He has poetry that has been published.  He likes to write songs.  I have tried painting, drawing, fabric art, writing and many other things. 

When he proposed he gave me a prism and a poem which he wrote about how I was a prism and brought color and vibrance into his life.  10 years later, the words he wrote still hold true for us, we make life colorful for each other (and hopefully our kids).

Alright, I got through the list.  I would like to officially tag the following people (I am just picking from my blogroll so don’t think I am a stalker, please!):  The Diaper Diaries  , Adventure Mom, Gift of Green, Green Mommy Thoughts, Big Binder, Good Idea Momma