The Sunday Post/It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Hi guys! It is my first book post over here, rather than on Quixotic Magpie. I think it will be much easier to keep everything on the same page, if you will…
We just got back from a family vacation in Northern Michigan, one of my favorite places on Earth. Michigan is truly beautiful, with so many different landscapes. We had a great time and I have some of our adventures to share with you later this week!
We did have a slight hiccup when we got home though. My husband’s car caught fire as he was driving it through a construction zone on I-75 through Detroit. It was pretty terrifying to hear about, but he is completely fine. He is a quick thinker and managed to stop the car and get to safety. The car is gone but that is ok. The firefighters on the scene think it was an electrical fire that started somewhere.
IMG_20180808_090505551
On to the books!
Read Last Week:
These two books were delightful! I especially loved The Late Bloomers’ Club. I love a small town, and Guthrie was just the type I would love to live in.
Reading This Week:
As August starts to come to an end, I find myself being pulled in the direction of more fall reading. The weather here is still summer, but I am beginning to dream of autumn. I see the pumpkin beer and cider on the store shelves, the Halloween decor, the cooler nights, and I can’t wait! Fall is definitely my favorite season, and I am so looking forward to jeans and sweater weather.
I am really enjoying The Hawkweed Prophecy! I received the second book in the series as a review book, and checked this first one out from the library to read before I started it. And I love it. And Dear Bob and Sue is a pick for one of my online book clubs. I am looking forward to reading it – I am hoping for a A Walk in the Woods type feel!
Watching:
Insatiable which has a very 90s feel that I love, Red Oaks on Amazon Prime, Orange is the New Black, and the newest season of Death in Paradise. ( I love that show!)
How about you all? What has been going on with you?
Also, I don’t know why this post is all squished when I didn’t type it that way. Any ideas? Thanks!

Mini-Post: Feeling Peachy!

peach 1

“We are going on an adventure!”

This is what I tell Wyatt every time we leave the house, even if it is just to head up to the store. You never know what the day will bring! Sunday started out dreary and overcast for the third day in a row but we were not letting a little gray sky darken our day. I had a surprise up my sleeve! As I piled the car up with picnic type foods and rain coats, my husband was a bit confused, but he is game for anything so just kind of shrugged before taking the wheel and heading south.

I navigated our family to a favorite spot of ours, Erie Orchards, an orchard my family has been going to since I was a little girl, probably around Wyatt’s age. It was peach picking time! We picked up our bag from the adorable weather-beaten barn store, and rolled our Jeep on over a few dirt roads back to where the peach trees grew.

We could see people over in the blueberry patch, but we weren’t here for blueberries. We had the peaches all to ourselves. And Wyatt had a blast! Some of the trees were small enough for him to stand under and reach the peaches right off the branch, which he thought was the best thing ever! He happily snapped them off and deposited them into our bag.

 

Look at that look of concentration, and he even said peach for the first time!!

We had a wondeful adventure on a day that looked like it was going to be a bummer. The sky was heavy with clouds, which made the day cooler, and their was virtually no humidity. Add a small cool breeze and it was actually pretty perfect.

You just never know where a day will take you.

And now we have 8 lbs of peaches to use. A small thing though for such a fun day!

Anyone have any good peach recipes to share with me?

A Little Day Drinking..But First, Doughnuts..

Some weekends you just don’t want to end, and this is one of them.

Saturday began with an early morning wake up from Wyatt, who has for some reason decided weekends are for getting up early. Maybe he just really likes them too, all the family time and fun stuff we do, who knows. Whatever the case, we were up before it seemed like we should be. Instead of crying into our coffee, we piled into the car, slightly disheveled, and aimed for doughnuts. There is a local bakery, Sugarr Donuts, that sells craft donuts, and they sell out early, every day. Like sometimes before 10 am. We usually don’t get there early enough to get the cool weekend specials, but this Saturday, we did..

A shark week inspired donut! It was insanely sugary, but so full of goodness. We bought enough for the three of us, plus an extra to drop off to my niece as a surprise. She woke up ‘specially to eat her “silly shark cupcake.”

After our sugar rush and showers, my mom came over to watch the boyo, who was by this point ready for a nap and to hang out with grandma while we went out for a day date. A metropark near us was hosting a prohibition event, with interpreters on hand to talk about prohibition and Detroit. And, to give it a little extra kick, they were serving Michigan craft beers. I was super excited – I am a huge history nerd, and there are rumors that my family had a hand in rumrunning across the river during prohibition. We can see Canada right across the river here, and some houses and buildings even have underground tunnels that were used to smuggle in booze.

boots

The day was rainy, and I knew the event was outside in a field, so I was super excited to wear my super cute boots! Billy gave me these for my birthday a while ago from Modcloth, and I don’t get the opportunity to wear them much. I felt very British, in my foxy boots and swishy skirt.

beers

We are not big drinkers much anymore, much less day drinkers, so our day was definitely a departure from our norm. There were over 40 craft beers to choose from, and tickets were ten for ten, a ticket per beer. And I have to say, they were generous pours! We had a blast tasting the different choices. I had the Purple Gang Pilsner ( I had to – the Purple Gang was the Detroit gang that was in operation during Prohibition!), Copyright Cream, Bonfire Brown, Lager of the Lakes, and the Kamikaze Kaleidoscope (a wheat). I am a light beer, pilsner/lager gal, so I stuck to a few I figured I would like and went “crazy” on the other two. Of my five, my favorite was the Purple Gang Pilsner.

Billy likes IPAs, which are not my thing, but he also tried a few fruity type beers, including our overall hands down favorite of the day. He had the Lost Dune (which is about the town of Saigon, Michigan, a fascinating story!), Better Life Choices (IPA), Blueberry Lemonade Shandy, Blood Orange Honey, Level 92 Black IPA, and one called Blue Magic, which was amazing!! It was blueberry with lavender, and it was so good! Definitely the best one of the day.
blue magic

We also chatted for a bit with the interpreters about the history of Detroit and Prohibition, and one guy was on hand with this old school Ford truck. He told us the model which of course I don’t recall, since I had tasted all those beers first. If you know, let me know!

truck

Who’s got the hooch?

It was a fun, relaxing afternoon, albeit a slightly damp and rainy one. It was a great start to our weekend!

Trying to be environmental

So I’m sure you’ve seen the images of seas and beaches filled with plastic, and read about the animals literally suffocating from it, or starving because they ate it, or the countless ways it is harming our world. The idea of floating islands of plastic and garbage appalls and sickens me. What are we doing to our planet and these animals we share it with? And I love sea turtles and birds and whales, all these animals suffering.

ORR_Plastic_In_the_Ocean_Infographic_FINAL

I try hard to be conscious of the environment, but to be honest, I get lazy. And that makes me sad. I was a kid raised on the whole Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute campaign, and I believe it. But with plastic free July, I really made a promise to myself to make some serious changes, slowly and hopefully really changing our lifestyle and consumption. And as a parent of a child with a disability, I completely understand where these parents are coming from with the straws. I feel like at that point, it is not just a straw but medical equipment, honestly. Personally, our family does not need them, so we are getting ready to use paper biodegradeable straws. I have been looking for them locally so that I am not ordering them from somewhere far off and adding to our carbon footprint and then generating more garbage in packaging, but I have not been successful yet. But it is in the works!

One thing I have done that was pretty simple is switch from our regular bath products of shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner in their plastic bottles to regular old soap bars and radically in my opinion, a shampoo bar.

I have super sensitive skin. I have to use gentle stuff on myself or it’s bad news. So I was a little nervous to switch. But then I realized, by buying something that is organic and natural, I would probably be better off anyway. So I purchased Horse O’Peace Oatmeal Honey goat milk soap and crossed my fingers it would all be ok.

oatmeal honey

I absolutely love this soap! It doesn’t have a scent, since I started with something that I thought would be ok with my sensitive skin, but my skin feels so clean, soft, smooth, and just looks brighter! I am in love with this brand. I think that next time I will get one that is scented, since there is not any chemicals in this 100% natural soap. I am a convert!! I will say that the first time I used it, my skin was tight and squidgy feeling in the shower, and I was like oh no – this is awful! But after I dried off all was well – soft and smooth and clean.

Now the shampoo bar, it is a different story! It definitely takes some adjusting. I have crazy hair. Thick, wavy, hard to tame. In the summer humidity it takes off, leaving me with a giant frizz ball. So I was particularly nervous to try this. It says right on the packaging to not apply directly to your hair, but to lather your hands and run it through that way. Of course, I paid this no heed and put it in my hair anyway. And my hair was super gross. It left a gross soapy film and my hair felt so dirty and icky. I learned my lesson though, and I am also learning how to use this product! I really want it to work out, since annually 552 shampoo bottles are tossed out a year!! That is crazy. I think that the shampoo bar is a work in progress, and requires some patience and trial and error. I’m not going to give up though! The bar I have is this one, Lime in Coconut by Terra Mia Organics. I bought it for that cute goat illustration, plus, you know..the song. Lol.

Lime-in-Coconut-Bar_grande

I think it will work out ok, once I learn how to use it right. 🙂

Besides the bars, I am being more mindful in taking my own bags to the store to shop. I didn’t make any huge changes, but for us, change is slow. I think slow is better than not at all though! I feel every little bit helps. 🙂

How about you guys? Anyone else making some changes? Or having any hints/tips/suggestions? I am open to them all!

Dino-Might!

I love dinosaurs. I always have. I used to dream about being a paleontologist when I was a kid, but then realized I was better at words than math. I have a love for the sciences even though I am not great at them, and I want to pass this along early to my son. I started collecting dinosaur crafts and projects and coloring books and all sorts of fun things to do with him in July, which I deemed would now be known as Dino-month.

So I was super excited when I saw that a nearby indoor playscape/preschool/wellness center was having a drop in class for preschoolers and toddlers all about dinosaurs!! There would be songs and stories and sensory bins and a craft – all for $12! I was so excited to take Wyatt. I knew he would love it. Then I realized…I would have to socialize too! My biggest nightmare as an introvert super shy momma, is interacting with other parents. But, like we push our kids to move past their fears, so must we as parents push past ours. And it is good for us to get out of our comfort zones too – I need to grow and move forward as well. So, this was it for me. Wyatt needs to do this sort of thing, it is so good for all kids to interact with their peers and all that, and especially for Wyatt. As a kid with some developmental disabilities due to his CP, he picks up a lot of language and movement by being around other kids. So, it was time for this momma to toughen up and go talk to some strangers! Lol.

dino4

I had this super cute outfit laid out for him to wear – but then it got breakfast on it and had to be changed. Note to self: put cute outfit on preschooler after he eats..

We finally rolled up to the place, which was in the middle of an adorable neighborhood. I was feeling nervous, made worse when I walked right in to the end of the baby and mom yoga class that was before the Jurassic Wonders class. But the yogi (whom I actually knew, I met her when our husbands worked together years ago) is a sweet welcoming soul who made me feel less awkward and less like bolting back out the door. Wyatt and I took a seat and waited for the class to clear out then I put him down to explore. The place, Nature’s Playhouse, was super accessible and I totally loved its vibe. Natural materials, solid and sturdy wooden toys everywhere, tables scattered about, puzzles, a rocking board. I felt like I was in a kid’s secret fort. Wyatt dug it, and enjoyed that shoes weren’t supposed to be worn in that room, since he hates wearing shoes. He had a big grin on his face the whole time we were there.

As the rest of the parents and kids trooped in, we circled up with our kids for story time  and songs. Afterwards, there were two sensory areas, an area with dinosaur books to flip through, including a cool one with different textures to touch, and the craft, which was painting a dinosaur with sponges and paint. Wyatt and I started with the painting, getting the messiest out of the way first.

dino 1

I think he did a great job! After that we headed over to the sifting through the sand bin, where the kids used paintbrushes to brush away the sand to find the dinosaur stickers hidden under the sand. Wyatt seriously loved this the best. Most of the other kids liked the area where you dug through beans and did some pouring and jazz, but Wyatt liked the sand area. We happily played over there, I made awkward (on my end) conversation with another mother, then, it was time to go! The class passed by super quickly.

I am so glad that I went – Wyatt had a blast! I will have to watch for other classes that fit into our crazy life schedules, even if it is just to drop in and play. It is worth it for the big grin I saw on my son’s face the whole time we were there.

Walking back to the car, I noticed the sidewalk full of acorn hats, something I had missed on the way in. I stopped and picked one up. Acorns are special to our family, almost a talisman. My Wyatt is my acorn, my tiny boy – and like my grandma said, “From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks.”  Stumbling on these acorns was a reminder, I think, of how we all need to grow, to be strong and to be mighty..

I am looking forward to our next visit!

Road Warriors

My husband is a bit of a bike fanatic.

He has at least four bikes, all for different purposes and of differing values. He has a fancy fancy Specialized bike, an older bike that he has made fancy with a special Brooks leather seat (or saddle, if you will), an old bike he fixed up to ride with Wyatt, and then a beach cruiser. I have an older bike as well, I just thought it looked cool sitting there all vintage-like. However, I am not a bike person. I am that person who is afraid of riding bikes. I am a bit nervous and not super confident of my biking skills, so I often do not go on the bike rides that Billy takes with Wyatt. But Billy always wants me to go, so when he requested a family bike ride for Father’s Day, I couldn’t deny him!

 

One of the parks near our home has a 6 mile ride that is closed to car traffic for a bit on Saturday mornings, so our plan was to go early before it got too hot for little man. After figuring out where to park, we slapped on sunscreen, hopped on our bikes, and hit the road.

It was a beautiful ride, smooth sailing, gorgeous scenery right in the middle of a city. A true greenspace. Wyatt thought it was hilarious that I was riding along with them, across from him. It was his first time seeing me on a bike, and he kept cracking up and waving to me. Billy and I soaked in the scenery, enjoying our ride. We went about three miles, and decided to turn around to head back to our car, to make our round trip six miles instead of twelve.

That’s when disaster struck.

Somehow, Billy and I got really close. And I panicked, thinking that my wheel was going to bump theirs, and cause them to crash. So, what did I do? Jerked my wheel harshly to one side, basically throwing myself at the ground. I was so afraid Wyatt would see me laying in the road, with the bike on me, and not want to go again that I jumped right back up immediately, despite some gross wounds.

Long story short – that effectively ended our pleasant ride. I limped my way over to a picnic table by an access road, while Billy and Wyatt finished their ride to the car and came to rescue me. I had time to check out my injuries and they were all pretty superficial, although they looked ugly. I did go to urgent care over one of them, a tiny wound on my foot from my pedal. The doctor was more interested in the gigantic bruise on my arm – he wanted to x-ray it to see if my arm was broken. I had to explain to him that my family just bruises dramatically. (and apparently, bike ride dramatically too..)

While I sat there waiting, I thought about all those huge falls the cyclists in the Tour de France take, and how they mostly just get back up and keep pedaling! They are some hardcore dudes, riding with broken legs (Valverde, if I recall did that in 2014, at least for a little bit), nasty sprains and breaks and gashes and fatigue and just in general, probably not feeling super. And they ride up mountains and over cobbles and through the rain and storms and hail. Past crowds booing them or cheering for them, getting in their way, on little sleep and still sore from the day before. I think people view cycling as kind of an easy peasy sport, but I think you need to be so tough, mentally and physically, to endure the Tour.

Speaking of, the Tour starts Saturday! I am so excited, I can’t wait! I am forever amazed by their intensity and drive, and then sometimes you get that break in their concentration, where you see a bit of their personality peek through too – I love those little glimpses. Every year I pick a different cyclist to root for, and I am still up in the air for this year’s pick.

Anyone else getting excited over it?