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Friday, May 2, 2014

Secret Life of Blogger's Blog Party: Somewhere I Belong (4/26-5/2)

Hi dear readers!

It's been a good week, though on Tuesday I felt a little low because I was worried about some things. However, I feel confident now and have my fingers crossed. I'm not a religious person, but I am spiritual and have been praying to the higher powers as well. My dreams are finally coming true - I will be visiting Detroit, Roseville and Fraser, MI in 10 days. I'm so excited because I've wanted to do this for a long time. As I was saying to a few people, I've wanted to move since I was 12. I remember when I was 12 I wanted to move to Michigan (back then it was to marry Eminem, haha, my pre-teenaged self cracks me up), at 13 I wanted to move to somewhere in the Midwest, 14 is the outlier because I wanted to move to Seattle, from 15-16 (9th and 10th grades) it was the South, then 17-19 (11th grade to sophomore year of college) it was Germany, a few months when I was 20 years old it was South Carolina or Asheville, NC, then 20 until early 24 Wisconsin and now Michigan. I believe it is a sign because that Saturday in December I had received literature from a school in Michigan (have been getting this literature since 2008) and then on that Monday the Tigers posted they were hiring. Sadly, I didn't get the internship with the Tigers and wasn't considered for other positions (probably because I wasn't a local), I feel confident I possess the skills for a few great jobs. I'm excited about being able to grow, but at the same time I'm a little nervous (which I hear is normal).

However, I like what Colleen posted because it's true. I think some people choose to stay in a place they are comfortable with even if they are unhappy rather than take a risk to something that makes them happy. Anyway, check out my wish list. Thank you!

I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong
I will never know myself until I do this on my own
And I will never feel anything else, until my wounds are healed

Saturday, April 26

Dad and I were watching the oldies and Motown hits. I've always loved this song "Leader of the Pack." It's a catchy song. I will confess I do like the oldies and Motown… there's just something about it that makes me want to dance and sing along. It's fun music.

Mom and dad gardened today. I sat outside and watched Mimi enjoy the nice, warm sun. Spring is here!

Mom and I then went to the farm to look for some plants. I bought some ice cream and some of the pansies were beautiful.

Sunday, April 27

Mom and I went food shopping today. I'm going to make dandelion soup. I saw they had the greens and I bought them; first time in three years since I made it, I figured it's worth a shot.  They're going to Ireland for 9 days on Wednesday night, so it'll be me and me cooking to prepare myself for moving.

Mom needed a suitcase for the trip; it has to be a specific size for the tour. She found it, but I also found these purple suitcases and duffle bags. I liked it; I might go back for the dufflebag, but it might be too expensive at Macy's. Wish list!

I love how Mimi crosses her paws when she lays down. Since she's a long cat, I guess it's more comfortable for her. We had her out before mom's co-worker and her husband came for dinner.

I didn't get pictures of the dinner, obviously, but it went well.
Mom's coworker and her husband were really nice. We were talking about my move and the coworker has a sister that lives near Roseville (which is outside Detroit... after reading reviews on apartments I could afford in Detroit, I decided to look in the suburbs and found really nice apartments with good reviews that were the same price as the iffy ones in Detroit) and she reassured me and my parents that it's a good area. We were talking about jobs and they definitely urged me to look in libraries since I have 8 years experience and writing jobs. They say once I get out there, it should be easier to find work. She's also going to talk to her sister. It was a really nice night and I was in such a good mood. Julie and a few of my other Midwestern friends also texted me, "We can't wait to see you! We can't wait until you move out here. You're going to love Roseville. You're going to do great." It's funny how when things can look so bleak, things change and your support picks you up and reassures you things are going to be okay. I feel blessed.

Dad bought Nelson's ice cream and it's so good. Even though we had a fruit tart for dessert, I wanted a bit of ice cream (that's about the amount I can eat without getting sick).

Monday, April 28

It's that time of week again-- goal time!

The time is getting near for the relocation! Most goals will focus on that this week:

1.) Book flight to Detroit tomorrow (hoping it's cheaper on a Tuesday) for 5/13.
2.) Still waiting to hear from two places; find 2-3 more places and e-mail them about a tour.
3.) Find a cheap hotel in Roseville.
4.) Update Relocation Journal.

Other goals:

5.) Review 2 new authors on this site.
6.) Finish NaPoWriMo and post the challenge to my port.
7.) Work on recipe book.
8.) Since mom and dad are going to Ireland, experiment on some recipes.

Max Scherzer is one of my favorite players on the Tigers. I was so glad he made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

When I got home, I e-mailed some apartment complexes in Roseville, MI and I found one in Fraser, MI. I then looked at airline prices… Eeek! I'll look on Tuesday.

Mimi was watching Jack and his workers walk back and forth for the porch we're adding. Mimi loves Jack. :)

Our Japanese Maple is starting to bloom!

The Lily of the Valleys are starting to come up! These are my favorite flowers and they usually come out around May.
White coral bells,
Upon a slender stalk,
Lily of the Valley decks my garden walk.
Oh don't you wish,
That you could hear them ring?
That will happen only when the faeries sing.

Mom's coworker's husband left some craft beers here. I hate beer, but the IPA (Indian Pale Ale) was just as disgusting. I ended up dumping it.

I ended up having Riesling, a German wine, about two hours after dumping the beer and having sodas. I like Riesling, it's a sweet wine, but not as sweet as Sangria (another favorite of mine… yes, I like sweet drinks).

Tuesday, April 29

Mimi was so curious when the one lightbulb in the fan went out. Silly girl. I ended up going for a walk as the ominous rain clouds rolled in.

I believe this is a dogwood tree; my neighbor's tree is starting to bloom!

I love the hue of these pansies!

Yeah, it felt like winter again today. Not a bad thing!

Wisteria? This bush is beginning to bloom too!

I had a bit of a rough day today with worrying about some things. But, I reminded myself not to worry because there is a way of making things happen if something pops up.

After I reminded myself about that, I felt happier. I also love wearing my Tigers shirt.

Marvin the Martian is my favorite and he always cheers me up!

Yep, it began to rain and it looks like it's raining/thundering in Green Bay, WI and Detroit, MI as well! I love the Weather Whiskers app.

Wednesday, April 30

I was dog sitting again. Just for a day as my aunt and uncle visited Kaitlyn in D.C. I had the door opened waiting for mom to pick me up for work. Sandy was watching the rain.

I took this at work before I left. Yep, it's pouring hard.

This is what I looked like when I had to get Sandy outside in the pouring rain.

Even Sandy and Daphne are soaked!

I received an e-mail from the apartment complex in Fraser, MI! This made me feel relieved and I have my fingers crossed. This e-mail sounds so hopeful. I'll be praying. I'll be calling the apartment complex in Roseville to see if I can view that as well (I didn't hear from them yet) and I'm going to call Kelly Temping to see if I can sign up since I'll be moving. It's looking so good. I will also visit libraries when I get there as well and Costco.

I'm so happy and excited about things.

Mom and dad leave for Ireland tonight. Here is dad getting ready.

Dad's coworker is also a shuttle driver. He is taking them to the airport.

I have the house to myself until next Thursday. :)

Yep, still raining hard!

Aww, I guess when dad changed my light bulb, he fluffed up my pillows and put my Packers fleece at the end of the bed. I am going to miss him when I move, but I've wanted to do this for a long time and I will visit him and he said he'd visit me. :) As my godfather's sister said: "Move now while you have the chance! I was supposed to move to California with my friends back in the 70s, but I chickened out!"  I know dad is nervous for me, as any father would be, but he is also excited for me because he knows I have wanted to do this for so long. And I will invest in a step stool so I can reach things. ;)

Let me show you the picture of Monoxide that really put a smile on my face yesterday when he posted it and it still puts a smile on my face. Monoxide is a very attractive man without the paint, but he still looks attractive with the paint too!

Anyway, it's true: I'm hopelessly enamored with Monoxide!

Thursday, May 1

Happy May Day!

After having torrential downpours for the past two days, more of the bells are opening!

I hope this tulip survives. Mom just bought it.

Mimi misses dad as she is laying on his pillow.

Detroit or Bust! Then Roseville. Tomorrow I'm getting my return ticket because prices change constantly. I'll also get my hotel room tomorrow in Roseville. Ah, so excited!

I am so nervous and I hope they tweet me back. It would be so awesome to work at the Twiztid shop… I could work right next to Monoxide. Tomorrow I'll also call Kelly temps… deep breath. I'm also going to look at libraries.

Yeah, I played chef today. I thought I bought dandelions on Sunday, but it is collard greens instead. Ooops! I love collard greens, but have never seen them raw. Nice surprise. I'm going to eat them tomorrow as things start to infuse.

I didn't have chicken broth, so I tweeked one collard green recipe I found.

Collard Greens
Serves 3-5 people

2-3 strips thick-sliced bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
Pinch of saffron
2 Tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
2 pounds collard greens, stems removed, sliced into 3-inch-wide strips (can substitute kale or chard)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup German wine (Riesling)

1 Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Cook the bacon in the skillet until it just begins to brown around the edges, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and cook until they have softened and are just starting to brown.

2 Add the garlic powder, saffron, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, about a minute. Add the vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook until the amount of liquid is reduced by half, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

3 Add the collard greens and the water and wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce the temp to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the collard greens have wilted and have lost their brightness. Season to taste with additional vinegar, sugar and pepper. Serve with some of the pan juices from the pan.

I'm going to decorate the rest tomorrow. I was exhausted from cooking all day (I also made German potato salad) and doing relocation stuff.

I went Midwest tonight! Except Riesling (German wine) instead of beer. :p Mmmm.

Yeah, I have to cut stuff into small pieces. But, I noticed the wisdom tooth area is healing nicely!

Friday, May 2

I love these art shows that come on at 6am. I remember watching these shows when I was a small girl; usually I would watch these shows on PBS when I was home sick from school at nan's house. Ah, miss those days!

I had a monster for breakfast- don't worry I also had cereal!

Yeah, even two days after the rain ended, the creek is still high.

Yeah, after work I went to the farm near work. I love goats. :)

Mmm, they do taste pretty good. I rock at cooking!

It's that time again! Let's see what I have accomplished this week.

1.) Book flight to Detroit tomorrow (hoping it's cheaper on a Tuesday) for 5/13.
After looking at flight prices, I have decided to take Amtrak. It'll take me a day to get to Michigan, but that's okay since I need to save all I can for the move. I'll depart from King of Prussia on 5/12, get to Detroit then Roseville on 5/13 at 6:30am, then depart from Detroit at 9:30pm on 5/15 and return to Philadelphia at 3pm on 5/16… I'll probably get to King of Prussia at 4pm.

2.) Still waiting to hear from two places; find 2-3 more places and e-mail them about a tour.
I heard from Tuscan Shores Apartments and one place I found called Garfield Park in Fraser, MI (7 minutes outside of Roseville). Still waiting to hear from Macomb Manor and I'll find one more place. 

3.) Find a cheap hotel in Roseville.
I'll be staying at Best Western in Roseville at $59/night.

4.) Update Relocation Journal.

Other goals:

5.) Review 2 new authors on this site.
As of 5/2 at 3:12pm: only 1, but I will review someone else tonight.

6.) Finish NaPoWriMo and post the challenge to my port.

7.) Work on recipe book.
I found the recipe book I made for mom when I was in 9th grade in 2005! I found some of my favorite classics that nan's friends used to make such as:

Edie's Cookies
1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
1 cup cream cheese (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Blend together the cup of butter and cream cheese. Then add sugar, egg and vanilla. Lastly, add the flour and baking powder. Scoop onto a tray and bake in the oven until they are golden brown.

Edie was Mrs. Fascio's, a friend of nan's, sister-in-law. Every Christmas Edie would make these delicious chocolate chip cookies (I guess I forgot to add the chocolate chips back then… I'll add them now… I was trying to find more of nan's recipes and I hope mom didn't get rid of them all!) along with other holiday treats. They were alright, but I definitely loved these cookies. Edie and Joe (Joe was Mrs. Fascio's brother) used to live in this house with many acres of land; I remember the time I went I used to love to explore their gardens, the green houses and just everything on their property. It wouldn't surprise me if at one point in Edie's life they had a farm and everything was organic. Sadly, Edie died in the mid 2000s; I'm not sure if Joe is still alive because when nan died in January 2013 we lost contact with people (Mrs. Fascio died in 2007).

I found another childhood favorite: Mrs. Fascio's coconut cake! Her cake was the best! For every occasion, Mrs. Fascio would bring along this cake. I actually have some pictures from 1992 or 1993 with Daniel, nan, Mrs. Fascio, nan and a few of nan's other friends sitting around nan's kitchen table just waiting to dig into this cake: we all had smiles on our faces.  It was often smothered in vanilla icing and coconut. Sadly, Mrs. Fascio was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2003 and stopped making the cake. I'm glad she passed this recipe along to nan and nan passed it on to me. I know when I move, I want to make this for every gathering.

Mrs. Fascio's Coconut Cake

2 2/3 cups cake flour
2 1/4 tsp. double acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
4 egg whites

3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind.
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Have all ingredients about 70. Sift the cake flour before measuring. Resift with baking powder and salt. Cream the butter until soft. Gradually add the sifted sugar and cream until light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in about three parts, alternating with a cup of milk. Stir the batter until smooth after each addition, whip the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold them lightly into the batter (in the recipe booklet, I wrote battle, I must have had the Civil War on my mind!). . Add the coconuts, grated lemon rind and salt to the batter, before folding in the whites. Make in greased 10-inch tube pan or two 9x5 loaf pans for 50 minutes.

I also checked out some recipe books from the library. Lobster Savannah looks interesting, but what is it? Southern friends, help!

8.) Since mom and dad are going to Ireland, experiment on some recipes.
Yep, I bought collard greens instead of dandelions, so I made collard greens for the first time. I will buy the dandelions and spinach tomorrow for the dandelion/spinach soup. I also made German potato salad.

Before I end this entry, please check out this week's Friday Fluff.

This is my friend Sabrina, @srkmeg. I love her chickens, ducks, cat and dogs. She takes some wonderful photos as well.

@drastiic, this is Sabrina's step-son and you can see more of the adorable chickens and ducks.

@blindcatrescue. I know I've posted about Blind Cat Rescue before, but this cause is close to my heart. Please check out Blind Cat Rescue on Facebook and check out their wish list.

And of course @troopsthephatone! I love Troops (and Naomi)!

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend. If you could please, please check out my wish list. Also, Sunday would have been nan's 91st birthday. I miss her. :(


  1. I like the farm pictures and, as usual, all the pictures of Mimi. :) I had wondered whether or not she had missed your parents; I remember Dad telling me (many years ago) about the times when our cats missed me and my brother when we left for a few days for trips with our grandparents.

    That "monster" you had for breakfast, what is it exactly? It looks like a cake.

    Did that tulip survive?

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Yes, Mimi missed my parents A LOT. I think Mimi will miss me when I move and I'll miss her too. I hope when dad keeps in touch, he'll send me pictures of Mimi.

      The monster was just a yellow, vanilla cake that I dyed green. I think the dye was bad, though, because it was clumpy. It still worked.