Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to Michigan

I am getting ready for guests that will be coming in on Friday and staying until Sunday morning. The visit was quite unexpected but it will be nice to see some relatives for a few days. I am busy right now making sure everything is "house guest ready".

When my guests leave, I will promtly (this is back to back events) board a train and go back to Birmingham, Michigan to hang out with my young nephew for a week. He's 11 and overall a fun, good boy to be around. My sister & her husband are in need of an "emergency babysitter" and I'm being shipped in like cattle on Amtrak. MOO!

When I lived in Michigan, I lived just a few blocks away from my sister's home and probably dropped in 3-4 times a week to say hello. My sister is very community oriented and volunteers for just about everything. I tease her that she should have a revolving door installed in the front of the house. There are always people dropping by for one thing or another. I miss the convenience of being near them.
I am thrilled that I get to hang out with my nephew (I miss him dearly and he has always been my little "bud") and I wanted him to come here to visit me so that we could do the Chicago tourist thing everyday but he's too young to ride the train alone.
Anyway, it's a crazy mess right now, getting ready for house guests and packing for a week away.
I promise I'll write more when things aren't so crazy/busy. Here are some pictures of Birmingham, Michigan. It's a great little town to live in, I miss it but I know that I will make the north shore my own "little Birmingham" soon enough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jamie Johnson, I'm glad you're back!

Ok, I have a secret little crush on Jamie Johnson.
There I've said it!
Ken Doll is not aware of this little crush so please if you run into him, be kind, don't run him over with gushing exclamations of my little secret. I think he thinks it's all a literary crush anyway. I do too, for the most part.
My little crush began many years ago when Jamie (isn't that swell, I feel I'm on a first name basis now, ha ha) produced the documentary Born Rich followed by his second documentary: The One Percent. Aside from his film making, Jamie is the heir to the..well..The Johnson and Johnson family fortune. If you are not putting two and two together and you're a little vague about Johnson & Johnson, go to your bathroom, I'm sure you'll find the logo on something, somewhere in there.
Jaime writes a weekly blog that I follow not so much for it's content (sorry Jaime) but because I love the "comments" left by followers of his writings. Jaime writes about how people in his circle live & what his peers think about current events & happenings. I'm slightly intrigued by the elite world Jamie lives in because of his billionaire status but even more intriguing are the comments left by people. Some tell him kudos, others tease him like they know him personally (they profess that they do) and others argue & debate with his blogging/social commentary. I get a good laugh with every read.
Except last week. There was no Tuesday blog. I was fearful that JJ's thoughts would never be public again and I was saddened until today and his writings are back up. Phew!
If you have a chance, read his blog, it's amusing.
And as an FYI, my Ken Doll is ever so handsome & perfect in his Ken Doll ways (I've posted a pic before). Although I do think JJ is an attractive man, my Ken Doll is still perfect (his mom & I think he looks like Prince William without the red cheeks) so I'm very satisfied having a "celebrity looking BF".
Wow, look at the time, it's about time for cocktails- Ttyl!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Your favorite house

Since I'm all hyped up on this move. I started thinking about all the houses that have been in movies that are along the north shore of Illinois. Then I started to think about my favorite houses in movies. Do you have one? Is it Terra from Gone With The Wind? (Of course before the war) Is it the enchanting yet crumbling villa in Under the Tuscan Sun? Let me know, I'd love to hear what yours is/are. Here are a few of mine.
From the movie: The Wedding Crashers
From the movie: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

From the movie: Sabrina
I have a few others that come to mind but I had trouble finding pics of them. For the movies of the 80's: Rob Lowe's home in the movie Class, Trading Places: The Dukes residence, the home in the movie Arthur and The Bel Air home used in the movie Mommie Dearest. Moving a few years forward into the 90's, two homes stick out in my mind: the house Hilary lived in with her husband in the movie Beaches and a Caribbean plantation looking home used in the last scene of the movie Moll Flanders (this is a very vague memory and I could have the house confused with the wrong movie). I wish I could have posted pictures of these homes, they are beautiful houses with that wow effect.
Once again, I'd love to hear what your favorite movie homes are.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I'm so super excited!! As I have said before, we are moving. Well it's all settled and we are moving to the most perfect location. I'm so excited!!!
I grew up on the water, I went to college in Miami and the proximity I lived to the ocean was this: ocean, sand, beach grass, road, my condo. When I moved back to Michigan I lived in Birmingham, a lovely pedestrian friendly area but land locked. Only in summer was I near water. When we moved to Illinois I thought great we will be near the water. No such luck. Ken Doll's boss recommended cities for him to move to and he picked from one of his suggestions. Chicago and Lake Forest were the only areas I was previously familiar with. I had friends that had either moved to the city or girlfriends whose husbands were originally from LF. Ken Doll said that LF was too far north but keep looking in the areas south of LF.
After my car accident in January, I was left pretty broken and bruised up. I was hospitalized and bed ridden for awhile. I have had lots of time to think about things I want and don't want. I loved my German engineered car (R.I.P.), it's higher ranking in crash testing probably saved my life. For this I'm thankful but I'm not so sure I want to drive again and if I do maybe not everyday. I'm not sure of a lot of things anymore. BUT one thing I was very sure of was I wanted to live near the water.
My prayers were answered.
Sheridan road in Illinois starts in Chicago and goes along the coast to Wisconsin. We will be living on this road. It won't be until the end of August officially but basically everything is all set. I'm so excited! I can't stop saying that! This will be my backyard!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Being expelled from Miss Porter's

After reading an article that is published in the July issue of a favorite magazine, I was prompted to write this blog. Although this story came out back in 2008 I found it an interesting read in Vanity Fair.
Does hearing the name Tatum Bass make you just want to roll your eyes? Ya I thought so, me too.
I wanted to keep my ranting to a minimum on my blog site and not get on one of my "soap boxes" but after hearing her story I really feel the need to vent.
Are you kidding me? Really, I mean are you seriously kidding me?
I really can not side with Miss Bass. Yes, yes, benefit of the doubt but she cheated. I am a firm believer in a code of ethics that you live by and do not waiver from.
I think that comes from my puritanical upbringing. Anyway..
Miss Bass cheated and was expelled. She blamed her reason for cheating on the teasing she received from the other students. She claims that this verbal abuse, harassment, taunting and ritual hazing caused so much emotional distress that she was forced to skip classes and cheat.
Miss Porter's is known for it's rules and rituals. It is known for it's strict routine and high academic standards. It is known for it's alumni and the character of it's alumni.
The lawsuit seems just ridiculous. If Tatum was so distraught, her personal fortitude being pushed to the point of an emotional breakdown, why didn't she contact her parents immediately? Some rules have changed and students are allowed to make phone calls out now. Seems like an easy solution to me. I despise cliches but isn't there one that goes something like "if you can't stand the heat, get someone to fan you?" No, no,'s get out of the kitchen, right?
I'm sorry to hear that this girl's lapse of good judgement cost her admittance into Vanderbilt University but cheating? Give me a break!
Maybe Mr. & Mrs. Bass should have taught her that sometimes our peers remind of us of our shortcomings in order to make us stronger and better.
In fact just last week my friend J had a chemical peel (she just turned 30) and this action prompted me to raise the bar a little bit higher for myself and invest in some hydroquinone from the derm doc. Baby steps right?
I guess it's all how you look at it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bye bye my 6' x 9'

Did I mention that we are moving? Did I mention the views we will gain but the space that we will loose?
Bring me a glass of wine, please!
We have a lot of drinking to do bunnies-
54 sq. ft of drinking in fact oh and then there's that other closet..I hope you're thirsty.
One of Ken Doll's hobbies is the old art/science of making wine and brewing beer. Did I mention that he is very good at this?
Samuel Adams has an annual longshot micro brew competition every year and in a previous year out of the top 1000 entries Ken Doll placed in the top 100. The winner gets to see their beer be produced commercially. Really there are thousands of entries and to be in the top 100 is pretty impressive. He makes lagers and ales. He has made/makes stouts/porters, pilsners, cream stouts and IPA's. I hope I didn't leave anything out. There have been many many batches brewed.
Then the other closet is filled with homemade wines, ciders and mead's. We will never thirst.
Now my experience in all of this is in the designing of wine cellars (this is what we really need) for clients and of course the consumption of many vino varieties. I have taken some wine classes, gone on wine tasting tours and during my college years experimented with decorating the living room with empty wine bottles whimsically tossed about like confetti after a New Years Party. Ok, it was more like I woke up to find the living room like that. I also have a friend (sadly I've lost touch with him) who owns and operates his own vineyard/winery in Washington. That's my wine resume.
I'm excited about the move and I have downsized my closet quite a bit to make some space for our adult beverage collection. Ken Doll should have been an attorney. His argument that forces me to release shoes into the universe is very simple. "Honey, do you want this to be a dry household?" and "Ok, if you want to keep your stuff and only have 100 bottles of wine then I guess it's shoes for you".


Truth be told? I've gotten into this wine making. I am not at a level of being an enologist or sommeliers (maybe I'll save that for my retirement years) and I have come to love and appreciate that I make something that tastes great and makes people feel good. I like the fact that I contribute to other peoples happiness. It's one of the purist of art forms. I guess if you analyze it, there is a certain utilitarian aspect to it but essentially it is art. It is the best thing I've ever created.
We will be bottling one of my sweet fruit wines that has been fermenting for 2 years before we move. I'm working on the label design now. I think it will be a drawing of me in a pair of high heeled SHOES stepping on grapes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Days off from Blogging

Hi Bloggers!!!
My dearest closest friend (next to my sister and Ken Doll) is coming into Chicago today! Woo hoo! that the train?
The museum of Science and Industry is free this week (adult admission is normally $12.00, I know that's not much but this week = FREE) except for the new Harry Potter exhibit. I love free! There is also a free concert tonight in Millennium Park (the cast from Million Dollar Quartet). It is going to be an action packed week and I probably won't be blogging for the next few days.
Although I live within a 30 minute drive to the city, Ken Doll and I only do the Chicago thing when friends & family come into town. I know this is horrible but we are slowly changing this. This week I am going to do as many tourist things as possible. Navy Pier, The museums, Garrett's Popcorn, Chicago style hot dogs, and Argo Tea (my friend has never been to an Argo before)! IF you love ice tea go to their website. They have the best T!
Be good bunnies, keep thinking of all things that keep you uplifted and that make you laugh. I'll catch up with you in a few days!

I'll have another one, please!
and another..
oh what the heck, one more!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

You know it's summer when..

Preppy Little Dress is having a tote bag give-a-way (It's a snappy one). To enter all you need to do is answer this question "When do you know it's summer?"
My answer: It's officially summer when the boat goes back in the water.
We haven't become Lake Michigan boaters, yet. There are storage & slip complications, dues paid elsewhere for a comfortable amount of time so it's easier (ok what I meant to write was cheaper, yes I said it!! Cheaper) for us to go back to Michigan and boat on Lake St. Clair. We will probably be Michigan boaters for a long time. No biggy, it's just a 5 1/2 hour drive back "home".
Here's a pic from our boat looking at a family friends boat (we aren't cigarette boaters but he's a bachelor, an attorney and his flashy/fast boat gets him flashy/fast We are anchored in Grosse Pointe Shores between the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club and the Ford Estate (actually the cove where the Edsel & Eleanor Ford estate is. What a lovely weekend!