Items from my shop - Romantic Planet

I made the front page of Etsy! Yippeeeeee!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I have a new Etsy pal & she makes wonderful jewelry! Check her out!

I found this special little shop on www.etsy.com I thought it would be nice to share with all of you. Leksi Designs is filled with original hand stamped creations. Brooke the creator of these little treasures has incorporated inspirational quotes and personalization into her pieces. Some of them remind me of Tiffany's. She can even customize your pendants with names of your loved one's. Great items for gifts for Mom. So original!


Put the Lime in the Coconut!


Hey All,
UV Vodka just put out a new flavored coconut vodka....it's soooo good! It even tastes good straight! Makes me want to hop on a plane straight for the blue waters of the caribbean! A great alternative to those of us that can't handle coconut flavored rum. It's the only white coconut vodka on the market. I can't wait to see what cocktails I can dream up. I'm thinking Coconut Cream Pie Martini. Maybe even mix it with Banana liquer...a little Baileys Irish Creme.....yummmmm! I just have to try it with Patron Coffee liquer & Dark Chocolate Godiva liquer. Great for an Luau themed party. Or hanging out on a warm summer day with a little calypso music in the hammock :)

Quote of the day!

Never
Ever
Give
Up!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pappadeaux Restaurant an outstanding choice!

Once again my bro John being the giving soul he is..... invited & treated Joe & I to dinner last night! Thanks brother Bonzai! John & I usually try to meet for dinner somewhere in the middle between our old stomping grounds on the Southside & John's current residence in the the boondocks. We choose Pappadeaux, 921 Pasquineli Drive, Westmont, IL, 60559. Just Northwest of rt 83 & Ogden. Now I'm not sure how this place came to be, my guess it's Greek owned & somewhere in there they threw in the New Orleans flair. For me ....Greeks have the it in the food department it has always been #1 in my book. Now, John & I have met here before & the experience has been wonderful, but last night was beyond outstanding! Maybe it was the dinner company, our server or the new dishes I sampled...but I walked away or rather rolled away, extremely pleased with a delightful evening. We met at the bar, even though we had a reservation for 8pm & the dining room was full, the host had no problem holding our reservation for over 1/2 an hour. When we decided to head on over for dinner we were promptly seated. The atmosphere is upscale casual, with a warm bustling interior. They also have a nice outdoor area for dining alfresco in warmer weather.



We were greeted immediately by our server & new found friend who introduced himself as "Bill." Now being in the service industry for what seems an eternity & coming from a family who spent years in the restaurant business.... I must say that I have always seemed to immediately support anyone who elects to wait on patrons for a living. A sort of secret guardian of servers. I pride myself on making sure that I, as well as the people that accompany me are at the very least cordial to employees of these establishments. Even though I usually keep my thoughts to myself, I have also caught myself critiquing these employees on occasion.



My first impression of "Bill" was that he went to extra lengths to make us feel welcome. Friendly enough, he spent an extensive amount of time with us going over the selections & making recommendations on wine, appetizers & the main course. Now, while I know this is commonplace in most establishments, this guy went above & beyond the call of duty. Intricately describing in detail, every ounce of effort that went into preparing each dish. It was almost as if he truly was impressed by what he was selling. I thought to myself "Wow, this guy should be in the kitchen." I found it a bit ironic as my brother Joe almost immediately took the words out of my mouth & stated "Hey Bill, maybe you should be preparing the meals instead of serving them." Bill replied by admitting he had an affinity for cooking & eating in general, but especially for the dishes prepared at Pappadeaux.



He went on informing us that we would receive the freshest of ingredients.....that every item, sauce & dressing was prepared from scratch daily, down to the tarter sauce. That each offering had it's own special secret seasonings & rubs. That the kitchen staff regularly spends as much time in preparation & seasoning of the meal as they do actually cooking it. He also added that the restaurant permits guests to request a meal to be prepared in any way they offer other meals to be prepared! Nice I thought!



I could see the excitement in both my brothers eyes...John was starving & Joe couldn't wait to get his hands on some good ole creole grub. Joe has often told me of the wonderful food he enjoyed down in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Considering he spends the majority of his life traveling & feasting on meals from around the globe.... I figure we can take his word on it.



Bill suggested the appetizer platter of deep fried alligator, calamari & the fondeaux made with shrimp, crayfish, mushrooms, spinach, in a Yvette sauce topped with Monterey Jack cheese. While the thought of ordering alligator has never previously sounded very appetizing to me...I decided to give it a try. It arrived & we dove in....officially deciding that it was nothing short of spectacular! John "one of the picky eates I know, seemed to adore the calamari. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was squid. Shhhh! The alligator was to die for.... my favorite hands down, I found it surprisingly tasty! It had a spicy breading & had been deep fried to a golden perfection. It couldn't decide if it tasted of chicken, shrimp or somewhere in between. The fondeaux was excellent; served with garlic bread wedges & lemon sauce that was truly out of this world!



While waiting for our second course "Bill," once again came over to strike up conversation. Shortly thereafter he served up the main course. John seemed to scarf down his filet mignon & dirty rice (another item that I am amazed John seems to enjoy!) I had the Alaskan King crab legs, garlic mashed spuds & steamed broccoli with extra lemon.....scrumptious. Joe ordered the Blackened Mahi Yvette....which looked so good I couldn't help myself from stealing a taste! Everything was just wonderful.....excellent recommendations Bill!



Joe ordered another glass of wine & I just had to try one of John's drinks....a perfect Patron Margarita....which ended up tasting as good as it looked. Bill offered to hand out take home containers, as none of us could seem to put down the extreme portions on our plate. I really didn't think I could take another bite....when Bill came over to offer to buy us dessert. John who often displays a great ability of self-restrait...declined....but Joe & I took one look at each other & couldn't seem to deny our over indulgent ways. Besides at this point in the meal we knew without a doubt, that when Bill recommends the TRIO for dessert....it would be worth unnotching the top buttons on our waistbands. Bring on the TRIO.... as I thought to myself.....a couple of tastes won't hurt anybody.



Who was I tryin to kid??? A couple of tastes.... my rear. Who could resist? The trio was the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of a "out of this world, down home cooked meal," that seemed to come straight from the Bayou! The Trio was served up with fresh pecan pie ala mode with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, Rum Raisin Bread Pudding that melted in your mouth & a creme brulee of fascination!



Everything about last evening was wonderful....seeing my big brothers, the laughter we always seem to share & the memorable meal that will go down as one of my favorites. Thanks brother Bonzai!

Try to make it out to Pappadeaux.... your taste buds will thank you & so will your pocketbook! I guarantee you'll be impressed! Enjoy!

Tuesdays Quote of the Day!


If you want the rainbow

you have to put up with the rain


Dolly Parton

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sundays Quote of the Day!


Customize Event Invitations, Favors & Birth Announcements

Hey Folks, Check out http://www.ineedafavor.biz/
I NEED A FAVOR
Offering a wonderful new line of personalized Invitations, Favors & Birth Announcements. They also offer custom promotional items for your Business & Fundraising needs. Get your name out there! Stand out in the crowd!
Personalize any Item
Candy Bar Wrappers
Water Bottle Labels
Mint Boxes Labels
Invitations
Birth Announcements
Greeting Cards
Great options for dressing up any Special Event!
Weddings
Showers
Birth of a new baby
Fundraising
Business

Saturdays Quote of the Day!

NEVER GIVE UP
FOR THAT IS
JUST THE PLACE & TIME
THAT THE TIDE WILL TURN
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Friday, April 9, 2010

My favorite Woman of the 20th Century - The 2nd Chapter FOLLOW HER STORY

Chapter 2
There she is....Baby "Kathryn" just as I described "full of life!" Isn't she just adorable? She's so cute she should have been the Gerber baby!

Or wait....is she really baby "Kathryn" maybe it's "Hilma" or maybe not???"

"Ann Marie?" my sister questioned me on the phone. "Yes, that's what it say's Ann Marie" I replied. "Hmmmm" "I had no idea. Nobody ever mentioned anything about that to me....not, Joyce, not Auntie, Tula, not even Grandma!" she stated. Are you sure it says Ann Marie?" she questioned me again. "Well it's in Grandma's handwriting, so believe it." I told her, "It's right here in black & white." "Well that makes absolutely no sense!" she said. "I know it doesn't! I replied. or does it I thought to myself?"

After Grandma Ruth (Kathryn's Momma) passed my Sister Betsy was kind enough to send each one of her siblings a relic from the collection of relics that Grandma Ruth had held on to all these years. I guess like many of us she just couldn't bare to part with the reminders of the past. It's funny how you're really not sure what to do with these things. But you hold on to them. Store them away in dusty attics & musty basements for years.... out of respect for the dearly departed. I never realized the secrets that would be revealed from my plain old ordinary brown box that was left on my porch. When I received it in the mail I sat down on the floor & opened it up. All kinds of stuff was in there. Some photos, my Mom's old high school scrapbook, some beautiful doilies that my Great Grandma Rena had crocheted in Sweden decades ago.
Then I noticed this interesting book....

It was old, but in good condition, of course it was, Grandma Ruth was the best at keeping things orderly & preserved. I couldn't stand it anymore...I am a glutton for family history. I thought which one of my relatives baby book is this.....I delicately opened the cover. Written in, oh so neatly, it had the usual new baby info...ya know... how many lbs & ounces, how long the baby was, etc. The date written in was August 24, 1936. I got so excited this was my Mom's baby book! (She had departed so many years before and any glimmer of her life just thrilled me.) OMG I can't believe my Sister sent this to me! Thanks Betsy! I began to read all the entries Grandma Ruth had written in. It listed the baby gifts she had received, the babies first visitors etc etc. Then I noticed something odd my Grandma had written....."It said "Ann Marie smiled today?" and I thought to myself "Ann Marie" who the heck is Ann Marie & whose baby book is this?" Why did my Grandma Ruth write in someone elses baby's book. Wait...Wait....Wait a minute here though, the date listed is my Mom's Birthday....how can this be. You mean to tell me my Mom "Kathryn" was not only named Hilma? She had actually lived her life for days as Ann Marie? Her name was Ann Marie..... long enough for my Grandma to write it in her baby book??? How could they do that to her...how could my Grandpa Martin make my Grandma Ruth.....change her babies name??? Oh poor Momma how could anyone do this to you.

Ok now, everything starts flood back to me. My mind begins to race. I recall the missing name on my Mom's birth certificate, but what really freaks me out a bit is that I....Anne Marie baby Kathryn's daughter....discovered in 1997 that I do not have a name on my birth certificate either. I realized this when I attempting to locate an original copy for my 1st cruise. I had to go through heck trying to get a name on that dang thing.
All my birth certificate ever said was Baby Girl Tamel. How ironic is this?

Well I thought to myself, Momma....well she never said a word....I don't think she even knew that her original name was Ann Marie. Of course she would have said something to one of us! I recall her telling the story over & over again about how her Father Martin wanted to name her "Hilma" she never EVER mentioned anything about Ann Marie. I proceeded to call all of my siblings & question them. "Did Mom ever tell you that her name was originally Ann Marie?" Every one of them said "No....but Grandpa Martin wanted to name her Hilma. Grandma wasn't having it so they settled on Kathryn Ann Hilma Larson" I answered "I know that.... but her original name was Ann Marie, the same as mine!"

How ironic that 31 years later "Baby Kathryn" would give birth to her 3rd daughter & not name her in the hospital....just as Grandma Ruth had done with her daughter....leave with no name on the birth certificate. Then in 1967, when Kathryn's baby is born she names her daughter Anne Marie? I mean come on now folks what are the chances of that happening? I'll tell you.....slim to none.....that's how many....of all the first & last names in the entire world she just happens to pick the exact same combination as her original name??? I guess baby "Kathryn" figured there I'll show you all....eventually! I'll have my way like it or not! It took me 39 years to figure out that I am really named after my Mother! Whether she or anyone else realized it or not.

But did she realize it? Did she know..... in her heart & soul, deep down that she was
really originally named Ann Marie? Perhaps she did after all.

Please stay tuned & follow along as I unfold the continuing story of "My Favorite Woman of the 20th Century!





"YES, THAT'S ME SWIMMING WITH THE STINGRAYS"


That's Me!





Yes Ladies, sometimes we benefit when facing our fears. It's not always an easy thing to do. I can recall several times in my lifetime that I confronted the challenge & I was later glad I did. Despite all the hoopla, people getting injured or even killed by stingrays I still feel overall they are gentle creatures. Creatures that should be respected. This is the purpose of wanting to share with you my experiences. In 1997, just as I was turning the big 3o, My girlfriends & I decided we would take our first Caribbean cruise on Carnival's "Imagination," stops would include, Cozumel, Jamaica & Grand Cayman. And boy want a cruise it was! It was Donna, Shannon, Colleen & I, later to be deemed the "Chicago Party Girls!" I could get into a lengthy saga with that one.... but lets try & stick to the topic. The previous day one of the band members on the ship recommended us signing up for the Stingray Excursion in Grand Cayman. None of us had ever been to Grand Cayman so we took his advice & purchased our tickets in advance. They were somewhere in the vicinity of $30 bucks. No biggie, seemed like a great deal to us to be toted around on the ocean all morning. When the morning came, & boy did it come fast....even though the Chicago girls were up all of the previous night, doing "God knows What" & we woke up in a frenzy, we still somehow managed to make it to our shore excursion, we threw on our suits & ran down to the pier, the scent of the previous evenings multiple "Lemon Drop" shots excreting from our pores. We hopped on the tour boat. It was definitely headache city but who cared....just toss on the shades.....cuz we were out in the sun & fun again!



Mind you....No one had any idea where the day would take us! As the boat glided across the clear blue Caribbean sea the tour guide tosses us our snorkeling gear & instructs us to put it on. We oblige in a our not so enthusiastic manner. The boat starts to slow down, Shannon exclaims..."Look, Oh my God!" I look over to a parade of what must have been 100's of blurry creatures in the sea. A huge mass you could see right through the aqua water. Mind you none of us had ever been snorkeling prior to this lovely morning. "No, Way! No, Way! No Way!" I shouted, "I am not doing this! Are you people out of your minds?" I am not getting in that water!" Neither am I Boogie (Colleen) says!






The tour guide comes over "Is there a problem ladies" he asks. "You want us to get there, with that I reply?" "You will be fine, I do it every day! Just be sure to shuffle your feet when you walk & don't touch their tails or stingers. Trust me, you'll love it."









As the other passengers proceed to exit the boat....we are the last 3 standing. "Cmon, you guys" Shannon laughs. It can't be that bad or they would never bring us here. "You do what you want....I'll just sit here on this little boat & work on my tan!" I retorted. Colleen then asks "Anne if I do it, will you? We can hold hands. " Shannon says "Yeah, I won't let anything happen to you guys. You know that!"


I some how decide that I don't want to ruin the adventure. I'm not sure what made me get in that water. Most likely the leftover alcohol weighing on my brain from the previous wild evening. The tour guide helps us into the water & then the fun begins. "Shannon oh my God, It's coming by us, Oh my God!" I scream "Annie it's okay, it will be fine." she says. "Fine, my A_ _, I think back. Then a baby stingray glides right past touching my leg. "Oh my God" I say. "It just touched me, it feels like silk" Then the tour guide comes over, "Are you girls remembering to shuffle your feet?" he asks "You have to shuffle your feet, the rays like to bury themselves in the sand." "Yes," we reply. "Now here, just hold the food in your fist like this & the rays will just suck it into their mouths." "Shannon, I can't do this" I say. "Yes you can Annie. Just hold the food under the water the way the guy showed us." she replies So I take this slimy squid & I clench it in the fist of my hand. The stingray gracefully glides over my hand in the water & sucks it up. "Now that wasn't that bad" was it Shannon replies.



"That was pretty cool!" I thought. Here we all are standing on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean, in 3 feet of water. We are in the wild, this is the rays natural habitat. No fences, bays, pool, or trainers. This is the real thing & it's beautiful. Before you know it we were all feeding the rays. They would just come right up to you like puppies. You could almost feel how much they enjoyed the human contact. It was like they were talking to you. They weren't scary. They were sweet. I couldn't believe it. The little "PUPPIES DOGS OF THE OCEAN." They lapped it up...they loved us....even the big ones! We proceed to interact with them, the guide picking the stingrays up on several occasions. "This one is pregnant see" he says. "You can touch her, go ahead" he points to me. I stepped a little closer, look right into her eyes & pet her. "Wow, that is so cool!" I state. He picks a smaller one up, "Here you hold her," he says. I look at Shannon & Boogie they nod. So I cautiously slide my hands under her. I think to myself "Wow, you did it! Your holding a stingray! This is really something!" This is awesome! I will never forget that day....it goes down in my life's history as one of the best. I have had several instances with stingrays since that day. Mind you....as of that cruise I am now a Caribbean Goddess & hope to retire there someday. I definitely have a deep love for Stingrays. In all the times I have been around them they have been nothing but sweet creatures of the sea. I do use caution when they are near. I always remember to shuffle my feet. It may seem a bit odd but if I was out in the big blue expanse of the ocean....& happened to someday fall into the category of the few unlikely humans to have be killed by a stingray, I would think it all worth it....I truly would. If it's my time to Go, then it is....I can't thing of a more beautiful way to end the journey. I hope someday you & yours will have the opportunity to visit the magical "Stingray City" in Grand Cayman & get to know these gentle, loving PUPPIES OF THE SEA!


























Old Poloroids of "THE COUSINS" from Michigan House


The backyard up in the treehouse!

Anthony (the neighbor) Johnny & Anzie




Uncle Joe & John his son



"Anzie, Dinks & Johnny"





(from right to left) Tommy, Joey Tamel ,


(front row) Dinks, Julie, Anzie & Janet





Anzie (me) 3ish.....Look at all those fish I caught!








6/15/74 in front of The Great "Michigan House"


(Way in the back) Scottie or Tommy (not sure)


(In the Sombero from right to left) Janet, Julie's Cousins


(Bottom row) Dinks, Anzie, Julie, Bret & Johnny of to the side


































Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fridays Quote of the day!




My Sister-In-law's new Wonderful Jewelry Line






Hi friends, Please be sure to check out Stacey's new line of Jewelry, truly "Wonderful Pieces!" She has already been signed on for 6 stores to carry her line! I have posted the two photos above of my favorites "Peace" & "Buddha" how inspiring! xoxo


A message to you from Stacey

The Chinese symbol for "Peace" and the "Buddha" were created in honor of my two children Mia and Tae, who were both born in Korea. I adopted them in 1994 and 1997 respectively. The gift of these two incredible humans in my life inspired me to make the jewelry to sell and donate the profits to orphanages in Korea. We will continue to donate the profits from the sale of these pieces to various charities worldwide.

With Love, Stacey Dutton, Dutton San Felipe

Pink Signature Wedding Martini


This sweet little cocktail is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any event or wedding.


Pink Sunset Martini

1 1/2 ounces of Orange Stoli Vodka


1/2 oz Triple Sec

1 oz Amaretto

1/2 oz Melon Liquor

1 oz Orange Juice

Splash of Grenadine


Served shaken (not stirred!)

In a chilled Martini Glass rimmed in crystalized pink sugar

Garnish with a kiwi or star fruit wedge


Simply Delightful!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thursdays Quote of the Day!



"Carolyn Procuniar Fuessel" Is this weeks winner of the "Exceptional Woman of the Week"

Thinking about it ...I suppose if you are a member of my family you find it a bit odd that I would elect my "Auntie Carolyn" as my very 1st winner of "The Exceptional Woman of the Week."

Truth be known.... I admit, I spent a few moments of my childhood in fear that I would upset her. Why you say?

Well, I'm not really sure...she never EVER did anything harmful to me personally. In fact...she always did the exact opposite. Always very nice to me. In my Mother's absence, which was a typical weekend she was usually working in Chicago. Auntie Carolyn always seemed to go to great lengths to protect me. I'm sure she also probably frequently felt obligated to drag me along wherever she took my (best friend & cousin) Karyn.

Growing up, I was always close to her daughter Karyn. Auntie Carolyn always extended a warm welcome to me.... inviting me to her home. She took me to the beach, shopping etc etc. She even took me to church in Michigan so I could spend more time with Karyn. She invited me to join their family for extended stays in Michigan. She was always nice to my brothers & sisters....no matter how much of a pain we were. AND TRUST ME WE WERE A PAIN!

As I sit here, I recall fond memories of sitting in the back seat of her powder blue, wood grain station wagon with all the girl cousins, she'd be flying down Blue Star Highway in South Haven (Auntie Carolyn loved to speed) she'd pop in a 8 track of Neil Diamond & we'd all sing along. Sweet Caroline......I thought she was so cool. So interesting.....so pretty!
She really did a lot for me....so why is it that I would fear her in any way?

Why is it that many of my siblings & cousins visiting "Michigan House" seemed to fear her?

Once in a while you'd hear the "Grown up" relatives talking a little sarcastic....I never was quite sure who they were talkin bout but for some reason you pick up on the fact that they were possibly referring to "Aunt Carolyn." I don't think anyone meant any harm....it was more like they were cracking little jokes....but it happened on occasion & it often made me wonder why?

Well lets take a look at this but first....let me explain.....the term "Michigan House" for those of you that are not related family.

'MICHIGAN HOUSE oh MICHIGAN HOUSE"

I think I can safely say that most of my childhood cousins will agree that "Michigan House" was & still is one of the most magical places on earth.

Correct me if I am wrong but I am under the impression the concept of "Michigan House" was born somewhere in the vicinity of 1970.....as a result of my Father "Uncle Joe," my cousin "Uncle Eddie" my cousin "Uncle Joey" & other various uncles (cousins) hunting/fishing trip in Michigan. From what I can recall they were driving along during this MANLY MAN trip & AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT.....came across "Michigan House" & the property was for sale.

I'm not sure which "Uncle" of mine had the great idea to somehow create an extended family collective purchase of this property. But whoever it was "Thank You!"

Hence "Michigan House" was born :)

There were 5 lucky families that purchased the property collectively.

Aunt Carolyn & Uncle Eddie - with cousins Karyn & Janet

Aunt Marilyn & Uncle Kenny -with cousins Kenny, Joey, Scottie & Carol Ann

Aunt Judy & Uncle Joey- with cousins Donna, Joey, Wendy & Jennifer

Aunt Gloria & Uncle Tommy - with cousins Tommy, Julie & Bret

Uncle Joe & Aunt Katie - My family (we got the largest bedroom cuz we had the most!!) Susan Betsy, Anne, Joey, John & occasionally Sharon & Faith

Hope I didn't forget anyone!

The rest of our huge family members.....got to visit on occasion.... but they weren't lucky enough to be dedicated one of the Fabulous Five!

I still recall the 1st day we arrived at Michigan House. Everyone standing in the driveway. It really did seem a little bit intimidating. This great big tall house & after all I was only 3 yrs old ( & just a little bit shy....or so I've been told) I can remember clinging to my Father's leg, thinking "Who are all these people?"

The property was a former resort located in South Haven, MI which consisted of this great big White Colonial type home. It had 3 fireplaces, a huge commercial kitchen, huge ballroom, living & dining rms, 5 bedrooms & this creepy, musty old basement. Yuck! We also had 2 small cottages (one of which we referred to as the shed) The home with its big grand white columns & lush grounds were just beautiful, (it almost resembled a big plantation home) We had a long beautiful concrete staircase leading up to the home, tennis courts, shuffle board, a park with swing sets, monkey bars, 2 teeter totters etc etc.

But the best thing of all was the 100 ft of private Lake Michigan frontage & the cable car to get down to the beach!

So there we all are....every weekend packing our getaway bags....excited as can be cuz we are escaping to "MICHIGAN!" We get to be with our cousins....we get to run, scream & explore. We get to play "Beauty Pageant" Donna always won the swim suit contest! We played "tag" "Ghost in the Graveyard" & "it!" We'd get to stay up late & do puzzles with Aunt Gloria & drink tea with Aunt Judy! Most of the time we had no TV on, but I don't think anyone really ever missed it. We had no Game boy, Wii, heck we barely had a phone unless you wanted to talk on the party line.

Every trip up to Mich well I'm sure we must have drove my Dad crazy "with the Dad are we almost there's??" & the "Dad can you stop at the rest area I can't hold it anymore & I we really really need to stop so I can collect 15 thousand pamphlets on the wonderful state of Michigan!"

Each weekend (usually Sat mornings, late Friday nights if you were lucky!) we would pull up in the driveway....you just couldn't wait to find out which aunt & uncles cars were there. Is it gonna be uncle Tommy's gold one? "Oh I see a van....Uncle Joey & Aunt Judy are probably here!" If you were really lucky they would all be there! It was always the more cousins the better!

That would start the weekend! So much to do, forts to build, tree houses to climb, flowers to pick, baby rabbits to find, horses to feed we were in our own little heaven in Michigan.

Looking back I realize how lucky we really were. Here we are all living in the concrete jungle, hustle & bustle of Chicagoland.....& yet we get to escape to our very own private little rural paradise every weekend.

When the morning time came the "Cousins" were well aware that you just better not go up & down the red stairs a thousand times. The rule was "Not until one of the adults unhooked the dreaded hook from the latch that was intentionally placed way too high up for any of us kids to reach. Although I do have a faint memory of my Brother John breaking the code of rules on this one on occasion.

None of the Aunts & Uncles were being mean....to us kids... they were were just trying to recover from the lack of sleep they missed out on the night before...."Uncle Joe was blowing the house down again with his snoring all night & no one got any rest!" Sometimes he would pause in the middle of a long snort....you would finally think you were gonna get some rest....& then like clock work it would start up again.

Most of the time we spent our summers basking on our own private beach, sometimes the "Aunts" would haul all of us to the beach "IN TOWN" that was cool too. They would watch all of us all day long. Haul all the coolers stuffed with homemade sandwiches. Sometimes they Aunts would treat us to Dairy Queen or Shermans but Remember the cardinal rule cousins...."ABSOLUTELY NO SWIMMING UNTIL YOU WAITED 1/2 HOUR AFTER EATING LUNCH"

I remember one EMBARRASSING instance when my red bathing suit top fell down on the public beach! I was only a little girl but I COULD HAVE JUST DIED! I was just hoping the sand would swallow me up. But "Auntie Carolyn" was their to save the day & make it all better. She just pooh poohed it off like nothing even happened.

Fondest memories of every weekend was going out to dinner every Sat night with our own little extended newly created "Michigan House Family" (it was salad bar.... all the way baby!) for any of the cool cousins! We didn't want a sit down meal & salad bar was a built in excuse to get up & run around like a kid. The Aunts & Uncles never seemed to mind though but I'm sure we drove the staff nuts. The red carpet restaurant was the best.... sometimes the "Uncles" would bowl in the bowling alley a while & then we'd get to stay out longer. I remember Uncle Eddie trying to help me out with my lovely lofting. Auntie Carolyn chiming in "Follow through Anzie, follow through" It's funny but still to this day every time I go bowling I can hear her voice...."Follow through Anzie, make sure you follow through." Sometimes their was also dancing at the Red Carpet. We'd get to order Kiddie Cocktails & my Dad would tell my brother Joey...."Hey Joey go ask Aunt Carolyn for a dance." Sometimes we would go to the Derby or even the "Tara" Once in a while we'd have pizza at the joynt down the street & on rare occasions we go to Saugatuck and hang out at the Butler. One thing you could count on was it would always be a great time by "Cousins" standards!

If we couldn't go out for dinner you could always count on "One of the hundred left over from last year boxes of stale cereal in the cabinet" but usually one of the aunt's or all of them would be there to pitch in & keep the whole army fed. A small task by no means all that shopping, lugging it all home, preparation, cooking & then cleaning up the mess afterwards! Considering my Mom was rarely able to be there & pitch in....I realize that was a nice gesture on the "Aunt's" part. I can still taste Auntie Marilyn's baked chicken & salad tossed with Italian dressing. (to this day I never have been quite able to duplicate it) I guess I will never forget the 1970's kitchen either. With all the Aunts & Uncles working together to provide us with furniture & a nice place to be. I can vividly recall the Aqua Blue Stove & Uncle Kenny getting us the Yellow & Green Daisy Wallpaper. Oh, I just can't fail to mention Aunt Gloria's famous Manicotti. I had never had anything like that prior to becoming an official member of the Fabulous Five. Auntie Gloria was sure a beauty. She always had the best tan I can still remember her reading her book while simultaneously attempting to put on her face every morning at the kitchen table :)

Speaking of tans what the heck was that concoction that Aunt Carolyn used to keep in the refrigerator? I think she used it for her tan. Does anyone remember the name?

Oh yes & I must not forget the Sat night bon fires! All the cousins would spend 1/2 the day collecting sticks in the woods....because if you did chances were one of the "Uncles" was bound to give in & reward us by building the cousins the biggest bon fire you would ever lay your eyes on!

& without fail one of the aunt's (usually Aunt Carolyn) was bound to yell out the window "Did you kids spray yourself down with bug spray?"

Oh yes & lets not forget the roasted marsh mellows, hot dogs & smores that were always in abundance. Don't know how they got there all I know is someone always was lookin out for us Cousins!

Later you would usually find the "Uncles" playing cards & drinking beer in the dining room. We'd sneak in to see what was up. I'd always ask "Uncle Joe" (Daddy) for a sip of his Meisterbrau. I always loved the "Uncles!" Every one of them were so cool! Uncle Tommy reminded me of Elvis....so handsome & Uncle Kenny used to say "Anzie!!" & pat me on the head. Uncle Joey never yelled about anything (not that any of them did) & then there was Uncle Eddie...you always new Uncle Eddie would keep you safe no matter what....he was the strong silent type! They all had nicknames for each other....it was like their own private secret code. One of them would yell out "Wha da ya know Bones?" I can't remember who Bones was for the life of me but I'm sure he cool....after all he was one of the Uncles!

I remember all the cousins thought we were pretty lucky because our Daddy was "Uncle Joe" Uncle Joe was pretty much uncle to everyone even all my Uncles & Aunts. In actuality my Uncle's & Aunt's weren't technically "Uncles & Aunts they were really cousins to my siblings & I..... But they were much older than us.....adults so me & my siblings chose to respectively refer to them as Aunts & Uncles. Anyway "Uncle Joe" was apparently the coolest....all the cousins still remember the sombreros he bought us & that he always took us to the candy store in Glen!

Then there was Dinks? That was Karyn...I don't know where or who came up with Dinks....but it fits perfectly. I don't think Auntie Carolyn called Karyn Dinks though....I just remember her referring to Dinks as Karyn Mary. As in "Karyn Mary, Get some shoes on those feet!" Janet her sister was Janet Lynn but that was only if she was in trouble....not very often.

One time Dinks & I caught a frog & decided to take a bath with it....what were we thinking? The frog jumped out of the tub & down the heat register. Aunt Carolyn found out & bellowed "Karyn Mary I better not wake up with a frog on my head!" of course me & Dinks found that hysterical.

Then we have the time Janet decided to make some toast....all of a sudden it stunk really bad....somehow she figured out their was a dead mouse on fire in the toaster & screamed. Dinks & I found that hysterical too.

Oh & I can't forget Wendy...poor little Wendy...she was so cute...big blue eyes & blond hair. She was kinda like my brother John (never could seem to get enough attention) Well lets just say Wendy was a little mischievous. I recall the time she poured shampoo all over our bedroom carpet. But the best was the time The Aunts & older girl cousins were putting together the dreaded "Monopoly Puzzle" the outside of the puzzle was easy enough....ya know with the different colored properties...there was St James Place, Park Place etc. But the inside was a real killer every piece looked the same pale blue...I remember the Aunts & us sitting there for days. Just as we were about to put the last few pieces in....here comes cute little Wendy.....as she bravely risks all & pushes the entire puzzle off the table & onto the floor. We all just kinda stood there in bewilderment. Dinks however proceeded to chase Wendy full speed down to the cliff. I'm sure glad Dinks didn't catch her at that moment....it would have been disastrous. Poor Wendy couldn't return for hours. No hard feelings Wendy....you're my cousin & I love ya just the same!

Jennifer was the youngest cousin I think well if not, almost....Jen just seemed to be the sweeetest I remember Aunt Judy bringing her to the beach as a baby....she never seemed to make a peep. Always quiet...always sweet.

Then there was my brother John, he was harmless enough alright, but another prank puller. I can't recall how many times he stood on the roof of the deck trying to peak in our bedroom window & catch one of the girl cousins changing. Oh yes & then the time we were on our way back from the "Big Road" The Big Road was in actuality a tiny road but to us as children it is big. As an adult I always chuckle to myself each time I pass the BIG ROAD cuz it is just so tiny. But at the end their was an awesome creek complete with tire swing (the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.) All the cousins took their turn on the tire....poor John was so little he fell in, got his clothes all wet & streaked all the way home. That was a big deal by cousin's standards!

Oh we can't forget the holiday parties & celebrations! There was always something to celebrate!
Every 4th of July everyone would chip in & we would have a Hawaiian Luau themed party! Complete with fireworks. I recall thinking the boy cousins were crazy to handle the bottle rockets! Auntie Carolyn telling me & Karyn we should only play with the sparklers. The "Uncles" would put on a beautiful display & the all the boys would want to take part. One time "Uncle Tommy & Aunt Marilyn took us to the big display of fireworks in town. They were just beautiful. Ever since then I make sure I go every year, if possible. South Haven's Fireworks are my favorite. Well anyway, that night their was just so many people trying to leave afterwards & all at the same time. I remember "Auntie Marilyn" got out of the car, stood in front of all the oncoming cars so we could pull our car out & then she hopped back in & we took off leaving everyone else in the dust. I just couldn't believe she was brave enough to do that...it was pretty cool.

Oh & then we had Scottie & Tommy! The cute cousins....not that they weren't all cute but Scottie & Tommy were more in mine & Karyn's age bracket. Bronzed & Blond...what more can a 10 yr old girl ask for??? EVEN IF THEY ARE JUST....YOUR COUSINS.... IT WAS STILL COOL TO FOLLOW THEM AROUND!

God does this family put out some great looking boys! OR WHAT? Every single one of my male cousins are SO HANDSOME!

In the initial years it seemed Scottie (or Scooter as Karyn & I later nick named him) & Tommy were always getting into some type of mischief. Later the tradition would be taken on by Joey & John. Sometimes Little Joey would join them. I'm not sure which of the boy cousins threw paint on the "Sunset Junction" Antique sign but for some reason I got the distinct feeling some of the "Uncles" were secretly pleased. The young male "cousins" claimed it was payback in retaliation for the "Hippy's" next door stealing our hanging outdoor chandelier. I don't think Grace Bertolli was too happy bout that poor sign.

Which leads me to Jack Bertolli....hmmmm all I remember is Jack hookin the cousins up with some type of paint remover. Good thing he was our friend....cuz the majority of us were covered in Bright Red Oil Based Paint. I think we stole the paint from the "Uncles" basement to paint our makeshift clubhouse on the side of the garage. Jack saved the day & didn't even give us up to the Aunts & Uncles. Thanks Jack!

Then we have JULIE...with her beautiful hazel eyes...always laughing! I can still recall a complete weekend when all Julie did was walk around & yell "Lets Make a Deal" Why you ask?
really have no idea....she was just Julie & we all loved her for it! God do I miss her!

Then there was Janet....oh beautiful Janet...the poor thing....all she wanted was to be left alone...but Karyn & I weren't havin it....we just had to tag along. I always wanted to be like her...she was the coolest with her long dark hair & cool friends. She would announce "Anzie Pansy" every time she saw me in fact if memory serves me right I think she still says it. She was a great artist. So creative.

Cousin Bretzi-the cutest baby I have ever laid eyes on....all I remember about Bretzi was those dark curls & bright Blue Moon ice cream all over his face. Oh yes & then the time Bretzi locked himself in the upstairs bathroom. Auntie Gloria begging for him to unlock the door. What a cutie!
One thing for sure.....we had a lot of Joe's in our family....which made for a little bit of confusion if you didn't quite understand the logic behind the Fab Five rendition of how to grab the attention of the appropriate Joseph.....For example their was Uncle Joe-my dad, Uncle Joey - Aunt Judy's husband) Little Joe-which was my 2nd cousin Joey Fuessel & then my brother- Joey Tamel

Speaking of Fuessels....I'm not sure if any other cousins without the last name Fuessel ever felt left out....but I was a Tamel....& as proud as I am to be a Tamel it was just a little bit odd to not be a Fuessel when you were one of the Fabulous Five Families of "Michigan House" because almost all of the gang had the last name of Fuessel.

Now as an adult I realize how lucky I am to be a Tamel. In fact, from what I understand I am the last generation of Tamels.... unless one of my brothers has a kid. Besides Auntie Ann Fuessel, was originally Ann Tamel & without the Tamel's....we wouldn't even have Fuessels....so I guess I'm pretty lucky afterall....Isn't it funny the way a young mind thinks?

I can still feel the cool night breeze coming off the lake. The sound of the waves...so soothing. It made for great sleeping conditions & I was always secretly glad we had a large family because from our room you could capture a cool evening breeze, over hear what was going on after hours at the adult bonfire & you could still get the benefit of all the beautiful to die for sunsets :)



Then there was the painting of the house....Uncle Tommy brought up a cherry picker & everyone seemed to work together to get the job done & oh what a big job it was.

My favorite time of the year was Memorial Day when we opened up "Michigan House" I can still smell the lingering scent of moth balls "Auntie Carolyn" would place around the house each fall before we closed up shop. The worst was Labor Day cuz you knew the "Uncles" were gonna turn go down in the well & turn off the water, the toliets were gonna be all filled with some antifreeze blue stuff & it would seem like forever until it was the end of May again.

The adults always had these association meetings...they seemed so private....none of the cousins were ever allowed....all of the surrounding cottage owners would gather with the "Aunts & Uncles" in the big house. I always wondered what the heck they were doing in there! It seemed so structured. The Bertolli's would show up. It was like a secret little society. Like the Mason meetings or something of that nature. Auntie Carolyn always seemed to be in charge....but in charge of what I often wondered?

Then their was also the dreaded slush fund....it always sounded so funny to me. SLUSH FUND what the heck was that?? It was a glass jar, kept up high, out of the reach of any of the Cousins. I can still remember some of the "Aunts" saying "don't forget the slush fund" & my Dad reaching in his pocket...I didn't get it....what was the big secret up on the high shelf with the bottle of Kahlua?


Yes the cousins all had their share of trouble....all the Aunts & Uncles thought me and Janet were the angels....but we weren't we were just quiet about it. Right Janet?

One time my Uncle Eddie took his entire family to Puerto Rico where Dinks purchased some Rum. You could do that back in the day...when there was no drinking age! She hid it in her suitcase & brought it to Michigan. So one spring day Karyn & I decided it would be a good idea to go to the beach & drink the rum straight.... because we had nothing to mix it with. I only had a little Rum but Karyn drank a lot. A real lot.

She was so sick....the poor gal...we barely got her up the stairs....once inside we hid away in the tiny cot filled bedroom that Karyn, Janet & (Little) Joey had...(it was formerly the Mens bathroom but the "Uncles" converted it into a getaway extradornaire (even though it still had the mens peeping basin thingy) we couldn't care less cuz we had our privacy!" Poor little Joey, me & Dinks...well we just took over his space...but he never seemed to mind. Anyway Dinks was really sick....so we all just went to sleep in the middle of the day. We woke up to Auntie Carolyn knocking on the door concerned that Dinks was coming down with something. Somehow we passed it off....but we did kinda feel a little guilty, for lying.

Then we have the time we conned Scooter into buying us some beer at the little store/pizza joynt. It was pretty much the same scenario only both me & Karen were hammered, laughing hysterically the entire time attempting to make it back up the endless stairs from the beach.

When we got a little older the cousins started going out to Max's in South Haven. We'd dance & drink all night. On one little special occassion I remember Dinks & I meeting some guys....who enticed us by convincing us they had a boat. Us being the sweet little girls we were decided that this would be a great opportunity to move in on our chances of being toted around on a huge boat the next day....so we agreed to go to the boat with them that night. Well the good news is...the guys did have a boat....the bad news was....they neglected to tell us....it wasn't in water....it was thier Daddy's boat & it was on a trailer being pulled by a pick up truck. I'm not sure why but somehow we convinced them to follow us back to Michigan House that evening. I think Auntie Carolyn was just a wee bit concerned when we pulled up with a truck load of guys toting a huge boat.
YES THOSE WERE THE DAYS...WEREN'T THEY. NO WORRIES JUST GOOD OLE FUN!

Over the years we had so much fun...but time started flying by....most of the cousins were already in or done with high school. The cousins started showing up less & less....we had parties & other obligations in Chicago. We started getting our own friends & identities.

When we could show up we would bring our own boyfriends & friends. We were allowed to drink beer...Aunt Carolyn would just make us turn over the car keys....prior. NO BIGGIE! Most of the time we would hang out in the Big Room a/k/a the ballroom. We would play quarters on this huge antique table my Dad donated to the house. It was a lot of fun.

We started having our legendary Prom parties filling the ballroom with wall to wall cots of the Cousins & thier friends!

Soon to follow.....even though no one anticipated it we all kinda started drifting apart. The aunts & uncles weren't seeing eye to eye.... it just didn't seem the same.

I never never ever will forget those childhood summers spent with the cousins, the Aunt's & the Uncle's. I don't think any of us cousin's will....they were the best....& we were very lucky.

When I think of all the energy & money it took to provide that to us "Cousins" I sure do have a never ending respect for the Aunts & Uncles. Not many of my friends had any sort of weekend paradise like we did. The lucky Fab Five.


Which brings me to the real reason I have written this lengthy conglomeration of my dear childhood memories spent in Michigan.

My very First Elected "Exceptional Woman of the Week"
Auntie Carolyn
Now, I know in the beginning I mentioned that as a child I had on occassion feared Auntie Carolyn. I guess I'm just going to chalk it up to the fact that I was a kid, she was an adult. She had rules, something I wasn't really accustom to. I guess rules were necessary to effectively run a commune like "Michigan House." But I know now as an adult that rules & trying to do what is best for children.... should not have been confused with good intentions. Caring is good & Auntie Carolyn truly cared about our happiness & our welfare. She loved us & there is nothing wrong will love.


I realize that not many of the Aunt's, Uncle's or Cousin's had the pleasure of really knowing my Mother Katie. But my Mother was a very smart woman....I often recall her telling my Dad how much she admired & respected Auntie Carolyn. It wasn't until her passing & I as a young woman understood why. The reason is because Auntie Carolyn deserves to be respected & admired. She is one of the most intelligent women I know. She is kind, caring, hard working & funny. Very funny. She took care of business for herself, for her family & for us....all of us. I can remember her spending an entire weekend planting flowers by the porch. She didn't have to do that for all of us to enjoy. But she did! I know now as an adult...I understand what was happening in those Secret Society meetings, I know now why & what the purpose of the dreaded slush fund was. I realize it took a great deal of effort for someone to take on the responsibility of all that dang paperwork. Communicating to all involved. Collecting funds & having to be the bad guy...really isn't a fun job. It's not a job anyone wants to do. After being a manager myself....I realize that someone has to be the "Bad Guy" in every functioning situation. That is if....
...the members would like the group to continue to exist.
I don't know if anyone ever really said much of a thank you to "Auntie Carolyn" for all her efforts.






SO AUNTIE CAROLYN I'M SAYING IT NOW....



THANK YOU! THANK YOU SO MUCH!



I just wanted to do that now because I may never get another chance & even though I will never know for sure, (my parents are gone now) I somehow feel now...as an adult....the great "Michigan House" would have most likely never survived throughout the most important impressionable years of my life" I realize now that without my "Auntie Carolyn" I might not be the person I am. I may have never had the opportunity to develop a place in my heart for nature, animals or the water. I might not appreciate or even know my extended family & most of all I needed that....I needed that as every child needs to get out in the fresh air, I needed the opportunity to run & play. If it weren't for your efforts. I most likely would have never ever moved to Michigan, the state that I now reside in.


I love Michigan, it is my favorite place on this earth, I will always cherish the memories & "Auntie Carolyn" for her all of her efforts. Kudos to you Auntie Carolyn!
You truly are an EXCEPTIONAL WOMAN!
THIS STORY IS DEDICATED TO ALL THE "AUNTS & UNCLES" WHO WORKED HARD TO PROVIDE THE COUSINS WITH A BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND ESCAPE INTO RURAL PARADISE. THANK YOU! NOW & ALWAYS! ANZIE


This story is also in no way is intended to leave anyone out or hurt anyone's feelings, please note the author has been writing forever & although she would like to continue she has writers cramp!


The author will also probably ever be award anything for spelling or grammar:)
I invite anyone & everyone to post your comments. Please feel free to offer up your point of view!
I hope you enjoyed your time here.
Thanks for following! Peace Out!



No Karyn, your job does not define who you are as a human being!

I find it interesting that when I meet new people it seems the first thing they ask is your name.

The second inquiry is usually "What do you do?"

"Hmmmm" I almost always ask myself "Is this a trick question?" "Do they really want to know what I do? How I choose or like to spend my time or do they want to know what it is that I do to pay the bills?"


A wise woman (my dear sister Susan) once told me that when she was working as a legal secretary & was asked what she does. She chose to answer by replying "I am a writer."



Until that conversation with Susan .....it had never really occurred to me to tell people when they inquired as to "What it is that I do" the real truth.



The real truth is.....I do a lot! So much that I can hardly keep up with myself! As the case with the majority of the women I know!



The truth is.....I am an artist! Always have been....always will be!



Although I have spent countless nights slinging drinks in an effort to pay the bills I am much more than a bartender!

I think a lot of us can benefit from Susan's logic.



We need to put that energy out there! Susan did it & it worked.

I am now happy to announce that Susan is now able to pay the bills by doing so....she is now a full time writer!



Long gone are the days of Susan spending her time at what she considered to be a dead end job.



WTG Susan! Many well deserved pats on the back!

So...... No Karyn (dear cousin of mine) You are not just a "Bartender"

Bartending is just something you are doing temporarily to pay the bills! It does not define you.

It is not the only reason you were put on this planet....& when I think of you...as I often do....you should know....that bartending rarely enters my thoughts.

On a second note, typically what comes to mind....is a beautiful creature, mother, inspirational woman, who is determine to pay the bills in a manner that reflects who you really are....an artist.

You should know that you have always inspired me to do the things I love. Thank you it means more to me than you could ever imagine :)

THIS ARTICLE GOES OUT TO ALL THE HARD WORKING, SELFLESS WOMEN I HAVE KNOWN. THE WOMEN WHO FIND A WAY TO KEEP THE DREAMS ALIVE....EVEN IF THEY ARE TEMPORARILY POSING AS SOMEONE ELSE TO
"Pay the bills."
You are what is in your heart

Ha, Ha, Ha, "No" Paul & I are not taking the plunge!


www.RomanticPlanet.etsy.com


I've gotten a lot of feedback regarding the "Anne & Paul" wedding sign on the blog!
Sorry guys....didn't mean to alarm anyone! We are not getting married this August.
The sign is just an example of the Vintage wedding signs I am now creating & selling on my website www.RomanticPlanet.etsy.com

If ya happen to know of any brides to be send them my way.....also great as unique wedding gifts or personalized Bridal shower gifts

When I was making the sign I didn't know whose names to put in....I thought why not play a little prank on Paul (my other half.) So I wrote in our names & left it on the coffee table for 2 days. He of course....reacted in the typical Paul fashion....which is no reaction! I of course thought it was hysterical!

I often wonder how men have the ability to remain quiet. In fact, sometimes I envy them. Paul is the king of verbal restraint & often utilizes his gift to drive me insane!!!

I want to talk about it now. Not tomorrow, not next week & not in 10 minutes!!!

NOW!

I'm a "Get it over with kinda gal!" I know I drive him nuts with this....I probably picked this trait up from my Mom, she was so big on communication.

Any other ladies out there like me??

Send me your thoughts on this please!

Wednesdays Quote of the Day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Favorite Woman of the 20th Century! Follow her story!

My Favorite Woman of the 20th Century! Follow her Story!

KATHRYN ANN HILMA LARSON SAYIGH TAMEL
Oh Momma....what can I say, of course you're my winner, you did the most precious, selfless thing a woman can do.....you gave me life!
Born August 24th 1936 in Minneapolis, MN to Ruth & Martin Larson. Kathryn was a bouncing baby girl. Looking through the earliest photos of Momma, I realize that even from day one, she just seemed to exhume a light from within. Something she retained. Always a head turner, even as a child I remember taking note of the fact that everyone just seemed to gravitate towards her. Especially men!
Of Swedish decent, baby Kathryn had flashing crystal blue eyes, dark curly locks & ivory skin. Despite her beauty & light, it seems Momma would start her life out with a confusion that never seemed to leave her.
Kathryn's father, a reportedly stern, immigrant of Sweden wanted to name Momma.....Hilma. But Ruth her Momma, a sweet soft spoken woman decided this was one thing she was not going to allow. Apparently, she just wasn't having it.
I recall Momma telling me the story. She state "My Daddy wanted to name me Hilma. Oh I'm so glad they didn't name me Hilma."
Years later I came across her birth certificate, I noticed she didn't even have a name written in, instead it said "Baby Girl Larson" as her first name.
I recall Momma saying "My Momma wanted to name me Kathryn but Daddy gave her a hard time. I'm so glad she stood her ground."
I'm glad too Momma....Hilma just couldn't do you justice.
Please feel free to tune in as I unfold the continuing untold story of Kathryn's interesting life & her legacy.
The trials & tribulations, her triumphs & woes.
I extend to you the benefit of her life's lessons.
A Priceless gift from Kathryn :)
Some things we just probably won't obtain from our $100/hr sessions

QUOTE OF THE DAY


Monday, April 5, 2010

Romantic Weekend Away Michigan City, Indiana


Looking to get away from it all? Why not pack your overnight bag, grab your honey & takeoff for a romantic weekend getaway? Serenity Springs adult escape located in Michigan City, IN is wonderful if your looking for pure relaxation. It doesn't get any better than this.

Located off of I94, the bungalows are nestled on 85 waterfront acres. Upon arrival you will be taken back by horse drawn carriage in the summer & horse drawn sled in the winter....how romantic.

Each Bungalow is tastefully decorated in it's own theme. Our favorite is Northern Exposure.

You are in for a real treat each bungalow offers NO PHONE, fluffy king sized bed, sunken whirlppol, gas fireplace, flat screen TV, surround sound & an outdoor gas fireplace on the deck!

Oh & I cannot forget the delightful Butler Door. Each cabin has a small door where you'll be left treats throughout your stay. Similar to a secret Santa. A small touch that really impressed us. Each time we opened that door we felt like kids again on Easter morning.

Only 45 minutes from Chicagoland. Serenity Springs is just a hop skip & a jump from Four Winds Casino, Blue Chip Casino, fine restaurants, quaint shops & Lake Michigan beaches.

Rates are $195-$265 per night Extra Packages include Champagne, rose petals, candles, floral arrangements, appetizers....the list goes on & on!


You"ll leave refreshed & your honey will thank you the whole way home!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Find Personalized Wedding Signs at Romantic Planet



Personalize your wedding with this custom Vintage Inspired sign.
Bride & Grooms name & your wedding date!

Enchanting gear to add that WOW FACTOR to your Speical Event!
Visit our shop @
WE LOVE CUSTOM ORDERS!

Splash up your beach wedding centerpieces!









Planning a twilight beach wedding? If your a bride on a budget. A nifty little idea for a romantic touch to your beach themed wedding is glass. It won't break your piggy bank & oh so many options.






As a lovely wedding centerpiece why not fill a hurricane lamp with sand, river rock or shells? Place a fresh linen white pillar candle in the center. (Works well with votives too!)





Take a simple glass vase fill 1/3 way with beach glass, add water & a bunch of white hydrangeas, daisys or tulips.



Select a shallow clear glass vase with large opening, fill 1/2 with water, pour a couple of drops of blue & green food coloring mix well, then place white floating candles. The water will mimic the aqua hues of the Caribbean.
Find Enchanting Wedding Decor & Vintage Wedding Signs in my shop at http://www.romanticplanet.etsy.com/