Friday, June 29, 2007

Please meet Coco, a four year old boxer, Marta and Steve's dog, who is staying with us while they are on vacation. Coco began to stay with us sometimes when she was quite young. Marta and Steve have trained her very well and I'm very impressed with her intelligence and discipline. She is the first boxer I have known, but I think this is a very good breed. When I let her outside, she always stays in our yard even though we don't have a fence. We take her for a long walk every morning, about 3 or 4 miles, and then she rests most of the day. She is always kind and pleasant. Yesterday a workman came to our door, and I can see she would be a good watchdog, because she barked and looked ferocious, even though I knew she just wanted to be friendly. When my students visit my house, Coco is usually very quiet and we don't even know she is around. Coco is a very good visitor!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Day in a Baby's LifeTom just sent some new pictures from last weekend, taken while hiking near the lake house in New York. I'm very impressed with all the new kinds of baby equipment that's available for today's parents. Memories of rickety car seats and wobbly cribs come back to me. Matthew at 5 weeks old can enjoy being outside with his parents, warmly placed next to them, having a nap wherever he is. Life is sweet!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Welcome to My Garden
The end of June is almost here and our garden is looking good. On the right you can see green tomatoes on the vine. We have about a dozen tomato plants so I think we may have ripe tomatoes in a couple of weeks, so much more delicious than those found in the supermarket. Pictured below is lettuce which we have just begun to eat, sweet and tender, perfect for tossed salads or on a sandwich. Below right are the cucumber plants, both American cucumbers and Japanese which are climbing up the garden fence. (Japanese cucumbers are thinner, more tender, and almost seedless.) Because of deer, rabbits, and other wild life, our garden has double fencing. Without double fencing, almost everything would be eaten by the animals! The bottom picture has our zucchini plants, which right now have many zucchini's about 4 inches long, so we should be eating them within a couple of days. I love zucchini, either fried in a little olive oil as a side dish, or baked in zucchini bread, a family favorite. (See link to recipe on the side.) My garden also has green peppers, green beans, and Japanese eggplant so we hope to enjoy many fresh vegetables later in the summer. Hopefully we'll have plenty to share with friends and family.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Look at Me, World!
Baby Matthew is now about 6 weeks old and he is doing very well. These are his 4 week old pictures. He is becoming more alert and aware of his surroundings.

Mom has a cute new haircut!

Dad is proud of me!

Lots more pictures can be seen here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Haircut!
I'm convinced the best haircuts in the world can be found in Spain. Barbers there are very careful, taking time with their barber shears, creating a work of art from a head of hair. Having a haircut has until now not been Gabriel's favorite activity. (In fact, I think he's cried pretty hard at previous haircuts in Michigan!) Gabriel and Marta are in Spain now visiting family so Gabe had this beautiful haircut. It's amazing how much older and more mature he looks with a very trim cut. Gabriel just celebrated his third birthday last month and it seems that he's left babyhood behind forever and become a big boy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

Today, Sunday, June 17 is Father's Day, and we were happy that Steve was able to be with us. Marta and Gabriel are now in Spain and Steve will join them next weekend for a much deserved vacation. While he's gone, Coco, their wonderful boxer dog will stay with us. Coco is now 4 years old and very easy to have in our house. When she goes outside, she stays in our back yard without wandering into the neighbor's yards. She has a good walk in the morning and then she pretty much takes it easy the rest of the day.
It is lovely having Steve here. Yesterday he and I went shopping. Tony barbequed pork spare ribs, one of Steve's favorite meals. This morning Tony and Steve went to church together.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mitsuwa Marketplace
When we are in Chicago, one of my favorite places to go is Mitsuwa Marketplace (here), a Japanese shopping center offering groceries, books, and various items from Japan and other Asian countries. Mitsuwa has a food court where an excellent Japanese lunch can be enjoyed for a very reasonable price.
Above you can see Tony's tray with miso soup, tempura, rice, and other items.

Next is my granddaughter Scarlett's favorite, udon (Japanese noodles) with tempura. She can eat the whole bowl of noodles but I think has help with the tempura.

Last is my large bowl of ramen. This is so delicious and very unlike the packages of dried ramen we can always find in our supermarkets. This ramen has a thick rich broth with thinly sliced pork, fresh soft ramen noodles, seaweed, and probably a lot of other ingredients that I don't even know.

I love to visit Mitsuwa!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tom, Kelly, and baby Matthew went to Washington D.C. last weekend to visit with Kelly's family. Here are a few pictures.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I have beautiful pictures to show you today. One of my favorite hobbies is knitting so sometimes I like to make knit items as gifts. Here are my two beautiful daughters-in-law. Kelly, below, is modeling a Leaf Lace Shawl that I knit for her recently, and Marta, right, is in a vest I knit from the latest issue of Vogue Knitting.

Next please see my beautiful little friend Mary Jo who celebrated her third birthday at my house last evening. She is a sweet little girl and it was wonderful to share this special day with her.

There is nothing more beautiful than a new baby. Below please see Matthew peacefully sleeping in his crib. Sometimes we can see that he is dreaming indicated by a little eye movement and hands and feet moving slightly. What can a new baby dream about? If only we could know.

The last picture is a flower from a peony bush next to my house. It was raining hard when I picked it so I put on my raincoat and ran with my scissors so that we could enjoy it in the house. If you look closely, you can see little droplets of water still on the leaves. So beautiful!