Friday, July 16, 2010

Motor City Brewing Works - You Gotta Eat Here #2

Four of us ventured to Detroit on a blustery Spring day 
for an adventure in pizza at
the Motor City Brew Works on Canfield.

The Midtown restaurant reminded me of a chalet...
a retreat from the cold winds of March.

Warm air, 
a friendly staff, 
and beauty greeted us as we stepped inside.   

We sat down and considered the menu: 
appetizers, salad, pizza and a variety of "home made" draft beer.

We ordered. 

The wait for our freshly prepared meal, gave us time to talk,
  and sample the brew.  
Hm mm?  Bohemian Lager (made from Detroit water).  

The food arrived and earned our approval as well.

The pizza and salad were works of art like everything else.

 Delicious food, 
a taproom, and
friendly service
create a dining pleasure that is
The Motor City Brewing Works.

You gotta eat here!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grow Where You're Planted

          A beautiful bouquet 


                                       can sometimes hide the real story...

of its struggle.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Train Tracks to Nature Trail - Another "Green Idea"

When I first moved into this neighborhood 18 years ago, 
there was a train track that bordered its northern side.  

Almost every night I'd either hear a train or be held up by its crossing guard.  

I was so glad I didn't buy one of the houses with a back yard that butted up to the tracks... 
don't think I could have stood the noise. 

Well, about 10 years ago
the train activity stopped.  
Later, the tracks were lifted and the adjoining cities worked together 
to convert the track area into a walking and riding trail.  

What a wonderful idea! 

They added gravel to the trail, identifying signs, parking lots, doggy poop bag stations, and then allowed nature to do the rest.

Last night, after dinner, 
I changed into shorts and sneakers, 
grabbed my cell phone and an audio book then set out to walk the trail.

It lead me to my favorite coffee shop.  
I stopped for a quick cup, 
sat outside to drink it, 
watched small town traffic, 
let the sun set a bit...
then hit the trail for home.      

Monday, July 12, 2010

Peaceful Coexistence - Another Lesson From My Yard

Busy Airspace

Every day
in my garden 
I see evidence that we can live together
in peace
as long as we respect each other.

I recently planted the last of my annuals: 
beautiful yellow and orange Marigolds
red and white Geraniums
pink Begonias. 

I timed the planting in specific areas around the work of bees and butterflies. 
When bees were busily working among the Lavender, 
I planted around Cone Flowers and Black-eyed Susans.  
When they were ready
we'd switch places
working in concert 
without conflict.  

At the end of a few hours my flower bed looked beautiful 
and the important work of insects continued...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This Writer's Affliction (Ways to Avoid Writing) -Part Two

I love journals.  
In truth, I have a drawer and closet full of them:
large and small, hard and soft cover, spirals
cloth covered, bound journals
tiny 'little black book' spirals
artful plastic covered spirals
and the list goes on. 
Every time Borders had a clearance sale, I was there looking for journals.  
I had collected such an inventory; I began giving them away as gifts.
But I didn't have one that continued to inspire me once I brought it home.


Writing guru, Natalie Goldberg advocates 'writing practice' in a cheap spiral notebook with a fast writing pen because the writing is the most important thing.  
I considered this advice as I entered the book store but forgot it quickly as I gawked at leather journals with thin leather straps.  
Besides, I wanted to do serious writing, not just practice.  
I perused the shelves, turning, opening and smelling the leather bound journals.  
As I was checking out a particularly expensive one, the bound pages fell out of the leather cover.  
A problem! 
Then I saw a tall turning rack full of Moleskine notebooks (hadn't Hemingway used those?).
They too came in all shapes and sizes.
Plus, the insides didn't fall out
I settled on a large, black, thick, hardcover Moleskine planner.
Each ruled, page was dedicated to one day of the year.
And, it fit in my purse.

That was easy.  
I already had it...
a TUL, Stick Ballpoint Pen
(actually several in black, blue, purple, red and green).

At last, I sat in my 'Jeep' chair,
opened my new Moleskine planner/journal,
clicked the top off my TUL pen and realized I had a problem.
Here was an inspiring writing space, and I had nothing profound to say...only 'writing practice' ideas.
No way was I going to mess this journal up with random thoughts.
What I needed was a cheap spiral notebook!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

This Writer's Affliction (Ways to Avoid Writing) -Part One

Yes, it actually exists.  
There are several symptoms of "writer's affliction".  

The first is a need to CREATE THE PERFECT WRITING SPACE.  
I walked through my house with eyes closed, arms outstretched,  in search of the vibe I'd feel when my spirit connected with that space.  
To my wonderment, it was my 'sunny in the morning' kitchen.  

So I immediately began planning to make my bedroom my writing space.  

Large chair with ottoman? 
Chaise lounge?  
Hm mm??
Ah, the chaise lounge.  
Comfortable with plenty of room to stretch my legs and rest the laptop on my lap.
The answer was yes!  
So I bought one, a nice camel color, microfiber job.  
The movers placed it by the window in my bedroom.  
As soon as they left, I plopped down with my laptop and began thinking about what to write.  
Ten minutes in, every part of me connected to that chaise heated up.  
I stood up, cooled off, then sat down to write.  
Five minutes later, the same thing.  
This time I turned on the overhead fan.  
Ten minutes later...heat again with the added attraction of sweat on my forehead!  
Little writing was getting done.  
This saga played itself out day after day until I finally realized, my chaise was igniting "hot flashes". 
I promptly relocated it to my sister's living room and I began my quest for the perfect writing desk.

One week later, I'm in my local furniture store.  
There was a sale (that's Mychelle for "gotta have it").  

Walking through the maze of perfectly planned office scenes, I felt like Goldilocks.  
Some desks were too big,  others too small, and then I found the perfect one.
It was actually made to match my bedroom furniture (surely a sign that this writer was on the right track).  
I gave the salesman my card and arranged delivery for THE desk, and a 'Jeep' office chair. 

One week later, I'm in my bedroom/writing space at my new desk, with the pullout laptop drawer.  
I'm reclined in my 'Jeep' office chair when I hear birds singing through the open windows.  
I feel the breeze blowing through, cooling my warm face, and realize (with no uncertainty) that I need to be outside... 
in nature...
away from claustrophobic rooms and electronic gadgets...
for inspiration.  

So I shut down my laptop, slide closed the pullout drawer, stand, push in my chair, get my purse and head to the nearest bookstore to buy a journal...(to be continued)