Saturday, December 28, 2013

Marcy's travel Blog- Living The Whirlwind, With Risotto, Holidays, And More!!

Greetings! No! I didn't fall off the face of the Earth! I've spent the last two months in a whirlwind of activity and change! Whew! I have to say, one one hand I love it. On the other, my pace is not quite as quick as I'd like! Perhaps that's good. Rushing has never been something I've done well anyway!

The first part of November brought ice storms, and with it- no power, no water, no heat. Such is life in Michigan. With the weather turning colder, I suddenly had a craving for a dish my Italian Nonna (Grandmother) use to make. Risotto! It's a rice dish, hearty and yummy! It's hard to find it in a restaurant, since it usually needs to be made and attended to from beginning until it's done. Those of you who have prepared this dish know what I'm talking about. It's stirring, adding, and stirring again! But on to my quest for this dish!


I wandered into "Bon Gusto's" on Main Street in Brighton. To my happy surprise, Risotto was on the menu! The chef there makes it a bit richer than my Nonna made it, but it was delicious, and hit the spot on a cold day!

The restaurant is small, but arriving early insures a lovely table with some privacy. For anyone who lives in the area, and wants a true Italian meal, give this lovely little place a try!

But on to the whirlwind! Next was my daughter-in-law Mia's Birthday! Her folks hosted the party.

The grandkids were in rare form, clowning with mom with her cake!

And the all important snuggling with Papa, Mia's dad!

 Next was a few days with the Grandkids, who have turned out to be prolific artists!

Then came  Thanksgiving! Can I confess I forgot to charge my phone? No pictures, but let me say, my daughter-in-law Mia put on a fantastic spread!

Next on the schedule was some time spent in Northville with Lady Luna while her folks were out of town! Here she's lounging next to the sofa. But she was not totally thrilled by the snow storm we had while I was there.

As you can tell, our walks were not as long as she would've liked!

Then both my son Steven and Granddaughter Payton came down with the flue! Not fun. I spent a bit of time with them.

The end of November found me moving back into the city of Howell. I found an apartment complex that rents a two bedroom apartment, completely furnished- including in apartment laundry, utilities, and internet- and only charges for the time I'm there! Between travel, helping out with the grandkids, and house/pet sitting for friends while they are out of town, this works out perfect for me right now! (For instance, I was only at the ranch 3-5 days in the month of September.

On to December!

My son Steven's Birthday was on the 10th. Family gathered at his house- and we all had a marvelous time!

Next  was a breakfast date with the Grandkids! Payton looks more interested in eating then in getting her picture taken! Ha!

I've spent the majority of December with two furry friends, Elderly Ellie, and Mowgli the cat! I'm sure you remember these two from previous posts. Their owners have gone on an extend cruise. I think these two have a love/ hate relationship. There's snuggle time, and then there's growl and hiss time! Mostly they keep their distance.

Ellie was beginning to be depressed, spending too much time in her master's office. So Payton came to visit. They both were so happy to see each other- it cheered Ellie right up! Ellie loves children, so this was right up her alley!

Then there were Christmas programs and meeting Santa!

Big Brother Evan (upper right corner)  helps Payton tell Santa what she wants! (She asked for a diary- one with a key, so she can write things down!)  That's a rather interesting request from a 4 year old!

Payton LOVES to sing! She knew all the words and hand movements! (O.k.- I sound like a grandma. LOL)

I LOVED Evan's program! They had a 50's theme, which included leather jackets and poodle skirts!

He doesn't seem shy when it comes to speaking parts. Of course, I was a proud grandparent!

The lease was up on my Cadillac, so son Steven and I went shopping. My Christmas gift from Steven and Mia was a downpayment on a Ford Fusion! It's all Black, including the wheels! I call her Lady Ninja! This is not a good picture, but maybe a better one another time!

Meanwhile, my daughter-in-law introduced me to something called "Christmas shopping via the internet"! Thank goodness, because by now I didn't have the time nor the energy for crowded malls!

My choice of wrapping paper this year was brown shipping paper! On the front of the packages were pictures I asked my Grandkids to draw for me. Instead of ribbon, I used twine! It actually turned out quite well! I may do this again next year, if the Grandkids will help me out again!

So on to Christmas morning happy chaos! Even Otto the dog got a stocking of goodies!

Santa's brilliant gift to Payton, who has energy to spare, and gymnastic classes coming up! (She also got her diary!)

After a wonderful gift exchange and hearty breakfast, Payton and her "Papa" needed a little rest! (Mia's father is Papa)

After two months of happy but whirling activities, I decided to come down with a fever! On hindsight, I realize that I have been consuming a great deal of meat, corn and dairy products that I normally avoid. So I think my system was just rebelling!

This was taken Thursday, the day after Christmas. No doubt about it, Michigan has certainly had a white Christmas!

And yesterday we lost power! Ellie and I sat outside for a while. Since the weather had warmed up and the snow was melting, we weren't sure why we'd be without electricity! A few hours later two Detroit Edison trucks pulled up and informed us that many transformers had blown. However, the electricity came back on in time for dinner! Yeah!

Tomorrow I say goodbye to Ellie and Mowgli! I'll be spending the New Years eve and day with family. I have four trips in the works for this Winter, as well as some hanging out with furry friends, so stay tuned.

I apologize for my two month absence! It's been a true whirlwind! I wish you all a Belated Merry Christmas! My prayer is that you were surrounded with happiness, in whatever form that took!

And we are almost to 2014! So here's wishing you all a Happy New Year, filled with LOVE, LAUGHTER, and PEACE!

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