Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Marshall, MI historic home tour on September 7th and 8th of 2013

The 50th annual Marshall Historic Home Tour will be on Sat. and Sun, Sept. 7 and 8.  The Marshall Historic Home Tour began in 1964.  Tickets are $17. per person if purchased in advance, and $20. per person on tour dates.  On Friday evening, September 6th, there will be a basement to ballroom tour of Stonehall, one of Marshall's classic historic homes.  A wine and hors d' oeuvres reception is planned.  The tickets to this event are $100.


Marshall Historical Society
107 N. Kalamazoo Ave.
Marshall, MI

Picture of historic Marshall, from the Marshall Historical Society:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pewabic Pottery - Detroit, Michigan - Tour Michigan's only Historic Pottery!

I've been to Pewabic Pottery a few times and have gotten some traditional arts and crafts style pottery for my bungalow home in California.  Pewabic Pottery is located in a Tudor Revival Style building and was founded in 1903 at the height of the Arts and Crafts Movement.  The Pottery has been designated a  National Historic Landmark and is on the list of HIstoric Artists' Homes & Studios, a program of the National Trust for HIstoric Preservation.  Pewabic  Pottery also features the following:

-A Museum Store that features the work of Pewabic Pottery artisans
-Galleries feature the work of more than 50 national recognized ceramic artists
*Ceramic education studio
*Tile showroom
*Guided tours
*Design and fabrication studio
*Able to see how Pewabic's tiles are handmade, glazed, and fired in kilns (I love their tiles! I have a few displayed over my fireplace.)


Pewabic Pottery
10125 E. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit, MI  48214
(4 1/2 miles east of Downtown Detroit)
(313) 626-2000
Admission is free and open daily
Monday-Saturday, 10AM-6PM
Sunday, noon-4 PM
Closed for major holidays

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Heritage Hill Historic district, Grand Rapids, MI

Heritage Hill is a national historic district  with over sixty different architectural styles and thirteen hundred houses  dating from 1844-1920's.  Self-guided walking tour brochure is available at the HHA office or website.   Annual home tour is the first weekend of October.


Heritage Hill Historic District
126 College Ave. SE
(616) 459-8950

Meyer May House, Grand Rapids, MI - first Frank Lloyd Wright house built in Michigan

Yesterday, my son and I drove to the Meyer May house in Grand Rapids.  We both walked around the house and looked at all characteristic Wright elements, which my son is starting to identify himself.  This 1908 gorgeous masterpiece of the prairie-style design is one  of the most complete restorations of a Frank Lloyd Wright house in existence.


Meyer  May House
450 Madison Ave. SE
(616) 246-4821

The Art Prize, Sept. 18-Oct. 6 2013, Grand Rapids, MI

From Sept. 18- Oct. 6, 2013, artists from 45 states and 47 countries will be visiting Grand Rapids, MI.  In a nutshell, people walk the streets, view the art and vote on their favorite art!  From what the locals in town have told me, it has grown each year and has gained national recognition!


Art Prize
Sept. 18-Oct. 6, 2013
Grand Rapids, MI

"Horizon Beneath the Sea," from the site at 031036-000001.P.jpeg:

Historic B & B in Grand Rapids, Michigan - Leonard P. Logan House

Next time I visit Grand Rapid, MI, I want to stay at the Leonard P. Logan House.  The neighborhood is filled with grand, historic homes.  For dinner, several people have recommended the Green Well Gastro Pub, and for a great beer drinking experience,  the Founders Brewery was recommended.

Picture from house.jpg:


Leonard P. Logan House
440 Logan Street
Grand Rapids, MI  49503

Green Well Gastro Pub
924 Cherry Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI  49506

Founders Brewery
235 Grandville Ave. SW
(LEED certified in and out)

Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI - a horticulture lovers paradise!

I've had several people tell me about Meijer Gardens over the past few years, and until I went and saw the place myself, had no idea how gorgeous the place is!  Is a horticulture lovers dream come true.  My son spent about and hour and a half there yesterday and barely scratched the surface of all the things we could see.  We spent most of the time in the children's garden area which had a huge tree house, sand play area, children's sensory garden, and area with sculptures, and more.  Also, we went to a victorian themed garden area, a tropical garden area, and a desert area.  Next time I want to take the train which goes around the whole garden.

[photo from conservatory2.jpg]

A wonderful time to come to Meijer Gardens is around Christmas, this year they are doing "Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around The World," and are featuring horse drawn carriages and will have models of historic homes from the area.


The Meijer Gardens
open on Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri., and Sat., 9AM to 5 PM
Tues.- 9AM-9PM
Sun.- 11AM-5PM

Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
November 26- Jan. 5

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chicago Food Planet Tours - Old Town and Gold Coast - I loved it!

The first few nights I had tried to get a feel of the food scene in Chicago, but had trouble since I'm not a local.  I decided to do a Food Planet Tour of the Old Town and Gold Coast districts.  I've never done a food tour to be honest, so didn't know what to expect.  It was a three hour tour.  I took my 5 year old son, so I was somewhat apprehensive.  Yet, thanks to Martha, our super guide, everything went great!  She even held my son's hand at some of the street corners!

I would not recommend this tour for the average 5 year old, but it worked for my son -- he loves food!

I also learned about another resource for taking walks on your own, called every

My son said today, "It was the best food tour in the world!"


Chicago Food Planet Food Tours
(312) 445-9948
Chicago, Illinois

Photo from stuffed_pizza_photo3-531x266.jpg:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tasting and Tour series - Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois

The Berghoff Restourant, 115 years old,  has a rich history in the Chicago area.   The Tasting and tour series is on Saturdays from 12-4 P.M.  during the summer months.  The tour is 45 minutes.  We went for a regular dinner, but wish we could have gone to this activity!  The pamphlet says, " come indulge in a  century of history, as you experience the evolution of a Chicago-born landmark establishment.  The Berghoff, standing 115 years old, invites you to become part of the family."

We went to the Berghoff for dinner a few days ago and really enjoyed the German flavors - both foods and other senses!

It was interesting to discover that the Berghoff Bar was home of Chicago's No. 1 liquor license after Prohibition was repealed in 1933.

My Aunt  brought my mom and her friend here years and years ago, so it was a more personal experience for me.  My mom remembers that trip because the plane had lost her luggage and at that time they didn't want to check you in if you didn't have luggage.  Nowadays, they wouldn't care if you didn't have your luggage.

Some of the Berghoff's classic menu items are Bratwurst, Reuben, and Apple Strudel.  They have 5 craft beers as well as homemade root beer.  I enjoyed my dinner at Berghoff's, my son loved the gigantic pretzel we ordered for our appetizer.  I enjoyed the Alsatian Onion and Apple Soup, which is a German take on french onion soup.

During weekdays lunch, there is a large sandwich bar and other lunch items, and supposedly the place is filled with local lawyers, so it is a different experience than at lunch.


Berghoff Restaurant

Lunch- Monday- Friday, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dinner- Monday- Saturday
4:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Closed Sundays

17 W. Adams Street
Chicago, Illinois
Phone 312-427-3170

Rickshaw Rick's Tours and Taxi - Tour Oak Park area and save your soles!

My son and I took the train from Chicago yesterday to the Oak Park station.  It was inexpensive and easy, then we met Rick at the Oak Park station.

My five year old son says, "Go on these tours of Rickshaw Rick!  It will be very fun!  If you like cab bikes, that is part of the tour!  He is very nice!  It is very, very, very cool!  We even went to a church, that was really big!  If you have kids, they can go on the balcony- it is cool!  The only windows on the bottom of the church are on the edges, and your kid can fit into the edges, and they can sit on the balcony.  If you like taking trains, you can take a train to his tours.  Well, so long, bye!"

Rick has a wealth of information  and stories about the  town of Oak Park, both present and past, and also has fascinating stories about both Hemingway and Wright.  Rick picked us up from the Oak Park train station, took us to the Hemingway house.  The Hemingway guided tour is 45 minutes, so plan ahead!  I thought the Hemingway tour was fascinating, but it was hard for my son to sit still and not talk for the 45 minutes.   He liked the kitchen and phone, but declared afterwards that he wouldn't want to live there.

Then, Rick took us to the Unity Temple, which was closed by the time we got there, but Rick gave us information about the outside of the church.  We toured the neighborhoods where the Wright homes are built, and my son and I really enjoyed learning about the architecture.  Rick really is an excellent teacher, as we both learned so much!  I highly recommend this tour!

If I was to do this again, I'd spend the night at one of the hotels or bed and breakfasts in the area.  We ended up coming out twice to Oak Park, once by train and once by cab.  Both of us preferred coming out by train, and it was much less expensive!  If you take the train, make sure and make plans with Rick ahead of time as I didn't see any cabs waiting at the train station.


Rickshaw Rick's Tours and Taxi
521 Thomas, 1st floor
Forest Park, IL  60130
P:  773-771-3922
F:  708-358-0811

Train information from Chicago to Oak Park:
Travel Information:  (312) 836-7000
Customer Service:  1-888-YOUR-CTA

Wright Around Chicago Bus Tour, Chicago, Illinois- visit and tour four wright sites, and have lunch!

On Wednesdays, June 12th through August 29th, 2013 there is a new bus tour called Wright around Chicago.  The tour includes four Wright sites and lunch.  We didn't go on this tour, and I don't think it would be the best tour for families with children.  But I'd like to check it out on a future trip.


Wright Around Chicago Bus Tour
Tickets can be purchased at GOWRIGHT.ORG

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park Illinois

Today, my son and I visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.  Both of us really enjoyed visiting Wright's first home and studio, the birthplace of an architectural revolution.   Wright and his wife raised six children in the home, my son loved it and wanted us to move there!

I discovered through the tour that Wright used this home (1889) to explore design concepts that would shape his architectural philosophy.  Later, Wright built an adjacent studio (1898), where he and his associates developed a new American architecture- the Prairie style.  I also found out through the tour that the area around the home and studio has the largest number of Wright-designed homes anywhere!

My son says, "I liked the tour.  I want to live there.  My mommy got me blocks there!"


Home and Studio Tour-  Guided, 1 hour
Adults:  $15.00
Students/Seniors:  $12.00

Photography Pass - Available on every scheduled home and studio guided tour, permits still photography for personal use.  This pass is $5.00 in addition to tour price.

Walking tour of Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District - Self guided audio tour is 45-90 minutes.
Prices:  $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for students and seniors.  Guided walks are offered on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tip:  You can save $5.00 when you purchase both the home, studio, and historic district tour.

Kanela Breakfast Club, Old Town, Chicago- yummy breakfasts

My son and I had breakfast at the Kanela Breakfast Club this morning!  My son got the kanela chip pancakes, which consists of pancakes with creme anglaise, kanela chips, and honey butter.  Kanela chips are cinnamon chips, sweet but not as sweet as chocolate chips, he loved it.

I got the spicy feta omelette with yrokafteri cheese (spicy feta) with red onion, fresno pepper, tomato, and toast.  I have to say it was the tastiest omelette I've ever had.  Another breakfast item that looked delicious was the chorizo eggs over easy with avocado, chihuahua cheese, salsa, jalapeƱo, cilantro, and toast.

I highly recommend this place!  Our waiter, Steve Tinney, was really helpful too, and recommended the spicy feta omelette, after I gave him my top choices.  I love the chandeliers in the place and the simple elegance!  I may be back tomorrow for breakfast!

Update:  The next morning my son wanted to go back, so we did!  This time, we ordered ahead since we were in a hurry, picked it up and ate it on our boat ride.  I recommend eating in house better, the food is so yummy and the atmosphere is so great- I liked it better enjoying the meal in house.


Kanela Breakfast Club
Old Town
1552 North Wells Street
Chicago, Illinois

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce for BBQ'd ribs

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
(from Bluegrass Breakdown, Vol.40, #2)

4 large cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Comine the garlic, chili powder, cayenne, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl.  Whisk the ketchup, 1 cup water, the vinegar, mustard, molasses, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a separate bowl.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring, until the oil turns brick red, about 1 minute.  Add the ketchup mixture and bring to a gentle simmer: cook whisking occasionally, for 30 minutes.


California Bluegrass Association
Vol. 40 No.2

Gold Nugget Cheese Bread

I found this recipe in the California Bluegrass Association newspaper, called the Breakdown, Volume 40, number 2.  I decided to share it as it reminds me of a similar cheese bread my Aunt Joyce used to make.  I love  warm cheese bread with a bowl of soup.  Yum!

Gold Nugget Cheese Bread

1 loaf ciabatta bread
1/2 pound salted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 serrano chiles, minced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

     Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed with a the paddle attachment until all ingredients are combined.  Gradually increase the speed and whip until the mixture is light and fluffy.
     Slice the bread in half lengthwise, then spread the butter mixture evenly on both halves.  Place bread on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown.  Slice into one-inch wide strips and serve.

This special occasion bread recipe comes courtesy of Alchemy Restaurant in Murphy's.


California Bluegrass Association breakdown
July 2013
Vol. 40 No. 2

Alchemy Restourant
Murphys, CA

The New Bungalow, essays by Matthew Bialecki, Christian Gladu, Jill Kessenich, Jim McCord, Su Bacon

"New bungalows can be made, new objects created; but if they are to be as valued and treasured as the originals we admire, they need to do more than copy the look:  they need to interpret the original spirit and objectives for our time and place.

Matthew Bialecki, AIA

Could anyone have predicted in the early 1920's, when the original Arts & Crafts movement died out, that it would enjoy a revival that would start some fifty years later and last longer than the original movement?  Arts and Crafts has evolved into a national style phenomena.  It is now possible to live  in Arts & Crafts-themed developments, work in Arts & Crafts - inspired office parks, eats in Arts & Crafts- styled restaurants and, of course, buy most any Arts & Crafts-style furniture at your local mall, big-box retailer, or web site.  What happened to our obscure, little, cognoscente-only art movement that turned it into a multimedia merchandising juggernaut?

With the revival now well into its fourth decade, it is time to pause and critically ask what is fueling this great interest in a minor hundred-year-old art movement.  Where is the bungalow revival going, and, more importantly, will it support a new architecture and a new way of living?

Excerpts from:

The New Bungalow
Essays by Matthew Bialecki, Christian Gladu, Jill Kessenich, Jim McCord, Su Bacon
Gibbs Smith, Publisher
P.O. Box 667
Layton, Utah  84041
ISBN  10:  1-58685-042-3

The New Bungalow is a visual and intellectual feast for bungalow lovers like me!  I purchased this book a while back, but looked at it with new eyes the other day!  The photographs are inspiring for anyone thinking of building a new bungalow, or those of us who are working on remodeling the one we already have.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cabins at Strawberry, near Pinecrest Lake, Strawberry, CA

I recently visited Strawberry Cabins near Pinecrest Lake in Strawberry, CA.  We shared the cabin with friends and got the 3 bedroom, 2 bath cabin.  We had seven people in the cabin and had plenty of room.    The cabin was fully furnished, had a gas fireplace, a large deck with table and BBQ, and a fully equipped kitchen.  We went to the store in our area before we left home and got all of our food for our three day, two night visit.  The only think missing from the kitchen was measuring cups and spoons, so I would bring a set of my own on my next visit to the cabin.  We brought our dog along as a few of the cabins are also dog friendly.  The nearby lake is not dog friendly in all areas, so if you bring a dog stay on the left side of the boat dock.  Next time I want to rent a party boat as that looked really fun!
The cabins have some knotty pine interior, and ours had a delicious view of the trees and river!


Cabins At Strawberry
31888 Highway 108, Strawberry, CA

Teeccino, herbal coffee, cozy caffeine free drink instead of coffee

I'm sitting blogging right now having a cup of teeccino herbal coffee.  I wanted a cup of coffee but am trying to stay away from caffeine.  It has a slight chocolate flavor and aroma which  tastes especially tasty with chocolate!


Herbal Coffee
Chocolate, organic
naturally caffeine free, non acidic

Produced by Teeccino Caffe, Inc.
P.O. Box 40829
Santa Barbara, CA  93140
(800) 498-3434

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My dog's new favorite toy- Dumbell with rope ball

One essential new part of our bungalow is our dog.  He has a way of helping me live in the present and enjoy the little things, a new toy, a bone, breakfast in the morning, etc.  I got him a new toy the other day, and he loved it so much it made my day.  He is 2 years old and just loves to chew and pull.  I finally found a pull toy that is comfortable for me to pull.

I believe dogs and old bungalows go together perfectly!  They don't talk about the next project that needs to be done.  The sit quietly and let you watch whatever you want to on television or the computer.  They are the perfect company, are always happy to eat, take a walk, cuddle, etc.

I love my dog!


Wooley Cotton Dumbell with Rope Ball
Eco Friendly
Rescue Tested
100% natural
Sustainable Materials
Wool & Cotton Rope
Coconut Fiber Filling
100% environmentally friendly

Decatur, GA  30030

Pizzaiolo is great place for coffee in morning in Temescal!

I'm sitting at Pizzaiolo Restourant  in the Temescal area of Oakland, CA having a homemade donut and a cup and a latte.  What a treat!  The place opens for a light breakfast at 8:00AM, but I got here at 7:45AM and they let me get seated and comfortable, which was kind.  Some places make you wait at the door until the second it opens.  I love Pizzaiolo, at night they are busting with outstanding pizza and it was a fun discovery to learn they are open in the morning too.

I am a donut snob since I grew up in MIchigan going to the cider mills and having fresh, just cooked, warm donuts with cold apple cider.  The donut I am having today is the best one I've ever tasted.

I love the atmosphere here, it immediately takes me away as if I'm on vacation.  There are rustic wood tables, chair, and floor.  The wall near me has a combination of brick, wainscoting, and other materials of different textures.  There is a wood bar with bungalow worthy lighting and wainscoting under the bar.  There is Italian music playing in the background, and I am looking out on Telegraph Avenue through large windows.  It is heavenly here!


Pizzaiolo Restaurant
5008 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, California  94609
(510) 652-4888

Monday, July 1, 2013

I made cookies for my dog tonight! He loved them!

Tonight I did something silly, I made cookies for my dog.  I got these ready to bake cookies at Whole Foods and baked them up tonight in about 10 minutes.  Mo, my dog, loved them.  Plus, I'll bring the cookies on our 4th of July outings.  I am going to look at recipes I can make by scratch.  Mo loved these cookies so much!


Ready to Bake Cookies
Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Recipe
(Made especially for dogs, no corn, wheat, or soy)
makes 18 cookies

P.O. Box 2157
Secaucus, NJ  07096-2157
Tel:  866-789 FRESH(3737)

Ingredients:  Peanut butter, oatmeal, evaporated cane juice, palm oil, eggs, water, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)