Thursday, August 20, 2009


I got a call a couple of weeks ago, the entry we put in while cruising the A2 art fairs at the Doug FM booth yielded a one-year family membership to the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, but we had to go downtown to the Fisher Bldg to pick up our prize.

What with weekend getaways and Varsity Day Camp and general summer runaround, it took me a while to get down there (I had to do it within 30 days...I think we just made it!). I brought a party pack of Zingerman's magic brownies to say thanks, the promotions gal who came out to give us our prize was thrilled. I believe she actually hugged the brownies.

It has been a while since I've been to Detroit, and it doesn't get any better the longer I go without a visit. Buildings, houses, factories disappear, and construction alters my memories of the Motor City (best billboard: "Recession: this is a test, not a final" -made me smile)!

First of all, I promised Ben a Giant Tire, and I-94 delivered:

I took a detour (some would say This Way Be Dragons), knowing the Fisher Bldg is on West Grand Blvd, but not taking the right exit for it. Grand Blvd (hasn't been grand in about 40 years) runs in a half-square through the New Center, and I took the wrong half. Oh how I wish I could have seen it Back When. There were some grand old houses and apartment buildings, but as Ben aptly put it, there were many "sad" houses, and a few "bad" houses. I wasn't too confident about stopping & whipping out my camera, too bad as there was one old house with a flower garden out front worthy of Ann Arbor (and that, my friends, is pretty dang grand).

Almosted ended up on the bridge to Canada...

Yeah, THAT'S a detour, people! And saw another great billboard:

Now THAT'S ghetto...LOL...finally got to mecca, the gorgeous Fisher Bldg, after a detour up Cass Corridor (REALLY didn't want to slow down and whip out my camera there)...past my alma mater, Wayne State (go Warriors! and, thank you for not being Tartars anymore --WTH, anyway?!)...

Ben ran right under the ropes and on top of this worn emblem:

Sorry, Fisher Bros.

Before we left, we had to stop in the restroom. Check out the swinging double doors and cool tiles:

Last stop: City Knits. Picked up the last of my Summer Tweed for my Kaffe Fassett afghan (yeah, right...intarsia, in Summer Tweed! Nutso) and some Tofootsie sock yarn. Got on their mailing list. LOVE their new space (well, 2 year old new space, but much bigger & more light...not in the bowels of the Fisher Bldg. anymore). All in all, a great trip & I'm glad my kids got to see a bit of Detroit. Even if it was from the car (perhaps more appropriate that way...)

Last pic...a beautiful mosaic wall...

Yup, the entire building is a work of art.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Knitting again.

Last night I went over to the Dark Side, and went to a Meetup Stitch n Bitch. I realized as I (re-)introduced myself that I hadn't been to this group in 5 (!) years. They met a bit too early for my schedule (6:30p) and I really liked the Ann Arbor Knit In group I was part of for 3 years or more (which would go until 10p or later). That group has fallen apart in the last year, as graduate students graduate and new ones don't come along to fill in and members start spinning instead of knitting (it happens...and there are different meeting groups for THAT obsession!)

The Meetup group is moderated by someone who used to annoy me; perhaps I've become more Zen in the last few years, because she sat right next to me last night and I just knit away, silently enjoying myself & the conversation around me. It was sooo relaxing to finish up an old project (well, except for the stuffing and sewing, but that's easy enough) without a toddler pulling at me.

Went into Cynthia's Fine Yarns in Mackinaw City on Monday before we left, and Tess found a knitting loom she wanted to try, so I am finishing up the baby seal toy I started for her 3 or 4 years ago, so that she's inspired to keep at it. She's done pretty well with the looping and "knitting," but it's a slow process. I'll try getting her to do some actual knitting -- on needles -- again sometime soon.
I'm thinking I need to use Mandi's kit for a knitting project album; the handmade wood album covers she made for the kit are warm and natural and would be a perfect beginning to keeping a record of my (finished) projects. The papers she created are inspired by vintage clothing, some even have a hint of a knit pattern in the background that will also be perfect for a knit project album. She has some kits left and the price was reasonable, check it out:
I'm looking forward to playing with this kit soon...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Seriously. Exhausting.

You would think having Gma along to corral the two kiddoddles would help just a little. Woke up in Mackinaw City to pounding rain and thunder and thought...oh well, the carriage ride should still work. Then the skies magically cleared and the day brewed up sunny and HOT. We got on Shepler's ferry at 10:30a, and got off the carriage around 1:20p, thirsty and hungry. Ben was just melting. Ate up at the fort and that perked us up just a bit, enough to shop in the Fort & walk back into town.

I had plans to take the kids to Mill Creek today, but was just too wiped from yesterday to even consider it. When does school start again? And why am I not putting Ben in preschool yet? Oh, yeah, potty training. Absolutely no progress there.

More pics up at fb, if I've friended you. If not, why? ;)