Monthly Archives: September 2022

In Search of Fall Colors

Since this is Donald’s first Fall in Michigan, I wanted him to get the best view of the trees changing colors as possible. I had always heard about the Tunnel of Trees at the north end of the lower peninsula, but I’d never made the trip at the right time to be able to see the leaves at peak color.

We are trying to do that this year! Most years, it seems as if it is nearing peak time, but then just before you go out to see the colors, it rains a ton and all of the leaves fall off the trees and you are left with bare twigs and brown leaves to look at until spring.

They are predicting that this year the colors should be more intense, since we are having a warmer than usual end-of-summer.

One of the ways we are trying to time our trip is to look at webcams near the Tunnel of Trees (which extends from Harbor Springs to Cross Village, MI). There is a YouTube feed of the Steeple Cam Live View of Downtown Harbor Springs, MI that gives us a good look around. It seems as if most trees right now are fairly green, but the colors can change fairly quickly. We will check again in a week to see how things are progressing!

Until then, let me know what your favorite spot is to view the fall colors!

— Jenn

Fantasy Football! Who Knew?!

I signed up for a Fantasy Football league with my coworkers, having no idea what I was getting into. 30 minutes prior, on the day of our draft, I was frantically combing YouTube and Google for some nuggets of information on what I should be doing. I didn’t know how to interact with the app, much less who I should pick or what stats were relevant.

Draft Time! Donald and I sat down in front of the computer and started picking players when it was our turn. In between turns, Donald would be researching the next position we wanted to fill, to see if there were any leads about who would be a good fit. Most of the time, I just sorted different stat headers and tried to go for the top suggestion. Sometimes it would be the person who scored the most Fantasy Football points the preceding year, or who had the most rushing yards, or the most passing yards, or whatever. To be fair, we really don’t follow football too closely and don’t know most of these people. Draft day was very exciting and we started to get into the spirit of it.

Week 1: We paired off with my boss. We didn’t think to look at any of the games until Monday Night Football. That was an exciting game and we very nearly won our match up! I mean VERY nearly. We lost by 0.04 points. We really wanted our running back to go in for the last 5 minutes of the game, but to be fair to the team, the other running back was having a better night and their goal was to try to win the game, not to help along our Fantasy game. 🙂

Week 2: Currently in progress! This time, we watched the Thursday Night Football game, which was playing on Amazon. Amazon as a place to watch sports was news to us, but there you go. It was also a very good game. Our quarterback was playing against one of my coworker’s quarterbacks (although we are not matched up in the Fantasy league this week). We ended up making over 30 points towards our overall total! I even went into the app prior to the game and changed out a few players to try and give us a better shot at winning our Fantasy match up this week.

The Winning Grillers with pic of us and our score at the time of the screenshot.
Donald and I are “The Winning Grillers”

We are starting to get into it and even think that it would be beneficial to watch more of the NFL games – even the ones where we do not have players – so that we can get a sense of who the real stars are and who are “on fire” this season. Perhaps we will be able to trade for them at some point during the season and help us win some Fantasy games!

We were so surprised to see that Fantasy Football as an industry pulled in more revenue than the NFL itself, but we can definitely see the draw!

Until next time, let us know if you are getting involved in football this season and, if so, what the best part about the sport is.

— Jennie (and Donald)

Mémère’s House

For some reason, I woke up at 5 am this morning with some very vivid memories of my Mémère’s house. Mémère was my great-grandmother – my mom’s mom’s mom.

Her house was in Madison Heights, MI on a street called Harwood, if I’m remembering correctly. It was a brick house with an extra lot to the left side, where Mémère had a bunch of raspberry plants.

My mom and her older sister, Marilyn, in Mémère’s backyard.

When you went in the front door, the hallway would turn to the right to bring you into the living room, but immediately to the left was a low, rectangular curio cabinet. Inside, Mémère kept her collection of salt and pepper shakers. She must have had hundreds of pairs, in all different colors and shapes.

In the hallway, there was either some chairs or maybe a couch. I don’t recall this precisely, but I do remember seeing Mémère sitting down in that hallway area praying the rosary.

The living room, I think, was a light green color. On the far right wall, there were two large, oval black and white photos – each showing a portrait of a man. When I asked Mémère who they were of, she would answer “Pépé.” What I didn’t understand as a kid was that they were two different people, and that Pépé could have more than one meaning. One was our Pépé, her husband, who had passed away when I was about a week old. But the other one was Pope John Paul II, our Holy Father at the time. So, yeah, I grew up thinking that an image of the pope was my great-grandfather.

Mémère and Pépé

Once you turned the corner into the living room, the house went straight back. On the left were two fairly small bedrooms, and on the right just behind the living room was the bathroom.

The hallway ended in the kitchen. There was a small table on the left, the refrigerator straight ahead by the back door, the sink to the right, and the stove on the wall opposite the refrigerator. On the counter between the sink and the stove was a large toaster oven, which I thought was really cool; I had only seen the kind where the bread pops up from the top.

One of the things that Mémère was known for was always having tomato rice soup waiting for you when you came over. Mom says that it was very simple: just rice and water and tomatoes. I just remember that there was always a pot bubbling away on the stove and it was delicious. I think I added a bunch of salt to mine – I was really into a lot of salt in my food when I was younger.

Isn’t it interesting how places can leave their own imprint on you, even decades later? I could relay some of my memories of Mémère, but I think I’ll leave that for another blog post. If you have any specific memories of a loved one’s home or a special food item they made, please share in the comments.

Until our next adventure!
— Jenn