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Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

We went for a walk in the neighborhood tonight and finally met some neighbors. The people on the corner have lots of rescued animals. Hmmm, kind of like us. The people next to them have a brand new baby. We'd like to be a combination of the two. On the same walk we met lots of bunnies (they're eating our flowers more than anyone else's), ducks, and a muskrat in the nearby pond. Finally this year, our lawn is catching up with the others. Now if only our hot tub would do the same (read: we need to get one). It may not be summer down home on the farm, but it is friendly and full of wildlife.


Round one, sprinklers.

This is our first house and we have only been here for a year so there are a lot of things that we are still learning, like lawn care.  Last summer we tried to get the hang of the inground sprinkler system and I won't lie to you—there were several mornings when we were awakened at disgustingly early hours by the rush of water against our bedroom window.  Oops, set the system wrong again.  Now, last summer I blamed it on user error, but after the past few days I have come to realize that the issue isn't us, it's our system.  I have just sat down from my most recent mad dash to the control box in what appears to be a futile attempt to reign supreme over its sudden spurt of adolescent egotism.  Last night we were watering when system two decided to throw a tantrum and just quit.  Following that assertion of self independence the revolution spread and none of the systems would work at all.
Today the battle continued in the form of a militant revolt on the part of system two. Its watering every couple of hours started at 9:30 this morning... even though the dial was set to OFF.  It had seriously developed its own agenda and would not even respond to my repeated depressing of the "off" button.  I'm sure its goal was to completely wash away my garden as a means of getting its point across, whatever that may be, but I will not let it be the boss of me.  I unplugged it.


It's a fathers' day miracle....



Okay, maybe not.  In fact we went to the zoo, which is not at all miraculous, seeing as that we do so every weekend!  But this time was a little different because we went with our friends Nathan and Diane (getting married in t-minus 20 days!), who hadn't been there in a long time.  It was a lot of fun!  We even got to see the mama wolverine chase a bird up in a tree, which also added some spice to the afternoon.  I guess that's why we go every weekend... it's always different and we don't want to miss anything!
Then this evening we had a mongolian sized barbecue for fathers' day.  We were lucky enough to have both of our families together, which is something that we love.  We gathered at the Ophoff's house (Jon's parents) and most of us munched away on snacks out in the evening sunshine while the dads grilled our way to blissful dinner happiness.  They had two grills going and cooked something like five fathersday.jpgdifferent meats.  There was enough food to feed an army and, even though sometimes when it comes to eating I think Curtis is an army unto himself, we will still be eating leftovers for a week!  That's especially good because now we don't have to go grocery shopping.



We became members at the Detroit Zoo this year and in some ways it has become a second home.  We love to stop in  whenever we have a few extra hours and have even begun to imagine personal relationships with the animals (yes, I swear that the Nilgai gets mad at us when we miss a weekend!).  Thus far I think we are most attached to the baby polar bear.  She was born in December and we are determined to watch her grow up.  We have seen her play in the water, antagonize her mom, nurse, nap, and bounce in the grass and we never get bored (maybe that says something about our lifestyle?).


And finally today, after several unsuccessful wolverine visits, we got to see the two kits that were born in February.  The keepers don't yet know what gender(s) they are (no skirt lifting here), but they seem to have different personalities; one of them was constantly rambuctious, snipping around with mom, while the other was off chewing on sticks and bouncing in the water all alone.  They are learning to fight through play and quite often mom is the instigator, but at 4 months they are already almost as big as she is  (brave woman!).  They bounce, they pip, they grrr, they roll, they jump...they are constant balls of motion, even sometimes just one ball of motion together!  Hmm... suddenly our dogs seem like less of a handful.



(Re)visiting Ann Arbor

It's funny to go through your hometown with a visitor.  Rachel and Steve were here Tuesday and Wednesday.  We had a great time butsmalljune15.jpg we must weigh an additional ten pounds!  Since Rachel had never been here before, Steve had an entire list of things she needed to experience, most of them places to eat, like Pizza House, Charley's (for the Twists, of course), Washtenaw Dairy, Spots, and "good Chinese."  We also did a lot of walking and a lot of talking—we toured central campus, the hill area, north campus and downtown and shared a lot of stories and memories about the area.  It's funny how taking a newcomer through the same areas you pass daily can bring to mind long forgotten memories and folklore; it's like seeing it all anew, or revisiting it for yourself.  In any case, we had a great time and are very sad that the trip had to be so short, but we hope they will return soon (Steve—I know there are more places on your list so you just have to come back soon, even if only to eat).