The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tractor Trails at Cook's

I grew up with Cook's Farm Dairy in my backyard, at least by Ortonville standards.

It was about 2 miles from my childhood home and my parents used to let us walk there on a hot summer day, or a mild spring/fall day, (a good way to get us out of their hair for a couple of hours, no doubt). In hindsight, 2 miles seems like a pretty long distance to let a couple of ten to thirteen year olds walk unaccompanied by an adult, but those were simpler times back then…even though the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh had demonstrated to most parents (including mine) that the world was not as safe as they hoped it would be. But I digress.

I remember when Cook's first started selling ice cream. The pungent smell of the cow manure. The hand dipped, creamy, hard ice cream. MMMmmm.

It was 75 cents for a single, and if you've ever been to Cook's, you know that their singles are hu-normous (a word coined by my 3 year old niece Bella).

I remember when they first increased their price form 75 cents to $1.25 and unlike other price hikes, when people tend to bemoan the atrocity of rising prices, this price hike was met with a resounding agreement that Cook's was finally charging what their hu-normous ice cream cones were really worth.

We now live about 8 miles from Cook's, it's about 15 minutes to drive there. And with a Frosty Boy around the corner and gas prices soaring, we don't go there as often as I did as a kid. (As I'm typing this, it makes me realize that we really should go more often.)

After a long day swimming in our lake and sunbathing at our beach this past Sunday, we went to Cook's while the dads were out golfing for Father's Day.

Me & my kids.
My sister & her kids.
And our psuedo-sister Lorrie & her kids.

Today, a single cone at Cook's costs $3.25, and that price is still worth it since they are just as yummy and almost as hu-normous as I remember them. I'd dare say that back in the early eighties, the singles were even hu-normouser than they are today. But, it was such a treat!

I had Tractor Trails (vanilla ice cream with fudge swirls and peanut butter truffles) - is your mouth watering? Jordyn had Mint Chocolate Chip. Liam had Blu Moo.

And Owen had White. No, not Vanilla. White. (OK, it really was Vanilla but he'll argue with you til he's blue in the face that it's WHITE ice cream.)

The farm has grown since I was a kid. In addition to cows they now have pigs and chickens. After finishing our ice cream, we walked around the farm.

Here is a pig defecating on another pig's snout.
And the pig getting dumped on didn't even mind! He didn't even flinch! Kinda makes me want to swear off pork like my sister's family has done. Too bad it tastes so freaking delicious. Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! BACON! (to read the bacon sequence correctly, you must recall a certain Kibbles & Bits commercial.)

And, speaking of pigs, I couldn't resist taking a picture of Cook's marquee.
Would you like the one dumping or the one getting dumped upon? I certainly hope they let you specify that you would like a non crapped upon the snout pig.
Bailey saw a very tiny dead baby chicken, which looked like it had slipped out of an egg and was squashed by a tractor (she refused to let me take a picture of that). It was gross.

There were calves that the kids were able to pet. One even took a liking to Jordyn's rear end so the calf LICKED it! Jordyn thought it was me goosing her (I love pinching my kids' butts!) and she was even more embarrassed to learn that it was a calf LICKING her!

And in case you're a complete moron, there were signs like this one all over the place.

It was the perfect way to end a perfectly splendid Father's Day. Too bad the dads missed it.

If we go there more often this summer, which we should, we'll have to walk the 8 miles for a couple of reasons.

A. To save gas.

B. To save my thighs from further expansion.
Here are some more shots from our trip to the farm:
(To get the pictures to load, you may have to press refresh on your browser)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just trim it

This is what I say every time I go to the salon (a.k.a. Di's basement). Recently, I had decided to only trim it every other trip in an attempt to grow it out long. And, of course, all one length (translation: absolutely no STYLE to it whatsoever). Believe me, it was indeed getting long. I figured, at 35, this is probably the last year of my life that I can get away with "long" hair. And, I guess I liked it well enough for long, straight, all one length with-no-style-to-it hair.

But, last night, I found myself in Di's chair, and instead of saying "Just trim it," and without any premeditation whatsoever, I said to her, "What would you do with my hair if it were your hair?" She explained that she would do an angle bang and cut some layers to frame the face but still leave some length to it. I replied, "Go for it." Yes, I gave her free reign to do as she pleased…or at least to do what she had just explained to me that she would do.

And it's cute. But it's short. And I haven't had bangs in 72 years.

When Jordyn saw it, she immediately said "Ewww! I like you better with long hair!" And she said it right in front of Miss Di. Oh.yes.she.did.

I got home and said to Kev (with his back to me as he was washing dishes), "I had my hair cut and Jordyn's first response was Ewww!" He turned around. An intrigued smile came across his face as he said, "I like it. I really like it. I would have noticed. It's short. But, I really like it." Grin. Grin. Grin. And we both said at the same time, "It's just hair." Might I add that he cuts his hair and grows it out all the time. He's had more hair "styles" over the last 10 years than I have.

I went upstairs to say goodnight to the boys, and asked them "Do I look any different?"
Owen smiled and nodded his head yes. So, I asked him, "What's different about me?" And he said, "Your hair looks like Amy's!" Which I thought was funny that, at four years old, he was able to compare me to someone with a similar hairstyle. (Let's not forget, though, that earlier that day, I showed Owen the cover of Kevin's most recent Maxim magazine with Marisa Miller on the cover and asked him who that girl was and he said, "You, mommy." To which I responded, "That's right, honey.")

Liam told me I didn't look different at all, except that I cut my hair here, here, and here. Call me kooky, but getting your hair cut here, here, and here usually results in a person looking different.
However, I must not look THAT different, because not one person at work has even mentioned it to me. But then again, I work with a bunch of guys and they don't have the superior powers of observation that we ladies do. Either that, or they hate it and are following the old adage…"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

It doesn't matter. I like it well enough for layered with some length to it, angle-banged, frame my face, STYLED hair.

Since I've had requests from as far away as Germany and as close as Burdick Street and others in between, here are some photos.

Here is me before the cut:

Oops, wrong picture.
Before the cut:

After the cut (and after a LOOOONG day at work):

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Kevin and I have started playing in a co-ed softball league this summer and we're having a blast. It's on Friday nights and usually Jordyn babysits for us, but her social calendar has been filling up, which means that we've been dragging our 2 boys to the park with us for the past couple of double headers.

For most of the time, Liam and Owen pay ZERO attention to the game. They're off climbing the bleachers or playing kick ball on one of the empty ball fields. But, occasionally they will watch from the sidelines and chant Go Mommy Go Daddy Go Mommy Go Daddy, obnoxiously and incessantly.

Mind you, before joining this league, it's been some years since I've swung a bat. SOME YEARS, like 17 or so. I'm a little rusty. Fielding is fine. Batting, for whatever reason, not so fine.

Anyway, during the off chance that our boys were actually watching us play one night, I got up to bat. And I struck out. Looking. For those of you who know baseball, it's one thing to strike out swinging, which means you're actually trying to hit the ball but you failed. It's another thing to not even try to hit the ball and have the third strike called on you. Which is what happened to me. Oh, and did I mention it was the third out? (In my defense, I thought that pitch was too flat for slow-pitch, which needs an arc to it, but whatever).

No sooner do I get called out do I hear Liam yell from the sidelines, very loudly, I might add, "MOM! You SUCK!"

Thanks, Liam. I appreciate that. As if striking out in slow pitch softball isn't humiliating enough.

Of course I, and my entire team, absolutely CRACKED UP when he said that, because it was really pretty funny. It makes me laugh thinking about it.

Yes, later on that evening I explained to him that while dad might yell that to Pudge Rodriguez or Brandon Inge on the TV (minus the MOM part), we don't say that to people in real life (all I need is for him to yell that at one of his t-ball teammates, Oy! Vay!)

You'll be happy to know, that since then, I have adjusted my batting stance and have improved my get on base percentage. Now, if I could only hit it into the outfield once and a while.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Life's a Party

Ever have a stretch where your life just seems to be one big party after another?

That's how this last week has been for me. And what's funny, is that every party has somehow involved the Red Wings' playoff games, even though I'm not really a Red Wings fan. I'm just not much of a hockey fan altogether. I mean, I like the Red Wings seeing as how they're from the D and all. I've even been to 3 of their games in my lifetime, 1 at the Joe, 1 in San Jose, and 1 in Tampa Bay. I'll watch part of this game or part of that game on occasion. But I'm not a FAN.

But this post isn't even about the Red Wings so much as it's about the fun partying I've been doing this week with the Red Wings kind of in the background.

The first party was totally impromptu, spontaneous, and unplanned - yes, I know all of these words mean the same thing.

Saturday night, Amy and I got together at her house while Kevin & Joel went out to the bar to watch the Red Wings. We didn't join them at the bar for a couple of reasons….A) It was "guy" night and B) Amy was babysitting Kendrea's boys that night.

It was me & Amy, Jordyn, and 7 boys hanging out at Amy's house flipping between the Food Network, the Style Channel, the Learning Channel, and occasionally the game.

So, of course we had to drink some RED wine. (Did I mention there were SEVEN boys there? You would've been drinking, too!)

When Kendrea & Joe returned to Amy's to retrieve their boys, it was almost midnight…Amy & I we were feeling pretty good having survived the 7 little fellas (thanks, to the vino, I'm sure!). There was still a lot of night left, the game had just ended and the Wings had won, Kev & Joel were still up at the Tap, our remaining 4 boys were falling asleep, Jordyn was at the house with us (built-in babysitter), so Amy and I decided to join Joel and Kevin at the bar. Did I say join them? More like surprise them!

We both thought, How fun would that be if when Amy & I were out at the bar (which occurs a lot more often than when Joel & Kev are out at the bar) for our husbands to just show up and surprise us?!? That would be SO much fun!!! Surely it would be just as fun for Kev & Joel to be surprised at the bar by their wives!! Surely.

Amy had texted Joel to tell him that JOE was on his way up to the Tap to ensure Kev & Joel wouldn't leave the bar (which, if she hadn't have done that, they probably would have gone home shortly after the game ended…that's the kind of partiers they are with out us girls).

SURPRISE! And what fun it was! We shut the place down! And despite Kevin ribbing us for showing up at the bar and how unfair it was for us to crash their guy night and how now they get to have a free guy night out any time they want (go right ahead!), and Kevin flipping me the bird in every photo that I took..that ANYONE took…despite all of that, they were both pretty surprised (pleasantly, I think) to have us girls show up.

And to add more fun on top of the surprise, we ran into Scott & Shannon (Amy's next door neighbors), Kelly & Shannon (the couple that USED to live in Amy's house!), and Mair (my super cool PTO silent auction friend) & her fun friends Liz & Paul. So, that means we knew about half of the people there (the Tap isn't that big).

Good times. Good times.

Monday night, after a delicious dinner that my wonderful husband made for us, I went outside to garden for a few hours while Kevin sat down to watch the Red Wings game. I gardened from 7pm-10pm (when the daylight finally disappeared, doggoneit!).

When I finally came inside, Kev was heading up to bed. He gets up really early now to take the GM bus down to the RenCen, the Wings were losing in the second period, and he was still dragging from the SATURDAY night party, so he figured he'd turn in. Before he hit the stairs, however, I asked him if he'd like to join me, his loooooooooovely wife, out on the deck with a glass of wine. Reluctantly (what's that all about?), he agreed, as long as I poured the wine for him.

It was a beautiful night and the lake was so calm and the wine was so smooth and the conversation was so easy.

Three or four glasses of wine laaaaater……Kev's curiosity about the Wings prompted him to turn the tube back on to check the game. The Wings were WINNING with 5 minutes left in the game, 5 minutes to go until Stanley! We retreated back to the deck for another glass of wine. Then Kev decided to peek in the window at the TV…..50 seconds to go until Stanley!!

Excitedly Kevin rushed inside and no sooner did his rump hit the couch and just as I was saying "See, aren't you glad I made you stay up so you could watch the Red Wings win?!?" the Penguins scored to tie the game (and eventually went on to win in triple OT). It didn’t matter to me, though. We turned off the TV and headed up to bed.

Late night. Relaxing night. Low-key, two person party night.

Just me and my Kev. Sweet.

Wednesday night I met up with my girlfriends from high school at the Clarkston Union for dinner (I hade the yummy chopped cobb salad). We were the loudest booth there and we talked about a lot of things that probably were not suitable for a restaurant that used to be a church, but the conversation was lively and hysterical and sometimes serious but most of all, FUN!

Our new momma, Lori, left early to tend to her new baby. Our pregnant momma, Erika, left after dinner. And as sad as we veteran mommas were to see these ladies leave early, we've all been there before, so we understood. That just left Heidi, Andrea, and I to soldier on with out them.

So, after dinner, Heidi suggested we walk down the street to Pizza CocCo, a little bar inside the Clarkston Café. We had a super fun bartender girl and. The Red Wings game was on the TV and we'd peek over at the tube occasionally. We saw that they won, did a little cheer, then went back to chatting and laughing. At 11:30, the manager said, um ladies, we close at 11:00, are you done? So, we kind of got kicked out, but in a nice way.

Back to the Union we went. They HAD to still be open. They were. There were many playoff-beard sporting men dancing and celebrating in the basement. Not being a huge Red Wings fan I still belted out "We Are the Champions" every time they played it (like 3 or 4 times). I don't think that song can be played with out singing along to it as loud as you can. Yep. Got home around 1:30. On a school night

What a fun week. But, man, oh man, I am plum tuckered out. I think I'll go to bed right after dinner tonight since napping at the office is generally frowned upon.

Life's a party man, live it up!