gettin’ out

much as i love the city it’s good to get out too.  i’ve been working much too much to the point where ma has started writing her into my calendar so i’ll spend time with her.  i have mixed feeling about this, but frankly i don’t think i’d plan that much time to spend having fun if it weren’t for her.  saturday the whole day was blocked out, i slept in till about 7:30, and spent the next hour or so reading the new issue of saveur. i’m not proud of my love of saveur, it makes me feel like a foodie, which is the last thing i want to be, but thankfully saveur it’s self reminds me constantly that it’s not a foodie magazine but something that celebrates the everyday, the common.  mostly i just think of it as food porn, it’s got those glossy close ups of food that make me salivate.  after that i spent some time grazing though the fridge mostly enjoying last night’s offerings as breakfast.  i do enjoy more savory fare than is usually considered breakfast food by most folks.  this mornings pre-breakfast was some leftover tabbouleh, fried potatoes, and crackers.  since ma has a tendency to get up latter than i and and the first thing on my mind when i wake up is food, i need to partake in a pre-breakfast before she gets up, but it also has to be light enough that i have enough room to eat a real breakfast with her when she gets up.  it’s a real balancing act.  once ma was up she made coffee and a smoothie featuring fruits we had put up this last year, as well as some bee pollen from our hives, and whatever else she could find in the fridge.  ma wanted go to the market, and much as i adore the market, i just wasn’t feeling it.  part of it has to do with the crowded nature of the market,  in years past as soon as christmas was over the place was dead, but this year it never really let up, in fact it seemed more crowded than ever since all the vendors has been packed into one shed.  another factor is that things don’t change that much this time of year, the most exciting thing in the place is the rhubarb, and we’ve been eating on that for the better part of a month, i’m having a hard time coming up with new uses for rhubarb and based on the fact that the rhubarb ma bought last week is still in the fridge, i think she’s having a hard time too.  

so i stayed home with the plan to get some work done.  i played a little banjo, did some dishes, and before you know it ma was back.  she brought spinach pies from market in addition to other tasty treats.  spinach pie consumed, it was deemed that adventure was much in order.  after some discussion it was decided that the best course to plot lay to the southwest in search of the famed huron river.  surrounding the motor city is a ring of “metro parks” a series of green spaces to escape to when the stress and strain of the city become to much.  apparently we were just the sort of folks these parks are marketed at, and i had a hankering for a nature center.  one of the main things i like about nature centers is you can experience so much nature and learn so much about nature without actually being in nature.  it’s still nice and warm, with a solid floor and roof, indoor plumbing, and a water fountain.  this particular nature center had a  large selection of turtles, mostly painted turtles sunning themselves under a light bulb, but also a map turtle trying to mess with a soft shell turtle.  i thought at first it might be trying to get some turtle booty, but it seemed more intent on sticking it’s little turtle feet in the soft shell turtle’s eyes.  maybe it was taunting it for having a less effective shell.  after perusing the various tanks of animals most of which seemed vacant, we went for the real deal:  nature.  this particular slice of nature was marketed under the name of oakwood or something like that.  It’s advertising was not inaccurate, it did indeed feature a large number of stately old oaks as well as some lovely shag bark hickories.  for early spring vegetation was still dormant, except for a few small shoots popping up here and there.  the real life was in the vernal ponds, full of spring peepers.  i kept trying to sneak up on them, but they are sensitive little guys, and the moment i got close they shut up.  

after a walk in the woods we wandered though various michigan small towns making our way to my favorite asian grocery in southeast michigan hua xing.  have an amazing selection of things i’ve not often see outside of places like san fransisco and new york’s china towns.  adding to the amusement is that it’s housed in a old auto dealer.  we picked up a couple of essentials, a young coconut, a green papaya (i’m not sure what the obsession is with under ripe fruit) some napa, and some wonton wrappers.  the store also doubles as an aquarium, those soft shell turtles we had seen earlier were now functioning as food as were the frogs, in addition to a large selection of  eels and various fish.  

next it was on to the corner brewery  one of my favorite places to get a drink.  i go for the overall charm of the experience, the beer is above average, but it’s the non-smoking, open and sunny space that i really enjoy.  ma and i had a couple of half pints, we both had a light ale, and then she a scottish ale, and i a double ipa.  after this is was back to the city, i was tired, i had enough fun for one day, it was time to go home.

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