Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Silver Lake Sand Dunes: Trucks & Beach

It's the perfect family vacation place.

The boys play with trucks, quads, and dirt bikes out in the sand, while the girls lay out on the beach and play in the water.

This is one of the few times that my truck has ever left a paved road (other than the dirt/gravel road that we live on). I had a four wheeler in the back of my truck and the boys only attempted to put it through my back window once.

I told the boys that I wanted the blue quad in the back of my truck so it would match; they laughed at me but I like to be color coordinated sometimes.

Still missing a taillight...some day the insurance company will call me back telling me it is okay for me to get it fixed.

On the way out to the dunes I was following Big-D and well he slowed down to make sure Cousin in law Josh didn't need help pulling some guy out. Of course because he was slowing down it caused me to slow down and since I already had a quad almost going through my back window I was pissed. Well he slowed down to a stop caused me to stop and well get stuck. He came back yelling at me and I was like I am stuck get your truck over here and get me out (I tried rocking to get out but every time I switched gear the quad would smack the window). This is the traffic jam that I created.

The trucks on the beach: Cousin in law Josh's truck, my truck, and Big-D's truck.

Before I took this picture I actually made Big-D pull his truck up because it didn't line up right.

Cousin in law Josh taking the quad out of the back of my truck.

Coming down the ramp.

Seriously I think this pictures should be in a magazine for Ford trucks. I totally love it!

I like taking pictures of our trucks, I don't know why; I probably do it for the same reason that I have a billion pictures of Hank.

There was a island of trees in the dunes, I totally had Big-D take his big ass truck up into so I could take some pictures. It was rather difficult to get back out.

We sat on the beach for about four hours and the people that belonged to this towel and flip flops never came back.

A couple of larger boats came to the beach and the people swam to the beach to hang out. 

The sister in laws complained about the boats coming up to the beach, they didn't like that the boat was blocking their view. I simply informed them that it was a state owned beach and that the people on the boats had just as much rights to use at as we did.

Please someone come up with a caption for this pictures and leave it in the comments.

Then it rained, we loaded all of the stuff back into the trucks and decided to go shopping. Of course once we got off the dunes it basically stopped raining.

I like taking random pictures of rain.

Next up Hank and the Dunes!

Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lemon-Lime Pork Chops

It have been crazy hot up here in Michigan. To make the world a better place, we don't have AC. Not really sure how that makes the world a better place but it surely does mean that our electrical bill is crazy low right now because we aren't using that much electricity except to run some fans. Due to the fact that it is hot in the house I haven't wanted to cook in the house. Our grill has been getting lots of use, yay!!!

From left to right: ground cumin, crushed red peppers, chili powder, lemon juice, lime juice and minced garlic. And of course boneless pork chops.

Trim the fat off the pork chops and then place in a Ziploc bag.

In a small bowl mix all of the ingredients (except the pork chops). I like to use a Tupperware dish so I can put the top on it and shake my ingredients together. I like things shaken not stirred. 

Pour the lemon-lime mixture over the pork chops and seal bag tightly.

Place pork chops in refrigerator for at least two hours. Remove and place on grill at medium to high temperature. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side or until slightly pink in the middle.

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 to 6 boneless pork chops
  1. Trim fat off of the pork chops and place in a Ziploc bag.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients together and stir/shake.
  3. Pour lemon-lime mixture to the pork chops and seal tightly.
  4. Place in refridgerator for at least two hours.
  5. Grill at medium to high heat for 4 to 6 minutes per side or until slightly pink in the middle.
A Engineer in the Kitchen

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My House May Be Haunted....

I was going to write a post about the wonderfulness that comes with installing the "new" dishwasher. So I sat down at the computer and opened up a new post.

Jason Aldean all of a sudden came on. I looked iTunes wasn't open, looked at what internet pages that I had open nothing could of been playing Jason Aldean. Walked out to the living room and there he was playing on the CD player. Walked to the bedroom to question Big-D about the CD player.

Me: "You turned off the CD player right?"

Big-D: "Yeah, why?"

Me: "Because it just started playing Jason Aldean."

Big-D: "Are you sure?"

Me: "Yeah." (Would I randomly walk into the bedroom and tell you that the CD player started playing Jason Aldean unless I was sure.) "Can't you hear it?"

Big-D: (Gets out of bed.) "Hmmmm, guess it did turn on. Do you want me to turn if off?"

Me: "Yes and leave every single light in the house on because I don't want to be killed by ghost tonight."

Seriously people this just happened like 10 minutes ago. Good thing I am on pinterest becasue I don't think I will be sleeping tonight.

Over and out,
A Engineer Freaked Out

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Persons's a person

“A person's a person, no matter how small." - Dr. Seuss

Last year for my baby cousin's first birthday I made him a really cool blanket (have to find pictures of it for you all to see.) He loves it, his parents love it, everyone that sees it loves it and a lot of people that found out that I made it didn't even know that I knew how to sew. I like surprising my family like that.

I started on another quilt for him a couple months back but then it got packed up one night and I never pulled it back out. Maybe it will be his Christmas present, a little boy can never have to many blankets right?

Well I really wanted to make him another cool quilt and when I went to Joann's to get fabric for another little one that will be turning one in a few weeks, I found something perfect for her but couldn't find anything that I loved for him. I went to one of the smaller fabrics stores and found some cool fabrics that I liked but they had a 1 yard minimum...and since both of the fabrics were $14/yard each and then I would have to find something to go with it I decided to pass. I then drove across down and went to another small fabric store. I walked around and there it was Dr. Seuss fabric, I loved Dr. Seuss growing up I had all of his books (until my mom gave them away...sad face).

They had a black circle pattern that looks just like the yellow one that I might go back and get for the back. I might also go get him a couple Dr. Seuss books as well.

Did I fail to mention that his birthday in on Tuesday...nothing like leaving a project till the last minutes...opps! 

Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen

Friday, July 20, 2012

Meal Planning the College Student Way

I mention early in the month about in a post about Big-D and trying to eat out less. Thus far half way through the month we have been pretty good, except last week when I was really crazing Taco Bell (we will just keep that as our little secret though,okay?)

But I have ran out of things that are fun and easy to cook when its like bazillion degrees out. We only have a small window AC unit and to be honest if I have to cook anything on the stove or oven for more than like two minutes the house gets hot and fast. So I decided that I was going to try a little meal planning...yeah right, fail there too; I still call Big-D on his way home to stop at the grocery store and pick up what I need for dinner.

Here is how the college student in me does meal planning:

  • Breakfast: Cereal 
  • Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • Dinner: Ramen noodles
  • Meal that I eat at work: Chips from vendy machine & Raviolis
  • Breakfast: Cereal
  • Lunch: Ramen noodles
  • Dinner: Mac n' Cheese
  • Meal that I eat at work: Something for the vendy machine & Raviolis
  • Breakfast: Cereal
  • Lunch: Ramen noodles
  • Dinner: Big-D call you mom find out what she is having for dinner and lets pretend like we love it so I don't have to figure out what to make for dinner tonight
  • Meal that I eat at work: Something for the vendy machine & Raviolis

  • Breakfast: Cereal
  • Lunch: Ramen noodles
  • Dinner: Goulash (because I can freeze it have leftover for a week)
  • Meal that I eat at work: Leftover Goulash

  • Breakfast: Realize that I am out of milk or it has gone bad so I eat my cereal dry
  • Lunch: Leftovers if I have any or Peanut Butter sandwich or Ramen noodles
  • Dinner:Go to bar have them make me an amazing steak (true fact we go to the bar every week)

  • Breakfast: Cereal or frozen waffles
  • Lunch: Something for the vendy machine & Raviolis
  • Dinner: BBQ

  • Breakfast: Cereal or frozen waffles
  • Lunch: Ramen noodles, Mac n' Cheese, whatever is in the cupboard
  • Dinner: Pretend like I miss my mom and go over there at ear her food
I guess what I am asking here is how do all you busy people have time to meal plan, I've tried and failed. I mean I am busy as hell and usually forget to go grocery shopping once a week or even every other week. I go to the gas station to get milk (it's a 20 minute drive to go to the grocery store but the gas station is like 3 minutes away and I don't like driving all the way to the grocery store for milk.)

Please offer me some advice, I am perfectly fine eating Ramen noodles and Mac n' Cheese everyday but Big-D isn't in college anymore and doesn't like eating like it. Grrrr to marrying a man that has graduated college, how I envy him.

Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen

PS: This post made me think of a really funny Ramen Noodle story that someday I shall share with you. as

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Michigan's Desert

Did you know that Michigan has a desert? Okay it's not a desert but it is about 2000 acres of sand. So maybe it's just a huge beach...

Anyways, Silver Lake Sand Dunes is a fun place where there is lots of sand, people and water. Best part is that you can drive around on a large portion of the Dunes and you can literally drive down to the beach of Lake Michigan (do I need to a Michigan hand map again). They don't allow people to drive on the beach but you can get to about 20 feet from it. 

Big-D, his cousins, his siblings and I all went to Silver Lake Sand Dunes for a weekend of camping fun. I think Hank had the most fun out of all of us to be honest. He learned how to swim (even though it is a natural instinct of the breed), got to dig really big holes on the beach, got way to much people food and was loved on by lots of people.

I would have to say that best part or at least the funniest part of the weekend was when I got pulled over for not having my taillight. I don't remember which one of Big-D's sisters were riding with me at the time but when I saw the cop pull out behind me I bet her $20 that he was pulling me over for my taillight; I won the bet. I found this funny because since I live in a little no-where town I drive mostly highways to get where I need to go, I drive between three big cities everyday and I drive by the Michigan State Troopers station on a almost daily basis, I haven't had a taillight for three weeks and none of these police officers have pulled me over...but no I get pulled over my a middle of nowhere county sheriff. To be completely honest I don't even know the name of the county sheriff department that  pulled me over.

Here are some pictures of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

From top of one of the many hills, looking out towards the beach and Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan and some trees on the horizon.

You have to be careful when driving on the dunes due to the random trees that are out on the dunes. 

More trees and a red house...I don't know if I would like to live on edge of the Dunes for the fact how busy the Dunes are during the weekend.

A jeep and sand rail driving on the Dunes down by the beach.

Sunset from the Dunes is quite amazing.

More sunset.

Hank watching vehicles go up Test Hill.

Test Hill is the steepest hill on the Dunes and it truly test a vehicles/ATV ability to climb it.

I have many more pictures to share with you all but I think this is a good start. I had a decent vacation at least it was nice to have to work for FOUR days, but I did start to feel like a lazy bum after about day two.

Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Fun I Didn't Have

Before I go on to share all of the pictures that I took and fun I had on my vacation, I must first tell you about the fun I didn't have.

First off Big-D left with his cousins and siblings on Thursday morning. However, someone (me) doesn't get any vacation time so I had to work my 45 hours in four days instead of six, lets just say I worked 20 hours on Thursday.

Anyways, as I was returning to work from letting the dog out and a quick nap my mom called. She asked me where I was and I told her about 5 minutes from work. She told me to call her back when I got to work because she didn't want me to get in an accident. (My mom hates it when I talk and drive but I do think it has saved my life a time or two).

When I arrived at work, I called my mom back and received terrible news. My brother-in-law's,aka my Favorite Brother (hehe love you Paterrick), sister was killed in a car accident that morning. My heart instantly sank, she was only 18 and just about to "start" her life. I am not out looking for sympathy or empathy or anything like that but I sometimes feel like writing is one of the few ways I can express how I feel. After I had a good talk/cry session with my mom, I managed to go back to work.

Thursday night I contemplated not going on our trip but after two hours of not sure what to do I decided to go and try to have fun. Right then and there is where I should of known the trip was going to go down hill real fast. What a great way to start your only vacation that you'll probably get until next year. By Sunday afternoon I was done with the hole trip, my mom was calling me 800 times to make sure I was still alive and I was annoyed but I can't blame her. Her good friends just lost their daughter and I think her bugging me was her way of cooping. Sunday night Big-D and I went out for ice cream (the first time the whole trip that I got to talk to him and have a lone time with him) and we got Hank a doggy sundae. I felt much better after the ice cream, I need some alone time with Big-D to feel better. I mean Hank makes a good pillow to cry on but I prefer Big-D's shoulder.

Next time I plan a trip with Big-D's family remind me not too. I had as much fun as I could have considering the tragic event that occurred but his family (okay mainly his sisters) had us on the go way to much. I mean I like to spend my vacation time not doing anything, planning very few things and honestly just winging it. I spent more of the weekend alone because I wanted to chill at the camp ground with the Hank and nobody wanted to come back with me.

Anyways, I promise the next post about my vacation will be a happy one.

Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Surrounded by Water!

One of the best things about living in Michigan in the middle of summer is that a beach is never that far away. Now with that being said, we live 15 minutes away from Lake Huron. I will give you a Michigan hand map. Bare with me now.

Everyone hold up your left hand.
Now the side where the thumb is, that is Lake Huron.
Now see the piece of skin that goes between the thumb and the index finger, that is approximately where we live.

Anyways a couple of  weekends ago we went to the lake, actually we went to three of them. First we went to Houghton Lake (this is NOT one of the Great Lakes) to visit my dad. Ahh, the memories of growing up on the lake. Then we went to Lake Michigan and then Lake Leelanau. Here is another virtual Michigan map.

Everyone hold up your left hand, again.
Now see the middle joint of your middle finger, that is approximate location of Houghton Lake.
Now the side your hand that has your pinky (opposite side of Lake Huron), that is Lake Michigan.
Now see the area at the top of your pinky, that is what we call the Grand Traverse Bay (Lake Leelanau is very close to that.)

Okay you can put your hand down now.

The coolest thing about driving north in Michigan is that the further and further north you go and once you go over the bridge, the fewer and fewer big cities there are. Lots of farm land, hills and woods.

The thing I like most about driving up north is the peacefulness and then you hit Traverse City...We drove along the bay and saw lots of people in the water with their boats.

Wish we could of taken the boat out on the bay would have been so much fun. We did have lots of fun goofing around on the boat in Lake Leelanau.

Took a couple random shots of ropes while we waited (and waited) for the other passengers. 

My captain, I informed him (since we left the net at the dock) that I wasn't jumping in after his FAVORITE hat if it was blown off this head, so he turned it around backwards.

There are some houses up in those hills; I would love to live there.

Some more house along the shore; beach in my front yard...yes please.

 I like taking pictures of people when they have no clue that I am taking pictures of them, they look so natural.

The next few pictures of are my attempt of getting the rainbow that was in the spray.

First attempt...kind of their: fail.

Second attempt...not much better then the first attempt: also fail.

Third attempt...yay I got it!!!

Then there was the tubing attempt but it was so determined that the lake was to busy so we just played in the water with the tube.

All in all it was fun little day trip but I was happy to return to the Hanky and get snuggles all the way home the next morning. 

I hope you all enjoyed the Michigan hand map and don't hate me for it...but in real life if you would have asked me where those locations were, I would have proudly held up my left hand and showed you, its a Michigan thing.

How many of you held up your left hand to figure out what I was talking about? Anyone? Do you all now think I am a crazy person?

Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen

PS: I may need to find a new puppy sitter, my dad said he might retire from watching our dogs (Dakota and Hank) okay let's be honest mainly my dog because he is such a handful and a footful. I don't know how many phone calls I got asking how I manage to keep up with him.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

1001 Pageviews

Because I currently don't have internet at home, it is becoming rather difficult to get blog stuff done. Bare with me getting Charter hopefully shortly after returning from my vacation this weekend.

Anways, I thought you all would love to know that today I hit 1000 page views. I love it, I never thought I would hit a 100 none the less 1000. Now all I need are some followers...hmm I wonder how I could get some followers. If only I had people that came to this blog that would want to be a follower....hmmm (hint hint).

I promise a little more fun and exciting post one of these days, it will be nice to have internet at home again.

Thank you for each and everyone that got me to 1000 page views. Up next 2000!!!

Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sounds like I am Complaining

I sometimes try to do everything for everyone and feel like I have no time to get what I want to get done. I figured once I was done with "winter" classes I would have more time to do stuff at home...yeah not happening. Doesn't make it any easier that I have a 4 month old puppy running around making it really hard for me to just about anything and on top of that because I am crazy we got a kitten. Now I have a puppy that loves to chase the kitten.

Anyways, I have determined that I need a vacation and guess what next weekend I am taking 4 (yes 4!!) days off from work and going to have some fun. This is a lot for me, its been almost two years since I've taken a vacation and I usually only get one day off a week.

I have some really cool posts half started but just lacked motivation to finish them once I left work. The joys of working third shift, lots of done time and time to write posts for your blog. Don't worry I get my work done first.

So until next time,
Over and out,
A Engineer in the Kitchen
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