Tag Archives: Michigan

Tell Me a Story Chef Valerie Wilson

Michigan based, Macrobiotic Chef, Valerie Wilson is celebrating 20 years of teaching cooking classes, helping people use real food to live a better life!  Today on Tell Me a Story, Chef Valerie announces the release of the updated version of her first cookbook, Perceptions In Healthy Cooking

Chef Val would very much appreciate a nice review after you’ve gotten her book!  It helps others consider giving it a try!

There are link on Chef Val’s website to purchase her cookbooks, cooking DVD’s  and gift certificates. You will also find recipes, articles and the links to her Blog Talk Radio program, Real Food with Chef Val.

*all podcasts are posted in alphabetical order


Welcome Autumn


Writers Quote Wednesday Autumn

Autumn… ah, I am totally in love with autumn!  Why not, I am, after all, an autumn baby. Then there’s Halloween (always meant candy to me) and Thanksgiving (set down the pumpkin pie and back away slowly), so what’s not to love! Growing up here, in Michigan (the 26th State of the Union in the United States of America) we experience the changing of four seasons. Albeit, some parts of my great state have rather short seasonal durations…  Up north, where my folks live, we joke that they have two seasons, August and winter. We have the cider mills scattered like autumn leaves, everywhere and that means, fresh donuts, crunchy apples and jugs of amazing amber liquid that goes down like sweet silk. Naturally, because we experience the seasonal changes, we also have the riot of the warm color spectrum nearly everywhere you look. Believe it or not, you can book travel tours of Michigan just to view the colors and people DO cruise every back road to enjoy the experience.

Everything from the cooler temperatures to the crunching of the leaves under foot, puts a smile on my face. There’s something remarkable about watching the trees go from hosting lush greenery to sporting botanical flame, in every possible shade (and often on the same tree). It boggles the mind how they know precisely when to turn and in the blink of an eye, a good gust of wind can come along and bye-bye color, hello stark branches. In a way, it’s like watching a magic trick that’s being performed by hundreds of magicians one right after another. Each one achieves the same result but they have their own personal way of making it happen.

We used to have bonfires, where the leaves were burned, along with fallen branches and that meant a party. You’d wrap up in your warmest flannel and sturdier jeans to hang around the crackling flames with family and friends. There was plenty of music, good food and for those “of age” a nip of alcohol to warm you up from the inside out. Hay rides carried you through pumpkin patches. If you were lucky, there was a moon to watch following you, all the while pretending that it wasn’t watching you watching.

Putting the summer outdoor furniture away meant the decorations of Indian corn, mums and pumpkins had room to spread. The celebrations just seemed to morph from one into the other until we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of winter. The ritual of exchanging the golden warmth of autumn for the blue chill of winter was a time honored tradition that seemed to be part of our DNA.

Nature’s beauty comes in all forms and to each his own. My own is and shall ever be autumn, in all her glory.

Blazing colors dance

Swirling in the playful wind

Laughing as they move

Autumn calls us out

Kisses our cheeks in crimson

Stores warmth in our hearts

©2016 Annette Rochelle Aben


 I have to share one of my favorite songs…  Enjoy



current weather


Much needed rain comes

The power blinks off, then on

Flash! The rain is gone!

©2016 Annette Rochelle Aben

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge Week 23 Season

two-day 437martket

I am thrilled to know that on Thursday, May 5th, our city will open its annual Farmer’s Market.  There’s lots to do, even this early in the season.  We have theme weeks which include contests for kids, and  pets. Entertainers get everyone singing (and many dancing).  There is a fountain in a small pond on the other side of this building in the background of this picture and the waterfowl gather to the delight of the crowd.  Surrounding this market are a children’s water park, soccer fields, picnic areas and a skate boarding park. Yes, this season promises to be fun, loud and filled with a lot of good times, now through October!


winter dot calm


The wind will blow cold

Bits of white clouds landing wet

Making the ground slick

Birds will dodge the flakes

Leaving imprints where they land

Measuring snow depth

©2016 Annette Rochelle Aben

Proud Poppa Moment

The Folks 

I just love it when I can make my poppa’s day! 

After a friend emailed me that I had been published in The Detroit Free Press today, I called my step-mother in northern Michigan and suggested she call my father at work and have him buy a copy of the paper. He was happy to see his oldest child published in what some consider to be the largest newspaper in the state of Michigan.

It all started a while back actually. This same friend emailed me that said paper was having a Holiday Shopping Haiku contest. There was a prize involved and I imagined, the opportunity to be published in the paper. I wrote one, sent it in and never heard another thing from either the paper or my friend.

So, when I received the email this morning, I was a bit surprised.  Visiting the sight, I found that while I did not win the prize, mine was one of a handful (comparatively speaking) they chose from the 800 entries, to publish. Cool!

That’s right, 800 entries and considering the paper’s reach, all over the State, it never dawned on me how many people might be participating.  Young and old, from big cities and small towns, these folks have some talent and it is an honor to be included with this recognition.

They divided the haiku into 7 categories and mine in the Budgeting and Spending (ah yes, spending money is what my ex-husband I did best…  I did mention that he is an EX husband, right? nudge-nudge/wink-wink/say no more)

Here is the link to the article and I hope you enjoy what these Michigan authors have to offer in celebration of this holiday season!