Garden Squash

Fresh yellow zucchini!


pour olive oil to coat the bottom of a big saute pan.  chop up a bunch of fresh garlic (5 cloves) and slice up a big onion and line the bottom of the pan, garlic first, then onion.  turn on heat to low to mediumish and slow cook.  when the onions are transparent, layer cross-sectioned zucchini (about 6 – 8 small/medium ones cut in 3/4-1″ thickness) on top of the onions and cover. Stir occasionally until the zucchini softens, but before it breaks down. Throw in a handful of fresh chopped oregano, maybe 1/2 cup, and salt liberally.  stir a couple of times and serve.  serves 6.


PLAYING HOOKY at the Traverse City Film Festival

JUST GREAT MOVIES  is the Traverse City Film Festival‘s by-line and last week between feeding the goat, lamb, turkeys, chickens, cats, dogs and ducks, I WENT TO THE MOVIES!  Michael Moore and friends started TCFF 7 years ago and rehabbed the old State Theater on Front St. into a state-of-the-art flagship for movie-going year around.  Over 1300 volunteers staff the festival and serve as hosts to an incredible spectrum of film types from all over the world.  This year Jerry and I sponsored a film from Cuba, HABANASTATION, and gorged on shorts, docs and fiction films galore.  WHAT I WORE:A NEW PEPLUM JACKET.  black and white pattern play with sparkley flower accent, shirt cuff pockets and a casual attitude.  Lots of compliments.  This style is currently at Magic Jacket in Fish Creek, Wisconsin and at Kaye Louise in Boca Raton, Florida.  (If there are any left!)

Fake Rock Farm: what does that name mean?

In 1989, the Staley/Gretzinger household, comprised of parents, Meg and Jerry, boys, Hank, age 6, and Lucky, age 4, and Mary, the dog, escaped New York City to spend the first of many Augusts at our newly purchased farm in Maple City, MI.  The farm had been a working family farm of 40 acres and included a white farmhouse, big red barn and many outbuildings:  a granary, rabbit hutch, chicken coop, tractor barn and guest garage.

After a year or two of getting settled, I realized I needed an artistic outlet and was desperate for downtime from too much young testosterone.  Many of the barns and houses in this area were partially built using local stone, but ours was a boring poured cement.  LIGHTBULB!  I’ll PAINT a stone foundation on it!  That will look cool (and give me a ready excuse to exit the house with a cup of joe every morning for an hour or so for almost 3 summers!) This is the barn today, with granddaughter Penelope in the foreground.  The blue and green panels above the milking floor door are blown-up images from Jerry’s map.  After a year or two I rounded the front facade and started painting the side wall.  Every day a stranger would pull off by the side of the road and stop to chat about the project, talking about how real it looked.  “Thankyou,” I  would reply politely, but to myself I’m thinking, “wait a minute.  what about the joke part of this!”  I tried to remedy that by painting the word FAKE in the stonework.  

Many. many family photos have been taken in front of these doors over the past 22 years.  This one is from last summer.  The four Gretzinger progeny:  Aaron, Henry, Nelle, and Lucky.

Nelle Gretzinger is the wonderful mother of my granddaughters, Penelope and Violet, pictured here with their Granpa Jerry.

Urban granddaughters brave the WOODS !!!

Here are Penelope and Violet Sorrentino clinging to each other on the way up the Empire Bluffs Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, our backyard at Fake Rock Farm.    From Brooklyn to bear country.  (Speaking of bears, bear with me while I figure out the new blog format that Henry switched me to last weekend in New York. )  This wooded trail climbs up the back of a 450 ft.  sand dune.  The woods are scary for our delicate urban gals, but Sugar the dog is completely at home.  When we crest the bluff and look out, this is what we see.  Way, way down there in the water are 4 dots (swimmers.)   Can you see them?   

Moonset at the beach

The universe gives us gifts all the time, but rarely are we paying attention. Last night Mother Nature wouldn’t let us ignore her. A wonderful dinner with new friends and old on the beach at Leland, Michigan yielded this photo and a forever moment. Every body, every morsel, every dappled view was perfect. Thankyou.

This is the end of our road

My son, Lucky Gretzinger, took this photo a couple of years ago and I asked him if I could steal it for the blog, because it personifies summer in Leelanau County.

Our farm sits in the middle of Leelanau Peninsula which juts out into Lake Michigan. Most of the shoreline here is federally protected and managed as Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Miles and miles of white sand beaches are available for all to enjoy. Just a bike ride away!!