We're a little hesitant to say it's finally spring around here. According to the calendar it is spring (and has been for nearly a month), but Michigan weather rarely cares what the calendar shows. It was only two weeks ago that my son and daughter and I were parked on the shoulder of a snowy, icy road waiting for the tow truck to pull my son's car out the ditch he slid into. However, yesterday the weather was beautiful. It was sunny and the temperature was in the 70's. After six long months of waiting we were finally able to enjoy our back porch and do a bit of yard work. We also had my parents over for a nice dinner (recipes to follow).
Before I begin today's story, I need to give you a little background about our yard. Our house is on a corner, so our backyard is open to the street that runs alongside it. We have a small garden fence and some hedges, but you can still see directly into our yard from the street. We get a lot of attention when we enjoy our favorite warm weather pastime; watching movies (or sometimes television) on our outdoor movie screen. It's 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide, so you can imagine how noticeable it is. It's not uncommon for cars to pull over and watch the movie for a while or ask questions about our set-up (we don't mind). Neighbors, of course, are always welcome. We do have small white accent lights running along the top of our fence to keep the fence visible and deter people from wandering into the yard.
Several years ago, we were enjoying a movie on a warm night. I was sitting on our back porch steps and my husband, our son and two of his friends were sitting at a table in the yard. In the middle of the movie, a young guy walked into the yard, shook hands with our son and sat down at the table. My husband and I both assumed this was someone our son knew, so we didn't say anything about it. After a few minutes, one of my son's friends walked over to the porch and told me that they didn't know this guy. I called my husband over and told him. Before he made it over to find out what was going on, the guy dropped his head on the table. He had apparently passed out.
We told the boys to get in the house and my husband woke the guy and told him he needed to move on. The guy was obviously drunk and confused and kept insisting he was in his own yard. When Mr. Willoughby told him he was going to call the police, the guy got out of his chair. We thought he was leaving, but it turned out he wanted to get in the house. Mr. Willoughby had to block off the porch steps to keep him away from the door. So we called the police.
The guy finally backed off a little and laid down on the grass until they came. It turned out that he was from a town 40 miles away. The police couldn't get much of an explanation from him, but they thought he might have been at a nearby friend's house or a bar in town and wandered away, drunk. He probably followed the lights on our fence until he was in the yard. He was taken into custody, and no one was hurt. One of our son's friends was pretty shaken by the whole incident.
We grilled steaks and Smoky Mountain Chipotle Chicken for dinner with my parents yesterday. The chicken recipe comes from my online friend Janine, and you can find it here. The sauce is unbelievable! We always get rave reviews when we make it. Don't worry about the bourbon if you're serving this to kids, the alcohol cooks off when you simmer the sauce.
This is a simple drink that you can make in an instant. It's a twist on a standard Rum and Coke.
- 2 oz. rum
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 6 oz. Coca Cola
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into an ice filled glass. Enjoy! *I tried this with spiced rum and I didn't care for the flavor. Trust me, stick to light or dark rum!
After it got dark last night, we got out some flashing lights that we bought for the pool last year. They flash different colors in different patterns and are just as fun to play with on the porch as they are in the water. Here's a few pics of the fun!
Doesn't it look like a mini UFO sitting on the bar?
Our "disco" porch ceiling!
Shining on my daughter's hand.