Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Rensch & Co - A Family Tradition - The Good Stuff

An important part of my family history is the Rensch & Company building and business that sits at 607 Monroe St., Toledo, OH.  This building was first occupied by my Great-Great Grandfather who came over from Switzerland and brought the Swiss culture to Toledo via the universal language - imported cheeses, wines, chocolates - the good stuff.  Now, this was way before Amazon prime so it was truly extraordinary and The Rensch Family specialized in these unique products that reminded Toledoans of the Old World.  At Christmas time (and any time really), they made wonderful gift boxes for corporate gifts, hostess gifts, or anyone that wanted a box of amazing lovely delicacies.  A true gift.  They were in these gold and silver boxes that were classy, memorable and artfully assembled and just seemed to coax, "Hey open me, tasty treats inside."

I loved this store.

We all did.  We all do.

I remember going there as a kid and being so excited to try new things and seeing what Nana had for us.  Tiger cheese (it was Gruyere, but it had a Tiger on it so we called it Tiger cheese), hard salami with the rind on it, and the rum-filled cordials.  Heaven.  The good stuff.

With 3 floors and a basement (and no iPads or wifi) we explored and played at the store and had just the best time.  We all had our favorite games. For my spreadsheet-loving big sister, it was bookkeeping in the office with the vault and register receipts.  I personally preferred to play chef, so I could eat more of all the delicious things.  For my little sister, her favorite was pretending to be a dog to keep watch over the store.  But we all played together.  The main floor was where all the action was, with long, gorgeous, glass cases of FOOD!  And not lunchables.  Not go-gurt.  The good stuff.  The back held the office and the cooler where the cheeses and meats were stored longer term (that Rensch & Co smell).  The upstairs were eventually offices for my aunt to practice law in, but originally had a dumbwaiter and a potbelly stove which were once used for production.  If you were brave, you headed up to the third floor, where you tiptoed carefully around and not too far so as not to get eaten by the monsters or ghosts.  It was a big open space with bare light bulbs, and layers and layers of wallpaper - 3 big looming doors at the back.  This was a hotel way back but was not used as long as I have been around.  The basement was where we would scare ourselves to pretty close to death and there was even a hand made coffin down there.  Think about the creepiest place that you have ever felt compelled to explore.  That's it.  The good stuff.

The store had a wonderful smell to it.  Sometimes my sisters and I might be somewhere and we can all say simultaneously, "It smells like Rensch & Company in here!" and that's a good thing.  Or if there is a great cheese board at a charcuterie, I immediately am taken back to this wonderful store.

For me, I grew up there.  My love of food and German culture was influenced in a very big way by my Nana and our Rensch heritage.  This store means a lot to so many people, and I wanted to share just a small part of what it meant and means to me.

Thank you Nana - you have been the driving force at the store while I have been around.  Your endless energy and positivity have made this place a success and a permanent fixture in our hearts and minds.  Cheers to you and your marvelous-ness.  You even waited for the right new owner and would not let someone take over this store that didn't fit your standards and vision.  We leave it now in good hands and look forward to seeing it's renewed chapter.  Read more about the plans for the store here.

God Bless A. Rensch & Company and the memories it has for me and my family.

That is truly the good stuff.

Monday, March 2, 2015

People are Crazy

This is why I started a blog.  People are CRAZY!!  So crazy, and the general public just opens up to me like no other.  I mean, I get that I am friendly, but you guys, there is a limit. 

Yesterday.  Home improvement store.  Picking out paint. 

I have oak cabinets (yes, I will take your sympathy vote now) and repainting them is the same cost as replacing and I am not willing to do that - I would rather spend the money on the appliances.  So, I'm working with the much as I hate it. 

My kitchen needs some updates, a new sink, fresh coat of lighter paint, yada yada.  Do I need granite?  Yes, no, but I want it.  Anyway, I was picking out paint and Mr. Paint worker comes over and asks to help me.  I show him a pic of the kitchen and say I need it to be lighter and he looks like he's got just the idea.  *Snaps fingers*  Ok, yes!  I am so happy to have the help!  


What?  She shows me a maroon paint sample.  Yes, like dark red.  Barf. I blurt out - "I hate that.  I'm sorry, that makes me sick, I hate it.  With wood??"

He sticks to his crimson guns.  Yeah, it would be great, he says. 

After negotiation, we finally get the samples I want (linen, burlap, and Woodrow Wilson something) and I am almost on my way but he starts telling me about his son (I think it was my R2D2 phone cover).

"Oh, how old is he?"  My mistake.

From there he tells me this story about how his kid is a demon (his own child?) and how he is trying to terrorize his girlfriend all the time.  Ooooookkkkaayyyyyy...... pleasepleasepleasestophere.....

No dice.

"Yeah well, we were having "mommy and daddy time" ".....Oh my god, please no.......

Mr. Paint continues to tell me how they were "getting intimate," complete with air quotes Matt Foley style, and his son popped the lock with a butter knife and caught them in the act.

Also - you just told a total stranger this story.  At your place of work.

And this, my why, people are crazy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

An update

Hi guys!
Just a little update for you on what we have been doing!

I remember thinking a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away...).....

"When I have kids, I am not going to just post about my kids....I'll still write about movies and food and stuff I have been doing."

It's not that I don't want to write about those things, it's just that I have not been doing those things really.

You see, my life has changed drastically (for the better of course), but when I have spare minutes, my blogging hobby has gone to the bottom of the list under baby (the most important and the most fun) laundry (least fun but very important), dishes (well, this might be least fun but also necessary), and sleep (love this and also high on the important grid).  Sadly, because I love this creative outlet, my little old blog is not getting his exercise.

Parents are nodding their heads.

You guys - you know how it goes!

I am going to try in the next few months to do a better job blogging, if nothing else just for me to express my feelings and talk about what I want to talk about.

Last month we went to Florida and achieved something I never thought possible - flying with a wiggle-worm baby, who is active and LOUD.  Yes, we were those people and guess what, it worked out fine!  I mean, I had some anxiety before and during, but it worked out.  Plus I had some great advice from my dear, dear Two Pretzels, my bff, and cousin who are expert fliers with kids.  Final product, we had an incredible week in Florida with the Peeps and she LOVED the pool.  What a great break from this weather.

We also took a day trip to Clark Lake and met Parker James (finally!).  My dear friend since childhood had a baby a month and a half after Taylor was born and it only took us until now to get together - ridic - but we did it.  And I never thought Sunday afternoon lunch with no drinks would be so fun.

Life has changed.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Taylor - 8 months old

What has my sweet little peepster been up to?

I know every parent probably thinks this, but GOD IS THIS BABY SPECIAL!  She just lights up my life and spreads joy to those around her.  I feel so blessed and lucky to have her in my life (and to be her mother!).  My precious little angel.

8 months somehow is upon us.  TNT is babbling up a storm.  I swear she really does make "words" sometimes.  She is so responsive and communicative and "sings" and laughs and yells.  It's adorable.

She is still an awesome eater and loves most things we give her;  favorites include sweet potato, chicken, noodle mix and apple/pear combo.  Green beans are moving to the bottom of the list as we incorporate more foods.

Peeps loves bathtime now and has a blast in her little tub kicking and splashing and yelling into the 30 year old Dinosaur cup (thanks for saving that mom!).  She does not mind when water gets in her eyes either - what a champ!

Taylor is doing well sleeping and enjoys a routine.  Naps are difficult for us to be consistent with but bedtime is always between 7:30-7:45pm and she usually chugs her bottle and then passes out on me.  Sigh.  It's the best.  Honestly the best part of my day other than when I get her out of bed in the morning (she is ridiculously happy and happy to see me in the morning.  She always wakes up singing and amusing herself - never crabby or out of sorts).

This baby is FUNNY.  Her facial expressions slay me.  I constantly laugh and smile when we play.  She lights up when you say hi to her and enter the room.  It melts your heart and I think about it all day.  My sweet pea.

Taylor goes with the flow.  I can take her to a restaurant or the store to to a friend's house, and she's just good.  She's loud.  She's a handful, but she's happy and fun.  She's great in the car now (weeeee!) too.

However, she does not like to be alone all the time.  She can play independently but mostly likes to be around people.  She loves her exersaucer but I have to bring it in the kitchen right by me so she will not feel alone.  She loves TV.  I feel like that's bad.  If it's on (and let's be honest, it's on a lot), she watches - she's just so interested in in.  Loves the phone too.  Everything's in her mouth!

TNT is on the move.  We need to also get movin' baby proofing this house.  She can roll all over in every direction, back and forth and has a great time doing it.  She can sit up from laying on her own now too.  Just this weekend, I noticed she is rocking on her hands and knees and was dragging her little self a bit like an army crawl.  She looked back at me and I clapped for her and she CRACKED UP.  Ahhh!!!  

I could and should write a ton more, but I have been pressed for time lately as you probably noticed (if anyone is still reading!), but that's all I can do today.  

My sweet little tiny little angel sweetheart baby is simply put, to me, perfect and the best gift I could have ever received.   

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I spilled the beans

After a very long holiday season and a serious bout of the super flu (I am calling it that because I felt super awful), I finally felt a little better yesterday and was actually hungry.  For me, to not be hungry is a rare occurrence so the fact that I was so nauseated that I was not truly hungry for 5 days was a record.


I got back on track with my diet today so I felt like I had one chance to really choose one thing awesome to eat between saltines & soup and chicken & broccoli.  That's a lot of food pressure. 

Taco Bell?  I always crave the Bell.  I mean - does that hurt your stomach?  So, I racked my brain to think what the best thing there might be for a recovering stomach and I chose....


Yes, friends, that was my bright idea.

So, I got all excited, "One pintos and cheese please," I piped excitedly at the window.   These people probably know me and were confused because my order is usually much more extensive than that, but figured I was high on crack and also they are all 18 so everything is meh to them.  

I could not wait, and I decided to open my aromatic beans in the car at a stoplight for  The Gods of car eating were not kind to me as the beautiful bean styrofoam saucer slipped from my hand and splat on my lap and slithered in between my legs onto my car seat.

The light turned green. 

What was I supposed to do?  It was 5 degrees yesterday and if I am being honest, it sort of felt good on my lap becuase it was warm.  Until it wasn't and then it was nasty. 

The only saving grace, was that I didn't have my peepster with me.  I was able to get out of the car, get the carpet resolve, get my outfit in the washer immediately and clean off my black leggings which were smeared with beans on the crotch.  Nothing like beans on the crotch. 

Now, if that doesn't tell you not to eat something, I don't know what does. 

Happy New Year.

Monday, January 5, 2015

I am pleased to announce......


I stole this pic from Facebook, but if you know Jamie and her fiancee, this is perfect.

Congratulations Jamie and Robbie - I could not be happier for you!  This was literally the best thing that happened this season - what a fantastic holiday surprise !

YAY!!  Another Dandar wedding!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dear Santa...

The Peeps did awesome!  No tears and no spit-up on Santa (thank God), but no smiles either.  Again, if we could have seen Santa at 6:15am, there would have been smiles.....Maybe it's her Christmas outfit?

This Santa was like the real Santa.  He was kind and warm and LOVED Taylor.  He took his time (again thank God there was no one else in line) and we really enjoyed ourselves (clearly because we all got photos with him).

Here we go!

How cute is he?

Santa brought Taylor right up and held her like she was his own

The Peeps was very serious

She grabbed his beard and he just laughed HO HO HO (I died!  it was so cute)

He took off his hat and placed it on her little head.  It was so touching.  It really was.

She has been doing this thing - she opens her mouth wide but it's not a yawn or a scream.  Just a big, wide open mouth. 

The Santa face smush.  MELT!

At least Santa's smiling

Aunt Ashlee

I love Santa's face here.  He gave TNT a candy cane.  That perked her up a bit.

Santa and the Mustache have the same....well, Mustache!

Grandma Dom!

Our Family

Same Mustache!  HAHA!

There's a smile!
Here's the face.  This is my favorite pic of the entire day!  AMAZING!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Holidays from the Peepster!

7 month old update in pictures for you.  Typical - this is the happiest, craziest, chattiest, loudest, funniest baby, but when I went totake a pics for our Christmas card last night, nothing.  She would not smile for anything!  I pulled out all the stops, silly noises, stupid faces, tickling.  Nothin.  Nothin.  Still so freaking cute though. 


Taken earlier in the day.  Squeeeeeze!

Baby and Daddy and a finished Christmas tree finally.  Please note her scottie pants.

Why so serious?

Full on awkward eye close for the camera
Not even looking

Ok, let's take a break, tights off, and have some fun

All I want for Christmas is a dry face

I saw this in a magazine - thought it would look so cool.  Probably not safe.

Aaaaaand, eat it!

Is is the best one I got in terms of happy baby face