Monday, April 30, 2007

Mother knows best


The little colt (is that what they are called?) was standing away from its mom when I pulled up. He wasted no time moving closer to his protection, then gave me the look.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good-bye Grandma D.

Family birthday parties have found us meeting a lot of the other-sides of the families. We go to my baby brother Boo's childrens' parties, and meet his wife Ruby's sisters and mother and grandmother. Grandma D. was a hoot. We saw her most recently on April 14th. Boo always escorted her to her class reunions, and she had it all planned out. She had a new purple outfit, and one of her daughters had helped her find just the right jewelry to go with it. She had talked to her good friend who also went to the reunions, and had told her to save her a place. The reason for having to save places: Grandma D planned to be fashionably late, so she could make an entrance. She regaled us with how she would rule the festivities.

The next Monday was a dance recital that two of Boo's girls were in. Grandma D had been expected, but was a no-show. That was unusual. One of Ruby's sisters also didn't show, and we found out later why. She had gone to Grandma D's to pick her up. There was no answer to her knock, and she couldn't gain entrance to the building. She called her husband and he broke down the door. Grandma D was there, but she had had a massive stroke. She lingered for awhile, but last Wednesday she passed on.

Today we went to the visitation. Hard to keep a dry eye when she was laid out in, yes, the purple outfit.

Simple, Part the Second


Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Order :: Chaos
2. Mortician :: Funeral Home
3. Determine :: Find Out
4. Ignore :: Snub
5. Guy :: Gal
6. Train :: Montana
7. Garlic :: Ward off a cold
8. Wacky :: Goofy
9. Parent :: Mom and Dad
10. Burning :: Fire

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Global Warming

Diane has proof of global warming here.


One of the bad things about living alone is that when you get sick, you are really alone. No one to hold your head or your hand, no one to yell at you, no one to tuck you back into bed. Alone. *sigh*

Woke up in the middle of the night with a bad case of the stomach upsets. Don't know if it was something I ate, overeating, or a bug, but man, I was sick! The cats seemed to sense something was wrong. Snuzzles likes to bite my nose to wake me up, but he would come close, I'd say "i'm sick" and he'd leave me alone. Whew.

Feeling better this morning, but everything is kind of achy, and the only food that sounds good is stale crackers. I have a load of dirt coming this morning for the flower gardens, but I bet I won't be doing too much shoveling today. (I know, I know, it's weird to bring in dirt when you live on a farm, but this is screened top-soil to go in the flower beds. I have three other flower beds besides the new one where the wall is.)

And, the sun is finally shining again, and when I opened my front window there were three deer grazing out in the field across the road. So life is good. It would be better shared, I think, but we do the best we can with what we've got.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Michigan's State Bird

Some say our state bird should be the Kirkland Warbler, but the robin is our traditional state bird.


Thursday, April 26, 2007


Susan has a good post about preservation in her town, and the problems that build up as property gets into developers hands. I so hear this discussion. I've followed the provenance of a couple of farms in this county pretty closely. I live in a house that has only family historic value, but it is approaching a hundred-years-old, and is situated on 160 acres that is still used for agricultural purposes. It is the house my Grandma Bea grew up in, and as she was an only, and my Mom is an only, it has stayed intact through the years. However, the bulldozers are working overtime four miles down the road, as the road is widened and given turn lanes. Mom's half-mile stretches of just farm are rare: most frontages have been transformed into homes. I'm just grateful for the time I do have here. The uncertainty of the future makes now sweeter.

Now Grandma Bea's husband, Chris, also grew up on a farm, over in the next township (closer to Lansing). He was the youngest of six. His father bought him eighteen acres when he married Grandma. The farm he grew up on passed to his oldest brother, who helped take care of the parents. Uncle Wills and Aunt Tommee had a dairy farm. Development hit their township a lot earlier. Uncle Wills passed in the early 60's, and in the early 70's Aunt Tommee sold the land to mall developers, with the proviso that part of the acreage would be a township park. There is nothing left of the original farm.

Development. Progress. Or is it?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Great-Grandma's Jonquils


The jonquils are outside the north kitchen window. I can see them there in the morning as I make my breakfast, and in the evening as I putter in the kitchen. I like to think of Great-Grandma looking out at them, and then looking down the road to the next farm, where my Grandma (her daughter) lived. I like to think of her peeking to see if she can see little Barbry (my mother) playing in the yard, or walking down the lane to meet the team coming back from the fields.

I'm glad the jonquils bloom. But I forgot to smell them!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Nerdy Me

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Drama Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Social Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace



Sunday, April 22, 2007

Building a Wall

Mom and I were sitting on the back porch last spring. The view is the yards, the barns, and a gray wall on the barn bridge. Mom said, "That gray wall needs dressing up somehow."

"Yep," I replied. So I thought. And I put a couple of planter boxes atop the wall with sunflower seeds. Looked kind of dorky, but it was something to do, and added some greenery to the wall. Well, it added greenery until some thing (deer or woodchuck or maybe both) ate the sunflowers.


As I thought some more, I thought it would be cool to have a flower bed by that old gray wall. I wanted it to be a defined bed, though, because we have a lawnmower guy and I didn't want it to be hard to mow around. I was telling my friend Carol this one day, and she said, "Oh, I know how to make the retaining walls, I'll help you!"

Wow. I have such good friends, both on the internet and off. This weekend Carol met me with her 1/2-ton pick-up to pick up the blocks for the retaining wall. She drove them out to the farm, and then patiently showed me how to set the first row of blocks so that the wall would be level in all directions. (She actually set most of the bricks.) What a friend.


Now I just have to figure out what to plant that the deer and woodchucks won't eat.

Interview Meme

Saw this at Julie's, and thought it was a good idea. (However, I did warn her I might lie.) So here goes....

1. Why did you move to the country?
*smile* Because I wanted to live in Paradise!
I had lived in apartments for the last thirty-some years. My mom owns a house in the country that was vacant. I thought, why don't I rent that? It's one of my favorite places on earch. I've been here for eleven months now. It just keeps getting better and better.

2. What is the best and worst thing about country life? There are two best things: the wonderful sounds and sights of nature all around, and the fact that a lot of people love the country, so I get a lot of company. The worst thing about country life? The cellar!!!!

3. Share a vivid memory from your childhood - whether it's good, bad, funny, sad, etc is up to you. Visiting Yellowstone National Park, and watching the Tetons in the rearview mirror for 100 miles.

4. If you could go back in time, what's one thing you would change and why? You can't change things when you go back in time, or

you'll make even worse problems!

5. Who is your favourite entertainer and why?
Well, after all these years it would still be Kevin Costner. His early work fascinated me, and Field of Dreams is my favorite movie. Now his work is more spotty, but there's something comforting about his screen presence. Only, I wish he wouldn't keep dying in his movies!!!!

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Unconscious Mutterings

Here we are at 4:44 in the morning, so let's mutter!

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Found :: Lost
2. Male :: Female
3. Spoken :: Oral
4. Life :: is a bowl of cherries
5. Tonight :: From the Musical West Side Story
6. Fingernail :: Mine are all broken. I've been doing hard manual labor
7. True :: False
8. Give up :: Quit
9. Shining :: Moment
10. Everywhere :: nowhere

She's Got Deer!

Wow! I am jealous. Diane puts out corn for deer in her backyard, and look at them come. Wow!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Once Again, My Flickr Favorites

There are just so many styles and colours and fun things happening on flickr. Here is a sampling of what I have seen in the last month. Click through for the links to the individual photographers.

Once Again it is time for my most recent favorites from wonderful flickr photographers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Look Both Ways


The deer are getting closer!! This is out the kitchen window, so it had a lot of screen and dusk to get through, but it's proof that the deer are getting closer. And isn't it nice, she checks both ways before crossing the street?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

Our hearts are saddened and our minds horrified by the events at Virginia Tech. I have checked flickr, keyword Virginia Tech and recent, to find non-news words of the situation.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I've been watching this old abandoned house about six miles west of me as it deteriorated. Finally someone decided enough was enough. A controlled burn reduced the house and outbuildings to scrap and ashes.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Freeze :: 32 degrees F. We're below it an awful lot these days.
2. Naturally :: Alone again,
3. Painting :: Mona Lisa, Vermeer
4. Merits :: Earns
5. Ironic :: rhymes with Iconic.
6. Survival :: of the fittest
7. Cow :: Cash, Moo, Milk
8. Anchor :: Boat
9. Sisters :: are the best!
10. 70 :: Will I live to be?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Julie's Vacation

We get to go on vacation with our good friend Julie, who lives in Australia! Wonderful pictures of oceans and lighthouses and and and . . . dolphins! And it is autumn (see I can use that as well as fall, Julie) in Oz.

Wild Life

One of the benefits of living in the country is all the wildlife. A few nights ago, I looked south out of the kitchen window and saw a stream of deer heading up to the road. There were ten in all. They gathered at the road, then crossed it single-file. I wondered if one of them was the safety, saying cross now, kiddos. (Let's see, that's anthropomorphism, isn't it?)

This morning I looked out the same window, and darned if there wasn't a flock of turkeys coming single file down the same area. Twenty of them. A couple of them were puffed up, showing their tail feathers. I grabbed some jeans (I was in PJs) and hurriedly got dressed, raced out the door with my camera, and . . . they were gone! Sheesh. Not a peep out of them. How do 20 turkeys move so fast???

Oh. I bet you thought the title was about my wild life, right? **chuckle**

Friday, April 13, 2007


We have ruins in Lansing. This historic warehouse burned a few months ago. The fire department is still trying to determine how the fire started, so it stands as is near downtown. A small set of pictures of the building is here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blog Trail

You know how it is. You visit someone on your bloglist. You click on someone in their bloglist. A whole world opens up.

Boomer Chronicles to
Amish America to
Martyrs Mirror and Bill Coleman's Amish Photography (other-worldly and wow)


Isn't quite here yet. We had a week of 25 degree F weather. We had two inches of snow, followed by rain, yesterday. Mush. The daffodils and tulips and jonquils were all knocked down by the cold weather, but are struggling back to their feet.

Cleaning windows: I'm usually a windex kind of person, but I know folks have recipes they swear by for sparkling windows. Anyone care to share?

WD-40. Don't stay home without it. 2000 uses here.

Gail has returned from vacation. One of the great things of blogging is that you get to see vacation pictures from places near and far. These are awesome, Gail!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Now back to Monday Monday

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We shirley did. There were 24 of us at my mother's house. Now, her house is rather tiny, but somehow it can hold an awesome number of people.

The star of the show was the newest member of the clan. It has been thirteen years since the tribe has had a new little one to dote on. Caleb is a sunny happy interactive baby, and he made caused many smiles.

Next Easter there will be two little ones. Caleb's Mom's sister is expecting now. Isn't that the way things go?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Star of Easter Dinner

Caleb is three months old now!

It's so cool to have a little one at family events now. He's a good boy, let us pass him around and hug and coo over him to our hearts' content.

Happy Easter!!!!

This is my favorite holy day. Death, burial, and . . . Resurrection!


If I come up missing

You have a 33% chance of being abducted

You have a fairly good chance of being abducted. You may be somewhat skeptical about the existence of aliens, but you know that they could exist… somewhere.

Take this quiz at

This just in, as I visited Alice's.

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Freak :: of Nature
2. Open :: the door
3. Important :: Lesson
4. Magnetism :: Animal
5. Lap :: Top
6. Anything :: Goes
7. Match :: Light
8. Father :: Mother
9. Idea :: Thought
10. Mirror :: Mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

A little night music

My sleeping patterns have been out-of-whack since the nieces were here last weekend. So here I am, at 3:52 a.m., quite awake. Oops. Let's do some quizzes.

This first one I spotted over at Cindy's, and we are blog twins again!

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

Well, this isn't a quiz, but:

Put The Big Red Button on your site

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Princess says hello

The Princess
Princess Sierra Pinknose

My favorite relaxation: sitting on either of my porches, reading, letting the cats bask in the sun. There is something pretty cool about porch light.

So Happy It's Thursday!*

or S.H.I.T.*, as Susan says.

I work for a heating and air conditioning company. On Thursdays I work with our service technicians to realign their trucks to a stand inventory. It's quite a long process as we check products off on a master sheet. We have nine techs, and we're down to the last three. I normally work with the installers, so this has been a unique opportunity to work with the techs and understand their philosophies of keeping our customers happy.

Bad thing: it's cold again today. It will take awhile to warm the warehouse up to a comfortable temperature!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More fun with flickr and dumpr

Monkey see, monkey do
With flickr and dumpr, you can make cool things like these spring eggs. Click through for the dumpr link.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Oh My! I Won!

gooseyThis morning I checked my flickr mail, and had a wonderful surprise email from Paola at The Year of Living Gorgeously. My goosey picture had won their March contest which they sponsored through flickr groups. Judging was by the talented Abigail Percy. What a great way to start the week!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Big big congratulations!!!!

Kathryn, at A Mindful Life, has shared her life with us for many years now. And this weekend she has the grandest announcement: she and her husband are expecting their first child. They have passed the danger zone, and all systems are go for their little girl. What a blessing!

I bonsai'd my daffodills??!!!!

bonsaid daffs

I bonsai'd my Daffodils! I didn't mean to, but I planted them Very close together. They are about 4-6 inches tall. That's a clothespin standing amongst them!

State Capitol

Capitol Dome on the way home, Wednesday, March 28th.

Capitol Dome

Unconsciously Muttering

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Trembling :: shaking
2. Shut up :: utoh. When we were kids, "shut up" was a high no-no. You would lose your allowance for the day for uttering it. It just wasn't considered respectful. It didn't matter if you said it to a parent or a sibling . . . zip went the allowance.
3. Heights :: Mountains
4. Monica :: Lewinski
5. Delicious :: Tasty
6. Joint :: Pain
7. Ferry :: Boat, road (my brother lived on Ferry Road for 12 years)
8. Bliss :: Sublime
9. Rejection :: Hurts
10. Satisfying :: Needs are met