Monday, February 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by smiles7

The Golden Gate Bridge has nothing on Michigan's Mackinac Bridge, and Smiles7 captures its winter beauty here. She has an awesome photostream of the real upNorth winter. Check it out!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

So the Deer went South

from the south
Originally uploaded by Aunt Owwee

I had been worried because I hadn't seen any deer this winter. No signs of them either, in the field or in the far backyard. At one point I was wondering if the abundance of turkeys in the area was forcing them out. Silly city girl.

The neighbor down the road, who also watched out for the farm, is in Florida for a couple months. I talked to him last week. He said his son had been back in to his place (which is set back of a woods) the other day, and there were 21 DEER beds running back there. They had been eating some corn that had been left standing, and some myrtle. Yesterday I walked down there myself, and couldn't believe all the deer sign. Plus, as I got to thinking, the fields around the farm were chisel plowed and limed this year. Didn't leave much flor the critters to graze on.


Remembering Lynn

Originally uploaded by Lynn R

Friends on the internet are no different than friends in 3-D. We laugh with them, we cry for them, and we've lost some good friends. Lynn Rockwell passed away last February. She was one of my oldest blogging buddies, and she was Always a Dreamer, right up until her passing. She loved her grandson, her daughters, and her photography. She is missed.

More links:
Mirror Project
Mirror Project - Coffee
Saying Good-Bye.
Deviant Art.

Unconscious Mutterings

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

Protocol :: Standards
Girlfriends :: Buddies
Shoulders :: White
Coming home :: A movie with Jane Fonda and Jon Voight
Let it in :: the sunshine
Honor :: Achievement
Tyler :: Tippecanoe &
Thriller :: Michael Jackson
Angela:: Cartwright
The winner is :: Academy Awards

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Winter Movies: Vantage Point

Sarah: I know he wasn't happy. That doesn't tell you much. I'd no idea how bad it was. I think he purposely wanted to cut off from all of us because he was so unhappy with where he was at.
Nick: Hm.
Karen: Is that true, Chloe? Did you feel that?
Chloe: I don't know. We had some good times. I haven't met that many happy people in my life, how do they act?
Nick: Mm hm.

Actually, the quote is from The Big Chill. Not leaping that far: William Hurt plays the president in Vantage Point, a story told several times from several points of view. Reviews were dismissive but I liked it, I really liked it. Of course, with Hurt as President, Dennis Quaid as Secret Service, how would I not like it? These are actors I've watched for over twenty-five years now.

Rating: 3/4

Winter Movies: Definitely, Maybe

Saw Definitely, Maybe, last night. It was definitely, well maybe, a good movie. It was a treatise on love, guised in the tale a father wove for his daughter of the three women he had been in love with as a younger man. Maya, the daughter, played by the perfect Amy Breslin, had to guess which one was her mother. Along the way, the father realizes that true love is about liking someone.

Score: 2/4

Winter Movies: Mad Money

Mad Money . . . a perfect heist committed by women. Interesting set of women carrying it off: Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Mrs. Cruise. I saw this with my friend Deb. She leaned over and whispered, "why, Katie Holmes can act!"

It was a cute movie, good to see with a friend, probably will adapt well to a television near you.

Rating: 2/4

Thursday, February 21, 2008

winter horses

winter horses
Originally uploaded by Aunt Owwee

Probably in another couple of months I'll be whining that "i miss snow". Yeah, right.

Sort of right . . .

You Are a Dreaming Soul

Your vivid emotions and imagination takes you away from this world

So much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time

You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all...

But for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult

You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you.

Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses.

Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others.

Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul

Swiped from Kim. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


yesterday cropped
Originally uploaded by Aunt Owwee

Saturday was a bright cold day here in mid-Michigan, with rain predicted for Sunday. Aha, I thought to myself, I should visit Amish country in the winter, before the roads became mired in mud. Amazingly, the roads were much better than they were in Lansing, where I used to live. They were evenly plowed and well packed, without being icy.

There is a little Amish gift shop on one of the back roads. I stopped there and browsed for awhile. I ended up with a book and a bonnet for Marlene, my mother's childhood doll that lives with me now.

One of the books I perused as I shopped (okay, it's a very ingrained habit of mine) was about some of the Amish ways. One of the questions was about telephone usage. It turns out that while the Amish won't have phones in their homes, they will often band together to have one in the area, in a little phone shack that they all share.

Apparently, Amish dictates aren't decided by an "ask first" mentality. When phones first came in in the '20s, they were used by the Amish. However, according to lore, a woman heard other women gossiping about her on a party line, and brought the matter to the bishop. The bishops meet to decide where the line on modern conveniences should be drawn. They decided at that time that the phone was a detriment to family life, and that it threatened their way of meeting "face-to-face" and visiting with family. Hence, the ban for phones within homes.

Cell phones are now an issue. Howard Rheingold, gives us an interesting look into the structures and reasoning of this religious sect in this article.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Winter Movies: Ever Been a Maid-of-Honor?

The heroine of 27 Dresses has been just that, 27 times! I was maid three and bridesmaid once, and have never been married, so if I thought back I could relate a bit. The movie was definitely a chick flick. Katherine Heigl fielded the role of a perennial bridal attendant fairly believably, which surprised me. James Marsden is a little cutie, and I enjoyed him much more as a reporter than I did as the goofy prince in Enchanged. Let's see, a rating? 2/4

How many times were you an attendant at a wedding? Did you enjoy it?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Movies: Bucket List

Okay, so I'm a glutton for punishment. When I was in the throes of thinking I had two weeks to live, I went to The Bucket List. However, it was a fine, life-affirming movie. I like old Jack Nicholson (wasn't much of a fan when he was younger, but he does old so vibrantly), and Morgan Freeman is always just right for me.

So: what is in your Bucket List? What would you like to accomplish before you pass on?

My Poor Spartans

Michigan State University has always dominated in basketball. This year is an exception. The latest in our trials was a loss at Indiana University, which knocked us out of the race for Big 10 champs completely. *sigh*

Go Green!

snow creatures

snow creatures
Originally uploaded by Aunt Owwee

they're growing in my backyard!!!

Unconscious Mutterings

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

Passport :: See the world
Small world :: It's a very
Radio :: Olden times
Marine :: Corps
Wall :: Garden
Wanna be :: Tribe
Pigtails :: Ponytail
Hyphen :: break in a word
9.99 :: Why don't you just say ten dollars?
Unrated :: utoh

Saturday, February 16, 2008


There is a trend to spend less time in nature in this country. Is it because of higher gas prices, or because we're spending more time on the internet and playing video games?

I'm back!

Phone line problems kept me off-line for a couple of days. Apparently a snowplow caught a phone box and kaput!

Also. Bryn is back!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reasons I Love/Hate the Groundhog

Serena had tagged me last week to post 5 reasons why I love/hate the Groundhog. Groundhogs' Day is one of those American customs that don't translate very well to other cultures. Three years ago I had done a post on groundhogs, so I'm going to reprise that post now.

Here in the States February 2 is Groundhog Day. According to custom, if a groundhog peeks out of his home on the 2nd and sees his shadow, there will be six more LONG weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, then there will be an early spring. As you can see, it's still pretty cold in my neck of the woods.

I work in Lansing, the Capital City of Michigan, and approximately 1.5 miles from the beautiful State Capitol. Lansing is a great city, but well . . . we're kind of provincial. In the sticks. In the middle of a bunch of cornfields. And that means we have some great wildlife within the city environs.

Now, if you've stopped here from time to time, you may have seen deer pictures. These are taken over on the east side of town. Closer to where I work, in fact right in the vacant lot next door, we have a different kind of wildlife. We have woodchucks, which are in the same family as groundhogs. (Some would say they're the same critter. We can debate that in the comments.)

In the spring, summer and fall we have fun spotting the animals gathering weeds and chasing each other around. (The printer is located in the room that has windows looking out on that field. Really. We're working, not goofing off. Really.) There were three at last count. There are at least two large entrances to their burrows. One is right outside the shop window, the other is farther out in the field. The woodchuck families appeared to go into hibernation sometime before Thanksgiving. In November.

Someone's Up

We had a heavy snow over a week ago, which hasn't melted. I've been keeping an eye on the woodchuck burrow, and imagine my surprise this morning when I looked out and saw what looked like an indentation in the burrow and tracks around it. Could it be? Do the groundhogs, other than Punxsutawney Phil, celebrate this day? I had to explore, of course.

We were very busy this morning as one of our staff was sick and two were at a conference, but things calmed down in the afternoon. At 3:00 p.m. I put on my boots and went out tromping in the snow.

As I neared the burrow I could see the hole that had been opened in the woodchuck home. There were many tracks around it. I became a little anxious. Would a cranky, sleepy woodchuck jump out at me?

I'm a real sissy girl sometimes, and I began to envision a snarling, bug-eyed, rabid groundhog chasing me back to the door. Bud, one of our salesmen, was watching. "Maybe it's a Wolverine," he hollered. Well, that got my back up. As we all know, I'm a true-green Spartan, and I'd never let a little old wolverine intimidate me! I plunged ahead.

My fears were all for naught though. As I approached the hole, I could see a gentle little creature standing near it, with a jaunty cap atop his head. It was our own Lansing Larry, and he decidedly DID NOT SEE his shadow! So winter, begone!

Our Hero

Lansing Larry looked a little worse for wear, and his teeth were chattering from the cold. Because he had done such a fine job of weather forecasting, we brought him inside and let him play under Dee's plant. He brought great joy and happiness to us on this, Groundhogs Day 2005.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

faded heart

faded heart
Originally uploaded by Aunt Owwee

Remember your sweetie on Valentine's Day!

You have been reminded!

Monday, February 11, 2008

out to get the paper

out to get the paper
Originally uploaded by Aunt Owwee

Even going out to get the paper (that red box in the distance) can be an adventure in 40-mile-an-hour winds at 0 degrees. Ah well, I survived!

And how are you this fine Monday morning?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Report

Just saw the sun for a few minutes. That's the one good thing about bitterly cold (8F) temperatures: often the sun shows up.

Has anyone thought that Paris Hilton looks like Martha Stewart?

For anyone who plays free cell, my friend Deb is having trouble with game 617.

That's all for now!

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 262

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

Score :: Touchdown!
Luxurious :: Swanky
Party :: Animal
Limited edition :: Collector's Item
Security :: Social
Betty :: Apple
Under construction :: All of us
Pest :: Control, D-Con
Director :: Movie
Express :: Lane, Yourself

Oh yeah?

What obsolete skill are you?

You are 'regularly metric verse'. This can take many forms, including heroic couplets, blank verse, and other iambic pentameters, for example. It has not been used much since the nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer rhyme without meter, or even poetry with neither rhyme nor meter.You appreciate the beautiful things in life--the joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as a series of little poems. The result (or is it the cause?) is that you are pensive and often melancholy. You enjoy the company of other people, but they find you unexcitable and depressing. Your problem is that regularly metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

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Friday, February 08, 2008


Originally uploaded by Aunt Owwee

Mighty snowy in these parts lately.

This was taken Wednesday evening, and we had had about 8 and a half inches of snow. A field is across from me, so there is nothing to block the wind. Everything got a good coating of white.

Monday, February 04, 2008

For Valentine's Day

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.
Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!
Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out
Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking
What turns you off: fighting and conflict
Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Back Warmer

Snuzzles, my black cat, has taken to sitting behind me on my office chair. It's a win win situation. He's warm, my back is warm, and he's NOT ON THE KEYBOARD, which seems to be his other favorite place in the office.

Which team?

Pats or Giants?

Unconscious Mutterings!

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

What women want :: Love and Respect
Epidemic :: Flu
Taxes :: Death and . . . the 2 sure things
Hello :: Greet
Confidential :: For your eyes only
Lights :: Camera, Action
Summation :: Drawing together
Hard feelings :: Resentment
Electric :: Charged
Fresh start :: Possibilites