Monday, June 1, 2009

Hi All...

Just a quick note that I'll be posting in my other journal more now, than here, at least for awhile.

Feel free to join me. ~Flight of the Dragonfly~

Right now, there is more going on in my inner life than my outer, at least that I feel I want to talk about. I've wanted to change the name for quite some time, but didnt' feel ready to take that step, as I also wanted to begin exploring some of what I've been experiencing lately, there. Now, I think I'm ready.

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10th, 11th, ... 13th~~Oops!

Well, I have not met the challenge of posting every day! ::sigh::

Truthfully, it wasn't feeling very inspirational to try to come up with "interesting" topics to discuss every day-it was stressful. I think one of my downfalls was taking on 2 posts a day. For someone who hadn't been writing for over 2 months it was a bit on the insane side. I will get back into writing more often now, though, so all is not lost.

My car has to go see her favorite mechanic again on Friday. Now it's the headlight switch. I was joking with him about becoming the local gerontology(I think that's the word I want) mechanic. He was working on an old beater truck when I arrived. He said he likes working on older vehicles, there's alot of life left in many cars that are left for dead. Anyway, he pulled the fuse as I couldn't turn the lights off, and I told him that I didn't have to drive anywhere in the dark till Sunday.

The snack monster has invaded my life. Last night I got home about 7pm and didn't really feel like fixing anything for dinner, so I just had some crackers with hummus and mushrooms with creamy italian salad dressing. Tonight I'm eating popcorn-with real butter-for dinner. I'm just in one of those moods where nothing sounds good, and I did eat very healthy for breakfast and lunch.

It's a rainy evening, the fire danger is "Very High", so it's a good thing. We had a wildfire just north of here last spring. They've been working on logging out the area, to promote faster recovery, but you can still see the charred areas on alot of trees. And with the removal of so many others it just looks barren and scarred.

Well, that's about it for tonight. Have a good one...

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Monday, May 11, 2009

Short and Sweet.

...simply because I'm very tired tonight. I was up till 12am, then up at 5:45 this morning and have had a busy day.

My car has been repaired-well at least the oil leak-and it was $15 cheaper than quoted! Yay! Next on the list is a thorough tune-up. Did I mention that she's over the 200,000 mile marker now? I've put almost 100,000 of those miles on her all by myself. She had 108,000 when I bought her on Jan. 31st, 2003. I've sure gotten my $2500. worth! My mechanic swears I can get another 30,000 or 40,000 out of her, yet.

Today I headed south around the lake to the other state park, the South Higgins Lake State Park. I don't usually go there in the summertime. It's more of party park with a much younger crowd. It's the second largest state park in Michigan-campsite wise, with 400. That, up here in a rural area, is almost a town all on it's own. There's just too many people there for me. But....this time of year all is quiet.

My only companion today was a black squirrel that sat about 10 feet away warily hoping to share my corn chips(I love corn chips). He/she got within 4 feet of me, eventually, and was quite comical to watch, but didn't really care for the piece of banana I tossed out.

I walked along the shoreline with my baggie(I don't know where the park's trash bags are) and had it full to overflowing, wishing I had another, when I looked ahead and there in the waves washing up on shore was a baggie! I swear! I filled it up as well. Now, my legs really are protesting tonight.

The south end of the lake is actually much warmer than the north end. There aren't as many springs feeding in, so I could wade a bit without my feet going numb. There have been some minnow hatches, so there were all these little tiny 1/2 inch fishies, following me around checking out the top layer of sand that I stirred up, where they find their dinner plankton.

I spent over 2 hours in the sun, fresh air and breezes. That's always an ingredient for a good night's sleep. Which is what I'm going to do as soon as I post in Walking...

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Honoring Mother Earth

First, Happy Mother's Day. Well, what's left of it....

Since my Mother's Day was fairly low key-remember my son lives in Cleveland and is a poor college student-I treated myself to one of my favorite dinners-snacks! First there was corn chips, a banana and tea at the lake. Then, when I got home I had some pickled bologna, cheese and crackers. And now I am dipping my hand into a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I just love to snack on dry cereal and this is right up there with Cheerios.

I stopped at the lake this afternoon. It was a beautiful day, if a bit on the cool side. My only companions were a couple seagulls standing at the waters edge facing toward the sun, dipping their heads for a drink every so often. They were watching and waiting for me to move away-too shy to move any closer to eat the corn chip crumbs I'd shared. A mallard, about 20 yards out in the water, swimming along and disappearing once in a while as he dove for his dinner. A nuthatch hopping up and down the trunk of a huge white pine, dressed in his little waiter's tuxedo-you know the waiter with the slicked back hair and the pencil mustache from the old 40's movies? That's what they remind me of. And a crow sitting on a tree branch off to my right side, cawing every so often and listening for an answer with his head tilted like he was really paying attention.

I was serenaded by birdsong and the light breeze whispering in the tops of the trees. The sun cast a warm glow from the dome of pale blue sky, bordered by a layer of shallow white clouds around the rim. The sand was cool, the water, cold. I can't go there without sticking my toes in.

I took my shoes and socks off, and rolled up my pant legs, so that I could walk along the water's edge. There's about a half mile stretch of beach. As I started to walk, I kept seeing little pieces of trash. Chunks of foam from someone's cooler, plastic bottle caps, and other assorted trash. So I went back to the picnic table and got the baggie I'd brought for my trash and resumed my walk. I filled that bag and could have used a second one. And there aren't even people using the beach yet.

Imagine how much there is on a summer day. Yes, I know the park employees come along every morning and pick up trash and move all the picnic tables back up away from the shoreline(I get tired of dragging one back down there every day), but they don't get the little things. The cigarette butts, the little sticks for the cheese and cracker trays, candy wrapper pieces, popcan tabs.

So... every time I go to the lake this summer, in honor of Mother Earth, I am going to walk along the shoreline and pick up trash. Only I'll use their little trash bags. Just to keep my little corner of the world a bit cleaner. I'll feel good and have "killer" leg muscles from walking a mile in that wet sand. My shins and outer thighs are a bit sore tonight.

I can add a Ruby-throated Hummingbird to my list. He almost flew into my face this afternoon. I thought it was still too early for them, it's below average temps for this time of year.

If anyone gets tired of reading about all the birds, I'll stop listing them....but my posts will be alot shorter...she chuckles as she strolls away...

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Life is.....

what happens while you're making other plans. For the last couple of days anyway. The plan is to stop at the lake on the way back into town most days, with the exception of rainy weather and my Thursday evening shift. I've only been able to stop 2 afternoons so far. I had to work late yesterday and had to do errands and some shopping tonight because I'll be without a car on Monday. I hope this isn't going to become a trend....

Bird sighting alert! Today was an exceptional day for spying new birds to add to my list. Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm starting a list of all the birds I see this summer. I obtained a copy of a list of birds most likely to be seen in this area, and have been checking them off when I can positively identify them. A cheap, fun project. I can carry my binocs and list in the car with me all the time.

I added a Baltimore Oriele this morning at my client's house. It was kind of exciting...she had never seen one and she called me into the living room to see the unusual orange bird in the yard. I told her what it was and we watched him for several minutes. I picked up a couple oranges for her to add to her feeder.

Then this afternoon, I sighted an Indigo Bunting. He was sitting on a white pine waiting for his turn at the feeders-which were full of goldfinches and the grosbeak couple. It's been several years since I've seen one.

On my way to go shopping, I also got to add a pair of Common Loons to my list. They were in the flooding area(an overflow) of Houghton Lake. Then just past them, I saw a pair of Canada Geese and at least 6 goslings, still tiny and fuzzy. Can we say "awww"? How cute! The duck crossing sign has been uncovered(they put a board over it in the winter), and soon we'll be seeing snapping turtles on the road warming themselves in the sun.

I talked to Son tonight. He got to see live chickens up close and personal, for the first time in his life. I got a real chuckle out of it, he was sooo excited. He said that the city of Cleveland had just recently approved allowing chickens to be raised within the city limits and someone has a permaculture garden area that he went to view, along with the chickens.

I've got to move along for this evening...

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Frankly My Dear" Friday

I don't give a damn.....

This idea was created by Lori at Dusty Pages last month on April 9th, and I'm just now catching up to what I think is a great concept.

My frustration on my first "Frankly My Dear" Friday is with the male of the species!

To any of my male readers, this is not directed at you. Just one certain male creature.

I would just like to know why some men are as dense as the fog on a warm lake on a cold morning!

Tonight we were sitting at the table discussing plans for gardening and gathering wood for the firepit and smoker. You have to have a permit issued by the Dept. of Natural Resources in order to harvest downed dead(only) wood on state land. It's a 90 day permit with a 5 cord limit for personal use(not to sell). I don't think this particular permit is for those who use wood as a source of heat, that's a different permit. But for $20, you can harvest alot of firewood and I made the comment that we could stack enough to have some for the fireplace next winter.

"The fireplace chimney has to be cleaned before we dare use it." Okay we'll find someone to come in and clean and check the chimney this summer.

"That permit isn't for fireplace wood. That's a source of heat." Right, but not the 'main' source of heat. That's the different permit.

"That's alot of wood to cut and haul." I'm more than willing to come out in the woods and haul wood that you cut. I'd like to have a fire in the fireplace, I think it'd be nice.

"It's getting too warm for a fire now, and I'm starting back to work(Thank The Gods!), so I don't have the time." I'm not talking about doing this right now-next winter. Oh, just never mind.

With that he stalks off, goes to his room, changes his clothes and leaves.

Buh Bye! I've got journal entries to do....mwuhahaha.

I just get so fed up with his attitude at times. If it's something he doesn't want to do he plays dumb. Or agrees to do something and then just never gets around to it(a round tuit, which I actually have someplace, cute little wooden coin).

I don't ask him to do many things for me. He had a cow, when I asked him if he could pick me up when I drop my car off to be worked on. "I have to go to work at 7:30 on Monday." I can drop my car off on Sunday after work, I'm not asking you to be late for work, bonehead. Just never mind-I'll walk.

I asked him to check out my bike, get it ready to ride this summer. I need the gearshift adjusted or fixed. An hour of his time, if that. A month later and it's still not done. It won't be done by him, now, so if I want to ride, I'll have to pay someone else to do it(which I can't afford, right now).

End of rant. Actually not the whole end of my frustration, that's just what has me doing my Rhett Butler imitations tonight.

Deep Breath...In....Out...In...Out... :)

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

I was starting to panic-no topic for today's entry and tick, tick, tick.....
Wait! It's Thursday, there's my topic. So, without further ado....
I am Thankful:

1. For my job. A steady schedule with almost full time hours. I'm very fortunate as I really enjoy my work too.

2. For my mechanic. I have an oil leak and a tight schedule as far as getting my car in to be worked on. I called him tonight and he said that he can work on my car 1st on Monday! Yay!

3. That warmer weather seems to finally, truly be here to stay. This past winter I felt cold all the time. I haven't had a jacket on since Tuesday morning! I do wear a sweatshirt to go on my walks in the morning, though.

4. For bananas. I've been craving them for about a week now and I have at least one every day! Although, if you were to ask, I'd have to say that pears are my favorite fruit. There must be something in the bananas that my body needs right now.

5. For Patience. Today was just one of those days. A driver cut me off when I was getting ready to exit the expressway this morning-I should include some quick reflexes along with the patience. Then there was the inconsiderate shopper that cut in front of me at the grocery store. I was waiting in a long line to check out. Another cashier opened the next register and motioned me(with 5 items) ahead. As I was turned to step over, this woman with $187.36 worth of groeceries whisked her cart right in front of me. I know deep breathing and I'm not afraid to use it!

6. For coffee, as always. I've been the tiniest bit unfaithful lately, drinking iced tea during the day, but I still savor that first cup in the morning and when I get home from work! Oh, and have you tried that new flavored creamer by International Delight? Carribean Cinnamon Creme-Yummy!

I still have to go post an entry in "Walking In My Shoes, Honestly", and it's 11:15, I've gotta go...

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mom? Is That You?

I recently received a box of things that my aunt(my mom's sister) had stored. She's sold her house downstate and is moving to Virginia to live with my uncle(mom's brother). Her health is poor and they've decided that they can help each other grow old. My cousins all live close by there, too.

The box contains things that were my mom's. Baby things-blankets, clothes, shoes, some of her report cards from elementary and high school, an autograph book from high school, some photos and her wedding dress. I haven't taken the dress out of the bag it's in, yet. It was just stuffed in a plastic bag, so I don't know what condition it's in.

Receiving these things made me realize that I don't know much about her life when she was young. I thought she had graduated high school here, a year before my dad. Nope, she graduated from a high school about 40 miles south of here.

I always thought I looked more like my dad. But after seeing photos of her when she was young, I can really see the resemblance between us. Especially around our eyes. A happy surprise!

There were a couple pictures of my dad in his army uniform, my grandparents when they were younger, one of my great-grandmother, who lived to be 104. Very cool.

From her report cards, I learned that my lack of mathematical ability is hereditary! Otherwise, she was a pretty good student. We had very similar childhoods-girl scouts, summer bible camps, camping at Higgins Lake, and a love for nature.

I'm so glad I got the chance to connect with her this way.

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pizza Anyone?

For quite awhile now, with the exception of baking during the holidays, I just don't want to spend much time cooking. The quicker and easier, the better! Maybe it's the fact that I'm only cooking for myself, I don't know. That and the fact that doing dishes is one of my least favorite household chores....

If I do cook, I make enough for leftovers-a couple days worth. That kills two birds with one stone, just heat it up and wash one plate and utensil when you're done! I've been trying some of those microwave entrees-Michelina has some that aren't too bad and they don't break the bank. And one of my latest favorites is buying a frozen pizza, adding more cheese as they never put enough cheese on them. I usually take the leftovers for lunches on days when I don't get the chance to come home. It's a nice change from sandwiches.

I tried one tonight from Walmart. Chicken, Bacon and Ranch. I like this pizza ALOT! While I like the tomato sauce on regular pizzas, I don't like it heavy. This one had a white sauce with ranch flavor. Very unique combination. I'm going to have to figure out how to do this one homemade. Maybe with mushrooms, and using frozen bread dough for the crust.

I finally found someone in the office at the State Park and got my yearly sticker! ::happy sigh::
Now, I can stop on my way home from work(4 or 4:30pm) and relax in one of my favorite places.

This time of year, the beach is quiet. Just me, the ducks and gulls-and millions of black flies! I had to pull a picnic table down onto the sand in the sun to get away from them-no problem. Oh, there may be a few stray visitors- just as I was leaving tonight, a woman arrived with her daughter and dog, with McDonalds bags in hand, for dinner in the park. I bet they had fun...and used the picnic table down on the sand!

Did you know that Mother's Day is Sunday? Did you know that I thought it was next Sunday(the 17th)? Geez, I need to pay attention to the calendar! I usually buy my clients a plant or a small bouquet and a nice little card, so I've got to get my butt in gear, go buy and deliver the ones I won't see on Sunday.

I can't always claim to be paying the closest attention to the world around me...

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Monday, May 4, 2009


My bed smells like a spring day. My nightie, too! It almost makes doing the laundry something to look forward to! Almost. One good thing about going to the laundrymat is that the grocery store and dollar store are right nearby, so I can do errands instead of just sitting there. Today, I walked to the dollar store, getting my morning walk in, too. I feel uber efficient!

The state park beckons me. It was the perfect afternoon to walk along the beach, sit at a picnic table in the sun, relax after work. The problem is that I'm having a hard time finding anyone in the office to sell me one of those little stickers. I wanted to go to the park after work, thought I was going to get lucky, the gate to the office driveway was open, but the office was locked. I went to the park(it's across the road), but no one was in the booth either. My official state website says I can go to the DNR office for one, I'll call them in the morning.

I spotted the male rose-breasted grosbeak today. He was at the back feeders and the female was at the front. I also saw a red-headed woodpecker. We've(well, my client) had a couple of red-bellied woodpeckers, and one pilleated has appeared , but the red-headed has been absent till today. They are such beautiful birds to see. Their head is a deep solid red, the body solid white and their wings black. Very distinctive.

Today's entry is short. My computer(security suite) does a scan on Monday nights, and it's hard to do other things while it's scanning, so my time is limited. There's a button you can click to have the scan run in the background, but when I try to do that, it stops the scan. So, I just let it do it's thing. Talk to you tomorrow...

~Thanks For Stoppping By~

Sunday, May 3, 2009

3 Days in a Row!

*30 days in the hole*....Now I've got that song stuck in my head...well, it rhymed....

What a nice day for a canoe race. I went to the river park to watch the racers today. C-1, which is a one man(or woman) canoe. They start at 15 second intervals, already in their canoes in the river, and it's more of a best time, rather than who gets back first. The first paddlers made it in just over an hour, so I did get to see some of them return to the start/finish line.

It was fairly cool out this morning, but a couple of the local kids were swimming. Well, jumping in the river and running right back out. That is just nuts. I stuck my hand in the river and it is downright icy!

There's a pair of mallard ducks that have a nest near the park, they were in attendance today, too. They'll come right up on the lower part of the dock, hoping for handouts. The treat-de-jour was hot dog bun pieces. They won't come up and take it out of your hand, but will get fairly close. I can't wait to see the little ones with mama duck this summer.

It's going to be nice again tomorrow, so I'm going to hang my laundry outside. I just love the way clothes smell and feel when they've been hung out, all fresh and crisp. Not many people do that anymore, do they? I think I'm the only one in my neighborhood.

I've seen a few more birds around lately. Lots of bluejays, right now. I don't remember seeing any at all over the winter, but they are year round residents here. I also saw my first rose breasted grosbeak(female) at my client's feeders today, the male wasn't far away, I'm sure. And I just barely caught a glimpse of a cardinal at the river today, too. The goldfinches are all the way gold again. They're kind of a muddy greenish color in early spring. I really enjoy watching the crowds at the feeders, kind of like a deli-get up to the counter, get your order and move out of the way for the next customer.

It's time for my day to end, so that's it for tonight.

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May? Really?

I've checked my calendar(s), I've checked the weather reports. I've seen the harbingers of spring( the robins) returning from their winter homes. The lilacs have leaf buds that are swelling every day. It's getting light earlier, and stays light later each day. The ice is gone from the lake, and most signs point to the fact that spring has sprung. The only element still dragging it's feet is the temperature.

We've had a few nice, warm, sunny days, but it's still jacket weather here. That's putting a damper on my plans to get the gardening started. I've got seeds to start, but don't want to rush it. I don't have the room or enough light to start plants in the house, so I'm holding back on starting them. By next week I should be able to set the transplant pots out during the day and bring them in at night. Imagine Bro's surprise when he goes to take a shower in the morning and sees the bathroom full of little plants!

I really have the gardening itch.

We're not planting too much. I'd like to grow more, but that would require a fenced in garden, so that has to wait for another year. I'm planting a few cucumbers and tomatoes(2) in the flower bed by the porch, growing some herbs and salad veggies in pots and a window box planter. And just to try something different, I'm going to plant some dill seeds around a small tree that'll get enough sun. I'm not sure if the critters will dine on my dill or not, but I just love fresh dill, so I'm taking the chance. As soon as it warms up a bit.....

Speaking of cold temperatures, this is canoe race weekend in my little river town. I surely don't envy those guys jumping in their canoes in 45 degree temperatures and paddling a course that goes 3 miles downstream, then turning around and paddling back(more water splashes up when you're going upstream).

It's a teeny tiny race compared to the Ausable River Canoe Marathon, but still fun to watch and a preview of the summer race season. We have a river festival weekend in June, so I don't know why they don't wait till then to do the race-it'd sure be warmer for the paddlers. Anyways....I'm going to the park to watch the start, but will have to leave for work before they return...bummer.

I'm happy to announce that spring cleaning for my clients is done-except for one closet. Yay! I've discovered some muscles that don't get much of a workout on a daily basis, reaching waaayyy back and up in those closets and cupboards has my shoulders aching and caused a few bumps on my head(the closet door was short-the shelves high and deep).

I haven't done much of my own cleaning yet, we just took the plastic off the windows, and I've got to wait for nicer weather so that I can set some things outside to clean the carpets. that it's May, theoretically, I'll be getting started on those projects. Oh, and I've got to defrost the freezer(yuck!)

Well, I'm off to try some new(to me) ice cream. Haagen Dazs 5. Brown Sugar flavor. Just a pint, and I'm going to make it last for 3 dishes, but it was on sale and I just couldn't resist!

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Friday, May 1, 2009

MayDay, MayDay...

...wait, let me brush the dust off first...

Happy MayDay! And for my pagan friends-Happy Beltane!

2 months. And truthfully, it seems much longer than that. It's not that I haven't been around. I have been. Reading, commenting once in a while, but just kind of hanging out on the fringes. Why? I'm not 100% sure of the reasons. There were days when I picked up my notepad and started entries...half a notepad full of partial pages that never made it this far. I even managed to start a few posts...just never hit the publish button.

And Now? What has prompted me to venture back to this venue of expression? A challenge. The challenge of writing 30 posts in 30 days. I'm calling it the 31/31 for the month of May. I wouldn't want to leave that last day out of the game.

So, let's get really crazy. I have 2 blogs here, I'll post an entry in both. Deep breath...I may as well jump in with both feet. I do know how to swim...maybe not in the ocean of the most prolific bloggers here, but in my own little pond-hell, it's over my head in the deepest parts. I've gotten out a fresh pad of paper, one of my favorite pens, and made room in my hectic(haha) schedule for writing time.

Wish me luck, I'm going to need it. And words, I'll need lots of words...*runs off to find dictionary and thesaurus*...

You can find me here and here: Walking In My Shoes, Honestly .

~Thanks For Stopping By~ especially since I've been gone so long.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Well, I must have really pissed Ole Man Winter off with my last entry. His payback? A huge regional snowstorm with wraparound lake effect aftershocks. Phfftt....

I was out at 5:30am shoveling his latest contribution to the landscape-8 inches of it. ;P

Why so early? Well, I was supposed to have 6:30am shift in a town 15 miles away, but the nice man at the County Sheriff's Office said "The snow plows aren't out yet, old 76 has not been cleared." "If you don't have 4 wheel drive, don't go."

Okay, good enough for me! I called the office, talked to one of the on-call staffers that live about 80 miles away(our agency covers the whole eastern half of the Lower Peninsula, with 3 offices) and she sounded kind of doubtful about my not going. But I explained to her how far it was, what the conditions were and that the area is a dead zone for cell coverage-an empty, desolate stretch of road. If I had gone off the road, I'd sit there till I could flag someone down.

I made that trip in the exact same kind of conditions last year. Once. The roads were so bad, that I didn't dare stop, or try to turn around. All I could do was keep going forward. White knuckle time.

I also missed a 3 hour afternoon shift today. Again, 15 miles from my house. I called the client and she said that she didn't know if her road had been plowed or not-she can't see it from the house. She's the only house back on this country dirt road-not a priority for the plows. So I offered to drive out there and see. Not only was her road not plowed, but the dirt road that it connects with-that I have to drive on to get to her road-wasn't plowed.

Again, I called the office, talked to the same on-call and explained the situation. I know she thinks I'm being some kind of slacker, and that she called the client as soon as I hung up. I also know the client would explain the whole situation.

So, I basically have the afternoon off. The shoveling is finished, I've relaxed a bit and now I'm going to do some reorganizing in my bedroom. I really need to thin out my book collection stacks, and shelves, and boxes. I know, that's alot of books, what can I say?

I am still optimistic about spring's arrival, I can't let this late winter weather beat me down!
So, bring it on, Ole Man.... (there's another snowstorm forecast for Thursday!) ;p

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The other day, at my afternoon client's house, I was following the dog's path through the snow, laden with a bucket of sunflower seeds and the pole to latch the bird feeders for filling. Dodging Skye(the dog's name) bombs, planted haphazardly along the way, trying to keep from sinking into the soft snow on the sides , my head was down, I was concentrating on my progress. I reached the post the feeders hang from, set down my bucket, lifted the feeders down and filled them. Snow had been forecast for the next couple days and I wanted to make sure the "critters" had sustenance for the duration.

The chickadees sat in the branches of nearby pines, chirping their thanks and impatience at my fumbling attempts to rehang the filled feeders-or maybe they were laughing....I'm sure the squirrels weren't too far off and snickering, knowing that all the seeds that spilled out onto the ground were "Theirs"!

I picked up the pole and empty bucket and turned to follow the path back to the garage, when I spotted just the tiniest spot of green. Off to the left several feet from the path, a lone stem of a vinca vine-a (hearty)hardy perennial that flowers in the spring and then spreads as a ground cover the rest of the summer.

One stem, with maybe 5 leaves. Green, ready for the sun, green! Not the dusky dark green of a plant that has been buried under the snow all winter, frozen, bared by the latest thaw. But truly Green! The first sign I've seen that this long, cold, dark night of winter will truly soon be over. Just spring's little whisper that soon she will reappear.

I'm sure it must have snuck past Ole Man Winter's guard. He must have been garnering his strength for the storm to come over the next couple of days. Saving his breath to blow the cold snowflakes around to accumulate hither and yon, asserting his dominance over the landscape once again. He knows his days are numbered.

My eyes, having spyed that glimpse of change, began to search carefully for other subtle signs. I went back into the garage to refill the seeds for the feeders in front of the house, and I noticed the snow cover's edge receding ever so slightly away from the sidewall. I know that under it all the oregano is waiting patiently to begin it's climb out of dormancy to fragrant short bushes with delicate lavendar flowers and pungent leaves, perfect for that pasta sauce. In fact, there by the doorframe is a dry stem from last year with seeds just waiting to be shed and sprout into new plants to join the patch.

Following another dog track into the front yard to access the feeders there, I passed by the bare branches of the lilacs. Ah, but wait, they appear a bit heavier than usual. And there they are, the tiny buds at the end of the branches are beginning to swell just a bit. They're a long way from opening into the heartshaped leaves that form the umbrella of the lilac's shape, but it's time for them to start the process.

So, Ole Man, bring on that latest snowstorm, do your best. Spring has begun to prepare for her bursts of buds and greens that brighten from the palest tint of tiny leaves just beginning to open, splashing her colors about with abandon. The sun will join her growing brighter and warmer every day for just a few more minutes, equal in light and dark, just 4 short weeks from today!

Tonight, I sit here and think about the blustery conditions I drove through today, in wonder at the sunshine that increased the brightness of those snowflakes, sacrificing themselves on my windshield-that's lake effect snow for you-blizzards and blue skies at the same time. I shiver as the winds make the house groan ever so slightly, knowing that the wheel of the year turns so slowly, yet does continue-as in years past and will for years to come.

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Big 5-0 !

No, not a birthday, the temperatures yesterday!

It's been 3 and a half months since the last day above 50 degrees. It was a wonderful break and the snow depth has been reduced by half! Now I can see over the top of the snowbanks at the end of the driveway! There are patches of mud colored grass along the edges.

But don't be fooled, all you sufferers of Spring Fever, we're not done yet! Spring is 36 days away and that's really just about the equal light/dark cycle of the Equinox. It has nothing to do with the date that the snow stops, or the ground thaws(the frost is still 4 feet deep in the ground here). Here in the great 'Up North' there's usually more than a month after that, and spring blizzards can be brutal!

So if one more person calls me out on my realistic outlook, I swear I'm gonna hit them in the nose with a big fat snowball in April! ::sigh:: The sun and warm temperatures were a welcome change of pace, though.

I am a computer dummy! Okay, maybe novice is a more appropriate term. I got the printer down out of the closet to try to hook it up to the laptop. It's brand new, the old computer crashed before I could even begin to use the printer.

Bro and Potsey are doing their taxes on TurboTax(the program) and need to print out their pages. The deal was, Potsey was going to "help" me install it and make sure it worked properly. I brought it out of my room, and suddenly he had to leave. So with the barest of instructions on what to do, he's out the door and down the road. Yeah, thanks for that!

I read the instructions, put the CD in to download the installer, and set it all up. I try to run the test page and it comes out blank. After fumbling my way around the instructions for troubleshooting, I discover there is only the color ink cartridge in place. No black. And I think I may have ruined the color cartridge. ::sigh::

I can't afford the ink cartridges for it, so I'm just going to pack it back up and put it back on the closet shelf where it can rot for the next year. They can find another way to print their tax crap. All I wanted was help to install it properly.

My life remains quiet for the most part. And I'm grateful. I just don't seem to have much emotional or physical energy right now. I've just been spending time online and reading. The beads have been gathering dust for the last week or so. This is just some time to catch my breath and unwind a bit.

It's time to go get ready for work, so I'll sign off for now....

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh Kkay....

K. That's my letter. The letter assigned to me by Betty (I think Koda was off surveying his domain).

Now, I'm to list 10 things I love that begin with the letter K. I don't know if I should list them from 1(being my favorite) to 10(last on the list), or if I should do it the other way around. So I'm adopting a randomness of order. Kind of just the order I thought of them in(I made a list).

1. Kraut-as in Sauer Kraut. This may actually "Be" my #1 favorite on the list, it's kind of a toss up.

2. Kittens-I was reminded of just how much this past fall, when the cat that hung around outside, had 3 and I got to cuddle them. I miss them, but am glad they found new homes.

3. Knitting-I learned how to knit when I was very young(5 or 6). My Mom taught me. Looking back on it now, I think I just went back and forth and when she checked it for mistakes, she'd knit a little and tell me how well I was doing. I did eventually get it right. I haven't gotten out my needles in quite a while......

4. Kisses-As in Hershey's Kisses. I love chocolate in many forms, but I think just plain, all by itself, is the best. Of course, I love other kinds of kisses, too, but I don't get many of those nowadays.

5. Kleenex Pompoms-Weird, I know. I was a Girl Scout and we always entered a float in local parades and made probably millions of them-grocery bags full.....

6. Kahlua-I hope I spelled this right. One of the reasons I love Kahlua so much is that it reminds me of a friend I spent time with in Ohio. We used to sip Kahlua and coffee for hours, contemplating life, and watching her girls and animals antics. Good times!

7. Kansas-Not the state, the band. You know, "Dust in the Wind", "Carry On Wayward Son", and many more that not everyone would recognize. They have their own playlist on my MP3 player!

8. Keilbasa-Which of course is the perfect complement for Kraut(see #1). In the oven, simmered for an hour with butter and caraway seeds.

9. Keleva, MI-I know this is a place that no one who reads this will have heard of. There's an interesting story to this. I have never actually been there and the place I really mean is a river bend a couple miles from there. See, my brother calls any form of cooked cabbage, sauer kraut tops that list, well, he calls it Toxic Waste. Relegates it to 55 gallon drums to be sunk to the bottom of the ocean. He goes on fishing trips to this particular river bend a couple times a year and that is when I get to have sauer kraut, or fried cabbage, or boiled dinner, to my heart's content. Hence the love of a place I've never been!

10. Kosher Dill Pickles-Last but certainly not least on this list. The crunchier and more garlic the better!

This list was harder to compile than I thought it would be. It took me a couple days to find things that start with K, that I love.

If you'd like to take on the challenge of this list meme, please leave me a comment and I'll draw a letter out of a hat for you. I'd omit Q, X, and Z. I was going to leave Y out, but I thought of several things that started with Y so thats not so hard! :) I'll e-mail you or leave you a comment with your letter.

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oops, I Forgot...

If you would like to do this meme, please feel free to request a letter in a comment here or in the last entry. I'll select a letter for your post(an easy one, I promise), and send you an e-mail or comment setting your task!

It'll be fun!

p.s. Q is out of the question, too. Told you it'd be easy!

In The Want Ads.

Help Wanted: Seeking applicants for temporary volunteer positions as Muse. Muses-R-Us has several openings available for short term "employment" as an inspiration prompter. No prior experience necessary. Skills required: Ability to ask a question geared toward inspiring individual posts for clients whose Muses are MIA. Topic prompts other than question form are also welcome. Please submit application and sample question in comments section.

Perhaps this is just the shot of motivation needed when a Muse thinks to slack off, or take an extended holiday. Threaten to replace her!

This morning, I was struck with inspiration. Why it didn't occur to me before I composed my post last night, I don't know.

While my Muse saw fit to leave me to my own devices, I could certainly ask others for a tip, a topic-get by with a little help from my friends!

So here's the deal. This is your chance to ask me a question, or suggest a topic. Pretty much anything goes-except for politics, science, math, and fashion-those, I truly do know nothing about.

I have one entry to work on already. Betty and Koda participated in a meme where you are assigned a letter and then you write about 10 things that you love that begin with that letter. They invited their readers to play along so I commented that I would indeed like to play. She did mention that X, Y, and Z would not be selections. I have my letter and will begin working on this tonight.

In the meantime, please post your application and sample question for Muses-R-Us. All applicants will be seriously considered. Thank You! ::giggles::

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Muse Has Left The Building....

I do believe my creative Muse has taken a long winter vacation to some warm sunny beach. The bit@& didn't invite me along, didn't even tell me where she was going or how long I'll be without her guidance.

I'm just not getting the words right when I try to write a piece about the beauty of this season, it's there, I've seen it, but to describe it, to paint a picture with words? Not so much. I'll keep trying.

I have this vision of a bracelet, but putting it together last night, it just wasn't what I had in mind. I'll tear it apart and try again. I also have a necklace in mind, but to find just the right pendant has been an exercise in frustration. I'll keep looking.

I hope she comes home soon!

Granted it's been a long tough winter, so cold that the frost is 3 ft. down in the ground. Our village has asked us to keep our water running-at least a pencil sized stream-to prevent the lines from freezing and bursting. There have been a few signs that some already have. We have a reprieve from the bitter cold for a few days, we may even hit 32 by the weekend, then back to the fun. At least my car is running okay-starting every day.

Other than that, life is generally quiet and uninteresting. That may be a good thing....

Son is back in classes, is happy and overwhelmed with all the reading he has to do this term. He mentioned a book he'd like to read, so just to add to the pressure, I'm sending it to him for his birthday in April(don't worry, he's too busy to read here)!

Work has remained steady, no sudden changes in schedule, or really short weeks. I could use another 5 or 6 hours a week($$$), but I'm doing okay.

I've been toying with the idea of putting in a garden, some veggies and herbs, but I would have to put up some sort of fencing to keep the deer from eating more than their fair share-which would be none! I'll have to give this some more consideration.

So, while I (im)patiently await the return of my muse that's about it for now. And as always....

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Saturday, January 17, 2009

And On A Cold January Day....

Sitting at the kitchen table this morning, jumping around the internet, reading here and there, playing with journal colors and gadgets....I thought well, I should try to add a hit counter to my Journal.

I've had trouble with it before, kept getting messages that I'd failed, having no idea what I was doing, or how to do it differently. I gave up. Was being all philosophical, saying "well, this is for me and how many others visit won't matter to me." Phfft... right. It does matter to me.

So this morning I tried one more time and guess what? Whatever it was I did actually worked this time. Could I do it again? Nope....don't care, it's there now. I will guard it closely, protecting it from deletion to the best of my ability. I hope.....

I'm sitting here hoping that when I muster up the fortitude to get dressed and go outside(we're up to single digits this morning) to start my car, that She will feel like starting this morning.

Day before yesterday, she sat there and moaned at me when I turned the key. Honey, I don't blame you-I wouldn't be out here doing this to you in the cold if I didn't have to go to work.

::sigh:: Back into the house, where my brother was waiting to see if his services and that of the B&D Power Station were needed. Yep, into the Carharts, and with power station and jumper cables in hand, out we went to get her started. Just one little problem...the hood latch release, which is inside the car was frozen. The cable that runs from the release to the hood latch was embedded in ice, not going to move. Options-tow her to the $machanic$ and wait for her to thaw out(I don't think so) or find a torpedo heater to blow the ice off the release cable and pop the hood so that she can be jumped. We located a heater, and off I went in my brother's vehicle to work.

He worked on her yesterday, and she was okay, but has been out there through another cold night. It's almost time for me to head out into the cold and snow(yeah, it's snowing again). We're under a winter storm warning, with 4-8 inches of snow with blowing and drifting predicted. ::sigh:: Okay, whining done for now.

Bro's making a big batch of bean soup today and when I come home from work, I'll be making some cornbread. A yummy way to warm up. That and all the hot chocolate I can drink.

Time to brave the elements. Stay warm, and enjoy your day...

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Friday, January 16, 2009

She came upon the meadow quite by chance. Her eyes searching for the beautiful butterfly she'd been following, that now seemed to have disappeared. She set her gathering basket down and stepped from the edge of the woods, a hesitant 10 yards or so into the open. She turned back, looking at the tree line, then slowly, drinking in all her eyes could behold, turned in circles, once, twice, thrice.

She felt the sun warmed grass between her toes, her skirt settling softly against her bare legs. Puzzled, she looked down her body at the Monetesque floral patterns on her dress, the brightly painted nails and toe rings on her feet, and wondered what magic had transformed her jeans and hiking boots into this faeries' dancing attire.

Just the faintest hint of sound caught her ear. The delicate notes of a songbird-or was that a flute's soft melody? She raised her head and spotted a path amidst the banks of wildflowers swaying quietly on the warm breeeze. Her curoisity beckoned her forward along that green carpet to an opening, a circle, it's border marked with colorful stones, some glittering with bits of mica-or magic.

The music on the breeze invited her to dance, twirling, raising her arms to the sky and sun. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a movement, yet when she turned her head, she saw only the flowers and stone circle. As her dance continued, more and more flickers of "something" would catch her eye, yet be nothing when she looked. Ah... the faeries had joined her for this summers day celebration.

As the music slowed and faded, she sat down to rest and just enjoy the view. She leaned back against one of the stones to gaze at the sky. Her eyelids grew heavy, she blinked and yawned.....

Wtih a start, she sat up on the sofa, the quilt that kept the winter's chill away while she'd napped fell to the floor. The bright bits of colorful patterns in the patchwork design brought the dress, the dance, the dream to her conscious thoughts. A toe ring twinkled in the afternoon light.

Dream? No, she'd danced with faeries in a magical ring on a glorious summer's day.

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weather I like it or not!

Nope, not a typo.

We're headed for the deep freeze. Today will be a balmy 20 degrees, with light snow. Then tonight an Alberta Clipper moves in with all the requisite weather conditions-dropping temps, lake effect snows, and winds that take the windchill factor down into the -20's.

I am so ready for the January thaw! If we get one. This winter has been a rough one and I'm ready for spring. How can I get out and go walking when it hurts to breathe, when it takes 15 minutes just to get all my winter gear on?(okay, maybe an exaggeration, but not much) I'd like to explore the trails around the neighborhood(the snowmobiles pack it down enough to walk on), but not this week.

Winter is a beautiful season, snow hanging on the bare tree branches, the hushed sighing of the pines in a light wind. The chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers that fly to and from the feeders, with zeal, for the goodies hidden in suet. The squirrels hanging out beneath for any tidbits dropped. Then there's the sky. Well, when it's blue and not that pregnant gray, foretelling another snowfall. There's a special kind of hue that a sunny winter sky takes on that is beyond words. THAT's what I'm looking for!

The necklaces are finished and have been delivered. They're both a big hit. I'd have liked a different shade for some of the beads-more of a smoky gray than black, but my resources were limited with time restrictions. These are the most expensive necklaces I've ever made. I charged enough to recoup my costs for all the beads and pendants, which is just fine with me. I'm not really looking to make this a "business", too much pressure to produce. It's a hobby that I enjoy, selling some is a way to cover my costs. And in the process, spark my creativity. I've even toyed with the idea of creating some pendants of my own-made out of different clays, like fimo. Maybe some painted ones. It's all fun!!!

I've got a long To Do List for this week. Laundry to catch up, work in my bedroom(which still isn't done), some personal studies in a couple of books I found online, and just the general stuff that falls through the cracks when you're busy and not looking.

I'm off to find something warm to wear for the next week, have a great Monday-and....

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All Hail Zicam!


Nope, not a captcha! An amazing cold remedy!

Yeah, the Lysol didn't work so well. Thursday night I started getting that dry feeling in the back of my throat, so Friday morning I headed to the drug store and picked up some Zicam. It's a homeopathic cold remedy that works really well. It reduces the symptoms and the duration of a cold. Really! My only problem now is irritation from washing my hands so much. Bring on the cocoa butter cream!

I'm so happy that things are getting back to normal. Now that the holidays are behind us, aides are back from their mini-vacations, I know where I'm going to be on what day and what time. I can get to the laundrymat and post office, and the left-over holiday snacks are almost gone! Except for the shrimp, it was on sale so I actually bought an extra bag-I love shrimp cocktail!

I am about to become an international bead artist! Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic. The daughter of a client wants me to make necklaces for her daughter-in-law and her(the dil's) sister. Now for the international part-they live in China! Two of my necklaces will be on the other side of the globe in a couple weeks. That's kind of exciting...okay, really exciting! I've got the designs worked out and will be putting the necklaces together tomorrow night. They'll be versatile office-to-casual with some unique pendants that I found at the craft store. Of course, I found a pendant for myself and can incorporate some of the leftover beads from one of the necklaces, for mine. I'm my own best advertisement....after all.....

I've moved further into current trends. One of my clients gave me a generous holiday gift with specific instructions to spend it on something for myself-so I bought an MP3 player. I've figured out how to load music from my laptop's library and have a code for 50 free downloads from e-music, so I'll be learning how to do that next!

I could talk about the weather, but it hasn't changed in the last couple months. 2 or 3 snow systems a week. ;p I've decided to build a snowman on top of the groundhogs den, that way he won't see his shadow and this will all be over sooner. At least it's starting to stay light past 5 in the afternoon, now.

Well, that's my latest news, and it's time to go read in a trashy historical romance before sleep....

~Thanks For Stopping By~

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Zampe Susempu!

In capcha that translates to:

Happy New Year Everyone!

My wish for you is a year of wonderful possibilities.

I've found some of the word verifications to be quite linguistic! What better way to grab the attention of readers who haven't heard much from me in the past 6 weeks.

It's been a time of trial and tribulations at home and work. More stress than I'm used to, and I wasn't handling it very well. Ways to express it without whining escaped me, and the best solution was to pause in my writing and just "get through it".

No, things haven't magically resolved themselves, but there is such hope with the start of a new year, looking more toward the future than the past or present....

Looking at things from a more practical angle, concentrating on today rather than obsessing on the ever unpredictable future is a resolution I've taken to heart. There are things that I cannot change, things that I can modify and ease to a reasonable extent, things that will be tossed out the door as useless in the grand scheme of my life right now.

Concentrating on my needs(intellectual, emotional, and spiritual) at this time in my life is top priority, keeping that practical theme in mind, living the way I mean for my life to evolve. If I'm going to grow into the person I can picture, I've got to begin as I mean to go on.

The passing of the season of *sometimes* unrealistic expectations-and by that I mean the way I wish things were-getting down to the nitty gritty of getting through the rest of the winter season and the hope of increasing light on a daily basis, are my guiding principles. Living to my best ability in the choices I've made.

My New Year's Eve was a fairly quiet evening at home, watching VH-1's "Top 100 Hard Rock Songs", and sipping on some Hot Damn(Cinnamon Schnapps) and Butter Shots(Butterscotch Schnapps). I say fairly quiet because the stereo speakers can "crank the volume"! Bro has a bad cold, so the Lysol was close at hand. Son was out of town at a celebration, so we shared our New Year's wishes earlier. I snacked on heart-attack popcorn and shrimp cocktail and watched a year that I wasn't pleased with slip quietly into memory! Yeah for that!

There are-of course-other things I want to work on during the next year. I'll be writing more in both my journals, chronicaling my thoughts and the living of my life. When I struggle with those words, I feel a loss of connection with myself.

So, with a brand new year and all its possibilities in front of me.....

~Thanks For Stopping By~