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.....