Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Blessed New Year to All!

It's that last day of the year. December 31st. Christmas is over and many of us are wishing hard for a better new year. So here's to a peaceful and contented New Year for everyone!

Blessings! :-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Safe and Content Holidays

Well, despite the dry socket I have after the tooth extraction, life is going better! I can say that after this Christmas, I will be very careful around the Holidays and those icy day of winter! Winter has always been my favorite season of the year, so that will not change but the care taken on icy days will definitely be on high alert from this day forward.

This year has been a hard year for almost everyone who lives here in West Michigan, I know we're not alone in our financial and health experiences and difficulties. So during the last days of the year 2008, I am thankful for the many gifts and friends who have been in our lives, or simply passed through. All have left their own special foot prints on our hearts and I am very grateful for all I've learned - especially about love and life from all those in my life.

Here's to all I know and have known among the days that came this year. I wish God's blessing on you all, and a blessed New Year to everyone! As one of my favorite writer's who also is a Rabi in our area said, "Do not wish a Happy New Year, but rather one filled with explorations, new discoveries and contentment!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blessings

It's happened again, the third has done more than haunt us in recent weeks - my husband fell on the ice and smashed the bones in his elbow. After many pieces were removed, and the doctor re-attached the tendon he ended up in a plastic formed splint, and finally we're back home.

No definite prognosis as to how much range of motion and strength he will have, but he's home and that by itself is a real blessing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Do Love the Winter...Most of the Time!

We're in line to get another storm tonight and tomorrow during the day, but as the week progresses we will be getting rain and temperatures around the mid to upper 30s. This is a strange winter! We got 10 inches with the last snow storm we had on Friday, and now it seems we are in for 5 to 10 more inches!

Winter here is always the ups and downs - sometimes severely cold all the way to low to mid 30s. It is seldom solidly cold and snow, that's why we all complain about brown, or gray snow that comes from the mud and water from the melting snow.

I have to admit that though I love snow and the winter weather this early winter weather has made me think - is this going to last through March? As I've mentioned before we usually have winter actually begin with all the snow and cold in early January that runs through early March, but if it lasts until then it will end up being a whole month longer! I guess I am hoping for a warmer January!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Storm!

We are in the middle of the worst snow storm! I haven't seen one like this since the late 70s! The snow is coming down 2 inches every hour - and sometimes more! I did go out for breakfast and my girlfriend dropped me off at the end of the driveway and it took me 8 full minutes to get through the three foot drift at the end of the drive and then plowing through the 2 foot we've already gotten!!! (Note nothing but exclamation points will do to express this really wild weather.)

My husband is at work and this is so bad I am worried about him getting home since the police (Holland, State and the sheriff's Dept.) have all said, "get off the roads!!" Such is life in the winter here in Western Michigan!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Second Plague: Continued

I am on my second of the three bad things that usually happen in a row! No, of course it's not really horrible things - but I am certainly ready for this stuff to stop that is for sure.

Of course I had my gall bladder out on the 30th of November. Well, tonight around 4:00 p.m. one of my back molar cracked - yup it just cracked...no chewing a seed, no grinding my teeth either. When I got to the dentist's office and he started the process of taking out the piece of tooth and getting ready for a root canal and crown when he discovered the tooth was lose! After much ouuing and ahhhing over the tooth, and after much discussion with his assistant and looking again at the x-rays he discovered that low and behold the tooth was dead, and infected to boot and it had to be removed.

Forty five minutes later and full of Novocain (Really full - 4 shots worth!) I was off to my Thursday evening prayer group. I am now living on Darvocet, and unable to eat anything until tomorrow...UGH! Okay, I wish this stuff would stop!!!

Update: My husband fell on the ice Sunday morning snow blowing the driveway - shatter his right elbow...three is the limit, right?!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Technology Gone Haywire!

Does anyone have an iPod Shuffle like I have? I've had exactly a year and 35 days and all of a sudden it won't complete the re-charging unless I physically connect to my iTunes on the computer! I called 1-800-MYAPPLE because I was so frustrated today since I plugged it in for a recharge and 8 hours later it was still blinking yellow! I was sure the battery was dead so I called the number and we walked through some steps (On and off five times and turn on and re-plug in to the computer - normal dance thing!) and then the customer service person recommended that I click on my iTunes if it was on the desktop and it started acting like it was finishing the recharging!!! The green light came on and everything seemed normal!

This is so strange - actually my Palm Pilot is doing about the same thing too. I cannot get my synchronizing to happen unless I click the HotSync Manager button on my desktop.

Now that I think about it, I had the computer in to the repair shop about a month ago and this has all happened since then when they "fixed" my elderly computer!!! Very frustrating! This technological help can be very frustrating at times...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sing a Song

A song that comes from Sesame Street really holds me, and every once in a while the words wash over my heart and remind me that life is simply singing our song the best way we can in this world. The show has had many memorable songs, ones that can make you cry, or laugh, or maybe think.

It's Not Easy Being Green is one, or how about Rubber Ducky! But I have to admit the one that really touches me is the song named in my title above. We all like to sing even if it's only in our head...or maybe in the shower! It's a way to express our pain, anger and joy and each of us probably has at least one song that really can make us feel special or maybe even cry.

For me that song is Sing. Written by Joe Raposo this song has been done by others like the Carpenters, but done simply on Sesame Street it became so much more than a singable piece. It became an anthem for being who you really are in life and in your world. Bob and the cast said it, no sang it the very best -

Don't worry that it's not good enough
For anyone else to hear,
Sing, Sing a Song.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Christmas Way of Life

Almost everyone has heard of the story, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and many agree with the sentiments that are expressed of caring for others and not ending up a Scrooge. But what is really strange is we forget when it comes to our Christmases that we shouldn't try to out-do the gift thing, or get caught up in the craziness that drives the secular Christmas machine every year.

For me it took losing a job a few years ago to realize what matters, and now with my whole family simply getting by with the depression that Michigan has been experiencing for the past few years we've come to share more time together and enjoy the fun of game night. We're changing, and I hope we don't lose it ever again.

You see I'm an English teacher who got to do research on the times that, A Christmas Carol was written in and they were the poorest and some of the most non-caring times in Great Britain's history. Scrooge pretty much epitomized the wealthy class' view of the poor and downtrodden. Because Dickens had a footing in both worlds and had experienced extreme poverty during his childhood he saw the need to some how make the wealthy aware of their moral responsibilities to those around them.

But if you know anything about the story and Dickens, you know it really began not as one to make people aware, but simply to tell a story and to share the idea of Christmas which in years before had not been much of a celebration. His celebration centered around love of family, friends, and the world around.

Today, we all are losing wealth and it's happening all over the country - now, somehow we need to get back to that feeling of sharing an evening with the people we know, work with, and love in these hard times. Christmas is a religious holiday that is a celebration of God's entrance into the world among us. Personally, I think that simply sharing a love with each other with "no strings" is a great way to be that love of God in the world. It really all can start with just caring for someone else. (And yes, I am a bit passionate about this!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snowfall

We are vacillating between the high 30s and rain, and the lows 20s and snow, snow, snow! This is an interesting weather phenomenon even for Michigan, and the strange thing is we already have a third of the snow we usually get during our winters and we're only in the first month of what is winter here!

Our winters usually begin in January, (sometimes the end of December) and run through February...well, sometimes mid-March, and most of our snow is accumulated in the the first two months of the year. We are, if we get the regular amounts in those first two months, for a record breaking year for snowfall!

I think that's cool, even if most people think it's yucky. Kind of bad for pot holes though...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Snow, Freezing Rain and So Much More!

From snow to freezing rain, that's where we're heading this evening. I got all my errands done today early and am well settled in my little house waiting for the worst. We've had winter so early this year. It almost feels like it's the end of January rather than about two weeks before Christmas! This is can mean it will be a long winter, or that January will be warm...you never can tell! After all it's West Michigan, wait five minutes and the weather will change! Jouissent!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Celebration Meals

My first dinner out since the abominable surgery. I had white fish and a romaine lettuce salad - it was heavenly! I couldn't even eat half of it before I was stuffed, but it was so good! It's funny but after not eating for over five days, and then having everything taste like sawdust this was truly heaven...and I didn't have to do the dishes!

I really enjoyed the this special treat for our shared birthdays (well, almost!), and anniversary that I think it will go down in memory as one of the best I've ever had as a celebration.

Peace.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Slow and Slower

Cold and colder, that's the weather predictions for our area for the next week. Lake effect snow with that colder air is what winter is and we're truly entrenched in it. I'm going to try to head out to my garden soon to finish what I began before my rather sudden recent surgery. Though the sunflowers and Joe Pye weed are all brown, the area birds are dancing through the remaining stalks and making for quite a picture in the mornings while I'm enjoying my cup of tea.

Life is hitting its slower pace, that pace that comes with slippery roads and storms that can stall almost everyone's life. With all that has happened in the past months a little less along with an appreciation of what we have no matter how small is a way to find a peaceful time of joy and peace this Holiday Season. I know I'm all for that!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

On The Mend

This was the first really good afternoon after the surgery...the morning stunk, but I am doing better. Cleaned some places around the house and my granddaughters and I did pumpkin pies since tomorrow will finally be our Thanksgiving.

I needed a snack this evening so I cut up and apple and warmed it in the microwave. Tomorrow will be busy, but I'm on the mend so that's okay.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Season for Peace

Life after surgery for me is stiff, extremely stiff. I stayed in one position for over 48 hours before and after the event and my rib cage feels so out of practice for sitting.

I went shopping for groceries with my husband tonight...shopping for bargains in these tough times can be fun. We mostly did the "big box" stores so I rode around in one of those carts with a basket. I must admit I was quite a hazard since they aren't always easy to control but I didn't run over anyone.

It was really good to get out of the house and see people, even if I didn't know them. I scooted around with my poor husband trailing behind me. I had asked him if he wanted to stay in the car, but he said he didn't wanted to so I just kept going and got all we needed in three stores for less than I thought I would.

I still have to get to the dog's market, but that's for a small item thank goodness.

Christmas as a season has begun. This is always my favorite time of year, and not because of presents! I love the cold, and early snowfall, Handel's Messiah, classical and early Christmas music and of course the way our church looks all decked out in evergreens.

This can be the beginnings for a season of peace. We all need that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Peace

This is a strange event for me...I spent three - no, four days in the hospital with my gallbladder. It's out now, but I'm totally out of it. Peace to everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Simple Quote


Life is not about convincing others to our way of thinking…instead life is about sharing who we are to better understand each other so we can grow to know the pain that others deal with and pray for their release, or that they can be given strength to deal with that pain.


In other words, life is sharing our love with others – no strings attached.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birds of a Feather

Winter is here! Now, being a Michigan native I realize that we will probably lose the snow and go back to the varying browns of fall but the first real snow fall and freeze kills all the plants that were the symbol of what we all know as fall.

It's funny how many people see see the fall season as dull and colorless. On the other hand I see the various warm shades of browns and maroons tempered by what is left of the small batches of green that the grass seems to have most of the winter if we have any snow melting occurs.

What I enjoy the most about the fall is the abundance of birds that gather daily at my feeders. I'm a birder, but I don't have binoculars and I don't go traipsing all over looking for the unusual feathered friends. Instead I spend hours watching the feeders and trees where the birds hide or sit in my yard throughout the day. They are the real jewels that color the world after fall and before the snow covers everything.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Simple Query...

A new age has begun, and it's one that should have come a long time ago. People in Northern Europe have lived for years a simpler less "thing" cluttered life, we Americans on the other hand, have become obsessed with the acquisition of almost everything. The idea that people can become addicted to shopping has got to say something about our attitude toward the concept of buying simply for the fun of it.

I believe the Europeans have it right. Less can definitely be more in our daily lives. Having time to read, to talk or simply think without the interruptions that haunt us in our daily lives would really be a luxury.

How about instead of a happy life, simply a contentment with who we are in our every day lives. The economy is making us lose a lot - can it also help us gain even more?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Who are We Really?


I am really praying for a quiet weekend, but I am pretty sure it will turn out to be more of the same that I've had this past few months - one of being scheduled to the hilt! I want two days to lay abed, to read and doze and maybe contemplate my navel!! We are way too busy and way too tired these days. I'm strugglin even to calm the days and weeks just a bit I unwind, so I'm taking the evenings (And even later sometimes.) by turning off the tube and reading or writing, or simply taking a little time in my comfy bed.

I think we as a nation are over tired, over stressed and empty in the contentment column. (Note that I did not say the happiness column - though it is used in the Declaration of Independence it isn't a reachable goal but I believe a calm, content life is something to strive for in this day of no money as we live with the reality of our economical constraints as well as the fears. It is not easy these days for those of us in the "average American" part of this country. Fulfillment must now come from something other than the gathering or acquisition of things.

Today mine comes from grandkids, and days spent in the company of those special little people; in the quiet of a very small, comfortable home that affords peaceful places to read, think and write; in the kitchen where I can mix, knead and bake bread to my heart's content; and finally in my garden where my creativity is tied up with the plants and flowers that grace that small diamond shaped piece of ground.

My personal peace is also found in the friendships that are not bound up in constant dinners out or parties, but rather in good conversations and even moments of silent companionship. We as a country really need to find our true selves outside of the jobs or the money, and find out who we are down deep inside, that way we can learn to rely on that honesty to set the tone for the rest of our years.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Long Wait

The quiet has descended and it is really good. There have been no more phone calls from the parties to get me out to vote, and for the first time in weeks the phone has been blessedly quiet. I always enjoy that lull after the presidential storm every four years. The only thing anyone is doing is either regrouping - or sleeping!

West Michigan is especially quiet and the news is mostly just rehashing the whole election day over and over again. I actually had a lovely day with my 3 year old grandson planting all kinds of tulip bulbs in pots and various spots around the yard. He calls the littlest tulip bulbs the "tiredest seeds!" By that he means that they sleep a very long time in God's earth before they flower. In some ways that frustrates him, but he sure enjoys pushing them down with his finger to plant those seeds!

And so the waiting begins for those first yellow blooms of the spring. It can sure make for a dream that will last the whole of a cold winter, that is for sure.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The End Of The Election Season

It's happened. History has occurred, and we have a new president. I'm personally glad it is over since there has been so nasty a campaign - and not from the candidates either. This was a contentious election and I hope we can come together to work on the many problems we as a nation face.

Am I excited that Mr. Obama won? Of course I am, but I balance that with a fear because of the deep divide that we have because of the past few years of national problems, and now with this economic mess we certainly have a lot to overcome. We need to succeed as a nation, together. John McCain's concession speech was one that attempted to move the country to an acceptance of the next four years so we can really work together. I hope that happens.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Time Will Tell

The election of the century is almost here. Tuesday will be probably be the biggest turn out for voting that our nation has had in many years if the early voting lines in some states is any example of what is to come Tuesday. The excitement for change, or stability is strong and the chance to actually vote is higher than it's been in so long!

I'm excited to be voting in an election that I see clear and very different choices something that hasn't been there in years. For those of us who are old enough to remember the 1964 presidential election we can remember the distinct lines between conservative Barry Goldwater, and the liberal Lyndon Johnson. Though I was not able to vote yet, that election fired up everyone where I went to school, and though it was rather lopsided the election made for interesting debates amongst many who saw the distinct differences.

Interest in the presidential race comes down to the issues and how important people feel they are to the country. We've had 8 difficult years and there is a taste for change in the country, but a change to what and whom? Whatever happens Tuesday and even on into early Wednesday will be a change. I'm ready to vote today! But I have a little over 36 hour to that voting hour for me. I'm a bit antsy and anticipating an all night vigil.

I wonder where will we be heading, and what will the theme be for the next four years? We will have to wait a few days. Only the next few days will really tell.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Great Fall Days in November

This was a quiet Saturday. Cool weather and blue skies was the rule of the day and I began the morning in a lovely cool crispness at the farmer's market. There weren't many veggies today, but I did get some awesome broccoli, Brussel sprouts and red potatoes. I will be blanching tomorrow which will mean more veggies for the winter.

Then it was off to one of my favorite sports...shopping! When you're trying to save a buck, it really means walking the large box stores till you drop. Last night I did some shopping, I mean walking. 3 hours of hiking all over Meijers and Walmart. Today meant the smaller stores and the meat store (i.e. butcher shop). I ended up doing okay.

Monday is bill day along with having 2 of my grandkids and getting this computer into the repair shop for a cleaning. It is running way too slow and grinding like something else in running too.

So have a great Sunday and enjoy the last of the warm weather, I'm going to do just that tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Taste of the Season

Monday evening and we are in our first really cold weather of the season. It hovered around 32 degrees F all day and it is below that now, so I know we will be losing some more plants to frost tonight. Last night we had the same cold temps, but we had quite a wind so it didn't get as cold.

My clothing is layered since I don't like to be cold and I sure am thankful for silk long underwear! (If you like the colder weather like I do, it doesn't necessarily mean that you like being cold!!) So tomorrow I'm off to do vending with my son (He has a small vending business.) and I will be drinking in the changes as the season changes even more. I have got to get out my winter coat!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From a Lover of Fall

Cool fall days are here to stay, and the evenings are getting extremely cool...no cold! Tonight it is suppose to actually freeze. I just took the dogs out and saw my breath already! It's that time of the year that send the summer lovers in-doors and away from the cold temps, but for those of us who love the cooler weather with lower dew points this is the time to put on a sweatshirt and coat and wander through the leaves. This is the time of year for hot cider and snuggling, and I love it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A-C-C-E-N-T-U-A-T-E All Things Positive!

There is an old song that was penned by Johnny Mercer in 1946 that should be the theme song for the next couple of years. After the crash and all the economic woes that are plaguing this country we surely need one and Accentuate the Positive has just the right ring and rhythm to capture that need for positive action in this nation of foreclosures and bankruptcies and total madness.

Instead of allowing this frightening environment to get to us, we need to find a tool to help get us through these present hard times, and allow for just a bit the of joy and laughter that always is needed during difficult times.

This song was first written when the second World War was just over and all sorts of new threats were on the horizon, and in many ways today is no different. With terrorism seemingly all over, and the recent market crash we are facing much the same kind of events that haunted the families back in the thirties and forties.

So how about changing the national atmosphere with just a bit of upbeat, light-hearted playfulness along with some really good advice! Instead of focusing on what we've lost, or the hurts that have adversely affected us let's see if we can focus as a nation on the things in life we do have - family, friends and all the things we do still enjoy! Like Mr. Mercer so aptly put it-
We've got to...

Accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative

Don't mess with Mister In-Between.

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum

Bring gloom down to the minimum

Have faith or pandemonium

Liable to walk upon the scene.

Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Excursions Into the Day

Saturday is past, again. Life in the fall here in Michigan is slowing down and the cooler evenings have a way of making you want to snuggle up with a warm sweater and something hot to drink. Coffee isn't a drink for the evening very often, but hot cinnamon cider often is!

Today, my husband and I put away the patio furniture which means that summer is truly over. We've had quite a bit of frost lately so much of what was my garden has shriveled and died away, but the birds don't seem mind as they dive and sway on the dead stems of the black eyed Susans and sunflowers. It's still lovely to sip a cup of coffee nearby, but I sure don't spend too much time outside because mornings are more than a bit cold!!!

But the birds are fun to watch since they are all flocking and seem to have such fun in their dipping and diving all over the yard. I like to be outside to enjoy the cool days and views from my windows as well.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Colors of Fall

The blue sky is that amazing, intense, fall blue today and the air holds that promise of the season that leads into the end of summer's hold on our area. Much as summer is nice, fall is really my time of the year. Today, I'm sitting here at my computer watching the leaves of yellow and orange stroll with the wind and back and forth like a painted dancer across the sky. I need to put together a few pictures with my camera of this time so I don't lose that color before the white glare of winter takes it over.

Winter, though lovely in it's own way is like the drainer of all things colorful. It freezes out that multi-layered coat of color that fall dresses in after summer. It's like a change of dresses for a model that marches and sways down a runway for the most exquisite fashion show we will see this year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life in the Fun Lane!

I have a little green VW Jetta that I really love. I say really because though it is my little green monster, and I really enjoy my car, but it was suppose to be a Beetle - at least in my dreams it was.

I had a Beetle once a long time ago, and since then I have often dreamed of owning another one. I would really love an orange one and have always wanted to own one. (I really wanted a "little orange pumpkin.")

I love the way the stick shift can create the power like I'm going fast on the take off at any stop light, and the feel of that simply wonderful German engineering is beyond compare.

I know I'm crazy, after all I don't want something fast, or sleek...but hey, since I can't have either that or a Beetle right now I think I'll try to find a bumper sticker that says it all for me...
In My Next Life I'm Going to Be a Beetle!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A New Lease on Life

I have an idea who's moment has come. With all the contests to win that million bucks that are out there these days, why not create a contest to give a job - a good career chance to someone who needs it? There are so many people out there who aren't getting a real chance to prove themselves because employers are passing them over time and time again for that younger, more exciting worker.

Let's give some of those older, knowledgeable and wise workers another chance at a career!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rain Memories

Cool temperatures, good coffee, and great friends make for an incredibly beautiful day. Today, it was warm and sunny and though I was running all over today, I enjoyed the feel of sunshine everywhere I turned. The golden yellow trickled down the trees and splattered across the lawn and drive this morning and made the grass into lovely white and lemon puddles.

I was sorry to see the day go. It folded up into the tiniest of packages that can be tucked away in a breast pocket to share the colors and beauty for a long rainy day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life Is in the Dance You Choose!

I've been listening to some of my Celtic and Canadian music lately and they tend to focus on the words, as well as the music. Since I'm a wordsmith, I tend to listen to how the two compliment each other and how they apply to life. Tonight I'm pigging out on The Elders, Gaelic Storm and a little known singer Aselin Debison - a little girl with a unique voice from Cape Breten, Nova Scotia (New Scotland for those of you who might not know!).

Some of the songs are simply silly and fun to listen, dance, and work to but one song tonight has hit home for me. It is a lovely dance number, but the words really go far deeper. I have often thought that my life was out of control as if I had no command over what happened, but my choices both small and large make that life whether I see it immediately or sometime in the future. It took a while for that sight to come through the crazy life I was wound up in and I needed change! I had to make a choice, actually many of them. I have finally found a peace with who I am and what I stand for in this small life.

So life is truly found "in the dance you choose!" It isn't easy - but it is worth it every single day.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Seasons

It's drizzling. Life in the fall here is torn between the beauty of those crisp fall days, and the wonders of a cold rain dripping off the roof and keeping us all peering through windows and enjoying the colors through the lens of rain painted windows.

I love the fall with it's schizophrenic weather and personality. Today was rainy and watching the birds playing in the puddles and the colors and grays that are creeping in as the frost takes one plant after the other. Each season holds things to explore and enjoy and I really love that!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mired in the Money Muck of Today's Economy

What are the ways to save money? That's what my husband and I are taking a serious look at right now. This may end up being a long term financial problem for all of us, so we have to look at ways to save pennies every way we can. (Hey, pennies will be important again!) So where do I begin for our family? The big things that's for sure, but how about the small things?

This is going to be an adventure, and one we as a nation haven't faced down in a long time. I will be here sharing some of my discoveries and hopefully we will be stepping out of the muck of this nasty mess sooner than we think.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rejection is the Pits! (Wanted to use another word, but couldn't!)

Got another rejection. Most of the time I take it and just throw it in the heep that I have and go on submitting, but somehow today it just stopped me dead. Those who work are lucky there...I hate the feeling of rejection that goes with those, "Thanks but no thanks," letters or emails.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bundled for a Great Season


It's Sunday night and fall is coming, the weather man has promised. It was cooler today and the humidity is falling which is truly heavenly. Why do I like the cooler days best? The smells of fall, the crunch of the fallen leaves and that air that associated with this season makes for a wonderful introduction to the perfect time after a hot summer. Fall is like a tall cold glass of ice tea to cool your core after a muggy warm summer.

Alright , so now you know I am a fall fanatic! For me it is a lovely time of year for walking, bike ridding or simply sitting and watching the birds and letting the world simply go by.

I need that end to all that warmth to wind down to the end of any year. So here's to that colorful, mufflered old gentleman named fall who's brought a whole new character to my part of the world!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Impossible Possibilities

Life can be crazy way too often these days. But the one thing I am observing more and more is that though people mouth the idea of putting others first and being caring individuals, is that it is only how they want to be, but who they really are in their real world.

The idea for random acts of kindness have a wonderful warm feeling in many hearts, but few stepped up and did more than a cursory few and returned to the typical cut throat American way of dealing with others. I guess I'm too close to people who lead right now, but the only place people serve and care that I can see are those who themselves have so little.

I wish there was a way to reach people and make them see that they need to give not just from their financial prosperity, but from them selves and get to know people they help care for - be a friend, in the truest sense of the word. It isn't easy but to have people who are wealthy see those they govern, they must understand the people and take on a relationship to truly help. Maybe I'm too much of a dreamer, but I think it is possible!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Where's Fall?

Strange how today felt more like early summer than late September. I love the fall...the great cool crisp air and the colors that are usually taking hold of the green leaves of summer. Well, this year we have small spots of lovely oranges and reds, but the majority of the leaves are still an iridescent summer green.

Believe me,I like summer, but I am ready for the colors, the colder temps and the whole fall package! There are many who are relishing this extension to our summer, but I am not one of them.

So who ever is holding fall prisoner, I am willing to bargain for its release!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wouldn't You Like to Ride in My Beautiful Balloon?

Cool and foggy night with the golden glow the the street lights set s an eerie tone for a end of September evening. Wandering around with the dogs outside I can almost envision something creepy creeping out from under nearby bushes. Thank goodness my dogs are quick to notice anything out of the ordinary - like a possum scurrying away! Our little guy lets out a bellow that shakes the neighborhood if he even thinks there is something that doesn't belong in the yard!

Well just before dusk last evening both went totally crazing barking jumping around and shaking! I was mystified as to the source of all that excitement until I heard the sound of a hot air balloon. Out from the shadows of one of our big trees and drifting barely above the tops was a huge red and blue balloon. This happens at least 3 times a summer and my dogs for some unknown reason feel those balloons are invading their own personal air space and can sometimes drive the neighbors crazy with their incessant barrage that continues until long after the hot-air balloon has vacated the skies overhead.

Why this type of air craft bothers my two fuzzy friends I will never know, but I have to admit it can be quite a site as our two dogs stand baying after a balloon they will never catch. It certainly is a site I won't soon forget!

Friday, September 19, 2008

How Do You Relax?


It's a lovely Friday night with a haze that gives the moon a lovely look. Fall is my favorite season and I enjoy the morning outside. I have a small patio and grab my first cup of coffee and just sit and take all the sights and sounds in and ponder the coming day.

My garden is full of birds that sway in wind on what is left of the stems of my false sunflowers and black eyed Susans. Some of my fall flowers are beginning to come to life. The asters and mums are beginning the bring color back to what had begun to be all drab and brown that often comes with the end of summer. The real geraniums are still blooming which makes for a lovely edge to this fall garden.

I need to take time away from the craziness of phones, cell phones computers and work. So, turn off the phones, and TV and escape to your backyard - I need that escape to begin or end almost every day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Personal Dreams

Have you ever wanted to travel some where so much that you dream about it at least twice a week? I've never been able to travel there and probably won't any time soon, but I find myself envision a museum, or historical area where I'm exploring and of course in my element since the place I'm at is a place that I have longed to visit for years.

Where is this place you are probably wondering by now, that place that has me so enthralled? It's London. I don't want to be a royal watcher, but a history one. The city is filled with theatrical, early Celtic history as well as Sir Christopher Wren's buildings and Anglican churches and chapels. So tonight I'm going to travel to a really exotic place for me - considering I'm just a Midwest girl. Happy dreams!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Politics...As Usual

LA, LA, LA! I-can't-hear-you! (My ears are plugged!) I HATE presidential politics! I realize that hate is a strong word, but I mean it. Normally calm, easy going people get loud and totally obnoxious when they begin pushing their chosen candidates, or parties, especially during the presidential season.

Add to the nastiness the ads and phone calls and it's a recipe for anger, and total pandemonium where we have politics as usual here in the U.S. For me it's a time to turn off the radio and TV and simply ignore what people are shouting at each other.

Why? I am interested in keeping our country secure and prosperous. But I will be honest - all that shouting and fighting makes me want to vote for the other guy...you know the opposite of who YOU want elected!

LA, LA, LA!!! I'm not listening!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Washing My World

Sunday has been quiet. Rainy, but quiet. We've had 4 inches of rain in the past 24 hours so we're more than a bit soggy around here. It's funny how most of August was extremely dry and then this fall we've had and extraordinary amount of rain. Our little piece of ground is looking quite lush actually! The flowers that were small in stature are filling in and looking profusely green, not common in the fall.

The humidity has ended, for the time being so I've opened the house up and the cool air in slithering in and filling the living room with something we have had in a few days - the fragrance of the fall after a rain.

I am looking forward to Monday and what the week holds. Here's to each new weeks and the possibilities offered in new beginnings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wild Weeks

Life this week took many twists and turns with a few added frustrations. I don't usually say this, but I'm glad the week is over. I'm tired from lack of sleep mostly. We had lovely weather though that has evaporated, unlike the humidity and rain that has moved in like a cloud over everywhere.

I am sleeping in tomorrow and doing only the things that need to get done before Sunday. It's funny how some weeks are really hazardous for your health and sleep patterns. I need Sunday off this week more than ever! Here's hoping for a beautiful non-humid day by Sunday!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fall's Dripping in With the Rain

Trees are fading to the fall colors, from the first vivid greens that are early spring to the deep velvety shades of the summer to first the yellow then brilliant oranges and over the top reds that all come together on that pallet that is West Michigan.

I really love this season the most because of the exuberance that comes with the hues that pepper almost every tree and many shrubs. The wind and fingers of cold that begin to tickle our way from the North are also a part of this time of the year.

Life in the fast lane almost blocks some of these wonderful sites for me and I'm glad that today I got to enjoy the bits of fall that past my way today.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Daily Grind

Saturday was a quiet day and even though I had to shop and do my normal Saturday jobs it was a totally lovely day, too. It began on a quiet bench in the back yard with an extremely good cup of coffee. Sitting there watching the flowers and the humming birds that often frequent my part of the world in the fall creates a easy going feel to any day, but sitting there watching the clouds trail off with the wind as the birds, the fall flowers, and many of the browned and spent flowers from summer, and all filled with birds buzzing in and out and hiding under the leaves of the clematis or waving in the breeze on the spent stems of the lilies makes the day almost magical.

Then began the jobs that drive almost every day of the week. the shopping around to get what's needed for the week is a major part of the day, and that calls for many stops and lots of walking, but I really like it because the time it gives for thinking through what the coming week has in store.

When the day is done finishing the chores and then sitting and playing with my dogs who love to bark, wrestle, and then snuggle down is my favorite way to bring any day to a close. As I now sit on the floor with my two tired, fuzzy friends I have to say that life here is good!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cool is Cool

Cooler weather - finally! The cold front just waltzed through pushing the humidity and HOT temps here right out the door. Life will be so much better for me since I do terrible in the hot and humid mess we've been having lately. I know lots of people like to sweat - it means that it's really summer for them, but for me the season is centered around the green trees and the color that flourishes in our yard. I love sitting on the patio every morning with a mug of coffee to watch the morning unfold. The humming birds and butterflies make for a really relaxing start to any day.

Don't get me wrong, I know a few of those hot days are part of the package with most summers. That what we had mostly years ago. Those were always reminders of what it might be like if we lived in the deep South and it was enough to make us thankful we were cool Northerners! (No offense intended) Heat to me has been the worst since I am not the princess of perspiring sweetly - I do not perspire, I sweat! There is nothing worse than sitting sweetly in church as every hair on my head gets soaked simply by sitting there! It's so frustrating sitting among a group of women who are sitting there demurely patting their foreheads to remove the occasional drip when I have a torrent that is more like a outdoor faucet turned up on high racing down my face and into my eyes!!

That "faucet" gets turned on for me the minute the dew point reaches 57 degrees and from that moment on I literally hover around the nearest air conditioning unit whether it be in my home, car or the nearest shopping center. I often find myself running between these cool refuges throughout those unbearable summer days.

So welcome fall! Your cooler days are welcome to this Northern lady!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Totally Crazy!

I got to watch one of the most bizarre scenes that nature has to offer today. As I watered some of my gardens around the yard with various sprinklers I saw 2 mourning doves "nesting" in the grass under one of the sprinklers. At first I thought they were dead because they were laying a bit sideways on the ground, but as I stood watching them I discovered one of the weirdest scenes. One bird slowly lifted one wing and as I watched in amazement it let the steady stream of water rinse that wing. Then it lifted the other wing and rolled over on its other side! The two birds did this back and forth thing with each wing over and over again for over twenty minutes!! It was like watching people changing sides on the beach!!!

I am constantly amazed at the antics of all the crazy critters in my backyard.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hello?! Is Anyone There??

Tink...tink! Hello? Are you there?? Well I know I am! I really love to write, and I have to admit I am intrigued by the gadgets that tell me when some of you are here and looking at my thoughts and ruminations. I don't know where many of you are from, but I do know how long you stay - or don't.

I love blogging since it's the greatest way of letting out frustrations and sometimes letting imagination run free through the black and white on the pages. So here is where I create my colorful word paintings that literally speak for themselves.

It's not perfection, but it is often simply and explosion of ideas and verbal expressions of what I see, feel and hear. It's good to let go and watch the words come alive!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Favorite Day


Sundays nights are the peace before the storm every week. So here I sit enjoying the quiet that is my favorite time of the day. It's when my mind is the most creative, and the quietest too. Days seem to run together since I am at home most of the time, but I have to admit Sundays are my favorite day of the week. It's the only day I can read and lay in bed, or take off and explore some place new like we did today.

Everyone has a favorite day of the week, be it hump day (Wednesday), or Friday that last day of the week and the beginning of every weekend. For me of course it's Sunday, because the freedom of this day is really great and it's a day for thought and simple quiet contemplation. I am more a thoughtful and introspective person and a day to really be able to do what I want, i.e. write and think is like being in my happy place all day!

Friday, August 29, 2008

How Important is the Presidency to Our Daily Lives?

Politics. I hate the arguments concerning who is the best for the White House because whoever wins won't really change anything. They come into office and complain that the congress is against them if it is made up 0f the opposition, or they don't, "understand the vision," if the congress is the same party. It's usually politics as usual. They don't make major changes and sometimes cause more problems for those of us who have to live every day as the middle and lower middle class.

Trust is the real issue that I have problems with concerning both parties. We have a charismatic like JFK, and a military man with a history of bravery and standing against big government as candidates. What will happen with either as president? If history follows it will be a big zero for those of us who elect the candidate or the country. There is little but rhetoric that comes after that golden election day.

Change is what we all want. But how when they keep telling us that country is just fine, but as the number of people losing jobs and homes daily is on the rise, and the jobs to replace those that need to support families are subsistence jobs at best, how are to we to go forward? I sure wish I had answers...it sure probably isn't going to come from the top of our government down.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Best Way to Spend an Evening

The end of a delightful day. A good business meeting, and then spending the end of the day with a lovely little girl. She is of course my third granddaughter and at 6 she is a real bundle of energy! We went downtown tonight and shopped around; got something to drink to walk the avenue with to do some serious window shopping, and then we headed home.

We got home and played with the basketball dribbling all over the drive, and then just hung out with grandpa in the backyard.

This little one is really my huggy grandkid and I really enjoy that. I can honestly say that there is nothing better than time with any of my four special grandkids, but especially tonight with my little bundle of energy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Create Fun!

I got to play with clay tonight! A group from my church went and got to colorize and paint to our hearts content on pots, plates, pitchers and so much more. But that wasn't all! We got to work with glass, or make beaded necklaces too! It was 3 hours of heaven for me as I created Christmas ornaments and sang to the music of the 60s that was being played. (I hope I didn't intrude on someone else's Zen moment with my singing with such gusto!) I am so relaxed and just relaxed...This was something I'm sure I will do again soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Really Remember

Evening birthday parties for little girls can be so much fun! We all met at a local park to celebrate a 7 year old granddaughter's birthday. The setting sun and little girls running everywhere, rolling down green hills, and nearby melting ice cream, butter frosting cake with family and friends all around. These kind of birthdays are special ones we should remember with joy - really remember.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Alphbet Soup Anyone?

I'm back, a day early. Life is a little less hectic right now, thank goodness. It's been beautiful out these past few day - soft, warm ice cream days her in the Midwest. I'm enjoying my morning coffee out on the patio almost daily. But tomorrow will be an ozone action day so it's a reading day. I work most evenings writing so my mornings are the time for thought and a bit of rest. It's also when many of my ideas germinate over that ever present cups of joe.

Tonight and most nights I write only for myself. Mostly to create items to send out for possible jobs, or to use as copy for a little freelancing. My repertoire has expanded to almost everything which is great. I did 2 years of exploring my home town and the surrounding areas and it's nice to think on life and ideas too now.

So here's to writing and sharing what I like, who I know, and sometimes just simple thoughts! For me life is an alphabet soup filled with good things and great thoughts!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

FYI

I'm taking the week off so enjoy some of the, "oldies but goodies!"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Summer's Fading

Summer's winding down to a beautiful warm end this year. Not hot...not humid, just lovely. We walked our town's avenue and saw young people eating ice cream sharing time with friends and hoping to ward off the school year, or maybe hoping for it to come, who knows.

The end of summer is always nice, but this summer it's especially nice. I've wandered these past few evenings around the yard and the garden among the butterflies and humming birds or sat quietly on our veranda, filled with warm breezes and the sounds that fill all summer days. I just love this time of year!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Road Show Was Great!!!


I got to go to the Antique Road Show today. Six hours on my feet and I saw smiles from ear to ear on everyone around me! The painting I brought was only worth about $75, but one other item was worth something more, and I learned so much about where it came from too.

So, now you know I am an Antique Road Show fan. Many of the appraisers are almost celebrities themselves and it was so much fun to see them, meet fellow Roadies, and simply talk antiques with everyone I came into contact with today.

What is the draw here? Over 3000 tickets were won through a lottery and the number of people who tried to get tickets was really amazing! Turned out this show drew one of the highest numbers of people interested in getting to the show here in Grand Rapids, the furniture city. It was a beautiful summer day out side, but inside the DeVos Center the people were packed in and were standing in lines that reminded me of those lines at amusement parks - only they were much for fun for the adults that attended this fascinating event.

There were all kinds of furniture, from trunks to tables; musical instruments; and more paintings than I've ever seen in one place - and also a few really strange objects. As we walked through the lines there these long pikes that towered over the whole scene and peaked the curiosity of all those around me in line. The guesses as to what they were ran from two staffs from deepest, darkest Africa - to some kind of Medieval pikes. They turned out to be original props from the Judy Garland movie The Wizard of Oz! It was really something to watch those objects being filmed for the program too.

If you didn't get to attend, make sure to watch PBS and the Road Show sometime between January and May of 2009 to see the interesting people and treasures that came to visit- along with a whole lot of fun that happened here too!

Friday, August 8, 2008

After Thought

I'm settling a bit since the shock of losing my first step into a writing career, and small though it was it was my start as a writer. I'm frustrated, and angry and so many other feelings all balled up in one mind. I'm not sure where I want to go from here, but I know I can't stop the flow of words because they are a part of who I am. I'm also not sure that I could ever write a book because that's not really who I am right now. We need something I can sell right now, not something for a year or two in the future.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I know I can't stop who I am. Words describe my world, and if I'm honest they always have. I love adding pictures to jazz up the ideas and words, but they aren't the focus.

What now...I really don't know.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm Simply Venting...

This week has been crappy, and yesterday I got the email from *#&@&! The paper that I write for is being discontinued, "Please contact the editor about your column." It wasn't much of a job anyway, as a friend reminded me, but it was my first and only success after changing careers again in my really strange life.

I keep sending out stuff, and get no responses...a friend said I should write a book, but I need to have money coming in and that takes a bit too long to get money to live on especially in this day and age (mine).

I'm not sure what I am going to do right now.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer is Sounds, Smells, and Extraordinary Colors

Summer's drifting away on a steaming humid cloud. Today was really one of those days and I kept the dogs in since my older girl has a thick coat and is sensitive to heat. When I did let them out I hosed them down which made the little guy all hyper. He was running around the run barking and rolling over and over, it was quite a site!

The garden is all a buzz with bees which makes for the soft sounds of summer all over the yard. I think half of the things I love about summer are the sounds and smells. You know, those smells of marshmallows over a fire, or the sounds of a warm summer rain, or the thunder of a storm rolling through.

I'm lovin' the images, smells, and sounds of the season. These will be good memories for the coming winter.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Home, Home on the Range

Dog fur is a living force in our home during the summer. With a pooch that is part German shepherd there are tumble dogs rolling around with the wind from our air conditioner that runs much of the summer. I have heard over and over again that,"if you'd only brush her there would be no problems!" Well, I do - and often! And for those who know the shepherds they are champions in the shedding department and I could vacuum three to four times a day and not keep up with those fur balls that roll around as if they are alive.

My poor vacuum has been straining to keep up with those rather large dust bunnies that often hide under beds and chairs around our house. This is honestly the only part of summer I dread, since I am not much for being indoors during the summer months if I can help it and vacuuming is certainly not one of my favorite household chores either.

But it's Sunday night, and those bunnies can hide all they want because I am enjoying the day. I will chase them around sometime tomorrow - or maybe not!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Books Piled High

"Long ago, and far away..." I really am not into Gothic novels, but lately some great mysteries I have been reading have given a feel for that genre. I read as much as I can since it is it is a great way to look at the works of some of good old and modern writers.

I do love getting into the head of characters! I re-read some books over and over. But I don't stop at fiction, some of my favorites are non-fiction and biographies. And I always want to find out what my friends are reading so I am often asking, "what is your favorite author?" - at the moment of course!

The Monday Rut....NOT!

It's Monday, again. A little warmer with just a bit more humidity. Today, in my opinion, is a perfect day - not too hot or humid but totally beautiful as the flowers dance with the help of my neighborhood goldfinches.

The Asiatic lilies are huge this year and have given my garden such a wonderful fragrance. The best time of the day to wander through my floral array is at dusk. The smells are wonderful! My summer evenings are dreams for future dreams in the cooler days of fall and winter. I love these kind of Mondays!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Time...How Does It Affect You?

Life goes around for all of us. Circles for me are all that I have been experiencing lately. I've been taking changes, making changes in my life...I take two steps forward, and end up back where I began. Typical, I know. But I sure wish it would have happened years ago when I was young enough to not let it get to me.

You see, I've just begun to blossom - in my fifth decade. How do people deal with the pain as kids let alone when you're an adult and have been for years set comfortably, or rather uncomfortably in a life that hadn't changed until I couldn't let someone walk all over another person. I've been that walked all over person for what was forever. Now I'm different in so many ways, but the kid in me doesn't know that.

Ah, well I guess I will just have to live with it! Ancora Iparo!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Falling

What seems up
Is not as it
Appears.

The World
Is Upside down
And when we try to
Right it,
We lose our way
And fall.

On the Edge of My Seat...Sort of!!!

Life as an Episcopalian during Lambeth can be nerve wracking! The Archbishop of Canterbury hints that Gene Robinson might not be legally a bishop...The British Clergy are up in the air concerning women becoming bishops. Check the news at Episcopal sites and there is talk of the Bible studies and discussions, but no hint as to what was discussed. I sure hope they will do more than give us broad strokes when this thing is over! I've simply stopped listening to the news on the conference right now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Best of Summer

The humidity has melted into the evening, and I have the windows open again. This is the weather I really love! Warm during the day, cool evenings and all the smells of the summer permeating the bedroom at night. That kind of weather always makes for wonderful sleep and truly special dreams.

This kind of weather can also create some of the best summer memories because everyone wants to be outside and doing something. I have plans to be out on my bike tomorrow, and walking my dogs too. These are the times that make for great winter memories when that cold permeates the soul and to ward it off I can close my eyes and imagine a ride, or a walk that holds all the warmth of summer. Yes...these are those special days.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Really Not Important

Ah...the hum of the fans and the window air conditioner has set the tone for the summer, finally. It almost eliminates the sound of the road out front and the noise of the kids shooting off fireworks two doors down, but it also makes it almost impossible to hold a conversation of any kind.

"Huh? What did you say?"

My husband has the hardest time hearing and we often end up getting frustrated simply trying to decipher what we are saying to each other. It's really tough sometimes.

"What?"

Nothing, dear. It's really not important...really (*&#+!).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weather

It is finally summer, i.e. hot and humid! We've had a nice cool June and I really have no reason to complain but am no fan of this kind of weather. The humidity and heat generally drives me in-doors for the duration of this kind of weather.

Today I was in GR and since it is inland the heat was radiating up from the pavement and the sun was beating down on my back as I walked out the door and to my car. I was really glad to get in and start the air that' s for sure!

I know, it's summer and I should expect this, but oh I really dislike this weather!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eat 'Em Up

House cleaning. Though it is probably cathartic to some it is a real pain to my way of thinking, but with two dogs who shed tons I have no choice, I have to vacuum and that's just the beginning. I have to admit there are some jobs that I almost enjoy doing and though it won't ever be anything I would do for a living, laundry and ironing can be a place where my creative juices can really come alive. That's why I have a journal on that room in my house so I can capture those thoughts that come unbidden. In fact, if I'm honest I have just a few of those notebooks in other parts of my home where whatever I'm doing those ideas might take a few moments to congeal with pen and ink.

In the kitchen the notebook is doused in wonderful smells from whatever I'm cooking when I write. Often I'll open the book to the smells of garlic thyme, basil and tomatoes, or wonderfully cooked chicken. I have to say I think that's my favorite book because it has the smells that help me almost taste words. Alright, I know I'm a bit crazy, but try thinking of a word or words that are almost as fun to say as they are to think of...for me that might me apple strudel, or lasagna! Okay, I have to admit that lasagna is more fun if I mispronounce it like a kid might. LA SAG NA. Now put an Italian sounding twist to it. I love to close my eyes and imagine the smell too, and voilĂ - the smell and the sound becomes tasty! You know, that's why I love words.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Garden Life


Today was a lovely one - warm but not hot with little humidity which made for an almost perfect day. I walked around the garden and enjoyed something that was a pale imitation to my last year's flower plot. Very little rain last summer caused the flowers to rely only on my pump and that did not give enough apparently since there were few blooms and only pale yellow-green foliage throughout my triangle of soil.

This year I'm reaping the benefits of plenty of rain and perfect weather with lovely flowers and picture perfect blooms. Sitting in the garden is a wonder that I will continue to enjoy throughout this season and on into the winter in my memories. That's just one reason to be truly thankful.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Feeling for Leaves


I am a really texture person. If you see any of my up close pictures you see many of these feel pieces that express a texture and this is one I took this week that feels prickly in the picture but is the softest feel in early spring. The greens in the garden hold a depth of colors that sometimes the flowers often don't capture. I enjoy fingering the leaves and delicacy of the blooms in the garden, and sometimes just looking too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Garden Gifts

Thursday July 3rd. It's the beginning of a cool July here and we have all the windows closed. It was 65 degrees today and is a cool 55 tonight. Life has been nice this summer for those of us who like cooler weather.

The garden is simply beautiful this year too. I have a multitude of colors there that bloom again and again. I don't follow any plan so it's more a cottage garden and from our patio it's a wonderful picture, and a really grand view.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Scary Storms

Sheets and sheets of rain and 1/4 inch hail; winds up to 64 MPH (Up to 90 MPH just 20 miles North of us!); the inability to see anything but the tree just outside of my kitchen window - this was the way my Wednesday unfolded. It was really a bit frightening to feel the house shiver from the winds and not know what, if any, damage was being done.

After almost two hours of wave upon wave of huge storms we are settling down to simply a soft, quiet rain. We got well over 2 inches in a really short length of time and I know our basement will have wet floors tomorrow so I've turned the dehumidifier on high and will leave the rest of the mess until morning - I simply will not worry about that until tomorrow.

Bad weather has become a huge part of our area of late, but it's really all part of living in this mitten called Michigan. I am thankful for the quiet gentle rain now, and will rest better knowing the storms of today are over.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Itch Vs. The Smiles

I hate mosquitoes and this summer there is a bumper crop just outside my door. I react to the little buggers and am constantly itching and have raised red bumps all over because the bugs really like me! Isn't it funny how some people are tastier than others to these buzzing insects? Tonight I'm sitting at my keyboard typing a bit, and scratching a lot!

Besides those nasty attackers and the itching I've had a pretty nice day. I walked with two of my grandkids today and got to play with the other two as well. That kind of a day was a good day for me. Yea!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Personal Retreat


Monday is slowing dripping away like a melting Popsicle. It was warm, but thankfully not very hot and a great time to escape to a wonderful little spot in our back yard for coffee this morning and again this afternoon. As a sat, cup in hand I watched the many birds that whisk through our yard and especially enjoy the goldfinches as they wove in and out of that beautiful spot. It really is special to watch them land on the tall willowy stems of the coreopsis that lean back and forth in the wind.

This spot on any given day is a place for dreams, hopes, and wonderful conversations too. I love it because it's a very relaxing place as well as a special retreat for my husband and I at any time. For me, this is very good.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Words that Walk Around the House

Sunday nights are usually a quiet preamble for every new work week. It is the end of the day this Sunday, one hour left to be exact, and being a night owl this is a time of news prgrams, thoughts and music for me just prior to a night of writing, rewriting and finalizing my weekly column. It's a small endeavor, but I find it a wonderful way to be creative every single week which is almost a necessity for me even if I don't sell my word inkings.

Words are my way of studying the world you see and have also often found their way into one of my many journals around the house. From there just sometimes they find a way to come alive in one of my columns (You know, one of those phrases that turns just right and has a really good sound to it.). My only wish is that somewhere, sometime one of these thoughts and words might find a home. Maybe someday....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

On the Road Again...

Today I was caught in a car with four other people on a 45 minute ride to a neighboring city...in a car that was first cold to make us comfortable, and then hot to clear the windshield. Oh, and did I add that it was pouring too and we got pretty wet getting from the car to the party? Needless to say the beginnings of my day were interesting.

But once we got to our destination it cleared, and we found a lovely garden where we mingled with others to rather beautiful chamber music in a lovely little park.

Funny how two such different experiences could exist in the same day, but they did and it happens every day in many of our lives. I prefer to think these little messes happen so we can really appreciate the beautiful!!! Hope your day was as great as mine! :-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Showers

My granddaughter and I were wandering around downtown window shopping and meandering in and out of stores. It has been cloudy day, but nothing really threatening weather wise. We decided to stop in for cold drinks at our favorite coffee shop and as we were heading out drinks in hand the skies let loose with a soaking, torrential rain that continued on for over 10 minutes - it seemed to go on forever!

Beck and I stood under the overhang of the coffee shop first getting dripped and then finally getting blasted a bit as the winds began whipping into a frenzy as the storm began to build. We kept getting wetter so we decided to make a run for it - which of course occurred as the rain became even more intense!

By the time we got to the car we were both soaked through and laughing..."it often literally never rains, but it pours here." I thought to myself. Summer rains are warm and running in them always reminds me of when I was younger. That feel of warm water on my face usually brings back really special memories.

I like the warm water on my face and lashes. That personal shower by Mother Nature has often given such a peaceful sense right down to my core. When the winter winds blow cold, the memories of those warm watery caresses often sustain me through even the toughest winters.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Day of Meetings...

Today was a day of meetings at church - it's part of the responsibilities that goes with being a part of our church's governing body. I like the work, and the people, but it can really be draining.

I came home to a six year old granddaughter who was here with grandpa while her Dad did some repairs on some of his vending machines around town. To many this may seem like too much after a long day, but after a busy day with adults taking time and sharing moments with my grandkids is almost like being a kid again. I don't spend the time entertaining them often, instead I invest my time in looking at what interests them, exploring, and sharing my love of gardens and books with all four of them.

My garden has a section for each of them and they get pictures taken by their new plantings each spring - that makes for lots of pictures after 8 years! My oldest granddaughter and I love to explore used books stores, and at 13 she and I spend lots of time at least twice a month enjoying perusing books and sharing our discoveries. It's interesting how what we both read has changed and grown over these years of sharing.

I spend time with the three who are under six by reading to them, having them read to me and of course coloring. I've gotten pretty good at coloring in the lines too! It's interesting how they critique my art work, and how quickly the many blank places around my house fills up with their colorful pages. My back door's window is usually filled with their colorful images that greet our various visitors and are great conversation pieces with the various delivery people who conveys all the packages that end up on our back porch.

I'm off to lay my head on that soft pillow of mine if for only a moment. I tend to drift off quickly and find my way to my own personal Neverland to chase those grandkids of mine through Pan's expansive world. Good night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moments...

How can a, "zen" moment even fit into the noisy every demanding world today? Some of us really wish for those thoughtful and enlightening moments to make the right decisions, have wisdom, or simply to turn off the world and relax into the quiet of a few moments to meditate on the happenings that make up our days.

For those of us who need to find those quiet centers to be able to go on into the next the modern cell phone riddled world can be a real challenge. My time to unwind and relish the quiet is often after the rest of the world has gone to bed. I read until the hour of midnight or one and then the road near our home becomes a bit less the road well traveled.

Then out of that deep semi-darkness (Who has total darkness around all our cities these days!) and calm (well, as quiet as it can be!) I can begin to work through the day's problems and difficulties and begin to relax and let go.

Of course that makes for a really exhausting first few hours of that next morning, but hey - I'm taking time for myself and relaxing at least....right?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Life, Next to the Fast Lane

I live on five lanes of fast. As I sit here and listen to my peaceful classical music the constant "ZOOM!" of passing cars continually reminds me that I am in the modern world. I don't use a feather pen - I use a keyboard that has over half the letters rubbed clean by constant work creating writings and putting thoughts to paper.

Some people ask me how I stand the noise, but it really has become simply the background of my life. Don't get me wrong, I relish complete quiet when I can get it - you know, that time that is devoid of all mechanical and technological sounds. But I have to admit like many in this day and age, I have relegated those sounds to the furthest point back in my everyday existence.

I do miss the quiet though. Every so often I head to a cabin up in the North woods along a river and sit and enjoy the sounds of nature. Funny, but when I head that direction, my husband has all these plans for day trips because he has a terrible time simply sitting and soaking up the quiet.

I'm going to have to work on that problem.