Saturday, July 8, 2017

Falling in love . . . again

We've been in our house for 39 years.  I remember seeing her for the first time.  I was with my best friend, Sue Lange.  We were here visiting from PA where we were living at the time.  She told me there was a house downtown that was for sale and we should look at it.

This old girl had been vacant for 5 years and I can't even imagine how long she stood still (no updating or renovation whatsoever) before we walked through the front door.

Sue had an eye.  I couldn't see what she was seeing even if I squinted.  Really, really hard.  

We ended up buying this old house and have repainted, re-papered, repainted, re-papered, etc. many, many times.

Recently Petey and I have started talking about moving to another home.  One with two bathrooms and an attached garage.  Only one story.  You get the idea.  We're older now - thinking old.

However.  Petey has been chomping at the bit to make some changes.

First he painted the inside of our enclosed back porch.  We rearranged the furniture back there and added a small table and chairs.  It's lovely.  We sit back there and look out on our little yard. Peaceful.

Then he decided to rip up the carpeting in our living room.  Wow! The hard wood floors look great. We moved a few things around in there and replaced a few pieces.  Digging the new feel and look.

Many years ago we brought the washer and dryer up from the basement and moved our bedroom down from upstairs.

We've fallen in love with the old girl.  Again.  

Guess we'll stay . . . for a while, anyway.

Monday, July 3, 2017

So . . . . the tick thing.

Petey and I were coming back from Kazoo yesterday and I scratched what I thought was . . . I'm really not sure what I thought it was - but it was a bump at the back of my neck at the hairline.
I performed fingernail surgery without giving it a second thought.

That was until I saw a damn tick wedged underneath said fingernail.

I did not shriek.  I did not swear (very unusual for me) nor did I cry out in any way.  I'm pretty sure I didn't - time kind of stopped for me.

I kept that bad boy pinched between my thumb and forefinger until we could pull into a parking lot whereupon Petey squished it in a piece of paper.  We went into the market and I got a zip bag from the deli and dropped Mr.Tick into it for safe keeping.

I don't panic about that kind of thing but the stories on the news and some personal experience with friends and family had me worried about Lyme disease.

I called the health department today and spoke to a wonderful nurse who told me to email a picture of the little bugger.

I put him in my hillbilly light booth and snapped away.  Guess what, the damn thing was still alive!  And I thought roaches and palmetto bugs were hard to kill.

The nurse (Erin) got back to me right away and said it looked like the common "dog" or "wood" tick (is there supposed to be a "k" there or not?  Never mind, I don't really care) and they don't carry Lyme but she'd be sending the picture along to MSU for confirmation anyway.

I wouldn't have known to call the health department if my Jazz buddy, Kendra, hadn't told me to so, THANKS, KENDRA!!!

All this before a holiday.  Whew.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

What's your style?

Recently I posted "mullet sightings" on Facebook.  I remember when they were the thing but I thought that fad had disappeared. Turns out? Not so much.

I was truly surprised the other day to spot a young fellow wearing his pants, I swear, below his butt.  I was really hoping that obnoxious style was gone forever but - nope.  

I tried not to stare but for the life of me, I don't understand how they stayed up.  He was wearing a belt but that can't possibly help much.

My point here is - people sometimes get stuck.  It could be with a particular hairstyle - like the mullet.  They can't picture themselves any other way.  For women it could be the "french twist" or "beehive" hair-do.  Remember those?

Kids probably move through fads much faster than adults.  Does that mean that they're hip and we're not?  Don't answer that.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Fun, Family, Friends and Food

Our son, Michael, is visiting from Thailand.  When his cousin, Mike, found out he was coming home he hopped a flight from Philadelphia to spend a little time with him.  

Bonus - he brought his wife, Michelle along and extra bonus - his son, Andrew as well.

Time was short so we packed as much as we could into yesterday.

A trip to Saugatuck included lunch at Phil's and a little shopping. 

We rounded out our time there with a trip up Mt.Baldy.

A different perspective of the "big lake" was had from the channel in Holland - Ottawa Beach and "Big Red."

The evening was capped off with a delicious meal at our new, local restaurant, The Redtail.

L to R:  Michael, Mike, Peter and Andrew

Michelle and me

Steps up to Mt.Baldy - 303 of them times 2 for coming down.

They lived to tell.  No one fainted.

No sweat was involved.  The quads squawked a bit, tho'.

No photos of the other meals.  I was totally focused on these fantastic ribs.

Michael's 2 buds (Travis in the middle and Chris on the right) came to sweep him away for a while.  They were only missing the "4th amigo," Ryder but we'll see him soon in Traverse City.
I was going to do a blog about Redtail when I took Petey there for his 70th birthday lunch but never got around to it so here are the pics I took for that blog.

This one and the 3 above are all of the bar.

This is the dining area looking back toward the kitchen.

This is John.  One of the smiling fellows you'll see making the goodies in the kitchen.

A good time was had by all.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Mom

Life is different without mom but she left a lot behind.  She left her love of reading which my sisters and I share.

She left a zest for life which everyone whoever met her felt.

This is a picture of 4 generations and I'm so grateful that the 4th generation shared many, many visits with mom.

She got a real kick out of her younger (by 13 months) brother as did the rest of us.

When mom wanted to know how to do something, she searched until she found someone that could guide her.  This day, the experience of riding a Harley fell into her lap and she couldn't jump on fast enough. That was mom.

We adored her.  So did her two son-in-laws Peter and John.  Her grandchildren Laura, Jeff, Mark, Chris and Michael.
Her influence on her two great-grandchildren, Cody and Kaelyn, will be felt for the rest of their lives.

I haven't cried much since mom died because I was so grateful that she died content and comfortable but something is dripping from my eyes today.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to my sisters and me.  Your calls, cards, emails, etc. have meant the world to us.

I read and heard, over and over, two words:  "Influenced" and "Inspired."  Mom touched so many people.  If you were one of the lucky ones - you know what I mean.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Wind Chimes

How do you feel about them?  Do you have any?  Are they the ones that emit the light, fairy-like tinkling sound or the ones that sound like a soft gong?

If you have wind chimes, do you have neighbors nearby?  Do they like your wind chimes?

I think it's kind of like your favorite music that you're sure everyone else loves too. You want them to hear your favorite tunes - all the time and at max volume.

Possibly not.

We had very close neighbors at the family cottage in South Haven. When I say "close" I mean when someone next door sneezed, someone in our cottage would politely say "bless you."  Well, we really weren't "bless you" people but I don't know how to spell the German word others use.

Anyway, those neighbors had a wind chime that hung from a front corner of their cottage.  It was small.  It was made of glass.

You can imagine what it sounded like when the wind blew.  

Yeah, glass breaking all damn night long.

I finally couldn't take it any more so I politely asked them to take it down.  The lady was nice and complied.  If it had been up to the man (whom we did not like) I would have had to make the thing "disappear" in the dead of night.

So if you have wind chimes you might want to think about your neighbors.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Do you dream?  I'm sure you do.  Some people don't remember their dreams.  I had one the other night I wish didn't remember.  It involved mice.  They were jumping around on a shelving unit that was right next to my damn bed.  And of course, a couple of them jumped ship - right onto my bed covers!  There was some screaming (me - not the mice) and flailing of arms.

Dreams can be fun.  They can scare the hell out of you.  They can be sad and dare I say, sexy. 

Let me ask you this, though.  Do you hear sounds in your dreams? I've heard the phone ring several times.  Real enough for me to pull out one ear plug and reach for the phone.  I've heard my dog bark and did the ear plug removal thing, too.

I've only ever had a tactile experience once.  It was so real.  I placed my hands on the face of a friend who had died several years ago and asked him if he was ok.  He smiled and said yes.

I don't remember if I've ever had a smelling dream or a tasting experience.  Except that time when I ate a huge quantity of Mexican food - wait - that was real.  Never mind.

Have any dreams you'd like to share?  Not the sexy ones, please. You need to keep those to yourself.  TMI.