Friday, September 22, 2023

Something Old, Something Tasty!

Sometimes there isn't a lot of new to share, especially since I'm trying to lay a little low these days. So I figured I'd look back on the old! Old photos, that is! I thought maybe I'd find a bit of inspiration in some images from years past. And, I thought I'd throw out a recipe or two!

Monday, September 18, 2023

Time Is Flying. I'm Not.

Well, we can't say we aren't well into September, only a few days from "official" fall. Time is flying and I'm -- not!

I did get a very few fall things in the house. Here's a peek. I'll start to bring up Halloween the first week of October unless we are able to go to the lake that week, in which case I'll probably bring a few things up before I go.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Bits and Pieces from Here and There

I feel half-in, half-out these days. Home most of the time but still anticipating weekends or even a few extra days at the lake. I find it odd to be home, to be honest. When I turned on the local news, I realized how out of touch I've been for two months. Not that I've missed much, but more of a feeling like, "So, this is where I really live."

To top it off, I haven't had the energy to dig into "projects" and the fact that nothing much is getting done frustrates me. Now, whose fault is that?

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: The August Books

For weeks I thought August was a slow reading month. Too much computer time? But somehow I finished seven books and they were all good ones. In this month's reviews, series mysteries by Donna Leon, Martin Walker, Mark Pryor and Ann Cleeves; as novel by Jodi Picoult; a delightful memoir of actor Martin Short,  and a remarkable, wee book that is timely and important. (And yes, there is a drawing in this post. Read on!)

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: September Song

Oh, it's a long, long while from May to DecemberBut the days grow short when you reach SeptemberWhen the autumn weather turns the leaves to flameOne hasn't got time for the waiting game
Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious fewSeptember, NovemberAnd these few precious days I'll spend with youThese precious days I'll spend with you.
                 "September Song," Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson

September tends to be a favorite month for many reasons, but it also has its moments when I want to clutch the best days and bottle them for the days that are far from the best. Yes, "the days grow short when you reach September."

Friday, September 1, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: The Down Elevator

Recently, in the New York Times, Melissa Kirsch shared some thoughts on the end of summer saying "We're in the down elevator." She referred to how summer was "visibly diminishing with each earlier sunset." And, she spoke about how it is good to be home -- or is it? 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: Road Weeds

The walks at the end of summer are a bit bittersweet in many ways. It's the same path I walk throughout the summer and it rarely seems to change. Except it is changing every day. 

In these latter days of August I notice there is greater quiet. Fewer cars are parked by their cottages during the week and even on weekends. The properties look lonely, as though they are lying in wait -- not yet locked tightly for the winter, but waiting for the next arrival. Yet, those arrivals seem fewer, further between. Yes, it feels lonelier here.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: Awe and Awful (times three)

Home alone (at the lake) for a bit. It has its pluses and minuses. First thing on the plus side, I captured Lizzie unaware and so an early departure was successful. As I mentioned to some of you, I could practically hear her go "Curses! Foiled again!" The minus? The weather is awful!

As I was headed to the lake, I listened to an interesting interview on NPR's "On Point" series about awe, and how wonderful it is to incorporate into our lives. They discussed the idea of awe and how it is different for everyone. Viewers had phoned in their "awe" experiences" and it got me thinking about some of mine. In no particular order, here are a few of them.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Postcards From the Lake -- and Beyond: And He's Off!

About a week ago, I dropped off Rick and his bike about an hour or so past home to give him a head start on his ride last week. It was a great day -- a perfect day for pedaling! 

I misjudged timing a bit. I forgot that I don't just let him out of the car and off he goes! He has to get the bike out of the trunk and put the pieces back together...

Then attach his paniers (saddlebags) to the back...

Saturday, August 19, 2023

A Few Days at Home: Down at the Ditch

Stepping back in time for a minute, I was home for a few days when I took Nancy back down state to head back to Colorado. Of course I had to visit the Ditch! And I wasn't disappointed.

Often, there are many walkers but on this morning it was especially quiet and peaceful.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: Taking the Long Way Home

"The corn is as high as an elephant's eye

And it looks like it's climbing clear up to the sky!"

     ~~~  Oscar Hammerstein Jr., "Oklahoma!"

Rick and I headed home for a few days -- a doc appointment for me, time for his cycling trip to Ottawa for him. It was a gloomy day when we left -- it's always easier to leave the lake on a cold, gloomy day!

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: Lazy Summer Days

Summer is moving so quickly -- too quickly for me. It seems we got a late start. Well, a funky start, at best. It got very hot too early; then very cold. And finally, it was well into June with commitments and I didn't get to the lake till July 1! Now I'm dreading the fact that soon we'll be counting down. 

But not yet!

Rick's Laundry

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: Road Trip -- The Soo Locks

What do you do on a beautiful day in the north? A road trip is always a good idea! Rick and I decided to head north to Sault Saint Marie, Michigan and the site of the famous Soo Locks. Here we are, two happy travelers!

We started the morning at the Mackinaw City restaurant, Darrows, where we met up with our friends from home, blogger/writers John Schneider (Waiting for Home: The Richard Prangley Story") and Sharon Emery ("It's Hard Being You: A Primer on Being Happy Anyway"). Time with John and Sharon is always fun and it was a great way to start the day. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

Postcards From The Lake: July Reading -- Not Really Beach Books!

I had hoped to have a few more (at least one more) book to share with you this month -- but then I started having fun and something had to give! So, there are five this month -- and all were well worth the time.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: Welcome, Dear Friend!

Once upon a time, a family with a three year-old only child moved next door to a family of five with a two year-old daughter. The girls became fast friends and when the girls were four and five, the neighbor girl moved from Michigan to Montana. Would they ever see each other again?

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: Celebrating Rick

Rick celebrated another circle (or cycle!) around the sun this past week. I'm a firm believer in celebrating birthdays -- sometimes it takes a lot to make it through a year and that life should be celebrated!

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Postcards From the Lake: A Gentle Pace and a Dinner Guest

Lake life continues to move at a slow and gentle pace. Lovely sunsets, (almost) daily walks (the rain is a factor) and sometimes even a celebration or two!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Postcards from the Lake -- Rick has Arrived. The Good Weather has Gone!

Well, here in the last postcard I was talking about our mostly lovely weather and that it was warm. Then the rain came and cooled it off. But enough is enough. We don't need a week of cooler temperatures, even when it is sunny! Last week was Gaylord's annual Alpenfest, which I confess isn't my favorite time of year up here. So I've been hanging at the lake.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Postcards from the Lake -- Getting a New Routine

I have decided that it takes a good week to begin to get a new routine going, to look at time differently than I do at home. There is no schedule -- a Zoom doc appointment was the closest I'll probably come to one. It's caused me to ponder the question of time a good deal. But that's for another day! Meanwhile, here's a look at the week!

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Postcards from the Lake -- Finally!

As I begin writing this, it's my first evening at the lake. Finally. Between appointments and physical therapy, along with a couple of fun weekend things that kept me home, I hadn't been here once. It's good to be back.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Reading My Way Through June

Somehow I managed to squeeze in six books during June -- no doubt because most of them were so good I couldn't put them down! Not surprisingly, five of them were mysteries (including a recent entry in a delightfully popular series) and one a lovely and moving novel. The last book in the post, "Haunting Paris," is my first entry for the annual blog event "Paris In July." Hosted by Emma at Words and Peace, Paris in July is your one-stop place to find posts about the City of Light (and France) related to books, film, photography, food and more.

Monday, June 26, 2023

A Sale, A Farewell, Two Cute Boys and Some Birds!

Well, things have a way of working out, even if it sometimes takes a stupid mistake to facilitate it! Here you see my yard sale!  It was a success, or success enough for stuff that I didn't want anymore. Most of the rest has already been donated to our local community theatre's rummage sale. I was lucky -- Molly came to help and brought things, too, and Rick chipped in. A team effort.

So, what was that stupid mistake that worked out?

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The Books of May

May wasn't my best reading month, but for the most part the books I did finish were well worth the time. They included two mysteries, a biography, a NYT fiction bestseller and a fabulous book of essays. And that book of essays? It will go on list of all-time favorites. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Springtime Gatherings

It seems like everything happens in June -- graduations, weddings, parties. It's no exception here! We've had a few fun times and celebrations of late. Read on -- and don't forget to join the party with the youtube video! (And yes, Wrennie is still in residence! I wonder if she has eggs in there?)

Monday, June 5, 2023

Sketchbook Revival 2023

Sketchbook Revival 2023, hosted by Karen Abend, wrapped up in late April and it was a good one! For the uninitiated, it is a collection of two daily workshops (archived for a month) focusing on various art-related practice -- painting, urban sketching, breaking down your own creative barriers, collage and more. Finally, I'm sharing some of the things I painted during that time.

I chose to do mostly the painting/drawing sessions, though I did watch a couple of the collage pieces. Even though I've done enough of it that I don't really want to do it anymore, you can still learn about color, design and placement regardless of media.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

A Few Kinds of Critters!

The Memorial Day weekend and the time leading up to it brought a couple of species of critters into our lives. First, it's time for new life down at the Ditch. When I saw a marvelous photo by our neighborhood nature photographer, I knew I'd better get down there before all the babies grew up! And I wasn't disappointed!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Spring: Art, Big Birds, Little Birds, Lilacs, Art, Books and Royals

I went to a wonderful estate sale last month -- but it was also a sad one. The resident of the home was the dad of a high school friend of mine, former neighbor, church friend and friend of my parents. Although it was a different home than the ones they lived in when we were kids, my memory bank flashed back to the Christmases at their home and Lisa's wedding reception in the back yard. 

I wanted a remembrance of Rex -- something Christmas, of course. And I did get a small angel and small nutcracker (and a big elf!) What I didn't expect to find was a treasure trove of books -- the kinds of books I love to read. Biographies, history, and travel. (And I came home with a few!). But the real treasure was this.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

More From Cleveland -- Art, Food and Family!

When last we left our happy travelers, we had wrapped up the Tudors at the Cleveland Art Museum. But there was much more to see and we were going to see it! So, here is some of the art that I really loved! This is an airy portrait by James Tissot.

We all know Monet painted lots of things like this...

But this one, called "The Red Kerchief," (1868-70 and an oil on fabric) rather surprised me!

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Time Out with the Tudors

We recently headed to Cleveland for an extended family wedding. It was the first trip I'd taken (apart from to the kids or to the lake) since Covid and what a treat to connect once more with friends and family. Our first stop was to see friends Jane and Mike. Jane had kindly given us tickets to the Tudor exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art for the following day and we enjoyed a terrific dinner and catching up. Mike had recently returned from Ukraine where he was training doctors and civilians in emergency medicine. He had some fascinating and harrowing stories to tell.

The next morning we were off to the museum. The period of the Tudors -- Henry VII through Elizabeth I -- was a time of an arts renaissance. It was also a time of great political change -- separation from the Roman Catholic Church, wars, and more. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

April Reading

April wasn't a bad reading month for me, partly because I was laying low and also because it was so darned cold that I wasn't cleaning up the yard! I read several mysteries, a gorgeous book by colorist Kaffe Fassett, and a biography of the Gershwins that was far more than a biography. 

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