Monday, July 15, 2024

Postcards from the Lake: Walking Sights

Join me on a little walk around the cottage! It's a mix of things in the wild and those carefully cultivated by happy cottage owners.

One of the first things I see when I leave the house is a patch of tiger lilies in the woods. I don't know if anyone planted them there long ago or if they somehow migrated from someone's lawn. But they are lovely.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Postcards from the Lake: Lake Life

So, what is life like at the lake in the summer? In a word, wonderful.

There are too many adjectives from which to choose -- fun, relaxing, delicious, joyful, mesmerizing, calming. Life at the lake comes with its own soundtrack, one that combines the sound of waves on the water or wind through the pines, with the mellow sounds of classical guitar and the sounds of birds, both in the water and in the trees. There is definitely an abundance of critters.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Postcards from the Lake: Fireworks and Festivities

Our recent Saturday began with Rick's bike ride. He's having a lot of problems with his bike and waiting for a new part to arrive. That means rides are shorter and closer to home. (We still don't know about his upcoming Canadian trip yet.) 

But he took off in good form, happy to be in motion!

Friday, July 5, 2024

Postcards from the Lake -- North for the Fourth

June 29 was a cold, wet, rainy summer day. As soon as I was up and dressed, I fed Lizzie, picked her up from her bowl and tossed her into the cat cage for the ride north. She wasn't amused but it was a good grab and we were on our way. Several hours later we arrived -- still cold, west and drizzly but at our destination!

Lake life started on a cooler note, though due to pick up in the week to follow. Meanwhile it is good to get the car unpacked and settle in. The first thing I noticed when I drove in was the the fellow doing the yard had actually done it! Hooray!

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

The June Book Report

June wasn't the banner reading month I'd hoped but I was pretty satisfied with those I read. The list includes two memoirs, three good mysteries and one I wish had been better than it was.


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Postcards From the Lake -- A Short First Visit

Well, I'd been living in the "heat dome" (along with many of you) for over a week and finally had a window to get to the cottage to bring up a load of stuff for the summer. I eagerly awaited the cooler temperatures, the nearness of the water, just getting back north and living in that sublime state called "Lake Time."

And then it started to rain up there. Day after day of raindrops (often at high percentages) decorated the weather pages and so I postponed my five day weekend to a four day, then to a three day. I can't say that the arrival was dry, but it wasn't pouring and I decided to take that as a win.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Lessons Learned in the Basement

My aunt Iris and her husband moved more times that I can remember and it seemed like every time they packed and moved, fewer things went along to the next place. Yes, they might be replaced -- or maybe not. I was thinking about Iris as I put my basement back together after the mold removal. I was an only child raised with parents who "collected," and I think doing so must be in my gene pool. 

With my aunt Iris, several years before she died.

As I was putting things back together, I began to wonder if that was a good gene to have!

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Fun with My Favorite Small People

Last post I mentioned that we were kid sitting with our two favorite small people, while their parents celebrated their tenth anniversary. (One is seven, the other almost six.) There wasn't a lot of sitting!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Early Summer Fun

It has been a full, fun couple of weeks, by and large. We are on the threshold of summer (although our weather is so erratic it is sometimes hard to tell!). But that hasn't stopped some walks, theatre, basement work, painting and more. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Cork Poppers Taste Whites and Rose

After too long a break, our Cork Poppers wine tasting group gathered for yet another sampling of wines. Those of you who have followed our tastings for a long while may recall that most in our group are fans of red. But Cheryl and Meredith (to a lesser extent), are all for the whites! So when Cheryl and Dick hosted, it came as no surprise that our theme was "White and Rose." And even for us red fans, it was a surprisingly tasty tasting!

As you might guess by now (if you've not followed us forever), our Corkies are just real-life people who like wine. Some know a little more than others technically but the main thing is we enjoy trying new things and more or less getting away from the shelf at the grocery store and most of the "name brand" wines and seeing what an array of wines are available at different price points. (And yes, we also have enjoyed wines you get at the grocery store that are available pretty much anywhere.) We don't take ourselves too seriously but we always depart having had a lot of fun and usually adding another potential wine or two to our personal favorites list.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Writing Your Memoir or Family Story

After spending years working on my family history and pulling together a rather hefty book on the subject (it weighs in at two pounds and 309 pages!), I thought I'd share a few things I discovered along the way that, should you decide to engage in such a project, might make your journey a little easier.

An inch thick, two pounds, many years of research and 309 pages!

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Ducks, Birds and a Recalcitrant Cat

Early summer. You can't beat it -- temps are warming but not hot, sometimes with a breeze. Here in Michigan where we often have cloudy days, the sky has been blue and the days bright. (OK, a little rain, but that's good for the yard!) 

I've been doing a little painting, a little reading, a little walking. Cataract surgery kept me from lifting or bending for a week so I'm looking forward to actually bending over and deadheading my geraniums!

Sunday, June 2, 2024

The May Book Report

I'd hoped to get in another book this month but I'll happily settle for six diverse ones. On the list, a best selling book looking back at the history of '60s presidents Kennedy and Johnson, a Hallmark-ish type of novel, a White House mystery written by a president's son, a thriller, a fascinating behind-the-scenes diary of the designer of the musical "My Fair Lady," and a funny little cat book. Definitely diverse!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wrapping Up May

Just a quick one today. We had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. On Friday, it was the first eat-outside-day of the season. 


Rick fired up the grill with a pork tenderloin. It was perfect!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Painting, Planning, Walking and Rick Returns

We have a busy few weeks coming up -- it's Memorial weekend and my friend Suzanne is coming by; an upcoming Cork Poppers in another week or two and kid-sitting for a few days in mid-June. This will be a pretty laid-back weekend, planting flowers at the cemetery, picking up the house for company and just hanging out. So I'm grabbing all the peace and beauty I can get these days! 

Rick got back from the lake this week and I have to say it was good to see him! We made progress planning our England trip and just catching up. He says all is well at the cottage and I'm looking forward to getting to the lake next month.

Monday, May 20, 2024

A Quiet Week with Flowers, Birds and Paint!

It has been a quiet week here. Rick is up north opening the cottage and he's had a great week for it. I've been weeding the so-called garden and being admonished by my physical therapist for doing so! It's not looking good (gardening is SO not my thing!) but I'm hoping to have a small strawberry crop (enough for cereal, not shortcake) -- if the birds don't get it first!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

A Fruitless Search and The Goslings Swim!

I'll start with a pretty photo! One of my favorite blooms, the allium is short lived but so fabulous while it lasts! 

Rick and I joined the many others in the world trying to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights last week. I had visions of taking marvelously splashy photos of pinks, purples and greens in the dark night sky. I would do watercolors of them all. Ah, the stuff dreams are made of. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Mother Goose has Hatched -- And Other News

Here's some fun news for Mother's Day! Spring has kicked in "for real" these days. On Friday, I got a double whammy of it when I first visited the nursery center and later saw a "nursery" of a different kind -- that of our friend Mother Goose!

And guess what! There aren't four babies. And, as some of you thought, there aren't five.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Springtime at the Ditch

Every time I visit the Ditch, the trees are greener and more filled out and there are more lily pads on the water. A few of the flowering trees remain, but not, I think, much longer.

Mother Goose is still sitting and still being carefully guarded.

Friday, May 3, 2024

April's Books

Cataract surgery slowed down my reading time in April (and it will continue this month, too). But All the books I read were well worth reading! As usual, most were mysteries but the gem was a non-fiction work.


Monday, April 29, 2024

A Colorful World and Other Happenings

It has been a quiet week here at the homestead, with Rick on his bike hike. And sometimes, that quiet is good! I've enjoyed some walks and seeing how lovely it is now that spring seems to be setting in for real.


 There's a lot of pink in those trees but the green is coming in quickly.

The house is full of flowers, some from the garden. . . 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Catar-action and It's Triplets!

Well, cataract surgery, part one, took place this week. My friend Kate took me to the surgery and  friend Jan to the follow-up appointment after. (Rick is on a bike hike from Nashville to Tupelo, MS, on the Natchez Trace with his friend, Nino.) 

I went in my email to sort through comments on the last post (the Tornado post) and somehow I deleted all of them. Note to self. Do not go NEAR the delete button when the eye that can read a computer screen is covered by a patch. I'm sorry, gang. If you asked a significant question, ask again and otherwise, thank you so much for commenting and sharing your memories on that post.

Before the surgery, our weather took a turn for the really-terrific so I headed back to the Ditch. I was surprised and delighted to see the return of Ellie the Egret.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Best Tornado Hunker Down Time Ever!

No one has fun during a tornado warning. And around here, we take them pretty seriously, as last summer's tornado in our area proved both deadly and destructive. This is what the last one did. 


So when we heard the siren, Rick and I gathered up Lizzie (who really did NOT want to go to the basement) and headed downstairs. It looked like it might be close to an hour before it was over. We were taking no chances.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Movie Worth Your Time -- Stream It This Week Only

Last week, Rick and I had the privilege of attending a wonderful new documentary film at its local premiere. You won't see it in a movie theatre (at least not for awhile) or on TV or YouTube. It's making the film festival circuit right now. But if you have the chance to watch it (and you can -- read on), it will touch your heart. (Streaming and camp links at the end of this post.)

"Camp RicStar" is about a music camp for those of all ages with special needs. The camp, which is in June (and filling up fast for 2024), is open to those with any type of disability and of any age. Scholarships are available for those with financial need.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Harry's Back and the Geese are Nesting

There has been a lot of gloomy weather here and truth be told, my walking legs haven't been up to par of late. But on a rare sunny day I knew I had to check out the Ditch and see what was happening. The first thing that hit me were the wispy splashes of green that screamed "Yes, spring really IS coming!"

That was followed by a burst of white blossoms. Not all the trees are in flower but this one was leading the pack.

The geese were out in full force and no matter where one looks, it is likely you'll see a nest or a goose or maybe both.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Eclipse and More!

Like many of you, Rick and I enjoyed this year's eclipse. It may not be a once in a lifetime event for many of you but for me it probably is, so we maxed it out!

We left in the morning to drive two hours to Toledo where Rick's Aunt Carol lives. Totality was supposed to be 99 percent there, better than Lansing.

Friday, April 5, 2024

The Books of March

Reading was my escape in the weather-weird, basement-boggling month of March. Somehow I managed to pull off seven books. Most were mysteries, and one, Rachel Maddow's astonishing "Prequel," was as frightening as a thriller and all too real. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Marching Into April (Finally!)

I can't say I'm sorry to flip my calendar to April. In "The Waste Land," T.S. Eliot wrote that  April is the cruelest month. But March -- at least this March -- has definitely been the weirdest.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

An Odd Easter This Year!

This coming weekend is  Easter -- March 31. I'm not a fan of early Easter. I wish they'd just pick one date in mid-to-late April and stick with it! But, I don't set the calendar so you go with what you've got.

I have a lot of Easter memories -- some good, some less so. This year will be a little different because the grands are in Florida for the holiday so no annual egg hunt. 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Art Is Medicine

"Art is a medicine that I must take and, my goodness, I feel better, lighter, alive, energised and I've started humming again!"  -- Lucia Leyfield, Wild Ink

I subscribe to an art newsletter from the delightful Lucia Leyfield, who offers online classes and work-alongs. In a recent issue she posted the quote above and boy, did that resonate. 

From my art journal, a good 10 or more  years ago.

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