Tuesday, March 27, 2012

North Carolina

We arrived in N. Carolina Sunday evening.  We are now enjoying the company of Bud's brother and his family.  The weather has been terrific.  Monday we went out on the kayaks  for a brief little paddle.  Considering my previous misfortune with cameras and water, I decided not to risk it so you will need to trust me that it was a nice morning paddle.  
 Paul has really grown a lot since our last visit but he still is a very studious student.  He is working on his calculus here at the kitchen counter.
 Joseph continues to enjoy the out of doors.  It was his idea to go out for the paddle in the morning.  He did leave his b b gun behind though.
 We spent the afternoon in Winston Salem.  We picked Paul up from piano class, spent  little time together at a great used bookstore where I bought a whole pile of books and then dropped him off at orchestra practice before heading over to see Olivia at college.
 Her  boyfriend joined us for a great dinner and lively conversation about Olivia's life as a new student this year and plans for the future.  We were thankful that Olivia was able to take time from her busy student life to visit with us.
 Here is the whole crowd at dinner, Mike the boyfriend, Olivia, David, me and Bud.
 After dinner we went back to pick Paul up from practice.  My camera doesn't take very good distance pictures in a dark setting but I still thought I would include this one.He is doing very well in the orchestra and really enjoys his time with the group.
 Today (Tuesday) was hiking day for the boys.  Paul is really interested in hiking lately. I decided to stay behind and Joseph isn't as interested in hiking as Paul.  He went on a hike with a friend this past week and decided one hike a week was enough.
 The two brothers are ready.  The had to paddle across the lake a ways and then were going to hike in the hills behind the lake.
Off they go, ready for an adventure.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Why is it that I can take ONE carry-on and a purse for a week long trip to Paris and it takes the whole car to travel for a week to N. Carolina and Tenn?????  Slowly we are trying to leave TC this morning.  Spring came this last week and my bulbs are coming up.  I hope they wait for me to bloom.

Friday, March 23, 2012

projects finished

My sewing room has been busy these past few weeks.  I love my time there.  It is so relaxing.  I just finished a couple of projects for gifts.  After we get back from our trip, I will go back to a project for myself.
 I made these curtains for the nursery of little Sophia.  You can see the smaller teddy bear that I made for her when she was born.  I also made a quilt for her.  I volunteered to make curtains for the nursery.  It was a new and learning experience.  I hadn't ever made lined curtains but the owner of my favorite fabric store gave me some pointers and they turned out very nice.  They cast a pink hew over the room.  Mommy and Sophia were happy.
 I also just finished another gift.  I bought this "Poky Little Puppy" fabric a couple of years ago and really didn't have a project in mind.  However the daughter of one of my friends had a baby recently and I decided this would make a nice quilt.  I also had this daughter as a  first grade student so that is a nice little 'touch'.  She learned to read while I was her teacher and now I am giving her a story quilt.  The bear is also out of the companion fabric from the Little Golden Book Company.  It turns out there is a whole set of fabrics that go with the book.  I got a little crazy and ordered some more of the fabric.  I like how everything turned out.
 This is the front side of the quilt with the pictures from the book.
This is the back side of the quilt with some of the companion fabrics.  I think it looks great.  I will post a picture of the baby and mommy when I deliver it.  They have been waiting for a long time to have this baby so they feel very blessed.  I am looking forward to seeing the baby and mommy and grandmother.  I will make arrangements for the delivery after we return.

Yes, we will be on the road the next week.  We leave on Saturday and drive to N. Carolina to see Bud's brother and his family.  We will stay a few days and then take off for Tennessee. We have a couple of days in between our visits so we will explore the Nashville area on Thursday and part of Friday before meeting up with Matt and Diana and the girls when they get out of school on Friday.  We will stay there until some time Sunday afternoon and then head north, spend the night on the road somewhere and be home on Monday.  It is a little 'get away' after a long winter.  We have been taking this trip for many years, back when Sara and Leo lived in D.C. and Matt and Diana lived in KY going to school.  It is a great tradition and a wonderful time to see family.

I will take a computer and post on the road so see you on the Web.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Charlotte and Eva

Friday night we attended a fund raiser that Charlotte has been involved with.  This is a mission initiative that Charlotte began, with her youth church group.  They are raising money to provide 1,000 pairs of shoes for children of the City of Refuge Children's Mission  in Jamaica.  They plan to go on this mission trip this June and deliver the shoes.  I am impressed with the commitment and the mission.  

 Sunday we attended a concert at the United Methodist church which was a way to showcase the vocal group that Charlotte is a part of.  They are planning to sing at Lincoln Center in NYC in a couple of weeks.  It is really quite an honor to perform as part of a program.  The music we heard was terrific.  We have some very talented young students at the Traverse City Central High School.
 Charlotte had her own solo and she did a wonderful job.  I am sorry for the quality of the photo, my camera decided the batteries needed to be recharged right at this time so this is a photo from Bud's phone.
Finally, Eva came up to visit today.  She was attending a leadership conference here in TC with other church leaders.  She came early and we had lunch with Bud, spent some time together downtown shopping and walking around in the 80 degree temps.

YES, we are experiencing a great warm spell here in N. Michigan.  I think all of Michigan is in warm trend.  I talked to Glen in N. Dakota and they are having unseasonably warm weather there too.  I'm not totally convinced that winter isn't just in 'remission' for a few days but only time will tell.

I hope your weekend was blessed with a little inspiration to give, some great music and a visit from family along with the great weather.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Out with the old and in with the new

Spring is trying to come to N. Michigan and Eva is coming for a visit next week so I decided today was the day to put away the snowmen and do a little cleaning before she arrives.  

 The snowmen are packed away now.
 I am a little ADD so I decided to show you my latest project in the middle of this post.  I made this small quilt out of scraps this past winter.  I got tired of making those little strips so I added a big black middle.  You can't see the quilting but my quilter did a terrific job of putting a feather design in the middle of the black part.  It really classed it up.  I don't have a home for this one yet.  It is a small twin size or a good size to use to snuggle up on the sofa in the winter.  It is about 55"x75". I used all scraps for this piece.  I was attempting to use up my unwanted fabric or small pieces of fabric leftover from previous projects.
 I also REALLY wanted to use up the scraps so this is the reverse side of the quilt.  I have been putting leftover fabric on the backs of quilts more and more lately.  It is a good way to use up fabric.  This one is totally reversible unlike some quilts that I just put a 'splash' of leftover fabric on the back.
 Well, back to the cleaning.  I had to get the bunnies and Easter things out before the holiday comes and goes.  Sometimes that happens to me because I really am not the type of person that enjoys redecorating on a regular basis.
Part of the reason I don't like to redecorate has to do with my limited storage space.  I have this one very little storage space down under the steps.  You must bend over to get in and I usually hit my head when I am backing out with a tub.  You must go in forward and then back out with a tub in your arms because you can't turn around in there.  It is too small of a space and it is full of LOTS of stuff.

Well, back to my cleaning and spiffing up the house before Eva comes to visit.  I hope you have something more exciting on your agenda on this nice spring day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tornado warning

Coleman was in the news yesterday.  I was watching something on TV last night and in between shows they mentioned that they would cover the tornado in Coleman on the 11:00 news.  I had to listen to that story.  When the story came on they said that the tornado touched down on the corner of Weinert and Lewis Roads.  NOW, even though I have been away for many years I still knew right where that was.  Weirnert Road is the road that Leo has his property on and of course Lewis Road is the road just to the east of the farm.  So it came down about a mile away from the farm.  The story was short on the TV so I came upstairs and checked it out on the computer.  Sure enough it was that new house on that corner that was damaged a little and several things were blown around.  I sent  a text to Leo and he hadn't even heard it.  We talked today and as far as he knew his place is fine.  Later on I called Uncle Vernell's house and confirmed that there was minimal damage to any other property. It was a narrow path that went north east from that area and mostly just knocked down some trees.
I had a nice talk with Marilyn (Vernell's daughter) and then with Vernell.  Their house is now turned into a temporary convalescent home.  Vernell is doing well, getting stronger every day.  However, Jack his son also suffered from a heart attack this past week and had to go and get some stints put in some blood vessels so he is  recuperating too.  Jack has moved over to Vernell's house temporarily and Marilyn and her husband are taking care of both of them.  Marilyn and her husband are retired so they were able to move right in and help the guys.    I'm sure that is quite a task, keeping those two resting and recovering.  Aunt Glenna is still in the nursing home but they are hoping the physical therapy that she is receiving will make her strong enough to come home soon.

SO, that is my news from Coleman.  Leo is working the afternoon shift for a couple of months so he was going to take a trip down there and check out the damage, maybe today.

Spring weather arrived in full force here today with temps in the 60s.  Global warming is helping us out.  I am looking for my flowers to come up soon now that most of the snow has melted.  It will be interesting to see how many of those over 300 bulbs that I planted actually produce flowers.  I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dream, dream, dreaming.

Is anyone good at interpreting dreams?  Lately I have been having a lot of dreams about the farm.  It might have started when I was talking to Glen and Leo about sorting through some boxes I have stored in my basement.  Glen and Penny are coming into Michigan in June.  They are stopping here to go  on a motorcycle ride with Leo and Bud.  I suggested that we might use some of that time together to sort through those boxes of  'personal items' that I have stored in my basement closet.  We left these items to sort through later because we needed more time to decided what to do with them and Glen wasn't here to help those last days.    Anyway, I had this dream the other night about sitting on the front porch talking about the things that we gave away to family and some of the things we threw away.  However, Mom was in the kitchen looking for some things.  I remember this one statement that I said  about cleaning out the house, having the funeral but Mom was back, looking for things that she needed and adding more things to the house that we would need to clean out again.  Strange dream isn't it????  Eva might say that I have some 'unresolved issues' with the things that I threw away or parted with.  
 I found these pictures of that last cleaning weekend.  Yes, that is the pile of things that we had to finally dispose of in some way.  I don't know if we threw them out or what but nobody wanted them.
 Eva bought these shirts for her kids.  Don't they look cute.
 We all said goodbye on the back porch.  Notice that there is an old stump next to the house.  Eva took that stump home and it is in her garden.
 Matt loaded up his truck as much as possible.  I think he was suppose to bring a trailer and take the tractor home that weekend but the old Suburban didn't want to make the trip up north.
Doug DID fill up his trailer and truck for the trip to Grand Rapids.  All this picture needs is someone sitting in a rocking chair in the bed of the pickup to complete the look.

Well, a little walk through memory lane for the family.  Maybe my dreams will be sent your way and you can have a good dream about some time you had fun on the farm.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Michigan weather, you gotta love it

Yesterday it was 59 degrees on my car thermometer.  The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.  It was hard to believe that just the weekend before we had a blizzard.  The snow was melting and we were hoping for spring.  WELL, it is snowing again outside my window.  After it rained last night and melted most of the snow, we are getting a few more flurries today and the forecast is for maybe a couple of inches.  Michigan !!!!!!

Today the Kingsley Third graders are traveling to Grand Rapids to attend the Shrine Circus.  I DON'T miss that field trip.  It is a long and exhausting day, being in charge of all those students and parents.  I still love going down to help Molly and the other third grade teachers.  I often am asked to teach for an hour or two so that the teachers can work on individual testing.  I enjoy those moments of being back in front of the classroom.  It is an easy thing for me to do and I am thankful for the opportunity.  However, just like grandparents, I can leave at 3:30 and not worry about ALL the added responsibilities of being a teacher.  I think I have found the correct blend of my need to work with children but having my freedom.  A volunteer/consultant is a nice feeling.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I am back on the GRID

WOW, what a weekend.  Friday night the blizzard hit Traverse City.  We lost power about 10:00 that evening.  We went to bed to keep warm and because there really wasn't anything else to do.  It came back on in the night for about 30 minutes and then again later for about 10 minutes.  Just enough to wake us up and tempt us.  
In the morning Bud went to his office and I hung out for the day trying to keep warm in front of the fireplace with a book.  It came back on in the late afternoon and we went to dinner with some friends.  We had planned to attend a blues concert but that was cancelled.  Some friends were without power so they came over and spent the night with us.  Their power went on so we had breakfast together and a quiet Sunday afternoon here.  We were still without cable TV and internet but our home was warm.  
Monday was a quiet day.  I was planning to do some sewing and reading, still no internet and cable but lots of things to do.  THEN the power went out again for about 5 hours.  It did go on in time to fix dinner and then we went to the blues concert that was rescheduled from Saturday night.  
That is a lot of excitement for us old folks.  We still have a lot of snow.  I think that they said we received about 18 inches.  The snow was really wet and stuck to the branches and power lines.  Today the wind has picked up a little so those large clumps of snow are falling.  It often sounds like someone is walking around on the roof as they hit and then roll a little.  The sun is shining and it is suppose to get up to the high 40s today.  Michigan weather!!!!  
 Thursday night we helped celebrate Charlotte's 16th birthday.  All the kids were home from school to help her celebrate.  There is one addition to the group, Danielle is David's girlfriend.  We met her for the first time and she is very nice.
 The birthday girl asked for pizza as her birthday dinner.
 Jack was home for Spring Break.
 Brittany was also home visiting.
 David and Danielle make a great looking couple.
 Charlotte asked for a ukulele for her birthday.  She has started taking guitar lessons and is now taking up the ukulele.  She is also a great singer.
 The newly engaged couple were happily watching the events.

 Birthday cake
 All those candles.  It was a great birthday party.
 Sunday afternoon we went to look for places to hold the wedding reception in the summer of 2013.  This is a beautiful place on the water just a little north of where we keep the boat.  I didn't take a picture of the view but it is a beautiful view of the bay from this place.
David and Danielle were checking out the chairs.  I couldn't get them to sit next to each other.

SO, all in all it was a great weekend.  We celebrated the 16th birthday, met the new girlfriend, learned to live without power and the internet, and were reminded what a great life we have even without the technology.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Yes, the Christmas tree came down.  Bud did it this morning before leaving for work.  We are having a bit of a thaw in the weather and a big storm is coming our way tonight so this was his 'window of opportunity'.  I'm not sure if this is the latest that it has been up but I'm sure it is close.  That may seem strange since it has been such a mild winter here but it seems that the weekends were either snowy or cold so he kept putting off going out and working on it.

NOW on a more sobering note, I boasted too early about my memory in my last post. You know the old saying "Pride goes before the Fall" well my memory didn't serve me very well yesterday.  I was trying to get ready to go out to Kingsley on my regular volunteer visit and I couldn't find my car keys.  I looked in all the usual places but finally gave up and used my spare key. When I arrived back home I resumed my search, blaming Bud for probably hiding them or maybe even taking them to work by mistake.  I knew that they had to be somewhere in the house because I drove myself home on Wednesday night and unlocked the door with those keys.  As a last resort, I decided to try the garbage and there they were in the bottom of the garbage pail.  The lucky thing for me was that Bud hadn't emptied that garbage bag because yesterday WAS garbage day.  So the lesson is, don't boast.  My father always told me that but I am a reluctant learner.  

Speaking of Dad, his youngest brother Vernell, was hospitalized this past weekend.  He is back home as of Wednesday.  He has some blocked arteries in his heart but has decided that open heart surgery is not what he wants at this stage in his life.  Aunt Glenna has also been in Tender Care in Midland receiving physical therapy to become stronger.  Those of you that know them, please keep them in your thoughts, both Vernell and Glenna and their children.  They were both Youth Leaders in the church and dedicated many hours to helping the youth in the community.  Later they worked very hard to help build the Senior Citizen Center in Coleman.

Enjoy the weekend, we are 'hunkering down' for the blizzard starting tonight.  I think that Glen sent it our way.  I talked to him on Sunday and they were getting one there.  Thanks Glen.