Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not much to say

I have been delaying a posting this week because I really don't have much to say.  But here I am in front of the computer,chronicling this slow life anyway.  Maybe I will do one of my old 'newsletters' that I used to send out on the weekend and update the family on everyone else.  I know that with all the connections of different types most of you will have heard of some of the news but I feel compelled to write anyway so click off at any time that it gets boring.  

This past weekend was kind of a 'chores' weekend for Bud.  He spent Saturday collecting branches and small twigs and chopping them up in his wood chipper.  (Doesn't that make you think of the movie Fargo?)  Then on Sunday he worked on the lawn, mowing and doing his best to get this chunk of woods in some shape that it looks like a bit of a lawn even though we haven't had much rain this summer.  We have been watering our plants and one small section of lawn gets water because of the sprinkler reaching it when watering the plants.  But the rest of the lawn is pretty much just what the woods will let us tame and that is fine with us.  My dad always said, "Why water the lawn, it will just grow and you will have to mow it"  Doesn't that sound like a Ken?
  I did some sewing and finally finished the back of this big quilt that I am making, the one with all the batik fabric and stars that I posted several weeks ago.  I didn't have enough fabric for the backing to be all one color but I did have some pieces left over from other projects so this is what I did.  I really did get a bit to fancy with the corners of these pieces but I was trying to give it some style.  I guess that putting something on the back of a quilt is a new style, according to Jessica.  I did get a little carried away with this one though. I could have just put some stripes of the two colors but I decided to go for more design.  I used up all of the pinkish color, much of the brown and most of the light color around the edge.  The light color was what inspired this quilt anyway.  I bought it for a different quilt but when I put it with the front, it didn't look right so I went out and bought the brown fabric that is in this back and put that on the quilt as the backing.  I have used up almost all of that12 yards of the light fabric so I can put that mistake behind me.  It feels good to get this quilt done.  I called my quilter today and will take it to her as soon as she has an opening.  It will be bit, about 115"x115" so it will fit our king size bed.  I have another batik quilt (the one that has the brown fabric on the back that I used instead of this light fabric)   but I will trade off.

OK, OK, you have my permission to click off if I am boring you by this time.

Family updates of those that I know:
Eva went to S. Dakota last week,  David's father (Henry) died a week or so ago.  He was quite the man, living a long and full life.  Erik came home from somewhere in Asia, Sara and Leo flew out from the Cape and the family was able to spend some time together. Erik stayed in S. Dakota for a while, hoping to do some fishing and a little R&R at the cabin.  Eva came back yesterday. Sara and Leo went back on Monday.

Speaking of Sara and Leo, they are both doing well according to all the news I hear.  Yesterday I heard that those 2 little babies are doing well and they know that they are having a boy and a girl.  I was thrilled to hear about the little ones, see a picture and know the sex of those precious ones.  Yes, I did see a picture which she sent me and you could see those little heads as clear as day.  Isn't technology terrific???I am so thrilled for them.

Leo is doing his usual, working and not a whole lot else.  He had a week of 12s a week ago and I hadn't talked to him in a while.  I am sometimes reluctant to call him and wake him up but if you have the same fear, the best time to call him is in the evening, probably around 7:00.  He is back working mid-nights.  I hope to see him this weekend.

Two of Matt and Diana's girls started school this past week.  I KNOW, it is hard to believe that school is starting in TN already.  The oldest and youngest are staying at their same school until the house sells.  The middle one is going to school at Matt's new school so she has a few more days off.  Diana sent a cute picture so if you are friends with her on Facebook, check it out.  If not, I am sure that she would 'friend' any family member that requests.

Well, that is all the family news that I know.  Are you still here????

One last thing, we did go to a movie this past weekend.  We went to see Moonrise Kingdom.  It is a quirky little movie about the 60s.  I was surprised that it was at the regular movie theater, not at our local independent theater.  If you like quirky movies, check it out.  If you don't want to spend the big bucks to go to the theater, put it on your list of movies to see.  This past year the Academy Awards had a movie with Brad Pitt called The Tree of Life that both Bud and I thought was terrible.  If they could nominate that movie,  this one should be a 'shoe in' because this one is quirky and cleaver.

WOW,  If you made it to the end, I commend you.  OR, maybe you don't have much to do with your life and this filled in a couple of minutes.  I hope you don't feel like you just lost a few minutes of your life, reading this posting.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I just logged on to Google and I LOVE it that today in honor of the Olympics (I think) the diver on the diving board is a woman WITH hips and some nice thighs.  I am tired of all the women depicted in this world that don't have any shape.  Good for Google!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Music in the Meadow

Last evening we were invited to attend a short concert in the meadow on the grounds of the old state hospital.  The old state mental institution has been changed into beautiful park, retail space and living space  on the west side of town.  I know it is hard to believe but someone had a vision and turned the old building and beautiful parkland into a wonderful space that only adds to the beauty of Traverse City.  It is kind of a hidden beauty that many people don't even know about but is gaining popularity.  The old buildings are being renovated into wonderful spaces for our community.  One big building is full of cute little shops and great places to eat.  Some of the other buildings are now condos and the smaller buildings are turning into little places like brew pubs, bakeries and galleries.  It has been interesting to watch this area evolve.  The state turned this large area over to the city and  one developer had the vision to see what it might be.  

I will take you on our journey to the concert.  

 It started with finding our old chairs in the garage.  The little side story about these chairs is that they came from Bud's grandfather's house.  They are old wooden chairs that are very old but do look great.  Another side story is that Bud went out to the garage the other night to hang these chairs.  He was out there for over an hour.  When he finally came back in, I asked him what took him so long.  He said that he was making something to hang the chairs on.  In my old garage he just pounded a nail and hung things.  This garage needs                                                         it to be fancy.  Well he is proud of his garage.

SO we took grandfather's chairs to the meadow and settled in for an evening of free entertainment.
Doesn't he look fantastic.  Ready for all the culture.  This was a concert of the Northwestern Michigan College Community orchestra.  The lawyer in Bud's office building is in the orchestra along with his wife.
Let me paint the scene.  It was a nice evening, a breeze was blowing and the sky was clear.  We were sitting in the sun but enjoyed the warmth.  All around us were at least a hundred or more people of all ages.  This meadow is near the assisted living center and the nursing home so many of the clients were out on the lawn with family and caregivers.  It is a neighborhood event too so many young families came with their children to sit on the lawn and listen to the music.  A group of children was playing in the lawn under the watchful eye of their parents, I think I saw a soccer ball being tossed around and the little ones were playing chase among the trees.
They were serving a bag lunch of hamburgers, brats chips and some wonderful ice cream.  We resisted the snacks/meal because we were going out to dinner after the concert.
The seagulls were flying overhead, hoping that some young or old music lover would drop them a treat.  I even saw a  few ducks fly over.
Civil War music was the venue tonight. They played several marches that kept the crowd engaged.
The towers of the state hospital buildings were looming over us, watching all the fun.  It makes you wonder about all the previous clients would think of this activity.
I was especially watchful of this group of white haired ladies in the front row.  They loved the final march and clapped along.   Yes, I know that this picture isn't the greatest quality, taken right into the sun but it would have been rather conspicuous of me to go in front of them and take their picture.  I also like the way the sun is creating an effect of light over their gray heads.
This one lady on the right was especially animated while listening to the march, clapping and singing along.   Maybe some day when I am gray someone will wheel me out on to the lawn for an evening of music.  I hope I clap and enjoy myself and all the beauty around me.
I love the buildings here around the meadow.   I am very glad that someone had the vision to save this wonderful architecture instead of doing the 'American" thing of tearing down our old buildings.
This is the building called The Cottages which is assisted living.  What a beautiful setting.

I hope you enjoyed my evening of music and people.   It was a wonderful change from the usual.   They have a free concert every Thursday night.  I hope we take advantage of this wonderful activity a few more times this summer.
So, look outside your usual routine and find something new to enjoy.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A full weekend

This past weekend was the Father Fred charity ride.  Bud did two different rides.  Saturday he went with his friend Dennis for the 'Poker Run'  after the ride I met them downtown and we all went to dinner.  The bikes were all lined up on the streets and the riders walked by checking out everyone's 'ride'.  Then on Sunday the group went on a group ride out the peninsula.  It took a few hours but it was fun for Bud.  The police block off the roads so they have an escort for the ride.  It was hot but most of the ride is along the water so that was nice for them.  I didn't go on the ride.  I stayed inside and did a little quilting and reading.  

 We did manage to get the boat out of the harbor though.  We met the Nobles at 3:00 and took Red Sky out for an afternoon to escape the heat on land.  The wind was great and we made it almost to the island but didn't stop.  Our ladder hasn't been installed after the new paint job so we all stayed on the boat.  Everyone was along except Brittany who was working the night shift on her rotation in medical school.  She was missed and we all hope that she is able to make some time to come up and go sailing with us this summer.
 Jack was helpful, storing things away.
 Bud and Walt took turns with the chore of captain.
 Sue and I just relaxed.  It is nice when we have both Bud and Walt on the boat so that we don't have to do anything except relax.

 Sue brought along some sandwiches for everyone.
 David was 'resting his mind' after a long gulf game earlier in the day.
 The sky was blue and there were smiles all around.  A great day to get away from land and cool off on the water.
The new paint job looks great and the crew was glad for a chance to get out on the water.  It is a great boat and we are all thankful that we own it together. (It spreads the cost out and gets us together in the summer.)

It was a great weekend for us.  The weather this summer has been HOT, so unlike the usual N. Michigan weather.  I am thankful for the AC that we put in a few years ago.  The temps are up in the 90s again today so again I am inside working on a quilt and reading.

Great weekend, great family and lots of fun.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rings on her fingers

The Ann Arbor Art Fair was this last week.  I went with my friend Kathy and another friend.  Kathy and I have attended this fair every year except 2 for more years than I can count.  Linda has gone with us several times and often goes with family from the downstate are SO we were all veteran fair attenders.  
We left Tuesday about noon, stopped at the fabric store in Farwell and the outlet mall in Burch Run, two other traditions.  I didn't do much fabric shopping but did manage to pick up a couple pairs of shorts at the Eddie Bauer store.  
We arrived in time to find a nice place to eat in Ann Arbor and rest up for our fair marathon.  The temps on Tuesday were up in the 3 digits so we were hoping for some overnight cooling.  We weren't that lucky.  It was a little cooler on Wednesday but still a very HOT day.   We were up and ready for our shopping by showing up as the fair opened.  We have a routine of shopping different fairs.  I am so directionally disabled that I still just follow around Kathy's lead and enjoy the scenery.  
We didn't go last year because Kathy was out of town so this year we had to catch up on our buying.  I had in mind some more choices for pinkie rings and some different rings for my ring finger on my right hand.  The knuckle on that hand has gotten a bit bigger and some of my rings don't fit anymore.  I need to have them made larger, but until then I decided to increase my collection by a few.  
The weather and the walking really took the toll on my feet.  I kind of gave out by a little after 5:00 and put myself in a bar next to a margarita while Kathy and Linda continued to shop.  They came to the bar and joined me for dinner an hour later.  After dinner we headed back to the room. We were finished by 7:30 even though the fair went on until about 10:00.  We were in bed by then after taking a cooling shower and cooling off our feet.  The next day we just spent a couple of hours, picking up the things that we saw but decided to wait and see.  I am a pretty decisive shopper so I did most of my shopping the first day.  

 Kathy with a few of her finds.  We had a great time.
 OK so here are 3 of the pinkie rings that I bought.  I like my new supply.
 This is an iolite stone.  I gave one of my rings to Eva that had this stone so I found this replacement.  Mine is bigger than the one I gave her and I really like it .  I am partial to emerald cut stones so I was pleased to find this nice one with a good blue color.
 I was also taken by the design of this pearl and silver ring.  It is kind of big but very nice.
 This was one of my early purchases.  Kind of modest but very attractive.  I have gray pearl ear rings, necklace and bracelet so this will go nicely with them  Simple and sweet.  
Finally, I wanted to find a nice peridot  ring and this one really was fantastic.  Again, it is my favorite emerald cut stone in a very simple setting.

WELL, I did make out quite well and make up for missing a year.  I haven't done a ring count lately but I think they still fit in my drawer space.  If not, maybe I will do some sorting and sharing.  If you have to collect something, it might as well be beautiful.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Blessings are blessings
Don't pass them by
Enjoy the blessings
They are yours to embrace
So embrace and even roll in them
They are soft and comforting

Blessings to you today. I consider my family my greatest blessings.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend update

I learned while Glen and Penney were visiting that Glen checks the blog on Sunday evening so I decided I needed to get busy and update my blog before this evening.  I needed a break from sewing anyway.  
 Yesterday we were invited over to the cottage.  Walt's family was visiting from Green Bay and they invited us to join us for dinner.  I treated them to my delicious marshmallow brownie dessert and a large couscous salad that everyone likes.  We were thankful to have a chance to visit with Walt's family and spend time with everyone.  Of course David was around watching some game on TV
 Brittany came home for the weekend again.
 Jack and Ringo together on the sofa
 There was a hot game of volleyball with the adults and kids.  They had some unique rules but I liked  them . It was a beautiful evening on the bay.
 The Noble girls and a niece at the end of the day.  Those little ones sure kept busy long into the evening.  Earlier in the day Walt took 12 people out on the sailboat.  It is good for it to get away from the dock now and then.
We were thankful for being included in the fun food and laughter of family.
Cherry Festival was over last night with the fireworks. We were home before the fireworks but heard them from our house.  We don't participate in the activities of Cherry Festival very much.  It sure makes the traffic in town a little crazy though.  I stayed away from that side of town all week.  Bud's office is downtown but they have their own private parking so it wasn't too bad for him.  You just need to know the back ways around the city traffic and be patient.
Today Bud decided he would work on staining his decking that goes around the house.  He did a little section on the front a couple of weeks ago but the weather has been so hot that he hasn't had a chance to get back to it.  Even though the weather is pretty hot today, he decided to tackle this part of the decking.  This is the are right outside our door.  It steps down around the house and the garage.  Kevin built this part of the decking so it looks very professional.  I like the stain that Bud is using.  It is a little darker than the part on the front but he said that maybe that is the different kind of wood that was used.  They don't connect directly so no one will notice.

I am working on the backing of my batik star quilt. I don't quite have enough fabric to do the whole back so I am piecing a strip down the middle with leftover scraps.  I am always glad to use leftover fabric in a constructive way.  I do have a little trouble just 'tossing' it together so I am working on a pattern for the strip on the back.  I think it will look good.  That is what quilters do, take a nice big piece of fabric, cut it up and then sew it back together.  Everyone needs a hobby though.

A weekend with family, fun and quilting  I couldn't ask for more.  I am blessed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Out and about this week

Last week I didn't do much.  I kind of stayed in town and around the house.  I decided that was enough of being around the house so I started calling friends to arrange outings.  Monday I went and visited my friend Maryanne (I forgot to take a picture, can you believe that?) We had lunch and just spent time catching up on each others activities.  It was a nice day.  She lives on Elk Lake so we celebrated the cooling down of the weather by sitting outside and enjoying the view.

 Tuesday I met my friend Kathy over in Grayling and we visited a couple of quilt shops and had lunch.  I just thought this quilt looked so cute.  I was gathering ideas for baby quilts.  After lunch we drove out to her cabin on the river and I spent the night.
 I did remember to take a picture this time.  Tuesday afternoon we paddled a little way up river.  That is harder to do so I didn't last long, maybe about 10 minutes.  Then we floated down to the cabin.  That evening we had a great dinner on the deck and continued our talking.  Her husband is fishing in Montana so we had the cabin to ourselves.
 Wednesday morning we took off on kayaks and paddled/floated down the river for about 2 hours.  It was a beautiful day, just the right amount of sunshine and great temps.  It was a great trip.  Then we had lunch and I took off for Coleman
 I am dressed up because I was going to the funeral home for the visitation of Alice Clarke.  She died this past weekend.  She was Mom's best friend.  The two couples took many trips together after they both retired.  Alice's husband died just a week before Mom.  It was especially hard for Alice to lose her husband and best friend in such a short time.  She was a very kind woman and a good friend for Mom.
 Leo and I did take a drive out to the farm.  The beans are growing although we did see a deer in the field, enjoying a nice afternoon snack.  The man who farms the land has a special 'farmer permit' to kill deer in the summer because they eat the crops.  He asked my permission to shoot deer on the farm but Leo and I said no.  The young mothers would probably be the target and they would leave behind fawns to die on their own.  Bambi's mother killer I didn't want to be.
Leo and I saw lots of relatives and chatted at the funeral home for a little over an hour.  Then I took off and headed home.  Leo had to work that night and I needed to get home.
Not too bad of a picture, just taking it myself.  I should lower my chin though.  Maybe next time.

I hope you were able to keep busy, enjoy some time with friends and honor someone that has lived a great life.  Honor that person while they are still alive, it will make a difference in their life.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ice cream, entertainment and engagement

When I last visited the cottage I mentioned my new, all cream, ice cream recipe and David requested a taste.  So Friday I made a new batch and took it over for approval.  Everyone loved it and it was a great way to spend a very hot evening in Traverse City
 David said that he 'over indulged' that evening but he is young and can probably burn off those calories in a short time.
 Sue decided to get out a puzzle and attempt to get it done in one evening.  She is pretty fast but I heard later that she didn't quite succeed.  The Tigers were on in the background and some of the kids helped with the puzzle.
 Brittany was home for the weekend.  We had some great discussions about her medical training.  She is in her first rotation with a family practice doctor and learning lots every day.
 Ringo, Jack and Charlotte just relaxed around the big red sofa.  It is a great place for the family to gather and relax.
 Saturday evening we had tickets to Garrison Kiellor's Prairie Home Companion radio show.  We are regular listeners on public radio and it was fun to take a 'tailgate' dinner with friends and then watch the show.  Yes, it is still fun to 'watch' a radio show being produced.  We were live and on the air.  Eva sent me a text because she was listening somewhere and wondered if we were there watching.
 The show as over by 8:00 so we were able to rush over to the cottage again to help celebrate the engagement of Brittany and John.  It was a chance to meet John's parents who live in Ludington and for the two families to get to know each other in a beautiful setting.  They are a beautiful couple in more ways than one.  John is in his last year of law school and Brittany has 2 more years of medical school.  They will be married next summer.
 Charlotte, the hostess and best sister, two such beautiful young women.
Finally, David wanted to show off his sunburn.  He and his girlfriend, Danielle, went downtown to the airshow and forgot to take sunscreen.  How could the son of a dermatologist forget?

Cherry Festival started yesterday so town is full of MANY tourists.  It is the season of traffic problems for Traverse City.  We locals, always have to be on our toes to watch out for people that don't know where they are going and/or how to get there.  That is the price we must pay for living in such a beautiful place.  I am thankful for all the beauty surrounding this area, including the beauty of family and great ice cream.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's all relative

Our July 4th holiday was a nice mid-week break from routine.  It was pretty hot and there was very little wind at the middle of the day so we decided to take in a movie.  We went to our favorite 'indy' movie theater in downtown Traverse City and watched 'Safety Not Guaranteed'.  It was  a fun movie to watch. We both enjoyed the plot.  
However, the 'relative' theme of this blog came in the conversation we had while walking down the street to the movie theater.  You know that I am past the age of 60 and as a official Baby Boomer, I struggle with what I would like to think of my body and my age AND reality.  I would like to think that I am still 45 with that nice young body that I had then.  It was thinner, without the little 'paunch' of a stomach and thinner thighs.  WELL, that body isn't the one that I seem to be stuck with in my post menopausal age.  I have been very critical of this body lately and seem to be having difficulty getting out of that rut.  The conversation that Bud and I had (totally initiated by me) was around my rationalizing about how I DO look pretty good for my age.  I pointed out some women on the other side of the street that kind of looked my age, they had that 'round' hairstyle like my mother wore, some capri jeans with elastic waist and blue checkered trim around the bottom and a white t-shirt with a similar trim and flowers to match the trim.  (NO, I really couldn't see all this detail from across the street so I just added some of the details that I am guessing would be included in their look)  So my snide comment to Bud was that I look better than those women but then coming along the street toward us were 3 lovely teenage girls in their short shorts and little crop tops, thin, trim, and lovely young girls.  
 Our evening was rescued by family.  We went over to the cottage and had dinner with the Noble family minus Brittany who is in medical school this summer.  This picture of David only really shows what a great view they have.
 The food was great too and Jack looks better with a bit less light in the background.
 I tried for another shot of David but he refused to cooperate.
So I caught him later, probably sending a text to his girlfriend.  Charlotte was there for dinner too but left early to meet her friends downtown to watch the fireworks.  We came home before the fireworks and were in bed before they started.  They did echo across the bay though so we felt included.

SO, which relative???   I prefer the latter of the two.  They are much more entertaining.