Friday, September 28, 2012

Out of town and on the road

Tomorrow we are leaving early for a road trip across the Great Plains of America.  It seems kind of strange to be going somewhere this time of year but I think it will be a good time of year to travel and avoid the crowds.  We are stopping first in Iowa to visit Uncle Eldon, Mom's brother.  He is in a nursing home there and I haven't seen him since Mom's funeral.  Then we are heading to S. Dakota to possibly visit the Schoon family and on to Mt Rushmore area.  Bud hasn't ever visited this national monument and the area around it.  I was there one summer in the 70s but I was by myself and it was crowded in the summer.  I have lots of information that we obtained on the internet so we shouldn't be bored.  Lots to do in that area.  Then we are heading north to visit Glen and Penny and girls in Dickinson.  We will spend the weekend there and then head home.  If we are still interested in checking out more of America, we will stop in Door County, Wisconsin.  We will be going the southern route and coming back through the northern Wisconsin area and the UP of Michigan.  We will be gone for about 2 weeks but I will blog along the way.
Happy Trails to All

Thursday, September 27, 2012

invasion of the tiny moth

Yes, you may be thinking is she desperate for topics this week?  Well not really but maybe.  We have been invaded by this tiny moth here at our house.  A month or so ago we noticed a cocoon on an item of clothing in the coat closet and had been noticing this little moth flying around the house.  It isn't a very fast moth so we had been able to kill quite a few of them.  With the discovery of the cocoon and the increase of these pesky little moths, we put two and two together and decided they must go together (Our elementary school studies of the life cycles of insects finally paid off)  We decided that the hall coat closet was the primary source so I took several coats to the dry cleaners, took all the coats out and inspected them for cocoons, put in some repellent for moths and they seemed to go away.
About the same time Bud discovered that the container of birdseed that we keep in that closet had a hole in the plastic and the moths seem to be hatching in that seed.  It was good to discover the source of the infestation and removed the seeds from that closet.  All seemed to be taken care of and we were happy.
UNTIL those pesky little moths began appearing again.  The life cycle must be about six weeks.  Last night Bud spent the evening cleaning out the closet, running the vacuum and searching for more cocoons.  We are hoping that this time around we found most of them again but will find out in about six more weeks.
Now the good news for me is that Bud bought this round of a new kind of bird seed.  I wasn't the one that infested the house with these little moths.
Wish us luck.  Those pesky little moths don't seem to be bothering our clothes and we haven't resorted to the chemical moth balls yet.
P.S.  When ever I think of the smell of moth balls I think of David.  For some reason he had moth balls in many of his things when he cleaned out his office and brought things home. SO, David, please help me with these little moths but don't use chemicals.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My weekend in Grand Rapids

This past week the Grand Rapids Art Prize started.  I have attended with Eva and Jessica for several years.  We managed to arrange a weekend that we could all attend an afternoon together before Bud and I went on vacation.  I left school and drove down to Grand Rapids that afternoon.  Eva had an evening meeting so Jessica invited me to have dinner with her and Doug.  
 She cooked a terrific meal of turkey burgers, smashed baked potatoes and green beans.  It was nice to just relax and enjoy the two of them  We haven't seen them since the houseboat trip.
 Doug's birthday is October 1st but we will be gone so I took his birthday gift down for him.  Books of course and some TC beef jerky that he will share with Jessica.
 Saturday morning I did a little shopping with Eva and then we headed downtown to Art Prize.  We checked out a couple venues and then met Jessica for lunch.  The weather was typical Michigan fall weather.  It started out nice and fairly sunny, only needing a light jacket.  Then it rained and while the sun was still shining.  It was kind of like that off and on all afternoon.  We did the inside venues and just enjoyed ourselves.  There is a lot of art to see and it is always interesting to see what various artist offer for the show.  Many of the outside pieces are very large sculptures.  This is one of Jessica and my favorite artist.  All the work is done with fabric.  Jessica and I took a class from this lady last winter.  She had 4 large panels, one depicting each season.  I liked the fall one best.  I am going to take another class from her in October.
 Saturday Eva had enrolled in a class so she was up and off to her class early.  Jessica and I met for breakfast and then she helped me find a dress for her wedding.  She was a great 'wardrobe consultant'.  She took many dresses off the rack and brought them in to the dressing room to have me try them on.  I really appreciated her encouragement and advice.  I am terrible at buying dresses for myself especially now when I would rather be a few pounds lighter.  We settled on this dress which I think will look nice.  What can I say, I am a 62 year old woman and this looks fairly good.  I think it will work well for Brittany's wedding next summer too.  Besides that it was the dress that was the least expensive but we didn't find that out until we were at the check out.  All and all it was a fairly painless experience.
I was especially thankful for my consultant.  She did a good job of being honest and telling me which dresses looked good and why.  I know that I wouldn't have bought any dress if I had been alone.  She was a very encouraging consultant.  When I was thinking about shopping for this dress, I was reminded of a time when Eva, Jess, Sara and I were all shopping for some reason.  Sara and Jess were trying on outfits that Mom would have worn and kind of giggling that some day they would be helping me shop for clothes and maybe I would be wearing the same style.  Thank you Jessica, I don't think that Mom would have worn this dress even when she was 62.

It was a great weekend and I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with Eva, Jessica and Doug.  The drive back north was another typical Michigan fall day.  I drove through sunshine, hail, rain and a few forested areas that were showing signs of the season.  The season is changing rapidly here too.  The air is colder and the dark cloudy skies of the season show that we will soon be looking for snow in the air.
 When I arrived home Bud had been doing boat chores all day.  He was taking the sails down and taking things off the boat to get it ready to be hauled out soon.   He needed someone to help him with the last chore, taking the boat over to the 'pump out' and to top off the fuel tank.  I was the only one available so I helped out.
 The sky was threatening but we managed to get the job done without getting too wet.  I love the dark sky of autumn in Michigan.
For those that remember, this is our old boat, still in the water.  It looks pretty good.  I thought this would be a good memory for some of the family.  I remember one summer having all 6 of Eva and David's family on the boat with the 2 of us somewhere in the area east of the bridge.  We sure filled the boat when we were all on it together.  This was also the boat that you could sit in the bow and the waves would be close enough to splash on your feet.  Good memories on this boat too.

Good memories, both old and new.  Life is good for all of us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Keeping Abreast of the BOOBS of the World

NO, I don't have a photo for this posting.  My boobs don't look that great anymore and the rest of the boobs of the world have been pictured way too much.  SO here is my list of the BOOBS of the world.

1. One of our presidential candidates and believe it or not he gets TWO entries in the last week.
        1a:  When we have a tragic murder of one of our ambassadors, get your stories straight.  The statement came from the embassy BEFORE the attack on their buildings and the killing of 4 Americans.  The best thing to say when something tragic happens to Americans anywhere in the world that results in a death is an expression of sympathy to the families and the American people.  THEN get the facts straight before you give further commentary.
          1b:  Try not to offend 47% of the American voters.  Some of those people that are receiving money from the government are getting Social Security.  I know that isn't much money to you but it does count.  AND most of those 47% Americans are hard working people, some of them have jobs that pay under $10/hour.  If they weren't working in those jobs, you would have to clean your own toilets.

2.  PLEASE, would all politicians remember that this is a 'high tech' world.  People WILL have phones that can record your statements so think before you open your mouth. We all remember the last election when the current president made a comment about angry people clinging to their guns and religion.  I didn't put that in quotes because I don't have it exactly correct and YES I heard that discussion today on NPR so they really do catch both political parties.

3.  Any American that thinks we could have made the world a better place by taking our troops into any of the Middle Eastern countries.  Do you think (John McCain) that the world would be a better place if we had sent in our armies?  Would they now be more thankful?  Maybe they need to sort out their own problems for a while and decide what kind of a country they want for themselves.  Why is the RAGE so misguided?  What did we do?

4.  The FOOLS that made the terrible movie.  YES, we live in a country that values free speech but is it necessary to slander anyone that you can't understand or that you don't share their beliefs?  What did you think would happen when you 'put this out there'?  Did you just think that they would "see the error of their ways, give up their century old beliefs and thank you for your insightful movie?"  How would you feel if they made a similar movie about your religion?

5.  FINALLY, please, please, please guys.  Have you ever seen a breast that was really that unusual?  They all basically look the same, some are bigger, some are smaller, some are browner, some are white.  The poor Duchess of Cambridge was just trying to get a little tan on hers.  Do we really need to see pictures of them on the cover of ANY newspaper?  Do you need to have a picture of her breast that some FOOL took from about a half mile away while she was staying in a private home?   If you are that desperate for a look at a nice breast, spend some money and buy a magazine that is full of them.  Since this is a free country, there are a lot to choose from.  Or just go on the Internet, there are lots of sites that you can visit and get better pictures.

NOW, I know that I may have offended some of you.  I won't apologize because this is my blog and they are my opinions, JUST opinions.  You don't need to share them with me but I hope they made you think.

Try not to be a BOOB today and if you want to catch a glimpse of a pair, ask a friend or spouse if you can look at theirs.  I'm only sharing mine with one person.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

balancing work and play

AH, the weekend.  For those of you that are not retired it is a time to do chores at home and try to squeeze in some fun.  
 This weekend Bud rented a wood splitter.  He spent most of yesterday afternoon outside splitting wood for the winter.  We had some wood from previous downed trees, the trees that he and Leo cut down a few weeks ago and the wood from the diseased trees in the yard that needed to be split for future fires in our fireplace.  It is a hard job, splitting that wood even though he has this gasoline powered splitter.  He was quite tired and a little sore last evening.
 Fortunately a friend called last evening and invited him to go on a motorcycle ride this morning and get brunch somewhere along the way.  He was up bright and early (too early for me) and out the door to have fun with his friend.  I did manage to get up and have the paper read before he arrived back home.
Now he is aback to the woodpile.  Our neighbor, Tom has joined him.  The diseased trees that are between our house and Tom's need to be split and he is using this weekend as an opportunity to use the splitter too.  I don't know how long they will work but they have a lot of wood to split.  I am glad that I wasn't recruited to help haul the wood.

I have been working inside on my own secret projects.  I am making good progress.  However, yesterday I spent about 3 hours on one project that was titled as only a ONE hour project.  I had a little difficulty following the directions but after making a couple of samples I managed to figure it out.  These secret projects are going to be terrific for two little babies that are now with their mother in Cape Cod.  

SO, weekends are for fun and work.  I am glad that every day is my day to have fun and leave the work for another day.  However, I still have the 'teacher touch'.  I did manage to teach math in Molly's class both Tuesday and Thursday of this past week.  It just isn't the same kind of work. I get to have all the fun and not worry about the 'work' part of teaching.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Movie reviews

Not much going on here today.  Fall has definitely arrived  in N. Michigan.  The air is colder, the leaves are just starting to turn in some trees and I am thinking of putting a fire in the fireplace.  We are also having vegetable beef soup for dinner.  Soup season has arrived.

Bud and I have seen a few movies in the last few weeks.  Some were interesting and others were just a little strange.  When Leo was up last weekend we went to see the newest Jason Bourne movie, The Bourne Legacy.  It was a typical action packed movie and good for the boys to watch.  I actually enjoyed it too.  A couple of weeks ago we went to a different and kind of strange movie, Hope Springs.  It was listed as a comedy and although it was funny at times, I felt it was more uncomfortable than funny.  It stared Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.  It was about a middle aged couple that had lost their 'spark' in life and she arranged for a week of counseling for couples.  Anyway, I wouldn't strongly recommend the movie at least not if you are expecting a comedy.  We also went to see a different movie last weekend called Intouchables. It was a french movie (so it had subtitles) about a man that had become a quadriplegic and hires a man from the 'projects' to be his attendant.  It was a very inspiration movie about the relationship between these two men and their friendship.  It was based on a true story.  I LOVED that movie.  Last night we went to see Beast of the Southern Wild which was about VERY poor people living in the bayous of Louisiana.  It was a sad movie and it made you think of what life must be living in a 'Third World Country" but it was our country.  The little girl did a great job of acting and it has received a lot of 'press' but I didn't find it very uplifting.  I wouldn't recommend this movie either.

WELL, that is my fall movie review.  Some good some not so good but that is just my opinion and we all know that I am full of opinions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back in the saddle again

Well, school started this past Tuesday.  I gave Molly a couple of days to get to know her class and headed in yesterday for my first day. I was reminded why I am SO glad that I am not teaching when I entered her classroom.  She has 31 students in that little classroom.  That is an overwhelming number.  Last year they had less then 25.  Those additional 6 or so students really make a LOT of difference in any classroom.  In some ways it is a financial issue but in many ways it is just a way to save money with the teachers and students losing the most.  Kingsley has 'privatized' 'all their services such as kitchen, busing, and janitorial services.  I think the present superintendent is making an attempt to  get rid of the teacher's union too.  

Anyway, I am back helping Molly with her 31 students.  I will go on Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon and do what I can for the 3rd grade again.

On a much brighter note, Molly's daughter Cora started school this past week.  It is hard to believe that she is almost 5 years old.  She is a bright and sweet little girl. The other bright thing about going to Molly's room is that I will see Cora every week after school.

I will enjoy my new year with a new group of students.  They are always a bright spot in my week.  It is always good to find someone, outside yourself to help and I am glad that they still welcome me back in 3rd grade.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Toys, Toys, Toys

Bud told me that his goal this past holiday weekend was to use ALL his toys.  He was successful (well he didn't use his ice boat but wrong season.)

 Saturday afternoon, after finishing our 'chores', I went for a ride with him on the motorcycle.  YES, you read it correctly, I went with him.  He announced that he was going to go out the peninsula for a ride and I decided to join him.  The peninsula ride is pretty quiet with a lot of back roads and it was a fairly slow ride.  It was also a pretty ride but he didn't stop so I didn't take any pictures.  I just do my best to hang on while riding.  Those curves make me a bit nervous but I trust his driving.
 Saturday evening we went over to the Nobles' cottage to watch Michigan lose to Arkansas.  It was a sad game for all the Michigan fans and the Nobles.  The boys were already down at college but Brittany and John were up for the weekend.
 NO, the picture isn't upside down.  I took it while they were lying on the floor.  Pretty women.
 Sunday, on to the next toy.  We went sailing with our friends Bill and Joan.  Bill was my neighbor when I lived out by Spider Lake and we have remained friends.  It was a 'picture perfect' day on the bay.  There was a nice wind but not too much.  The sun was shining but the breeze kept us cool.  We had terrific sandwiches and a relaxing afternoon.  The wind was just perfect for us to sail up almost to the island without tacking and then turn around and sail back.  It was a wonderful way to spend the last 'summer weekend'.
 Captain Bud is right hat home on the water.  It is nice to have this boat.
Leo came up on Sunday afternoon. He had a 4 day weekend and spent part of Saturday trying to clean up some things at his 10 acres.   It was a bit frustrating trying to get some of his equipment running.  I had called him earlier in the week and invited him up.  He had declined but then changed his mind when the weekend kind of stretched out before him. We were glad that he came up.  We always enjoy a visit from him.  
I fixed flank steak and deviled eggs for dinner.  He is an easy person to feed since he is such a light eater. Then we went to the movies.  That is kind of a tradition when he comes up.  It is Bud's chance to see and 'action' movie.  We went to see the newest Bourne movie. It was full of action but it held our attention. Bud and I have seen the previous 3 movies in that series.  They are good action movies.    

Monday morning Bud used the opportunity of having help to get some dead trees taken down.  Leo pulled the line and Bud ran the chain saw.  These trees were right beside the driveway.  We thought that they would survive after taking down some others around them but one was totally dead and the other one was on its way out.  I was glad that I didn't have to help by being on the other end of the line pulling.  Boy, there's nothing like a chain saw to bring out the neighbors.
The two trees were fairly small or Bud wouldn't have tried to take them down.
They cut the trees up and now we have some MORE firewood.  Bud needs to rent a wood splitter some time this fall and get all the wood we have split up for winter.

Well, that was all of the excitement we had here. OH, one more toy, I almost forgot.  Bud did take out his little boat Monday afternoon.  The wind was light on East Bay but he did manage to sail around.  I didn't go along or take pictures.  I stayed home and did some sewing on my 'mystery' projects.  I made a lot of progress this past weekend.
NOW for other family members.  Jessica and  Doug went out to the Cape to visit Sara and Leo.  She sent me this picture one evening.  I smiled and sent back a reply but I didn't look closely at the picture to realize that ERIK was in the picture.  I don't know the story behind that other than it was a surprise for Jessica and Doug. I'm sure that they all had a wonderful weekend together.  I am SO happy that they had the time together.  It makes me feel good to see these families spending time together.
Eva went to Tennessee.  I had called her on Friday to invite her up to spend some time here.  She too had decided that she was going to do some chores around the house but then the invitation to TN came.  I guess the attraction of grandchildren is better than spending time with her sister. I had even offered to spend some time going through the 2 big boxes of personal things I have from the farm, hoping that would get her up to visit but that wasn't much of an enticement.  Grandchildren trump almost everything.  It looks like they are having a good time. She called on her way home and said it was a wonderful weekend with everyone.

SO, there you have it, the family travels and activities.  It is a long entry but sometimes that is just how it is. One more summer has past.  Our trees are already starting to turn.  On to the next season.   Love to all.