Friday, September 30, 2005

Glad I'm Not too Old to Learn!

...because this morning I couldn't get on line and - guess what!???!! I didn't know how to reboot my cable modem. Not only that, I didn't even know where the darn thing is! My first thought - call Natalie aka OttO - so I did! Lo & behold!!! Not only did she tell me how to reboot the thing, she walked me from the computer to the magical space where my beloved spouse had 'hidden' it. Who woulda thunk it? She told me to follow the cable... and I did... and there it was! Thanks, Nat - you're the greatest!

Since then I've been blogging. I took a photo of these rocks as the sun set over the public boat launch in Ludington this summer. My prize photo that evening however, was the one I posted today at sherle's photos for the PhotoFriday theme of the week - Darkness. Stop by and see it if you have a minute. It's been my favorite ever since I took it and this week's theme was perfect for it.
Another picture I really like is over at Tittabawassee River Voice where I posted a photo on September 28 of our township's Festival Park which is currently being refurbished. Well, so much for today. I guess I'm feeling a bit today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What is Tin Pan Alley, You Ask?...

R. Grant Smith, Author and Local Musican
presented the program last night at the Saginaw Enrichment Center. Part of the SVSU Humanities Series 2005, Celebrating 25 Years, the topic was 'Tin Pan Alley's Greatest Songwriters.' Smith authored a book, From Saginaw Valley to Tin Pan Alley - Saginaw's Contribution to American Popular Music, 1890-1955

My friend Howard told me about this fellow before. Yesterday Howard & his wife, Florence, invited me to attend a concert featuring Tin Pan Alley songs. I'm so glad I said yes! It was a delightful experience. Smith introduced the performers, all locals and extremely talented! We smiled, we laughed, we cried. What a wonderful noise!

Learn all about Tin Pan Alley at Wikepedia...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Just a note.

Oh yeah... yesterday I posted a photo of 'furniture' on my photo blog... - it was for the photo meme Thursday Challenge.

This evening I went to a concert of TinPan Alley music with my neighbors. It was really fun... all local musicians of superior talents! Thanks, Howard & Florence. It was great.

Here's my Monday Madness... on Tuesday evening

1. Ice cream or Yogurt?
Ice Cream!!!
2. What's your favorite board game?
Scrabble - the 'up' one
3. Do you play video games? If yes, what game system(s) do you use?
4. If you were given a chance to change your name, would you do it? If yes, what would your new name be?
Not really, I might have when I was a kid, but not now.
5. What are the last 2 blogs that you've visited? Please share the links with us so we can check them out.
Otto Site - and Windy's Page for Thought -
6. What's your biggest frustration?
Probably not being able find something

Monday, September 26, 2005

...and the answer is...

I planted Nasturtiums this spring. They bloom prolifically in poor soil and this soil needed help. The flowers vary in color... all orange and yellow-orange shades. My wonderful husband, in his exuberance, fertilized everything we planted... even the Nasturtiums, resulting in loads of leaves but flowers? ...not so much!

The Morning Glories I had planted here years ago were encouraged and started to intrude. Morning glories grow in various shades of blue... and they have more of a heart-shaped leaf. This photo of a Nasturtium plant was taken July 5; yesterday's photo - the Morning Glory popping through Nasturtiums leaves - was taken September 24.

What's wrong with yesterday's photo? Because of the way the Morning Glory is peeking through, it looks like it has Nasturtium leaves! Okay, so everybody isn't a horticulturist.
Thanks for stopping by. Today I'm feeling - but in a good way. See ya later. OOOOO!!! BTW, I really like the Santa answer! I didn't even notice before, but he's definitely there! ;-)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Tell me what is strange about this photo.

It's a simple answer but I'm curious to know how many people actually notice it. We were out and about yesterday... in my yard.. searching for the 'perfect photo' of the day. This is my pick for my pic!

Windy sure had fun taking macros with her Fuji and OttO was checking things out with her Sony. Foggy? Well, she was subject of some of my photos since she was determined to get my lawn mowed! She did and it was a darned good job, too. Thank you Foggy!

What else? Oh, yes... two of the guys worked on my old riding lawn mower... determined to get it running in a 'user friendly' manner... that 'user' being yours truly! Does it work? Well, we called it a day when 9:00 p.m. rolled around and I had to curtail all social activity in favor of watching The Apprentice on the WB... where it was aired for disappointed Apprentice addicts everywhere who were disappointed when the local NBC station went 'belly-up' on Thursday night.

Not much happening on the local dioxin fiasco scene lately... a good thing because all of us 'normal' citizens have had it up to our eyeballs. However, it could be a 'bad' thing because heaven only knows what the econutz are up to when it gets quiet.

What is strange about this photo? Leave your guesses here and stop by tomorrow for the answer! Love to all. Today I'm feeling a bit so watch out!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Fifty Years Ago Today...

Two kids were married...
..okay, this isn't the best wedding photo but it's the one I put over on a Fortune City website I started at Fortune City before they decided to charge people. FYI, you can go here and see more old pictures.

Our 47th wedding anniversary, Frank took this photo of us on the beach... or was this one of those times when we actually let a stranger take a photo of us? Hmmm! Can't remember for sure. Can you sort of see the 'Sunrise... Sunset' image I'm trying to set up here? We had forty nine years, eleven months and five days of 'wedded bliss.'

Now, those who are, or have been married, know that no marriage is 100% 'blissful' but as marriages go, ours was a good one. Today I want to thank God for those wonderful years He gave us. Today would have been our 50th wedding anniversary.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Look What I Saw Today. I named this photo...

because this is a tree we had cut down this year... the one with five stumps. Yup you heard that right... FIVE! It started out a mulberry tree and as it grew a different kind of tree grew out of the middle of it, giving us two trees in one. The five tree stumps are really cool. I have a plan to use them to hold bird feeders and potted plants, and perhaps even a cute little garden statue of some sort. Anyhow, it started growing and that's pretty cool too, don't you think?

Well my plans for TV watching yesterday didn't happen. I watched Survivor but then when I went to the other network - CBS - to watch The Apprentice and ER, there was a blue screen... all night long! We had a pretty intense series of thunderstorms yesterday and I guess the worst of it went a bit south of us and took down the local CBS station! So much for vegging out on the couch, eh? The good news is... they announced on the news today that 'the WB' will show all three evening shows that were not viewable last night... at the regular viewing times... so I'm glad I can get the WB, whatever that is... Warner Brothers? Anyway, in our area on Charter Cable that will be channel 15.

I'm not gonna be a good couch potato anyway. Of the three shows I planned to watch tonight, I only watched the first one and it was only so-so. The one I watched was 'Ghost Whisperer' on CBS and in my humble opinion it's just a poor substitute for 'Medium,' Monday nights at 10:00 pm on NBC. 'Medium' is a bit more plausible and supposed to be based on a true person and her experiences... probably very loosely I might add... but I like that show.

Aren't those hurricanes horrendous this year? There are more than the usual number... already in the 'Rs' for Rita, and so strong! Must be like when we had the 100 year flood in 1986... these are like the 100 year hurricanes. The 1986 flood was traumatic... I cannot even imagine living through one of those hurricanes! Newscasters are saying this one hurricane is as big as the whole State of Michigan!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's Thursday and I'm Blogging...

...and I blogged about this campground

...and then decided not to publish it. I took this photo on August 27. Since then my life has changed. I'm not 'happy' with the change but I accept it. Isn't there a prayer about accepting the things we cannot change and changing the things we can?

Things I've thought about blogging lately...
Hurricanes: There was Katrina destroying historical cities in Louisiana and now Rita threatening Texas cities including Galveston, a beautiful city surrounded by a seawall. I've never been to Louisiana but was a passenger in a car driving along the seawall of Galveston when I was working for Dow. The ocean was beautiful as we looked down at it from 'way up above on the road. I cannot even envision the mighty force involved in creating winds and waves so big that they could not only cover that road but destroy everything in its path along the coast. My googling efforts brought me to this FEMA website for kids about hurricanes... a simple explanation for an angry natural phenomena.

Television Season: I think I'm becoming a real couch potato. Was really glad to see somebody who was likeable return to Survivor. I'm truly addicted because I would watch this show no matter how likeable or disagreeable the participants.

Watched Martha Stewart Apprentice last night. I don't think it's as good as the Trump Apprentice series, but I admire Martha and will continue watching it. Besides, it will get better. Tonight offers a 'full-house' as far as TV goes beginning with Survivor, followed by The Apprentice and topped off by ER, so if you decide to phone me tonight, do it before 8:00 or after 11:00! Otherwise you'll be talking to my voice mail. I sort of gave up on ER last year, but a new plate of charactors offers possibilities.

Mourning: As a kid I lived in an Italian neighborhood where you could recognize the widows because they were all the little old ladies dressed in black, usually walking slowly and bent over, as if eternally grieving. I've read about some cultures where the grieving widow throws herself upon the husband's coffin before the whole thing, including her, goes up in flames. Where's all that belief in heaven and the hereafter? Almost every culture has such beliefs, don't they?

I think I was brainwashed by my husband. We talked, not often, about death and how we would handle it. We both knew and agreed on funeral arrangements. We just never put it in writing. I suggest couples put it in writing! What if you forget? We discussed 'afterward' and Frank told me to look at the positive side... not to think about him being gone, but about the fact that I am alive! I do this. What he didn't tell me was that he would be with me... but he is.

Blogging: It isn't for everybody. It is for me. It is an outlet where I can express myself and explain why I do some of the things I do. I've heard in some psychological circles it is suggested that talking about your personal troubles with a total stranger is a perfect outlet. You say it... it's out... and is a source of relief. I guess it's sort of like a fart. It can be kind of embarrassing, but it sure feels good!

August Trip to Pentwater

August 27 - We took a short drive from our cottage down to Pentwater.

Back when we had our sailboat moored in Muskegon, some of the more adventurous power boaters always had Pentwater as a favorite target destination. I always wondered why.

Well, it must be the town - described as a quaint little town - because the beach doesn't look all that great. This photo was taken the week before Labor Day weekend but school was already in session most everywhere in Michigan so the crowds were already thinning out in the parks. Even the City Park in Ludington has more beach area than here at Mears State Park in Pentwater.

...and then there was the campground!
We just HAD to check that out... wall to wall RV's, trailers, popup campers and tents... all parked in their spaces on the nice hot concrete! Trees? minimal, pretty much lined up along the edges of the concrete - where they actually existed. Again, I guess people go there to visit the town because, even if campers sit in their space by the camper to have a campfire and make s'mores they pretty much can't avoid the closeness of their neighbors... which is alright for those who travel together, but real, old-fashioned campers would be apalled by the total atmosphere! I guess that's why my favorite Michigan State Park always has been and still remains to be in Ludington.

The town of Pentwater? - We didn't actually stop and visit because when we started out from Scottville, the weather was actually cold - and windy, so we dressed accordingly in long pants and sleeves, even bringing along sweatshirts in case it got even colder. We felt that, not only would we look dorky walking around town like that but we would also be very uncomfortable. We decided to go back another day for the touristy trip.

Monday, September 19, 2005

It's Monday...

A great man once said we should try to achieve one perfect photograph per day.
This is my photo for today, Monday, September 19, 2005. The flowers were a gift from Larry & Judy , who stopped by last week to deliver them.

Here's my Monday Madness for this week:
1. When you're stressed out, what do you do to relieve your stress? I'd like to say, eat chocolate, but day to day stress? I guess I sit down to a few quick games of Spider Solitaire.
2. Are you normally a patient person, or is patience NOT one of your virtues? NOT patient at ALL. I get frustrated if I can't get it right immediately... or if 'it' doesn't work correctly.
3. How many times a week do you blog? I blog almost every day... not always in this blog, but probably more frequently at my 'serious' blog, TRVoice.
4. How many memes a week do you participate in? One - this one. I used to do several including a few photo memes. The photo memes became boring to me. Maybe I'll have to begin my own photo meme (PhotoTime Tuesday)... or a version of it.. again.
5. Describe the perfect day, weather-wise. 75 degrees fahrenheit and sunny with a mild breeze of 2-5 mph.
6. Would you rather be too hot, or too cold? I could say if I'm too cold I can add layers, but I guess you could be so cold that you can't warm up, so I guess I'd have to say, hot is better. Hey! I thought this was an easy question at first.
7. Do you eat out often, and if so, what type of restaurants do you frequent? No, for years I didn't eat out at all. A few days ago I broke this rule and had a great time... it's about the company and the visiting, not the food. I guess if I went to restaurants often, fast-food places would be at the BOTTOM of my list! I think I like buffets because it gives me a chance to try foods I normally wouldn't order in a restaurant or prepare at home.
8. If you could run your own business, what type of business would it be? I think it would be a marina because I just love being around the water and around boats. Beside all that, I think boaters tend to be quite interesting people.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I went to Court Yesterday...

..and I decided not to go again today. It was all about that dioxin fiasco going on in my neighborhood. When it finally dawned on me that the judge said our Michigan laws protect us from having to 'opt out' of a class action in which we are 'included,' I decided I can make better use of my time elsewhere, so here I am!

It was an interesting exercise however... gosh! What a bunch of losers! The original 8 (plus or minus a couple more) showed up yesterday, all dressed in black! Not only that, their leader, a woman who fancies herself some sort of environmental savior, was there, sitting at the back of the courtroom in a CHAIR... not in one of the stiff uncomfortable 'pews' that are a part of courtrooms everywhere. Why was she there? She is neither resident nor litigant. Now tell me that the whole class action BS isn't politically motivated.

Okay, enough morbidity. Today it's raining here in our normally sunny little corner of the earth. I'm thanking God for it. Gardens and lawns need the rain. Rain means I won't need to water the garden. Should get out and feed the birds though... wow! do they ever eat a lot... and fast!

Things are going pretty well around here. I'm adjusting to a different way of life. There is something almost comforting, and final, about carrying your husband's ashes home in your arms. He is here and yet not here. I need to get going about a more permanent situation. I lean toward the idea of purchasing a niche... well actually two... one for my ashes when the day arrives, although I'm hoping my mom's gene pool keeps me going for another twenty plus years at least!

For those who don't know, a niche is sort of like a big memory wall, with individual spaces within where ashes of our loved ones are stored. Externally, we see a wall with the names of those whose 'cremains' are stored there. It is a way to honor our dead while taking a minimum of space and it is inexpensive compared to buying a space in a mausoleum and an over-priced urn for the loved one's remains. I believe a niche is a very dignified way to honor our loved ones adding finality to the dignified manner in which my friends and family said goodbye to Frank.

Monday, September 12, 2005

It's Monday...

Ludington State Park - view of the bridge overlooking the dam from Hamlin Lake...and I'm gonna blog on a regular basis again! Today I continued the photographic endeavor begun by Frank & I together... following the progress of the work being done on Festival Park along the Tittabawassee River.

This photo, however, was taken this past weekend at the Ludington State Park. I just had to go up to the cottage; Pam & Mike met me there and we had a fine weekend visit together. It was good to get away from my current project - getting up to speed on all the paper work involved when one's spouse dies. The paperwork keeps you so darned busy you have time to neither grieve nor relax, so I just decided to make the time for relaxation.

Today I hand-delivered the paperwork to Dow so I will continue to receive a paycheck (from Frank's pension) bigger than my own, which is so small it wouldn't be missed! Also got my summer property taxes paid - cottage and home. I even answered the Monday Madness questions! You'll find my answers at Sherle's Projects where I normally was just posting photo projects, but what the hey... I decided to expand it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Another Day...

..trying to maintain 'normalcy' - New experiences change the meaning of normal
  • making my two-cups of coffee - I think I got it down.
  • Drink a cup - have breakfast with second cup - take meds - routine helps me remember the meds.
  • paper work, paper work... tomorrow I'd better take care of those bills that accumulated during the past week.
  • Lunch at noon whether I'm hungry or not... otherwise I might forget.
  • in between paper work (& phone work I might add) - water the flowers, feed the birds, don't forget the cats - what goes in and what comes out!
  • funeral home tonight - yup! Second one in less than a week! Harder for Windy than for me... Otto & Foggy, along with their husbands met there to pray with Windy for her husband's father.
  • Back home - realization I had not eaten dinner and it's kind of late for dinner anyway. Hmmmm! Okay, I had a big ol' dish of ice cream - tin roof! and then I discovered there were brownies left - from a new neighbor I just met when she dropped off a dish of homemade cole slaw AND the brownies last week! I only ate two.

Don't point that finger at me!!! I told you... it was my dinner! Highlights of the day? Actually talked with five of my fabulous six today!!! They say I'm strong... well, why not? I've got a great support system! Today I'm feeling blessed.

Oh yeah! Did I tell you about my new experience? I pumped my own gas! Okay, so Frank spoiled me. I told the young lady working there I didn't know how to get my gas and she came out and gave me a lesson... from credit card to full tank... and she did a great job. WoW!!! my little Ford Ranger went from empty to full for $45!!! Talk about sticker shock. I bought the gas today because the little red reminder light went on... and gas had gone down in price from $3.299 yesterday to $2.889 today.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Simple thoughts...

First, this one is for Sharba... because the flowers were delivered to my home and you were already on your way to your home... here are the flowers from your school. They are beautiful and I enjoy them. Perhaps you might want to click on it, get a bigger picture... right click on the bigger one and choose the option 'Set as Background.' This way you will at least be able to enjoy them on your computer desktop as I enjoy them on my counter top!

Next, as you know, the love of my life left this mortal world Monday afternoon, August 28. It was a shock. He had heart problems but they were all pretty much under control... or so we thought. Frank died with his boots on - doing one of his favorite hobbies - remodeling work.

Windy's father-in-law, on the other hand, was recently diagnosed with incurable cancer... prognosis of maybe 3 months, 6 months, or tomorrow. Walt, a retired carpenter, died yesterday. It was a blessing because he was already being kept comfortable with drugs. Windy's husband Dave, a finish carpenter by trade - following his father's footsteps, had a few words, so profound in their simplicity... 'God must have a pretty big project up there... He's taken a couple of good workers this week!'

...and then there was Judge Hart in Midland, Chief Justice Renquist, and the many poor souls in the path of Hurricane Katrina. What a week, eh? Today I am feeling Now Otto... get busy and make a couple of blinkie calendars for September... please???

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Dear, deer, everywhere...

Monday morning he made my coffee... he gently turned the tv up loud enough for me to hear in the bedroom... I awoke to the smell of Frank's 'German coffee.' We had our 'good mornings'... we enjoyed our breakfasts and a bit of after-breakfast relaxation... then he said 'I'd better hit it' as he went downstairs to work on his latest 'honey-do' project.

Monday evening he donated his bone tissue for the benefit of others. For a few precious days I am surrounded with the living gifts he and I created together... his perfect and beautiful six daughters.

This is the second morning I've awakened alone... by choice; my stubborn insistence on the need to become a 'grownup' makes me deny the comfort of having somebody else stay in the house with me, offered by the girls and their families. The past two days I woke up before 6:30 - well Thursday I had to - it was the day of his funeral.

This morning, I turned on my computer (as Frank always did for me)... made my small pot of coffee - two cups - just enough for me - and gazed out the window.

As the little deer ambled into my backyard, it gazed toward the house... in it's simple beauty I realized why my love so enjoyed the early morning hour.