I've been blogging.....
..just not on this blog. I have a blog originally kind of political and haven't been doing much there. I was planning to discontinue it until yesterday. Discovered a new reason to keep Ladiosa del Lago when i stopped by at 2flower's blog and lo and behold! New reason to be... Blog for Bush! I'm doing it there and not here because some of my loved ones do not agree with me politically. For you my darlings, i'm keeping that blog separate.

Familiar with Recipe Swap? It's an interactive recipe weblog. That's right... i'm putting some of my newest recipes there and you can put yours there as well! Matter of fact i encourage it. Made the blog better... listing the first 20 recipes instead of the first 5 as it formerly was. Added a heart smart oatmeal cookie recipe too. Try it... it's pretty good! Also, did you know you can do a search at the recipe site. For example, type in corn... you will find all recipes with corn or corn products in them. So far it's a small site but if you share your best, it will grow!

PhotoTime has the most participants we've had since beginning 34 weeks ago! Sherle's Photos was recently updated... lots of pictures there. Stop by if you haven't been there lately.

Enough about me... have you been to Otto's lately? She's so 'pretty in pink' but that darned pBase is so unreliable lately. That's where she puts pictures for her blog. Even though you can only do this if you have a 'paid for' site which she has, they've been extremely unreliable lately! Keep on blogging OttO. Whether you have pictures up or not, your faithful readers will continue to stop by and read your blog!

Speaking of pink, the photo here is my impatience plant - one of two i brought in the house for winter. They and my geraniums are doing pretty well. The miniature rose, unfortunately is not doing so well. I asked my master gardener friend about them. She suggested they need more humidity. I set them on top of gravel and keep water in the saucer to the top of the gravel. I sprayed the leaves top & under with detergent-laced tap water to kill any mealy bugs or whatever might be chomping on them. Nothing has seemed to help. Well, i'm NOT giving up anyway!


Maybe you didn't get around to reading yesterday's post.....
... but i just had to put this picture up! This is Goober and AmyLou watching the birds. They just stick their little heads in between the vertical blinds and watch them. Once or twice a day, Goober will forget there's a window there and we hear a bit of a thump as he decides to go after one of the birds. Aren't my babies precious?


Ever heard of 'Pepto-Bismol' pink? I never did until i changed my background a few days ago... then i was hearing it everywhere! The more i looked at it the more i gagged! That was my reaction the one time i tried to take PeptoBismol for a stomach ache! I think... for a little while anyway... this blue will work.

Since deciding to blog every day i've blogged less than ever before! No i'm not THAT busy! How did i ever run a household while raising six kids, working fulltime and going to school parttime? God! I can't even chew gum and walk at the same time now! Ah well ... enough grumbling. OH! That's the name of this blog, isn't it... Grumbleeze???

Don't know if anybody's reading but i've got lots to tell you anyway. I found a good heart-smart oatmeal cookie recipe on the back of a Meijer's oatmeal box. They're delicious and won't kill my husband! I promise to type it up and put it on Recipe Swap soon... maybe tomorrow. It's good for everybody... especially if you're watching how much fat you eat... and your cholesterol... etc.

Do you believe, like i always did until recently, that fructose is good for you? Well guess what!!!?! Not all fructose is healthy... especially when it's called high fructose corn syrup. This stuff is so bad for your health that it is not legal to use it in prepared foods in Europe! It is a sugar used in almost everything sweet that we buy in the U.S. and it is the one type of sugar our bodies do not know how to metabolize, so it goes almost immediately into carbohydrates and then turns into fat. It is the last sugar your body will use to keep you going.

Why do i know this? ...because my husband has had high triglycerides for years. No amount of medication lowered it. A couple of months ago he heard a news report about the bad effects of high fructose corn syrup.... started reading labels..... quit eating foods with high fructose in them..... subsequently had a blood test (routine because of his triple by-pass heart surgery several years ago)..... and discovered his triglycerides had decreased for the very first time!!! His heart doctor confirmed that high-fructose was indeed extremely bad for you.

Well i went googling and learned that fructose, like glucose, is a natural sugar... found in fruits, etc. The problem is when it's refined into corn syrup it's not so good. It's used in foods you keep on your cupboard shelf, not just to sweeten, but to stabilize and preserve the items. What it does to the liver is not good.

This stuff is in the soda we Americans drink like water.... not the diet, but the regular. It's in cookies, bread, cereals, jams & jellies and all sorts of food that we think of as good for you. It's even in those foods we eat because we're on weight loss diets! ...even yogurt. Some varieties have it... some don't. I'll share more websites as i find them but just HAD to get this word out.


What's on....
What's On Your 'MUST DO before the end of the week' list Right Now?
Sorry... was gonna answer this yesterday but got busy so I'll answer it like i would have yesterday. 1. Grocery shopping (10% off if i use supermarket credit card - Wednesday only). Don't worry, i pay it off each month. Benefit is in the discounts. 2. email requests for information out to SVCA Treasurer and former President. 3. Help hubby finish changing look of SVCA website. 4. A week's worth of laundry... well actually 8 days worth (or 9?) for two people. 5. Acknowledge receipt of info for updating lake association website. 6. Actually update it. 7. Get new comment boards up for Sharba & Bug. 8. Cook meals each day. 9. Keep kitchen clean... dishes in and out of dishwasher.

Accomplished... 1, 2, 3, 5, and a bit of 8 & 9. Today laundry was postponed until tomorrow when we had an unexpected visitor. Working on a contracted basis for Dow, he really broke up the monotony of our growing cases of cabin fever! For those who don't know, there are a bunch of people involved in a class-action suit against Dow Chemical... the company upstream from us on the Saginaw River. It's all about dioxin. You can find the facts at ...Dow Mid-Michigan Dioxin Situation.

Our home is located in the flood plain where we have lived for over forty years (not the house, just half of the acre we own here. We raised six kids here... grew a garden on the flats for awhile but quit because it was flooded out before we could pick our vegetables one year. We've been eating asparagus from the flats... which get flooded at least twice a year... for most of those forty years. Last year i mowed the asparagus because of the big dioxin lawsuit.

Since then we attended a meeting for people who are not suing Dow. Learned that dioxin is only on the surface if at all. if you wash the veggies (well who doesn't?), you wash the dioxin off. It's safe. Will be eating it again next year! Still don't plan to join the class action suit. There are people who lived here for 80 years and more... swam in the river as kids... all that, and are still going strong!

The lawsuit is by 'new' people... people complaining that their property value is down and they can't sell their homes. These are people who moved here in the past 5 years or less, mostly, into giant expensive houses and are now whining because they can't make a big profit on their property. Our long-term neighbors know it isn't so. The values only go up... consistently..... and the homes sell! Somebody's gonna make money on this class action suit... the tort lawyers! I will not be a part of it.

OH! About the rest of my list for the week... i've decided it will probably be easier to just redo the whole SVCA website on MS FrontPage where a novice like Frank can work on a website in a reliable consistent way. The problem with that website is that it was put together by a short-term member who was motivated by his own personal interests and the site was subsequently taken over by generous volunteers... one at a time..... each of whom tried to 'fix' the site... and resulting in an intermingling of coding that i find confusing to say the least. I praise them for staying with it as long as they did. We changed the color... from an atrocious color combination to a soothing blend of blues and off-white, but that was only a quick fix.

Rome wasn't built in a day, was it?

Oh yes... about the unexpected visitor. He is a delightfully interesting person... retired from the FBI after 35 years service. Both of us enjoyed our discussion with him. He would be welcome back into our home anytime.


Wow! I planned to blog every day! Was i wrong or what? Sorry! Thursday was my first SVCA Board meeting. Besides mentoring my spouse in his new role as SVCA Webmaster, there's a great big ol' learning curve attached to this 'President thing!' I'm not complaining; i'm loving every minute of it, but it does explain where my time goes. Today i made time to get a couple of photos up to "sherle's Photopic gallery."

Click to see the whole collection

Weeds in the snow...

just one of the photos we took right after our last snowfall. This is the one i'm using for my desktop right now. Click on the photo to see the rest of the collection.


It was snowing when i woke up... it's snowing now... it might quit snowing tonight! Instead of doing anything constructive i've been playing with the computer off and on all day. Why not? I'm retired; i can play if i want to, right? Here's a little fun thing i did today with PhotoShop Elements 2...

click it

same photo as the one at PhotoTime this week.

How did i do it? Took it into PSE2... First i chose a background color and a foreground color... then clicked on Filter... Render... Difference Clouds and voila!!!...and here's how it looks in a different color! Of course i still like it in the black & white version, but what the hey! Isn't it fun to experiment with some of this stuff? We've got the tools; might as well use them, eh?


Where did yesterday go? Oh i know... laundry... somebody stopped by... life... it must have been busy so i'll consider it a day well-lived!

Click it! ;-)

The River Walk bridge in Bay City...

is closed for walking but we were there taking photos Sunday... before going over to visit with Foggy and family a bit. It was SO cold!!! Wearing several layers, a hat, gloves and warm hiking boots, i only wished i had a scarf wrapped around my face. Got a few photos though... this one was just like this! I was amazed the way the lights were on in the daytime because it was a dreary day... and this lamp appeared to be the only color other than blue! No... i didn't digitally do anything with this photo. I like it!

You may or may not remember - i commented on Martha Stewart way back when the establishment chose her as a 'whipping boy girl' for all that went bad with the crooks involved in the stock market. She has a special website... not associated with her company..... Martha Talks. If you, like i, feel she's being unfairly attacked, stop by and give her your vote of confidence! Like i said back then, you go Martha! You crashed through that glass ceiling by lots of hard work and creating your own corporation. You are truly a great woman!


Would you believe... i actually spent some of today getting ready for my first Board meeting as Prez. Attendance has sort of gone downhill the past couple of years... and i'm hoping we can turn that around. Also spent some time fiddling around in PhotoShop Elements 2... playing with black & white for some of my photos. Went on a short photo shooting session Friday and again on Saturday... got some great winter scenes! Yesterday was so cold though that we could only stay outdoors a short while. The chill factor had to be below zero. No sense inviting trouble!

I read an interesting article in the January 12 issue of Newsweek. I think it's worth sharing, so i found it at Newsweek's website. No matter how you feel about the war and no matter how you feel about the way the news media reports on it, you must read My Turn...By Ruth Voshell Stonesifer. Ms. Stonesifer is the mother of Army Ranger Kristofor Stonesifer, who was killed two years ago in a helicopter crash in Pakistan.


Okay... enough is enough! By the time the 'big discussion' about my ChexMix began at Otto's Photos the tiny bit that was left was already stale! Great shot Otto! I couldn't get up that close.

Here you are Bug. Click on that photo and you will arrive at my famous recipe for that much loved treat! I promise to make some for your next visit to Michigan.


Well it's official now... and a bit scarey. Not having second thoughts but kind of wondering what ever possessed me. Yup, you can now address me as "Madame President" as the election of officers took place last night at the SVCA January member meeting. Since i'm married to the newly appointed (by the past president) webmaster, my first official action will be motivating him to update the website to reflect the election results.

curious innocenceTook this photo 2 weeks ago while trying to find the perfect Macro for PhotoTime's theme of the week. While taking pics, AmyLou Mae, our calico 'baby,' kept following me around so i thought, what the heck... and shot her up close and personal. She was moving - toward the camera - so here's the result... a bit fuzzy, but isn't she? The dark spot to the left is actually her nose! Don'tcha just love it?

Got word yesterday that the pork incident will finally be taken care of next month... that's right kiddies, we still have to wait another month! Let us pray. I think that's still legal in this country.


My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys..... If you're a fan of cowboys, you've got to see this website... photos of all the big favorites over a period of many years! Ever heard of Tom Mix? The Lone Ranger? Gene Autry? You'll see them here! It's a must see. I signed his guestbook yesterday and by the time i finished typing and posting it, there were three others ahead of me! It's a popular place, kids!


bird feeder thiefYesterday Frank put out the bird feeders... really late! He usually does this in late summer. I think part of the procrastination was because we saw a squirrel actually working at making a hole bigger in an old tree over by the ditch next to the garage! We believe he was making a home there. Anyway, guess who was first at the feeders?the finches are back!

...and guess who got out the pellet gun THIS year? No, it's not me! Anyway, a few birds came back... first the junkos... then a few chickadees. Frank saw a couple of cardinals, but i haven't seen them yet, but here's my first red finch of the season. Good thing we get lots of ground feeders. Thanks to the squirrel that's where most of the seed usually is!

I planned to blog here yesterday but it was really a busy day! We finished putting away Christmas decorations and little else around the house. SVCA's past webmaster, Jim, came over around 5:30pm to clue Frank in on 'how to be a webmaster.' I sat in because Frank doesn't know diddley about creating a web. I think, however, he should be able to maintain the SVCAsite... 'with a little guidance from a little mouse in the house.'

Then we had an Internet SIG meeting over at Judy & Larry's house. I don't like to ever miss those meetings! Back at home and almost my bedtime, i remembered PhotoTime Tuesday... came up with what i believe is another original theme idea... and posted it to PhotoTime. Was all ready to post to Grumbleeze and... would you believe? Blogger was down! again! This time with a message about Blogger being 'down for a scheduled maintenance' in November! Duh! Something's not right there, blogger guys!

Today... gotta get some bills paid early. Frank has a New User SIG here tonight - it's usually held the first Thursday of the month, but that was New Year's Day. We kinda figured folks had other stuff to do that day, so picked today as better than not at all. Not getting much action at PhotoTime. Usually by this time of day there are at least a dozen participants. Don't know if it's because of Blogger or the comments going down or if the theme is just too 'tough' which i find hard to believe. Most PhotoTime participants really WANT a challenge! We'll see. It's not gonna stop me. I have fun doing this, not as a competition but just because i like doing it. 'Til tomorrow then.


Got recognized by Meg at Mandarin Design today! Otto was so excited she phoned me to tell me about it! I thought it was pretty cool too! They've got lots of fantastic ideas and javascripts over there! The shadow on this photo is from Meg's javascript! I like it!

Helper or Thief?

We undecorated the Christmas tree today. Goober helped. Caught him stealing this poinsettia from the pile of decorations! I think it's still behind the couch where he carried it!

Last night the weather guy predicted lots of snow for today. We just got a dusting... about an hour ago. Hope that's it. Don't like worrying about my family driving to work on nasty roads. Gotta go. I think we're planning to watch a DVD tonight!


Gonna try to blog every day... If nothing else or not enough time i might just blog a few words... sort of like i did for the Mayfly Project. Here's where you will find my entry by the way.Otto's been keeping her blogs and websites up! She has some great new graphics! You just must check them out! Love bears? Her's are adorable. You just wanna hug 'em! She got her New Year Day in the Life done and up too! Have you been to my 2003 New Year Day yet? Foggy did a big update on her blog. She was considering doing the New Year photo challenge but she's been sick over the holidays so i'm just glad she was able to spend time with the family! Speaking of which... the family "after-holiday chillout and enjoy each other's company at mom's house" event was GREAT!!! Love to all participants... yes, you too Bug & Susan! You were with us in spirit and on the phone!


Being a person of way too many words sometimes, i was thoroughly challenged when i ran across the Mayfly Project while blogsurfing at Darren's blog. Darren is a regular participant in PhotoTime... and a good photographer as well as blogger.

I was planning to do a 'retrospective' of 2003 and so here it is... in twenty words!

heart - perfect - lake - photography - family - fantastic - zoo - digital camera - graduations - pork - unbelievable - blog - community - love - gardens - cottage - healthy - overweight - optimistic

Of course you know me... i'll probably be back to expand on some of them. Meanwhile... here's yet another challenge met... my day in the life 2003-2004 transition. Stop by... say hi... let me know what you think of my photography, if not of my simple pleasures in life. Happy New Year.



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