I like to call this one 'Freedom of Speech.' For more on the subject visit TRVoice


I'm almost speechless...

..but I just 'gotta blog!' First, if you haven't heard, Tracy is planning another 26 things project so check it out at sh1ft*projects: 26 Things : July 2005. On another matter, I went to a meeting yesterday and don't feel like repeating it, so read all about the behavior patterns of our local environutz here. Yes, many of us are environmentally conscious. You might even say we are environmentalists. We even have an environmentally friendly yard... using no harsh pesticides or insecticides and with plantings to encourage local wildlife. Just need to let you know there is a difference between environmentalists and environutz.


Who's Steve?...

...Gee, I'm not sure but I think I'm in love! Ya just gotta go read some of his blog! I'm hooked. Steve's America


Bluebirds in the backyard...

This morning I went outside and took this photo of my favorite bird watcher. It seems the neighbors have allowed a group of students to place bluebird houses at the edge of their farm field on the flats. It is part of an MSU study. Just a few days ago they saw four eggs out there.

Today we have bluebirds!

Here is a photo taken by my favorite bird watcher. I guess this is an immature bluebird... probably from those four eggs the kids saw in the box.

Notice it's breast isn't entirely red yet? I'm convinced that is the color and not just a matter of the fact my birdwatcher was using telephoto lens to get up close and personal.


Empty Nest...

..at last! The baby birds have flown out of the nest in my hanging basket of flowers. We bought flowers from Jaye at Leaman's GreenApple Barn... and they're planted. The new grass is watered... yup that's right... no rain so we had to water it. Most of the rest of the lawn is mowed, but not all of it because I didn't want to blow away the seeds in the new areas. Looking good!

Darren just told us on Channel 5 news... rain is expected tomorrow evening and night, possibly lingering into Saturday. Well, the new grass can certainly use it.


Jan asked in a comment...

why we got all the free landscaping. For starters, I guess I've talked so much about it that I thought I'd told all my kids! Sorry Bug... I must have told one of your sisters twice. Here is a link to a photo of our house on March 8, 2004. See the 2 rows of trees at top of the picture? The river is normally contained between them... remember? ...and it's not even very deep most of the time because people who control the dams above our river like to keep their lakes at a high level for boaters on their lakes! The Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality took this pic & a woman who works there gave your dad the photos, including this one.

The MDEQ says, because the Tittabawassee River visits our backyard at least once a year, we have dioxin back there... and last year it came up closer than anytime since the 100 year flood in 1986. That was the year we had 5 feet of river in our house where it lingered for a couple of weeks.

Although Dow Chemical has been cleaning up their act for a couple of decades now, DEQ is saying the dioxin needs to be cleaned up. A bunch of local environmental nutcases have gathered some ne'er-do-wells in a lawsuit against Dow (& wanted to include all of us in a class action) and they are also pushing DEQ to make Dow clean up the dioxin in our backyards and dredge the river, etc. etc. This is where I came in last year, saying if generations have lived here with no ill effect on our health, what harm is that dioxin doing?

As a result, the lawsuit is still on hold; we (TR Voice) have state legislative support on our side and most of the community... to get the stigma of being a 'facility' out of our residential backyards.

The landscaping is part of an agreement between Dow Chemical & the MDEQ to remediate residential properties that might contain dioxin. The method is to cover all bare soil with clean dirt, mulch, gravel, etc... but only to 'priority one' properties... that is property where the river came within 100 feet of our actual doors! That is where we come in. We are a priority one residence.

Since I & my friends at TRVoice contend that we don't know if we have dioxin and furthermore we don't care because the amount is so small it doesn't matter, I wasn't going to take the remediation, but your dad convinced me we should. Result? I blogged about it. The dioxin matter is all about politics and I just want it out of my backyard because I do not agree with the politics of any extremists... be they environmental or religious, or whatever!

Now... are you glad you asked?


We are getting a 'new look' in our yard at home.

If you want a peek, you can see my newest Yahoo photo album, Priority One... Stop by and look at it. You will be amazed! I still have about a dozen 'before & after' pictures to post, but not today. BTW, the ol' guy is feeling a bit better today and wants to go shopping with me for flowers. Gotta fill all those wonderful flower beds! Then I'll have more before & afters!


Fifty Years Ago...

..I took this photo! Isn't it great? I know when he looks in the mirror today, he still sees that 20 year old man with his chest up there where it's supposed to be.

Much has happened in that fifty years. We have lived through five pregnancies and raised six daughters... We camped in a tent with them as toddlers... went houseboating with them as they grew older, encouraged them through their first jobs... urged them into college. We sailed through their high school years, weddings and birthing of grandchildren.

We worked hard... retired young... and at one point he almost died! Even that was a while ago. Since then he's lived through two pacemaker implants (one new & a replacement).. and triple bypass heart surgery. During the past year he has nursed me through total knee replacement - both knees! Now he is beginning the second week of a summer cold (something he's developed the past couple of years)... and that's why I'm worried right now... and perhaps sound a bit bitchy.

...so, what has changed? Not much. The man hasn't slowed down! Here he is covering up the pontoon boat so we can head home from the lake. I was helping him but the cover got so tight I couldn't pull it tight enough to 'button it' up.

What a guy,eh? What do I see when I look at this man? ...the same guy he sees... that young fellow full of energy, full of ambition and ready to go! That's why we will be celebrating 50 years of marriage in September... and we're still 'travelin' along, singing our song... side by side.'


It's Been a Week???...

...since I last blogged here at Grumbleeze!

I've been busy. We have been busy. I've updated TRVoice a couple of times... and I've visited a few other people's blogs. Oh yes, I updated the Hackert Lake website too... and probably will again soon.

We attended a couple of computer club meetings - Larry's internet SIG and the general meeting. We have been to the lake regularly. A week ago we got the new dock started. This week we brought the boat to the lake. Maybe by the end of summer we'll have the rest of the dock in.

A couple of weekends ago we went to Ludington but this past two weeks we had the van so we didn't go to Ludington because our park sticker is on the pickup truck.

Actually Frank & I took life easy this weekend. It was fun getting the boat going again. Even though we didn't get the canopy up on the pontoon boat yet we took Karen & Bob (Pam & Mike's friends) for a short boat ride Sunday. We plan to put the canopy up next weekend. Hope it doesn't rain. Did I mention Pam & Mike don't come to the lake anymore? Sharba & Kaybee were up once and probably will visit us once in awhile this summer.

I hated to mow this week because these flowers grow all over the yard this time of year. Aren't they beautiful? ...but I had to mow because I didn't last week... and maybe won't next week either! Also planted a few Nasturtiums in the sand. Hope they grow. Well, that's about it. See ya!


madness and meandering...

monday madness:
Otto/Natalie offers this week: 'I hope you enjoy the following challenge!'

Using the letters in the following word, describe that word. The word is...
W e want lots of sunshine!
E very day is beautiful because we are here to enjoy it.
A zaleas, apples,asparagus and even animals need both sunshine and rain in order to grow.
T hunder announces lightening which brings nourishment to plant life by providing nitrogen.
H eaven must be filled with sunshine... it's so beautiful.
E ven stormy days have a purpose.
R ain is necessary to provide us with food and flowers.

Men are stubborn. They refuse to ask for help but are always willing to provide help to others.
Kids and pets have one thing in common: each one always wants to be the center of attention.
Women are... what can I say without showing my prejudice? I'm not one of those women with lots of women-friends because I've never enjoyed sitting around discussing kids, potty-training and cooking... but recently I've met a few very interesting women. These are typically women who are not obviously competing with men; they just express their own opinions... and they accept that other women can also be strong like them.

This is the way the dock actually looked at day's end Saturday!

When we left yesterday the other 3 feet of dock were installed on the new section. The ol' fella just wore out. He got to the point where he couldn't even lift a hammer to drive a nail!


Day One... Installation Progress...

..was pretty darned good

considering we had never done this before. Here is Frank with the 'first board' ... ready to get started. The dock had already been built at home and now it's just a matter of putting it together.>...and here's how things looked as he put the finishing touches on section 1. It was around this time I was beginning to wish we had another guy around to help him. Yes, I was helping... nothing to hurt the new knees but enough for me to want a pity party!

Progress on the dock continues. Below is how it looked by the end of the day. The second section was easier to put in than the first but I'm not going into detail... aren't you glad? There is a technique and the instructions that came with the materials explained that for our fearless builder!

It rained this morning. Now the sun is shining!


We are building a dock...

...and it will be a great dock!

Yes, I'll have to agree, our possessions own us! Last September we bought Kaybee's beautiful pontoon boat. We definitely need a good dock for it. Last year we kept it up against the seawall but what do we do if... and when... the water level goes down? That old dock is pretty wobbly in the middle, so a new dock it is! Yeay Frank!

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