Deer, deer everywhere!

We saw this little deer yesterday in our backyard eating apples that had fallen under the apple tree you see in the foreground. We watched it for awhile and then he turned and went back toward the ditch... and the cornfield in the background. I have another picture of this little fellow on the Tittabawassee River Voice blog.

Today we saw three deer running in our woods as we drove on the two-track to the cottage! They were three different sizes, can you believe that? Don't think I would have been able to catch them even if I'd had the camera ready.

We also have at least one frog in the little pond Frank built in the garden this year. A second one showed up a couple of days ago so I had to take pictures (also shown at TRVoice blog). For a little while I thought we might end up with tadpoles next spring but Frank told me there was only one frog there today. Ah well, I suppose they were probably both little bullfrogs!


What kind of a woman am I anyway!!!???

This photo shows the beautiful waterfall at a little park in Carson City, MI ...a busy one, I guess! Seems like summer's just begun and already it wants to be ending. That just ain't right! Yesterday on our way home from the west side of Michigan we stopped by at this little park to stretch our legs. Although we stop often, we've never before walked to the 'back' of the park to this second bridge. What a surprise! There before us was a two-fer - first this beautiful waterfall and right next to it a small dam... flowing into the body of water - gosh, I still don't know the name of it! Maybe next time. Click the photo... it looks even better. It is unretouched, too! Doesn't it look almost artificial... or maybe like a painting?

Anyway, I forgot too many events this summer... and yesterday, there I was at Sharba's house on Kevin's birthday, where he has baked at least my last three birthday cakes..... and I had forgotten HIS birthday, too! Kick my butt, kids!

Happy Birthday Windy, Patti & Pam! I hope you know your mom loves you!
...and Happy Birthday Kevvy! You will always be number one son-in-law!


Monday Madness

This week's questions are totally unrelated to one another; just a 'pot pourri' of randomness!
1. When putting groceries away, do you rotate your food so your newest items (cans and such) are in the back, and older food in the front? Yes... it's called FIFO - first in, first out! Well, most of the time I do, but sometimes the husband helps.
2. Do you own a digital camera? If so, how long have you had one? If not, do you plan to purchase one soon? Yup... I couldn't live without it! Had it for a few years now but seems forever!
3. How do you store your precious photos? First I store them on the computer, then husband stores on his computer also and he creates a DVD full of pix!
4. It's 6:00 a.m. and you've just lost power due to a severe thunderstorm; they say it will probably take at least 12 hours before power will be restored; what do you do? Usually... just sit it out. Fortunately our power usually is back on because of the back-up system in our area. The last time we left home and went shopping and when we got home the power was back on! ;-)
5. How many times a year do you (or does someone dear to you) wax your automobile?Wax!!??? Mine's lucky to get a wash job... usually when hubby takes it in for oil change.
6. Gas prices; what can we say except they've reached an all-time high. How are you dealing with this? Pay it and go.
7. Have you ever purchased a book or cd twice, forgetting that you already had it? Book - yes; CD - no.


Pasta Anybody?

Italian Tomato Garden
We've had many gardens over the years. Why did we quit planting gardens? ...mostly because whenever we planted tomatoes and other veggies critters would get to them before we did. With beans, lettuce and even Chinese peapods, the bunnies are there while the young plants are tiny and juicy. Tomatoes were just invitations to the big ugly green squashy tomato worms, slugs and an occasion four-legged critter.

This year, tired of summers with only store-bought cardboard tomatoes on my table, I wanted a garden again. I finally found the solution... gardening in pots! We purchased tomato plants in pots already beginning to produce. I did, however, transplant them into larger pots. We have one of each - a pot of cherry tomatoes, Italian plum tomatoes and a large variety... actually two of these but we planted one in the ground where we see results of critters chewing on the tomatoes while they are still green. The Italian tomato plant had a variety of herbs included in the pot, including two kinds of sweet basil - a standard green and ruffled purple.

We started eating tomatoes in June and just yesterday I reaped my first crop of plum tomatoes. With 9 succulent tomatoes I was able to prepare a recipe of Sharlene's Fresh Tomato Sauce. Mmmmmmm! I did not use parsley but had some pesto I'd whipped up with the purple ruffled basil. It was delicious!!!

What did I learn about growing tomatoes in pots? Next year my pots will be twice as big... thus providing more room for soil and less watering days per pot. I'm sure they'll have sales on pots at the end of summer, don't you think?


My 26 Things for July 2005 are up...

..Come see them here at Sherle's Projects! Leave comments. I love comments.


Some Days We Accomplish More...

photo of the multi-tree we had in the backyard... cut down. Click to see the big version. ..than other days. This weekend was amazing! I wrote an article for the Blue Chip News and sent it to the editor ahead of time. We went for a boat ride. We fixed the boat. We mowed the lakeside lawn. We watered flowers and shrubs at the lake. We took pictures, went shopping, relaxed, and visited some of our kids via telephone.

Then we came home to a clean house and wow! the trees in our inner backyard were cut down. If that isn't a full weekend, I don't know what is.

Here is what's left of a mulberry tree we got from Patti & Rich's backyard many years ago. After it grew a bit, a second tree - a different kind - sprouted out in the middle of the first one. It never bore fruit and as a matter of fact, it and a poplar tree near the back deck began to take over the yard. We hired a neighbor of Nat & Emilio to cut it down and he and his crew showed up yesterday when we weren't home. We were greeted this evening when we arrived home with a big mess... but a happy one. We didn't hire him to clean it up... that would have been even more expensive! Know anybody who wants some free wood? Give us a call.

The boat repairs? A couple of weeks ago when we returned to the cottage from a little cruise, the motor wouldn't lift when I pressed the button. We tried repeatedly - even Frank couldn't get it to lift. Last weekend we went for a boat ride with a couple of our kids and their families and upon return... after I slowed down to bring her in to the dock, the motor quit. Mike said it felt like we were out of gas, but we still had almost half a tank! Frank couldn't start it either, so he gave the wheel back to me while Mike and Richard jumped into the lake and pushed us to the dock. Once we were tied up, Frank went back to the boat, fiddled about and discovered there was no gas in the line, so he primed it and it started. We didn't go out again though.

Since then Frank talked to Kevvy (her old captain) about it. He suggested we just fiddle with the button to raise the motor and it might work. Yesterday we went for a boat ride... just the two of us, so we had no sons-in-law to jump in and push if necessary! Good ol' Margaret... she started right up! We cruised around the lake a couple of times and came back with no fuel line incident. Got back and I decided to 'fiddle' with the button to raise the motor... tried once with no luck. Pushed the down button and then the up again and lo & behold! It raised. Yeay!!! Thanks Kev!

We had a nice weekend... even if it was just the two of us. Good thing we still like each other, eh? When we go home our kitty cats were more glad to see us than usual even. I think having Nat over to clean house yesterday... and then the tree cutters outside.... WOW! Too much activity for my babies. Tonight we have to watch Six Feet Under. There are only two more episodes, one tonight and the very final last one next week! I think I might miss it. Call me nutz but it's on my favorite list.


'Fruity Colors'...

..are in, right? I know I have a brilliant chartreuse green t-shirt that makes me stand out in a crowd! I know I've seen guys - mostly tourists up north - in bright orange, which seems to be the prevailing color. I guess I never thought of them as fruit colors until I read this article in the Bay City Times (Michigan, not California) - As if 'fruity' was a modern invention

He refers to those colors as cantaloupe, honeydew and plum. I guess I never thought of it that way because I see those colors from the author's viewpoint - the 1960's! Right on, man!!! I remember those days. Okay, so I was raising my serendipidous six, but I was busy, not blind! I noticed those bared, hairy chests shown off by brilliant floral hues! If you too remember those days, you are definitely not 'old' - unless you're older than me!

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