This creature still comes around and checks to see if he can find some bird seed even though I haven't been feeding the birds since last winter when it snowed all the time and I was afraid to fall on my rear-end and/or break my brand new knees traipsing through the snow & ice.

This week I've been getting ready to start up the feeders again. My cats really enjoy watching the birds - and the chipmunks!

Speaking of cats... just as I was beginning this post Goober took off like a shot, knocking my laptop on the floor in his haste.

After I yelled at him I noticed the cord was pulled from this computer... found it and see where the wires were exposed!!! Here I've been accusing Bubba of chewing computer cables... and looks like Goober is a culprit too! I hope Gooby's okay. He ran downstairs when the laptop hit the floor!


Last night I learned about Meg's death...

...today I've learned more
through other friends on the internet. Stu left a message yesterday, probably because Meg honored me with a place on her quilt, so I was easy to find. Meg had many more friends than those on the quilt.

Today one of her friends, Daisy, shared with us an inspirational poem. Written by David Harkins, this poem serves as an inspiration to anybody who has lost a loved one:

Remember Me
Do not shed tears when I have gone but smile instead because I have lived.
Do not shut your eyes and pray to God that I'll come back but open your eyes and see all that I have left behind.
I know your heart will be empty because you cannot see me but still I want you to be full of the love we shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live only for yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of what happened between us yesterday.
You can remember me and grieve that I have gone or you can cherish my memory and let it live on.
You can cry and lose yourself, become distraught and turn your back on the world or you can do what I want - smile, wipe away the tears, learn to love again and go on.

Shirl found Meg's obituary at the Sacramento Bee and shares it with us on The Other Side. Meg's name is Michelle Elizabeth Goodrich. It is a name to remember. Shirl wasn't sure if you have to subscribe to the Bee to get in, but I found I could go directly to her obituary, at least for awhile. Once there we can sign the guest book. Let's do it. I think Meg's family would like that.


The world of bloggers is suddenly smaller...

...with the departure of Meg, webmistress and teacher, of Mandarin Design.

God bless and keep you, dear Meg. I will miss you and so will so many people across the blogosphere. It is strange but I feel as though you were a friend even though we never actually met in this life. Thank you, Stu Savory, for passing on this sad news. :-(


It's too late for me to do much more blogging tonight...

...but here's a bit of Monday Madness:
OttO says, 'This week's questions are all about photography! Have fun and thanks for playing!' =)

1. Do you own a digital camera? yes

2. What is your camera of choice? It's a Panasonic Lumix (or is that Lumix Panasonic?)

3. If you're a digital camera fan, do you print your own photos, or do you send them in to be printed? If you send them in, do you have a favorite place? Lately I've been printing my photos but in past my husband had photos printed at WalMart/Sam's Club... and they do a darned good job! Have also had pics printed at DotPhoto.com

4. How many pictures do you take a month? On a good day I take 75 or more photos in one photo shoot... been taking lots less pics the past few months but my goal is to turn that around to taking at least a few photos every day.

5. How many of those pictures actually get printed? Not very many but I save all my photos on two computers - transferring one copy of everything to an external hard drive AFTER I copy them to a DVD.

6. Are you planning on purchasing a new camera in the near future? no but I plan on selling one just like mine... my husband's camera. Just need to find out what is a fair price.

7. CHALLENGE: Go check out Favorite Five Photos and Foto Pherrets and choose just ONE photo to share. I did - and you can find my photos for these two photo memes at sherle's photos


Finally!!! It's Raining....

...and we really really needed this kind of a rain.
Here's a pic of my boat in her new spot (at least for this season). Took this photo Monday when I went to clean it up and then cover it. Got there kind of late... shopped first..... and weather was hot! Ended up not doing the cleaning but I DID put up the cover - sort of - my version of covering it anyway.

Look at that dock. Doesn't it look like a disaster waiting to happen? Think I should have the guy who owns it straighten it up? It sure isn't like having the boat tied up at my own dock at the cottage but I still don't know if I want to sell or keep the cottage. Was gonna drive up and meet with Sharba there today but this badly needed rain happened. Oh well, maybe next week... I hope!

The good news about the cottage is - I have a couple who rents space for their travel trailer on the property and they will mow the lawn for me. It's good to have somebody there sometimes, I'm thinking.

Frank did a lot of improvements on the bigger cottage before he died and was in process of applying drywall and insulation in place of the fiberboard stuff the previous owner had put up for walls. We fixed up the smaller cottage right after purchase and it's really kind of cute - one room with a screened in porch - and actually cooler in summer than the bigger cottage! The bigger one only has one bedroom but it's the one actually facing the water and it's cute too.

I've even considered renting the two cottages for summer vacations, but it's really not that easy to get started. Even if my own family members wanted to take turns using it I'd be willing to keep the property but so far... I'm not so sure anybody likes that idea... and it does require a bit of maintenance... especially turning on water in spring and closing down in the fall. A son-in-law has volunteered to do that but, gee, it seems like I'm always taking advantage and I don't want to do that. Anyway, time is still my friend - no quick decision is the recommendation I get from professionals.

I have lots to do right here at home and SOON... so that's why I'm blogging. I just have this nasty habit of procrastination and I need to do it before I get started with the necessary stuff, so here is a photo of the lovely plant I bought for myself the day before Father's Day.

The chick in the indoor plants department told me this plant is from bulbs and you can put it out in the garden where it will come up every year. Glad I read the directions. It is a perennial in warmer time zones but not here in Michigan. It works fine as a houseplant however and it IS a joy to behold, so I'm still glad I bought it!

Enough! I really DO have lots of organizing and paperwork to take care of (again! - when will it stop?) so gotta go! Just want to share a little quote I got in my email recently...
"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which
discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness."-- May
Sarton, Poet
...so here's wishing you a bit of play and pure foolishness!


Here I am... 2 posts in 1 day again...

...just wanted to tell you where to find my newest photos! I just posted my favorite photos for May, which I'd already chosen in May.... and then posted the June favorites while I was on a roll. Come on! Share yours with us too! I know you take lots of pics with your digital camera! Choose your favorite five... post them to your blog or wherever you can on the net... then go to Favorite Five Photos and leave a comment telling us where to find them! Now I'd better go clean up my boat so I can cover it before it rains again. ;-)

Feast or Famine, eh?

Here I am - two days in a row!!! I didn't tell you we got my boat in the water Friday. What a relief! Thank you Sharba and Kevvy!!! Whatta team! Now I need to get over there and clean it up. It's always more fun to clean a boat after it's in the water... and wow!... it sure gets dirty just sitting in the yard covered up all winter.

Last night I spent some time choosing photos for my Favorite 5 Fotos for the month of June. Found out I had already chosen 5 for May but didn't post them. Guess that means I'll be posting May AND June later today, so don't forget to check back with me. Favorite 5 has just a few loyal participants... why don't you join us?

Now for a bit of Monday Madness. Otto says 'This week's questions come from one of our fellow players, tricia! Thank you Tricia, for your fabulous questions. Look for more from Tricia in the upcoming weeks. Thanks to everyone for playing, and have a great week! =) '

1. How many cop shows can you name? ...at least a half dozen or more. Some cop shows lean over into just 'investigative' or legal, in which case I'd probably be able to name more.

2. Do you send text messages? no

3. If you could be on a gameshow (current or old), which one would you be on and why? Sounds pretty dorky but the one I'd probably be best at is 'Wheel of Fortune' because I've always been pretty good at filling in the blanks... and word games in general. I really don't watch any game shows currently so don't even know what's out there.

4. What are some of your favorite websites? I mostly visit a few favorite blogs and photo websites, but general websites I use are Webopedia, dictionary.com, Google, Anywho, Whatis, and sometimes just for fun... Blogthings.

5. What are your favorite things about the internet?
...blogging, email, pay bills, and getting general information... I guess overall, the internet is a timesaver, a moneysaver and quicks source of information and entertainment!

6. What about least favorite?
... it's addictive. I'm already hooked and when the cable is down I go nuts with restless inactivity.

7. What are some good ways to deal with a pet loss?
Pets or people - it's hard to get over such a loss. The best cure is time and a positive attitude. It doesn't hurt to do some serious grieving while you're at it... and then just get on with life. When he was alive, the husband repeatedly told me that statistically, he would die first. I should just be thankful for my own life and get on with it. I try to do this for him.

...I just love Monday Madness, don't you? Now for a bit of fun, I answered the new, improved 'redneck survey'...

You Are 30% Redneck

The wheels still turning, but the hamster's dead.
You're just fakin' bein' a redneck.

How Redneck Are You?


Happy Fathers' Day...

...from a whole new perspective this year. I am alone today; the father of my children has returned to ashes. One year ago he was posing for me on the boat, mimicking the photo I took of him posing in another silly mood more than fifty years ago! Somewhere in the middle of those fifty years, he photographed that picture of the family we created together.

It all seems like a hundred years ago.... a different life... and I'm a whole 'nuther person.

In the past ten months I've learned a lot... about family... friendship... love... life... and even deceit, loyalty and the lack of loyalty.

During the past ten months I've finally become a grown-up. I always wondered what I wanted to be when I 'grew up' and being a widow just wasn't on the list.

I learned how much help my man was around the house... I've adjusted to doing all of his chores along with all of mine and still have loads of time on my hands.... currently getting some of his unfinished projects finished. I just can't do them myself; I'm paying people to do jobs he wanted to do by himself. I know he would be proud of how I'm handling things. He always encouraged me. He was my 'atta-girl' guy!

Since he left me, I've learned how to ask for help - from family or friends - when I really need it... and learned how to get things done by myself whenever possible. I learned that sometimes I still can't win. Sometimes I'm a disappointment because of the decisions I make. I've been verbally abused in public and been accused of being in need of advice. I've even been told I shouldn't blog... it's unsafe... and especially I should never post photos of certain daughters or their children. Funny thing, I actually do not share family photos online anyway. Perhaps I should start?

I still get encouragement and positive strokes. Some of my daughters even respect my opinions, my intellect and my individuality. For that I am thankful and ya know what? I love each and every one of my daughters and their families. More than that, I still love their father.

Happy Fathers' Day to fathers everywhere and especially Happy Fathers' Day to the fathers of my six perfect grandchildren.


so either I don't blog at all or...

...I blog twice in the same day! Go figure. Was just visiting Shirl's blog and had to take the quiz. Didn't like results of the one with the 'affected' screenname version of my name, so I used my real name. Okay, I'll admit it. I like this version better so I will share it.

shirley ann --

Extremely dominant

'How" will you be defined in the sexual dictionary?' at QuizUniverse.com
Hey, ya know something?? Since Patti password protected my wireless router, sometimes I have to try a second time to get to some sites. Anybody else have that problem?

Monday Madness Motivates Me...

..to get some blogging done. I'll give you my MM answers after I blog awhile.

..but first I'll explain the frog by answering the first question: 1. I have a picture of my newest frog (see it?) on my computer desktop. Okay... this one is on my laptop and I just now changed it. Been wanting to anyway. The previous picture was my forsythia in bloom.

You know, I live out in the country - sort of - that is, it's beginning to build up around me but it was 'out in the country' when we moved here. Anyway, since my kids were small there were groundhogs (aka woodchucks) on the property. I used to watch the baby ones in early spring as they played on the woodpiles where we kept wood for our fireplaces. The woodchucks became increasingly a nuisance and began burrowing under our new garage when the husband built it back in 1984. We bought a shotgun so the husband could control the problem and protect the under-structure of the garage... but when he aimed at it, the critter looked at him and he just couldn't actually shoot it. He actually did shoot one later... but after that they pretty much ran rampant, creating holes in several spots on our property!

Now that my husband is gone my neighbor's husband, Jack, has 'adopted' me. (He likes to do the projects that just keep popping up in the yard.) Being a country boy, he has no qualms about getting rid of nuisance critters in the yard. Jack sets traps and only uses his shotgun if really necessary. Well, he pretty much got rid of the groundhogs.

Did you know there is a critter that will take over abandoned burrows? That critter, unfortunately, is the skunk! In the past week Jack has caught three skunks in his traps... the last one this morning. He's thinking he got the mother first but there is probably a whole family of them surviving. Catching a skunk sounds dangerous but Jack has a technique and has not been sprayed - yet. His dog, unfortunately has had two baths in the past three days. Seems she finds the critters and just wants to 'help' her master.

Shirl, fyi - you may want to either buy a shotgun or get a good neighbor to adopt you!

Now, here's the rest of my Monday Madness:
2. There are not many pictures hanging on my living room walls because my walls are brick. I do, however have a picture I painted years ago, a collage of old photos from the '80's, and a froggy picture created by Patti on the walls, but I have family photos on shelves, the mantle and other surfaces in the living room..

3. My big goal for this week is to get my boat in the water for this season and remove everything from the other room I'm remodeling so the drywall man can do his job. Hmm, I guess I have two big goals (and a few smaller ones.)

4. I plan to visit all my favorite blogs this week even though some of my favorites haven't been very bloggy lately.

5. The weather we're having right now is perfect - in the low 70's fahrenheit... perfect for gardening and any yard work.

6. I really should not worry about doing anything more often. Sorry, OttO! Love you anyway. ;-) Just my new philosophy of life!


Ya know how there are always people trying to tell us what to do?

... like for instance, there's now a group of bureaucrats that want to regulate portion sizes that are served to us in restaurants... like it's the restaurants' and fast food places' fault that we are increasingly becoming an increasingly fat society!!!

Well this young man found a solution. Check out The Monkey Chow Diaries. Perhaps government regulated 'People Chow' is not far behind, eh? (Sorry about his logo... I learned that's a no-no a while back while 'talking' to a bad driver!)


Well, here goes... 3 times and out!

There is a job I WILL do...

..probably (hopefully) when our Michigan days once again become shorter and grow colder. I will scan whatever oldest photos we were able to preserve after the flood of 1986 when the whole lower level of our home had 5 and a half feet of river in it.

Yesterday I read a quicky blurb in the newspaper about Dr. Volk's boat that he shared with patients and hospital staff until around 1971. It was actually a semi-v hulled houseboat although the newspaper referred to it as a pontoon. There is a difference.

This morning I put a load of laundry in the washing machine and then started looking for our old houseboat. Yes, we bought his old boat when we got tired of camping in a tent full of sand every summer. I found an old album with photos around the boat and during that timeframe but this photo was the best I could find to show the boat. Wasn't much into photographing back then and the husband was in his slide photo presentation phase. Alas! Slides didn't hold up as well as prints in the flood of '86!

Also found this sketch I drew of Frank as he was at the helm of our houseboat one day. It was one of our longer cruises and that's the only reason I was able to draw it. He was 'bound to the wheel' for an extended period of time... and even though he tried to get me to stop I was able to finish the drawing. Handsome fellow, wasn't he?

Anyway... a couple of hours later this morning... I remembered the laundry. It was going anywhere so I pulled it out of the washer and finally got half of the stuff into the dryer. It will be done eventually. I'm supposed to stay off my healing foot once in awhile anyway, right?

Speaking of broken bones, I actually answered OttO's Monday Madness today... and here it is:
1. I have broken five bones in my lifetime. (2 hairline fractures -both wrists - when I was just a very young mom with six small children and two ankles and a bone at the end of my little toe - all on the right foot - March of this year and still recovering.)
2. I have had to get zero I think stitches except for some stitches after birthing my first child.
3. The worst I've ever injured myself was when I broke my foot this year.
4. I've had to go to the Emergency room at least two timesfor myself but many many times with my kids.
5. On a scale of 1 (being the highest) to 10 (being the lowest), my pain tolerance is a 8 or 9 probably.

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