South Haven 2016

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Last week we headed over to South Haven Michigan for our annual Girls Getaway! Lake Michigan, sunsets, beaching, pretty flowers, shopping and good company, what’s not to love?

Here we are getting ready to ship out with all our STUFF. From left, The Mayor, The Oreo Mom, Capri Shaq and The Peanuts Champ. #loadedforbear #wedonttravellight #beprepared

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We got it all in!!!!! And off we went, to be joined the next day by 3 Good Kids, who was coming in from Myrtle Beach, and our good buddy Sally, who lives in Kalamazoo and visited for the day!

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The first purty flowers I saw were at The Peanuts Champ’s house, they were beautimous!

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Our weather looked very iffy this week but it surprised us and we were able to go to the beach on 2 days and saw 2 loverly sunsets! From left, Capri K, The Mayor, 3 Good Kids, The Peanuts Champ, Sally (or Ally from the group Sammon and Ally!) and The Oreo Mom.

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Some of us were brave and went paddle boarding! I would like to try it some day.

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The Mayor. She knows everybody, everywhere.

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The Peanuts Champ had already tried it once this summer. Old Pro.

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We were all so glad to see Sally! She moved away about 10 years ago but our hearts were happy she came out for the day!

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The Oreo Mom and I amused ourselves with Snapchat. It’s just a picture, I can’t seem to do a video on this thing. The squeaky voice gets me every time.

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We sent this to her husband, Kentucky Jim. He wanted to know what we had been drinking. We said Diet Coke.

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I find the Snapchat useful for picture taking and using the text feature.

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I got a new babe-ing suit this summer and it did not have the same coverage my previous suit did, hence I was a lotta pink in those areas!

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The first sunset was perfect.

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We were trying so hard to get a good picture of ourselves with the selfie stick we almost missed the main event!

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This was the next night, and yes, I do have the same shirt on. I don’t know why but there was a reason. Capri Shaq and her little friends.

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Not as perfect, but pretty interesting anyway.

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There is always a boat by a sunset on Lake Michigan.

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We went shopping on Wednesday because they have a cute little farmers market we like to visit. Such a pretty little town!

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A whole row of coleus and sweet potato vine!

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Love this. #truth #oldfriendsarebest #ihavethesekind #kissesonthecheekfromGod

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We ended up eating in the rental house for most meals and going out for lunch a couple of times. It worked out pretty good to not have everyone have to get ready after being at the beach all day. This was our 5th year staying at this rental and we were sad to find out that the owner had sold it. :(  It has been a good place and we have really enjoyed it. The place across the street also rents and we are already booked there for next summer!

When we were packing up to leave we were reminiscing about previous visits. 3 Good Kids and I went to see if the the drive way still showed signs of when she dropped a bottle of white nail polish and it splattered all over us. It was still there!!!

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I think the name of the rental was The Seagull. This was out front. Looks like it’s pecking The Oreo Moms head!

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Goodbye Seagull, you have served us well!

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On the way home we stopped at Stein Mart, where we all found a few things to take home. Like flat front and back, elastic waisted pants that are the most comfortable pants I have ever owned!!!

Thanks ladies for a fun trip!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hello there! Thanks for stopping by! If you would to join The Hodgepodge, click on the button below to head over to our faithful leader Joyce’s blog and link up!

1. It’s National Waffle Day (August 24th)…what decision are you currently ‘waffling over’? (or share one you’ve recently ‘waffled over’)

I goggled this to be sure I was using it correctly and discovered there were 2 definitions of the word waffling!

NORTH AMERICAN: fail to make up one’s mind.

BRITISH: speak or write, especially at great length, without saying anything important or useful.  

I will go with the North American version because that was what I thought it meant.

Honey and I are waffling all over the place on where we will live when he retires in January of 2018. We currently have 3 options.

1. Move house and hearth to South Carolina, or North Carolina, or Tennessee, or Georgia, you get the idea. Somewhere warmer than The Mitten in wintertime.

2. Stay in our home here and be a snowbird, to Florida or elsewhere, in the heinous winter months.

3. Anything in the whole Anything Kingdom in between!

We clearly have not gotten to the point where we can stick our landing.

2. It’s the middle of August, but I’m already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-
make s’mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe
Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close?

I do think we rush our seasons. I am not against thinking ahead, but when there is nary a bathing suit to be found in JULY but you can find a complete fall wardrobe? Seems a little silly. One time I lost a pair of gloves in the winter and I could hardly replace them!

Have already had a s’more, relaxed by a pool, had a couple delightful days at Lake Michigan and watched a couple sunsets, and had a potluck BBQ with our Caregroup.

I would still like to read a novel this summer, and I may get a chance when we go on vacation the beginning of next month, which will also be our last minute summer getaway and opportunity to be a tourist for a day!

 3. Your favorite summertime ‘art’ found in nature?

Sunset on Lake Michigan in South Haven. That God, He’s a Wonderful Maker.
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4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying ‘We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.’ Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else?

I think I judge myself and others by actions. Anyone, myself included, can have the best of intentions but if there is no follow through it seems like like a wasted effort. You can be sitting there all alone with your good intentions and no one would ever know. Plus, how could you even know the intentions of others unless they told you, and then WHY would they do that? Good for you, your intention was fantastic!

This is an area that I can struggle with. Some people see a need or are able to predict a need and just jump right in. I can talk myself right out of my good intentions with thoughts of, they don’t want that, or maybe they need something else. It’s something I discuss with God a LOT. I am trying to be Holy Spirit led, not Capri K led.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate.

I can go both ways on this one. I have proven myself to be very competent in extreme crisis, but I have also been paralyzed by indecision and overwhelmed in other circumstances. As I think about this more I realize that I was very useful when the crisis involved my kids, I was ON IT! In other areas maybe less so. I guess it’s the Mama Bear syndrome.

6. What’s been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you’ll continue making as the seasons change?

We have had tacos more than usual this summer. Fish tacos and regular tacos. We might continue the trend or might not.

Funny story; when Honey was perfecting his fish tacos we had them a lot with different groups of people, which is often the case over here with a new recipe. It just so happened it was when Mousey’s “friend” The Big Eater started eating over here quite a bit. I actually remember saying to Honey that Big Eater was going to think that was all we ever ate!!!

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

The Girls got them for Christmas and we have all done a little. I would enjoy it more if I had markers instead of the colored pencils we were using. I think they made me press too hard and that made my hand more tired than I felt necessary. Have I bought any markers to make my coloring experience more enjoyable? I have not. Maybe this Christmas. Clearly not a priority around here, although I do think the activity is somewhat relaxing.

I do have to say though, I was an AWESOME color-er in my youth!!!!!
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Here is an early Happy Birthday to our dear Mousey who turns 22 on Saturday!!! We are going Way Back When-sday to 1998 when she turned a darling 4 years old!

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Oh baby girl, you were and are a delight!

Thanks for stopping by!

Before and After on the Patio

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Is everybody out there melting? The Mitten is a scorched, crispy land. It feels like a broiler outside. I have not heard there is an end in sight either. I just keep watering, because Mother Nature has been beyond stingy with the rain.

Since it is getting to be mid August (I can’t believe it either!) I thought I would take you around and show you how my garden has grown.

These were the raw materials. Well, not all of this was mine, the second cart was Jip the Farm Dog’s, we went to The Favorite Flower Place together.

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A better look at my stuff. I always try a couple of new things and it usually results in sadness or failure. I should just stick with what I know, but the rare time the newbie has been successful keeps me hopeful and or cocky to try again the next year. This years additions will probably not be invited back. As per usual.

Things don’t always stay where they start for various reasons. Color incompatibility, death, range of growth to name a few.

The lantana in the tallest pot needed more blazing sun and was re-homed.

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The new pot on the same table had experienced pansy death, a common occurrence in the dog days of summer. I stuck an extra sun patience in there and some leftover vincas in the bottom pot and everyone seems very happy.

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These shelves of million bells have been the saddest four customers on the patio for the last 2-3 years. I am sorry million bells, I am breaking up with you, I don’t love you anymore. The day I planted them was the very best they ever looked.

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It’s been a long, ugly, non performing slide downhill ever since. I am left with only bitter anguish over what could have been. I am going back to the always beautiful, possibly disease ridden, impatience. Call me shallow, but at least they look good.

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On a high note, the neighboring coleus, right next to the shelves of shame, is one happy little son of a gun!!!!!

We now move to the other side of the patio. On either side of our bedroom door wall is always one of my favorite areas. Plants seem to like it there. The plants did not look like this too long.

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This was a month or so later. On a side note, I also tried million bells on the three brick pillar pots this year. I don’t know what I was thinking either. It only solidified my certainty to never invite them back to the house. They looked like that the entire time, barely changing, until they started with the dying. WORST HOUSEGUESTS EVER!

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And here we are at present. The dead million bells were replaced by the seemingly always perky sun patience. I think I will try lantana there next year.

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I don’t know what I was thinking, but I do not have a before picture of the other side! It is a crying shame too, because that side has gone plum WILD! This is about a month ago.

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And two pictures of the here and now. Two because I wanted you to see how pretty the portulaca is in this first one! It is on the second shelf and it’s glorious like this all day!

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All the flowers close up in the evening, but this is probably a nicer picture of the area.

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I LOVE all of the different coleus shapes and colors!

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This is going down the ramp. See the tall pot on the brick?

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Turned into this handsome fella who lives over by the million bells of death!!!

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He was replaced here by another pot that features big zinnias and another nationality of coleus that I find particularly beautimous. It’s hard to believe those little pots of runty coleus grew up to be these sparkling beauties!

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Speaking of runts, 7 or 8 of these little dudes…

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…grew into quite handsome sentinels! The gateway to the pool!

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We are now down by the pool area. Honey said this was one of his favorite areas. I have to say that zinnias are another one of my Precious.

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Boom! So happy, so reliable.

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Even bigger in the early morning light.

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Yes.

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This pot and its sister pot are at either end of the perennial garden.

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They busted out all over! The sweet little violas were given to me by my friend Dear Sandra, I had taken this picture to show her how content they were.

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One more shot of the patio. I have been very pleased with the effort put forth by the plants this year!!!! It’s a good thing we don’t use that door wall!

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Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by for the olympic Hodgepodge!

1. Are you watching the Olympics? Your favorite summer Olympic event? I read recently a list of the most iconic Olympic moments in history…what stands out in your mind as a great moment from some past summer Olympic games?

I don’t know if it was the greatest moment ever but WE still talk about the mens swimming relay in 2008 in Beijing!! Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak, Michael Phelps and Garrett Weber-Gale broke the world record and shut up that smack talking French team!!! Jason Lezak poured it on!

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We have been all up in swimming this year too. Mousey and The Good Eater, both having been swimmers back in the day, are good to have around for in the know commentary.

2. Have you ever been to Rio? How about the place that started it all-Greece? Have you ever been to any of the Olympic Games in person? Is that something you’d like to do? Have you ever met an Olympian in person?

I have never been to either, nor have I been to an Olympic event. I am ok with that, I like to watch from the comfort of my couch, and I especially like the back stories they show about the athletes.

The closest I have ever come to meeting an athlete is strictly by being in the same town. Allison Schmidt went to the same school as Ab-Cat and The Boy, though neither of them knew her. The Boy’s friend Elyk was here last weekend and he said he had one class with her. I was talking to a friend at church on Sunday and he said his daughters do know her and swam on the same team in high school! That leads me to believe that I may have been at the pool when Mousey’s team swam against hers!

Anyway, best of luck Allison!!!

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3. The ball’s in their court (tennis), cross the finish line (track and field), on target (archery), make a splash (diving), on a roll (gymnastics), out of one’s depth (swimming)…which Olympic-related idiom best applies to your life right now? Explain.

Those are all great, descriptive idioms but for the life of me I can’t see how any of them relate to what I’ve got going in life at the moment. I feel more like endurance is my theme! Like a marathon runner, only I am enduring the heat and humidity, the aches and pains of my once reliable body, my traitorous weight!  Yes, I am enduring menopause!
4. What have you earned a ‘gold medal’ in recently?

I made my first freezer jam! Hoping it is a winner! I wanted to try and make some using Truvia. I did have to buy pectin for low to no sugar jams in the pink box.

My first efforts of strawberry and raspberry jam with Truvia. The spoon I licked after filling the jars was pretty darn good! If everyone likes it, I will make another batch.

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5. What is it (or who is it) that motivates you to eat right, exercise, and do what you can to be healthy?

It’s a combination thing.

I try and think of it as Temple Maintenance, because that’s what it really is. Our bodies are the temple of the Lord, and we are called to be good stewards of everything He has given us. I can’t expect God to bless me with good health if I am burning my body candle at both ends, mistreating it with unhealthy activities, overindulging in foods that I know are poor choices, and just generally abusing it. The same goes with my mind. That is not to say that I think all sickness and disease are brought on as consequence or punishment. While that can certainly be the case, many of the challenges we face are directly related to our fallen world.

I do it for myself, because  I feel better when I take care of myself. I usually walk almost 4 miles, 5 mornings a week. I try and eat well, low carb and sugars, because I feel better when I do. 

I also do it for Honey and our family. Because Honey and I have been married for over 30 years, we are in this together. We want to try and live healthy, active lives so that we are better able to serve the Lord, his people and our family. This takes on many shapes and forms, and I fully realize that God can use us any way we are, but for us, this has involved being physically available. 

We will just do our best with what we have.
6. Are you young at heart or an old soul? Explain.

As usual I feel I fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I do feel like I am a dying breed, belonging to generations past, but then the kids keep me young at heart. I am not a consistent anything here.
7. It’s National S’mores Day (August 10th)…are you a fan? Will you celebrate with a s’more today?

I would love to celebrate this worthy occasion!
8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have a couple sparkling beauties for you today! This Way Back When-sday takes me back to about 1971, in 4th grade, at a bowling banquet with my good friend and neighbor down the street, Dawn Slater. Dawn’s dress and glasses scream early 70s, do they not??!! I think my mom made my dress, probably for the previous Easter.

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I actually think we look kind of old for fourth graders! Dawn was an experienced bowler, I think I finished out the season with an average of a whopping 72.

The only thing I can remember about the banquet was my crush Tom was there and I had my first cannoli. Big night , obviously.

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Thanks for stopping by!

This and That

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Hi Guys, another unexpected blobbing break. Seriously, it is nothing more than busy mornings and poor planning on my part. It seems like every morning I walk with either Keelyody or Jip the Farm Dog, hurry home to get my sweaty self in the shower so I can get to wherever I have to be! Between working and Bible study (which I am LOVING!), and what have you, I am having a busy summer. How about a list?

We are a little immersed in the Olympics over here!!! These are our faves.

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My only complaint is it runs so late into the night! I am having to watch it the next day because Mama can’t stay up that late anymore.

I needed to buy some more plants to replace some of the death. Not much death, but it was a little prominent. therefore, needed to be vamoosed. These are called sun patients. I don’t believe I have ever had them before. They are supposed to be sun hardy, which is called for in their desired location.

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I also stuck them around where I had some pansy death. They seem to be acclimating well and playing nice with others. I chose orange because the million bells that mass expired were a loverly orangy color. There is one more pot, but I couldn’t manage it in one shot. Notice our hay field, formerly known as our lawn. Have I mentioned that it has been hotter than the face of the SUN up here in The Mitten? It feels like it has been forever. Also as dry as a bugs hull. Honey has finally figured how to make it rain, just run the sprinklers. As you can imagine, he is torn. I don’t think double watering will even be able to bring the green back. On the upside, I haven’t had to cut the hay every week! And when I do, there are sections that I don’t bother with because it is an exercise in futility. The weeds are still managing to spawn, why you do me like that weeds?!

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I bought some of these mini lavender plants for the front to try and break the iron grip the wild geranium has out there. They are getting a little wild and inviting too many friends to the party. The yellow things are $1 experiments. They are in pretty rough shape. I don’t even know their names, and that doesn’t bode well.

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The lavender seems quite pleased with its new digs, hopefully it will hold its own against the bullying wild geranium.

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I am loving this Armor of God Bible study this summer! #priscillashirer #suitup! I thought this was very good. Faith is an A.C.T.I.O.N. word!

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Priscilla quoted her Dad, Tony Evans, a week or so ago. A good reminder.

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I got together with some Girl Cousins last week!!! Girl Cousin Vickie (on right) was in town from Indiana and she got the Michigan contingent to gather at her sister Joyce’s house for Hudson’s Maurice salad and healthy chocolate cake, made with zucchini and lots of chocolate chips!

We had a good visit, updating each other, laughing, all the stuff you do when family gets together. We even got to see Girl Cousin Joyce’s two older grandchildren before they went out on an adventure with their Granddad.

I knew I wanted to get a picture so I stuck the selfie stick in my bag! A good first try, a little far away. From the left; Girl Cousins Capri K, Joyce, Kay and Vickie. Daughters and granddaughters of brothers Bob and Bill.

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Closer is better! We’re getting the hang of this!

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No idea what was so funny but this is my favorite!

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Aww, love these Girlies!!!

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Ok, I will try and get back here for The Hodgepodge. I make no guarantees. Enjoy your week!