Category Archives: from the heart

Catching Up


Oh my People, it’s been a busy summer! I had big intentions to blog, blog, blog, and there was SO much to talk about! But there were 5 trips since the end of May, 6 if you count helping getting Honey get ready for his big fishing trip to Alaska, and I am counting it because even though I didn’t actually go on the trip, I was certainly involved in the discussion of needs and co-packing for the trip. And you all know pre trip prep is important!

Added to the continual packing and unpacking suitcases has been near constant sweating. I saw on the Facebook yesterday that this summer in The Mitten has been the 6th hottest on record since they have been recording temperatures from the 1800s!!! That is far too toasty for me and my post menopausal self!!

In addition to coming and going, perspiring all the way, has been the usual walking with Keelyody and Jip the Farm Dog, the cutting of the grass, the weeding and watering, and the getting swamped by my clients who need their hairs done when there are pockets of free days in between trips.

Mixed in with the mundane have been more pressing issues, like what color am I going to paint our dang walls?? The angst of wondering “when will The Boy and The Dane move back to Michigan?”, “is Honey going to retire this year?”, and “will my right kidney and I ever be able to live in peaceful, bacteria-free harmony?”

All of that was overshadowed by the unwelcome news that some dear Loved Ones are dealing with seriously life threatening situations, requiring many prayers, asking for all manor of intervention. But do you know what I am most thankful for? We have the ability to take everything that concerns us to the One who made us. He knows just what to do, even when we don’t. Thank you Lord.  We will continue to believe that He can use all things for His good.

I wanted to show you the back porch, it has done exceptionally well! I have to give a big shout out to Mousey and Honey for keeping up with the watering while I was flying and driving hither and yon! These pictures were from July, when I thought things were looking very loverly 🙂 Mousey calls these Jurassic Park plants, otherwise known as the beautious coleus.

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See my cutey cute ceramic kitty cat from Virginia? ❤ Probably not it’s permanent home, but that’s where I stuck it when I got home and there it remains.

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And the other side.

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This little fella in the front row is winner of the My Precious award this year! So soft, so lush and reliable, and when you touch it it smells like lime!!! No idea what the name is, but I surely have plans for it next summer!

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This pot was another unexpected favorite. You know how sometimes you have some leftover stuff and you jam it all into one pot and hope for the best? Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I find myself inordinately fond of this combination.

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My lantana has seriously underperformed this year in all pots, but the coleus more than makes up for it here.

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Here we are the end of August, FULL ON Jurassic Park!

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They have met in the middle and completely blocked the unused doorwall to our bedroom!!!

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It’s a jungle out there! I have to say though, I don’t like when they sprout those long things. I used to pinch them off, but this time of year it can be a full time job, and it seems like the bees like the delicate little purple/blue blooms that are on them. So we do what we can to support our local bee population in their efforts to live a successful life.

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Honey will be wanting to close the pool any minute now, so their days are numbered. I would like to keep them until after we have our Caregroup get together, it looks much nicer 🙂

In other news: From The Boy and The Dane!!!!!!!

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SURPRISE BABY!!! The more the merrier ❤ It will be grand to have another little nugget to smooch!

I had planned to begin painting the inside of our house this summer. I did not get around to it. Paint is on sale all over this Labor Day weekend, and it is my intention to get a gallon and paint a wall in the kitchen, foyer and great room, to see what’s what. We have a tri-fold goal of finding something neutral for resale, looking good with our crown molding (that I do NOT want to paint), and if possible, toning down the orangey honey in our honey oak cabinets and wood trim. It’s a LOT to ask, I know. I think we have found a color up to the task. More details to follow at a later date.

Honey has received highly unofficial word that he will pretty sure be laid off several weeks this fall. Most likely. You know that Ford Motor Company, it’s all set in stone, until it isn’t. I think he will be happy to be laid off as he has several things on his plate to attend to. Fairly high on his list is to ferret out two leaks in our basement. One is coming from our shower, the other is a little more problematic and will require the removal of some drywall 😦  We are thankful that he will have some time to address these issues. Because it is a rare task for Honey that only requires one trip to Home Depot. That time will come in handy.

I have much to tell you about our trip to the new place in Florida, my trip out to Seattle with Mousey to see The Boy, The Dane, MoonPie and the gestating Little Dipper, a fun visit to Gun Lake, and Honey’s musings on his Alaska Adventure among other things. Thanks for hanging around! ❤


Wednesday Hodgepodge


Hi Guys! Long time, no blog!! Glad to be back, here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. What’s something in your house you’d like to get rid of but can’t?

Well, they are not in our house, but just outside. I dislike our brick paver patio and path. The installer did not do a great job in the first place, they have moved a LOT, and I feel one should not have to weed their brick pavers. The reason I can’t get rid of them is simple. Honey does not want to. He clearly does not dislike them as much as I do, but I think he mainly would not like to pay to have more concrete poured. I console myself with the knowledge we will most likely be moving in the next few years.
2. When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

Yesterday. The girls and I went to a thrift store in our area because we had a half off coo-pin, I always enjoy the music at this store and as we shopped the song Rock and Roll, Hoochie Coo came on and I told the Girls that song always reminded me of a movie they loved when they were younger, What A Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes. We had a laugh remembering her dad Colin Firth squeezing himself into old leather pants from his heyday, jamming out to that song on air guitar. Ah, good times 🙂
3. You’re only allowed three apps on your smart phone or tablet…which three do you keep?

Facebook, Words With Friends and Pinterest.
4. July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What’s the last thing you baked?

I did not know! I do like blueberry muffins and it might be my choice depending on the other choices. It would definitely lose to a homemade pumpkin chocolate chip muffin! The last thing I baked was a coconut pound cake on Father’s Day. It’s one of our family  favorites and it was yummy.
5. What’s the biggest way you’ve changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

I have been sitting here thinking about this for quite a while. At first I though of silly ways I have changed, I no longer suck my thumb, I’m a lot taller! But I think the real answer is more that I was fairly insecure. There was some upset in my younger years that had ripple effects throughout my life. My parents divorced, there were remarriages, new families, old families with different dynamics, confusion with how things worked, uncertainty as to where I fit in, a longing for things to be different, general angst of youth mixed in for good measure. Fast forward about 45 years and I have felt secure for many, many years. I credit my Heavenly Father, and my sweet, wonderful, funny Honey and our family.

And I still love Laura Ingalls Wilder 🙂 Nothing new there!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I think I could be a better blogger if I would just stay home for about 5 minutes! I am leaving on my 4th trip this Saturday since the end of May! Virginia, South Haven, Michigan, Florida and next up, Washington state to see our now ONE YEAR OLD Grandgirl!

MoonPie had a birthday party and her Mama made her a yummy cake that she enjoyed very much!

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She was very willing to share.

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She is reminding me of her Daddy here!

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl, Grammy will see you soon!!!

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Thanks for stopping by!

The Octogenarian!


We had a BIG celebration last weekend! The Grandpa’s eightieth birthday party!!! We all gathered over at his best Friend’s house, and Mrs. H entertained us in style! Yummy dinner, delicious cakes and much love ❤ I discarded my keto diet for the day and enjoyed every bite!


We all thought this water pitcher was the cutest thing. We feasted on lasagna, ham, salad, breadsticks, and devilled eggs, YUM.


There was cake and Texas sheet cake, ice cream and a scrumtrulescent cherry sauce. Pretty sure everyone was stuffed to the gills.


Goomba was a fan 🙂


It was so sweet of Mrs. H to host us all! And here is the Birthday Boy! Or Birthday Octogenarian!


He chose to blow them individually.


I will now tell you 8 things that I love about my Dad, because 80 would be cumbersome, for you and me 😉

1. He is a faithful man. He was a faithful husband. One of my favorite things about him was how he tenderly and lovingly cared for my Mother in her last years. She always said she had a great nurse. He is a faithful father and grandfather. Our children have wonderful memories of special times with him, from playing, experiences, and that white raft at the lake! I still don’t know who had more fun! He was a faithful United States Mail carrier, a faithful servant at his church, and a faithful friend.

2. The man is HANDY!! When we were growing up we knew he could build, create, or fix anything! For goodness sake, he built his previous home! He is very generous with his skills. His church calls on him regularly, he generously helps friends and family, he has built a stairway to the basement for a woman in need that he didn’t even know, has travelled out of state to drywall for the glory of the Lord. And So.Much.More!


3. He is a lifelong student. Firstly of the Bible. He still likes to talk about what he has learned. In his 70s he took up the violin and became a student of music. He has to be an avid learner to know how to keep up with his many hobbies and activities!

4. Speaking of his many hobbies, he is an Enthusiast! Cars, trains, boat Captain, genealogy, history and the bits of paraphernalia it produces! I’m sure all of his many interests help to keep his mind sharp! He has recently gotten a smart phone and is currently frustrating himself trying to learn how to use all of its many options!



With Mrs. H and The Butterfield’s. They are his grandson’s wife’s parents, got that? His grandson’s family was on Spring Break in Mexico and unable to attend. Whenever my Mom mentioned the Butterfield’s, she always added how much fun their extended family was! Lovely folks.

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5. He is a kind, friendly person. He can talk to anyone, and frequently does! He even talks to telemarketers, and always asks if they know Jesus. He is good to visit friends in nursing homes and unfortunately, going to the funerals of those who have been important in his life has become a part time job.

6. He is a talented fellow. Besides the ones mentioned above, he is a painter of pictures, ceramics, walls and houses. A fixer of cars, lawnmowers, boats and just about anything else, a builder of bathrooms, a remodeler of kitchens and basements, a dry waller of family rooms, a builder of retaining walls, a gardener, an upholsterer of chairs and anything else you might need. He put an ice cream parlor in his basement, had a complete train village set up in its own room, and knew just how to entertain 3 rowdy littles with Barbies, picking strawberries and worms, involving them in his many interests and that above mentioned white raft that had them all laughing hysterically!

With his Girlies.

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He is Medium Goomba’s P-Paw.


7. He is a patient man. He loved my Mom and got Beeve and I in the deal.  He had the unpleasant task of living with me in my ugly rebellious years, and it probably required the patience of a saint. My Mom used to say that if she lived through my 15th year, she could do anything. We all came out on the other side. There is nothing but love, respect and genuine affection now.

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8. He is a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. He would be the first to tell you that he needed a Savior, and he would be just as quick to tell you that you did too. He has lived his life with devotion and gratitude to Christ, who saved him from perishing in this life and the next.

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He is muchly loved.


Thank you SO much for having us Mrs. H!


Happy Birthday Dad, here’s to being a nonagenarian!!!

79 is Fine!


March is a big birthday month for two guys in my life, Uncle Bob and my Dad! Since both days have already happened, we will go in order of the date, so Bob’s up first.

He had a big old 79 is fine kind of day and  was celebrated with dinner, friends and a Rum Cake, so that one is in the books!!!! Maybe next year we will be down there to celebrate the BIG one that will usher him into his octogenarian years!

Uncle Bob is my Mother’s younger brother and here he is with his lovely wife, Aunt Phyllis. I was born a few months before these two got hitched, so there is not a single memory where they are not a team. Makes it easy to remember how long they have been married too!

Because it would take too long to tell you 79 things that I love about my Uncle Bob, I will settle for 9.

1. He is funny. Always a winner in my book 🙂 Although it has been noted that he usually does not laugh when you tell him a joke, but if you are ever around when he retells it? He will amuse himself highly!

2. He keeps in touch. I have to say that he and my brother Beeve both share this trait. I am not much of a phone person and I am thankful that these two make the effort. Because I am more than happy to reconnect!!!

3. He is an Iron Marshmallow. Underneath that supposed gruff exterior is a sweetheart. That’s my observation and I’m sticking to it! I have seen him with his children and his granddaughter, a big ole teddy bear ❤


4. He is a former Marine and veritable expert on World War 2. He is a Patriot and loves the ideals this country stands for.

5. He is a student of the Bible. I see this both in habit and practice. I love to talk about God’s Word with him and Phyllis and I see him living out the B.asic I.nstructions B.efore L.eaving E.arth.     B.I.B.L.E.

6. He is generous. With hospitality, finance, knowledge, wisdom.


7. He is the last of my Mother’s People. I sometimes think this must be like standing on a high divide, where you came from is all behind you. and the future is all spreading out ahead. Steve and I are the next in line, then his children behind us, then my children, and so on, and so on… I would feel lonely in that spot, he carries it well. It makes me want to hold him tighter. I value this connection so much.

8. After my Mom died, I asked him to tell me 3 things, every time we were together, that I probably would not know about her. He has mostly done a good job about this. I have learned that my Mom loaned him money for his first car, all about her first party with boys!, and other interesting nuggets of pure gold! Start thinking of some new ones!!!

9. I’m pretty sure he loves me!!!!! Just in the last few months I MADE/ENCOURAGED him to take a DNA test to nail down our geneology, PLUS asked him to take a personality test on Enneagram!!!! I am pretty sure he did not care to do either of these things, but he did it for me!!!!

And one more to grow on!

10. He’s my Uncle Bob. He has always been there, part of who I am. He has reached out his hand, and I have taken it. We form links in a chain that will go forward until the Lord returns. And then we will be reunited for all time.

Happy Birthday Sir, love you muchly.


Happy Decade of Blogging!!! <3


Guys, the 10 year anniversary of the blog was last month and I completely forgot!!!!! I started blogging at No Whining Allowed in January of 2008, used up all the space there and then started this one! They say that the tenth should be celebrated with tin or aluminum, I searched but there’s not much available. For the creative, recycling bunch;

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a little better.


I love you so much I made you this sparkling beauty!

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I am a little surprised that the little blob has made this milestone!!! I didn’t have longevity goals when I started blogging in 2008. It was a fun little enterprise started with Mrs. Schmenkman, a space to keep up with loved ones and talk about what we had going on. It turned into a lot more than that for me!

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It became a way to record our life and times. It became a repository to hold experiences of joy, humor, wonder, learning, thoughts, occasions and grief. Writing about October 7, a pivotal point in the life of our family, has been especially therapeutic for me. I’m sure that was not even a thought in my mind upon embarking on this journey.

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It’s been a good way for me to reflect on things I love dearly, our family, our memories, the cats, the times of our life, memories unearthed from youth, faith, funny stories, friends, trips, projects and so much more!

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Here is the part you have come to expect over the last DECADE! Trolling for comments! The blog has actually been visited more in the last year, so there must be some newcomers mixed in with the Old Faithfuls.  It has been my pleasure to meet with you in this space and it is my fondest desire to keep it up! So let’s hear some chatter!!! Pop in the comments to say hello, and if it’s your first time doing so, tell me who you are and how you found us!

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Here’s to many more years together!!!!! Much love to you all ❤ ❤ ❤

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge


Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?

I have had several informal mentors throughout the years; my Mother, Grandmother and my Aunts first and foremost. But then there was my dear friend Vickie who knew my situation and offered wisdom and prayer, while loving and helping me practically; priceless. A former BSF teaching leader was a mentor, even if she did not know it. I learned so much about God, His Word, and how to serve with excellence, passion, humility and a high view of God. I came to BSF as a weary Mama, having come through about 8 years of dealing with our son’s chronic illness and then the awful accident that caused our daughter’s spinal cord injury, with the hard, busy years that followed. The Lord knew I needed a place to land and learn about His promises and how to live with purpose. I learned a ton from Sheila.

I don’t know if I have ever been a mentor to anyone except our daughters. I have had some lovely compliments from people who have told me that they appreciated my words about some things, but I don’t know if that would be considered official mentoring.
2. What current trend makes no sense to you?

Yeah, I don’t get it.

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3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few ‘weird’ things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the ‘weird’ things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more ‘weird’ thing you’d add to the list?

Those are some good things! Finding a good pen is always a treat! Let’s add finding a purse that meets all of your many requirements! The right strap length, color, inside compartmentalization, all your junk fits! It’s like a golden unicorn, pretty sure it’s not out there, so when you find one? Supreme happiness!
4. What’s the last good thing you ate?

I had a good pulled pork sandwich the other night at our Birthday Club gathering. We tried a new place in our town and I tried something with the off putting name of The Porky Pig. The pork and BBQ sauce was good but it was the spicy mayo and slaw that made it even better!
5. Describe life in your 20’s in one sentence.

She started her twenties footloose and fancy free and ended them married with two babies!
6. Insert your own random thought here.

And here was that twenty year old gal with her two babies!! I was 29, sweet little  Ab-Cat was a couple months shy of 3 and our roll-y poly Boy was 6 months, then more from that year.




Time sure flies when you are having fun!

Thanks for stopping by!