Category Archives: observations

Rescued Treasure

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I believe I have mentioned that the neighborhood I walk in with Keelody and Jip the Farm Dog are some of the the most wasteful streets I have ever experienced! Those people apparently just cannot be bothered to take anything to the Salvation Army, so they throw out perfectly good stuff that would be sorely appreciated by others less fortunate. And before you say “oh, they probably put it out so others can take it”, well, bless your heart for being so kind, that is not the case. I have taken 7-10 bikes, unused baby crib bumper pads, a vast amount of cardboard building blocks, multiple strollers, book shelves, and Keelyody found some great bar stools, all rescued hours-minutes before the garbage truck claimed them. These things are in NO WAY garbage, but barely used. I take the majority of the findings to the Community Closet at the church where I attend BSF, they have a wonderful ministry that provides clothing and other needs to their surrounding neighborhoods. I have kept a few things and pressed them back into useful service.

When I first started noticing all the bikes, I called the church secretary and asked if they would be interested in that sort of thing, she said YES, and they even had a church member who could fix them up if they needed a little attention. The last few weeks have yielded 2 bed rails, the slide under the mattress kind that keep your toddler from rolling out of their new big kid bed, a trail bike that Honey said was a GREAT bike, and a toddler tricycle. All hopefully living to see another chapter of usefullness.

I found this stash last month in a box that said FREE BOOKS. I put them in these bags that I had in the car for groceries because I could not even lift the heavy box!!! Let me tell you, the children in that house were NOT readers! Barely any looked like the pages had even been turned! There were quite a few duplicates of Magic Tree House books and all things dinosaur, a whole bag of board books for toddlers, hard covers, soft covers, many were popular when our kids were young and some were classics. Who would throw out a perfectly good, unused Good Night Moon???!!! There was even a children’s picture dictionary in French. I am going to pass that one along to my Aunt Phyllis because she is French in her heart and she can teach her grandbaby to share her passion.

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Since I already have a library of all sorts of books that I kept from our kids, I encouraged Mousey to go through them to see if she wanted any for her someday beebee’s. I will let The Boy and The Dane go through them for Moonpie when they come to visit next month. The remaining can either go to elementary school with The Ab-Cat, all the classrooms have their own little libraries and she knew quite a few of the titles from there, or the rest can find new homes with the Community Closet at Crosspointe Church.

I considered it a major SCORE and I am thankful the books did not end up in a one way trip to the landfill. Books are FUNdamental!!! Some of my fondest memories are of reading to our children.

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Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by! If you would like to link up, click on the button below and head over to Joyce’s, she’ll tell you what to do! Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

I pretty much had one pet growing up, a kitty named Muff. Muffietta King Kong George Elizabeth Grenada Halstead Hoover to be precise! My brother Beeve found her outside one day, brought her home, and she lived with our family for the next 19 years! She was very beloved.

Beeve brought her home when he was about 5 or 6. The story he told my folks was that he just “found” her. They said he should go ask around and see if anyone had lost her. He walked down to the corner, looked both ways, and came back and said, “Nope, no one lost a kitty”! My Mom said she was pretty young so it’s possible she had been born outside.

I think I was about 11 or 12 here.

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She may have slept with Beeve some but I think she slept with me the most. My recollection of this picture was that I was sick and my faithful feline was by my side. I also love that my favorite heart pillowcases are captured here <3<3

When I think about it, she was a very patient cat. We dressed her up in baby clothes and pushed her in the stroller!! She had a great bushy tail and fulfilled one of my earliest longings; to own a kitty-witty! There have not been too many months without a cat since 🙂

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?
I have to set up a giant circle of 57 chairs for our BSF Bible study, in a room that does not really have the space for it! We are going to make as big a circle as we can, and put the rest of the chairs in a semi circle behind, like parenthesis, or dimples! It may not work, but we are giving it a shot! We have been meeting in the sanctuary where there is enough room, but it is swallowing up the voices. Wish us luck!

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

Hmmm, I was 45, our kids were 18, 16, and 13. Honey was 50. We were in the trenches with teens and all the angst that comes with it! I have been blogging for almost 9 years and have often wished I had started sooner so I could remember what I did back in the day!!!

Ten years ago there were school struggles, academic and friends, summer school for The Boy,  Mousey would have had swim team scheduling, Abby had just graduated from high school and had a major back surgery to remove and replace her first spinal fusion, and then a second surgery in the fall to reduce the contractures on her hips. Honey went to Japan three weeks for work, my Grandma Hoover passed away at 97 years old, and our nephew Little Goomba was born!!!!

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And now he’s going to be a big old palooka of 10!!!

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I guess there was a lot going on!

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi…which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

None of these sound appealing to me, probably why I have never ventured into dumpling making territory.
5. ‘There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don’t.’ William Trogdon
So which kind are you?

I don’t consider myself a super adventurous person, so probably the latter. I am open to trying new things, but they would have to be fairly low risk! There will be no jumping out of airplanes or scaling great heights for this gal. No desire to get lost in a big city or foreign country or eat grosse things. I guess I am a creature of comfort.
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of 10 years ago, lets go Way Back When! This is what I was driving then, and Honey sold the ABCAB last week.

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Can I tell you that I was SAD?! It was an end of an era for us, the family van. It had sat in our garage for the last several years because it seemed silly for me to be the lone traveler in that big old van, yet it seemed like we might need it again if we ever took a long trip and needed to travel in style and comfort. I told Honey that it was by far our comfiest vehicle! Cushy seats, lots of space, great radio and cd capabilities, TV, VCR and DVD player that kept the kids entertained during many a trip.

As I helped Honey clean it out, I was awash in sentimental memories. Little things in the pockets of the seats, hair ties, a Sunday School colored picture,  some movies left in the cupboard (The Kid and a lost Harry Potter movie!), about $7 dollars in state quarters from when we were saving them for the kid’s collections. Driving directions to fun places we had been and even an obituary from the viewing of a dear friend’s father, which reminded me he gave me the recipe for the best chocolate fondue, and I still have it on a scrap piece of paper, written in his own hand.

There were a lot of sweet memories of our Yorkie, Katie, who loved to be included in a car ride of any length! We kept opened water bottles in the console that we fondly called “dog water”, in case we needed to give her an unexpected drink. She accompanied me every day as I drove the kids to and from school, standing on my hip with her paws just under the window, because she was never happier than when she was traveling with her pack.

Honey had wanted to sell it a couple years ago, but I wasn’t ready to part with it. I kept thinking we would need it again and would be glad to have it, but nothing came up that seemed worth putting new plates and insurance back on.

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Honey sold her on Craigslist and we left her in a church parking lot with her new owner Ed, who planned on using her to take his grandkids on vacations up north. Our garage seems SO empty. I know I will be fine, just needed to take the time to fondly remember a passing era in the life of our family. Goodbye ABCAB.

Thanks for stopping by.

First List of Fall

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It’s been a bit nippy walking in the mornings, 50 and up this week, and some 40s last week. It’s coming!

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Despite reading on Facebook yesterday that they a predicting a warmer than usual fall. It’s shaping up to be a purty one!

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Honey had the pool closed last week so that means I’m about done watering down there. This was my favorite this season.

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I was not as happy with my stuff this year as in years past. And I even had my plants in early this year because of hosting the end of year BSF luncheon the second week of May! They just hemmed and hawed and didn’t do much until almost July.

My zinnias were one of the biggest disappointments. I somehow got 3 different varieties, and one bunch was ALL yellow. I prefer a riot of color, not a riot of all yellow pom poms. I’m sorry to be a snob, but I think of this kind as a lesser zinnia, the short squatty one.

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I quite like these, and these are the usual kind I get. Even they were not riotously colorful this year

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I don’t think I have ever had these super tall, leggy babes before!

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Plenty colorful up next to the always reliable Black Eyed Susans.

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But unfortunately you cannot tell which kind you have when they are all a couple inches tall and my half circle of zinnias looked mighty stoopid sporting all of the different heights!!!!! Not to mention the tall ones completely obscured the half circle of day lilys and wasted them.

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Try as I might to separate the colors, I was not very successful, which also contributed to my dissatisfaction.

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This side was a little better, but they did not grow like they usually do.

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The front looked ok but I still have complaints. Not enough color in the side pots,

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and too many petunias!! There were so many other pretty things in that pot when purchased, but those petunias HOGGED the whole pot!!!

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Big sigh, oh well, there’s always next year.

I was happy with the things in this little bastion of visual interest! I copied the idea from my sweet friend Sarah, who had a similar one from the South Haven farmers market on her front porch. I plopped some of my heart shaped shells and rocks, collected on Florida trips, along with words that inspire. Heart it!

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Oklahoma Tammy asked about a product I had mentioned last week, this is what it looks like. I buy it at Gordon’s, but I saw this at the regular grocery. It is good for breading and batters, looks like flour. I dredge my sliced chicken breasts in it and fry in peanut oil, YUM!

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Was certainly praying this for all of our loved ones in the wake of Hurricane Irma. So far everyone is fine but haven’t heard about all the damage to the homes. It could have been SO.MUCH.WORSE! Thank you Lord!!!!!!!

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And finally a sweet picture of our little Moonpie! Who is getting chunky, smiley and chatty!! Hi Bay-Be!

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Have a pleasant Tuesday.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by on the last Hodgepodge of August. If you feel like joining in, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s and follow the instructions. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. Can you believe we’re rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What’s a project you’ll labor over this fall?

This is hard, I have no immediate answer. We have no BIG agenda, just the usual, winterizing the outside, doing some purging/reorganizing in the basement. Certainly nothing exciting.
2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?

This is an easy one! I am a hairdresser by trade and one of the greatest perks of working in a salon is having people available to give you haircuts, color, perms, at your fingertips! Of course there could be scheduling conflicts because you have to wait until both parties have free time, or come in early or stay after work.

A much easier thing to have done regularly was something we called “bouffing”. That was when an available stylist would fluff, tease, restyle, or just freshen your hairdo. As this was the 80s, it usually involved copious amounts of Paul Mitchell Sculpting Spray or Freeze and Shine. Ah, those were the days! Bouf me!!!

3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina…
Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville’s charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys.

Which is most appealing to you today? If you’re a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?

Honey and I visited South Carolina last September to see if it could be somewhere we might like to retire to. I wrote about our trip here.  Honey has a great desire to live on a lake so he can fish all the live long day. We saw many beautiful homes, plus my most favorite house of all time. I wish I could plop that house down wherever we do land, it was perfect for us! ❤

I would be more than happy to return and do some sightseeing, which is something we did not do last year. One fun thing I did do there was meet our hostess with the mostest Joyce for lunch! I have never met a bloggy friend before and we had a lovely lunch and she even gave Honey and I a tour of her almost completed new home! IMG_3901 (1)

4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short…your favorite kind of rib? What’s a dish you enjoy that really ‘sticks to your ribs‘?

I am not really a rib person,but I do love the ribs at Bricktops in Naples, Florida! Their fries and coleslaw are also YUMMY!

Chicken pot pie really sticks to my ribs. Comfort food plus all that crust=sticking to ribs!!!
5. What’s one important skill you think every person should have? Why?

I think everyone needs to know how to have a civil conversation. Conversing seems to be a lost or dying art. Texting and social media also seem to be contributing to this lack of social skills. We seem to have lost the ability to listen politely, ask intelligent questions, and be thoughtful in our answers, all part of good civil conversations.

So much interrupting, shouting down and mindless, repetitive, screaming hissy fits. My Grandma and Mom called it “spouting off”, and it seems that is all a great majority of people are capable of, and we see it at all levels of society. You convince NO ONE of your cause when you cannot have an honest, respectful conversation.   

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TRUTH.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is some Way Back When-sday!

It was Miss Mousey Ann’s 23rd birthday last weekend!!

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Seattle

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The Boy and The Dane had an all day retreat they needed to attend for their jobs, so Honey and I decided to take in the sights. We did something we have never done before, called an Uber!

We agreed to share a ride so we were picked up almost immediately by a very pleasant driver and her gentleman passenger and were off. We told her we were newbies and she welcomed us and continued to chat all the way into town with tidbits of info. She dropped us off at The Space Needle and the touring began.

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I like his face. ❤

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I had to go through his phone pictures, my phone pictures and pictures from the big camera to round up all the shots for  this post!

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It was cloudy and looked like we might experience some of that famous Seattle weather, but it kept it to itself and turned out beautiful! But at 9:00, this is the look it was sporting.

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Honey’s experiments with the panoramic picture.

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The Space Needle opened for The World Fair in 1962, the year I was born. We old.

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They had taken pictures of everyone as we were waiting in line for the elevator to the top. When you pulled it up on their kiosk, you could choose between several backgrounds. So natural looking !!

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There is the elusive Mt. Ranier!!!

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We then joined a Emerald City trolley tour where you could hop on/hop off at any and all stops for as long as you liked. Until 6;00, because that’s when they close, and where ever you are, that’s where you will be. You have hopped your last.

We had a nice young man as our guide who gave us lots of fun facts about the city. I always appreciate that, this sort of info tends to stick in my mind better that a whole boatload of official stuff.

I guess Bruce Lee moved to Seattle when he was 18 and started teaching martial arts there. This bakery was the location of his dojo. Don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about?! Honey took this picture to show The Boy because they share a fondness for Bruce Lee and deep love of all bad kung fu/martial arts movies. Mr. Lee is also buried somewhere above the city.

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Just before I left Michigan my Uncle Bob let me in on the fun fact that his former company, UPS, has started out in Seattle. When the guide mentioned this I took a picture of the building to send along to its former employee :). It’s a bad trolley photo and I’m not even sure if the company still operates out of there anymore.

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Honey wanted to go here for breakfast because he is a fan of the biscuit and gravy. The name was off putting to me and he decided it wasn’t that great of a place. But it was a carb-aholic’s dream and we didn’t eat again until 10 that night, so it sustained us mightily. We had to walk a bit to get there and OH MY WORD!!!! It is a little STEEP in Seattle!!!!! Honey said the next day his calves hurt!

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After we ate we walked down to Pike’s Place Market, as you do when in the city.

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Lots of pretty flowers, fruits and stinky fish. Also a whole bunch of people! Bunches and bunches!

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We did see a little fish throwing and Honey caught it on video. This is where it would be nice to post a video, but Windows Live Writer does not allow me to do that anymore for some reason 😦

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We didn’t stay too long in that crowd.

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Honey wanted to walk down by the waterfront, so we took a winding staircase down.

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That’s The Seattle Great Wheel in the background. They couldn’t call it a Ferris wheel because it has a copywrite, so they made up their own name.

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This is an educational bore worm to cleverly show people why there is all kinds of work being done to repair the eroding sea wall. They are evidently wreaking havoc, along with the tides, but there’s not too much can be done about that. Kids were climbing on this little fella.

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It turned out to be a beautiful day! Sunny and breezy, not too hot!

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We did not go on the wheel, but Honey is thorough in documenting the sights.

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We are getting better at the selfie!

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There was a Red Robin on the waterfront, it seemed a good time for refreshment and boat watching.

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Watched them load up and shove off.

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My treat. Dipped in raspberry sauce, YUM! Honey helped. He’s accommodating like that.

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We hopped back on the trolley after this for the rest of the tour and heard how after the great Seattle fire of 1889 they rebuilt the city 2 stories higher, and not out of all wood. This also solved the problem of flooding in high tide. I guess there are tours of the old city but we did not go. While we were waiting for the trolley we struck up a conversation with a woman also waiting. After talking for a bit I asked her where she was from, she said Wayne, Michigan! Hello Neighbor!

I was posting some pictures of the day on Facebook and noticed that a gal who was in our wedding had arrived in Seattle that very day! We were both at the Space Needle, but at different times. Small world!

There were some interesting street musicians, including a blind singer/guitarist when you first walked into Pike’s Place.

There was also a darker aspect with a lot of homeless, this was sad. Many tents on the side of the roads under overpasses and you could see others living on the grass above the walls on the freeways. Lots of panhandlers, probably the result of serious drug problems.

We ended the tour back at the Space Needle and amused ourselves while waiting for our second Uber by taking more selfies. The second driver was night and day different! Fine, but barely spoke a word! 

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I have never seen a more hilly, steeper city in my life! I don’t think The Ab-Cat would be able to navigate a lot of it!

We enjoyed our day and were glad to be back in our AirBnb rental!

Catching Up

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Hope you all had a fine holiday! We did not do much, but Honey did have several days off and that is always most welcome!

I believe I have mentioned that Honey is Canadian by birth, and one of his favorite things from the Mother Land is fries with gravy, also known as poutine. Honey and The Girls had been having a hankering to check this place out for some time, so we headed over to Ann Arbor to give it a whirl. Unfortunately for Mousey, poutine is not legal on her keto diet at the moment, so she opted out of a big basket of temptation. Sad face emoji 😦

They had many, many different toppings for the basic fries.

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I had my fries with gravy and cheese curds with pulled pork, Honey and The Ab-Cat were purists, strictly fries, gravy and cheese. While I enjoyed it, I don’t feel like a meal of fries contributes to my best self. It was pretty heavy and would have been a better side dish. Was a fun experience though!

Honey spent a good chunk of his time tweaking with the pool while I maintained the grass and weeds until this happened.

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SHEESH!! I was standing in our raised bed, WITH NO SHOES ON, reached out and down to grab a handful of weeds and looked between the greenery and saw a black black snake a couple feet away. If I am not mistaken (or shall I say missnakin’!) this snake, or a relative, has lived in our back garden for some time. We have met before and have both slowly and respectfully gone about our business when both parties discovered one another, and that is what happened here.

The other snake startled me, and when I looked over the retaining wall to get a better look it raised straight up out of the bed at me!! The nerve of that little light colored hussy!!!!! Honey said maybe it was protecting babies. NOT HELPING HONEY!!! So there you have it, why I can never garden in our snake infested garden again.

Since they made fireworks legal several years ago in The Mitten, The Fourth has been a very colorful, very loud night. They are now sold in parking lots all across the state, no Meijer’s or O’Reilly’s left behind is their motto. Our next door neighbors have always had a display for their friends and family, even before they were so readily available. In years past we have learned to roll up our solar pool cover to prevent the burning embers from melting holes, and sure enough, at about 10:05, I asked Mousey to lend a hand with the rolling. After the rolling had commenced, the Girls and I stood on the deck and watched and listened to all the festivities going on all around us in various subdivisions. Mousey stated that this is what a war zone must sound like!

Meanwhile, in the house we had our Fearless Defender.

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He wishes you a Happy Independence Day. Weenie. The elder felines were all holed up in our bedroom, as they always are. They make no claims to being tough guys though, and therein lies the difference.

Honey had this past weekend off as well and we worked like rented mules. He trimmed the miles long hedge in the back and I raked, scooped and bagged the clippings. The next day we tackled the front yard, which I am sad to say we could not even remember how long it had been since it had seen the blade of a clipper. The burning bushes have a big comeback to make. They were taller than the windows, and are now sticks with sparse vegetation. If there is anything we learned from The Polar Vortex fiasco a few years back, is if you cut bushes WAY BACK, they will rebound. They should anyway. Well, fingers crossed.

The Boy and The Dane have been very good to send regular pictures of the new grandbaby! It helps immensely since we will not meet her until August. She is settling in very nicely! I think they are in love!

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Lots of snuggling going on.

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in most of the pictures she was sweetly sleeping. As all newborns do. Not.

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There she is! All bright eyed and bushy tailed!!!

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Precious little Moon Pie!

Have a good Monday.

Catching Up

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Spring is shaping up nicely in The Mitten. Honey and I actually got out there one day last week and did some yard work, weeding, cutting back grasses and such. Mousey helped me empty our shed of chairs, wind chimes and the pretty shelves and other things that help us enjoy our patio. I was sitting on the front porch yesterday afternoon with the elder felines and young catten and decided that this week needs to be the first grass cutting.

But, I got ahead of myself, we need to go back to Easter weekend. We took a trip over the Ambassador Bridge to see The Canadians! They have been here, but it had been far too long since we had visited the land of Honey’s people!

Queeny B and Paisley!

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Paisley with her big brother Burke!

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Then Turtle, Kim and sons! Parker and Spencer are adorable!

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Finally Krazy Kenny, Honey’s sister Nanny Rachel, and Burke again. We need to do it again soon, those kids are SPROUTING too quick!!!!!

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Our Easter Girlies. I am not sure what animals they are, but I love it!

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We spent Easter Sunday at church and then joined The Grandpa, Beeve, Stacey and Goomba for lunch at a mediterranean restaurant, in a nod to our Savior’s place of origin.

I am hosting the Sharing Day fellowship for BSF admin and children’s leaders again this year. I have set a goal to have my flowers planted and arranged attractively in their places. It will either turn out great or cause me great angst. To help me get a jump on my plan, Jip the Farm Dog and I are heading out to the Favorite Flower Place on Thursday after BSF. She is, of course, buying flowers for her own yard. For some reason we have a great fondness for buying way too many flats and pots and then have to perform something like garden Jenga to get them all in the vehicle. We evidently like a challenge and take great pride in recalling our past successes!

Have a pleasant Monday.