Category Archives: observations

Schnibbles

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I thought I was finished being sick when we last spoke, but alas, I was not. The other cold symptoms have left but I am still coughing. It feels like that could go on for a while. While my immune system was waging war with the virus, my ever present kidney infection decided to make its move and overrun the bladder territory. It is being crushed mercilessly by a 5 day course of Cipro.

Anyone else not a fan of the Cipro? I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Weak, headache, heart racing. Plus it came with 4 pages of side effect notes, which is alarming in itself. I guess it’s better than a reaction to Bactrim, but not by much.

Besides coughing, I have done a few things around here. I got a temporary crown. Apparently the second tooth from the back had 3 cracks, that were causing it to feel…insecure… while using it. I was glad the dentist could figure out which one it was because I was unsure if it was that one or its big brother behind it. It has probably had a filling in it for over 40 years, I guess it has fulfilled its purpose. I thank you for your service.

The gals in our house have all had their hairs done. The Ab-Cat is all chemically straightened for another 6 or so months, Mousey is heavily highlighted once again, and I have had my silver lining removed for another 6 weeks. I have one more client today and then I am ON VACATION for 2 weeks!!!!

Honey and I are heading to The Sunshine State for a little R and R, so attention to the blob could be spotty, or not. I make no guarantees in any direction. I have brought the suitcases up from the basement, gone to the library with Abby to check out some reading material, started an area on the kitchen table with things we need and add to it daily, and have a pile of clothing in the bedroom awaiting packing. It’s getting real!

We have had some warmer weather that has melted a goodish amount of Winter Storm Mateo, but I have to say, some of the roads in our town are not going to make it through this winter! I thought Warren was a horror, but Morton Taylor is an ABOMINATION!!!! The people in charge of such things should be ASHAMED of themselves!!!!!!! And don’t give me that garbage about it being the county’s responsibility, get that dumb truck out there with the tar pellets in it and fill in those TRENCHES!!!!!!! Good common sense, its like a war torn country out here!

In good news, I have lost 8 pounds on the Keto diet! I don’t think I will make my goal of 15 before we go on vacation, but HOORAY for 8!!!!! We have decided we will eat normal on our trip, but as Honey said, not go hog wild! I asked what that meant, he said we would not have ice cream twice a day. Not sure that was really a thing, but it must have happened a time or two to stick in his mind! All I can say is chicken pot pie, I’m coming for ya!!!!!!!

We have been watching The Olympics, or should I say DVR-ing them, because OH.MY.WORD. the commercials! So many commercials! We loved the snowboarding and are heavily invested in figure skating at the moment. Abby and I have been using the ever present commercial time to goggle old figure skaters we used to love! A lot of them are fairly active on social media, hi Scott Hamilton, Kristie Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan! Have not heard Honey mention hockey so I’m guessing that is not in high gear yet.

Have a pleasant Monday, I got stuffs to do!

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Missed Moments of 2017

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Hi Guys, have some dribbles of stuff to document for today. Cause that is what this here blog is, documentation of our life.

The Mitten is currently bracing for an unnamed storm that could produce 1 or 12 inches of snow and ice. I heard wild tales earlier in the week, but things were significantly downgraded by yesterday. So really, it could be anything in the whole anything kingdom. It has been a strange week, starting in the negative temperatures last Friday to 57 degrees yesterday. That’s what we natives like to call Pure Michigan. Just like our state slogan proclaims.

Let’s go back to last fall when we had kinder, gentler temperatures. Our neighbor Karen texted this picture of a most beautimous rainbow directly over our house! The trees were in fine form I must say!

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When The Boy and The Dane were in town last November, they got together with Elyk and The Boy’s former small group leader Mike, from when they were in middle school! All of them have married in the last few years and in a twist of fate, all of them became fathers this year! Just a fun fact here, in the picture they are standing in order of their baby’s birth, with Mike and Jen going first in March, with Elyk and Pug Mama taking second in May, and The Boy and The Dane bringing up the rear in July. What is amusing to me is that they married in the exact opposite order. Of course Elyk’s position remained the same, smack in the middle!

Here the guys are with their offspring!

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When we bought our two new couches, some 3 years ago, we stuck our old ones down the basement in case one of the kids needed them upon setting up their own homesteads. Many parts of our basement contain many similar items kept for the same reason. The Boy and The Dane already have two couches, so they were unlikely to need a third, plus it was not their colors. Mousey claimed one because she is needy and she knows how comfortable they are!

I was telling The Peanuts Champ that a friend’s son was looking for a replacement couch for his that broke. I took pictures and sent them to her with the warning that they were heavy and her son would need to bring help to get it out of the basement. Because Honey is old and tired and while on flat land I can be helpful, I am not a useful engine moving things up a flight of stairs.  The Peanut’s Champ said if things did not work out there, her son Josh might be interested as he was moving out and also needy. The other friend’s son found a couch elsewhere, so Josh came and got ours!

We told him the same thing, bring friends; it’s heavy, so he brought these charming fellows. We also told him how comfy it was, and a great napping couch! The reason I tell you this whole tale is because of the next part, which was so darn cute and resourceful!!

Josh was renting the second floor of a house, and his friends lived on the first floor. He is a math major, so he brought his measuring tape and paper to do math stuff to figure out if they could navigate the couch around a tight turn in the stairway, where it would be hanging over the railing a large percentage! According to their calculations they felt confident they could do it! They sent this picture when they got it in!!!

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Josh is on the right and it was such a pleasure to help him out on his new adventure! He was Mousey’s first best friend as preschoolers and has grown into a fine young man. On a funny note, he did not have a bed for the first little bit after moving in so he slept on the couch. He agreed that it was a good sleeping couch!!! Best of luck Friend! ❤

One of our jobs on the Admin team at BSF is to show the love to our group and children’s leaders. Our normal once a month fellowships are sack lunch affairs, but twice a year, at Christmas and end of year, we do things a little fancier. Our Class Administrator, Trenda, decided we should decorate a little different. I feel the need to insert here that there was not one person on the whole team that felt decorating was their love language!!!!! I was looking on Pinterest for new ideas, and most of them included wooden rounds. The first place I remembered seeing those was at Nurse Lauren’s wedding last fall.

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When I called Rae-Babe to ask about how she put hers together, she graciously offered to let us borrow hers!!! The rounds AND the hurricane globes!!!

I met with Trenda at Michael’s and we picked out a garland that we cut up to use on our 8 tables. She produced evergreen clippings and actual cranberries, I found candles at IKEA and there was a group leader who arrived early who said she LOVED to decorate!!! Thank you Lord, it looked loverly!!! Thanks Rae-Babe for the use of your stuff!

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Enjoy your weekend, I am hunkered down for who knows what!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Glad you stopped by! Click on the button below if you would like to join in.

From this Side of the Pond

1.  What’s something blogging has taught you about yourself?

When I started blogging in January of 2008 I had no idea what I was doing! I’m not even sure why my good friend Mrs. Schmenkman and I wanted to start on this endeavor, but we both began the same week. This was my very first post!

I just asked The Boy what I should say and he asked me “why would you want a blog if you don’t know what to say???” Thanks to The Girl for helping me get this up and running. That would be one thing my friends could tell you about me; I am computer illiterate. Surely I will get better as I go!

I’m not quite sure why I wanted to start this, but hopefully it will be a way for me to keep in better touch with those I want to be in better touch with, and be able to share what I am doing, making, bargains found and very random thoughts! Let the blogging begin! 

I did get better as I went!

I have never been one for keeping a diary or journal and I don’t really consider myself a writer, but I think what blogging has taught me about myself is I do enjoy coming here and writing down my stream of thought. The fact that I have done it faithfully for almost 9 years has shown me that I am committed to preserving these days of our life. When I go back and read a post from years gone by, I am always thankful to have this memory bank, this place of recollection. It’s priceless to me.

 2.  Leftovers…are you in the ‘reheat and eat’ camp or the ‘put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them’ camp? What’s your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

I usually like leftovers. I think soup is a great leftover and sometimes better the next day! Meat with no gravy is usually a pretty yucky leftover.
3. ‘Me time‘…your thoughts?

“Me time” sounds so self involved. That being said, I am certainly not opposed to being able to do something I want to do! I can remember being a young mom and longing for 30 minutes to myself to read or watch something I wanted on tv!

I guess the phrase “me time” sounds indulgent, expensive and selfish, but maybe others see it as something else.
4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Haircuts or covering their grey, getting the right BSF Bible study lesson if they are going to be gone, helping them remember some random song lyric or other fun fact. I am a fountain of useless information.
5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

Bubble gum, Sweet Tarts, Jolly Ranchers, Slow Poke suckers and chlorine. Because we loved nothing better than riding our bikes up to the corner store to buy candy and hanging out at my Aunt Nancy’s pool.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I was in Five Below yesterday and came across this. Who would put this on their Christmas tree?

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Seriously, who is the target customer for this merchandise?

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Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your week!

A List of Things

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Hi Guys. It has taken about 3 weeks to get over The Plague. I did most things that people suggested in an effort to reduce my misery including but not limited to; Emergent-C, a T of honey and a T of apple cider vinegar, TRULY HEINOUS!!!! Folks kept telling me I needed a Hot Toddy, and they had old family recipes, certain liquors and other ingredients they thought worked best. It said online that whiskey was the best thing to help you sleep, so SIGN ME UP.

Honey graciously brought me this. Maybe as an homage to his Canadian roots. Fun Fact: when we lived in Windsor, Ontario, we regularly passed by the place that made this! All I have to say is I will never be an alcoholic. I had to drink that Hot Toddy holding my nose. I did sleep a wee bit better that night. The next night I decided to not prolong my misery of drinking an entire mug of nasty, I just drank the 2 ounces as a shot. The Ab-Cat said she had to see this and proceeded to laugh when I held my nose and threw it back, because I was gagging!

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I just put the bottle in the cupboard above the fridge and called the experiment a dismal failure. But in other news, Honey has contracted some other kind of plague and he had his own Toddy this morning. There was no unpleasant gagging I’m happy to report.

In other news!

THIS is happening!!!! We have lived in our home about 18 years and there has always been an empty field behind us. Our builder told us that a church owned the property, but other than a once a month appointment with a giant machine to cut the grass/weeds, there was never any activity back there. The only time I ever went back there was to stealthily scatter leaves, weeds and other garden debris that caused the bush hog guy no trouble, So basically the point behind our house was a compost area.

We started hearing rumors that the church wanted to sell the property. This caused us mild concern, only because we did not fancy a gas station or something like that back there. We soon heard that another church bought the land, and I actually knew some people who went to that church! My good friend CMB’s parents are in attendance as is the mother of my old friend Suzanne Suzanna Danna, along with others from the church where we all grew up.

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There were starts and delays, rumors of trouble with the city and the county, a sign was posted and then one day there was a fence around the entire property! Then the heavy equipment moved in and now we have a HUGE hole on the other side of our hedge! Since we are getting the retention pond back there, we can only assume that has something to do with the digging.They have been struggling with a lot of rain, so work has been in fits and starts

I don’t know that you can tell, but it’s about a 15 foot hole back there! Honey has been using the noise machine when he sleeps because they are Johnny on the spot at 7 in the morning and don’t knock off until 6. They have holes to dig and dirt to move and as of one day last week, cables to cut!!!!

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We noticed our internet was out, but it is not unheard of to have occasional interruptions over here. When it continued and we did a little investigation, we discovered we had no TV or landline. That seemed fishy. After a conversation with Wowway, it was determined that we, and our neighbor to the south, had no service. They did not call to report it because they conveniently do not live there anymore. The nice Wow guy came out and ran a temporary line until they could bury a line and we were happy to welcome the distraction of cable back into our lives.

This is probably around the time the line was cut, they are mighty close to our box.

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One whole day without internet, tv and phone and I have to say this is how we felt. Thanks Oklahoma Tammy, very timely I must say!!!!!

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Because of Thanksgiving, our BSF class moved to Monday, with an abbreviated leaders meeting earlier than usual and then class right after. It’s a full day, but it works for us. I have been participating in the 7 day, black and white challenge on Instagram, no words, no people and no explanation. This was one of my offerings. As BSFfers, we are known for our ability to make very nice circles. I’m pretty sure it might say that in the Bible. “They were known for their love, and ability to make a great circle”. Or something like that. 😉 Miss May’s circle in the sanctuary.IMG-6079

When the weather turns, this young catten gets very cuddly and needy. He just needs to be touching you. We don’t mind. It’s just a good thing he is so sweet, because he is about 50% trouble. Some days 75.

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Because of the holiday, schedules are all joophered up, in a good way! Plus we are not hosting Thanksgiving, we’re OFF!!!! Therefore, I have a little more time to blob!!!! Planning to be back tomorrow with The Hodgepodge.

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.

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.