Ann Arbor Garden Walk Part 1

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The Peanuts Champ, The Back Door Neighbor and I did something fun on Saturday, we hit up the 27th annual Ann Arbor Garden Walk! We went early because they were predicting some melting temps.

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Love that succulent.

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The first house had all these beautiful rock walls! The terrain in Ann Arbor seems to be somewhat steep. Probably not everywhere, but certainly most of the homes on the garden walk! Possibly to show the creativity of the gardeners! This house was steep in the front, hence the rock walls.

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Loved these steps!

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Children or perhaps grandchildren names woven into the grout, plus faithful pooch-i-doo’s paw prints.

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We have decided that we all have the boring kind of hosta and would like to branch out with these giant beauties!

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I have a few shepherd hooks that I don’t want to hang a pot on, it never occurred to me to hang something else!

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When I was walking with Mrs. Schmenkman on her favorite path last month, there was a pretty little tree that I just loved, some sort of variegated pink beech. This house had a huge glorious one! Heart emoji!!

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I love how they used this small sedum in this small space.

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I took several pictures of the second house because it had an awesome front porch and The Ab-Cat does love a good front porch!

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The owner said it was a great place to watch a rain storm!

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So FUN!

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I am also a fan of a stone pathway.

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This picture was for Honey, an add on with a granite top for your BBQ-ing needs. A possible option on his post retirement list of things to do!

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This house also had a screened in back porch, additionally delightful!

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Don’t mind me, just being NOSEY!

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And a swell patio. Lots of room to visit at this house!

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This house had a definitely challenging, sloping backyard.

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Heart this!

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Their yard abruptly ended here, backing up to a cemetery. Very quiet neighbors out back!

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They made good use of their space, very lush and green.

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Purty pot.

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This house did not slope.

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Another nice porch for Ab.

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We noticed several interesting things about this home. I am guessing these stones helped with a drainage situation. I like this because we also have a drainage situation in our back. I can copy like a BOSS!

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They had a small back deck,

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surrounded by this pretty scene.

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And then a much lesser slope down to this pretty patio.

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I took this picture to send to my SIL Karen who sells succulents. A bowlful of pretty!

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They had considerable shade so their fancy hosta were very content.

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Still content.

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This was along the side of the house next to the driveway. I actually have one of these pots, given to me by my friend Teri. I could use it as a herb pot!!!!! How cute is that??!

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This was a great idea. Cute little decorative area.

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Hiding the dumb hose on the other side!!! Pretty meets function, my favorite! This house was number one for me in the idea department.

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The Peanuts Champ pointed this out to us. It never fails, people work their tails off to have a beautiful yard and garden and the neighbors still have a Halloween decoration out!!! Good for a laugh!

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That’s it for part one, tune in tomorrow!

The 22nd Year of The Memorial Day Extravaganza!!!!

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Hi Guys!

I know, I have been a terrible blogger. I don’t really have a reason or even an excuse. I have just fallen off the word wagon and though the desire is still there, it may take some practice and determination to hoist the body back onto the broken down cart!

When I finally do get onto this computer, I have things to share, but then I think of things I should have shared a long time ago and I feel a little defeated and not sure where to start. So I am just JUMPING IN HERE! It might be a little herky jerky for a while, but please bear with me. Spellcheck is trying to tell me that herky is not a word. Go on with your bad self Spellcheck. Which is also not a word.

I have been home from Virginia a week and I haven’t shown a picture! I was telling Mrs. Schmenkman that I always seem to take pictures of the same things whilst at Sassy Cat Hill, so as a result, I did not take many photos. Here we are at the beginning of the trip, and I am going to have to do a small smackeral of that back tracking I was mentioning above.

On May 20 we gathered with family to celebrate my Father on the second anniversary of his passing. Always a nice time of visiting and reconnecting with family.

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While there I had a conversation with my SIL Karen about doughnuts. As you do. I was telling her about the truly awesome doughnuts that Honey brings home from Tasty Boy occasionally on his way home from work. Occasionally because they are dangerously good and WE DON’T NEED THAT KIND OF INTENTIONAL SIN IN OUR LIFE. So back to Karen. She said she would have to try them. I then said that perhaps Honey could bring home a 6 pack and I could bring her one.

Karen works for Delta airlines and she knows about my yearly trek to Virginia for the Hootenanny. Every time I am in the airport I look for her, but I have never seen her there. I told her I would bring her doughnut, text her when I arrived at the airport, and she could tell me which gate she was at that morning, it sounded so fun!

When I texted her she said you are not going to believe this, but I am working your gate to Washington Dulles!!!! So there she was! Looking good for 6 A.M.!

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She introduced me to the flight crew, asked them to take good care of me, may or may not have given me a seat with more leg room and the potential for better snacks, and then chatted for a while because there were only 23 people on the entire plane!!! All for a doughnut! It was such a treat to see her!

I was swimming in leg room! Which, when you are Shaq, is a pretty good deal!

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And then Mrs. Schmenkman picked me and my carry on packed inside my checked bag up, and the shopping began! We always have some goals when we start, and then find other treasures along the way. We were both in the market for black sandals. I am always on the hunt for comfortable, cute shoes/sandals. I blame my problematic hooves. I had quite a bit of shoe luck and she found the most comfortable black sandals ever, like walking on clouds she said!

When we arrived at Sassy Cat Hill, Miss Poppet took up residence on my lap for the duration. She was not pleased with the iPad situation, or me making her sit on a pillow to prevent her from snagging my pants with her fingernails. We did give her a manicure and that was a big help. I love that little kitty witty booly wooly!

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Schmenkie lives surrounded by nature. This was from the car, one of several we saw, and I’m not even car observant!

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She is super observant because she is a certified wildlife rehabilitator, so that keeps her a bit busy. She is frequently getting calls about wild animals needing attention. She almost got a baby otter when I was there, but other arrangements were made. This trip she had 2 squirrels who were getting ready for release. They are in their outside transitioning cage.

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And this little girl was still in the baby area in her basement. I think she is almost ready for the outside transition cage. Possums are a little creepy to me and Schmenkie and I agreed it was their tails. She said this little one was not bitey at all, which was my main concern after seeing all them teeth!

This picture amuses me a little. Schmenk always says she doesn’t have to get all beautified because the animals don’t care what she looks like, but here is her manicured hand holding a baby possum. Amusing.

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Look at their feets!!! They look like monkey hands! Good for gripping and so, so soft!!! I did, I touched the feets!!!!

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The shopping continued, as did the eating and the chatting. It’s such a treat to visit and catch up like this every year! She has such a different life than I do and I learn so much from her. She is a good steward of God’s creatures.

Schmenkie set a goal for herself last year to walk every day for a year and on June 23 she will reach it!!! We walked every day and it was so fun to see her greeting all of the people she has met on her usual path! It was like a community! She is so dedicated too! Not a fair weather walker like Keelyody and myself! She walked all winter in most weather and on the treadmill only when heinous outside, And of course, she brought peanuts for the squirrels and keeps her eyes open for all the other critters that might cross her path.

We did our hairs, and then tweaked multiple times. That’s hairdressers for you, forever tweaking.

We talked of many things, and marveled that we can’t shop all day, every day, like we used to! One day we never even left the house! Well, except to walk. We went out to dinner a couple times with her sweet husband Mr C, who is very gracious to let me hog her every Memorial Day! He actually invited me to come back and bring Honey so they could fish and do manly things.

Before we knew it we needed to take our traditional last day picture. We started in the house, which was awesome for her and made my glasses all squirrelly. Well, we can always crop the other out if we need a new Facebook profile picture!

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to the back yard! I quite like this one. There is so much to consider when middle aged woman get to photographing themselves. Head angle, chin coverage, weird folds in the neck, best sides, chest wrinkles, eyes open!

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Mainly where am I supposed to be looking?? A common theme for me this photo shoot!

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Better.

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Awww!

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This could have been my favorite! ARGGGGG!

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Loving this!

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Checking out her Do!

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It’s starting to get away from us…

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…no…

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…heck no.

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Heart emoji!!!

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The Schmenkmans!

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I told her we were at a distinct disadvantage. This generation we have now spends a lot of time perfecting their selfie face in the mirror and on their cell phones, they are TOTALLY ready for their close ups! All we have are orange-y  far away, non edited pictures from the 70s in our past!

Poppet was on her princess pillow when I left, going to miss that wobbly little lady!

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One last selfie, or us-y, showcasing her cutey cute new sun glasses! Love youuuuuuuuu! Thanks for having me Schmenkie, AGAIN!!!

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New Girl in Town

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The Boy’s good friend Elyk is a DADDY!!!

Just before I left for Virginia he and his wife, Pug Mama, went into the hospital to coerce their little girl to come out, after her threatening to make an early appearance for a couple months! It was a long day and night, but she finally made her grand entrance on May 23, a 6 pound 15 ounce little peanut with a full head of dark hair, just like her Daddy!

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She was precious at our hospital visit, a perfect little angel baby.

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Of course the girls and I passed her around like a football getting our baby fix!

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She was a little smaller than Mousey was, so hard to believe they are that little right out of the hatch!

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Welcome baby girl, you are loved!

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Congratulations Elyk and Pug Mama, well done!

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It was good practice for our own little granddaughter, expected at the end of the month!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, it’s been a looooong time! Life got a little hectic there, but it has all smoothed out now and I am ready to rejoin the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you would like to link up, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s, she will be glad to have you!

From this Side of the Pond

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm…
Are you a pack rat? Even if you’re not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what’s yours.

I think there are degrees of pack rat-ism, and unless you are a hard core, black belt packer I think it could probably be classified as a quirk. I guess there is a skill to hiding your tendencies.

I guess I fall into the category of quasi-pack rat. It’s really more that I am sentimental and keep things for that reason. I am a keeper of personal correspondence, pictures, and special things belonging to our children, that I have saved for grandchildren. No one would ever really see these things.

We have lived in our current house for almost 20 years and we have quite a collection of furniture, household items, toys, books for bigs and littles, plus we are currently a holding tank for our grown children. They all have some things set aside that they want to take with them at some future time. We feel like we want to purge, but we have held onto it for this long, we may as well keep it a while longer until the girls move out and The Boy collects his stuff that he didn’t take when he moved out to Washington state last summer. We DO need to get down in our basement and take stock, I’m sure there is a lot we could do without. Maybe when Honey retires next year. Put it on the list.
2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don’t?

I should know how to access new comments on my blog. They have changed the format on WordPress and I can’t figure it out! I can only get there when I get an email notifying me to approve a new comment. I have to say that I hate it when they change things like that, I know that is a strong word, but it is accurate. Their effort to make things more “user friendly” is rarely a help to me! Continuing on the blog topic, I should also be able to figure out how to upload a picture and have it go where I want it to go. Clearly this is asking too much.

There are a lot of things I should know how to do on the ipad, but I just muddle through until someone shows me an easier way.
3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

Unfortunately I do. It was very apparent when I did the Whole 30 diet in March. They acted like the cravings would be gone after 30 days, but I am here to tell you that they did not.

I use Truvia in my tea these days, and have had pretty good success baking with it.

Dessert is not a given when dining out. It’s more of a special occasion thing. I need to return to the one indulgence a week mindset I sported a couple summers ago. I really had to think about what I wanted. It was a good exercise.
4. What’s a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can’t imagine living without?

The iphone. Except for my Dad and one gal I know, Honey and I were the last people we knew to jump on the fancy phone band wagon! I was not, nor am I, super attached to my cell phone. Lots of time it’s in my purse and I can’t even hear it. BUT, I am very glad to finally have one, mainly for the camera, texts, directions, and the ability to check Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram if I am stuck waiting!

How else could I find out important news from Mousey on Snapchat?
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Or text Jip the Farm Dog my most recent purchases from our favorite flower place?

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Everyone needed to see this sparkling beauty of Mia’s misery on her trip to the vet.

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Or sleeping Sy. A good percentage of my photos are Sy related.

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Or our sweet Girlies!

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See? Couldn’t live without it!

5. What’s a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

I heard Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper the other day and it reminded me of a pre marriage road trip to Florida with my old friend Suzie! We heard a lot of Ms Lauper and The Heart of Rock and Roll and I Want a New Drug by Huey Lewis and the News travelling down I75 on that vacation!
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Here is the Way Back When-sday part of the post.

My Mother has been in her heavenly home for 7 years now but she was deeply loved here and fondly remembered last weekend as we celebrated the mothers in our life.

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We had a very nice Mothers Day weekend! The Ab-Cat took us to Longhorn’s for dinner on Saturday night.

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And then Honey took us to our favorite, Chip and Dip after church on Sunday. I told the girls I wanted a picture, and even though there was groaning, they humored me.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Potent Quotable

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The phrase “working mother” is redundant. ~Jane Sellman

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Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you’re the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside. ~Rachel Wolchin

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Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved,

I miss thee, my Mother! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.
~Eliza Cook

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In memoriam.

Ruth Wright, Georgia Davidson, Esther Hoover.

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.