Entries to Win Afghan

If you like my books, essays, etc. you might want to put your name on this private email list (no spam ever) for advance notices, coupons, and occasional freebies. Tell your friends too! Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Previous gifts include a short story, a poem and a half-off coupon for the newest book. Sign up, and don't miss out!"
Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Diggy's Adventure- My Newest Game Addiction

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I like some computer games. Especially puzzle games.

I'm in real trouble now, because I've found one that just keeps going pretty much forever (although I guess there are some players who have reached the end of the available content).

It's called Diggy's Adventure, and it was created by the same company that does Train Station, my other favorite game.

Basically, Diggy is a little guy who removes sand, dirt, rocks, etc and completes quests to advance through the game. There are hundreds of regular levels, but there are also lots of special events which keep things interesting. Right now, the Christmas event is in full swing.

Diggy's Adventure

I can't even begin to show you the variety of location and quests. Just a few samples.

This is a temple in ancient Egypt.

Diggy's Adventure

This one was called Jumping Jungle, and Diggy had to come back with a pet monkey for a guy in the town.

Diggy's Adventure

Sometimes there are objects to be moved. Lots of times patterned stones like the ones you can see in the temple have to be placed in the correct locations to unlock gates.

This one was nifty. You had to move the reflectors to aim the colored light beams which would energize the laser. Then you fired the laser to blast through the mountain.

Diggy's Adventure

In this one you had to uncover an old water basin and detonate some dynamite to blast a channel from the river to fill it.

Diggy's Adventure

Then you had to repair the pipeline.

Diggy's Adventure

Finally, you turned the valve and the water could flow through.

Diggy's Adventure

The special events usually have a story line, and a few of them have been exceptionally interesting- more than just "go get this" or "find this person."

Not a strongly edifying activity, but it sure is fun.

See Armikrog
See Riven
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Perfect Medium

Today I bring you some really, really perfect mouse tracks. I'm certain they are mouse. I'm 98% certain they are from a deer mouse. This is a very nice medium for capturing tracks from tiny feet.

mouse tracks

What is it, you ask?

Bacon grease on a pan that was sitting out in the kitchen. Hmmm. Not where I want the mice to be. We've been keeping the traps busy. I hate killing things, but I have rules about them chewing up my food and fabric items.

mouse tracks

In other news, the Marquette Rail engine with the nice paint job went by here again today. Maybe they got another one painted, so we'll see it most of the time.

See Of Mice and Mice
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Trail and Train

Today I walked the entire loop that I used to do with Maggie the dog nearly every day. It winds through the back of the cemetery woods and down to the creek and back around the end of my property (and the next one), and then home.

I like to go down by the creek, not only because it is pretty, but there is at least some topography and it's a good walk. Takes a half hour or a little more, so about 1.5 miles.


If I'm going to hike it regularly again (which I don't do in winter because parts are too narrow and difficult on snowshoes) I'll need to do some re-routing and serious work. Amazing how much stuff has fallen down in just three years.

This is the biggest tree, a victim of emerald ash borer. Definitely a re-route!

fallen tree

Love the beetle galleries, though. They look like some sort of ancient script; if only I could read the message.

beetle galleries

While I was walking, I heard a train coming. Only one chance to catch a picture from where I was, and it's not in focus at all, but it did capture an interesting fact.


This engine has the new paint scheme. They hardly ever run these engines on this particular branch. The pretty ones mostly run down near Grand Rapids. We get the ones with the old paint jobs. So, I'm glad I caught the moment.

See New Owner, New Paint Scheme
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Puffball and Progress

It was another clear day today. A little colder than yesterday, but I went out to work on cutting those autumn olives down to the ground.

In the grass beside one was a mature and dehydrated puffball.


I found it because as I moved the grass, brown "smoke" started to rise from the area. I knew what that was without any guessing. Here I've pinched it to show how that looks. These are spores being released. I'll have to look for fresh puffballs in that area next year.


As far as getting those trees cut off... I got one and a half done. The first one had a triple trunk which had all grown together. Thankfully, it did separate when I was trying to cut it.

tree stump

It's pretty amazing that this is all grown up in the last three years. Before Maggie the dog died I was keeping the entire trail open quite diligently.

The combined stump is a good six inches across.

tree stump

I went on to work on the next one, where I was distracted by the puffball. It was also a tiring and annoying project. I got part of that one.

tree stump

Bed early I think 'cause work comes early tomorrow and Thursday.

The first Christmas card of the year came today from Chuck and Sylvia of Secondary Roads!

See I Found Dinner
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Trees Down, Trees Up

Last night we had snow- the first significant fall of the season. I didn't think there was any real wind associated with that, but when I went outside today there were three big branches broken off my white pines that are near the house. Bummer. I cleared one of them, but these two are hung up on another branch. Will need a ladder and a helper to get them down.

white pines

Today the snow all melted, the sun came out and the temperature hit the mid-forties. Nice.

I've been cutting more of those blankety-blank autumn olive trees. They are so reprehensible that it's a three-step process to clear them. First day I take the loppers out and cut enough branches of an inch or less in diameter that I can actually get near the trunk of the tree. Have I mentioned they have nasty thorns? Need to be covered up and wear leather gloves.

Day two is to take the small saw and trim the branches down so I can get to the base of the trunk. That's what I did today on three trees that have grown up just in the last three years in my trail.

autumn olive stumps

It's like they had this perverse sense of humor, growing right in the exact line where I used to mow.

autumn olive stumps

Well, if I get out there one more time before real snow and cut them off at ground level, I may be able to conquer them. Every stump will have ten new sprouts in the spring, so I'll need to mow regularly. Killing those trees is nearly impossible.

In the growing up department, however, there are at least 15 baby white pines growing on the south slope below the grove on the hill. This is the same stand that has the new trees also on the east side. This is awesome! I would be really happy to have much more of that open space out back turn into a white pine forest.

This is just a few that I could get in one picture.

baby white pines

I have managed to get all my ski/snowshoe trail trimmed enough that I can get through. There are places that could have better clearance, and I'll work on them if I get more decent days.

See Five New Reasons to Be Happy
if you like this blog, click the +1   or

Like This!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin