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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NCT Hike- Just Fun

Met up with pals Connie and Jerry Allen to grab a few more miles toward Hike 100.


We hiked from Highbridge to Dilling Road on the NCT- a piece I just hiked earlier this year, but that's ok. Here's the beaver pond in August.

beaver pond

Some pretty little orange mushrooms.


Here's home for the night. Connie and Jerry are in a camper.


If you know them, you know that Buster always goes along too.

stuffed dog

North Country Trail- Highbridge to Dilling 6 miles. Hike 100 Total= 51 miles

See Same Hike Other Direction
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Great Balls of Fire! Or Not

Great Balls of Fire! Literally and in an exclamatory sense. It's only mornings like this one when you can really look at that great ball of fire in the sky.

red sun in fog

A few minutes later the red color was gone, but the scene was magical. This tree is nothing but an annoyance to mow around, except that I consider it my own private bonsai tree.

foggy sunrise

And the moon tonight was neither a ball, nor is it fiery, since it has no fire of its own. But I loved the blue sky.

crescent moon

In an exclamatory sense... Great balls of fire! There was no water last night when I went to bed. What the heck? We just had a new pump put on the well this past winter (at great expense). And, um... it's certainly not frozen this week. So I was not looking forward to getting in the well pit. I did check the breaker, which was fine. Laid awake agonizing over it all. So, this morning I dialed the pump man, and just thought I'd turn on the faucet while the call was going through. Water! Hung up, since I don't like talking to the pump man who is always annoyed with me.

I have no explanation for this. The well is not dry. It's 165 feet deep with 85 feet of water in it. It never ran dry when I was doing two loads of laundry a day and cooking for herds of people; I'm sure it's not in trouble with two of us who may do two loads of laundry a week and avoid cooking like the plague.

Someone suggested that new pumps have a thermal shut-off if they get too hot. This is my only guess.

See Foggy Day- for same tree in afternoon fog
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Monday, August 13, 2018

Yellow Hen and Chicks

I've showed you this before but not for a long time. This is one of the hens and chicks I have growing all over my garden. There are some that are hardy, and this is perhaps the hardiest. It spreads like wildfire. The rosettes are small- the largest are maybe 2 inches across. I nicknamed it "green star."


Genus Sempervivum, sometimes also known as houseleek. When the rosettes become mature they send up a single impressive scaly stalk with flowers on the end.


A lot of them have pink flowers, but these are yellow. This rosette will then die.


No clue what species it is. There are just too many choices. I was given a handful of these from the Matthaei Botanical Garden maybe 25 years ago. It turned out to be a great filler in my rock garden. Now it's everywhere.

In other news: I worked hard on paperwork from the Writers' Rendezvous, and did errands. Now we have no water. No clue why. I'll call the pump guys in the morning.

See Sempervivum!
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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Little Green Things

This little tickler was crawling on my arm the other day. I managed to convince him to sit on my thumb. Bugguide has helped me decide this is an assassin bug nymph (instar). A very early one.

assassin bug nymph

Here's looking at you!

assassin bug nymph

The next day I found this interesting tracing in the duckweed at the edge of Hamlin Lake. Since I love patterns, I had to snap it.

circular pattern in duckweed

But what would have caused it? Turns out the gentle waves were forcing the little green floating leaves out of a small notch in the edge of this sharp rock every time a wave bounced off the seawall, creating a line. Then they would float out and be caught by the next wave coming in, so they would circle around... and again and again....

pattern in duckweed

In other news: I applied for two things having to do with books. I'll let you know if anything comes of either of those endeavors. I wrote a chapter in DMS Mistletoe. And I did laundry.

See A Good Day to be Green (katydid instar)
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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Red Roots

Today was the Manistee Book Expo, and after it was done I walked the Riverwalk. This was my most interesting find. Who knew that willows can have red roots?

willow roots red

I thought maybe I was being fooled by two trees growing close together, but I did find some other pictures on line of willows that had roots growing into water that were very red. These were really floating, wafting in and out with the gentle waves.

willow roots red

It was a gorgeous day. A little warm, but not unbearable.

Manistee River

I sold a few books, visited with a friend, took this walk. I didn't sleep well at all last night. Is it too early to go to bed?

See Manistee Riverwalk Again
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Friday, August 10, 2018

MUT for an Evening

I got to do something really fun this evening. The MUTS are having a weekend rally here in Ludington. What are the MUTS, you ask? Michigan United Tandem Society.

MUTS decal

I'll be writing my next newspaper column about them, so I was invited to eat dinner with them today. Lots of funny stories and interesting information. Bicycles sure don't necessarily look like they used to. I got a chance to ride on this recumbent tandem for about four miles.

riding a recumbent tandem bicycle

It was a lot of fun, although it was weird. The person in back does absolutely nothing except pedal.

In other news: I got new tires on my car, worked at Shagway in the afternoon, went for a hike between that and MUTS, and wrote a chapter in DMS Mistletoe. A good productive day!

See More about the Old New Bike
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Yellow Rose of Michigan

I'm not much of a rose fan, but if there must be roses, let them be yellow.

yellow shrub rose

I first noticed this shrub rose back in June. There are several of them behind my bank building. I smelled them before I saw them. Not only are they yellow, but they are an old-fashioned kind. Not exactly single roses, but not the hybrid tea roses that have come to almost define the word 'rose.' That gives me another reason to like them.

yellow shrub rose

Here's another reason to find them attractive. They were still blooming today, in August. That's a long flowering season. In fact the close-up picture above was taken today. Sure, there were fewer blossoms now, but it was still very nice.

yellow shrub rose

In other news: I worked on accounts, files and wrote a chapter in DMS Mistletoe.

See La Vie en Rose
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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Hangin' Around the Water Cooler

I wish I could have gotten a good shot of this pose, but all I got was one through the screen with my phone. This is the fox squirrel, just relaxing around the water cooler, er... birdbath. What you can't really tell because of the window divisions is that it was just sort of draped casually over the edge, with one elbow hooked on the rim. Sometimes animals take on such human poses. Or is it the other way around?

squirrel leaning on birdbath

But by the time I went and got the better camera the squirrel was wary.

squirrel by birdbath

But, at least that birdbath is finally being taken seriously by overheated wildlife.

In other news: I gave a program at Montague Library tonight. It went really well and I sold some books. It was last night, but since I blogged last I also wrote another chapter of DMS Mistletoe.

See Twiggy the Water-skiing Squirrel
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Family Portrait?

Remember that long-legged fawn that I showed you? (see link below) He (I think) and his little sister (I think) and mama have decided that their territory is my yard. Here's Mama.

whitetail deer

Here are the twins. Mr. long-legs on the left.

whitetail twin fawns

But here is the strange thing. For more than a week there's been a fourth member of their group. A buck is hanging around with them. This seems odd to me. One doesn't usually see family groups of deer. I'm wondering if the buck is a last-year fawn of the same doe rather than daddy.

whitetail twin fawns and a buck

They think I'm pretty unreasonable to want to come outside on my deck and watch them.

In other news: I did a lot of errands, grocery shopping, and voted.

See One of the Twins in July
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Monday, August 6, 2018

Menu Memories

Today, I decided that I needed to make one tiny space in my house look like something other than an episode of Hoarders. OK, the smallest space is the upstairs bathroom.

That included a shelf where the overflow of recipe books has had a home. I sorted multiple notebooks of recipes I'll never try (but once thought I might), put a 15" stack of recipe books in the giveaway pile, and had quite a few smiles from records I'd kept over the years.

My relationship with cooking has been... long. I keep saying I completed my lifetime quota of cooking more than ten years ago. I don't find any particular pleasure in cooking, but if I'm going to do it, I want to do it well. And now, I like my own cooking better than most everything I can get by eating out unless it costs WAY too much. However, I'm pretty content on the rare occasions when food just appears at mealtime, and I didn't have to do anything to make that happen.

With all that introduction, here are some menu memories for you to chuckle over. First up, we have bicycle trips. I cooked at first out of the back of a trailer, and then out of the back of a bus, for 20-50 people for weeks on end.

kitchen in the back of a bus

Just in case teenagers weren't hungry enough already, have them ride a bicycle 100 miles and then see what they can eat.

bicycle trip

Here's the beginning of page one of the kitchen equipment.

kitchen equipment list

And the step-by-step for Cream of Wheat for 40-45.

directions for Cream of Wheat

Moving along to when we had boys of our own. They pretty much thought they were going to die if I wasn't home to cook. I'm pretty sure this menu page is from a week that I made a trip to Illinois. I packed separate boxes and labeled everything and left instructions. They seem to have all lived.

menu page

One of the things I liked to do each year was fix a big fancy Christmas feast to which we invited a number of friends. We could seat about 18, which this page says we did have in 1989.

Christmas dinner

I was able to match the menu page with an actual picture of that meal.

menu page

And last, and perhaps most amusing, is a list (who knows why I saved it) that I made to help us through the 9 months that Omer, Steve, and I lived in a 20x20 space with no stove or oven while the house we are in now was being built. We had a fridge, an electric frypan and a microwave.

small house

I listed meals that could be cooked with those appliances and no oven.

no oven menu list

Once again, we can safely say that no one starved during that time period.

This post was a little more personal than some, but I got such a kick out of finding these things. It's really what today was about.

And what did I have for dinner? A microwaved potato with butter and greens on top. Fancy cookin' eh?

Oh, and I did finish cleaning that one bathroom.

See All I Have to Share is Food
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