Entries to Win Afghan

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Just a Fungus

All I found today was a fungus I don't recognize. Not that that is any big surprise.

It might be Birch Maze Gill, somewhat deteriorated. But it was catching the light nicely.

fungus on birch

Sadly, this is on the remains of the one white birch on our property that I didn't plant. It died last year.

We did have a Thanksgiving/Birthday party at work. Lots of good food, as always. I'm still stuffed.

See White Trees- Part II
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Five New Reasons to be Happy

Hi. I'm back.

If I couldn't find a reason to be happy today, you might as well take me out and shoot me. The sky was blue. The sun was shining.

blue sky

I walked around my little loop trail out back. About a year ago I reported that there were five baby white pines that had come up on their own just to the east of the large clump on top of the hill.

Well, there are ten babies, not five! It's really hard to see them all in any kind of long shot. I've marked where they are. You'll have to take my word for it on some of them, but I counted carefully.

white pines

But I love to see "my" forest expanding. White pines grow fast enough that they will likely get tall while I'm still around to see them.

white pines

I should move the smallest one. They are much too close together to all survive anyway.

See Little Green Things Make Me Happy
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Season of Thankfulness - A Job with Good People

I'm too tired to post much more than the basics. The Black Friday ad sections are in full swing. We had to pull the bundles off the end of the feeder instead of running them through the stacker. We had to do a packet first because there were so many inserts. The finished bundles weighed 25 pounds.

Several other things also didn't go well in the chaos, but we all pulled together and got 'er done. We usually work from 1:30 to 4:30 or 5 to get the weekly shoppers done. Today was 8 am till 8:30 pm. Two people worked all of that. I only worked 9.5 hours.

But everyone stayed upbeat, and we joke about the difficulties most of the time rather than letting them get us down.

Alicia took a short video.

Alicia's video if you want to see it.

I'm going to bed soon. Have to be back at 9 am. I'm grateful for the extra hours.

See Trail Work Day
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Season of Thankfulness - No Alarm Mornings

I still have one day a week that I have to get up to an alarm clock. That would be Wednesdays. Today. Had to be at work at 8 am. I try not to be grumpy, but it sure doesn't feel good.

To me, one of the real perks when I am actually retired will be to be waked up abruptly by an alarm as seldom as possible.

alarm clock

Even so, as it is now, I don't have to do it very much compared to most people. I am so fuzzy in the mornings. It feels like my head is full of sand, and it takes a long time to really wake up. I've always been this way.

I think I get to indulge myself with this simple pleasure at this point in life!

No adventures today. Worked 8.5 hours, all but about 15 minutes of it on my feet. Chilling now.

See Milkin' the Paper Route
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Season of Thankfulness - Peanut Butter


Laugh all you want. I am thankful for peanut butter. It's my primary protein source. I've been known to say that a day without peanut butter is a day without joy. I've eaten it almost every day of my life since I was at least four. I buy it in five pound jars. If I were told that I'd have to give up peanut butter in order to live a few more years... not sure. That would be a tough choice.

peanut butter

My favorite application is a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich.

peanut butter and pickle sandwich

The ancient Incas may have ground peanuts to make peanut butter, but in modern times it was developed as a health food by several people around 1900. It was introduced to the public at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Peanuts are the USA's 12th largest cash crop, worth about $2 billion a year.

The average American eats six pounds a year. I'm WAY ahead of that curve.

Today, peanut butter fueled a hike at the Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain. The trail is about 2.5 hilly miles with close to 50 works of art installed.

Michigan Legacy Art Park

They range from the abstract, like Communication Vine,

Michigan Legacy Art Park

to the ultra-oversize, realistic Robins.

Michigan Legacy Art Park

Many of the sculptures/constructions have some relation to Michigan history, like Sawpath 1. Easy to see how it looks like a large saw blade.

Michigan Legacy Art Park

Nurture/Nature is supposed to make us think about caring for an egg, without which there is no bird, but neither is there an egg without the bird.

Michigan Legacy Art Park

The trail traverses some steep hills overlooking the Betsie River valley. This is Barn Chair, constructed using typical 19th Century construction techniques.

Michigan Legacy Art Park

I found a tiny kinetic work of art among the leaves, to contrast with the huge constructions.

white moth

Maybe more another day. Some were quite interesting.

See Peanut Butter Fun
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Season of Thankfulness - Natural Beauty

If you visit this blog much you have to know that I'm always thankful for and delighted by the natural beauty of the world around us.

Here's the super moon last night at rising. I think it was reflecting some of the light of the sunset from the west.


Tonight, when it's truly full, there were low clouds and I had to wait till it was higher in the sky to get a picture.


Since I believe all this order and beauty did not happen by mere chance, I also have Someone to actually thank.

The super moon is great, but the best picture I ever took of the moon is at the link below.

See Post Blue Moon
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Season of Thankfulness - Health

Today I'm specifically stating how thankful I am to be in good health. As many of my friends are having more and more difficulties, I'm still in pretty good shape.

This is partly due to good genetics, partly due to the fact that for the most part I like healthy foods better than processed stuff, partly due to enjoying exercise, and mostly due to the grace of God. I really am thankful.

I take no medications of any kind on a regular basis. The only real health issues I have are shoulders that dislocate very easily, and I can not have caffeine as it causes an irregular heartbeat. I think I can live with those.

To me, being able to go out for a hike is just about the best thing to do in the world, and I can still do so, pretty much without any restrictions. Today, I hiked the trail from Piney Ridge Road to Hamlin Dam.

This trail winds between the sand dunes and the south part of Hamlin Lake.

autumn trail

The late afternoon light and comfortable temperatures (mid 50s) sure made for a nice time.

autumn trail

The climb up to the top of the final dune follows a valley which was knee-deep in leaves! Not sure I've hiked in that many leaves before. It was kinda fun.

knee deep leaves

At the top (you've seen this hike before) is the back side of Hamlin Dam.

Hamlin Dam

And the view up the lake was gorgeous today.

Hamlin Lake

I need to be careful to never become complacent about appreciating my ability to visit places like this on foot.

See A New Trail To...
See Finding Inspiration Point
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Season of Thankfulness- House

From now until Thanksgiving this year, I'm going to do a number of posts about things for which I'm really thankful. Some of them may look pretty ordinary, but if I do a blog post about it, I'm really serious about being thankful.

I'm starting with being thankful for having a house. There are an awful lot of people, even in this country, who don't have one, who don't have even an apartment.

I value my privacy and personal space, and I am truly thankful for a house.

The front


and the back


(Part of the front will be the spring roofing project, I'm pretty sure!)

See It'll be a While for the interior
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Friday, November 11, 2016

A Veteran from the Way-Back Machine

On this Veterans Day, I choose to remember a veteran from as far back in the United States' past as you can go. Sorry, no picture of him!

In the sorting of stuff I've been trying to work on this year, I've come across both my grandmother's and mother's DAR pins. That's Daughters of the American Revolution. You must have an ancestor who served during the Revolutionary War to become a member.

Here's Granny's pin with a 25-year rocker.

DAR pin

The ancestor was named Jesse Hodges. I've searched on genealogical sites and could not find the correct one. It seems to have been a rather common name. However, today, just because, I went to the DAR web site. They have a genealogy database of their own which can be searched by anyone. I believe I've got the correct ancestor located, but I don't seem to be able to figure out how to find Mom's and Granny's names, which I think should be there as (past) members.

Here's Mom's pin. It's smaller. She was not active after I was born- probably too busy with raising me and work. Perhaps there wasn't a local chapter.

DAR pin

On the DAR site I learned that it is a non-profit, non-political service organization dedicated to preserving history, promoting patriotism, and education. There is even a chapter only about 20 miles from me. Sounds pretty good.

When I was young, there were many jokes made about the Daughters of the American Revolution, picturing it as a snooty social club for old ladies. If it was, it doesn't look like that's what it is now.

Well, many of the things I have enjoyed or chosen over the course of my life have been ridiculed. Maybe I'll look into this some more. Somewhere, I have the papers that show our lineage and right to belong. The organization was founded in 1890. Looks like pretty good girl power to me.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today and Tomorrow

Lots of angry rhetoric and grieving and unanswered questions and gloating and name-calling and labeling of entire groups of people still going on via social media- am I successfully making the point that people on both sides of this election are being uncharitable, selfish and not listening to each other?

I've lived through a few genuine life-changing tragedies and you probably have too. Do you remember the utter shock of discovering that everything in your personal world had changed and yet the physical world just went on about its business, as if you were the one point in the entire universe that was not moving while everything else just streamed past you?

Tomorrow can be a word of either despair or hope.

Macbeth soliloquizes: "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death."

But Annie sings: "Tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun will come out tomorrow... I love you tomorrow, you're only a day away."

Here was yesterday's tomorrow- sunrise




And so... to morrow.

In a topic completely unrelated to the election, I don't feel very good, and am heading to bed early. Nothing serious, but I need sleep.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fall Colors

I'll say it again. I don't think the colors here have been as good this year as in the past two. Seems to me like there was a noticeable absence of reds. Only one of these pictures has red in it. The tree line in the third picture usually has red and bright orange instead of being all varieties of gold.

This is the best of my fall pictures that I haven't already shared. Lots of gold and shades of brown. Not shabby, but not so bright.

As we approach Thanksgiving on this election night when half of the country is going to be angry and unhappy, let's try to remember that our country's governmental system was carefully designed with the idea that the principles for which we stand would be able to survive any one leader. Even ancient Israel survived the alternation of godly and ungodly kings. No matter whom you voted for, please give thanks for our right to have a say-so in the process. For friends and family. For freedom.

Now, just enjoy the pictures. Try to relax. Take a deep breath. Try to neither despair nor gloat. Try kindness and civility.

autumn colors

autumn colors

autumn colors

autumn colors

autumn colors

autumn colors

See Tour of an Autumn Day
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