Entries to Win Afghan

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Time's (more than) Up- How About that List?

Remember the list of things I wanted to do this year? Even with the extension I gave myself my success rate is pretty low. I'm reporting just to be honest, certainly not to make myself look good. Frowny face here.

I pretty much know what I need to be doing to reach at least some of my life goals, but I'm doing a really poor job of acting on it.

For illustration I offer two childhood pictures that pretty much define the problem.

Here I am digging a hole. Yes, to China. Inspired by a Donald Duck comic book where Huey, Duey and Louie were digging such a hole. Yes, I would dig whenever the mood struck me. In ten years I got it about 5 feet deep and six feet across. In my defense, I will state that this was in New York gray clay, not Michigan sand. (I was quite shocked when I moved to Michigan and discovered that mere mortals COULD actually dig holes.)

Child digging a hole

Here I am fishing in a creek with no fish. Why? Because I had new rubber boots and a fishing pole. The presence of obtainable osteichthyes was irrelevant to me. I thought that with boots and a pole they would appear and beg to be caught.

Child fishing

You will notice that I look pretty happy in both instances. I was and am a process person. I care more about gardening than having a beautiful garden. I like to knit, etc, but care less about finishing projects. And on and on.

Yes, I know I was a kid. No, I'm not just being down on myself. I know my faults as well as anyone. You can draw your own conclusions as to whether I have improved on these childish methods of choosing activities. I will also draw mine.

Anyway, here's the report.

54 in 300, report on day 427
1WRITINGbegin working on North Country Quest againgot briefly inspired, then got boggged down in reality again - still about 5 chapters done
2WRITINGedit Kiss of the Butterfly, submit for publicationnothing
3WRITING100 NC History pagesjust the planning in Nov
4WRITINGblog about 8 wild foodsnone
5WRITINGfinish Dead Mule Swamp Druggist16 chapters added
9WRITINGdo 10 book promotion things9 ish- I lost count
7WRITINGwriting schedule day 50 times (this refers to a particular disciplined schedule)9
8WRITING5 entries in Off the Sanctuary Wallnone
9WRITINGpursue a contract I can't name yetdidn't happen- but I tried
10WRITINGtalk to 5 bookstores about carrying mysteriesnone
11HOUSEfix kitchen drawerDONE
12HOUSEcut down 5 autumn olive treesDONE
13HOUSEclean refrigerator twiceDONE
14HOUSEreplace kitchen faucetnothing
15HOUSEget lawnmower fixedDONE- you heard about most of this. I get extra points
16HOUSEclean terraceDONE
17HOUSEkitchen light electric boxDONE
18HOUSEreplace faucet by washing machinenothing
19HOUSEput away model railroad stuffnone
20HOUSEspend 10 hours sorting books3 total- only managed to make a bigger mess
21FITNESSincrease to 30 pushupsgave up
22FITNESSincrease to 100 jumping jacksgave up
23FITNESSincrease to 2 min plankinggave up
24FITNESSwalk, bike, ski or snowshoe 200 timesno clue- over 100
25HIKINGNCT Hike 100 Challenge for 2016DONE
26HIKINGvisit 5 new MI counties to explore trailsnone
27HIKINGhike 100 more miles of the Buckeye TrailDONE, 230+ actually
28HIKINGclear my trail betterDONE
30PERSONALFinancial Goal #2nothing
31PERSONALlose 10 poundslost 8!
32PERSONALplay music 50 times20 ish
33PERSONALother #1 (200 times)40 ish
34PERSONALother #2 (12 times)2
35MISCmake 21 quarts juice14 total
36MISCtry 10 new wild foodsnone
37MISCsome genealogy stuffvery little- found John's obit, tried to locate Ricky
38MISC100 more pix on Shark Shotslost track, maybe 20
39MISC2 photo cards documentedgot most hike pictures listed
40MISCgive 10 gifts from my kitchen5 ish
41MISCeat at Brenda's BurgersDONE
42MISCeat at Country Crittersclosed, but now open under new management
43MISCtake my trailer on 2 tripsone
44MISCfinish monkey bootiesDONE
45MISCget two programs NCT and Kitchen Sinknone
46MISCget rid of 100 things??? 20 ish
47MISCread or listen to 100 bookslost track, but way over 100. Most not very meaningful
48MISCmove NCC from Josh's garagenothing
49MISCshort bios of 5 relativesnone
50MISCsort my fabricnothing
51MISCdo something inside my trailerremoved some things I don't want. Finished curtains. Have design plans for rebuilding. Visited Scamp and learned a lot
52MISCadd 50 things to family heritage list15 ish
53MISCsome VCR tapes to DVDnone
54MISCsome cassette tapes to CDnone
There you have it. I probably would have done as much without the list...

See Trail Work Day
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Friday, December 30, 2016

Who Makes This Stuff Up?

Have you seen the meme on Facebook that claims there is a difference in taste, number of seeds and gender between peppers with three lobes and four lobes? I knew it was nonsense, but I've been looking for one with three lobes at the store to demonstrate.

green pepper

Here are the insides.

green pepper

See any big difference in the number of seeds? Nope. Is there any difference in taste? Nope. Do peppers even have genders? Nope. Pepper flowers are perfect, which means they have both male and female parts, and the fruits are all identical.

In other stupid news, this was on the label of the turkey I fixed this year.

turkey label

"For... premium presentation, cook stuffing and turkey separately."

Hard to have a "stuffing" presentation if it's not stuffed in the turkey, eh? As far as safety... do people not cook their turkeys long enough to get the stuffing hot? If so, the turkey would still be pretty raw. That seems real appealing. Right.

I don't think there's much wrong with my turkey presentations. (This is Thanksgiving 2013)

turkey dinner

I'm off to work for the night in just a bit.

See Turkey and Toys
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thinking Inside the Box

Sometimes the difficulties of life, or a stressful shift at work, leave you looking for a small, warm, safe place to hunker down for a while and hide from the problems that surround you.

We know just such a place.

people in a box

Of course, we did have to finish the shift with the TOTALLY OBNOXIOUS inserts. But we eventually got it done.

See Why This Job is Good for Me
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Waffle Day!


I guess I post pictures every time we make waffles. But they are a special treat and when we do them, we make a big deal about it.

We were going to do them on Christmas, but we were still in a food coma from Friday and Saturday. Pretty much ditto for yesterday. We just nibbled and didn't want to fill our stomachs. But the waffles turn came today.

My Mom's recipe, of course. Perfect.



We managed to eat two each, and will warm the rest up tomorrow.

See Waffle Birthday
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Tree- Small but Beautiful

This year, we had the smallest Christmas tree ever (except for a live one in a pot once). Omer's thing has always been to have a huge tree. In the old house we were able to have an 18 foot tree at the end of the living room. Those were an annual production of wrestling and wiring it into place, followed by a tree-trimming party and over 300 ornaments.

He'd still like to have as big a tree as possible, although the ceiling now limits us to 12 feet. That said, this year he got one very cheaply at about 7 feet. Works for me.

I have to say that it was very strange, though. It came bundled, so we leveled the cut on the bottom and I single-handedly carried it to the stand and plopped it in place!

bundled Christmas Tree

Sure looked like it might be a dogbone again, even after untying and spreading.

Christmas Tree

But look what happened! Omer is great with getting the lights on just right.

Christmas Tree

I think it's one of our nicest ever.

We went to see Rogue One today. Classic Star Wars fun, and a good addition to the episodes.

In other news, Omer said the storm last night woke him up and was almost frightening. "What storm? I asked. Guess I slept well! It has remained really windy all day with major snow melting. But we are supposed to get more before the end of the week.

Tomorrow it's back to work.

See The Dogbone Tree
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Quite a Pile of Loot

Nice quiet Christmas. Steve called this morning and chatted for a while.

Josh came by and brought the big fruit basket on the left.

Loretta sent the CD (Christmas music by her local Fine Arts Association), T-shirt and book (Adventurous Women- lots of good stories there).

Christmas gifts

See the stick in the back? That was my gift from the party at work. Patty drew my name and gave me this hiking stick. It has quite a story.

hiking stick

First of all, the wood came from the slopes of Mt. St. Helens post eruption. How cool is that? Then, Patty's husband Steve did the carving and painting to decorate it with Native American symbols.

Trust me, this will be for decoration, not hiking with!

hiking stick

Finally, a pretty amazing gift from Omer. The complete set of Perry Mason TV show episodes. I've watched 6 of them today! (265 to go). So well done! The series began in 1957, and although dated, clearly are quality acting and production.

Perry Mason DVD set

See Fun, Gifts, Blessings-2014
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016


As the Eve winds down and we approach a day that is pretty crazy for many, I'll just wish you a merry and peaceful Christmas.

Christmas Card

See Christmas Eve- Two Styles
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Friday, December 23, 2016

Turkey and Toys

Christmas party at work was all the departments combined (not just the mailroom people), so we had food, food and more food. I got a picture of the finished turkey before it left my house, but it was too crazy to get pictures of the "presentation." The meal was timed to be good for the front office people, which meant that it was primarily served when we had to get the inserts in the papers and get them out the door. That's not really a complaint, it's just the way it is, and there wasn't time for pictures.

roast turkey

The food was awesome... turkey, ham, lots of side dishes and plenty of cookies and sweets.

After the daily paper was out the door, and before we did the "shopper," we had our department gift exchange. The people who are employed right now all work well together, and we like each other. This makes for really fun times.

For example, Beth is opening her gift which is a handmade cook book of family recipes from Michelle.

opening presents

Tonight's shift will be short, but I'm already beat since I got up at 3am to do that turkey, so I'm sparing you more pictures.

See Christmas Party at Work- 2015
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Caution- Cooking Ahead

Although I do a fair number of cooking posts, it's because they are sort of events. Those who know me well know that my mantra is "I've already fulfilled my lifetime quota of cooking."

That said, I can be coerced into the activity given one or more of the following:

1. I prefer my own cooking to processed foods, and most restaurant foods, so I must cook if I want to eat some things.

2. Someone is going to eat it that really appreciates it.

3. Some or all of the key ingredients were free.

So, about a month ago, our Josh walked in the door carrying a not insignificant frozen turkey. He won it! All 19 pounds of it. He doesn't even like turkey.

There's no way I'm doing that for two of us. However, there is a party at work tomorrow. Solution. Except this means I have to cook. Bragging shamelessly, I will say that my turkeys (my Mom's actually) are significantly good.

This has to be ready to eat at noon tomorrow. That means it has to go in the oven at 4 am. Hmmm. Doing the stuffing this evening.

Cooking sausage...

cooking sausage

Chopping vegetables...

chopped vegetables

Omer made the cranberry relish.

making relish

Most to share. Some to keep back for us.

cranberry relish

Apparently it's been 3 years since I did one of Mom's turkeys. I suppose it's time. Link to previous one below.

See Thanksgiving 2013
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

All Jammed Up for the Holidays?

Worked all day today.

This is what we deal with from time to time. It takes about 5 seconds for this to happen. Amazing, eh?

paper jam

Nevertheless, the day went pretty well. Don't let the jam-ups get you down.

Even in a dirty, noisy, industrial environment we know how to find some Christmas spirit. When life gives you pallets, make Christmas trees.

pallet Christmas tree

Christmas hats

In one more week I will have been working at the newspaper for four years. I also find that pretty amazing.

I was hoping to bring you a bit of video from the praise concert, and it could happen yet, but there are some pesky technical difficulties messing up my plans.

See Mail Room
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gold For the Angels

On the way to handbell practice I swung through the park at the beach. The lighthouse at sunset is always a favorite view. The 30 mph winds guaranteed some action from the water. I couldn't stay long enough to wait for a really big wave or better color, but this isn't bad. Even caught a bird to the left of the light.

Ludington Lighthouse

Here's the other song the bell choir played on Sunday morning, Christmas Angels Medley. We've played at enough venues this year that it really feels like all the practice is worth something. We'll play again on Christmas eve.

See Ludington Beach in January
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Monday, December 19, 2016

Dashing Through the Snow

No perfect unbroken snow at my house! The side yard was a thoroughfare. At least five (rein?)deer made their way across in the early hours.

deer tracks

Seems like an appropriate picture to go with Jingle Bells, as sung by the West Shore Choir, yesterday.

See A Day Filled with Music
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