Entries to Win Afghan

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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Working My Way East

  I left home at 7:45 am (on time, if you can believe it) with bags of recyclables for my companions.
car full of recycling

First stop, Ann Arbor, to see my buddy Bill! No, the trail doesn't go through Ann Arbor, but Bill had to put a blaze on the pole in front of his house anyway. One really weird thing is that Bill lives very close to where my good friends Phil and Nan lived (where I stayed for a couple of summers while working in Ann Arbor). I used to walk Maggie on Bill's street, when she was a puppy.
hiker by a blaze

We did all my errands and then Anne and Bill fed me dinner. Best part of it all is that I finally got to meet Anne.
happy couple

After that, I moved on to the next leg of my journey. I'll tell you about that tomorrow, but I'm safely tucked in for a few hours until we have to head for the train station.

Woo hoo! I see Marie in about 18 hours, depending on how late the train runs.

See Ice- Not So Nice Today

Monday, February 27, 2023

Ice- Not So Nice Today

  Ice is really beautiful, but today it interfered with things I needed to get done. Here's the mood my backyard was in today. The link below lists all posts with moods of my backyard.
ice covered trees

The light was so flat and even all day that I took two pictures of this scene, one at noon and one about 5 pm, and they are exactly the same.
ice covered trees

After noon, it warmed up just enough to make things less treacherous, so I did a couple of errands, and one more big bag of recycling went in the car. I finished getting the 2022 financial records in order. We lined up 10 boxes of stuff for Om to take to Goodwill this week. And you still won't be able to tell that any significant amount of stuff has left the house. Sigh.

I have an online meeting tonight. In the morning, I just have to shower and do one more errand. Then I'll be on my way to the first stop, Ann Arbor- stay tuned.

See Moods of my Backyard

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Best Pictures of December 2021

  I now have all the pictures I took from December 2021 in the data base. I'm going to get a few more from Bill on Tuesday, but as of now there are 1049 entries and 920 of them are ones I took. From those, I've chosen what I think are the 8 best pictures to share again. I am calling them "best," not because they necessarily tell the story best, but because I think they are simply the best actual photographs. I've left them full size, so you can click on them and see them larger. That always makes photos look better.

I'm sharing this one first because it's so inviting. Even though it's a dirt road (E Drive N south of Battle Creek), it suggests the fact that this was a hike.
dirt road with trees

Speaking of Battle Creek, it's really hard to get pictures of cities that look decent, so I'm pleased with this one.
Battle Creek

The sunset over Gull Lake was worthy.
sunset over Gull Lake

In contrast, here is a hazy, frosty Baw Beese Lake
Baw Beese Lake

The frosted shrubbery, including red-osier dogwood along the pathway in Homer was stunning.
frosty boardwalk

There are two shots from the Lew Campbell Tallgrass Prairie in northern Ohio, mostly because the light was simply wonderful that day.
Lew Campbell tallgrass prairie

The other one features Deb Matthes and the award-winning pup, Willow.
hiker in tall grasses

The final entry for December is along the Miami-Wabash-Erie Canal at Grand Rapids, Ohio.

Long time readers know that I've usually shared what I think are my best photos of each year. But I think I'll have to do a post for each month for 2022 because there are so many pictures. Hope you don't mind.

I spent the day trying to get things in order to leave on Tuesday morning. I have 5 large bags and some smaller items of recycling that can only go to Ann Arbor. I have a large box to deliver there as well. Those are in the car. I'm working on packing and trying to get the 2022 financial records finished up.

See Best Photos of 2020

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Mailboxes 1

  On the hike last year, I encountered quite a few interesting or whimsical mailboxes. However, even though I really enjoy finding these there were always more interesting features that defined the trail on any given day.

But I'd like to show them to you. Here are three. I especially like ones that are homemade
tractor mailbox

This one is a bit more weathered, but someone spent some time to make this horse.
horse mailbox

Completing this trio is a silo. I think we can safely conclude that these come from a rural area. And, yes, they were all within 25 miles of each other.
mailbox shaped like silo

Things like this just make me smile. Smiling is good.

In other news: I felt good and worked hard on all my projects. I need to be ready to leave here on Tuesday morning, so I need to keep moving. Biggest project news is that I solved an annoying issue of how a piece of software was displaying on the new computer. It just takes forever to make big transitions like this.

See Whimsy

Friday, February 24, 2023

I Missed One!

  It's a wonder I haven't been taken to task by one of the North Dakota trail people. A couple of days ago when I shared the patches I earned in 2022 on the North Country Trail, I left out the Dakota Challenge patch for hiking all of North Dakota. In my defense, I can only say I did forget, but I found it today while looking for some other things. I'm still missing one pile of stuff. It must be hiding in my car.
hike all of North Country trail in North Dakota patch

In other news: I worked on some projects and spent 2 1//2 hours doing errands and getting my car serviced. After I got home, I decided I didn't feel so great, so I just vegetated. Nothing terrible, just kind of blah.

See Hiking Patches for 2022

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Weird? Or Not

  First, I want to show you a little 6-inch plate that I found somewhere. It has no family history. I like the design and it will eventually go up on my kitchen wall as part of some decor I'm working on.
petit point design plate

I like the design. The colors aren't as bright as my favorites, but there are all the primary colors, if a little muted. I did a little bit of internet research and discovered it is a design called Petit Point, from the 1930's. This closeup shows that it is made to look like needlepoint or perhaps cross-stitch. Technically, petit point is finely stitched needlepoint, which means the yarn only goes on one diagonal, not both like cross-stitch. This looks more like cross-stitch to me, but I didn't name it.

Now here's where it gets weird. I hardly ever need a cake plate. Most cakes I make are just baked in a rectangular pan and get cut in squares right out of the pan. But the lemon cake I made yesterday is a round layer cake. I do own three cake plates. One is clear glass- I have no idea where it came from. One is a brightly colored fruit design that I like- I think it came in a box of free stuff. The other one was my mother's. I remembered that it had some kind of floral design, but it was on the bottom of the stack. I decided I would like to use Mom's for the lemon cake. I pulled it out, and...

It's the same Petit Point series as the small plate! It's a larger design, but clearly part of a set. Maybe there was some unconscious reason I liked the small plate?
Petit Point cake plate

Of course the pictures are the same size, but this is a full size cake plate- about 12 inches across.

I turned them over, and they are not from the same company. The small plate is Taylor Smith. There are quite a few of these plates floating around on the internet. It seems my small plate is worth about $6. The cake plate was made by Kitchen Kraft Ovenserve. I found a lot of that, also with the Petit Point design, but not a cake plate. Here are the marks.
1930s plates maker marks

Designs like this are put on tableware with a special kind of decal that seals to the glaze when it is fired. I think it's obvious that some decal company was selling this design to more than one manufacturer.

I could not find a cake plate like this one, but similar ones are only worth about $20. Still, it was Mom's. And just now as I was writing this my brain gave a little spark and said, "There's a lid that goes with this plate." Sure enough, another trip to the pantry located the lid which is aluminum with a wooden knob.

I believe this was a wedding gift in 1943, but that's a long time after the 1930s, so perhaps she owned it before she married Dad. Of course, popular patterns may have lasted longer back then too.
cake plate lid

In other news: I got back on track and did some work on most of my projects. I have all the Michigan pictures from Dec 1-24, 2021 in the database.

See Yellow Dinner

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Yellow Dinner

  Someone mentioned macaroni and cheese the other day, and sometimes that's all it takes to get me to make the real stuff. It's one of my favorites. That is... the baked kind. The only thing was that I had a big block of mild cheddar I really needed to use, and I'd prefer sharp cheddar, but it is still awesome.
macaroni and cheese baked

And we were out of all dessert-y things too. I haven't made this in decades, but I remembered how good it is and the memory was correct. Here's a lemon cake. No artificial flavor. There is the juice and rind of a whole lemon in there.
lemon cake

Totally yummy. I suppose I can't justify cake for breakfast. We'll see if I care in the morning. I like homemade cakes- not from a box. The box cakes seem like so much flavored air to me. This cake is not heavy, but it has a little substance to it.
slice of lemon cake

I should be all set with food until I leave next Tuesday.

In other news: I wasn't very disciplined today. I'm feeling rather obsessed with the database, and so I spent almost all the time I wasn't cooking on that.

See Low Key Thanksgiving

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Hiking Patches for 2022

  I never showed you the collection of patches I got last year for various hiking accomplishments. I did show you the Chief Noonday set, but I actually completed that in 2021.

The others are NCT Hike 100, PA Hike 50, and FLT Hike 60 (usually 50, but they went with 60 in recognition of their 60th anniversary.)

Some of you know that I collect embroidered patches. My jacket is FULL, and I've figured out how I'd like to display the others, but that's sure not on my high priority list. Meanwhile, here are all the Hike 100 patches since they launched this in 2016. The little one was an extra in 2018 for 50 miles because it was also the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System.

In other news: blah, blah, all the regular projects, plus I got groceries. But I did purchase a train ticket for part of the trip east for the flower show. That was a lot harder than it should have been, but the cost is much cheaper than the drive would have been, and all I would do would be to park my car at Marie's for a week anyway. So that's settled!

Answers to the quiz:
A-3- Green ash, also called Pennsylvania or white ash. Fraxinus americana. The key feature is how the bark breaks into diamonds.

B-2- Shagbark hickory, Carya ovata. The key feature is those shaggy strips of peeling bark.

C-1- Eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis. I think this was the trickiest one I showed you, only because the bark is just flat rectangular plates. But the fact that it's an evergreen will give you lots more information when you encounter the actual tree.

D-3- Red pine, Pinus resinosa. The bark is scaly and reddish.

E-2- Honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos. I can always tell this from black locust because the name is so ironic. Honey sounds so sweet, but it has those terrible thorns.

F-3- Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis. The bark is so totally weird on these trees. It starts out with small ridges that develop into lumpy ridges and then into these totally whacko corky ridges.

G-1- American beech, Fagus grandifolia. The smooth gray bark is the key feature. Some maples are this smooth and gray when they are small, but at about 6 inches in diameter they start to break into furrows.

Thanks for playing!

See Hike 100 for Parkinsons

Monday, February 20, 2023

Barking Up a Tree

  It's up to you whether you will bark up a right tree or a wrong tree!

Yes, it's another quiz day. I never used to pay any attention to the bark of trees, but I've learned that you can very often identify a tree by the bark alone. That said, young bark is different from mature bark, and old tree bark may be different from either of those. Here is a selection of trees of about the same age. First try... see if you can identify them "cold."

Underneath the pictures, I'll give you multiple choice options to make the task a little easier. Come back tomorrow for the answers.








Here are the multiple choice if you'd like a little help:

A: (1) Slippery Elm (2) Sugar Maple (3) Green Ash

B: (1) Green Ash (2) Shagbark Hickory (3) Basswood

C: (1) Eastern Hemlock (2) Norway Spruce (3) Sugar Maple

D: (1) White Pine (2) Jack Pine (3) Red Pine

E: (1) Black Locust (2) Honey Locust (3) Hawthorn

F: (1) Black Cherry (2) White Pine (3) Hackberry

G: (1) American Beech (2) Basswood (3) Silver Maple

Good luck! I hope you will play- nobody is grading the papers, and you can all have stickers and cookies.

In other news: I continued to work on projects. I now have 600 photos in the database. That does not mean they are all properly categorized, but they are at least entered with labels and dates. I have a total of 13 chapters of News from Dead Mule Swamp recorded. I walked.

See Milkweed Music

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Milkweed Music

  I told Marianne D. that I would check to see if there were still some milkweed seeds I could send her for a Girl Scout project. Nothing doing. The pods have all opened and the seeds have all blown away. Every one I could find was totally empty.

So she won't get seeds, but you get pictures because I always think these pods make artistic shapes.
milkweed pod

milkweed pod

There are nicer pictures at the link below.

In other news: all the same stuff. Making a little progress on all current projects. Probably the biggest headache is getting software installed on the new computer.

See Pod'N Me

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Whose Rock?

  While on the hike, someone gave me this rock they had painted with a cute little bird. My deepest apologies, but I can't remember who. I'd really like to know because my kitchen has lots of primary colors, and I want to hang it on the wall. On the back is a heart and the word Jan- which I think is for January, but I'm not sure of that either.
painted rock

Have a sunset... just because there was a nice one.

In other news: I installed some other pieces of software on the new computer. Computer transitions are the total pits. I also recorded 10 chapters of News from Dead Mule Swamp. The files have to be edited to clean them up, but I had the house to myself today, so I wanted to get started when it was quiet here. Also errands, database, and some other stuff.

See Christmas with Marianne