Friday, June 23, 2017

Foto Friday Friends #84

If it's Friday it must be time for Friday Foto Friends. This is number 84.

After months and months of computer problems I think, maybe, I hope, and pray they are all fixed. 

Here we go:

An uninvited guest. He came into the yard a few weeks ago. Took down my bird feeder. He tried to get into the porch. It is a bit disconcerting to see his claw marks on the outside of the door. I am very thankful that they are on the outside and not the inside.

 The quality isn't the greatest. I wasn't about to go outside and ask his permission to take his picture. These were taken from the living room window.
 The iris' were blooming in my BF's garden while I was in the city.

It looks like a heart giving me a glimpse of the sky. It is the first thing I look at when I go outside for my morning coffee. I'm thinking of taking a photo each and every morning to see the different looks of the sky. Isn't God great to give me this heart? 
This little dragonfly took a nice long rest on my car's antenna one day. Every once in a while he would flit away, but come right back. I love his wings.




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 311

After months of computer problems I think, maybe, I hope, they are all fixed. I miss the Hodgepodge when the computer is down. I am happy today to join in on the fun!

From this Side of the Pond

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of  quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer? 
1.  Parades
2.  Picnics
3.  Fireworks
4.  State Fair
5.  Fishing
6.  Out of town visits
7.  Family Reunion
8.  Going to Flea Markets
9.  Window Washing
10.  Bear watching
I will more than likely go on a picnic or 2 with friends when I am in the city. While there we'll probably watch the Whiz Bang Parade. And, later the fireworks. I would love to go fishing, but it doesn't seem likely. I will be going out of town several times this summer visiting friends and relatives. In fact,  on the 29th of June I going to go see my best cousin. We will be visiting with an old family friend and going to the flea market in Detroit Lakes. I will not be going to the family reunion. My windows may or may not get washed. And,  YES I will be on bear watch (more on that later)
2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? I don't collect seashells. However, I do walk along the shoreline and collect rocks. Mostly agates. When my son was young we would put them in the rock polisher to shine them up. Once shined they would go into clear jars to show off their beauty. Nowadays, however, I bring them home and put them unpolished into jars. The rock polisher died an agonizing death from overuse many years ago.
How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit? Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas
I haven't been to any of those beaches. When I lived in North Carolina we did go to a beach on the ocean, but I don't know if it had a name. I've been to a beach on the Pacific Ocean but, again I don 't know if it had a name. If  I were to get the chance to go to a beach somewhere I wouldn't choose any of those listed. I would instead go to Maine to walk the shoreline there. Or to England to see the White Cliffs of Dover.
3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain. If I am waiting for something to happen I want it to happen quickly to be done with the waiting. But, usually things crawl along at a snail's pace. I don't have a shell to go back into. I am always out. Typical extrovert. Most of the time I have to clam up. I have always been outspoken. To the point of bluntness, but the last few years I have been trying to tamper that urge. Sometimes successful, sometimes not so much.
4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why? Does doing a tick check every couple of hours count as an activity? I know what Lyme's can do to a person so I am more than a little cautious about getting the buggers off  me. How about swatting mosquitoes? They are the unofficial state bird. We have more than our share. Wiping the sweat of my face (I don't shine. I sweat)? Killing ants on my kitchen counter? Seriously though I don't like the noise and litter that summer tourists bring. They buy up all sorts of firecrackers, and think nothing of setting them off at all times day or night. They think nothing of throwing an empty beer can out a car window. These are tourists or what we call summer people right in my immediate area. I know not all summer people are this way.
5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you? Compassion, tolerance, manners, respect, love of God. That loving God is becoming obsolete bothers me more than all of the others. I think if people do love God the other things just naturally  follow...mostly. It is my belief that we are getting close to end times, and to not love God places those people in a very precarious situation. So, yeah it bothers me.
6. Insert your own random thought here. I mentioned being on Bear watch. Every time I step outside I look around before I leave the safety of the stoop. I always wear a bear whistle when outdoors. Even if it is just sitting on the patio. We have bear in the area. Like in my woods! He/she has been here 3 times being nosy. The first time I got pictures which I will share. They were taken from inside the house (duh) so the quality isn't the greatest. He ruined my bird feeder and tried to get into the porch. It is disconcerting to see his claw marks on the outside of the door. I am just glad they are on the outside. My husband guessed between 300-350 pounds.

The dragon fly was having a rest on the antenna of my car. I love the wings. I had to share.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Foto Friends

     I can't believe it is Friday already. However, I am very pleased. I love nothing better than sharing my passion with you all. This week it is all about birds and bird feeding.

Mr. or  Mrs. Mourning dove
Not Woody, but another type of woodpecker. Not sure of it's kind.
An Indigo Bunting. Tiny and Elusive
Male Rose-Breasted Grossbeak
Mrs. Grosbeak

Male Oriole
Mommy Oriole. Even in the rain the other day she came to eat. Look just how soaked she is.  I wanted to put the umbrella up for her.
We have polite birds that wait their turn. Sometimes.
Just a peak down our driveway. The leaves aren't fully out yet. I will show another one when they are out.

I hope I didn't overdue it with the photos. I had a difficult time just choosing these few.

Next week I am in Minneapolis. A very different group of photos from there.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hodgpodge #307 Wednesday

From this Side of the Pond

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...
As someone who lives with a pack rat/hoarder I don't think this day should be celebrated. However, if it is to be a day let us use it to bring attention to the problem of hoarding. It is a very real, very serious psychological problem. I am not, but my husband is. To get him to part with anything is akin to the parting of the Red Sea. You need bent rusted nails? No problem he has buckets full. Broken pipes (tobacco type), used up batteries, socks with holes in them, the little plastic things that might hang bags of socks. You get the idea.  It's never ending. And, don't even get me started on the garage. We have a 20 X 40 foot garage and I park outside,because there isn't any room in it for my car. I believe his hoarding stems from his mother...the devil incarnate. When he was a boy she should throw his toys away as form of punishment. That is after the beating he also received.
Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.
I have a problem with clothes, shoes, and purses. I mean really how many pink shirts does one woman need? Yes, they are different styles and shades, but 17 is too many. Black purses...6. Yellow purses...3. I have 36 pairs of shoes, but only 2 feet. Plus, I hardly ever go anywhere. The list goes on. I have multiples of everything. Right now I am filling 30 gallon bags full of the too much stuff. I have the pink shirts down to 6. Everything is going to go to 2 thrift stores.

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?
I cannot drive a stick shift. There I said it. I have tried many times. I have had patient instructors and some that were not so patient.  I am dangerous driving a stick shift. Even in an empty parking lot. My brain can't/won't handle clutching, shifting, and steering. I think if I were in England I would have better luck. I am left-handed so shifting with my left hand just might be the answer. Seems like a good reason to plan a trip to England to prove my theory. What do you think?
The other thing I can't do is make a good turkey. I should be able to. I went to chef's school for cripes sake! My turkey is never completely done. Even after hours and hours in the oven it is still pink at the bone. It is always a pale shade of tan and kind of sickly looking. It is never crispy or golden brown. Now I make a turkey breast. Skinless and boneless.
3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.
I do crave sugar. Maybe not so much crave as need it intravenously put into my body. Preferably chocolate of any kind. I use artificial sweetener in my tea hot or cold. I am not Southern, but I sure do love sweet tea. For that I use the real deal.  If I am out to dinner somewhere I know the desserts are wonderful I usually take something home for the next day.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?
Cell phones. I didn't know what could be so important that you couldn't wait til you got home to talk on the phone. I became a believer  in 2002. My son and I were on our back from Fargo, ND where we had been for his freshman orientation at NDSU. We were on a lonely stretch of Highway 10 when his car broke down. Doing 70 down the interstate and then nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip. He managed to get us to the shoulder, and there we sat. For almost 2 hours. Before highway patrol pulled up. He had a cell phone! He phoned a garage tow truck for us. He let me phone my aunt to let her know what had happened and could they please come pick us up. When we finally got home I had my first cell phone in just a number of days.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.
There are many! I grew up when the best music was being played. However, this is the first one that came to mind. I was a senior in high school, and there was going to be a parade for something (I don't recall now for what...44 years is a long time). Myself, my boyfriend at the time, and my best friend were in his "souped"up GTO grumbling about the weather.  He had spent hours waxing the car the evening before. He was going to drive it in the parade. It had been raining off and on all day long. We were on our way to the staging area of the parade to get our place in line. When on the radio (which was turned up very loud) came the Beatles song, "Here Comes the Sun". The clouds parted, and yes the sun did come out! 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Mother's Day is usually very low key. This year was no different. However, for the first time in our 27 years of marriage my husband had sent to me via email an e-card for Amazon.  He never acknowledged Mother's Day because in his words, "Why should I? You're not my mom." To say I was touched beyond belief and surprised is just not strong enough to tell how I felt. 
And of course I have a photo (or 2) to share.
 Our Spring birds are here.

Have a happy week everyone.

Friday, May 12, 2017


I am excited to be part of Foto-Friday-Friends brought to us by Debra at Breathing in Grace. I love sharing my photos and this is a great place to do it.

Trilliums at the start of their season

Same trillium, but the next day.

 For-Get-Me-Nots not quite there.
 The nuthatches love the bird feeder
 The season's first Red-breasted Grossbeak
Pilleated woodpeckers looking for bugs++


Wednesday, May 10, 2017


From this Side of the Pond
Can you believe it is that time of the week? Is it just me or do the weeks go by very quickly? But, I do enjoy Wednesdays and doing the Hodgepodge.

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.
When I was little Saturday was cleaning day. My mom and I spent the morning cleaning the living and dining rooms. It was my job to dust the lower things (rungs on chairs, etc), and to dust the lower Venetian blinds. When all, and I mean all of our Saturday chores were finished mom would sit at the piano. I was beside her. She would bring out the song books. Stephen Foster and one of American favorites. She would play piano and we both would sing. It was such a fun time. Another thing we would do when I was little was to watch bowling on Saturday afternoons. My mom and I always had a special time together. Even when I became and adult.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.
I do not believe there is a nurse or teacher in my family. Not as a chosen profession anyway. However, my uncle taught me teasing, my younger brother taught me how to be a protector, a nasty aunt taught me about harshness, a loving aunt taught me about a gentle spirit, and my mom taught me love.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?
If I have tomatoes I would have a scoop of egg and a scoop of tuna salad on lettuce. If I were out of tomatoes I would have a sandwich with a bit of both on a crusty whole grain bread.

4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?
I do not have a desk. On my wish list is an antique drop leaf desk. My husband's daughter takes care of most of our paperwork and business. I have a small filing thing next to my chair that I keep receipts in and  insurance information. I sit in my chair in the living room with my legs up on the ottoman with a cat or 2 on my lap.

5. When I was nine years old....
We took a train from Minneapolis to Colorado Springs. I remember it was such a great adventure. Imagine eating in the dining car while watching the world go by. We spent 2 weeks in Colorado Springs with an aunt. We did all the touristy things. From there we took another train up to Spirit Lake, Idaho. Two aunts lived there. We spent about 3 weeks with them. Then we went into Washington to a State Park. We met up with other relatives. It was my first time camping. I hated it then as I do now. From there (yes,this was a very full vacation) we drove with an uncle to his dairy farm. I think this was the highlight of the trip. We were there about a month. Then we went train to Colorado and spent a couple more weeks. And finally we took a train home. It was quite an exciting summer!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
My son is coming home Sunday to help me prepare garden space for 25 raspberry plants a friend is giving me. The plot is an old garden spot, but hasn't been used in 20 years. We have our work cut out for us.

And because I wouldn't be me if I didn't share a photo...
Two pileated woodpeckers looking for bugs in an old dead tree. At least it wasn't my house. It has been in the past.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hodgepodge Number 305

It's that time of week for some Hodgepodge fun. I am thankful to be joining in.

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 305

From this Side of the Pond

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 
Are we talking weather showers or showers in our lives? In Minnesota,  April is usually a wet month. It could be rain or snow. At this moment it is raining, but it is supposed to mix with snow later today. I have an umbrella I keep  in the car. Problem is I forget to use it. I don't mind if I get a bit wet. I am sweet, but not made of sugar.  I won't melt.
2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation? Lyme's Disease. My husband got it back in 1990 when most doctors didn't believe in it. I had to do my own research. In 1998 I did a research paper presentation on it for a college class. With Lyme's so prevalent here and having a husband with it I needed to know all I could learn. Periodically I still look for new information on it. Want to know about Lyme's? I can tell you.

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.
Gosh, there are so many! I got one. We were having a holiday dinner. Twenty or so relatives sitting at the table. Some of us were fun loving jokesters. Others were much more serious. My mom's dining room table with all the leaves was 10 feet long. On one side very close to the end was a cousin. He yelled to my mom, "Aunt Marge throw me a bun." And she did! She was at the head of the table on the opposite end as him. Surprised us all. But, mostly the more serious relatives. Ever after that we knew not to ask my mom to throw us anything.
4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong? 
The first one I can think of is Kenny Rogers' "Lucille" , I thought he was singing 400 children (which made no sense) when actually he was singing 4 hungry children.

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.
I have never been to any of the places listed.
Fisherman's Warf in San Francisco. As we walked along the streets you knew the shops and what not were set up for tourists. Tchotchke everywhere. I truly did love it. S.F. was and still is on my list of places to visit. I could not see everything I wanted to in 1 trip. I did get to Haight-Ashbury. That was a must. It is not a tourist trap I didn't think. There are a few  people who haven't moved on since the 60's and others who are new, but have adapted that kind of lifestyle. It was peaceful. So far my favorite place in the world. And for sure the tenderloin is not a tourist trap. That is a sad and lonely and desperate area of S.F.

6. Your signature clothing item?
Birkenstocks. I wear them all year. They make shoes so my feet won't get snow covered. Sandals in winter just don't work. I have 2 pair for winter. And, 11 different styles and colors for summer. It is much more fun to dress in the summer.

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why? 
Everyone should, and needs to experience God's saving grace. I remember the first time I felt it. It was my cousin's funeral.  I didn't know how I would get through life without him. The bun catching cousin from above. I was heartbroken and was feeling all alone. In church I suddenly felt such warmth, such peace, so much love, and knew God had wrapped his arms around me. He has been with me ever since.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
For Christmas this year my son gave me a ticket to see Neal Diamond in concert. One for me, one for him. He is my date that night. On May 23 I am going to the city, and on the 24th there is Neal. I am so excited. My son said I was giddy. Maybe I am. The only music I listen to right now are his songs so I can re-learn them all. That I might be able to sing with the rest of the audience. It is still a few weeks away, but I am already trying to decide what to wear. Part of the giddiness is because of my son. Neal isn't his kind of music, but he knows how much I like it. He is making a special night for his mom. He even got reserved parking. This is him giving me the look of I can't believe you are my mom. I am always doing or saying something to get this look from him. And I really and truly enjoy doing it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I'm Back!

I'm Back!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I have been away from the blogging world since before Christmas. It was a computer thing this time, and not me being lazy. I did have the Kindle Fire,  but the point and click method of typing did not work well for me with long posts. But, I am back! And, excited to start with the Hodgepodge.

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 304

From this Side of the Pond

1. Tell us about a time you felt like you were 'flying by the seat of your pants'.
It seems as if I am always flying by the seat of my pants. Everyday. My husband turned 80 last week, and is showing signs of dementia. It's more than your average forgetfulness. It's asking 20 times a day what day of the week it is. It's loosing house keys. It's forgetting family member names (his daughter).It's imaginary  visitors or things in the woods. It's countless other things. I never know what the day will bring, but I can tell what KIND of day it will be by the tone of his voice when he gets up in the morning. So,yeah everyday is a day by the seat of my pants.

2.  When or where would you most like to be 'a fly on the wall'?
You know what? Right off hand I can't thing of anything. I  know that there are plenty, but I am going to try and stay politically clear for a while. I think that the fly on the wall is a fleeting moment. You think it because you know something is about to happen,and then the moment passes, and you don't think of it again.
3. 'Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.'-Henry David Thoreau 
3The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.  Psalm 126:3

If I am having difficulty finding joy I turn to Scripture. What better place to find joy  than in the Bible? Having joy in the fact that we have the greatest love possible. The love of our Father.

4. Share a favorite movie, book, or song with flying in it's title, lyrics, or theme somewhere.
Neal Diamond! I need not say more.
5. What is one task or chore you tend to do 'on the fly'? Is this something that really needs to be done another way?
For me is has to be cleaning the house. I pick up and tidy...sort of, but I can't remember the last time I did a Deep cleaning. I would like my home to be clutter free, cob web free. Twenty years ago I did a deep cleaning several times a year. I was clutter free. A cob web was never seen in my house. Not even dust bunnies. I just don't have it in me right now to clean like that.

6. What was happening the last time you thought to yourself or said aloud, 'Wow, time flies when you're having fun', and you meant it.
It would have to be the first weekend in March 2017. I spent that weekend with my cousin at his house. We had so many outings planned that the time really did fly by. A rough outline of our weekend together: Thursday- Arrive 11:30 Am . Off to the Mennonite market. Lunch. Thrift store. Grocery store. Home. Friday - 9:00 AM  Out the door. Bookstore, thrift store, lunch, thrift store, yarn store, Fleet Farm, Wal-Mart, home. Saturday rest for the trip home Sunday. We don't get together very often. When we are together we make our time together very full. We live about 3 1/2 hours apart (depending on who is driving). In July we are going to take a couple of days away and explore a place we have talked about for years. I am looking forward to that time. Our itinerary is filling up quickly as we think of more things to  do. 

7. This Thursday is National Garlic Day. Will you add garlic to your menu on Thursday? Do you like garlic? What's your favorite dish made with garlic?
I could say spaghetti sauce. However, as much as I enjoy having spaghetti I am going to say Parmesan garlic pasta. An easy to make  last minute side for any main course. And always fresh garlic.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
While my computer was down I wasn't able to edit any photos,but didn't stop me from taking them. I just left them on the camera. I won't share them all today, because there are almost 150 of them. I will share a couple though.
 I take my camera with me whenever I am out and about. I am blessed by the many opportunities for photos. The eagle and it's mate were there in trees on a day when I coming home from grocery shopping.  The cloudy sun I took On Good Friday. I felt truly blessed that morning.