Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royalty

On the day of the Royal Wedding, my 4-year-old granddaughter crafted what is obviously her inner Princess on a page from a Doug & Melissa "Create a Person" pad.    I explained to her that she could use any materials we had - and we have plenty - to create the person of her choice and she definitely said that a princess was what she had in mind.    But what a princess it was!    None of the usual trappings, no superficial physical attributes, but a creature filled and surrounded by dreams and wonder.   And to think, I would have settled for a crown and a dress.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I've Always Wanted To Live On The Water

My backyard is giving me a new version of coastal living.    When I sent my message out to the Universe that I would like to live by the water, this isn't exactly what I meant!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Signs of Spring

The neighbors' forsythia is finally blooming, a sure sign of spring.   Thunderstorms and hail are predicted for tonight, another, less welcome, sign.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Squirrels and Eggs

I thought I was purchasing a bird feeder, but I obviously bought a squirrel feeder instead!    We have had fun watching the squirrels try to shimmy up the narrow metal pole to reach the seed, but they sure do make a mess!
And what better project for Easter Monday than to make sunny-side-up candy 'bacon and eggs,' and get even more sugar-high than we already are!    I love the way these turned out - I think the kids did a fabulous job, even though one of them wanted to just eat the parts without using them for our project!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Seriously?

 There was snow on my roof when I woke up today, and it's still coming down.   I know it won't stay long, but it sure looks like winter right now.   Just a couple of days ago, we were outside with the kids, NOT wearing wintercoats, making chalk pictures on the driveway.   A couple of days ago, I was taking walks around the neighbohood and enjoying spring flowers.    Today I'm inside with a sweatshirt, a sweater, and a blanket, making soup.     I am so ready for warmer weather.      Seriously.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring

I drove to a local pond today, intending to practice my casting.     As I entered the parking lot I could see that the pond was a smooth as silk, and the marsh across from it was absolutely still.   Not a breeze, not a bird, not a ripple.    But when I opened the door, I was battered with sound that drowned out even my own thoughts.    A cacophony of frogs and insects, unbelievably loud and insistent.    I stood for nearly an hour trying to catch a glimpse of the musicians, but never saw a single one.   A woodchuck surprised himself when he jumped out of his hole to find me there, but the frogs and bugs were all hidden.  I was sorry I couldn't recognize them by their sound, but all I could tell was that there were deep rumbles and choruses of higher squeals and chirps.    I listened until the feeling flooded my whole being, and I forgot to take out my fishing rod.    Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Winner!


Congratulations to Nancy, my 4-year blogging anniversary winner!   Nancy's prize will include The Burts' Bees items, the gift card, and a Philosophy bath gel (because I LOVE Philosophy!   Nope, they don't pay me to say this, but I use it for everything!    I wash with it, wash my hair with it, shave my hairy legs with it -- too much information?!)

As it happens, Nancy is away from her computer right now, so I won't be able to contact her or send her prize until she gets back on line.   How do I know this?    Because the internet can lead to real friendships!   I "met" Nancy on a website about Hurricane Charlie in 2005.  I knew Nancy back in the day, when she dreamed of living in Paradise but was, instead, dealing with harsh midwestern weather.    I knew her when she was a Snowbird, winging her way to Sanibel whenever she could.    And now she is living the dream, enjoying the beauty of Island Life and her volunteer work as a wildlife rescuer.  We were cyber friends for years before we actually met.   Since then, we have shared a few meals and several bottles of wine.   Nancy was one of my blog's first readers (and I was one of hers, at Sand Between My Toes and Branches and Roots), but this is the first time she's won one of my prizes.    Yay for her!    I only wish I could deliver it in person!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What a Beautiful Weekend!

Today was my last fly tying class.    Our teacher sent each of us home with a vise so we can keep tying!   Very exciting, a new craft.   I'm already looking for simple 'recipes' to tie on my own!    I brought way too many cookies home, though.
The weather today was beautiful, sunny and mild.   Michigan at its beautiful best.    I wore a sweatshirt but only because I'm a sissy.   I did a little yard clean-up and planted my onions/potatoes, threw some zinnia seeds out -- basically just to feed the birds since I am pretty sure they'll never grow up to be zinnias.   I'll put in some flower plants in a few weeks because my grandson suggested that I plant a lot of flowers this year.     I can buy the plants and the dirt, I just wish someone would put a green thumb on sale because I could really use one.

While I was walking around the block this afternoon, one of the neighbors down the street came out to tell me that a wild turkey had been on that end of the block today.   He said they called my grandkids out to see it, but it was gone by the time I came around.     I was disappointed to have missed it so the neighbor told me that turkeys often congregate by the river.     I jumped right into my car and drove over to the river a few miles away and sure enough, there were dozens of them!   I was so happy to see them, but I guess the feeling wasn't mutual.    They weren't interested in being my photo-subjects today,  but I'll try again.    

Gathering Prizes

I'm finally, FINALLY pulling together the prizes for my Anniversary Giveaway.    At this point I know that the prize packet will include Burt's Bees soaps and lip gloss, a scrabble tile charm (dandelion fluff - make a wish!), and a pair of earrings, none of them made by (non-crafty) me.    I could toss in one of my hand-tied fishing flies, if the winner is fishing-inclined!   The prize will also include a $10 gift card from Amazon or iTunes, winner's choice!   The point or theme should be, once it's done, spring (or at least spring cleaning!).   

Friday, April 8, 2011

 
I need to brag about my toes!   Before I went on the cruise with my sister -- in FEBRUARY! -- I got a pedicure.    Instead of the usual slap-on-the-paint-polish, I opted for the newer Shellac pedicure, where they cure the polish under ultraviolet lights.    They told me it would last longer but I was doubtful.   I just wanted it to stay decent for the cruise.    Well, I am doubting no more!    The cruise was over and done more than a month ago.   My toes are growing out, but there is not a single chip or scratch or flaw in the polish.   I have snorkeled, walked barefoot on beaches,  waded in rough waters, and (more often) stubbed my toes around the house and rubbed them repeatedly against the sad old insides of my winter shoes.    But the polish looks exactly the same, just as smooth and shiny as it was the day I got it.    Amazing.    I have never had my fingernails done because my fingers are constantly in dirt, or digging around in drawers, of generally abusing their long-suffering nails, but I think I am going to try this Shellac stuff and see if my hands can look less like a hard laborer's.   Despite my lack of frills and pretty, I have the usual fantasies of velvet and rhinestones, so pretty fingernails would be a (secret) treat.    The next time I can afford to reward myself, I'm thinking a little spa time will be in order!

 Meanwhile (speaking of dirty nails), I picked up seed potatoes and onion sets today.    Time to start planting the early crops, finally!    Although I am not crazy about the dirty work of preparing the beds for planting, I will be glad to know that something is growing.    And I was pretty proud last year to use my own onions and potatoes, at least for a few meals.

I also baked cookies for tomorrow's last Fly Tying class, oatmeal and chocolate butter cookies.    It was a flashback to my youth to hear the teacher say that the men should bring coffee and the women should bake cookies; fishing in these parts is not the sport of the politically correct, LOL.    I'm sorry the class is over.   I learned a lot, tied a few dozen flies, and I will try to keep tying on my own.   It's a pretty cool skill, a craft and a sport all rolled up into one.   My goal is to tie some presentable salt water flies for my brother's birthday in May because he has been fishing every few months in Mexico and the Caribbean.   With any luck they'll even catch fish.


And look what I got in the mail!    This adorable little Sweet Pea (and the amazing card) came from Emily, at The Nest, in Ireland!  Emily has a house-full of children and critters, and the soul of an artist. I discovered her blog AND won this adorable little doll in the One World One Heart blogging event, and I can't wait for my granddaughter to discover it up on the guest room bed where my (growing) collection of stuffed toys lives.   She is so soft and sweet and precious -- that sounded a bit ambiguous, no?, but read it either way you want, because the thought applies with equal force to both the little doll and my little granddaughter!   

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cloudy Days and Soapboxes

I love the new birth of Spring as much as anyone, but I do not like the dark days or muddy back yard.     I also am not in love with the early part of gardening, the dirty-clean-up-make-things-ready part.   I am like the neighbors of the Little Red Hen, I love the harvest but really would prefer for someone else to do the work.     It's strange to me that I do not like, not one bit, to be cold and wet in Michigan, but I crave being cold and wet on Sanibel Island, searching for those winter shells and being surprised by those errant waves.   

It probably doesn't help my mood that I am being told of Miracle Treatments that Really Work, that could really make profound changes in someone's life but that are -- so sorry -- not covered by Medicaid.   Oh, and by the way, if I were to go back to work, or win the Lottery, so I could pay for this treatment, the State would take away someone's other benefits, so that maybe she would be cured of one problem, but she would be without food or shelter or medical care.    Thanks for letting us try it out, though, to confirm for our studies that it really does work and to be sure that people in our hospital know for sure that we COULD help them if we wanted to.    I am embarrassed by how we treat the poor and the ill.       I make no claims of religiosity, but I think our self-proclaimed Christian leaders need a refresher course in the importance of "the least of these."  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I am still trying to come up with ideas for an appropriate prize for my 4-year bloggy anniversary giveaway.    I hope I will decide soon so I can let you know!    Remember, anyone who comments before April 11 is in the drawing, and if you remind me that you're a Follower, you'll get a second entry.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

NOOOOOOOO! More SNOWWWWWW!

Good grief, it is snowing AGAIN!!!

Anniversary Giveaway!

I will be celebrating my 4 Year Blogging Anniversary on April 11 -- Where does the time go?    On the one hand, it is really hard to believe that it's been that long.      SO much has changed in my life these past four years!   I no longer have my career, my income is 1/3 what it was, I live in a different city and a different house, do different things with my time and see different people.   I have learned new skills and lost old ones.    On the other hand, my mother's Namesake is in and out of trouble and the hospital as regularly now as she was four years ago.   And my grandchildren are still adorable.    That is, I guess, the wonder of life, that it is filled with change and familiarity.   But I will brood on all that on my own time.    Right now, instead, I want to announce an Anniversary Giveaway!    Each person who comments from now until the end of my day on April 11 will be entered.    Please tell me if you are a Follower, and I will enter you twice!    I will announce the prize sometime in the next week or so -- as soon as I figure out what it will be!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fingers Crossed

While I was driving alongside the very beautiful, smooth as glass Lake St. Clair yesterday, someone dear to me was having a less placid trip to rehab.    It wasn't pretty, it didn't go as I would have wished, but I am hoping hoping hoping it goes well anyway.   Against all odds, I am hoping that this time it goes well.