Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What Flower are You?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You stand up for what you believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. You are proud of yourself and your accomplishments and you enjoy letting people know that."

Of all the flowers I could be, I guess this is okay lol What flower are you?


I am so not a journaling person. I look at others doing the blog thing and they are so enjoying it. I guess I really set this site up to keep family and friends informed of our travels and we're not travelling yet.

This weekend we worked more on getting the rv ready for travels and getting the house ready to leave. Got the flower beds weeded and the closet cleaned out in the guest room for the housesitters. Maintenance Man is working on making a screen of sorts to stop the rocks from destroying the tow. It looks like it will work pretty well. We will probably just use it on the Alaskan highways which are notorious for bad roads. Around here the mud flap pretty much does the job.

The front porch project is coming to a conclusion quickly. We got our "rough" inspection approval yesterday and now there are just a few things to finish it off then the "final" inspection. Once the construction guys are done then MM needs to attach some kind of mesh or chicken wire or something to keep critters from nesting under there. I might get around to doing some minimal landscaping or flowers, but the calendar is filling up fast.

This coming weekend I thought we had Saturday open, but just learned about an open house that I will go to for a couple of hours. Then Peanut is going to be "dedicated" on Sunday. Sunday afternoon we're helping our son and his bride pack up their house. We'll probably start loading up the rv with things that we don't use everyday. Lots of little details and lots of time to do them. Just trying to keep everything organized in my mind.

I did take some pictures of peanut on our workday and they are too cute.

I think she's saying "Come on guys take a break and come play with me."

Think that's what I'll miss the most in our travels - lil peanut. :(

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I'm going to play along with the theme for the week. Thirteen places we've visited. Some of these are places you wouldn't find on your own and although they are not where you would go for a week, they are nice places to stop along the way.

1. Jacob's Falls - this is 4 miles E of Eagle River on MI-26 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Although I like some hiking, this is right on the roadway.

2. The Jampot - is a small store run by monks right next to Jacob's Falls. They sell the yummiest baked goods and jams, of course.

3. Lake of the Clouds - this is a beautiful little hike also in the UP in the Porcupine Mountains.

4. Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland is in Frankenmuth MI. This is the world's largest Christmas store. When we have out of town guests this is the place everyone wants to go to. They have billboards all along the highway all over the country.
5. Warther Carving Museum - Dover OH We happened along this while doing fall camping and just about everything was closed down. It was amazing! "Moonie" as everyone called him carved trains out of everything and anything. The detail was... there are no words. One of the trains was a replica of the train carrying Lincoln in his casket and even the sink was detailed right down to the faucets. The gas lamps on the walls were perfect. The amazing thing about him was that if he needed a different tool to do the carving - he made it. We also bought some great knives there. His wife was a collector of buttons and there was also a button museum.

6. Natchez Trace - 444 Miles from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville TN. This was an interesting drive coming home one year. We thought we'd just get on it for a few miles then get back to the highway. It was such a nice drive and the speed was 55 without any (or little) traffic. We stayed on it the whole 444 miles. American Indians, traders, trappers and missionaries used the trail paralleling the paved road today. They would float merchandise downriver to New Orleans where they sold their flatboats and goods and returned home on foot or horseback using the Natchez Trace. We camped one night on the Trace in Mississippi.

7. Rayne LA - We're talking the Frog Capital of the World. Interesting town with lots of frog murals and sculptures. And who wouldn't want to say they've been to the Frog Capital of the World.

8. Biltmore Estates - Ashville NC. We took a self guided tour of the home using headphones and maps. Everything was beautiful. The second day we toured the winery and gardens. Below is a picture of an interesting garden clock.

9. Myrtle Beach - SC What's not to love. Miles of hard beach in the early morning hours when there few others out. I also got my nerve up once and went parasailing. What a high - literally. You stand on the back of the boat with a harness on and they slowly unwind a cable that lets you rise into the sky over the water. AMAZING!!
10. Woodward Dream Cruise - Ferndale MI. FREE Lots of 50's and 60's auto culture rolling down Woodward Ave for 16 miles through 9 host cities. People line both sides of the street the whole way listening to music of the era. There are parades, sock hops, picnics, Elvis impersonators and of course lots of things for sale. The cruise is in mid - late August.
11. Grand Haven State Park -Grand Haven MI This is a State Park campground that is basically a parking lot (you've packed in that closely). It allows more people to enjoy the beautiful fresh water beach. On Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday morning there is a concert of sorts with a musical fountain. The annual Coast Guard Festival is also in this town.
12. Henry Ford Museum - Dearborn MI This in always a fun day. We went this year at Christmas time. Lots of nastolgia and interesting things. They have old time gas stations, an interesting doll house collection, you name it it was there. A full day.
13. Mackinaw Island - MI We like to go here annually. We camp about a mile from the boat docks. Ride our bikes to the boats and take them over to the island. There is a pleasant 8 mile path around the island where you view fresh water everywhere. There's a fort and plenty of horse drawn carriages. No automobiles are allowed on the island. A day on the island is not complete without getting a sugar fix with their famous fudge.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Don't know how I am still standing, much less walking, but God is good. The rain held off all weekend. I got home from work on Friday and joined the Maintenance Man on the rooftop. He'd already been up there for an hour. We wanted to get a head start and make it look a little less daunting for our crew that was coming Saturday. I'm not a height kind of person so I pretty much crawled around loosening shingles and stacking them to be hauled. The jeans I had on that night were in the garbage as soon as I came down because the seat was gone. So much for crawling around on a gravel like roof. We worked til we couldn't see any more - him 4 1/2 hours and me 3 1/2 hours and we got about a third of the back roof off. Saturday MM was back up there by 7:30 as I ran off to the store to get food and water for the troops. Everyone got there early as planned and got working. There was another crew there working on tying in the new porch roof with the existing house roof. And then they were following our crew in reroofing what we had torn off. The tearoff was done by about 2 and the guys were whipped. When it is not your everyday job it does take it's toll. My daughter and peanut were here for the day too so that made it more special. She (my daughter not peanut)helped a lot putting shingles into the dumpster, baking cookies and keeping the guys supplied with water and food.

Sunday morning the roofing crew came back out to finish roofing the back of the house. MM and I continued working on the ground hauling shingles that had been tossed off the roof at the opposite end of the house from the dumpster. After that had been all cleaned up we were walking around searching for nails. What a task. Fortunately, a neighbor spotted us and brought over a powerful magnet for picking up nails. What a great tool. I went around the house once so far and I think it'll be a good thing to go around again just to make sure. We do not want any flat tires on the lawn mower.

So, all in all we had the perfect weekend. lol Perfect weather, no injuries (a few sore muscles) and a new roof on the house. It looks great! We're already enjoying the new porch even though it is not finished. The porch makes a hugh difference in the appearance of the house, all the neighbors are stopping by to say how great it looks. I just know we will have year of enjoyment and relaxation sitting out there.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Red Friday

I've just learned about Red Fridays. Here's what I've learned about Red Friday directly from Andria and Co she also has a lot more information on her site.
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the “silent majority.” We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.
Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday — and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that … every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV — let’ s make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once “silent” majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked “What can we do to make things better for you?” is …”We need your support and your prayers.”

So spread the word and start wearing "Red on Friday to Support those who are serving for our freedoms.


Haiku Friday

Here's my first edition of Haiku Friday. Have to be honest here, I had no idea what a Haiku was til a few weeks ago. I'm sure I learned about it in school, but that was at least a hundred years ago. Not perfect, but not bad for a first try.

Another weekend.
Hoping the weather is good.
Kids coming over.

Roof needs to be stripped.
Preparing for new roofing.
Please God please no rain!

Two weeks good weather
Now it’s looking like two bad
Please God please no rain.

Fun for Mom and girls
Gardening, romping in sun,
Fetching drinks and food.

Men up on rooftop
Tearing off old dead shingles
Muscles working out.

Please God please no rain.
Cars need to be in garage
Dumpster needs to go.

We need to see sun
Front porch nearing completion
Please God please no rain.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen Third Edition

My Thursday Thirteen is all about the flowers I’m waiting to see. Actually, the Crocus has made its appearance for the season. These are pictures from previous seasons. It seems that I could only find the beginning of the season on a few of them instead of the full bloom later in the season.

Last year we redid the landscaping in the backyard after we put in the pole barn. Some of the plants I bought from the nursery and have all the information on them, others are gifts from friends’ gardens. I really find a lot of peace and joy working in the garden in the early morning hours. The cooler temperatures with the sun just beginning its’ warming for the day. I find gardening a peaceful, solitary time to spend with my maker, surrounded by His creation.

1. Always a first sign of Spring. I love to see the Crocus pop up in the snow.

2. I received this Wave Petunia last year for Mother's Day and it thrived. It started as a regular hanging basket and in a couple of months it was touching the deck!

3. I think this is a Peony Rachel Ruby Red Double. It grows 30-36" high and spreads 30-36". It blooms for 2-4 weeks starting in late May.

4. Pansies always do well in our zone 5 weather.

5. Last year was the first year I tried a Morning Glory. It was just a little seedling and I waited and waited.. and when it finally got going in July it just took off.

6. I always try to plant Marigolds someplace. They don't require a lot of attention.

7. This picture was taken when we got home from Louisiana last Spring and the Irises were just about spent. I started with a bag full of tubers from my Mom about 20 years ago and every year I give away about a bushel of them! They just love my sandy soil.

8. Still waiting for this Hibiscus, Sweet Caroline to take off. It's supposed to get 4-5' high and spread 36-48". The Hibiscus is a sun loving plant. This variety has pink buds resembling rosebuds and open to light pink. It blooms 8-12 weeks starting July.

9. The Hosta Ultramarine grows 16-20" high and spreads 36-48". It is more of a shade partial shade plant. For about 2-4 weeks in July it has a lavender flower. These do really well if you want to plant them around the base of a tree.

10. This Foxglove, Camelot Lavender only looked this good when I brought it home from the nursery. It can reach 36-42" high and spreads 18-24". It likes sun to partial shade and blooms 2-4 weeks in late June. The lavender flowers have purple spots.

11. This beautiful Peony Gay Paree surprised me last year with a second full blooming! It gets 30-36" high and spreads 30-36". It's creamy white with pink petals and blooms for 2-4 weeks starting May. I love that the peony looks good as a green bush when not in bloom.

12. DayLily, Stella DeOro is another flowering plant that does well in our area. It reaches 16-20" and spreads 18-24". To get the most of the flowers it should get sun to partial shade. It blooms 8-12 weeks starting in July. I have some in a shady area too and get lots of leaves and a few flowers.

13. For the past several years I've done container gardening on my back deck. The idea when I started was that you can have the beauty with the simplicity. No dragging a hose and when I get home from work it was a quick 5 minutes to water everything. I've expanded my gardening, but still enjoy my annuals on the deck.

My list could go way beyond 13! Last year I went crazy in the after season sale. Coral Bells, Bee Balm, Hens & Chicks, Shasta Daisy and Coneflower, oh yeah, some ground cover called Blue Star Creeper. Can't wait to get out there and get some dirt under my fingernails. Just not the sort of girl that wears gloves.

So what flowers do your just love? I know different parts of the country and world have a lot of different varieties.

Be sure to check out other Thursday Thirteen participants.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Surprise in the Mailbox!!

Yesterday I got a surprise in the mailbox. I got the Avon goodies that I WON from Two Lines On a Stick. I can't believe how fast it came. Thanks Tara I just love Avon and love all of these goodies. What a nice package of gifts it was too. There's a tube of Foot Works Therapeutic Cracked Heel Relief Cream (I love this stuff and perfect timing to get ready for sandal season), a tube of Skin So Soft Replenishing Hand Cream, my favorite waterproof mascara, eye liner, "berry cool" glazewear (I love this stuff), and several fragrance samples and samples of the Anew Clinical products that I wanted to try. If you want to have a look at all the new stuff check out Tara's Avon site.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Friday's big weekend plan went right out the window with the return of winter. It hailed Friday, rained Saturday and snowed Sunday. Back to the inside activities. Got back to work on my latest quilt and actually finished it. Quilting purists should look no further. I go for doing my best and finishing a project. If I were to strive for perfectionism it would not get done and I don't need that kind of stress.
Here is an overview of the whole quilt and pillow shams

The two pillow shams were not a part of the project in the book, but were in the book in other quilts.

I really like both of them because it has the whole camping thing going on. The little tent has a raccoon poking his head out. Below is a fly fisherman.

Above is a colorful square with geese and below is a tranquil square reminiscent of hiking.

The upper left square is this peaceful log cabin in the snowy woods and the bottom right square finishes up with the colorful Cardinals.

I've got to say this didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. I did do it all on my little Singer circa 1975 so maybe that means it's not a handmade quilt. I did make it using my hands and it is a quilt. lol

I had a few other things I wanted to work on, but as I was using the cutting wheel to cover another pillow I did the biggest of all "no-no's" - I nearly cut off the tip of my finger. So, for now I'm done for the day. Maybe I'll go find an interesting book. Don't want to knit - I'm afraid I'll just have to clean up more bl**d. Just not in the mood. Maybe I'll just go and admire my finished quilt.

By the way, I got the patterns and designs for the quilt from a book by Debbie Field for Granola Girl Designs titled Spirit of the Northwoods. There are a lot of other patterns that I might just have to return to in the future.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weekend Plans

The weekend plans are up in the air. We've been planning on this being the weekend to get the porch on, the old roof off and new roof on. Everything is in place. The landscape has been removed for the porch to be added, the post holes for the footings are dug, the lumber has been delivered, the new shingles are sitting on the roof ridge and the dumpster should be delivered today. It took the building department a full 9 days to approve the plans - that was not part of our plans. Our plan was to have the plans approved the first week we dropped them off, then have the postholes inspected and start rolling on the rest of the project. The deck would have been in and the roof addition would be connected to the footing posts. The best laid plans as they say. And, of course, the last two weekends were gorgeous and they are calling for severe weather this weekend. The weathermen are often incorrect, but how do you ask all your workers to just hang loose and see how things go. These people have lives too. Oh well, guess if we aren't able to do it this weekend then we'll shoot for next weekend. I'm just so frustrated that the planner at the county took his old sweet time. There is like no building going on right now so in my opinion this should have taken no more than 2 days not 9! Are these people put in our paths to help us build character, improve our patience? Whatever. We'll do what we can and hope for the best. The porch will be done before we leave for Alaska.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thursday's Thirteen 2nd Edition

I’ve been collecting/saving quotes for some time now that inspire or motivate me. Here are 13 that sparked renewed interest for me. I was going to state which numbers spoke to me most, but they are all me :)

1. “Action without study is fatal. Study without action is futile.”
-Mary Ritter Beard
2. “When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.”
-Isak Dinesen
3. “Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is…It’s your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best.”
-Sir Laurence Olivier
4. “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”
-Benjamin Mays
5. “Forgiveness is the economy of the heart…forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.”
-Hannah More
6. “Don’t let other people tell you what you want.”
-Pat Riley
7. “Finish each day and be done with it…You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
8. “When I do things without any explanation, but just with spontaneity…I can be sure that I am right.”
-Federico Fellini
9. “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”
-George Bernard Shaw
10. “Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.”
-Dr. Joyce Brothers
11. “Action is the antidote to despair.”
-Joan Baez
12. “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”
-Thomas A. Edison
13. “A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
-Albert Einstein

Dr. Seuss books from Andria and Co.

I won some Dr. Seuss books from Andria and Co a few weeks back and I wanted to share what I received. Looks like Peanut is saying "I can't go for a walk right now I'm learning my ABC's". What's not to love about that girl? :) Thanks again Andria we're going to get a lot out of these books.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Power of Now

Guess what? Andria is having another book give-a-way! Leave a comment on her post, and win. A winner will be chosen at random from all new comments received between April 7th, and April 14th at 11:59 CST. So head on over and say "hey" to Andria.

Andria and Co.

North to Alaska

Be sure to keep an eye on my ticker tape at the bottom. It won't be long now. Lots to do, but we're leaving ready or not.

Am I Dumb Test

Shouldn't this be called an "Intellgence Test"? Anyway, I am smarter than 66.64% of the rest of the world.

Click here if you want to take the test. The Dumb Test.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What Color is Your Aura

Your Aura is Blue

Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life.

You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships.

The purpose of your life: showing love to other people

Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah

Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor

Am I Lucky or What!?

I just won a prize package of Avon products with makeup, fragrance and skin care products. Am I Lucky or What? Thanks Tara Two Lines On A Stick. I still just love that name "Two Lines on a Stick"!

Babysitting and House Hunting

We had a another great weekend. Saturday was an early start with more yardwork preparing for a new front porch (it will happen, waiting for the building permit). The ground was thawed enough to get the rest of the shrubs out and there were still some bricks to be picked up that were frozen in the previous week. And you wouldn't believe the amount of twigs that we picked up from the front yard. Anyway, that done I worked on the quilt I'm working on a little more before it was time to go babysit for the little peanut. She was adorable as usual. It was so funny, you never know what response you're going to get from an eight month old, she saw me, smiled and started crawling pell mell right over to me lol. Maintenance Man and I took her for a long walk to get a little nap in (she napped for about 35 minutes - not long enough). Then there was lots of play time and fun. Not a lick of trouble.

Sunday was househunting day. Our second child is looking for a new home now that his has sold (YES, a house in Michigan has SOLD!!). We had 4 on the schedule to look at. The first one we walked in and immediately turned around and walked out. Very depressing, the people are loosing the house and have all but given up, dents in the walls, dirty, the whole nine yards. The next one was okay, but I think they already had their hearts set on the final one. The third one was interesting and the buyers didn't even care about the offer - the relocation company was going to give them the appraised value no matter what it sold for. Nice house, but again the 4th and final one was the one we were waiting for. If the forth one doesn't work out they might take another look at house #3.

The forth one we were told was on the market for two years, but the sellers aren't in any hurry. Yea, right. The kids had been through this one before and said that the sellers had removed a lot of furniture and you could tell they were all but moving out. It is definitely the best of the four. The neighborhood is very nice, the landscaping is done, the school district is desirable and the house is move in ready. So back to the office to write up an offer. That was interesting since we haven't done this in over 25 years. Now we just wait for the counter offer by Wednesday night. Motivated seller? We'll see.

Hoping to get a little more quilting done this week. Want to get it finished before we start travelling for the summer.

Andria Has Another Contest

I just love Andria's Friday Freebies. This week she is offering a Keepsake Journal and you even get to pick out which one!! So be sure to enter by April 10th Andria and Co.. Thanks Andria!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Contest Time

Need some new make-up, or sparklies or kids stuff, or a Mothers' Day gift? (I could go on and on here!) It's all available at Tara's Avon site. Want to get something for FREE? Go check out Tara's blog. You can definitely get something for free - even if you don't win the contest, she's offering free shipping this week! It's the last day -HURRY! The free shipping code is on her site.

Wonder where her blog name came from?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen towns I'd like to visit/pass through this summer. In no particular order.

1. Berrien Springs MI

2. Amana IA

3. Sioux Falls SD

4. Rapid City SD

5. Billings MT

6. Great Falls MT

7. Calgary Alberta

8. Red Deer Alberta

9. Skagway AK

10. Haines AK

11. Ketchikan AK

12. Anchorage AK

13. Fairbanks AK

Can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Inside the Room of MY Soul

Just saw this quiz over at Harmony In Motion.

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.

You are a very grounded, responsible, and realistic person. People may not want to hear the truth from you, but they're going to get it.

You believe that people see you for how you are, not how you look. But deep down, you know that's not exactly true.

Your near future is a lot like the present, and as far as you're concerned, that's a very good thing.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

The weekend

This past weekend was amazing! We started out with a glorious Saturday. The weather couldn't have been better. Temp on the cool side (great for working outside) and sun shining. Got a little work done on the quilt waiting for the sun to do it's work outside. Then headed outside and got all of the front shrubs cut down (looking for a place for the new porch to go), hauled out back for burning and then using a "come along" (great tool that the guys know about) pulled the six stumps from in front of the basement part of the house. The others that are in front of the garage portion will just have to wait til the ground thaws out more. They were frozen solid! After sitting out by the fire til that burned down to ashes we went inside and I worked on the quilt some more. It is coming along very nicely.

Sunday brought an overcast day, but we were in the mood for work now. Went out back and downed a white pine that was getting too close to the house. Got that all cut up but the branches from that baby was not going to burn. After a while it was misting pretty heavy so I headed inside (maintenance man found more to do outside) and back to my quilt. The top is completed and now I have to put it together with a backing and the batting. Hopefully I'll have some time this week to get back to it. These things just take time.

All in all though it was a great weekend where we got lots of everything done. I love those kinds of weekends.