Monday, July 27, 2020


Not getting much quilting done, but I am working on the butterflies slowly in the evening, spending time on the porch reading during the day and late at night.  Our focus has been on being safely out of the house as much as possible before things start to change again this fall.   Michigan has been misbehaving and our numbers are rising and the governor is shaking her finger at us and speaking sternly about moving us back to phase 3.  A bit like putting us in the corner for time-out but if that's what it will take to get the mask-less politicizers to wear them then so be it.  In anticipation of that we are wearing masks and gloves when we go out, and trying to enjoy what July brings to Michigan.
Blueberries.   I have to admit for the record that this was the first lot of blueberries I've ever in my life purchased that I didn't pick myself.  Picking fruit IS my summer but the week got busy and I was having a friend over for lunch Saturday and wanted to make two pies and just didn't have time to pick them.  We were meeting friends for dinner and across the street from the restaurant was a blueberry farm so we bit the blue bullet and I bought ten pounds.  It was really kind of traumatic.

 Meeting Bob and Dodie for dinner was one of our highlights so far (besides eating in at a restaurant again!)  We dearly love our time with them and when they call we clear the calendar - again these are friends that engage with us in amazing stimulating conversations on every topic.  We agree politically so there's no need to go there and nowadays that is something that almost has to be said.  We were in Saugatuck and it was a picture perfect evening.  Bob is the most dynamic 90 year old I've ever known.  He's unstoppable.  Dodie is, among her many traits, a quilter, too, so if there is ever a lull in the conversation we can revert to that.  But truly, we all four share every conversation at top speed.  Nothing is out of bounds, they hold us to being true to our beliefs.

We were babysitting our son's dog all that week and surprisingly they came to pick her up very early Saturday afternoon.  We tossed a few things into a bag, I grabbed blueberry pie number 2 and off we went to our daughter's cottage.  It was stiflingly hot and unbearably humid this past weekend and it wouldn't have taken much to convince me to stay home in the air conditioning.  But like I said, the days of enclosure are coming sooner than we want so we went for the company and conversation.  Notice PH's distance from SIL. 

In the morning PH and Adelaide walked across the street to the lake so she could have a morning swim. 
 In the afternoon we went to Lake Michigan because the lake is Michigan's heartbeat and if you have the chance you go.  We were at a secluded beach all to ourselves.  I have to say the humidity was in credibly intense yesterday and I've never in my life handled heat well.  If you were in the lake, or directly on the shore with your feet in the water it was ok.  But get even so far as the car and it grabbed you by the head and just squeezed.  So in the lake was the place to be.  We were on what we call the Mission Peninsula (hold up your left hand, back of your hand facing you, in between your little finger and ring finger a small piece of land would fit in the space between the two fingers), the home of vineyard after vineyard after vineyard, cherry orchards between the vineyards and Lake Michigan.  It's a heavenly beautiful place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Summer afternoon

The food is starting to come in and this morning PH and I went foraging at farm stands for the first of the firsts of the season:  black raspberries for a January pie, lettuces, cucumber, the very first local corn, which, like Michigan strawberries, is something we wait all year for,  green beans, and oh, my, the very first tomatoes.  It was a good haul and we'll be eating well for the next few days.

We had just gotten home when Elizabeth walked over with her friend.  They had their hammocks with them and declared they were going to string them and spend some time in them. 

They convinced me you don't have to pound a hook into the tree, those little black straps would do the trick.

 Then it was time for tricks.  The cocoon.  I knew if I tried it I'd land flat on my face all bloody and  scarred.

 Finally, it was time to while away the afternoon in a hammock in the shade.  I remember those kind of days! 
Me?  I was on the porch reading, enjoying my own kind of summer afternoon.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

First Day of Vacation

     OK, I don't even know how to begin with this one. So I'll just tell what happened and it will sound like an adventure with a traveling circus but it's all true and could only happen to our son and his family.
     Friday afternoon they were expected at our house to stay the night on their way to their vacation in way, way up north Michigan.   For what I thought would be a quick moment I took a UPS package down to our daughter's house.  In drives our son and his family right behind me. He jumps out of the car looking for help.  Out of the car tumbles DIL and all three kids and the dog.  Out of the house comes daughter and the two girls.  The circus had arrived. 
     Son says, "There's a turtle impaled on the hood of our car! We need leather gloves!"  Excuse me, there's a what?  The kids are all excited to see each other and tell the story and show us the evidence. 

Indeed.  There was a turtle impaled onto the front of the car.  

     Now, the first thing I thought of was how did it get there?  Turtles don't fly.  How did it get airborne to fly through the air and land this high up?   No one knew for sure how the projection happened but they knew the car in front of them on the highway hit it and it sailed over the top of that car and landed here.  There was some splattering involved.  We still can't figure it out.  Usually if you hit a turtle you squash it right there on the highway.
     The kids watched for a bit as daughter-in-law put on her cape and saved the day, put leather gloves on and detached the very stuck and very much still alive turtle.  See the orange eggs?  It was a momma turtle.   The kids then proceeded pell mell in to the house to play for a bit.  I don't know how many impaled turtles they've seen stuck to the front of cars but this didn't seem to impress them.  Maybe because they'd been riding the last hour with it, maybe they were just glad to see their cousins.   My daughter warned the girls to not look at it if they didn't think they could handle it but I told her, "We just finished watching Jaws.  They'll be fine."
     So. What happened in the end?  Well, daughter-in-law detached the turtle and she and daughter put it in a box and took it up the road to an animal rescue place for assessing, son took the car in to get fixed, kids stayed to play for a little, I put the dog into my car and took it home with me. 
    Son got car the repaired but had to text DIL to send this picture because the guys at the repair place didn't believe him. Kids walked down to our house, DIL was handed a strawberry daquiri upon arrival here and daughter took her kids back home.  Not so lucky for the turtle, though.
     I am from the It-Could-Be-Worse school of thought.  When all is said and done, whatever happens it could have been worse.  In this case?  As they were travelling 70 miles an hour on the expressway that flying turtle could have hit their windshield.  If it did, this would have been a whole different story and we wouldn't be laughing.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Food For the Soul

Honestly, for someone who is doing practically nothing, it's now another couple of weeks since I've posted anything. Somehow the time does pass.  I am really reluctant to be inside while our weather is warm and even if it means just sitting on the back patio watching the birds it means I'm not inside or near a computer.  And another day slips by.

In the past week we've had more activity than we've had in months.  Our daughter and husband bought a little cottage a couple of hours north of here.  Last week we went for a sleepover.
 the cottage comes in two parts on a lot of land
 This is the girls' sleeping room.  It's a separate building big enough for them
and decorated by them.  Isn't it cute!
 Adelaide told me the outhouse was decorated beautifully and "even has a chandelier, Grandma!" Well, I thought.  A beautiful outhouse?  That's going to have to be some decorating job.  Turns out she was right!  The previous owner added her artistic touch to many things around the place but this, well...

We planned a meeting of the retreat group in a park on a lake in the sunshine and separated socially.
Only five of us felt safe even under these conditions but I'm so glad I went.  The weather was perfect, the company was perfect, the setting was perfect and honestly, I sang along with the radio all the way home.  Talk about food for the soul.
 Barb has been very, very busy during our confinement.  This is the basket project we are all supposed to be working on for fall retreat, which we just cancelled.  She also did two absolutely stunning applique album quilts.  One of them studied by Jan and Nancy below. It's an original design, as are most of Barb's quilts.

Joyce is a phenomenal knitter.  This shawl/scarf is one of her creations.

So, a little activity with our people that felt so good, and so normal for a little while.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

4th of July

This year the 4th of July commemoration is different, just like everything else has been this year.  It's the first time in 23 years PH and I haven't either hosted a houseful or been to a picnic.  It's ideal very hot beach weather but we aren't going to join the throngs of maskless people jamming the beaches here.  I suppose that's our choice and so can't complain about doing "nothing" today.

There are other things, though.  As I said, the weather is extremely hot.  Hot enough that we turned on the air conditioner (something we don't do unless the temperature reaches 90 degrees.)  If the air conditioner is on it's time to hibernate a little. 

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942 poster).jpg

Every year this is my movie for the 4th.  I watch it every year and have for many, many years.  Kind of like every year making a tradition of watching "A Wonderful Life" at Christmas or "The Ten Commandments" at Easter.  I don't let the calendar flip to July 5 without without watching Yankee Doodle Dandy. 

I don't know if you had access to Hamilton on Disney+  Friday.  We didn't.  Our cable network wouldn't carry Disney+ so when it was time, I went down the street to watch it with Elizabeth. 

She pretty much has it memorized.  She mouthed the lyrics because I asked her not to say them aloud along with the cast and distract me from listening very closely so I could understand it. colonial history in rap wasn't as bad as I thought it would be because I've listened to the soundtrack over and over before Friday. Luckily she's listened to the sound track so much and so long and all day and all night she coached me through the details of who's who before the showing.  It's embarrassing what I don't know about our early history.  Yikes.  But she knows. 

Gettysburg (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes
 We didn't host a gathering, we didn't picnic, we didn't go to the beach but we did watch this.  PH is reading the book for the umpteenth time and we thought if we were stuck inside on this very hot day we would put a 4 hour movie on and settle in. 

So.  That's our 4th of July.  Different, but so has everything else been this year.  Not bad, just different.