Monday, July 31, 2023

Just a snippet

 A last July post and it's been a very busy month indeed.  But that's summer for you.  It's been fun but gone way too fast.  So here's just a snippet of my excuse for not posting since the middle of the month. It may not sound like a lot but I've skipped the doctor appointments, concerts we've worked, lunch and dinners with friends.

July is berries.  Things are a little slower this year because we didn't have rain for about six weeks and it was hot so while the berries struggled to hang on they did come through in the end.  We have to forage for black raspberries (not blackberries - these are smaller and have hard seeds) and a friend of ours has lots growing wild.  You have to really want these berries because it's a painful job to hunt them down. Prickers, wild growth, hot sun, mosquitoes.  
But the pie is worth it.  I made the birthday pie and we had it for dessert for the friend who let us pick
We granddog sat for the newest member of our son's family.  This is Clover.  She is a 6 month old terrier mix and I swear from her behavior she is part Jack Russell terrier.  She is a funny little clown but she is very much a puppy.  She was confused this first day.  She never met us nor had ever been to our house and here she was in a whole new environment with old people.  She was here a week.  
There is a lot I can say about her behavior but suffice it to say she is a baby.  Imagine a toddler on four legs. She really was a fun little one and we enjoyed our time getting to know her but holy cow, I always say there's a reason God gives babies to the young and puppies count. 
Finally I was able to meet with the zoom group for about an hour Friday.  It's been a long time but at least I was able to say hi. As you can see everyone works and chats.

Sunday PH and I went for a restorative drive for the day.  We headed north to this lavender wonder. I did a no-no and took this photo from a magazine article about the place.  You can't imagine how soothing, how beautiful the place if from the ground but this drone photo really is special.  Each of those bordered beds inside the circle is planted with herbs and they are specific to their function. They are labelled:  beverage,  medicinal, foods, etc.  It smells like heaven as you wander through - a mix of the lavender and various herbs as you brush past them.  Just what we needed to close out a very busy month.

I also finished the planes on Charlie's quilt and now have to put the borders on.  I have decided.  I am going to have it machine quilted.  I cringe to say that but I think I have to.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023


 Yesterday our campers had the chance to experience some Civil War activities through the museum's annual day camp. Every year the amount of work our education director puts into these day camps insures the kids leave with a hands on grasp of the time chosen.  This year it was the Civil War.  

Thanks to our local chronicler of Lowell's life, Bruce Doll graciously let me share some of his photos to complement mine.  Thanks, Bruce!

Being as we live in the north, a couple of the campers came dressed and ready. 
There was open cooking on tin can stoves. Bacon and eggy bread going on these two stoves. 

There was a group learning how to march in formation.  Bless his heart, I heard one of these guys ask
 " what if it's your birthday? "  Another camper said, "well, you just have to hope one of your fellow soldiers says something nice to you."
There was stretcher bearing and realizing carrying wasn't as easy as the movies show.
There was making hardtack.  Sometimes called ship's biscuits.  They are harder than saltines, hard enough to break teeth that were already falling out one by one.  In order for them to be edible the soldiers would soak them in water. Ugh.  Tasteless flour and water hard.

They learned how to pitch a tent.  Not much like the tents these kids are used to now.  One camper told me "there were technical difficulties during the Civil War."  Indeed. 

There was wood printing.  Maybe not much of that done during the war but certainly was done during those years and that was the focus of this camp - Civil War time activities. 
And lunch.  This was my task for the day.  We had tin plates, bandanas for napkins, wooden forks, and the menu, all packaged for the kids to just take: cheese, bologna, baked beans, bread and butter, crackers (to simulate hard tack,) cookies, corn nuts, and slices of watermelon.  Corn nuts? I don't know why that was a menu item but they taste just like Fritos "before they were stepped on and make flat," I told the skeptical.  

One adult missing, this was our group for the day.  I think we wore them out.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Summer days

 This week we celebrated our Independence Day, 4th of July for short. It's considered THE celebration of the summer, THE week of the 4th is the high vacation week for so very many thousands of people in the U.S. and thus the week for crowds, especially if you are in Michigan and headed for the lakeshore (as just about everyone does.)

We did both.  We spent a couple of days this week with our daughter and her clan at their cottage on a smaller inland lake.  It's a perfect jumping off point for the northern Lake Michigan towns.  

The porch is where I would live if this were my place.  I'd never leave this room. And seldom do they.  They eat, relax, read, nap, play games and SIL paints in this space.  When they have friends up the inflatable beds come out and people sleep the night on the porch.
But we also spent a whole day on the lake.  The Lake Michigan beach they found is quite secluded and there might be some people there but never crowds, which considering how many people were in the city, it's a miracle.  That's them way out there.  They said the water was cold but the air was hot so cold water was good.
We spent a day exploring and when you explore you're supposed to stop when you see something interesting.  There isn't supposed to be an agenda or itinerary and you have to be willing to pivot. With us, getting from Point A to Point B is never a straight line and sometimes Point B moves.
Like when we found this little roadside baked goods stand and it happened to be named the same as our girl. How do you pass that up?
And when we saw the Leelanau Cheese Company and stopped and watched them make cheese, peeked into the cheese cave and bought goodies. You have to be prepared when you go exploring and take a cooler with some ice packs for just in case. So we were all set.

We had a couple of lovely summer days celebrating our 4th.