Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beauty Happens . . .

Nature always wins.
At my place, that results in an entire treeful of mulberries that never ripen because the Virginia Creeper overtakes the tree and blocks its sun. I just happen to be allergic to this stuff that is ALL OVER the property . . .

Sometimes, though, Nature's supremacy is beautiful, despite mankind's attempts to contain her.

Dr Doolittle

Mom and I took a long ride, through Ohio’s rich farmland, to Pemberville. We visited her aunt’s grave, which is next to a horse barn.
Mom was determined to get this guy to come to the fence for a visit.

She stomped her foot and snorted a bit, just like him.

Before long, her communication efforts worked.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Project

Have you ever been to www.findagrave.com ? What an amazing undertaking! These folks are attempting to record every interrment in every cemetery in every country.
It helps out veterans organizations, folks doing genealogical research, and those who just want to have their loved ones memorialized. Take a look if you think you could give them a few names and/or pictures.
Once you get started entering your relatives and acquaintances and adding pics of people and graves, it's addictive. You think, "Sure, I could get a pic of each grave in a couple small cemeteries near me." The next thing you know, you're planning on it after work.
I'm calling this a project, because I don't have time for another hobby! I did, however, find a lovely luncheon spot while taking some pictures.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week From Hell

Did you ever have one of those weeks? It's just been one thing after another!
Last night, it had culminated in the electrician, on his third visit to my duplex, driving a grounding rod into the yard and piercing the water main!
The poor kid had been there since 8am and we didn't leave until 10pm, so we just decided to wait until this morning. I met him and the plumbers there at 7am, expecting a two-hour repair.
Alas, there was more fun in store for us. It seems that when my sidewalk was poured, the concrete guys poured right over the water shut-off valve. Argh!!
When I left, the City of Toledo had a truck there, helping the plumbers find the buried line. I need more coffee . . .

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Is Fading

**************************************Summer is winding down early this year. Night temps have been in the 50’s for over a week now and my big cottonwoods are starting to drop leaves already.
I love the autumn, so this time of year is always a little bittersweet. I enjoy September’s golden sun and October’s crisp air, but it’s so hard to say goodbye to summer.
This pic epitomizes for me the concept of summer vacation. I took it at the Eastern Summit Gift Shop on the Mohawk Trail in Florida, Massachusetts.

Night Session Big Band

I went to a great concert last night. Night Session, a big band out of Toledo performed a free neighborhood concert at one of the city’s metroparks. It was held in this beautiful, Greek-style, limestone amphitheater built by the WPA in 1937; I wish I had a pic of it.
I’m attempting to hear more live music, so I was happy to find this group, which performs regularly at various places in town. Their website (from which I swiped the pic) has a few sound clips, if you’re interested.

Bathtub Madonnas

Remember Bathtub Madonnas, aka Mary-on-the-halfshell? I still see lots of Mary-in-a-grotto shrines, but not so many bathtubs anymore.
What a great icon of folk culture they are! It seems that there are enclaves of them thoughout various parts of the country.
Apparently, quite a few people like them. I found a blog devoted entirely to bathtub madonnas. Check out bathtub mary .

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Michigan's "Sunrise Side"

The northeastern section of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is one of my favorite areas. From Bay City to Mackinaw City, its gorgeous sandy Lake Huron shoreline has been well-preserved by the state; much of it is still accessible to the public.
In contrast to the upscale western side of the state, this “Sunrise Side” has been mostly forgotten by developers; it’s a bit run-down. There are a number of farms and businesses that just couldn’t survive financially and were simply abandoned; they’re just sitting there, with overgrown lawns and peeling paint.
I’m often drawn to less-popular areas. I like kitsch and nostalgia, and this section of the state is a great place to find both. You can still find quaint, family-run motels like the Aspen Motor Court, where a towel bar serves in place of ADA-compliant handicap grab bars . . .

Real estate is affordable up here. This beautiful beaux arts-style former federal building is for sale. It is situated in downtown Alpena, comes with docking space on the Thunder Bay River, where it empties into Lake Huron; the views are gorgeous. There is a larger and older building of the same style right next door; it is now a laser tag center. The federal web site lists the current bid on the place pictured at $15K. Unbelievable!

There’s even a small Mennonite community here. This self-serve produce stand also serves as a bakery on weekends.

I’ve been vacationing in this area since I was a kid; Mom brought Sarge & I to Harrisville State Park every summer for 2 weeks of camping on the waterfront. I hope to buy a cottage up here someday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ahhh, August

Local eggs and veggies tuned into a delicious zuccini pie.

Lake Hudson

This weekend, I kayaked in the most secluded place I’ve ever been. I’d been craving some solitude and I found it at a little-used state recreation area. I saw no evidence of anyone else for two of my three hours on the water! I had previously only been swimming there, so I had no idea how big the lake was.
As you can see from the map, there are several distinct areas of the lake, so rounding each bend brought new delight. The wildlife viewing was fantastic and the roar of the cicadas and whooping of water fowl underscored the serenity.
I can’t wait to see this place in the autumn.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More Evidence of Duality

-A danger in your personal life is being around too many people who yell.
-A danger in your professional life is being around too many people who whisper.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lawnmower Fire

It turns out that gas tank caps are very important . . .