"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's Hot!

All I have to say is that it is too hot for me.  It is supposed to hit 90° F today and its humid too. Hubby took the girls to the beach.  Lake Michigan is a balmy 72° F.  There will be lots of people swimming...and the channel where we take the girls is probably like bath water.  I decided that nothing sounds better than some quiet time in the air conditioning today.

I went to the dollar store (Dollar Tree) a few days ago and I have to show you the best thing I have bought in ages.  It is my favorite thing right now.

It's double walled so it doesn't sweat and the best part is the top.  My kitty, Salem, likes to drink out of water glasses.  He doesn't try to knock them over but sometimes he does (we had a cat once who did that on purpose).  We have to be careful not to leave full water glasses just sitting unattended.  I like to have a glass of water next to the bed at night.  Well....you can see what is going to happen can't you?
This glass has solved it.  No water bottles, no saucers on top of the glass (which I manage to knock off when I try to get a drink in the dark)....and no cat standing on my head trying to get a drink.  Such a simple solution for $1.

I discovered these flowers in my garden!  Actually, I planted them a couple years ago, just forgot they were there.  I really like them and I have no idea what they are.  Can anyone tell me the name of these flowers?  There is a hydrangea in the background.

And just because I can....a picture of a Lake Michigan sunset for you.  Full disclosure: this picture credit goes to my niece, Sandy.  This picture was taken in Ludington, MI.
Pure Michigan at its finest.

Til next time,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Week In Pictures

I love this time of the summer.  Lake Michigan is warming up enough to swim if you're a hardy soul (the water was 64°F). The lillies are blooming and my pots of impatiens are filled out and lush.  You can even go out in the evening without a sweater or jacket (sometimes anyway).  Tonight it is still 70°F at 10 pm.

....and sometimes mother nature leaves you a surprise in your yard.  The color of robin's eggs is my favorite color.  This nest was abandoned.  

We went to the park again this week.  A walk along the pier brought another little surprise....a young otter sunning on the rocks.  He seemed very unconcerned that we were there.  The girls were excited and thought we should take him home!  A lesson in why wild animals should be allowed to be wild ensued.

There was time for making friends at the playground

We went to the weekly community concert.  The weather was perfect.  The music was billed as Great Lakes music.  We weren't quite sure what that was.  The only song I really know is the one about the sinking of the Edmond Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot.  They did songs that were about the Great Lakes....interspersed with Great Lakes lore.  Stories about a ghost, Diana of the Dunes....stories of ship wrecks....and facts about the Great Lakes.  It was quite interesting.  There are several hundred ship wrecks in the Great Lakes that have not yet been found.  

I finished the simple little top that gave me so much trouble.  I think it looks fine with 2 buttons.  I still don't know how I missed putting in the middle buttonhole.  Those are not the buttons I am going to use.  I set them there just to see how the buttons will look.   It still needs to be blocked and a couple ends woven in.  

Today was a perfect day for the beach.  It was a day for cousins to bond and be silly eating blueberries at the waters edge.  

I wish I could bottle these days and save them for my granddaughters.  But we are making memories.  I never really knew any of my grandparents.  I have a couple very vague memories.  I hope these little girls will have lots of Nana and Bapa memories.

I hope your week is sunny and you are making some good memories.

Til next time,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I think I'll just stay in bed today...

The last 2 days haven't been great.  This is the story...

Friday I left Hubby home with 2 granddaughters while I went to get my hair cut.  By the time I returned Hubby should have been taking them home.  Instead I walked in to find a vacuum cleaner salesman in the middle of my living room with his stuff spread all over.  Now, we have had experience with this company before and they have a reputation for very high pressure sales.  I immediately said "I am not buying a vacuum cleaner...please pack up your stuff and go".  Then I realized he had no vehicle.  He said he had to wait for his ride.  Another ploy to stay in your house and continue the sales pitch?   
And Hubby said...."I told him we won't buy one.  He gets points for doing the demo".  That's where I lost my nice midwestern girl politeness.  I screeched that I didn't want a demo, I wanted him out of my house now!  I was so angry I was shaking.  He did pack up and leave and took his stuff to the end of the driveway to wait for his ride.  When his ride came that's when it got weird.  He loaded his stuff into the van and got in.  But...another guy got out and started walking down the road.  He wasn't carrying anything.  What was he doing?  I live in a fairly rural area.  There is nothing commercial to walk to.  I immediately wondered if he was casing the neighborhood or something sinister.  Maybe I watch too many crime shows on TV.  Maybe they just gave him a ride.
My hubby is a good guy and he wanted to help this kid out, but 5 or 6 years ago we had the same company stop and it was hours before we got them out.  But beyond that....these are strangers.  Are they trustworthy?  Are they going to come back later and rob us?   I think he was crazy to let the guy in.  I felt just a little on edge the rest of the evening.  Where did the guy who got out of the van go?

Saturday started out as a nice day.  I went to knitting club and had a lovely visit.  Then we met my daughter and 6 y/o granddaughter at a Chinese restaurant for dinner before we headed to a local professional soccer game.  As we were walking along the sidewalk I managed to step right on the edge of the cement and rolled my ankle and fell.  My immediate pain was my little finger on my right hand.  I must have used that hand to try to catch myself.  My ankle didn't really hurt at first.
So we walked around to the side of the field and got settled in our lawn chairs.  There are some bleachers on the other side (they use a high school field for games) but we prefer sitting along the sidelines.  Then it started to rain....and rain harder.  Then just as the game was to start there was loud thunder and they delayed the game for an hour.  At this point my ankle was throbbing a little.  Yikes! It hurt limping back to the car.  So I was taken home and then everyone else went back to the game.
I didn't care much about the game at that point anyway.  So I crawled into bed and iced my ankle and watched a rerun of Criminal Minds.  I think I will just stay right here.

Hope your weekend is better than mine.

Til next time,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I Want It.....I Need It

Since I retired 2 years ago I have been trying not to spend unnecessarily.  That is tricky at times....trying to decide if something is a want or a need.  
What is your definition of a need?  Is it only the basic necessities, like food, a place to live, etc?   Does yarn count as a necessity?  I ordered yarn today to make something for one of my granddaughters.  I feel guilty about it.  I have a closet full of various types and colors of yarn.  But I don't have the perfect yarn for this project.
In all honesty, she doesn't need what I want to make.  She has lots of clothes.  But she needs love.  After all, isn't that what a hand knit gift is?  It's a way of wrapping the recipient in love.....all nice and warm and cozy.
OK, I feel better now.  I'm not going to feel guilty....it is definitely a NEED.

I have been trying to think about need vs want for most of the things I buy.  It has definitely helped me cut down on spending.   I don't buy books anymore.  My daughter and a couple friends also have nook E-readers and some books can be loaned.  So I borrow from them or the library.  If I can't get it free I really don't need to read it.  The only exception for me will be the next book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I will be waiting in line for that one!

I try to use this test whenever I want to buy something.  Sometimes its hard to differentiate between a want and a need.  Sometimes I rationalize, but its definitely cut down on my spending.  The more I think about what I really need, the more I realize that I don't need much to make me happy.

Sick kitty update:  Salem is almost completely recovered....except for the steroid shot he got making him think he is starving.  I hope that wears off soon.

           Granddaughter #3 giving him some love.

Til next time,

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Quick Update

First of all....thank you for the well wishes for Salem.

I took him back to the vet yesterday.  He turned up his nose at food yesterday morning and sounded more congested.  I swear, he sounded like he was trying to breathe through his nose through just a little pin hole for air.
Actually he checked out pretty well.  No fever, lungs sounded fine.  But his nose and eyes were running like crazy.  He got a steroid shot and a long acting antibiotic shot....no fighting to get medication into him this time.  He is refusing his usual dry food but with a little coaxing he is eating some canned food and drinking tuna water.
So I hope we are through the worst....I do believe he is moving a bit more air through his nose today.  All I can do at this point is keep him eating and drinking and keep 3 little girls who want to "take care" of him away and let him rest.

On my walk the other day I saw these wildflowers.  Does anyone know what they are called?  I would think black-eyed susans, but they look more like a cone-flower?  I am not good with names of flowers and I have walked this area before without truly seeing them I guess.  Its a very pretty area to walk, on a path by a lake.

We are getting tired of salads and the lettuce in our garden is still flourishing.  It is nice to shop and by pass the lettuces though.  We should have broccali soon.  We have never grown either before and I have no idea why.  We eat a lot of both.

I have made little progress on any knitting lately.  The days are busy with a 10  (almost 11) year old to drive to summer school, vacation bible school, swim lessons.  We really have to keep her busy....all she wants to do is be on the computer watching you tube.  So, we feel like we need to keep her busy and entertained.  I will be relieved when school starts again.

I want to welcome a new follower, Lilly's Mom, Pat.  Drop by her blog, Lilly My Cat when you have time.  She's a very interesting lady.

Well, that's all that's going on here.  I have plans for a very quiet evening and some knitting.  The girls are on their way back to their parents and Hubby is meeting a friend for dinner and 9 holes of golf.   Ahhh...peace and quiet.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Til next time,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Random Wednesday

First of all my good old boy, Salem the cat, is sick again....or still maybe?
His dizziness and staggering like a drunk resolved within 2-3 days.  We got antibiotics into him (at least as much as he didn't spit out) for a week til gone.  On the last day of antibiotics he started to sneeze a little.  Cats will sneeze occasionally but this seemed a little more often.  It's been 4-5 days of sneezing and snorting to clear his nose.  I am sure this must be viral but have no idea where he picked it up.  He is a totally indoor cat and we don't have any other animals coming in.
He eats and drinks like normal although he seems more listless.  Sometimes I think he feels a little warm so maybe a fever, but other times not.  I think seeing the Vet again would be a good idea, but since he is eating ok and his breathing is ok I don't believe there is much to be done at this point.  I am hoping to see some signs soon that he is feeling better...if not we will go back to the Vet.

Remember this little trouble maker?

I somehow managed to put one buttonhole on each side.  I ripped it out and started again (for the 3rd time) and now I have managed to get the top half finished successfully with 2 button holes on the same side....terrific!  The problem is it is supposed to have 3 button holes and I missed the middle one somehow.  It bothers me a little (only a little) but I think it will look ok with 2 buttons instead of 3.  I am going to finish it, but its possible I could rip it out again if it doesn't look good.  I love this yarn and I will not give up on this top!

Our garden is looking much better than years past.  Funny how much difference a little weeding and a little fertilizer makes.  We have an abundant supply of leaf lettuce and it looks like we will have at least 6 heads of broccali and lots of squash and beans soon.

I leave you with a foggy Lake Michigan picture from yesterday. I have lived near this lake all my life and love to see it in all its moods.  We often drive by the lake just to see what it looks like, even in winter.
(I had trouble adding pictures from my tablet, it's worked fine til now ((sigh)).  Anyway,  I used my phone to add the pictures and then previewed it.  The layout on my phone was all messed up.  If you are reading from a phone is it readable or is the text running down the left side?)

Til next time,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

4th of July and Other Stuff

The last week or so seems to have flown by.

First of all, a medical update....
For those who asked, the cat seems to be back to normal.  We have struggled all week to get liquid antibiotics into him.  Thankfully, today is the last dose.
My son is now on antibiotics for strep.  The granddaughters are feeling better and so far Hubby and I haven't gotten it.

We went to the zoo with all 3 granddaughters one day last week.  We saw tigers....my favorite.  I'm a cat lover no matter what size.

We saw flamingos.  To a two year old these are "pink turkeys."  We have wild turkeys that wander into our yard once in a while so thats what they looked like to her.  She talked about them the rest of the day.  I think she was very impressed that they are pink which is her favorite color of course.

Our granddaughters rode a camel.  Doesn't he/she have a sweet face?  I got a picture of them riding but it was too blurry to post.

On Friday I went to an Arts and Crafts Festival with my DIL and 2 granddaughters.  It was perfect weather.  I didn't buy anything except a balloon yo-yo for each of the girls.  There were so many nice things but I always think the prices are terribly high or "I can make it myself".  Now, chances are I will never actually make it though.

We cooked out on the 4th.  The weather cooperated and it was a beautiful day.  No, we did not do any fireworks in case you wondered.  We didn't even have any sparklers for the girls.  I think fireworks are rather dangerous and the 6 year old has been very afraid of fireworks in the past.

Here's Little Miss Six eating strawberry shortcake without the strawberries.  Who doesn't like strawberries!?  This girl!

The day wasn't without a mishap.  When Hubby went to hang the bunting on the fence wasps came swarming out of the birdhouse!  They stung him 3 times.  I haven't seen him run that fast in many years!
After dousing the birdhouse a couple times with wasp killer all was fine.  We did keep the girls away from that part of the yard though.

Everyone left in time to make it to fireworks and Hubby and I decided to spend a quiet evening at home instead.

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th if you are in the USA.  If you are elsewhere I hope you had a great weekend.

Til next time,