Archive forNovember, 2008

Weather Watching

Most folks cringe from snow storms, but they excite me.

Last year (the winter of 2007-08) we were in Florida from December 27th until mid-April. Our Saginaw address experienced record snowfall. I was filled with mixed feelings. I loved my time in Florida, but when I heard of the snow storms, I must admit, there was a little “missed-out” feeling. The last 20 years of winters have been mild with little snow. We finally had a winter for the record-books and we were basking in the sun instead.

So it was with a high level of excitement that I listened last night to the weather forecasters who predict the possibility of a 10-inch snowfall today and tomorrow.

In anticipation, I found a website called where you can zoom in on your neighborhood and follow an approaching storm in real-time. It’s complete with satellite images and terrain mapping.

I zeroed in on “Lake Cecil” (we live on the north side of the lake due north from the east most “island”) and have followed the approching blob on the map

Click here to see our Saginaw Neighborhood on

It’s still snowing with more predicted. I doubt that we’ll get the 10 inches there stated to be a possibility. We’ll be lucky to get 4 or 5 inches. Right now we have about an inch.

I should explain that I didn’t feel this way when I had to drive to work and I was often the first one to “trail-blaze” out of our subdivision to M-52. But now, with a big fire in the fireplace and no plans to leave the house for a couple of days, I am enjoying the view from inside.

Tuesday I have an afternoon dental appointment. Wednesday we have a senior luncheon at the high school. Thursday our dulcimer club will be performing at Horizons Conference Center, a high-end facility, (we start at noon). But if it snows until tomorrow night, we’ll still have time to dig-out.

Bring ‘er on!!!!

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Cold Feet

water walkers
A few days ago I mentioned that I was disappointed because the lake out our living room window here in Saginaw was partially ice-covered. But the lake hasn’t totally frozen over yet. There are patches of ice, but mostly open water.

Right now there are a few geese “walking on water.” The smooth surface in the photo is solid H20. It always amazes me that these large birds can go right to the edge of ice that is tissue-thin.

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Today’s Thanksgiving – What am I thankful for?

My life! All of it…

My great husband!

Family. (Especially my daughter, Kelly, who lives in California. She is planning a February visit.)

Our music friends who are like “family.”

Our wonderful Florida friends who have made us feel that Florida is also home!

When I think back on the passing of my mother in September, I’m filled with gratitude for my mother’s long life — it was for the most part very happy. The end wasn’t unexpected and at her stage of alzheimers, she had already left me years before. Five days before she died, she spoke her last words. She said, “I love you too.” I’m glad her passing was peaceful and not prolonged. She just drifted away. It was time.

So even when thinking about my mother’s death there’s a level of quiet appreciation. It could have been so much harder on her and us.

I have so much to be thankful for!

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White Out!

It’s snowing! Boy, is it snowing!

toastyThere’s about an inch on the ground right now, but it looks like more will fall. I’m not complaining. We have a big fire in the fireplace and it’s warm and cozy. I’m glad I don’t have to go out in it, but from inside, it’s lovely!

It’s a good thiing I like techie stuff. In September I got a new computer, a Sony Vaio running MS Vista. It’s everything I could hope for but unfortunately my Motorola WPS870G wireless print server didn’t work with the Vista system. I was disappointed.

Additionally I couldn’t get my workhorse printer, a HP Laserjet 4 Plus, to run with Vista. But today my persistance paid off. First I figured out how to get the printer to print, and then I worked with my wireless print server and finally everything is up and running! My hope is that I can also get my Florida wireless print server to work when I get down there (it’s an identical wireless system but with a different printer). I sure missed it when I couldn’t print wirelessly.

Hopefully I won’t forget how I fixed it.

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New View

Yesterday some friends ask me to post photos of our new Florida condo.

I guess I don’t want to make it seem that we’re in anyway bragging. It’s a nice comfortable condo, but it’s not palatial.

But to satisfy those friends (Linda, Nancy), here are a few photos of the place.

front view

Above is the view of the front. (John loves the 2-car garage which has a workshop!.)

Below is a picture of the living room and a corner of the kitchen bar. The two recliners in the “far end” will be replaced asap with something more stylish yet comfortable.

living room

The recent addition of the all-glass door at the end has really brightened up the room! Sorry I didn’t take a picture after the door was added. This picture shows the old, ugly door. The new one really improved the room!

living room

And below is one of my favorite photos “from the living room window”.

out living room window view

I will get some better ones when we return to Florida in January.

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Solid Water

This morning it was only 19 degrees.

Here in Michigan we live on a small (26 acre) lake. The flow of water about 50 feet from the backside of our house is always mesmerizing.

This morning there was a light “scum” of ice on part of the lake. Since it isn’t going to warm up much today, by tomorrow the lake will be frozen over. Darn. I’ll miss the “action.” The ripples on the water give the scene life! The solid sheet of ice seems dull by comparison. It’s not nearly as pretty. So today I find myself taking in the glitter on the open water knowing it won’t last.

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Snowing in Michigan

We’ve had several days of snowy weather. Not clean pure drifts, not picturesque snow-ladened pines. Nope. There’s just enough to make things soggy and slippery. The news is filled with accident reports and warnings that the first snowfall of the season usually brings more than a normal number of fender-benders.

I was feeling depressed about the weather but John built a lovely fire in the fireplace and it’s feeling warm and cozy here inside.

I have a feeling I’d be complaining even more if I were in Florida. I heard it only got up to about 60 degrees today in Sun City Center and tonight there’ll be wind chills down to about 30 degrees! Sure wouldn’t be pool weather. In fact I’m sure I’m warmer and cozier than I’d be if we were down south. Something about the penetrating cold and the lack of insulation in Florida condos.

This Saturday we’re planning a big “annual dinner” for our club members in Frankenmuth, MI. We’ll enjoy a noontime feast and then play music from 1:00-4:00. We don’t expect large audiences, but it’ll be fun anyway.

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When my mother passed away she left me some bonds. It wasn’t a huge fortune: three one-thousand dollar bonds (a total of $3,000) to be exact. She also left similar bonds to my brother, Denny.

The days surrounding her funeral were so hectic and filled with passion and strife that I barely remember them. They’re in a blurr. I was rushing, phoning, and organizing non-stop. During that period I removed the bonds from a safety deposit box so I could give my brother his. After the funeral, I immediately returned to Florida. I didn’t give the bonds a thought for a couple of days but when I got to Florida, I couldn’t remember what I’d done with my three bonds. I figured I’d left them in Michigan, so I tried to put aside any fretting over their whereabouts. I assumed I’d be able to locate them when I returned home to Michigan in two months. Last Thursday, when I got home, the first thing I did was to head for the spot I thought I’d left the bonds. They weren’t there.

I racked my brain to remember what I’d done with them. The last place I recalled having them was at the funeral home when I gave my brother his three and showed him my three. It was the day we picked out my mother’s casket and made other arrangements. I guess my thoughts weren’t too well organized. I never thought about the bonds until I was in Florida. Then I had to wait two months to be back home to look for them.

Today, as I was filing papers for my mother, I found a book I’d taken to the funeral home. It was Mom’s “Important Information” notebook. It contained her family tree; the birthdates of her siblings; and important dates. I’d forgotten that was the book which I’d had with me at the funeral home. (I thought I’d had a different book with me.) Stuck in the back pocket of the notebook were the three bonds. I remember now that I’d brought it with me so I could accurately list the highlights of her life.

What a relief! I have lost so much sleep. I’ve done so much worrying. It feels so good to have things figured out. To me it was a mark of carelessness and I felt that Mom would be very disappointed in me. Now that I have them, I can relax.

(I should mention that John was never worried. He just said, “You’ll find them stuck in something where you felt they’d be safe.” He knows me very well.)


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A Couple of Observations

In Florida a problem pest is the “love-bug.” In Michigan, we have the “lady bug.” Yup, in Michigan lady bugs have cross-bred with a wierd strain of lady bugs. About five years ago this new cross-breed became true pests. They don’t bite or eat much, but if you happen to squish one, they smell horrid. They’re not the cute little critters we enjoyed during our childhood and encouraged because they’d rid your houseplants of aphids. This new breed is over-whelming. There are way too many of them to be tolerated. So in Florida the benign bug that is a pest because of the sheer numbers of them is the love-bug. But Michigan has it’s a similar problem.


Chile and crackers make the best cold weather meal.


Cold weather follows us. In April, we returned from Florida and everyone told us how nice it had been for most of the month, but for the next couple of weeks we had snow, gloom, and cold.

When we returned last Thursday from Florida, it was in the mid-70’s and lovely. But within two days the temperatures had dropped and they’re still falling. It’s now bitter cold and snow is predicted.


I miss those little geckos that scurry around in Florida. They’re sweet and help rid the world of pesky insects. I will admit I was startled by one when he jumped on me while I was sunning at the pool, but generally they are benign. I look forward to them.

Our buddy Bob has one who lives in his house. He calls it his “dragon.”

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Back Up North

We arrived home about 2:00 Thursday. The house seems cluttered and in need of a major cleaning. I want/need to purge. It’s hard to know where to start. I loved the “fresh start” we had in our new condo in Florida. Now that we’re home we need to face reality that our lovely home needs some sprucing and up-dating. I’m going to get busy.

Last night we practiced with our Subterranean Strings music club. It was nice to be with them. They’re like family. We had to work on our Christmas music so we can be ready for some major performances in December. We have a full holiday schedule. We’ll be so busy that time will fly by.

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Fall Summary

I promised some of my Florida friends that I’d post some pictures from the Halloween party at the South Club. There were some great costumes and I want to make photos of them available. So I’ll be doing a photo summary. I’ll do it as soon as I find a few minute. Promise!

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Smyrna, Georgia

We’re here in Smyrna, Georgia, relaxing in a Red Roof Inn, enjoying a glass of wine, while watching the election returns.

We left our Florida condo at about 8:00 a.m. The weather was grey all day but no rain and the traffic was fairly light.

We picked out Smyrna as our stopping place because it’s the first exit north of Atlanta. We’ll be able to take off tomorrow hopefully without the threat of a traffic congestion. It’s the first time we’ve tried this motel as a stop. It’s very modest, but we’ll leave early and drive as far as Cincinnati tomorrow, stopping just north of Cincinnati at Sharonville, OH.

We always select Red Roof Inns. They’re not fancy, but clean and they love Willow.

The temperature is pleasant. We shouldn’t have to worry about Charlie freezing in the truck tonight. (We often bring him inside the motel when we fear low temps, but our bird, Charlie, can tolerate lower than the low 50’s so we should make it to Michigan without having to bring him in.)

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Packing for home

I can’t believe it’s been six days since I last posted an entry to my blog. Tomorrow we head home to Michigan.

When wrote last Tuesday, we were planning to go to the lip sync evening at the South Club. It was fun time.

Actually we’ve tried to cram in a lot of stuff in the past few days. We went to our buddy Bob’s for dinner, had him over here for dinner, went to a Halloween party Thursday, spent yesterday at Busch Gardens and today we said our good-byes at the pool.

So much has happened since I got down here at the end of August. That was just a little over two months ago, yet it seems that it’s been ages. Everything has shifted. It was all prompted because I lost my mother. That changed everything. We were forced to decide if we wanted to buy a place of our own. It wasn’t an easy call. Places mean responsibility. We enjoyed the time we spent over the past four years, but part of that enjoyment was because I was able to be with and spend time with Mom. Would we like it without that motivation?

We decided Sun City Center is a good choice for us. Our condo isn’t palatial. It’s not new, it’s sparcely furnished, but we like it. We’re now pretty much settled. It’s getting harder to leave this life and go back home.

We love our northern friends and relatives. But now many Florida friends have become special to us and like family. There’s really no way to compare. Life here is easy and relaxed. Up north it’s familiar and part of our roots.

We’ll be back in Michigan by Thursday afternoon.

“Good Lord willing,” as my grandma used to say.

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