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Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday, Monday - sleepy

Well, daughter is home but not without incident. About four hours away from here her engine light came on in her jeep. From here we managed to google a mechanic shop about an hour away from her. This is a Sunday evening so not a lot is open and they all close early! Luckily, she made it to the car place before the car stopped. It's a good thing she did as when she tried to start it again it wouldn't start! Her alternator on the jeep went out.

We were worried that she would have to try and find somewhere to stay for the night. Not so easy with the dog in tow. Thankfully, the car place was able to fix her car - they stayed late - and she went on her way. I couldn't go to sleep until I knew she was safely home. No way I was going to be able to sleep! She made it back at about 1.50am (12.50am her time).

Today I've spent the day catching up on the wash, sorting things out and cleaning. I've got a few things she forgot to take so I'll have to either send or she can take when she comes in December.

Hope everyone is having a good Monday!


Sunset by the lighthouse - we went there one night last week to watch. Very pretty!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sigh

Daughter left this morning. Now the anxiety sets in that her drive will go well. I know she's an adult (23) but still worry about her driving ten hours by herself. I'm sure she'll be all right but I will be happy when I get the call that she's made it to St.Cloud okay.

We had a lovely visit. She got to visit some of her friends again. It was good for her as when she moved she knew no-one and most of the people she works with are married with children so don't get out too much. She got to do lots here with her old friends.

I think Shadow (cat) will be happy to get rid of Shasta (dog). Towards the end of the week he had enough of hiding downstairs or in the kitchen and was growing more adventurous. Every night he would take up his sleeping spot whether Shasta was in the living room or not. One time Shasta got too close before we could stop her and the cat whacked her on her head. I think over time they would have maybe tolerated one another. As it was they mostly stared at one another, sometimes barked and occasionally hissed.


This is daughter and Shasta yesterday when we went over to MIL.

The next couple of days are tidying up, doing neglected housework and trying to get ready for my trip. I fly on Friday so it will be a busy few days! Today I'm catching up on blogs I think and relaxing.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dull day? Beach or Not?

The weather today is just not co-operating. Daughter is back from Chicago and we were going to take Shasta to the dog beach again but it looks like storms are coming. They 'might' clear up by mid-morning. I hope so. We were going to watch the sun set over the lighthouse tonight too but it looks like it might be too cloudy. Sigh. The only good thing is that tomorrow looks fine. Hubby is taking the day off work as it is his birthday and we're all going out for the day.


I have a few wildflowers growing in my garden now. Next year I think I'm going to plant something to attract more butterflies and maybe hummingbirds. My tomatoes in pots are growing and I have actual tomatoes that the deer haven't got to yet but it doesn't look like I'm going to get to taste them before I leave. The pots are sitting on my back deck so I don't forget to water them!

Hope everyone has a lovely Thursday - the days are just flying by!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dog Sitting

We had a lovely weekend with daughter and her dog, Shasta. We, or rather I, am now dog sitting Shasta for three days while she goes with a friend to Chicago. In theory it's really easy. Shasta is an easy going dog and she mainly just mopes when daughter is gone. She is very attached to daughter. However we have a cat, Shadow, who does not get along with Shasta. Shasta doesn't like him much either. She wants to chase after him. He is very put out. We got a pet gate to put across so Shasta couldn't go in the kitchen and basement and it does work - to a point. The cat has decided he wants in the dining room and living room and will come in and tease her. It results in Shasta having to be put back on her lead so she doesn't go after him. I'm trying to take her for lots of walks and spend time in garden or on porch.

Yesterday, before daughter left, we took Shasta to the lake so she could play in the water. She absolutely loves waves. It wasn't a very bright day, but it wasn't too bad temperature wise and the water was quite warm.


Doesn't she look absolutely happy? She was so funny. She would want to run along the shore for a little while and then jump in the waves trying to bite them. She is hilarious to watch. This dog beach is really long and easy to get to. We got there early enough that there weren't too many people about.

On Sunday all three of my 'kids' were home. It doesn't happen very often - rarely now that daughter has moved away - so I made them get together for a photo. Oldest son (left) doesn't like having his pic taken (takes after me) but I wanted to take a few to Mum when I fly over next week. Wow, that sounds really good!


Daughter also 'persuaded' me to have my photo taken - just for her she said.


Hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of their week!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sunny Weekend

Daughter arrived at almost midnight on Thursday night. It was a long drive - about ten hours with stops. They had drove underneath Chicago so as to avoid going through it. I would have been REALLY nervous if she had been going that way. Cars drive crazily, darting in and out one another and not seeming to look where they are going.

We have spent a nice couple of days so far. Shadow, our cat, is far from happy. Poor thing. He does not like Shasta (husky) and Shasta doesn't like him. Luckily it is summer and he can spend the time sitting in the basement where it is cooler or the kitchen where we keep Shasta out of. Last night when I went to get Shadow after Shasta and daughter had gone to bed, he was sleeping on the treadmill in the basement! He was quite happy to get his 'spot' back for the night up in the living room.


She loved being out walking today as it was a little cooler this morning and a nice breeze on the shady walk we took. We're taking her out to the dog beach tomorrow to play in the waves!

This is the knitting I was talking about. Now that I'm done a couple of inches it is looking better. I think maybe I'm a little hard on myself regarding these patterns and perhaps I should just give it a chance before getting frustrated that it looks too loose. I really like the colours. The pattern says it is an 8 hour pattern - it's going to take me more like 8 weeks! I'm not knitting very often as in the hot weather I am finding it too hot! Maybe I'll take this project to England with me.


I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend with lots of sunshine.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tidying Up

I'm trying to get the house ready for daughter - she will be here late Thursday night. I've been cleaning up my craft room to make space to sleep. When I get everything back out I am going to have a good old sort and organise. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought but could still use some tidying.

After a couple of days of cooler weather it is back to being hot and humid. Phew. It makes it horrible to get a lot done. We don't have central air conditioning, only window air conditioners. They aren't the greatest but they do cut down on the heat somewhat. I wish it was just a little cooler so I could do some more cooking. There are things in the freezer I'd like to get used up before I leave for my visit with Mum.

Dinner yesterday was Sausage Rolls and salad. Middle son was coming to visit so I made a big batch. Hubby took the last for work today.  I got those made before the house heated too much. I meant to take a photo but they were eaten before I remembered.

I've been going out for walks early morning trying to beat the heat. It seems other people have the same idea. The place I walk is really beautiful, a nature reserve, and filled with wildlife. Dogs are welcome but are supposed to be on a leash not just for their safety but for the safety of the wildlife. It's really sad to see so many people ignore it. There are good owners who do follow the signs and pick up after their dogs (in the majority) but there are a few that just don't seem to care. Yesterday I thought the dog running free was lost as I couldn't see the owner anywhere. They appeared a minute or so later. This morning a woman had two dogs off leash - both ran away from her and didn't come when she called. There are so many deer in the woods, also I would hate to see what would happen if the wild turkey got hold of a dog.

Anyway enough ranting - sorry just frustrated - and I'll post a photo I took. These are of the goose family I've been following since the little ones were born. Look how big they are getting!




See how big they have got! It's so wonderful to watch. Hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Weekend

Skyped with Mum yesterday. She seems in good spirits, just taking things as they come. It will only be three weeks until I'll be there and we'll be able to have a good old natter in person.

In the morning hubby and I decided to go check out a couple of lighthouses that we couldn't get to last weekend because the beaches were so packed and there was no parking. They are about an hour away. The first we stopped at was South Haven. It seems it is not in the cards for us to take a walk along the pier. It was closed off as was part of the beach as it was thought someone had fell off the pier the night before. Divers were in the water looking for a body. I heard later they had called off the search.


The waves were a bit wild. They were coming over the pier. The side of the channel that wasn't closed (not a walk out to the pier) was open and there were still people walking out there! I think sometimes because this is a lake people don't respect it as much as the open sea. The photo shows how wavy it can get!


Even at the second lighthouse St. Joe the waves were choppy. I suppose it would make nice background photos for the two weddings that were getting ready to be staged on the beach. A little windy though!


The water looked quite wild coming over the barriers. We couldn't walk all the way out (not that crazy!).

We had a nice walk in the woods today (Sunday). It is now time to get back into the swing of things - hubby is back to work tomorrow where they are really busy and I have to clean things up for daughter who will be here late Thursday night.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sigh.

My Mum's last test results didn't come back so good. She went for a bone scan but apparently although they could tell there was something the cancer doctor is no closer to telling her whether the cancer is back or not. She has to go for another test at a different hospital in nearby county. She was hoping for news one way or another at her appointment today. I think it is the waiting that is the worst. I hate being so far away. I will be there soon as I fly over on the 28th for 6 weeks. She has decided that whatever the results she wants to go on the holiday we've booked. She doesn't want to be sick while I'm visiting. I told her I come to see her, but I will support whatever she decides. She's going to be 81 in September so I'm pretty sure she knows her own mind!

So more waiting. 

I spent most of the morning before talking to her walking, trying to keep busy and trying to ignore the lead lump in my stomach. It helped to sit by the lake and just watch and listen to the wonderful sounds of nature.



The heron was back at its perch. I thought I caught a glimpse of a muskrat but they are a little shy so no photo.


Lots of dragonflies around and too many of the pesky flies that bite me and make me swell up.

I haven't been too crafty lately. I'm packing up some of my craft room so daughter has a place to sleep next week when she visits. I have been knitting when the weather is cooler but I'm frustrated how my lacey patterns seem so loose. I knit tightly but when I do a lacey pattern it just looks too loose or maybe it's just me. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Enjoyable Tuesday - feels off because it's a holiday!

We did go walking this morning. We decided on a state park that is along Lake Michigan but there is about a half mile uphill walk to the beach. The park is named Saugatuck Dunes State Park - the dunes in there telling you it's all hills. We did get there early enough that it wasn't too busy. We got a nice walk in over the dunes (one of the harder trails) and along the beach. By the time we got back to the car park it was getting packed. People were carrying LOADS of stuff up the hills! Crazy!



A little piece of paradise - at least for a little while! Pretty sure that later in the day it was as packed as every beach in west Michigan seems to be. At least we got out for a walk for a bit. It was beautiful along the lakeshore. I love seeing small structures like the one in the top photo. Interesting. I always wonder who built them and why.

Back at home hubby did do some sausages on the grill. I didn't eat any but I did have some yummy corn that he grilled. He has got that down to a fine art. I'm not much good on the grill and I'm happy to leave it to him. In truth I don't even know how to use the thing!

Good news in the garden. Despite seeing a deer sniffing around them the other evening I have flowers on the plants my friend gave me. I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to show them to her. I killed the last lot she gave me.



I love the way they look when they first start blooming. Hope everyone is enjoying their Tuesday!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Party Pooper/Anniversary

The older I get the more irritating I find fireworks. It's almost 4th July here in the US and the fireworks have been going off for a week already and will probably last another week. I don't celebrate as I'm not American. I used to go to MIL with kids when they were younger and a fireworks display, but not now. Up until two years ago I worked every 4th so my back-up could have time with their families. As of now I think there are three lots going off around here and it's eleven at night.

Speaking of which - it's been two years yesterday that I finished working. A huge weight off my shoulders and no regrets.

Hubby and I will go out walking somewhere tomorrow. Not near a beach lol as it seems to be the only weekend EVERYONE seems to go to the beach. We were going to stop by a couple of lighthouses yesterday after our walk but the beaches were so packed and no parking available. Totally different from even last week.


Saw lovely deer today. It was a little spooked as it heard me approach but then went back to munching once it realised I wasn't a threat. These deer are so tame!

Hope all those who do celebrate have a safe and happy time. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday

I didn't go for a walk this morning. The last few days when I've been walking there have been a lot of black flies about. At least that's what I think they are.  They have been buzzing around my head, getting in my hair and they bite! I just needed a break from them. Also yesterday while I was out I came across a wild turkey that proceeded to try to attack me! Hubby thinks I  must have got a little close to where she had babies. She was in the bushes alongside a well groomed path. I wasn't expecting her!


It was a really big bird! Quite scary. Who knew they could be so scary?

Anyway I did Skype with Mum. It was nice to have a chat. We're so far away from one another but it's like we're in the same room. In less than a month we will be in the same room! I fly on the 28th. After Skyping I got hubby to pull out the oven so I could clean beneath/behind it. Hanging my head in shame as I admit it being a LONG time since I did it. It was on my not-yet-written LIST so I can mentally cross that off lol.

We'll be going out tomorrow for a nice walk. Middle son won't be visiting as he has to work. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Heating up Again

It has been fairly nice the last couple of days. When it comes to weather I'm a bit like Goldilocks. I don't like it too hot or too cold but just right. I like it about 19/20C in the 70F - warm enough to have my windows open with some fresh air coming in but not warm enough where I need the air conditioner or risk feeling sticky. It's back to that stickiness again. I went for a walk this morning and was quite sticky when I was done. Not pleasant lol. The air conditioner is back on. It's humid out. We did get some rain last night - storms maybe thought I didn't hear them. Middle son said his electricity went out for a couple of hours early morning.

Today I spent far too long running errands, trying to find something to give to a friend for her birthday. I did get chocolate but was looking for something a little more. I feel funny getting her wine as her job is as a wine specialist and she knows far more about wine than I ever could. I settled on a fun mug and a book I thought she might like as well as a mix of chocolate - British and European. We're going out for a late lunch tomorrow. Should be fun!

I've been trying to improve my flower pics the past couple days. If anyone knows anything about flowers could you please let me know if you recognise these ones?



There are some wonderful ones growing down by the lakeside. I wish I knew a little more about them!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Good Intentions/Walk Today

Last night when everyone had gone to bed and the house was quiet I had good intentions to get up in the morning, write a list and get some extras done.

I slept in. Woke up when hubby when to work and the next thing I know I turn and look at the clock and it is almost half past eight! That's an hour later than I usually get up. I try to get out for a walk by half past eight so it's still nice and quiet out and a little cool. I hopped out of bed, had some caffeine and was out of the door in less than half an hour. That tells you how much fussing I do in the morning - not a lot. My hair goes up, teeth brushed, quick wipe over and that's it lol. No make-up, no hair styling.

I ran an errand first and made it to my walk before there were too many people about. I never did write a list. Sigh. All my good intentions went out the window. I spent too much time looking at this beautiful bird, watching it glide across the water. Such elegant creations! I ended up daydreaming too much and not getting anything but essentials done.


Ah well there is always tomorrow! Maybe I'll write that list tonight while the good intention is there is my head.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Lake of the Clouds

One of my favourite views on our recent camping trip was Lake of the Clouds, up in the Porcupine Mountains of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was a truly beautiful place. There is a lovely viewing area high above the trees and looking down into the forests below. There are walking trails down there too that we hope to do next year when we visit. It's a touristy area and was quite busy during the day but we went back at night and we were the only ones there! Beautiful!




I LOVED this place! When we were there by ourselves it felt like we were on top of the world and all alone. 


This was our sunset view. The trees in the distance looked almost yellow but it was only the sun as it was beginning to set. I can imagine this would be a gorgeous view in the autumn with all the wonderful colours to see.

Son and I couldn't resist getting up early one morning to see the sunrise - again we were all alone. We sat for a couple of hours and just enjoyed the view. Unfortunately it was quite cloudy first thing so not too much colour.



 I really need to get moving now - back into the daily business - and stop looking through photos.  Got a house to tidy up and dusting to be done. Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Doings

There isn't really a lot of 'doing' to report. I have put some of the washing in the machine. There is a pile of it to do - lots of muddy trousers and sweaty tops from our trip. It sounds strange (and I admit I never thought I'd enjoy it) but a vacation filled with walking and being sweaty and muddy was a lot of fun. I was so glad of my hiking sticks as they helped me across some of the muddiest areas while walking.

Highlight in hiking - we did the walk between the Lower and Upper Falls at Tahquamenon! We actually walked there and back. They have a shuttle that you can ride if you end up walking one way and don't want to walk back BUT we decided to do the whole thing!! It is supposedly 8 miles from one sign to the next but in reality from car park to actual falls and back again hubby clocked 10.88miles. WOW! There were lots of tree roots, hills and mosquitoes!




It was interesting to see this along the banks of the river. Such a colourful delight!


And (admittedly) a little more creepy quite a few of these


Lots of beautiful trees


It was a truly beautiful walk. I'm so glad we did it. We started out fairly early and didn't see many people around but on our way back there were quite a few people heading up from the lower falls. We saw a group of four who actually ended up turning back. It was well worth the tightness in the back of my legs the next day to accomplish our goal!

Hubby was tired out but later that evening son and I went back to see if we could catch anything of the sunset over the falls. The sun was in the wrong place (silly sun) but there was some colour.



More of our adventure tomorrow!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Back Home

Had a terrific time away. I'm having a little of post-holiday blues. I loved being away. I loved being in the fresh air. The scenery was fantastic. I LOVED the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. If I could I would plant a little cabin in the woods and stay there. Sigh. Lots of unpacking and sorting to do.


I'll be back later with more photos - sorting through them. Here is a highlight - a wonderful bald eagle keeping watch over the waterfalls at Tahquamenon.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Off Camping!

I'm packing my bags and heading off for a week's worth of camping. No phones. No internet. Just us and the (hopefully) blue sky and lots of great scenery.

We're heading to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to uncharted (for us) territory. We're walking between Tahquamenon Falls and then heading further up to the Porcupine Mountains and the Lake of the Clouds. Don't it sound like a really beautiful place??!! Hopefully when we come back I'll have lots of photos to share.

I hope everyone has a really good week. A week without internet!! How will I manage?  I'll leave with a photo I took the other day.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WOYWW - A hot one!

It's Wednesday again and I've finally taken a (bad) phone photo of my desk to join in with the gang over at Stamping Ground for another What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. It's a hot one here in Michigan. It's been hot the last few days. Really need a break from it. It's been up in the 30s (90s) in the daytime and only down in the 20s (70s) at night. I could handle the day if the night was cooler. It was so muggy last night I kept waking up looking at the clock. Ug. We're camping up north next week so it will definitely be cooler.

Here's the bad phone photo of my desk. My craft room is upstairs and it's been so hot I haven't spent a lot of time up there. Please forgive the mess!


It's a long view of the desk and you can see the mess in all its glory. Usually I only take a pic of the bit in the middle where I'm working but there isn't a lot going on right now. I'm stamping out some sentiments and images from some kits I bought from Unity Stamps. I am going to clean up - I am.

I've been taking walks early in the morning (look at previous posts if interested). There is lots going on at the lake right now. So many different animals and things growing. Yesterday I saw these two bucks and a doe. They were weary of  me but not outright scared. I managed to take this of one of the bucks. Such a magnificent creature!


I've been posting some of my nature photos on my instagram account too. https://www.instagram.com/sharonkoole/  

I'm going to get some things done early before the heat sets in and then I'll pop around desks. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is up to!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hot days yesterday and today. Yesterday we took a walk at a state park near the lakeshore so at least it was cooler. It was actually really nice walking along there - the temperature was certainly a lot more bearable. The air conditioner has been running for days now (do turn off at night) so I dread to think what the electric bill will look like! Another reason to enjoy the end of April and May - too warm to need heat, too cool for the air conditioner!

I walked early today. Good thing too. It would have been too hot later. My poor plants are looking rather dry - doesn't matter if I do water them. Of course it looks like it's going to rain when we go camping next week but who knows, they may have changed the forecast by then. If not, we make the best of things.

Here's an image from today. A deer with a little attitude. I imagine it was wondering why I was taking photos of it.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lazy Saturday

It's going to be a hot one today - looks like it's going to be a hot week in general. Temperatures are supposed to be above 30C most of the week and even the lows are going to around 20C. It sounds really good but can be stifling after a few days. It means early morning housework and walks before gets too hot. I'll have to work out cooler meals - lots of salads, veggies and maybe a slow cooker recipe or two. Hubby grills food but I'm not that good at it.

Even though it's getting hot I'm still doing some knitting. Sounds weird, right? I haven't been learning too long and I'm afraid I'll forget it all so I'm keeping my hand in, so to speak. I've just finished this scarf. It has a pattern which includes yarn overs and knitting together. I'm finally getting the hang of following a pattern ha ha.


There are more scarves in my future. Not sure what I'm going to do with them all but they seem a good way to work on patterns. This one is nice and thick. I'm sure it will work good in the winter.


Flowers from my walk this morning. I've been trying to improve my flower photography. I have trouble making the colours pop, but this worked out okay. Daughter says I should start marking my photography somehow (now that I'm improving lol) but haven't figured out how to do it. Sigh.

I'm off to Skype my Mum. Hope everyone has a lovely Saturday.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thank Goodness That's Over!

This is a rant. Well, a little bit of one. I hate the dentist. Really hate the dentist. I knew my cleaning/check-up appointment was coming up and have literally been dreading about it. I've been thinking about it for weeks. I even thought about cancelling. I had nightmares that my usual hygienist had left and I'd been seeing someone strange. I got that one from my friend whose knew person ended up scraping some sealant off her teeth and giving her a tooth ache!

I went. I admit I rang in for some anxiety meds and while I was on the phone confirmed that my usual woman was there. That helped a little. Only a little. I work myself up so much. I think I'm my own worst enemy. Once I'm there I'm okay.  It didn't help that on Monday I knocked something hard I was eating against my tooth, felt a pain and when I poked around there was a really sharp pain between a tooth and my bridge (goes away immediately, no pain flossing or sensitivity).

I can happily report that all went well! I don't have to go back for six months! Yippeee! Dentist checked out the spot that was bothering me and says it just looks like the gum. She put some stuff on it and it should feel better. Keeping my fingers crossed! My purse is a lot lighter, but so is my mood!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday Morning

Ug it's Monday again. The weekend was SO hot. We still haven't got our window air conditioners in and apparently hubby didn't feel like putting them in so we suffered through heat. It was horribly hot and stuffy. Despite leaving the windows open last night it is still hot and stuffy in the house. He says he's putting them in tonight when he gets home from work. It is supposed to be cooler today but the air conditioner will help with the humidity too. I don't put them on all the time as I don't like it too cold, but a little relief would be nice!

It must be egg laying season for the turtles other at the lake. I've come across several of them on the path laying eggs.



These two I saw today. They were in different spots along the path and stayed still while I took their photos. There were a lot of broken eggs where I saw the second one. I hope they were broken because they hatched and not because someone had uncovered and damaged.


Even a chipmunk sat still (or rather froze trying not to attract attention) while I took its photo. I've been seeing deer too (finally). I think now that things are growing in the woods they are out eating. This is one I saw the other day. I think we startled one another and just stood staring. I managed to snap a few photos and then go on my way leaving the doe where she was.


Hope everyone has a good Monday!