Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015...

                                           At the Ice Rink

My family on Christmas Eve 2014

                                                         Flower child contortionist

                                            V and H at Broadway Rox Christmas

                                                            Youngest Texan grand

                                                  Ivan, Cammy and Kelley

This year our family could not all be together for Christmas. My youngest daughter moved to Florida.
I miss them so much. I loved being able to visit them whenever I wanted to. The five kids, including the baby of the family, are now over a thousand miles away. Our Texans left yesterday. My oldest daughter who lives two blocks away has just announced that they will be moving to Florida as soon as they sell their house. 2015 is going to be tough for me. I have loved having family so close.

I can not think of any resolutions for the New Year. I hope I am aging gracefully. Sixty-four this year. I am the girl who did not think I would survive sixty. I went to my work Christmas party. I am invited every year even tho I have been retired for seven years (what?). I sub quite a few days. There are only three co- workers left from my time. For the first time ever I felt out of place. Three new babies. Everyone seems so young. They are now mostly in their late 20's or early 30's.

I am reading Lincoln Ladies by Suzy Duffy. I just finished All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This story made me so sad. WWII story of such suffering caused by war. Little glimmers of light, character, in the darkness of inhumanity. I watched many sappy, fun, Hallmark movies with my daughters. It's a Wonderful Life made me cry again.

Goodbye 2014. Where did you go and how did you go so fast?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bye, bye, love...

So long happiness...They are moved to Florida. My daughter and her family left snow country or God's country, whatever it is to you or to me. I will visit of course. People tell me, " Now you have a new place to travel to." But it is not the same as having them in my daily life. I think of the time I will miss with the baby...

Reading The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Very good. Listening to An Echo in the Bone. Starting An Abundance of Katherines.

Really enjoyed This is Where I Leave You, the movie.

Bye, bye my loves,  good bye...I think I'm gonna cry.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Some things you should know about the porch person...

I have picked so many berries this summer. I cannot stop. The bad thing is what I do with them. Muffins, pies, buckles and crisps...
Then there is the new I-Pad Air. I have charging stations in every room, including the porch. I have a Droid, a laptop, a Paper White and now the Air. I have a Kindle app, an Audible app and Overdrive media console on each one. I have The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, audio and hard copy. I listen to the Outlander series while I do a poor job of cleaning and gardening and walking. Outlander is now on Starz...
I have a headlamp available at my bedside just in case I need to read after dark.
Camera equipment, especially lenses, makes me smile.
I  am concerned that my electronic vices, not devices, could be taking over...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cray-cray on the porch...

Summer, so far, has been crazy busy. The Texans were here for almost a month. Mackinac Island, Run or Dye and the Fourth of July. I finished that 5k...not last.
I have been reading. I even watched a few movies, Gravity and Dallas Buyer's Club, thanks Jeanne and Milo. My home has been painted and most of our roof replaced because of wind damage. My daughter and her kids crashed the backyard adding veggies and perennials and cleaning up overgrown lilacs. Spent a week in Isabella just in time for hay baling behind our camp. I love that field and the big round bales. The view.
Looking forward to my niece's grad party downstate. Will be seeing my far flung family.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My favorite apps...

10. Wells Fargo-last but it pays the bills.
9. Dictionary-M points and word of the
8. Temple Run 2-for those moments of
7. Camera-photo documentation mostly
     grand pics.
6. Audible-my addiction. I always have a
     listen available.
5. Blogger-On the go ruminater.
4. Evernote-my memory keeper.
3. Kindle-my e-reader.
2. Goodreads-keeps track of what I have
     read with star ratings and two
     sentence reviews.
1. Overdrive Media console-access to
      library and audio books. Free.
There are a few more but these are the best. They make my life easier...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another birthday on my old porch...

I woke up this morning of my 63rd birthday to huge snowflakes. I thought sixty would kill me but it did not. Somehow it is three years hence.
All children and grandchildren called, gifted or decorated. Brother Joe and niece Sarah sang. Sister Marci, friend Dani and cousin Jeanne called. Facebook posts. Cards. My dear husband made the trek to MQT in the snow. I am so fortunate. My family is so dear. At the end of the day though I am still 63...
I am listening to The Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabalden and looking for my next good read. I saw a movie with Cammy and Joanie this week, The Other Women. So funny! I mean so very funny!
Last night's Lake Superior sunset was beautiful. Shades of pink and blue.

Life is Sweet. (Martha Nedeau)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Nightwoods and The Other Woman...

I finished Charles Frazier's Nightwoods. The story was grim at times but the writing was excellent. I am amazed by his use of the English language. We all have access to these words but this guy can really put them together. 5 stars!
I went to the movie The Other Woman with Cammy, Joanie and Holly. It was fluffy but funny. I laughed so  much.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

World Book Night...

Spreading the love of reading from person to person. And celebrate Wm Shakespeare's 450th birthday!

 I was accepted as a "giver" for April 23, 2014. I chose The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. I read it and loved it. West Highland Apartments, a senior housing facility in Escanaba, MI, is my choice of venue. I baked muffins with home made apple sauce and cream cheese glaze to bring with the free books. (If you bake they will come). I am also returning in one month to host a book discussion then they will pass the book on to another resident. I am having fun with this campaign to promote the love of reading. 25,000 volunteers in 6000 communities across the U.S. are participating. Tomorrow I will post pictures.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Caddo Lake, TX

In March I read The Girl You Left Behind, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Hypnotist's Love Story, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sycamore Row, Songs of Willow Frost, The Invention of Wings and The Girl who Played with Fire. All eight books were good reads. TIofW was amazing. I read  a book a week for Cathy Lamb's Read Like Crazy book club plus a few extra's. I hope I choose good books for April. I have The All Girl Filling Station by Fannie Flagg and Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield on tap for April and I finished The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest already.
I also watched a couple of movies which is rare for me. August, Osage County, still feeling a little uneasy after that one. no funeral for me... Enough Said with Julia Louie Dreyfus and James Gandolfini, so good but it made me sad because of J.G's untimely death. I also watched the Silver Lining's Playbook, so crazy, but just my style. I want to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as soon as it is for rent. i loved those books. I received my Book Riot  box and in it among other things was a pre-release copy of The Vacationers...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Back on the porch...from points south...

I'm back! Just spent time in Texas with our southern grands. We played Green Bay  Packer-opoly with great hilarity. There was a toy store in Branson, MO that had a whole wall of different Monopoly games.   An  example, Iowa-opoly. So much fun. I try to visit toy stores in every town we visit. The Meremac caves were amazing. Caddo Lake, the only natural lake in Texas was full of trees with roots exposed. There is now a pair of new glasses at the bottom of this lake. Papa's fooling around with Clay caused this expensive stunt.
Travel to Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores ALA, gave me a new lease on life. I ate the best seafood I've ever enjoyed.

I read my Read Like Crazy Book Club books at my leisure. Walked on the beach every day. Somehow I need to adjust to the ice and snow back home in Esky. I do not want to go outside!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snowed in...

I  joined The Read Like Crazy book club on author Cathy Lamb's Facebook page. Fun. Fast and I am getting new ideas for books to read. This week's book, The Hypnotist's Love Story. First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro

I had never been hypnotized before. I didn't really believe in it, to be honest. My plan was to lie there and pretend it was working, and try not to laugh. "Most people are surprised by how much they enjoy enjoy it,"said the hypnotist. She was all softness and soap; no makeup or jewelry. Her skin had a polished, translucent look, as if she only ever bathed in mountain streams. She smelled like one of those overpriced crafty shops you find in country towns: sandalwood and lavender.

Would you read this?

Oh, yeah. more snow, bitter cold.We were leaving for Texas today but roads are too bad...

                                                                 My "Love your Selfie"       

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First Chapter, First Paragraph Intro...

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The First Day: Birth in a Bare Bulb Place

China's turned on herself. If I didn't know, I would think she was trying to eat her paws. I would think that she was crazy. Which she is, in a way. Won't let nobody touch her but Skeet. When she was a big-headed pit bull puppy, she stole all the shoes in the house, all our black tennis shoes Mama bought because they hide dirt and hold up until they're beaten soft. Only Mama's forgotten sandals, thin-heeled and tinted pink with so much red mud seeped into them, looked different. China hid them all under furniture, behind the toilet, stacked them in piles and slept on them. When the dog was old enough to run and trip down the steps on her own, she took the shoes outside, put them in shallow ditches under the house. She'd stand rigid as a pine when we tried to take them away from her. Now China is giving like she once took away, bestowing where she once stole. She is birthing puppies.

Would you read this? I am but I am afraid of where this story is going.

Tired on the porch...

I am so tired I cannot think of a response to the One Minute Writer prompt. Who would you have been in a past life? Huh? My eyes will not read a word of my current book, Salvage the Bones. I do not want to play Temple Run 2. My eyes hurt from tears I shed watching the Canadian mogul gold medalist, Alex Bilodeau, embrace his brother, Frederic, until he pulled him over the barricade. Fredric has cerebral palsy and made a joyful noise. I subbed today in pre-primary impaired. I am usually quite objective at work. Some days hurt my heart...and it was -19 this morning.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My mother and her sister...

My Mother, on the left, Stephanie and her sister, Helen. They look so young in this picture but have been gone for so long. Her birthday was on January 26th. I think of her so often. I was sixteen when she died at age forty-eight. I use her recipes still to bake for my family. She had  a short time but had such a profound effect on me and the way I live my life. I still feel her love. In the last few years family members have shared old pictures that give me a little more insight into the person my mother was.

I am trying so hard not to complain about our incredible weather. It is so cold. -18 this morning. So much snow. Frigid. Windy. I wear a scarf and slippers in the house to keep warm. My old front porch is connected to an old house with an old furnace...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cold on the porch...

            My porch is snow covered. Flakes are drifting down. The temp is -11. Everything is white.

                            Lake Superior is in front of me. The wind is so fierce I can barely stand. My fingers are         freezing through my gloves.  Being on the lake shore is so cold I feel like I am in the Artic.


                            The baby, we all still call her that, even though she is three, snowshoeing.
                               Hazel, stayed with me while I snowshoe in deep snow on Lake Superior.
                                             The snow in the backyard is as high as the fence.

Friday, January 17, 2014

TBR list on my Kindle...

Inspired by a book blogger (Lit and Life) who posted her list of unread books on her Nook I am making my own TBR list.
1. The Girl You Left Behind-JoJo Moyes
2. The Man in the Window-Jon Cohn
3. Walk Me Home-Catherine Ryan Hyde
4. Sycamore Row-John Grisham
5. Where We Belong-Catherine Ryan Hyde
6. The Last Camelia-Sarah Jio
7. Between Sisters- Kristen Hannah
8. Pigs in Heaven- Kinsolver
9. Angela's Ashes-Frank McCoy
10. Emily and Einstein-Linda Francis Lee
11. Twelve Years a Slave
I am not sure which book is my next read. I still have to finish The Rosie Project (hardcover) and Voyager on Audible. Hmmm...I do love a long list.

This week I went to a movie, unusual for me. I saw August, Osage County with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Oh, my goodness. It was awful. The actors were wonderful being really awful people. It made me not want to have a funeral dinner if there could be any chance it could turn out like the dinner in this movie. Not the feel good movie of the year! I also watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Painful but very good.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Rosie Project

I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem. As with so many scientific breakthroughs, the answer was obvious in retrospect. But had it not been for a series of unscheduled events, it is unlikely I would have discovered it.
The sequence was initiated by Gene's insisting I give a lecture on Asperger's syndrome that he had previously agreed to deliver himself. The timing was extremely annoying. The preparation could be time-shared with lunch consumption, but on the designated evening I had scheduled ninety four minutes to clean my bathroom. I was faced with the choice of three options, none of them satisfactory.

Hmmm...should l read this??

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sarah's pics from the porch...

Sisters, Hannah and Alyssa



Vi and Iris

Haven, Lauren and Hannah 

Waiting to open

Funny baby-mama


Twister game-hand made

people and paper


Big kids

All of us on the porch

piano players

The new kid with Daddy and Kenny-Bell


Me,in the kitchen



Dave and Christine from B.C.
Oh, we had fun.
It was my turn to host the Aman family Christmas this year. My daughter Cammy, her husband, Steve and family welcomed us into their Lakeshore home in da U.P. I made my "almost famous" marinara sauce, lots of it, and a parmesean cheese sauce. Ivan cooked two turkeys just to snack on! Yummy. There are 45 of us, including in-laws, and 40 of us attended  A Yooper Christmas. We met seven week old Jaxon, the new kid. Games, Tenzy and a funny gift exchange, were played. Many of us sledded on the park hill right off the porch. Joe, Alice and Sarah handcrafted Twister games. I made my traditional family calender with at least one missing birthday just like I do every year! There were special cookies and snacks, cheesecake and candies. Jeanne Ray's peanut butter fudge. Aunt Joanie, Ivan's sister, buttered our bread and helped keep food flowing.
I love you all. I thank you for making the effort to trek to da U.P. to be together.