Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another day another lake and family outing

This one was when we went to "the bay". It is actually Barnes Park, which is just at the whopping village of Eastport and is part of Lake Michigan. We have a choice when we head in that direction. We can swim and have fun at that park (Lake Michigan) or go to Torch Lake and swim and have fun there. We usually opt for the Bay because it has bigger waves and is normally warmer...but the walk out in the water is very stony. Another gorgeous day for this family time also. The left photo is Shaina, my grand daughter and the right photo is Shaina heading out to swim, float and play and Michel, my husband, looking for stones I would guess. We do that a lot there. There are no shells, only stones. We usually take our frisbee, noodles, a cooler with water and pop and our big towels and just spend a few hours in the water and sun. Some days when it is really windy the waves can literally knock you off your feet, and those are the fun days! That day the breeze was cool and Shaina asked if she could wear my t-shirt. It is a short dress on her, but it worked. She dried off and warmed up, then gave me back my wet shirt and said "thanks". Well, I hope you enjoyed our 2 days at the beach!!

Lets look at summer

I don't know about you, but I am tired of winter. The sun was out for a while today, on my way back from the grocery store. It is good it was because it helped me dry out from getting rained on going to the store. I have just decided that even if I am tired of winter, we can look at summer in some layouts. Think warm, think beach, think family picnics and relaxing. My daughter just sent me a note about this one. She was happy I did it for her. Guess that means she liked it. As she has been having a really tough time I am glad maybe she smiled when she saw this. School, bills, work, homework, winter, lots of snow and now car problems and a sick daughter...I guess I would be a bit at the end of my rope also. We were at Log Lake, a park and camping area just outside of Kalkaska last summer when this was taken. It is half way between where my daughter lives and where we stay when we are in Michigan, and close for my mom and brother. It is our annual birthday/family picnic with family and friends. We spend the entire day there, eating, playing games, blowing bubbles, swimming, talking and of course, taking photos. Knock on wood we always have good weather when we plan the day!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Beautiful sunrises, not beautiful weather pics!!

I cannot believe I have just misplaced how ever much time and not blogged! I did get a short, and I do mean short monthly letter out to everyone, and have gotten a few replies. I told everyone to watch here, this is where I am keeping things up and have done zero... 'bad toad'! It has been a busy week, I worked every day this week and but will only work 4 days next week, Monday thru Thursday. Friday Michel is taking off and we will have a 3 day weekend together. I also start French class next week, Tuesday morning, so will have to work in the afternoon that day instead. Eeek! French class is beginning again. And she said a test that morning to see how much we have "retained" or know for those who will be new in the class.

Everyone has been talking my last challenge for Gotta Pixel was on the weather. I did a layout, and realized we have hit every single kind of weather this month. You can see above that we had (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right) rain, fog...which was so think you could hardly see the building just next to us! Sunshine, a beautiful day, several actually, but I only took a photo of one, and that small one on the bottom right. The arrow is pointing to the snow which is piling up against the window. That was actually the 2nd time we have had snow since my challenge started the 27th of January, but only got the one picture that you could actually see we had snow. We used to say in Michigan that just wait a bit, if you did not like the weather right now it would change. As you can see, I can say the same thing about Paris!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

And give it another 10 minutes...

After snapping a few photos, returning to the computer with my fresh cup of coffee I go back to work. Of course at that time of the morning I also seem to gaze out the window when I think, or daydream, or what ever it is I do... and within 10 minutes I see even greater color...grab the camera and away I go. Poor Michel, trying to sleep and I am running back and forth, opening windows, and of course making noise! I think our side of the building is lucky, I never see such beautiful sunsets as I do sunrises. What a great way to start the day!

My morning sunrise first part...

Well, went to bed by 11:30, finished reading a book and still could not fall asleep until close to 1:00 a.m. this morning, so when I woke up at 6:45 a.m. and could not go back to sleep... after trying unsuccessfully, I got up and of course got on my computer. I happened to look out and noticed beautiful colors so grabbed the camera and away I went. This was how it started out, but to me it looked a much deeper orange/red. Funny how what we see is not what the camera eye sees.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And of course, it is Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines from our home to yours!

It has been a wonderful day. I got up, early, as normal. Of course with the concert I had forgotten to buy bread for a sandwich for lunch for Michel. Off I trudge in the rain to buy a demi-baguette. I figure, ok, it's Valentines Day, so I also buy a croissant avec beurre (with real butter) for him for a surprise. I notice he is being really, and I do mean really slow this morning, but I have to go to work, so I don't pay much attention. I make his sandwich (even include a little note), eat a quick bite, do a tiny bit on the site at Gotta Pixel and off I go. I come home after work to find him home, candles lit, a very nice lunch prepared, beef roast, french fries, paté with fresh bread, and some vegies for a starter...and a drink for me. Oh my, this I could really get used to! The surprise was on me. Apparently he had taken the day off to surprise me and wow, did he. We ate, watched a great movie, "The Guardian", he did some upgrades on my computer, I took a little nap and here I am. Blogging. I will have to try and make him a nice dinner, but it is hard to top this, especially since this was grocery shopping day and I have not managed to leave the apartment since work. No answering the phone, no work after lunch, just relaxing and spending time with each other. Yes indeed... it has been a very nice day!

Speaking of church and the choir...

Last night we went out for a quick dinner and after enjoyed a wonderful evening at a concert. A perfect pre-valentines gift from a friend, who gave us tickets to go and see, and of course hear him sing. It is the first time I have heard him sing, and there was orchestra and choirs. It was fantastic!! The sign read: Concert, Cantate Saint-Nicolas, Hommage à Benjamin Britten. The concert was held at Notre Dame de Paris. Stuart Patterson was the singer, other than the choir. He is a tenor and has a beautiful voice. He also has a website and you can hear his voice for yourself, in more than one language. He travels all over the world doing concerts. I can't imagine being able to sing like that. The music was great and it told an entire story, with a small choir of girls (not seen in the picture) at one time behind us, another time at the other end of the church, another time in the center, but each time it was like a conversation between Stuart, the choir behind him, (you can just see one person at the far right in a blue robe) and the other choir. We did purchase a program so we will have it to go with all of the pictures that I managed to take. Here is the link for Stuart's website. Go take a look and a listen!

Over the course of the evening and the walk back across the bridge to the metro I took more than 120 photos. Poor Michel, I just kept stopping and snapping. It is evenings like these, or any times like these that I love having a digital camera. You just delete the ones that are not good and the rest, download into the computer and you are ready to go! Keep watching, you will see more as I go along. Just not tonight. (Smile!!)

Little funnies from church bulletins

My mom sent me these. I have seen many like it before, they come around from the newspaper headlines, fun signs in real life, doctors office comments, and some of my favorite, the church bulletin comments!
  • The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
  • The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."
  • Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
  • Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
  • The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.
  • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "Hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.
  • Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
  • Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
  • For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
  • Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
  • The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."
  • Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
  • A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
  • At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.
  • Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
  • Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
  • Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
  • The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thoughts about being there

I have been thinking off and on about the 'stand-in mom' (cat) in the story below. Just instinct or is she a good 'mom', even more than just being a good mom? Those are not her kittens, they are not even close to being cats. They are baby skunks. It is one thing to give them the nourishment they need, but, to wash them, carry them around and show them to visitors? She probably did not even do that with her own kittens. Animals understand much more than we give them credit for. We can't understand them, they are the dumb animals. They understand us. And they care.

Anytime I have had a cat it has come when I called its name. Our last one would stand by the door just before my husband would arrive home. If found that interesting because he was not one to walk in at the same time every night. Normally, about 10 minutes before he would come home, Whitey would go and set by the door. If I yelled at him for something, he ignored me until I apologized.

Dumb animals. How many stories do we read, hear about, where an animal saves a human. We train dogs to aid the blind and physically challenged. Some animals know when a person will have a seizure. Animals know when you are sad, happy, angry. They stand by us regardless, love us. And back to the stand-in mom. she obviously has enough love to take care of baby skunks. And show them off. So they are different. She takes care of them. I wonder what she will feel when they are removed because they need to go back to the wild, or will they end up in a zoo somewhere? Will she wonder what happened to them? Where they are? Are they ok?

Dumb animals. How many times have we been a 'stand-in'. Stand-in mom, friend, helper, worker, listener. It is one thing when you want to be that stand in. Totally another when no one else will do it. And if we really want it to happen, we have to step up. Do we give it our best? Do we go the extra mile? Or when we are 'stuck' with something that maybe we really don't want, are grumbling about the fact that we are again stuck with having to do something, take care of someone, whatever it is, because the original person who was supposed to do it walked out? Are we proudly showing off our accomplishment and giving it our all, regardless, or are we just counting the seconds until we can get out of the responsibility and hassle of having to do the unwanted task.

On the other hand, if someone is doing something that we did not want to do, are we at least being supportive? Not complaining about the fact it is not how we wanted it done? Not nagging or grumbling at them for not doing it how we thought it should be done? Accepting that it is being done and thanking them for doing it?

Yes, I guess that there are definitely dumb animals on this earth. I am just not sure which species we should think of when we say that.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What happened here??

This was from a friend of mine, who also sends me interesting little tidbits. My first thought, before I read the text was she was in the wrong place at the wrong time... but after reading I learned she was just being helpful by standing in for a run-away mom!!

One week after being born, six baby skunks were abandoned by their mother. Luckily, we had just weaned five kittens off of our resident farm cat a day before and hoped that perhaps she might take them on as her own. She was reluctant at first, but she let them nurse - a positive sign. Two weeks have gone by and the six little "Stinkers" are thriving and their new mom couldn't be happier. She has become quite devoted to them and even carries them around to show them off to visitors

Sooty Escapes!!

My daughter thinks of me often but doesn't write much... at least about what is going on in her life. Instead I get all kinds of little goodies in my inbox. This one caught my eye and I thought I would share it with you. Poor little guy... but not sure if I think that because he got found and caught, or because he was so totally wiped out!! LOL.

I just went and looked and the print is too small for you to read, so I will retype here what it says:
A guinea pig called Sooty had a night to remember after escaping from his pen and tunnelling into a cage of 24 females.
He romanced each of them in turn and was yesterday the proud father of 43 offspring. Staff at Little Friend's Farm in Pontypridd, South Wales, have now secured Sooty's pen and begun looking for homes for the guinea pigs.
His owner, Carol Feehan, 42, said: "I'm sure a lot of men will be looking at Sooty with envy. We knew that he had gone missing after wriggling through the bars of his cage. We looked for him everywhere but never thought of checking the pen where we keep the 24 females. We did a head count and found 24 guinea pigs--Sooty was fast asleep in the corner.
He was absolutely shattered. We put him back in his cage and he slept for two days."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Queen Cowabunga!

Ok, so I am having just too much fun with this!! This so funny, unusual layout is done by a friend of mine from Sweden. Carina I am finding out has a great sense of humor which has just shown up for me, starting with this layout. Up until now I have known her to be very sensitive, understanding, patient, a great supporter and if you are down, she will perk you up. But this sense of humor? Have not seen it until now. I told her that I was going to post this on my blog and every time I need a pick-me-up I will just look at this. Normally her layouts are very serious, but I am thrilled to say that we have uncovered the hidden side of her!

If you would like to see credits for this layout, and go from there to see the rest of her gallery, just press this link! Cinna's Gallery

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Oh my!

I have been lucky enough to be able to do the layout pick of the day at Gotta Pixel. I get to pick the layout that I think is the best out of all of the incredible layouts that are put up each day, for one week! It has been exciting and fun and I am thoroughly enjoying it, but was not prepared for it taking quite so much time out of my day. Tomorrow is my last day and I will be sorry not to be still doing it, but also breathing a deep sigh that it is over and I will have a couple of extra hours a day I can actually update more here!!