Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Deb Wild!!

Happy Birthday to my fun, funny, cute, and too far away sister-in-law, Deb!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry and Bright

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...

Taken in St.Ignace, near the Mackinac Bridge

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unfairy Godmother Wishes

Happy Birthday is my wish to you, Megan, from your Godmother of the Unfairy kind. I hope you have a magical day and all your wishes come true!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jim!!


What a special day - 24 years ago today! You changed my life in many ways and all good! You were a delightful, happy child and have grown into a handsome, responsible and fun young man. You get better every year and I am so proud of you! I love you forever, Mom

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gertie and Harold

Gertie* had an early appoinment with the doctor I work for and Harold* made the two hour drive to get her here. I overheard bits of her story from the next room and the rest of the details were filled in by the assistant, Kristan.

When our assistants tell new patients they will be taking a photo for our records most of them look blankly at the camera. Not Gertie. She broke into a huge smile and threw her hands into the air seemingly just to punctuate her smile.

A phone rang. Gertie pulled out her two way radio and answered. "How are you doing, sweetie?" A little chatter, then, "I love you, honey!" She told the assistant it was her husband. He was calling her from the parking lot to make sure she was all right! "You wanna talk to the nurse, honey?" After she hung up, Harold came into the office to join his wife. The doctor was with another patient so they had a chance to chat with Kristan.

Gertie was from Texas, and as a young woman came to Michigan to visit a relative. While here, she met Harold and they were smitten. Ten days later they were married! I heard Harold say, "We met at a friend's bar," and he was quick to add, "But I wasn't drunk when I asked her to marry me."

Now remember, my patient and I are in the next room hearing bits of this conversation. My patient grinned and said, "They were married ten days after they met?" I replied, "It'll never last..."

Harold and Gertie have been married 52 years, she worked as his secretary for 30 years and they raised a family. They fit this mini biography into a 5 minute time span and left several people with a smile and a warm heart.

*The names were changed to protect privacy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

War and Peace

Ok, so this is a pretty good quote from Leo Tolstoy, but that's not the point. If you've ever wondered why War and Peace is soooo long, read this sentence (yes, ONE sentence) and you'll see: Be sure to check out the alternate uses for this book in my labels and add your own. Unless, of course, you finished the book and really loved it.

"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." -Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two New

I met two new people last weekend while visiting my brothers for the holiday. Brooke, my newest niece is a real doll and it'll be so much fun watching her develop into her own person. I miss her already. I also got to meet Alisa, whom I've been getting to know through blogspot and Dave. We grew up on the same street in Oak Park, but I was in high school by the time she was playing in the neighborhood with my younger brothers. I was immediately impressed with her writing style which is very professional and entertaining. Once you read someone's blog for a while pieces of their personality start coming together and making a connection. By the time we met, it seemed like she was an old friend. Nice to know ya, Alisa - keep on blogging! Here she is with my niece, Maddie.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thirty Seconds of Pure Genius

Brooke Elizabeth's first video performance. Isn't she lovely?

Say Yes to the Dress

Linda and Erik were in Green Bay, WI to spend the holiday with Linda's family. While there, Linda went with her mom, sister, and bridesmaids to shop for a wedding dress. Her mom sent me pics of some beautiful gowns, which Linda made look even more gorgeous. I'm assuming Erik isn't supposed to see the pictures so this is all I'm posting for now. Isn't she cute?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Of Gioachino Rossini and The Lone Ranger

An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger. Dan Rather (1931- )

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Carrying a 40 pound backpack in the desert heat hour after hour is an incredible challenge. But when your brother gets sick and our goal is getting to water and shade in short order you take turns helping out. Here is Dave carrying his own pack and Mark's at the same time. What a family, those Wilds. We may be crazy but we're always there for each other!

Grand Canyon, May 2005

Sunday, November 23, 2008


There is nothing more sad or glorious than generations changing hands. John Mellencamp


"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Simple Pleasures #2

The first snow of the season!!

And the way the snow makes everything look like mushrooms.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beautiful Family-Heather, Brooke, Maddie, Zach, Dave

Another Wild in the World!!

Welcome to the World, Brooke Elizabeth Wild! Born today, 11-19-08 at 5:01pm, 7lbs 15ou. Congratulations to Heather, Dave, Zach, and Maddie! I can't wait to meet you, tiny girl. I'll be there in less than a week. Love, Aunt Mary

Sunday, November 16, 2008


An unnamed woman on the news caught my attention today. She and her husband and five children had just lost their home to the California fires. The firestorm travelled so fast on the 70 mph Santa Ana winds they had just five minutes of warning to evacuate so they took nothing with them. When asked to comment she said, "It's hard to believe that you can lose everything and still have (as she looked at her family)...everything."

I doubt she realized just how profound that statement was.

Satellite view of far reaching fires.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Papa Bear

This is what I saw from inside the Conference Center in Denver.
This is him from the outside.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dylan James Kohler!

Welcome to the world, my first grand nephew. I'm so happy for your mom and dad, Lindsay and Dave and your very proud grandparents, Mary and Mark. I can't wait to meet you! Your great aunt Mary

There is nothing like a newborn baby to renew your spirit-and to buttress your resolve to make the world a better place.-Virginia Kelley

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Aah, the sweet, romantic smell of a roaring - cough!- fire. I no longer have a wood furnace or fireplace but I actually used to enjoy getting firewood ready for winter. We went out into the woods to cut dead trees, cut them into logs, haul them to the house, and split the logs that wouldn't fit into the firebox. I ran across these pictures from 1979. (I was 4 yrs old then : ) The other people in the photos are my in-laws, Howard and Priscilla. Get a load of that woodpile!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Close Encounter of the Best Kind

Any HGTV or TLC fans out there? You can appreciate this one if you have eyes and like men. Erik and I were flying home from a week in Key West (Lindsay and Dave's wedding). We were waiting at DTW for our flight to TVC, Traverse City. It was late at night and we were beat but my eyes perked up when I caught a glimpse of one of the other passengers. The poor guy. The poor tall, lean, dark haired, chiseled faced beauty of a young man just wanted to get to his hometown of Traverse City but some other guy kept trying to engage him in dull conversation. If I went to rescue him surely he would be grateful! No, I would just be another interruption in his quest for peace. I said, "Erik, that's Carter Oosterhouse!" "Who?" All that talent and beauty was lost on Erik. I wanted to meet this extraordinary television carpenter with his own show, Carter Can on HGTV. I've watched him since back in the early days of Trading Spaces on TLC.
I decided in the interest of giving Carter his space and trying to avoid the label of middle-aged-lady-who-watches-home-improvement-shows, I would just leave him alone. When it was our turn to board the plane we filed in and I slowly realized I would be (gasp!) sitting directly behind the carpenter of note!! I thought it through quickly: if I were to sit behind Carter, running my fingers through that beautiful wavy hair for an hour, I should at least introduce myself. He slid into his window seat, I walked past but as I moved in behind him I asked, (in a very cool and casual manner, of course) "Carter?" His dark eyes met mine and he said, "Yes." I resisted melting as not to embarass Erik standing right beside me. I held out my hand and said, "Hi. I'm Mary from Harbor Springs, and I just want you to know I really enjoy your work." He smiled that broad, toothy and genuine smile and shook my hand and thanked me and said it was nice to meet me. All very generic words for just another fan, but I'm quite certain he really WAS happy to meet me...
Erik and I took our seats and I was proud of myself that I didn't call any attention to Carter or myself... especially when the man next to him said, "Ok, I have to ask, what kind of work do you do?" Carter's reply, "Oh, I just build stuff." He slept the rest of the way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Elect Barack Obama

Just a few minutes ago, Senator Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States of America. This is truly a significant moment in history. Whether or not he was your personal choice, the election of a black president says something about how far this country has come. Make no mistake we have a long way to go, but when I was growing up it was the height of the civil rights movement and this event was unimaginable. Let's stand behind our new president and hope for a better future. As I type this Senator McCain is giving his concession speech and telling the story of the controversy created by Booker T. Washington's invitation to the White House years ago. Right now Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. is expressing her thoughts on this occasion. Like I said, we've come a long way.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's a Girl !!

After growing up with five brothers and raising two sons I'm finally going to have a girl! - By way of a daughter-in-law. Erik and Linda are engaged and I couldn't be happier for them. And for me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jammin' in Jammies

Check out Dave's post from today about Zach's budding musical talents.
Then read our brother Mark's (Wildman) comment about his guitar from Mexico. Ok, here's the best part. I found a photo of Dave, age 2 kicking out the jams on Mark's guitar. If you can stand one more (possibly politically incorrect) picture, here's Dave again a year later complete with the sombrero and cowboy boots. Isn't he cute!?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Too Much Cuteness??

Cute, cuter, cutest??
I take too many pictures. The editing and deleting process can be excrutiating. Who could ever say which is the cutest or (gasp!) least cute image of Maddie after her bath?? So I often make a "filmstrip", photo series, or scrapbook page of similar ones and they become a collection or maybe even tell a story. It's not redundant, it's just more of a good thing!

One day last winter Erik, Linda, and I picked up some Guinness Stout and Harps and were having a good time relaxing when I started taking a few shots (pictures, that is). It looks like Linda enjoyed the 'Liquid Irish Heaven' as much as I did and I can almost taste a real live Black & Tan when I take another look at this series.

Equally cute!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My neighbors, James and Dean

I had an audience while working in the yard after work today. Aren't they cute??

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Back to the "Old Me"

It took a lot of guts (no pun intended) for me to post these "before and after" pictures. I did it hoping that humbling myself might inspire (or scare) someone else to better health. I've been tall and lean most of my life and that was my self image. So it took me quite a while to realize I no longer was. I'm physically active but I love food. I love to cook food, to photograph food, to experiment with new food combinations. Most of us enjoy using food to celebrate , to commiserate, to fill time, to spend time . We like to eat whether we are happy or sad, bored or busy, stressed or relaxed. There is always a reason to eat and it doesn't necessarily involve hunger.

My ultimate motivation to get back to the old me was health. I knew I didn't look my best, it was harder to find clothes I enjoyed wearing, my favorite sports took more effort and on and on. But when it came right down to it I'm in my fifties now and I just want to be as healthy as I can be.

Once I resumed eating with more focus on nutrition it was actually easy. My favorite foods are all the nutritious ones. The hard part is sugar, but I've been increasingly satisfied with substitutions and portion control. It's habit. My goal was 30 lbs in 3 months and I lost almost 40 lbs in 4 months, keeping within 3 lbs for 4 more months. And counting. The big SECRET? Decreased portions, increased activity. No secret at all.

I encourage comments but don't say, 'you look good' because this is about good health. I'm old enough to know the value of it!

P.S. Have you ever mixed a little cake mix with some water and eaten it with a spoon? No? Uh, yeah, me neither.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, HB!!

The many faces of Heather, one of my favorite people!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ferocious Feline Feat; Just one more Fraidy Story

Anyone who knows me is aware that I complain about our cat, Fraidy. He really belongs to my boys so I pretend to be constantly annoyed by his quirks. The truth is Fraidy is pretty loveable and often entertaining. He spent the first 7 yrs of his life indoors so he's afraid of most animals and doesn't wander too far, but he must follow his instincts and put on a good show. Following is a picture story of one of his tentative backyard adventures with 5 wild turkeys... "Relax. You're safe now. I chased them away for you without a single thought to my own safety. You're welcome."