Friday, June 27, 2008

To the tune of Gilligan's Island

The weather forecast for tomorrow, kayak tour day.
A six hour tour, a six hour tour...
The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed.....

Don't Rock the Boat

"We all in the same boat brother. You rock it too far to the right you fall in the waddah, rock it too far to the left you fall in the same waddah, and it's just as wet on both sides."
- Huddie Ledbetter (He called himself Lead Belly)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

May Calendar Page

May was dedicated to Jim's college graduation May 9th.

It doesn't have to be done, but I do it.

"I'm busy", "I don't have time to do that", "Where does the time go?"
What am I doing that makes me so busy? I've pondered that many times and the answer is a looooong list of things that don't have to be done. But I like to do them, so I do. Hobbies, interests, relaxation, whatever you want to call it, it doesn't have to be done, but I do it.
Gardening, Photoshop, Trying new recipes, Sudoku, Scrapbooking, Blogging. They add a diversion, a new dimension to the "things we have to do" in everyday life. One of those things I do that I don't have to do is make a monthly calendar page to put on my frig. No store-bought calendar for me. It must be customized. So here is the top of the page I put together for June.
I'm working on July now. I don't have to. But I want to. So I'll do it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mac Yakking

It was just about a year ago when I went with a group after work one day to kayak the Straits of Mackinaw. It was a last minute offer for a rare opportunity. One of those idyllic days with grand plans when everything goes perfectly. The day was sunny and warm and the water was like glass. We put our kayaks in a couple of miles west of the bridge and paddled toward the Mighty Mac. The water was so clear and calm you could see the rocks on the bottom even at 20 ft. or so. The plan was to paddle under the bridge to the east side (from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron) and have our brown bag dinners on the beach by the watertower watching the sun set. And that's exactly what we did, lingering for a long time under the Mac just because we could, and because it was so amazingly awesome. Of course the Straits is not without its hazards. The currents are unpredictable and eeeerie when you feel the movementof the water directly under you with just a 1/2" or so of plastic between you and two Great Lakes. And the swells, even in the calm water send your craft up and down in such a subtle but continuous manner, it's almost imaginary. Then, since you are in the middle of a busy shipping lane, there are those big, pesky freighters... . Another kayak adventure is planned for this weekend, in the Les Cheneaux Islands. To be continued...

Monday, June 23, 2008

"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

George Carlin will always be remembered for his "Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television" . We lost an edgy, anti establishment, ground breaking comedian yesterday. Nothing was off limits to George. He had a talent for observing sensitive social issues or just trivial annoyances of everyday life and turning them into popular comedy often with a dark side. One of my favorites was his baseball vs. football dialog, but his one-liners were classic... "When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?" "It's never just a game when you're winning." "Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist." One more favorite: "I've been uplinked and downloaded. I've been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I'm a high-tech lowlife. A cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, bi coastal multitasker, and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond..."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's not about the food

Last night was such a fun evening and time flew way too fast. I tried to savor the rare opportunity to get reacquainted with Tom and Patty. What a wonderful and interesting family! As always, Tom has personality coming out his ears, is a wealth of knowledge about so many things and makes every story fascinating. Patty is quiet and unassuming, and at the same time bright and sweet and fun, and I'm so glad I got a chance to know her better. They are wonderful parents with extraordinary children. I wish we had had more time so I could have spent more time with the kids. Eddie, named after my Uncle Ed Heffron, is observant and sensitive beyond his 11 years, and Cheche (Cecilia, after my Grandma Heffron) is friendly and thoughtful. Both are beautiful children with a sparkle in their eyes that hints at the little wheels always turning in their minds. (I guess I sound like a grandma but they stole my heart in the short time they were here.) I enjoyed the way they spoke to me and their dad in English, and to mom and each other in Spanish. I'll have to get a Spanish lesson next time :)
Dinner? It really didn't matter, as we were so busy catching up on each other's lives, but... We had hummus with pita and veggies, cheese and fruit, and Tom and Patty brought wine. Then we had burgers, chicken and asparagus cooked on the grill, a green salad, and Priscilla brought an apple pie. BTW, amazing coincidence: Priscilla grew up with Sister Helen Werner, who is a nun living in Guatemala. Not only does it turn out she knows the Heffron family, but she and Tom and Patty have met in Guate!
They plan to return to Northern Michigan someday and I will welcome any opportunity to see them again. Maybe in Guatemala!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Tom Heffron, my cousin who lives in Guatemala, called last night from my Aunt Mary Ellen's house near Lansing. They're in Michigan for their annual summer visit and coming my way today! I've invited them (his wife and their kids Eddie and Cheche) for dinner tonight. I'm very excited to see them! Yikes! Now I'm thinking back to the time I had dinner hosted by their family in Guatemala for his sister Rosie's wedding and the night before the wedding. What a couple of grand affairs...a bounty of excellent local fare all presented with the utmost of style, quality and elegance. Mariachis, detailed table settings, enchanting surroundings, and oh, the food! How can I ever compete?? Not to worry...the truth is they are the nicest, kindest people you could ever meet and they are coming to see me! Not my rusty culinary skills, or my yard torn apart by the tree removal guys who are in fact felling trees at this very moment, or my house left in disarray by the recent projects left half done. No, they are coming to see me. And I look forward to it! Hmmm, what to have for dinner....all American burgers on the grill??...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I don't know what it is about my family, but when we take pictures there are two things we tend to photograph more than anything: feet.
Sometimes feet make a good size or distance reference for say, a possible cougar track, or a cliff. Sometimes they're cute or pretty feet and deserve some recognition. Maybe it's the shoes that got our attention. Oh, and don't forget the six-toed cat at Hemingway's Key West house. Whatever it is, I have a collection of foot photos bigger than, well, Wild feet. Or as well meaning petite feet people say, "Good understanding", or "Well, you're so tall, you'd look funny with small feet, or maybe even fall down..."

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Happy Fathers Day to all you Dads!
Especially to my own Dad.  You were an amazing man and I still miss you and wish my sons could have known you better.  You were so handsome, smart, multi-talented, funny, active, and loving.  I love you forever.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Time to Shave my L...

Time to shave my lawn... It has rained daily for almost 2 weeks and I've had better things to do than cut the grass, so the lawn was overgrown like a rain forest today. It was so long that as I went over it with the mower some got nicely cut and some blades just got flattened. On my next pass over the green stuff the last row had popped up again and needed more attention. As I re cut each row 2 or 3 times my mind wandered to the possibilities for making this more efficient. You know, like a multi-blade razor. Remember the TV ad illustrating the first blade holding up the whisker and the next one cutting it? I'm telling you this could work with lawnmowers. Think: Craftsman 5.5 Torque, 21 in. Deck, Rear Bag Push Lawn Mower + Gillette Mach3Turbo, no better yet, Gillette Fusion 5 Blade Razor with 2 Lubricating Strips and 1Blade on the back for trimming sideburns = ONE COOL MOWER / TRIMMER Challenge to all you (my two readers) engineers, mechanics, mathematicians and real men out there, complete the above equation. Or come on up and mow my lawn. Beer is included. PS If you thought I was going to say, "Time to shave my legs" stay home.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dave!!



It's Dave's birthday! On this day in 1965 he was but a roly poly little ball
of baby with a bald head and a winning smile. The only thing that's changed is the roly poly part. I was 11 when he was born and grew so attached to him and later to our baby brother, Brian, they went everywhere with me. Much to the annoyance of my high school friends, they even accompanied us to school events, sitting in the hatchback of my mom's Barracuda teasing my saintly friends while I drove. (Before the days of seat belts and car seats.) I've been big sister, mother, friend, confidant, chef's assistant ... over the years and he's still one of my best friends. These pictures are some of the many faces of Dave- brother, husband, father, friend, photographer, engineer, chef, and all round nice, goofy person extraordinairre.
Love you, Bro!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Harbor Pointe

My younger son, Jim is home for the weekend. Yay!
We walked along the waterfront last night. The water was flat and still and the sun was sinking into an orange glow. It was one of those warm spring nights when you get goosebumps just thinking about summer fun. We love to paddle to "The Point" across the harbor and swim in the cold, deep pristine waters of Lake Michigan. The drop off goes from a few inches to about 180 feet in a matter of about a yard! Note the tan to dark blue color change in the photo. It's exciting and scary and gets the adrenalin flowing when you swim underwater toward the DEEP, taking in the dark beauty through goggles. We planned to get the kayaks out today for their 2008 initiation tour around this breathtaking harbor.
It rained all day.... Maybe the next visit.


This is not a self-portrait. It's Dave's Mii of me for Wii. Think it looks like mii, er me?
I think it looks a lot like a face from the Guess Who? game. Or perhaps the female counterpart of that old Magnetic Mustache Man board we used to play with in the 60's. What was that called?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mary Moments

The first Mary Moment is a photo.
An idyllic moment a year ago in Utah, on the
North Fork of the Virgin River.
This is me happy.
Forget about the box, just think OUTSIDE.