Thursday, July 31, 2008

Home From New England

New York City Skyline from Hoboken, N.J.
I haven't been to the Big Apple since I was a kid. It's still big. My niece Lindsay and I tooled around Manhattan for a while after visiting my Aunt Helen (more on that later). I saw just enough to leave me wanting for more. Contrary to what some people think, I'm not just an outdoor girl. I need my fix of "City" at least a couple of times a year but last weekend I got just enough of a great American city for a little tease. The contrast of this bustling metropolis to my everyday life is fascinating. It's on my list of "gotta go back to" places right after Ireland.

Times Square
Empire State Building

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom

Happy Birthday, Mom. July 23, 1926
You would have been 82 today.
You taught me so much about life and people. Some of it didn't sink in until after you were gone. How's Ireland?
Love, Mary

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Erik!! - July 18, 1983

First Birthday Cake
Two and a half years old
Happy Birthday, Erik! 25 years old. You know the day of your birth was one of the all time happiest days of my life! I love you. You have become such a fine young man and I couldn't be prouder. Love, Mom

Erik, Linda

Woodland Visitors

I had three visitors to my backyard yesterday morning. A small doe, a larger doe, and a five point buck! He was a little guy, but displayed some fine looking antlers in velvet. They ate ground hemlock and a few flowers, stared at me for a little while, then meandered into the woods.
I used to see a lot of whitetail deer in my yard but not as many in recent years. This is the 3rd time these guys have visited in a couple of weeks, so I'm happy to see them back again. Didn't that little buck pose nicely?


My cousin Denny's daughter Kerra called me today to get an address for an invitation to a reunion. Having sent a flowering tree for them to plant in her mother's memory, I had checked the tracking for its delivery. I knew it left Lansing early today so I alerted Kerra to its imminent arrival. Seconds later, at 2:06 pm to be precise, she said a FedEx truck had left their driveway and they must have left the tree at the door! Instinctively, I clicked on the tracking number link in my confirmation email and there it was, clear as day, "2:05 pm, delivered, Belding, MI, Left at front door"!! Now THAT'S service!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Playing With Fire

These photos are much harder to take than it would appear...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Joy

Ohhh, the sheer joy of childhood in the summer! It looks like Lake Michigan, feels like the sun, tastes like watermelon, and smells like freshly cut grass.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wooden Watercraft Wonder

I headed into Harbor Springs with my good friends from Grand Marais, Ed and Dawn, for a little Saturday kayaking. There was a demo at the waterfront and I fell in love with a most amazing hand crafted cedar kayak. It's lightweight, roughly half the weight of my 15' P&H. The artisan (because boat maker doesn't describe this man's skill) is Allen Deming and his wife Susie from Grand Ledge, MI. and their company is Mackinaw Watercraft.This craft slices through the water without the slightest hint of drag and is a peice of art as well. Come on, Dave, give me a hyperbole...I'm at a loss to describe this beauty.
I am currently saving for my very own 14-foot cedar touring kayak. I only have $4,995 to go. Anyone care to contribute to the cause??
I got to take her for a test run - lucky me!
A canoe, too!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Clever Cacti

The rare Purple Plant Eating Prickly Pear found at Indian Garden,
 Grand Canyon, Arizona. It also eats apples. Just ask Dave.
 The Lower Peninsula of Michigan Cactus
 photographed at Zion National Park, Utah.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tooth Fairy

My friend Tim teaches 2nd grade in Harbor Springs. One morning he noticed a tooth missing from a student's mouth and asked with enthusiasm, "Did you put the tooth under your pillow?" When the child nodded Tim followed with, "Did the Tooth Fairy come?" To his surprise the boy said, "YES! I saw her!" Tim asked, "You DID? What did she look like?" The boy's reply..."She looked a lot like my mom only naked."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Geologist and the Undertaker's Daughter

Not a real novel, I created this fake book cover...
The names in this story have been changed to protect patient confidentiality and keep the HIPPA people happy. Ian Higglesford, a 91 yr old retired civil engineer from Ontario is one of our more delightful patients. His long life and colorful friends have blessed him with many memories and I am fortunate that he shares some of them with me. Mr. H came down from Canada this morning and asked about Erik, as he usually does because he is a fellow engineer. I told him Erik had graduated from Michigan Tech last year and got a job right in Houghton. This reminded Mr. H. of a childhood friend of his who graduated from Tech in Geology and stayed in Houghton to work. Eventually, the friend met and married the Houghton Undertaker's daughter. I commented on the story's likeness to a tawdry romance novel and he said, "Ohhhh, but there's more!" The Geologist and the undertaker's daughter moved to Uganda for a while on business where the wife left the Geologist for an Englishman. The Englishman and the undertaker's daughter ended up being deported back to Canada for such immoral behavior. Undaunted, the Geologist married a Ugandan woman, beautiful and black as the night. He then married a second Ugandan woman, as was allowed by local laws. When he returned to Canada he took his first Ugandan Wife, who then became a Canadian citizen. No sooner did she earn her citizenship and she took off with another Canadian fellow. Undaunted, well, maybe a little daunted this time, he sent for his second wife. The second Ugandan Wife too, earned Canadian citizenship and left the Geologist for another man. All these many years later the Geologist still resides in Sault Ste. Marie, retired and unmarried. The Engineer and the Geologist are still good friends.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bear River Boiler

My tradition for the morning of the 4th of July is kayaking down the Bear River with my friend, Deepika. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes at a "never stop paddling" pace to 3 hours at a "let the current do the work" pace. We started out at 10am and floated til after 1pm, so you know what kind of mood we were in! Last year we inadvertently snuck up on three deer drinking from the river not six feet from our kayaks. We were silent and they seemed perfectly unafraid, so we just stared at each other until we drifted by. This year's wildlife included turtles and two kinds of birds I've never identified before. At one point a turkey flew across the river right over our heads. He was eagle-sized but distinctively clumsy and noisy unlike his noble cousin. We drank in the colorful sights, unfamiliar sounds and sweet aromas of this serene setting, a private eden hidden from the hustle and bustle of the nearby towns. The thousands of tourists and locals gathered to celebrate the occasion of Independence Day "up north" were a world away. As we lazed on down the river Dee told me the story of an old factory from a bygone era whose boiler suffered a huge explosion that tore open the thick metal sides and rocketed it to a spot by this river a half mile away. When we approached the "boiler" I couldn't help but remark about it's looming presence and resemblance to some kind of ancient aircraft (UFO, of course), WWII U-Boat or perhaps a Dharma Initiative electromagnetic device from "LOST"! I got a few pics so YOU decide.... look closely.


"Lost" embellishments added in Photoshop by me!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kevin!! July 1st

Bottom: You and me in 1955 and 1973. I hate to say it, but we were cuter in '55!
Hey, big brother, have a great day! Love, Mary