Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Nature Nut

This is why I love having my white picket fence garden out front. This was what I saw out my living room window, and tried so carefully to get a photo of. :) There were two of these finches in my Russian Sage. If only I could attract birds that ate Japanese beetles... :) Hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Wednesday Sisters

A book I finished this afternoon: the Wednesday Sisters.
It is by Meg Waite Clayton. Wonderful.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quote to Ponder

Was reading Saving Planet Earth by Tony Juniper yesterday. Really a lot to think about, some of which is very overwhelming, but wonderful words and excellent photos. One of the last things I read was "In 1961, President Kennedy mobilized the United States of America to send a man to walk on the moon before the end of the 60s: It took nine years to do what most people thought was impossible. The saving of planet Earth requires such an effort, but is easily within the abilities of the human race." I loved that, and the words on the last page, that the power is in us, within our reach. Just an interesting book and I wanted to share.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lovely Afternoon Surprise

I think I've mentioned before that my husband doesn't purchase flowers too often. "They just die" is his reasoning. I've only received them a handful of times in fourteen years. Yesterday, for no special reason, he got me flowers! A woman arrived at the door carrying them. I assumed she was bringing them to leave for a neighbor who wasn't home. However, the tag was for me! :) I think the rarity of flowers for me makes them more special. :)

Then, after dinner, some time at the pool with the girls, and getting the girls ready for bed, we walked to a nearby restaurant, just the husband and I (our girls are ok by themselves for 1 1/2 hours...) We had a drink and some appetizers and walked home. :) Was a wonderful evening. Something special. Still smiling and thought I'd share. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Camping and Other Adventures

Last weekend we went camping with my in laws. We had a wonderful time! We went a few hours to a campground on Lake Erie. We had some rain, but luckily we were in a pop-up instead of a tent! :) We spent time on the beach, biking, and traveled to some local sights. We saw Kelly's Island, Marblehead's lighthouse, among other things. We had a nice time just being together with family, too. We got great exercise, but ate a lot, too! :) My in laws made a blueberry cobbler in a dutch oven over the fire. YUM! We made a taco salad one night, very simple but yummy, and healthy, if you limit the dressing. We also tried a new dessert recipe: chocolate raspberry burritos. My husband was skeptical when I found and suggested it, but it was a great hit. We added mini marshmallows to the recipe. I went running one day; when I headed out at 6:30 it was sprinkling and the campground was quiet. When I got back, it was pouring and people were up and about. It was a wonderful rain run. Not too cold, not storming. It was perfect. Animals were out and about, but hardly any humans were stirring. :) Loved it!
I finished Beach House by Jane Green (a slow start, because I think I expected something different, but a good story once I got into it) and started The Art of Racing the Rain by Garth Stein. It's pretty good so far. I have them checked out from the library and, because they're new books, they are only out for 14 days, whereas the Suite Francaise book is out for much longer, as it is older. I still have it and am going to read it. :) I will keep you posted, Molly. :) Our trip to camping had a few hour ride both ways so I began reading aloud to the family. I'm reading a fun book, that has been a great read aloud thus far: The Name of this Book Is Secret. It's been quite funny and all of us are interested. I've been reading a chapter or two a night to the family since we've been back and the girls say "we can't be done; read one more chapter!" :)
Few little notes:
  • I have been running almost everyday and am enjoying it! :)
  • We're up to 39 state postcards! :)
  • Sadly, the Japanese beetles have returned. They've turned my beautiful daisies and purple coneflowers into brown, shrivels.
That's all my news for now. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Today's Run & Other Info

I got another 4 miler in. Still using my site and it's helping me watch what I eat better.
Also, some things I did today to help the environment:
  • Dried my laundry out on the patio, less electricity used by the drier (which is one of the biggest electricity devourers in our homes, and that electricity is produced by coal, a non-renewable resource)
  • Turned our air conditioning off, and when it's on, I leave it on 80, except overnight, when it's 72.
  • Haven't turned any lights on all day, and no tv. (We didn't watch tv at home all weekend!)
  • Recycled
  • Bought and ate organic meat, cheese and milk
  • Phased out plastic bags from our home. Using cloth bags (that we take back and forth) from our grocery and our library
  • Used organic shampoo and sunscreen, so that when I shower, my wastewater isn't contaminating the place it ends up. Many water treatment plants can't filter out all the make-up, hair and body products we use, so it ends up effecting wildlife (hmm, what does it do to us, then? :)
  • I haven't been blowdrying my hair, like I used to do daily, also an electricity sucker.
  • Empty the dehumidifier we have recently placed in our basement onto our plants instead of using more water from the tap/dumping the dehumidifier in the sink...
  • Planning our weekend trip to a state park this coming weekend, where we will be camping!!
  • Instead of driving to our local library (which is about 4 miles away) which we do multiple times per week, we're biking tomorrow! :)
  • I have avoided the highlights in my hair. Chemicals, right? I used to go every 6 to 8 weeks... I haven't been since April 8. I could probably use a trim, but I can ride my bike when I need one. :)
Now, I'm not saying I don't have a very long way to go, but I'm happy with the things we're implementing at home. We're trying, and we're trying to teach our kids. Think of the things you've done lately. Have any good tips to share?? I'd love to hear what you're doing! I hope you're well.

2 Books

Two must read books:
  1. 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth by John Javna, Sophie Javna and Jesse Javna. A great read filled with tasks we can do to save the planet-if enough people read and try some of these it will make a big difference.
  2. Climate Solutions; what works, what doesn't and why A Citizen's Guide by Peter Barnes I haven't finished this book, so, I don't necessarily agree with all of it. My careful disclaimer. :)
I have read the save the Earth book and find a lot of the solutions very feasible. I read some of the climate book and find it necessary to stop our carbon production.

This leads me to my thoughts of our current president who thinks we should be offshore drilling... yes, ruining the environment further, for a short term resource, a non-renewable resource, instead of pushing our country into other sources...Why improve things, let's keep everything in its same state, after all, just a few more months as President, right?

Saturday, July 12, 2008


So far, we're up to 33 state postcards and 9 countries. Still having fun receiving them! :) We got Oregon today.
The girls, my hubby's mom and I saw the (American Girl) Kit Kittredge movie yesterday. Very nice movie! We all four liked it! We had a very nice day with my mother-in-law.
Today I really worked hard in the flower garden. Weeding, trimming, photographing toads... :) Yep, the nature lover in me.
Tonight we're off to dinner at the in laws' house. We're taking salad: Strawberry and Feta Salad.
I have been very good at keeping track of my calories on I said keeping track, not watching myself get fitter. :) I have been over my goal total almost everyday. But, I'm getting closer and closer to my goal everyday, as I become aware of the calories I burn vs. the calories in what I eat/drink.
I ran four times this week. Felt pretty good. Only about 4 miles each day. Wish Juls or Momo were closer so I could have a consistent running partner. :) Or Molly to walk with! :) I'll look into it, Momo. :)
That's all for now. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who knew

Who knew there were so many calories in everything I enjoy eating? :) I read a post on Cathy Zielske's blog that talked about a great site. I can keep track of what I eat everyday, put in a weight goal (lose a pound per week, gain a pound per week, etc.), exercise, etc. And in a minimal amount of time. It's The Daily Plate. It's great. Inspires me to get more exercise. I did not pay to be a "gold member" and I like the services I get. I was snacking on some packs of peanut butter crackers... Um, about 200 calories and my Starbucks drink-the mid-size- is 160 calories! My four mile runs... that takes away 274 or so. Anyway, I've enjoyed taking a look at it, and I thought you might, too.
I'm reading a book I found in the "new" section at our library: Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde. It's pleasant so far. A quick read; I found it yesterday and am on chapter 6. My husband is listening to "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett on cd and is about three quarters of the way through. He's enjoying it. It's funny; he had heard from a friend how good it was, saw it at the library, started listening to it, and then we saw my mom over the weekend who had just started it because it was a "book club book".
I ran four miles yesterday and we went to the pool again. Both forms of exercise felt good... especially knowing I was erasing things I ate earlier. :))
My dear friend should have arrived back in England this week, here's to hoping she is there safe and sound.
Thanks, Christy, for the book suggestions! I picked up Suite Francaise at the library to read next! :) I am reserving the others. And I appreciated your reply to the "survey"! :))
My friend who had her surgery (due to breast cancer) is doing well. Thank you for your prayers. She was up and smiling yesterday when I picked up her two oldest kids. She's a tough, positive lady. Made me think my running boo-hoo's were pretty whiney and inconsequential, you know?
That's all for now. Hope you are well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I found out today that my favorite location will be closing in less than a month. Yes, it is expensive coffee. However, they are one of few places who use recycled/recyclable products (cups, materials, etc). They even save the grounds in a "Use for your Garden" bag after they've produced coffee, so I can bring it home and put the grounds on my garden. They also use coffee beans that are not a detriment to the environment. Starbucks is on a short list of coffeemakers that are triple certified, meaning it is organic, shade grown, and fairly traded. This is why I don't mind shelling out more money to get my coffee at Starbucks. Also, I love the staff that are trained to know my name, my usual drink, and be friendly, as well as correct and swift in making the drink. No, other places in the area do not share these distinctions. I used to enjoy the other places, but the workers act like you're interrupting their day and inconveniencing them when you order. I don't like to start my mornings that way.
What a life I have that I can be sad about my way-too-much-per-cup-of-coffee-place closing and not something more important, hm?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Another One

Got another four miler in today. Weather was hot and humid, but I felt pretty good! I did turn the watch on and it was better than it has been in a while! :)
Going swimming at the local pool with the family this evening. Fun fun! :)


We had a really nice fourth of July weekend. We saw awesome fireworks with the in-laws on the 3rd, went to my family's cottage on the lake Fri-Sun, came home and cleaned out the garage (mostly work of the husband and oldest daughter) to make room for our pop-up camper and then capped off the weekend with some good friends at the local ice cream shop.
Missed my computer: almost 300 spam messages, and 23 blog postings to read. :) Glad to see Michael's back blogging, speaking of postings awaiting me. Send him some positive thoughts to get through this tough bout from chemo, please! :)
Lanne also "tagged" readers of her blog, so here's my response:

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? {in} Garage
3. Your hair? dreadful
4. Your mother? quilter
5. Your father? teddybear

6. Your favorite thing? weekends
7. Your dream last night? confusing
8 Your favorite drink? latte
9. Your dream/goal? teacher
10. The room you're in? den
11. Your hobby? scrapbooking
12. Your fear? hurt
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? respected
14. What you're not? perfect
15. Muffins? warm
16. One of your wish list items? job
17. Where you grew up? Michigan
18. The last thing you did? typed
19. What are you wearing? shorts
20. Favorite gadget? camera
21. Your pets? snoozing
22. Your computer? necessity :)

23. Your mood? sleepy
24. Missing someone? family
25. Your car? dependable
26. Something you're not wearing? nailpolish
27. Favorite store? starbucks :)
28. Like someone? husbandfriend :)
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? 2008

So, my regular readers, only takes a couple minutes, please have fun and take part. I always have a hard time limiting my words ;) but had the hardest time with 5, like Lanne says, my dad in one word??!! And 12, wanted to put for my children after hurt, but one word. :)

Headed to the library today to pick up a book on hold, and am looking forward to another fictional read. Have several checked out that are nonfiction/save the planet books. Reading anything wonderful this week?

Hope you are well, and wish Isabelle a wonderful birthday (it was the 4th), if you get a chance! Happy birthday, Isabelle! :))

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Today I ran 4 miles. It was great. I had some soreness to contend with, but it was raining. A beautiful rain, that isn't stinging or a pending storm. Wasn't even hard enough to scare the chipmunks into hiding. :) It was a great run. I didn't even start the watch to see how long it took me. I really enjoyed it. Feel like I ran, and got some exercise. Ahh, {smile} Nope, not the distance the schedule called for, but a nice run, indeed.


Well, the girls were back to themselves shortly after I posted last. They were totally off medicine less than a week after the surgery. They both wanted to run and play, but the doctor said to lay low for 14 days. They ran around like crazy children, even climbing one of our trees, the Friday that was day 14. :) They are back to all normal activities and enjoying summer!
I had a wonderful cuppa tea with a dear friend yesterday. My friend who is returning to England. It was a nice chat, that flew by as usual, and the goodbye was so sad. I know we'll keep in touch, as she is a wonderful person, but it will be hard not seeing her in person for a while. Makes my eyes tear up as I type. I hope she knows how special she is and how important to me. Hard to put that into words.
Running... hmm. I ran a few more days after my last post. I found it incredibly painful and uncomfortable. I wonder if I started too much too soon? I won't get into all the painful spots, but there were many. Last summer, I'd do a long run, recover after a day or two and feel great for the next week's. This time I felt pain in my legs all week. I don't feel like this normally and it left me so frustrated! I dreaded getting up in the morning to go for a run. And if I didn't get it done, I would dread it all day. Then I'd run and think "how much longer till this is over??" Not "this is fun, I'm glad I can do this" like I used to. Then I started running a few evenings with my husband. Only about four miles-so not what was on my schedule-and it was fun. We'd talk about our day and just run a fun pace-not looking at my watch trying to hit my marks, and being disappointed in not making them this year. So, I'm rethinking my goals in that area.
There aren't any job openings I can apply for right now, so I'm in the holding pattern.
I read two books since I posted last: The Shop on Blossom Street which was a nice story. It's the first in a series. I liked it as a single story. I may be in the mood to read the others some time, but not currently. I also read a great book: Sundays at Tiffany's. It was a very good read. I couldn't put it down!
We've gotten about thirty state postcards and nine country postcards, so far! We have all had fun (have I had the most fun in our family? Probably! :))
Our friend with breast cancer had surgery on Tuesday. She had to go back in for a complication yesterday, but is doing well, now. She's resting comfortably at home. Please keep her in your prayers. We walked in the Relay for Life (fundraisers for all cancers) together recently in the evening. They lit luminaries all around the track and some in the bleachers that spelled out HOPE. Then they turned out all the lights. It was very moving.
Another friend of ours has a child with spina bifida. The child had a major surgery Tuesday, as well. She was in surgery for 7 hours! She's doing well, but recovery will be a bear for the next month, so please pray for them, as well.
While I'm requesting prayers, if you don't mind, my uncle is beginning a battle with cancer-treatments uncertain. Please add him to your prayer list.
We are off to see my family at their lake cottage this weekend. Hoping for nice weather, so we can be outside.
Hope you all are having a nice summer!