Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year

Dreaming and planning for the upcoming year is taking all of my energy! Mike and I are planning a bike ride across the United States! Yes!  A long time dream for both of us is now turning into reality. 

We've purchased Amtrak train tickets out of Grand Rapids MI on May 13, 2017. The Empire Builder will take us to Portland OR to begin our journey towards Virginia. We plan on taking our time doing this, in fact we are giving ourselves four months, which is a long time for a trip like this. 

I now have five months to prepare my body for this very physical adventure, and this is where I will document my progress. I need to  have a plan for weight loss, for physical stamina, and for the basic things we will need to carry on our bicycles.

My plan for weight lose is a low carb diet. I recently visited my doctor and she recommended this, a big surprise for me. This may be difficult as my husband is leaning towards a vegan diet, but we may just have to make this work. I have more of a weight problem than he does, and I have a lot to lose. 

For exercise, I am still torn. I have a gym membership but haven't gone in 8 months. It is 70 dollars a month and quite a drive away so I'm not sure I will keep it..still deciding.     This is the organization which inspires us so much!

Monday, December 14, 2015

A plea for chaos

I am lucky to live near the  beach town of Saugatuck Michigan, a small artistic community on the shores of Lake Michigan. The community teems with Chicago urbanites in the summer, I suppose seeking respite for the bustle and heat of the big city. They bring with them culture, diversity and a feeling of abundance that I sometimes miss in my small midwest village just 20 miles away.

Although I love the area I call home, the desire for respectability and the bridling of appetites, warmed over puritanism and cautious minds can become tiring . I read about our ancestors,  those who first came and settled in this area with a strong faith that was almost harsh in its principles, naturally unfavorable to the fine arts and literature. This makes Saugatuck an oasis for those of us who crave ideas and art, nonconformity and intellectualism.

All off this comes to mind as I visited a few private gardens in Saugatuck today.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rescue Dogs

   Since my two girls have married and moved away  I have become quite involved in the local animal rescue. I've always wanted to give back in some way and animals have always been a passion for me. I now foster dogs as well as groom those who need it. This is my latest, a small 6 lb poodle named Penny Sue.

   Penny Sue came to the rescue when her living conditions were reported to the authorities. The owners wanted her back and threatened to sue the shelter. Quite an ethical dilemma. Who gets to makes these decisions? The shelter charges a hefty fee to reclaim a pet, and they added on vet bills and grooming bills so the owners could not afford to get her back. I guess that is one way!

   I have had Penny Sue over a month now, fostering her until she can find a permanent loving home. The problem is she is totally blind. I'm not sure if the rescue can even find a home for her so I'm settling in for the long run. She gets along fine with my three dogs, and she has bumped around our house long enough to find her way around.
  The best part about fostering this type of neglected pet is watched them blossom under good conditions. Penny Sue obviously had no idea how to be loved. I taught her how to trust being picked up. How to enjoy sitting on my lap and how to snuggle in bed. I smiled the first time I came home to find her at the door with my other dogs wagging her tail. Such progress! She barks with the other dogs, can find her food and water and makes snuggle noises. Oh if her old owners could see her now.
   The thing is. I don't know who benefits the most. Me or her!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A little background

   Although we got a light dusting of snow last night I'm thinking of the promise that spring brings. Since I last updated my blog so much has changed in my life and in my yard! Just a catch up blog here.
   I have always loved animals and the outdoors. I grew up riding horses, keeping birds and fish, catching snakes and breeding mice. I was just born with a love of the outdoors and animals. As I got older and started thinking about college it never had occured to me to pursue this interest. This was the 70's, I thought my options were few..either become a teacher or secretary...perhaps a social worker.
  I failed miserably at college, dropping out three credits shy of graduating..not loving the social work path I had chosen. I just wasn't interested.
  Fast forward almost almost 35 years. I had spent my  wonderful life raising two beautiful daughters. I had (and still have ) a great husband who supports all of my interests. I decided to go to dog grooming school at age 53! What a blast! Four years later I own a successful small dog grooming shop and couldn't feel more fulfilled or satisfied. I named it Lucky Dog.
   So, that is where I am today. I do some boarding, lots of grooming and tons of dog loving. My girls are happily married. My husband and I live in the same house we bought shortly after our marriage in 1982. My shop is out behind the house. And that brings us up to today!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

‎"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." -Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Our Woods and Walks

An absolutely beautiful Sunday morning started out with a walk in our woods with Baxter and Gracie to check out the wildflowers. We own about three acres of these red pines, most of them slowly dying off, our little forest is now evolving into hardwoods.

As you can see, the trees were planted in perfect rows, this was often done in Michigan as a result of  an extensive planting program by the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s and the State of Michigan in the 1950s and 1960s. The objective was to get abandoned farm land and stump fields left from the early logging days back into forest production and to control soil erosion.
Today, Red Pine is the only tree used to make utilities poles in our they are still very valuable.

Gracie, watches and Baxter totally enjoys his terriorist ways..
Baxter never misses an opportunity to get dirty..good thing I'm a dog groomer!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Flower Beds

The cooler weather we've been having in Michigan is inspiring me to get outside and create! I have a tendency to buy on impulse plants that are on sale this time of year, only to bring them home with no room to put them.  I NEED a new, big, full sun, flower bed.
There is an easy way to do this, and fall is a perfect time to start. This week I'll show you an easy way to made a bed with soil as soft and brown as pudding. It will be ready for spring planting and you won't even have to break a sweat.
All I can say right now is to start saving your Sunday paper (and all your other newspapers as well).