Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Winter of my Discontent

My friend's photo of St. Thomas in Ann Arbor

What is this? A metal with rice paper sculpture? I can hang light objects on it (and lights) Not sure if this is the place for it but I wanted it

My friend's photo

Josh's girls and Maya and I met up at an indoor playground Sunday

Me in my Escada coat. It is probably close to 30 years old Still researching. On my feet are new shoes usually selling for $190. My price: $4

New bird here: red breasted nuthatch  My usual white breasted ones are MIA

the girls  Hannah is back to keeping her distance from me but she loves Maya

this morning  Pretty but annoying Will melt soon

My friend and an interesting worker at the good resale. He helped me yesterday with my Escada purchase. There is another coat there in eggplant that looks good on me...How many designer coats do I need?

No warm days in sight. I need it to be in the 40s to bicycle semi-comfortably preferably without gale force winds. I can go short distances in the 30s before frostbite starts setting in. For now I have the elliptical trainer and my weights in the basement. Both are boring. And I can run outside as long as things aren't covered with ice. With my geezer insurance, a gym membership is included, all which are quite far away. I hate running on treadmills. EMU's gym is covered with its running track and whirlpool but parking would be a problem. The best gym would be the community college's .

Now that I am not entertaining, I'm trying to organize stuff here. Did part of my closet yesterday.  had tried to give my friend who has similar tastes and the same height some of my clothes but she had limited space. As it was, she had extra clothes stuffed in her pants. But I moved everything that is too big for me out of my closet. Hopefully I will never need any of it again. I  keep thinking of my weight as a giant spring that if I let go for a second, it will all come back at once. It's been more than 2 years since I tackled this. I am 2-3 pounds higher than my absolute lowest but I think I am firmer now. So far so good.

What's on my plate? Researching unpleasant options. Burying my head in the sand seems easiest.Also I am obliged to tell certain people that MAY be effected. Not fun.

My friend of the many health issues can no longer walk so her friends are taking shifts. Doing this Friday. And a cooking class for me tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Old friends

Josh and daughter


The Moms and I went to a play the other night. One of them provided dinner and this tasty bourbon cream

I got all dressed up

A childhood friend came  to stay for a few days. Another friend from cross state visited for a day

much to my southern friend's delight, the first snow came here. These are her photos of my sad lawn
We went exploring. She loved my resale places. This is her in the middle of The Wave Field

we went to Graffiti Alley

She got that hat in a resale shop here

UM students

UM utility box

100 year old Nicols Arcade 

The kids provided us with a spray can  I am photographing our handy work

I have had some welcome distractions from the scary news I have been receiving over the past few weeks. Much to everyone's surprise, my news was only coincidental to some other extremely upsetting news though that will be shortly confirmed. Again, I can blog about my travails but not when it involves others. Lots of upsetting news

Election day left me hopeful as more and more people are fed up with the tyrant in the White House especially in our state. The good people won here. Our area uses the local schools for voting. Some idiots insist on carrying weapons openly into schools though I think our school system had that barred. But kids and guns should not mix so they close the schools down thus we had Maya to entertain. We over 60 folks can vote ahead of time which I did last week.

My friend from elementary school flew in to stay for a few days. I haven't seen her in 15 years though we are in contact. A pair of bluebirds came to visit my yard a few times but I've been too slow to photograph them or the lone buck that walked across yesterday. I've had herd of deer come through but I don't see bucks often. We had fun going to resale shops where I bought even more stuff and going through my closets for stuff that she might want to wear. She could fit into my old pants but only a few tops but I'm glad that at least some of my clothes have a new home.

She had wanted to see fall colors. That would have been fine last month though this was a sucky color year. And now my gardens are so sad looking. Months ago the Moms and I arranged to go to a local play when it turned out, this week was the only time my friend could leave work. I tried in vain to get an extra ticket so instead I arranged for another friend from 150 miles away to stay with her. Not easy to schedule that either as she just had surgery that would make her trip difficult but at least all worked out and all had fun. And I had a good time with the Moms at our dinner and the play.

Now to make up for the exercise I didn't get while having guests.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Shanna's boys and a friend

the whole town of Northville is decorated with skeltons

this was my favorite

lots of elaborate pumpkins. I liked this one though

Even the little ones got dressed

I took Tessa and Maya out

the gates of hell

lots of fancy scary effects

Josh's girls

I ran early Halloween morning in the drizzle once the lightning stopped. By evening, it was ideal for trick or treating. Fairly warm and dry. During the day, my friend and I visited my favorite resale store in Northville and then admired all the Halloween displays before having a good Italian lunch. I seem to be in the middle of Northville, Plymouth and Ann Arbor.

I picked up a very excited Maya at her after school care. She couldn't wait to get into her costume which was a character from the Disney movie The Descendants. She said Halloween is her favorite holiday besides pajama day. Shanna's neighborhood has houses on small lots but lots of communal parkland. Most houses contain school age kids and everyone decorates their house, some with laser light shows and holograms. Most home owners just sit on their porches to hand out candy or combine forces with their neighbors. And the streets are crowded with neighborhood kids and even more from other neighborhoods.

Shanna and I started out with five kids, hers, Maya and Daniel's friend. This friend and Maya kept sprinting ahead at top speed. We split the kids up: she had the boys and I had the girls. Eventually Naomi got out of work and found us. The girls didn't like the chainsaw guy who chased kids  or Mike Meyers and his club. It didn't take long for Tessa's bag becoming too heavy for her to carry. We had an auxiliary bag for Maya to dump her 2 quart size pumpkin into. Lots and lots of candy.  I was good though. A home owner left a bucket of bite sized Heath bars for all to grab. These were my favorite as a kid. I didn't think they made them anymore. Alas, not as good as I remember. Maya reluctantly shared an Almond Joy with me. I reminded her that she didn't even like coconut but now she says she does so no more Almond Joys for me. It was a fun night.

Due to  recent disclosures, I've been too upset to eat. I feel queasy which could be a sign of disease but most likely, nerves. Lots of things to find out.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


This section of Utah 261 is called the Moki Dugway that seems to go straight up Cedar Mesa in SE Utah
. It's a feature on those shows Most dangerous Roads or Scariest Roads. When Steve and I approached it last
 month, we assumed there had to be a tunnel somewhere when faced with a wall of rock  It was built for uranium
miners so the area is probably radioactive 

Had 3 of the grandchildren over Sunday. This minitrampoline dispels lots of energy. I saw the other three on Friday

yesterday morning at the ranch. Usually I am out running at this time but I was waiting for it to warm up for my bike ride

on my bike ride at the local rock shop which sells lots of statuaries along with any kind of rock. I assume the pot is of the ceramic variety. I did vote yesterday to make it legal in our state. So much effort and money has been devoted to its prohibition

Will this post be saved? Our power keeps cutting out as it is storming outside early Halloween Day. This mess should stop by the time the kids go Trick or Treating later. I will pick up Maya from childcare, dress her and run her to Shanna's along with the throngs of people who target her neighborhood for its decorations and closeness of houses. We have yet to get a trick or treater at our new house due to its big lots though we now have much more school kids here now. One family says they just take the kids to Shanna's neighborhood. I do have the house decorated here with dripping orange spider lights on the  porch and orange flood lights along with my creepy witches.

My personal situation is scary too which I still can't reveal. Decisions have to be made and I am in fact finding mode. Alas the info I need seems to be lacking. This sadly affects more than me to what extent is still being investigated. Anxiety all around. Already an extremely upsetting situation revealed itself and I am left with part of the blame.  Part of me dreads having opened that Pandora's box but I should have opened it sooner as it turns out.

Our snow birds are back along with other winter birds. Still one persistent chipmunk refuses to hibernate as he raids my feeders. The last hummingbird left October 7. Leaves are finally changed but not as colorful as in years past. I have one sugar maple which is usually bright orange. It's sort of brownish. And crimson kings are more pink than red. The deer are running crazily back and forth across my running routes. It is not official hunting season but people are firing on private lands. I try to wear bright clothes.

And our country is becoming a scarier and scarier place to live especially for my multicultural family. And the Great Pumpkin in the White House spurs the hatred on.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Opening Pandora's box

monument valley Arizona
Recently they had a list of the most scenic roads in each state. The road through Monument Valley was Arizona's best. We chose not to go on Utah's best road as it was very curvy and filled with passes and we had a long way to go that day. Michigan's most scenic? M-22 which goes up and down the Leelanau peninsula. Hmmm..I think M-119 is prettier

half day of school for Maya. I took her to her cousins

Hannah was especially excited to see her

Delicate Arch -Arches

I figured that as long as it was after 8 am I was safe running on my favorite road. Wrong. Even though there were no other vehicles, driveways or other possible obstacles, I heard a vehicle slowly trailing me for a few minutes. WTF? It eventually passed me. Yes it was my tormentor again. Obviously this guy has it in for me. I decided to report him, not easy as it turns out. I live in a sparsely populated township which does not have a police force. They contract out with the county sheriff's department. I was told to report to the sub station 3 miles away and to call back if no one was there. Well when will someone will be there? (it was the middle of the weekday). They had no idea. At least there were plenty of sheriff's cars there but no one was there. The lady at the nearby township office said maybe someone will come at shift change in 3 hours. Grrrr. I called the main sheriff and someone showed up in 15 minutes. He took all the details and quickly paid my tormentor a visit at work at the apple orchard. The guy has a clean record but the sheriff could not tell if he was mentally defective or becoming senile (he's in his 70s, I never got a look at him..I assumed some young dude). He did remember seeing me and said he was trying NOT to hit me (by aiming straight at me). The sheriff doesn't believe the man has any business driving anymore due to cognitive issues so he probably will need a road test to drive. But he doesn't believe there was malice, just senility. As for aiming for me, he said it is common for drivers to be attracted to cop car's flashing lights on the side of the road and to hit them instead of veering away.

Yesterday was one of those turning points. One moment it would appear that I was living a charmed life and then some news indicates just the opposite. As it affects more than me, that's all I can say.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

playing chicken with my life

We drained the pond last week. The resident frogs took it hard and returned twice. Unfortunately they can't bury themselves on the pond bottom. Not sure where they are now

my fall centerpiece  Put up dripping spider lights, my large cackling witch and various other Halloween things

Sadly there are a lot of mean people out there mainly young men in pick-up trucks who get some sort of thrill seeing how close they can get to an old lady without hitting her. As I ride a bike with traffic, I can't really see how close they come until after they pass. Some make a special show of revving their engines right as they pass or lay on the horn.

Last week I was running early on one of the dirt roads around here. The road is wide and visibility was good. A pick-up truck comes speeding towards me purposefully aiming for me. I had to jump into a ditch. I did see him pull into the nearby apple orchard where the asshole apparently works. As soon as I got home, I went back to the orchard by car, which was not yet open to the public, and took a picture of his truck and license plate in the employee parking lot. Do I tell the orchard owners what type of employee they have? The sheriff? I did put a notice in a neighborhood listserve. Once some one put a similar notice and got crap that bicyclists don't belong on the road because they don't pay for a license or taxes. How much road did your $30 license buy you? And the local roads are all paid for by property tax, which I suspect with my two properties, I pay a lot more than most pick up drivers. Yeah big state roads are partially funded by gasoline taxes, they pay more for them but I rarely ride on state roads.

I did have all the moms here the other night serving acorn squash smoky paprika red lentil soup from all my acorn squashes and butter shrimp over basmati rice. The other moms provide appetizers, salad and dessert.

It is cold and getting colder which does not make me happy. It will be a long time to spring. I will bike this morning once the morning rush hour clears and then see A Star is Born with a friend.


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