Thursday, May 22, 2008

They've served or are serving their country. Thank you.

Gary D. Braman

Vince D. Braman

Jamie Briggs (home from Iraq)

Donald R. Ellis Sr. & Daniel W. Ellis

Full Bird Donald R. Ellis Jr.

Clair Smith

Patrick Braman JUST home from Iraq (again)
I may not have pictures of the following, but they're still in my heart and in my prayers.
John Walsh, friend of Jason. Currently in Iraq
Cory Sullivan. Currently in Iraq
Sean Sullivan. Currently in Iraq
Memorial day is traditionally to remember the dead.
I remember the dead and thank the living.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Birds of a feather

Mine are not flocking together and I'm ever so upset.

Papa and I decided to take the behemoth out for a few days. Yes, I know that diesel fuel is $4.60 a gallon right now. Yes, I know I don't have any money. But damn I look good behind the wheel of that one ton doolie. I get the oddest looks when driving. I guess they just figure it's a mans job. They figured wrong. This picture was taken in April of 2006 with me in it for scale. That was 60 pounds ago...just imagine me a bit narrower and that will make the scale more accurate.

Sorry, I digressed there. This blog is about birds. Yesterday in Houghton Lake when hooking up the electrics to begin our trip, I discovered a bird nest in the hitch box. I asked Den to take care of it and assumed (obviously wrong) that he'd done so. We have stowaways. We heard chirping this afternoon, and after investigating with a very strong flashlight, we found baby birds very deep down in the hitch box. Mama must be frantic back home. We were going to continue our journey tomorrow to another campground for a few more days, but now we'll be heading home instead. Hoping the babies will be strong enough to weather the journey, and then that their mama will be waiting for them. I hope by this time tomorrow, my birds of a feather will be flocking together.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Into each life some rain must fall

I might be taking literary liberties with Longfellow (and practicing alliteration also it seems), but I have to admit the man could turn a phrase. I think another part of the referenced poem says something about the sun still shining behind the clouds. He's a real glass half full kinda guy, just like me. Heaven help my plagiarizing self, but some days must be dark and dreary. How they affect our attitude is up to us.

Today is such a day here. It's been raining off and on since I got up this morning. Nary a sliver of blue sky have I seen today.

What a wonderful day it has been so far!!! My goldfinches are still hitting the bird feeder even in the rain. They're so vibrant and sunny yellow, they can't help but brighten the day of any observer. I saw the first oriole of the season today too and that made me do a happy dance for sure! Who needs sunshine when you've got moments like these?

I got all dolled up this morning and ran out to try to procure a job. Came home all wet and cold and put on my Daddy's snugly, warm, sweatsuit. How wonderful to be wrapped in something Daddy used to wear all the time. I'm sitting here now with a warm blanket on my legs and a fluffy dog nestled up next to me. I just had a cup of wonderful, steaming, hot coffee. Warmed me from the inside out.

My grandson is sitting with his mommy right now talking to his new best friend, my ceiling fan! He's smiling away and it's not even turned on. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy watching him.

So yes, into each life some rain must fall. I say bring it on. It gives me a chance to slow down and rejuvenate my soul.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Four Things....Tag you're it.

Daphne's blog got me thinking....heaven help me as I've not had all my coffee yet. I've accepted her challenge of naming the 'four things'. Hope some of my friends do the same.

Four places I have been:
I love to travel and have done so extensively. I could be a snob and name big cities, famous destinations, but at this stage of my life, the four places that move me are different.

1. On my front porch in my wooden rocker with the sun shining on my face. A place of quiet solitude, a place for reflection, a place of peace. This is my summer place. It replaces the winter place of my golf cart in FL on my daily ride down the nature trail.

2. Hole of Holcum. I am not sure if that's a name I gave it, or if that's the correct name. It was somewhere in North Yorkshire. My friend and I were out for a drive in the country one day with a lunch we'd packed for a picnic. He took me there and I was enraptured. I'd never seen a field of heather before and it was just gorgeous. I sat amidst the heather and watched the cows in the field at the bottom and ate my ham sannie. It was peaceful and wonderful and I shall never forget it. Crusty bread, lovely ham, English butter, sun, friend, heather. Yep, didn't get much better than that!!!

3. On a boat in Alaska viewing whales. Wow! What majestic creatures. Their movement so fluid. My only wish on our trip to Alaska was to see whales. I will never forget the first whale that showed me his fluke. I was soon like a little child running from one side of the boat to the other looking for the big beasts. I would go back to Alaska any day to see the whales again, or better yet, wait til they arrive in Hawaii! I did love Hawaii.

4. Lake Powell...borders both Arizona and Utah. It embodied almost everything in life I love. The day was idyllic. The sky blue, the sun warm, the water cool, the rocks red and the sand warm. Nothing at all is better than laying on the warm sand under the sunny blue sky and then slipping into the cool water with someone dear to your heart. We'd rented a boat and had the whole day. We rarely passed another boat and it was lovely and quiet. As you can see, quiet, warm, and loved ones are a common thread in the places I love most.

Four jobs I've had:

1. Mom. This is the job I wanted all my life. I couldn't wait to get married and have children. Yes, in that order, not like many of today. I'm very pleased with my job performance. I have no regrets and not many can say that. I missed nothing. I didn't work when my children were growing up. I was there 24/7 for them. I know a lot of people think quality time replaces quantity. I feel that given enough quantity, the quality will fit right in there. Your children really do want to talk to you no matter what they say. If you've given them only an hour or two, they might not be able to get up the nerve to speak in that time. If you give them 24 hours to work up the courage to speak, it usually comes out. My humble opinion of course. My boys now ages 25, 27, 29 still talk to me daily. They tell me things that I really don't want to know. We've such a wonderful bond. It warms my heart.

2. Day care owner. I had a day care for years. It all began with Patrick. I was reading our local newspaper and saw an ad that said a new mom was looking for someone to watch their infant son. She wanted a non smoker. I realized that this was the lady down the street from me. I told my husband how sad....she's got to put an ad in the paper and get someone she doesn't know to watch her 2 week old baby. I called her as I'd known her for years and said I'd watch Patrick until she had time to find someone she totally trusted and was comfortable with. Ten years later......yep that's how that story started! Patrick is now 6'6, 16 years old, driving, and just helped unload the U-Haul when my oldest son and his family moved in Sunday. Still got a hug from him when he saw me so I guess I did something right! I said I would do that job until it became a job. I'd do it until the day came that I didn't feel like every child in my daycare was my own. Mitchell was a demon. I dreaded Monday morning when I knew he'd be coming. That's when I quit. It was good while it lasted.

3. Waitress. Yes they really do evil things to your food if you upset them.

4. Gas station attendant. My mother called me a grease monkey. My dad was appalled. I pumped gas, checked oil, cleaned windshields. I loved it! I became manager and hired 2 felons to take over the station and then I quit to get married. They went to jail and I lived happily ever after!

Four of my favorite foods

Oh my only 4?????????

1. Hot, crusty bread with slabs of cold English butter. English cows make much better butter than American cows. I eat a lot of butter when I'm over there.

2. Soup. Creamed if you please. Anything made with lots of cream and butter makes my tummy feel happy. Cream of wild mushroom and cream of baby asparagus would be my top 2 picks. Both made at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and done to perfection.

3. Dumplings. I love soft, fluffy, dumplings cooked in homemade chicken stock. Yum.

4. Custard. American, not English. I don't care for English custard, but the American custard that I make...oh my dear bring it on! Creamy and velvety and sweet. Think I'll go make some right now!

5 & 6. I'm sorry, I can't just have 4 favorite foods. In fact, these 2 should be number 1 & 2 as they're my favorite foods in the whole entire world. Bacon & Popcorn. Oh ya....crispy bacon, American I'm talking now but the English bacon is awesome too! I love the crisp texture and the salty, smoked flavor. It's mostly fat which makes it number 1 in my book any day!!! Popcorn, popped on top of the stove and not in the microwave then coated with what else but lots of butter and salt. I'm in heaven when eating hot popcorn. Hmmmm maybe I should try crumbling bacon on my popcorn!!!

Four scenes from movies that I wish I'd written and directed

1. Fried Green Tomatoes (Or Green Tomato Pickles as I kept calling it as I couldn't remember the name!). I love the part where Evelyn Couch says 'You may be younger and faster, but face it girls, I'm older and have more insurance' whereupon she then crashes into said younger and quicker girl's car with her own, 6 times I might add! Brilliant.

2. Undercover Blues. Any of the scenes with Muerte. We still walk around today saying 'My name is Muerte' in his accent. Loved that movie.

3. Rudy. The end where he really shines. Love scenes that make me cry and feel good. That sure did it!

4. Michael. Love where he yells 'Battle' and then knocks the cows over. Good flick.

I've so many movies I love, just can't remember certain scenes. I love 'The Birdcage', 'Con Air', 'Christmas Vacation', 'Dirty Dancing', 'The Rock', 'Shawshank Redemption', 'Shrek', 'Monsters Inc.', 'Lion King', 'and the list goes on!!!

So.....I guess these are a few, or four of my favorite things!!!!!