Monday, June 27, 2011

Still Alice

I've decided to write once in awhile about the books I read in case any of you are big readers.  Everyone likes different types of books so surely not everyone will like what I do.  Nonetheless, reading is something I've always enjoyed and consider a vital part of my life. 
"Still Alice" was an enlightening book for me about a woman who experiences early onset Alzheimer's.  While it was in a way depressing it was just as much uplifting in realizing the strength she drew on from herself, her family, and her life's experience.  It gave insight to what it might be like to experience this type of
dementia.....the disconnection, the letting go of what were her realities and to accept the limitations as they began to accumulate.  Told in the voice of the one going through it.  I enjoyed and learned from it.  That's a good read for me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Today could just be about the most perfect summertime day.  It was in the high 70's and sunny.  We went down to Matt's in the Easthills area and while he and Mark worked on a project at his house, I walked to look at the "19 Windows" display nearby.  It was fun to see how different each was and how much foot traffic it generated for the unique and fun area it was in.  The shops are fun to wander and the displays were fun to see.  Here are a few of them and I'll be interested to see which were voted the best.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I've often thought about the hereafter I've grown up hearing about.  Unfortunately no one has come back from there to really tell me what its like.  I just finished a book in which the main character was killed and she continues to narrate from the beyond.  Sure, its just fiction but I sure like her version of it.  Two things stuck with me particularly...."the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us.  They are the oxygen we breathe."  What a thought!  I'd like to believe that.
In this wide, wide heaven you get your simplest desires but also the most humble and grand.  Kind of whatever would be "heaven" to you.  I'm thinking all of this seems a bit better than harps and clouds and fields of flowers which for me would get old quickly.  I always like to learn something from the books I read.
From this one I've learned that there are OTHER possibilities.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Visitors from home

At last someone from my family has come to visit us in our "new" home.  It has taken them awhile but my brother Jim, Allie his wife and their grandson and my grandnephew Aaron were just here for a few nites.
It was fun to have them come enjoy it.  Aaron loved trolling for golf balls in the pond and saw all kinds
of wildlife.  The heron visited, geese of course and the muskrats and a few turtles showed up too.  Nothing better for a little boy. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Phil's Stuff

There is a store here in Grand Rapids down in Matt's neighborhood that I've frequented for many years.
It's a real adventure and you never know what you might find there.  Life size manneqins of John Belusi and Dan Akeroyd, full suited armor, bins and bins of fixtures for old houses, old books,magazines, albums, tons of metal yard art, and the list goes on and on.  Only open on Saturday.  Guaranteed there is something there that will bring back a memory or simply strikes your fancy.  Few are the times I go that I don't find something and sometimes it makes it into a treasured spot at home.  Top picture of a gear from an industrial furnace that once wirebrushed and clear coated and topped with a round glass makes an interesting coffee table.  Hitting Phil's and Farmers Market make Saturday a good day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Last Chinese Chef

On my book list at the bottom you'll notice "The Last Chinese Chef" which I read a month or two ago.  In it, I learned it was tradition for them to have a cutting board made our of a slice of tree.  I just happened to have one that I didn't know what I was going to do with.  I know, who just HAS a slice of tree hanging around in their "to do" projects?  Well I sanded it as smooth as I could, urethaned the outer bark, combination beeswax/mineral oiled three coats to the surfaces and this rather large cutting board has a new
home at Matt's next to his stove. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Captivatingly Drawn In

Last night while out to dinner with 2 friends, this little princess standing there by the palm and water was
as they say "pretty as a picture".  Jane and I both went for our cameras.  I only wish I could have gotten the shot closer instead of zooming with my little camera as it would have been an even better picture.  Nonetheless, it's pretty cute!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Heron

No, it's not real but it sure looks like it.  My good friend Jane made it for me and we love it.  I waited till the bush by the pond was fully leafed out so the golfers wouldn't whack it with an errant shot.  We can see it just fine from our enclosed porch a story up from it.  A mighty fine specimen I'd say.  Good job Jane!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Goodbye John English

In the 20 some years we had our travel agency, John was one of our favorite clients.  He was an  endodontist that practiced close to our office.  He was such a warm and humorous guy and stopped in
to just chat and spend time with us even if he wasn't travelling somewhere.  There are certain people in
your life that you just click with for whatever reason and John was one of them for me.  He had an ease about him that made you feel comfortable around him and enjoy his company.  I can't imagine anyone
not liking John.  I'm sure he'll be welcomed with open arms and hearts on the other side of life and will
make it a better place to be.  Hopefully I will see him there!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Jamie in Mali

Our friends, Phil and Jan Casterton's youngest daughter Jamie just left for a year in Mali with the Peace Corp.  She's a delightful young woman and will bring her enthusiasm along with her.  She will be doing a blog while there which I have a link to on the blogs I follow should you be interested in her experience.  I'm looking forward to learning how she grows and learns from this amazing adventure.  Good luck to you Jamie!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Penny Lane

Meet Penny Lane.  This is our son Matt's puppy.  He got her from a breeder in Traverse City at the end of May.  She's soft, sweet and fairly small and lively right now.  She will probably get to about 100 lbs. at full growth.  Her parents are from Europe and both beyond that weight full grown.  Matt is doing a good job with her so far.  She is also adjusting to her feline companion Leo (Sara's cat) pretty well.   We will see how she adjusts to her new surroundings and life in the city after the summer's done!