Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys! It feels like I have been gone for a long time! Thank you to Joyce for giving us something to chat about every week!

1. What’s something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?

I get aggravated with my body. The headaches, backaches, and other pains, the way it has kicked me to the curb a few times in years past, but when I really think about it I am truly grateful for what I’ve got. I can walk, breathe deeply without pain and I have platelets, that’s more than some of my loved ones have right now.
2. The color brown-love it or no? What’s your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?

I love brown, to wear and to decorate with. Most browns are good and they look especially nice with rusts, golds and greens, autumns colors. I will say this is my favorite brown thing in our home.


There has been a lot of life around that table. Eating, talking, visiting, games and laughter! And a lot of folded laundry.
3. What’s something you’re looking forward to today?

I always look forward to seeing the ladies at BSF. We manage to get a lot of visiting in when we gather to study God’s Word!
4. The word ‘feminism’ is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you’re a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?

When I was a child growing up in the 70s  the word feminist conjured up a militant, in your face, man bashing woman.  I don’t really consider myself a feminist, but I am aware that the women’s rights movement has facilitated the changes in our country that allow me to vote and to have many of the opportunities that I am able to enjoy.
5. What’s something you personally can’t eat without making a mess?

Ribs get on your hands. I don’t like that.
6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?

This is my darling friend Dorothy! When we see each other at BSF she says “there’s my Kelly!” and I say “there’s my Dorothy!”. For no reason at all Dorothy gave me the beautimous scarf I am wearing here! I love her.

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The Ab-Cat and I are driving to Chicago tomorrow to pick up The Boy, The Dane and the Grandcat, who are coming home for the week of Thanksgiving. The Grandcat is coming to live with us because his parents are moving back into on campus student housing. Did you catch that? The Grandcat is coming to LIVE WITH US!!!!!!! WOO HOO!

Now I will be posting the Weekly Sy so THEY can see HIM!


Jiggity Jig 2014 part 2

The Bomb Cyclone is still here, but the beast of a headache has left me, thank you LORD!

Let’s go back to Florida, literally AND figuratively, because Y’All it was 17 degrees out there when Keelyody and I walked this morning!

This will be a little random and listy, so it counts as a typical Friday post.

We went to Florida with three set events to work around.

First a visit to the ocean side of the state with Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ to visit with their daughter and her husband, otherwise known as Team Levine. Other, otherwise known as Girl Cousin Lindsay and Rob B.

We had visited them for the first time in their new home last February, when we were there with our Girls. As they showed us around, they told us of their redecorating plans. They have been busy as bees since we were there!

This would be a great place to insert some loverly pictures wouldn’t it? Unfortunately my camera was in the pool bag, across the state. As was the iPad.

You will have to take my word for it that their new laundry room, living room and renovated bathroom were stunning and delightful!!!

It is always fun to see Team Levine! We caught up with the visiting, made a large dent in their Halloween candy, played cards, Up and Down the River, and went out for dinner at a wood fire pizza place that Honey had visited the last time we vacationed over on that side of the state.

This was where we hatched a plan. All six of us went in on some lottery tickets with the agreement that we would divide it amongst us when we won the zippity million pot!

We planned to meet the morning after the drawing for breakfast to congratulate ourselves on our phenomenal win!

We did not win. Oh well.

Second, we went and visited the Tampa Contingent. See last post.

I believe I mentioned that Honey and I did some walking while staying in Bonita Bay. We found some BIG pinecones while out one morning. I told Honey that I wanted to pick some up on our way back to the condo. I had seen what to do with them on the Pinterest.

First thing, we had to figure out how to get them back. Honey suggested we use the bags the neighborhood so thoughtfully provided for the folks who walk their dogs and forget to bring their own bags.

Once we got them home, they sat outside the condo door for about a week until I looked it up in my pinned pins. Bake at 200 for an hour to kill anything that might be lurking. I left them in another 1/2 hour of so because the thought of lurking things gave me the willies.


I brought them home in our nearly empty carry on suitcase with other random things. They made it home in one piece!

I can either swap them out for the little ones on our coffee table or do something else. The world is my oyster. My pineconed oyster.

Sweet Odin’s raven!, these were tasty!!!!


Especially that cherry almond bear claw thing in the front that we very quickly schnibbled to death. Get in ma belly!

My Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis bought a place in Naples last spring after renting for several years. They had gone down in early fall to get some things, furniture, new air conditioner, you know, things you will need to actually live in a place. Phyllis said she needed to go back because she had some things to do, had stuff to be delivered, dishes to buy, et cetera, et cetera. I told her I wished they were going to be there when we were.

That’s when she devised the plan. Bob said he didn’t want to go, he had things to do in Michigan. She said she was going to work on him. We were chatting back and forth on Words With Friends and she would say things like “it’s looking dismal”, “he’s digging in” and “I see a chink in the armor”. We met for lunch and discussed it further. She suggested I call and work the problem from my end. He’s a smart one, he knew exactly what was happening! In the end he fell victim to our onslaught, they arrived a couple days after we did!!!

We got to see their new place!


I can envision them out on the lanai, having coffee, reading their Bible study notes,


looking at their green, pretty view, while we shiver and shovel up here in The Mitten.


Their place was beautiful, I was especially coveting their island.


Serious, deep, complete…




We had a very nice time with them and I am so glad they came! We ate together, travelled together and of course visited! I even went to the Naples BSF class with Phyllis when I was down there. I had not been to a different class in 19 years!!! That was fun! It’s was nice to see God working through BSF in another state!

Just a fun fact. When you attend another BSF class they ask you to sign in as a visitor. I know this because I work at the administration table for our class. Their table was swamped because the snowbirds were starting to arrive. They had more people on their signup sheet that night than we get in a whole YEAR! There were 4 visitors in Phyllis’ discussion group, that is unheard of for our class! It was a very good experience!

The third thing set on our day planner was a meeting with a realtor. We ended up meeting with her twice to see houses and condos and carriage houses. We still don’t know what we will do but we were able to rule some things in,  some things out, and gain a little knowledge about how things work in the area of fees and taxes and over 55 communities. It was all good to know stuff. Honey is going to be keeping his eye on certain areas. We will see.

On the morning we left we took a memory foam topper we had bought at Sam’s over to Bob and Phyl’s, because the bed at our condo was so hard it was about to cripple us both. They are storing it for us in case we ever have that problem down there again!

After packing, dropping off the mattress pad, weighing our suitcases at one of the many friendly neighborhood Publix, we dropped off the rental car and waited for our flight home.

We agreed once again that we like each other and are looking forward to retirement!


Thanks Honey for taking me on bacation!!!

A Visit To the Tampa Contingent

My Aunt Ava and Uncle Frank live in Florida now days. When they were in The Mitten this summer, I mentioned that Honey and I would be in their neck of the woods at the end of October and would they like some company? They said sure, come on up! Since my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis were also in Florida, they joined us for the excursion. We agreed on the day, they picked the restaurant, and we had a very nice visit!

After lunch we went back to their place for dessert and were joined by their daughter, Girl Cousin Lynn! I was SO glad she was able to work her schedule around so we could see her!


We got all caught up on important business and had cake. What’s not to love?


Uncle Bob was smiling without too much tail twisting. He is usually a sober judge. Maybe he said something clever, Aunt Phyllis seems amused, and she has heard it ALL before.


I was able to get a Girl Cousin picture before Lynn had to get cracking back to work.


They have lived in Tampa about 4 years now and I like seeing and hearing about their new adventures!


Aunt Ava is my Father’s sister and she sure did pick a keeper in Uncle Frank!


We heard about how these 4 went on a camping trip with others many, many years ago.


Bob is amusing himself again. I can’t help it, I have to record it to believe it actually happened. THREE smiles in ONE post!


Aunt Ava told a funny story about how someone at church told them how cute she and Uncle Frank were, always holding hands together. Aunt Ava said that it wasn’t so much about the romance, together they made a wider base!

I am so glad they were up for company, it’s good to take a road trip to see loved ones!


Jiggity Jig 2014

Hi Guys!

I am so sorry that I have alarmed some of you! Honey and I were on vacation and it never seems appropriate to tell the internet that we are off gallivanting and our Girls are home, alone! I thank you for your care and concern!

It feels like a sweet forever since I have posted and you would think I would be better prepared to do so!

Alas, I am not. I have pictures and things to tell, but it’s all swirling in the cloud somewhere.

We had a wonderful time in southwest Florida, reassuring Honey and I that we will be happy to retire together someday, somewhere!

We again stayed in Bonita Bay, where it is beautifully landscaped and continually manicured.


No telling how many gardeners are employed there and they are all as busy as beavers trimming, chopping, mulching, mowing and repairing. We love walking their trails and exploring their marina, docks and butterfly garden, and looking at all of the beautiful homes in there. Honey also fitched in the pond behind the condo. WHERE THE ALIGATOR LIVES!!!!!  EW.

Although they are not on the Gulf, they have an awesome beach area you can drive to that has many desirable amenities. We drove down to take our morning walk there a couple days and used their umbrellas and beach chairs, along with the facilities. That seems as good a place to start as any!

I always like to shell. I have many, many shells from many, many vacations. I decided to have a challenge and pick up only the heart shaped things I found on the beach. I say things because although all of these came from the ocean, the majority of them look like rocks to me. I confess, the heart shapes were not an original thought, I saw it on a blob Smile


On a side note, LOOK at the toenails I have spent the last couple of years growing! I guess all of the procedures were worth it.


I LOVE the hearts!!! I will be in the market for a clear jar to display them, and I might spray them clear to make them shinier, or do a couple silver, or do nothing at all. It’s my prerogative.

I gathered them all in a Halloween bucket that my happy meal came in when it was that in between time, when its too late for lunch and too soon for dinner. Otherwise known as the time that Honey fears.


I mentioned that Honey fitched!


Honey caught it’s younger brother and let me reel it in! I was very wary.


We put them back after their photo shoot. They will have the rest of their lives to dodge that gator if they want to survive. We did see the gator, cruising silently through the water, but did not see it on dry land this year. Thank you Lord.

If you are friends with me on instagram you will have already seen those pictures. But no one has seen this beauty.


Honey can navigate his way around the iPad, but he is relatively new to the instagram. When he went to look at the pictures it wasn’t on the home feed as usual, it was still on camera. He said he thought he accidently took a picture. And upon further inspection we discovered he had taken AND posted his first picture. Well, there you go. I then learned how to delete an instagram photo. It was a sparkling beauty!

We looked at a LOT of real estate this year. In our wanderings we found these, posted all along a road in Fort Myers.


I had no idea.

Here’s my boyfriend. I like his face!


We were cruising around in our candy apple red Ford Fusion hybrid, which was endlessly fascinating for Honey. They make the Ford Fusion where he works but he has never been inside one and the hybrid thingy was all new.

I have more to tell you, but I need to have breakfast. Be back tomorrow, ok?

Just My Bag

We did a little shopping on our trip to South Haven. Of course we did.

One of our favorite little stores is called Just My Bag. They have cute purses, wallets, clothes and jewelry. I think all of us have bought something there at one time or another.

I have been on the hunt for a new winter pocketbook for most of the summer. Looked in stores and looked online. I have had very good luck with purses on ebay, so I had been spending a little time every day checking the newly listed for bags to put on my watch list, and time ending soonest pages to make sure I didn’t miss a prospect. I focused mainly on the Tiganello crossbody purses, because I like the look of that brand and they have the built in wallet feature that I have come to depend on.

I have mentioned before that I have a LOT of purse needs and purse related rules, so I am working within parameters people. Gone are the days when I change my purse with my shoes, or just pick a purse all willy nilly because I think it’s kind of cuteOh no. Purse buying is work and it takes patience. Even I think I am a pain in the rumpus.

This is my present purse, purchased on ebay a couple years ago. I am very careful to buy pretty much new bags, because once again, I am a pain. I have loved using it for the entire time!! It was a great buy! My only complaint was it didn’t have a built in wallet, causing me to use a long, slim, credit card holder with an attached change purse. Not my favorite, but it works. Well, it works until summertime. Then all heck breaks loose because there is not enough room for the slim wallet, the little camera I like to carry for blog-tography, and last but sure to joofer up the works, my sunglasses and their case.


I can get it zipped if I work at it very diligently, but how many times a day are you in and out of your purse? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Plus, you have to take everything out to get at the stuff underneath. More work than I care for to get at the Burt’s Bees, I can tell you that.


The Peanuts Champ was also in the market for a new pocketbook, having broken the zipper of her Tiganello on that very trip! What are the chances? We walked in and I am happy to say, both found success!

I think I remember seeing this brand in previous years. the tag said it was made from 20 recycled water bottles! Fancy that!!!


I loved the color and felt it would go nicely with the colors I usually wear.


It did not have a built in wallet feature, but it did have another slim credit card wallet.


With a zipper for money. All attached to a handy dandy tether to make it easier to find.


The reason that I agreed to this was, LOOK HOW MUCH ROOM IS IN THERE!!!!!


The camera AND sunglass case are already in and there is STILL room!


The salesgirl did a good job of telling me about the many satisfied customers she had talked to. She said her boss had owned one for years and had recently bought a new one only because she was tired of the color she had. Another customer said she had even thrown hers in the washing machine with great results.

One of my favorite things about this purse is how light it is. My silver purse was heavier with nothing in it! Honey will be thrilled, he often wants me to hold his keys and wallet and his glasses, and with my usual smallish purse, I could not be very accommodating.

The Peanuts Champ was pleased with her purchase also! Hers had plenty of room as well!

Our new bags!


We went back the next day to show the salesgirls and they took our picture for their instagram!! How fun, we are basically celebrities now!!!!


Two satisfied customers!

South Haven 2014

Hi Guys! It’s good to be back! Much fun was had on the 6th annual trip to Lake Michigan!


We all met at Three Good Kids house to load up her van. Every year we think we will never get it all in, but every year we do! Suitcases, tote bags, other bags, pillows, a rolled up mattress pad, coolers, beach chairs and us and our purses! There were also many water bottles, a roll of paper towels, other flotsam and a watermelon jammed in a perfect nook. We were loaded for bear.

loaded for bear

 Thoroughly equipped, as for a demanding task or confrontation.

You are most welcome.

It was brought to my attention again this week that not all are familiar with the ins and ism’s that I was raised with. While playing a game of Taboo, I was trying to get my team to say the correct word, I offered up the expression “ I’m gonna jerk a _____ in your tail!”. They did not answer correctly. I will see if any of you can get the right answer in the comments!

From the left; The Oreo Mom, The Peanuts Champ, The Mayor, Three Good Kids, and our new friend, Shaq 2!! I was SO happy to have another tall gal to vacation with me and the shortest women I know!!!


We travelled across The Mitten uneventfully, but as soon as we arrived in South Haven the heavens unleashed. Torrential rain, flooding streets, downed branches and a strong desire to have a higher speed of windshield wipers, but Three Good Kids navigated the van like a pro. We arrived a little later than expected to a waning storm and no electricity. The power came on within the hour and all was well.

It’s a purty town with a cute downtown area, darling lake homes and a very nice beach.


I pictured a family of critters living in that hole!


We made it to a couple sunsets, and as in previous years, sailboats graced my pictures!


So lovely. Sigh.


There was a fellow who offered to take our picture. Picture a nerdy-ish Justin Long.

He was very nice and patient, taking our picture with multiple phones and cameras and even The Mayor’s iPad. I have to confess that he knew WAY more about my camera than I did. Who knew there was a sunset mode? Not me.


We decided to eat at the house more than we have in the past. We have not had much luck with the restaurants, for various reasons, so we cooked two dinners and had one grazers paradise at lunchtime. All were delicious and it was so successful I think it may be repeated next year.


All of the ladies in attendance are part of our monthly Birthday Club. There are more Clubbers that were not able to attend, but since we actually had a birthday girl present, we celebrated! It was fun to wish Shaqtoo a happy day with cupcakes bought stealthily in town earlier in the afternoon!

photo 2

Speaking of being in town, something funny happened when we were there shopping!!! As I was walking down the street I saw a couple that looked very familiar!!! Sure enough, on closer inspection, it was Schmenky’s, and Capri Patt and Deb’s nephew Ben and his wife JoanieK!!!! Fancy that!! I sure wish I had thought to take a picture of them to show y’all, because that was a moment to remember! Small world!

We spent a day at the beach, played games and cards, watched a couple movies, or tried to. I know I stayed up WAY later than my usual bedtime! Of course there was plenty of snacking and talking, funny things, solving world problem things, faith walk things and some tearful things.


It was time to travel back across The Mitten before we knew it. We headed to the beach for one last photo shoot until next summer.


We loaded the van up a little easier on the way home. Probably halfway home Three Good Kids said something had happened to the van! We limped to an exit and she called her husband. They had travel insurance for towing if you were under 100 miles from home, I think we were around 87 miles from home!!!!! Thank you LORD!

AAA sent a flatbed to tow the van.


We had lunch at McDonald’s and hung around at a truck stop until our ride came.

We managed to have fun and find some things to laugh about while waiting.


Here is our knight in shining armor! Mr. Three Good Kids came to our rescue!!!!!


Thankfully, their van was not horribly broken, as a matter of fact it was fixed before we all got back! Another huge thank you LORD!!!!!

Special thanks to The Peanuts Champ for being our travel planner extraordinaire!!!! We made some new memories this year!!! Until next year!

Birthday Club Takes it on the Road

Hi Guys, I am heading over to the other side of The Mitten with some of the gals from Birthday Club this morning. South Haven is a cute little town on Lake Michigan. We have been there quite a few times and I think this is our third or fourth time in the same house, which is our favorite!. It was listed for sale last year but I guess it didn’t sell, so we are back! We have some spots in town we always go to, but we are always game to try new things. All that to say, the blob will probably be out of commission this week.

We are travelling across the state in Three Good Kids van, loaded to the rafters with suitcases, food, water, movies, technological devices, beach gear, pillows and extra toilet paper. We are looking forward to much eating, talking, and laughing, all good things in my book!

Have a good week!

A List For Your Viewing Pleasure

Hi Guys! How about a little list before I go offline for a little staycation? That’s the plan anyway.

Honey is off for the next 4 days, WOO to the HOOTY HOO!!!!!!! He surely could use the break! He has been working 7 days for a sweet forever and 10 to 12 hours for the majority of them.

That dang 2015 Ford Mustang just won’t launch itself.

Because we were supposed to go to Chicago to visit the kids, we are not supposed to be home. Therefore we will not be doing chore/maintenance type things, because we are not supposed to be here.

Did you follow that?

I am going to twist Honey’s tail if he gets off track too. Twist it right good.

Honey might be able to a little chore/maintenance type things today though because the kids do not arrive until tonight, so free day!

The Boy and The Dane arrive tonight from Chicago, on the train. This is a new mode of transportation for them.

They will be just like Laura Ingalls and Mary and Carrie and Ma, going across the country to meet up with Pa.

Kind of, but not really at all.

They are getting frisky with their transportation options.

For the past two years, they arrived on the Megabus, a straight shot from Chicago. The last few times, due to cheaper tickets, they travelled on Greyhound, which they said they liked better! More comfortable and with a single stop in Kalamazoo.

We shall see what they think of train travel, it could be the best option of all!

Or the worst, or the second best. Has to be one of the three.

Anyway, back to the staycation. We are discussing food options, dessert options and activity options. I will let you know how it all goes down.

In other news, I have been on Pinterest a lot.

Really, a LOT.

I have had the thing for about a year but always forgot to go on for some reason.

Before I had my own, my friend CMB used to sign into her account on my computer when she was over getting her hairs cut. It would remain signed in as her for a long time and I would occasionally look around on her pins.

Mainly for blog related purposes.

I feel I need to tell you that she was completely aware of this.

So now I have my own and she no longer needs to share her Pinterest with me.

Oh.My.Goodness is Pinterest a time sucker!!!!!!!

You are not even aware of the passage, it’s just G.O.N.E.

Keelyody sent me this. True dat.

this is true!!!

I am especially interested in the recipes, organization things, and the things to make.

Because i like the idea of cooking, being organized and creative. We will see if any of this translates to actual usage.

I find Capri Deb’s pin boards to be stimulating, like catnip. She is an arty one!

CMB has a lot of good recipes and ideas as well.

The Heifer is just all around time consuming.

I am still getting around to seeing what others have pinned.

Let me know if you participate so I can stalk/follow your boards too!

Because I evidently have nothing but time!

I know my heavy Words With Friends schedule has suffered.

No one but my Aunt Phyllis has probably even noticed.

Phyl would notice because we have about 12 games going.

In other news, the backyard coleus are growing big and loverly!

This is my favorite.


No, maybe these fine specimens.


Or perhaps this big boy.


Or maybe these guys. They are all my friends.


Gratuitous picture of Mousey at Gun Lake, 2000.



Ok, that’s it for today. I will be back for The Weekly Sy tomorrow because they have already sent the grandcat pictures and we wouldn’t want to waste those!

Have a great weekend!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by this star spangled Hodgepodge! If you would like to join up, click on the button below and head over to Joyce’s.

1.  Speaking of 180…when was the last time you ‘did a 180’ on something?

Ummm, yesterday afternoon? I had a free morning to plant today, so yesterday I went to a neighboring produce store, that also has plants and trees and shrubs. Fully intending to buy some things for Honey to make his yummy salsa with, and to get some knock out roses and maybe a couple cool hosta. I was not expecting that there were so many different varieties  of knockout roses, with a variety of prices. The ones that looked the best to me and had a price I felt I could live with, only came in pink. I guess I was hoping for red, since the hydrangeas I am planting them next to are pink. I decided to wait and read up on all the different varieties, so I will be informed whenever I go to buy again. I will also ask Schmenky for help. Schmenk???

Next up, cool hosta. Unfortunately I did not see any of the kind I was looking for and the prices for the ones I didn’t want were WAY too high.

I came with big plans, bought the salsa stuff and left. 180.

2. It’s Independence Week in the US of A! What’s your favorite thing about America right this very minute? Favorites only! Let’s hear what you love about America.
If you’re playing along today, and you’re not an American but have been to America, what do/did you like best about this country? If you’ve never been to America, do you have any desire to visit? What’s the number one thing you’d like to see?

Freedom. When I hear about a lot of the things going on in the world right now, freedom is very appealing.  Freedom to worship as you choose, access to food and water, live where you want, heck, just LIVE your life in relative safety and choice. And if you don’t like where you are, the ability to move along. I choose freedom. America is far from perfect, but it is far better than many.
3. Stars or stripes? Red, white, or blue? Watermelon, homemade vanilla ice cream, or blueberry pie?

Stripes, blue and homemade vanilla ice cream please.
4. When did you last see stars, figuratively speaking?

I know I have done it, but nothing is coming to mind!. I did hit my shin on a retaining wall over Memorial Day weekend. Hit it so hard I was unsure if I should throw up or sit down and cry. But no stars.
5.  ‘Clear as a bell’, ‘with bells on’,  ‘lots of bells and whistles’, ‘saved by the bell’…which phrase ‘rings’ truest for you lately?  Have you ever seen The Liberty Bell?

I will say our weekend plans are now clear as a bell! There was some back and forth, a little uncertainty and a tiny bit of begging, but we are all settled now.

I have never seen the Liberty Bell. I’ll bet my friend Warren would like to lick it though! I guess that’s a thing.
6. Are you caught up in World Cup fever? Have you watched a lot or a little or none at all?

CHERYL. I DO.NOT.CARE. I’m sorry, I can’t. But by all means, enjoy yourselves!

7. Bid farewell to June in 10 words or less.

Hmm, just like homiletics! After the Polar Vortex, we certainly enjoyed all June offered!!!!!
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Now about those weekend plans, welcome to the Way Back part of the post. We are heading back to 1998 and up to my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ cottage. They have owned this place for over 30 years. It didn’t always look like this, they bought as a small brown cottage, tore it down, and made this beautiful, light and fun place!

Our children loved to go to the cottage and evidently still do, because we are coming from different places to all gather there once again. It is so peaceful on the lake. Bob and Phyllis keep saying they should sell it, but we are secretly glad they haven’t. Well, now publicly glad.

This is the back, facing Gun Lake, named so because Al Capone had a hide away on the other side and dumped some guns in the lake to avoid getting caught with them. Al would not recognize the place these days, it’s grown up a little. But his place is still there.


There is lots to do there, but the lounging is great fun too!


Our kids loved the jet skis, oh my goodness did they ever! Between Honey, Beeve and Uncle Bob, they had a taxi service going.


Even when they weren’t running, they were practicing.


Or patiently waiting for their turn. I love this picture, it says so much without even a facial expression.


More practice. I guess only The Boy was practicing, with his girls on the back!


Looks like Beeve and Stacey were here this year. This is WAY pre Goomba!


They also had a trampoline!




Here they are with Girl Cousin Lindsay, looking like a starlet!


Mousey still likes to hang around with her Uncle Bob. She says they are fun!


Lots of times we were there with my Mom and Dad, who seems to have been busy during all the picture taking.


The swing is gone, as are the jet skis. I haven’t seen the trampoline in ages either. My Mom is gone too.

We are heading up there again this weekend for the Fourth of July fireworks. I am anticipating a big time of visiting, eating, boating and cards and games. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that I am glad I took a lot of pictures. Even though some people complain and think it is annoying. These pictures are treasures.

So we will be there this weekend, with bells on!

Have a wonderful holiday.

Sassy Recap

I have some final pictures of Sassy Cat Hill to share. It’s always interesting to see what Schmenky has blooming, or has done around the place, or meet new critters, or just soak up the familiarity.


Foggy morning. It’s always a beautiful morning at Schmenky’s.


Same pond, different angle, sunny weather.



We got Schmenky set up on Instagram. Well, she set herself up, I just bugged her to do it! To quote Mousey, stealthy chin coverage!


You can see what she has going on up on The Hill, follow her on SASSYCATHILL. She even has her own hashtags; #sassycathill and #sassyblooms.

I know I have shown you The Sassy Cats before, but I will show you again. They each have their own sweet and sassy personalities! There was some loss on the hill since I last visited. One of the outside cats, Nellie, passed away, and one of the triplets, Kubota, did as well. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Always hard for us to bear, but always more to care for.

This is Poppet, the famous spanking kitty. She is giving me “special loves”.


As you can see, I hate it when that happens 😉


The King of the castle, The Lion King, His Royal Highness, Head Biscuit Maker, Kismet.


More Poppet, because she loves me best.


Bitsy Bee on the chair, Kismet grooming on the floor, and Casey holding court on the ottoman.


Casey Lee Bumgardner. He is a big old hunk of honey. And a vociferous head butter and hair lover.


This is the newest sassy, Halle. I am pretty sure everyone on the hill calls her Princess. She is Mr. C’s special girl and she was my roommate. She has integration anxiety and lives in the Schmenkman’s spare bedroom until they can find her a forever home with no children or other animals. She has a lot of fears but is a super sweet kitty witty. She hid under the bed for the beginning of my visit, but she soon let me be friends with her, even though it felt like we had to start all over each day. By the end of the week she was sleeping on the bed all night, purring profusely. She is really cute but every single picture I took she had Fear Ears.


The Lone Sassy outside cat, Brutus Beefcake. Sporting the cowbell, to alert future prey. Schmenky bathed him before I arrived. He was looking spiffy. For Brutus anyway!


While I was there they had themselves some wicked, torrential weather. Or so we were told, because we slept through the ENTIRE storm. SERIOUSLY, never heard a thing. Yeah, I don’t know how we did it either! We had no idea until we started to leave her neighborhood and the road was closed because the creek was over the bridge! Someone even said the bridge was washed away! It wasn’t though.


We turned around to go out the other end of the road and saw much damage, deep gashes where the creeks cut furrows in the road, and there was still rushing waters that are generally only a trickle.


We tried to go for a walk at her local high school but were sidetracked by this.


Lots of water, as far as the eye could see, covering the path.



It looked like giant beavers were building a dam with all the flotsam and jetsam that was swept downhill!


Just a general over spillage going on.


So no trails for The Capri’s.  😦 We hoofed it around the big old high school to get our walk in.


I have decided that next year I am going to write down snippets of the week so I can refer to the list when I get home. After all, the trip was several weeks ago, and I am getting older and losing mental acuity.

What stands out the most are many good meals, some pretty decent shopping, we frozen yogurted at Sweet Frog an amazing amount of times, lots of conversation and many laughs, and you will just have to take my word for it because I can’t seem to remember any particulars!!!

Oh, and I need to thank Mrs. Schmenkman here, in front of The Lord God Almighty and the entire internet community, for putting up with me being on the phone and texting and iMessaging for an enormous amount of the trip while I attempted to be helpful and dot I s and cross Ts when The Boy was having his health crisis in Chicago! You know how I always have to have some socially unacceptable problem when I go down there? Well, that was it this year. Thank you for being so gracious to me Schmenky Schmenkerton!


Here she is with her honey of 29 years, Mr. C, who was only home for about 10 minutes in between his business trips to Greensboro, N.C. and Mexico! He is her helper in all of the gardening and critter adventures. Oh, I just remembered something! When we woke up one morning, Mr. C said some bears had been there the night before, as evidenced by the laid out, empty bird feeders. They caught the whole robbery on their bear cam! He asked me if I wanted him to wake me up if they came back the next night. No, no I don’t, thank you! They live in the wild wilderness I tell you! I found a tick on MY PANTS there people!!!!!!!


Thanks for the fine time, Schmenky! And for the 26-27 years of friendship, through literally thin and thick, health and sickness, haircuts, highlights and perms, ticks and floods and bears!


Love that Girl!


Next year is our twentieth anniversary of The Memorial Day Hootenanny Extravaganza!!!!!!! How can that be?

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