Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our Car Lot

If you know my husband and my son you know that our vehicles are more than just pieces of metal to get us from one point to the next. This is not my typical post but I thought it would be fun to tell you a little about what we drive. It says a lot about who we are.
First off, this is my car...well sort of. Jordan also calls it her car since she started driving. Anyway, this is your typical Mom's car, a Ford Taurus station wagon. How much more Mom can you get than that? It was a great car for hauling the kids around when they were little, grocery shopping, taking the dogs for rides. It's a 2000 and has 150,000 miles on it. Craig did a major engine repair on it this winter. It's great having a husband that knows everything about cars and can do major work on them.
This is Craig's newest toy. It's a 93 Lincoln Mark VIII with 112.000 miles. Craig just picked this up for a fraction of what it is worth. It was not drivable when he got it but he put a whole new suspension on it and repaired a lot of small things. It is a V8 and has 285 horse power but even so it gets high 20's for mileage. It is loaded and a lot of fun to drive.
This is our beloved Jeep. It's a 83 and Craig built this almost from scratch. It would be hard for us to part with the Jeep. On hot summer evenings we love to go for rides with the top off. We've been on many camping and 4-wheelin trips with the Jeep. Caleb took it 4-wheelin at a friends house the other night and it hasn't gotten a bath yet.
This is the gas hog. We've been trying not to drive it too much with the price of gas. Actually, Jordan's been driving it to school since we only live a few block from the school. This hauls around the dune buggy and snowmobiles... and well, Craig just couldn't be without a truck. He'll be a truck guy for the rest of his life.
This is Caleb's baby. It a Ford Taurus SHO. He bought it from his Grandpa when he turned 16. It's got high mileage but Craig and Caleb know how to keep it on the road. They have replaced the transmission and other things. This photo was taken tonight and shows the guys underneath it working on the muffler. This is a typical evening at our house for them. They love working on the vehicles and love spending time together in the garage.

And then the dune buggy. This is not street legal so it really isn't one of our vehicles but rather a toy that Craig and Caleb built. Caleb is pretty proud of his buggy. We've taken it to the sand dunes twice and hope to do some more this summer.

There you have it.... our car lot.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Frost in the forecast

The low temp tonight is suppose to be 27!! I am worried about a few things in the yard getting frost damage. My beautiful little crab apple tree is getting ready to explode with blooms. I hope it gets the chance to.
And Chuck and Delores, if you are reading this, this photo is for you. I am so proud of these Day Lilies. These are the Day Lilies that you gave me two years ago. It was one huge clump and I divided it into about 15 small ones and planted them along my side yard. They are coming up so big and healthy this year. Last year they did pretty good but got frost damage about this far along and took a long time to recover. I don't want the same thing to happen again this year so I'm going out and covering them up with blankets tonight. I'm hoping that tonight is the last night we have to worry about frost.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Busy Weekend

We had a very busy productive weekend. I didn't even have a chance to play with my camera so I'm posting these photos of a dove that I took last week. These two photos were snapped within seconds of each other. I thought it was funny how he was all puffed up in the first photo and then smooth in the second photo. Maybe he was trying to show off for a lady friend.

Caleb left Friday to Florida with 50 of his classmates for their senior trip. He will be home Tuesday. We haven't even heard from him so I know he's having too much fun to bother calling home, which is a good thing.
Craig, Jordan and I worked in the yard and on the house all weekend. We have so many projects that we are trying to complete before Caleb's graduation open house on June 7th. We've been doing some extra landscaping, and painting the exterior of the house. Craig has about 2/3 of the exterior power washed and some of the painting started. Even though we are feeling crunched with all the stuff we want to get done it really is a good thing. We'll be all done early June and will be able to enjoy the summer without all this stuff hanging over us. If we didn't have a deadline we would take all summer to complete these projects.
I was very excited to get a ton of ornamental grass planted that my parents dug up and gave to me. We planted it so that it will make a natural barrier in some areas around the yard. They gave us at least 25 large clumps. I'll post photos when things start growing a little more.
Being busy helped keep my mind off of my itching!! This poison ivy is the worst I have ever had. I only have one day of steroids left which has definitely helped. It is not so raw any more but it is so widespread and the itching is so intense. I learned a lesson the hard way!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My first hummingbird

Today was the day... My first hummingbird of the year arrived. Not a very good photo of him but proof that he was here and I just had to post this for my Dad. He's been waiting for his first one too. Jordan and Craig couldn't believe he stayed around long enough for a photo with the way I was screaming with excitement out the back door when I saw him. I'll treat him with fresh food tomorrow and hopefully he'll be back soon.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weird Object Friday

Sorry I'm so late in posting my WOF. I should have posted it this morning but I didn't realize I'd be at the hospital 13 hours today. It's good to be home and I'm glad it's Friday!!
This is one of my Dad's knifes. He has a collection of hand made knifes that he has purchased thru the years at art shows. I think this one is beautiful but weird because it had a real snake skin sheath with the snake head still on it. My Dad's knife collection is one of his prized processions. I'd told him that I'd like to inherit his knife collection but I'm sure my brother will have his eyes on the collection too..... I'll have to share it. :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bird Sanctuary

This was my project last weekend. I wanted to move the bird feeders out of the lawn area and make a designated bird sanctuary. This little wooded area is at the back of the property. It mostly has been a yard waste area for as long as we have lived here. I worked Saturday and Sunday raking, trimming, digging and cleaning it all out. It is not much to look at yet. My next step to plant hostas all over in it. I already planted tall ornamental grass all around the back and side edges. I'll post more pictures later on when I have nice things growing. I hope the birds like it. So far they are approving.
The bad news is that now I am paying for it. I have the worst case of poison ivy since I was kid, maybe ever!! The vines didn't have leaves yet so I wasn't even thinking about poison ivy when I was in there. I riped out all kinds of vines and even had a fire going where I was burning it all. One of the doctors I work for gave me a script for steroids. It's all over my arms and face. Craig offered to take a photo of me for my blog but I decided to spare you all the gory details. I hope this medication works fast, this is miserable.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bronze Statue

This is a bronze statue that is on the grounds of Meijer Gardens where we visited last weekend. This is a replica of Leonardo Da Vinci's horse.
Here's another photo of me standing next to it so you can see how big it is. It is so impressive. I was going to sit on his back for the picture but I couldn't figure out how to get up there.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Zoe and the Swamp

I took Seadra and Zoe over to my parents so they could run around tonight.
Zoe found the swamp.
I don't think she realized how deep it was.
I'm just glad I didn't have to go in after her!!
As comical as it was, I was thinking "Great, she's going to be filthy dirty and smelly!"
"Did you see me Mom?"..... "Yes, Mommy saw you Zoe!"
There's no place like Gram and Pa-Pa's.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Today is our anniversary.... 22 years. For a little getaway Craig and both took the day off work yesterday and drove up to Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. It was a beautiful day!! 75 and Sunny!! Most of the gardens are not much to look at this early in the season but there is plenty of other things to do there. They have 125 acres of nature trails, wetlands, wildlife preserves... And they had a butterfly exhibit going on this month too. Here are my favorite photos from the day. Enjoy......

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weird Object Friday

I grew up walking past this fellow multiple times a day. This is an antique cast iron wiener dog boot scraper. It was on our front porch for years. I don't think anyone actually scraped their boots on it. He was just there to greet us.
I apologize for how dusty and covered in cobwebs he is. I found him hidden in the corner of my parents garage. I think he needs to a bath and brought back to his glory.
On another note.... did anyone feel the earthquake this morning? It was 5:37 this morning. I sat up in bed and Craig says "What's wrong?". I told him that I thought I felt the bed shaking. But I just dismissed it as waking up and being dizzy or lightheaded. I didn't think it was an earthquake. It was centered in southern Illinois. This is only the second time in my life that I have ever felt one. Maybe it isn't too big of news but it sure is for Michigan.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


To my family and friends that live close to me.... Does anyone have a small mouth quart glass mason jar that they would be willing to give me or sell to me? It can be clear or colored. I bought one at a flea market for a bird feeder that I am making but unfortunately it broke when we tried to drill a hole in it. When I get another one I've made arrangements for a glass company to drill it for me. Thanks, Jessica

My Daddy's Bluebirds

Since I haven't been successful in attracting any Bluebirds to my yard (yet), I have to go and enjoy my Dad's Bluebirds. If you visit my Through the Viewfinder Blog you may remember that Mr. Bluebird showed up within 24 hours of my Dad putting out his Bluebird house. As envious as I was I am thrilled for my Dad. And I can go over there and enjoy his Bluebirds whenever I want.
I went over there tonight thinking that I might get a few shots of them on their house but I came home with even more than I hoped. I got a few really cute shots. The male is pretty tolerant to a point. He lets me get close enough to photograph him. The female is much more cautious. Not too far from the nest box Dad has placed a feeder that he puts meal worms in. Yesterday he saw the male feeding the female a meal worm. His next plan is to place a bird bath near them.
Here's one of the few shots I got of the female. I just love em!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New bird for me....Eastern Towhee

I was so excited to see this new guy in my yard today. I apologize for the poor quality photos but I just had to post them anyway. I was inside and caught a glimpse of something that looked like a Robin eating under one of the back yard feeders. I grabbed the binoculars for a better look. I have never seen this bird before. I ran to get my bird book. Granted, maybe Eastern Towhee's are not uncommon for the seasoned birder but being I am new to this hobby I was thrilled to see him.
He was still there by the time I got my camera and ran outside. He didn't let me get very close before he scurried off.
This is what a really good photo of one looks like. I stole this one off the Internet.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bird Bath

I set up the birdbath about a week ago and the birds are loving me for it. I love watching the little finches take their delicate drinks. This Robin had just finished taking a bath.
Id like to set up some type of fountain or running water. Supposedly that will attract even more birds.

Good Morning!

Mornings are my favorite time of day. I was up before the birds this morning. When I let the dogs out I could hear them singing from the trees but I saw no activity yet. Everyone is still in bed, the television is off, the dogs are quietly snuggled in the chair next to me, and I am relishing in the peace and quiet. I would like to go and sit on the front porch swing but it is only 30 degrees outside. But.... it has stopped raining. I am sitting here watching the hamsters eat breakfast. And blogging of course. Last night we had our annual end of the year snowmobile club banquet at a local restaurant. About 45 club members were there. That's were we celebrate our successful and safe year of snowmobiling, our hard work on the trails and awards are given out. I actually got an award.... "Rookie of the year". It was noted that I, being an inexperienced rider, hung in there and did a full year of riding with the club and that they appreciated my efforts and participation. Wow, they noticed!! If you can't beat em, join em. One of the nice things about our club is that we continue to have club activities all year long, not just when snow is on the ground. In the summer we have club bonfires and cookouts, hayrides, etc. It's a great group of people, very family oriented.

Time to start waking people up and get ready for church. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Track Meet and Bird Feeders

Jordan had a track meet today at Watervliet. It was an all day invitational from 8 to 4 (she is still there). Don't let this photo fool you. I wish this is what the weather was like today. It's a photo from last year. Instead it is 39 degrees, windy and raining steadily all day. Needless to say I didn't even bother taking the camera with me today. Jordan's events were at 1:00 and 2:00. I was bundled up in many layers, coats, hat, gloves, a blanket wrapped around me, towels for the bleacher seats, umbrella and still I was miserable. Craig and I braved the first event but then we left before her second event. I was quite disappointed that they didn't cancel the meet. I really don't think those kids needed to be out in this all day and there were hardly any spectators. What fun is that for them. There is another invitational at Hartford next Saturday. The weather has got to be better. We didn't even stay long enough to see where Jordan placed.
On a better note.... I've been on a mission the last few days. When Jordan and I were in South Haven last week one of the gift shops had the most unique beautiful bird feeder. It was hand made of mostly glass. I stood there drooling over it for a few minutes knowing that I couldn't buy it with the $75 price tag that was on it. Then I thought "I bet I could make that myself, with Craig's help of course". Craig just loves it when I come up with these crazy ideas (don't you honey). Anyway, I tried to get a really good mental image of it (I didn't think the store owner would appreciate me taking a photo of it). "No problem" I told myself, "We can do it".
So for the last few days I've been hitting the antique shops and flea markets in search of the pieces that I need. I now have all the pieces and I am pretty proud of myself for being resourceful and finding things at a good bargain. Now there is only one step left before it can be assembled but it's the hardest step. We need to drill holes into the glass pieces. Craig isn't thrilled about drilling in glass for fear that he will break it. But he did pick up a glass cutting drill bit at the hardware store today. We will test it on some old glass to see if it will work. If not I may have to take the pieces to a glass and mirror shop for the holes to be drilled.
Hopefully early next week I will be able to show you my masterpiece that I am proud to say only cost me about $15 instead of $75!!
But here's something I can show you. My newest woodpecker feeder. This was so easy. I went out the wood pile and picked out a log and Craig drilled 6 holes in it that I stuffed with suet. I know the woodpeckers will love it. I am pleasantly surprised at all the woodpeckers I see on a daily basis in my trees and on my feeders. Mostly I have Downy Woodpeckers but Red Bellies also visit. I'll be out hanging this up as soon as the rain stops.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weird Object Friday

Happy Friday!!! Check out this broom. It's made from a real branch/log. It's got this really neat knot in the middle of it.
And some artist carved this old man face in it. Of course it's never been used to sweep the floor. It hangs on the wall in my parents house.

Have a great day everyone. I'll be checking out your W.O.F.'s later.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jordan's baby bird

Being I have turned into such a bird nut lately I thought I would share this story with you. These photos and this event was 7 years ago in July of 2001. The house we lived in at the time had a little covered front porch on it. Next to the front door was a wall lamp. It was not uncommon for us to have a bird build a nest every year on top of the lamp. Back in those days I am ashamed to admit that it was more of a nuisance than a welcome but we went along with it and allowed the birds to raise their families there. The kids were much more thrilled with it than I was. I wish I could remember more of the details but for some reason one year all the babies and the mother disappeared leaving this one baby all alone. And somehow it adopted Jordan as it's substitute mother. She really did raise this baby bird!! And the bird just loved Jordan. It would just cling to her and hop all over her. Jordan fed this bird and watched it grow big and healthy.
Jordan even taught it to fly. She would take it out to the yard and gently toss it in the air, each time it would go a little farther and get a little stronger. Eventually it would fly half way down the street but it kept coming back to Jordan. It wasn't long until it flew completely away and never came back. Jordan was in tears when it didn't return but the whole experience was really rewarding for her. I'm not even sure what type of bird it was, maybe a finch or a sparrow?