Amusing Ourselves On A Stormy Day

2017-08-07 hide a plushie in plain view

It was a dark and stormy day about a week ago. Lightning had prompted us to turn off and unplug the TV and computers. How to amuse grandpa, grandma, and two grand-kids? Have a stuffed animal hunt! How many places can these critter hide?

In a shirt.

2017-08-07 hide a plushie in shirt

 

Among our DVD collection.

2017-08-07 hide a plushie on DVD shelf

 

On the stairs.

2017-08-07 hide a plushie on the stairs

 

In one of my sewing drawers.

2017-08-07 hide a plushie in sewing supply drawer

 

In the glove compartment of the car.

2017-08-07 hide a plushie in car glove compartment

 

But Grandpa came up with the best hiding place – the underside of the kitchen table!

2017-08-07 hide a plushie under table

 

A Different Kind Of Park

2017-06-20 Prairie Wolf Park Tree growing almost sideways panoramis

What’s your definition of a park? A playground with lots of swings and slides for the kids, and one of those merry-go-rounds that makes you sick? Picnic shelters with lots of tables, and some grills to roast hotdogs on? A place with curving cement sidewalks to roller-blade on?

I visited a very different kind of park today. It was the outdoors in its natural condition, unchanged by manicured landscaping, pesticides, herbicides, or play equipment. It was just… nature. There were several asphalt walkways near the entrance to the park, but then it changed into paths made by a lawn mower. It was like stepping back in time to what Michigan looked like before it became civilized. There were huge fields of wildflowers with butterflies and grasshoppers and bugs.

2017-06-20 Prairie Wolf Park Black-eyed Susans Daisis panoramic

From sunny open fields, the path veered off into wooded areas with a variety of trees. Occasionally a tree would have a sign by it for identification:

2017-06-20 Prairie Wolf Park Black Cherry Tree

We passed a green scuzzy pond that looked like something out of a fantasy tale.

2017-06-20 Prairie Wolf Park green scum pool

Most of the park was in its natural state, with the exception of the occasional bench to sit and rest on, and the unusual sight of some stone blocks in the distance.

2017-06-20 Prairie Wolf Park Strange Block Formation panoramic

We hiked up the hill, through lumpy ground riddled with mole holes, but found no answer to the question of the stone blocks.

2017-06-20 Prairie Wolf Park Daisies and wildflowers

So we continued on, past prairie grasses nearly as tall as we were, trees whose branches grew almost sideways, and stagnant water pools with frogs and crickets. Then back to the car, back to traffic and noise, back to present day.

2017-06-20 Prairie Wolf Park Tall grass field panoramic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Have Set My Rainbow In The Clouds”

2017-05-30 rainbow a 7 17 pm7:17 last night

 

2017-05-30 rainbow b 7 187:18 pm

 

20107-05-30 rainbow d 7 19 pm
7:19 pm

2017-05-30 rainbow e dissolving 7 20
7:20 pm

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

(Holy Bible, Genesis 9:13-17)

Return Of The Color Green

2017-04-16 green banks of Buck Creek

This Easter afternoon, I took a long walk with my youngest son and enjoyed the return of the color green to our local park.

2017-04-16 Palmer Park green plants
Not sure what these green plants were, but they were popping up everywhere in the woods.

2017-04-16 Palmer Park trees moss rainbowIn other areas, velvety moss covered the ground.

2017-04-16 Palmer Park fallen trees and rainbowMoss outlined the edge of the road as if it were mascara.

2017-04-16 Palmer Park frog pondThis shallow pond was full of frogs singing their hearts out.

2017-04-16 small winding creekA winding creek with more of those green plants that look like some sort of leaf lettuce.

2017-04-16 Palmer Park trees in water

 

 

 

 

 

What IS That Fruit?

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I came upon a strange sight while doing the grocery-shopping today. From a distance, there appeared to be several prickly objects keeping company with the pineapples. Porcupine was the word that came to mind, although I knew that wasn’t right. When I got closer, I could see that it was called “Jack Fruit”.

tmp_24194-IMG_20170413_090759333940962

When I got home, I went online to read a bit about it. Jackfruit is the largest tree-grown fruit, with each piece weighing between ten and eighty pounds, although they can reach one hundred pounds! It originated in India thousands of years ago, but is now mostly grown in places like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, the Caribbean, Vietnam, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Ironically, it seems to be looked down on in India as a poor-man’s food, despite it starting there.

Jackfruit has a pungent odor that some people say smells like a mix of over-ripe banana and pineapple, and others say smells like Juicy Fruit Gum. It is very sweet when ripe (skin will be yellow). If you harvest it before it is ripe, however, it is not sweet, and has the texture of meat. Some vegetarians use it as a meat substitute in dishes. Until recently, it was a food found mostly in Asian grocery markets, but now the strange-looking fruit is popping up in places like Whole Foods and mainstream grocery-stores.

 

Library Wanderings: Hudsonville Public Library (Gary Byker Memorial Library)

 

Pick a library book, plop down on a chair or couch, and rest your feet on this sturdy turtle! You’ll find this guy in the couch area, crawling around the rug with pictures of books.

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library couches

I loved the book they had on their coffee-table: Random Acts Of Kindness

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library random acts of kindness

In the background you can see their music display, which appears to be hand-crafted in the shape of a harp.

2017-03-25 Hudsonville library c music

This lamp was certainly unique:

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library book lamp

If you love a good jigsaw puzzle, you can check some out!

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library puzzles

Feeling nostalgic for VHS tapes? There is still a small section of them here. I should add that they have a much larger section of DVD’s.

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library VHS tapes

In Hudsonville, they are extremely proud of their community history. Check out this display of the 1956 tornado.

2017-03-25 Hudsonille Library 1956 tornado

This dollhouse is beautifully made.

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library dollhouse

Every library should have a globe and wooden stand like this:

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library globe

Not all of the library had that old-fashioned feel to it. Their book stacks and children’s area were extremely up to date (no dusty, outdated stuff!).  This little corner, which I dubbed “the peace corner” was very inviting.

2017-03-25 Hudsonville Library peace corner

This Hudsonville Library is both classy and modern. I loved my visit to this small library!

Range-Free Chicken Eggs

2017-03-16 free range chicken eggs b

A couple days ago my daughter-in-law’s mother stopped by to five us these free-range chicken eggs that she had gotten from a co-worker. They are different sizes and colors, and remind me of new life and springtime.

Winter can’t stay forever. The snow in the yard has dwindled down to almost nothing.

2017-03-17 snow on north side c

Easy to tell which direction is north.

 

2017-03-17 snow on north side e

About the time I tell myself this is the day that the last of that blasted snow will melt and we will have spring, the snow begins yet again…

2017-03-17 snow again

(sigh)