Virgin Snow

2017-12-07 First snowfall q

It finally happened – our first snowfall!


2017-12-07 First snowfall j Uggs

Time to take a walk in the snow with my faithful Ugg boots.


2017-12-07 First snowfall n

We call this the hybrid tree – two trees inseparable and growing into one.
During the summer months it looks like a giant pineapple.


2017-12-07 First snowfall m

The lamp of Narnia that never turns off. Notice all the cute orange-tipped sticks that the city put in the ground a month ago.


2017-12-07 First snowfall k car

Oh no, where did we put the snow brush?


2017-12-07 First snowfall o

The orange sticks are meant to show the snowplows where the edge of the road is so that they don’t dig up up the grass along the sidewalk. Sadly, many of them are already knocked down or bent.

2017-12-07 First snowfall r

Time to put the feet up and watch the snow from inside with a glass of eggnog…









Around Town With Artprize

2017-09-25 Artprize Tragedy Memory And Honor

“Tragedy, Memory And Honor”
(the curved look is because I took a panoramic shot of it)


2017-09-25 Artprize Tragedy Memory And Honor close-up

A close-up of one of the panels of “Tragedy, Memory And Honor”. The artist was in New York City during the attack on the twin towers. He saved some of the ashes and debris, and used it in this mural.



2017-09-25 Artprize Early January On The Pearl Street Bridge

“Early January On The Pearl Street Bridge”
One of our local bridges over the Grand River.



2017-09-25 Artprize Proud Parent giraffes

“Proud Parent”
Can you feel the love?



2017-09-25 Artprize Music Box

The hand-crafted coffin that is actually a “Music Box”.
Both creepy and beautiful.



2017-09-25 Artprize Metal Life

“Metal Life”
For some reason, this little guy made me think of the extra-terrestrial in the movie “E.T.”



2017-09-25 Artprize Divided We Fall

“Divided We Fall”
Clever art using PVC pipe, paper towels and duct tape to depict Vladimir Putin.



2017-09-25 Artprize We Are All Homeless c
One entire hallway of the convention center was filled with signs that homeless people had made. Some were very basic; some were creative.
2017-09-23 Artprize We Are All Homeless e



2017-09-25 Artprize The Stages Of Grief
“Stages Of Grief”
The artist used her gift for painting to deal with the death of her mother.
Sunshine coming through the skylight gave the picture an interesting look.



2017-09-25 Artprize Otto's Good Stuff
“Otto’s Good Stuff”
Am I losing my mind, or was this display in last year’s Artprize?!



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?


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”.


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.