What?!

I haven’t blogged since January?? Yikes! Life has been crazy busy. Lots of books to beta read for some of my favorite authors. Lots of books to read and review; some for new authors. It’s been great fun! Plus my own book, Oliver’s Moving Day, has just finished with illustrations. It will be coming soon.

But we’ve missed seasons since I was here last! Winter finally did arrive in all it’s glory. And once it arrived it was hesitant to leave. Our farmers weren’t able to get crops in on time thanks to the cold and then lots of rain in the spring. Of course once summer decided to show up, also late this year, we’ve had very little rain. Oh, what Lake Michigan does to our weather!

But Lake Michigan is gorgeous. If you haven’t visited yet you must. Did you know that Michigan is the only great lake located entirely within the United States. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third-largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It has lake trout, yellow perch, largemouth, smallmouth bass, and salmon (to name a few) so is a favorite destination for fishermen. And don’t let “lake” make you think it’s nothing special. Really a fresh water ocean, people come from around the world to see it.

Come on over and see us sometime. You’ll love this Pure Michigan lake!

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Okay, the time has come to get this off my chest. I’ve been stewing over this for awhile and enough is enough.

Typically I’ll write about Michigan. I LOVE my state, although I’ll admit I’m not happy about the lack of snow we’ve been experiencing. While I’m sure we’ll get some eventually, really Michigan? What happened to this?

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But that’s not my dilemma for today. Here goes. I was given an electric pressure cooker for Christmas and I love it. (Think Insta Pot but a different brand.) Looking for some new and exciting recipes, I hit the internet. Found several that sound good. But have you looked at recipes on line lately??

Before you can find the recipe, you have to get through six pages of: How I accidentally came up with this recipe. What my family likes or doesn’t like about it. How Aunt Gertrude tripped over her dog and ended up in the hospital. The year that my three year old grandfather, who is now 75, knocked over the Christmas tree. It’s become family history time!

Seriously people. Who cares? Just give me the recipe so I can judge for myself if I need to change it. If my family will like it. I’m sorry about Aunt Gertrude and hope she’s okay, and I hope your grandfather was forgiven for knocking over the Christmas Tree. 72 years ago already!! Let it go! If I want family history I’ll go to Ancestry.com and get my own.

I’m ready to share a recipe of my own on Allrecipes and I’ll leave out the family story. I promise!!

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Seasons!

To everything, there is a season. The Byrds sang about it in 1965. Solomon wrote about it in Ecclesiastes 3. Michigan is proclaiming it. Life is about seasons.

How do you feel about seasons? About change? Do you fight it? Do you embrace it? Or maybe you’re somewhere in between. Personally, I love healthy change. It’s the only way to bring growth. I was thinking about this as I looked at my flower bed last night. Some of the plants are dying and I’ll pull them out this week. Some are still flowering and look gorgeous. I even have a spring flowering plant that has decided it’s time to flower again. (Silly thing.) But as I held some tulip bulbs in my hand I found myself pondering seasons. I’m going to plant these seemingly dead bulbs into the ground. Over the winter they will be dormant in appearance. But under the ground magical things will happen. While they’re resting they will be gaining strength. They will even be multiplying and making more bulbs for me. And then in the spring they will erupt in splendid colors!

Isn’t that much like us? Sometimes we get planted somewhere and we can feel dead, spiritually, physically, and/or emotionally. But underground God is working miracles. While we’re resting we are gaining strength. We are multiplying. We are getting ready to surge from the dirt. And oh, my friend, it’s a glorious time. A time when God colors us beyond our expectations. I encourage you to embrace times of change. Embrace the times when you feel planted but dormant. Rest. Gain strength.

He makes all things beautiful in HIS time!

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I’m still here!

Wow. Where have I been?! Autumn and winter have come and gone. And as of next week spring is gone too. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and reviewing, as well as beta reading and proof reading for people. But now it’s time to get outside.

Spring in Michigan is so unpredictable. Warm? Hot? Cold? Sunny? Dry? Yes to all of them! We went from the 50s and 60s straight to the 90s then back to the 60 and 70s. Now it looks like we’re settling into the 80s. The weather is seldom boring around here.

As you know if you have read any of my thoughts, I love Michigan. And summer in Michigan is incredible. We have four of the five Great Lakes. The sand dunes of Silver Lake. Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks in the UP (Upper Peninsula). Mackinac Island. Camping, boating, fishing, dune buggies, bonfires, golfing. Lots of trees and wildlife. If you’re into city life check out Traverse City and Grand Rapids. We have something for everyone.

One of the best parts of Michigan, to me, is lots of antique shops. Hubby and I love to go Vintage Coffee Maker Porcelier Drip-O-lator Coffee Pot Porcelain Drip Coffee Maker Mid Century Farmhouse Kitchen Pour Over Drip Coffee Potantiquing. Last time we went I found this great vintage drip-o-later. It makes fabulous coffee and I got it at a bargain price. Isn’t it cute? But the best thing that day was spending the time together. No phone. No computer. Simply relaxing and having fun. Marriages need that, and it’s so easy to get caught up in life. When was the last time you unplugged and just spent time with a loved one? I encourage you to do it on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did.

Anyway, back to Michigan. Come visit us. I know you’ll love my mitten.

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Winter Hamster!

Today I felt like the proverbial hamster on the wheel. Except I was on the dreadmill. Err, treadmill. Because, you see, exercise in Michigan is a whole different ballgame. (That’s a different article when spring arrives.)

It’s wonderful to be outside when walking. Smelling the fresh air and flowers. Enjoying the blue sky and sunshine. Ah, but wait. Its winter, so the air is fresh enough to freeze your nostrils closed. Fresh enough to form icicles on your eyelashes and burn your lungs. Therefore, like many Michiganders, I am exercising inside.

As I put one foot in front of the other on the belt of the treadmill I reminisce of walking outside. Of walking paths lined with fully-leaved trees. Up and down hill. Lots of variety. Definitely not my basement.

Okay, change the grade on the treadmill and pretend I’m walking up the hill to the beautiful metal bridge on the walking trail. It winds and slopes, giving me some extra work for the legs. I’m sure this will help me to appreciate the treadmill. Yeah. No. So while I’m inside I listen to music. I play games on my phone. I read books. And time goes by, one step at a time.

And time does go by. Weren’t my children little just yesterday? Today my grandchildren are little. And a couple of them aren’t even that any longer.

Yes, time goes by. One step at a time. The young man I married is now planning on retiring in less than two years. And I know that time will go so fast it will feel as if I’m running on my treadmill.

One step at a time. Life goes by. Or does it go on? If you simply sit and view it, life goes by. Probably slower than it does for those who are involved in life, and for whom life goes on.

I sure digressed. Back to the treadmill. Some days I plod. Other days I move along quickly. Whichever day it is, I’m up. I’m moving. I’m lapping those who are sitting on the couch, waiting for spring. So I’ll continue putting one foot in front of the other, dreaming of the day when I get to move outside. Because Michigan, in the spring, is incredible. Blue sky and sunshine. Great lakes beckoning. And many places to walk.

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Weeping…and Joy

Psalm 30:5 says that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” When you’re weeping, you sure need this reminder.  I know I do. In fact, I needed it today.

But what if joy doesn’t come in the morning? What if the weeping continues for days? Weeks? Even months? Does the writer of this Psalm literally mean “in the morning”, as in the next morning? I really don’t believe so. I believe it’s a reminder that joy will return. That the sorrow will end. After all, we’re told, “nothing lasts forever”. And that means sorrow, too. God promises. Trust Him in this.

Reach out to those around you. Ask for help. It’s the brave thing to do. Take a deep breath and remember you are deeply loved by the One who brings comfort, and a joy that the world can’t take away.

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Autumn in Michigan

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Michigan. The time of year when the air is crisp, the sky is a bright blue, and the trees are displaying vivid colors. From the UP to the southern border, all of Michigan is putting on a show!

Take a walk at dusk. Night hasn’t yet fallen. The breeze has quieted. It feels as if all nature is hushed, waiting for something. Walking along, the leaves crunch under foot as lights go on inside the homes along the way. Kids are in for the evening and families are sitting down to dinner. It’s a magical time of day.

 

FB_IMG_1506773940777Drive a winding back road. Maybe with gentle hills. The trees are hugging the edge of the road, and if you look carefully you may see deer cautiously walking through the woods.

Even the waters of the Great Lakes, with their incredible light houses, look different this time of year. The sun lights them up with bright flashes of diamonds. The color is deeper. And thFB_IMG_1506773951799e sunsets are beyond description!

 

 

 

 

 

Wherever you choose to go in this great state, take the time to stop and enjoy the display that is going on. You’ll be glad you did! And who knows. You may just find a phone booth in the middle of nowhere.

 

 

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