Battened down, eating sweet squash pie & not blogging much

Wings from our calendar

Wings from our calendar

Dear friends,

Wishing you well this fine November day, however the day finds you.

Just wanting to let you know that–even though I am not blogging lately–all is well in our Little House in the Big Woods.

We’re almost prepared for winter. Everything battened down, harvested, caulked, put away in shed and garage and house.

On Friday it snowed. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to admire (or decry) on Halloween. The witches and goblins laughed hysterically. Almost an inch remained on the ground Saturday morning. Almost four inches tarried up in the hill country. Today it’s 50 degrees (10 C) and melted.

I made sweet squash pie in an oat-walnut crust yesterday. When you eat a bite or six, the maple syrup tastes like the sap of trees, sweet trees, ever-rising.

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Posted in November 2014 | Tagged , , , , , | 76 Comments

One bright magical shining leaf that was known as Camelot

Sand shadows

Sand shadows

Today I shall tell you the story of one bright shining magical yellow leaf.

Before that tale births, may I share other stories of waves, sand, trees, autumn colors, and who knows what else?

Sideways sand shadows along Lake Superior

Sideways sand shadows along Lake Superior

Last weekend we drove east and north through the woods, past the two-classroom school where I work, down gravel roads, past brilliant autumn colors, into the magic of a cloistered road.  Our car wound toward the Mouth of the Huron, a remote beach perhaps 25 miles from our house.

We’ve been getting out of our patch of woods to enjoy the nip of fall lately.

“We should do this every weekend,” I say.  We nod.  We’ve said this before.

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Posted in October 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Wolf, waves, coyotes, rain, wine, goose, friends.

Gray wolf (photo courtesy Keweenaw Bay Indian Community game cameras)

Gray wolf (photo courtesy Keweenaw Bay Indian Community game cameras)

Wolf pauses by the gravel roadside, erect, regal.  His fur coat gleams in autumn.  He looks neither left nor right, yet seems to sense everything in his world.

I creep forward in the car, mesmerized by this creature of the deep woods.  His companions increase yearly and some Michigan voters want to ban the wolf hunt.  Others desire to manage the creatures, culling the herd, attempting to make sure wolf teeth don’t bite into small dogs.

This one may be a lone wolf.  Or his pack might linger just behind the hemlock trees.  He might be an alpha, a dominant one, or perhaps one of the male youths.  He may be a she.  I know little of wolf gender, culture or politics.

Last night around dusk the woods erupted in howls.  Dog, coyote, or wolf?  We listened intently.  Barry thought coyote.  I voted for dog and coyote.  Dog barks punctuated the swell of yipping voices.

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Posted in October 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

The grandkittens grow up into grandcats

Kinder on the couch

Kinder on the couch

This morning I would like to show you some photos of the grandcats.  Last summer I introduced them in their precious kittenhood with this blog post:  Did I forget to tell you I’m a grandma now?  Or you may have seen Updates and videos of the grandkits written at the end of September a full year ago.

Hard to believe a year has passed, isn’t it?  In the life of cats (and I suppose humans) a year is a big deal.  Our two furry grandchildren–one named Mango who lives in San Diego with our son and daughter-in-law and one named Kinder who lives in New York City with our daughter–are now about one-and-a-half years old.

Mango on the couch

Mango on the couch

A couple of blog readers asked me recently:   Hey, are you ever going to show pictures of your grandcats again?  Obviously, it was time.  I emailed the kids and requested said photos. They complied.  I also asked for stories.

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Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Tea on deck; perfect autumn afternoon

Good thing we didn't put away that lawn chair.

Good thing we didn’t put away that lawn chair.

It’s a perfect Indian Summer afternoon here in the northwoods.  The temperature is a sultry 73 degrees (23 C).

I’m drinking tea on the deck and feeling that delightful moment of grace when summer sings back into our lives for a few short autumnal moments.  Even though the hummingbirds are long gone, dragonflies still whirl in the blue sky above.

A few robins linger on the grass, gathering energy to fly south, south, south.

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Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Tribe of weirdos?

Your tribe of...

Your tribe of…

Yesterday morning, lazy-eyed and yawning, the coffee cup half-way to these lips, I opened the Kindle Fire and glimpsed this email forward from a friend:

When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with cries of “Me too!”  be sure to cherish them.  Because those weirdos are your tribe.  –Nanea Hoffman

An involuntary grin arose.

Isn’t it an amazing moment in life when someone actually celebrates your quirks?  Instead of writing you off as too wild, too weird, too awful, too socially inappropriate?

What would the world be like if we all celebrated quirks instead of judging them (if even in our own minds)?

We’d be quirky world!  (Which we are anyway, but wouldn’t it be much more cool if it was combined with kindness and tolerance?)

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Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

What do you want to be when you grow up?



I don’t know about you, friend, but I never figured out the answer to that question.

It makes me even wonder if this question has any validity.

As Americans, we change jobs a lot.

It’s been rumored that we often experience seven careers in a lifetime–but that’s just a wild rumor according to this article.

I started out, briefly, in adolescence, working at my dad’s drugstore as a clerk.  Followed by an internship as a reporter at a daily newspaper.  Succeeded by a stint working as a secretary for a psychologist (I wanted to BE the psychologist but, alas, that did not happen–so far–in this lifetime.)

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Posted in September 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments