And how are Barry’s knees, anyway?

Our Little House in the Big Woods on a gray wet winter day

Good morning, dear readers!

I do believe it’s safe to come in our Little House in the Big Woods today.

We’ve had over 9,000 visitors in the past three days.  Some of them paused to admire snow shadows.  Others fed the deer table scraps out under the oak tree.  A few ventured out to view Lake Superior, which is surprisingly ice-free in mid-February due to an unusually warm winter.

Add some zest to your water!

It proved another fun, exciting, wonderful, exhausting, head-spinning, mesmerizing spree on Freshly Pressed, the front page of WordPress, for forty-eight hours .

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep at 8:30 p.m.

Here’s what happened for you stats-lovers:  In the first hour, 503 visitors clicked on Lake Superior Spirit.  Every hour, for the rest of Wednesday, between 400-500 hits accumulated.

It makes one dizzy.  You can’t see straight after a while, especially if you’re compulsively checking.

The next day, the editors added about ten new Freshly Pressed posts, moving the previous highlighted blogs down on the front page–although our blogs were still displayed.  By yesterday morning, I was still getting an average of 80 hits per hour.

I wrote another wildly humorous blog (in my own mind it was humorous, that is) called Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees.  Last night I excitedly read it to a certain family member.  He/She raised his/her eyebrows and inquired with a puzzled look, “What are you trying to say, Kathy?  What does this mean?”

Sigh.  Maybe I’ll show you this blog and you can determine if it’s completely off-the-wall, or if it’s at least 22% amusing.  Or should I just press the “delete” button and bid Miss Envy goodbye?  (P.S. It’s about me being envious of another Freshly Pressed rock star.  OK, It’s about how envy arises at times in most of our lives.  I think that’s what I was trying to say, anyway.)

People shouldn't invite me to stop by their house when they're not home. I take pictures.

In the midst of these days of compulsive computer-staring and hit-counting and comment-replying frenzy, something fun did happen.

An editor of a regional magazine phoned to interview me for a tiny quote in their upcoming edition.  She may want to use a photo from a long-ago blog.  We chatted for at least a wonderful half hour, and when the conversation ended, there existed the possibility to write a future story for their publication.

Isn’t that cool?

I’ve rarely been inspired to publish beyond blogging, but, hey, maybe the Universe wants it to happen.  Will keep you all posted.

Peeking inside Nancy's porch window...

Want to know something funny?

Most people in this town have no idea that I blog.  Heck, half of them don’t even know what a blog is, I swear.

So I’m having these wonderful temporarily famous blogging days.

Everywhere I went in town people would ask about my newspaper editor husband:

“How’s Barry doing?  How are Barry’s knees?  Hey, I love Barry’s columns!  Are you Barry’s wife?  Barry’s a funny one–he’s a keeper!”

It was impossible to get a big head about this WordPress honor…

Yep. Mid-winter in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Hope you enjoyed some of these photos from my friend Nancy’s house.  She’s the treasurer of our local school district where I am the Business Manager.  One of my two part-time jobs.  (I am sharing this again because there may be a few newcomers reading this blog.)

She invited me to stop by her house and pick up a bank statement while she was at work.  Of course, I had to pause and admire her outdoor nature decorating skills.  I have no decorating skills.

It felt a little odd photographing through her window, but, hey, I’ll send her the photos.  She sometimes reads this blog, too.  She knows what a blog is, anyway.

Although she’ll probably want to know how Barry is doing…

Unusual view. Anyone know what this might be?

Although, come to think of it, I did talk with one local person who reads this blog and knew that it was Freshly Pressed!  It happened at work on Thursday.  Our two-room school hires Ruth as a part-time Spanish teacher.  She teaches the kids “Hola!” and “Que tal?” and “Como se llama?” one hour each week.

She grinned and said, “I am enjoying reading your blog, Kathy!”

Really?  Really?

Then she handed me her invoice for the week.  She had written something like “Congratulations!  Freshly Pressed!”

Oh be still my heart!

It was an all-star moment.

And then she paused and asked, “And how are Barry’s knees?”

**His knees are doing better, thank you.  He’s still going to need two artificial knees, but the arthroscopic knee scopes have lessened his pain.  Thank you for asking.**

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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66 Responses to And how are Barry’s knees, anyway?

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    Oh nuts, I thought that is what he got just lately.
    I often wonder if wanting pats, and enjoying the lift of my face muscles in response to pats, comes from not being enough. ha i can’t even allow me to enjoy a moment without considering what I am doing with it, most times, I am very very grateful for this continuous self inventory. The other times, I curse. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh yes~~I think so, Elisa. When we want pats, we’re often thinking we’re not enough. I agree. Patting you lovingly on the cheek this morning for being “Enough”.

  2. Lori DiNardi says:

    Hey famous freshly pressed girl, it’s no wonder you got the honor. Your words intrigued me from the start. Come give my blog a click some time. We have similar spiritual views, but I haven’t put a lot about mine up on the blog yet. Just got started at Christmas with mine. Congrats!

    Oh, btw, how’s Barry’s knees? 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Famous yesterday, a nobody today, Lori. Glad you liked the words! I will enjoy stopping by your blog when things calm down…and also checking on your spiritual posts, too. Barry’s knees? Barry who? *grin*

  3. “People shouldn’t invite me to stop by their house when they’re not home. I take pictures.”

    I LOVE IT 🙂

  4. And by the way, CONGRATULATIONS again. You rock!

  5. jeffstroud says:


    It does rock the ego and offers one an opportunity to see where they are. Your famous in my eyes everyday!

    Your blogs are usually inspiring and humorous!

    I have more to say but my Laptop is acting up! (((Hugs)))

    • Kathy says:

      Our egos are Funny Ducks. If we ignore them–we’re in trouble. If we cater to them–we’re in more trouble. It’s a balancing act with these Funny Ducks. Thank you and wish your Laptop behaves nicely the rest of the day!

  6. I missed who the 9000 visitors were…those, I assume, were the 9,000 visitors from Freshly Pressed.

    You know, I never even go to that part of Word Press. Funny. It just never entered my mind to read any of them.

    The blogs I read are enough. Yours are fun and enjoyable whether Freshly Pressed (whatever that might mean) or not.

    Welcome back to Earth….

    I know Barry’s knees are fine…

    • Kathy says:

      Linda, their names were John, Anita, Dinara, Samson, Micah, Kim, myDestiny, um, gosh, I can’t remember all 9000! They just wandered in and out and a few of them shared their thoughts and its was lovely. Sometimes I read the Freshly Pressed blogs, but not usually. As for Earth…it feels good to have sweet earth under the feet, and time to gaze out the window. Thank you for reading cuz I love to stop by and read your funny thoughts, too.

  7. susan says:

    Hi Kathy!
    Well I just don’t know how to tell you this – gosh – but I will just spit it out:
    YOU are a WRITER
    It is no surprise you are getting “pressed”. I think you blog is the vehicle that will take you where you are supposed to go. Your writing talent is bigger than this kiddo. Put on your seat belt!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh here’s our hugging SuZen with such lovely words, too! I do adore writing. I signed a writing contract with Spirit at age 12. I’m so satisfied with blogging; it doesn’t feel like I need anything more. But if the Universe has a different idea (contract) I’m ready to negotiate. lol! Thank you, sweetie.

  8. Dawn K says:

    Well I’ve been wondering about Barry’s knees myself…I wish they felt all better! And yes you are a writer, my friend. I always love to stop by your blog to see what is happening…not to mention you live near one of my favorite lakes…and in land I love. So you’re saving me gas money by letting me know how things are up there now and then! 🙂 And I bet more people than you think from your town are reading your blog and enjoying it!

    • Kathy says:

      I wish his knees feel better, too, Dawn. 🙂 I am thrilled that you actually lived up here and know so many of the places around the lake. Glad to save you gas money! Don’t know about a lot of local readers, but you guys make it all-so-worthwhile. Thank you.

  9. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy…I am so happy for your recent achievement! You deserved every minute of the celebrating….and you certainly are NOT a nobody…NOT EVER. And while I happen to think about Barry and his knees (because my knees share the pain) that doesn’t mean that I think of you less. Heavens no! Your pictures capture my imagination and your words bring your life alive for me. And you know that your stories about life in the northwoods capture my heart ♥ (hmm…that picture…is it raindrops on a windshield with shadows of tree branches?…)
    I’m going to be off line for about a week or so…heading up to my sister’s. Moving her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend back home and just being support since troubling news has made its way in their lives again 😦 Then the first weekend in March I’ll be helping my Dad move…and anytime within the next month or so will be helping my oldest son move. Crazy! Can’t help but feel somewhat out of sorts with so many people moving.
    I’ll catch up with you when I return home, don’t forget me! lol
    love and hugs to my sweet friend of the northwoods ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Brenda, I was just kiddin’ comparing Barry’s knees with my day in the limelight. (It seemed like a fun comparison, but really, truly, I know there is no comparison–every single person is special and unique and incomparable!) Which is why we’re going to miss you as you visit your sister, and then help everyone move. Gosh, you are such a helper! I’ll bet they all appreciate you so much. I hope YOUR knees feel OK while you’re helping. Enjoy your time offline. Love, Kathy

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        Thank you Kathy…you are such a sweet friend ♥ I just got back tonight and am trying to catch up on all my reading but will have to finish tomorrow as I am beat. My knees are NOT happy with the many trips up and down the stairs this week, and especially today! And it doesn’t help to have a massive low pressure system sitting right over us now. I wasn’t as much help as many of the other helpers who could bound up and down the steps with ease. They made many more trips than I did.
        I’m anxious to get caught up reading your blog…but now I need to call it a night. Sweet dreams honey 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          Welcome back home, Brenda! Can’t believe you’re able to navigate the stairs as well as you did. (Barry couldn’t, not now.) We may get snow today. Hope you sleep in and smile a little when you read the blogs later.

          • Brenda Hardie says:

            Hi Kathy, Thank you, I did sleep well and I did sleep in…felt good. I’m still just relaxing and drinking coffee…doing more catching up. Still haven’t gotten to your blogs but that’s next on my list 🙂 You know…when I do the stairs now, it’s like this…one step at a time (meaning both feet on each step, going up or down at an angle) and 1 hand has to hang onto the railing…so that left just 1 hand/arm to carry items so I was limited as to what I could manage on the steps. I’m very slow but I guess when someone is moving, all the help they can get is appreciated. The guys had to do the big items and the really heavy items. I hate to admit though that every single step hurt like crazy. 😦 My knees are still sore today so I’m not going to do much (at least as far as stairs go).
            It’s a dreary, windy day here but the real weather comes Tuesday and Wednesday…winter storm watch bringing 10 inches of snow mixed with freezing rain and sleet. Oh joy. We need every bit of moisture we can get but the shoveling will be a huge pain 😦
            Enjoy your snowy day today my friend 🙂 I hope Barry doesn’t have to do stairs at all!
            Time to start your blogs!! ♥

  10. bonnie says:

    Glad Barry is feeling better. Glad you blog, and you are famous in my book! Good luck with future endeavors.

  11. kiwidutch says:

    Congratulations Kathy!
    A Well deserved Pressing!
    Enjoy the attention and the fun of being Freshly Pressed… who knows ? some of your readers who also blog on WP *might* get lucky too one day LOL 🙂
    (me, sadly, I’m not holding my breath that I will ever be).
    Good to hear that you are ALMOST as famous as Barry now … hope you are both being very careful in the ice and snow…. mind your knees.. his and yours!

    • Kathy says:

      I’m hoping you ALL get lucky, Kiwi! (Don’t ever say “never”…you never know…just keep blogging your heart out and see what happens.) Thank you for your good Knee Wishes. We shall both be careful. It’s still very very slippery outside. Thank you, sweetie.

  12. Lately most all the reading I do is other people’s blogs and I really enjoy yours. Congrats on the coveted “Freshly Pressed!” It’s well-deserved. I am also liking your photos – I grew up in Michigan and it brings back fond memories.

    • Kathy says:

      Dear new blogging friend, Thank you! It was really fun. Glad you also like the photos. By the way, where did you grow up in Michigan? I grew up down in The Thumb. And then moved up, up, UP. **smile**

  13. And how did Barry’s knees survive your being Freshly Pressed? LOL

    Congrats again, Kathy, you so deserve it! You really, really do, my friend!


    • Kathy says:

      His knees seem to have survived, Kathy, but he did get the flu on the very day of my wild success. (tee hee. wild success! Must get a grip.) He was lying on the couch moaning and I was saying, “ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod!” You can imagine our lack of momentary empathy.)

  14. Dana says:

    Glad to have you back after your whirlwind of fame! I’m still new enough around these parts that I was only thinking about YOU during your FP stint. Next time, I’ll know better and will wonder only about the state of Barry’s knees. 😉

    That magazine opportunity sounds exciting! Your writing is a true joy to read, so it doesn’t surprise me that the Universe wants to spread your words around a bit more. Congratulations!

    • Kathy says:

      Whew, Dana, it’s good to be back. Did you read my response to Kathy M up above? You would have been more empathetic to Marty, I know. We’ll see what the Universe has to say about writing opportunities. Right now I’m just enjoying blogging even more each day. P.S. Yesterday Barry made a comment using the words “Maybe the Universe wants–” Ha, ha, Love It! And thank you.

  15. lisaspiral says:

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed and I do suspect your following will increase at least a little. Maybe Miss Envy just needs another run at her now that you are clearer about what you mean to say. I certainly had her over for tea once or twice myself.

    • Kathy says:

      Lisa, I think I need to re-write that Miss Envy piece entirely. Maybe even today. It feels important to talk about envy, because we all experience her often-unwanted visits.

  16. Colleen says:

    Good morning Kathy! The funny thing is we had been wondering about Barry’s knees, just a couple of evenings ago. Rick had been commenting on how busy Lake Superior had been the last few days, I shared the good news and the conversation led to questions about Barry and how he has been doing. Empathetic questions as he (Rick) is dealing with a recent back challenge. So glad to hear all is progressing as it is.

    I’m with Dana, your writing is such a joy! The Universe calls 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, honest, I am happy that people are thinking about Barry’s knees. **grin** It was just funny that the timing of so many comments happened during this three-day whirlwind. It was REALLY funny! Sorry to hear about Rick’s back challenges, though. I read your comment to Barry. We both hope he finds relief soon. (And thank you for the writing compliment. Do you remember when people kept liking the photos and not the writing? I used to whine–why aren’t people liking the writing? Yesterday I asked Barry “Why aren’t people liking the photos?” His mouth dropped open and he said, “SHUT UP! We laughed like crazy.) But I do love to write. It makes this heart zing.

  17. Barb says:

    Still riding the wave of fame, I see! Glad Barry is doing so well…

    • Kathy says:

      Trying to surf the wave of “fame” is fun, but you fall in the ocean a LOT! Thanks, Barb. Thank you also–hugs, hugs, hugs!–for the lovely little package you sent in the mail. I opened it yesterday among sixteen “ooohs” and “ahhhhhhs”. You ROCK, girl! You are so famous in my book, you wouldn’t believe it. You take fabulous photos! (And I’ll bet you could surf without falling off so much. At least there haven’t been sharks beneath the surfboard…yet…) Thanks again, dear friend.

  18. Kathy, I keep on going back to your last photo….so what is it?? I thought perhaps a window (windscreen?) and it sure does have an interesting rippled effect, whatever-it-is!

    Now you have mentioned ‘Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees’, you know you are going to have to post it, right? We’ll all be bursting with curiosity!

    A million congratulations to you for allowing The Universe to guide you along the right path for your life. Ms Universe said “Kathy – Write” and you followed your heart. ❤ I believe that is why you have the ability to make magic with your words, Kathy. They are words from your heart.

    I'm pleased to hear that Barry's knees are progressing well in their recovery, but you know, if I bumped into Barry (highly unlikely though, unless he's planning a trip to Australia!) I'd be asking him "Are you Kathy's husband?" 😉 We're a funny lot, aren't we? Always having to label people!

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, it’s a reflection of the trees as seen from the top of the car’s windshield, which is covered with melted snowy rain drops. The first picture is our house seen from inside the car.

      Thank you, thank you, for wanting to hear about Miss Envy and the Jealous Wanna-Bees. I woke up today wanting to re-write it, so will try to post it soon. (Unless I get bored with it and it just won’t come together. In which case–so sorry to disappoint.)

      I think the reason the first draft of Envy didn’t work is because I was trying to write from wit and humor, instead of straight from the heart. If you write straight from the heart, wit or humor may come. Or it might not. Going to go back and let the heart lead again.

      Yep, we humans are label-crazy folks. Trying to be aware every time this happens and return to being aware of what’s present beneath the labels.

      Love to you! So glad to see you again.

  19. P.j. grath says:

    I’ll leave my congratulations today, Kathy. CONGRATULATIONS!!! (The last time the list of comments was so long I didn’t know if you’d ever get to mine!) Recognition is heart-warming, isn’t it? Visibility can feel good. In my mind, Barry is “Kathy’s husband.” (Hope his knees hold out until replaced!) Was that your car windshield? (I was so lazy to read through all the comments to see if anyone else guessed that.) Loved the look of the drops of–I’m thinking melted snow. .

    • Kathy says:

      I’m always wondering, Pamela, WHY recognition feels so heart-warming? I would like to be the kind of person who doesn’t care Two Figs about it. (But I always get too excited.) Wondering if you are generally perceived as “David’s wife” or if he is “Pamela’s husband” or a mixture of both. It was the car’s windshield, looking down from above, with the trees reflected. Yep, melted snow. The first view was our house from the inside of the car.

  20. Hi Kathy! I’m so glad that you were Freshly Pressed otherwise I wouldn’t have found you! Congratulations and thanks for expressing your anecdotes and thoughts on your delightfully humorous blog. 🙂

  21. Carol says:

    I give up. Usually I try to read all comments so I don’t repeat too closely what everyone else has said, although I find there are just so many ways to say “great”, but you have far too many for me to read and still manage to do something else today. Once again, congratulations on your moment of glory (I believe you did have one of these some time ago too, didn’t you?). I subscribed to Freshly Pressed for awhile at one time – then decided I’d prefer to read the blogs of my choice and sometimes keeping up with that seems to be a problem. You prove, on a nearly-daily basis, that writing can be fun and entertaining and ofttimes uplifting in spirit. You go girl! Oh yes, so glad that Barry’s doing okay.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh don’t worry about reading all the comments, Carol! (I don’t care if I say the same thing as six people up. Like you say, there’s not enough time in the world to be reading other people’s comments. I often wonder why I’m writing mini-blogs under every comment, but, heck, it’s a matter of the heart and the fingers refusing to stop.) Two to three years ago, I also had several fifteen minutes of fame. How quickly the fame fades. You can’t get too attached. I could get attached to your statement about “that writing can be fun and entertaining and ofttimes uplifting in spirit.” thank you. And Barry’s grinning from all the attention.

  22. Marianne says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, Kathy! Great post!

    It’s nice to know how Barry’s knees are. Glad to hear the pain has lessened. Sorry to hear he may need artificial ones.

    Keep up the great work and wishing you all the best for the future publication opportunity.

    Hope you’re having a great weekend.

    • Kathy says:

      Marianne, thank you re Freshly Pressed. Barry thanks you for your knee sympathy. It’s been a challenging year around here with knee problems that have made it almost impossible for him to walk at times. I know you understand health challenges all too well. Today looks like a bright sunny relatively warm day. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend too. Will try to read your blog soon. Am once again way way behind in blog-reading.

  23. From Moments to Memories says:

    LOL too funny, and congrats on Freshly Pressed. I love your stories and photos, very much deserved!

    • Kathy says:

      Thank YOU! It was a fun spree. I am glad you like this blog–both the stories AND photos. They are both happy that you acknowledged both of them. **grin. They’re like kids. Always asking who you love the best.**

  24. Suzi Banks Baum says:

    Kathy I admire your good humor and marital patience. How the heck does one get ‘freshly pressed’? Doesn’t that sound like a fine thing for a blog having to do with laundry? At least by title? I am busting with pride for you. Miss Envy just scampered out if here. XoxoS

    • Kathy says:

      Dearest Suzi, the only way–sniff!–that you could get Freshly Pressed–sniff!–is to have a blog on WordPress. I don’t think you do laundry on WordPress, so it’s probably not going to happen. I would Freshly Press you in an instant! Your blog is perfect for it. I am chasing Miss Envy down the steps and through the laundry–

  25. Glad to hear that Barry’s knees are better 🙂
    9000 hits??? WOW!! I didn’t even come close to that, and my post was on freshly pressed for a whole week-end!! Very exciting, Kathy!
    Love all your wintery photos ♥

    • Kathy says:

      I know what you mean, Michaela. Once I got Freshly Pressed a few years ago and delightedly chuckled with maybe 1,500 hits? I always try to consider your love of wintry photos. This year is the deadest year for photographing snow. Not enough, too warm, no glitzy pretty White Stuff. Thank you, snow-lover.

  26. Oh my, I think the pictures of the ice skates and the snowman would make lovely Christmas cards! And the snowy raindrops and reflection of the trees on the car’s windshield is very pretty.

    Since this winter is too warm for much ice-fishing perhaps it was the best winter for Barry to be laid up. After he gets his new knees I wish him an extra cold winter to make up for this one.

    Congratulations on the possibility of writing a story for the regional magazine! I hope you will keep us posted on that…

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Barbara. That is a good idea about Christmas cards. Maybe Nancy would even like some since I took them at her house? 🙂 We have repeated that sentiment about the lack of ice and Barry’s knees more than once this winter. It’s a good winter for this to have happened.

  27. lucindalines says:

    What wonderful pictures. What fun you are having to be so noticed. Congrats!!

  28. Heather says:

    I love your photos in this post. And your words, too. I always smile at your words 🙂
    Congrats on your FP, and I enjoyed vicariously counting your hits. Also, hoping Barry’s knees get better soon.

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Ms. Heather. Really? You enjoyed vicariously counting them too? What a friend you are! (And did Miss Envy come along to count, too? No, no, that’s not appropriate to ask!) Smiling. I am still thinking about Miss Envy. Thanks for your well-wishes about the knees. Will pass them along. Am going to town today so am gearing up for any knee well-wishers.

      • Heather says:

        No Envy here on that count. I started my little blog as a way to keep up with my family and the friends I’ve made in the places I’ve moved away from. For me, it’s always interesting that anyone who hasn’t met me would want to read my posts 🙂 Cute that you’re gearing up for well-wishers!

        • Kathy says:

          We ALL want to read your posts, Heather, what are you talking about? **grin** Sorry I haven’t been over to visit lately. I may be blog-dead. Hoping to revive soon!

  29. Munira says:

    Well, if it makes you feel any better, someone all the way in Karachi, Pakistan not only knows what a blog is, she even knows you were FP’d and is soooo happy for you! 😀
    How’s that for fame?

    • Kathy says:

      Munira, I am SO THRILLED to know someone all the way from Karachi, Pakistan who knows more about blogging that most of our neighbors, hurray, hurray! I want to know more about your life. Thank you for your most kind words from halfway across our blue spinning planet.

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