Thursday, December 3, 2015

The dog that shall not be named

On Sunday morning, Bill went out to start the car to let it warm up. While he was out there, he saw a dog under the neighbor's truck. Bill looked at the dog and the dog looked at Bill, and the dog growled. Bill told the dog, "It's okay, I don't want anything to do with you". Then the dog took a few steps closer.

Bill looked at the dog and the dog looked at Bill, and the dog growled again. Bill told the dog, "It's okay, I don't want anything to do with you". Then the dog took a few steps closer.

Once again, Bill looked at the dog and the dog looked at Bill, and the dog growled again. Bill repeated, "It's okay, I don't want anything to do with you". Then the dog took a few steps closer.

I should stop here and say that Bill loves animals and has been begging for a dog for a few years now. I don't mind dogs, but our cats are not fond of dogs. If we get a dog, I would prefer only having a dog and not having any cats. So, at this time in our lives, I do not want a dog. Not to mention that you can't just leave a dog for a weekend like you can cats.

I would also like to point out that as a child, Bill was bitten by a dog. Severely enough that he had to have stitches. As a result, Bill is a little hesitant around growling dogs (as everyone should be).

Back to the growling dog on the street, by this time Bill realized the dog was just a puppy and was cold and scared. The dog did not have a collar. Bill talked to the dog and reassured the dog. Then Bill noticed how skinny the dog was. Bill decided he should at least try to give the dog some water. When Bill came in to get the water, I looked out the window (in time to see the dog putting its paws on Bill's car) to check to see if I recognized the dog. I did not. When Bill took the water out to the dog, the dog came up to the house. It was very clear that this dog was hungry, cold, and scared.

Bill and I had a quick conversation, in which we agreed the dog should at least come inside to be warm while we looked for his owner.

We posted the dog's picture on each of our Facebook pages, on our local neighborhood FB pages, the GR Police FB page, and on "For the Love of Louie" FB page (for lost & found dogs). Friends reposted the dog's picture. We were sure if someone was looking for this sweet puppy, we would connect with them.

Bill walked the dog up and down our street, two other streets, to the mailbox, to the store, and back. We asked our neighbors who have dogs if they recognized him from the park. No one had ever seen this dog before.

By Sunday evening, we started to realize that perhaps no one was going to claim this dog. Bill had taken Dog (that's what we started calling him) to the animal hospital where they checked for a microchip (he was not chipped).

While Dog is very sweet, and very cute, the cats weren't having any of it. They were self-quarentined to our bedroom. Atticus was angry with Bill (so much so that when we went to bed that night and Bill tried to pet Atticus, Atticus turned around, jumped off the bed, and hid under it all night). Bill stacked up three Christmas totes on the stairs to keep Dog downstairs (the first attempt used two totes, but Dog is very athletic and jumped right over those).

We both knew we couldn't keep Dog. We just weren't prepared to have a dog, let alone another pet in the house.

On Monday morning, I made a flyer to hang in the break-room. I couldn't remember if I needed permission to hang it, and I could have waited until Melanie arrived to ask her. Instead, I had a nudge to go ask Sara. There are several other people I could have asked, but Sara kept coming to mind. So I took my poster down to Sara's office and held it up. I asked if I needed permission to hang it and she said, "No. That's a really cute dog. We're thinking of getting a dog."

That was my cue to sit down and tell her how we came about housing Dog and why we couldn't keep him and how sweet he is. I didn't hide the fact that he would need to be neutered. She said she would have to talk to her husband and in the meantime I could hang the flyer in the break room. I also told her I would send her the pictures of Dog so she could send them to her husband.

About an hour later, Sara stopped by my desk. She asked if it would be possible if she could bring her family over to meet Dog later that night? I asked her if I should take down the flyer and she said yes.

When I got home, I took Dog with me on my run. He showed me how not-in-shape I am. He is fast. I am slow. He is very well-behaved though; he didn't stop to smell every tree. He did try to drag me along to chase a squirrel, but fortunately I saw the squirrel and held my footing.

That night, Dog met his new family. He warmed up to Sara first, then her kids. Since Dog had become pretty attached to Bill, Dog took a little longer to warm up to Daniel (Sara's husband). But pretty soon, "Can we keep him, please?" came out of the mouths of the children, who were sitting in front of our [half-decorated] Christmas tree.

It was a scene straight out of a Christmas movie.

Sara and her family collected the dog food, dog biscuit, rawhide, and leash and Dog followed them, happily out of house and into theirs. He hopped right into their car. He never looked back.

That is the story of the dog that shall not be named who is now called Kipper.

And also how I may, in the future after our cats have used up their nine lives, think about the possibility of getting a dog.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

But wait, there's more!

I know. It has been a long time since I blogged. Time flies, it was summer, I've been busy.

All three are true. But it's the last excuse that I'm sticking with and I'll explain why.

Some of you know we had an exciting day last winter when our pipes not only froze, but the pipe to the half bath toilet finally burst. While there was no major damage, unless you count the mice that were out a warm comfy home and a very happy cat, we did decide it was high time we replaced the original plumbing in our almost-one hundred year-old house.
(This photo is not the result of the burst pipe, this was the "during" photo)

That happened in May. The plumbers came in and not only put in new pipes from the city main all throughout our house, but they did the gas lines too! It was a thing of beauty. Bill and I ooh-ed and aah-ed. If you are a home-owner, you may understand our awe. The best part was that the plumbers were able to go through the kitchen ceiling. Bill and I agreed that was better than the alternative of going through the bathroom floor.

However, that meant we would have to replace the ceiling in the kitchen. But that was still a good thing because we had a drop ceiling that was covering damaged plaster.
(This is a close-up of the plumbing, I told you, I took a lot of photos.)

It was then that we realized we had a minor electrical snag. As in the electrical on the second floor had been updated, but the first floor had not. So we called an electrician who got us on the calendar for the beginning of August.

And so we waited.

We took down the rest of the plaster ceiling while we waited.

Eventually August arrived and so did the electrician. It took him a week (and a half) but he finally got us rewired.

Then the fun began.

First, we had a bat that made a bad decision. We both still have a little PTSD over it, so ask us about it and you'll hear a very animated, entirely 100% true version of the night of the bat invasion and how we removed it safely from our home.

Over Labor Day weekend, we borrowed a friend's pick-up truck, bought new drywall and all the other supplies we would need (except we didn't because who, during any home project no matter how extensive a list you make, purchases everything you need on the first trip), and went home and hung (hanged?) a brand-new drywall ceiling in our 8'-6" first floor. This is three inches taller than before when we had the drop ceiling.
And then we went back to the store to buy a few extra things.

The following day was full of taping, mudding, and patching.
Followed by sanding and more mudding, and more patching.

Followed by sanding.

Then came time to paint. First the ceiling, then the walls.

Bill had to go out of town, so we had planned it out that the ceiling would be ready for paint before he left. I was able to prime it and paint it while he was gone. When he returned, we picked out the wall color and painted the town red. Oh no, wait. We didn't paint it red, but we did get the walls painted.
Here's the ceiling.
Here's a taste of the wall color.

We had been discussing what to do with the floors. They're hardwood throughout the first floor, but in the kitchen there have been a few poorly done patch jobs. Not to mention the finish was completely worn off in several spots. If we refinished the wood, it would have to be the entire first floor because just doing the kitchen wouldn't be right. But since we have a future goal of re-doing the kitchen (new cabinets, new layout, etc), we decided to do this.
To achieve this look, first we primed, then painted the floor white.
Then I measured and taped off squares, like this.

Then, on went the black paint and we have a very mid-century retro kitchen floor. My knees are finally recovering.

But wait, shouldn't we do something with the cabinet hardware?

That meant another trip to the store to buy some black paint. Bill removed and sanded thirty-some (he knows the exact number) hinges, plus handles, and all the screws to the cabinets. I know, for such a small kitchen, it sure seemed like a lot.

The final results look like this:

And for a closer view of the new curtains...
They fit the retro feeling we're going for. I need to do some tweaking with the knick-knacks (the heart hanging from the window in this picture doesn't exactly "go" with the modern look), besides the little details, we are enjoying it.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


The time has come for us to go out and bring peace to everyone.

Where you go and what you do is your choice. But in order to make the world a better place, wouldn't it be nice if we each took the time to share peace? And not just share it with those we know and love, but to share peace with those we don't know.

It's not always easy. In fact, most days it's a pretty big challenge for the average person, but we have to try. We have to go and do. Sitting here, complacent, will do nothing and things will continue to degrade.

Go is my benediction for this journey. It's not the end, it's the sending forth with a mission. Go and reach out to help each other. Go and love one another. Go back and read each word from the last forty days and insert it after, "go…"

Go on, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, April 4, 2015


For me, going to my parents house is a refuge.

Until we play euchre. Then it's more like a stronghold.

Going back home to our house is also a refuge.

Our church is another place of refuge.

Campgrounds are always a place of refuge. The only exception is the one down in southern Indiana that used to be part of a mental facility. The large living quarters were still there and it was creepy. That place was not a refuge for me.

Where do you find refuge?

Friday, April 3, 2015


I suppose writing this blog should help me prosper in many ways.

Perhaps make me a better writer.

Or teach me patience.

I could make money and prosper through advertising. Perhaps that would help my blog viewership prosper too.

How much do we prosper in our lives? What is worth living for?

I know that I look for joy, finding ways to help others to the best of my ability. That is how I look to prosper.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


The only way I remember the difference between breath and breathe is mostly due to my favorite band, Needtobreathe. Thanks to their name, I only have to think about how they spell it and I know whether or not I am trying to spell breath or breathe.

As far as Lent and this challenge, I'm not sure why breath is the word.

Is it a little strange that I'm just now questioning who came up with these words and why they chose these words? We're not to Good Friday yet. Jesus has not taken his last breath. He's still breathing. In fact, he's about to share a Passover meal with his Disciples.

Which makes me wonder how bad their breath must have been. We've come a long way and I'm happy to celebrate mouth wash and good dental hygiene.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


It's been awhile since I wrote a haiku, so what better time to share one? Here you go, enjoy.

I sit in silence.
Peace and quiet surround me.
Peace I share with you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Being a child of the 80s, of course the first thing that comes to mind is,

"Who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!"

But since this blog is currently about Lent, I should focus on God's call. Or when I call out to our Almighty Creator.

Yes, I have heard God call me. I ignored the call.

Wouldn't it be nice if it were as obvious as a phone call? A ringing bell, or some kind of sound that we couldn't miss. Instead, God's voice can be small and quiet.

The call I received was repetitive. Some people hear their call through another's voice. I heard God calling me, and then listened to several people tell me to answer the call. Finally I listened.

Did you know that I can be stubborn?

Of course, so were several (all?) of the Disciples. And Moses, he tried to back out a couple of times.

Warning: I'm about to flash-back to the 80s again.

It's sort of like Arnold saying, "What'chu talking' 'bout Willis?"

What are you sayin' God?

Okay, insert a ridiculous amount of movie quotes, you get the gist.

Me? Are you talkin' to me?

That's it, I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Sometimes we have to stop, focus, and listen to hear God's call. Other times, it's a loud gong. Either way, are you listening?

Monday, March 30, 2015


This Lenten journey has been side-tracked by the death of my grandmother. She lived a good, long life. Ninety-four years old says so.

Forgive me for being distracted when the words for this journey are like today's word, live. During the funeral today, the pastor said that Grandma will continue to live both through each of her family members and in eternal life.

Isn't that what we all hope for? To be remembered for how we lived and what we passed on to those who knew us.

Grandma will continue to live in me through her faith, her love of gardening, and her propensity of writing in a journal every day. I have a strong faith, a love of gardening, and a propensity to write in my journal every day for the last several years.

Bill was a little unnerved as he listened to the pastor describe me in my grandmother.

What can I say? It's in my genes.

And I say, live life to it's fullest. For me, that's spending time in my garden, writing, and sharing my faith.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Today, I will celebrate that this is the last time I will write about the word celebrate.

I will celebrate that there is one week left of Lent. We will celebrate Easter next week.

We had our Palm Sunday Brunch and Youth Auction this morning. People were excited to celebrate winning baked goodies and lots of other fun items.

We are watching Formula 1 racing again, which for us is reason to celebrate. 

MSU is in the Final Four, if you're a fan, that's a good reason to celebrate.

The weather is still cold, so we're having a fire in the fireplace to celebrate.

Wait, that's not right. We're not celebrating the cold weather. We are ready for it to warm back up to average temperatures. Then we can celebrate.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


See what I've been making in the kitchen?
First, I nuked some Peeps in the microwave. Then I used them to make krispy treats which I'm calling...
...Krispy Peep Treats. I layered them in a pan. You can see the layers in the photo above. Once they had cooled, I cut them into bars and put them in baskets with dyed coconut and not nuked Peeps.
I also baked Emily's Best-Ever Oatmeal cookies. I'm known for them. By five people.

I also made my Famous Brownies, aka Amazing Brownies. The same five people call them by their proper names.

I also made seven layer bars. Which, if I count, are really only six layers. I guess they're technically seven layers because you melt the butter and pour the graham crackers over that. See how that works?

These are all things for the Youth Auction being held at our church tomorrow. I also made a coupon book, but I forgot to take a picture.

Tomorrow is also the Palm Sunday Brunch. There will be pancakes, sausage, and eggs. Yum! I hope to see you there.


Yes, I was too busy meditating yesterday to write about meditate.

That's sort of true.

When I got home from work, I worked out (I ran a mile without stopping). By the time I finished my workout, Bill was home.

We went to dinner and the theater.

It was a high school production of "Curtains". It was very funny. We enjoyed the show, even though we got home way past our bedtime.

So it was as I was lying there, almost asleep that I realized I didn't blog.

I'm a week away from the end of Lent. Only missing one day ain't half bad. That's a 2% error (or however you want to look at it).

Excuse me, now I have to go write today's post before I forget or get too busy.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Grandma turned 94 years old yesterday. Since last Friday she had not been eating anything. She had a TIA prior to that. Since last summer she had been living with my aunt. This was because she had gone outside to enjoy fresh air and decided to start weeding. She ended up on the ground and couldn't get back up. She crawled back to the house and was able to call for help. That was not the first time that had happened, so the decision was made for her to stay with my aunt.

Grandma passed away in the early morning hours today.

I do not need to seek anything at this moment. I am at peace for many reasons. Mostly because she lived a good, long life. I cannot recall a time that she ever complained about anything or anyone. She was generous and, like any good grandma, always had something ready to eat. She was independent and wise.

Unfortunately, I did not get any patience from her. She was very patient. I remember her raising her voice once to one of my cousins (and he deserved it). I remember how calm and collected she was when my grandpa died.

I do think I learned a lot about faith from her. Not in a Bible preaching sort of way, but through letters while I was in college and how much she volunteered in the church.

She was the matriarch of a large family. She was a great-great grandmother to several kids. She will be missed, but I know that there is much rejoicing among her family who has been waiting for her.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


The truth will set you free.

Unless someone is asking you if that [insert piece of clothing] makes them look fat.

Which means the truth will set you free from their friendship if the truth is yes.


If I were you I would say no. Telling the truth is for everything else except questions like that. Can we all agree?


Tuesday, March 24, 2015


One of my favorite verses is from Micah 6:8

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God."
                       -New International Version (NIV)

I had to search different versions to find the one that uses the word mercy instead of kindness. Obviously either word will do but for today mercy is what I'm writing about.

I first remember hearing this verse when we lived in New Jersey. Pastor Greg preached on the verse. Then, I heard it again here in Grand Rapids when Pastor Jennie preached on it.

Pair this with what Jesus said is the greatest commandment and I bet things would be different. People would be different.

This goes right along with the book study I've been participating in, "Whose Gospel?" by Dr. James Forbes. I wrote about his visit and his visionary, or progressive, teachings.

This last Sunday we were challenged by Pastor Bob to reach outside our comfort zone. When we are comfortable we are not changing. When we're not changing things aren't getting worse, but neither are they getting better.

It's uncomfortable to ask someone what's their name. It's uncomfortable to offer someone your umbrella when it's pouring down rain. It's uncomfortable to invite someone to church. It's uncomfortable to sit next to someone you don't know.

And we've gotten use to being comfortable.

We show kindness, or mercy, to those around us when we treat them as we would want to be treated. Do you want to be ignored? No, I hope not. Don't you want to know that person's story? Even if they talk your ear off, maybe they just needed someone to listen. Or maybe they talk everyone's ear off; show them mercy and listen.

We are too ego-centric. We are too self-centered. We care about ourselves and our comfort too much.

This verse reminds me right at the beginning my flaw. "O mortal", it says. Oh, right, I'm reminded of my limited time on earth. I start to ask; what matters here, the sweater I'm wearing? How many pairs of pants I have hanging in my closet?

Or does the "pay-it-forward" mentality mean more? Sharing with someone in need, not want. Cooking a meal out of love? The immortal and intangible things we share matter more then the materialistic and consumeristic things that just take up space.

We are call to show mercy to others and show mercy to our planet.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Last week on, "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" they were talking about cats. They said cats don't forgive. Paula Poundstone begged to differ and offered an example of her own cat.

I completely agree with Paula Poundstone. Our cats forgive us. I've stepped on Atticus' tail, he forgives me by sticking his wet nose in my face.

Yesterday, I sat on Juliette! She has forgiven me, because she's sitting next to me right now (not to mention that she came right back and sat on my lap after I tried sitting on hers).

We have started shutting the cats out of the bedroom at night to prevent any more mice incidents as well as giving ourselves a good nights sleep. If you have a pet (and you've let them into the bedroom at night), you know what I'm talking about. The tiniest pet will suddenly be able to take up the entire bed. Leaving the humans a sliver of space, a strip of covers, and either fart in your face or breathe directly into your face.

We should all try to forgive as freely and lovingly as our pets.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I really didn't do this on purpose, but without further ado here are pictures of the guest room project. It's time to celebrate! Who wants to be our first guest?

Here is the room when we had our house guest living here.

 Then, Greg moved out and before we moved furniture back in, we started the great remodel.

 We had new glass installed in the bottom sashes of the double hung windows. It's double thick glass, so it will be more efficient.
This is Bill fixing the weights in the windows.
We've scraped the paint off the walls. The crown molding still needs to be scraped.

I guess I never took a picture of the entire room scraped. Or I can't find it in my thousands of photos.
Nor do I have a picture of the entire room in primer. That's okay, it was all white. You can picture that. The above photo is a painted ceiling and walls. Next, the floors were refinished. Then, we got the window treatments installed. 

We played around with the layout. We thought this might work, but that bookcase was too tall to go under the double double hung windows so we put it at the end of the bed.
We didn't love it there, so we moved the room around (picture taken from the door).

In the meantime, Bill was a saint. He painted all of the bookcases and he refinished this table that was from his friend's grandfather. 
And now we have the finished room. Here it is before the furniture was moved in, I wanted you to see the gorgeous floor Bill painstakingly restored all by himself!
Look at that smooth ceiling. It's beautiful.
The large bookcase fits right here.
The table and chair will soon have a lamp (photo from the door).
We still have pictures to hang, but you can see Juliette has settled right in.

It's time to celebrate! Who's going to visit?

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I'm going to have to write about the opposite of still. Because I wasn't still all day.

From the time I woke up this morning, to this moment now, I have not been still.

I went up and down the stairs doing laundry. It's clean sheet day so I undressed and redressed the bed. I baked a cake for Sunday school. I washed dishes. I made a birthday card for my Grandma (she'll be 94) and a thank you card for a friend. I cleaned up my scrapbooking/card making stuff. Bill and I placed the furniture in the guest room (pictures are coming). We also put all the books on the bookshelves. I cleaned the bathroom and ran the vacuum (upstairs, Bill ran it downstairs). We made and ate dinner (burgers and fries). We went to the Adoption Ministry Hoe-Down at church. I danced.

And even now I'm not still as I type.

Did you see the moon tonight? It's not still because it's orbiting around Earth, but it sure looked still when I saw it. It was a giant sliver. That's a good oxymoron.

I would like to be still. I have practiced that off and on in my adult life. I appreciate being still. Maybe that's what I'll do next year for Lent.

Friday, March 20, 2015


I do not look at the words (and remember them) ahead of time. So when I sit down to blog and I see the word I'm going to write about, many things go through my head.

But I have to sort through them and decide what I can make sense out of and what needs to be discarded.

I have gotten back out and have been running/walking this week. The temperatures are warmer and the snow has melted (mostly) off the sidewalks. As Bill starts his new job, and I can convince him to go with me, we'll start walking regularly. I'm not sure what regularly will look like. I would still like to run three times a week. If I can get him to walk three times a week, I would make that work.

I digress, while I've been running I have time to think. I've thought of many things to write about, but so far none of them have had to do with place.

I could talk about where the cats' place in our bed is; right in between us or on top of us.

But alas, I just took a long time checking my email and now it's too late to write any more.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Tomorrow marks the first day of spring. It will occur at 6:45pm (EST). I don't know how the Almanac figures that out, but that's what the website says.

There will be equal parts day to night. Or dark to light.

Days will be longer. The sun will continue to warm us with her light.

We will need to adjust the lights in our home that are on timers.

I hope that through my blog I am sharing a little bit of light. Which I hope is then shared by you, which is then shared by others.

I saw darkness tonight and I object!

Where is the light? Where is the hope? Where is the love?

I know we're all human and some days are just not good days, but we have to try. We have to reach for the light.

When I catch myself driving with a scowl on my face, I start looking at other drivers (which is easy driving in the city, not so easy driving in the suburbs, or the country, or the highway) and I look at their expressions. It often makes me smile, if not laugh a little. I can't help it, I like to smile.

Share the light!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I believe I can make it through Lent, blogging everyday.

I believe that I will be able to run 2.5 miles again without stopping.

I believe in Hope.

I believe that believe is one of those words that stops looking like the word after you type it a few times.

believe that Atticus will eventually kill all the mice living in our house. (Seriously, how many can be left?)

believe in Faith.

I believe that God answers prayers.

believe that Bill and I will finish the guest room this weekend.

believe that Love wins.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Last night, I made stuffed cabbage rolls for our St. Patrick's dinner tonight.

It was quite an involved process. And before you are disgusted by the thought of cabbage rolls, they were stuffed with bratwurst and covered in a spicy bacon, tomato sauce.

Bacon makes everything taste better.

I cooked the bratwurst in the morning with the rice. Then, after work, I steamed the cabbage. While it steamed I cooked the bacon, onion, red pepper, and simmered those all in tomato puree.

After the sauce was ready, and the cabbage had drained, I took the bratwurst and rice mixture out of the fridge and started stuffing the cabbage leaves.

As if all of that wasn't involved enough, the next part got more so.

The recipe instructed me to cut the main vein out of the leaf, scoop one-third of a cup of the bratwurst/rice mixture into the leaf, and then roll it like a burrito. Except that I just cut out part of the leaf and rolling it as suggested was next to impossible. No matter which way I rolled, stuffing kept falling out through slits. Or I was rolling it in such a way that the stuffing to rolled cabbage ratio was uneven.

But I knew I could endure. I continued stuffing and rolling. I eventually filled my 9 x 13 baking dish with ten rolls. I covered them with the sauce and tucked them away in the refrigerator until this afternoon when Bill took them out for me.

We were also able to endure the forty-five minute wait while they baked.

Bill and I agreed that the cabbage rolls were worth the process.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2015


I'm having a difficult time trying to think of something to write about in regards to wilderness.

I could talk about the summers I spent at camp where I hiked through the wilderness. I saw God there, but truly it was more in nature than wilderness.

We live in an small urban jungle. Sometimes going to work is like being in the wilderness. In the wild you fight rushing waters, and wild animals only to be beat down. At work you fight deadlines and multi-tasking only to be worn out.

Temptations find us in the wilderness. We found out what we're really made of.

Clearly, I have not overcome using prepositions at the end of my sentences. My wilderness is climbing through words and language only to fail.

But I will push on, just keep swimming, and not give up.

Ha, I had to end with that one.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


There are things happening around us (Bill and me) that may not give us reason to celebrate.

My grandmother had a TIA last Friday and is still in the hospital.

Atticus brought a half-dead mouse into our bedroom last night.

I did not get a good night's sleep after that.

Bill's car is still in the shop and will hopefully be ready by the end of this week (if the part they need to fix it arrives).

However, there are things to celebrate.

My grandmother will be turning 94 this month.

Atticus is a good hunter and Bill is amazing because he removed the half-dead mouse from our bedroom.

Juliette has been with us for thirteen years on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, we will celebrate my parents' 48th anniversary.

Bill will start his new job a week from tomorrow.

We finished the guest room and we are moving in the furniture.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Today my search will involve how to work Pi into my post.

Hm, I guess I just did, so that search is over.

But my search during Lent is still going.

What am I searching for?

I keep asking myself that question. The answer is constantly changing. I'm searching for love. I'm searching for answers. I'm searching for guidance. I'm searching for truth. I'm searching for acceptance.

I will search for these things in my friends, family, neighbors, and strangers.

The search will continue past my Lenten journey.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I was just saying the other day that the practice of writing this blog has made me a better writer. There are times when I have written more consistently and maintained a practice schedule as it were, but nonetheless I've kept at it for eight years now.

As it stands I have written 1220 posts. This one makes 1221. That's a lot of practice.

Are you asking yourself, "is she practicing to write a book?"

The answer is a plain and simple no. (Unless someone offered me money, at which point I would think about it.)

We practice as a way to improve a skill or ability. Therefore, each time I write, I'm practicing.

I didn't set out to practice writing. I set out to share the random things I bake, cook, craft, photograph, or think about. Yet it turns out, all along, I was practicing my writing too.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I think it would be wise to talk about the things that need to stop.

Racism needs to stop.

Gender inequality needs to stop.

Homophobia needs to stop.

World hunger needs to stop.

Human trafficking needs to stop.

But when I write all of these things in one post, I can't help but wonder how do I make a difference?

How can I make this suffering stop?

In some cases, I don't know how. But I know that being kind and doing right is going to make a difference.

Being honest and doing justice will make a difference.

By standing up and doing these things together we can make a better world. And maybe, just maybe, we can stop these things one at a time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Wisdom follows knowledge.

Many people in my life have said that as they grow older, they have gotten wiser. I believed them when I was younger, and I believe them now.

I don't claim to know everything (read my post from yesterday, I'm still learning) but I do know that I am wise. I am wiser now than I was ten years ago, and wiser still than I was twenty years ago.

To be wise doesn't necessarily mean to be smart. Being wise means making good choices. It means doing the right thing. It means helping others.

I think the ultimate goal of being wise is to achieve the greatest commandment, to love; love God and love thy neighbor. The wisdom comes with knowing who my neighbor is and remembering that my neighbor is everyone I come in contact with.

That is a tall order. That is what it means to be wise.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


The news on tv is depressing. I try not to watch it. However, Bill pointed out to me that watching the news, and reading about what is going on around the world, is informative. It makes us smarter and opens our eyes to what is going on around us.

Knowledge is important. The saying goes, knowledge is power. Suggesting that it gives us power. I think it should be, knowledge is power…

It gives us power to overcome weaknesses.

Knowledge gives us power to overcome fear.

It gives us the power to gain confidence.

Because when knowledge is misunderstood it can cause damage. It's important to learn both sides of the story. It's important to continue to learn.

It's said that you should learn something new each day. I am a firm believer that there is truth to that. Learn a new game, learn a new app, learn about social media, learn how to stop the flashing VCR time (learn how to use a dvd/blu-ray player), learn a new task at your job, read a new book…

I could keep going, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Knowledge is key.

Monday, March 9, 2015


People who work in a church are terrible at taking a Sabbath. I have spoken to Sami (my boss and the young adult leader with whom I have gone on many a mission trip) about this fact. I have also asked her to define sabbath for someone who works in a church.

When I talked to her about personal sabbath days, I was struggling to understand what I should or shouldn't do. The way she explained it to me is that her sabbath means taking a day to do something intentional for herself. That may mean spending it with her kids and going to Zumba.

I was struggling with housework, laundry, paying bills, working in the garden (I don't remember when the conversation took place, but clearly it was not in the winter time), etc., and this was before my job at Baker!

I still haven't been religious about taking a sabbath, but Saturdays have always been a day when I try to do something for myself. Which I came to accept that might mean doing laundry, paying bills, shoveling/gardening, etc. I intentionally try not to check my email. Sometimes I fail at ignoring my email, mostly because I neglect my email the rest of the week.

What I really need is a sabbatical from my email. But what I've actually done is unsubscribed from many emails lists. That has helped.

Taking a sabbath day has not become a discipline for me. I am still working at it. I think my fault lies in that I was a volunteer first, and I still consider it fun. For instance, last night we combined Apples to Apples Bible Edition with Apples to Apples Jewish Edition. The hilarity that ensued was side-splitting. Laughter is good for the soul on a sabbath day or any day.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


We will soon have a finished guest room and we will celebrate.

Here's a sneak peek.
We are almost finished. We have touched up the windows and walls with paint. Bill installed the quarter-round yesterday. He also filled the nail holes. That means our punch list has dwindled to:
  • sanding and touching up the quarter-round
  • hanging the curtains
  • moving furniture back in
The closet door is not finished, but neither are any of the other closet doors. Bill re-did the doors to the rooms. The closet doors will be stripped and refinished when the weather gets warmer (but not too warm) because the closet in this room leads to the attic. Atticus would be very happy to go up there and kill mice. 

But I don't want to think about that.

I would rather focus on the guest room and celebrate that it's almost finished!

Who will be our first guest to stay in the room? 

We won't accept reservations until the above punch-list has been checked off. At which point I'll post pictures and officially open the room for reservations.

Don't celebrate until then.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I do not have a problem with this word.

I speak my mind, I speak without being spoken to, and I often speak without thinking.

That last one gets me in trouble. Then again, when doesn't it get someone in trouble?

We should always think before we speak. But in today's world, in our society, we are short on time and we need to say what we're thinking before someone interrupts us. Or before the conversation moves on, or before what we have to say is passé.

We should do a better job at listening.

Being a Jr. high leader, I have to admit that we should do a better job of speaking too. Or at least turning down our music so that we can hear the more soft-spoken students.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Ha, this reminds me of the SNL 40th Anniversary special and the Jeopardy sketch. Did you see it? Do you know what I'm going to reference? If not, this is the setup: Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery asking Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek for the category "The Rapists" and Alex irritatingly saying, "that's therapists."

Sorry, it's sort of tasteless for this post and the purpose, but beloved made me think of that.

Be loved.

Or beloved.


Don't worry if you don't get it. My brain is on its own track.

Back to beloved. I think it's quite obvious who my beloved is.

Juliette of course.

What? That's not what you were expecting me to say?

Oh, you thought I'd say Bill.

Yes, he's my beloved. I'm still on the same track as earlier. Okay, maybe I should just stop here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Like the rainbow after the flood, spring will follow winter. It just may take longer than we would like.

There is always something that will follow the current circumstance. But that is not how we look at it, is it?

We look forward to our vacation. Not what is to follow our work.

We think about what will be our next step at work. Not what will follow our hard work.

We want to know what happens next. Not what will follow that chase scene.

Our children/pets follow us.

We follow the leader.

We follow our favorite Hollywood stars on Twitter.

Yes, I know the differences in the use of the word.

But it's my blog and this is what I thought to write about. And you are the one following me.

What will follow this?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


This is what came to mind when I saw today's word, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Emphasis mine.)

But now as I sit here talking to Bill about our cat, I wonder if maybe I shouldn't talk about Atticus and his poor decisions.

He (the cat) had a bad day.

He started it out by coming into the bathroom while I was getting ready. He stuck his head in the trash can. I scolded him and he ran out of the room. Then I heard him in the hallway, choking. I went out to see what he had in his mouth and he ran downstairs. I followed, catching up to him in the living room. I grabbed his mouth and stuck my finger in (thank you first aid classes). I pulled out a band-aid wrapper. That cat can smell a band-aid wrapper and has a weird addiction to them.

When I got home from work this afternoon, I had time to eat dinner but then I had to leave for a Historic Preservation Commission meeting. Atticus desperately wanted outside while I was eating my dinner. I let him out, but I reminded him (as if he can speak English) that I had to leave soon and, unless he wanted to stay out until Bill got home, he had better come back when I called.

Guess who didn't come home when I called?

Bill got home only a short while later. He could hear Atticus mewing, but wasn't sure where it was coming from. Bill unloaded his car and called to Atticus. Again, Bill could hear Atticus mewing and eventually walked into the garage where the mewing was louder. Bill said he looked all around but couldn't find Atticus. That was when Bill happened to look up only to see Atticus peering down at him from the "attic" space in the rafters.

Bill spent the next forty-five minutes trying to coax the poor cat out of the rafters.

Hence the poor decisions Atticus made today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I have been near my computer all day. Tuesdays are longer days for me in that I work at BPG until lunch and then I head over to the church and work there until 5pm or so. I take my laptop into the building because it has been too cold to leave out in the car. I keep it near me.

I also keep it near me because of the 2013 DC stolen laptop experience. I have panic attacks when I can't find something important. (Things listed under this category are my phone, my wallet, and my glasses. All are thing I have misplaced and then had said panic attack before finding them minutes later.)

At the church I work at my desk and use my laptop. You could say, it's near me there too.

After my day at work, I came home and had to shovel the driveway. It was covered in a nice coat of heavy, wet snow topped by a thin layer of ice.

I have heard more people wish they were on a cruise or in a sunny location today than all the days this winter combined.

Even though we had a lovely, sunny day yesterday.

Back to shoveling snow, or what I do best.

I did not have my laptop near me while I was shoveling.

I will end with this thought; we are one day closer to Spring. It is near. I could feel it in the air outside while I was shoveling.

Monday, March 2, 2015


I am on FaceTime with my sister and nephew. I am blessed to enjoy time with them.

But the word is bless. How do I use that in context? All I can think of is blessed or blessing.

That's the difficulty I am having with this challenge.

Like the other day when the word was "powers".

I can bless someone. But that doesn't seem to fit the purpose. If I tell you how I think I bless someone, I think it sounds like I am bragging.

What I can tell you is that my friends and family are a blessing to me.

Yesterday I received a gift from a friend that was thoughtful. I consider her random act of kindness as a blessing.

My cat is blessing me with his unconditional love. By his extraordinary way of showing it which is slamming his head into my laptop, my arm, and whatever else he can find. His breath is a far cry from a blessing. I'm just saying. I would appreciate it if he stopped breathing on me. That would be a great way for him to bless me.

See? I did find a way to use it.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


I will celebrate being home and being able to sleep in my own bed.

I will celebrate that it is March 1st.

I will celebrate the fun I had this weekend.

I will celebrate the new friends I made.

I will celebrate seeing Bill for the first time in six days.

I wanted to celebrate that Jersey Junction officially opened today, but that celebration will have to take place on another day.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I don't even know what to write about regarding powers. My creative juices have dried up momentarily. I think that's to be expected given my current location (I'm still at the scrapbook retreat). I have coordinated a lot of photos and pages. I have cut and glued glittery bling. I have journaled and looked up dates.

Please don't ask me to write about a word with such depth as powers right now. There is a lot of power and creativity around me. But power is not the same as powers

Friday, February 27, 2015


We have done a lot of waiting for our raffles at this retreat. There are a lot of women here and it takes Bianca (the woman who is brave - or crazy enough to put this event together) awhile to get around the room collecting money and handing out tickets.

We also waited in line for dinner. But we weren't complaining because we didn't have to cook it, clean up after it, or figure out what to do with the leftovers.

We wait for the Cricut to cut out the fancy shapes and letters.

I know this is all deep and thought-provoking. But it's 11:20pm and I'm just trying to keep up with the other gals. I'm also waiting for the midnight sale (or something equally as exciting). I'm not here to solve the world's problems or wax poetic about love.

I'm just here to scrap. And I'm getting really sleepy. But I'm going to wait and see what happens at midnight.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


What a perfect word for today.

I'm at a scrapbook retreat in Shipshewana. I'm in a happy place.

My happy place.

I know not everyone is a scrapbook kind of person. I get that. But this is right up my alley. I'm a crafty, creative person. I have been scrapbooking for a long time. I've always enjoyed making things. Hence my love of baking. And crocheting, and stamping cards, and playing with Lego's.

I'm with three amazing women, one of whom is a close friend, the other two were merely acquaintances but I'm getting to know them better by the minute.

We are all in a happy place. The swag hasn't hurt either.

I am taking pictures with my phone, which I will scrapbook. At some point. Just like my blog, my scrapbooking has fallen behind. I am currently working on Bill's and my 10th anniversary. I blogged about that many faceted trip starting here.

But that was five years ago. I have a lot to catch up on. I hope I don't get overwhelmed in the next couple of days. This is what I needed to get me back on track. I'm in the right place.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


A week ago, it was Ash Wednesday. It's important to remember the symbolism of that during this Lenten journey.

I am participating in a book study during Lent as well. It's called, "Whose Gospel?" (Did I mention that already? I can't remember.) Tonight, we were reminded of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral which is made up of Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. These four things are important to remember, not only in the United Methodist Church, I believe, but in any faith.

We are not a stagnant piece of this earth. We are living, breathing, changing humans and we are fortunate to be able to think, reason and move. It's whether we move forward or backward that makes a difference. It's important to look at our past and remember. Remember the mistakes we have made, the mistakes made by others, and the lessons learned. It's important to learn from each other. I don't have to agree with what you say, or think, or believe, but I will learn something by listening to you. I believe we can agree to disagree and still love each other.

It's all about remembering that call Jesus gave.

Okay, so I went to look up that verse on and lo and behold, it's their verse of the day! So here you go:

Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’
Matthew 22:37-39 GW

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Depending on the winter/amount of snowfall, our driveway gets wider or narrower. The factors of snow removal are a huge part of the equation.

Since I shovel, I tend to start the season by going to the grass and stopping. If Bill has to use the snow blower, it's usually because we've had a significant amount of snowfall. Depending on the temperature, this can either mean Bill widens the driveway because he can't find the grass (it is buried under too much snow and ice on the driveway makes it impossible to find the edge) or the driveway gets narrower because of the exact same reason. Regardless of Bill's snow removal, the same conditions exist if I am shoveling.

When we have exceptional amounts of snow, Bill will often use the snow blower and purposefully widen the driveway so that one can get out of their car, and walk around it to get to the house without having to walk through two feet of piled snow.

This also helps when I go back to shovel the next time, as we learned early on, the piles aren't so high that I can't shovel. (Nor am I shoveling above my shoulders. Yes, that happened in 2007.)

Backing out of our driveway is a challenge but during the winter months it becomes a thrill-ride of sorts. Backing out while it's snowing is an interesting scenario, because the snow often blows between the houses and white on white is difficult to navigate.

Even though my fancy new car has a back-up camera, it does me no good in these fine winter months because all I can see is white.

This means I usually make my own path out of our driveway. Which means the path of the driveway shifts once again.

It would be really easy if our lot lines were straight and if our driveway were straight. That is not the case. We have some weird lot line that runs at a five degree angle (or something ridiculous and minute). The driveway follows that line until it gets past the front of the house. Then it sort of straightens out and spills out into the street in a nice perpendicular fashion.

It always amuses me as the snow starts to melt; to see where our shoveling/snow blowing led us. How far into the grass did we go? How far off the path did we wander?

Monday, February 23, 2015


We've been talking about this word in Sunday school. Our lessons have been the well-known Bible stories, but the students are asked to engage and fully listen to the stories. We have looked at the whole story, not just the children's version. There have been murders and deceit. There have been promises and prayers answered.

That sounds kind of like a movie, which is interesting because I had to tell the youth to stop using Hollywood when they talked about the Bible story we had just heard. I want them to use their own imagination, not what someone else has already shown them. It is not easy to do. There is a movie for every story.

Which makes this post all the more interesting because as I write it, I'm watching the Oscars. Yes, it's Monday. I recorded the show. Not knowing what time I would have to get up this morning to wait for the plumber, I decided to go to bed like normal last night. Now I'm trying to avoid social media and all news outlets so that I can be surprised as each winner is announced.

I'm not really avoiding the news or social media. I don't live or die by the awards. In fact, I'm so far behind watching award winning movies, I think the last one I saw was from the 90's. The winner of Best Movie, that is. And I don't think I watched it until the early 2000's. I'm clearly not your entertainment fanatic.

So the word for today is covenant. A promise, an agreement, a contract. We make them every day. The plumber kept his when he called to say he was on his way and then he arrived and fixed our pipe.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Today did not start as a day to celebrate.

While I was in the shower, Bill came and knocked on the door. He told me not to waste time.

It turns out all the freezing and unfreezing of our pipes caused our powder room toilet pipe to burst.

Then, when I walked through early morning lit living room something caught my eye.

We have a dead mouse in the living room!

Atticus is a good killer. But where did it come from? Oh right, the crawl space that is flooded because the toilet pipe burst.

I'm celebrating my cat and his killer instinct. I'm also celebrating the fact that while our crawl space isn't insulated, it is also not a poured concrete space. The water that leaked out of the pipe went straight into the ground and not into our basement. I'm celebrating that our basement didn't flood.

While I celebrate these small things, I'm also celebrating that we still have electricity. And that with the water main shut off our pipes can't freeze because it's going to get really cold again.

I will also be celebrating when the plumber comes and caps off the pipe. Then again when they come back and give us an estimate for plumbing the entire house. And I'll definitely celebrate if the price doesn't knock my socks off.

I'm also celebrating that I finally called someone to come and insulate that space so that the toilet pipe didn't burst and that person is going to be here Tuesday. Two days too late.

I think you'll agree that you can celebrate too. You don't have dead mice, frozen/burst pipes/no water.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


By the skin of my teeth (that really is a weird saying, I personally don't have skin on my teeth, I just brushed them), I'm writing today's post.

Joy. If I'm writing about joy I saw today, it would be about the little girl sitting behind us at the hockey game when the song "Let It Go" started playing. Her face was full of joy.

Oh, to be a child again and experience such simple joy. I remember it fondly. The joy of Christmas morning, the joy of my birthday, the joy of getting a special treat like ice cream.

As an adult I have forgotten how to experience the simplicity of joy. At least I had for awhile.

A few years ago, I volunteered at a lunch. It was hosted by Quota and was for deaf adults who had no family. There were only fifteen men and women in the group. Our Quota members purchased gifts for them. We had wish lists, so the shopping was simple.

Watching them open their gifts and seeing the joy on their faces reminded me of the joy I am talking about here in this post. That Christmas season, I was renewed by the spirit of joy. I had seen a light shine in each person. I had seen the simplicity that is joy.

It's not complicated or difficult to experience. I think sometimes I have started to experience joy when I have been quieted by stares and awkward glances. I like to dance and I don't care if I'm not good at it. When I'm at a concert and I'm in the moment, joy is going to emit. But social graces have sometimes told me otherwise. Or friends have asked me to stop. I guess it's because I'm embarrassing them. The question is, why have I let them stop my joy?

I haven't always let them stop me.

I will leave you with this photo that says it all (from Chandra and Jason's wedding in 2009)

Friday, February 20, 2015


Somewhere on this blog, I have mentioned that I actually like shoveling snow.

There's something about the peacefulness of the outside. There's a stillness that is in the air after the snow has fallen. The powdery fluff dampens the noise of everyday life. The scraping of the shovel along the driveway is a soothing sound to me. It is as if I am alone in the world.

When I am out shoveling and the snow is still swirling around me, I prefer to think of myself in a snow globe. Someone has just shaken it, and I am mesmerized by the swiftly falling flakes.

Alone, but not lonely, for the world continues on around me. Somewhere in the distance I can hear the wailing cry of a siren. A car drives down the street, crunching the cold snow under it's tires. Kids are sledding on a kid-made hill down the street. Their laughter and dogs barking break the silence.

I finish shoveling and walk around to the front yard. I step up onto our yard covered by a two-foot blanket. I fall back into the snow, landing on a light bed of crispy snow covering a layer of ice. I make my snow angel. I carefully climb out of the heavenly shape. I admire my guardian as she alone protects our yard.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Look at forty days

In my own words, Lent is about sacrifice, devotion, perspective, and reflection. Instead of giving up something, most years I try to do something new (or add in something regularly such as reading a daily devotion conveniently provided by the church's Lenten devotional booklet). 

Most of the time I don't give this choice much thought until Ash Wednesday. Then I sit there going, "hm what did I think of last year that I should do this year?" Because inevitably, I think of something great on Easter Sunday.

This year, I saw a post on Greg's Instagram of Lent 2015 Photo-A-Day. Each day has it's own word assigned to it. Each day, anyone can post a picture that represents that word on Instagram. It will be great fun to see what Greg posts, because I find his artistry to be magnificent. 

I saw something on my way to work this morning that I want to write about, because I couldn't take a picture of it. I'm going to try to blog about each word, every day during Lent (minus yesterday). That will be a challenge for me, and a sacrifice, so I'm willing to take it on.

This morning the sun is shining, the sky is a pale blue. Lake effect snow is to the west of us, but we sit here in this tiny sliver of light. As I head east to work, into the beautiful sun, I spot something. Dropping out of nowhere is a rainbow. I am wearing my sunglasses, so it wasn't too faint. It stretched out of a pale-barely-there cloud and fell toward the earth. I looked at it without my sunglasses and could barely make it out. I put my sunglasses back on and enjoyed the beauty of this small reflection. 

I wonder, how many other people saw this glorious wonder? How many people were too busy to notice? 

Isn't it strange that in order to see it I had to put on my sunglasses? How many times do we talk about what we see through "rose-colored glasses", which I have always taken to mean what are we seeing because someone else is telling us how to see. But maybe I've misunderstood that phrase. Maybe it really means to put on glasses to see clearly the things around us. With glasses, one who has poor vision is able to see clearly. 

Whoa, deep right?

Then I looked at today's word.

It's look.

Oh  my, well doesn't that fit? From that, and my lack of ability to take a picture of the rainbow that I could see, I decided my sacrifice this Lent is to write about the words. Not that I'm better with words than I am photos. 

I hope you'll join me on this journey. Be sure to look around and see what is right in front of you.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The guest room's secret

Bill took a week of vacation time to get the guest room finished. It's not quite there, but it's close. Very, very close. I am excited to share the pictures with you once it's complete.

Last week, we made our trip to the big box store to purchase supplies. While there, a nice employee asked if he could help us with anything? We were looking at scrapers for the ceiling so Bill told him that we're frustrated by how difficult scraping the ceiling has been and how "they" make it look so easy on tv. This employee told us the secret.

I'm not going to share it with you because I think more people need to know.

Popcorn ceilings over plaster are easily removed by spraying the ceiling with warm water.

That's what this man told us.

At first I was skeptical. Really? Some warm water in a spray bottle? It turns out it makes sense. The ceiling is likely a latex based  application; with plaster underneath that the latex will need to be loosened up a bit. Water will do the trick.

When we got home that day I found an empty spray bottle, filled it with warm water, and started spraying the ceiling. I let it sit for a few minutes (okay, really more like thirty seconds, I was impatient to see if this was really going to work) and started scraping.

The bad popcorn/textured ceiling scraped right off. Underneath was a beautiful, smooth plaster ceiling.

The longer I left the water to soak, the easier it scraped off of the ceiling.

Bill and I scraped the entire ceiling in four hours. Sure, there were a few cracks. It is plaster in an old house after all. However, Bill worked his magic on the cracks and got it primed and painted. The results are stunning! I cannot tell you how excited I am to have a smooth ceiling.

I only wish we had known that trick when we re-did the home office.

I wonder if we got lucky. Will the other room ceilings scrape off that easily?

Are we ready to tackle another room?

Not for a year or so. It will be our bedroom next, and that has wallpaper that has been painted over so it's going to be a process (on the walls and ceiling, yes and the ceiling has texture over the wallpaper).

In the meantime, I'll work on the hallway to get that finished (our built-in linen closet has been neglected, so it's time to knock that off the list).

But for now, we still have the finishing touches to work on in the guest room. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Detroit Architecture

Detroit has amazing architecture. Some of it is in ruins, some of it is restored and used daily.

Bill and I were in Detroit for the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show, or Auto show for short). As we left Cobo and headed to lunch, I was keen on taking photos from the car of some of the amazing buildings the Motor City has to offer.

I snapped these while we waited at stop lights.
 I cleverly snapped a picture of the name over the door.
 Again, I captured the name of the building. I'm so clever.
 This is the Guardian Building. 
It supposedly has an amazing lobby. "Supposedly" because I've not seen it and am told about it by everyone; mostly my husband every time we pass the building, or cross the county line into Detroit.
 Buhl Building (see, I did that so if you asked, I would know)
 The County Courthouse, behind the man walking, almost out of view. It is not currently in use.
 I was actually taking a picture of the red brick/stone building in the middle of this photograph but then I noticed the skyscraper behind it. Bonus!
This is the Presbyterian Church (?) See? I didn't take a photo of the sign and now I don't remember. 
It is a church for sure. Let's just stick with Presbyterian.

And this, this is downtown from the top of Cobo Hall. This is a photo from last year. It was gray, more gray and more shades of gray this year. 
 This is from the RenCen c. August 2013, when we were in Detroit for our anniversary. You cannot see the roof of Cobo Hall (I was hoping you could).
This is looking down from our room. You can see the line of traffic into the tunnel (to Canada), at the top of the photograph.

There are also many abandoned buildings that people flock to and refer to as "ruined porn". There are books and blogs full of photos of these buildings. 

Slowly, very slowly, it seems as though life is being breathed back into the city. There are sections of the city that are full of life and bursting with energy. Then you pass through blocks of unending blocks of burned out shells of buildings. Stately homes and neighborhoods, empty and lonely. A ghost town of the present. It's eerie and beautiful all at the same time. It feels like you're in another country, a country torn apart from war. 

Detroit has a lot to offer but it continues to be the ugly step-child. Architecture buffs, historians, and hard-working citizens don't know what to make of it. It's a good example of too much sprawl. Everyone moved to the suburbs and left the city to rot. A few stayed behind and stood their ground. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have Detroit. She's making a come-back. 

And while I won't ever make the mistake of taking the Grand River exit off of 696 where I called Bill when I got to 7-mile and he was heard throughout the Barnes & Noble screaming, "LOCK YOUR DOORS & TURN AROUND!!!" I will go to the Motor City any chance I get. I will go to Tigers games, the Auto show, and other events. I will go for delicious dinners, to visit friends, and to fly out of DTW. I will take pictures to share, to show you and everyone else that Detroit is not the ugly step-child, but the prodigal son. Returning to the former glory to celebrate the best thing that it's known for…