Sunday, May 31, 2015


Hamilton Manufacturing was THE place to work in Two Rivers in its hey day. 
In 1880 the plant started out making wood type for newspapers. The company later expanded to building the type cabinets and  furniture for labs, schools, doctors, dentists, etc. In 1917 they started using steel for their cabinets, although use of wood continued. They made the first gas powered clothes dryer.
Hubby worked there for 30 years, his mother and several other relatives worked there also. The company employed 100's of people and the local economy was affected when the plant closed about 2 years ago.  There were changes in the past few years, a manufacturing plant was opened in Mexico (inferior work), the company was sold twice (as far as I can remember). Hubby was so stressed that he quit and found a new job in 2008....and presently he is searching for another. The company was sold again and demolition on all the buildings completed this year.
The manufacturing site is over 12 acres that now stands bare. The city is hoping to redevelop it into something beneficial. The harbor is right there.

Today, May 31, was the 'Stackfest' celebration in Two Rivers. It was a bittersweet event for many. A lot of the past employees were there to watch the implosion of the 233' smokestack. Two local bars with a good view of the smokestack had a block party, it was kinda neat because the bars are less than a block apart. Music was playing and old friends were catching up on the latest news. Food and drinks were served outside in the sunshine....but....the wind was darn cold. It was 53 but too windy...I had on 2 layers and had blankets along. It would have been a great day to get out and chit chat if it were warmer. 

We arrived early and had a great view.

 Debbie and I went alone, but Eastin and the boys caught up with us. My grandsons sat in the front by us while the guys were watching elsewhere and talking to old friends.

There were 100's of people who wanted to view the event, this is our little section. We are down in front.

 I took photos while Eastin and Deb took videos....we can share...easy peasy.

I've never seen a live implosion before.

Almost gone.

Now it's totally bare.
I hope they can put something nice there. 
We are a small town.............
What can they do???

Thanks for stopping by....what other 'adventures' are in store for this week???

Friday, May 29, 2015

God Has A Plan

I know He has a plan and I know my measly, little mind can not comprehend it, even when I try to guess what it might me. 
I believe we must believe and live by faith and not by sight.

'So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal'
2 Corinthians 4:18

A question I was asked recently " Where did God come from?"
and "what if we all are just someone's imagination" (in their head)?
or "what about life on other planets?" I was told they proved that life could be supported on Mars.
or "there are all kinds of videos on youtube explaining how we evolved."
and" man wrote the Bible and it has changed from the original writings." 
All I can say is--

"for we walk by faith, not by sight"
 2 Corinthians 5:7

I can't answer any of the above questions, I just do not have the knowledge, I only believe. I believe He has a plan for me. I can't even attempt to guess even though I try.
There are things in my life that were allowed to happen, things that hurt me a great deal. ...but life went on.
When I was 32 I was in an auto accident and developed a serious complication that put me in intensive care for several days. The minister was called, they didn't think I'd make it. But He pulled me through it.
Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and if you are a regular reader you know all of the side effects I contracted. I was very sick, my heart was very bad, so bad that a transplant would have been in my future if the cancer was not present.
My EF was 19% (it should be 55-75%). This year is has improved to 34% and now is at 43%.
This was doctor week for me. I saw the oncologist, the cardiologist, the radiation dr, and a surgeon. One thing that was done was an Echo for my heart. I don't know who was more excited to see the report: me or the cardiologist. We were both very happy. I will be on my meds for life, but hey I am doing just great!
I feel really good, in fact what bothers me now is my has for several years....I feel just as good as I did 2 years ago. God has pulled me through another serious condition. What does He have in mind for me????

Hubby has been job hunting with no luck so far. We did purchase insurance but now we will have to meet the deductible was so nice to have everything covered under his work insurance. It worked out really well that I had many of my dr appointments already scheduled for this week. When I saw my oncologist he told me that my medical port could come out. Oh no!!! There were only 2 days left in the week that I could have it done and still have it covered under our insurance. I waited a day for a phone call...none. I was at the same clinic so was stopped over at the oncologist and talked to them and the nurse made another call to the surgeons office (of course they are in different cities). Less than an hour later I received a call from the surgeons office....they could only do it that afternoon. "I'll be there", I said. I found a friend to go with me, hubby was scheduled to golf and they don't have any extras on their team (he would have taken me if no one else could), Thank God for my friends - one took me to Milwaukee the day before and a different one came with me to Green Bay yesterday. I was 'deported' yesterday (my medical port was removed).
It was a very simple procedure, done in the office. The worst part was the freezing...again, who likes to have a shot in their breast? who??? I talked steadily to the nurse to get my mind off the pressure I was feeling. The port removal went quickly and the dr explained everything thoroughly. I think it took the longest for the nurse to put pressure on the site (cautionary measure b/c of my intake of coumadin).
I really didn't need anyone to come with me (I wasn't aware of that at the time) but it was really nice to have some time to visit with Carolee, she's a busy gal.
Yesterday was a beautiful day!  It was 79 in Green Bay (less than an hour away) but 59 here....such is life living by the big lake. I had planned to pull weeds yesterday afternoon but the 'deportation' had to take precedence. Today it's raining so no weed pulling.....guess there will be more days to attempt that task.

If you've stayed awake long enough to read this long post I'm going to say "Have a GREAT weekend!!!"
I don't know where the past week went.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday

Yup, I have plenty of 'em.
Or would it be Anxiety on Thursday...
What Now Thursday?...
or How Can a Life Be So Messed Up???
Whatever it is I am sharing my thoughts.....
I fell asleep with them and woke up at 4AM with them....
Hubby's son, E, is 30 and has nothing other than a wife and 3 boys. Technically one of the boys is not his, but that's neither here nor there. E considers him to be his son.
His wife took the boys and moved in with her parents almost a year ago. They still manage to do things together but it seems (to me) like they have serious issues and might be better off apart. That's not the point either.
The point is that E and his roommate were evicted because a 3rd roommate took their rent money and absconded with it. Now he has no place to live...and no money...he never was good with money. He is also on probation and with no address there would be jail time instead and that would lead to him loosing his job. I asked Kev about him (we are both tuff love believers) and convinced E to call him. Kev needed time to think about what we are doing to do. Those two do not have a close relationship. E is the kid who left as soon as he turned 18, quit school, and got into some minor trouble. He seldom calls and comes over only when invited, and not always even then. Kev is NOT a talker or EMPATHETIC's very hard to know how he feels. They did talk on the phone a little last night and Kev told E that does loves him and wants to help him. So E is coming over after work this morning to talk and we're going let him stay for a while. That means I have to clean up our one small, spare's normally the kids room. The small closet packed.....I have to attempt to clean it out, at least most of it out. ugh!!!!!We'll try again to help E get his life straightened out.

Something else to think about......
In 10 more days we will not have insurance. Kev has not had any job offers yet. I have doctor appointments this week, no more until July, and my meds are filled for almost 3 more months. I'm not sure what we are going to do. Cobra is expensive, if we apply for other temporary insurance we'll have to meet the deductible AGAIN, and who knows what could happen if we take a gamble???

Kev was promised a nice severance package if he stayed with his company until it closed. The place closed for lack of what do you think? ....we're thinking there won't be any payment. 

That's enough for me to think about today.
Right now I am going to concentrate on the sunshine...........looks like rain again for next week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More Living With Linda

I've been trying to think.....
Yes, I think I have chemo brain..............although I hate to admit it. I'm not ashamed, but it is another imperfection. I never had a good memory, as I said before I don't remember much of my childhood, but I do clearly remember certain things. It seems like lately I often times have trouble coming up with the right today when I was at Subway I was pointing to the cukes and said spinach, one day I told them I wanted paprika on my sub when I always have oregano (and I was picturing oregano-where did paprika come from?). Sometimes I try to explain what I am trying to say with my hands....and it's really surprising when the person I am talking to knows exactly what I mean. 
The other day I drove to my grandsons' school for their last concert. I found a great parking space and walked up to the door, it was locked. I rang the buzzer and the secretary asked if she could help me. I inquired about the concert and she informed me that it was the following day. DRAT! I know I have not done that before. Life will go on.......and on.........and on.
I KNEW it was the following day, in fact, as I was driving I kept wondering why I told Kathy I was busy on Tuesday when I was attending the concert on Monday, and I only had something scheduled for One day this week.  I knew we both had plans for Tuesday. 
I did make it to the concert and even sat on the floor with my 4 year old grandson and let him take photos with my phone. Mom, the other grandma, and some other family members saved me a chair near the front. The boys are so happy when we attend their events.

I always write all my appointments and plans on my calender so I know exactly what all of my options and obligations are.....BUT I guess I have to actually look at my calendar every day.
It has taken me 2 days to think of the word for the spray oil to use on cooking pans.  'PAM',  that's it! :-)

I have a 'coffee' date with a friend on Thursday. Will I go on the right day????

On the bright side hubby is getting some resume's and job applications sent out. Everything is done online nowadays.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Springtime Crafts

I'd like to take the credit for this cute plant holder, but I can't. I saw it on someone else's blog.....I am not sure whose. 
Of course, I had long ago thrown out my banana hanger. So I was on the lookout for another. When you shop the thrift stores like I do it's not hard to fine one for a $1 or 2.
This started out as a light colored wood banana hanger, I painted it white and distressed it a bit. Does it need more? Right now it lives in my house and the African Violet is for display only. All 3 of mine are blooming (thanks Carolee). When it warms up it will go outside with some small flowering plant. 

I also made another flip flop wreath and I WILL NEVER MAKE ANOTHER ONE....unless I can figure out an easy way to adhere the flip flops to the wreath form. I think they are so darn cute and summery! 
Naturally the wreath and flip flops are from the thrift store.

I'm not really proud of this one, but it certainly adds some color to the fence...which hubby needs to power wash yet. He does in in between golf outings. 

Thanks for stopping by and if you want my blog in your email (so you know when I post something and you can read when you feel like it) please sign up at the upper right hand column of this page. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Some of My Weekend

Finally, on Saturday, we had some nice, sunny weather so I went outside and did some weeding. I was unable to get at it last year so I had a much quack grass it was hard to find the flowers.  The flower bed that I was working in has to be dug up and redone. I was going to rent a small tiller but hubby says he gets to do it. I can't, I have no doubt that he can, it's a small area....but WHEN will he get it done????
Mid afternoon my grandson called and the boys wanted to come over, It was nice day so I said yes. We went to the park for a while and I got roped into playing foursquare (the normal way). When grandpa got home from golfing he picked up broasted chicken from the deli (yum) for supper After we finished eating he took the boys to the park. It is the school playground across the street from our house. He lost the game of funnel ball so he ended up walking another block to the Uni-mart gas station and buying each boy a treat. He took J's 2 brothers home and the rest of the evening was uneventful. 

actually being quiet and playing a game

When I looked out of the window this morning this is what I saw. 
Do you see it?
Look at the sidewalk.....part of it is wet. Hmmmmm
Looks like a sprinkler, it's not. We seldom water.
Moisture dripping from the leaves? Nope, there is a big tree next to this birch and the sidewalk under it is dry.
I guess we had a small shower in our front yard.

Can you say fog?
We live next to Lake Michigan and have had some very foggy days.
This is what main street looked like this morning. 

Better weather is predicted for later in the week. Woo Hoo! I have more weeding to do. And hubby is power washing the deck.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Couple of Odds n' Ends

How could I not not love the boy who made this beautiful, belated birthday card for me???? I am not sure what he means by the second statement...but the last line almost has me crying. 
He loves to decorate, can you tell? The front has washi tape....another of his favorite things to use.
It's not perfect but I love it!
This card is a keeper. I hope I get to show it to him in 10 years!

I finally framed my J. I used burlap....thanks for the idea Roise? and Carolee thanks for the burlap. I think it's perfect. I added some of my other J's to it.
I have to cover up the ugly paneling somehow. 

It's another cloudy day today........but I see some sun in the future!! 
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Day Was A Total Fail

We have 3 grandsons who live here, the rest are about 60 - 100 miles away so I don't see them often. Now that I am 'healthy' and retired I hope to see more of all of them. I try to attend all of the boys'  school events, in fact today I am going to the last bookmunchers for the year. I bring food for the boys, we have lunch together, and they read to me.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend grandparents day again this year. One of the fun things about the day was that it was grandson J's birthday.
I had to be there earlier than usual and no fast food places (that my VERY picky grandson likes) were open for lunch. I drove through several places and finally found one and picked up some food that I thought he'd eat. I attended a couple of his classes, music was fun. Next was recess, he likes to play foursquare. They certainly don't play the way I played as a kid. Of course I took a few pictures. 

Lunch is after is when the real fail starts. We sit with J's brother and other grandma. OHHHH NOOO
The soda I bought (I usually don't buy soda) was in a cup and it tipped while I was carrying it around outside. My bag was dripping and his lunch was floating. J doesn't like the food from that fast food place anyway....but.... His brother and grandma are eating their subs. There is not any time to run out and buy something else so I go to the principal and ask if there is anything they can do. He and the woman at the lunch counter are so nice and say he can make a PB&J sandwich or eat off the salad bar (they know emergencies happen). J is nearly in tears and refuses. He's stubborn like his dad and grandpa and we can't change his mind. I tried.
What else can happen? It's not over yet.
My, expensive, key for my car (with the remote start on it) was in my bag and is wet. I tried to revive it and was unsuccessful so now I am using the cracked one that barely works. A new one is over $200 and I can't afford it now.
They have a book fair that day too. I don't bring my purse in the school when I visit so didn't have any $ for him..... another disappointment for him. As much as I hated to do so I asked the other grandma if she had some money I could borrow. She did. I was glad there was a hint of good in the day. Misty was parked next to me so I waited for her to come out and paid her back. I like those quick and easy transactions.
After I left school I finally ate my lunch. I felt so bad for him, he's 10 and things like the school events and the lunch I bring are important. Today we can laugh about it. I think this should be a scrapbook page for him.
Today is 'book for a buck' at their school so I will bring in a couple of dollars and they'll be happy. I know exactly what to bring for lunch for each one. 

This week is full of lunch dates: 
Yesterday I went to visit my sister and we had lunch. We stopped at a couple of thrift stores. Right now I am enjoying the smell of the lilac bouquet she gave me. Ours are no where near open yet.
Today I'm having lunch with my 2 grandsons.
Tomorrow is lunch at the senior center to honor the director who is retiring. 

I have been running every day this week, thankfully next week will be much quieter!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tulip Time Part Two

I love flowers!
It seems like whenever we go on the spring trip with the Better Red Than Dead Red Hatters we see beautiful flowers. My birthday and Mother's day is in the spring but no one ever gives me flowers....a gift certificate to a green house would be perfect (hint, hint to my family who doesn't read my blog LOL)
Well, I digress......
We saw  gorgeous azalea bushes many times in front of homes. I live on the 'cold' side of Lake Michigan and Holland is on the 'warm' side so their flowers are ahead of ours.

The day we toured the city it was raining...hence the raindrops on the bus windows.

I see a wee bit of sunshine on these unusual tulips. I have never seen tulips with striated leaves like this.

The step on guide we had for the bus tour of the city. She explained her costume....there's a reason for everything she is wearing.

In the historic, residential part of the city the boulevards are lined with tulips and every house has a row of tulips planted next to the street, called tulip lanes. The city plants over 6 million tulips. I could live there!

We also ate lunch, watched a show, and toured the senior center. 'Big deal' you say. NOT!
This city is wealthier than my little city.
The senior center is in an old school, that is very evident when you walk upstairs.
This is the dining room/stage area.

Our group.

 Some of the volunteers at the Senior center.
Often girls will dress up like boys for the dances. There aren't enough boys to go around, I guess.
 The last act of the senior show was a tribute to the armed services. It was awesome, the whole show was. In back you see the choir, they also had an excellent male quartet and a young female singer from LA. I had to ask how they got her there. She's the granddaughter of one of the quartet members. The costumes were wonderful and the singing was great. It was not what I'd call a normal senior center program. 

Can you see the old school in this photo of the upstairs hallway?
There's a big art room, a large dance room, home ec with kitchen (of course), study hall, computer room, and more I am sure I forgot. They have lots of classes, clubs, and exercise activities. Annual membership is $50 but....they have bigger packages that include all of the classes/activities for about $450. A local hospital contracts with them to perform therapy and exercise classes. They have a nice pool for lap swimming and a big hot tub too. 

Here's a photo of their huge wood shop, can you believe it???

Here's the outdoor courtyard, pretty, huh?

One of the dances some of the children performed at the Dutch Marketplaats we stopped at.

 We saw 3 great shows when we were there:
New Odyssey - 3 guys 30 instruments (yes, they play all 30 instruments) 
They were very fun and entertaining. I spied people dancing in the back....was I one of them???

Magician Jay Mattoili.
He was pretty darn good, and funny. One of his tricks was quite transparent but we loved him anyway.

That sums up our 3 day trip to Holland MI, As usual we had a great time with no lack of food!!!
The first night there I was too tired (up at 3:35AM) so I didn't join the others for games. On our second night I exercised in the pool with Carolee (I knew she'd make me), then we hit the hot tub, and joined the other women for a dice game. It's quick, easy, and fun. I like playing games.

No trips planned for the near future, but I do have lots to catch up on.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Holland MI Tulip Time

  Monday morning, bright & early (4:30AM), five of us left to catch the bus for a Red Hat trip to Holland MI. Four of us are Red Hatters and one woman is a good friend. It was a nice trip because we were not on the bus all day. This picture is at our first day dinner stop. Redamak's is a tavern in New Buffalo that specializes in hamburgers....and....they don't accept credit cards. Now THAT is unusual. 

our Two Rivers group
 I had on khaki colored jeans the first day. When I went into the bathroom I noticed I had a brown spot on the zipper area of my pants and 2 on my inner thighs. You see, I'm somewhat messy and I must have dropped a piece of chocolate from one of the treats we had on the bus (a total of 39 in all for the 3 day trip were shared on the bus). I'm glad no one had a camera handy as I was looking down at my crotch area and trying to clean it. We did have a good laugh over it. One woman brought me a small glass of ginger ale and a paper towel the waitress had given her. Paper toweling does not do much, but rub off into a mess, when trying to clean off jeans. Thank goodness my friend was able to get a real towel to use. Finally one of the women gave me a Shout Wipe, that really did the trick! Fortunately I had another pair of (dark) jeans along. 

We visited Pillar church in Holland, it's the first church established in 1847. A beautiful church with a gold rooster on top.
 Lovely pipe organ.
We did listen to it play....heavenly sound.

No matter where we ate we had delicious food. One meal each day was at a church.

 Rows and rows of tulips, as expected.
   Of course we toured Windmill Island and the De Zwann windmill. It is the only authentic, working Dutch windmill in the United States. The placement of the blades, when not moving, has a meaning.
borrowed from the internet

We toured 4 stories of this working windmill. it would have been very interesting to see it in motion. The miller is a woman, wife, and mother. She is the only Dutch certified miller in the United States. Milling is HARD work.
And you thought wooden shoes were so plain. 

I'll finish up Holland in a day or 2.
I have a lot of catching up to do...on my blog.....and reading yours.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It Doesn't Happen To Me

It only happens to the other guy.....but oh, it does happen
 to me!
Last year I had breast cancer. Thank God that is behind me.
This year I had a long lost cousin, first cousin, contact me.
I was away on a short vacation with some Red Hatters....more on that to come.
When I got home last night Kevin tells me that someone left me an unusual message on our answering machine. He says "I don't know if it's a scam or not and I don't know what you're going to do about it. Be prepared."
By this time I am I call up the voice messages. I hear a woman asking if I am so and so's daughter. Nope.....but she has all the other information correct. Hmmmm After I think about it I guess that she mispronounced my mothers name. I called Lori this morning and we had a nice visit. Her dad was my mom's youngest brother and he had 2 daughters that we do not know. Lori is in WI and her 1/2 sister (whom she recently met) doesn't live very far away from her. In July they will be nearby so I hope to meet them. One of them is a redhead too :-)  (from our grandma and her mother)

Yesterday I found out that I am married to a man without a job. He was called into work (he's been laid off every 2nd week) and told that the company has closed it's doors. We have insurance until the end of the month....after that??? I pray God will provide! There is a minute chance that some investors will put up money and purchase it.

I have not unpacked from the 3 day trip but I have thrown papers all over my kitchen counter and washed clothes. I, at least, want to clean up the for now.

Friday, May 1, 2015

the Friday 56 and Some Other Chatter

Joining up with Freda's Friday 56
p. 56  "We both suffered from stomach cramps and diarrhea, so we spent a good portion of the day and night in the roach infested bathroom, which became our sanctuary."

I read this book for our book club.  Our meeting was a couple of nights ago and we had a lively discussion. Many of us liked the book and some did not, they didn't like the style of writing and thought the author dragged it out too much and was whiny. I loved it. Often we get onto other topics....that night we discussed punctuation and the way math is taught in the elementary schools now. That is part of what makes our group so much fun. At first I was afraid to join a book club because I was afraid everyone would be too intellectual. Not this group, we have a good time. 

We also had a chili tasting event....not sure how that came about but we enjoyed all the different chili's. We had your standard, 'ordinary' chili, a white chicken chili, barley chili, zippy pork chili (I think this was my favorite), my chili had pumpkin in it. We had beer and wine too. Thankfully DR said a glass of wine would be OK for me. Some brought tasty toppings, delicious desserts, homemade bread, salad, and even jello with cherries....that is liquor infused cherries. Wonder if that is why we had such good discussions????

I just downloaded GONE GIRL to my Nook so that will be my next read.....when I can find time to read....on the bus trip to the tulip festival in Holland MI?

Have a good weekend. I am off to a stamping convention in northern WI with 3 other friends, it is an annual event for us. Then I'm home for one day and off again.......gotta take advantage of the opportunities when they knock at your door.