Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What goes around…

My parents were married in 1956, in a Catholic church. Mom was Protestant. That very fact that she was, caused a lot of issues to rise on my dad’s side of the family, all devout Catholics.
I’m really not sure how well my mom was liked by her in-laws, but in the years to follow, despite the family’s animosity, she refused to convert to dad’s religion.
Mom was a gentle woman, very loving and giving. She wasn’t one to meddle in other’s affairs yet she stood her ground when she believed she was right. I was born in 1958 and by the time that I was 6 or 7, a silent war raged on that I was unaware of.
Mom wanted me to know both religions, so I went to church school at a Baptist church on Tuesday afternoons as a time-release from my regular schooling. On Saturdays, one of my parents drove me to another church school at the family’s church (St. Vincent) for a couple of hours of Catholic teachings. This went on for at least a year, maybe two.
I remember that one day, sometime after my first communion (age 8) my uncle and a priest showed up at our front door. What followed was a yelling match between them and my mom…and I hid behind her skirt in fear. My uncle and the priest (from St. Vincent’s) ordered my mom to take me out of the Baptist church school…which my mom refused to do.
My dad? He pretty much refused to get into the middle of the issue…siding neither with my mom nor his family. My dad was like that…he never said too much of anything and it was my mom that wore the true pants in the family…not dad. That little fact and the issue of my religious schooling only drove a bigger rift between my mom and her in-laws.
As I got older, I began to notice the strained relationships between my mom, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles. I also was aware that it was because of the religious differences. Yet life went on, my mom keeping much of this to herself to allow me the freedom to grow up without having to take sides.
It wasn’t until two years after mom’s death (when I was 16) that I found out my mom had gotten a last ‘ha-ha’ on my uncle…her version of ‘what-goes-around, comes-back-around-to-bite-ya-in-the-arse”!!!
Since we were diary farmers we usually had 2 or more cows butchered a year for our meat supply. It was at one of these times that my mom pulled a fast one on my uncle and it was a doozy!
A cow had gone to be butchered and the butcher always called and talked to my mom to see how she wanted our half to be cut up…steaks, roasts, hamburger and so forth. While they were on the phone, the butcher mentioned that he’d tried calling my uncle’s place but apparently neither he nor my aunt was there so that he could take their order as to how they wanted their meat divided.
Mom, thinking at the speed of lightning, replied, something to the effect of ‘oh--they’d left their order with her and they wanted their entire half of the cow made into hamburger‘!!!
As I said, I didn’t know about this little deed until about 2 years after her death. When another aunt told me about what mom had done, all I could do (and still do!) was laugh and laugh!
How could I not be proud of my mom?

[This was originally posted by me on Digital Journal November 10, 2010. My sister found it in her archives and reminded me of it this morning! Thank you Anastasia!]

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Change (Photo Essay)

As the leaves begin to change

As the leaves change color and begin to fall, my time here in Michigan is coming to a close. In a matter of days, I will be headed back a new home. A new chapter in my life.

I have continued to take photos of the changes the trees are undergoing, as well as getting some other photos of little critters as they come to visit.

This Maple tree only just beginning its transformation 

Around the lake more trees become bathed in new colors

It didn't take long for the leaves to change colors

It's hard to believe that time has passed so fast here, and I am able to witness Michigan's seasonal change. Sadly, I will have missed most of New York's color changes...but then again...maybe not.

This is across the lake from here

On this day, the wind was just howling...

The maple turned very fast!

A close up of the maple

The tree seemed almost to blush!

An oak tree at the side of the deck

A Sumac bush in the neighbor's yard.

See how fast the leaves began to thin out?

This was from yesterday (10/24/2017)

This is also the time of year when the squirrels and chipmunks start gathering their Winter food supply from where ever they can. Since the Oak tree has been dropping acorns like crazy, these little critters have been on the deck and I have had my camera ready!

Little Chippy

Posing for me! LOL


Another pose!

I will be sad to leave Michigan and my friends here but also happy to get home to my family. Good days are behind me as well as in front of me! 

Thanks for stopping by...

Have a great day!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A New Chapter

Leaving behind the recent past

I know I have been really bad about keeping everyone posted about my life over the past 5 years. As of the 2nd of September, things changed and what was, no longer is.

Five years ago this past May, I happened to figuratively bump into a guy I'd gone to school with. He had returned to New York after living in the South for most of a decade. He wanted to know if we could get together for a 'catch-up' session, I said "Sure".

I never expected that we would click right off the bat. We did though and by the end of the day that we spent together, I was hooked and didn't want him to leave. I had never had this kind of feeling of ease with anyone before.

From that point on, it was like we'd found our soul mates. By that November, we had moved in together and life was good. We blended very well for the first year or so then things gradually started to change and the red flags started to pop up on occasion. I ignored them. 

As each month and each year passed, we started drifting apart. Don't get me wrong...we had more good times than bad, but the bad times started happening more and more often. And when he was angry, everything was MY fault. (He wouldn't take the blame for any wrong doing.)

He tried his best to convince me that I had Alzheimers, or dementia. It got to the point where I was concerned enough to see my doctor. She listened to my complaints (and his since he went with me that day) and put me through testing. When all was said and done...there wasn't anything wrong with me, other than some forgetfulness we get as we age. 

Now that he couldn't use those things against me, I became "stupid" and "an idiot", "ungrateful" and his most recent slam: I am "selfish". I have to tell you that never in my life have I cried more than when I was with him. 

So much for finding my soulmate.

Two months ago, we got into a couple of really bad verbal arguments and something clicked inside me that said this has to stop. I could not continue living with the verbal, mental and emotional abuse. I didn't cry. I got MAD. Very mad.

All through the time he and I were together, he always hung one thing over my head...if I made him really mad, he'd walk out on me. I don't know how many times I told him "Fine, then go!" But he didn't. So this time when he reminded me what he'd do if I kept things up...I told him to go. And that's when the doors on my heart closed for the finally time. My wall went up and from that point on, I fought hard for myself.

I let  my bestfriend know what was going on and she wanted me to come here to get my mind right again and relax. I came to Michigan on September 2nd...and I will remain here until October 28th. Being here only solidified the fact I DID make the right decision, and with no regrets.

I can say that during the good times he and I had, he did a lot for taking me to places I'd never been before. I went to a zoo for the first time, went on a Southern vacation for a week...seeing Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. On one of my birthdays, he took me to a castle in upstate NY to spend a night there where he wined and dined me. These are just a few of the really nice times we had. 

Anyways, I've begun a new chapter in my life. So good! When I return home, it will be to a new apartment which is closer to my children and 5 (of 7) of my grandchildren. My only regret is that it's put me farther from 2 grandchildren that live closer to where I lived with "him". But at least now they can come visit me and stay a whole weekend! (He didn't like having them around for more than an evening and the following morning...less than 24 hours.)

Okay, I've rambled on long enough but this will give you a general idea of where I've been over the last 5 years. I want to add a final note: while I was with him, I lost my 'self', lost my passion for life, for living, for crafting and for photography. 

Why? Depression, I'm sure. 

But I'm back!!!

Have a great day everyone!

Thanks for reading...


Monday, October 9, 2017

Chippy (the little chipmunk) Video

Meet Chippy. 

He's been coming up on the deck almost daily. I was lucky enough to get several shots of him as he darted around getting food to eat. It's been very funny to me to try to take photos of he must be able to see me as easily as I see him. The minute that he does...zoom...

He's gone!

So I sat here this afternoon and used the photos I took to make a short video. 

Thanks and have a great day!


A Day in Frankenmuth, Michigan (Photo Essay)

Sign along the main thoroughfare. 

What an exciting town Frankenmuth is! It's very culturally different and there is so much to see. Anyone could spend a whole day there and not seeing or tasting everything.

The first thing we saw were horse and carriages taking people up and down the streets.
First carriage we saw

There were several of these horse and

Toward the end of the day, we inquired as to the price of
these rides...$45 for 15 minutes. What a shock!

We went into (I think) 3 different candy stores. Oh Heavenly chocolate! There were also stores that made taffy...another treat for the tastebuds. Any of these stores give you a sample and it's not hard to fill up on sugary things! 

Moving on, we went to a Country Store that sold all manner of things, from candy (by the bulk) to souvenirs and more. This chair grabbed our interest:

This chair had been updated using wire and
bottle caps

A closer look at the bottle caps

Walking along we went over a bridge that spanned a river. The name of the boat is: Bavarian Belle Riverboat.

The boat going under a covered bridge

The covered bridge
A small falls that flows into the river

Here and there along the way, were different wishing pools. 

You can see the coins laying in the bottom 

Another pool with water lilies 

This one stood at the side of the sidewalk

I didn't photograph every store, but I do have enough to give you an idea of the architecture. All old world with a modern twist.

This is what you see ahead of you as you walk the bridge.

No words needed

Here are a variety of shops

This one was a clothing store.

I love the design on the building

As we are walking away

Here we stopped and listened to the bells chime as
well as see the metal doors open and characters were
spun out then back in again.

Front side of Bavarian Inn.

More shops
We ate at a dinner at a period restaurant called Zehnder's. They are famous for their chicken dinners and I can say that the food was awesome!

I took a few photos inside of  Zehnder's with my phone and they turned out rather fuzzy but they show that the wait staff wore period clothing.

We were taken to the basement restaurant 
(this place is HUGE!) and this is what the ceiling looked

Here you can see the back of a waitress' outfit...
with apron over her dress and a hat

The male wait staff wore vests and
even knicker-type pants.

Another waitress' outfit

Here is our waitress who was super! 

We had no clue what this was until I read the sign

Here is the sign close up.

Here was something that caught my eye and I took photos of it:

Thunder Bay Mining Company

Love the logo!

Thunder Bay Mining Company is part of the Bavarian Belle where people can try their hand at sluicing for gems and metals.

And finally, we went to a store called the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus. Here, everything that is cheese and wine pairings can be found. I took this photo outside the store...and watched different people get their photos taken with it!

These two women had their photos taken a couple of minutes later.

Well folks, that was our trip to see Frankenmuth! I hope you enjoyed this!

Have a great day...and thanks for stopping by.