Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Five - Art

Above the van Gogh collection at the Detroit Institute of Art.  Three really nice pieces, the style recognizable at a glance.  Several million dollars in art, on one wall.  

1: van Gogh, Monet, do you know them when you see them?

2:  When was the first time a museum display made you emotional or left you speechless?

3: Are Photographs art? 

4: Should we have touchable art?

5:  If travel were not an obstacle what museum would you spend next Saturday in? 

My answers:
1: van Gogh, Monet, do you know them when you see them? Oh yes, I always check the tags, but yes.  I love impressionist art. 

2:  When was the first time a museum display made you emotional or left you speechless? A wall filled with Rembrandts in the National Gallery in London.  I was both emotional and speechless, the person I was traveling thought I had come unhinged.  

3: Are Photographs art? Some are. 

4: Should we have touchable art? Yes, recognizing that by touching it we change it and it evolves with being touched. 

5:  If travel were not an obstacle what museum would you spend next Saturday in? The Hermitage in St Petersburg - with the difficulties of travel I will probably never see that one.  

Your answers in the comments below.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Strange Things Around the House #5

Okay, enough of this, five strange things in one week.

An odd little photograph.  It is tattered and faded from decades of being cherished.  This is a photo of the last plane my father owned.  I have used a scan of the image on the blog before.  I have written about the airplane, some of my early memories of childhood.  I have my father's flying log books, it was amazing looking back at the record of his adventures in flying.  

This particular print my father carried in his wallet from sometime in the early 1960's until his death.  It is about the only thing I have removed from his wallet (I have it here in my safe.) I remember him beaming with pride when he would pull it out to show to people.  It is precious beyond measure for me.   

What will they find in your wallet? 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Strange Things Around the House #4

I remember my mother unwrapping these two ruby glass cups.  They had been a part of her childhood, when her parents sold their farm in the early 1960's her mother packed a couple of boxes for mom. She didn't know what was in the boxes, the boxes sat in storage for a couple of years before she unpacked the boxes. These were in the boxes.  They are engraved Ashley, Michigan.  My mother went to high school there.  These were midway prizes from a traveling circus or carnival.  I don't know if my mother collected them in her childhood, or her mother in hers, or maybe her grandparents.  There were a connection to the first place she called home.  When I was emptying out mom and dad's house, I slipped them in my bag, a connection to a connection to a place I have never been.  


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Strange Things Around the House #3

I worked full time, and went to school part time and worked my way through earning a college degree at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.  If you do it right, earning your bachelors degree can be the best 10 years of your life.  

Rollins draws an interesting student body.  For years it was a place that New England aristocracy could send the not quite ready for Harvard sons and daughters.  In my class we had a Hilton, a Vallasic, and the son of the chairmen of the board of NCL. We joked that it was easy to tell the student parking lot from the faculty parking lot.  The student lot was filled with BMWs, Porsches, Mercedes, and Range Rovers, the faculty lots was filled with 10 year old Hondas and Toyotas (I bought three new Honda Accords while I was there.)  

The traditional graduation gifts were a Rolex and a new Porsche.  On the way to commencement my father stopped at Toys are Us, and bought me a Porsche.  It is a treasure.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday - Golf?

My father caddied as a teenager.  He could make a couple dollars on a Saturday morning, and he enjoyed the walk, and thought wanted to be like the people who played. His father told him, people like us don't play golf.  

When I was in the first grade, my family spent a winter in Phoenix Arizona.  There was a golf course down the street, and my father overcame his social fears and learned to play.  He enjoyed it, and played into his early 80's.  

My guess is I was between 8 and 10 when this picture was taken in the front yard of the small house on the farm, with a golf club in my hands. (The barn in the background burned down before I was 12 - I slept through that one.)  

The winter I was in the 8th grade, my family spent the winter in Spring Hill, Florida, the first of many winters out of the cold.  In January the overcrowded school system switched to double sessions.  I caught a school bus at 6:00AM, classes started at 7:00 AM and I was out at Noon.  My sister had the afternoon shift, she caught the bus at 11:00 AM, her classes started at noon, she got home about 7:00 PM.  With afternoons free, I learned to play golf that winter.  Spending 2 or 3 afternoons a week on the golf course with my father.  I even bought a set of used clubs.  When I moved from Florida, found the clubs in the corner of the garage, the cover hadn't been off since I had moved into that house, 9 years before.  I sold the clubs on the moving sale.  

Do you play golf? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Strange Things Around the House #2

I was sorting through a box of stuff moved from house to house recently and stumbled across this.  I am probably the only one looking at this that has a clue what it is, or why anyone would hang onto it.  

So what is it?

It is a focusing screen for a first generation Cannon F-1 35mm SLR.  At the time (about 1975) it was the top of the line professional camera that Cannon made.  I lusted over it for a couple of years, my father had an FTb, that my oldest brother bought in Asia in the early 1970's when he was in the Navy.  I liked it, but the F-1 was another world.  The shutter was titanium, a masterpiece of engineering and manufacturing.  It would do everything that could be done at that time, you could change the viewfinders, backs, add motor drives. I saved up from my summer work on the farm, one summer, did some extra aerial photography jobs and splurged on it one fall.  With it I fit in with the pros. I made a living with it for a couple of years. I don't recall why I changed out the focussing screen, maybe because you could. The camera was solid. I was known to say you use it to bang the nails in to build a house, and when you were done use it to take pictures of the house.  They don't make them like that anymore.  

Around 2000 I traded a bag full of Cannon cameras and 6 lenses on a new Nikon 35mm SLR.  I used that about three years and then went digital.  Last year I bought my first digital SLR, and now have three lenses.  

The only thing I have left of the F-1 is the focussing screen, the memories of owning the best of the best in it's day, and some amazing images I created with it.   

Monday, September 24, 2018

Strange Things Around the House #1

Over the years I have from time to time made vinegar based pickles, like bread and butter pickles.  I have always stayed away from fermented or naturally sour pickles.  My grandmother who was my inspiration for pickling and preserving had stopped making them, saying they were too much work and if something went wrong all was lost. It was easier to buy kosher dills than make them.  My mother was afraid of anything fermented, or yeast based.  Late in life she told me that the reason she never made homemade bread was when it started rising and smelling yeasty she was sure it had spoiled and would toss it, she was afraid of making someone sick.  

I read a book recently with 150 pickling recipes and lots of great commentary.  I decided to try.  Few things could be simpler, cucumbers, water, salt, a few simple spices (finding fresh dill has been a challenge at times.) And a little time, and I have a batch of never fail half-sour dills that will knock your socks off.  The second batch in the gallon jar, is full sours.  I am also trying sauerkraut, I had made it once before in a biology lab in college.  The few times I have had fresh sauerkraut it was amazing.  

I live on the 3rd floor of a 15 story high rise, I don't have a garden or anyplace for one. But I have access to a couple of amazing markets.  

What is fermenting in your kitchen?  

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Five - Will We or Won't We?

Inspired by yesterday's posting, what do you think we will see in the near future?

1:  We will see self flying or drone, passenger flight? 
2:  Will we be riding in self driving cars?
3:  Will we cut the recharging cable, with devices that charge on their own?
4:  Will manned spaceflight return to the moon?
5:   Will the average person live to 100 years of age?

My answers:
1:  We will see self flying or drone, passenger flight?  The flying technology exists, advances are needed in air traffic control. I think we will. 
2:  Will we be riding in self driving cars? Yes, I think we will (can't wait)
3:  Will we cut the recharging cable, with devices that charge on their own? I have been told that the we will, beyond charging mats, charging through the air. 
4:  Will manned spaceflight return to the moon?  Every President talks about it, but no one wants to spend the money, I don't think we will in my lifetime. 
5:   Will the average person live to 100 years of age?  No.  More people will, but the average won't hit that point.  I have met a dozen people age 100 or older, only one of them had a good quality of life.  

Your answers in the comments below: 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Amazing Times We Live In

A couple of my grandparents were born before the Wright brothers flew, my father was born the year Lindberg flew the Atlantic solo.  In their life times my grandparents and parents witnessed huge changes in technology that allowed them to see and do things that were previously out of reach for the average person.  

In the past 25 years we have experienced a massive technology shift that allows us to see things, experience things that previously required travel or hours of digging in dusty archives and libraries.  When my Grandmother filed for naturalization in the mid-1960s it took months of airmail to gather the documents she needed.  Today that would be handled online or by email.  

I inherited her immigration file.  I entered the address of the place she was born in Google Earth, and in seconds I can see the street, see the front door of the house she was born in an ocean away. 

What will the next 25 years bring?     

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fiddling Around With The Best

Stradivari defines quality.  The best of the best, made to last and to simply be the best.  Everyone should have something in their life that is simply the best.  The joy of quality lasts much longer than the pleasure of a cheap price tag.  30+ years ago I was shopping for a very fast bicycle.  A couple of shops laughed at me, and tried to get me to buy a cheaper, slower less well made bike.  I moved on and kept looking.  I wanted something frighteningly fast and responsive that shifted like a dream.  I finally found it, the shop owner was honest, he said, "it is more bike than you need, but if you buy it you will have the ride of your life" and he threw in the helmet just in case.  I still own it, ride it once in a while, it was the best of the best 30+ years ago, and still frighteningly fast. In over 10,000 miles I never crashed it, only had it slide out from under me once.  

So the violins above, or as their last owner called them fiddles.  Henry Ford was born on a farm, and grew up playing country or folk music on a fiddle.  For about 20 years as he built the Company, he had no time for fiddling around. As success settled in, he decided to pick up his old pastime.  Being one of the richest people in the country, when he went fiddle shopping, these are what he brought home.  

Simply the best, 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Places in the Past

This is the first home my parents owned.  When they married my parents lived with my father's parents just a block away.  After a year or so, my parents bought a lot, and had a company build the shell, install the roof, windows and siding.  My father did the plumbing, wiring, the drywall, built the kitchen cabinets, installed and finished hardwood floors.  They moved in before the drywall and floors were finished.  My mother swore she would never live through building another house (living in it while it was being finished had to be hell.) 

The moved in to the house in 1952.  I have pictures of my brothers in the house and playing in yard and in the snow in the street.  Three of four years later, they sold this house and moved to the farm.  For a while they lived in the farm house while building a tiny house around the corner.  A couple of years later my grandparents moved to the farm.  Again, my parents lived just around the corner from my father's parents.  My sister and I were born after the family moved to the farm. 

My parents talked about the first house, but never went by to see it.  I didn't know where it was, until my most recent trip to Detroit.  I found the address in my parents files, drove by and took a picture.  I didn't know they were a block from my grandparents house until last month. 

I have built three homes, owned five of them.  When I am back in Orlando I drive by those first three homes, slow down, notice the changes, take pictures.  They are a part of who I am, and where I am today.  The profit from the first one, got me into the second one.  The third one helped me get out my a really bad relationship (it was a rented, I paid the tenant to move out so my Ex could move in.)  Number four will be sold later this year as my husbear retires, and the condo is now home.  House four was new, four out of the five homes I have owned were new.  

What stories do you have of old family homes? 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday - 1st Grade

The winter of 1964-65 my family lived in Phoenix, Arizona for about 4.5 months.  I went to part of the first grade there.  I credit that adventure with inspiring my love of travel and my unnatural attraction to desert climates.  Back in the mid 1980's I was in Phoenix for work and I went by the school.  The teacher was finishing her last year before retirement.  I wonder what happened to my classmates - explorers, engineers, designers, axe murderers?

Can you find me in the picture?  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Farm

The farm was about 70 miles due north of Detroit. It is no longer owned by the family, but it is forever a part of our adventure. My grandfather bought an 80 acre farm in the middle of World War II. A coworker was settling an estate and needed to sell it.  He knew my grandfather was careful with a dollar (always had a little cash) and suggested that he buy it.  He did.  The farm is still 1.5 miles from the nearest paved road. 

Sometime in the mid-50's my parents built a small home around the corner from the original farmhouse.  I was raised there.  Above is the driveway to the original farm house.  Those trees have been there for at least 70 years.  

After my grandfather died in 1976 my grandmother sold the back 40 acres.  A couple of years later she sold my father the front half, and he gave my sister the smaller house I was raised in and a couple of acres of land, and he and my mother moved into the old farm house.  A couple of years later he sold the rest of the farm to a neighbor (for . twice what he paid my grandmother two years earlier.) My sister lost the small house in a divorce almost a decade ago.   
Original Farm House 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Connections to The Past

Based on the date on the barn, and the hair, the young man on the right between the two grey horses, is my maternal grandfather.  He farmed with horses and mules into the late 1940's.  

I am discovering family I didn't know I had.  

My mother had a strange relationship with her family.  Her parents were estranged from parts of their families resulting from decades old fights over inheritances, my grandmother got cash instead of farmland when her father died and never forgave other family members who received land instead of cash (everyone received the same value, the issue was land or cash.) My grandmother was the dominant member of that couple, (he was passive aggressive - and never spoke up) so if they were not seeing her family they were not seeing any family.  The result, is I knew very little of my mother's family. 

A few weeks ago the post office forwarded me a funeral notice sent to my late parents, for an uncle of hers.  He died at age 100, he was my maternal grandfather's much younger brother (like 16 years younger.) He had been an army officer and an accountant for the city of Lansing, Michigan.  When he retired he moved to Phoenix, and all but one of his adult children lives in the Phoenix area.  I wrote a letter in response explaining that my parents are dead, and that the notice had been forwarded to me.  I said, I'd love to reconnect with my grandfather's family.  A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a second cousin, I never knew existed.  She is a recently retired school teacher in the Phoenix area.  I am thrilled.  I am stopping in Phoenix on a trip to the west coast later this fall, I will have lunch with Shirley and meet her mother.  I am also going to see Spo and Someone while I in the Valley of the Sun.  

I am sorting through other artifacts from my mother's belongings. More to come on learning about family on both sides.  (Hint, I have my paternal grandmother's address list from 1928.) . 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Retirement? The Sunday Five.

It is too late for me to die young and leave a sexy corpse.  Having just passed a decennial birthday,  I am reaching the time to start thinking seriously about how much longer I want to work.  What do I want to do, when I no longer need to earn a living.  I also believe that people should be engaged in life, working as long as they want to and are able to.  I don't believe in mandatory retirement ages, desire and ability should guide what people do.  Hence this weeks Sunday five.   

1: Have you calculated your projected income and expenses at retirement age? 
2: If you didn't need to work for a living, what would you do to stay engaged in the adventure of life? 
3: What are you putting off until retirement? 
4: You can't take it with you, do you plan to spend it all, or leave it behind? 
5: At retirement will you stay where you are, or move? 

My answers: 
1: Have you calculated your projected income and expenses at retirement age?  Yes, we have calculated projected income and living expenses.  I need to keep reminding myself, that we have run the numbers and we will be just fine.  
2: If you didn't need to work for a living, what would you do to stay engaged in the adventure of life? I am still struggling with this one, after 3-4 days away from the office I get bored, we will only be able to afford to travel a couple of months a year - what else? 
3: What are you putting off until retirement?  I want to go to someplace interesting, Rome, Paris, London, Florence and rent an apartment for a month and live with the locals.  I can't figure out how to be away from the office for a month, so this is being pushed back until someday.  
4: You can't take it with you, do you plan to spend it all, or leave it behind?  Unless I live past my expiration date, there will probably be a nice chunk left behind when I die.  I am by nature stingy.  I urged my father to spend more to live more comfortably in his last couple of years, someone will need to do that to me.  
5: At retirement will you stay where you are, or move? We are fixing up the condo to stay here for the long haul.  

Your answers in the comments: 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Unseen in My City

My boss asked me to attend a meeting in the Capital one morning recently.  I took the Red line two stops in the other direction from my usual and exited at Union Station.  And all of a sudden I realized that I was in my own backyard, and I hadn't been there in over a year.  Union Station underwent major repairs over the past few years, restoring the ceiling and removing the restaurant and bar installed in the 1970's that glutted up the center of the main space.  It really looks great. It shows it's age, and reflects a grandeur of public spaces of 101 years ago (thank you google!) 

I need to get out and see what is in my city.  Visiting government sites has not been as exciting over the past 19 months, but there is an election coming up.  

What is in your city that you haven't seen in too long?    

Friday, September 14, 2018


When I was growing up someplace in Flint Michigan was an old fashioned stainless steel diner.  The kind that was designed to look like a streamlined railroad car, only twice the width.  My mother loved it.  A handful of times my mother took me along when she was shopping or running errands, and we would stop at the diner.  I remember seeing exoitic things on the menue like a Ruben Sandwich, the first couple of times my mother advised me what to order and assured me it would be tasty.  And it was.  Understand at this point in my life I lived in the middle of nowhere and had traveled and experienced very little of the adventure of life.    

There was something special about the places it all began.  The style translated into some restaurants, there was one at Colonial Plaza in Orlando that operated into the early 1990's - the best tongue sandwich in the southeast, and fresh pickles made in house.  

The original model is hard to sustain in a modern world. The seating is limited to 20-30 people, and health and safety requirements limit packing in the people and require more space for sanitation.  You see them open, but few sustain for more than a couple of years.  The financial model doesn't seem to work. 

The one above operates inside of the Henry Ford Museum.  It has overflow seating on a deck (inside of the museum) and a back room behind the kitchen for modern food storage and dishwashing that the original didn't have.  I was there mid afternoon, found a nice seat inside and had a wonderful trip down memory lane. 

The other flashback to those days out with mom, when it started raining and she turned on the windshield wipers, I would drift off to sleep to the rhythmic tempo of the windshield wipers. Good thing I don't do that when I am driving.  

What is your diner story?  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fairlane Connection

From sometime in the 1920's unitil Henry Ford died on April 7, 1947 my great grandfather worked in the powerhouse at the Fairlane estate.  The river overflowed that night, flooding out the power plant that Thomas Edison had helped install.  The estate was switched to the main power lines, and the power plant never brought back online.  

I have mixed feelings about Henry Ford.  He was a talented industrialist, who cared about his workers, a pioneer in a living wage.  He was a collector, who preserved a ton of American history.  He was also virulently anti semitic, opposed to organized labor - my grandfather was at the Rouge plant when Fords thugs opened fire.  He was a brilliant if flawed person.  

I had never seen Fairlane, on my most recent adventure I stumbled across the sign and turned. The buildings are currently closed for renovation, but the grounds were largely open.  I walked the places my great grandfather did, the power house was in the back of the building that housed the garage.  

I have owned a lot of cars, never a Ford, have you? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday

Is it just me, or do most babies look like aliens?  My sister says this is me, shortly after I was born.  I don't know, I think it is a little alien.  

Is it me? 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Market Stories

I had breakfast with a lawyer friend while I was in Detroit, and mentioned visiting the market. I told her about my family connection, and she said, your father probably knew my uncle Nick, he sold on the market, and had a cafe across the street.  Nick spoke about 10 languages.  It has to be the same Nick the Greek, he taught my father what would always sell on the market (onions and eggs.) 

My father had two favorite Nick stories: 
One day a woman asked him if the eggs were fresh, he said, "yes of course, what do you think I am going to say, they are rotten!"  

The other story is more complicated.  Nick had a small farm, and an old milk cow, she had been around for years, and outlived her ability produce milk (do cows hit menopause?) Nick had the cow slaughtered and sold the market. Legend has it that it was the toughest beef in the history of the market.  After that anytime my father encountered tough beef, he remarked about it being "Nick's old cow."  (To make something good out of tough beef, stew it, onions, carrots, mushrooms, red wine, and simmer it covered over low heat for hours and hours, add potatoes about two hours before serving, thicken with a roux.)  

Yes, I had heard the legend of Nick the Greek at the eastern market,  Patti's uncle Nick.    

What long lost family connections have you stumbled across? 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Eastern Market - Deep Family Roots

My love of markets runs deep in my family roots.  During the depths of the depression, my grandparents (paternal grandparents) were renting an old farm house from a bank in a northern suburb of Detroit.  The banker came by and said, if you can come up with $200 for a downpayment, your mortgage payments will be less than what you are paying in rent, and the house comes with five-acres of land and the store buildings down the side.  They literally pawned the family silverware to raise the down payment.  My grandfather was lucky, he worked at Ford and was well respected, even in the slowest of times he worked 2 or 3 days a week.  

My grandfather being a hard working farm-boy, planted a huge garden, and started selling produce on the Eastern Market in Detroit.  He made enough the first summer to retrieve the silverware.  From that point in the early 1930's until sometime in the late 1950's early 1960's, the family sold honey and produce on the market.  During World War II, my grandfather bought an 80 acre farm in the middle of nowhere - the farm I grew up on.  

Until my latest visit to Detroit, I had never been to the Eastern Market.  In the late 1960's the area was in the middle of the race-riots in the city.  My parents feared the area and never took me to see it.  I decided I needed to experience this connection.  

It is a great market, alive, full of people, and great things from the good earth.  It is retail and wholesale and very vibrant.  Nothing to fear, except trying to find a parking space (fear not, there is a lot of parking, drive around the outside of the market and you will find a spot.)  

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Sunday Five - Classmates

I sometimes wonder what happened to some of my high school classmates, and likely they wonder what ever happened to me.  Probably not what they would have predicted,  hence this weeks Sunday five. 

1: What line of work would did your classmates in high school think you would do? 
2: Where did your classmates assume you would end up living? 
3: If your classmates voted you most likely to? What was it that they thought you were most likely to become or do? 
4: How many children did they assume you would have? 
5: Did your classmates believe that you would finish more education? 

My Answers: 
1: What line of work would did your classmates in high school think you would do?  Everyone assumed that I would be a photographer.  I made a living for a couple of years, then moved on. 
2: Where did your classmates assume you would end up living? I split high school between Michigan and Florida, both assumed I would stay in Florida, and I did for 18 years. 
3: If your classmates voted you most likely to? What was it that they thought you were most likely to become or do? I think I was most likely to be boring.  
4: How many children did they assume you would have? At least two, I have none. 
5: Did your classmates believe that you would finish more education? Most of them did, I have talked with them and they remark about how smart I was.  I didn't think I was smart or would go on.  It was a few years later that I realized that I could do many things if I applied myself.  

Your answers in the comments, 

Saturday, September 08, 2018


I like pickles.  Sweet, sour, or dill.  In the United States when we speak of pickle we assume it is a pickled cucumber unless otherwise specified.  I recently read a book of 150 pickle recipes,  there are an endless number of things that can be pickled.  Yet a simple dill cucumber pickle can be so satisfying.  In my local markets I have a hard time finding fresh dill, I ran across this cart full at the Eastern Market in Detroit.  A lifetime supply for me.  The smell was heavenly.  

Have you made fresh pickles? 

Friday, September 07, 2018


This eye catching portrait is in the Detroit Institute of Art.  Conservative and unconventional in style, it depicts someone's daughter, sister, wife, or mother.  Her loved ones found beauty in the simplicity and honesty of this image.  We are all the apple of someone's eye, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  

From my beady little eyes, to my lumpy shape, to the flat spots on my butt, I know all of my flaws, exaggerate most of them.  Yet, some finds me pleasant to look at. 

Always remember:
You are beautiful, 
You are who you are,
Don't let other's standards shape how you think about yourself, 
Let it all hang out,
Enjoy life, You are fine just as you are! 


Thursday, September 06, 2018

We Are Better Than This

These are dark days in American politics.  The divides are deep, the sides seemingly entrenched.  It is easy to worry that we might not survive.  But we are better than this, and we have survived and learned from deep divides in the past.  The bus is the one Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on. She stood up for right, and fairness, and times were difficult.  As a country we are better for her actions. 
We are better than this, 
We will survive, 

Think, and get out and vote in this November, send a message that we are better than this.  

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday

My sister shared with me some old, very old, family photos.  This one is my maternal grandfather, my mother's father Dale Harp.  Along with his much older brother Harry, and his sister Opal.  Yes, that is him, with the wonderful curly wavy hair.  He died in 1976, in his early 70's, with a full head of snow white hair.  

He was very critical of the long-haired hippies of the 1960's, if only I had seen this picture (and there is a second one in the collection taken a year or so later) I'd have had a counter to his comments about hair.  

What do you think? 

And the hair continued into adulthood, this is my mother as a baby with her father. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Visiting the Family

There is an old joke, a guy says I will have to stop by and visit your father, and the punch line is "you better take a shovel, he has been dead for a year."  Well I decided to go visit my Great-grandparents on my paternal side, and they have been dead 59 and 61 years, and I needed a shovel.  The markers are sinking into the ground and overgrown with grass.  But I did find them.  I had never been there, my father was not one for visiting cemeteries, and the neighborhood on the Northeast side of Detroit is a bit rough.  

Sorting through my parents papers I found copies of the funeral notices, from that identified the cemetery.  I called ahead, and was told that someone would email me a map.  The map didn't arrive, I imagine they get a lot of calls like that.  So I showed up.  The person was quite nice, finding the location, marking a map and saying you may find them hard to locate.  

If not for my great-uncle Robert who was buried 1993, I might not have found my great-grandparents.  The map showed me they were next to Robert.  The grass was thin over the markers, a little digging and I was able to uncover enough to verify that I was in the right place.  Rest in peace Benjamin and Margaret.  

Have you dug up any relatives in your travels? 

Monday, September 03, 2018

So Old

A friend of mine mentioned on Facebook recently that in 18 years she and her husband would be so old.  She is about 20 years younger than I am.  

Yep, if you live long enough you will get old.  And then you will live a bit longer.  If I am so lucky, 18 years from now I will be wondering how I lived so long, and how much more fun can I have before it ends.    

Age changes you.  Your body changes.  I have picked up a few scars over the years, but I am still able to do a lot.  Maybe not everything I have ever done, but a lot.  I move a little slower, but I see and hear things I didn't when I was younger and faster. Your mind will change.  There is a wisdom that comes with age.  Been there, done that, worn out the T-shirt and remember the lessons learned.  I have a better idea of what I enjoy, and what I don't.  I am getting better at saying no.  If I live long enough, I may learn to only say yes to things I enjoy.  

Enjoy old age, it is a pleasure denied to many.  

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Sunday Five - I'll drink to that!

A nice selection of bourbons, a few I had never heard of, several that I have not had the pleasure of trying (or the budget.) 

1: Given the choice, bourbon, rye, or malt (Scotch)?
2: Have you ever paid more than $100 for a bottle? 
3: Given the choice, vodka, gin or rum? 
4: Do you know anyone who no longer drinks? 
5: Given the chance, would you make your own? 

My answers: 
1: Given the choice, bourbon, rye, or malt (Scotch)? Good bourbon, no rubbish, with a good single malt being a close second.  Rye is not my thing, to spicy. 
2: Have you ever paid more than $100 for a bottle? Yes, a couple of times - good things in moderation. 
3: Given the choice, vodka, gin or rum? Gin, but only Hendrix. 
4: Do you know anyone who no longer drinks? My sweet husband, gave it up 30+ years ago, and remains happy and healthy. 
5: Given the chance, would you make your own? Yes, making distilled spirits is not legal without a commercial license in the USA. New Zealand has a law allowing home distilling. 

Your answers in the comments, 

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Go To List

Hmm, where do I want to go? 

  • Idaho and Wyoming, the two states I have not visited, I keep looking for the right opportunity
  • Spain, Portugal, Ireland, central Europe. I keep thinking travel will be easier once Jay retires.
  • Cuba, I have long wanted to go, a cruise one of these days - soon before the Mango Mussolini changes the rules,
  • Japan - a very long flight - a culture that fascinates me
  • France and Italy- repeats of old favorites,
  • England and Wales, my ancestral homelands are always fun.  

There are lots of places I am always glad to go back to.  I will be back in Chicago in October, New Orleans next March. 

Any suggestions?