A genteel afternoon.

When the daily prompt hit my inbox this morning at 8:04, I knew there would be nothing savage about this day.

My mom, the hub and I had plans to go to a nearby church for a carillon recital.

Every summer Sunday the community is invited to stroll the gardens and listen as guest carillonneurs from around the world give a thirty minute recital at 10:15 am and then another at 12 noon.

Today’s carillonneur is from Ottawa.


We were born and raised in a summer haze…

The carillon is in the tower behind the haze.


Here’s a haze-free view.

And here are some interesting facts from the Summer Carillon Series brochure:

High in the tower is the 77-bell Kirk carillon—tied for the world’s largest in number of bells. The carillon was cast by the 360-year-old royal bell foundry of Petit & Fritsen, The Netherlands. The largest bell, the Bourdon, is 6’10” in diameter and weighs over six tons. The smallest bell is only 6” in diameter and weighs fourteen pounds.

Thirty six of the bells may be played from the organ console or the computer system interface—without dynamic control. However, the full 77 bells are played by striking wooden batons and pedals on the mechanical keyboard, or clavier, located in a cabin at the top of the belfry. Five of the large bells form a peal, swinging freely. The clock features are controlled by a state of the art computer system. Midway up the tower is the Marriott Memorial Library, a practice clavier, and the computer interfaces.

I’ve been in that belfry.  There’s quite a view from up there.


So we went and strolled the gardens and listened.  This is the church’s backyard.



See the lake back there?


See my mom and the hub?

See how pretty my mom is?

She’s going to be 87 in exactly one week and I think she looks pretty. darn. good.


Just one of several sculptures in the garden.


Here’s another.


To top it off, right next to the parking lot is a small vegetable garden.

Just in case you want to listen too.


Now if I could just figure out how to impart the aroma of this happy jar with its peach slices, strawberries, blueberries and a splash of limoncello.

The basil is for tonight’s linguine.



Bring it on home to me.

When my phone starts playing Bring It On Home, I know the Hub is calling.

It’s such a great marriage-as-it-should-be song.

And it’s great blogging advice.

Sometimes I miss the start of my blog – back when I was completely anonymous. When I could take to my keyboard and type furiously until I got it all off my chest.

Now that I am out of the closet and can no longer say what I really think, I bring it on home to the hub.

Or to my daughter. Except she is conflict averse and gets a stomach ache.

The hub is old enough and wise enough to just listen and say something soothing. Or say nothing at all.

Anyway, today Suzy Speaks posted about self-censoring one’s blog and she made an excellent suggestion.

Something I had never considered.

She wrote, “Remember that you don’t have to publish more personal posts on your own blog – talk to a trusted blog friend about posting on their blog anonymously. You get to write what you want, they get the views. Everybody wins.”

So fellow bloggers (who trust me), if you have something to get off your chest, feel free to bring it on home to me.



Come On, Baby Boomers, sing with me.

Mr. Tambourine Man – the Byrds version – has been playing in my head since 8:00 this jingle-jangle morning.

And now it will be playing in your jingle-jangle head, too.

Happy Saturday.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle-jangle morning I’ll come following you.



Once a week, after school, I wore the light brown dress, the badge-filled sash and the dark brown beanie of a Brownie.

I was in third grade.

Our troop was about to fly up and become Juniors.

And it was time to choose a leadership council.

Since I was the brainiac of any group back then, I assumed the adult leaders would choose me to be the student leader.

But they didn’t.

One of the two pulled me aside as soon as the name of the leader was announced. Bless her sensitive heart, she knew I would be bewildered.

“Leadership takes a different set of skills,” she explained. “We’ve chosen you to be our Scribe.”

I didn’t know what a Scribe was (I was 8) but it sounded like a consolation prize.

Until she told me I would be the troop’s historian. Write down everything that happened at our meetings and on our camp outs.

I liked writing things down.

And I didn’t like bossing people around.

It was the right job for me.






Gloom & Raspberries

Could we foresee it, there are times when children might seem like innocent prisoners condemned not to death but to life and as yet all too unconscious of what their sentence means. Nevertheless, every man desires to reach old age… a state of life of which it may be said “it is bad today, and every day it will get worse, until the worst of all happens.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

I plucked that cheery quote from a book I’m reading. It is the longer version of a sentiment I saw emblazoned upon a black t-shirt, which was hanging in a store window on my college campus way back then: Life is hard and then you die.

The last part – “every day it will get worse, until the worst happens” – made me think of my poor Max.

It was horrible to lose Lucybee and Bebe to cancer when they were still in their prime but is also sad to watch your previously very active and athletic buddy boy deteriorate from old age. Physically and mentally.

My hope is always that my four legged friends will die old and full of years, that they will be well and happy when they go, all curled up in their favorite chair, the familiar sounds of their loving family life lulling them to their final sleep.

But I guess it doesn’t happen that way.

Just for you, just now, just to brighten this post up a bit,


I went outside and plucked some raspberries.


They are delicious.

Food, Michigan

Living, Dying and Dining on Union Lake

The hub and I went to a matinee yesterday afternoon.

By the time the credits rolled all I wanted was something delicious for dinner.

(And a charming, romantic man to take me on a culinary tour of France.)

So the hub, my daughter and I went to a restaurant on the water where the food is always good.


The Roasted Forest Mushrooms appetizer (wilted onions, spinach, morel cream & manchego cheese en croute) was just the deliciousness I craved.

Midway through our Pan Roasted Grouper (vermouth, artichoke hearts, capers, spinach, tomato concasse, with whipped potatoes and roasted asparagus) my daughter groaned.

“I’m getting really upset,” she said.


She nodded toward a table at the corner of the patio where a handsome young man sat alone.

He kept glancing toward the door. And then toward the parking lot, which he could see from his seat.

“I hope his date isn’t standing him up,” she whispered.

He looked really clean, shiny, and endearingly first date nervous.

“If she isn’t laying in a ditch somewhere then I hate her,” I said.

We ordered dessert and coffee.

“Go sit with him,” I said.

“I’m not going to sit with him,” she said.

“If she doesn’t at least call or text then she puts the bitch in obituary,” I said, borrowing a line from a movie I borrowed from the library last week.

I noticed that the flotilla on the lake was growing.  Lots of little boat lights were filling the horizon.

IMG_4599 2.JPG

See all the boat lights? See the back of the hub’s head?

“Are there going to be fireworks on the lake tonight?,” I asked our waitress.

Yes indeed.

I turned to my daughter. “He has the perfect table for watching the fireworks and she didn’t come!”

“That’s probably why he chose this restaurant and this night for their date,” she sighed.

Soooo sweet and romantic.

“I’m getting really upset,” she said.

“Look!” I said as I tugged my daughter’s arm.  A young woman, in a first date outfit, was approaching his table. “She’s here!”

“Oh thank God!,” we both exhaled at the same time.

“Thank God,” my daughter said, again, “because the waitress was just at his table and it looked like they were having the “What do you want to do?” conversation.

“Thank you Jesus!,” I said, “Now I can really enjoy my second cup of coffee.”

“I wish she had come just a little sooner,” my daughter replied, “so I could have really enjoyed the creme brulee.”


I really enjoyed it, even with a side of angst it was reeaaally good. Really good.

To the dismay of my dinner companions, I got up and snuck a picture of the couple.


They looked happy.

We left just as the fireworks were starting.

I didn’t want to leave the friends home alone with fireworks going off everywhere. I read it’s especially hard on elderly dogs.

And Maxy is really old.

We should have left the restaurant just a little bit sooner.

Because the fireworks scared the p-o-o-p out of him.


Welcome to canine geriatrics.

Except for that, it was a lovely evening.






The 57 year dash.

I may have told you this before, but I was the fastest kid in the fourth grade.

It became a proven fact when I won a race off at recess against Steve Yauk – the fastest boy in the fourth grade.

Back then we ran the 100-yard-dash in gym class.  To get the President’s Physical Fitness Award. And I was fast.

Now that I am much older, I can hardly run 100 yards at all without my knees or ankles seizing.

Time dashes differently than we do.

We get slower and it gets faster.