Monday, May 31, 2010

Odyssey of the Mind

Friday we drove to the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Earlier in the week our aunt, uncle and two cousins--coaches and participants in the event--rented a truck and hauled scenery and props from Georgia to Michigan. Friday before an audience of fellow participants, judges and family, the team from Sumpter County Middle School, dressed as birds, fish and insects, performed a skit for the Return to the Gift of Flight Division II competition.

Matthew, manning the flight control station

A Canadian goose

Dragonfly, a.k.a. Nathan, and Pelican entertaining the audience

The end!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


They also serve who only stand and wait.
~John Milton, Sonnet 19

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Logan gave Betsy a glow-in-the-dark-volleyball for her birthday.

Friday, May 28, 2010


The heat index was in the triple digits this week and I felt miserable. On Tuesday I was able to escape to Lake Huron with two of my friends and two of my sisters. But Wednesday I had computer work to do. It was too warm and stuffy to concentrate in the house and unbearably hot outside, so I set up a card table and folding chair in the root cellar. To my delight I discovered wireless internet reached the basement. So to the sound of water dripping in the sump pump pit and the smell of onions, I typed, formatted, and edited documents in the coolness of my office.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tawas lighthouse

In 1850 a lighthouse was constructed on Ottawa Point, now called Tawas Point, to warn ships of the coast and guide them, during hazardous weather, from Lake Huron to the safety of Tawas Bay. After the original lighthouse was constructed, gathering sand extended the Point until the lighthouse was nearly three-quarters of a mile from shore twenty years later.

A new lighthouse, including a tower and keeper's residence, was constructed in 1876 at what was then the end of Tawas Point. Light from the Fourth Order lens was visible fourteen miles from the lighthouse and provided a landmark for Great Lakes vessels.

A lighthouse keeper maintained the light until it was automated in 1946. By then Tawas Point had again shifted away from the lighthouse, but radar and advancing technology made a new lighthouse unnecessary. The lighthouse closed and is now being restored as a historical landmark in Tawas Point State Park.

Tawas Point Lighthouse

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ice cream

"I like going on outings with you," Kendra said. "This is my second outing and both times we've had ice cream."

Tuesday afternoon we stopped at Zanners Ice Creame Shoppe, thirty-two flavors of Mooney's ice cream, on our way home from Tawas State Park. Grandma taught us that a trip to the beach isn't complete without chocolate ice cream cones. Julie, a firm believer in chocolate ice cream, sighted the cute little ice cream shop in Au Gres.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


for Amanda

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010


As for God, his way is perfect.
Psalm 18:30 NIV

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Faces of the sub

"Good morning! My name is Miss Cook and I'm the sub."

"Miss Cook did you go to college?"
"What for?"
"Did you go to high school or were you 'homeschooled'?"
"I went to high school and I was homeschooled."

"Okay. Give me the ball."
"It's mine." (Sticks ball down the front of his pants.)
[on the phone] "Can the principal come get a student?"
Secretary: "He'd love to."

"He farted!"
(Cough, cough)
"It stinks in here!"
"I can't work!"
"Way to go, bro."
"The window is open. The smell will go away. Try to be mature about it."
"They can't be mature."

"Hey guys chill."
"Watch out!"
"Stop it you two! STOP IT!"
[on the phone] "I've got a fight in here!"
Secretary: "What room are you in?"
"Uh-uh-uh 230."
Secretary: "Okay. I'll send somebody."
"He punched him!"
"Watch out for that chair!"
Teacher next door, "BREAK IT UP YOU TWO! Go to the office right now!"
"Okay. Settle down. Sit down everybody and be quiet."
"Wasn't that funny?"
"Who started it?"
"Do you think that was funny?"

"Miss Cook, do you let kids throw chalk? There's chalk all over the floor back here."
"I had freshmen last hour."
"That explains it. Did you slap them?"
"Can I slap them?"
"Not if I'm looking."
(I shouldn't have said that.)

"Miss Cook, did you do crack?"
"That's not an appropriate question to ask a teacher."
"Did you do pot?"
"That's not an appropriate question to ask a teacher."
"Do you smoke cigarettes?"
"That's not an appropriate question to ask a teacher."
"Do you drink alcohol?"
"That's not an appropriate question to ask a teacher."

"Have a good weekend, Miss Cook."
"You too."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tree chipping

After a quick stop at the grocery store we delivered ice cream sandwiches to the Kindy Tree Service crew Wednesday afternoon. Jerry, Kevin and Aaron removed ten Ash trees, victims of the Emerald Ash Borer, from a backyard. They piled the branches in the street. We arrived with our frozen treat in time to watch Jerry use the tractor to dump loads of branches in the chipper while Aaron controlled it by remote.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Birthday picnic

While my cousin Carmen, her husband and three daughters visited this week we celebrated Carmen's birthday by eating lunch at the picnic tables under the shade tree in the backyard. Carmen's husband Jimmy fried fish and I baked biscuits. We had a feast with coleslaw, french fries, carrot sticks and iced tea. Then the little girls sang "Happy Birthday" to their mom and three-year-old Abigail ate the frosting off her "pup-pake."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Two sets of grandparents viewing photos of their granddaughters.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Second impression

door stop

I wanted to wear my white skirt on Sunday, but my white sandals were grubby. So on Saturday evening I painted them.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Work of God

As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother's womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Broken leg

Merry’s little girl broke her leg Friday morning. Brian and Libby interupted their school to make an emergency trip to the vet to have the leg set and splinted. Had it been one of the boys, Brian wouldn’t have bothered with the vet bill. But he wanted Merry’s girl for a milker. In a few weeks the leg should be healed and the kid should be frisking with her cousins.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Detroit, Michigan

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Inspiration from the Detroit Institute of Art combined with a zeal for spring cleaning caused me to view furniture as a canvas Wednesday morning. As I pulled my nightstand out to wash the wall, I glanced at it a second time. Then I abandoned my soapy water to scrounge for paints and brushes. In impressionistic style I dabbed paint on the drawers. My finished product will never grace the Detroit Institute of Art, but it brings color and variety to my bedroom.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


For Mother's Day I ordered 8x10 prints. Mom has portraits of all of her children on the living room wall. I'm ashamed to admit that the most recent were taken the summer of Joel and Judith's wedding (the same Joel and Judith who are now parents to two little girls). For though I take pictures of my siblings all the time, I obviously don't update the portraits on the wall.

I also ordered an 8x10 print of myself. No sooner was it framed and hung on the wall than it was voted off the wall. Nobody liked it.

It was cold and drizzly and rainy yesterday. By late afternoon I hadn't taken a single picture. I was desperate. So I hauled out my light stand, and my backdrop and the tripod. Then I focused the camera and set it on self-timer for self-portraits.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bleeding heart

Now I understand why they call them bleeding hearts.