Tuesday, September 30, 2008


There are old sayings.... running yourself ragged, spreading yourself too thin, running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, busier than a 3 legged cat in a sandbox.... well that's me lately and since it's Self Portrait Tuesday here's me running ragged like a thin headless chicken in a mad dash for the sandbox. WOW what did I do when I had kids to take care of.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Noon Traffic

We may be from a small town but the population doubles during the day and noon hour traffic proves it.

Happy Birthday Mom

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Purple in the sunlight

Sunshine through the purple Obedient plant. Not many flowers left in the garden.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Today we went up north to Beef-A-Rama. The whole town plus some outsiders get together and cook beef on the street. The beef is judged by the taste and appearance but also by the way the cookers are celebrating. The tables are set for the judges with crystal glasses, pretty table settings and anything else the crazy up north folks find to entertain. Then mid-afternoon they shut down Hwy 51 and parade the beef down the street, the curbs are lined with hundreds of people cheering for the beef. Crazy times and this is the only picture I took, it was out the back window of the truck when we first got there.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Eighty-One and Sunburst Locust

Let's document this day - EIGHTY-ONE DEGREES today. It is beautiful, the only bad part of today.... it's Warrens Cranberry Fest and I'm not there. This is the first year since 1999 when my dad got married that I have not gone.
Here's the sun burst through our "Sunburst Locust Tree", pun intended.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grey's is Back

No time for a new photo tonight..... Grey's is back!! I am proofing Adam's photos while watching Greys and I can't do both. Grey's, Biggest Loser, Lipstick Jungle, Army Wives, CSI, Desperate Housewives... you gotta love the new fall season.
Here's a faded soft focus version....How am I ever gonna pick a favorite for my wall?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Southwest Chicken Salad

If your like me there has been a time or two that you ordered a Southwest Chicken Salad while at your favorite Mexican Restaurant. It's my favorite salad and I had one last Friday in the Detroit Airport and it was fabulous. I started a search on-line to find a recipe that represented the salad that I had there and I came up with a close 2nd but the chicken short cut that I came across was well worth the search.
So here's the Chicken short cut - A bag of boneless skinless chicken breast (thawed), generously sprinkle the chicken with McCormick's Broiled Steak Seasoning, place in crock pot. Add about 1 cup of chicken broth. (I use the chicken bullion paste mixed with water). Cook the chicken in the crock pot for 7-8 hours. Now here's the short cut - Cool and place in freezer bags to use in all your favorite chicken recipes. Who couldn't use a couple cooked chicken breast on a Monday night when you don't have any supper ideas.... defrost, fry or grill, add a salad and go, suppers done!
Now the challenge is having the chicken breast make it to the freezer. I made this chicken short cut on Sunday with all intentions of using 2 for supper and freezing the rest. Sunday night I served them with garden red potatoes (thanks to Shawna), stuffing, broccoli and cauliflower, gravy made from the chicken stock in the crock pot, and rolls. Lynn and Jesse were over to pledge for the fantastic tasting chicken... nothin' but moans and groans during this meal. That chicken is fantastic, you gotta try it!
Tuesday I used the chicken for my Southwest Chicken Salad and it was again a hit. None of this chicken made it to the freezer but I do plan to make up a batch again real soon to help me out with those stressful nights of "What's for Supper?"
Tonight I had leftover chicken and the leftover Corn Salsa and chips from the salad. I love my Mexican bowls, my salsa wouldn't be served in anything else.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall Sky

What a beautiful fall day. Watched Josh's football game in the morning, cleaned up a successful garage sale remainings, visited with Ron and Rondi on the patio, drank a Long Island Ice Tea at the neighbors and enjoyed the sunset outside at the house.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall Garden Colors

You have to love fall garden harvest. I got some items from Gayle and made a batch of garden fresh salsa before I left yesterday for the Thursday guys night at the shack. Ohhh it's so good and the smell is even better, reminds me of Mexico. Now I need to make some spaghetti sauce and Gayle home grown garlic is fabulous, the bulbs are as big as a small child's head. Okay just kidding but when the recipe ask for 1 clove it's a 1/2 of clove from these bulbs.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Compass in color

I told you that I would update the compass in color so finally I have taken a picture. We got to enjoy our first sitting on the patio since we put it in. The weather was beautiful and I got done at noon since I'll be traveling all night so John and I soaked up the sun until I had to leave. I think I'm gonna like this seating area..... let's see now we have 2 patios, 1 porch, 1 Margarita bar, 2 backyard seating areas and 2 fire pits. I always tell John you have to have choices since you have to hide from the wind, look for the sun, some like the shade, not to far from the radio, shelter from the rain. Now we have all of them covered for next summer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I've been tagged so since it's Self Portrait Tuesday I'll play....

20 years ago - 1988 - I was 23 years old, married for 6 years, had 2 daughters Lynn was 5 years old and Shannon was 3. Our family was complete! We were completing our very first major remolding on the house. We moved the bathroom to the backside of the house, and added a laundry room upstairs. The bathroom door would have opened into the living room so we punched a hole in the wall to enter through the kitchen. Our old bathroom was a chunk of the kitchen that they put in so they didn't have to use the 2 seater outhouse that was left in the backyard. I remember planting flowers in my only garden around the light pole, the girls helped me.
10 years ago - 1998 - Well our family that was so complete was finally complete we added a son, he was 8 years old by now. We are doing another remolding job... this year it's the kitchen. We gutted the entire room walls and ceiling added all new cupboards, counter top, appliances and flooring throughout the kitchen, dining room, computer room and laundry. The kids were all into their own things. Lynn is playing softball for Whittlesey, she was a 3rd baseman and left field. She was actually afraid of the ball and thought she would just play to look pretty at the games but by the end of the season she was actually pretty good. Shannon is spending every moment she can babysitting for her new cousin Josh, she can't get enough of him and when she's not mothering him she has her nose stuck in a book. She read from the time she got up until she went to bed, her favorite gift that year was a book light so she could read in the car when it got dark. Adam is in t-ball, this is his first year making through an entire season.... let's not talk about his 1year (when he got run over by the big kids, smashed into the dirt under their feet while his mother wasn't paying any attention) and lets not talk about when I finally talked him into playing two weeks later he made a home run and tripped while running into the dugout and smashed his nose to open up the cuts from the first run over again.... yeah he finally this year became a ball player for real. Adam also was in 2nd grade which is the year he was diagnosed with dyslexia after a extremely long year of testing and my constant challenging of the teachers to figure out what was wrong.
5 years ago - 2003 - Our complete family is still growing.... this year we added 1st a grandchild and then a son-in-law. Someone sent me this saying and it's etched in my brain.
"Our family is a circle of strength and love. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger."
That saying sums up this year for the family. And I'm not sure how this is working out but once again we did some major remolding, or did we ever have a year without remolding??? We tore down our unattached garage and built a new much bigger garage. We also moved our daughter as far west as we could drive. This was the hardest adventure I and John have ever had to make. It's hard to remember what feelings we had since they seem like forever ago. I am adding a paragraph from the beginning and end of the "Moving" scrapbook.
Beginning of book - "Our family has grown up so close that it's hard to let her jump from the nest and grow her own wings. We can make it through this, there may be lots of tears but we will all grow with the experience we are about to venture into."
End of book - "Driving though Chippewa and down 29 was a sad time again for me.... we're home but someone is missing. A part of us is broken and we'll have to learn how to overcome this emptiness. I'm remembering the day we drove her to Eau Claire for school and how we cried the whole way home and she cried every weekend when she had to go back to school. The experience she gained from having to be away from home, paying her own way and making her own decisions. I know she'll be home soon...again.... and she'll be so blessed with her experience and knowledge. Her growth with Jesse will be stronger than ever.... we're home"
3 years ago - 2005 - I can't think of anything.... but I'll give you some inside scoop. As I'm writing the 20 years ago and then 10 years ago... racking my brain, talking out loud, asking John and Adam to help me remember..... My "common sense smart" son says... "why don't you get the scrapbooks they have all that stuff in them?" Sometimes his smarts drive me crazy... the kid spells and reads at a 4th grade level but his common sense is over the top.
1 year ago - 2007 - Moved Lynn and Jesse closer to home, Shannon and Elly were moved out of the house and Adam can finally see what being the baby of the family feels like. Another major remolding project - I got my garden shed, it was a run down horseshoe shack that I made John put as far on the end of the yard as it could get and then when we started fixing it up we moved it closer... I love it and don't know where I would put my stuff if I didn't have it. I was also on the town's garden tour, stressful yet fun.
So far this year - 2008 - We have enjoyed our kids every moment we can. We love the visits we get from them but we also finally started to enjoy the peacefulness of the house when it's just the two of us. I still would rather have the house full of kids and noise but let's not tell John that!!!
Yesterday - I took pictures of Adam at his grandparents old farm house. It's an abandoned house and Adam never seen the inside of the house since they moved off the farm while he was in his last month of cooking. The history of the pictures and Adam being the last grandchild for them is memorable, I hope they think so... John doesn't think they'll appreciate the location since it's so run down since they sold it. Oh well I'll give them a different pose.
Tomorrow - I am doing what I always do and will continue to do until I can figure out how to stop.... I am running myself short. I have one hundred million things to do and a short night to get them done.... before I leave for 2 days.
Next year - Empty nest.... need I say more. I may have to have the grandchildren over to spend the night more often..... did you catch the children part? LOL So far it will be only 2 but there's hope for 3 by then.
Me today - sitting in my spot on the couch typing this book, ya' gotta love a laptop. Oh yeah and the many Kleenex's by my feet since I stirred up my allergies sorting though fall clothes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Senior Pics

This time it was for my most difficult senior boy ever! He didn't want to smile, he didn't want more than 3 pictures taken, he didn't want more than 1 location, he didn't want more than 1 shirt, he didn't want to wear a sweatshirt, he didn't want to smile, he didn't want to change his jeans, he didn't want me too close, he didn't want to give his mother any type of cooperative behavior. I'm so used to his complaining that he did everything he didn't want to do, and he's a little cutie!! Okay so this is only a face a mother could love, and that I do.

He looks and acts so much like the Emmerich side... he looks a lot like Wally (and has Wally's sense of humor) with the skinnyness of Terry, he has the teenager tiredness like Randy in his younger years and the crackyness like Brian and the redneckness like Rusty and the commonsense smarts like Dan. All 6 of my brothers are wrapped up into my son but just 2 weeks ago we got to witness the temper of all 5 Hemmer brothers wrapped up into one upset boy who was told by Mr. Police Officer that his exhaust was too loud and he had to fix it. WOW he was mad, I don't think I ever seen that side of him before. He quickly got over it and fixed his exhaust and now the neighbors dog can't even hear him coming down the road.

Here's the Senior Boy with the only shirt he wanted, the only jeans he wanted and the only location he wanted and no smiles!!

And of course I can't stop at one.... so here's some favorites of mine

Can anyone guess where he's at? I was afraid of stepping on snakes or mice... but I really like it and I didn't step on anything but as I'm kneeling on the ground Adam says "Mom someones coming to visit you" It was a CAT..... YUCK, I was otta there.

These trees were planted in Jason's memory when both Adam and the trees were very small, it's so cool to see how they both have grown. This will be a very special photo for Adam and all of us that remember how close those two were.

And yes I did get him to change his jeans and put on his favorite sweatshirt.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Can she come over and play??

I called Shan on Friday and asked when El could come over and play.... I miss her more than I can explain. Going from seeing her everyday of her 5 years to seeing her once a week, if I'm lucky, is not easy for Grandma.
I know the change has been good for her, and I can list 5 of them right off the top of my head
1 - She's grown up so much in the last 3 months and I see it now, she is getting so tall!!
2 - She has learned how to play by herself, I had to play with her every minute she was here
3 - She gives me huge hugs and lots of kisses the minute she sees me, before it was whimpy hugs
4 - She has to go to her bedroom and find out what's changed, before she didn't go unless I took her, and yes she still has a bedroom at my house. I'm not sure she'll let me change it.
5 - She asks so politely for snacks and juiceboxes, before she cried for them until we all gave in
And a bonus #6 for Uncle Adam
6 - She makes his bed for him every time she's here, today she changed it up and put the camo blanket on the top and the green one on the bottom. We don't know why she does this for him, but he loves it.
We all miss her here even though Grandpa and Adam act like tough guys they turn into mush the minute she's here. Now can I name 5 things that I notice about myself since she doesn't come here everyday.
1 - When I come home from work I can do what I want and get things done for myself
2 - I miss her terribly, and when I see her it's so much fun
3 - I don't have to buy so many snacks...... darn there's no excuse now!!
4 - I don't feel guilty for not coming home from work, when she was here I felt bad when she would leave and not see me
5 - I really have adjusted to this very well, I didn't think I would do very well, and to be honest I didn't think El would adjust either, but we really have and I'm proud of both of us.
Here's my sweet lil' Elly Girl

She's doesn't run from the camera anymore either, she actually asked me to take pictures of her today.
She can still wear her Oregon Ducks Sweatshirt that I bought for her when she was 1 year old.... she has been wearing it for 4 years and I think she has another year or two left.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rainy Misty Day

Today we woke up to a gloomy misty rainy day. We needed the rain, but why can't it happen Mon-Thursday?? I ventured outside for some rain covered flower shots.
I needed a pink flower today to celebrate the birth of our new niece Kallie, she arrive this morning 2 minutes after mom and dad arrived at the hospital. Thank goodness they made it there, poor Jesse D. would have got a quick lesson in delivery in the backseat. Congratulations. Check out my other blog for pictures.
This is Mallow, I'm not sure what his name is anymore since it comes back from the seeds and I planted the main one several years ago.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Let's Play Name this Weed?

A girlfriend of mine asked me to name this weed. I haven't a clue, I've never seen it before. I quickly e-mailed the Master Gardener Sisters and so far the only guess is "Turtle Heads Cousin". Anyone else have a guess?
Of course I had to play around with it in Photoshop so this is the watercolor version.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

No candles

But how can you resist when they are this fun.... So they don't light them, they still look cool.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You gotta love fall weddings

Usually when fall comes around I can't wait to put on a pair of blue jeans with a comfy sweatshirt, but this summer we hardly had a week without them. Fall is here, it's in the air weather we like it or not, let's just hope for some warm fall days and nights to make up for the not so hot summer.
This is our first fall wedding and doing rustic with those fall colors (orange, yellow, red, brown, sage green) is so warm and homey feeling. Here's a sneak peak.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Just a quick snapshot today of Adam, he's fixing his deer horn that goes on his car... yep if you seen a white car driving around town with deer horns sticking out of each window "that's my redneck son". Thank goodness one of them broke so he had to take them off.

This is how everyone normally sees Adam - a hat on his head - we only see him without his hat when he wakes up so I was just as shocked as you all were with his 1st day of school pic. We take his Senior pics next Monday, it should be interesting.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


My sister Starla calls flowers that you didn't plant "Volunteers". So this year I had lots of Petunia "Volunteers" that are growing inbetween the bricks of my front steps. If you like pink you'll love this picture.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tearing down the wall

So today John decides to tear down the wall between the entryway and the living room. This is the before picture as John was pounding holes into the drywall.

Man my house is bare.... I guess I don't realize it until I see pictures, there's nothing in it.
We got the drywall torn down, the nails and screws all out of the studs, the rubble carried outside and then guess what... Ed and Billy came over to see the patio, beers were opened and that's where he stopped for the day. So now I'm one step closer to having the wall down, at least we can see through the studs. I don't have an after picture for this either... you'll have to wait until it's really down.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Added color

Today is not 3 weeks later but I came home to a surprise.... my compass was acid washed. He added color to the compass and the cobblestone border ...
but I really didn't like the colors in the compass so we agreed he would paint it black and wait for it to wear off and start over in about a year, free of charge. John wasn't real happy with me but a girl has a right to change her mind right? It looks good black, doesn't it???

Just kidding, that's some kind of sealer he put on. And your not going to believe me but I didn't take a picture after it was sealed and now it's dark outside. I'll have to post the finished product later in the week.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's our direction???

Straight north out my kitchen window (newly stained window as a matter of fact).
Today we had our grilling patio poured and stamped. My first thought was to only have the compass stamped into the center but by the time the guys left here on Tuesday afternoon I was having a brick outline and cobblestone corners... and this morning the guys were already here and tried to talk me into having the whole thing colored concrete to match the windows. I told them NO (I was so proud of myself, I didn't crumble and give in to their suggestions) just natural is fine and then acid wash the color into the compass. Then I left for work and thought about the colored concrete all the way to work, talk to a few people about it, e-mailed John to see what he thought, thought some more and by 7:15 I called home to tell them to add the color (I crumbled). It was only 40 minutes since I talked to them but it was too late Adam said it was already poured and the guys were almost done leveling it off.
Oh well I still like it, in 3 weeks they'll add the color to the compass. All we have to do is buy the bistro table, move the grill out, enjoy the cocktails and head straight north.

When they stamp this compass they use a real compass and line it up true north no matter how your house lines up with it. I was so glad that north is lined up with our house because I could live with them stamping the compass to north straight with the house but John wouldn't have it any other way than true north. It's a guy thing!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hot Lips Turtlehead

Who can think of a more fun name than that and it looks like a turtle head. My sister DiAnn came over tonight to take some flowers off my hands... she left with 3 overflowing 5 gallon buckets and lots of seeds for her to experiment with next spring, now if everyone of you would come over and take the same amount I might actually be able to stop throwing them away. So here is what HOT LIPS looks like....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First day of the last year of school

Here it is again the first day of school, their summer break just flew by. I asked Adam what his favorite thing was while on break. He said "Spending so much time with my Mom and Dad, I really enjoyed being able to spend the afternoon and evening with them to talk about all the important things happening in my life right now. Since this is my last year of school I really need to keep them informed of everything I do. They are my best friends and I will live with them until I'm 30"

snap, snap, snap.... oh that's my answer not his, that's right he slept here and we never got to talk to him unless we communicated through notes... and with Adam's dyslexia that was sometimes challenging for both of us. I didn't really ask him that question and I would now but... yep you guessed it... he's not home right now.
When the kids were all in school John and I took the first week of school off to get some outside and inside stuff done without having kids under our feet. We loved that time off and we got so much stuff done and got to have some us time too. In the last couple of years we decided that a week off for Shan and Adam to go to school, and us time probably wasn't needed anymore, but I still need to take their picture on the first day so we still stayed home on the 1st day. Today was no different, I had to take my little boys picture and he was so happy I was there..... We'll see what happens next year, I'm thinking we'll be taking vacation just because.
Here's Adam on his 1st day of his last year.... sniff, sniff, sniff
And just for those of you that think he still looks the same.... here is his last year picture and this year together. He's turned into a young man. Where's my smiling little boy??

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

Our labor day consisted of working in the flower beds and washing vehicles. It was such a nice day.... I even think I even had a sweat bead on my forehead once. (for those of you that don't know, I can't sweat it just doesn't happen). It was probably the warmest day of the summer and it's the celebration weekend of the last days of summer.