Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Canine Home Health Care (R rated for language)

     This is how Dan and I have felt this week.  Hudson has a drug resistant E. coli urinary tract infection.  The only available antibiotic that will kill the little bugs has to be injected under his skin. The main side effect is kidney damage, so it must be given with lots of saline, also injected under his skin.  
     We've been at the vets for the last 4 days, making sure his kidneys were working well and learning how to give the medicine and fluid.  I am happy to report that we have just successfully completed his first home therapy.  He wasn't too happy about it, but is much more easily plied with treats at home than at the animal hospital. 
     Moral of the story: Don't eat poop!  If you do eat poop, don't lick your penis!!

(photo is Sarah's impersonation of "The Scream")

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Denouement

           Dan worked hard yesterday and last night.  My sister's Christmas lunch was a success.  
The presents are gone and and in their place a sunny spot to take a nap. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Zoo Lights

Deb and Dan will be visiting Andrew and Maya this Christmas.  After dinner and the big gift drop off, we went to see the Lights Before Christmas at the zoo.

My favorite - Moose!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!

     One of our friends couldn't resist buying this toy for Hudson.  When you squeeze it, a voice says "Oy vey!"

     Hudson thinks it needs to go the river?  More likely to a hole in the ground, but I'm not going to find out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Red sky at morning...

     Sailors take warning is the old saying.  Turns out the red sky this morning only foretold a cloudy day, a common occurrence around here this time of year.  Any sunny day between the beginning of November and the beginning of March I consider a "bonus" day, but even the cloudy ones can be pretty.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cray Cray

       Lora has been my friend since June of 1966 (it says so in my baby book).  We meet every month for lunch.  The Cracker Barrel ("The Crack") is one of our favorite places.  She gets baked catfish and I get fried. Then, we shop.
     This hat lights up and plays "We are Santa's Elves" from the Rudolph movie.  It was on sale for only $7.99.  I resisted.  She didn't.  
The hat will make its debut at her daughter's Ugly Sweater Party.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tradition

     Our friends have been getting their Christmas Tree from the Whitehouse Tree Farm for many years and their enthusiasm has rubbed off on us.  

The tradition consists of:
1. Racking your brain trying to remember what you have in previous years figured out to be the best variety of tree (in our case, a Frasier - for the wonderful fragrance)
2. Finding that tree species on the farm map
3. Navigating to that section (with the attendant debate)
4. Traipsing around the section while having another debate about optimal Christmas tree structure.
5. And (for Dan and I) returning to the starting point and buying a tree imported from North Carolina!  

     The Tree Farm is owned by the Wheelers and has become so popular that they can't plant trees fast enough (thus, the imported trees).  The popularity arises from a combination of a scarcity of competition, and the availability of free horse drawn sleigh or carriage rides, bonfires, and free hot dogs and hot chocolate (a true tree experience destination).

     Once you are ready to go, your tree is hoisted on top of the car (by Duke, Jr., in our case) and expertly tied down.

     The McWeenys beat us every year in the tree size contest.  This year, theirs was so big, their name fit right on the stump!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hanging on to Fall

     Some Christmas decorations were up before Halloween and I don't like it.  I would rather savor each season as it comes.  So, even though the days are short, I'll wait to put my (electric) candles in the windows until next weekend.  
     I'm thankful we have not had snow that would crush the beautiful seeded annuals and perennials, like this goldenrod.  This photo was taken in Wildwood Park, looking south toward a great White Oak.  I've always thought of this oak as the one on the Metroparks logo.  It must have grown up by itself in this field to have such a symmetric form. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Family Times

Bill fries one turkey.

Dueling turkeys:
Bill's fried (with Deb as assistant)...

... & Jonna's roasted (Cindy carves and Suzanne assists)

Jim, Jonna, Bill, Deb & Cindy

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Calm before the storm

     One hour before everyone arrives (21 total), and all is calm.  One turkey "resting" after it's time in the oven, and one ready to go in the fryer.  We're ready.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Goldfinch Staying for Winter!

     The American Goldfinch is one of my favorite birds.  The males are beautiful in their summer plumage and both sexes are dainty and their chattering heartwarming.  For many years we had 4 pair overwinter, but they stopped when I moved the thistle feeder (so I could see them better - silly me).  It looks like I finally coaxed them to the new spot by planting cone flowers nearby. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Frost Flowers

     Eileen Sawyer is an amateur naturalist who volunteers for the Toledo Area Metroparks by leading the vernal pool monitoring program.  She has kindly consented to sharing these photos of frost flowers she took last week.  You can see them at the base of this plant.

     Frost flowers are formed when cold temperatures cause cracks in plant stems, allowing sap or water (propelled by capillary action) to extrude slowly and freeze. 

     They do not last for more than a few hours, fading away with the sun's rays.  You can learn more (and see more beautiful photos) by watching this youtube video or reading this website.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sleep Over

     Dan's parent's dog is spending a few days with us.  I think if you asked Hudson what his preference was, it would be for Fin to stay with someone else.  Since no one asked him, he's taking it in stride.

Friday, November 4, 2011

First Frost

One week ago we had our first frost .......

?Indian Grass?

Sweet Everlasting 
(one of my favorites)

Blue Curls
(see September 10th entry to view in full flower) 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

      We don't get many kids coming to our door on Halloween, but we can always count on the Gouldings.  Under their coats, Abby was a princess and Madeline was a bumble bee.  Peter was a chick, who was somehow able to drop a tootsie roll pop from his mouth onto the ground and back again before any of the 5 adults nearby could interfere.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ann Arbor Adventure

Yesterday we were treated by our friends Johnna and Phil to the University of Michigan football game.

We arrived early enough to get a prime tailgating spot on the golf course.  

Halloween brought out some interesting characters.

It was cold so I was happy the seats were close together.  There were 112,150 in attendance.

True U of M fans!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


          I was caught without my good camera last weekend, so will have to make do with this phone photo of the fog lingering in the valley where Loudonville, OH lies.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wild West

On a recent trip to visit friends in Santa Fe, we took a drive to Taos.  We decided to take the bridge over the Rio Grande on the way back.  There was construction, and while we were waiting before crossing I took this shot.  You'll have to click on the photo to read the sign.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Celebracion de Chile

     Last weekend Dan and I had the best meal I've ever had at a fundraiser.  This one was for hospice and Alzheimer's care services at Promedica Health Systems and was catered by Evan's Street Station, in Tecumseh, Michigan.  The wines were from Santa Rita Vineyard in Chile. As if good wine and good food weren't enough, Jose Villa Lobos, flew all the way from Chile to describe the wine for each course - delightful!

Passed Hors d'Oeuvres
Shrimp and Sweet Corn Salad on Crispy Tortilla with Spiced Creme Fraiche
Roulade of Quinoa & Harvest Vegetables
Beef Crudos with Lemon Juice, Diced Onion & Traditional Yogurt Sauce
Scallop Ceviche with Lime & Local Chiles in Belgium Endive

120 Sauvignon Blanc, Reserved Chardonnay, Reserva Malbec, Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon

Poached Maine Lobster with Heirloom Tomato, Caramelized Fennel, Lambs Lettuce & Ginger Beurre Blanc
Medalla Chardonnay

Goetz Farms Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Green Pumpkin Seeds, Back Forty Acres Duck Confit, Midwest Maple Bacon, and Farm Stand Sweet Corn
Medalla Real Carmenere

Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Potato-White Cheddar Gratin, Local Broccoli, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Fried Celery Root, & Cabernet Natural Reduction
Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark Chocolate Flourless Torte with Chambord, Pecan Crisp, Creme Anglaise, & Ganache
Cinzano Brachetto d'Acqi

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Indian Summer

     Grasses are some of my favorite plants.  I love the way they sway in the breeze and catch the light.  When ripe and warmed by the sun they smell like autumn.  This is Big Bluestem.  It is also known as Turkey Foot Grass because the ripe seed heads look like upside-down turkey feet.  This photo was taken at Campbell Prairie, which is in the Oak Openings Metro park.

     Hidden in the same prairie is this Praying Mantis egg case.  It is very hard, but light - like Styrofoam.  The case provides insulation and allows the eggs (and the species) to survive the winter.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Beautiful Gentians

Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita) - Potentially Threatened in the state of Ohio

Soapwort Gentian (Gentiana saponaria) - Endangered in the state of Ohio

Prairie Gentian (Gentiana puberulenta) - Endangered in the state of Ohio

Monday, October 3, 2011

Great News

     You'd be hard pressed to find a happier person than Gordy Rogers when this photo was taken last week.  He had just found out that his metastatic cancer continues to be in remission.  He is an amazing architect who also, apparently, has excellent balancing skills.  I would have been more impressed if the glass was full of scotch.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hurry Hummingbird!

     Fall is here.  I finally had to give in and turn on the heat this morning.  Although this rather inadequate photo was taken earlier this year, I have continued to see hummingbirds at the feeders, as late as this morning.  I am guessing they have spent the summer in Canada and have only just now made it this far south.  It's hard not to worry about them.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

Looking Back

       This is mom and us kids, in 1967.  I'm not sure where the photograph was taken, but it was not around here. Dad must have done the honors.
     I remember the clothing.  Mom's dress was pink check and her purse was red. She would have had nylons stockings on, the end seams showing through her sandals.  I would later wear my sisters dresses.
     Deb is the farthest left, ready with binoculars and her brownie camera. Then comes Bill, James, Cindy and I.  Not a bad looking group.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More Pups

     Our friends Natalie and Dave just bought a pontoon boat and took me for a ride this weekend.  They had their new 5 month old pup with them - JJ.  Turns out he is an American Pitt Bull Terrier mix they adopted from a rescue agency.  This photo does not come close to capturing how snugly he was.  
     I did a little more Internet research this morning.  I was wrong on my earlier post about Toro. The Little Rascals dog was an American Staffordshire Terrier, or American Pitt Bull Terrier (I can't seem to find much difference between the two).  These are the dogs currently targeted by legislation in many areas, not Bull Terriers.  The Staffordshire or Pitt Bull Terriers have a breed trait of being aggressive toward other dogs and animals.  The best link I found on this was here. Interestingly, they are generally so affectionate toward people, they are called "Nanny" dogs in England and do not make very good guarders of property.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

McRury-Tebbe Tree Farm

     My Uncle Phillip and cousin Mary Lou own a tree farm in Morrow County, Ohio.  Uncle Phil has made a second career out of puttering around the farm.  Mary Lou and her family built a house on the farm last fall and yesterday my sisters and I went for a visit.  Uncle Phil often talks about the local auction, so we made a point of stopping by.  This is where the trucks pull up to unload.  There is an area on the far side for the buggies to unload, to accommodate the large numbers of Amish who attend.

     The produce was beautiful, bountiful, and a bargain.  The protocol is to follow an auctioneer (much younger than I had expected) around the rows.  There is one just to the right of the photo. My sisters and I were able to split 3 bags of pears and some apples and mums Uncle Phil couldn't help buying.

     Back at the farm we had BLT sandwiches and pickled beets after a tour of the chicken coop.  After lunch we took a walk to Mary Lou's pumpkin patch, her successful first attempt.  There was barely room to sit in the car by the time we headed home.