Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

In this well known Robert Frost poem the two roads are just as fair. 
(First line of the second stanza. Also the first three lines of the third stanza.) 
I believe it is possible to take both roads, perhaps not at the same time though.
My life's latest journey has been amazing and worth the decades-long wait.
Without having taken the second road, I would not now be on the first one.
The second road facilitated the first one which I went back to recently.
I was able to go back. I've been blessed.
Iris. Thank you for the timely reminder of one of my favorite thoughtful poems.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost
Daren and Greg have been working on the West End and the metal roof of the sitting room.
(Daren's up at the top.)
The addition will be painted the same color as the house so the white battens will disappear.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bluebirds and Phoebes are back! - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I don't often post sunset photos; guess I'm too busy at that time of the day. First lights and sunrises are my 'thing'.

After drenching rain Sunday and Monday we had a nice sunset last night and the bluebirds are back today checking out the cleaned-out nest boxes. Spring is here (at least for them). Clicking on photos enlarges them.

I bought my first mower in over thirty years a week ago; it was delivered before the rain storm and I mowed the "lawn" for the first time ever. Currently the plan will be to mow maybe three or four times a summer; I like a natural look but I've worked hard to eliminate the Russian Olive bushes (currently called Autumn Olives) and I don't want to give them a chance to come back. With their long thorns they are nasty and alien things.

The sunset last night over the pole barn.

I went for breakfast to Al's in nearby Harbor Beach this morning with the good ole boys and then headed over to Hill Top Nursery on the way to Bad Axe to pick up three different Hamamelis varieties in three gallon pots that I had ordered from them. When I got back home, Daren and Greg were already here. Soon after the sheetrock/drywall guys arrived to put up the interior walls of the sitting room. Greg and Daren are working in the West End. The witch hazels are planted and look really good. Here's hoping.
Some shots of a sunrise from early last week.
The amazing view from inside the house.

Another sunrise from later in the week.

It's been so interesting to see how the various work crews working on the house react to the property. To a man they are drawn to the bluff and stare out at Lake Huron. It's wonderful for me because that's exactly how I feel and it pleases me to see others react the same way. The very first time I visited the property - by myself  - without a real estate agent - I knew descending from my car and before my left foot hit the ground that this was the piece of property I'd build on and live on. My first plan always was to buy a cottage up here so I could come and visit on weekends, holidays, etc. Once I saw this amazing spot, my plans changed and I haven't looked back.

It's time to feed the dogs who MUST be obeyed.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016

One cloud this morning but more to come, they say. I'm close enough to Detroit that I get their stations and their weather predictions. Sometimes they hold true for here; sometimes they don't.

I had a chance to import frozen semen from an amazing male abroad but things didn't work out. I'm disappointed but, strangely, relieved. I learned a lot proving that lessons can be learned at any age. I do not have any intact dogs now. I would have imported only for others to use A.I. to improve their stock and to diversify the US gene pool.

Doug from Hill Top Nursery got back to me about the Hamamelis varieties I wanted to order. Success! Very soon now my plant orders for this spring will begin to arrive and insist on being planted immediately. For me that's very exciting. Some people like to go for a week or ten days on long cruises with strangers to amazing places to see amazing things. I've done my traveling with all of its pleasures and, unfortunately, some inconveniences. At this stage of my life I have to say, I want to say, that I get excited about adding to my burgeoning garden many familiar and also some new to me unfamiliar plants that I will be able to enjoy virtually all year long. I LOVE walking around my garden and yard with my hot cuppa and the dogs looking for signs of spring life.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

Although not all of the first lights and sunrises here are "beautiful" in the spectacularly beautiful sense, they are, however, all uniquely beautiful. Does that make sense? Today it was overcast but looking out at the shades of gray and blue over the lake, the first light was gorgeous - words fail me. There were small streaks of great color too. Clicking enlarges photos.

Daren and the crew that sprays foam for insulation were here today and did the "Sitting Room" and the "West End". Like all crews that have been here, they were drawn to the bluff and stared across Lake Huron - perhaps they were trying to see Canada or maybe they were just simply enjoying the awesome view.

I really enjoy talking with the workers. The insulation guys came from Attica which actually isn't that far from me. Not surprisingly, they didn't know a former acquaintance of mine who lives in semi-seclusion there.

Daren said he'll be back next week, maybe Tuesday. I'm thinking that maybe the walls of the West End will go up then or soon. Another inspector needs to come up for the sitting room before Daren can install the new window, new door, and new garage door for the West End. Additional insulation has to go in above the ceiling there too. Then, as a final step, I suspect that he will seal the concrete floor after everything else is done.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Adopted - Malcom the Icelandic Sheepdog

Malcom the Icelandic Sheepdog is looking for a new home. His official name is: -  Alderwood's Firefly of Arcticridge and his pedigree is on line at the Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America's website. Use the pedigree generator and type in "Firefly".

His foster mom says; - "He is a UKC Ch, with several other titles. Has his CHIC Cert, is started in obed, novice rally, lure coursing, nose work, barn hunt and has 2 AKC points. and he is of the "O" Lines. All we would like is to have his traveling expenses covered and a good home."

You can contact me at: - and I'll forward your email to his current home. Please help us find this lovely, handsome, intelligent, titled boy a forever home.

St. Patrick's Day - Thursday, March 17, 2016

Species bulbs produce smaller flowers but they do multiply and spread. These are tricolor crocus. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

Probably my favorite spring flower is winter aconite (below). There are two species and they open early and spread easily by seed.

A species crocus and a spring flowering iris bulb.

Korpur, Totty, and Bear enjoy the warmer spring-like weather after a big storm the other night.

There's a volunteer tree in a field on the way to Sandusky, Michigan that captures my eye every time I drive by. I think it's an apple tree but I'll keep my eye on it this spring.

Witch Hazels have always been a favorite early spring flower of mine. This bush is found in the backyard of a house in downtown Sandusky.

There was a flock of swans feeding in a field near Sandusky. There's something amazing about seeing a large group of swans.

First light this morning, St. Patrick's Day. I recently found out that I am part Irish which surprised and pleased me. I also have Greek, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Finnish, etc. DNA to go along with my obvious Danish and British genes. Of course, of course we all go back to Africa the cradle of our species.

Those who've known me for years know that back in Royal Oak I did not have a lawn; I had, instead, a large perennial garden - both front and back yards. I saved money on gas and on mowers which was good for the environment, and also encouraged pollinators, many species of insects, etc.Up here I want to have native wild flowers and a neat but not manicured yard so today I'm off to buy my first lawn "tractor" (large lawn mower) in more than thirty years. I'm surprisingly excited!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

February/March 2016

February left like a lamb - beautiful sunrises. The sun rises in the east which is the direction my house faces so the morning sunrises include the spectacular Lake Huron. I do get great sunsets looking west; I'm a morning person so I enjoy seeing first lights and sunrises more.


March brought another 12" of snow. It does make things very pretty and the dogs love it and never get tired of it. The workers prefer working when it's cold because they don't have to deal with the mud - which I'm sure will be here soon as things thaw.

They are making good progress on the new sitting room. Daren broke through the basement wall into the new crawl space last weekend in preparation for the duct work for the geothermal system. Insulation might be added this week and then some more electrical work. They've been putting some finishing work on to the outside which is very slow work but, like the icing on a cake, very important for "finishing" things.

I've contacted someone in Bad Axe about finding a large grindstone from Grindstone City. I've tried by myself with no luck.