It was a perfect morning to go fourth …

07-04-15

We’ve been blessed with beautiful weather thus far this long weekend and you’ll hear no complaints from me about the sunny skies, lack of humidity and coolish temps. I was up and at ‘em early with a firecracker start as I had a long constitutional planned and a list of outside chores slated for my holiday agenda.

This morning I planned to visit and walk around four different parks, with stop #1 at Council Point Park, where it was very still and serene allowing me to be infused with the beautiful nature setting. Just like the neighborhoods that were so quiet as people slumbered away on this middle day of the long holiday, I think the squirrels and birds were also fast asleep. Down near the Ecorse Creek, even the elusive burping bullfrog was not bathing this morning, but tucked away out of sight and the geese and ducks were missing in the murky water as well.

So, after one trip around the perimeter path, I left Council Point Park and headed along River Drive until I reached Lions Park. They have a similar trail and a view of the Creek. I was alone with my thoughts once again as I walked around, peering through the bushes and trees for a sign of life, but there was none.

I was still full of energy, and wavered on returning home to work versus lingering a little longer on my walk. The weather was simply gorgeous and I really was in no hurry to get home to start the chores I had assigned myself for today – weeds, trimming the bushes and washing the house down. So, without much hesitation, I decided to officially declare my independence from any work on this July 4th holiday and make a couple of more pit stops before returning home.

I stopped briefly at Ford Park, then made my last stop Memorial Park. I meandered through the pavilion area and sat a few minutes on the benches across from the war memorial where I checked on the progress of the Band Shell. There was a drive here in the City to raise money to refurbish the Kennedy Memorial Park Band Shell, a 60-year old structure which had been in disrepair for some time. The rehabbing is nearly done, and I saw the “shell” has been painted a bright white and that new paint job shone like a beacon through the trees. The crumbling cement stage has undergone extensive repair and the acoustical system restored to its glory. The City’s contractors are rushing about madly as the Band Shell will celebrate the renovation next Saturday with a special guest appearance by the group MC5, who made their debut on that very stage a half-century ago.

Finally I was pooped out, so I headed for home where I checked my pedometer and found I had added another 5 ½ miles toward my ultimate goal.

Hope you have a restful and happy 4th!

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Some Friday frog frivolity.

07-03-15

When I stepped out the door this morning to leave on my walk, it was downright chilly. I glanced over at my neighbor Marge’s big thermometer and it was a double nickel degrees … 55 on the 3rd of July! Glad I decided to wear my sweat suit today. Beyond the thermometer that hangs on the side of the deck, I could see the new swimming pool in her yard – it hasn’t seen much activity yet this Summer between the rain, chilly temps and the incessant mosquitoes. For sure, this pool will see no skinny dippin’ action today.

I decided a trip to Council Point Park was in order and as I began my road trip, I started at mile #201, having racked up nearly 4 miles yesterday while grocery shopping. Too bad that I set my sights to be at the halfway point of my 500 yearly miles by the 4th of July. I fell short of that lofty goal for sure. But onward I’ll tread and hope for the best.

It was sooooooo quiet as I walked through the neighborhoods enroute to the Park. The big trek northward started mid-afternoon yesterday and continued long into the night. There wasn’t even the hum of an A/C unit since everyone was enjoying the cool fresh air.

It was equally peaceful at Council Point Park, and I arrived so early that I didn’t see a single soul until I was on the second go around, and then I didn’t recognize any of those walkers. Camera in hand, I left the trail to walk to the water’s edge after I heard a few plops and saw the still water shimmying with concentric rings that remained after a few spectacular splashes. Each time I heard a splash, I swiveled my head around, wondering if it was a fish flopping, or the elusive frog splashing around in the murky water. I didn’t hear him calling for his mate in the deep baritone burps he usually makes. I kept my eyes trained on the water in the open areas, as well as between the reeds and bushes, as I circled around the perimeter path, but whomever was enjoying the chilly water, they were nowhere to be seen.

I have to share some cute photos that my friend Leslie posted on her Facebook page over the last week or so. She has a frog that lives in her backyard. Unlike me, she does not have to go looking for this little guy – he just shows up in the funniest places. Yesterday, as you see above, he was staring down this big ol’ frog. Still another time he hopped aboard a giant tortoise.

07-03-15a

And look – here he thinks he is incognito in the flower garden on this large Hosta leaf. But, it’s not easy being a different shade of green when you don’t blend in.

07-03-15b

As to these Kermit capers – this little guy is like Waldo … you never know where he’ll turn up. He has made himself right at home while sunning, or maybe he is just hanging out, hoping Leslie will take him into the house to be a little brother to her kitties.

After two loops on the Park path, it was time to meander home. Today’s expedition took me 90 minutes and yielded 5 more miles toward the ultimate goal, and by the time I reached the end of my route, 66 was the temperature – now that’s more like it!

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A green thumb(s up.)

Outdoor gardening tools and herbs

I had counted on a walk today, and, just as I silenced the alarm next to my bed, the still of the morn was interrupted by a long rumble of thunder.  I sighed, and would have rolled my eyes had they been open.  Then, I had a horrible thought as I slipped into my moccasins ‘what if that rumble was another earthquake like the one we had yesterday?’  Well, I got up anyway, and was glad I did, because that rumble was not the precursor to anything.  Go figure.  The weather folks are predicting four perfect days stretched ahead of us, with nary a raindrop and only blue skies.  Well, we’ve all glommed onto that good news prediction and hope they are correct.

It took forever to get light enough to leave as the dark clouds seemed to hang heavy and low in the sky, giving the impression I could reach up and touch them.  I decided to just walk in the ‘hood and take an umbrella along so I didn’t get soaking wet should Mother Nature turn on the faucet while I was out and about.

There are definite pros and cons to all this rain we’ve had.  The homeowners in a corner house on Ferris Street laid some new sod nearly a month ago – could they have picked a better time to do so?  The sod strips have already grown together and the grass is dark green and lush.  On the other hand, the budding sidewalk chalk artists have finally thrown their hands up in exasperation and said “enough” because every time they create a drawing, the rain comes along and washes it away.

I’ve passed alot of homes that have those wrinkly looking pocket hoses hanging haphazardly on a gate, or perhaps slung over a shepherd’s hook.  They remind me of my leotards I’d used to wear back in the day.  I’d peel off my big old snow boots when I got to school and that in turn tugged down the leotards ‘til they would gather in rolls up and down my legs, eventually pooling at the ankles.  That would require a quick dash to the little girls room to yank them up and smooth them to look presentable again.  I’d bemoan how they looked, but all us girls wore them with our school dresses, in a putrid beige, royal blue or black.  Well, I think of those horrid leotards every time I see a pocket hose.

I’m happy to say I’ve only used my hose twice this year and that was to spray down the cottonwood from the grille of the AC unit.  It seems that every time I set out to fertilize the roses and perennials, they are calling for a torrential rain, or stormy weather, so I figure ‘why let all that goodness end up as rivulets in the yard’ so I’ve not fertilized yet.  None of the plants look any the worse for it.  In fact, I’m really proud my holly that has risen from the ashes since I cut it down over Memorial Day weekend.  After I nipped, pruned and sawed it down, it looked really terrible, but it has alot of new growth and is coming around.  It will never-ever be the beautiful globe that it once was before the original Polar Vortex struck it down, but it is getting’ there.

Finally, as I was walking up my street to go home, the sun came out – so, I never needed the umbrella after all.  Well, you could’ve fooled me because it was a mighty ugly sky when I left; it is Murphy’s Law that you only need an umbrella, the day you have left it on the umbrella stand at home.

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Tuesday musings – Time flies.

close up planner page

Time is on my mind this morning as we prepare to turn the calendar page to the second half of 2015.  There is also much chatter about today’s “Leap Second” and the question of how to spend that extra second that you gleaned today after scientists added it to help keep the nation’s clocks in sync with the earth’s rotation.  Those same scientists also hope the Leap Second will not cause a mini Y2K.  That statement caused me to reflect on Y2K and all the preparations  at home and at work.  At home, there was food and water storage preparation, topping off the gas tank, charging the cellphone.  At work, our law firm got an entirely new computer system as there were concerns our former one would just crash and burn.  We were all unscathed then, mercifully, after millions, perhaps billions of dollars was spent to ensure the transition from 1999 to 2000 went smoothly.

But what really transcended me back in time this morning was hearing  the resurgence of “The Faygo Song” on the radio.  That commercial speaks to childhood days, long gone, but fondly remembered and was all over the airwaves decades ago.  I hadn’t heard the song in years and found myself singing along to all the words to this 70s commercial, embarrassing even myself.  For those e-pals who follow my blog, but are not from Detroit, here is a link to that song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQqyDj7RX6Y

You, too, will feel like a kid again, plus you’ll have an earworm the rest of today.

Enjoy your Leap Second.

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Feelin’ saturated on this Saturday.

06-27-15

[Image by photographer Neil Thomas at Unsplash]

This photo I selected from the site “Unsplash” perfectly depicts the dismal and dreary day we have and it is a great vintage shot of an old Olds.  The classic car enthusiasts, who were looking forward to today’s Cruisin’ Downriver event, are now no doubt at home catching up on chores or reading a good book as I write this post.  The incessant rain, 60-degree temps and gusty 25 mph winds have prevailed since the wee hours of the morn and will continue through early Sunday.

Last night, I shut down my computer after sending out the blog post about the upcoming cruise.  It was already well after dark and I heard alot of street noise.  Worried at first, I soon realized the cruisers took to the street.  They probably saw Saturday’s soggy forecast and figured they’d head over to Fort Street and join their classic car comrades.  I guess the police didn’t interfere, because long after I heard the clock’s midnight chimes go off, there were still some revved-up engines and the occasional snorty-type noises those classic cars make.  Missing were the squeals of tires and delighted onlookers, and, of course, the vendors and bands were absent as well.

Today and tonight’s events have been cancelled, and the only official activity that took place was the Parade of Mayors, wherein the mayors from each of the four cities which participate in the cruise event ride in a mini convoy of classic cars.  I guess no one volunteered their bright and shiny baby as this year the mayors rode in police cars.

Hopefully the inaugural “Ponies in Park” collection of classic Mustangs will convene for next year’s Cruise.  Meanwhile, the grass and flowers are happy, but everybody else … not so much.

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From coupes to convertibles … it’s cruisin’ time again.

06-26-15

I just switched off the news halfway through the weather report, because once again Mother Nature threatens to wreak havoc with our weekend – that is … if the bad weather happens as the  prognosticators say it will.  This week several times the predicted showers and storms didn’t happen – that’s fine by me.  But how can they all be wrong?  When the bad weather doesn’t materialize, the weather folks blame it on the models.  I think Mother Nature just doesn’t like people stating her intentions and trying to read her mind.  I know that tomorrow’s all-day rain will put a kibosh on Cruisin’ Downriver, and I was looking forward to the congregation of 200+ classic mustangs at Memorial Park.  Owners of classic cars aren’t fond of dragging their babies out in the inclement weather and there sure isn’t an umbrella big enough for a convertible.

I decided to walk along Fort Street this morning and see if any cruisers were out already.  Since our local cruise began in 1999, the classic cars are out and about as early as Thursday evening, and on Friday, the day before the actual cruise, there is always a trickle of classic cars because their owners simply can’t wait another day to strut their stuff.

I passed one lime-green Mustang, circa 1965, as it looped around the cruise route, and I couldn’t help but scratch my head over the bright color … obviously not the “real deal”.  Just as someone looks at a blonde woman and wonders if her hair color is natural or from a bottle, I wondered about the original color versus the Earl Scheib $99.95 paint job.  Back in the day, a good friend owned the same model car.  She bought it used and it was the ugliest pale green color, so she saved her money and got it painted powder blue at Earl Scheib.  In just one day that pitiful little car got pizazz with a capital “P”.  Well, we thought we were pretty cool riding around in it, windows rolled down, wearing our dark sunglasses pushed up on our heads like a headband and letting the wind blow through our long locks.  I loved my VW Bug, but it was not as exciting as that sporty little ‘stang.

I kept walking ‘til I reached Yum Yum Donuts, knowing that this busy corner retreat was the donut shop version of the man cave.  This sweet spot is always a favorite hangout during the cruise where drivers go to refuel with a cup or two of Joe while their car engines cool off a bit.  Most of the drivers are talking “shop” and sipping and swiveling on the stools at the same time, to ensure no one is messin’ with their wheels.  The Mustang was a no show but how about this old timer you see above?

Radio station WOMC 104.3 and Channel 7 banners are lined up and down Fort Street and the police have put up the no parking signs already.

So, everyone is all ready and rarin’ to go, that is … as long as Mother Nature cooperates.

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Barking up the wrong tree.

06-24-15

Today’s weather was just glorious.  While Tuesday morning felt like a calendar page from the “Dog Days of Summer”, today was more like a late Spring day.

I left earlier than usual to take advantage of the cool morning and got 6.2 miles, or the equivalent of a 5k route, under my belt.  I am dogged in my goal to have walked 500 miles by year end.  I must admit racking up alot of miles in 2015 has been rough.  I prefer walking in the a.m., and all these rainy mornings not only are no-walk days, but then walking errands pile up, then grocery shopping must be done eventually.  Tomorrow morning the HVAC guy comes to check the A/C and it is supposed to be raining cats and dogs, so they may just reschedule the appointment, as they did before, making that still another no-walk day.   And, of course, don’t forget about dealing with those ever-present weeds … so there goes still another morning.  After hearing on the news that the City of Farmington Hills has obtained a weed-munching goat in an eco-friendly attempt to clear overgrown, invasive plants in a storm water detention basin, I am thinking that might be a viable option for me too.  Hmmmm, I wonder if my neighbor Marge would approve?

It sure is hard to believe that nearly half the year has passed already.  I had set a mini-goal to have walked 250 miles by 4th of July, figuring half the year would be gone, thus I should aim to have half the miles toward my 500-mile goal walked already.  But I’m not even to 200 yet … though I am close to getting there.

In today’s walk I zigzagged around … first along Fort Street, then through a couple of parks and over to the Harrison Street Bridge to see if any ducks were congregating there, but there were none.

I passed by this tree with its comical face and took the picture mostly because it resembles my boss.  There are other trees that line Emmons Boulevard with similar character faces, but this is really his doppelganger, er … if a tree could be someone’s likeness.  I make my case since Robb has a handlebar moustache and when he teaches his labor law class, he often dons his wire-rimmed specs which make him look much more professorial.  I e-mailed him the above picture and asked what he thought – suffice it to say he believes I am barking up the wrong tree.

Speaking of pooches, today I saw the pair of English bulldogs and would have liked to get an up-close photo of them next to their very slender owners, but they were way ahead of me down the block.  I did not think a pic of a pair of waddling bulldog backsides would do much for this blog post.

My friends in North Carolina and Virginia are suffering in a heat wave where the scorching-hot temps have been way over the century mark.  Evelyn, who lives in Richmond, tells me when the family comes home from work, their red tick hound Ginny is rarin’ to go on her pre-dinnertime walk.  They, however, are only too glad to be home and in the cool A/C and not too eager to traipse out for a walk in the heat, so they spend half an evening convincing her to stay put while she positions herself near the front door, next to where her leash is kept.

As I turned up my street, I saw Jenny our mail lady and told her I just finished over six miles, was pooped and I truly didn’t know how walks eleven miles on her daily route.  She confessed that yesterday’s heat and humidity took its toll because she was so dog tired, she only sat for a moment on the couch, then promptly fell asleep.

I wished I could have extended my walk, but that would have overdone it and I would be asking for shin splints for sure, but it was hard to tear myself from the perfect day to go into the house.

Mother Nature, I’ve got a bone to pick with you – no more rain and give us more perfect Summer days like these please, because I’d really like to achieve my 500-mile walking goal this year– after all, every dog has its day.

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