Single Drop Of Seawater Magnified 25 Times Reveals Bizarre Microscopic Creatures

This gallery contains 2 photos.

More Galleries | Leave a comment

The Hammocks of Torch Lake

I read an interesting statistic the other day…


“On any given summer day 18.6% of the people in the U.S. will spend some time in their hammocks.”

That started me thinking about my hammock. Perhaps you’ve seen the pictures of my hammock in previous blogs but the pictures don’t show how OLD my hammock is. You have to understand, I LOVE my hammock! When I got her years ago, I named her Hannah. Give me a book, a blanket, a gentle breeze, & a tall glass of something sweet, & I’m very near heaven swaying in Hannah’s arms.

My Lovely Old Hammock

My Lovely Old Hammock

All that hammock thinking, along with a marginally warmer sunny day, made me realize I could be getting ready to get Hannah out into the yard. I was distressed to say the least when I actually went out to take a look at the old girl. Some particularly obnoxious rodent decided to use bits & pieces of my hammock to build what was undoubtedly the largest nest ever, signaling the end of the Hannah Hammock era.

So now I’m faced with the task of finding a new hammock. Who knew it would be such a daunting task? Do you have any idea how many hammock choices you have to make today? There are fabric hammocks, but that means you have to get into the whole “what kind of fabric, what pattern, & what color?” You have to decide if you want a plain fabric hammock, a padded fabric hammock, or a quilted fabric hammock. Then there’s the issue of the pillow. Should your pillow match your hammock or just coordinate with it. (Can’t be too “matchy-matchy”). Will your pillow be attached or loose?

Of course you can still buy the old-fashioned rope hammock but then you have to decide if you want cotton, polyester, or the new & improved blended cords. And again, you’re faced with choices of color. Now they make rope hammocks in blue, orange, yellow, green, & red as well as the traditional oatmeal & white. What kind of wood do you favor? Varnished or painted?

You have to consider the size – single, large single, or double? Do you need a stand hammock or a tree hammock (I have yet to understand the difference there!) Do you keep your hammock up all summer or store it after every use? In which case you may need a storage box. There are hammock accessories…tables, blankets, shade umbrellas, dishware, & even lounging attire that coordinates with your hammock of choice. Even after you’ve waded through all those decisions, you still have to decide where to purchase said hammock. Online? Specialty store? Big box? Cash? Credit?

Here’s one more hammock statistic –

92.6% of all people who get into hammock fall asleep.

Compliments of

Compliments of

It was a daunting task but fear not…I managed to wade through it all. I have a brand spanking new hammock. Soon my book & my blanket & I will find our way into that hammock & join the other 18.6% & become just another statistic. I’ll swing & sway & christen my new friend.

I would love to show you a picture of my new hammock but I am utterly exhausted by all of the work involved & too tired to dig out my camera…I feel a nap coming on!

Me.. I’m off to find a sunny spot for a snooze!!!

A princess is always passionate about gardening



Posted in Turquoise Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Truly Amazing Mother’s Day Tale

There are several life assumptions we all hold dear…

Some are benign, like always finding nuts in your Snickers Bar or holes in your lifesavers. They make up the little things that keep your life woven tightly together.


Others are cornerstones serving as anchors in our lives. Primary among those is the assumption that our mothers love us.


Through issues of distance, disagreements, or differences, aren’t you certain deep in your soul, that Mom loves you? Sure she may have been upset about the Kool-Aid incident when you were seven & she might not have been 100% on-board with your first “True Love”.  Admittedly, she was vexed the one night you broke curfew, but despite those minor bumps, weren’t you always sure of her love?

This is a Twilight Zone tale of the real measure of a mother’s love. I relate this, not to shock or sadden you, but rather as a litmus test against which you may wish to review your own maternal relationships…a cautionary tale.

Imagine if you will a mother who is an enthusiastic outdoor woman, energetic & younger than her years. Imagine also, a lovely summer morning full of blue skies, blue water & the clear air that only northern Michigan can provide.


This wonderful mother proposes a hike through the pristine trails of the Grass River Natural Area, to view the woods & water & perhaps spot the much rumored eagles nest.


You warm to the idea…strolling along, enjoying wildflowers, leisurely chatting about nothing important, appeals to you. Seems an idyllic way to spend a few hours with the amazing creature who gave birth to you. There’s even the prospect of lunch in Bellaire, or better yet, ice cream in Alden.

The way is short, the entrance free… soon you’re standing at the trail head breathing scents of the woods. Can you picture it? Take a moment to close your eyes & feel the beginning of this peaceful journey. Shades of green line the path, songbirds sing their musical welcome…ahhhh.

One more salient fact…for some totally unreasonable, utterly ridiculous reason, you’re both mortally, mind numbingly, heart-in-your-throat, afraid of snakes.

You begin the hike, letting your mother go first for all the obviously respectful reasons.

One moment its peaceful, serene even…the next, there’s a blood-curdling scream & you find yourself flat on your back!

Trying desperately to re-orient yourself you whirl up & around. In front of you on the path where your mom used to be is a 30 foot long brown snake (probably only 3 feet long but it seems otherwise) its head raised, its tail shaking, hissing. And your mother?…200 feet back up the trail having run over you in the escape process…babbling & gesturing incoherently.

Obviously the only thing to do is scramble, screeching to her side in support. Both of you hyperventilating in a sort of a bonding experience. You both agree it’s a close call.

Once the panic recedes, normal thought is again possible & you begin to appreciate the full horror of the situation. This woman who generously shared her body with you for 9 months, who bandaged your knees, baked endless chocolate chip cookies, suffered gladly through countless Brownie & PTA meetings, who wept at your graduations & your wedding, has just willing sacrificed you to the mercy of your worst nightmare…a 30 foot long brown striped snake.

Its enough to shake the very foundation of your soul.

An Alfred Hitchcock tale? A visit to the Twilight Zone? or just a walk in the woods with your mom?

Post script…After a bit, my mom & I convinced ourselves to overcome our hysteria. In a nearly Olympic moment we managed to race past the monster (now lying on its side apparently dead) to the education center. We expected comfort & sympathy. What we got was a naturalist who was beside himself! Once he heard our heroic tale, he convinced us that revisiting the behemoth was imperative. Of course the demon was gone by then, but our naturalist surmised that what we had encountered was a hognose snake. We never did agree about whether we were extremely fortunate to come upon such a magnificent creature (his side of the equation) or whether we escaped with our very lives!

This very true story is dedicated to my very own mom with all my love & to all the other mothers out there who dearly love their children.

Happy Mother Day!

Me…I’m off to spend some time remembering the love of the others who came before me!!!

Picture 012




Posted in Just Down the Road | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment