Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Just feeling blessed today (in no particular order)

by my husband who I am crazy in love with

by my church family who really is like family

by my kids who are so funny and smart

by the amazing orange sunset out my living room window

by the wonderfully cool summer we are having

by my mom who is always right there when we need her and who always makes me laugh

by an abundance of vegetables from our garden, which appeared in vegetable pancakes for supper

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Super, Secret Decomposition

What a grabber for a title, huh?

Sunday morning when we drove to church, there was a dead deer beside the road about 1/4 mile from our house. We seem to get a lot of roadkill along this stretch, but it's all been raccoons and one rabbit so far.

We also have a VERY healthy vulture population and we've seen them many times cleaning up the raccoons.

Well, by the time Mr. GT and the buds came home from church, around lunchtime, the vultures were already doing their job. Six of them flew up from the deer as our van passed by.

Sunday night I could hear the coyotes howling. In fact, they woke me up at 2 am. Monday morning the deer was about 3 feet to the left of where it had begun and its insides were already hollow, ribs showing.

Every time we drive by it, I slow down and we check it out. It's been interesting to watch and we've talked a lot about the job of scavengers and marveled at how quickly the deer has been disappearing even with cool temperatures (only in the 70s this week). We've also discussed the difference between this deer, out in the country, and deer we've seen along the 4 lane highway who seem to lay there for a week nearly unchanged. We surmised that maybe the amount of traffic keeps the scavengers from doing their jobs.

Sunday evening Mr. GT invited me to go for a walk with him. Actually, what he said, while looking at me across the dinner table was, "Do you want to go for a walk with me?" Immediately, 5 little voices piped up, "Yes! Me!" Disappointment abounded when they found out I was the only one invited. He and I went for a walk up the very quiet side road and watched the sunset, listened to the silence and sniffed up all the summer roadside smells. But not decomposing deer. This was the other direction.

I had to switch my shifts this week because Grandma and Grandpa were coming Tuesday. I found someone to trade with me, but that meant I had to work on Wednesday.

So Monday night I announced we were going on a Super, Secret Monday Adventure since I wouldn't be home on Wednesday. My plan was to take the kids for a walk up the side road where Mr. GT and I had walked the night before.

They never have any idea what we're doing until we are actually doing it, although they do try to guess. I told them they needed shoes for walking and we all headed out to the garage. They started to pile into the van, but I grabbed the stroller and headed back out onto the lawn.

The kids scampered back out and began dancing around the lawn. "A walk! We're going on a walk!" Suddenly, Rose Bud froze in her tracks and looked at me.

"Nooooo. NOOOOOO. Uh uh! Noooo!" she said slowly, in a horrified voice.

Then I realized what SHE was thinking and cracked up! "No," I said, laughing. "We are NOT walking up to look at the deer!!! We can hardly drive by it with the windows down already. We are not walking anywhere near it!"

We had a lovely, peaceful, death-free walk along the quiet road and when we came home, we ate ice cream sundaes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Super, Secret Wednesday Adventure

This is actually Adventure #4. I didn't blog about the middle two because, well, they weren't that adventurous. In fact, about Adventure #2, Daisy said, "That was boring. All we did was drive around and then go to Culvers." Hey, we HAD ice cream! On Adventure #3, we went to the Humane Society to look for a new cat and didn't find one.

So, on to Adventure #4. "This was the best one yet!" exclaimed Daisy.

Our first stop was Tornado Park. It's a thin memorial to the 51 or so people who died in a little town called Williamsonville in 1871.

Do you know what happened on October 8, 1871? If you say, yes, I do, you'll probably say it was the Chicago Fire. You know, Old Mrs. Leary and her cow? You'd be right. Chicago burned down. However, 1200 people also died that same day in Peshtigo, WI in a fire and 2/3 of the 71 people living in Williamsonville were burned to death.

At Tornado Park, you can see the site of the original well where 7 people (5 of whom survived) took refuge. And that's about it. There's another small plaque across the park and it's a nice wayside and picnic spot. For a more detailed retelling, you can visit the Door County Historical Museum and see a map of excavation sites and some archaeological finds (mostly dishes and pottery).

Next we went to Potowatomi State Park and climbed the tower where Mr. GT and I were engaged. The kids love to hear the retelling of THAT story.

The night before we were engaged, Mr. GT and I had been out to dinner with his parents. Out to dinner means we ate hamburgers at a bar. Anyway, as we were leaving the bar, I convinced Mr. GT to buy me a capsule from the bubblegum machine. Remember those little capsules with a prize inside for 25 cents?

My prize was a little blue plastic violin charm. wow. After admiring it, I had Mr. GT put it in his pocket. Whatever i was wearing didn't have one.

The next day, Mr. GT and I had a date and we went to Pot Park (only called that, as far as *I* am aware, because Pot is shorter than Potowatomi). We climbed the tower, as we often did and we were enjoying the view of the Sturgeon Bay canal.

Suddenly, Mr. GT reached into his pocket and said, "Oh, here. I should give this back to you," and handed me the capsule from the night before.

My first instinct was to be silly and say, "Oh, thanks," and see how far I could throw it off the tower. I had it in my hand.

THANK GOODNESS something stopped me and I didn't, because the next words out of his mouth were, "Will you marry me?" and he told me to open the capsule.

Guess what was inside?

Of course, I said yes and we kissed and all that.

The kids LOVE this story and when we climbed the tower last night, I showed them just where we were standing when Daddy proposed. There was some speculation about where the ring would have landed if I had thrown it.

After the tower-climbing, we drove down to the shore and skipped rocks. Pepper proved to be the most skilled. Well, except for Mommy, who has been skipping rocks her whole life. Sunshine liked the "plunk" the big rocks made when he threw them in.
Next we ate pizza (yay! We didn't have to go to Culvers!) which everyone deemed "just ok." We ordered a medium BBQ chicken, since RoseBud wasn't along (she hates BBQ chicken, having once gotten sick on it) and we ordered a small Buffalo chicken. Guess which one everyone liked best?

Our last super, secret stop was at the new bridge. I remember walking across the old bridge as a kid and the thrill mixed with utter terror as you crossed the draw part which was all metal grate. The water swirled menacingly below you, the railings seemed too frail to stop you from falling. We always hurried across the grating part, yet we couldn't wait to do it again the next time. I loved walking across the bridge.

So we walked across the new bridge which is entirely cement. No grating. Pepper couldn't wait to see the place where it comes apart to open. We looked at the guard rail, the stop light, the teeth where the two parts meet in the middle.
You CAN see the water beneath at that point, but the crack is so small--maybe an inch--that it's not even scary. They also enjoyed looking out at the canal over the railing.

I should mention that the new bridge was actually every bit as terrifying as the old bridge but for the reason that there is nothing separating the sidewalk from the street on the bridge and the railing isn't all that terribly high. And I had Sunshine along. I was holding my breath, yelling "Stay close to Mommy!!!!" the whole time as he wove back and forth along the sidewalk. My heart is pounding now just thinking about it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What it means to be American

Here is a beautiful post on what it means to be an American, by Sarah.

I really should wax eloquent all by myself, but I couldn't have said it this beautifully and I don't know that I would even have recognized these blessings. You really have to be an American living in a foreign country to understand, I think. As Americans in America, we take so much for granted. SO much.

Maybe I'll just become a clearinghouse for other peoples' wonderful thoughts. sigh.