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September 2008
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November 2008

O Flannel!

    Last night I made the leap.  I finally accepted (however reluctantly) the fact that warm weather is gone until next spring, and I put the flannel sheets on our bed.  I tucked them in, and smoothed them down, and then I crawled into bed and thought "Ooooohhh....I love flannel sheets!  Why did I wait so long to put them on?"
    I have a long-standing love affair with flannel.  It may have started in my infancy, I don't know.  I do know that I used to try and snag my dad's flannel shirts to wear around the house because they were so warm and soft (and far too big for me!).  In the late 80's/early 90's flannel was "trendy" for a brief period, and I had flannel shirts in every color of the rainbow.  When my kids were small, they had little flannel shirts and pants and jumpers, and I loved that they always looked so cute and cuddly while staying warm and cozy.  (So many little kids' things fail on the "warm and cozy" end of things.)  And now I have flannel sheets.
    Actually, I have lots of flannel sheets.  Every bed in the house has at least two sets of flannels, and I'd like to have more.  There is something so comforting about getting into bed and feeling that soft, warm flannel around your body.  The sheets never feel cold, as they so often do with smoother fabrics; that cushy nap keeps them warm and welcoming.  Do you get the feeling that I really LOVE my flannel sheets?  (Uh, yeah, Steph....loud and clear....have you been taking your medication, hon?)
    Last year I made the pleasing discovery that Wal-Mart sells flannel sheets of surpassing softness, that don't pill when washed, at a killer price.  These sheets are flannel nirvana.  You get into bed and never want to get out again.  Oh, I'm sure there are some hoity-toity flannels out there that make the same claim, but for the price, I think these can't be beat.  They even come in more than two colors.  For a flannel-lovin' gal like me, that's about as good as it gets.  Now if flannel shirts would just come back in style, I'd be set.  

Not enough

    Yesterday afternoon I got a phone call from a woman who has become a dear friend to me over the past year.  When I saw her name on the caller ID screen, I answered cheerfully, expecting another of the positive, fun conversations that I usually enjoy with Kim.  Instead, I heard a broken voice telling me that she had lost her oldest son.  She told me briefly what had happened and asked me to contact the homeschooling group we're both members of with the news. 
    Of course I did, and I went to her house and tried to do whatever I could find to do that would be helpful, along with a host of other people. I hugged Kim and the other kids.  I matched socks and folded sheets.  I hugged Kim some more.  And then I left, and all I could think was "It's not enough.  I can't do enough for them right now.  Nobody can." 
    How do you comfort someone who's lost their child?  It doesn't matter that she has other children - each child is unique to a mother's heart, and each one means everything.  This boy can never be replaced. 
    Kim is a strong woman, with a strong faith, and I believe that she and her husband and family will survive this.  But the pain they're going through right now is more than I can comprehend, and something that frankly I hope never to experience.  All I can do is pray to God that He will be the "enough" for them right now - that He will pick them up and carry them through this.  And I believe He will. 
    But my heart aches for my friend. 

Nothing better to do

    Last week was pretty stressful around here, for various reasons, and by Friday we were all just DONE.  So, with nothing better to do, we got up Saturday morning and drove up to Mackinac.  Yes, Mackinac.  The place with the really loooooooong bridge?  Way up north?  That's the one. 
    And why, you may ask, did we decide to do that?  Well, mainly because we could, and we'd never been there.  It was a beautiful fall day, we didn't have anything pressing on our schedule, and - well - why not?  So we pointed the van north and took off.
    First of all, while I don't necessarily recommend doing the trip all in one day, it can be done.  We were all tuckered out when we got home Saturday night, but it was a great drive.  Second, if you can only go to northern Michigan/the UP once a year, go in the fall.  We spent the entire drive with the video recorder or camera out, trying desperately to capture all the amazing fall colors.  Now all I want to do is plaster the entire house with pictures from this trip.   A little taste....
Mackinac trip 023

Cinnamon and curry here....

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Hot and spicy!  

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And a little cool water....nice!

We had a great time just cruising along through all the colors.  Lunch was in a cute little mom-and-pop diner in Mackinac City, and it was delicious.  (Pasties!  Yum!)  Of course we had to prowl around the shops a bit and find some souvenirs. :-)

So that was our big trip!  Amazing what fun you can have when there's nothing better to do. 

It doesn't have legs

    I've had about a half-dozen posts at my fingertips for the past week or so, and all of them have been stymied by one simple fact: I can't find the camera.  I wanted to talk about the beautiful maple tree in the back yard, but I can't show it to you, and words aren't enough.  There are some incredibly funky mushrooms on the bank of the pond, but again, I'd need to show you.  Oh, and we have three new kittens - yes, we're suckers - and they are SO cute, but you guessed it.  No pictures.  Not to mention that I'd like to take some pictures of my kids, and there is a pile of beads waiting to be photographed, get the idea.
    This is seriously frustrating.  It's a camera, for pete's sake - the thing can't get up and walk away!  Granted it's not a particularly large object, but still, we should be able to find it with all of us looking.  Of course, no-one remembers being the last to use it, so no-one has any idea where to even begin looking.  All the typical places have been explored, along with some very atypical places, all to no avail.  Ze camera, she ees inveezible! 
    SO, in the absence of pictures....I got nuttin'.  Seriously.  All the things I want to talk about just won't be the same without the pictorial evidence. It's making me crazy (and believe me, that won't take long!).  The thing doesn't have legs!  Where could it be?  Inquiring minds want to know....and they want to know NOW!   Stay tuned for the next time, when your intrepid investigator daringly explores the depths of the family minivan.  Who knows what dangers lurk in the shadows?  We'll be back....