Entries to Win Afghan

If you like my books, essays, etc. you might want to put your name on this private email list (no spam ever) for advance notices, coupons, and occasional freebies. Tell your friends too! Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Previous gifts include a short story, a poem and a half-off coupon for the newest book. Sign up, and don't miss out!"
Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Peach Cobbler

Are you coming to work tonight? If so, this is coming with me. That is all. Gotta scoot

peach cobbler

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Clouded Sulphur?

These little yellow butterflies are so pretty, but they are really tricky to identify. There are three main choices where I live. I think this is a Clouded Sulphur, Colias philodice, but I'm open to correction by anyone who really knows these little guys (and girls). I'm strictly amateur when it comes to Lepidoptera.

This one has really pink wing edges, but it does have spots along the edges of the hind wings. So, that rules out a Pink-edged Sulphur. Those have no edge spots. Clouded Sulphurs usually have a double central wing spot. But that isn't definitive. It's probably not an Orange Sulphur because they have to show at least a little bit of orange somewhere.

clouded sulphur butterfly

And just in case you weren't confused enough, they can interbreed.

Anyway, they are cute little yellow butterflies with big green eyes and pink legs, and there are always a lot of them in August.

See Cabbage and Sulphur Butterflies for more examples
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Smell of Orange

Here's what's left of a bar of Fast Orange soap. It's got pumice in it, and is supposed to be as good as Lava. In case you are wondering, I think not.

Fast Orange soap

However, I ended up buying a bar in a week when apparently every store was out of Lava. "You'll like it, the salesman said." Nope. You can see that I'll soon get to buy a new bar of something. Hopefully, Lava. But the strangest thing I noticed was that the orange soap smelled just like something else. Something not at all related to soap.

Fast Orange soap

This story actually begins in second grade. But it became a critical mass today... enough to set off a blog post.

Over Thanksgiving Break, in second grade, I had my tonsils out. I remember having to eat tomato soup instead of turkey. I wasn't happy about that. But I did get to chew gum in class for a couple of weeks after going back to school. That would be Aspergum, orange flavor. It didn't taste like oranges, and it didn't taste like aspirin. But it had a distinctive odor. Some scents have stuck with me my entire life. This is one of them.

The package of medicinal gum looks disturbingly like the soap wrapper! Actually, this hasn't been made since 2006, but another company bought the brand, so it could come back. The soap and the gum smell just the same.


Just a few days ago, I realized that the Ibubrofen caplets, which are also orange (but not the dark red tablets), smell this way too.


I think this odor must be due to the orange dye. And today, my scent sensors were set off again. The soap dispenser at work is empty, so I used the bottle of cheap dish soap by the sink to wash up with. It's orange. It smells exactly the same!!!

This is a little eerie. Two medications and two soaps. All orange. Has to be the dye. It's not a pleasant or unpleasant odor, but it's distinctive. The smell of orange.

See Maggie Says, "More Orange, Mom!"
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Kayaking the South Branch

I promised you a paddle event, and today was the day! This was a semi-impromptu get-together of people who have been doing the Challenge hikes. Eight of us met at Laura's house, and with only about 4 miles of driving could put in at Washington Bridge and take out at Anthony Bridge with 2.5 hours on the river. The river is the South Branch of the Pere Marquette. No permits or time limits like on the main branch.

kayaking the South Branch of the Pere Marquette

A lot of my pictures really aren't very good. The water was a little low at this time of year so almost always there were rapids or rocks or trees to steer around. I couldn't keep the camera out of its plastic bag very long at a time or I was getting turned sideways to the current or pushed into a tree. And all the most interesting pictures would have been at the places where I needed both hands on the paddle.

kayaking the South Branch of the Pere Marquette

Sue and Sophie were there. Sophie not only hikes, she canoes!

kayaking the South Branch of the Pere Marquette

Actually, they both took a dunking. There was one rapids where you had to go through the "chute" (we're not talking serious rapids, ok), and then make a sharp left turn to stay in the current and not hit a gravel bar. Somehow, Sue was already through it, and flip! over they went. I have to tell you this because it leads to the funniest image. Sophie quickly swam for the rest of us who were waiting at the edge to be sure everyone made it. Her life vest has a handle on the top. So Michael plucked her out of the water by the handle, and she kept paddling like crazy all through the air as he lifted her into his kayak!

Gary and Sue righted her canoe. And Gary got his butt dunked doing that.

kayaking the South Branch of the Pere Marquette

I have no pictures to prove it, but Michael was the winner. He went in the drink twice. He and Gary borrowed sit-on-top kayaks. It may just be the brand, or the fact that they are both pretty big guys, but they sure didn't like those kayaks. They both said the boats were very tippy.

Here we all are at the end, the same number of people we started with, but with a little digital magic, we completed the trip with two of Sophie.

kayaking the South Branch of the Pere Marquette

And how about my Sea Wings? They work great. The kayak feels much more secure. But it's still annoying to tie all those straps and ropes.

kayak on car

See Kicking Back- Awesome Day
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Monday, August 14, 2017

How Do Plants Make You Feel?

These plant pictures have all been taken in the past month. I present them to you without identification (exhibiting great restraint), just to let you react. Tell me how they make you feel.

scouring rush

big bluestem grass

hematite hillside

basswood flower


scouring rush

I got a lot done today! Laundry, mowed grass, worked at the paper because they were short-handed, stripped more paint off the trailer, did some housework, did some computer work. Wish I could get this much done every day! Tomorrow it's back to work, but I have some fun planned for later in the day.

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