like bumps on a log


That’s me and Banjo Man.  Birds of a feather, two halves of a whole, two peas in a pods, bumps on a log.

We’ve been married for 46 years, as of today.  My oh my, does that make me feel old.

We’re four years away from getting our picture in the paper. You know the one, where it shows an elderly, white-haired, sweet couple’s photo next to a grainy fifty-year old version of their very young, un-wrinkly, hopeful, smiling selves.

I think I’ll skip that particular photo op in 2020. 

We’ve decided to celebrate with a little campfire on the beach. Just the two of us. And the gazillion rocks.

I love the rocks. Just like I love Banjo Man.





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autumn in the kitchen

From Dancing Mandolin Player’s orchard…


I now want to design a quilt using these colors.   After baking pear and apple tarts, that is.

It’s a gorgeous Sunday morning.   White chicken chili is in the crock pot and friends are coming from Montana for an afternoon of Bridge.

We have spent the morning watching the news and remembering 9-11 and the lives that were lost.

My heart goes out to their families.


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off to get banjo man tonight!


I can’t wait to get him back to the lake!

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today’s miracle

My kitchen is clean.

Yes, I consider that a miracle.

It’s a bit disconcerting, since it hasn’t looked like this since we arrived at the lake in June.  I started cooking and canning and freezing meals shortly after our arrival and I haven’t stopped.

Until today.

Today is for music and football and reading.  I will probably start packaging up jars of jam (there are 33 of them–8 batches!!) to ship to family and friends.  The Funny Grandson loves his grandmother’s apricot jam.  As do Banjo Man’s sisters.  I’ll save some for next year’s guests and for Banjo Man’s peanut butter and jam sandwiches (his lunch of choice when he is up at the cabin in the woods).

The crock pots are off of the counter.  The canning supplies are stored away until next year’s crops of peaches and apricots.  An enormous amount of yesterday’s chili has been divided up and stored and will be given away.  In a few minutes I will sweep and mop the kitchen floor.

It is 60 degrees outside.  Yesterday it rained and there was a thunderstorm last night that sent the power flickering on and off.  But I see some blue sky and white fluffy clouds heading my way, so hopefully things will dry out and I can continue to haul the beach chairs and toys up to the house to store for the winter.

I realize that my very clean kitchen means that summer is over.

Wow.  That was fast.


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because it’s tradition, that’s why

And the question is, why would a woman make two huge crock pots full of chili today?

As the song from “Fiddler On The Roof” goes, “TRADITION!!!”

Of course I will not be able to eat 14 quarts of chili.  Three bowls, max.  But tomorrow is the opening day of college football season and there will be chili.

It didn’t hurt that I had a huge bag of cooked ground beef in the freezer, plus a multitude of green peppers (why on earth did I buy all of these???) and some extra cans of diced tomatoes.  I had cans of kidney beans, so all I needed was the tomato juice and the secret ingredient:  Campbell’s tomato soup.

tomato soup can

This is what my mother-in-law put in her chili and that’s what I do, too.


According to ESPN, this is going to be the greatest opening day in the history of college football.  Why, you ask?  Because there are no pro games to compete with.  Hence the folks at ESPN (who have control of at least 4 tv channels) arranged a weekend of football games for Labor Day weekend, starting Thursday night and ending Monday night.

We have better internet this year so I think I have figured out how to watch the games via Hulu, Amazon or streaming from my computer and hooking up a cable to the television.

Nebraska plays at 5 PM on Saturday.

Can. Not. Wait.

husker fan day 2016

Nebraska Fan Day – 2016

The stadium will be full tomorrow night!

I’ll be in front of the tv (or the computer screen), texting with Son #2, talking to Son #1 and  Banjo Man and…eating chili.

Let me know if you’d like some.  I have plenty!


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the tomato cam reveals…


Deer!  Pay no attention to my tomatoes, Bambi.


As you can see, I haven’t figured out how to set the date on the camera.


Banjo Man goes to the dump.


Banjo Man goes to the dump again.


Banjo Man with his wasp trap.


More Pie going to the dump.


The Funny Grandson.


No deer here!

Once the tomato season is over, I’ll spend the winter trying to understand the directions for setting the clock and date on the camera.


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lunch with a friend



Lunch on the porch.

Shrimp on the grill.

Cards on the table.

An excellent Saturday afternoon!

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under the clouds

Yesterday was supposed to be the last warm summer day (according to  Accuweather), so I planned accordingly.  I would spend all afternoon soaking up the sun at the dock.  Summer is too short, winter is too long, and I’ve decided I could be one of those people who gets depressed without lots of sunshine.

I may have to buy one of those lights people wear on their heads to counteract SADD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) this fall.

So for medical reasons–ha!– I spent four hours napping and reading on the dock yesterday.  By 6 PM I felt like a new woman!

So when you have stopped laughing (because I’m half serious here, folks), you can look at my pictures of clouds.  The photos don’t do them justice, but they were incredible, Sistine- Chapel-kind-of-clouds, the majestic sort of clouds that make you long for a smidgeon of artistic talent so you might paint them.



Here’s my favorite July cloud:


I think I’ll get my guitar and sing a Joni Mitchell song now.  You know the one.


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sign posted on the gas station door

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Seen September, 2015.


I once had an encounter with an aggressive goat.  Unbeknownst to me, the neighbor’s goat herd had gotten loose.  I was carrying my laundry from my house to my parents (due to a broken washing maching–my daughters never learned that you can’t stuff 18 pairs of jeans into the washer).  A massive goat ( a really tall goat!!!) blocked my way in the middle of the wooded part of the path and, due to the washing machine issue, I was in no mood to be nice.

I yelled, stared him right in his beady little eyes and made a gesture with the clothes basket.

That was the wrong thing to do.  His eyes actually turned red.  They did.  And he reared up on his hind legs and made a rude noise.  He clearly felt as if his manhood (goathood?) was being challenged.

I screamed and ran, still holding the laundry basket, and found refuge in my parents’ garage, where my father and two of my children were hiding.   They had also had a Goat Encounter and were waiting to hear the sound of hooves receding from the property.

So IF I was ever to hike and IF I saw mountain goats acting all weird and confrontational, I would not look them in the eye and scream.  Backing away slowly might be a better option.

Goat experts chime in, please.

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counting peaches

For the past three weeks I have resisted driving to town first thing Thursday morning, the day the Peach Man opens for the weekend, and buying peaches.

But the Elberta peaches have arrived.

Let me say that again:  The Elberta peaches have arrived.

These are the best kind, better than all of the others I have bought, peeled, sliced, baked and eaten this summer.

So Thursday morning I was up at 5, counting the hours until 9 AM when the Peach Man rolls up his canvas walls and puts out the “open” sign along highway 95.

Let’s see…how to fill in the time…I practiced my guitar chords.  Cleaned out the refrigerators.  Showered.  Dressed.  Drank two mugs of coffee and read sixty-three news articles online.  Watered the tomato plants.  Read emails.  Made a grocery list.

The dump doesn’t open until 7, but I was tapping my foot and ready to go with the garbage loaded up in the Highlander before then.   Then I stopped at the Pantry to buy more Dutch Jell All Natural pectin for all of those future batches of peach jam.   For the record, I did not buy a cinnamon roll, huckleberry muffin or apple fritter.

It was a beautiful morning to drive to town.  I had my coffee–third mug, decaff—and a protein bar next to me.  A cd of favorite songs blasting from the speakers.  Money in my purse.  Grocery list.

The essentials, you know.

First stop:  to the grocery store to buy more canning jars.

Second stop:  McDonald’s, for a sausage biscuit (I allow myself one per month).

Third stop:  Peach Man, who was open early!  I was to buy a case of Elberta’s for me, one for My Friend Friend Janou and one for Dancing Mandolin Player (they’d put in their orders when I told them my plans for Thursday morning).  But I got carried away at the sight of those gorgeous yellow peaches and bought one more case for myself.  After all, I will have to wait almost a whole year before seeing them again!

There are 89 of those gorgeous yellow peaches ripening on my porch right now.  Today is the day I start to peel them.  I’m so happy.

Peach Euphoria.  It is real.

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A picture from 2014.  Some things never change!

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