My Favorite Books

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A terrible day


Yesterday a terrible crime was committed at my grand children's former high school!  We are all in shock and just heartbroken.  A 15 year old came out of the high school bathroom and started to shoot his classmates....moving his way down the halls until the police met him in another hallway and he gave up without a fight.

This is one of the young persons who was killed.  My son's family knew Tate's family very well as his father coached Nick while he was in football at OHS.  Darrin and Kris have continued to go to the football games  after both kids graduation to see both Tate and his brother Ty play football and they are friends with Buck and his wife (Tate's parents).  Just heartbreaking....

There was a vigil at the church on Tuesday night and another one will be held downtown Oxford on Friday night.  As my daughter said, "Oxford is a Hallmark town.  How could this happen here?"  Dawn also knows the Myre family so it hurts a little more having that connection.

How could this have happened to these young folks...their parents woke up this morning to an empty teens room...there are seven students shot and some remain in local still in critical condition.  Justin (top right) passed away today.....the other three died yesterday.  Actually a police officer put Tate in his squad car and raced to the hospital.  He felt his injuries were so severe he didn't have time to wait for the ambulance.  At least Tate was with someone when he passed.  

You can't help but shed tears for this terrible event.  They are charging the young 15 yr old as an adult.  His father bought the gun he used on Black Friday.  And Ethan Crumbley was called into the HS office on Monday to talk about his 'behavior'.  On Tuesday a.m., around 10, Ethan and his parents were called into another meeting to discuss his 'behavior'.  At 12:45, Ethan walked out of the bathroom and started his killing.

If you are so inclined, please say a prayer for the families of those killed and injured as well as for the town of Oxford.  The town is like a family and will make it but hopefully prayers will ease some of the burden for us all.

Monday, November 29, 2021

thanksgiving 2021

 Hard to believe another year has passed!  Seems like it was just the start of summer and now we're planning for Christmas!!  Time is going by so fast!  Bob turns 82 in December and I turn 75 in January!  Now I know why Bob is always saying "enjoy today because you don't know when your time is coming".  

So, I did enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner with Darrin, Kris, Kris' mom and Amber.  Nick and Braylon did stop by but they were having dinner with her family.  Dawn and Jeff always go to Jeff's sisters house for Thanksgiving, which is nice.  Dawn makes the turkey and other fixings to take over. 

I decided Amber gets her photogenic abilities from her Grandma Nancy!  I dislike getting my picture taken and never do take a good one.  But I just want some memories and the past few years I keep forgetting to take pics of the family!    So this post is more for me than for my readers!  HA  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving too! 

My lemon and pumpkin pies...only problem, duh, I tried a new pie crust recipe that was suppose to help keep it from being soggy...well, the darn crust was so hard you could barely cut it with a knife!  Oh well, my lemon filling still tasted great!

The kids always purchase their fresh turkey from a farm in their town.  I have to say it was delicious!!!!

This is the smallest table Kris has every set for Thanksgiving!!!   Kris is so good at entertaining and cooking!!!  Food was delicious, as usual.  So much work for her!!  Thank you, Kris!!!!

A.J. always sits up on Bob's shoulder.  He was pawing at Bob's leg and crying for Bob to pick him up!

Amber is a sweetheart!  Hard to believe she is a senior at Siena Heights this year!!!!So beautiful.

She is so photogenic!!!  I don't think I've ever seen a bad picture of her!

Nancy is the same way.  She is Kris' mom, and always photographs so well!  Kris' dad is in a rehab center right we did miss him this year...but he also got a care package Nancy was taking to him.

And our own chef, Kris!  She's also a beauty and such a wonderful daughter-in-law!  Now you know where Amber gets her thoughtfulness...both Darrin and Kris always think of family and others.  They are wonderful examples for their kids!

Yep, my baby, Darrin!  He's a wonderful friend, husband, son and father!  So proud of Darrin and Dawn and how they have turned out as adults!  They were always good kids but as adults they are both super!  Yes, I'm proud of my kids and I can brag on them all I want...HA

And hubby and I!!!  Bob is doing well after the cancer/treatment.  His chest scan came back showing 3 nodules on his lungs BUT they are stable, didn't 'glow' on the both PET scans!!!  So since no growth we can suspect it's from years of smoking but they'll continue to watch! 

I finished my Christmas cards on Saturday so just need to think about getting out Christmas tree and decorations!!!  At least with not going to Florida, I can put the tree up when I want and take it down when I want!  HA  Gotta look at the plus side of things....but I still miss our winters in Florida!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Spending the kids inheritance!


So late this summer, Bob and I made a decision that we were going to get a whole house generator.  Too many outages over the past few years; waste of good food in our frig/freezer when the outage goes into a long period of time, etc.  Also, Bob wanted to make sure if something happens to him that I won't have to worry about trying to get our little propane gas generator out - although, it is a snap to use and I could get it started....but I appreciate Bob's thought.  And we appreciate that the kids will understand their inheritance has been spent on something good for us old folks!  We are getting older (Bob turn 82 and I turn 75 in a few months) and if one of us ends up being a caregiver, having power out can be a hazard.  As well as when we're "gone", resale of our house should be increased having this as an added feature!  So maybe the kids will get their inheritance back!  

I have to say, Davison Heating - folks who installed the generator, were SO professional!  Wow..there were 4 men here working and each was so polite, knowledgeable in each of their area(s) to install, run gas lines, add electrical outlet, etc.  

Bob was quite nervous in the a.m. - ok, a tad edgy!!!  Just talking/worrying about everything that had to be done, how they were going to do it, how can they do it, etc.  You name it and he was worrying about it.  SOOOOOOOOOOO  guess who took the dogs and left the house!  HA  I had errands to run in town so really it worked out well for me.  The dogs got 3 walks, ran my errands, visited with my friend, Donna and then spent quality/productive time with my friend, Amy, from the Friends Volunteer at our library.  Actually, Amy and I got more work done today!!!  Woohoo!  And we got to chat, which is always nice too!  

Amy is a huge U of M fan and she is looking forward to the Ohio State/Michigan game today.  So is Bob but I think Amy is the biggest Michigan fan I/we know.  And she's all ready for the Ohio State/Michigan game!

So here we sit watching the U of M game while the snow is falling!!!!  Nick's girlfriend, Baylon, goes to Northern Michigan U which is in Marquette!!  8 hours aways...she leaves tomorrow a.m. with her roommate to head back.  Hope they don't have bad roads and have safe travels!  Nick heads back tomorrow as well but he's about an hour or so away...Amber also has about a two hour drive back to school!  Hate those kids driving in the snow...ok, I hate worrying about the kids driving period!  Now back to the game!!!   I may attempt some lace knitting but....maybe not!  Depends on how exciting the game is!

I'm only on row 11/chart 2!  I finished 14 rows from Chart 1...a LONG way to go!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Week of Thanksgiving!

 It will be a busy week...something different, right!  Library day, errand running another day, heating/electrical work and baking pies on Wednesday then heading to my son's for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  Of course, it's football at our house from Saturday noon until Monday at midnight!  HA  I like to watch U of M and Lions, as well as some other NFL games so I don't mind the TV on with the games.  I can knit...well, until I get lost on what row/pattern I'm on....which does happen!  

We had a mini workshop with some of our Friends volunteers at the library last week.  Since we're doing this kid's craft project at our upcoming Downtown Christmas, we wanted to make sure adults could make a tree!  We were fortunate that our president's daughter and grandson came and they finished both their trees before some of us finished ours!   They are fun to make and a great way to use up old paperback books!  Here's a link to a website to show how to make them.  Easy!  Paperback Trees

Yep, still knitting...but it takes SO much time to knit this lace!  And to think this pattern continues to 'grow' until past my chest area!!!!  I may not finish in 2022!!!! 

I think I mentioned in my last post I had ripped out totally and restarted!!  I do love the pattern...hard to tell from this but the top part is at your neck area and the lace pattern continues......

So that's my life right now....kinda normal...we do keep busy....also, on the hubby front...we're waiting to hear results of his chest CT scan he had last week.  He's had two nodules on his lungs that have appeared on both of his PET scans this past year.  The good news, and I am sticking to this 'good' thought, the nodules didn't 'light up' on the PET scans, which cancer will.  That's not to say it's not but we're praying that these are benign nodules, which are pretty common we've found in researching.  Yes, we Google everything just like the rest of the world!  HA  


Monday, November 15, 2021

And I thought I was retired!

 I honestly think I am busier now than when I worked!  Days and hours go by so fast!  We're still doing some cleanup at the library after our book sale, which turned out to be pretty successful!  We made a little over $900!  Not bad at all.  But now, it's time to get rid of older fiction and reference books that just aren't going to sell.  Most folks use Google to find out  info so there's no point in keeping some older reference books that just take up storage.


The Friends of our library also working on a program for Downtown Christmas in December for parents/kids.  We're putting together kits for making a paperback folded Christmas tree.  What better way for us to get rid of older paperback books that haven't sold in over 10 years!

They really are fun to decorate...I didn't use much imagination on this one but I'm sure when we have our work session other ladies will decorate them a lot better.  I put together an instruction sheet that we'll include in a bag along with a section of book pages and some pom poms for the kids to start on their tree.  

Now to my knitting!  UGH....I was making great progress on my lace top but for some reason...well, I know a few reasons....I got sidetracked, lost my way on the pattern and couldn't rip out to find my mistake so...what to do but start over!

I honestly thought I 'might' be able to pick up the correct row to restart.....

I started to make a better 'stab' at it but then I just said the heck with it and ripped it all out!

So I've started over...and gave myself a treat! Actually, my neighbor made the chocolate chip cookies and I happened to have bought REAL milk to make scalloped potatoes/ham this weekend so I actually drank milk!!!!  It tasted really good!  I don't remember the last time I had a glass of real milk.  We drink almond milk...I may change that just in case we get more cookies!  Lori makes the best chocolate chip cookies!!

So now it's Sunday and we'll watch the Lions while I knit!  Yes, I'm taking my chances that I won't lose my way again!  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 31, 2021



I have purchased more circular needles for this top that it would have been cheaper for me to just buy a top!  But the needles don't cost anything to keep once you buy them, right!  And I have to say I really like the pattern from Valentina Bogdanova.  She has lace in a majority of her patterns I have seen on Instagram and in Ravelry.  And her instructions are so well written.  I am impressed!  You can see more of her patterns on Ravelry or on Instagram.  I already see another pattern I would like to purchase/make.....This is the color and yarn I'm using.  It's by Cascade Yarns/Heritage (wool and nylon).  

So this is/was my practice piece...I wanted to verify the gauge I needed since I had to change needle size (several times!) and some of the stitches were new to me.  Good way to "kill two birds with one stone" as they say!  I could check gauge and practice!

This Tee is knitted from the top down and has lace work just about under your chest area...then it's straight knitting.

No, I have no shame...after I binding off the stitches, I wanted to make sure the smaller lace work would fit over my head!  I had that fear!  So this was me yesterday a.m. before makeup just trying on the upper lace piece.  Actually, the lace pattern yoke continues down to under your chest area.  Fingers crossed it fits!!! 

Obviously, the collar will lay flatter around the neck area with the weight of the lace and blocking.  As  you can see in the next picture of the actual pattern.

And just to show I can clean up, here I am all ready to head out with Bob.

No I didn't crochet or knit that black wrap.  I bought that several years ago in Florida when my bud, Marcia, and I were shopping at the Villages.  I think I paid $15 for it!  Guess money I saved on buying yarn and making that I've spent on this lace top!  

Monday, October 25, 2021

Update on projects!

Well, library book sale is now over and we were pretty successful!  We are a very small town with a population of 1849 (as of 2019) our next largest town is Davison which has a population of 4937!  HA  Now we're working on cleaning out older books as well as those books that could be torn or musty, etc.  Actually, we had so many donation books we didn't even take boxes from our shelves where we store books for each book sale.  Next, we'll go through all of those books for 'cleaning out'.  We're lucky to have four new volunteers this year that are really good workers!  Sure helps! 

So, I finished my little winter hat which is mindless knitting....

And now I'm working on practice knitting the lace pattern for the top I previously posted about.  I still need to get different size circular needles but thought I might as well see what the pattern will look like in the yarn I chose.  Really, my friend suggested this color yarn and I'm glad she did.  I do like it!
Long story...Bob wanted a new 'inbetween' comforter' (we have a lightweight for summer, then fall, then snowtime/winter!) off shopping we went.  But what to do with this old one...can't give it as a donation since the down feathers are separated and areas are just like a sheet!  
I thought, why not cut it apart and make little comforter beds to place in dogs crates.  I already have these soft beds so they don't lay on the crate floor but thought these sections would make their beds more comfy!  What was I thinking!

You can see above where I had to squeeze the comforter under my machine to I could stitch before I cut apart a total of 4 sections (two for each bed).   First time, I had feathers all over, after just cutting about a 3" section.  I finally did a double straight stitch then an over edge stitch.  Still ended up with feathers on my top and pants but.....almost 3 hours later!!!!!  Yes, it took me three hours!  I started at 11:50 and ended at 2:45!  that did include vacuuming the floor and me!

I've always had pillow cases over the dog beds in their crates, so I can wash weekly (just like our sheets!  HA).  So I placed the two sewn sections on top of each bed and replaced the pillow cases!  TaDa!  Both dogs jumped in last night while we were taking our baths.  Normally, they come in the bathroom but last night they stayed in their beds.  I didn't take a picture of them enjoying their puffy me...they are happy!  And it's a good thing!

And I have my disperse dye blocks up on my design  board.  This gives me a chance to play around with the design and layout of the blocks. 

I've already sewn some of the blocks together.  But this project will just be ongoing when I am bored with a current project!  

I know the blocks appear very pale but that's ok.  I have other ideas on what's going on top of this piece!  And, actually, who knows how this will end up!  Isn't that the fun part of working on a design?  

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

 I am sharing my daughter's newsletter from this month.  I thought there was some interesting points she has and thought I'd share.  I know most of my readers are not still working but some of this applies to all of us whether we are retired or not!  Hope you get some good ideas for the upcoming new year!  Or even for applying IM's to we retiree's!  HA  Enjoy!

Can you believe that it is only 75 days until 2022? I have been busy helping some of my clients put together their strategic plans for the coming year. What are you looking forward to in 2022?

I recently participated in the Experience Institute 🎇New Year’s Letter Challenge✨. It involves writing a handwritten letter to yourself that you will open on January 1st.

What to write about?
There are no limitations here. The audience is you. Here are a few questions to help you begin:
✅ What do you want to remember about your year thus far?
✅ What have you seen?
✅ Who have you met?
✅  How have you changed?
✅  What do you wish were different?
✅  What have you celebrated recently?
✅  Where do you hope to be this time next year?

This could be a great family activity, so be sure to pass it along. Maybe you know who you will see during the holidays. Encourage everyone to write a letter and bring it with them to read and celebrate together.

Let me know if you participate and want a reminder. Love to see how many people join in the fun!

Please hit reply and let me know what you think!
Many companies employ messaging applications like Microsoft Teams as way for employees to connect. Instant messaging can create a more organic, conversational atmosphere among colleagues, especially when coworkers are not co-located. It also can save time when a quick alignment or speedy response is needed. Used less thoughtfully, it can be distracting and disruptive.

Consider the following tips for professional use of instant messaging:

  • Respect the recipient’s status. If someone shows as offline, busy, in a meeting, or on presenting/do not disturb, send an email instead.
  • If a recipient shows as available, ask if they are sharing their screen and if you might have a few minutes of their time.
  • The use of dual monitors doesn’t always update the messaging application status during screen sharing. Likewise, if someone is signed into the application on multiple devices, like a mobile device and a laptop, the status may not be accurate.
  • Be patient. If the person doesn’t respond within 20-30 minutes, send an email.
  • If they respond that they don’t have time right now, respect that. Send an email or schedule a short meeting during an open time on their calendar.
  • If the recipient has time, stay focused! Ask the question(s), but stick to at most three related questions on one topic max. Your time is valuable and so is theirs.
  • If it would be easier to call than to type, ask if the recipient is able to speak before using the in-app call feature. Sometimes your colleague needs to grab their headset or close a door before they can easily accommodate a verbal conversation.
  • Thank your colleague for their time and response.

While instant messaging can be a useful tool for checking in with your team less formally, always consider where your colleague is geographically located and whether you are pinging them at a convenient time. Resist messaging contacts first thing in the morning or at the end of their workday.

Check out “12 Tips for Instant Messaging in the Workplace” and “Best Practices for Instant Messaging at Work” for additional helpful tips for using messaging applications respectfully and successfully. Many of the suggestions in these resources are worth considering for meetings and emails, too. 
Last month, we asked if you create personal strategic plans.

Here are the results!
Which platform do you use for Instant Messaging?
Microsoft Teams
Google Chat
None of the above / I don't use IM
Are you prepared for your next big step / transition or still thinking about it?

  • Join The Activators Strategy Lab to get clear on your next move.
  • Be part of a small group where you design a 6-month plan and work with accountability partners to help you execute it.
Transition Café - Detroit
Are you in transition? Join Mark Cory and I on Wednesday November 10th for an opportunity to meet with professionals and executives who are ready to develop and expand their networking relationships!

If you are an executive in transition, consider joining us at our next meeting on Wednesday, November 10 at 3:00 p.m. EST.
I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter. I would love any questions or suggestions from you. Feel free to hit reply and we'll get in touch!
If you're going through a transition and need some extra support, schedule a conversation with me.
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