As a child, my grandfather always told me, “It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round.” I never fully understood the significance of the statement until later in life. I love meeting the good-natured oddballs. Offering a unique perspective, I find their stories and journey through life extremely interesting.
This particular series of vintage photos is the perfect example. Over the years, I have come across numerous individuals who care for injured animals. Or have befriended wild animals. For example, my uncle would sit on the bank of the old muddy, Maple River for hours. After a while, the raccoons would come right up to him to receive “treats”. He actually would allow the wild racoons eat right out of his hands. (Note: I do not advocate this…animals bite).
Woodchucks are not my idea of friendly creatures. They are destructive, burrowing mammals. And, they bite. Living in a wooded area, I see woodchucks often in rock piles, under my shed and in my barn. Witnessing them fight with each other over territory, I know they can be a bit nasty. If I could talk to this gentleman, I would ask, “How did you get pet woodchucks?”
I am assuming he found the woodchucks as babies. From my understanding from old farmer’s tales, a wild animal that does not open his/her eyes will be easy to handle. (Once again: I do not advocate this…I am a strong believer that all wild animals belong in their natural surroundings).
In my opinion, the old farmer appears proud of his little friends. I would love to sit next to him for an hour and just listen to his story.
“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
― Charles Darwin The Life & Letters of Charles Darwin
I love working with old photos. I am always picking up negatives or slides from estate sales, eBay or local garage sales. Knowing my passion, friends and family members bring me boxes of old photos. Turning an unknown photo into a digital print is my own personal way to time travel. I get a small glimpse into the everyday lives of the average person.
Titling this photo, “Checking Time” I wish I knew their story. I would like to think one of these gentlemen are about to get married. The other three are showing him the time until he is considered a married man. I obviously have no idea about the photo. I wish I did. The negative from the print was in the same batch as some wedding photos.
Who knows? Maybe someday, a person out there in cyber-land will identify one photo.
The month of January is known as Soup Month. Normally, in mid-Michigan, the cold winter months welcomes a bowl of warm soup. Lately, our daily temps are above freezing. But I am certain the cold temps and snowy days are just around the corner.
My question for all of you is do you have a favorite type of soup? My soup tastes usually depend on my mood. (Yes, I am one of those emotional eaters). When I am feeling ill, I love a nice warm bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. On days, when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I like a high-quality tomato soup with a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. What can I say–my tastes are rather simple. But I am always willing to try something new.
As a child, the winter months always met homemade bean soup. For almost two days, my mother would allow the Navy beans to slowly simmer in a large cast iron pot on top of the old, pot belly stove. Adding ham, onions, and other seasonings, the smell of the soup would drift throughout the old farm house.
The final meal would always involve homemade bread, biscuits, and a dessert. Of course, the best part of the meal was the house full of guests. For most of us, the homemade bean soup was a tasty treat. Well except for my younger sister who to this day is not a fan of bean soup.
My attempts to make bean soup as an adult do not yield the same results as my mother’s tasty homemade recipe. I cannot tell you if my attempts fail because I do not own a cast iron pot and an old wood burning, pot belly stove. Or the difference in taste is due to missing family members and friends that are no longer with me.
Regardless of the reason, homemade bean soup will always remain one of my all-time favorites; a nestled memory on a cold winter’s day.
Today, January 3, 2017, is known as Festival of Sleep Day. Dedicating an entire day to sleep sounds incredibly relaxing. In fact, I think my cats have been practicing for this unofficial holiday for some time. Mid-Michigan is dreary today. I woke up to dense fog, followed by rain and cold. My cats (and dogs) did not want any part of being outdoors for a long period of time. Instead, they all are curled up around the warm fire enjoying a lazy afternoon.
As for me, my sleep patterns vary. I love to stay up late in the early morning hours. I find the night time silence inspiring. What can I say, 3 a.m. and I are old friends. At least on this Festival of Sleep Day, I can sneak in afternoon nap without a twinge of guilt. I will simply blame the quick snooze on research for my blog, right?
Today, November 15, 2016, is I Love to Write Day. What can I say, words fascinate me. I could spend hours writing. When I am not writing, I am usually reading, taking photos or creating stories in my mind. I use my photography to capture moments in time. Often a simple photo leads to inspiration for an entire night of writing.
My first dabble in writing came from a simple outdated journal. My parents use to attend auctions where second hands goods and other oddities where available. They brought home a box with various items including an outdated calendar journal. The dates were two years old.
I carefully crossed out each day to make the year correct. I entered daily notes. The kind only an eleven-year-old in the late 70’s would find fascinating. Seeing a deer across the road, painting rocks with old fingernail polish than throwing them into the pond, playing hide and seek with my cousins, or riding a skateboard down the “large” hill. Reading the entries always make me smile and nostalgic.
The old outdated journal became my first source of a lifelong love of writing. I left my writing for a while to pursue a business career. After some time, loss of job, and reorganization of my priorities, I am slowly returning to my true love, my calling. The more I write, the more I realize who I am.
Never consider an old outdated journal or other “junk” items as a waste of money, for a child, the inspiration may be the root of a lifelong pursuit.
Today, October 26, 2016, is National Pumpkin Day. As soon as the cold air begins to settle in here in Michigan, everyone goes crazy over pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages. I personally tried a pumpkin spice latte which was okay. But I admit I am still hot tea type of person.
Since today is National Pumpkin Day, I decided to look up different facts about pumpkins.
According to the Pumpkin Patch, pumpkins are actually a good source or potassium and Vitamin A. No wonder, Pumpkin Juice was so popular at Hogwarts. Along with vitamins, the facts about pumpkins are very interesting.
The flowers on a pumpkin plant are actually edible.
Weighing over 350 pounds and five feet in diameter, the largest pumpkin pie required six hours of baking time. Requiring 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, and 12 eggs, the largest pumpkin pie was a sight to see. I think the large pumpkin pie would satisfy anyone’s craving.
Pumpkins were actually referred to as “isqoutm squash: by Native Americans.
Pumpkins are part of the gourd family
According to Guinness World Records, the largest pumpkin weighed in at 2,323 pounds (1,054 kg). I cannot imagine trying to turn that large of a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern.
Wondering how to celebrate National Pumpkin Day? How about carving pumpkins? I currently have three pumpkins on my porch. My favorite one is small, orange and bumpy. I am sure it’s more along the gourd variety than a pumpkin. I just love it for the oddness. I have not found the inspiration to carve them yet. But who knows, maybe with National Pumpkin Day, I will.
Until next time…peace
Guinness World Records., (2016). Heaviest pumpkin. Retrieved from:
Today, March 23, 2016, is National Puppy Day. I currently have two puppies, Gizmo and Cocoa and an older dog, Minnie. All three of my dogs are a little bit spoiled. Okay, they are a lot spoiled.
My longtime pet, T-Bone died last Autumn, he was 16 years old. He was my pal, I always took him outdoors with me. He knew the back wood trails by heart. After he died, I told myself I was not going to get another dog. I still had my other dog, Minnie who is 11. She is a min pin who has recently gone partially blind. She still gets around the house just fine.
But then, I saw a picture of this little black puppy who needed a home. So, I brought him home. Gizmo added a lot of energy to my household.
Then, a couple weeks ago I was contacted about another puppy who was going to be sent to the pound. Well, I hated the idea, so I brought her home. One of the main reasons I brought her home was to help keep Gizmo entertained.
Cocoa and Gizmo became immediate pals. With the two of them playing together, Minnie is left alone. She likes to sit by me while I write.
So to celebrate National Puppy Day, I made them all homemade dog treats. I normally try to keep dog treats in the house. But my schedule has been tight, I hadn’t made any in a while. Needless to say, they were all happy with their special treat today.
Today, January 10, 2016, is Save the Eagles Day. The day is dedicated to the conservation and protection of these majestic birds. Here in Michigan (and all of North American from what I understand), the two species of Eagles are the Golden Eagle and the Bald Eagle. I have been fortunate enough to view both of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. I have only been able to photograph the Bald Eagle. But I still have time to get more photos of both birds. I actually investing in another lens just for this reason.
These large birds of prey are beautiful to view out in the wild. Catching a glimpse of one in a tree or swooping down to catch their prey is a wonderful sight to witness. A Bald Eagle can actually reach speeds of 100 mph while trying to catch their prey. I find that fact to be absolutely amazing. Not to mention the wing span can be up to seven feet wide. I guess, you can tell why I love to watch these wonderful birds down on the river flats. In fact, my neighbor informed me of a pair down on the Maple River today.
If you get a chance, you should take the time to sit and watch the Eagles in their natural surroundings. You will find the experience breathtaking.
Can you believe there is actually an entire day dedicated to the flashlight? Today, December 21, 2015, is National Flashlight Day. From my research, I have found out the flashlight has actually been around since 1898 or 1899. David Misell had the flashlight patented on January 10, 1899. I guess, I didn’t realize the flashlight was that old.
The reason for the name “flashlight” was due to the fact the light stick’s batteries would produce a sudden “flash” as they died. The batteries did not last very long. Over the years, the flashlight has definitely improved.
In my childhood, flashlights were used as part of playing. I can remember being outdoors after dark with my cousins and neighbor kids. We would use flashlights to see during hide-n-seek or to tell ghost stories. I also slept with a flashlight by my bed. I would use the light to read by after everyone in the house was asleep.
I think one of my favorite memories is when the electricity went out. My mother hung a sheet. We used the flashlights as a way to make “hand puppets”. The simple ways my mother found to entertain us when we were bored.
Of course, I now use flashlights as a way to peer out into my yard at night. I always have some critter on my porch. Tonight was a very small opossum.
Today, December 8, 2015, is “Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day”. Who has not thought about living in a different time, either past or future? I think, this is why I love old photos so much. I get a glimpse of time forgotten. Times not recorded in history books. Just everyday life being experienced by everyday people.
So if you had a chance to time travel, where would you go?