Monthly Archives: January 2011

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with Snow

Luce County Taxi Service, circa 1890's, photo courtesy Luce County Historical Society

Once upon a time… this “taxi” went past my place… The trip, from Newberry to Deer Park was 30 miles one-way and took about 9 hours. Along the way, it sometimes stopped at Halfway Lake (a logging camp) for lunch and Pine Stump Junction for mail drops.
In the 1890’s, Deer Park boasted a population of 200+, a lodge, a school, a post office and the first phone was installed in 1889! In it’s heyday, there were as many as 4 freight wagon trips a day making supply deliveries. A large logging camp on the lakeshore provided a rollicking social life and apparently going there from Newberry was an exciting adventure often requiring an overnight stay.
Today it is considered by some as the “boonies” and only a a handful of residents live there in winter. In summer, the cottage people return, boosting the population and there is a popular State Park – Muskallonge Lake State Park as well. The park is open May -October. Located on a narrow spit of land between Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake, it is often buried in Lake effect SNOW! Snowmobilers love it! Dog mushers love it! I love it!
Today I think this taxi would be useful and fun, if not efficient… note the sleigh bells on the horse harness. (Today’s Snowmobilers would never hear them over the roar…) We have recieved almost a foot of snow and more coming tonight and tomorrow. My snow “play” time has been devoted to plowing my very long driveway. As daylight slowly arrives, I am off to plow for a bit before going into work. The snowplow from town may have buried the end of my driveway by now!

If you live with snow like this, you become acclimated to “snow time”… and you do what you can, not what you can’t! Wondering if the school bus made it up here, the road doesn’t get plowed on weekends.

May your day be filled with snow time, slow time, and the sound of bells tinkling!


Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living in Context

What do you see?

What do you see?

Is this just another Butterfly…
A Yellow Swallowtail perhaps?
Or is it about left wing politics?
harvesting pollen?
growing chives?
seeing purple?
Do you see what I see?
…the beauty of nature
symbiotic relationships
of critters, color, shapes
I see Joy, Hope, Beauty
Creator at work…
I feel the warmth of the sun
A compliment in violet
A tiny spider
black and yellow shapes
I smell chives and blossoms
And I hear the buzz of bugs…
It is all of these, And more…
It depends on what you want to see,
Feel, hear, remember, filter
what sensibilities you bring to it…
What do you want to see today?
What is the context from which you live?

I started this blog to share the beauty of my world, and while off track at times, returning to my purpose feels good. This morning has fresh fluffy snow, so off I go… in search of more beauty to share… checking filters, checking sense and sensibilities.

Namaste ~ Starbear

P.S. (According to Microsoft’s grammar and spelling check this post has a reading ease score of 88.3 and the Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level is 4.2 – why do I think this is hilarious…? Oh, simple, because it confirms that I am a fourth grader at heart… amused and fascinated by butterflies and spiders and color…and beauty.)

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with my Inner Critic

Staying home and being sick for 10 days is not my idea of fun… especially when one of my “roommates” goes on a tear.
This one’s name is I.C. and this is how it went for awhile today, while driving to work!
I.C.: “Here it is already January 13, 2011 and you have not shot a single photo since January 3rd…”
ME: “Right – and what day did I get sick and spend the night hugging the loo?”
IC: “Well, yeah – THAT was 10 days ago! You’ve been able to write a post a day since 1-09. Why haven’t you taken any pics? You haven’t been to work, you just sit and write or read or sip tea or take care of the dog or make soup, or talk on the phone or go to the bathroom or work on the computer or sleep. You are neglecting your camera!”
ME: “You forgot to mention snow plowing… 6 hours of snow plowing… plus the shoveling. Ms. Observant! You also forgot, coughing sneezing, watery eyes and nose blowing… You also forgot chills, fever, and tired.”
I.C. “You are so lazy! Get over it!”

Perhaps it is time for this Inner Critic to take a hike in the woods – and find the blueberries or something, maybe go shovel snow? Why is it that when we get sick or laid low, this Inner Critic decides to become a really healthy and noisy one?

Aha! Not enough to do! So… Here is my letter to I.C.
Dear Inner Critic of the Week,
Thank you for letting me know your opinions. I am really grateful for your wanting to contribute to my life. Sometimes your suggestions are helpful and I know you just want to be helpful in the best way you know how. For now, though, it may be time for you to take a break. A nice nap, perhaps?
Would you like to go someplace warm and play on the beach, take a vacation? I’ll help you pack.
Maybe you would like a new job? You could do the dishes, take out the trash, groom the dog, vacuum and dust, do the laundry, pay the bills, plow the snow. Perhaps if you took over some of the things I do, then perhaps I would have more time to do the things you think I should do.
Thank you for sharing and I appreciate your concerns. I am choosing to listen to a different voice today. With much love and little ado, so long!
I find it interesting that no matter what I choose to do, you love tell to me all the other things I should be doing. When I am shooting photographs, you tell me I should be cleaning the bathroom.
I do have a very urgent request! Please retire to the bathroom and clean something there, and while you’re at it take your shoulds with you. Better yet, dress warm and go out in the woods and redecorate the outhouse. You can should all you want out there and feed the red squirrels while you’re at it. They will appreciate your attention.
Thank you for paying such close attention to me. I am sure you’ll do a fine job on the outhouse. Have fun! I’ll see you in the Spring! Don’t forget your longjohns! Bye! Bye!
Thank you for sharing and I appreciate your concerns. I am choosing to listen to a different voice today. With much love and little ado, so long!
If none of those options suit you, please just go to the nearby beach. It’s quite lovely there with all of the ice… careful where you step!
Happy Trails!
Love, Me

Watch your step!

Icey beach for I.C. Watch your step!

Post-A-Day 2011 – Blog Buddies

The postaday2011 has been outrageously fun and enlightening… and way time consuming – combined with navigating this “New Look” Theme. I “lost” a page somewhere.
Finding Blog Buddies has been an adventure in … well, into a large and interesting spectrum of ideas, people and styles – lifestyles, blogging styles, writing stlyes, political, religious – different people, different ages, from all over the planet.
I have found several interesting people to support and be supported by in the postaday challenge!
I also found some neat blogs
Jan– writes about gratitude
Robin-writes about life
Gina-a student who writes fiction and love letters to lockers (no she is not nuts!)
Jim – who pays attention to quiet things and writes about writing
Sarah – who is getting rid of something each day – decluttering 365 items

Another link I love: SARK
and the Boogie Buddies Group!

If I can only figure out how to do these in the side bar…

For now – I could add more, like Hay House Radio, Boogie Buddy Blogs… and… I am out of time.
I also “met” a Brit named Dan who writes beautifully and had not a clue as to what is in Michigan – which gave me an idea for more writing about Michigan.
Perceptions can change.
Ideas can change.
Nature is constant change…
I also remembered this old friend.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost (1874-1963)

May your day be filled with buddies, calm and lovely dreams.

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ How Do I want to Be Remembered?

The postaday2011 challenge topic #11 for January 11, 2011 is “What do you want to be remembered for?”
Good Grief! What a question… I’m not close to dead, yet, I hope! If I know or have known 10,000 people, I guess I might be remembered for something different by each one.

What I hope I am remembered for are simple things:
For kindness, honesty, generosity, gratitude, my sense of humor and loving people, for being a loyal friend, a good mom, a good person, for living in integrity, with courage and an adventuresome spirit.
I hope I can be remembered for my appreciation of beauty in nature, people, life, and teaching, teaching with joy and inspiring others.
I hope I am remembered for bringing a smile to someone’s face and sharing laughter. I hope I am remembered in connection with agates, horses, a kite shop in Detroit.
I would like to be remembered for being compassionate and loving to all.

Funny, thinking about this, I thought I wanted to be remembered for being a fabulous artist, writer, poet, beautiful, funny, energetic, inspirational, and maybe even brilliant and the hot love of someone’s life! LOL. I do want all of that, too. It’s here. I love me.

Maybe the best thing of all is to just be… remembered.
…even if it is as that funny redheaded, short person with big ideas, who, through rose colored glasses didn’t see the walls of the little boxes some people tried to put her in? What boxes? What color are they?
I will probably be remembered for being tenacious, persistent, okay; stubborn and maybe even silly.
A good friend said to me recently “You are the most persistent redhead I know!”
My response” “Thank You! What a compliment! If I weren’t so bloody persistent, I’d have been dead long ago!”

May your dreams be steady and fufilled. May your commitment to loving your life be filled with joy.
May you dance on the beach, always, with gusto and grace!

How do you want to be remembered?
~ Betsy

Beauty and the Beach

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with Snow!

I LOVE snow! Why else would I chose to live in a place where it snows more than 200 inches per year? (Average is 240 inches.)
Almost every winter day here has a fresh clean blanket of Lake Effect Snow.
It is breathtakingly beautiful and muffles most sound.
Sometimes you can even hear it snow…
Instead of iPods, Apps, cell phones, we have forests, lakes, trees, and snow for home entertainment. People who come here to play can become very frustrated when their cell phones don’t work, they can’t facebook, or blog. Why? Trees! Wilderness! They are on vacation, albeit some quite unwillingly, from technology.
There are 3 cell towers on my road. Two are for important government communications – like forest fires, accidents, poaching. They are reserved for State and local police and the DNR (Department of Natural Resources).
The third tower is within sight of a friend’s wireless computer. He sits and waits, and waits, and waits. We cook dinner, have dessert and he is still waiting for his AT&T wireless connection to connect.
I do have a cell phone. In order to make it work, I have to drive 10-15 miles toward the nearest town. That’s okay; I have satellite for my Internet. Once or twice a winter, I have to brush the snow off the dish and it works just fine. (See broom in Basic tools)
To be sure you have fun when snowed in, some things are essential: Toilet Paper is one. Food is another. We grill outside all year round…
Good neighbors are another, in case you run out of one of the other essentials.
It is never boring – Keeping an eye on the weather to make plans, like how early do we have to get up to plow the driveway before we can get to work? LOL.
We rarely have “snow” days – the schools only close when there are blizzard conditions and sometimes there are bus delays. (Imagine this: If someone dies, memorial services are held, and burials wait until spring… cannot dig graves here in winter.)

For snowy entertainment? We play in it – there are so may activities here based on snow – cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog mushing, snow mobile races, dog mushing races… Can you tell that the economy here is also partially based on snow?

How to enjoy being snowed in? Go out! I put on my snow clothes, boots, maybe snow shoes, go out, take pictures, hike, plow. Here are a few ways we thrive in the snow… and what 200+ inches looks like! (More on that later…)

Primary Colors make them easy to spot!

Handy on the front porch... the buried blue thing is our sled for hauling....

Measuring 3 feet.

We measure it in feet, not inches. This snow stick is on the road near home.

This is a REALLY BIG truck!

These snow plows travel at 40-50 mph, throwing snow 30-30 feet off the road. We give them a very wide berth! The front blade on this one is about 7 feet tall on the high side. They are dump trucks loaded with sand, salt is not used here, too many lakes and rivers. Note the antenna – they communicate by radio, since cell phones don’t work… LOL.
Welcome to life in snow country. We call this normal… and it’s way too much fun.

More snow stories to come.
Having fun with postaday2011!



Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with ‘Ben’ergy

This gallery contains 1 photos.

What may be mundane to some, becomes important to others…
Living in a cabin in the woods, in winter, in a place that receives 200+ inches of snow annually, we care about how people thrive in winter, plan for being snowed in, stay warm, and have fun when the power goes out and it’s minus degrees outside!

Continue reading

New Year ~ New Theme!

January 8, 2011
A new look. Patience.
New at the top:
Water flows, ripples, reflects, dances in sunlight…
Becoming organized in a different way.
Sorting out.Throwing out.
When this blog began, I had no idea how to use it, do it, organize it, or why I was even doing it. It was just for me, to learn something new.

A thousand+ days later, and I’m still learning. Slow? Perhaps. Yet, life distracts us – or does it? Forest fires, moving, resettling, unsettling, relationships, love, play, work, money, family, endings, beginnings, weather, loss, grief, soul coaching, soul searching, and with all of this, through all of this, in all of this, a theme remains. Newness, creativity, writing, photographing, recording, sharing, inspiring, being inspired. Being in Spirit and staying connected… Change is constant.
Life is full and rich and as SARK loves to say “SUCCULENT and JUICY” in such wonderful ways!

Sherry re-introduced me to Diane, who introduced me to SARK and Dream Boogie. Reading Wayne Dyer led me to Hay House which led me to Denise Linn, which led to meeting so many wonderful people… Robie, who introduced me to Frank.
My friend Charlotte sent me SARK’s latest book “Glad No Matter What” … because I told her about Dream Boogie… and on it goes – Miracles – change – new.
Then my son and his girlfriend sent me two more wonderful books – “Life is a Verb” and the “Awe-Manac.”
Because of de code id by nodes, I have had time to read.

Today, the snow just crashed off the roof, so Panda is hiding under my desk, head in the corner. Da code id my dnose is bedder. The tractor awaits the turn of the key to plow. The camera is charging. I lost the first 5 drafts of this post. It has snowed some more and stopped. Life. Breathe.
Take a deep breath. Click on something in the “new” menu to the right – it may be something you’ve read before, or not? Still sorting… if you click, it may click with something in you. If it does, leave a comment. If not, thank you for clicking into my thoughts. YOU are in them!

Love to all and Happy January 2011
~ Betsy