Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Good Scolding

Bad! Bad Blogger! Bad!

I know! I know! (Slapped self on wrist) I've been a very bad blogger lately. Very bad! I'm chock-full of excuses, however.
  1. We took that 16-day road trip in April - to Florida and back with a lot of meandering in between. When you take a long road trip, you need to spend time getting ready for it. When you return, you need to spend time recovering from it. Am I right?
  2. I'm still suffering from the effects of that sinus infection which began while on said trip. Yeah, 7 weeks now and counting. Ugghh.
  3. We hit a deer on the way home from that same trip. Uh huh, less than 50 miles from our driveway. New Vehicle = New Deer. That was a headache.
  4. Other headaches - better known as migraines - an unfortunate part of my life.
  5. Washing windows. It's Spring in the Keweenaw! Although we do have at least one remaining snow pile, some dandelions just popped up overnight.
  6. Getting "lost in the woods." That's what happens many mornings when we sit in the great room for our morning chat with our cups of coffee. We often find it difficult to pull ourselves away from the view outside our sliding glass doors. There's just too much happening out there, folks! Various critters are walking past, leaves are beginning to fill out the trees, hummingbirds are returning, and then there's that sky - our beautiful Keweenaw sky! We get totally engrossed with watching trees swaying in the breeze, looking for pileated woodpeckers when we hear one pounding away at a tree, and counting goldfinches at the finch feeder.
  7. Mostly, though, it's daily life that gets in the way. You know, being wifey!

I do have one additional excuse, however. Some of you know that our family is interested in genealogy, and we've done lots of work on it in the last 25 years. Mom & I spent most of our vacation time for years - traveling and researching our family history. Now I use the computer; however, my limited gigabytes at the new house prevent me from doing as much as I would like. On our way home from Florida, I was contacted via email by a long lost relative. I'm talking LONG LOST - like we never even knew she existed! I'll call her "K." K and I share a GG grandfather who died in 1913. She contacted me because of our DNA match. K was adopted back in the 1950's and has been researching her biological family. Can you imagine how excited we were to share our knowledge with her? Beyond thrilled! My late uncle was a master researcher & writer and compiled our facts into big thick books he distributed within our family. I've acquired more facts since he passed away, but most of our knowledge is in those books. I have copies of those books on my computer hard drives, on CD's, and on USB flash drives. I just had to take the time to separate out the info that pertained to K's ancestry (including my updates), copy it onto a CD, and mail it to her. I wish I could explain how it felt to give someone the knowledge of her family that was more than just names on a computer screen. When I read the following sentence she wrote to me, it moved me to tears:  ". . I'm happy beyond belief because it just helps me fit into my skin better."  And then there was, "I'm so excited about all of this, I'm just vibrating!"  Priceless.

One of the most interesting parts of these books is the Civil War section in Volume 2. The GG grandfather and GGG grandfather I share with K were both in the Civil War. My uncle used the actual pension records of our soldiers to tell us what they were doing during the Civil War. Others may know that an ancestor was involved in the war - may even know the regiment and the dates they enlisted and/or mustered out. They may even go so far as to check out the battles that particular regiment fought in, but that still won't tell them if their ancestor was actually "present" for that battle - if he was sick or wounded, etc. That information can only be obtained through their military pension records (or maybe some rare diary). Armed with the information I shared with K, she can take the text and corresponding maps with her to Shiloh, Tennessee - find the very spot where her ancestors in the 77th Ohio were camped on the battlefield near Shiloh Church and the stream where they got their water - and picture the events as they unfolded that day. Then, she can make her way down to Pittsburgh Landing and sit on the bank of the Tennessee River where our badly wounded GG grandfather waited for several days for the ship to arrive to take him away for medical treatment. It's a very moving experience. If he had been killed that day, she and I wouldn't be here. Shiloh is an especially great battlefield, as it's still out in the country and preserved so well - no big city encroaching upon it. So many other Civil War sites are preserved only with a simple marker or a square block of grass in the middle of a modern city. I have some Shiloh photos coming up on the blog in the next few days, and I'll share more about our recent trip to Shiloh in the near future.

Anyway, that's what I've been doing here in the Keweenaw, and I'll sincerely try to improve the frequency of my posts. No more slaps on the wrist, as I bruise too easily!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summertime Hummertime - Free Printable

They're back! 

Or at least one is back! Maybe it's the advance guard checking to see if those folks in the Keweenaw are going to feed them again this year.

You betcha, little one! Sorry that photo isn't very sharp, but I had to hastily grab my camera when we spotted this little hummer about 9:30 this morning. I was down with a migraine for the majority of the day yesterday, but I did have a few vertical moments and asked Mr. Cut Off to put out one of our hummingbird feeders late in the afternoon. We spotted our first hummer on May 19th last year, so I was hoping they would be back sometime this week.

Nothing around us is blooming yet. Our grass is still mostly brown and we even have piles of snow here and there. Isn't it amazing that a little hummingbird is able to find this one small splotch of red in the middle of miles and miles of forest? We counted over 20 at one time drinking from multiple feeders last year, so more will surely be on the way soon. By the way, if you're looking for a sturdy feeder, we've had the most luck with this model and it's one of the least expensive. It's just under $6 at Walmart - doesn't leak - easy to clean.

In anticipation of the upcoming hummingbird season, I made this printable last week.

Summertime IS hummertime!

Of course, it doesn't look just like a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, but I like the bright colors for my summer decor.

I made this printable as a 5x7, but you can always play around with the proportions a bit and print another size.

If you would like a free copy of this printable, click on the following link:

Hummingbird 5x7

We get a lot of enjoyment out of watching these busy little birds every summer. Glad to see they're on their way back!

UPDATE:  I just looked up and spotted 2 at once! Yay! (12:35 p.m. - 5/15/17)

All is well in the Keweenaw.