Sunday, July 23, 2017


Every now and then you make friends with people that you connect with on so many levels and they just make your heart sing.  These are two of mine.  For years and years we only knew one another through emails and photos.  Then a few years ago I met Mary who lives in Toledo.  She's the one in the middle.  Then this month, I got to meet Betsy! She lives in New Mexico but was here for a wedding.

We met for tea and breakfast at a cute shop in Ypsi and had the waitress take pictures for us.

Later we went to Mathei Botanical gardens. This was the site of the wedding Betsy would be going to later in the day. We took a long walk on their nature trail and talked until we had to go.  LOVELY ladies these women are!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Another one bites the dust...

I sure hope that some day I can look back at 2017 and NOT think of it as the year that Austin totaled 3 cars in 6 months.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Horse Life

Riding has become such a big part of my life over the past year.  When Madison got Vince, Mata Hari was still coming off her last suspensory tear injury. I took over the duty of riding her at a walk for 10 minutes then 15 minutes then 20 minutes and so on until she was totally healed.  It was a long slow process but it was huge for both of us since we built a bond during that time that has become something special.

 Now I get to have this view from her back on a regular basis!

And we do much of our riding with these two!

 Taking selfies with a horse isn't easy when your arms are as short as mine.  You cut off half their face!

 Note the extremely saggy lower lip.  This is Mata Hari sleeping while getting groomed.  Totally relaxed.

The view never gets old.

Sometimes we just hang out together for a while after a ride.

It's a lovely way to spend a part of my day!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I went skydiving, I went....

I didn't want to get Madison just any ol' graduation gift last year.  I wanted something memorable.  Something epic.  Not something that would get left in a drawer.  And then I saw a Groupon for skydiving.  That was it.  Something I always had wanted to do and something she wanted to do too!  And we could do it together.

We ran out of time last summer and didn't want to go when it was cold out.  July 6, 2017 we did it!

Before boarding the plane we shared a hug and were so excited.  Neither one of us was really scared.

In the tiny plane, we were snuggled up with our tandem partners - two guys from Hungary.  Madison was closest to the door so she was going to be going first.

Madison looks afraid in this picture but it was pure excitement!

I was strapped up tight with my guy Tomas, goggles on, and ready to go.  I was watching Madison getting ready to jump.

Here she is, head back (which she had a hard time KEEPING back!), feet out the door.

And off they go!  10,000 feet in the air and we fall out of an airplane!

My turn! I didn't figure it out until a day later but my left leg hit that step you can see at the bottom of the picture leaving me with a huge bruise.  Didn't mind a bit!

I'm fairly certain I had my eyes closed at this point because I do NOT remember being upside down and flipping.

Still free falling at something like 120 mph.  I think I had stopped screaming by this point.  Maybe because my mouth was so dry from inhaling all that air...  Not sure if I was not breathing because I couldn't or because the strap across my chest was so tight!

And then the chute opened and it was quiet and so beautiful!


Between the last pic and this one my straps were loosened so I could breath and sort of "sit" in the harness.  I was also given control of the yellow straps that direct the chute.  No idea what I was supposed to do with them but it felt good to "hold" something!  I'm apparently not very good at using my arms to fly.

This was probably the scariest part for me - we were swooping back and forth and up and down directing towards the landing site.  Kind of like a roller coaster ride!

Tomas gave me a break to breath again before he took the controls over and did some fast swoops to get us down in the right spot.  We still overshot the landing spot a little bit but it wasn't a big deal.  WOW!! What a blast!

Back on the ground.  A bit wobbly and my heart beating a little harder than normal but already super glad I did this!

We got the certificates and t-shirts for proof!

I'm sure it might seem crazy but skydiving was a turning point in my life.  I came out of the experience feeling so much more empowered.  I wasn't afraid of skydiving but it totally erased many of my other fears.  I jumped out of a f'ing plane!!! A perfect good plane!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Black Animals

 Two of my three dogs have been solid black - black labs.  And we have a black horse.  And a black cat.

Why do cats like boxes so much?

Black horse is getting a long mane since she has been showing.  One hot day when Madison couldn't catch her horse in the field, I got bored and braided her mane in a running French braid. It looks so cool!

She's so pretty!

This is flat black cat.  Goofy thing he is!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

More Home Projects

This project wasn't a do it yourself!  I hired professionals to measure, order, and install these awesome plantation shutters on three of my windows.  I really wanted the clean look of shutters but I also wanted to be able to open the top half to let in light while keeping the bottom half closed for privacy. This was the perfect solution!

The next project was easy peasy.  My shed is DARK in the winter and it's where I have my freezer so I needed some light.  This LED shop light came with all the needed hardware to install it on the ceiling of the shed.  Now it's sooooo bright in there!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fourth of July part 2

And then it was over to my sister's house. Carrie always has a nice spread and this year was no different!

My beautiful niece Olivia hanging with her favorite cousin.

Me and Madison were ready to party!

Dad just can't help but make funny faces when we are taking pictures.

Aunty love!

My two favorite girls.

Madison loves to photo bomb!

David snuck this one on to my phone!

And then trying to get the whole family using the selfie stick and the timer...count to 10!!

But then there is Dad and those faces....