October 31, 2013

October in Pictures

Great Pumpkins

October 31, 2013 Photo of the day:
"Great Pumpkins"

Happy Halloween!
What are your plans for this funny holiday?

Will you head to the local pumpkin patch...

...to choose the perfect pumpkin?

Will you carve a spooky or silly jack-o-lantern?

Don't forget to roast the pumpkin seeds!

Will you go Trick-or-Treating?

(Hope you don't get a rock :)

Or will you stay up late to wait for The Great Pumpkin?

Happy Halloween!

For more spooky fun, join my American Lit class

October 30, 2013


October 30, 2013 Photo of the day: "Perspective"

When situations and people seem prickly,
remember that their barbs
 are usually a means of defense,
a necessary protection 
to nurture something delicate and beautiful,
until is it ready to reveal its full potential.

October 29, 2013

The First Step

October 29, 2013 Photo of the day: "Steps"

“Faith is taking the first step 
even when you don't see the whole staircase.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

October 28, 2013

Out of my gourd!

October 28, 2013 Photo of the day:
"Out of My Gourd!"

Some days are so hectic!
My Googly Eyes are spinning around in my head!

Despite the chaos, I managed to contain myself...

After all, hard work and dedication are what it takes to stand out!

October 27, 2013


October 27, 2013 Photo of the day: 

Quand l'idéal se déplace, 
il faut bien qu'on s'oriente différemment. 
Le tournesol reste fidèle au soleil.
~ Jean Rostand

Known as tournesols in French, sunflowers incline perpetually toward the light. As the days become shorter, the sun hangs lower in the sky. My European car seems to think that Daylight Savings Time is already over; though in the US, we still have a week before we change our clocks. Who needs sophisticated technology when nature indicates the changing time and seasons with precision accuracy? 

Sunflowers teach us that when a situation changes, we must alter our perspective to always face the light. Even without its petals, this sunflower bows toward the low autumn sun. 

October 26, 2013

Trick or Treat!

October 26, 2013 Photo of the day: 
"Trick or Treat!"

"You're a wizard!"
Harry Potter (Chase, 7)
 & Draco Malfoy (Alec, 9)

October 25, 2013

Life Happens

October 25, 2013 Photo of the day: "When Boats Fly" 
(guest photographer, Eric Horne)

The thermometer on my dashboard read 27° this morning as I drove to school in the dark. All signs indicate that the 2013 sailing season should be over, but for us, the season never started. When Eric sent this photo of our sleek, white boat against the clear blue sky this morning, my heart sank a little. For the first time since we've owned her, perhaps for the first time since I was ten years old, I didn't go sailing at all this year. Life just got in the way. 

When we bought our boat in 2006, a year after we were married, we spent a lot of time cleaning and tuning, making her own...and it was fun! We spend hours deliberating about what to name her. I can't mention her previous name; that would be bad luck!  We narrowed it down to two favorites: "Blew Eyes" (the obvious homophone of the wind and my own baby blues) and "Sail la Vie." As a French teacher, I enjoyed the play on words, and in the end, it seemed like the most inspired name. The French expression, "C'est la vie!" literally means "That's life!" Colloquially, it has taken on the equivalent of "S*** Happens!" How appropriate for a sport that relies primarily on the elements (wind, water, current), combined with an expensive vessel that inevitably malfunctions at some level and of course human miscalculation, and well, you get the idea!

While she rests in her cradle for the next several months, I will surely contemplate whether this is all worth it, weighing the pros and cons of owning a boat as the sailing season seems to get shorter and shorter, or in this case, non-existent. Sailing is a lot of work, a lot of expense, a lot of discomfort...yet it's also exhilarating, sometimes peaceful, a bonding experience...a part of who I am!

This sailing season was definitely a [w]itch, 
but there's always next year...Sail la Vie!

October 24, 2013


October 24, 2013 Photo of the day: "Renewal"

"Every adversity carries with it the Seed of 
an equivalent or greater Benefit." ~ Napoleon Hill

It's cold, really cold! This week the temperatures have plummeted into the twenties at night and have barely topped 40° by noon. The leaves are falling and most of my flowers have withered. Soon the trees will be bare and the vivid colors will dull to muted browns and grays. Yet even as my garden fades, there are signs of renewal like this milkweed seed that settled briefly on the coral bells, then flew off on the bitter autumn wind. 

October 23, 2013


October 23, 2013 Photo of the day: "Beyond..."

There is a mysterious road almost hidden in the trees off of Lake Drive in our neighborhood. The entrance is marked by weathered pillars, and underneath the overgrown foliage, is a sign that reads "Est. 1909." Each time I walk by, I am at once intrigued and intimidated. I peer down the dark, leafy path, hoping for a glimpse of what lies just beyond the bend. 

Sometimes, I imagine a rundown "summer cottage," one of the stately homes where wealthy turn-of-the-century families from Milwaukee or Chicago summered on Okauchee Lake. When the seasons changed they packed up their finery and closed the house for the winter. As the years passed, the family moved on and the house was abandoned. 

Other times, I picture a rundown shack where someone lives in seclusion, hiding from prying eyes like my own. Is he the "Boo Radley" of Westshore? 

Since further down Lake Drive is a former speakeasy, a hideout for Al Capone and his gang, I sometimes imagine a former gangster's lair where hidden secrets are waiting to be discovered.  

There isn't a "No Trespassing" sign on the pillar, so I suppose I could satisfy my curiosity by simply walking down the road. Being tech-savvy, I could consult the satellite view on Google Maps, but I deny the urge. Sometimes the truth is dull in comparison to your imagination!

October 22, 2013

Faded Flowers

October 22, 2013 Photo of the day: "Faded Flowers"
"Flowers may fade, but fragrant memory lingers."

October 21, 2013

Blue Monday

October 21, 2013 Photo of the day: "Blue Monday"

Let's face it, Mondays are difficult; especially after a such lovely weekend getaway enjoying scenic walks, visiting good friends, sampling wines and autumn fruits. Today's temperature didn't reach 40° F. This morning, it felt like the seasons changed overnight. I'm not ready...

October 20, 2013

Door County Bounty

October 20, 2013 Photo of the day: "Harvest"

Mr. Scarecrow is doing his job!
The gardens and farmer's market are overflowing 
with autumn's colorful & delicious bounty!



Wine grapes

Rose Hips



Fall flowers

What a bountiful harvest!
October 19, 2013

The Farm

October 19, 2013 Photo of the day: "The Farm"

Today, we visited The Farm,
a Door County landmark loved by locals and tourists.

We've been coming here since we were little to pet and feed the animals.

The Farm is a great place to pick up chicks!

Some "little boys" never grow up!

Even after all these years, you still leave
The Farm with a bit of wool.

Map of The Farm via thefarmindoorcounty.com

October 18, 2013

Fall Colors

October 18, 2013: "Fall Colors" in Door County

It may have been a drizzly, gloomy day...

but Door County in the fall is always brilliant!

October 17, 2013

Harbor Lights

October 17, 2013 Photo of the day: "Harbor Lights"

Isn't it wonderful how 
no matter how far away you go, 
no matter how long you've been gone, 
certain places remain so comfortably familiar? 
As soon as we cross "The Old Bridge," 
this feels like home.