Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chili Cook-Off

Today is the Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by and a fundraiser of the Fireworks Committee -- so help out by going and enjoying some chili, then voting for your favorite.
Fowlerville boasts the best Fourth of July fireworks display in a 50-mile radius and it would be great to keep making it the premiere event in Livingston County. This summer holiday will see the Fourth of July Committee, Fowlerville Business Association, and Fowlerville Rotary Club working together to make it an even bigger event.

So head to the VFW Hall today, from 4-7, and be a part of the celebration.

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Red sky at night, sailor's delight . . . but who would know with the pinks and blues and greys this sunset afforded the lucky traveler on I-96. It was a feast for the eyes just before taking the exit.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Squint Shot 033009

A couple days ago, the squint shot showed filigree beautifully painted and maintained, but how often these old houses are in need of so much. The detailing in this roof peak is just begging for a good scraping and painting.If only there was the time and the money.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thought for Today

We've all heard of the Serenity Prayer, as in God give me the strength . . .

But now it is time to consider this.

We are all getting older -- it's just a fact of life -- so you might want to chant this once in a while.


Grant me the senility to forget the people
I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Have a great Sunday and I hope I run into you.

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Living cartoon characters . . . that is what comes to mind when I look into the face of a comical llama. Those bulging, curious eyes stare back at me. The question mark ears. The lips possibly curled in a smile, or is that a smirk? They are fun to watch, and Fowlerville is home to a farm full of these llamas.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snack-urday 109

It's Saturday, and you know what that means -- food and a new recipe. Once again, I headed back to Jean Sanders for a wonderful recipe using pita bread. It is such a wonderful alternative to bread.

Cobb Salad Pitas
Serves 4
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small avocado
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
4 7-inch pita breads, halved
1 large, hard-boiled egg
Whisk the mustard and the vinegar together, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add some oil, whisking until thickened. Peel, pit and finely chop the avocado and add to the dressing. Add chicken, tomato, bacon and cheese and toss lightly. Warm the pitas slightly to make them more flexible. Divide the Romaine lettuce among the pita halves. Divide the chicken mixture and add, then sprinkle with the egg.

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After noticing this beautifully painted filigree at the peak of a house north of the main four corners, my eye traveled to the gnarly trees behind the house.I wonder how old those trees could be?

Friday, March 27, 2009

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Can anyone figure out where this is? I like taking shots close up -- sometimes it adds an interesting beauty or intrigue to something as basic as chain link fencing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

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The high school has some beautiful windows, so my camera was pointing upward for this squint shot. It is beautiful both from the outside and from the inside.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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Looking up again, my camera zoomed in on this doorway to nowhere. It is on the second floor and would be a huge first step to the pavement!The ingenious paintwork is worth a giggle -- something I didn't notice until looking at the squint shot.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Writing Exercises

As the self-proclaimed editor of The Ville, this blog is something I do to enhance my writing (along with my work on Meryl's Musings) while I continue to slave away on my great romance novel.

To my goal of becoming a better writer, I'm always looking for that next class to take. But, as time is of the essence, as busy as my embroidery company keeps me, I have felt very fortunate to discover our Fowlerville Library, and the enthusiasm of the Cheryl and her staff.

One of her staff members, Emily, conducts a weekly writing group session (which by the way, these sessions will soon be ending for the spring, but hopefully another one will be scheduled this fall) and, each week, we are given a writing exercise. These have proven to be fun as well as helpful.

The first one was writing a list poem. Of course, we needed to find out what a list poem consisted of so the internet was put to good use. Well, it is a list, not necessarily rhyming, and is pretty much as long as you want to make it, but pretty much just one sentence. Our theme? Anything to do with warm weather. Here's my offering . . .

My hands
deep in
brown, black
warm soil;
nails encrusted
with grit,
knees tender
from kneeling,
shoulder muscles
spine tightening,
sun warming
my back,
over me;
in my garden.

A free-form, mind-wandering exercise . . . whether it is good or bad, it is mine and it is how I feel when the warm weather hits.

Well . . .

The next week, Emily presented us with this picture. We were asked to study it, then describe what we saw or create a story from the objects shown.

My offering . . .

Hey, look . . .

Mom left me an apple. Julie wouldn't mind if I have a snack. I love apples.

Oh, and look . . .

Is that candy? I love M&Ms. I see green ones and blue ones, and, oh my favorite, red ones. I could have a bite of the apple and then an M&M. I wonder how that would taste?

If I reach just a little more, I could get one. Argh, they are too far away. Oh wait, I think . . . yes, there. I've got a piece of candy. Wait, two of them. Guess the apple will have to wait until mom gets home. But at least I could reach the candy.

I wonder if Julie likes M&Ms. I'll share with her . . .

"Julie? See what I found?"

Just like a kid to mistake something else for candy. How many times does that happen?

Well, onto this next week.

We have been given this picture, in black and white, and an exercise in how to show, don't tell. Show, don't tell merely means to describe something without actually giving away the word for it. Merely . . . hah! It is difficult, at best, but exactly what a wanna-be writer needs to work at constantly and try to perfect.

Next week, I'll post what I wrote. But in the meantime . . . try describing this picture and posting it as a comment. Try it, you might like it!

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More architecture . . . at the old Ruth's Resale corner storefront. A couple years ago, a great deal of time and effort was put into fixing up the beautiful cornices and trimwork. Unfortunately, the storefront remains empty . . . but maybe someday it will be filled.

Monday, March 23, 2009

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Our fields and woods are dotted with various styles of hunters' blinds . . . and this one looks nearly like an extra apartment at the back of its property. . . . or a "doghouse."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

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This is an amazing shot -- to me. And because of that, the first one to guess where I was parked while taking this squint shot will receive my undying respect.. . . and an ice cream cone at The Frosty Boy. So comment and check back to see who wins.


I love to do squint shots every day but I've never come across such a succinct sign as this one!

So, in the spirit of this sign, here's a Sunday funny . . .

There was this car moving very slowly down the highway. A State Trooper pulled it over.
"What have I done wrong, officer?" the driver asked.
"You are going 26 mph on a major highway. There is a law against that," the officer said to the driver. "You must go at least 50 mph."
"But when I turned on the highway, the sign said 26," he replied.
"Ha, ha, ha," the officer laughed. "This is Interstate 26, and 26 isn't the speed limit."
The driver leaned back in her car seat and the cop saw another woman sitting beside her. She looked as pale as a ghost.
"What happened to her?" the officer asked.
"I don't know, but she has been that way ever since we got off of Interstate 160."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Squint Shot 032109

Until this project for The Ville began, of taking squint shots, this very old steel windmill never crossed my radar. Now, everytime Sharpe Road is in my travels, I'm sure it will be noticed. And my thoughts will be . . . which way is the wind blowing?

Snack-urday 108

In my internet wanderings, I come across some interesting websites -- some of which have some wonderful recipes. At Jean Sanders' site, where you will find artful sketches and ramblings by her (and from which I get a daily update), comes this delicious recipe.
It takes a bit of work, but yum-m-m-o-o.

Strawberry Pavlova
Serves 8
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
A few drops of vanilla extract (no imitation, please)
1 pound strawberries, hulled & halved
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Draw a circle on the paper with an 8 or 9 inch cake pan as your guide. Use an electric mixer to combine egg whites and salt in a bowl. Beat slowly at first, gradually increasing to high. Continue until peaks begin to form; gradually beat in sugar until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle in cornstarch, white wine vinegar and vanilla and fold in gently. Mound the mixture onto parchment paper within the circle. Shape the meringue into a disk. Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 300.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow meringue to cool completely in the oven.
To prepare topping:
Combine strawberries, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
To serve:
Invert the meringue onto a plate and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Whip cream until it is thick enough to hold peaks. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the meringue. Cover the cream with strawberries, allowing a small amount of their liquid to dribble onto cream. Serve immediately.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Squint Shot 032009

A study of the barns in the area offers up the bad all too often. In my travels to find squint shots, there will be some barns that are still being maintained, but right now? This is what we see too often. I wish it could be different.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Squint Shot 031909

Spring always brings high water tables, and the Fowlerville area is not immune to it. The streams and county drains swell to their highest levels during March and April and the Looking Glass River is no exception. The morning sun, though, actually adds some beauty to this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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Parking is no longer an issue in our downtown with the new parking lot in the northwest quadrant of the main four corners.And, we are lucky -- it is now going to be the newest location of the summer Farmer's Market. How easy will that be to check out all the wonderful goodies that will be for sale?

Websites 104

In my never-ending search of the internet tubes, I either come across something very interesting or someone sends me a link (which is so much easier).

This was the case with this particular website that has turned out to be a great reference site. A friend sent it to me and I've already found it a great source. You can find it here.

Once you are at All My Faves, bookmark in your favorites file, because . . . if you're like me, you'll be heading back to it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get Your Irish On

May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

And, may you have the most awesome St. Patrick's Day ever.
So now, do you need a little something to get your Irish on? Fowlerville has just the shop for you.
Even if you are aware of Bridget Gallagher's or have been in and even purchased something, be sure to check back today, tomorrow, whenever you need something special . . . and, in particular, something Irish-themed.
There is always something new in the mix.
Yesterday, I stopped in just to wander around and, of course, I had my camera in hand. It was so difficult to figure out exactly what to zero in on to show you a sampling of what they have offer. So let this be just a wee bit of a teaser, if you will, of some of the items you can find at Bridget Gallagher's.
I discovered some adorable little figurines that may well have been patterned off of some dear people I remember from growing up close to St. Casimir Church in Lansing. Probably not, but these figurines sent me on a short trip down memory lane as I snapped a few pictures!
Clothing is a big item in this store -- everything from infants to adults, t-shirts to sweatshirts, ponchos to scarves. One t-shirt caught my eye in particular -- Irish Thru and Thru on the front. And guess way? Irish Thru and Thru is on the back too -- just backwards!
Everywhere you look there are plaques, serving platters, and framed pictures of sayings. As I took pictures, I realized many of the Irish sayings remind us to always live life to the fullest and to count all of our blessings.
An Irish Stetson? They've got it, and how cool would that be to saunter up to the bar, wearing this hat, and ordering a green beer to match the hat.
And that brings me to . . .
We can never forget about all the different ways to enjoy a little bit of Irish whiskey or a frothy Guinness. Shot glasses sparkle off the twinkling lights all around the store. It is definitely a feast for the eyes.
I longed to spend more time (and a little money) but work awaited me. Now I'm thinking there will be another visit to Bridget Gallagher's in the very near future.
Oh, and by the way, if anyone wants to get this beaded change purse for me, feel free. I've already given these as gifts to my daughters. Now I just need one!

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Here is another piece of evidence of beautiful woodworking that has been preserved over the years on the old brick buildings. The top of this wood must have been too severely damaged to repair as it is covered with metal trim.But it does make me wonder how these buildings looked 75 years, maybe 100 years, ago.

Monday, March 16, 2009

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There are so many interesting and beautiful storefronts to check out in downtown Fowlerville. Be sure to take a moment to admire the gorgeous wedding dress in the window of Aleta's Flower Shop.The most popular season for nuptials is fast approaching!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

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Yesterday, with temperatures rising in the afternoon but still cold in the morning, thin layers of ice covered the water surfaces.Moments after snapping this shot of this cautiously, tip-toeing mallard, the ice gave way and the bird swam over to his pals.


Time for a little fun.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two words with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect. And some might even make you scratch your head.

~~Act naturally
~~Found missing
~~Genuine imitation
~~Airline food
~~Good grief
~~Same difference
~~Almost exactly
~~Government organization
~~Sanitary landfill
~~Alone together
~~Legally drunk
~~Silent scream
~~Living dead
~~Small crowd
~~Soft rock
~~Military intelligence
~~Software documentation
~~New classic
~~Sweet sorrow
~~Passive aggression
~~Taped live
~~Clearly misunderstood
~~Peace force
~~Temporary tax increase
~~Computer jock
~~Plastic glasses
~~Terribly pleased
~~Political science
~~Tight slacks
~~Definite maybe
~~Pretty ugly
~~Diet ice cream
~~Working vacation
~~Exact estimate
~~Microsoft Works

So did some make you pause and consider? Or giggle?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Snack-urday 107

One of my favorite websites for easy, interesting, and nutritious recipes is AllRecipes, which you can browse at your own leisure . . . but for today, consider this recipe for a real taste-treat for your family.

You will need:

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 golden delicious apples; peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter-flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar (mixture of white sugar and cinnamon to taste)


In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.


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Entering the village toward the main four corners, at each village limit, you are greeted by this welcome sign.How often do we ever notice it?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Last June 16, in 2008, it was Friday the 13th, just like it is today. Well, nothing strange happened then, so here's hoping the best for today.

But in the meantime, here is a short article that was posted on Meryl's Musings regarding the number 13. Just thought you might like to know.

You can find it by clicking here. Enjoy . . . and watch out for black cats, or walking under ladders, or anything that makes you feel the little bit superstitious.

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Real tulips, along with crocuses, will be sprouting up through newly thawed ground. But, for now, here are some that can be spotted spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

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Some birds stuck around all winter, but another sure sign of spring coming . . . birds on a wire. Keep your eyes to the sky to see more.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It may be spring, but it is cold and windy today.

And earmuffs just might need to be the fashion of the day. On my fun blog, Meryl's Musings, which you can find here, I have written an article about the inventor of ear mufflers, which you can find here.

Mr. Chester Greenwood was a pretty ingenious fellow. I think you will agree.

Then, after you have enjoyed that article and maybe browsed the site a bit, come back and click on Squint Shots listed under Labels. You can see over 6 weeks of squinty-eyed shots I've taken of the Fowlerville area.


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After yesterday's squint shot of water in Centennial Park, I couldn't resist this picture. The bench may be hard to get to now, but wait until it dries up. There will be kids climbing all over everything and parents watching patiently. It won't be long now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Squint Shot 031009

No, this is not an upside-down picture, but a reflection of one of the many trees in Centennial Park. And, no, there is not a lake at the park. Just a bit of flooding. Can spring be far behind?

The Birds

The birds are back in town.

Morning Doves -- feeding like cattle off the ground. Cardinals -- pairs flitting from apple trees to feeders to the ground. Bluejays -- yakking and squawking at everyone. Bluebirds -- inspecting the houses made especially for them. And these yellow finches -- finding this unique birdfeeder with small holes for them to feed from, clear acryllic pegs I'm surprised they even see, and even a bit of shade from the top of this "toadstool" feeder.

After receiving this birdfeeder as a present, I had hurriedly hung it outside on a cute little shepherd's hook. But . . . I had mistakenly placed traditional wild birdfeed in it.

No takers.

It sat untouched and ignored, while the other feeder was as busy as Detroit Metro Airport on a clear day. So I went in search of what kinds of seeds needed to go into this feeder. That led me to Fowlerville Feed and Pet Store and a conversation with Herbie.

And, now? Those yellow finches are loving all the different seeds, including a type called nyger, that Herbie has to offer at Fowlerville Feed and Pet Store.

Thanks, Herbie.

Monday, March 9, 2009

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For those up early, you might have a chance to catch beautiful sunrises -- yes, this is a sunrise on a foggy morning. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I'm coming or going?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Could the Woodchuck?

Could the woodchuck . . . scare me? Startle me? Stare me down and win?

Yes to all of the above . . .

I seriously started chanting in my head, a woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood, as I stood at our neighbor's front door and this curious (or nearly blind) little animal slithered out from under their car and came up to the porch.

I froze, he froze, then I moved, and then he scuttled back under the car.

I don't really know who was more startled . . . him or me. But I was certainly glad he did the scuttling because it would not have been a pretty sight if I had done the same.

Okay, so clearly, even after living in the pseudo-country, I can be rattled by nature. But I believe there's been some progress by the mere fact I didn't take off running, screaming back to my own house.

And now most of you are probably shaking your collective heads, wondering what the big deal was. Well, for me it was rather momentous because the closest I've ever been to a woodchuck is a dead woodchuck, squished on the road. Alive, they do have a cute face, and those little feet, but oh, the damage those claws can do. This go 'round, it took off across the street, into the tall, brown weeds, to parts unknown.

So now, my challenge to you . . . do you have any stories or experiences you would like to share regarding close encounters of the nature-side of life. Post a comment or contact me by clicking on my profile. I would love to hear from you.

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Take the side streets and you may come across old buildings, appearing to be abandoned . . . but what about this one?Behind the carwash across from Hungry Howie's stands in the overgrown weeds and grass. Anyone know what it is used for, or used to be?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Squint Shot 030709

Early morning fog puts a special light on naked trees and empty fields, especially this time of year. It won't be long and this field with be covered in soybeans, or filled with rows of corn -- whatever is planted will keep a local farmer working hard.

Snack-urday 106

I'm sure you have heard of, and probably even had, a grilled cheese sandwich.

But . . .

Have you ever had a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich? See the sandwich to your right? It is plain, yet yummy, but still maybe a bit boring.

But . . .

~~Spread a little butter on each side.

~~Grill the same you would a cheese sandwich.

And . . . oh my. You've got a sandwich that is pure decadence. But don't take my word for it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Oh, and don't forget . . . spring forward one hour tonight when you go to bed. We are now moving into daylight savings time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Squint Shot 030609

Trees are waiting for a home and they stand at your beck and call. Won't it be great once they are all leafed out.Head to Mayhew's army of trees for a quick look at what your yard could use.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Squint Shot 030509

More brickwork - Fowlerville is so full of sturdy buildings that have weathered years and nature. This is the top of the third floor of the Harmon building -- the third floor once being the grandest of dining rooms you could ever imagine.There are even remnants of a dumb waiter and small kitchen.

Working Together

The Fowlerville Business Association had its monthly general meeting this last Tuesday evening at the Woodshire Banquet Hall. And it was very interesting. In addition to being greeted with a wonderful smile and welcome by Becky Wilson, the administrator of FBA, the members had a chance to network and catch up with other business owners.
But as a quick side note - thank you to the Woodshire for an awesome meal of thin-sliced pork with berry sauce, redskin mashed potatoes, corn, and tossed salad - always makes it worth showing up for the meeting!
Anyhow, back to the meeting. After digging in for great food and stimulating conversation, the group was treated to two informational speeches; one given by John Morris (see picture of John and our FBA member Steve McDermaid) regarding the Fowlerville Family Fair, and the other given by Sandra Warner from the Fowlerville Farmers' Market.
Both the Fair and the Market are changing and growing. The Fair changed its focus toward the family after fair season 2006, and those changes have now made this non-profit organization everything wonderful (and not in the red). You can head to www.fowlervillefamilyfair.com for additional information and scheduled events.
The Farmers' Market is still growing and always trying new things. This year the Market will be held in the new parking lot to the west of the hardware store. It will begin in just a couple months, but even now plans are formulating for activities and attendees. For more information, check out http://www.fowlerville.org/FarmersMarket/tabid/6700/Default.aspx for hours of operation and schedule of events.
And, no matter how you look at it, these two things are a sure sign of wonderful things to come for Fowlerville.