Saturday, January 31, 2009

Squint Shot 013109

Every town needs a barber's pole, and The Ville has one. It is constantly on the move, spinning so the red, white, and blue stripes appear to go downward. Quite hypnotic.
Easily recognizable as a place to stop in and get a trim . . . but, do you know the origin of the barber's pole? A bit surprising to me.

This pole originated in the days, as far back as the Medieval times, when blood-letting was one of the principal duties of a barber. The two spiral ribbons painted on the pole represent bandages; one for the bandage that was twisted around the arm before bleeding, and the other used afterwards. In today's society, this pole signifies a place for a trim and a shave, but hopefully no blood-letting.

Snack-urday 101

It's the weekend and what better way to spend it than having a bit of quality time in the kitchen. If you can spare it.

And, in this cold weather, what better recipe could there be than good ol' chicken soup. I recently came across this one that is an interesting twist on the traditional.

Mama's Chicken Soup

Serves 4 but you can double the recipe -- great for cold and flu season!

3 pounds chicken
1 carrot, peeled and halved
1 medium onion, sliced and diced
1 cinnamon stick
1 3-inch knob of peeled ginger
zest of one orange
1 small red chili pepper, seeded and cut into rings for garnish
2 stalks celery, chopped for color

In a large sauce pan, combine chicken, carrot, onion, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add 3 quarts of water, orange zest and juice from the orange. Place over a high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chicken flavor smells strong -- about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Pour the liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl and discard the solids (although, this is where I would save out the cooked chicken and either add it back into the broth or save for another recipe -- your choice though). Allow the broth to cool, and then refrigerate over night. When ready to serve, warm the soup and ladle it into mugs or bowls.

Doesn't that just sound delicious, and warming. So give it a try and give a bit of feedback.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Squint Shot 013009

A porthole is generally a small, circular window used on the hulls of ships to admit light and air. Well, there's only a puddle, or two, and nary a boat in sight at the main four corners, but portholes do exist in The Ville.

Name Game

Something occurred to me recently that I pondered for a bit. Have you ever noticed how creative Fowlerville restaurant and bar owners are in naming their particular place of business? We don't have a Joe's Bar and Grill or a Smith's Restaurant.

We've got . . . Lucky's Pub and Da Shoe. At Lucky's, enjoy anything from pizza to grinders to a full buffet with your pint of ale, or head to Da Shoe for Thursday evening wings year-round or to play of a bit of horseshoes in the summer.

And, then there is Olden Days. Are you hungry for a breakfast that will stick with you all day? Or, are you looking for a bit of round-table conversation at the community table? Or, are your tastebuds doing a dance thinking about some melt-in-your-mouth prime rib?

Oh, and most recently, The Feed Bag. There are only 6 tables in the little building at the corner of Garden Lane and South Grand. But that just makes it more desirable to vie for one of those tables to enjoy their bag meals.

But, maybe the most original name is the Bloated Goat. When we first moved here, I was hesitant to step into a place with the word bloated in the description for their place of business. But if you are looking for a hamburger extra-ordinaire, step through the glass door where The Goat happily welcomes you.

Well, it was inevitable. My pondering then reached new heights.

About the time we arrived in Fowlerville, the Shady Lady was closing up. But what other restaurants and bars were there . . . and what were they called? Are these modern day restaurants a continuation of a tradition of interesting names, or is this a new phenomenon?

I would love to hear from those out in the Internet tubes. Your memories?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Squint Shot 012909

With the cold comes fluffed-out birds . . . but at least they are in the area. And they are fun to watch.For under $9, you can find at least a 25 pound bag of birdseed at our local Fowlerville Feed and Pet store right by the railroad tracks, including Wild Delight Cardinal birdseed (which, of course, I'll be picking up a bag in the very near future), and then you will be astounded how many birds will flock to your yard.
My question is, though, how does the word get out to all the other birds were the bounty is?

News Sources

Look to your right (on this screen, that is).

There is a poll quickly coming to an end. It is in regards to how you acquire your information on current events. And, inquiring minds would like to know -- so vote before the poll closes.

But, at this point, online sources appears to hold the lead. I find this interesting because that is exactly my main source for national and world news, and most of my local news. A couple years ago, all newspaper subscriptions were ended and the Internet has become my "paper" with my early morning cup(s) of coffee.

So, in that vein, I would like to offer up websites most commonly found in my list of favorites:

For bites of national news, and mostly entertainment -- USA Today -

Same as above, just maybe a different spin -- MSN -

For more indepth reporting -- TPM -

Central Michigan news -- Lansing State Journal -

County-wide news -- Livingston Press and Argus -

Local updates in conjunction with their once-a-week publication -- Fowlerville News and Views -

So, how about you? Do you have any favorite websites where you find the information you are looking for, or for some easy entertainment, or maybe accurate and unbiased reporting? I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Squint Shot 012809

Beware . . . icicles are forming.

Some seem to have taken on a life of their own. In some areas, monster columns of frozen water have gotten so large, they might be offering support to some buildings. This icicle towers the height of a two story brick commercial building. Inside that building, you can rent a movie, have a great cup of coffee, have your hair styled, or have jewelry designed specifically for you.

Reflection in Space

Whether or not you were old enough to understand, maybe you were not even born yet, or so young you were unaware at the time . . . but today is a day of remembrance.
Twenty-three years ago today an event occurred that deserves a moment of reflection.

Take a moment to remember those that never made it back from a space flight, let alone even into space.
In 1986, on this day, the Space Shuttle Challenger, with seven astronauts onboard, broke apart moments after lift-off. There were flights before this one and have been many since, but an unprecedented number of young eyes were focused on this particular event due to Christa McAuliffe, the first and only member of the Teacher in Space Project. (The project was suspended in the early 1990s, but has now been revived in the private sector -- so the day may come again that another teacher will go into space.)
January 28, 1986, may even be one of those days that stands out in your memory of being able to recall exactly where you were, what you were doing, and how you felt the moment you heard or witnessed this catastrophic event.

I know it is for me.
My children were in grade school and the enthusiasm in the school that day was palpable. There would be television-watching and assemblies. There was celebration and excitement to off-set the bone-chilling cold of a January winter day. Teachers walked with a lighter step and a lilt in their voices, knowing one of their own was accomplishing something unique.
But that morning changed all of that. I believe in many ways it changed how I viewed the space program. I still understand how important research has been in advancing technology, medicine, and studies on everything from aging to psychology. And I still have enthusiasm all these years laters, but it is tempered by the now highly-visual and devastating risks these astronauts put themselves in.
So, now I'm wondering what would be the best way to remember and honor this event. Maybe say thank you to a teacher. Maybe sit quietly for a moment or two silently thanking all the astronauts for their commitment and hard work to help the rest of mankind. Or, maybe, just look skyward for a second and whisper a quiet acknowledgement.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Squint Shot 012709

It is important to look up once in a while.

Nearly every building at the main four corners has an architectural charm of yesterday, but how often do we even notice?
Take a minute to look up . . . you might find others following your lead.

Honing a Skill

Okay . . . I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that many of you out there have not stepped into a library in quite some time. If I'm wrong, that's great.

But, if I'm right, not so great for you.

If I didn't actually have to work to pay a few bills, our local librarian
and her staff might get just a bit tired of seeing me so often. But, as it is, they will be seeing me at least once a week for the next 6 weeks.


Well, starting tomorrow, January 28, from 1-2 in the afternoon, an adult writing group will be conducted by one of the staff members, an aspiring author of young adult stories. The discussions can be lively, suggestions are helpful, and there's always a snack. What more could anyone need?

If you are interested in writing, whether it be the actual art of wordology or with hopes of being published, this might just be the place for you.

Come join us.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Squint Shot 012609

Through the lens of my Canon PowerShot SX110, I will be looking at Fowlerville in my own strange and wonderful viewpoint. These pictures are what I would like to call my squint shots of Fowlerville, or that I took-a-look. Some shots will be instantly recognizable, others might have you puzzled for a bit.

For today, enjoy these forlorn-looking benches found just a couple blocks from the main four corners.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Coming Home

You are on I-96 . . . it doesn't matter if you are heading east or west. The Fowlerville exit, #129, is getting closer.

What do you look for?

Is it just the delightful little green sign provided by the Department of Transportation that denotes Fowlerville Exit 1 mile? Or is it the list of fast food restaurants available? Or is it the massive water tower with Fowlerville Gladiators proudly displayed in the round, with the easily identifiable symbol of a Gladiator head, that beckons you to the exit?

If you live in Fowlerville, or the surrounding townships of Handy and Iosco, you are home. Or almost there.

And this is what my husband and I call home. We can't call it our hometown (that would be a bit to the west of Fowlerville, where we grew up), but it is home. I bring this up for the mere fact, although we have lived here for 11 years, we have been informed (possibly tongue-in-cheek, I'm not fully sure) that you have to live here for at least 50 years before expounding you are from Fowlerville.

Okay, I guess I can go along with that . . . in theory.

We are not really from Fowlerville, but oh, it feels so good sometimes to see that water tower, hit the exit ramp with gusto, and tour through town on our way home . . . especially after being gone for a few days or a couple weeks.

It is that sigh of relief your body may feel to know you've made it home safely, that your comfortable surroundings are close at hand, or that there might be friends and family welcoming you through town with a quick wave or a nod. Those are the things I love about living in The Ville.

So, the next time you see that water tower, standing proudly against the Michigan deep blue sky, being splattered by hard rain or topped with snow, or framed by ominous grey clouds . . . remember . . . this is your home, your hometown, your corner of the world. It is also ours (while we chip away at that revered number of 50 years of life in The Ville).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcome to The Ville

Welcome . . . you have arrived at The Ville.

My name is Marion Cornett, Blogger-in-Resident of The Ville. Sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it?

Well, all that self-proclaimed title really means is, while working hand-in-hand with Steve and Dawn Horton of the Fowlerville News and Views, I will be offering up my own spin of living in the Fowlerville area. And maybe a few other things along the way . . . like local and national current event commentary, a look at interesting people, maybe a recipe or two, and any oddball trivia that takes hold of my imagination . . . in other words, who really knows.

This is a fun blog (which did you know, the word blog is shortened from the word web-log, meaning keeping a journal online -- see you might have already learned something new today). Blogging is just another extension of the writing that has always been a part of my life; whether it was keeping a journal, or the art of letter writing (which has morphed into e-mailing), or working on that great American romance novel. Oh, the possibilities have been endless.

So now that you know a little bit of why I am putting together this blog, I'd like to hear from you. Here are a few ways:

~~You can participate in my weekly poll.

Once a week, a new poll can be found in the upper right hand corner of the page. This week's poll addresses where you get most of your news information, and you can vote for one choice or for all of them. Other weeks, you may be able to make only one choice; but this week, check all the boxes if you want. Then come back each day to get an idea what everyone else is doing.

~~You can make a comment.

At the bottom of each post, you will see post a comment. That is what you will click on to give your thoughts and ideas in relation to my article. Just follow the directions and when you are done, everyone else will also be able to read your comment. Sound a bit daunting? It isn't really. But I would like you to remember one thing -- this is a public forum and not the place for degrading comments or swearing. I'll keep it clean if you will.

~~You can make requests.

Is there something you would like to learn about, an event that needs a bit more publicity, or an article you would like to submit to The Ville? By clicking on my profile picture, you can contact me through e-mail and we can talk about what you are interested in.

So, away we go.