Saturday, February 28, 2009

Squint Shot 022809

There are so many areas of Fowlerville where you can spot interesting and intriquing brickwork. There used to be an opera house in Fowlerville and this wall is one of the remaining reminders of that building.
Do you know where it is?

Snack-urday 105

You've heard of party mix -- well here's something new -- monkey mix. Maybe so named because of its tropical ingredients.

Great for a snack anytime or to pack in a lunch.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup dried bananas
1 cup dried papaya
1 cup dried mango
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Combine ingredients and enjoy!


Thanks to www.cdkitchen.com for this great recipe.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Squint Shot 022709

Ah, the wonderful whiskey barrel, cut in half -- what a great planter. But this time of year, they all look so sad and forlorn.
Give it another month and we will start to see color sprouting up.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Squint Shot 022609

Cold mornings and sunshine offer up amazing skylines for those just waking up and for those heading to work.Take a minute to enjoy nature's daily show.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Squint Shot 022509

Quonset huts, first manufactured in 1941 by the US Navy, were used mainly by the US government for barracks, latrines, offices, medical and dental offices, isolation wards, housing, and bakeries -- but this one in Fowlerville -- part of a used car dealership. So, is this one of the original ones or manufactured years later?

We Are Michigan

These wonderful pieces of trivia have come through e-mail to me on occasion but I've never saved them -- until today. And, of course, I wanted to pass along some interesting facts to remember about Michigan.

It is long and varied -- but that says something very important about Michigan. It is a great state.

~~Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.

~~Alpena is the home of the world's largest cement plant.

~~Rogers City boasts the world's largest limestone quarry.

~~Elsie is the home of the world's largest registered Holstein dairy herd.

~~Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.

~~Colon is home to the world's largest manufacturer of magic supplies.

~~The state capitol with its majestic dome was built in Lansing in l879.

~~Although Michigan is often called the Wolverine State there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan (however, one was spotted in 2007, so maybe they have returned).

~~Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.

~~The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first air-conditioned car in 1939.

~~The oldest county (based on date of incorporation) is Wayne, in 1815.

~~Sault Ste. Marie was founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668. It is the third oldest remaining settlement in the United States.

~~In 1817 the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. It was founded by priests. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit, the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.

~~The city of Novi was named from its designation as stagecoach stop #6 or No.VI.

~~Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and one of the largest universities in the country. Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation's first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.

~~The largest village in Michigan is Caro.

~~Michigan's state stone, The Petoskey is the official state stone. It is found along the shores of Lake Michigan.

~~The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. It spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.

~~Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and became the 38th president of the United States. He attended the University of Michigan where he was a football star. He served on a World War II aircraft carrier and afterward represented Michigan in Congress for 24 years. He was also an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.

~~The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.

~~The painted turtle is Michigan's state reptile.

~~The western shore of Michigan has many sand dunes. The Sleeping Bear Dunes rise 460 feet above Lake Michigan. Living among the dunes is the dwarf lake iris the official state wildflower.

~~Vernor's ginger ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.

~~The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cageless, open exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.

~~Michigan is the only place in the world with a floating post office. The J. W. Westcott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while they are still underway. They have been operating for 125 years.

~~Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.

~~Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world. Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.

~~The Ambassador Bridge was named by Joseph Bower, the person credited with making the bridge a reality, who thought the name (Detroit-Windsor International Bridge) as too long and lacked emotional appeal. Bower wanted to symbolize the visible expression of friendship of two peoples with like ideas and ideals.

~~Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.

~~Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights. Seul Choix Point Lighthouse in Gulliver has been guiding ships since 1895. The working light also functions as a museum, which houses early 1900's furnishings and maritime artifacts.

~~Forty of the state's 83 counties adjoin at least one of the Great Lakes. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes. Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes. Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area; 1,194 square miles of inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.

~~Sault Ste. Marie was established in 1668 making it the oldest town between the Alleghenies and the Rockies.

~~Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.

~~Michigan was the first state to guarantee every child the right to tax-paid high school education.

~~Four flags have flown over Michigan - French, English, Spanish and United States.

~~Isle Royal Park shelters one of the largest moose herds remaining in the United States.

~~Some of the longest bulk freight carriers in the world operate on the Great Lakes. Ore carriers 1,000 feet long sail Michigan's inland seas.

~~The Upper Michigan copper country is the largest commercial deposit of native copper in the world.

~~The 19 chandeliers in the Capitol in Lansing are one of a kind and designed especially for the building by Tiffany's of New York. Weighing between 800-900 pounds apiece they are composed of copper, iron and pewter.

~~The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River. The world's first international submarine railway tunnel was opened between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in 1891.

~~The nation's first regularly scheduled air passage service began operation between Grand Rapids and Detroit in 1926.

~~In 1879 Detroit telephone customers were first in the nation to be assigned phone numbers to facilitate handling calls.

~~In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the first state police radio system in the world.

~~Grand Rapids is home to the 24-foot Leonardo Da Vinci horse, called Il Gavallo. It is the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the Western Hemisphere.

The State Motto (written in Latin) translates to "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Squint Shot 022409

Fowlerville Farms, as it is called now, used to be a Nickerson Farms Restaurant -- but who really cares. All I know is that big blue roof is recognizable by so many that this is the Fowlerville exit.Hopefully it never changes!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Squint Shot 022309

High atop one of the stores on Grand River stands this chimney -- is it viable or does it now just stand as a sentinel to days gone by?Interesting how the weather has worn away the grouting.

Websites 103

Here's some fun stuff -- did you know . . .

~~Doberman dogs get their name from a German tax collector. Aware of the unpopularity of his job, Ludwig Dobermann, of Apolda in Thuringia, developed in the 1880s an especially fierce breed to help him on his rounds. Today, Dobermans are widely used as guard dogs.

~~The first neon advertising sign was installed on a marquee at the Cosmopolitan Theatre at 59th Street and Columbus Circle in New York City in July 1923. This sign advertised the theatrical production Little Old New York, in which Marion Davies played the leading role. A patent on the neon tube was granted to George Claude of Paris on January 19, 1915.

Curling is a game similar to lawn bowls but played on ice. Two teams of four players (lead, second, third, and skip) participate in a curling match. Each player slides round stones, concave on the bottom and with a handle on the top, across the ice of a rink or a natural ice field toward the tee, or button, which is a fixed mark in the center of a circle (the house) marked with concentric bands. The object of the game is for each side to get its stones closest to the center. The game dates to early 16th century Scotland. Beatles' fans remember the scene in the Alps in the movie "A Hard Day's Night," where the group plays a rousing game of curling.

This information comes from one of my favorite websites for trivia -- www.reference.com -- I get an e-mail everyday with something interesting to learn.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Squint Shot 022209

It won't be long that these glacial-like piles of snow, ice, dirt, asphalt, and salt will be a memory . . . that is until next winter.Even in the waning days of these mounds of winter, there is beauty. Take a minute to look closely.

Pun-Liners

Puns and one-liners are easy to remember . . . so here are a few fun ones you just might be able to use sometime!

~~One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

~~Okay, so what's the speed of dark?

~~A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

~~A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

~~Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

~~Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

~~A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

~~A gossip if someone with a great sense of rumor.

~~A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

~~You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budget it.

~~Every calendar's days are numbered.

~~A lot of money is tainted . . . it t'aint yours and it t'aint mine.

~~A boiled egg is hard to beat.

~~Shotgun wedding . . . a case of wife or death.

~~When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

Thanks for these from www.jokesclean.com -- so many websites, so little time!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Squint Shot 022109

Years ago, how many times did you look for this sign? And now, with cell phones so much a major part of our lives, when was the last time you really noticed this sign?
Well, Fowlerville still has the sign . . . just no phone to go along with it!

Snack-urday 104

Start off your weekend healthy! This is such an easy breakfast, you will find yourself fixing it more often.

Ingredients:

Vanilla yogurt
Granola (with or without raisins)
Fresh berries

Place desired amount of yogurt in a bowl, sprinkle granola over top, then spread washed and sliced fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) over top. Mix and enjoy!

Hint -- Purchase the large container of vanilla yogurt so you always have some on hand.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Squint Shot 022009

Update the old with new siding and you get an interesting combination for a garage door. You may have passed by this door many times and never noticed . . . But take a quick look the next time you are somewhere close to the fire station to check out someone's creativity.

Changing Habits

My husband likes to cook and I enjoy being a sous chef to his creations -- in other words, I prepare the ingredients and he does his magic in putting them together. So that also means the end result is we enjoy eating at home, taking pleasure in the satisfaction of having a home-cooked meal.

But . . . once in a while, oh, it is just that easy to eat out.

Not eating out often is nothing new for us, but what about everyone else? Before our economy took a dive deeper than one of the wastewater retention ponds, how often did you eat a meal outside the home? Once a week? Three times a week? Almost every day?

Are you still eating out that often or have your habits changed? If they have changed, it becomes a slippery-slope for all the businesses around us. If we are not frequenting restaurants as often as we used to, they obviously are not as busy, and the wait staff and other employees suffer -- in hours and tips.

Then the slipping truly begins.

Restaurants may have to raise prices, the staff cannot turn around to go out and spend their money on other businesses, and so on.

Maybe many of us cannot afford to eat out as we did 6 months ago, a year ago; but don't give up on it completely. Just be a bit more selective. If you know you are going to be eating out, frequent the places most dear to your heart.

In a recent article by Buddy Moorehouse, published in www.livingstondaily.com on February 15, he glibly spoke about businesses that are or have suffered in this down economy. Following is just a portion of the article:

We see businesses come and go every year in Livingston County, but we've certainly seen a lot more of them going lately (thanks to the cruddy economy, no doubt). A lot of people are mourning the loss of Checkerboard Pizza and the Hamburg Food Center, to be sure.

Personally, I'm mourning a lot of my favorite spots that have closed down in recent months. Pettysville Junction (formerly Max's Mall) was a little general store in northern Unadilla Township, just around the corner from my house. It closed down a few months ago, and I miss it something fierce.

Sufficient Grounds, a wonderful coffee shop in downtown Howell, shut the doors about the same time. I spent many a lunchtime there enjoying a bagel sandwich and taking advantage of the wireless Internet access.

Heck, we even lost the Fowlerville Big Boy in recent months. Our family used to stop there all the time for breakfast after Saturday-morning gymnastics practice.

All these store and restaurant closings have got me feeling nostalgic for some of the other places of the past that I miss. It's a list that includes Uber's Drugs, the Pinckney Inn, Annie's Pot, the Little Professor Book Store, the Comic Pit, Pinckney Pharmacy, the D&C, Big Wheel (but not Ames) and the Honeydew Cafe. Going way back, you can add the Midget, the Canopy and the Old Howell House.


True, plenty of new and wonderful places have come to town and taken their place — where would we be without the Stillwater Grill, T.W. & Friends and the Fowlerville Wal-Mart? — but we lose something every time a longtime business shuts the doors for good. So humor us, please, while we observe a moment of silence for these two latest casualties.

Laughter sometimes is the best medicine, but this time around, I would like to offer up a different suggestion. Yes, our spending habits are changing and some businesses will suffer. But consider what I mentioned above.


Instead of completely giving up some of these simple pleasures, be selective. It is how we help each other.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Squint Shot 021909

Barns dot our landscape; some in great shape and some not so much. I have passed this one on Cemetery Road many times and wonder what it housed, and why it no longer serves a purpose.

Cabin Fever

Okay, are we all getting a little tired of bone-chilling, soggy weather? Feeling a little bit of cabin fever coming on? Well, try a few of these remedies . . .

~~ Order seeds from your favorite seed catalogs.

~~ Sign up for a yoga or fitness class.

~~ Do a bit of spring cleaning (and donate gently-used items to a local charity).

~~ File your taxes early.

~~ Book a long weekend at an all-inclusive inn.

~~ Begin writing your memoir.

~~ Adopt a new habit . . . maybe even one that annoys family members!

Or,

~~ Plan to do something this year you've always wanted to do and start looking forward to it.

But whatever you do, don't let that cabin fever get you down. Get up and get moving because those sunny, warm days are close at hand.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Squint Shot 021809

Not everything stays the same. That sometimes seems to be the main throughline of a life. And that includes the ebbs and tides of a small town . . . well, maybe any town.When we moved to Fowlerville 11 years ago, this storefront was Sherrie's Flower Station, then for many years it was The Bee Charmer, but now it is empty. What is next for this storefront?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Squint Shot 021709

This is a common sight, but I'm not telling where it is.
Any guesses?

Home and Heart

My heart belongs in Fowlerville with my husband. There is no doubt about that.

But then there are moments where bits of my heart remain with family we don't get to see often enough. I've been on the road for a few days, taking a bit of a break from work so I could visit with family in Georgia.

In addition to getting away from the snowy weather, and enjoying 60s and sunny, I've reveled in having a few days with a sweet granddaughter, my daughter, and her husband. What a great family.

Which brings me to the reason for this post . . . what about your family? The Ville is your 'ville, and we can make this blog whatever you want. Would you like to show some pictures of your family and to tell a story of something special that has happened? Let me know and we can make it happen.

I'm up for suggestions -- just let me know through comments.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Squint Shot 021609

With the sledding hill in the community park a slippery slope of snow and ice all winter, someone had to try their prowess in motoring up the hill. But as evidenced here, halfway up and it was a losing battle.
There's always one in a crowd!

Website 102

Since I'm on the road a bit this week, without a great deal of time to post, I thought I'd pass along another one of my favorite websites.

Wikipedia at http://www.wikipedia.org/ is an online encyclopedia that can be changed, updated, and added to by anyone that registers an online membership. Since it is updated so frequently, I have found it a great source for doing research.

But, with any research, it is always good to check various resources and confirm the accuracy of the information. Curiously enough, even on the Wikipedia site, some of the articles are noted that either more information is needed or the accuracy of the information needs to be confirmed.

So, take everything with a grain of salt. And, if you see an error or could update information, take a minute to become a member of Wikipedia and do your part.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Squint Shot 021509

Would I be the only one finding irony in this sign? Winter of '09 in Michigan has been snowy and cold and the thought of green grass is a distant memory from last fall . . . but, as sure as the sun rises each day, those bright little green blades will be poking up again very soon.
And then the community park will be a blur of activity.

Funny Sayings

Sunday Funnies are back -- and here are some funny sayings. Some are funny, but some are also thought provoking. Enjoy

~~A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.

~~Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

~~A compromise is an agreement whereby both parties get what neither of them wanted.

~~It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.

~~An expert is a man who tells you a simple thing in a confused way in such a fashion as to make you think the confusion is your own fault.

~~A conclusion is simply the place where someone got tired of thinking.

~~Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.

~~Love your enemies. It makes them so damned mad.

~~There’s no such thing as fun for the whole family.

~~And on the eighth day God said, “Okay, Murphy, you’re in charge!”

~~Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Squint Shot 021409

Kiss your special someone today and celebrate Valentine's Day with a special gift from Sweet Sensations. The display cabinets are full of mouth-watering sweets for your sweetie.
It's never too late to pick up some chocolate covered pretzels or truffles or cashew clusters or . . . oh the decisions to be made when walking into Sweet Sensations.

Snack-urday 103

Ready for another great treat -- it is Saturday after all.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad (think summer, sitting in the sun, and enjoying all the fresh produce of the season)

4 large ripe, fragrant tomatoes (sliced 1/4" thick)
1 lb fresh mozzarella (sliced 1/4" thick also)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Arrange the tomato slices on a large platter, alternating each slice with a slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf. Overlap the layers. Sprinkle the salad with oregano and then drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with warm, crusty French bread and a red wine.

Oh my, is my mouth ever watering.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Squint Shot 021309

Metal jungle gyms are quickly being replaced by more flashy wood and plastic structures, but the community park still sports one that you can climb to the top and feel like king (or queen) of the mountain.Just be sure to avoid putting your tongue on this very cold metal!

Shop Valentine

Hey Valentine, tomorrow is the day you can let your sweetie know how much you appreciate him or her, how your heart is full of love everyday, and, at the same time, you can show that love by shopping downtown Fowlerville.

Head to Sweet Sensations for chocolates, or there's

Aleta's for flowers and gifts, but then

A gift certificate from Shear Image might be just the ticket, and

The Decorating Center has all sorts of ideas from a beautiful vase to new wallpaper, and don't forget

RGDesigns -- so many cool designs!

But how about something that might not normally come to mind? How about . . .

Save-On for a bottle of champagne, or

Fowlerville Hardware for all you would need for a fix-it project (you know, the one you've been putting off forever), or

Rosati's for breakfast-in-bed fixings, or

Take him or her out to breakfast at Olden Days (if you've been banned from the kitchen).

And this only scratches the surface of so many business downtown, not even going beyond the main four corners. Once you do that, the ideas are endless. So, get out there and be Fowlerville's own stimulus package by honoring your valentine.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Squint Shot 021209

It was a very good year for the pine trees and their production of pine cones. When these start to fall, watch out because you might think the sky is falling!

Business As Usual

Fowlerville works.

It is as simple as that. And that is exactly what I would like to tout today and tomorrow.

Business owners are committed to the success of this area and they continue to show it. And, one of those ways is by being organized. Over 70 businesses and organizations in this area make up the Fowlerville Business Association (which you can investigate more about at www.fowlerville.biz).

If you are a member of this organization, you already know about how networking works at the monthly breakfast and once-a-month after hours activity.

It is invaluable.

In the context of a social situation, businesses are promoted and deals are made. But none of this would work if our companies did not have the support of you, the shopper. So, take a minute and check out Fowlerville Business Association's website listing of their members. You might just find what you are looking for.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Squint Shot 021109

The snow may have disappeared and the grass will be turning green soon . . . so can kids be far away? It won't be long that these swings in the community park will once again see loads of action.But a few days ago, they looked so forlorn.

New Features

A blog, which this qualifies as, is always changing and evolving.

I've recently added a widget that will give you the current weather conditions. If you look to your right, you will see it. For those of you out-of-state checking to see what is happening in The Ville, let us know (by commenting) what's happening with the weather in your area.

I'll also be adding new polls weekly. This week's poll, wanting your opinion on what you would like to see on The Ville, will be coming to a close shortly. And then the poll itself is up for suggestions -- are you curious about something worth polling? Let me know.

Remember, it is very easy to comment -- just click on the title of the article you are interested in and at the end of that article you will see "Post a Comment." Click on that and you can leave your thoughts, either anonymously or by setting up a Google account. It's easy and I LOVE feedback. How else are we ever going to make this blog interesting for everyone?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Squint Shot 021009

With this stained glass so beautiful from the outside, can you even imagine how colorful it would look from the inside looking out?The Chapel on Second Street is a wonderful example of expert workmanship from stained glass to brickwork. Take a minute to look around.

Website 101

Another new segment for The Ville. Having had a blog (at www.merylsmusings.blogspot.com) for almost a year, I've spent quite a bit of time looking for new and interesting websites. And now I would like to pass some of those onto you. So let's start with something funny.

Need a laugh once in a while, especially about the time your computer is hassling you and you've lost all patience?

Well, once you Ctrl/Alt/Delete, reboot, and get the computer up and running again, head to www.icanhascheezburger.com and check out LOLcats -- for those not familiar -- "laugh-out-loud cats" and get ready to LOL. You will find page after page of mostly cat pictures that have been captioned. The captions are sometimes a bit cryptic, just sound them out; it's easy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Squint Shot 020909

So many homes in Fowlerville have undiscovered, and maybe a bit under-appreciated, architecture dating back to the early 1900s. As you drive around, look up at roof-lines and check out detail around windows.There's so much to see when you take a squinty-eyed view of our surroundings.

Disappearing Act

On my Meryl's Musings blog (which you can access by clicking on the link "Meryl's Musings" below Fowlerville News and Views), I have been exploring some of the things that are quickly disappearing from our culture here in the United States.

Over the course of 24 subjects, two of the items jumped off the page as pertaining to our town. This information came to me through an e-mail so I have not necessarily checked statistics, but the emotional side of it is more of what interests me. The two items are as follows:


#10 (on the list) . . . The Milkman

According to the USDA, in 1950, over half of the milk delivered was to the home in quart bottles, by 1963 it was about a third, and by 2001 it represented only .4%. Nowadays, most milk is sold through supermarkets in gallon jugs. The steady decline in home-delivered milk is blamed, of course, on the rise of the supermarket, better home refrigeration, and longer-lasting milk. Although some milkmen still make the rounds in pockets of the US, they are a dying breed.

And,

#1 . . . The Family Farm

Since the 30s, the number of family farms has been declining rapidly. According to the USDA, 5.3 million farms dotted the nation in 1950, but this number had declined to 2.1 million by the 2003 farm census (data from the 2007 census hasn't been published). Ninety-one percent of the US farms are small family farms.

My husband and I are city folk -- we came here years earlier to be a part of small town America, to call this home, and to grow our little garden. Ours is all very modest, but it is our country home and we appreciate it. So then I consider how all of this could disappear and wonder why.

Is this because of modern day advances or the economy? While both of the above items affect the entire nation, this area takes a harder hit when it comes to agriculture because that is what Fowlerville is all about.

I applaud those that continue to work hard, struggle to make it in this economy, and provide this area with its true identity. That's what small town America is all about, am I right?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Squint Shot 020809

Fowlerville has fields and forests, lots of trees . . . old oaks, colorful maples, and pine trees . . . too many to mention. But there is also another kind of forest that dots the landscape. Can you guess which grain elevator this is?

Strange Street Names

Sunday Funnies . . . we are at it again. Living in a small town, many of the street names are in honor of someone or something (well, maybe in big cities also!), but so far street names in Fowlerville are pretty conservative. Not like some of the following I found on a website called Squidoo at www.squidoo.com.

Enjoy . . .

If street names are a living record of a community's history, one has to wonder whether the heads of the city fathers were screwed on tight when they came up with some of the following little gems in the USA.

The intersection of Lonesome Road and Hardup Road in Albany, Georgia.

Farfrompoopen Road, in Arkansas, the only way to get to Constipation Ridge.

This Ain't It Road, in Alexander City, Alabama, might just be where all men end up who don't need a map, a GPS, or a backseat driver to tell them how to get there wherever there is.

And next time you can't find either the slot machines or had one too many maragaritas, maybe it's because you're on Liquid Loco Street.

Most likely all the incompletely successful souls who reside in Evansville, Indiana, live on Little Schmuck Road.

You might what to find out if "Santa Baby" ever hangs out on Candy Cane Lane in Redding, California.

But if truth be told, do you really want to know who lives on Cannibal Road, in Loleta, California?

Only at the intersection of Clinton and Fidelity in Houston, Texas, do crowds gather to share a historical encounter in the life of a past president.

Meanwhile across the pond those bodacious Brits probably take the cake with these hilarious head-scratchers: Authorities indicate that those who live on Ha-Ha Road in Woolwich, England (all have funnybones), but Gropecuntlane residents in London, England usually smile a lot more. Turkey Cock Lane in Colchester, England, where no one ever asks what they're being served for Christmas dinner is another one. Shoot Up Hill in Kilburn, England, is where one wonders if there are any varmints still left in the place. Bishop Butt Close in Orpington, England, begs the question if politically-correct preachers are welcome. And, then for the local milk farmers, Milk Street in Manchester.

Just a mere sampling to tickle your funny bone.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Squint Shot 020709

How many times did you walk in or out of this building? And, with all those visits, how many friends and family members did you run into, have a bit of chat, and then continue on your way?
This old building served our local community well as a post office, but the new building . . . wow. But, now I wonder, what will happen to this little brick building on Second Street.

Snack-urday 102

It is Saturday and that means I'm dreaming up something new and different for my family (and me) to enjoy.

My latest discovery? Chutney. Fruit Chutneys, in particular. This time of year, that sparkling flavor of fruit seems a long-ago memory of last summer. But, with a few easy ingredients and a couple minutes in front of the stove, you can make a delicious complement to any pork or chicken dish.

This recipe was shown on the Food Network and it is well worth the few minutes to make it. Here goes:

Rhubarb Chutney

2 T butter
3 T sugar
1 T lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 stalks rhubarb (if you can't find fresh, check the freezer section for cut fresh-frozen rhubarb)
A handful of raisins (either dark or golden)

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar, lemon juice, and vinegar; and bring to a bubble. Add rhubarb and raisins. For fresh rhubarb, cook for 10-12 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. For thawed rhubarb, cook about 5-8 minutes.

Turn off the heat and set aside to cool while preparing the rest of the meal.

How easy is that!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Squint Shot 020609

As the sun starts to warm our corner of the world, maybe this won't be quite the norm. But for now, this is a very common sight around our village. This shot makes me feel a bit sorry for the meter-reader.

Cold Cold Cold


It looks like the weather people are talking about a bit of a warm-up here in the mid-Michigan area . . . but it has been cold, cold, cold!

We may have had snow and ice, and lots of cold weather, but nothing compares to these. To that end, enjoy these pictures of icebergs and floats.










Thursday, February 5, 2009

Squint Shot 020509

Looking up again, whether it be the blue sky showing off or the colorfully-painted bricks above the storefronts, there's always some eye-candy to enjoy. All it takes is a moment.

Clubbing

As in heading to the Fowlerville Rotary Club.

Every once in a while, I would like to use this Blog as a forum to tout some of the wonderful things going on in Fowlerville. And one of those things is the local Rotary Club. You can check out what our club is involved with by clicking on
www.clubrunner.ca/CPrg/home/homeA.asp?cid=1509.

In the meantime, have fun watching this video from one of our prized Rotarians.
video

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Squint Shot 020409

In many communities, churches are the backbone. Their members service many needs and activities that help to make a community home.
In this small town, there are too many beautiful old buildings with stained glass, brickwork, and steeples dotting the landscape to even begin to photograph them all. But, no doubt, there will be more pictures.

Dichotomy

Is spring all that far away? The tingle in my bones tells me it isn't.

When the sun shines a bit brighter and we start to see glimmers of the ground under all that snow, my motorcycle comes to mind. The insurance is paid up, the bike is polished and ready to go, and now all we are waiting for is a dry day. That is, dry pavement . . . can't be any ice, for sure.

But, sometimes as I start to think of the few months we can jump on our motorcycles and make the day different from so many before us, the dichotomy of what can be found in Fowlerville comes to mind.

There was an afternoon last summer, as my husband and I rode slowly through town, a feeling of yesteryear and our modern lives coincided. And it was the feeling of opposites, or contradiction, that collision of two things that don't really go together . . . the dichotomy of it all.

There is always a feeling of stepping into years gone by as one ventures through town . . . brick buildings, old-fashioned streetlights, tall storefront windows book-ending a single front door . . . but it is no more apparent when a motorcycle rider gives a wide berth to riders on horses.

Since that day, I have watched these riders wander through a parking lot at a fast food restaurant and then turn toward the downtown, and I witness drivers giving them the same wide berth we did. Once again, it reminded me of you never know what you might see in Fowlerville.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Squint Shot 020309

January's thaw came a couple days late but at least we are seeing some things that have been buried under snow for a month. Can spring be far behind (except it has been reported 0-5 degree tonight)?

Ghost Town

Fowlerville is listed as a ghost town . . . not Fowlerville, Michigan . . . but Fowlerville, Oklahoma.

That town, which was located in the southeast quandrant of the state, predated Oklahoma becoming a state. There used to be a post office there, but it was later moved to Idabel, Oklahoma. But it would appear the town no longer exists, unlike our Fowlerville.

But, then curiosity tickled at my brain and I went in search of more towns named the same possibly in other states. I came across a Fowlerville, New York, just south of Rochester. There are two other Fowlerville, New York, locations in other counties, but oddly enough, the first one I found is also located in a Livingston County, and was settled by Wells Fowler.

Okay, this is sounding a bit like a parallel universe situation. We live in Fowlerville, Michigan, located in Livingston County, and was settled by Ralph Fowler.

Reading a bit about their history also paralleled the richness of our village's history. But there are some differences.

Fowlerville, New York, was one of seven hamlets in the Town of York. At the time it was founded by Wells Fowler and William Taylor, in 1816, it contained two churches, two stores, a post office, one hotel, a harness/blacksmith/wagon shop, and an agricultural works, with a population of 375 to 400, including transient boarders (as described in an informational article about York).

The town still exists as far as maps indicate, but all the information found led me to York's history and statistics of it and the surrounding area. Theirs is a population of about 3,000, whereas I have heard numbers bantered around of 8,000-10,000 in Fowlerville and its surrounding areas.

So, there you have it. They say everyone has a twin somewhere in the world; maybe that goes for villages also.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Squint Shot 020209

By village ordinance, the downtown is for pedestrians -- you can walk your bike, carry your skateboard, or straddle your rollerblades over your shoulder, but wait until you get away from the main four corners before enjoying these wheels.But I'm thinking, even with the bit of winter thaw yesterday, that is not even an issue.

On The Grand

In your daily travels, have you ever considered how often you drive on or cross over Grand River Avenue -- once? twice? a hundred times?

Discounting a few potholes along the way, it is usually a fairly smooth ride. But it wasn't always that way. Before asphalt or concrete, there were wood planks. This plank road must have greated a rhythmic pattern of thrumming as the tires would beat on the wood. And before that it was a dusty, dirt trail. But my curiosity got the better of me on how a plank road looked.


This is a bit of what I found while reading some facts on http://www.michiganhighways.org/:

As with other Indian trails, the Grand River Trail was used by the European settlers arriving in Michigan in the 1830s and 40s, fanning out from Detroit across the southern Lower Peninsula. The original footpath was gradually widened, straightened and improved until, around 1850, two plank roads were constructed linking the state's largest city with its capitol. The Detroit and Howell Plank Road coupled with the Howell and Lansing Plank Road allowed travellers to (more) easily make the trip between Detroit and Lansing via Howell. The plank road companies charged a toll to use the road and toll gates were generally erected every five miles.

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The picture in this post is from a stretch of plank road near Belleville, St. Clair County -- in Illinois -- but somehow this seems it could have been similar looking anywhere between Lansing and Detroit. Wide open fields bordered by trees.

As one final bit of historical information, the following link (http://books.google.com/books?id=RpxlL7WvJiQC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=grand+river+planks+found&source=web&ots=Tsy0XHK3q5&sig=EnCYV-62SSVkvJteLFTQOmXcNfM&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result) gives an interesting account of the development of the plank road that would someday become Grand River Avenue.
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So, it makes me wonder. When our tires bounce into a pothole or our vehicles are jarred by the expansion joints going across the lanes, how did our ancestors feel about the bouncing and jostling the experience on their way across mid-Michigan? Or were they just happy to have the ability to travel?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Squint Shot 020109

These are the four flags proudly displayed at the Village Offices -- the tallest being the American flag, then the POW/MIA flag, the Village of Fowlerville flag, and the State of Michigan flag. The fabric makes quite a racket as all four pieces snap in the wind.

Small Town Living

Sunday Funnies . . . and what better way to kick off this than with having a bit of a laugh on ourselves.

Fowlerville has grown and changed over the last 10 years I've lived here, but it is still small-town America. There is hardly a store that I walk into that someone doesn't know my name, or doesn't hail me with a genuine greeting, or can't find the time to shoot the breeze for a few minutes.

So when I came across these ways to identify that you might be from a small town, I couldn't resist. They are meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but maybe a little bit true. Have a laugh or two and let me hear from you for more ways I might have missed.

You might be from a small town if . . .

. . . You can name everyone you graduated with.

. . . You know what 4H is.

. . . You ever went to a party that was held about 20 miles down a deserted dirt road or in a small country cemetery.

. . . You said a major swear word and your parents knew within the hour.

. . . You scheduled parties around the different police officers' schedules since you knew which ones would bust you.

. . . You ever went or thought about cow-tipping.

. . . School would get cancelled for a sports team going to state finals.

. . . You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were.

. . . The whole school would show up at the same party after graduation.

. . . You couldn't help but date a friend's ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.

. . . Your car was always filthy from the dirt roads.

. . . On any given Friday evening, you could find everyone at the main four corners or a local restaurant.

. . . You decided to walk for exercise and at least five people pulled over and offered you a ride.

And, finally . . .

. . . Your teachers would call you by your older sibling's name.

Now, I need to hear from you. Can you think of any that I've left out?