A Lake Orion Dragon

This wonderful guy is proud to be a Lake Orion dragon. He was carved entirely with a chainsaw by Gary Elzerman. There is a carved an “LO” on the rocks and a plaque.

If you’re in a school or sports group in Lake Orion, you’re welcome to come by and take a photo with him! Send an email to dragon@loveandheartness.com to let him know you’re on your way.

November 3, 2010

reading challenge

i like reading challenges but rarely take part. Here is a list culled from other challenges to make my own. I don’t have a timeline to finish in but will check them off once I’ve read.

  • more than 500 pages
  • book that became a movie
  • published in the current year
  • written by someone under 30
  • has a number in the title
  • funny book
  • nonhuman characters
  • female author
  • mystery or thriller
  • one-word title
  • short stories
  • set in a different country
  • nonfiction
  • popular authors first book
  • unread book from an author I love
  • friend’s recommendation
  • Pulitzer Prize winner
  • based on true story
  • at bottom of to-read list
  • book that scares you
  • picked up based entirely on it’s cover
  • supposed to read in school but didn’t
  • memoir
  • finished in a day
  • antonyms in title
  • set somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit
  • cam out the year I was born
  • has bad reviews
  • trilogy
  • from my childhood
  • with a love triangle
  • set in the future
  • set in high school
  • has a color in the title
  • made me cry
  • graphic novel
  • by an author I’ve never read
  • own but never read
  • translated into english
  • set during Christmas
  • author with my initials
  • a play
  • banned book
  • based or turned into tv show
  • started but never finished
  • set in my home state
  • self-improvement book
January 1, 2017

wordpress goodies

I needed to have custom post type taxonomies (custom categories, really) but 2 of those would have only one post each, so instead of listing post title with a link, the entire post should display. This little tidbit goes in the category template works to show content if there is only one post, but the title and link if there is more than one post:

<?php if ($wp_query->found_posts == 1) : 
            echo get_field('member_content'); 
          else: ?>
            <h4><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h4>
        <?php endif; ?>

It uses “get_field” because it’s pulling from a custom field instead of the default “the_content()” field.

But there was a hitch, because the second category had a single post but it uses a template part for it’s content. So it wasn’t showing anything. Luckily, I found this tidbit, that goes in the functions.php file:

        function stf_redirect_to_post(){
    global $wp_query;
    // If there is one post on archive page
    if( is_archive() && $wp_query->post_count == 1 ){
        // Setup post data
        // Get permalink
        $post_url = get_permalink();
        // Redirect to post page
        wp_redirect( $post_url );
} add_action('template_redirect', 'stf_redirect_to_post');

and this redirects categories that have just one post to the post’s page, instead of pulling content onto the category page (which is better anyway).

The second bit of code came from here. The first bit was found in the wordpress forums many web searches ago.

March 17, 2016

cold man

There is an amazing exhibit about the human body with plasticized parts, like the entire nervous system hot glued and sandwiched between glass (!). For me the most haunting was the man on horseback but I’m not even going to describe that one further.  So we have a joke with friends that involves “Cold Man” who was first introduced at the exhibit. This year we are bringing commemorative cups and created this art:


The artwork is mine, copyrighted by me and may not be reused. Not even by you.

The artwork is mine, copyrighted by me and may not be reused. Not even by you.

February 15, 2016

I did a [insert word here] job

Sometimes in home projects it doesn’t matter what the inserted word is because the operative word is DID as in DONE.

I did a [great] job. Fantastic! I did a [crappy] job. At least it’s done!

September 20, 2015

Trump My Rump—a competition, not a card game


I made a logo so I don’t have to look at that face. You can use the logo if you keep the words #trumpmyrump

A friend and I are playing a game of her invention: Trump My Rump. It’s simple to play:

  • Decide to lose weight.
  • Pick a time period.
  • Pick a friend to keep you honest. Give this friend an envelope filled with $50 and addressed to a person you would hate to see as president.
  • If you lose the weight, get the envelope back. If you fail, the money gets sent off.

For us, the hated person is Donald Trump. So today we each weighed ourselves, met for a walk, and handed an envelope full of cash to the other person. We’ll weigh again in 6 weeks and hopefully get our money back.

Our goals are 8-10 pounds over 6 weeks. We’re keeping it manageable because one of us is recovering from major surgery (you would never guess it from seeing her!) and I am realizing that age does indeed affect weight loss (sigh). You do what is reasonable and attainable for you. Keep it healthy, folks.

It’s a great idea. Do I want this late-night snack or do I want Trump to have my money? Fall donuts or smirky idiot fondling my money? Makes it pretty easy to just say no! Or possibly I can have an ice cream but only if I walk 5 miles because Trump doesn’t deserve it.

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc
725 5th Ave
New York, New York 10022

idiot in chief?

Idiot in Chief. NO NO NO.

September 17, 2015

rice pilaf—nothing new, still tasty

Made a basic but tasty rice pilaf to go with some slow cooker chicken. The menu was the chicken, broccoli with homemade cheese sauce, and the pilaf.

Rice Pilaf

2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c finely chopped vidalia onion
1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1 c white rice
2 c chicken broth/stock
salt, pepper, little bit of thyme

Saute rice, onion, and mushrooms in butter until the the onions are soft and mushrooms are cooked a bit. Add stock and seasoning. Cover, cook 20 minutes or according to package directions. Stir partway through cooking. Works best in a heavy pan, like an enamel cast-iron pot.


frozen chicken breast tenders
frozen dark chicken pieces
1/3 c olive oil—I used part wild mushroom and sage flavored, part regular
salt, pepper

Mix the dressing, put frozen chicken in crock pot, pour dressing over. Cook on low until chicken is cooked through. If in a hurry, cook on low until chicken is defrosted then turn to high. The dressing recipe came from Greenfield Village and is called French dressing.

Broccoli with cheese sauce

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 c milk
mild cheddar, colby jack, swiss cheeses (1/2-1 c each)
splashes of white wine
salt, pepper, nutmeg

Melt butter in non-stick pan. Add milk, sprinkle in cheeses until it tastes good. Add a little salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of nutmeg. We served it like a broccoli cheese soup almost, with plenty of cheese sauce swimming around the plate. Delicious!

September 12, 2015

The Great Tidy Up – closet edition

I am loving “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. First up is clothing and the approach is so simple: gather ALL clothing in one spot and go through it. This means everything—coats, socks, stray exercise wear, all of it. Pick up each one and if it brings joy, keep it. If not, get rid of it. The book explains why these steps are important and I encourage you to read it (super short). What’s cool is that “joy” doesn’t have to mean flattering or in perfect condition. Like the ratty old shirts for painting? Keep them. Dislike a dress even though it fits well? Toss it.

The best part of going through it all in one space is that when I finished I could see exactly what volume of clothing I had. The jackets still went in the hall closet but now I could finally tackle the closet I’ve hated for 10 years. Seeing what I had and how it could be stored meant the closet was a simple fix-up with very minimal cost.

There is a rod and shelf just over the cubby, about the same height as the previous one. I don’t have many long items so the space to the right of the cubby is enough. If I get more, the cubby can move over.

Big closet reveal, crappy photo. The room is very dark.

No dresser. I have always been bad with clothing in drawers, so a few years ago I got the bins, baskets, and cubby. The socks and underwear used to each be kept in a giant basket, which wasn’t efficient for storing or finding. So I bought 4 small baskets to hold socks, bras, underwear, and shirts. This works well for me, and I am doing the one thing I said I’d never do: fold underwear. But it is fun to pick up a pair and I’m not always grabbing the same ones.


Yep, those are my bras. The only expense here were the 1/2 baskets and the shelf thingy, which isn’t even needed. Oh, and the dowels/cup hooks on the left, where some scarves are stored.

My husband changed the shelf and rod layout too. Instead of one long shelf with a rod going across the entire width, he put in to shelves with a short rod that go from front to back. I now have a space for fabulous hats, plus room on the floor for miscellaneous items like yoga mat and winter boots.


Top shelf: 1 bin with halloween costume (which will find a new home) and 1 empty bin, with big hats finally able to have a stable base. Bottom shelf: 1 bin with winter sweaters, 1 bin with swimsuits and dressy summer shirts.

The top of the cubby is now accessory central. Jewelry is hung from a board I’ve had for well over 10 years (meant to put on fabric and batting for a bulletin board). Scarves are hung from shower hooks, on a hanger, or on dowels on the side of the cubby.


I might actually wear jewelry now that it’s all out and untangled. The antique box holds special things and whatever isn’t appropriate for a board.



Lightweight scarves are great on shower hooks. Heavier ones that wrinkle are on a hanger or the dowels.


These hands make me happy. They should be outside but the rings look great!

Cost was minimal. We had the pipe used for rods, wood for supports, some old cabinet doors for shelves, plus the shelf from the old closet. I bought shower curtains hangers for $1 at Salvation Army, 4 baskets and a shelf thing at Meijer, and a bunch of cup hooks and a dowel at Home Depot. This setup probably won’t work for anyone else, but it has been working great for me.

May 27, 2015

skillshare and intriguing photos


I’m taking a skillshare classes when I can, and a quick photography project class came up. The videos were only 20 minutes total and I’ve been needing to work on my focusing skills which seem to have abandoned me. It was a lot of fun playing for a bit, especially in manual mode. The most surprising thing was turning off autofocus and taking pictures without looking — some of them turned out quite interesting.

The project was to photograph an everyday object so I grabbed the fabric tape measure that was out. The photo above did not make the cut but was so intriguing I wanted to look it  more.

Visit the project and photos chosen here: http://www.skillshare.com/classes/photography/Photography-Challenge-Capture-the-Beauty-of-an-Everyday-Object/714743314/projects/41981

February 25, 2015

Apple Airport Extreme and the WPS incident

I got a NetGear wifi range extender in the hopes of extending the network out into the yard more. Set up is pretty simple in the book: plug it in, press the WPS button, press the WPS button on the router, and done!

Well, the Apple Airport Extreme doesn’t have any buttons on the back. (I have the newer tall version with ac). According to my google finds I could find “add wps printer” option by accessing the router in airport utility (v 6.2 and up) and choosing “edit”.  Sweet, I thought, my version is 6.3 so this will be super easy. Silly me.

Screenshot 2014-12-18 12.07.16

This is what came up. No “advanced”. No “add WPS printer”. Plenty of frustration.

I tried youtube, apple help articles and everyone seemed to have different options than I was seeing. But I did finally find it:

THERE you are, hiding in the top instead of in the Edit panels. See the last option? That's what I need, even though this isn't a printer.

THERE you are, hiding in the top instead of in the Edit panels. See the last option? That’s what I need, even though this isn’t a printer.

This is the one button I needed:

Screenshot 2014-12-18 12.18.18

After pressing the WPS button on the extender, select “First Attempt” and continue.

And it worked! As with many things Apple, it is easy but only if you know where to look.

December 18, 2014

Vintage postcard love

I just love vintage postcards. Especially ones of Michigan that highlight the awesomeness of this state. Here are a few of my favorites:


We love camping


Our family had coolers just like this in green


Paul Bunyon and Babe— Folk art at its best


Floating cabins


Overlooks like this are all over the state


Waves and the moon make for the best nights


So many beautiful waterfalls


The colors on old postcards are so wonderful


This is exactly what Lake Michigan looks like


Oh, this bridge


Skiing and other winter sports but I’ve never seen an awesome toboggan run like this (damn lawsuits probably)


Doesn’t get more serene than this


Lighthouses, we gots ’em


How could I resist?

July 17, 2014