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

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

Books! A list to be well-read

This list comes from bookriot.com.

Some I’ve read, some I disagree with. Vehemently. Like Fifty Shades of Grey, are you serious? So perhaps this list is more about being familiar with the story enough to understand when it’s a topic of conversation, and not a literal to-be-read list. Because I will never read 50 Shades. (I have however read some delightful snarky reviews and am familiar with the storyline from them).

I would add or replace some on the list with these:

  1. I, Claudius by Robert Graves. Excellent historical fiction
  2. The Once and Future King by White. So many references still to Merlin, Arthur… and Wart’s childhood learning about the futility of war should be a must-read for everyone
  3. Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman. Pratchett is one of my most favorite authors. Armageddon can be so funny!


So here’s the list, in alphabetical order:

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay  by Michael Chabon I have never heard of this book
  6. American Pastoral by Philip Roth I have never heard of this book
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Beowulf Check! Read this one in college Nordic and Celtic mythology
  13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  14. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz on my to-read list
  16. Call of the Wild  by Jack London
  17. Candide by Voltaire
  18. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer pretty sure we covered some of this in high school. I’m good.
  19. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming the movies aren’t enough? I say nay to this book
  20. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  21. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Does it count if I don’t remember it? No? oh well, then.
  22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White checked this one off in elementary school
  23. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  24. The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
  25. The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe I’ve read a few
  26. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor 
  27. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  28. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky I think I’ve read this and The Idiot. I remember being impressed with how the characters conversed on the train
  29. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown oh yes. very good
  30. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin Never heard of it
  33. Dune by Frank Herbert
  34. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer I read extremely loud and incredibly close but I wouldn’t have thought that book could ever be a movie (which I did not see)
  35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  36. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  37. Faust by Goethe
  38. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley check!
  39. A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  40. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
  41. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  42. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  43. The Gospels as in the bible? i went to church as a kid, that’s enough.
  44. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  45. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens check!
  46. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald check!
  47. Hamlet by William Shakespeare oh no. I’ve seen it enough times, though.
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  49. Harry Potter & The Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling check! superb series
  50. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  51. The Help by Kathryn Stockett check. I liked it until I saw it was all about the author. Ugh babe, you are not a hero.
  52. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams check! seems to change each time I read it
  53. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien check! there’s no love story. no way this merited 3 movies. obviously.
  54. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  55. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  56. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins check! excellent series. like most, the books are better than the movies
  57. if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
  58. The Iliad by Homer check! greek mythology, you make me feel so knowledgeable
  59. Inferno by Dante check! True story: I read this to prepare for a road rally I organized to Hell, Michigan. Yes it was nerdy.
  60. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  61. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  62. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman check for some of it. my mom was into poetry so if I got really bored I’d read some
  63. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  64. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis check. weird series, really
  65. The Little Prince by Antoine  de Saint-Exepury check. I think.
  66. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  67. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  68. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  69. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  71. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  72. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie check. I enjoy some of her books, but she really did hide important characters frequently
  73. The Odyssey by Homer woo-hoo, greek mythology class strikes again
  74. Oedipus the King by Sophocles woo-hoo, greek mythology class strikes again
  75. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  76. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster dang it, I read the house book by him
  77. The Pentateuch
  78. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen check! also pride and prejudice and zombies, because I’m well-rounded like that.
  79. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  80. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  81. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare gah, i think so but so much easier to comprehend with actors, as intended
  82. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne yep. damn pastor
  83. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut maybe. i don’t care for Vonnegut. I read Galapagos and finished it out of a sense of duty. life is too short for that anymore
  84. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  85. The Stand by Stephen King many times. I love this book
  86. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  87. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  88. Their Eyes Were Watching by Zora Neale Hurston
  89. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  90. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  92. Ulysses by James Joyce
  93. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  94. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  95. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
  96. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  97. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  98. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  99. 1984 by George Orwell yes. super scary and all too easy to imagine
  100. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James NO NO NO NO


January 1, 2014