Friday, October 10, 2014

Kayak - I think I almost live in mine......

Dear Friends,
It has been 3 months since my last confession, please forgive me.  How many posts will it take for you to forgive me?

I just realized that the last time I posted it was July.  It's now October. Shame on me.

I just counted and it looks like I've only gone Kayaking 7 times, Since my last post- but it seems like so many more trips.
We drove back to Michigan 2 times since then. The trip at the beginning of August was out to Proud lake to stay in the cabins and go kayaking on the Huron River was fabulous.
I'm glad that a few people were able to come hang out with us.  It was a great weekend.
You should be able to click on the pictures to make them "embiggen".

 The swans were mighty pretty, and the little dam makes a nice little swimming area and fun place to hang out for a bit.

 I got D to try out my kayak and we got other friends to come down with their gear to hang out.   And then we got one of the cutest wee ones out with his dad.
I have to say that was a fabulous weekend.
Tom is learning to cook with a dutch oven.  He enjoyed that a great deal.
The cabin is rather comfy and just one of the nicest places to hang out with friends.
I think we will try to do it again next year, so put it on your calendar folks.  The first weekend in August-  Sunday afternoon.

I have tons more photos and other things to write about.  I promise to try and keep up a little better.

Wow, it's October.  Halloween is almost upon us.  I need to find some stuff to decorate.  Where is that box hiding????

Monday, July 14, 2014

Two months Wrap up..... whew Sorry

Shame on Me!!!  It's been since MAY that I posted.  I apologize.

Let's wrap up what happened between then and now....
May- One trip on the Green River- lovely part of 300 springs section with cool waterfalls. Pictures -
Cook out with Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak meetup group.   We were so busy eating I don't think anyone took pictures.. lol

Saw Addams Family at SkyPac.  Went to a Retirement party for someone we Kayak with.
Then tried to get ready for New Orleans.
The end of May got really messy and the first week of June was terrible.

I guess I'm not really ready to write about that yet.  You'd think I could and yet it doesn't want to come out.

June got better starting Saturday, June 7th.  We left mom here at the house and left for the south.  It was wonderful to spend some time with our friends in Alabama.  We talked about life and what to do in New Orleans. I was very saddened that they could not come spend a day or 2 with us in the City.  But, life happens to everyone.

We actually got to New Orleans on Sunday the 8th and managed to have the best dinner in a long time at a nice restaurant in the French Quarter, down past the out door market.  We tried everything.  Shrimp something, Gumbo, Fried Chicken and I can't even remember what I had.  Their bread pudding was to die for - that much I remember.  They gave us so much fried chicken that we had them box it and gave it to homeless people on our way back to the condo.

Monday was the WWII museum and it was worth every penny and more.  The cafe was fabulous!!  The 4D movie was even better.  Plan for ALLLLL day.  Really, it will take you all day.
Tuesday was the zoo.  YES!!
It was a nice zoo, not too big, but not that small.  They are rebuilding the Elephant Habitat so they are not on view all the time.  Two old girls who were happy to get some attention.
It rained on us some and we rode the St. Charles Street Car from one end to the other.  That was fun.  Later that evening we went for a pedal cab tour of the French Quarter, it was great.  The sun had set so it was getting cooler and we did not have to squint to enjoy the view.
Wednesday, we went to the Aquarium and enjoyed the day indoors. It was a bit hot. LOL.
On Thursday, we rode the Canal streetcar from one end to the other in order to see the Cemeteries.  It was fun and beyond hot, we forgot to bring water bottles and basically paid for that. Hats were the saving grace of that day.

On Friday we drove all the way Home.  It was long and mostly boring.  I can not believe how much of NOTHING there was on the drive through Mississippi.  I think we saw one town, the whole drive.
Saturday, I dragged myself out of bed and headed out to Kayak with our group.

There was NEW water scheduled and I was not going to miss out.  Turns out it was about 14 -17 miles.  The distance changes every time someone talks about that trip.  It was a lovely day and it DID take forever, but we did have a good time. First trip I have gone on where I had cell service the whole time.  I almost had a heart attack when the phone rang.  pictures -

Class started in late June and I am happy to say most of my students are kicking butt and will probably finish.
We then did the Green River again through Mammoth Cave park and had a cookout at the cabin afterward.  The coolest part about that whole trip - is- WE are going to be on TV.  PBS came to do a show about the Green river and us crazy folk who go on it all the time.  I did get interviewed and Hubby managed to act a fool at one point, so I figured there will be video of us in the show. It sounds like the show will air in September.   pictures -

I went looking for information and it's not out there yet.

July came on us really quickly!!!! We drove home to Michigan for my birthday and the 4th of July.  What a busy weekend that became.  It was wonderful to see everyone.
We drove a little less this trip - thanks everyone - and survived.  LOL

This past weekend we were in Tennessee to kayak the Caney Fork River and stay at Long Branch Campground.  It's right below the dam that starts the river and WOW, the temperature drops quick and nice at night so you don't die in a tent.  The river is filled with fish, clear to look through and down right COLD..
I will return to paddle this river again.  Can't wait to go back!!!
Here is the link to the Caney Fork trip -

Monday, May 05, 2014

Chicken Hair Dressers

Last week I got my hair colored for like the 4th or 5th time since moving to Kentucky.

This is usually not any kind of big deal, my hair grows fast and so the grey is starting to peek out a little sooner.  Actually most of the time I wish it was the grey, it's the weird brown that looks terrible under everything else.

This time, as most of you have seen on Facebook, I'm finally back to the COPPER and Blond stripes that I had before I moved down here.  It took an entire year to get this color back.   Why did it take that long??

It seems that I must chalk it up to "chicken hair dresser"  or "hair stylist", which ever you prefer.
Back last year we started with the exact same color I used in Michigan.   I was flabbergasted that it did not work.  It came out brown.  Why??   The only thing we can guess is the CITY water in Royal Oak (Detroit water) has different chemicals in it than the water here in Bowling Green.  Hence the problem.

I let her experiment with some other stuff a couple times and then the kicker.  The last time she did my hair, they had found a Copper color and she had the nerve to put - neutralizer in it.  Really, really???  Neutralizer, you saw the color of my hair the first time, it was crazy copper.  For some reason you thought I would freak out?  Am I really that old??  Do I look that cranky???

It's HAIR, I have been doing crazy (although not as much as others) stuff to my hair since I was a kid.  Heck, I even got perms in the 80's - don't judge.  It grows really fast (as long as it is short) and ta-da, if I don't like it today - give it three weeks and it will change.

Anyway - I now have Copper and of course it will fade to brown, but that's the whole point.  You are shiny and crazy for a couple weeks and then become a normal person again.  I guess this is how I stay out of the Tattoo shops.  Needles---- {quiver}

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Kayamping in Kentucky.....

The title really doesn't express the true BIGNESS of this experience.

The last weekend in April, we did an overnight Kayak trip in Mammoth Cave National Park.
It was our longest paddle to date - 20 miles Saturday and 11 on Sunday.

You may ask, "Who in the world are you doing all this crazy stuff with...?"
I have to tell you, it's a group of people we met through - Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak group.
This particular group has been around for a while now.  The website says it was founded back in 2008.  There is a pretty good group of hard core paddlers, who try to go out almost every weekend, or at least the 2 x's a month as scheduled .  I've sort of wormed my way into the group.  Hey, if you show up, you belong.

Being the person voted most likely to - bring tooooo much stuff -  it was very interesting trying to pack for this trip.
I spent several days organizing all the stuff we really needed and then the stuff we were bringing to share in food.  I thought I did an impressive job of bringing the least amount of stuff possible, but more than what I needed.  I did need my jacket, that I almost left behind.  I also could have used a sheet or something - my sleeping bag was not quite right for the bum I was trying to squeeze into it.  I wiggled around enough to finally get the important bits warm and Hubby fit in his fine (except for his feet (of Course)) and we did get a bit of sleep.

Thanks to my brother for the tent and little air mattress. Hope you weren't planning on getting that back any time soon.  I found an air mattress thing for Tom (on sale) and we got back-packer sleeping bags.

We have accumulated a few dry bags now and thank goodness.  I spent an evening packing and repacking to fit everything the best I could.    Funny thing is- we almost forgot to cook the bacon before we left.  That would have taken FOREVER to do in the woods.  We got it done and packed for the trip in record time.

In actuality, Hubby and I had a LOT more room to take stuff than we needed.  The loaded down cooler was really the only thing that put his boat at a feeling of tipsy.  I had plenty more room behind me in my boat and I know we did not over stuff his boat; I'm thinking of getting a camp table or tiny camp chairs.  Our boat seats are the camp chairs, but getting up and down is a little rough.

15 people went and we did have an excellent time.  And Hubby was the only person who wound up IN the water.  And that was saving someone else's gear.  It was warm enough that he dried out and didn't suffer from the quick rinse.

So, you probably want to see pictures.....  Of course....  Here....

 Blue Hole- very cold water...

 need a new sign...

Yes, lovely canoe as table..

Strawberry ice cream. yum...

Packing to leave 

 Cooler weighed a lot less going home.

If you want to see more photos - including some from a big DSLR ( oh I'm too chicken to take mine..)  The link is at the bottom of this page.  The DLSR photos are at the end of the pictures - go to page 13 and 14....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Oh my,  That means I probably have to change the title of the blog again......

We have officially lived in Kentucky for One whole year.
I'll admit that looking back, it has been rather exciting - doing all these new things and trying to make friends here and connect with the ones back in Michigan.

New experiences - Caves.  I love the BIG caves with the tours and all the campy stuff associated.  I haven't really gotten Tom too interested, but Mom and I did a good job of hitting most of them when her and I came down by ourselves.     I love going to Fundraisers at the Lost River Cave.  It feels a bit glamorous.

Kayaking - sure we paddled in Michigan and did White Water in West Virginia, but I have to tell you - it is very different looking at the blue holes, and the hill sides, and the caves, and the cow farms.  We upgraded our Kayaks and built a darn trailer to haul all our stuff around.  I'd say we went from occasional water folk, to full on outdoorsy even..
  I can not wait for the over night trip in Mammoth Cave Park on the Green River.

Community College - I LOVE IT.  I really enjoy working there.  The students are fascinating and the people I work with are really great. I look forward to continuing to work there.  (I have a fall schedule already. :~)

It's a College Town - Okay, we don't go downtown where the kids hang out. But once in a while we go somewhere and it is VERY obvious that we live in a town with a TON of 20 somethings.  It helps me feel young. HA

The weather - I should not brag.  We moved down here the right year....  I'm sorry all my Michigan friends and family-  You can keep all that snow....

Friends coming here to visit.  That means YOU!!!!!  
We have had a great time having visitors.  You are welcome to visit.  We might even take you Kayaking.  LOL

It has been an interesting year. I'm so glad we took this chance and tried living somewhere new.  Life is too short to sit in one place for too long.  For all the faults you could find here, there are plenty going on in Michigan too.  Just need to take where you are and work with it.  I am working this place as well as I can.!!!

I think the Dogs like it here too.  LOL
Hugs, I miss you all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kayaking in The Nashville area

I stumbled across the Nashville website through the  Jackson Kayak blogs.
I was looking at stuff about taking your dog with you...

ANYWAY-  I found this.......

Water Access and Blueways in Nashville.

Tomorrow, Tom and I (and the Bowling Green Canoe and Kayak Meetup Group) are going out on the Harpeth River in Tennessee.
It's about an 1 hour  & 45 minutes away.  I'm not sure we are going to the put in and take out that are listed on the website above, but I would hazard a guess it will be close to there either way.

I wanted to put that Link on my blog so that I could find it later.......
I'll probably put up pictures from the trip soon, and well - Sunday is our 10th Anniversary.
Oh MY!!!!

Enjoy your weekend, I certainly will.

Friday, March 21, 2014


One of my friends found this on their  Facebook wall and shared it and now I want to share it with you.

The common core is really kind of Ugly for most of the disciplines.  I found the English in High School not too terrible, because they are supposed to have learned how to do most things before they get to me.  

But I have seen some of the math stuff and it is rediculus.  I can't even figure out what the kids are supposed to do.  And now this is what they are doing to kindergartners, come on people. I know most of them can work a TABLET better than I probably ever will, but this is a computer with no real touch ability, they don't know this.

Status Update
By Priscilla Sanstead
Please cut and paste this to share. A Kindergarten teachers just shared this on the BATs wall -

"I'm aiming for the short version here.

My kindergartners had their standardized computerized test today.

There were over 100 questions. Answers were selected by drop and drag with a trackpad, no mouse is available. One class took five hours to finish. Kids crying in 4 of 5 classes. Multiple computer crashes ("okay, you just sit right there while we fix it! Don't talk to anyone!"). Kids sitting for half hour with volume off on headsets but not saying anything. Kids accidentally swapping tangled headsets and not even noticing what they heard had nothing to do with what they saw on the screen. Kids having to solve 8+6 when the answer choices are 0-9 and having to DRAG AND DROP first a 1 then a 4 to form a 14. Some questions where it was only necessary to click an answer but the objects were movable (for no reason). No verbal explanation that you must click the little speaker square to hear the instructions. To go to the next question, one clicks "next" in lower right-hand corner.....which is also where the pop-up menu comes up to take you to other programs or shut down, so about many shut-downs or kids winding up in a completely different program.

If this is not what you want for your kids and grand-kids, you'd better start making some noise. Ten years ago we would've thought this would be literally impossible."

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Skaggs Creek 3/8/2014

Thought you might like to see more pictures on the water.
After 5 days of ice, it was great to see the sun, find the roads and get on the water.
The road in was VERY tiny and very muddy.

Icicles on the rocks.

Salt peter mines go throughout these cliffs.

This is one of the main mine entrances.

It was just so weird to be 60 degrees and snow everywhere.

We are naming the boat - the La-Z-Boy...  well maybe not that exactly... 

I need a name for mine. She is an Ibis, Hubby says call it Loon something.  Hmmm- need something cooler.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

New Boats!!!!!!!

 The weather was pretty fabulous on February 22, so we took the new boats out on a lake.
We were supposed to go on the Barren River, but it wound up being a bit too dangerous and we moved it to this lake.
Shanty Hollow Lake, which is a filled up hollow.  There is an old cabin on the hill across the way from the boat ramp - which probably was a real road at one time.
The lake has a BIG berm on one end and a spillway to the creek below.  I haven't been here before to say if the water level was really high or not.
 All I can say is that the spillway box had a good couple feet up to go from the lake level.   There was a big square in the top to help keep the lake from getting too high.

Tom and I wound up pretty far back from the pack. It was okay, we hadn't been here before, so we enjoyed wandering.  They hiked up to a waterfall, that we'll have to go back and investigate.  We didn't have proper shoes for that walk.
Anyway - here are our matching color kayaks.  An Ibis for me and a Coosa for Tom.

Health Care Headaches

This is not a rant about how good or bad the Affordable Care Act seems to be.
I love the idea, wish it went a little farther, but hey it's a first step.

No, what I have here is the new rules of time working for Adjunct teachers at Community Colleges and Universities.  The schools have been slashing the number of classes anyone Part Time can teach because they were all afraid that the government would say- "Hey, they are working full time, you have to give them benefits."
Well, as a teacher of course I want that to happen, BUT, I am realistic and understand that if you are not full time at a school - you are not likely to get Health Benefits.

Feel free to read the new rules......
New Rules for Adjunct Teachers.

What I like about the new rules is that I may just be able to teach another class each semester and not go over the 30 hours a week rule.
The Federal Government final came up with guidelines to figure out how many hours we really are teaching and spending on grading and lesson plans.  I get that- as a teacher you are working more than just the time you are in the classroom with the students.
If you look at most English Professors, they spend lots of time reading your papers.
(Currently, it's my job to make sure you don't make your professor cry when they read your first paper.)
(Although, if they read my blogs- they might cry anyway.)

The current rules in Kentucky at the system I work for is that you can only teach 3 classes a semester and only so many credits a year. With the new rules, I am only putting in about 18-20 hours a week on those 3 classes.  Which leaves 10 more hours to mess with.

Anyway, I don't know how long it will be before the new rules actually trickle down to the rest of us.
The big wigs need to make up their minds about if they are going to change their policies to give us some more classes.

Hope it's sooner rather than 2 years from now.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Heat Pump???

News from Kentucky......

My mother keeps scolding me for actually mentioning that it is COLD here in Kentucky.  Yes, the average temp has been in the 20's and below for 4 days and yes every time the Polar Vortex decides to descend from Canada into Michigan all the weather you would have gotten comes here.......

The problem is - Kentucky is really not set up for this kind of weather.
Did you know there are a lot of hills here???  Ice + Hills = Never a good driving scenario.
They do not have snow plows - here in Bowling Green we haven't gotten much snow, but some of the state has been hammered.
Almost everything here runs on Electricity.   THAT totally sucks, they are having issues like you would in the summer - asking us to actually turn our thermostats down to 60 degrees-  YES THEY REALLY DID THAT.

Which leads us to the real problem of the day....
Did you know that more houses have HEAT PUMPS and not actual Furnaces?????

  Now, I have gotten a major lesson in how those suckers work this week.  (Especially since we got our December electric bill at the same time as the Polar Vortex came to visit.)

Here in Kentucky the standard temperature right now should be between 35-50 degrees.
At that temp, the Heap Pump does okay.  It might have to turn on the extra heating strips a couple times to help pump up the house.  But did you know that they never really send HOT air into the house?  At most it is exactly the temperature or sort of that you need to keep the house around 67-70 (or whatever you love to keep it at.)

Heat pumps work better in the summer.  I read a page where the Heating/Cooling guy said that if you made the Heap pump big enough for a northern winter, it would be SOOOO big that your house would be an igloo in the summer.. (I'm adding emphasis here....)
So, they add these weird heat strips in the house (under my house) in the ducts to help keep the house a normal temp so the pipes don't freeze.

So, we hear the outside pump, right outside our bedroom that runs almost constantly - to keep it from getting frost all up and down the inside of it.  Then the heat strips come on to actually heat the air for the house.
For anyone who has ever burnt their feet on a register in the winter waiting for the Furnace to heat up a house, you understand how VERY sad it is to not feel anything come out of the registers here.
(I noticed the same lack of cold force in the summer too.)

I am betting that our Electric bill for January (comes late Feb) will be 3 to 4x's what we paid in November.  I'm disturbed by the amount we are paying for December and we weren't here for 2 weeks.

So, here is the cautionary tale - Heat pumps can be much cheaper to run in warmer climates, but woe- is- me to the people in Michigan or North East who have one.  Hope they all have fire places - which we also do not have.....  But that is a whole other post...

Stay Toasty my friends, Stay Toasty.....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We laughed, we cried, we spent too much money.....

I haven't done a movie review in FOREVER....

Most recent-
Frozen -
              I was going to skip this one.  Then news started floating around Facebook of the awesome music that fills this movie and the newer life choices for Disney Princesses.  Awesome.  I tracked it down, I even went out of my way to find the movie.  I managed to drag Tom and we both thought it was great.  It's been out since before Christmas and it's now middle of January and the movie theater was half FULL on a Thursday night.  No Kidding.  Sure there was a couple noisy kids, but heck it is a kids movie.  Great Music.

Catching Fire   (No. 2 of Hunger Games)
             Loved it!!!  Thought they did an even better job with this movie.  It moved you along quickly enough and had plenty of suspense without bogging you down for hours in the GAME itself.  I had completely forgotten how that book had ended and the movie took me right there.  I have high hopes for movie number 3.

The Desolation of Smaug   (or Hobbit 2- as it is otherwise known..)
            Some people I talked to loved it.  I thought it was alright.  I didn't feel that they had as good of music in this one.  There was no Dwarf awesome song in this one.  The whole bit between Smaug and Bilbo was cool, but you know it was rather predictable even for me - and I have to admit I never read the books. (None of them- I know - I'm a pathetic fantasy reader.)  We did not see it in 3D, maybe that helped bring Smaug more to giant size life.  I don't really like the OVERLY shaky camera work anyway.  I forget that I feel a little sea sick after watching his films.  All that crane camera work from long weird angles spinning around people and up into the air - it all just makes me feel like I'm on a roller coaster.  I am sure that is his main reason for doing it, to make you feel like you are right there riding the rapids in a barrel with them.

I can't think of what else we have gone to see.
I can tell you that we miss going with friends to the movies.  Getting to talk about and tear them apart with other people is really a lot of fun.
Which is why- I was thrilled that while the Dinosaur was here in Kentucky we watched the Hunger Games with her and her family.  It really is a good movie.

Oh my Goodness - I totally forgot about Despicable Me 2-  Okay it came out last summer.  But I bought the Blue-Ray copy for Christmas.  It came with 3 mini-movies about the minions that Newbie directors got to make using all the cool gear they were using to make the big movie.  They were able to use already created characters and backgrounds in order to really get to the heart of a short story.  In animation the ground up phase of creating characters is always the hardest.  So, to be able to use the WORLD that was already up and running, really made it easier for the new directors to really get right to the point.  They were great little movies and I hope those new Directors get noticed because of them. :~)

Monday, January 20, 2014


Newest experience in Kentucky.

Sometimes when you are trying to build a house, or a road, or put in the sewer and electric for these things - they actually need to BLAST to get past some rock.

Today, I experienced this happening in my NEIGHBORHOOD!!!  Like 20 minutes ago.

I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I know I saw the sign last week at the front entrance to the sub. (Lucky I went out that day?)

But, to be standing in the back yard with the dogs, and hear what sounds like a weird car alarm, or police alarm or anything like that- and then BOOM!

I won't say the world rocked, but I'm sure the dogs felt it more than I did.
It took me a second to realize what they had done and I'm sure that it was pretty darn small, I didn't see any dirt fly in the air or anything.  (Actually, I'm not even sure I was facing the right direction- they are building in two different directions from my house.)

So, I share my discombobulation over this experience.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year

It's 1/2 way through January and how many people have already blown their New Years Resolutions??
I purposely did not make any. 
Sure I have things I need to do this New Year, but I wasn't going to make a big nasty fuss. 

Currently, keeping my new students on track and actually being able to do their work is keeping me plenty busy. 
Usually it's Black board or the weird company we use - their software that freaks out. Nope - it's the IntrAnet the college uses that is down or not working right. 

Luckily I'm willing to go around most of these issues to get work done!!  

I'm currently well on my way to getting my second major idea accomplished. I am planning to hit the rivers a Lot this year. I've gone on two kayaking trips already with hubby's kayak and found the one I want to buy. 
We had to get a trailer, and put that together. I have to finish the lights on the trailer and get the plug put in my car. I was told Uhaul is my best bet for not spending a million bucks.  That's tomorrow's plan. 

I found the coolest boat for myself. It's called the Ibis by Jackson Kayak- all American made!!!  It doesn't weigh a ton and it moves through the water nice and can carry all my crap for an over night trip. 
It is sort of in between white water kayaks and sit on tops. The cockpit is huge and the seat is removable and comfy. :-). 

I'll post pictures once I get mine. I need to take a better picture of Toms big fishing rig. He wanted a sit on top that was beyond stable. Yup- it is just too  heavy for me to carry.  (Or drag). 
Hope to take brando out with it. He loves the water. :-). 

Have a fabulous day.   (And what day is it??). Hump day.