Blind Decorating November 30, 2021

It is time for the annual decorating of the interior of the home. That includes the clearing of the mantle to hold the manger and figures coming to the Creche scene. The wall above the tableau is festooned with rice lights and hanging angels.

My job is to place all items relying on my memory while trying not to cause too much breakage.

This year, I had only one casualty, one of the glass angels playing a horn wanted a closer look at the manger. She took a header directly into the baby Jesus. She was history!

I have gone modern with the light switchs. Instead of contorting to plug and unplug the mantle lights, I have a plug that Alexa can turn on. I simply ask the A lady to turn on the TV. light. It is near the television so that was the indicated light. She can turn on and off the whole scene with a command.

Our Christmas tree has shunk from a six footer to a four foot tree that sits on a table in the sunroom. Icicle lights hand around the four sides of the room. Trying to minimize damage by wrapping the tree and stand with soft artificial snow blanket. I try to put every ornament on the tree until the boughs are weighted down. Every year, I vow to use less on the tree but memories of handmade ornaments make their way onto the tree.

The tree is reflected in each of the windows of the porch making a small tree lot of trees in the backyard. Again, I remember this and hope the neighbors enjoy the display.

The whole sunroom’s lights are plugged into a a plug controlled by an interior wall switch.

It will take me hours to put the decorations on the tree as I tell myself the origin and story behind each ornament. Maybe, I will find the time to photograph the ornaments to augment the stories. Again I will take photos with the directions of my smart phone.

Wish me luck!



Sugar snow

Sugar snow sprinkles the wreaths.

Icy winds shape snow on walls and branches.

Icicles sparkle in the light of the setting sun.

Mother Nature is busy decorating for the season.

I watch her handiwork while I trim my tree.

It is a poor imitation of nature’s glory.

copyright 11-30-21

Thanksgiving Day November 25, 2021

Carol is busy celebrating with her family in her hometown of Northville, Michigan. Here is an Acrostic poem for you all. Have pleasant time visiting with family and friends, even if it’s only a phone call.

Carol Farnsworth


Time to come together and remember,

Hearts filled with love and hands touching with love,

All the generations tell stories of past meals,

Now weaving the past with preset events,

Kids play while adults talk,

In rising and falling voices,

Gone in a moment, the present is the past,

Gladness changes to melancholy as the day ends,

It is up to each of us to keep the stories of the past,

Visiting each tale for the next generation,

Including even the smallest child in the celebration,

Now is the time to share those memories,

Giving to laughter and tears, we remember in thankfulness.

copyright 11/25/2021

Stuffin Muffins , November 23, 2021

When it comes to the Thanksgiving meal each family has it’s favorite sides. When my Mother hosted the gathering, she made rainbow jello. It had thin layers of different jellos with layers of white made from sour cream, milk, sugar and un-flavored gelatin. It took over a day to assenble and cool the salad. I remember being told to walk softly in the kitchen so the layers of jello were not disturbed. The masterpiece for the table was sixteen layers in each slice.

My daughter’s favorite side is a batch of stuffin Muffins. When she was a teen, she loved the Hannah Swensen Mysteries, written by Joanne Fluke. Each mystery had recipes sprinkled in the story and at the back of the book.Ruth tried many of these recipes but loved the muffins made from stuffing.

We added hot chilies and jalapanos and other spices. They freeze well and have been taken from the freezer to microwave to plate in less than one minute.

I will be taking them down to put in Ruth’s freezer. We will be taking other bisquits to the meal at my brother’s home.

During the meal, the men will sneak out to see what is happening with the Lions and Bears football game. My Mother wisely served the Thanksgiving meal at half time.

Un-like last year, we will gather in person in small groups and I will finally get to see my newest grand niece, Evie.

So make your dishes and think of the stories that go behind those dishes.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


copyright 11/23/2021

Why Men are Happier, November 18, 2021

Ocassionally, one of my family members sents me an article that they think I may enjoy. I suspect that one of my sister in laws sent me the following article. I laughted and I hope that it will lighten your day. The poem was written by myself in a light tone about my husband’s sneezing.

WHY MEN ARE NEVER DEPRESSED: Men Are Just Happier People–

Your last name stays put.

The garage is all yours.

Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack.

You can never be pregnant.

Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal.

You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one= is just too icky.

You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them.

New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks and engines.

A ten-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

You never have strap problems in public.

You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color.

The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.

One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.

You can “do” your nails with a pocket knife.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minute’s.

No wonder men are happier.

Send this to the women who can handle it and to the men who will enjoy reading it .




a tickle

my nose twitching

shallow inhales of breath

a pause… it passed, and then the big


copyrirht 11-18-21

Hunting Season, November 16, 2021

Yesterday was opening day for deer hunting season here in Michigan. As a child, I have few memories about hunting except this was a time when my Mother and I caught the bus at 5 Points and rode to downtown Detroit,to spend the day shopping at Hudsons.

We would eat lunch in the Hudson’s cafeteria. There was a special floor just for children to shop with no parents. The items were inexpensive and there were clerks to help find items for all the people on my list.

I have one memory of my Dad skinning a rabbit. He had it hung from the basement ceiling. I asked for one of the rabbits feet. Instead he handed me the fluffy tail to hold commenting,”The feet weren’t lucky for this rabbit.” Later , I recall seeing a bowl of rabbit meat soaking in water and salt. Mom remarked,”the meat must be soaked to remove all the blood.” I don’t remember eating the stew.

I do recall a story Dad told about the last deer hunt that he and Grandpa Turnbull were on together. Grandpa Cliff, had experienced two strokes. Though physically he was sound, He had memory losses. He would repeat the same story over and over to my Dad.

They decided to drive to the Upper Peninsula to hunt at Warner’s cabins, owned by friends from town. It was a long trip and Dad was regaled with the same hunting stories until Grandpa smacked the dash remarking,”I have already told you this, Bruce please stop me if I do this again,”

They got to the cabins late in the afternoon and unpacked. They would hunt early the next day.

In the morning, Bruce took his Dad to a deer blind that offered some shelter from the snow and wind. Grandpa was left with a thermos of hot coffee, blankets , a chair and a place to prop up his gun.

“Dad, if you need me, fire several shots in the air and I will come to help.”

“Bruce, I will be alright, just go hunting.”

So with his Dad snug and safe from other hunters, my Dad went off to hunt while walking the woods. He didn’t see any game. After several hours, Dad decided to go and check on Cliff.

As he entered the clearing, imagine his surprize to see a deer, a nine point buck hanging in a tree.

“Dad, how did you dress that deer?”

Grandpa sheepishly admitted that after he shot the deer, he tried to hoist the large deer into a tree. Two hunters, hearing the shots, asked if Grandpa needed some help.

That would be great.”

So the three of them hoisted the deer and dressed it.

When my Dad came back, Grandpa was finishing the last of his coffee. Bruce loaded the items form the blind and tied the deer to the hood of his car.

All the way home and for the rest of Grandpa’s life he told and retold the story of his last deer hunt.

All too soon, Grandpa died several months later. My Dad said that he would give anything to hear his Dad tell the hunting story one more time.

This Thanksgiving take the time to appreciate and listen to those you are with. The stories will be the memories for the future. Remind others of the people who are gone by sharing stories about the family members no longer with us.



This is a poem from the Weekly Avocet that was published last week. The Avocet is a great to get your poetry out to others to read and comment. For information contact


It was a breezy October day.

Blowing the last of the rains away

a scarf dangles around my throat.

As I rummage for a warm coat.

Rushing outside to my woods,

I turn the wind with my hood.

Soon, I find a fallen tree.

A throw (a depression) at the base waits for me.

Snuggling in, my back at the base,

Looking around, I see empty space.

Hues of red and orange form a lacy canopy.

I sit quite still to wait and see.

Soon a wind starts to blow.

Leaves are plucked , swirl like jeweled snow.

I watch until I am covered with leaves.

Smiling, I feel one with the trees.

All too soon, I feel the cold.

Shaking off leaves, I turn to go.

Stopping I reach for a golden leaf.

This one I will keep

In memory of falling leaves.

copyright 11/16/21

Marguerite Heatley Turnbull November 11, 2021

My Mother, nicknamed Rita, was born on the original Armistice day in 1918 in The Detroit metro area. She was the second oldest of four siblings. Unlike her older sister Dorothy, Rita loved to help care for her little brother and sister.

When she was around age eight, Her Mother was sent to to a Toledo hospital to be treated with advanced breast cancer. Grandpa Al Heatley drove all four children to see their Mother each Sunday after church. I found a letter written by Rita to her Mother .

Dear Mommie, We are beling good and taking care of the cleaning and watching each other. Baby Albert misses you very much. We are praying for you to come home soon.



Grandma Annie didn’t recover and she died in the late 1920’s

The Depression of 1929 hit hart on the Heatley’s. A widower, with four young children, Al had to hire a person to care for the children and cook the meals. Al was a barber. When money was tight, people cut their own hair.

In her early teens, Rita was sent to Aunt Emily and Uncle Leo’s farm in Imaly City. She was amazed that she could go into the garden and pick a

tomato or pull a carrot and eat it.

Rita had been giving some of her food portion to her siblings. This behavior continued when she was our Mother. She divided the food in sevenths but she always had the smallest portion.

She had hope to go to college but with only the five hundred dollars left from her Mother’s will, she opted for Cleary Business school. She was able to keep finacial books and perform secretarial tasks.

When WWII was declaired, Rita worked at the Willow Run plant, turning out bombers. She traveled with her husband , Bruce to Florida and then to California while he was in the Marines. She continue to work for military officers as a secretary.

After the war, she wanted to stay in California but Dad convinced her to return home to Northville because they both had aging parents.

Settling in a rental cottage in Wall Lake. Rita started to save for a new home in Northville.

Rita could make a nickel stretch to buy a quarter’s worth of food. With coupons, day old bread and over ripe bananas , she baked muffins, and kept five growing children clothed and fed.

My Mother had a deep draw to her Catholic faith. She onced joked that if she hadn’t married my Dad, she would have been a nurse or a nun. Good thing for us kids, she married!

After twenty years, we siblings still tell stories about my Mother’s frugal ways. Such as the ten cent bunch of bananas or eat peanut butter or cereal if you are hungry and who gets the last muffin continue to be told at family gatherings.

Rita’s children and friends owe much to this quiet woman. Her way of making a person feel at home and welcomed in our home will be remembered. One of her friends called her a Super Mom.

I know that Rita would hate all this praise, but I know that we were blessed to have her as our Mother.

Since this is also Veterans Day, My poem will be about the two Veterans in my family, My Dad and brother Mike.



Side by Side

side by side two benches stand

equal in size and width

Mirror images of each other

for a Father and son veterans of two different wars

In life they walked side by side

like soldiers in formation

simular in height and manner

sharing the same crooked smile

side by side they wait on the village green

offering rest and support to passers by

remembered by those that loved them

forever like sentinels side by side

copyright 11/11/2021

International Freedom Day, November 9, 2021

When I was a child, I recall commercials about “Radio Free Europe. The terms Iron Curtain, Eastern Block and The Berlin Wall were heard but not understood.

The Berlin Wall was completed in 1961 when I was 7. All through my childhood and adolescence, I was surrounded with these terms but I was unaware what they meant.

In the summer of 1989, Austria invited Hungary to a picnic. It would require crossing a border from the east to the west. Because people from the Eastern Block could cross their borders into another Communist country, East Berliners could travel to Czechoslovakia then to Hungary. The numbers of people gathered at the Hungarian border overwhelmed the border gaurds and people were allowed to cross to the picnic.

The idea of a picnic in Austria was to test the U.S.S.R. on the resolve to maintain closed borders. There was no public reaction by any of the Communist block governments.

Once people crossed the border they were met with flowers, gifts,food, and German deutch marks. Many were persuaded to not return to their homes.

In the fall of 1989 East Berlin was economically unstable. They tried to surcure a short term loan from West Berlin but were denied.

East Berliners didn’t trust their government. The leaders debated how much to open their border to West Berlin. From all crossing open to just one crossing opened with strict sercurty. They decided on a strict limit of the border and went public on the radio to announce it. A press resease was given to a bureaucrat not privy to the debate. His paper outlined the more open border policy.

Afterward, the room was silent before one of the reporters asked,”When does this take effect?” This was close to nineteen hundred hours on November 9th. Referring again to his paper, He said,”Immediately.”

After the announcement, the official was interviewed by Tom Brokaw, for Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. This was the way most of the population learned that all the borders were open.

People on both sides of the wall gathered for the opening. Guards were confused and called for directions. Finally the size of the crowds convinced the guards to open the gates.

East and West Berliners were united. This is the day celebrated as the day the Berlin wall fell and the Cummunist block started to fracture.

During the twenty eight years of the dividing wall, two hundred people were killed trying to escape East Berlin.



The Wall

Built strong,to protect and confine,

But like manmade obstacles, it was vulnerable

To people’s will

On November ninth, East and West Berliners danced on the wall’s grave.

copyright 11/9/2021

Easy Bake Oven Day, November 4, 2021

On November 4th, 1963, the First Easy Bake Oven was introduced before Christmas. I was eight years old and I had this toy on the top of my Christmas list.

I didn’t receive one from Santa. But my best friend, Laurel, did get the special toy.

The original oven was pink and used two 100 watt light bulbs to cook small cakes and cookies.

A few mixes were included with the oven. More mixes could be purchased at the toy store.

The dry mix was made with water. The pans included with the oven were pushed through a slot on the side with a handle. When the timer sounded, the finished cake was pushed out the other slot.

I begged my friend to play with the oven. I even bought mixes to replace the ones we used.

The Kenner toy company produced the oven in a variety of colors and sizes. In In the early 1990’s, Hasbro Toys bought the Kenner Toy company. They started to make a oven in gender neutral colors and with a heating element instead of light bulbs.

We purchased a Hasbro Easy cook oven in 1997 for our daughter. Ruth and her friend Dannie, loved to make desserts and snacks using this toy.

In addition to the oven, there was a heating element on the burner top that would melt chocolate chips.

The girls melted chocolate, poured it into flower molds. Then sprinkled with decorative colored sugars.

The Hasvro ovens were named snacks centers. They could cook main dishes and desserts. The pans were bigger than the pans from Kenner.

Eventually, little girls and boys want to use the real oven. This toy was a nice transition to real baking.

Below is a photo of an new easy bake oven.



Christmas 1997

We waited until she was in bed.

Starting to bring up the hidden gifts, we hear a wail.

“Joey!” “Where is my Joey bear?”

Stopping Santa, we start to hunt.

Finally, Joey is located in Ruth’s play house in the basement.

She was so happy to have her bear buddy,

She didn’t notice the presents under the tree.


Natures Music, Waterfalls November 2, 2021

As we continued our tour of the eastern Upper Peninsula, we found waterfalls in abundance. Water trickles from the western porcupine Mountains to the cliffs of sandstone to the overlooks and sand dunes of the lakeshore.

Our first visit was to the Lower Tahquamenon Falls. The bubbling brook was beside the boardwalk. As we approached the drop off, the notes of the moving water changed from high to low notes.

The lower falls are seen as steps curving to Lake Superior. They drop from 6 to 12 feet with the last one falling less than two feet. The total of 5 different waterfalls in a close space gives the listener a variety of musical notes .The runoff from the cedars give the lower falls the nickname ,”The rootbeer falls” for the brown foaming water.

The upper Falls is four miles upstream from the lower Falls. Unlike the lower falls situated in a cedar bog, the upper Falls cut through a forest of hardwoods. Trees are festooned with reds, yellows and orange leaves. The tannin from the tamarack trees color the water with a light golden color.

The Tahquamenon Falls is almost fifty feet in height and 200 feet across. The natural beauty of the site has been preserved as a state park.

In the winter, the falls can be accessed by snowmobiles or snowshoeing.

The setting of the Munising Falls is found in the heart of the city of the same name. The falls is accessed by a easy paved 400 foot sidewalk. The falls is located in a deep ravine.

There used to be a path to walk behind the falls, but a rock slide made it too dangerous.

The sound of this water fall is accented by echos of the water off the ravine sides. The falls gives one the feeling of hearing distant thunder.

We met a couple of women from Milwaukee at the Munising Falls, As my husband went to check out the rock slide, one of the women asked, “What do you see?”

“Nothing,” I replied.

“O that is sad,”

I smiled remarking, “I hear the musical notes of the flowing and falling water and my memory can fill in the rest.

Munising was displaying peak color of fall leaves. An occasional purple oak competed with the butter yellow of the birch and the orange and red of the maples forming a tapestry of colors.



Nature’s Symphony

The falling water beats on rocks like drums.

Bubbling waters sound like horns as they pop bubbles.

Dripping adds the high notes of a flute.

The music is magnified by the ravines sounding board.

Living water is wild with life.

copyright 11/2/2021

The Yooper Peninsula, October 28, 2021

The upper Peninsula’s nickname is Yooper Country. The land situated between Lake Superior on the North and Lakes Michigan and Huron on the south is far different from the lower peninsula by lifestyle and politics. An independent surrounded by natural beauty and lake shores.

I have always found Whitefish Point a wild shoreline ,anchored by the Whitefish lighthouse. The rugged point has been the site for many a ship wreck. The lake is so cold that it is said that Superior never gives up it’s dead.

We went there early to see the sun rise. While on the point, we photographed a picture of a large freighter crossing the point. The currents and wave action makes this a dangerous sailing before the ship makes safe harbor in Soo Saint Marie, where the lake locks are located to allow ships into the lower lakes.

The morning I was on the beach at the point, the sand was littered with many ovel shaped stones all rounded by the wave actions.

I discovered that the Kirtland Warbler lays her clucth of eggs in the open on the beach. Her eggs look very much like the stones and are camouflaged from predators looking for eggs. The point is closed to people during the nesting season.

The morning I was there, the wind was strong enough to blow my hat off my head. The White caps were seen off shore and the breaking waves were three to four footers. The lake was crystal, icey blue.. The water was too cold to put your feet or hands in. They soon became numb and blue with the cold.

Why does this place draw me back time and again? It is the ancient play of waves, sand and stone to redefine the shore. The changes are in years but to the casual visiter, the area is timeless.

On this page is a photo of the point with a freaghter passing. Another photo is of the lighthouse all white and three stories high. It’s light can be seen in Canada on the far shore, five miles away.

I think of past travelers to these shores and I worry for the future of such wild natural places.

I return from this place centered and renewed.



Lake Superior

Dark waters,

cold and deep in it’s depths.

Bordered by two countries.

Large waves slap the shores.

Depositing bits of the past on It’s beaches.

Could be a fresh water sea.

Source for Indian lore.

One travels it with apprehension.

The largest of the Great Lakes.

copyright 28 2021