This blog posting could be for John Considine, who I met in 2008 or 2012 while working a phone bank for a national presidential campaign. Who suggested I blog about something else besides Great Lakes Basin islands. Let people know what’s going on in my life, what I’m thinking about when I’m not thinking about islands. (I’m not so sure readers really want to know, but here goes.)

He also suggested that, occasionally, I include news of my cat. The cat is saucy, for sure, but every one of my non-red-meat-eating family members would agree, she is not good; any coney is better than my cat. (Does that sound like my cat might belong to a food group?). Maybe just a photo would do.

So below you’ll find the “something else,” including the cat and, yes, just a bit about the GLB islands, which I’ll return to posting “full-time” about next week. It may help if you read it straight through at a quick clip . . .

Stand Up!


This woman needs better shoes to stand in.

Over the last three days, I been sitting too much for the first time in a while. I suppose it could be good practice for my next writing project (that I am so, so yearning to begin). But I think I’ll check out standing desks and perhaps even manage to lower my BMI instead or raise it in this round. And I need to do this before I am petrified in a seated position. If sitting is the “new smoking” when it comes to health, I’m shortly about to become a multi-pack user. [Note to self: Google “standing desks” and order something inexpensive that will keep me on my feet.]

“Avery Graced”


Avery Grace with Meagan 

Avery Grace, my sweet, sweet granddaughter, visited us with daughter Meagan for a long weekend to celebrate my husband’s birthday and to attend an annual family reunion. Such joy to be able to witness and love such a at-the-very-beginning person. I suspect that’s what being a grandparent is all about, and we have it bad. She reminds me of both of my own daughters. And her mom, my daughter, such a good mom! And both of them and my dear “Son Figure,” Jason are too far away in Durham, NC. As are my other precious daughter and her dear husband in Denver. [Note to self: Send both daughters the letter I’ve been writing in my head, mainly when in the shower, since they both came home for my book launch, two and a half months ago now.]

Pages Bookshop and Coney Detroit

PagesI had planned to attend Katherine Yung and  Joe Grimm’s presentation at Pages Bookshop in Detroit for their book Coney Detroit (Wayne State University Press, 2012). I’ll be presenting at Pages Thursday evening and would like to have seen their presentation there. Now I’m hungry. And I don’t even eat coney dogs.  [Note to self . . . Remember to eat dinner.]


Cool cover of Yung and Grimm’s book.

Destination: Wolfe Island

Wolfe Island

From Kingston, Ontario, a free ferry ride transports a visitor across the St. Lawrence River to Wolfe Island.

I’ve just been “being me” (i.e., getting excited about Great Lakes Basin islands) while I’ve presented information about the islands during my three-island book tour. Now another island event–Wolfe Island in the St. Lawrence River–is coming up next week.

Traveling the River

I should make a list of who to try to see on the drive there: Kimberly and David Maracle  at Lil Crow Native Art Gallery in Deseronto, Sally and Ian at Topsy Farms on Amherst Island, Margaret and Grant Pyke at Blue Horizon Bed and Breakfast on Wolfe Island. A how to get three cartons of books across the border? [Note to self: Figure how to legally get books into Canada by Monday.]


Wolfe Island United

The Wolfe Island venue for my August 30th book talk.

. . . “Traveling the Lakes”

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 5.43.15 PMInstead of heading for Pages, I was completing a draft of the slide presentation that Loreen Niewenhaus and I talked about this afternoon. We will present the slideshow together on September 11th at the Kerrytown BookFest in Ann Arbor. However, not if Dropbox doesn’t get it uploaded by then; how can there still be an hour left to go on the upload? [Note to self: Call Apple Support, yet again, and find out if this is all a result of upgrading my operating system last week and can I go back two versions].

Cruisin’ Telegraph

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 5.22.33 PM

But mainly, really, I’m thinking about coneys now. My first summer in college I worked at the A&W Drive-In on Telegraph Road. Telegraph was the Westsiders’ cruising dream, one of which few current-day Dream Cruisers are aware unless they are old enough to have headed west at Square Lake and cruised the 1.3-mile stretch to Telegraph. And I stop to look up “Telegraph.” Of course, it’s “Road;” Telegraph Avenue, the name of a Michael Chabon novel, turns out is in Oakland, California. [Note to self: E-mail Catherine in Oakland and ask about  the Telegraph Avenue. Maybe we can get our own book club going again; I miss her.]

mobilephones_Old_Telegraph_Poles_thumb_312So is there a “Telegraph-something” in every town in which there was a telegraph system? And I want to go down the rabbit hole of research, ferreting it out–okay, mixed metaphor–avoiding how badly I feel that the Pages presentation started five minutes ago, if it started on time, and it’s rush hour and my hair is still wet. I do, however, discover online there’s a Telegraph Cruise. [Note to self: Make a list of possible topics to research on new writing project, so I can make productive use of such situations in the future.]

At the A&W Drive-In

I was a carhop in a part of town–Redford Township–that still, even in the Summer of ’72, had “greasers” who cruised, pulled in and parked, rolled down their driver-side windows to order and flirt. My best friend in high school, Barb, worked there with me too. Over 40 years later, she would come with me to research Great Lakes Basin islands in the St. Lawrence River.A&W rootbeer The Lost Villages. Could I have gotten through them without her? [Note to self: Find out what Barb’s up to now.]

But back in our A&W days–was I really still eating meat?–that summer would have been the end of hotdogs for me, or maybe chili-cheese dogs were the one exception, the treat I allowed myself that summer. Chili-cheese dogs: a hot dog in a white hotdog bun–I think they must have all been footlongs, not six-inch choice they offer at Subway today–with the chili ladled on and yellow cheese melted thick, to which I added mustard and onions. A coney by a different name. And then there were the onion rings. Don’t even.

High School Friends, Facebook Friends

That was a good summer to work as a carhop. It was a cool summer. We were required to wear hot-pants to “work” the lot (that sounds bad; it was) unless it was under 60 degrees (and it was under 60 a lot that summer). If it was cooler than 60, we could wear brown cords and orange polo shirts. Much better.

We worked for John’s dad. John had graduated with me. Somehow in recent years, we’ve became Facebook friends. He was at my 20th reunion; my class couldn’t find me for the 10th despite  me living and being listed in the same tri-county area in which I graduated.


After Sheri, a member of my high school group volunteered to plan the next reunion, perhaps after having just a tad too much to drink, the 20th was our last reunion.

Of course, perhaps, I’ve only just been “lost” again. Except, now I’m on Facebook with a handful of high-school acquaintances. [Note to self: Look up just what high-school friends I am friends with on Facebook.  John. Terry is the only other one I can think of. Well, Jackie  was a dancing friend of my boyfriend’s. I think. And my mom painted Bonnie as a ballerina; Bonnie still has the painting that was her mom’s in her basement, she told me on Facebook. And then there was other dancer who became a Solid Gold Dancers, Lezlie; she taught Connie and me how to be harem dancers in the school production of the musical Kismet. A skill that I did not retain. Would any of those FB friends let me know if there was a reunion being planned? And what’s with all the Miss Harriet’s Dance Studio dancers?]

Taya the Cat

IMG_1430I need to be thinking some more about shaping my Thursday night presentation at Pages and my trip to Wolfe Island. And I should get something to eat. Or, at least, feed the cat who is a bit more emphatic when she’s thinking it’s time to eat. [Note to self: Look up hairball remedies; we’re about due, I suspect.]

Neighborhood Lawsuit against Outside Developer Continues

It might be a good to get up out of this seat, and stand for a bit, maybe walk around the block to admire (again) the dozen or so beech trees in the back of the two pieces of property a developer bought with the intention to build eight houses where two homes now stand.

I try to imagine what this neighborhood was like before only a remnant of the Beech-Maple forest that lined the Red Run remained. We’ve been fighting the developer’s plans for over 2.5 years now, and the developer is bringing a motion for summary judgement to dismiss the case to the Oakland County Circuit court a week from today. A motion to support a bit of brilliant legal strategy–not my idea–didn’t receive any votes before the Board President nixed it, except for Norma’s vote. [Note to self: Make sure to thank Norma for seconding my motion and voting for it all in one fell swoop.]


Time Has Stopped . . .

IMG_5412I reheat in the microwave some asparagus Craig grilled last night in the oven and notice the clock my Grandpa Klotzbach built for me as one of his last wood-working projects has stopped again. [Note to self: Find a closer, quicker-than-six-months clock repair shop.]

. . . Give Thanks

The asparagus is good. The leftover salmon and dill atop a tossed salad should be even better. No coney tonight. But life is full, and life is good. [Note to self: Remember to be grateful; while there’s time, give thanks.]