Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rabbie Burns Night and our mouse

Eric plays the bass drum

The Pipe Band

Steve and Eric eating haggis!

Rabbie's 250 birthday celebration

Eric's wife, Donna, painted this mural!

To a Mouse

(Whilst ploughing on a November day, Burns ruined the nest of a field mouse. He ponders why the creature runs away in such terror)

Oh, tiny timorous forlorn beast,
Oh why the panic in your breast ?
You need not dart away in haste
To some corn-rick
I'd never run and chase thee,
With murdering stick.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startleAt me,
thy poor earth-born companion,
And fellow mortal.

I do not doubt you have to thieve;
What then? Poor beastie you must live;
One ear of corn that's scarcely missed
Is small enough:
I'll share with you all this year's grist,
Without rebuff.

Thy wee bit housie too in ruin,
Its fragile walls the winds have strewn,
And you've nothing new to build a new one,
Of grasses green;
And bleak December winds ensuing,
Both cold and keen.

You saw the fields laid bare and waste,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cosy there beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash; the cruel ploughman crushed
Thy little cell.

Your wee bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Had cost thee many a weary nibble.
Now you're turned out for all thy trouble
Of house and home
To bear the winter's sleety drizzle,
And hoar frost cold.

But, mousie, thou art not alane,
In proving foresight may be in vain,
The best laid schemes of mice and men,
Go oft astray,
And leave us nought but grief and pain,
To rend our day.

Still thou art blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches thee,
But, oh, I backward cast my eye
On prospects drear,
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear.

Saturday night Steve and I were invited by his friend Eric Mayne and his family to Robert Burns Night at the Scottish Club in Windsor Canada, where the 250th birthday of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns was celebrated with the piping in of the haggis and other fantastic pipe band music. Steve and I tried haggis (you don't want the recipe) for the first time and it was actually pretty good! I don't think it will become a diet staple but the night was highly entertaining and we learned a lot about Robert Burns and his literary contributions while taking in the wonderful sounds of the bagpipes and drums. I loved the poem, to a Mouse, since we are now sharing our log cabin with one of those little creatures. We knew we had a mouse because of the droppings around the stove, but we were in denial until one day we saw the FATTEST mouse waddling across the kitchen floor, audaciously taunting Roxy, who wasn't sure what she was suppose to do so she just sniffed it as I screamed for Steve to do something. There was no mousy scurrying, so I think our mouse knows how ineffectual we are with rodents. We bought a safe trap at the drug store, not really sure of what we were going to do with a mouse if we caught it, since it was too cold to release it in the outdoors, and nowhere else we could really dump it without passing the rodent infestation on to someone else. Steve set the trap and really, it was just a few minutes later and we heard it shut and the mouse was captured! We thought about it and decided we were going to have to get a cage until we decided what to do. So Steve put the mouse in a closed cardboard box and we left it to buy our cage. TWENTY DOLLARS later we brought home the little cage with an exercise wheel and some rodent kibble from the pet store and proceded to do the transfer of the mouse from the cardboard box to the cage. It took a little while to realize there was no mouse in the cardboard box anymore. Like Houdini, it had escaped a closed container! We reset the trap and we don't need to tell you that mice haven't been around for millions of years because they are stupid. The mouse hasn't gone anywhere near the trap and is probably now nursing a mouse litter of half a dozen little babies which explained her plumpness. I need ye, Rabbie Burns to help with an ode to many mice!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's been so long since my last post, I forgot my password!

saying goodbye to the Jiffy Mill

saying goodbye to the cabin and the icicles

saying goodbye to the flush toilet
The kids are gone! They left Saturday early AM and I think they were happy to leave the cold and the cabin. We had a lot of fun though, lots of day trips exploring the area, museums, campuses, restaurants, library and scenery. I left my camera in the car and it froze and I thought it was broken because the focusing was so blurry so I didn't get very many pictures. Then we got the Blackberrys but I couldn't figure out how to transfer those pictures to the blog, then on the last day they were here, I turned the camera on just to see if it was really dead and it fired up and worked! So these pictures are from the morning just before we left for the airport. When Maggie got home to Reno she called me and I asked her what she was wearing and she said, "shorts and flipflops! It's so warm here!" and I asked her, "what's the temperature?" and she said, "60".

Happy 80th Birthday Dr. King!

MLK sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church two months before his death:

... And I would submit to you this morning that what is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy. And if something doesn’t happen to stop this trend, I’m sorely afraid that we won’t be here to talk about Jesus Christ and about God and about brotherhood too many more years. (Yeah) If somebody doesn’t bring an end to this suicidal thrust that we see in the world today, none of us are going to be around, because somebody’s going to make the mistake through our senseless blunderings of dropping a nuclear bomb somewhere. And then another one is going to drop. And don’t let anybody fool you, this can happen within a matter of seconds. (Amen) They have twenty-megaton bombs in Russia right now that can destroy a city as big as New York in three seconds, with everybody wiped away, and every building. And we can do the same thing to Russia and China.
But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. “I must be first.” “I must be supreme.” “Our nation must rule the world.” (Preach it) And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I’m going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.
God didn’t call America to do what she’s doing in the world now. (Preach it, preach it) God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it. And we won’t stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.

It doesn't seem much has changed but hopefully we're going to get back on track starting tomorrow!!!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR from all the Bloxhams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's to an exciting and hopefully job healthy 2009 for everyone! Come visit us in Michigan!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The ICE!

I can handle the snow, sort of handle the single digit weather, I'm getting used to the long trek to the flush toilet (I love saying that!) but the ICE! I am having such a hard time navigating the ICE! I waddle around like I'm 9 months pregnant, taking the tiniest of baby steps but I still slip and slide, even poor Roxy slides all over the place. I don't understand how the elderly get around. It's so dangerous! A large icicle fell on my head the other day as I was leaving the front door, but I was so preoccupied with looking at the ice on the ground that it just bounced off my hood. We were in the Subaru the other day after everything froze the night before under huge sheets of ice and we could hear large chunks of ice falling off the car onto the road and I said to Steve, "it's like that doomed space shuttle". Then a few days later it warmed up and everything is melted! Now it's snowing again, but I don't think they get the huge snow packs like in the Sierras. No wonder flooding is a problem in the midwest!

Mission Accomplished!

Steve fixed the Trooper! It took a few days and some down-home swearing, but he got the leak fixed and so far all systems are a go. We tentatively have been taking the Trooper out in bigger and bigger concentric circles each day, but always leaving the Subaru near the Chelsea interstate exit in case we broke down in the Trooper and one of us had to hitchhike back to Chelsea and grab the Subaru. We ventured out to Lansing to look at Michigan State last Saturday and were confident enough to look at each other and go, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" So the next morning we took it as a sign from God when our electricity was out, and we did the unthinkable! We drove 9 hours IN THE TROOPER to IOWA to pick up Steve's abandoned tow dolly! You have never seen such passion as when Steve connected his long-lost tow dolly to the Trooper hitch! We were a family again! The trip was nice because the weather was clear and we drove back through Chicago and had a really nice dinner where Maggie and Robert met some college girls at the next table who went to University of Wisconsin and University of Indiana and were in Maggie's same sorority. The roads are so horrible though in these states! They've got the excuse about the weather creating havoc but the potholes are huge and frequent and dangerous! It's like, "fix your freakin roads already!" I don't understand how the citizens of these states back here put up with the roads! It's shameful!

It was 60 in Lansing!

Robert wields his ax like a real mountain man on the massive trunk blocking our road!

The chillins arrive!

Their arrival!!!

Robert and Maggie arrived in Detroit late Monday night. It was so exciting to finally get them to Michigan! We drove to the cabin and their reaction was subdued to say the least. Maggie immediately plopped herself down at the computer and 15 minutes later declared, "I'm already bored!" She was kidding.... I think! The bathroom logistics took some explanation because I don't think they completely believed us when we said it's either the outhouse 30 steps up the hill, or the flush toilet 1/4 mile away on an icy road. The next morning I was explaining to them that when you answer the phone you say, "Friend's Lake" and then take any reservations for the cabins if necessary. Robert goes, "Friend's away! Save yourself!" But I think they are getting used to it. I have my suspicions that they think we like it too much and they are afraid we will want to stay here forever. We drove them around Ann Arbor and University of Michigan which they liked a lot.

The stadium in Ann Arbor

Maggie's sorority's house
at U of M (Tri Delt)