My 2012 in Photos


A Safe and Happy New Year to All of You!





























2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Pick It Up – I’ll Go Alone

Euchre Cards

My stepson, Max, is in his second year of college.  Recently he was asked by some other students if he knew how to play Euchre.  His answer was no.  Frankly, I’m surprised he made it all the way to his second year before even being asked that question.  Euchre is a Michigan college student’s right of passage.  I guess maybe all the video games have taken precedence in college life.

However, when Max was home at Thanksgiving, he asked Mark and me if we knew how to play.  Our eyes lit up.  Visions of right and left bowers danced in our heads.  Not only that, but it was something we could do.  And do fairly well.  Unlike the dreaded video games and the confounded fumbling of our klutzy fingers, this was a chance to show our prowess at a game.  Never mind the majority of the game is chance; there is a tad of finesse in how to lay down those cards.

We pulled in Charlie as a fourth.  Charlie negotiated an extra movie for Jess to keep her occupied and the game was on.  Mark and Charlie vs. Max and me.  Yes, if there is one thing I know, it is to never to partner with your significant other.  Relationships go sour over Euchre.  Trumping your partner’s Ace can mean a night spent with the goats.  We split the spouses and the brothers for a safer game.

We walked Charlie through the first few hands then set down for almost the real deal.  We broke Euchre etiquette and allowed table talk for our first game.  This helped Charlie learn things like leading with off-suit cards, letting your partner know if you have the left bower, short suiting your hand, etc.  It was a close game with Mark and Charlie pulling ahead at the end and beating Max and me by two points.

I’ve always looked forward to Max coming home.  I miss him when he’s gone.  But now, I almost can’t wait.  A Euchre tournament on Christmas vacation is like the angel on the tree.  A beer for Mark and hot chocolate for the rest of us.  The slap of the cards in rhythm to Christmas carols on the iPod dock.  The smell of victory mingled with the pine scent of the tree.  Yes, it will be an old-fashioned (maybe even almost video game free) Christmas.

Procrastinated Projects

I was up very early this morning.  My intent was to write a post.  But, I either don’t have pictures to go with the post or my mind is just not functioning to write the post that I pretty much had written in my head before I got out of bed.  So I decided maybe I’ll work on some scrapbook projects.  Then, of course, as I was trying to decide what to work on I came across a dozen or so unfinished projects.  That, of course, led me back to feeling overwhelmed about writing, blogging, scrapping, and, oh no, the Holidays are approaching much too fast.  And do I vote yes or no on this proposal or that proposal.  Let me look at Pinterest and Facebook for awhile.  I should do a pie crust right now.

So in honor of my muddled mind and myriad of unfinished projects, here are some digital art projects that have never seen fruition.  (Elements in the digital art were made by digital artist Nancie Rowe Janitz.  I just did the composition.)

This one was a first attempt at digital art and will never see a scrapbook page or a wall unless I fix it which means it will never see a scrapbook page or a wall:

digital art

These next I like and are ready to hang somewhere…but where?  Bathroom?  There is a lot to read there.  And will I really ever get them printed and framed?

This one always makes me want to go to Edee’s or Delana’s for coffee.

Winnie the Pooh

I love these quotes from Carl Sagan.

Carl Sagan Quote

These next are pretty much ready for printing and I think I could find a place fairly easily to hang them.  So that  means they’ll go up in the next year.  Maybe.

If I don’t get this one hung soon I’ll have to change the photos.

Family print

This one is ready.  But what size do I make it?  Maybe not so ready.


So even now, as I’m previewing these for print, I’m telling myself, “Do you think you’ve overdone the scalloped border just a bit???”  I should go back and change that.

I know I’m not the only one.  Make me feel better.  Tell me what projects you have that are waiting in the wings for just the right time, touch, word, or  picture.

In the meantime, I’m going to go make that pie crust…


Pug & Goat

“Hi, my name’s Marigold and I’m a goat.  You have a problem with that?”
“Hey, as long as you’re not one of those poodles, I’m good.  But I should tell you that I have some rather disgusting habits.  It would mostly involve your hind end.  Uh, just how fast is your kick reflex and how sharp are your hooves?”

Oberhasli goat

“What the heck is this contraption?”


“I have an idea…listen.”


“Please, please, please can we play my game first?”

goat kid

“Oh, all right.  We’ll play your game first.”

climbing goat

“Ummm…I’m not so sure this is a teeter totter, Dannon.”


“Okay.  We tried it your way.  Now it’s my turn!”


“Follow me!”


“Hey!  Do you mind?  Quit shoving!”


“Now that hurt!”

goat kids

“So much for Follow the Leader.  How about a round of Queen of the Hill?”



Speed Blogging

What happened to September?  I know it was here.  I have pictures with dates that prove it!

It must have been warm because Jess, Mark and Charlie took a final swim.

Pool fun

Well, maybe Charlie didn’t find the water very warm.

Cold water

We had a family celebration and surprise party.  DGG Karen turned seventy.

Surprise Party

No Greene surprise party is complete without a German chocolate cake.  I should have posted the recipe because this is one of the few that I have made that wasn’t completely lopsided.

German chocolate cake

Niece DGG Emily had the party at her new house in Kalamazoo.  She, husband Jim, and baby Raleigh moved from L.A.  Grandma DGG Nancy couldn’t be happier because she gets to babysit a lot.

Emily, Nancy and Lil' Ral

All the family is coming home to roost.  DGG Kathy moved from Chicago to Kalamazoo.  And the VanLoos that were east went west to San Francisco to be with DGG Peggy.

Speaking of roosting (a poor segue when you are lacking pictures of family members), we have added to our flock.  Meet Ping, Pong and Paddle:

Saxony ducks

So dubbed after a book about a wayward duck that I remembered reading as a child, The Story about Ping, by Marjorie Fleck.  Mark added the names Pong and Paddle.  Paddle is on the far right in the above picture.  He is the drake.  We hope.

Saxony ducks are on the critical list with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  They are larger ducks and good layers.  And they were a surprise. I was cleaning the goat stall when Mark introduced them to me.  Not a very opportune time to introduce more animals.

endangered ducks

Our birds are maturing and should be laying soon.  This is a pearl leghorn.

Pearl Leghorn

And again, with a face only a mother Guinea could love, the keets are getting their helmet heads:

We did lose one of our Columbian Wyandottes to a predator.  We think it was a weasel.  Mark and Charlie worked very hard to seal up any possible entrances into the pen and coop.  So far, knock wood, we haven’t lost any more birds.

Dannon and Marigold continue to get spoiled and beg at the fence anytime we step outside.  They love the fresh alfalfa that Mark found on the edge of our property.

Oberhasli goats

Our frozen fruit came in to our local country market.  Mark and I spent part of a morning bagging 140 pounds of fruit.

frozen apples

Forty pounds of apples, thirty pounds each of blueberry, strawberry and cherry, and ten pounds of rhubarb.  There is no more room in our freezer until I start baking.  Mark calculated this should make about forty pies and it’s less expensive this way.

frozen fruit

We had another very important celebration.  Mark officially became Jessie’s daddy.  We went to court and finally completed all the legalities.  (Don’t you love Charlie’s Kermit imitation?)


Even the judge noted it was rather disrespectful to have to complete the process as a “step-parent” adoption since Mark has been “Daddy” from the day Jessie came home from Guatemala.  Paperwork doesn’t always tell the story.

Jessie received her first “grown-up” pair of earrings.  Ruby hearts from Mark.  And again, my stellar photography missed the moment.

Adoption gift

And on into October, Jess competed in her first ice skating competition.  Here she is with her coach…

Ice Skating Coach

…and during her warm up.  I didn’t want to be behind a camera during the actual routine.

Ice competition practice

Ice Skating competiton

Figure Skating Competition

Jess took a fifth place in her skills set and she made the podium with a third place in her music program.  She battled through a fall, confusion with the judge and finally, overcoming her fear to go out on the ice all alone for her music program. She was excited and proud but no where near as proud as her mom and dad.

Ice Skating Medals

Jessie wrote notes in her notebook about her competition.  She has it ready for school tomorrow so she can remember everything for her writing workshop.  Writing workshop teaches them to take one event and expand on it.

I can learn so much from her!