Coffee Klatsch, Michigan, Random Ramblings

Coffee Klatsch, Updates, and Muskrat Love at Yonder Hoffman Haus

I saw a muskrat while I was out and about yesterday.  An actual muskrat.  ADORABLE!!!  I had my camera ready, taking pics of the river that runs through my neighborhood when I saw him.  Unfortunately, he dove into the river and under the water faster than I could work my camera.

Here's the area where I saw my animal friend. This muskrat was about the size of a small cat. Brown fur like beaver, but a long, skinny tail.
Here’s the area where I saw my animal friend. The muskrat was about the size of a small cat. They look a lot like an otter, with brown fur like a beaver, and a long, skinny tail.      *I love the reflection of the clouds in the water in this pic.  It like something from another world.

I’m happy to report that my cold is nearly gone. The rest of the family is also feeling MUCH better.  Yonder Hoffman Haus no longer sounds like the TB Ward in an old Hollywood film. (Cue melodramatic violin music.)  Thank goodness we don’t get sick very often or I’d have to start buying stock in Vernors ̶ the ginger ale pop/soda with magical healing properties.

For those of you who aren’t from Michigan, we drink Vernors when we’re sick.  It’s one of those weird/traditional/regional things, passed along by our weird/traditional/regional grandparents.  You can drink tea and eat soup when you’re sick, but it’s a given that you must drink Vernors.  (And when you’re feeling healthy again, Vernors tastes AMAZING with a scope of vanilla ice cream.)  If you’re NOT from Michigan, you can buy Vernors online, but HOLY MARKUP!!  I paid a dollar for a two-liter at the grocery store.  It was on sale. Online, you could pay up to six dollars for a two-liter, plus shipping.  YIKES!

New to me, refurbished laptop seems to be working out.  She had a hiccup or two on her maiden voyage, but hubby reformated something or other and now she’s behaving herself. USB ports are tired, so that’s a little frustrating.  I know MS Vista is somewhat different from XP, but it should be faster at loading up pictures from my SD card for viewing than my old computer.  I don’t store pics on my laptop, so the problem is either in the ports or in the Vista program itself.  Yes, I’m still technologically backwards when it comes to my laptops, but you should see my cell phone!  It’s practically an antique.

The new laptop doesn’t have a Word program on it yet, so I’ve had to do all my Writing 101 assignments online.  I’ve got mixed feeling on this, but I’m rolling with it.  My writing laptop has my Word program, but I don’t allow it to play on the Internet.  My new laptop is for surfing the web, but I can’t write with it offline.  Two laptops for two different functions are all fine and well until your interests dovetail…like when I want to write out a new WordPress post.

Despite all the computer nonsense, I managed to complete all five of my assignments this week for Writing 101: Poetry, through WordPress’s Blogging U.  I’ve had little to no experience with poetry.  My preconceived notions tell me that poetry is dry, stuffy, and serious.  This is not true of course, but that’s the story I’ve told myself so I could avoid learning about poetry.  Isn’t that what we do?  We tell ourselves stories so we can be right! I’m not a poet, so why bother learning?  Meanwhile, I wrote as much poetry in this single week as I probably have in my entire life.  So how do I know what I want or what I’m capable of with so little experience under my belt?

This year has been about crawling out of my comfort zone, trying new things, figuring out exactly WHO Juli Hoffman is when she’s not being a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee, etc.  And guess what?  I discovered I LIKE writing poetry.  It’s fun!  It’s like finger painting with words.  It’s squishy, messy, better throw plastic on the floor because this is going to drip all over and make a stain kind of writing!  If I took the class seriously, I might not feel this way.  If I’d tried writing poetry when I was younger, my perspective would be different.  If I took poetry seriously at all, I KNOW I wouldn’t feel so irreverent.  I’d want to write about flowers or angsty feelings:

“Blah, blah, blah…my roses bloom in the moonlit glow of your love.”

*GAG*  I think I need more Vernors!  LOL

I’m not a hearts and flowers writer.  When it comes time to write out my feelings, humor and sarcasm are my trusty sword and shield.  As long as I keep my defenses up, I feel as though I can’t get hurt as easily.

I think that’s another reason why I’ve avoided poetry.  How terrifying it must be to throw your emotional baggage out into the world, with NO protection?  Your words dirtied and battered, or worse still, ignored by a fickle audience. I’d rather play with my words, make mash potato mountains out of my sentences.  “You don’t like my prose?  Food fight!” THWAK!!!  Writing 101 has taught me there are MANY different types of poetry, that poetry can be playful.  It doesn’t have to be serious.  It doesn’t have to be angsty.  It doesn’t have to be time-consuming.  It doesn’t have to be meaningful to be enjoyable.

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8 thoughts on “Coffee Klatsch, Updates, and Muskrat Love at Yonder Hoffman Haus”

  1. I am seriously craving Vernor’s now. Thanks for the link, Vernor’s is deliciously different, isn’t it? Most importantly, congratulations on beating that nasty cold down. xo Whitney
    P.S. Lovely picture.

  2. I’ve been in MI for close to 30 years and know Vernor’s but since all previous generations are in TN I did not know about the medicinal features of this favorite MI beverage. Thanks!

    1. The closer you live to Detroit’s gravitational field, the more powerful the medicinal qualities seem to be. I remember getting a prescription filled a few years back and something came up about drinking clear liquids. When I told the pharmacist I was drinking Vernors, the pharmacist said something along the lines of, “Oh! Well, that’s even better.” I got a good chuckle out of that one!!!

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