Monday, June 30, 2008

Ruby Tuesday-For the 4th

Since we celebrate the 4th of July this week I thought I would post a couple of pictures from past celebrations.

What better way to celebrate the 4th than with gorgeous RED fireworks?

This was taken last 4th of July in San Diego. Fireworks are important on the 4th but if it weren't for Old Glory there probably wouldn't be a 4th to celebrate. So hail to the RED, White and Blue. And Happy 4th everyone as well as happy Ruby Tuesday.

I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Ruby Tuesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida volunteering for a Wildlife hospital rescuing and rehabbing wildlife. I even dumpster dive for injured Raccoons!! I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! I also have a blog called Branches and Roots where I talk about genealogy and my ancestors. OK, enough about me. So if you really want to see red go to Work of the Poet.

My Weekend in Pictures

The weekend started with a Friday night Barbecue and concert. We met Alex at the dinner then proceeded to the concert where we helped sell his CD's. This is what a teenager does during a Celtic concert when he is bored.

This is my beautiful friend, Jan, who I wore the pink bracelet for last year. She is with her hubby and daughter.

Here are the 4 Scotsmen from Crieff. One of these is the father of Ewan McGregor. Wish I could read their nametags to figure out which one is the guy.

Here we are with Alex. Since he had a couple of other friends also selling his CD's, we were free to wander the grounds and see other things.

In our journeys around the grounds, we found Danny the Clydesdale. He and his buddy, Diamond, both sported red hats. Don't you love it?

They also had some "Heeland Coos" or "Hairy Coos" or in Americanese--Highland Cows. Here I am petting one of them.

We then wandered over to the Clan Area and visited our booth--Clan Montgomery. Here is Mr. Snowbird with President Hugh Montgomery.

This is Clan Montgomery's president, Hugh Montgomery, with his wife Karen. They always have a fantastic booth with lots of things to look at. While we were there some kids were having a ball trying on armor, playing with swords (toy of course) and chasing bubbles from the bubble machine.

After stopping by the dance building, looking at a few vintage motorcycles and cars made in the UK, watching a pipe band march by and looking at all of the vendor booths, we wandered back to Alex's booth. This was the nametag they made for him this weekend. He LOVED it.

Here are Alex and Mr. Snowbird clowning around a bit.

Here is Alex with Sister Mary Assumpta. She is just adorable.

Alex--up close and personal singing one of his more serious songs.

We left the games, drove to our son's house to change clothes, then headed to Erin's playoff game. We set up our chairs and then this happened!!!

Here is our son who is one of the assistant coaches with a drenched team. Since the downpour only lasted a couple of minutes, the coaches managed to get the field back in shape and get the game underway.

Here is Erin at bat. I believe she walked on this "at bat" but she did get a single another time. The pitching from the other team wasn't the greatest so she didn't get a lot of pitches she could try to hit. There were a lot of walks during the game. Erin also made a heck of a play when she was playing shortstop. Her team won by quite a lot and were supposed to play in the championship game that night. Due to weather and some scheduling problems with the other team, the game was moved to tonight so we won't get to see it. Erin was also one of 4 chosen from her team to be on the All Star team which plays Tuesday night. She definitely is our little athlete.

Here is how Erin practices! She even got Grandma up playing Wii. I did pretty good in bowling and I loved playing with the Wii. Great exercise but unfortunately I managed to mess up an already bad knee playing baseball with her. Can you believe it??

Last but not least, here are Erin and Sam playing Super Mario racing on the Wii. We had a great weekend despite threats of severe weather most of the time. I took lots more pictures but I think I've bored you enough!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Meeting the Not So Rich and Famous

Guess who I met today? Guess who is a big fan of Alex Beaton's? Nope, not Ewan McGregor's father. Sister Mary Assumpta. Ok, most of you are probably asking who the heck is Sister Mary Assumpta. If you are a Cleveland Indians fan, you would know. If you live anywhere near Cleveland, you would know. Or if you have seen the movie, Major League, you would know. Sister Mary Assumpta(you've got to go read this link!!) is probably one of the biggest Indians fans going. She is actually pretty famous and even has her own baseball card. Anyway, she and another sister were at the games today and Alex introduced me to her. What a delightful lady. I did get a picture of her and Alex together which I will post when I get home and can download my pictures.

I'll post more tomorrow about the games, the weather, and Erin's tournament.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Day With The Grandkids

Just a short post to say that Erin and I went shopping today and had a great time. We went to the mall in Streetsboro which is about an hour away. Great mall. She got a control for her Wii, some candles, and a Webkids frog. I got Yankee Candles--I LOVE Yankee Candles and they were having a sale. We had lunch at Panda Express. For $6 a piece we got HUGE meals. Neither of us could finish. I didn't get to go to her game tonight but her team won 22-5 so they play tomorrow at 4. If they win then they play at 8. All of this is contingent on weather though since severe thunderstorms are expected tomorrow. UGH.

Sam went with us to the concert tonight at the Scottish Festival. We met Alex Beaton at the Barbecue, then went and chatted with our Clan Montgomery president and his wife for awhile. Then back to help Alex sell CD's. They moved the concert inside due to expected rain and storms--which never occured. We got out of there about 9:30 and opted to come on home (about an hour's trip) rather than go to the Ceilidh (Scottish music and entertainment). I'm not sure how that was different from the Concert!! One interesting thing though, when we got there Alex had just sat down to eat with 4 guys in kilts and white shirts who looked rather important. He, however, got up and came and sat with us to eat. He introduced these guys later to the crowd at the concert. They were all from Crieff in Scotland. Crieff is the sister city of Wellington, Ohio where the games are held. Anyway, one of the four is the father of Ewan McGregor!!! Alex actually left him to eat with us. How cool is that??

Anyway, we have to get up early and head back tomorrow to sell more CD's and brave the expected massive thunderstorms. UGH. NOthing worse than wet wool kilts!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

And We're Off Again

Man, it's great to be retired. You can just take off anytime you want--and we do. We are headed to the other side of the state today. We will stay at my son's in Twinsburg, Ohio. Tomorrow my granddaughter and I will go shopping. Several years ago when I asked what she wanted for her birthday, she said that she would like to spend the day with me, have lunch, and pick out her own present. So, this kind of started a tradition with both her and her brother. Her birthday was in early May but since we were in Florida and she was in Ohio, we couldn't do it then. So tomorrow is the day.

Then tomorrow night, Mr. Snowbird, Grandson Sam and I are heading to Wellington, Ohio for the Barbecue and concert for the Ohio Scottish Games. Erin can't go because she has a softball tournament which starts tomorrow night. She is really bummed. We will also be manning the booth for our friend, Alex Beaton who will be entertaining at the games this weekend. (By the way, if you go to his website and click on gallery, I took many of the pictures appearing in the Scotland tour section. Cool huh?)

On Saturday, Mr. Snowbird and I will head back to the Games to work in the booth all day and to enjoy Alex's singing, Scottish food, pipe bands, some chatting with Clan Montgomery members etc. Neither of the grandkids can go because both have games. We are hoping that Erin's team win all of their games (Championships) so that she will have a game Saturday night. That way, we can at least see one of her games. Unfortunately, we will miss Sam's.

I promise to take some pictures. I'm afraid, though, that many of the pictures will be of thunderstorms!! Ugh, the weather report looks lousy for the weekend. HOT and STORMY. Nothing like being in a tent when a storm arrives and having no place to run to. Let's just hope that the Scottish gods look down on us and protect us--although they sure don't do a very good job of protecting Scotland from lousy weather. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Bath Time

This is a picture of my granddaughter 10 years ago. We were camping and this seemed the best way to give her a bath. She'll probably hate me if she knows that I posted this on my blog!!!

I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Wordless Wednesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida volunteering for a Wildlife hospital rescuing and rehabbing wildlife. I even dumpster dive for injured Raccoons!! I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! I also have a blog called Branches and Roots where I talk about genealogy and my ancestors. OK, enough about me. Back to Wordless Wednesday.

Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays at Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

This is another version of Wordless Wednesday. Tink introduced me to it through her blog so thought I would give it a try. This is my Fenton Ruby Lamp. I love Fenton, I love ruby glass, and I love red so I guess Ruby Tuesday is the place for me to be. If you really want to see red go to Work of the Poet.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Get Those Mammograms Girls

Last November I wrote a post about Pink Bracelets. I was wearing one for a friend of mine who was going through Chemo for breast cancer.

I have faithfully gotten a yearly Mammogram for as long as I can remember. Once, a long time ago, I had to return for an additional visit because of a suspicious shadow on the film. It turned out to be nothing.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my yearly mammogram. Two days later, I got a call from my doctor's office saying that I needed to return for another mammogram and an ultrasound. Even though I have had cancer twice now, Uterine and Melanoma--both Stage 1, I wasn't too concerned. I had felt nothing during breast exams and I have scar tissue under my arm from where lymph nodes were removed during my Melanoma surgery. I thought maybe that was the problem.

Since I was going on vacation, I made the appointment for this morning. I, of course, was a wee bit apprehensive when I arrived this morning especially when the technician said that the suspicious area was near my nipple, not under my arm as I had expected. So, again, I endured about 4 different views. She said that she would develop the films and immediately take them across the hall to the doctor and then return to give me the results. No waiting for several days. And, if needs be, then I would have an Ultra Sound. So, I waited--only about 10 minutes. She came back and had me come back into the room. She looked very serious and I of course, thought the worse. BUT---she said that the doctor found nothing suspicious and I was to return in a year. Whew!! All the way home, I uttered a lot of thank you prayers.

So, gals, if you don't get a mammogram yearly, get at it. Yeah, I know, it pinches and hurts a bit, but that's nothing compared to what my friend went through with the Mastectomy and the 4 months of chemo. And, I don't want to have to wear a Pink Bracelet again for any of you gals.

My Trip Up North-The End

Thursday dawned--you guessed it--cold and cloudy. We had planned to go to Mackinac Island today but after we looked at the weather radar and the forecast, we decided to forget it. We did, however go to Mackinaw City. I was really kind of bummed because #1-I love the Island and haven't been there for awhile and #2 It is Lilac Time on the Island and I LOVE lilacs. That is the one things I miss about Sanibel. No lilacs.

There were some lilacs in Mackinaw City so I at least got my "lilac fix" and got to "Stop and Smell the Lilacs".

By the time we got to Mackinaw, it was pouring rain. So we decided to hit some stores. Oh my, big mistake. I found so many things I wanted to buy--and did! I even got some Christmas shopping done so I guess it wasn't all bad. My favorite movie is Somewhere in Time. It starred Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour and was filmed on Mackinac Island. We stayed at the Grand Hotel one night a long time ago--one night was all we could afford! But they have a museum there for the movie since much of the movie was filmed there and many stores on the island have lots of memorabilia from the movie. Luckily some stores in Mackinaw City have books too. I found a new one that I didn't have so, of course, had to buy it. The other two things we always buy when we go to Mackinaw is fudge and Pasties. (That is pronounced with a short a not a long a!!) We always get them at the Mackinaw Pastie and Cookie Company. You can buy them frozen so we got a half dozen to bring home. Can't wait to eat one.

This is where we bought our slice of Rocky Road Fudge. Yum!!! Just because it says Murdicks of Mackinac Island doesn't mean that they don't have stores all over northern Michigan.

This is one of three or four ferry services in Mackinaw which run to the island about every half hour.

This is the ferry that runs to the island.

We then headed down to the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse to view the Mackinaw Bridge. The bridge connects the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan and was finished in November 1957 making it almost 51 years old. Before that people had to take a ferry from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace.

The Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.

That's Mackinac Island out there in the mist. You can faintly see the Grand Hotel.

A look at the Mighty Mac.

Another view of the Mighty Mac.

I think these guys followed me here from Sanibel.

Yeah, I recognize this guy. I think I got nipped by him a couple of times trying to put him in the tub at CROW.

After we got done in Mackinaw City, we drove down to Indian River to visit the Cross in the Woods. It is a beautiful shrine back in the woods. I hadn't been there in since I was a little girl. They now have a huge gift shop, a new church, and an outdoor worship area around the cross. Very impressive.

We then headed back to the cottage to pack and eat supper. We then went into Boyne City to Kilwin's for ice cream. I opted for a hot fudge sundae made with their homemade butter pecan ice cream and their own hot fudge. Oh my!! Back to the cottage where we watched about half of PS, I Love You on DVD. I say half because the DVD player died half way through!! Grrr!!

Anyway, Friday morning we got up early to hit the road. And of course, the sun was shinning just as bright as could be. It was 56 degrees when we left at 8:45 and it was 83 degrees when we got home! We decided to come home a less direct route. I wanted to drive down along Lake Huron since that was my "old stomping grounds" growing up. So we drove through Alpena, Oscoda, Tawas, and Omer which is called "the littlest city in the US". This is where I was born. Ok, everybody say oooo, ahhhh. We had a picnic lunch between Omer and Standish, then headed south on I 75. As we were heading south, it seemed like everyone from southern Michigan was heading north. I guess that's what they do on weekends.

No, this is not due to an accident. This is traffic heading up north for the weekend!

Anyway, that is just about it for our trip up north. Oh yeah, today--guess what? When I woke up Saturday morning, back home in Ohio, it was cold, cloudy and rainy!!! Geez! Huge thunderstorms in the afternoon. And of course, more storms on Sunday. But, finally, the sun is out today (Monday) and it is beautiful--at least for the moment.
Hope you all enjoyed my trip. I did, despite the weather. Thanks, Bob, for a great week.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Trip Up North Part 3

Chuck and I slept in on Wednesday morning. Bob is always up at 6:00 or 6:30. It was still cold, cloudy, and misty. We decided to take off anyway. The weather report keeps saying that the next day will be better but it never is!

So, we took off for Sutton's Bay in the Leelanau Peninsula. We planned on visiting Black Star Farms. Bob had done some research on the area and found this place. It has a creamery where they make their own yummy cheese and a WINERY!!! And a tasting room!!! So, of course, who am I to turn down a trip to an adult beverage tasting room. For $3.oo we bought a glass and 5 samples of wine. Chuck chose all the white wines while Bob and I went for the reds. Oh yum! We ended up buying 4 bottles (3 white and 1 red--I was a bit more conservative than Chuck). Also bought some cheese.

Black Star Farms Tasting Room sign. Follow that arrow!! And yes, we did enjoy.

Here we are sampling the adult beverages.

Where all those wonderful adult beverage come from.

The Black Star Inn. I would love to stay here---IF I could afford it!!

From here, we drove back to another Candle Factory where, of course, I picked up more candles and some Woodstock Wind Chimes which I have wanted to get for a long time. They are now chiming away on my front porch but will make the trip back to Florida when we return. We also stopped at the Stained Glass Cabinet store. Beautiful--but very expensive--items. From there, we walked over to a Down Outlet store where I picked up two new Down pillows. Mine were so smushed down, I had to wad them up in a ball to get any support out of them. So now, I can lay my head down on wonderful new puffy down pillows.

We then drove to Avery's Restaurant in Mancelona--another Mom and Pop Restaurant. Excellent food and a fantastic salad bar. And Strawberry Shortcake to die for!! We used to eat at this restaurant many, many years ago when we would go up north skiing. My stepmother's cousin owned the motel which was very near the restaurant. From there, we headed to Dead Man's Hill overlooking the Jordan Valley which is a beautiful overlook. I'm sure it is much prettier in sunny weather and even better in the fall when the fall colors are at their peak.

The sign at Dead Man's Hill.

Looking out from Dead Man's Hill.

Bob and Nan freezing at Dead Man's Hill. Notice the new jackets but Bob is still in shorts and flip flops.

We then headed back to the cottage for a dinner of leftovers and The Great Debaters on DVD. More about our last day later.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Trip Up North Part 2

Monday morning was cloudy, cold, and misty. We lazed around reading, talking and crocheting. Ok, we all talked, they read and I crocheted. (Karen, I'm working on the purple afghan for your oldest son. He may be 21 by the time I get it done!) Bob and I drove into Petoskey so he could get some long pants. He hadn't brought any with him. When we got back, we picked up Chuck and drove to Darlene's Restaurant in East Jordan. This is a "Mom and Pop" restaurant which Bob and Marilyn discovered years ago. They are known for their soups. OMG, I haven't had soup this good since I was in Scotland. I had Chicken Noodle. It was LOADED with homemade egg noodles and chunks of chicken. It was soooo good.

We then drove into Charlevoix to go to the Bullfrog Candle Company. I am kind of a candle nut and did indeed go nuts in there. We then went downtown to walk around the shops. Since Bob hadn't brought a jacket with him either, we found a store that was kind of an outlet store. They had fantastic lined rain jackets originally $70 for just $20. Since there were three different colors, we all ended up getting new rain jackets! I also found a store that had about 100 different kinds of salt water taffy and penny candy. So, again, I went nuts. I had thought I would wait until I got to Mackinac Island for the taffy but this looked so much better. Good thing I didn't wait. I'll tell you about that later!

We looked around some more, then headed back to the cottage. For some reason, my 71 year old left knee has decided to give me some arthritic problems. It is so sore, I can hardly go up and down stairs and walking isn't much better. Good old Tylenol Arthritis Strength is getting a good workout! Back at the cottage we finished up the meatballs and noodles (inside!) then watched 27 Dresses and Flawless on DVD. Then off to bed. I love sleeping in cold rooms and man, with it being 40 degrees outside, my room is just right!!

Tuesday was rainy, cold, cloudy and did I mention rainy, cold and cloudy!! Sooo, we opted to curl up in the living room with a good book or some crocheting and spend the day looking out at the miserable weather.

Sorry, no pictures from Monday or Tuesday. The weather was just too lousy and I didn't feel like taking pictures while avoiding raindrops! More in the next post.

My Trip Up North

Ok, here I am, back at my trusty computer. I must admit I did suffer a couple of hours of withdrawal from it but did manage to survive!

Anyway, we arrived home yesterday from our trip to the Boonies. Or should I say Boynies since we went to Boyne Falls? We had a great time even though we never saw the sun from Sunday morning until Friday morning. And it was COLD!! In the 50's most days and down into the 40's at night. Also rain most days. Ugh! But, we still managed to do and see a lot.

We left here at about 8:30 AM Saturday morning. Our first stop--well, outside of a couple of rest areas--was in Standish, Michigan where I grew up. I wanted to have lunch at Wheeler's Restaurant. Now, you have to understand that when I was growing up, Wheelers was THE best restaurant in Standish. Ok, so there were only two restaurants, what can I say? But, I only remember eating there once because it was too expensive for us. Now, when I go in there, I kind of laugh at thinking it was so exclusive. Lunch for the two of us cost about $14 Saturday. I would imagine lunch for two 5o some years ago was a LOT cheaper than that. I guess it is all relative, huh. Anyway, one thing I do remember about Wheeler's is that some of us were hanging out at The Bakery (the other restaurant) and one of our friends came dashing in saying that she had just seen Charlton Heston at Wheeler's!! He had a cottage at Lake St. Helen farther up the road and had stopped there for a meal.

Here is the main street through Standish. Impressive, huh. Yeah, that's what I think too.

I actually stopped at Wheeler's because I wanted to pick up some Cinnamon Bread. This is the same recipe that they've used since I was a baby. I grew up on it. And it is sooooo good. Nowadays, Wheelers and The Bakery are owned by the same people so they both carry baked goods. Wheeler's didn't have the bread so I scooted around the corner to the Bakery and sure enough, there were lots of loaves and sweet rolls etc. OMG, did that bring back memories! I got a couple of loaves and some rolls and then we were on the road again. But not for very far. I wanted to stop at the cemetery. This is where my parents and my sister in law are all buried.

Then it was on up north. We got to Bob's about 2:30, unpacked, had a glass of adult beverage out on the porch, went into Boyne City for some groceries, then back to the cottage for a dinner of Bob's yummy meatballs and egg noodles--again on the porch. We then walked down to the lake. We should have enjoyed the view longer since we never got back down there again due to the weather.

These clouds were just a view of the weather to come!!

It did storm that night but Sunday morning was nice and sunny. Cool but sunny. The cottage is out in the middle of the woods and the birds were singing like crazy.

This is a view of 3 of the 5 cottages. All are alike. Very homey and in a beautiful area of northern Michigan.

On Sunday, we headed to Petoskey and then up to Cross Village. Petoskey is right on Little Traverse Bay and is known for it's "summer cottages". These are NOT cottages, folks. These are beautiful, big, Victorian houses loaded with "gingerbread". We drove through some of the streets where these houses are. They are beautiful! Apparently, since they are "only" summer cottages, the streets that they are on are blocked off in the winter. The weather was rapidly going down hill. We drove to Cross Village through the "Tunnel of Trees" which is a beautiful drive along Lake Michigan. By the time we got to Cross Village, it was raining. Since it was Father's Day and I was with two dads and we were all hungry, we stopped for lunch at Leg's Inn in Cross Village. This place is amazing. Do check out the link. It was started by a guy who had been born in Poland so much of the food is Polish. And yummy! He was also a carver and made all kinds of things from wood.
The sign outside of Leg's Inn

One of the sculptures at Leg's Inn.

Some of the carvings in the bar.

I felt like I was back at CROW.

The gardens out back of the restaurant were beautiful. I took this during a brief respite from the rain.

Here is Bob coming out of Leg's Inn.

We drove back to the cottage and all of us went down for naps. That evening we had chili for dinner out on the porch. The last meal we would enjoy out there because of the cold weather and the rain. That evening, we popped in Alex Beaton's DVD and watched it. It was a great day but that morning was the last time we saw the sun all week!!

Bob and Chuck relaxing.

So, that was our first two days. I will post this now and will fill you in on the rest of the trip later.