Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Southern Beauty Shop - Island Images

Wednesday I took a big leap of faith and got my hair colored at a local beauty shop. I don't know why I was nervous, last year I did it myself and ended up with red hair by the time March rolled around. My appointment was with Ashley, who doesn't take credit cards. Lucky for me Paul was nearby with cash, having anticipated this.

When I walked in everyone was very friendly, a little old lady was getting her lovely white hair cut at one station, another was getting a lovely bouffant up-do at the other. No, it wasn't for New Year's Eve, it was her regular do. Very cute. Her operator was the owner, very pretty with big red Texas hair and that slow accent. Her husband was there too, just chatting with everyone. No rush on anything, just regular island time.

Ashley is fairly young and very competent. I told her my color numbers and she mixed a perfect match. No more white roots for me. Paul came in when I was getting washed so he had a long sit while she dried and straightened my hair. Did a great job. No frizzies yet. I tried to get a picture to post but I looked too old and scary.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Travel Tips

1. If the sign for the Mexican Restaurant has a picture of a goat or two on it, don't bother stopping for lunch.

2. In Kansas a Ruben Sandwich might have hot peppers on it.

3. In Kansas, a Philly cheese steak sandwich has Philadelphia cream cheese on it. This can also happen in rural Michigan.

4. None of this matters because it is still warmer and more sunny than Michigan.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Baby In Kansas

Christmas Eve reading of The Night Before Christmas, Santa baby riding his new car, Megan in her new sleeping outfit from Aunt Katie, Anna dressed up for a formal Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Playing with the kids

We have been enjoying playing with the grand kids. Megan, 6, has been sick with a bug. In the top pic she is talking to Julie and Patrick is in his high chair. Then we have Patrick playing with his computer. Then Paul and Anna, who was having a pj day, playing princess. Paul is the fashion consultant. Then Patrick with sick Megan on the couch.
Patrick's favorite activity is rolling on the floor while I run little trucks all over him. He really laughs for that.
Who ever is not sick is going to mass at 6 tonight.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Poker King Paul

Paul is on a poker winning streak this week. I will let him give you the details.

Every night there is a poker game in the club house, one table, dealer's choice. I have had only one losing night since we got here. When we sit down everyone puts in $5, so there is $35 in chips on the table. When I cashed in on Wednesday night I had $31 of the $35. The guys said that in 12 years of playing here no one has ever ended up with so many chips at the end of the game. On Thursdays Texas Hold Em game I took second place for $35. So far I am up over $60. So I am glad that we are leaving for Manhattan, Kansas, so I don't hit the losing streak. Now I have jinxed my self by telling you all this.

Bernie's bar in town is starting a Texas hold em game at 2 every day. Also they have games at 7 and 9 pm. There is no buy in for these games, that would be illegal. The bar plays $50 and $35 for first and second place. During happy hour, a icy 16 oz draft beer is $1. So basically, you sit there drinking $1 pints with a chance to win $50 or $35. Not a bad deal. So if I never talk about poker again in my blog, it is because I lost.

The golf cart is working out well for driving to town. We get to the grocery store and happy hour etc. Had an early dinner at the Wild Horse bar on Wed. They have very good hamburgers and real fries for $5. Even grill the buns.

The golf cart trailer is working out very well. It is like a garage, store the compressor and the power washer, pop, water, etc, in it plus it keeps the cart dry and safe every night.

Very helpful for storage when we take off in the motor home for Kansas on Sunday. We can leave behind all the stuff that might freeze. I have to winterize the motor home again to go up there, the weather is so cold.

This blog was dictated by Paul to Marjie as secretary. Hope you like it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Belt Sander pics

At the top is a picture of the starting line, then the track with a red and black belt sander racing, and again in the last pic. Pic number three is a typical dog at the bar in TX.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Belt Sander Races at the Gaff

Took the golf cart to town for the belt sander races at the Gaff Bar. It was interesting and funny. They run it just like NHRA, even had a girl sing the National Anthem. Apparently they do this all over the USA. There was a man from Grand Ledge racing. He came in second. I have some photos.

Megan and Dave's Pig

On our last night in Manhattan, we took Megan and Anna to their favorite restaurant, Famous Dave's Bar B Q. And it was kids night, with the pig and painting! What fun. Anna would not pose with the pig. She has her limits.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Czech this out!

Whenever we drive through Texas I am intrigued by all the Czech hotels, businesses, bakerys, etc. We have never stopped before. So just north of Waco, on I 35, (exit 353) we saw a Shell Gas Station with $1.49 a gallon gas, less our 5% off for using the Shell Credit Card, how could we resist? It was very crowded, and why not? While Paul was loading the gas, I went into the large business behind it. Now that was crowded! Fifteen people waiting for baked goods, and they looked excellent. The sausage roll was very popular. I got right into the sandwich lines, snagged a chicken salad on homemade wheat. There were probably 25 different types of sandwiches on several types of homemade bread. Had to choose in a hurry. Grabbed a loaf of wonderful white bread and a very home made rice crispy treat. I was in carb heaven. All excellent and at a reasonable price. Since I hadn't eaten since 9 am in Weatherford, french toast and ham, and it was after 3, that sandwich disappeared in record time. We are stopping there on every trip from now on.

We got on 77 at Waco and took it all the way to Stinton, just a few miles from Port A. It was a pretty trip. Found a RV park for the night near Rockdale. Made the mistake of going into town for a grocery store. Very scary, very shabby, black gang banger town. Left in a hurry and had peanut butter bread for dinner. Next time we will get to LaGrange or Giddings, they had nice parks. Our park north of Rockdale was nice, just too near Rockdale.

Weather here in Port Aransas is warm, and the beach is nice and clean. All too soon the sea grasses come in and mess it up. This is my clean up inside day, cloudy and windy. Helps my allergies to be in air conditioning, and am feeling much better. Paul is going to go to town in the golf cart for supplies.

Paul played poker at the park last night, he says he is out of practice. We went to happy hour at Rick and Shirlene's drive way even though they aren't there yet. Missed them. Nice to see our neighbors. The park is quite empty. Heard that 45 rigs aren't coming because of the economy and death and sickness. Good year to get a spot here!

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

This pic is of the original Lucille's Diner on Route 66, between Hydro and Weatherford, OK. There is a new Lucille's down the road, they have a new cook and we decided not to risk the food.

Hydro was an interesting little town. The streets are very wide and drivers just park on either side, or in the middle. We just thought that it was odd to see cars parked in the turn lane, then Shirlene explained how that is the way they used to park out west, and some places still do.

We really like Oklahoma, love the cattle and horses in the rolling hills. And lucky us, we got there the day after 65 mph winds swept through. That would have been a bad head wind.

Weatherford is a nice, small college town, Southwestern Oklahoma State University. It was fun to see Rick and Shirlene. Paul was surprised that they lived in town, he always talks about his farm, but that is out of town. He has sold most of his minature long horn cattle, and the last two are at a family farm. Every time Rick went on vacation, they would get out and run away. When he was home he would give them sugar cubes and pet them every day. They just must have missed him and went out looking for him. Hard to tell the scale of size on the pic unless you use the fence in the background, longhorns are quite large. These are petite.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Love This Bar and Grill

We went with Shirlene and Rick to Toby Keith's bar in Oklahoma City, off I 40. Shirlene is sitting on one of the seats, the padded pick up truck tail gate. Very clever and nicely done. There was a lot of interesting things in the bar: gold records, guitars, motorcycles, a saddle made up of tiny mirrors. It didn't photograph very well. I was using my cell phone.

We had lunch and started with Calf Fries, they were sliced very thin and deep fried, of course. More proof that anything tastes good if it is deep fried and breaded. Then there were nachos, straw onion fries, and sandwiches. Shirlene got the cowboy beans, and loved them.

We got tee shirts too!
The top pic shows the gold mirrored saddle, tried to have more pics up. Web is not cooperating.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a few good pics

Patrick spends a lot of time crawling under the table, he pushes all six of the big chairs away from the table and it is a little gym for him. Also caught him inside the corner lazy susan cabinet this morning. He is busy. Anna and Smokey are enjoying the snow globes.
It was nice here today, in the 50s and sunny, not as windy as it usually is.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fun with the Kansas Kids

Megan, Anna and Julie coloring puzzles that Aunt Andrea sent for them. Then Patrick with his new baby bear. He loves the "Bear Books" and his eyes lit up when I gave him the bear, like he recognized him from the books. He gave him hugs and even kisses. It was so cute. Hardly ever do I hit the bulls eye on gifts for the kids.
Sean had to work this morning and Patrick was napping while the rest of us went to church and brunch at the Country Club. Brunch was delicious, I sampled almost everything except eggs and waffles, which I can make anytime. I had the salad bar, beef brisket, a lovely fried chicken dish with lemon, halabut wrapped in potato slices, twice baked potatoes, stir fry veggies, bacon, and hot apple crisp and chocolate creme brulee.
It was snowing today and windy and cold, so this afternoon we chilled. Paul is reading books to the girls. Resting up from the big drive yesterday.

Trip to Kansas

We left South Bend on Saturday morning at 8 am. It was sunny and cool. Roads and weather was great until we reach central Missouri. From Columbia to west of Kansas City, it was snowing and raining. Still we kept going, hoping to drive out of it before the roads froze. And we made it to the Keenan's by 9:15 pm. This was the first time we made the drive in one day.

It seemed like a good day to drive until we got west of Columbia, MO, and the traffic was awful. We were lucky that no one got in an accident. Figured it must be people going home from Thanksgiving out east. Lots of cars with Colorado plates. On coming traffic was bad also, we were on I 70.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy turkey day

Andrea made her usual wonderful turkey, extra yummy browned gravy, stove top, cranberries with little letters carved into it, rolls, Marie's best pies and real mashed potatoes. We ate and ate. We watched football and laughted at the Lions, Mark lost a bet to Paul with a 15 point spread, so he had to wash milkshake off the motor home that was thrown at 7 a.m. and help put water in the motor home.

There was a frenzy of gifts for everyone. Ryan kept up with the wrapping paper. Good job. Here are pics.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Someone is watching me

It is very early and still dark out. I am sitting our dining room, surrounded by windows with the light on. There is no one to see me, the lake is empty. Except the geese are honking like crazed taxi drivers out there. It is slightly creepy. Click, turned off the light. I still can't see them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snowy Evening

We had at least 5 inches of wet snow yesterday. Interesting driving, but I am used to plowing through it. Right now I am looking at the lake, it is almost dark. A flock of geese is out front and three swans are gliding past them. So pretty. The fields are white and the trees are black and bare. Yesterday they all had an inch of snow on each branch. Really, the best winter view there is. The pic was from last week.

We are mostly packed and ready to leave on Wednesday. First we have Thanksgiving in South Bend with Andrea, Ryan, Charlie and Julia. Katie and Mark are driving in from Newburg, NY, area. Steff will drive down from Grand Rapids, MI, if it doesn't snow. She doesn't do snow.

We are leaving there on Friday and driving to Manhattan, Kansas, to see Julie, Sean, Megan, Anna and Patrick. Should arrive Saturday pm. Staying till mid week or so, depends on how cold it is. Then on to Texas, with perhaps a quick stop in OK to visit friends.

I am so ready for some Texas sunshine. November is always very gloomy in Michigan, clouds forming over Lake Michigan. Just too much darkness here.

We love Michigan, it is a very beautiful state. But we aren't real thrilled with winter anymore, too depressing. We love our neighbors and living on the lake, but it freezes over soon, and the neighbors are mostly downstate for the winter. No one to play with.

Soon I will have lots of grand kids pics to post again. Can't wait!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cowboy Quilt for Charlie

The quilt for Charlie is almost done. I still have to set the dye and wash and dry it. I have been working on it off and on, mostly off, for a year. It was the first time I made a pattern like this with "stars." It was fun and it is good to be done. The inner blocks are paisley or bandana prints and the back of the quilt is a beautiful cream and ecru paisley.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter Wonderland, I wonder why we are still here

Winter has hit tiny Clare, in the middle of the mitten. We had snow most of yesterday and the temp this morning is 15 degrees, and falling. Not much of the snow stayed, the ground is still warm. Up north a bit they had 11 inches of snow yesterday. Good for the ski places.

Farmer Bob down the road got a deer last night. The Woodys got at least one. A lady on the hill behind us got two. Paul is eating toast in his camo snow pants ready to go out hunting. He hasn't seen a deer yet. Not to worry, he usually gets them later in the season when the Woodys are gone.

I have been quilting the border on Charlie's Cowboy quilt for the last few days, my right arm feels like it will fall off. It looks great so well worth the ouch. It matches my living room very nicely. The red and the blues, not the cowboys and horses. Just have to trim up the edges, make the binding and sew it on. My goal for today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Opening Day, Bang bang bang.

This is the most gun shots I have ever heard on opening day of deer season. All to the back in the woods and fields. The Woodies neighbors built a new tree blind and maybe they can see better this year.

Our county, Isabella, has the most deer of any county in the state. It is largely agricultural and wood lots. There are 5 or 6 big bucks newly moved in to this area. Bait has been banned in Michigan because a deer on a deer preserve down by Jackson was found with wasting disease. It had been bought out west. Maybe there is less baiting, they are still selling a lot by the roadsides, hard to tell.

We have two apple trees in the clearing behind our garage, there is a nice swale and creek, with fields and woods. Lots of deer. Usually Paul only hunts after the amateurs leave, then he shoots tasty does. Maybe there will be a pic up later.

Mostly Done

Almost everything is done in the new bathroom. We love it. Just a few shelves to put in the closet and some caulking and varnish. That will wait until after we leave. Shane trimmed it out very nicely yesterday with baseboard, etc.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday, Dark and Early

  1. After a beautiful sunny week, we are having a rainy, cold and dreary weekend. Fire in the fireplace and soup on the stove weather. Paul and I got so much done outside this week, leaves, flower gardens, packing, he even has the golf cart in the trailer.

    On Monday, Diana and I met in Mt. P and shopped and lunched. I made a big start on my Xmas shopping. It was fun, nothing like a girlfriend shopping day. On Friday Shirley and I took a road trip to Canadian Lakes, about an hour drive. She had to go to a cabinet shop. It was a pretty drive with all the lakes and hills and huge houses. We ate lunch at Tullymore Golf Course, between Hamlet and Camelot. Much speculation on the "interesting" names. The restaurant was quite luxe and our sandwiches were good.

    Saturday night Al and Joann Roy drove up to the lake, we visited and snacked and drank. They just celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary but we will be gone before their party. So we had our own little celebration. They are fun and we always enjoy going out with them. We drove to Buck's Run Golf Course for dinner, it is near Oil City. We saw lots of deer along the way but they all behaved and stayed off the roads. Ate the spinach dip appetizer, very good, and I had lake perch, everyone else had ribs.

    Bathroom pics soon. Shane is moving right along with it. The lights around the mirror are up. He spent a lot of time in the hole this week being technical. I really love the shower. I feel like I am in a Roman Bath.

I just looked out the window and it is snowing, real snow, blowing from the west, not little ice balls. Man. Time to leave the state.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hate the time change

I can sleep when I want to, get up when I want to, so why is the time change such a trauma? I am awake until midnight and wake up by 5:30 am. The weather is beautiful this week and I am outside a lot, packing the motor home, cleaning out the flower gardens, even polishing furniture. I should be sleeping like a baby. In three weeks we will be in the Central Time Zone, and I can do it all over again. It will be worth it to get out of the cold weather. I love Central time, Jay Leno is on at 10:30. Just seems right.
The vanity is in the new bathroom, fits well. Can't wait to see the lights and mirror up.
Almost finished Charlie's cowboy quilt, doing the border work now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shane grouts the tile

I can't believe how nice the bathroom is turning out, Shane cut so many tile and made it all fit and look great. The shower feels bigger than it looks. Putting the vanity in will shrink things a bit, but still a grand improvement over our old tiny bathroom.

A few pics

We had such a fun weekend with the kids, Julia is talking so much more now, she just is so quiet that sometimes you don't catch them. Andrea's chicken pox don't show in the picture, but she was covered. Her eye hurt a lot, like something was in it, we suspect that a spot inside her eye lid scabbed over. Ouch.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Weekend at Grandpa and Grandma's

My camera isn't working well, might be batteries, so I can't download right now. We had a great weekend with lots of hugs and snuggles. And Blues Clue's Costume Party episode. Charlie's favorite. We had beautiful weather to play in the leaves. Andrea, Julia and I had a quick shopping trip to Mt. P too. Started on Xmas shopping.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Andrea, Ryan, Charlie and Julia are here for the weekend. The weather is beautiful and they love playing outside. Took some photos, mostly pathetic. Will try for better ones today. I do have several butt shots of the kids. I would post them ( and will if I don't get any better ones) but I think their faces are the cutest parts. Have one of Megan and Anna that Julie took, darling little Hogwarts, since they can smile for the camera now, I have hopes for all of them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mid Week Update Whine

It has been snowing here! Nothing is sticking but still, it is much too early for snow. And raining too. Since last Saturday our days have been weird. First it is raining, then 30 seconds later the sun is bright, by the time I get my shoes and jacket on for a walk, it is very windy and raining again, dark clouds overhead, 4 minutes later it is sunny again. If I pay serious attention I can squeeze in two ten minute walks in a day. And cold, did I forget to mention it is cold? Paul has a fire going in the fireplace all day. Which was great when I was laying sick on the couch with Swimmer's Ear. Very annoying. Made me cranky and tired, just painful enough to wake me up often. Finally found some old expired ear drops, didn't seem to work. Called my doctor office and they never got back to me. Whine.

I had to cancel my all day Monday shopping trip with my friend, Diana. Too tired and crabby. That hurt. I need some pants that aren't baggy. I need to start Xmas shopping, since most of our holiday will be at Thanksgiving. I need my daughters and sons to hint what they want for gifts. Apparently I have an endless need to whine. My blog, all about me.

Except that George Burt died Friday night. He is the father of our long time friend and neighbor, Virginia Boyle, and handy guy Shane's grandfather. George was one of the lake huggers, he always had a joke and a hug. When you live with the same neighbors for 24 years, you just kind of blend into family. Paul and I went to the funeral home Monday night and the funeral on Tuesday with John and Jean Villa, the senior members of the the lake community. They drove home on Sunday, to the Detroit area, and drove back Monday afternoon just to be there. It was raining, and snowing and blowing, and nothing stopped them. What a way to be 91.5 years old! Just John, Jean is much younger, certainly not a senior Stevenson Laker.

Last week Shane was telling us a story of Grandpa Burt, he was a Marine in WWII, and was in the battle of Anzio in Italy. He built their home from scratch, and it was done perfectly. Now we know where Shane got his patience and talents! Tuesday was George and Betty's sixty-third wedding anniversary.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Bathroom is taking shape

Shane is making good headway on the new bathroom. He will be putting the tile up soon. It looks great and it is all his idea. He has the shower floor tiled, it is small tiles on the diagonal, and the rest of the floor is about half done. Where the window is behind him, used to be a door, and from the outside you would never know there had been a door there. Except for the cement porch and steps, which isn't going anywhere without a lot of work. He tiled a wonderful corner bench in the shower, I will get a good pic next week. It has some tape on it right now. He took a field trip to Menard's yesterday and gave us a list of possibilities for vanity, lights, etc. So Paul and I drove to Mt. P. and shopped. Can't wait to see it all put together, which might be as soon as Friday! This is so exciting. We needed a new toilet in the cottage the other day and he put it in in about 45 seconds. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beautiful Fall in Michigan

This has been a particulary beautiful fall, warm and colorful, many sunny days.