Monday, June 30, 2008

St. Ignace Car show

We left for the car show on Thursday morning. We had a late lunch at The Keyhole Bar in Mackinaw City. Paul had the ribs and cole slaw and fries. I had the Whitefish and rib combo with salad and baked potato. It was perfect. Bev said the Whitefish was great and she was correct. Cannot recommend the Keyhole too highly. Always great food.

We found Denny and Kevin White on the patio of the Marina Bar, over looking the harbor and the road full of great cars. Spent many happy hours with them there over the 3 days. In one photo Paul is at our hotel in Mackinaw City, cleaning up the car on Friday morning. The sun was so bright you can't see Lake Huron, but it's there. The photo of the road, is the view from the bar of cars crusing. There is a father and son duo photo, Denny and Kevin White. A patriotic Paul photo and a rare Marjie photo.
We met up with our friends Rick and Sandy Allen, and daughter Lisa, and her family. Watched the Thursday night casino cruise with them. We watched the very wet and short Friday night cruise with the White's from their hotel lawn. Bev and I walked down the road and got bags of wonderful tacos for a snack, the parade started with 45 highly polished Viper sport cars, they had hardly passed when it started raining buckets. The only thing worse would have been a hail storm. Everyone's cars was covered with road film. Car guys hate a gunked up car.
As for food: we had a breakfast at the Pancake Chef, next door to the Keyhole in Mackinaw City. Very good punpkin pancakes. We also had the breakfast buffet at the Casino in St. Ignace. It was most excellent. They even had chicken fried steak. Pretty much had it all and it was good. We found excellent sandwiches at Mickey's Party Store, in Mackinaw City, across from the ferry docks just before the hotels start. He makes huge sandwiches, hamburg bun sized are $1.19, the large crossant ones are $3.50, but the meat and cheese is 1.5 inches thick and very good and fresh. I ate on one for 3 days. Yum. That is the meal highlights.
I had fun with Bev, and Roger's new toy hauler trailer is very nice. They might come down to Port A for next March. Hope so.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Saturday on the Lake

We invited the Boyles, the Vitums, and Woodhouse's to dinner Saturday night. I made my semi famous Chilie Jack Chicken on rice, with beans and cole slaw. Tony made shortcakes and Virginia picked fresh berries. Very yummy topped with ice cream and whipped cream.

Before and after we had a lovely long ride on the new Boyle yacht. It was a beautiful, sunny day, warm with just a caress of breeze. Lots of fishermen on the lake, no one tearing around pulling water skiers or tubers. Sad commentary on the state of the economy in Michigan.

There was a small john boat full of drunk girls from a bachelorette party, from one of the houses around the point. We were a little worried someone would slide into the lake, no life jackets of course. Any wave would have swamped them. But no waves from fast boats that day. They ran low on liquor so Tony passed them a couple of beers. A humanitarian gesture. One girl asked how long we had all been married, they were impressed at our answers. Then she asked "where was the strangest place we had ever had sex?" Brenda yelled that they didn't want to know, they were too young. Tony wanted to yell "in the butt, Bob." A reference to the old Newlyweds Game on TV. Then the young lass on the boat offered that her strangest place was the dressing room at Old Navy. All the old guys on the pontoon were quite impressed. But we were all dignified. You know, that stately dignity of drunks on a pontoon boat.

Sunday was cooler and sometimes cloudy. In the afternoon we took a GTO ride, ended up at the Elbow Lake Bar in Marion, Mi, for burgers with Roger and Bev. It rained on the car while we were inside. Rained a lot, and the sun never went under. To the north there was a huge thunder storm, and Roger and Bev had to drive right into it to get back to Houghton Lake, on the bike. She was looking apprehensive, to say the least.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday Night Campfire

Finally it is the campfire time of the year. Paul invited all the neighbors over last night for a great campfire. Marti and I lasted until 11 pm. A beautiful day and a clear, calm evening. Not a ripple on the lake.
Left to right in the pic: Marti, Woody, Pete, Tony, Virginia.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Golfing Around

Tony and Virginia boated down in their pontoon boat this morning, I was still in my cowgirl PJ's, and we all decided to go golfing. We went to the former Holiday Greens in Mt. P. Now owned by the Indians, and named Soaring Eagle Inn. Nobody was golfing and it was a beautiful sunny day. That is a sign of the sad state of the economy in Michigan. We played 18 holes (16 for me) and ate there for lunch between 9s. Paul is happy with his score, and I was pretty happy with my golf, got 3 pars. Once I hit the stick on my second shot. Everyone putted very well. They have the nicest putting greens in the area.

Lunch was pretty good. Paul and I split a club sandwich, very tasty. Tony and Virginia split a chicken cordon bleu sandwich. They were out of Cherry Wheat beer but had Blue Moon, which had everyone pretty darn happy. Our waiter got all mixed up. He thought Tony and I were a couple and Paul and Virginia were a couple. They were drinking beer and Tony and I didn't. The drunks and the not drunks. It is much cheaper not to drink.

Woodhouse Sighting

Spotted the elusive Woodhouse couple Thursday afternoon. Marty and Woody made it to the lake! Delayed by Woody's cold. So we celebrated with happy hour on their deck, and later I made strawberry sundaes for a sunset dessert. Thursday was quite sunny and it warmed up to 70 degrees.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mid week meanderings

We have had a busy week having fun with Tony and Virginia. No fun with Woody and Marti as they didn't show up! Jean Villa was up with 4 of her grandchildren. They invited us down to the cottage Monday afternoon for "snacks" of the sugar variety. Very nice. Then Paul drove them all down in the golf cart to Bob and Priscilla's little farm. They collected eggs and fed the goats and saw the pigs. Very exciting.

Tuesday afternoon we went with Tony and Virginia to Gladwin and shopped and ate at the River Walk Place. It is very elegant, not expected in little Gladwin. Tony and I had fish that was very good. Virginia had Mexican and Paul had a burger. Everyone drank some Samual Adams cherry Wheat beer. I had a taste, it was mild and good, definite cherry taste to it. Will get that again. We drove home through the Clare Amish country, stopped at the bakery. They had a tourist bus in that day so were well stocked. Tried the fried pies. Oh my. I have always avoided them. Why find a new food obsession that is unhealthy? I already have so many. However, most excellent pastry. I thought the outside was pie crust but it tasted like a glazed donut. Good fruity fillings too. Also got some Cashew Crunch, only $3 a pound. Talk about obsessions ... And got some punpkin bread and oatmeal raisin cookies. In the freezer. Anyone want fry pies for the beach? I can arrange it.

Also stopped at the Amish hardware and the Dollar Daze store in Clare. Tony is buying Irish Dancer China dolls to sell at festivals next summer. They are darling.

We had a camp fire that night and roasted hot dogs. And I made hot chocolate chip cookie sundaes.

Wednesday, Paul played golf and I mostly rested. It was dreary and cold. Today is partly sunny and I and getting gardening done.

Friday golf is planned. More on that later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day Thoughts

I just read Julie's Father's Day Blog, very nice. Dads are so very important in many ways. I am always commenting to my friends how dads have changed. Each generation seems to be more involved, and now we have "new" dads. My grand children's dads are great, they are very involved and there for the kids. They changed many, many diapers, they take turns with diapers! Very impressive. I also see this in friends families. It is a pretty universal trend. Oddly, mothers of sons think that their sons are doing too much. I just remember being so glad that Paul was good at cleaning up and vacuuming. His Mom sure taught him well. He worked long hours and didn't have as much time at home as he wanted. But we survivied and the girls turned out excellent!

So Happy Father's Day to Dads old an new. I am so happy with my grand kids dads, thanks for the good job.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend News Update

This has been a busy week. Charlie and Julia survived nicely. At their ages (just 3 and 20 months) about all I can do is keep them alive. It is a full time job. And Andrea is very good at it. I am usually several feet behind .... they are faster than they look.

Friday I ordered a new wall oven. Later, Paul and I had pictures taken for church. "Look Paul, we are still old and fat!" Didn't order any. I prefer to remain anonymous but Fr. Patrick laid on the guilt. After that we had to go to the Moose to recover. It was Karaoke night! Amazing show . Some people can sing very well. Some can't. Doesn't seem to stop them from trying. I didn't know there were so many classic country tunes. My personal theory on singing karaoke is that in order to be drunk enought to sing, I would be too drunk to stand and hold the mic. Works out nicely for all concerned.

On the way home we stopped at Boyle's cottage, just down the lake from us. We have been neighbors since 1986, when our kids were kids. Now we are all grandparents. I need to find photos from the great squirt gun wars. Those were the days. Anyway, their son Noel just received his PhD in Philosophy. He never talks about himself and is pretty quiet and calm. Suddenly he comes running into the garage, wait --- make that the great room, dressed in his wizard outfit! Joy is squirting out of his finger tips he is so happy! He was just glowing. He explained the significance of the colors in his robe, the design, the hat. It was the best. He was the happiest 35 year old kid I have ever seen. I am so sorry that I had no camera. It was a great moment. What a pleasure to share it.

Shane is the older Boyle lad, he has been our handy guy of late. Does great work. Will be installing my new oven next week! We have lots of plans for our house.

On Saturday we left for Grand Rapids by 9 am. Andrea had everything all packed up, while we were out playing on Friday night she was working. Saw Steff's cute new apartment and we all went to lunch. Ryan met us there and they were back to South Bend.

When we got home Paul dusted off the GTO and we headed for the Beaverton Tavern. The Boyle's, Betty and George, Rose and Jack, kids and grands all met there. Roger and Bev drove down from Houghton Lake on the bike, and we all drank beer and ate Mexican food. Very good. Almost everyone took a turn through the Dollar Daze Store. I know, too much excitement.

Tony and Virginia are staying at the lake this week, and Woody and Marti are coming up for the week too. Sounds like fun afoot.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This and That

The oven is going to be real pricy to fix. It will be almost cheaper to buy a new one, especially since this one is eight years old. It's always something ......

Julie has more photos on her blog from the tornado. It was even closer than she thought, I walk past the area on walks all the time. Just over the crest of the hill. Glad it missed the water tower. There is a link to Julie's blog just to the left of my page.

Been having fun with the kids. Sure has been a busy week. Two toddlers, three adults, feels like we are outnumbered!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Van Fixed Cheap

Not only cheap, fixed in one day! Paul's old student, John, has a shop. The retired teacher benefit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Raining and Pouring

My oven needs about $300+ worth of repairs and parts. Guy comes, for the first $70 visit, on Thursday. Paul and I took the van in last night, it has a gas leak. Of course I just filled it with gas at $4.04 a gallon. So all we have here is the little pickup. Not going anywhere until that van is fixed. So annoying.

We did get down to the neighbors farm on Tuesday. Charlie loved the chickens. Priscilla took him into the coop and he saw the eggs in the nests. Then he crawled out the tiny door into the yard. (In the photo you can see the hole in the wall behind him.) He wasn't scared at all. I, and surely Andrea, were appalled and disgusted to see him crawling in the poopy chicken yard. He really wanted to get in with the pigs but they are too dangerous and very large. Actually, the rooster looked pretty dangerous to me. Said the wimpy grandma.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday Crisis

The bad news is that we lost power during another big honking thunder storm, from 3 to midnight on Sunday. The good news is that I had just finished cooking a nice turkey dinner.

My oven is flashing the F8 code, not sure what that means yet, but it can't be good news. The instruction book is missing. Time to find the GE web site.

At least it cooled down a bit after that storm. It has been very, very humid and hot.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Road Trip to Houghton Lake

Thursday we took a drive up to Houghton Lake, about an hours drive north of Clare. We visited our friends we met our first year in Texas, Rick and Sandy Allen. They have a home on the north shore. Sandy showed me the Around the World quilts she has been making for her grand kids. Very nice. Love her fabric choices. She is also an accomplished artist. Having no talent myself, I really enjoy seeing her paintings.

After leaving there we met Roger and Bev at the Moose Club for a drink, then had dinner at a small place just north of the club and on the other side of the road. It was named Kilkare. Excellent food. Large menu with many good choices. Paul loved his Philly Cheese Steak sub. Bev and I had lake perch, sweet potatoes and green beans with bacon. The rolls were great too.

It was so odd, we sat down at the table and Bev and I say at the same time, "I have to eat right now." We look at each other and she says "Are you diabetic too?" We are even on the same meds. She has been on them longer so she had some good advice for me. It is still a mystery most of the time. The waitress brought us wonderfull rolls right away, and cinnamon butter! Very tasty. The mashed sweet potatoes tasted like whipped pumpkin pie. A very good meal.

We sure got a lot of rain yesterday, too wet to check the rain gauge down by the lake, but I can see the lake is up a few inches, the stones are all underwater.

Andrea, daughter #3 of 4, is arriving for a visit on Friday with darling children Charlie, three, and Julia, nineteen months. They are staying until the next weekend. Husband, Ryan, is coming for the weekend only. As usual, the weather is going to be very hot and humid. Hopefully we can get some outside play time. Can't wait for those little hugs!

I have to spend some time kid proofing the house. So out of practice. Guess that means Paul has to hide the critter gun. The chipmunks are safe for a week.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Update

We had another fun lake weekend. Friends Jen and Mike came for dinner on Saturday. Paul grilled turkey fillets wrapped in bacon. We get them at Sam's Club. Nice to have something different and healthy to grill. I am always whining that we need a new meat. That is a winner! I made potato salad, and Jen's cucumber recipe. Paul grilled marinated asparagus.

Neighbors Tony Boyle, and John and Jean Villa came over and we watched the Red Wings win a hockey game. It was nice that we now have enough furniture for seven people to sit comfortably and we can all see the TV. The ambi light feature really makes watching TV easy on the eyes, a soft light comes from behind the TV and the color changes to match what is on the screen.
Shane has made us a stand to hold the DVR, cd player, etc. I can't wait to see it. He is bringing it on Tuesday.

On Sunday we picked up the Boyles for church, and later we ate dinner with them and Shane and Amanda and three darling daughters. Always fun to be around the lake. We had a boat ride on their new pontoon.

We have a wood duck nesting in one of the boxes out front. It is amazing to watch her head full speed towards the little hole in the box, put on her breaks, and fit perfect through the hole at half speed. She hardly ever misses.