Monday, May 31, 2010

Steve, Brennan, big bass, Matthew

Jeff teaching the kids how to clean fish

Jeff took Steve and Brennan fishing

Marjie and Amanda

Paul and Sarah having some teacher talk

Amanda, Ellery, Nola and Bridget roasting Koegel hot dogs

Amanda, Tony and Virginia

Tony, Amanda and Marjie and hot dog!

Sunday night was, once again, perfect for a campfire. We roasted hot dogs and made S mores and visited. Jeff took Steve and Brennan out on a successful evening fishing trip and then gave lessons on how to scale and clean a fish. We have all been neighbors since the mid 80s, watching our kids grow up and enjoying the grand kids, and seeing Jeff pass on his extensive fishing knowledge is one more link in the chain. Very much a family feeling here on the lake.

We spent hours in the tubes yesterday and I ache everywhere. My hands feel like lobster claws from paddling around. The lake was fairly quiet in spite of the 88 degree, sunny day, a symptom of the Michigan's terrible economy. In the past it would have been full of families in their boats.

We made beer can chicken for dinner. Turned out perfect, just like the whole weekend.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Perfect Holiday Weekend

The Gigglers

The loons are so used to boats, just keep swimming and fishing

Tony took us on a boat ride


Tony and Brenda at Happy Hour

Kathy and Paul

We are having perfect weather, high 80s and dry and sunny. Tubing of course, visiting with neighbors after a winter of separation. After campfire, Jean organized a midnight run to Cops and Donuts in Clare. Jenni and Jean took the four 13 year old girls (in pajamas and fuzzy slippers, in the van and Krista and Steff drove too. Good breakfast donuts!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fowl! Fowl!

We have a new lawn ornament and you don't have to move it to mow the lawn. A fat Muscovy duck is a frequent visitor this spring. Paul is trying to chase it away because of the mess it might make. So far he has found a very large egg shell on the beach.

And Bob and Priscilla have new baby chicks. Very cute and tiny.

Chillin' While Grillin' Foodie Report

We have been enjoying a grill frying pan since we got home this spring. Julie had a metal basket type of pan that we used in Kansas. Andrea and I were browsing in the TJ Maxx store in South Bend and found several types of grill pans on an end cap. I chose one that has a folding handle and is copper with holes in the bottom and sides the size of a pencil eraser. Paul has been using it to grill vegetables and they have turned out excellent. Much easier to prepare and cook than kabobs and the food is more evenly cooked.

This week I found some very cheap little steaks at the local market. I marinated them for several hours in Dale's Steak Seasoning, Reduced Sodium, my favorite all around marinade and now available at Super Walmart!! I also prepared asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, green peppers and onion for stir fry and marinated it in Dale's. Paul grilled them to perfection while I made fried rice. We sliced the beef on the diagonal and layered it on the rice and veggies. Excellent, and just as good reheated the next day. No oil added to the marinade so healthy too and 4 big servings for less than $1 each. And my kitchen was clean and Paul did most of the cooking! Win Win Win

Williams Sonora sent me an email touting a meatball griller gadget for $50. It was hinged metal, two piece with pierced semi circles on each side. Make the balls, put them in the holes, shut the two sides together and throw on the grill. I think I will try meatballs in my handy $7 pan instead. That must be a bitch to clean.

Feels Like Summer

Paul's first swim of the year, after slaving all day in 86 degrees washing the motor home

Pretty Miss Jean, happy as always

Marjie and Marty on the pontoon

Capt. Woody and First Mate Marty

This has been a very warm, humid and sunny week. I went swimming twice, and just walked into the water. Has to be warm for that to happen! Good to be tubing on the lake again.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blooming May

This is the wild columbine that I grew from seeds I found

I bought this fancy columbine, it really is a dark navy blue


My bright orange poppys that my mom gave me from her garden

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bud's in Town

See the dalmatian on top of the wagon

There are 8 horses in the team, hard to get back far enough to fit them all in. Paul took the photos and did a good job.

We sat in the Bird and waited for them to drive by. Me, Marge Shepherd, Jen Linsday, Paul, John Shepherd, Mike Linsday and Kathy Bently.

Fabiano Brothers is celebrating it's 125 year of providing beer, wine and liquor to the northern part of Michigan. They moved mountains and in just a few months got the Budweiser team to come, usually you have to reserve them 2 years in advance. The appeared at the new warehouse and headquarters in Bay City, and in Mt. Pleasant where they were up until recently.

This group of mostly retired teachers decided the Bird Bar was a great place to celebrate the visit. When we started going to the Bird, 1973, we enjoyed the peanuts and beer, and brought the babies with us. Seems like we broke up after Peg D. died. And it is difficult to take 3 kids to a bar. Unseemly, perhaps. So we had a great time and had burgers with coleslaw on them, pizza, etc. Paul and I got there early and sat down at a big table and enjoyed visiting with college students. Like in Texas, meet new folks.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gregg Allman Band at the Casino

A neighbor flagged Paul down Friday at 5 pm, asked if we wanted free tickets to the concert at 8. Well sure. We must certainly know the Gregg Allman Band. He was elected to the Rock and Roll hall of Fame at some point. Thanks Wickipedia. The crowd was mostly baby boomers, some in biker outfits. Hummmm. Still a subdued group. So we settled in and were surprised that we had never heard the song, before. Well, actually, none of the songs. Don't get me wrong, they were lovely songs, catchy even. Enjoyed the one that won an award in 1976. My guess of Southern Biker Blues genre wasn't too far off, Wickipedia says Rock Blues. My only defense is that I was busy changing diapers in the 70s, and Paul was working his ass off

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rainy Thursdays Are Good for Clubbing

So we went to the Moose Club for company and a coney dog, then to the Eagle's Club to hear music. There were ten folk and country musicians jamming, so we joined friends for a few hours. They were very good and play every Thursday afternoon. Susie Faber did a yodel song, she used to have her own band.

Oh, the best part, as of May 1, smoking is banned in bars and restaurants in Michigan. No smoke! We will be able to go dancing again.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sloppy Joes

Or as in my 1960s Betty Crocker Cookbook, Barbecued Hamburger Mix

1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter (?? what, I leave this out)
4 pounds ground beef
1 bottle, 14 oz. catsup
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon MSG ( I don't add this)
1/2 dry mustard, (or a squirt of mustard)

Saute onion in butter, add ground beef; brown lightly. Drain off excess fat. Add rest of ingredients and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Or put it in the big crock pot for a few hours. Makes 30 to 40 buns full.

Grandma Weeks's Strawberry Cake

Mom made this cake for special occasions, it is moist and delicious. The frosting is soft and falls off the shoulders of the cake.


1 white cake mix
1 small package strawberry gelatin
2 Tablespoons flour
4 eggs, at room temp
1/2 of a 16 oz package of frozen strawberries, thawed
3/4 cup cooking oil

Mix the cake mix, gelatin, flour, eggs and 1/2 cup water together. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes with mixer. Add the thawed strawberries and syrup to the batter and beat 1 more minute. Add the oil and beat one more minute. Divide batter evenly into two greased and floured 8 or 9 inch pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes then remove from pans.


1/2 package of sliced frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup soft butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Thaw the strawberries. Beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar alternately with the strawberries and syrup and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little milk

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Charlie turns 5 years old

Mary, my baby sister, and I

Julia, Bill Dunn, Jeremy Dunn, Grandpa Dunn, Charlie and Ryan Dunn

Charlie's first gift!

Saturday was Charlie's fifth birthday, Andrea, Ryan, Charlie and Julia came on Friday about 5 pm. We ate pizza and Andrea and I ran to Sam's Club in Mt. P for the food for the party. Ihad spent the day making cream filled chocolate cup cakes, which turned out yummy. I had never used a pastry squeezer before, my hands are nice and soft from the cream I got all over them. I ended up eating a lot of cream filling, it was on my fingers, what's a grandma to do? Most of the cup cakes had enough cream in them. I have a whole new appreciation for Sharon, who makes these in Texas in her fifth wheel!

After we got back, Andrea made my mom's strawberry cake. And that turned out very good. Better than my memory. Mary, my sister, came to the party and we remembered the cakes mom used to make.

All of Ryan's family lives around here, Weidman area mostly, so around 30 showed up for the 11 am party. Ryan's grand pa Dunn came and they got a 4 generations photo. I think all of his aunts and uncles showed up as well as cousins. They didn't get home for Christmas and it was fun to have this get together. And my sister, Mary and hubby Dennis came, and we enjoyed visiting with them. And Stephanie came for the day from Grand Rapids. She brought me a nice Mother's Day gift, but the best was she cleaned the floor in the kitchen after everyone left. I forgot to mention that it was in the 40s temp wise, 20 mpr winds and rain. So this was a house party.

We made Texas ranch baked beans, scratch mac and cheese, and my old Betty Crocker sloppy Joes. Paul grilled Koegel hot dogs. Left the beans and mac and cheese in the over a bit too long, but they were still good. I am going to post the sloppy Joe recipe and the strawberry cake recipe soon. They were popular.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kevin Playing and Singing

Kevin Chamberlain was playing at the Doherty for Cinco de Mayo on Wednesday night and since Paul hadn't seen him in 10 years or so, we decided to go to town. He was a 6th grade student of Paul's in the late 1970s, and has recorded gospel records in Nashville, and has a great band. Also a former tribal chief in Mt. P.

As soon as we walked in he pointed at Paul and said "Mr. Koenig's in the house . Do you still have your 64 GTO?" Then we saw Joann and Al Roy sitting with friends. We sat down with them. And then met Mary and Jim Hovey, from Rosebush, who were sitting at the next table. Of course we knew their daughter and grand kids. And they love Texas too! We know all the same places.

After they left two girls sat at the next table, but had to leave as it was promised to another couple. So we asked them to sit with us. They were so fun. Deonna Lynch and Gloria Jensenius. Reminded us of Steff, sassy and funny.

Note to self, having a Bloody Maria, as opposed to a Bloody Mary, is a serious blunder. No matter that it is Cinco de Mayo, tomato juice and tequila do not mix well.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What a day of annoyance!

I got my new driver's license today, that was easier than expected. I finally got my Internet working. That was hellish. First I went to Mt. Pleasant, the young workers there studied it all and decided that we had been switched to Verizon in Clare. All in error. However, I dutifully drove up there and let the older workers up there figure it out. No. We still have All tel. The phone had to be switched to modem. In Mt. P they thought that might be a problem but couldn't figure out how it was done. So it couldn't be so. Sigh. It took hours and a quarter tank of gas. But I am online at home and the new little net book is fast and fun.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Home in Michigan

We got home Friday 5pm, good to have my big shower and little dishwasher. No pics of Charlie and Julia, my battery went dead on my camera and I didn't know it. Next weekend we are having a birthday party for Charlie, he turns five.

I am using my new little computer, a net book? I like it, still can't get internet at home. Monday I am going to Alltel and find out what is wrong. We are at the Moose Club using the wi fi.