Monday, August 29, 2011

Cousin Mickey

Cheryl polishing the car


Woody and Marty by Mickey's Mustang

Cheryl, Mickey and Paul, Clare stop on the Old 27 Cruise

Paul's new car buddy. He and Cheryl have a 2007 Rouch Mustang. He signed it all over, the back of the car, the dash board, some place else. It was beautiful. Cheryl is nice and Mickey is nice and crazed. Lots of fun on the Old 27 Cruise with them, also Larry and Judy. And then we met up with Roger and Beverly. Always fun.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Burt Lake - Summer Flowers - Clouds

Stormy weather

Tornado warnings till 1 am. We just had a light show to watch to the south

Fall flowers, even taller than the weeds

Enjoying the fall like weather

Paul enjoying Burt Lake

This is on Portage Lake, tells the story

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Line Whine

Sailboat moored on Portage Lake

This is the head of the shipping channel, there is a lighthouse on each side.

Great beach day

A solitary Paul

Iconic Lake Michigan beach

This weekend we headed to Little River Casino in Manistee to camp in the motor home and put my car in the car show. My car because I can't drive the GTO or the motor home. After this trip I have pretty much given up driving very far. Way too annoying.

We got back from Manistee Tuesday about 6. We stayed an extra day and a half because my car broke again. This makes a new water pump, 2 alternators, and a air conditioning compressor, since we started driving it in early May. It appears if we accelerate fast something expensive breaks. And the air conditioner still doesn't work when it is very hot, which is all the time this summer. Or maybe it just breaks, who knows?? The car computer shows no reason.

As Paul backed into the drive way at home I noticed something hanging from under the motor home, a long black thing, flat, maybe a belt. Maybe the serpentine belt. Yes, it was that. The most important (expensive) belt on any vehicle, it runs everything. Some young, flexible mechanics are coming to the drive way today to fix it. Can't even tow the motor home there.

I hate to complain on my blog, but will make an exception to take away the Christmas Letter stigma. My life is not perfect, I just prefer to emphasize the happy and fun. Being happy is partly a choice. We choose it. And we think of our three dear friends who have been diagnosed with serious cancer recently, and we feel very lucky and blessed.

I didn't do well in the car show, many of the entrees were old car snobs. They don't recognize a new classic when it bites them in the ass. There are SHO car clubs! It is show worthy! I love my car except for the unfortunate and expensive breakdowns. And the quirky air conditioning. Sure gets hot sometimes. Messes up my hair to have the windows open, but my hair is messy anyway. So that makes it a hot mess. Ha

So on Monday we find out it won't be fixed by Tuesday, we head out with the motor home to find a beach we can fit in. There is a beautiful one just north of Manistee but the parking places are car sized. Darn. We did find a very nice park in the charming Village of Onekema, on Portage Lake. There were fishing boats dropping in and out all day, a sail boat bobbing on the waves, there is a beach and playground, swans in the lake, strings of momma and baby ducks strolling around, and a band concert at 7 pm! We grilled chicken and ate dinner right there. Paul loved the oldies concert, very entertaining. Yes, baby, it was good, I just didn't have enough vodka to get into it. I could hear it good, though, and understood the words.

On Tuesday we found the Portage Point Park, where Portage lake entered Lake Michigan. The beach was perfect Lake Michigan, white sand and blue water in all the shades of aqua marine. Very cold and beautiful water. The north wind on Monday must have turned the water over. Still, a thousand dollar day. It was getting crowded by the time we left at 2 pm, must have been 40 folks on the mile of beach that I could see.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wow Mall

Our last day in NY I went with Julie and Katie to the Woodbury Commons Premium Outlet. Yes, it was premium and excellent people watching. People come from NYC to shop and apparently from around the world. It seems like everyone was speaking a foreign language. Katie told me thre would be people dragging their big suitcases on wheels around, they filled them with bargains to fly home with. Very efficient.

The Prada store had a burly guard posted at the door giving everyone the eye, or maybe he was the guard for all the rich Arabs monopolizing a back room. No price tags on anything. There was a clearance sale in the Coach store, a near riot. Foreign men had arms full of bags, to resell on E Bay. Julie said they are not allowed to purchase more than a couple. It was a good sale, just doesn't fit my lifestyle. Which sums up the whole mall for me, it wasn't me. I live in Clare and a little redneck island in south Texas. Fancy clothes don't fit me, my body type is cheap ass. The way I spill food on myself, it is just as well.

It was, however, very fun to look in the stores! My favorite store was Theory (I think that's the name, started with a T). Just quirky enough to be interesting, yet normal styles you could wear to work, lovely fabrics, mid price.

A few interesting stores, Joe's Jeans, Versace, Dior, Belenciaga, Betsey Johnson, Juicy Couture, Saxs, Salvatore Ferragamo, True Religion Brand Jeans, Valentino. And hundreds more. Julie saw a dress she liked that was chained to the wall and $3,000, it was 70% off. Don't know how she passed it by.

After we left we split some great Italian food, a delicious mushroom thing in white sauce, and a chicken, artichoke pizza.

On Saturday night Katie and Mark ordered amazing Italian food from the Hidden Cellar Restaurant in Marlborough. We had Rigatoni Bolognese - baked rigatoni with tomato sauce, meatballs, mozzarella, Romano and parmesan cheese, Penne alla Vodka - plum tomatoes sauteed in garlic, olive oil fresh basil and tossed with penne pasta in a vodka tomato cream sauce. Rigatoni Buttera - rigatoni tossed with Italian sausage, green peas,and tomato cream sauce and my favorite Spaghetti Vernicola - Italian sausage, mushrooms, proscuitto, garlic and herbs sauteed in olive oil and tossed with spaghetti in pecorino romano cream sauce. Looking for a likely recipe, it was delicious.

Sunday Katie and Mark made a wonderful meal - grilled steak and salmon, salt potatoes, etc, all excellent. And an ice cream cake for Helen's birthday. It was a very fun day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More pics of Baptism

Katie, Lane and Grandma Helen

Sean and Emily

Grandma Helen and Lane

Sean and Patrick

Patrick ready to swim

Two grandma's

Katie and Lane

Mark and Helen

Julie and Sean

Father's first baptism at his new church, but his second time at the parish.

Paul took these photos, I hope the ones I took with Julie's camera came out as nice.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lane's Baptism

Sean, Julie, Katie, Mark and Lane

Julie, Katie and Lane


Helen, Mark, Katie and Lane, our Buddy

Uncle Mark gave Patric a wonderful tour of the fire house

Katie and Helen Sens, could have cropped this pic!

Newly arrived Julie and Emily on the floor, holding Lane

We survived another hellish drive through Ohio and Pennsylvania on I-80 in excessive heat and an air conditioner that dies when it gets hot. Have been enjoying the pool and kids here.

Sean and Julie and Emily and Patrick drove up from his folks place in VA, where Anna and Megan stayed. Helen, Mark's mom, took the train from the Rochester area. That would be better than driving on the crazy roads of NY.