Dogs, Horses, Flowers, and . . . . a Fire!

There was so much going on this weekend! So – I’m going to break my “photo only” rule this week and write about the different events we so enjoyed as the Lilac Festival came triumphantly to a close. I’ll be posting about the Epona & Barkus Parade and the Dog & Pony Show today, Shepler’s “Be a Captain” event on board the Sacre Blue on Wednesday, and the Lilac Parade on Thursday. There’ll be a few other special moments in between all those events, so it will be a full week of photos and activities. Hang on . . . here we go!

Saturday was a perfect summer day in Michigan. On the island, it was even more perfect, with tons of activities planned for the last days of the Lilac Festival. Ted and I enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee on the deck, chatting with some Georgia friends and waiting for the first carriages to start up the hill.

Everyone in our little household enjoys mornings on the deck.
It’s a little after 8 a.m. here, and the Surrey Hill area is quietly awakening.
We were just about to go inside when barn workers starting leading some very different looking horses out of the Arrowhead stable down the street and walking/riding them up our hill to the Carriage museum.
These are Clydesdales – but are not as large as those who pull the Budweiser wagon. I learned that Budweiser chooses their horses by height and only chooses the tallest ones. Each of their horses also has to have almost exactly the same markings and color as the original Budweiser Clydesdales. These horses were on the island to pull a wagon in Sunday’s parade (more on that Thursday), and they were out for a little morning walk.
About the time they reached the museum, a lawn mower spooked one of the horses, he took off at a dead run, and the rider hit the pavement.

He wasn’t hurt, so he jumped up, ran after the horse, and then walked him back to the stable. So much for riding a Clydesdale bareback!

Ted left to work his 10-2 tour at the Visitor’s Center, and about 1 o’clock Jill and I met up to go check out the Epona & Barkus parade.  I know I’ve posted pics of this for two years now, but I never fail to find some cute new pups to photograph.

There was a good crowd gathered where the parade would begin, and people lined the road from here in front of the school all the way down to Windermere Point.


Have you ever heard of Dog Scouts? I hadn't, but Hallie and Sophie's owners filled me in on this organization. Their dogs earn merit badges just like Boy and Girl Scouts. Sophie was a youngster and just starting out, but Hallie had a vest filled with badges for her accomplishments!


This greyhound rescue group always has a large number of dogs to participate. By the way, the theme was Board Games, and each of these dogs carried a placard representing a monopoly square


Of course, my favorites were this sweet female golden retriever . . . .


. . . and this precious long-haired dachshund.

After the pet parade, we wandered on down toward Windermere Point where a special program was planned featuring Friesians (of course I was going to be there for THAT), and our special little 4-H pony Blaze.

We stopped to photograph hanging baskets at one of the houses along the way, and I heard someone calling my name . . .

. . . and so I got to meet the Fridley family from Indiana, who are blog readers. Steve, Tami, and precious little McKenzie were in town for the Lilac Festival!

The Friesians were a huge hit at Windermere Point - that's Gysbert and Todd, ridden by Michelle and Maryanke. Thanks to Ann Levy for sharing this great photo!


OK - I'm in love with Friesians all over again.


Right out of a Victorian storybook.


Leanne driving Blaze.


This one is right out of Somewhere in Time. I swear there's a scene just like this one in that movie. If not, there should have been.


Another reason to love Friesians - Michelle is holding one child in front of her in the saddle, another is reaching up to pet Gysbert, and two ladies are taking photos. He's calm and relaxed.


Windermere Point was filled with people for this event, and after it was over all those folks moved on down into town. It was a great day for restaurants, shops, and hotels!

I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around with my camera.  Here are a few other shots that made the cut for today’s post:

One of my readers asked for some hanging basket pics, so I photographed a few. As always, each lamppost is adorned with two baskets, and as always, they are beautiful!


Loving me some petunias!


Petunias backed by lilacs.


Trinity Church at dusk.


Hostas at the Cadotte entrance to the Grand Hotel shade garden - June 3.


Same Hostas - June 18.


Old, twisted lilac tree branches.


On Mackinac, you just never know when you'll turn a corner and find a bride and groom!


Dusk on Cadotte.

Tomorrow, come along aboard the freight boat Sacre Blue while kids find out about charts and compasses and knot tying.  It was fun!
PERSONAL NOTE #1:  Monday evening – I’m writing this post, Ted’s cooking steaks in the oven.  His, half raw likes he likes it, is already on the kitchen cabinet – mine’s still cooking because I like my steak well done (something Ted hates to do to a steak).  Suddenly, our condo fire alarms start buzzing loudly.  I glance into the kitchen just as Ted opens the stove door and flames roar out into the room.  Ted slams the door shut and turns off the stove.  I jump up and take the five steps to the kitchen fast.  He opens the door again, and more flames pour out.  He slams the door and says – very calmly – “Call 911”.  I grab my cellphone and dial.  An operator answers, and I stammer through our address – telling him the wrong street number, but getting across that we’re at Surrey Ridge Condos.  Ted is going through the cabinets looking for baking soda or a fire extinguisher (both of which we have in Georgia and neither of which we have here).  I’m opening windows, and smoke is pouring out through them.  In less than three minutes I hear voices and hand radios squawking outside, and FOUR volunteer firemen are in the yard.  Three have arrived by bike, and one has run from his house – they’re all from right here in the neighborhood.   Then they’re in our kitchen, where one opens the door of the oven to find the steak charred, and the fire already out.  Relieved laughter all around and radio calls downtown to relay the message that a fire truck isn’t needed – and if they’re ever invited for steak at our house, they’d like them a little less well-done.
The bad news – Our stove is pretty black on top and inside.
The good news – We are SO grateful for the fast action of our Mackinac Island Fire Department.  I’ve never had to worry about response time to an emergency on the island, and now I know – up close and personal – that the men and women in our fire department will be here for us when needed – and they’ll be here FAST!
More good news – Ted finally cooked my steak done enough!
Personal Note #2: Several readers have asked how my sleep apnea therapy is going, so I guess I’d better confess. For those of you who don’t follow my winter blog in Georgia, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea (stopped breathing 103 times during my sleep test) and was told to start wearing a sleep apnea mask from now until . . . well, forever. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do, but I persevered through four different types of masks and finally found one that just seemed to be the best I was going to find. My problem is I sleep on my side, so keeping the “seal” on the mask is difficult. When we came north, I told Ted I was taking a break from the mask for a week, and that week has now become five weeks. Oh my gosh, it has been wonderful going to bed unencumbered with that “thing”! My reasoning was, “OK, I’m only driving once a month, so no worries about car accidents.” BUT, after a month, I find myself once again experiencing all the symptoms I had before beginning the therapy. I’m becoming so tired, I find myself unable to focus, and once again, sitting down to read immediately turns into falling instantly asleep. So – tonight, the mask goes back on (my thinking being, now that I’ve told my readers, I’ll HAVE to do it). Please send up a prayer or two that this time it will be easier. I need all the help I can get. Thank you, friends.

23 thoughts on “Dogs, Horses, Flowers, and . . . . a Fire!

  1. Oh Bree, I hope you are sleeping peacefully! After all, this is a good week to renew your acquaintance with your friend the Mask – you should be tired enough to sleep right thru it all!

  2. Oh my – and you tire yourself out further worrying about all of us! Bree – take care of yourself; your words are such that they can carry us for a week or so at a time. Don’t risk your health to entertain us! Take care of yourself. Sweet, unencumbered dreams to you m’lady. Take care.

  3. Consider a CPAP pillow. They are especially designed for side sleepers. There are cut outs to accomodate the mask and tubing. Just do internet search for CPAP pillow.

    Beautiful pictures as always.

  4. The island must have been so busy this past week. I wish I could be there just once for the festival. Love all the pictures, especially the Friesians and Clydesdales. They are such beautiful horses. I hope this morning finds you well rested, good luck with your mask and I will be sending out good vibes for you for tonight 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh-so glad your kitchen didn’t burn down… I set a pan on fire once and had to use the extinguisher. What a mess that was.

    I really hope I can get a peek at the Friesians when I come up in September-they look so majestic in your photos. I can’t even imagine what they look like in person. And, little Blaze looks so very cute with her little pony cart!

    Good luck with the mask-hope you can make it work and get some sleep.

  6. wonderful glimpse of some of the reasons I miss living on Mackinac Island; and as always, enjoyed hearing your commentary…..and on the OTHER note, I am glad you mentioned the CPAP machine and your adjustment (?) to it…..I have to go in for a further “test” which I’m sure includes the machine:( but have put off until August when things settle down a bit around here:) I’m hopeful, however, that I can do okay with it as I mostly sleep on my back. We’ll see:)

  7. Please keep on using your mask! You want to enjoy your wonderful life with your husband and dogs – not have it cut short by long-term heart problems. I use a “made for the ladies” mask that is a small, nose-only version. There are two straps, one over my head and one behind my neck. I easily sleep on my side (I think I adjust it in my sleep) and it’s much more user-friendly than the full mask (which I also found extremely depressing). –Martha, A Fellow Sleep Apnea Sufferer.
    P.S. And I thought 45 times a minute was bad! Get that mask on, Girl!

  8. Dear Brenda,

    Time to put the nurse hat on. You have to use the CPAP–period. There will be so many complications from not using it such as high blood pressure, stroke and death. So many patients I have encountered over the years tell me “Yeah, I have a CPAP but don’t use it” and to see their medical record its no surprise. My husband uses one and its made a world of difference.
    My Father-in-law died from complications due to sleep apnea, signs and symptoms he and the family ignored until it was too late–we don’t want that happening to you!
    Glad the fire wasn’t too damaging.
    A little over 6 weeks until we come to the island!

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

  9. This blog is so full of info and stories and photos, I don’t know where to start! Just read thru it for the third time 🙂 love it! Thanks as always for sharing, I know it takes time to write such a great blog. Sorry about the stove and sleep issues…hope both are improving soon. -Melissa

  10. Sorry to hear about the stove and fire. Happy that it wasn’t worse. Aren’t firemen and women great. Last fall we had a fire in our dishwasher and it was a scary event. Our fire dept. was here very fast and it was good to see them. The wierdest thing was a lot of the firemen were former students.

  11. If you find a way to deal with it let me know, haven’t used mine in five years…..
    Love your stories and pics!

    • The machines are just so aggrevating, but that CPAP pillow and the mask “made for ladies” both sound like good suggestions. 🙂

  12. Hi there Bree, It was nice to have meet you on the Sacre Blue on Sunday morning. I said a prayer for you about your sleeping situation and hope things will be good for you.

    Take care and can’t wait to see your pics tomorrow.


    Captain Tommy and Cindy Schmidt

  13. That’s definitely one for the books…..the things that you can look back on & laugh about later but I’m glad the fire wasn’t more serious. My husband is a reitred police officer & while on duty he stopped home for lunch & we had an accidental fire outside starting our grill….I told him to get on his radio and call the fire dept. He said “no way, that would be too embarassing”. We put it out ourselves, but there ya go, at least Ted had you call 911 and didn’t let his pride (or ego) get in the way.

  14. Each & every photo is gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing. I love to tune in & live vicariously through your blog.
    I’m SOOOO glad the fire wasn’t anything more. That’ll teach ya to ruin a steak like that *wink*
    Last, I’m praying the mask is more comfy for ya. The benefits outweigh the downsides. We need you here to share w/us!
    One of these days I’ll get serious about my blog writing & share w/ you. You’d love my Shaggy the Dog stories! He’d be good pals w/Bear & Maddie!

    Good luck w/the mask!

  15. Sounds like you had a busy weekend. Glad to hear that your fire was put out shortly with no real damage. When I was on the island last week, we saw first hand how fast the fire department arrives on scene. We were downtown when they came out of no where as something was happening at the Chippewa Hotel.

    • We heard about that, Mary. They were cooking hamburgers in the employees’ kitchen and there was too much smoke for the exhaust system to handle. Smoke traveled up a vent pipe (or something) to the 4th floor and set off the alarms. They had to evacuate the hotel, but all was well.

      • We saw the firefighters up on the roof, so I was wondering what was going on. Thanks for the info. I got some pretty good pictures of the Fire Engines & Ambulance on Main Street.

  16. For an added incentive,
    Take your blood pressure tonight and then the first thing in the morning tomorrow and be prepared for a pleasant surprise. When I went in for my fitting, my blood pressure dropped a full 30 points during that time interval. (Your mileage may vary)

  17. Hi! Just wanted to “meet” you. We met Ted on Friday and the pups. We have a mini-dachshund and a chocolate lab (and a corgi and a schipperke!). Wondered if we could “talk” by email sometime!

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