Catching Up! 10/5/2011

Header:  Bear jumped on the taxi when it came for Jason and Blair Sunday.  He was really upset when we made him get off!

Lots of newsy items happened on Mackinac while Jason and Blair were visiting, and tonight seems like a good time to catch you up on those.


As you know, a couple of months ago we had a leak in our old dishwasher that ruined our kitchen floor and some of the carpet in the living room.  Kudos to our insurance company for replacing all the carpet on our main floor (except for the bedrooms) AND replacing the kitchen flooring.  

The process is the same with flooring as it is with everything else that arrives on the Island. Carpet store (Superior Floor Covering) to ferry, ferry to dray (in this case, the flooring was pulled behind the dray on this smaller cart, which was unhitched in our yard). Later in the day, the dray came back by and hitched the empty cart back up to go down the hill.

As everyone who has done any kind of home renovation knows, it turns your world upside down!

For a few days, our stove and refrigerator were in the living room, and our fireplace and couch were in the middle of the floor.

First, the old flooring came up - in the hall and living room . . .

. . . and in the kitchen.

Did I almost go crazy with my house looking like this for several days? Why, yes - I did.

But was it worth it? Oh, yeah!

We put chocolate brown carpeting on the steps going down to the back door (to hide dirt). We put the wood laminate at the first landing . . .

. . . and at the second landing (going up to the loft and 3rd bedroom).

The rustic hickory laminate runs down the hall (pantry on the right, laundry closet on the left), into the kitchen . . .

. . . and the living room. We added a shag carpet from Home Depot.

We love the laminate.  Superior Floor Covering (owner Bruce, and workers Randy and Dave) did a wonderful job getting everything installed in a minimum amount of time AND promised we won’t have to worry about Bear and Maddie’s nails ruining the finish on the floor, as they would have with real wood flooring.  I hate to say I’m glad the dishwasher leaked, but . . . .


To celebrate the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on September 28, Kehilat Hatzav Hagadol, the island temple congregation, brought the Torah through downtown to the Grand Hotel on a horse-drawn carriage.

Kehilat Hatzav Hagadol, which in English means the Congregation of the Great Turtle, was chosen as the name for the Island congregation because it pays homage to the Island’s mythical beginnings.  The carriage came up Cadotte and turned into the Grand Hotel drive.


I walked in the Island Bookstore the other day, and Jill excitedly said, “Oh my gosh!  You just missed P.J. Parrish!” For those of you who don’t know, P.J. Parrish is the pen name for Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols, two sisters born in Detroit, Michigan who have written several national and international best selling and award-winning mystery novels.

The sister who was in the Island Bookstore was Kristy, who was visiting the island with her husband and two dogs and had dropped in to autograph a few of her books.  The sisters’ newest book is The Killing Song, and it is flying off the shelves.

“Come on,” Jill said, “You’ve got to meet her!  She was going for ice cream!”

We went rushing out the door, then stood out front and looked both ways.  It was then I remembered seeing two little dogs tied outside Sanders Fine Chocolates (you know me – I know dogs first, people second).  We turned left, peeked in the window at Sanders, and there she was.

In the middle of the famous author taking a lick off her ice cream, Jill says, “Kristy! I want you to meet Brenda.  She does a blog about Mackinac Island.”

Kristy’s eyes widened, and she says, “Brenda!  You do Bree’s Blog?  Oh my gosh, I discovered your blog four months ago!  Our next novel is set on Mackinac Island, and I’m using your blog for some of my research!”  Well, knock me over with a feather!

P.J. Parrish (Kristy Montee) and I - hanging out. Can't wait for that new book!

Speaking of books,The Island Bookstore’s great Fall Sale began today!  40% OFF (Hard & Soft-cover books) but NOT “Mackinac Island” things. BESTSELLERS 25% OFF!  Oh my gosh!  Ted and I both stopped in today and brought home five books each!  We are stocked up for winter – what a great sale!  If you’re on the island – hurry in!

AND, don’t forget!  The Great Turtle Shopping Week Sale begins tomorrow (Oct. 5) and runs through Oct. 8. All you have to do to participate is stop by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau and pick up a free VIP Shopping Pass.  Here’s the link to this brand new, fun event for the Island:

I think that brings you up to date on the Island happenings.  No blog on Thursday, but I’ll be back on Friday with a great Mystery Spot and lots of Fall pics.  Everything is turning YELLOW, GOLD, AND RED, and it’s all just in time for the Somewhere in Time Weekend at the Grand Hotel this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Lots to look forward to!

18 thoughts on “Catching Up! 10/5/2011

  1. I am sitting here at my desk in my classroom, on break, and enjoying today’s blog! How neat!
    You must understand, my classroom in suburban LA, about five miles from LAX, 7 miles from the beach and full of non-English speakers from all over the world, is filled with things Mackinac! The MIRD calendar on the wall, the stack of old MIRD calendars for when we practice dates and appointments, the Seasons of Mackinac screen saver that shows up every time I leave my SmartBoard alone for more than 15 minutes, the spot on our US map where the UP and the LP meet, which I have made over the years by sticking my finger there to show them where I come from. And here I am reading your blog in the middle of it all! ;-))
    I love love love your new floor! It looks a bit familiar – Gary just bought the flooring for the new office we’re building.
    Oops, break is about over and my principal is bound to show up and ask what I’m doing!! ;-)) See you on the weekend (OK, virtually, but I will see you!)

  2. Is that the same dog who won’t jump in the back of your SUV? Guess he just wanted to give Jason and Blair a dog’s-eye tour of the island! Silly Bear.

    How exciting – a new novel set on Mackinac! And how cool that the author is using your blog for research!! Wow! Too cool.

  3. I like wood better then carpeting any day and I love the color of yours. Love your condo altogether. Looks so comfy! You’ll have to tell us what the new book is called once it comes out. It sounds exciting and to think she is using your blog as research! Wow! Maybe she will send you a signed copy. 😉
    Wish I could be there for the shopping week. That sounds like it could be lots of fun.

  4. I absolutely love the hickory laminate! I’ve got a light maple color on my entire first floor-it’s been thru 2 rottweilers and a very energetic australian shepherd. You can’t see a scratch unless you look really hard in bright sunlight. I’d do it all over again without a doubt.

    How very cool is it that your blog is now a certified research tool! Congratulations!

  5. Poor Bear! Goldens are so social! Our almost 11 year old, Buddy, just loves people, too.
    Congrats on the finished flooring project! Looks terrific! We’re remodeling my mother-in-law’s house and just put in hardwood floors….lots of work but the results are so worth the many hours on our knees!
    You must be so thrilled to be a reference source for the upcoming P.J. Parrish book….you’re all things Mackinac Island!
    Enjoy the fine fall days on the island…I was there in October 2008 for the Winsome Women’s conference at the Grand and the scenery was amazing!

  6. Brenda, your new floor looks fabulous! I love the darker hue and the wide plank-look. Congrats on getting through it all.

    A big WooHoo on meeting the author and then to find that she follows your blog! Perhaps you two can put your heads together for her new book and maybe we’ll see your name in the credits when it comes out. Wow, what a neat meeting.

  7. Love the condo. We have laminate wood flooring also and it holds up well with pets. We’ve put ours to the test for sure. Very exciting about the new book, can’t wait for that one to come out! Wish I could come up for the shopping week…sounds fun.

  8. Thanks for another great post. Love the floors and info. I told you someday you would be famous!! Congratulations!!

    Bear looks sad. He knows Jason & Blair are leaving, and will miss them.

    I love mysteries. I’ll look for the books. And….she is from our area!!

  9. I am so excited about the new Mackinac novel! I read a mystery/romance book called Ice Bridge by Kathryn Meyer Griffith that I purchased off of Amazon. It was a great! After reading it, I donated it our public library back here in Iowa and it has been a big hit! If anyone on this blog knows of another good Mackinac fiction book, let me know.

  10. The floor is beautiful. The swiffer is easier to push than the vac. I know you. You’ll be swiffering three times a day to keep up with Bear and Maddie. I know you wish you could have had Blair and Jason stay longer but you’ll see them soon. Enjoy fall.

  11. Niceeeeeeeeee floors!

    OOuuuuu thanks for the scoop on P.j., now I have a new author to read.

    Another good author who includes the U.P. (and the island) in his murder mystery novels, is Steve Hamilton. His character for the novels is Alex McKnight.

    Its absolutely gorgeous down south (lower Peninsula). I live on an inland lake, and may get a dip in yet this month! It’ll be the first time I’ve swam in Oct.

  12. Wow your floors look gorgeous! And I like your carry all bag on the landing – it looks like a Thirty-One bag – those are really nice. And how exciting to meet an author and learn she and her sister are planning to write with Mackinac as a backdrop. I wish I could make it up for the book sale as I love books! Oh well maybe next year. Have a happy rest of your week and weekend!!

  13. Hi Brenda and all her buds,
    Am back in Petsokey at my sister’s house and we are hard at work on the Mackinac Island mystery. Today I am trying to decide where my wealthy summer family lives on the island and am thinking it is a nice “little” cottage in Hubbard’s Annex. I should have visited there when I was on the island but we ran out of time and Little Dog’s legs were giving out. So good to meet you while I was there and my husband — a nice Jersey boy who had never been to Michigan before — can’t wait to return.
    PJ Parrish

  14. P.S.
    Brenda, I lost the card on which you had written you email address. Could I ask a big favor? Can you go to our website at and click on WRITE TO US and send me your email? I already have some questions about the island that I could use your help on. Plus I’d like to stay in contact. I looked for a way on your blog to contact you but didn’t see anything.

    PJ aka Kris

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