Bike Rides, Birthdays, Beautiful Weather . . . and a little tale not for squeamish 6/8/2012

Hello, hello, hello!  What a fantastic week THIS turned out to be!  Ted and I got in a great bike ride, I turned another year older, the weather’s been astounding, I turned another year older, and today the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival began – so the coming week should be even MORE fantastic!  Whew . . . . breathe, Brenda, breathe!

Mostly photos tonight, with captions to tell the story EXCEPT for a little “Tale of a Vet Visit” at the very end of this post that you should only read if you’re not easily grossed out!

I’m going to be jumping all over the island for this one – we covered a lot of ground this week.  So awaaaay we go . . . . .

Our late-blooming lilacs at Surrey Ridge are just getting started. They should be in full bloom in another day or two and will be perfect the entire 10-day time-span of the Lilac Festival . . . all you need to do is “climb that hill” to see them!

We’ve been here almost four weeks now (how can that be!), and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Island so busy this early. I’m sure the great weather is contributing to that, as are those Pure Michigan ads – some featuring Mackinac Island.

I know I’ve mentioned Martha’s Sweet Shop before, but I’ve never posted a photo of the owner of Martha’s. Meet Loretta Spata, talking to Ted here about how they remove ALL the calories from those melt-in-your mouth brownies we are addicted to. Oh my gosh . . . pop them in the microwave for 20 seconds and throw a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream on top. Your taste buds will think they have died and gone to Heaven!  P.S.  That thing about the calories being removed . . . . just kidding.

Yep!  There they are – brownies with nuts, covered by chocolate icing that is simply the best you’ve even tasted.  Trust me.

My friend Frankie’s Hershey, making friends with a little boy downtown in front of the post office. This kid would laugh, and Hershey would lick. Laugh, lick, laugh, lick. They drew a crowd, and everyone got their giggles for the day (doesn’t take much to entertain us here on Mackinac).

Jill with my godhorse, Teddie. I try to stop by and see him at least every other day. What a sweetheart he is!

Here’s Mary on Teddie, meeting Michelle Stuck’s Fresian Geysbert for the first time. This was Mary’s first ride on Teddie since she brought him to the Island.

Had to show you the new roof on the Summer Residence of Michigan’s governor. The new shingles almost look like copper when the sun’s hitting them just right. Beautiful, beautiful home.

Pretty chairs in a shady area in the yard of Park Place Suites, downtown on Market Street.

An example of the kind of weather we’ve had this week.

We never know what we might see when we look out our front doors.

Dozens and dozens of strollers are stored while parents and children take the Carriage Tour rides through the Island.

One more pic of my boy Teddie – sorry, can’t help it.


Grand Hotel greenhouse.

British Landing. The Mackinac Bridge . . . . and a flower – a purple flower.

British Landing.  The Mackinac Bridge, with rain.  An Iris – a purple Iris (please tell me that’s an Iris).

Pots near the Grand Hotel greenhouse . . . .

. . . . and more pots under the trees.

We don’t usually see a taxi when we ride around the Island. Our favorite driver, Ron, had just taken three girls who wanted to go swimming out to the 3-Mile marker and dropped them off. We rode by them a few minutes later – one was sunning on the beach, and the other two had waded out to a dry outcropping of rocks to sun.

Those rain clouds we saw in the distance at British Landing were moving east with us.

Small Point Inn – just east of Mission Point Resort.

My birthday was very special . . . lots of Happy Birthday wishes from my blog readers (thank you so much), the arrival of Buz and Patty and four-legged Bailey (condo neighbors from Oklahoma – here for a month this year), . . .

. . . on the same ferry, friends Bonnie and Don (he’s somewhere in that crowd) arrived for a two-week stay on the Island (can’t wait to spend time with them) . . .

. . . flowers from Jason, Blair and Blake . . .

. . . and dinner with Ted, Patty, and Buz at the Harbor View Restaurant at the Chippewa, followed by a little game of Trivia on the back deck.  The sun was just going down here at about 9:35.

What a week!  So much fun, and as I said, this next one is going to be really full of great activities during Lilac Festival.  In addition, two more condo owners will arrive this weekend, so we will almost have every resident on board – which very rarely happens.  We figured up yesterday that between the eight condos, there are now eight dogs!  When we first moved in, we were the ONLY owners with dogs.  My, how things have changed!

Ok . . . . as I warned earlier, you might want to stop reading right here, unless you are not easily grossed out.  But I had to tell this story because it is SUCH a Mackinac Island story – I just don’t see this happening anywhere else.

Tale of a Vet Visit

About two weeks ago, Ted saw what shall be called intestinal parasites (I.P.’s for short) in Maddie’ poop.   He called for me to come look at it/them, so I could verify.  I was totally sure Ted could tell I.P.’s from say, fuzz off the latest unstuffed animal toy she destroyed.  But I looked anyway.  What I saw was long and white and flat (hey, I warned you this was gross).

“Please call Doc Al, and tell him Maddie has I.P.’s,” Ted said.

Phone call to Doc Al:  “Hi Brenda!” (the I.D. came up on this I.P. call).

“Hi Doc! How are you, etc. etc. etc.  Maddie has I.P.’s, and we need some meds.”

“What kind of I.P.’s?” Doc Al asked curiously.

“Oh, they’re long and white and flat.”

“Hmmmm . . . that sounds like a round I.P.”

“No, they’re flat.”  I said.

“Well, sometimes they appear flat, but they’re really round.”

“Hmmm,” I said.

“Are you sure they don’t look like little grains of rice?” Doc asked.

“I’m positive,” I stated positively.

“Well, it’s kind of unusual for an older dog to have round I.P.’s, but I’ll get you some meds for them,” Doc said.

And he did.

This past Wednesday, Ted came in the condo and said, “Maddie has I.P.’s again.”

“What!” I said alarmingly.  “We just had her treated for those!”

“Well, this time I’ve got a sample.  It’s in the black doggie poop bag on the back porch.  Would you call Doc Al and see when he can take a look – you take a look too, and see what you think.”

I looked, and there it was again – long and white and flat.

Phone call to Doc Al:  “Hi, Brenda,” Doc Al answered the call.

“Hi, Doc Al, how are you, etc. etc. etc.  Maddie has I.P.’s again.  This time we have a sample, but it’s the same thing – long, white, flat.”

“That’s just really unusual.  I’m coming up to the big barns in about 15 minutes.  Could you meet me there with the sample?”

As I was calling Doc Al, Ted was making a big production out of leaving the house to go to “work out”.  Over my conversation with Doc, I heard him say, “See you in a little while – have fun!”

Which is Ted’s way of not dealing with I.P.’s.  He goes off to work on his A.B.’s and P.E.C’s.

And so it was that 15 minutes later, I met Doc Al on the corner of Cadotte and Huron at the big horse barns.  We got off our bikes, and I collected the black doggie poop bag out of my basket and started for the vet office door.

“Oh, we can just do this out here,” Doc Al says.

All righty then. 

Doc Al and I spent the next ten minutes crouched down on the ground at that corner – not more than two feet from walkers, runners, tourist carriages, and horse riders – going through the contents of the black doggie poop bag with a stick Doc picked up off the road.

“See, there it is,” I said, peering into the bag like it was the most fascinating thing I’d seen in many a year. “Long, white and flat.”

“Brenda, that is a blade of grass,” said Doc Al.  “Was that what you were describing to me the last time also?”

“Well, yes,” I said.

“From the looks of this, Maddie certainly has a very interesting diet,” Al said, stirring the stick a little more.  “But that is a blade of grass . . . THIS is an I.P. – a tape I.P., to be more specific.”  And he pointed to a tiny, white little thing that looked suspiciously like a grain of rice.

“Hmmm,” I said.

So Doc Al gave me a couple of pills for the tape I.P. and sent me on my way with this sweet advice:  “Brenda . . . please . . . next time, how about collecting the sample in a Zip-lock bag we can SEE through without opening it.”

“Why yes, I will certainly do that,” I said.  “I have no idea WHY Ted didn’t think of it himself!”

Good Lord have mercy.

39 thoughts on “Bike Rides, Birthdays, Beautiful Weather . . . and a little tale not for squeamish 6/8/2012

  1. Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Bree! The pictures are BEAUTIFUL! And I had a good chuckle over the “vet visit” – wasn’t all that gross, you did a good job of making it less so. Of course, I’ve had lots of cats and dogs so I’m pretty used to such things. 🙂

  2. I love, love, love the fact that I’m not the only one that overlooks the obvious. Ted owes you a whole box of ziplocks. Beautiful pics.

  3. Oh, the joys of having furry children.
    Love the picture of Small Point B&B. We’ll be there in about 10 days. Can’t wait. Hope the lilacs are stilling blooming at Small Point so I smell them as I go to sleep.

  4. Had to read this twice..once to myself and a second time to Bud! Love the vet story. LOL AND I love, love my “favorite Teddie”. Put a smile on my face for sure. So glad you had such a wonderful birthday “day”. 🙂 OH..almost forgot…love Hersey’s laugh, lick…love you Hersey!

  5. So happy you had such a wonderful birthday! I must say….after reading about your “don’t read further if you are easily grossed out” disclaimer, I kept expecting a picture of the tape I.P.!!! Ha! Hope Maddie and her poop are back to normal 🙂

  6. Love, love love the photos and the stories……We can all realte if we have furry children! 🙂 The things we do for those we love!!!

  7. First and foremost, Happy Belated Birthday! Sounds like it was wonderful.
    Next, that has to be the best picture of Small Point I’ve ever seen – and we have ‘a few’! So pretty tucked into the trees. I know you’ve made some people’s day in California!
    With your disclaimer, I was afraid it was a horse accident . . . it was funny, not gross! All of us with pets have been there, done that. Not that we’re fond of it!
    Hope it’s a grand Lilac Festival this year: enjoyable for the guests and profitable for the Islanders. Can’t wait to see pictures!

  8. Still laughing about the Dr. Al story! Next time I examine Teddie’s poop, I’ll be sure to give you a call so you can join me!! Great pictures, too! I love the one of your favorite Teddie!

    • Bob – Martha’s is on Main Street, across (sort of) from the Island Bookstore. If you are looking at the Horse Corral Mall, it’s the shop on the left at the entrance of that mall.

      • Thanks, found it! Wow they are huge! At least 3/4 inch thick “calorie free” frosting! Best ever! Good sandwiches too.

  9. Only on Mackinac would you meet the vet, analyze the poop and get.meds for it on a major street corner. Hopefully, Maddie and her poop are back to normal. What a great story. This week’s pictures are outstanding. You sound really happy,

    • Mackinac is such a unique and special place, Chris. Things are done a little bit differently here – but I love that!

  10. Brenda,

    Well, let’s see: Birthday flowers and Maddie’s poop analyzation in the same blog. That has to make this blog one of your most unique. The analyzation story wasn’t gross, but it was funny. I thought I was over the junior high humor, but apparently not.

    Your pictures were wonderful. My favorites? OK, I’ll just tell you, but not in order, except for the first one: Jill and Teddie at the corral, the condo over the lilacs, the bareback rider and the lilacs, main street, the allium (Thanks, Jeff.) and the Bridge from British Landing, the iris and alllium at British Landing, the sailboat and rain squalls from British Landing and Small Inn.

    • LOL, Lowell. Apparently, my readers weren’t grossed out as much as I was! Guess you just had to be there for the full “experience”.

  11. It definitely sounds like you had a great week and a great birthday. I love all your photos!

    I enjoyed your story about Maddie’s I.P.’s. What we don’t do for our dogs! I hope she gets back to normal soon!

    I wanted to let you know my mom and dad, Virginia and Stan, and I really enjoyed meeting you and chatting with you this past Thursday afternoon on Cadotte Avenue. It was so much fun to meet our favorite blogger! 🙂

  12. I’m so glad I found your blog! I worked at Martha’s and the beanery summer of 1999 & 2000. I have been missing the island (and those sweets! I gained FIFTEEN pounds that first summer! ) for the last 12 years!
    Thank you for your stories and pictures.

  13. There are so many great things in each of your blog posts I barely know where to start when I comment. Then, I inevitably leave something out that I wanted to praise! So I’ll just say it was all wonderful! Special love to Maddie. It’s probably best not to tell her how “exciting” her poop was for a few days. It might go to her head. 🙂

  14. Another thanks to Jeff….I knew the iris, and could only think of “some kind” of onion! I was hoping someone kind soul out in cyberspace would mention it!!!

    Funny vet story (I used to work for one). He must LOVE being on the island!
    Love Hershey and baby…how sweet!! B & B shot is just perfect….looks like a picture in a fairy tale book. It makes me want to go there! Seems to be in a very quiet, peaceful place. Beautiful photos as usual. What a gorgeous horse.

    • Lauriee – we didn’t get in on the first half of Trivia, so we weren’t really in the competition except for fun. Good thing – we didn’t know a single answer!

  15. Let me also add birthday wishes. There is nothing like Mackinac blue skies. Colors always seem more intense there. As for the allium (the blue ball) I fell in love them along the side of the Iroquois. I had to plant them at my house and everyone walking by stops to ask what they are.

  16. Oh my gosh-love the vet story.. I’d have thought the same thing! Glad you had such a nice birthday celebration and hope this coming year is your best ever!

  17. OH my goodness! I hope little Maddie is doing ok! I have a mini dach myself! I’m heading up north to Mackinac in 3 weeks and I can’t wait! It looks so beautiful there and you describe everything so magically!

  18. Happy belated birthday!!! So glad you took time to celebrate. Loved the Maddie story. A friend of mine’s dog swallowed a whole pack of gum – now that was a gross poop story!!! That was when gum was wrapped in the silver foil – remember???? Great pictures – have never seen the Small Point Inn. Now I have another mission when we get there next time!

  19. Sad I didn’t see you while we were on Island. Believe me I was looking!
    Hopefully in Sept.
    Have you thought of doing a wedding on the island story? Not sure if readers would be interested. I invite you to tag along with us in Sept. if you’d like. It is a very small group we will have there. Just an idea.

    Enjoy the rest of the festival. Can’t wait to see pictures of festivities!

    • Sorry I missed you, Connie. And thanks for the invite in September, but I think I’m going to leave the weddings to the wedding photographers – they sure don’t need me hanging around!

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