Write a Good One 1/8/17

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book.  Write a good one.  Brad Paisley – on New Year’s Eve.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my sweet and dear friends!  Good gosh – it’s been two months since we’ve gotten together here on Bree’s Blog – longer than I’ve ever stopped writing since beginning this journey in April of 2009!

Ok – let’s go ahead and get this out of the way.  Yes, I’ve done my annual soul searching

After a two-month vacation from the blogosphere, I’ve discovered that, although I can live without self-imposed deadlines, hunts for photographs, and times when my fingers stay poised way too long over the keyboard waiting for my brain to come up with something to write, I’m not ready to live without my connection to all of you!

So – Bree’s Blog will roll on for at least one more year.  There’s so much I want to share with you in 2017:  our trip to Alaska in May, Bodie’s zany antics and Maddie’s sweet senior years, and – most important to all of you – three months of Mackinac in the summer.  I’ll try to post a little more often than last year in the time between now and leaving for Mackinac – maybe like the “postcards” I did from the island last year.  Then when we hit the island, I’ll post even more.

I’m excited about 2017!  Let’s write that 365-page book together . . . . starting now!

THE HOLIDAYS

Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve are a big blur.  We had family come, family go, family come back and leave again.  Throughout those happy days we enjoyed more food than should be legal, made some great memories, and got to share a seven-year-old’s Santa Claus!

I know it's hard for our northern friends to imagine Christmas catalog shopping in shorts out on the deck, but that's what you get in Florida!

I know it’s hard for our northern friends to imagine Christmas catalog shopping in shorts out on the deck, but that’s what you have to get used to in Florida!

Our little neighborhood was very festive this year . . .

Our little neighborhood was very festive this year!

. . . and everyone was very much in the Christmas spirit.

We all had great fun decorating palm trees . . .

. . . and pretending snow was falling.

. . . and pretending snow was falling.

Blake was home for a few days . . .

Blake was home for a few days . . .

. . . followed by Jason, Jen, and Alex . . .

. . . followed by Jason, Jen, and Alex . . .

. . . followed by Julie, Matt, Jordan, Matthew - and Blake again!

. . . followed by Julie, Matt, Jordan, Matthew – and Blake again!

It's been many, many years since we had a little boy in the house at Christmas! We made cookies for Santa . . .

It’s been many, many years since we had a little boy in the house at Christmas! We made cookies for Santa . . .

. . . opened gifts from Santa and family on Christmas Day . . .

. . . and opened gifts from Santa and family on Christmas Day.

I loved this gift from Jen and Alex. An artist friend of hers created a pop art canvas from photographs of Maddie and Bodie!

I loved this gift from Jen and Alex. An artist friend of Jen’s created a pop art canvas from photographs of Maddie and Bodie!

And Ted gave me this wonderful way to park my car correctly in the garage. Some ladies get diamonds for Christmas, but I got a ball on a rope!

And Ted gave me this wonderful way to park my car correctly in the garage. You see, he got a new weight machine from Santa, and if I don’t park my car perfectly it interferes with his range of motion.  Hmmmm . . . some wives get diamonds for Christmas.  I get a ball on a rope!

 

Jason and Jen wishing everyone Merry Christmas from the beach on Facebook . . .

Jason and Jen wishing everyone Merry Christmas from the beach on Facebook . . .

. . . followed instantly by a wipe-out!

. . . followed instantly by a wipe-out!

Seriously, we had a wonderful Christmas, and the best part was seeing all the kids and grandkids.  Speaking of which – they all went together and gave Ted and I a monetary gift for our Alaska trip – what a surprise!  Anyone out there who has been on an Alaska land/cruise trip, please weigh in on which excursions we need to book!

I definitely didn’t start the New Year off right though.  I had a physical therapy appointment the day before New Year’s Eve.  My therapist decided to try something new – working on my back instead of my neck.  I knew I was in trouble when I walked out that day, and by the next morning I was in so much pain I finally just had a good, old-fashioned melt-down.  I cried for two hours, took a hot bath, put on my pj’s and was in bed by 10 that night.  I DID feel much better the next day, but I think physical therapy has about done as much as it can do for this old neck of mine.  I have an appointment on Friday with my neurologist to talk about injections.  Stay tuned for the next chapter of this adventure!

MACKINAC ISLAND

The island is a winter wonderland, and they had a beautiful white Christmas!  Lake Huron has steamed once, and the temps are good and cold.  An ice bridge just may be in the cards for this winter.

Unless otherwise noted, all of the photographs below are from Clark Bloswick.

The 20 orso horses that remain on Mackinac for the winter get plenty of exercise. These two beauties were hauling constructions supplies from the ferry at British Landing.

The 20 or so horses that remain on Mackinac for the winter get plenty of exercise. These two beauties were hauling construction supplies from the ferry at British Landing.

The West Bluff - dressed in her winter whites.

The West Bluff – dressed in her winter whites.

Currier & Ives could not have done it better! Perfect Mackinac Island winter scene.

Currier & Ives could not have done it better! Perfect Mackinac Island winter scene.

Beautiful Trinity Church on Fort Hill.

Beautiful Trinity Church on Fort Hill.

Snow "mushrooms" along the coast.

Snow “mushrooms” along the shore.

A snow-covered cedar hedge in the Annex frames a snow covered cottage.

A snow-covered cedar hedge in the Annex frames a snow-covered cottage.

Sunlight spreads over homes as the sun rises a week before Christmas.

Sunlight spreads over homes early one morning the week before Christmas.

Horses brought to the island to handle the extra holiday business are led down Market Street toward the ferry docks. They will return to their winter home in Pickford.

Horses brought to the island to handle the extra holiday business are led down Market Street toward the ferry docks. They will return to their winter home in Pickford. (Photo:  Tom Chambers)

The view from a Cedar Hill Condo deck - looking across the Grand Hotel golf course. (Photo: Pam Day)

The view from a Cedar Hill Condo deck – looking across the Grand Hotel golf course. (Photo: Pam Day)

A beautifully decorated Chambers Corner! (Photo: Pam Day)

A beautifully decorated Chambers Corner! (Photo: Pam Day)

Main Street on New Year's Eve. (Photo: Jake Hudson)

Main Street on New Year’s Eve. (Photo: Jake Hudson)

A lone snowmobile makes the run up Cadotte on a wintry night. (Photo: Pam Day)

A lone snowmobile makes the run up Cadotte on a wintry night. (Photo: Pam Day)

Friend Eugenia Murray's 16-year-old Beagle, Titus, on his first snow walk (he normally spends his winters in Florida).

Friend Eugenia Murray’s 16-year-old Beagle, Titus, on his first snow walk (he normally spends his winters in Florida).

BODIE

You see those two matching throw pillows on the bed behind my Bodie-boy?

You see those two matching throw pillows on the bed behind my Bodie-boy?

There's only one now.

There’s only one now.

Bodie, bless his heart, is a work-in-progress.  He can be – on alternate days, hours, minutes (even seconds) – either the most aggravating or the sweetest four-legged creature ever.  Our first two-and-a-half months together have been challenging to say the least, and I won’t deny having thought – more than once – “Dear Gussie, what have I done?”

But . . . . when he flops down next to me in the dog bed (it would easily hold me and a small horse) and puts his big, beautiful head across my legs, cutting his eyes up to look at me and seeming to say, “Mom, I know I ate all the paper towels out of the trash can in the kitchen, and chewed up the case for your glasses, and unrolled one of the new rolls of toilet paper you keep in the basket next to that big white funny-shaped water dish I drink out of, but it was just all innocent fun.  You forgive me right?” – my answer is an unequivocal yes.

Bodie loves Ted, but he has most definitely bonded with me.  In the evening, when I retire to the bedroom tv to watch a movie, Bodie is at my feet the entire evening.

Except when he's watching himself!

Except when he’s watching himself (he seems to prefer action-adventures with lots of explosions).

When I leave the house for whatever reason, he waits patiently for me at the door to the garage – even if it’s on the days when I work for four hours.  His temperament, activity level, and demeanor are totally different from Bear’s (and some of that is definitely affected by his age), but even so he is filling my heart with all the good things that owning a wonderful dog brings.  It makes me a little ashamed that my mantra was “I want another golden just like Bear”.  I did not need another Bear.

And he deserves nothing less.

I needed a Bodie.

It’s sooooo good to be back writing!  See you back here soon!

God bless.

 

 

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56 thoughts on “Write a Good One 1/8/17

  1. It sure is good to hear from you Brenda…even though I have missed reading your blog I still saw you on Facebook so I did get my Brenda fix that way 🙂 The island looks amazing at Christmas time. Love the different colors and how festive it looks. Your right..I can’t quite wrap my mind around the Christmas shopping in shorts and sitting outside BUT I sure would like to try LOL. Bodie sounds like a sweet handful and I can’t wait to meet him. Happy you were able to spend your holidays with family and as far as your cruise goes, you are definitely going to have to take LOTS of pictures. I know that Bud’s boss and his wife did an Alaskan cruise and they LOVED it.

    • We are getting more excited, Hilde. It’s been booked for so long that we kinda had to forget about it for a while, but now it’s just a few months away!

  2. Love reading your blog….can’t wait to hear about your trip… I’m sure there’ll be great pics….⛴⚓️🛳

  3. So good to hear from you again Bree. Thank you for writing to your “tribe”. Can’t believe how time flies … two months … and Yes, I’m sure I am speaking for alot of us that we missed you. Love reading about your adventures with family and friends and the “four-legged” family members.

  4. Oh this is all so cool to see you back! Love all the pictures of Florida, along with the Island. Another year is starting to unfold…exciting!! Christmas shopping in shorts looks so inviting, but then Island pictures in December look so….inviting!

      • Wife and I cruised Alaska in early June 2013, Princess Cruises from Vancouver to Whittier (Anchorage). Spent 1st night in Vancouver, great bus tour there.

        Stopped and toured; Ketchikan, Juneau + Skagway, via seaplane, local cabs and railroad. Contact if you’d like input on these locations. Webcams available in each city.

        Have been reading and appreciating in the background for many years. You still lived up the hill when I first started.

        From a Chicago suburb. Discovered your site as a link on one of the Island web sites. My first trip to Island, I’m guessing mid 1960s.Welcome back.

      • Hello Bob! I think we’re doing what y’all did only in reverse! Thanks so much for commenting and for being such a loyal reader!

  5. So glad you are back writing! I have always wondered about the coral cottage in the Annex. I will have to get out my books! Do you know much about it? Love reading about Bodie’s antics. There is something about his eyes! They are saying “I didn’t mean to do it. I couldn’t help myself!” What a character. Looking forward to more stories!

  6. So happy to hear from you again! I loved the pics of the Island in winter! We have had snow and lots of cold weather since December 18th. I know that’s not even a month ago, but I’m already sick of it!! Karen in Red Wing MN

  7. Yeah, you are back! Love the photos.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your trip to Alaska. We went in 2009 on a cruise/tour from Holland America. My present to my parents for Christmas was a trip to Alaska in March to see the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Anchorage. So my advice? If you are going to a kennel, go to Jeff King’s Husky Homestead in Denali, Mitch Seavey’s near Seward, or Martin Buser’s in Big Lake. These guys (and Mitch’s son Dallas) are the rock stars. There’s other tours but you might as well meet the royalty. We got off the ship in Seward and did the bus up through the Yukon. We did see Denali and Anchorage, which are musts but I’m glad we saw the Yukon which seemed more real than the others that are more cruise ship stops.

    • Thank you! We ARE going to Denali so that would work for us. Friends here in the neighborhood who went last May also said a visit to a kennel was a must!

  8. Love having you back on Sunday night (to me, family day!). It just seems right. Beautiful catch on the sunrise glow – one of my favorite Mackinac pictures ever. Thank you Clark Bloswick!! Please tell us all about the Alaska trip. My husband retires this year and that’s one trip he keeps mentioning. Everyone we know who has done it, loved it! And Happy New Year, too!

  9. Love, Love, Love your blog! Glad you are going to entertain us blogger fans for another year! Bodie is such a sweetie but it is so fun to read about his latest shenanigans!

    We have been on few cruises but not to Alaska. We have been to Alaska several times since my sister lived there before relocating. We love the cruises we have been on. The cruise boat floorplans are a little tricky to figure out but the staff are super helpful and the food is usually fabulous!

    You have such a beautiful family and glad you got to see them over the holidays! It is also fun to “peak” into your house. It is gorgeous and I love the interior design!

    I am getting excited to go to the island for my annual winter trip. I am there from Jan 18-23. I miss spending time with Rich and Marge from the Cottage Inn but they are having fun in Arizona. Tony thought I should stay a little longer on the island. Maybe his way of having time to himself! LOL! He has never went in the winter. He thinks I am insane to want to go somewhere colder than we are at in Iowa but he has said he “might” go for a few days next year. Not sure if that is good or bad! HAHA!

    Take care and say hello to Ted! Hugs from Iowa!

  10. Aw my sweet so glad u are back writing…….to have your talent….wishing all of y’all the best year ever! Please keep my hometown Albany in your prayers during this terrible time. The pictures are heart breaking……give Ted my Love!

  11. So good to catch up with you again, Brenda! Seems like Bodie has matured quite a bit since I last saw him on your blog. What a sweet and thoughtful gift, the photo of Maddie and Bodie. Thank you for all the family, Florida and Mackinac Island news! May your new year be full of blessings!

  12. Glad you are back. Loved reading about your time with family at Christmas. Hopefully we’ll see you mid July on the island.

  13. Ohhhh Brenda, to write from the heart is to tell a tale that no one else can… you do such an amazing job of inviting us into your daily life. Thank you. *U* Kathleen

    On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 5:51 PM, Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog wrote:

    > bree1972 posted: “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. > Write a good one. Brad Paisley – on New Year’s Eve. HAPPY NEW YEAR, my > sweet and dear friends! Good gosh – it’s been two months since we’ve > gotten together here on Bree’s Blog – longer than I’ve e” >

  14. So good to have you back and thrilled you’ll continue your blog. Loved all the photos and sorry to hear your neck is still giving you trouble. That Bodie is a sweetie, can’t wait till he’s a bit bigger so he can blog too. Enjoy the warmer Florida weather, I’m just glad we’re out of the deep freeze for awhile. Take care and see you on Facebook!

  15. So glad to see your blog again. The pictures of Mackinac are beautiful. I also would love to visit there in the winter someday. The story of Bodie and the pillow made me laugh. We still have chewed up woodwork in our house from when our youngest dog was a puppy. And he has turned into the most loving and wonderful dog you could ever imagine.

  16. You will love your trip to Alaska. We went on a 12-day Cruise-Tour in Aug. 2000 on the “Ocean Princess”. I do have a couple tips for you. Buy colorful Ponchos to take with you for your stop in Ketchikan. (Color makes for a better picture in the rain.) In Ketchikan, rain is measured in feet instead of inches; 13 to 20 feet per year. There was a regular stampede to buy some kind of rain gear as we disembarked, and most people ended up wearing a flimsy see-thru plastic bag.

    In Juneau (I think Juneau) a bus drove us up on the Mendenhall Glacier where we were invited to exit the bus and walk around. Tip #2. Wear shoes with a tread. One of our young passengers was wearing summer sandals, and was slip-sliding all over the place.

    In Skagway, one side trip we found interesting was the narrow gauge “White Pass Yukon Route Railway”. From the train you can see the still visible trail of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. And then there is the downtown Camp Skagway Bar built in 1899.

    The dbl decker site seeing train thru Denali Park to Anchorage was a treat. The tour guide told us that Mt McKinley is not always visible, but we were privileged to see the Mtn the entire trip.

    So much to see and do! Certainly too much to fit into this comment page.

  17. Brenda,

    Well, apparently I don’t need to say how much you were missed and how much satisfaction and happiness you have brought by posting this wonderful blog. All the comments have proven that and I agree wholeheartedly.

    I won’t talk about how much I enjoyed all the pictures, but I do want to say that you didn’t really have anything on us by sitting on the balcony doing your Christmas shopping in a shirt and shorts. It recently got all the way up into the low 40’s here and we could enjoy time in the porch swing. (No, you don’t have to believe that part about the swing because it’s not true.)

  18. Loved ALL the pictures both north and south and the one of your pillow made me laugh out loud! My parents took an Alaskan cruise and also loved it. I bet you can’t wait. Sounds like a great year coming!

  19. Of course I too am glad you are writing again. Besides Facebook, the blog keeps us connected. I do think you should come to Mackinac Island sooner than you plan. We all miss you and Ted and are looking forward to meeting Bodie and seeing Maddie. I do love it here in the winter. I saw the ice along the shoreline today. It’s beautiful. The guest bedroom still awaits you!

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