Through to the Other Side 9/2/2013

You know that feeling you get when you’re not feeling well and you suddenly think, “Oh my gosh, this is it.  I’m never going to feel better than what I do right now.  Woe is me.”  You know that feeling?

I’m past that.

Yep, I’ve come through to the other side.  A few prescription-dose tablets, and the world suddenly looks all sunny and bright again.  I DO feel better.  In fact, I feel great!  Thank you, Lord, for doctors and medicines and time to let them work!

Although I’d been out and about ac couple of times during the last 10 days, on Saturday I finally felt like going out and DOING something!  It was a good thing too, because Labor Day weekend was filled with activities!

LABOR DAY LAST RIDE OF THE SEASON

Each year island residents who own horses celebrate the end of another wonderful summer on Mackinac with a last ride.  In formal riding attire they meet on the East Bluff and ride throughout the island.  There’s no set route each year.  They just ride and enjoy the beauty of this gorgeous place where we spend our summers, before most of these privately-owed horses (and their owners) leave the island for the winter.

The riders culminate their journey on the East West Bluff,  where the flowers around each of these beautiful homes are still at their peak.

The next-to-the-last leg of the ride is to the West Bluff, where the flowers around each of these beautiful cottages are still at their peak.

horses2

horses4

horses5

house

The riders pass several of these homes on the ride down the West Bluff . . .

. . . until they come to this one . . .

. . . until they come to this one . . .

. . . where they assemble for Mint Juleps  . . .

. . . where they assemble for Mint Juleps served in silver goblets . . .

. . . and toast the end of the season and all the Mackinac Island riders who have gone before them.

. . . and toast the end of the season and all the Mackinac Island riders who have gone before them.

After the toast, they continue down the West Bluff . . .

After the toast, they continue down the West Bluff . . .

. . . ride in front of the Grand Hotel and then return to the East Bluff where they meet for breakfast at one of the East Bluff cottages.  What a great Mackinac Island tradition!

. . . ride in front of the Grand Hotel and then return to the East Bluff, where they meet for breakfast at one of the East Bluff cottages. What a great Mackinac Island tradition!

FAREWELL DINNER FOR VINCE AND MOLLY CARROLL

I’ve spoken often here of Little Stone Church and our wonderful minister Dr. Vince Carroll and his wife Molly.  It was with great sadness we learned last spring this would be their final summer on the island, as Vince has accepted a church in Long Boat Key, FL – near their home in Sarasota.  He and Molly have served Little Stone Church and the island of Mackinac for ten years, and next summer will certainly not be the same without them.  Vince is one of the most dynamic and powerful ministers I’ve ever heard, and both those adjectives are somehow projected without the raising of his voice.  I could honestly listen to him for hours, and I have never once had my mind stray beyond the pulpit when he is speaking.  Molly is a dear friend and loving part of this community, and these two walk together on God’s path – showing all of us the ideal of a Christian marriage.

Vince and Molly – everyone on Mackinac will miss you greatly, but none more than Ted and I.

Unless he is in the pulpit you hardly ever see Vince when he is not sporting a bow tie.  The men of the church thought it would be great fun to show up at Vince and Molly's farewell dinner all wearing bow ties.

Unless he is in the pulpit you hardly ever see Vince when he is not sporting a bow tie, and the men of the church thought it would be great fun to show up at Vince and Molly’s farewell dinner all wearing bow ties.  We ladies decided we loved the look, and we’re all encouraging our husbands to continue wearing them!

vvvvv

Nearly 80 people  attended the dinner, which was served under a tent at the Yacht Club.  As usual, the food was some of the best on the island.

Thanks to Patty for this pic of Ted and I at the dinner.  LOVE the bow-tie!

Thanks to Patty for this pic of Ted and I at the dinner.

Vince and Molly Carroll.  And for some strange reason, Vince chose that night NOT to wear his bow-tie!

Vince and Molly Carroll. Which man didn’t wear his bow tie?  Vince!

SUNDAY

After church on Sunday, Buz, Patty, Ted and I rode out to Silver Birches for a little informal get-together.  Rain clouds were gathering as we started toward British Landing, but we managed to get to Silver Birches, eat some great food, and dash inside just as the rain hit.

We continue to be impressed at the progress Liz and her team from Gamble Construction have made between each of our visits.  Liz said I had now graduated to "tour director", so I showed Buz and Patty around.

We continue to be impressed at the progress Liz and her team from Mike Gamble Construction have made between each of our visits. Liz said I had now graduated to “tour director”, so I showed Buz and Patty around.

jdjddjdj

I took these late in the afternoon, but earlier this was the scene of food being served . . . .

. . . and a band had been playing on the porch of the blue cottage.

. . . and a band had been playing on the porch of the blue cottage.

A taxi came out to pick up the band's equipment and deliver it back to town.

A taxi came out to pick up the band’s equipment and deliver it back to town.

Patty and Buz on the steps of the yellow cabin, which should be completed by the end of October.

Patty and Buz on the steps of the yellow cabin, which should be completed by the end of October.

Vintage photograph of Silver Birches - back in the day.  (Posted on Facebook by Brad Conkey)

Vintage photograph of Silver Birches – back in the day. (Posted on Facebook by Brad Conkey)

LABOR DAY BRIDGE WALK

Ted participated in the 5-mile Labor Day Bridge Walk again this morning . . .

Ted participated in the 5-mile Labor Day Bridge Walk again this morning.  This is the beginning of the walk, leaving from the St. Ignace side of the bridge . . .

. . . . about the pass the highest point . . .

. . . . about to pass the highest point . . .

. . . and celebrating afterwards with Bobby and Jen in Mackinaw City.

. . . and celebrating afterwards with Bobby and Jen in Mackinaw City.  He walked it in only a little over an hour.

I can’t believe Labor Day is almost over, officially marking the end of the summer and the beginning of our last two months on the island for this year.  It was chilly today – in the high 50’s.  But with 15-25 mph winds, it didn’t seem that warm.  We’re heading back into the low 70’s tomorrow, so the cooler weather is going to tease us a while before getting serious about the start of Fall.

A FEW MORE PHOTOS

Bob and beautiful daughter Ava popped in to say hi last week.  He and wife Kara are blog readers.  Kara and their son Will were shopping and didn't make it by before I had to close for the day.  See you next time!

Bob and beautiful daughter Ava popped in at the Stuart House to say hi last week. He and wife Kara are blog readers. Kara and their son Will were shopping and didn’t make it by before I had to close for the day. See you next time!  Oh, they’re from Wausau, WI.

Another blog reader, Joan from Shelby Township, MI, visited the Stuart House last week.  We changed location and sat on the BACK steps!

Another blog reader, Joan from Shelby Township, MI, visited last week. We changed locations and sat on the BACK steps!

The Mackinac Island Post Office front door - framed by flowers.

The Mackinac Island Post Office front door – framed by flowers.

Something NOT so pretty - a bat hangs upside down on a light fixture outside the Island Bookstore.  If you ever want to show your kids a bat, there are usually a few sleeping in the hallway to the left of the bookstore.  Harmless . . . very harmless.  I promise.  I even visit the bookstore sometimes just to see the bats.  Oh geez - am I in trouble with the bookstore now?

Something NOT so pretty – a bat hangs upside down on a light fixture outside the Island Bookstore. If you ever want to show your kids a bat, there are usually a few sleeping on the ceiling  in the hallway to the left of the bookstore. Harmless . . . very harmless. I promise. I even visit the bookstore sometimes just to see the bats. Oh geez – am I in trouble with the bookstore now?

Back to pretty things - the Metivier in full summer dress.

Back to pretty things – the Metivier Inn in full summer dress.

Chambers Corner.

Chambers Corner

A hay wagon heads up Cadotte to the big barns.

A hay wagon heads up Cadotte to the big barns.

A fun dinner with Jill, Bud & Hilde DaVanon, Frankie Thill and Mike Forrester.

A fun dinner with Jill, Bud & Hilde DaVanon, Frankie Thill and Mike Forrester at the Pink Pony recently.

Thank you, Brad Conkey, for being brave enough to go up in the Red Baron, a bi-plane giving flights over the Island this summer.  What a view!  We can even see our condos behind the Grand Hotel!

Thank you, Brad Conkey, for being brave enough to go up in the Red Baron, a bi-plane giving flights over the Island this summer. What a view! We can even see our condos behind the Grand Hotel!

Whew!  I feel like I’m really back now . . . a long blog post with lots of photos!  Oh, here’s one more:

Our friend Samile posted this last week - a wonderful Lake Blackshear sunset.  Made me VERY homesick for south Georgia.  We are so blessed to live in two such awesomely beautiful places on this earth.  Thank you, Lord.

Our friend Samille, back home in Georgia, posted this last week – a wonderful sunset from Lake Blackshear, our winter home. Made me VERY homesick.. We are so blessed to live in two such awesomely beautiful places on this earth. Thank you, Lord.

Stu Stuart – A Mackinac Island Comedy Tradition – Says Farewell 8/30/2013

Mention comedy on Mackinac Island, and you will always get the same two words – Stu Stuart.

When Ted and I first visited Mackinac in 2000, I remember seeing Stu’s smiling, handsome face everywhere downtown – beaming from brochures and playbills – advertising his comedy show.  Anyone we asked said Stu’s show was a “must-see”, but I believe it was 2001 when we walked downstairs to the showroom under the Lilac Tree Hotel to see Stu perform for the first time.  I remember laughing – a lot – as he cracked jokes about life on Mackinac and as he spun stories about the uniqueness of the Island – with all its characters and strange ways of doing normal, everyday things.  I also remember him asking some question of the audience, Ted shouting out some answer, and then having him pick on Ted most of the rest of the show . . . . all in good fun and all very funny.  We thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Fast forward to 2009.  We’re in our second year as island summer residents, and it’s my first summer writing Bree’s Blog.  I wrote a piece on Stu’s comedy show – a sit-down interview over Mexican food at the Murray Hotel.  It was like meeting a celebrity!  I was nervous, but Stu instantly put me at ease, and we ate and talked and laughed for almost two hours that afternoon.  A short time later, Ted and I took in another show and again enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

In the four years since that interview, Stu has become one of those island icons we see downtown at least once a week – either picking up his mail at the post office, riding by on a bike, grocery shopping at Doud’s, or getting on or off a ferry.  He never fails to stop and chat a moment, and I count on seeing him every summer – just like always.

The first time I spotted Stu this spring he was getting on the ferry with with JoJo.

The first time I spotted Stu this spring he was getting on the ferry with JoJo.

It was that day in spring when we met on the ferry dock that he told me this would be his last summer doing comedy on Mackinac – his Farewell Comedy Tour.  We chatted a moment about me writing about his final shows, and I filed it away for the future, thinking, “Right.  Summer without a Stu Stuart Comedy Show? Not going to happen!”  I honestly thought he’d get into the middle of the season and be having so much fun the idea of stopping would be forgotten, and there’d be nothing to write about.

But a few weeks ago I ran into Stu again, and he hadn’t changed his mind.  This was it – his last summer – not of living on the island, but of being it’s comedy icon.

Did I still want to do the story?  Yes, I did.

Trying to work around both our schedules for a long sit-down interview turned out to be impossible, so I sent him questions, and over the last few weeks, he has answered them, in depth – with thoughtfulness, with honesty, and with a lot of his trademark humor.

Comedian Stu Stuart’s Farewell Comedy Tour Interview

  • Where were you born? Pontiac General Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan, Nov. 29, 1963 at 10:35 p.m.  On an interesting side note, I recently read where Dr. Jack Kevorkian was on the staff there at the time.  Small world.
  • Were you always “the funny guy”?  No, I was never the class clown or one of these comics who always knew they wanted to perform.  I come from a family with a great, witty and dry sense of humor, was always a fan of comedy and quick with a situational joke.  Then one day in 1987 I went to an open mic (amateur night) and thought, “Hey, I could do that.”  From there comedy turned into a hobby, then a second income, then in 1991 I went full time.
High school photo.

Circa 1988 – Seattle.

  • Who or what inspired you to become a comedian?  When I was old enough to get into comedy clubs, I went to every show I could, and I would admire what these comics were doing on stage. There were many inspirations, including Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Garry Shandling, Louie Anderson, Jake Johansen, Dana Gould and even Alan Alda’s character on M*A*S*H, Hawkeye Pierce. His wit and timing were great and obviously being based on the humor of Groucho Marx.
  • When was the first time you did stand-up? A little place called the Comedy Stop in Champaign, Illinois.  The bar was called the Alley Cat, but on Wednesdays they changed the name and had comedy.  The house emcee and comic was a guy named Paul Frisbee, who sometimes would enter the stage pushing a running lawnmower.
  • Did you have any other careers before you became a professional comedian?  I have a degree in journalism from the University of Montana, Missoula.  Prior to becoming a comedian I was in public relations and marketing for a company called the Unlimited Racing Commission, which was the organizing and sanctioning body for Unlimited Hydroplane powerboat races.  It’s now called H1.  At the time, our office was based in Seattle and we put on 10 races across the country including: Evansville, Ind., Madison, Ind. Detroit, Syracuse, Miami, Seattle, Houston, Las Vegas, San Diego, Tri-Cities, Wash.  I traveled with the circuit, then in the winter worked in the office in Seattle preparing for the next season.
  • Where have you done comedy shows besides Mackinac Island?  Just about every little and big town in the United States and Canada, especially when I was first starting out.  I went everywhere I could add a date to my calendar and still make money.  You really get to see North America and come to know the people and the different regions.  The seeing America at ground level and being a tourist along the way has been one of the joys of being a comedian.  I am the ultimate tourist.  I get that from my mom, who instilled the love and joy of travel in me at an early age.  The irony of comedy is when you first start out, you take any gig, some good, some not-so-much,  and you are less prepared to deal with it.   And once you get established, you can cherry pick the best gigs, which are much more fun and easy in which to perform, yet now you have the comedy toolbox to handle any situation.
2002 - Studio City, California (Photo: Duane Peck)

2002 – Studio City, California (Photo: Duane Peck)

  • What made you choose Mackinac for the summer shows?  Growing up in Rochester, Michigan, I had been to Mackinac several times throughout my childhood and adult life and was very intrigued by its beauty and bike culture.  When I was 27, living in Seattle, and by this time a professional comedian, I visited Mackinac in 1991 after a family reunion and thought it would be a great place to live for the summer and a great place to do a comedy show, since the people come to you, rather than you come to them, as most comedians do when they travel to fill their calendar.  In that regard, from an entertainer’s point of view, it is like the old days of the resorts of Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.
  • When did you first bring your comedy show to Mackinac Island?  The summer of 1995.  My goal was to come to Mackinac for three summers, perform, enjoy the Island, then move on.  But I met a girl, fell in love, stayed on the Island, kept doing my show and found it became home.  I’m not with that same girl anymore, but we are friends and I’m still with Mackinac.
  • Where have you performed on Mackinac Island?  I have had regular shows at Mission Point Resort, Island House, 3 Brothers Sarducci Pizza, the Lake View Hotel and the Lilac Tree Hotel, where I performed for about 12 years.  I’ve also done corporate shows at Grand Hotel Theatre.  I also have performed around a campfire for the boy scouts serving as the Governor’s Honor Guards on Mackinac.  That was a memorable show.  Note to self: Scouts love fart jokes.
  • What have been your winter jobs while doing summer MI comedy show?  Ever since I started coming to Mackinac, I have done comedy full time with no other winter jobs, with the exception of my recent beer tours.  Although, in my early summers on Mackinac, I was a dockporter at Mission Point Resort and Arnold Transit Co.  One summer I was the attendant at the Mackinac Island State Park and almost got fired for wearing shorts to work, which is insane, yet prohibited.  Those dark green uniforms are brutal!  I was also a substitute teacher at the Mackinac Island school one fall because as I jokingly say in my act, “You only need two things to be a sub on Mackinac, a college degree and to have not been convicted of a felony…keyword ‘convicted’.”
  • Who is your favorite current comedian?  If I had to pick one: Jerry Seinfeld.  He is clearly one of the masters.  He just did it all right, with class, original comedic insight, well-crafted jokes and longevity.  I had the pleasure to meet him once and he was great. He once said something like comedians don’t turn 25 until they turn 45 and I think that is in large true.  Seinfeld didn’t settle down, get married and have a family until late in life.  He was also once asked how comedy works and he said something like that it is like a black art, no one is really sure how it works, but it does.  Very funny!
  • What’s your best and worst experience on stage?  The worst was trying to do a comedy show at a bar in Point Roberts, British Columbia, seconds after the Super Bowl.  No one was there for comedy. They were drunk, chatty and due to no fault of their own, completely tuned out the show.  The owner should have never tried to do a show right after the Super Bowl.  I did just enough time of stage to get paid, then bailed.  The comedian who followed me did the same thing.  The owner felt bad about the whole situation, and gladly paid us for our efforts.  Note to self: Never try to do a show in a bar right after Super Bowl.   As for the best, I can’t think of one specific show.  But there are many shows I have had where the audience hops on the comedy bus from the first joke, gets every joke, laughs loud and has a great time right to the last joke, and it flows like a river.  It’s shows like this that remind me why I got into comedy.  Any comic who has been around awhile will tell you the same.
  • Who is the funniest person you know – past and present?  Ric Shrader is one of them.  He was a headliner based in Seattle when I was coming up in the comedy business in the late 80s.  I opened for him many times.  When there was no emcee, he would go on stage cold, focus the audience, then bring me up with a nice introduction, which makes all the difference in the world when you are the first comic up on stage.  I remember Ric would say to the audience, “How many of you are seeing live comedy for the first time?”  There would generally be a smattering of applause, then he would say, “Good, ‘cuz what we’re gonna being doing here is real similar!”  Ric no longer performs but has a great humor column called Asking the Wrong Guy!!! , which can be found at askingthewrongguy.com
  • How do you handle hecklers?  I quickly dispatch them and figuratively lop off their tiny heads. Seriously, though, it is very situational.  Most hecklers are just overzealous and not hostile.  On Mackinac Island, I rarely get hecklers.  People are on vacation, they paid money, they want to have a good time, they are not out to cause problems.  In all my  19 summers on Mackinac, I have only once had to stop a show and kick out two obnoxiously drunk people, in this case women.  But once they departed, we put the wheels back on the wagon and the show went great.  I learned along time ago in comedy, if you got a rock in your shoe, it’s better to stop and get it out before you continue walking.
  • Hobbies? I come from a long line of hobbyists. My dad collected rocks, coins, stamps,  license plates, etc.   My hobbies include Sunfish sailboat racing, collecting beer cans and beer signs, the Winter Olympics (I’ve been to two), watching Tour de France, and my newest hobby,  collecting and flying flags, mostly historic ones. Former West Bluff and summer resident David Bankard used to fly historic flags, and I would admire how he would fly a different one most every day.  I would stop by on my bike and he would tell me the historic significance of each one.  I miss seeing his different flags flying over Mackinac Island.  I also collect bikes and have a large functioning collection of them, which get used mostly for my guests on the Island.  Many of them were salvaged from garbage drays or purchased at yard sales.  Newcomers buy these old cottages on Mackinac, they don’t want the old single-speed bikes which have been around, covered with bikes licenses of years gone by, and they toss them in a dray or sell them.  These are the bikes I love.  The more licenses on the frame, the better.  They are badges of honor and history.  You can tell a cottage bike a block away.
  • What’s your biggest pet peeve – on the stage and for life in general?  My biggest pet peeve on stage is people who talk during a comedy show.  They don’t realize that from the stage I can hear every little thing in the showroom, and it’s very disruptive to my train of thought and timing.  If you want to talk, don’t come to a comedy show.  Also, people who bring and chew popcorn during a show.  What are they thinking?  As for biggest pet peeve in life?  People who are not nice.  No matter what you got going on, how stressed you are, or whatever, just be nice to people.  There’s no excuse for not being nice.  It’s pretty simple concept and works if you apply it.
  • What is the last book you read?  The Great Leader by Jim Harrison.  Harrison was one of my neighbors for many year near my other summer home in Grand Marais.  I got to know him and hang out with him some when he used to hold court at the Lake Superior Brewing Co.  He is a legend there and many places.  He’s huge in France.  I’m huge in Japan.  Not so much popular, just tall.
  • What next?  I’m going to continue to design and lead beer tours to Belgium and Germany.  In 2008, I started Belgian Beer Me! Beer Tours with four annual tours.  Now I have expanded and added Bamberg Beer Me! Beer Tours, and combined offer 12 tours to beer paradises each year.  Belgium has the indisputably best beers in the world, and the Bamberg, Germany area has the largest concentration of breweries in the world (around 300) – and is the last vestige of old world beer culture featuring the finest lager beers you will find anywhere.  Bamberg is also perfectly preserved medieval city surrounded by the scenic rolling hills of northern Bavaria.  Combined, they are the two best and idyllic locations for beer travelers in the world.  I’m one of only several people who lead beer tours in Belgium and the only one who specializes in Bamberg region specifically.
  • What’s on your bucket list?  To continue to travel in the United States and abroad, spend time with my girlfriend and dogs, sail and swim in as many different lakes as possible, seek out new and eventful beers, enjoy good food, buy a new Camaro and own a nice set of Prairie Style Mission furniture.  Is that so wrong?
Childhood friends from Rochester, MI Roger (Atlanta, GA) and Terry (Gaylord, MI) were on hand for one of Stu's last shows this season.

Childhood friends from Rochester, MI Roger (Atlanta, GA) and Terry (Gaylord, MI) were on hand for one of Stu’s shows this summer.  In the top photo, that’s Stu on the left, then Terry and Roger.

2008.  Stu with Chloe - Mendocino, California.

Stu with Chloe – Mendocino, California.

  • What’s your favorite thing(s) to do on Mackinac Island? The bike culture.  I just love the idea of riding a bike everywhere you go.  While I ride a bike other places I live, there is really no counterpart to Mackinac, where you not only ride for fun, but out of necessity.  People ask me how I stay so thin and I say I belong to a health club.  A health club called Mackinac Island.  It kicks your butt and beats any “insanity” workout you might see on TV. Mackinac is not for the meek.
2009 - Lilac Tree Hotel Showroom, Mackinac Island, MI

2009 – Lilac Tree Hotel Showroom, Mackinac Island, MI

  • Why are you retiring your long-running Mackinac Island comedy show?  Through the 19 summers I’ve performed on Mackinac I have entertained thousands of people.  Being a professional comedian is something I wanted to do and I did it.  It provided a comfortable income and freedom for me, allowed me to live on scenic Mackinac Island  all these summers and connected me with many nice people and friends.  As much as I like doing the show, I feel like I’ve accomplished this goal and its time to retire it.  You know how Johnny Carson retired when he was on top?  I’m not going to do that.  I’m going out firmly in the middle!  That combined with how my beer tour company has exploded in popularity and how future growth of it is imminent, I see it is time for new chapter in my life.  I plan to continue living on Mackinac Island and Grand Marais in the summer and Traverse City in the winter.  To all the people, who have attended my show through the years,  I say thank you.  It has been a pleasure meeting you!
2013.  Seattle Company Underground at the Big Show. (Photo: Frank Blau)

2013. Seattle Company Underground at the Big Show. (Photo: Frank Blau)

Stu has only seven more shows (August 30 and 31 at 9:00 p.m. and September 1, 13, 14, 27 and 28 at 8:30 p.m. – all at the Eagle Point Cave Showroom in the Conference Center across from the Mission Point Resort lobby), and Ted and I plan to be at one of them.  We can’t let the longest running comedy show on Mackinac Island close out without seeing it one more time.

Although I’ve been acquainted with Stu Stuart for many years now, I told him recently – after reading the answers to the above questions – that I felt as though I truly knew him for the first time.  It’s always surprising when people you have only a passing knowledge of open up their hearts and let you see who they really are – their history, their ups and downs, their heartaches and joys, their disappointments and dreams.  It doesn’t seem possible that when we arrive next spring there will be no Stu Stuart brochures in busy hotel lobbies, but Stu will still be here – riding his bike, shopping at Doud’s, getting on and off the ferry.

Best wishes on all your future endeavors, Stu, and may the winds always bring you back to Mackinac. 

To read my first interview with Stu, please click here:  https://bree1972.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/lunch-with-comedian-stu-stuart-82209/

BLAH . . . 8/22/2013

Hi Gang!

Wishing I had something brilliant and exciting to write about tonight, but the truth is I haven’t been outside the walls of our condo since I posted Tuesday evening – except to walk Maddie and Bear a couple of times.

I sat down a few minutes ago and looked back over all the home remedies you offered Tuesday evening that might help me get rid of my sore throat and laryngitis.  After review, I have to say my sore throat might not have been helped by some of these, but I would have had enough alcohol in my bloodstream that I really wouldn’t have cared!

You suggested:

  • Shot of whiskey with a dab of honey
  • Whiskey in hot tea and honey
  • Hot Toddy
  • Bourbon and honey

and, my personal favorite,

  • Cayenne Pepper in a fifth of vodka, shaken and left to settle overnight. Then mix 1 part Vodka mixture with 3 parts warm water,  and  . . . . gargle!

Non-alcoholic remedies were:

  • Orange sherbet
  • Tri-color sherbet
  • Chicken soup
  • Hall’s Fruit Breezers
  • Saltines and soda pop
  • Ricola Throat Lozenges
  • Lemon, honey & ginger

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the suggestions, but after a quick check of our liquor cabinet, we had:

  • No whiskey
  • No vodka
  • No bourbon

 . . . . and somehow beer and honey just didn’t sound right.

Furthermore, we had:

  • No sherbet – of any color
  • No soup of any flavor
  • No Fruit Breezers
  • No Ricola Throat Lozenges
  • No ginger

. . . . I did have Saltines, which I tried and actually, Jason, you might be on to something there.

Anyway, I stuck to what I had – Hot Tea and Honey with a Dab of Cream.

My sore throat and laryngitis iare gone . . . . . . . splendidly replaced with the worst head cold I can ever recall.

Yuck.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So there you go folks.  My two “Oh Woe Is Me” posts of the summer.  Tomorrow morning I will rise, smile my brightest smile, and go out into the world – ok, the island – and do what I do . . . . . take pretty pictures and write happy stories.  I am done with feeling sorry for myself.  I am done with complaining.  I am done with . . . .          (BIG SNEEZE, FOLLOWED BY COUGHING FIT)          . . . . . . 

“Ted!”

“What, baby?”

“Would you mix me up some beer and honey, please.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So glad others were out taking photos while I’ve been sniffling!

The Niagara spent one night docked on Mackinac this week. (Credit: Caddywampus)

The Niagara spent one night docked on Mackinac this week. (Credit: Caddywampus)

A middle-of-the-night view of the Straits from somewhere inside Fort Mackinac. (Credit:  Clark Bloswick)

A middle-of-the-night view of the Straits from somewhere inside Fort Mackinac. (Credit: Clark Bloswick)

Header Photo:  Jill Sawatzki

The Week Behind Us 8/20/2013

I HATE being sick.  Hate it.  Hate it.  Hate it.

Add to that not being able to talk above a whisper, and I’m about fit to be tied.

My sore throat started Monday afternoon sometime after getting off work.  It got worse and worse, scratchier and scratchier.   Then the voice started getting lower and lower.  Raspier and raspier.  This morning when I got up I could barely make myself be heard, unless everything else in the condo was turned off and all ears were turned toward me.  I won’t tell you exactly what Ted thought about this turn of events, but suffice it to say he was very, very sorry my throat hurt  –  but my loss of the ability to speak had him pretty darn happy.

Ted’s cure for everything upper respiratory is chicken soup, ginger ale, and regular gargling with warm salt water.  My throat is so sore I knew even little bits of chicken and noddles would hurt to swallow.  And I tried to gargle – honest I did – but I’ve just never gotten the hang of gargling – never.  It basically ends up spurting out of my mouth like a volcano erupting – and with my head tilted back and my mouth aimed toward the ceiling – all I get out of it is a salty face wash.   So – out of the clear blue Michigan sky – I decided I needed warm tea and honey.  That is NOT a south Georgia remedy, so I had to have heard it from folks up here in the north country.  Ted just shook his head when I asked him to run by Doud’s on his way home from work today and pick up some honey and some individual tea bags.

“You need chicken soup,” he said.

“Just indulge me,” I rasped.

Around 2:30 he came in with both requested items, and I set about brewing a cup of tea.  With that accomplished, I added a little half-and-half and two dollops of honey.  It really, really tasted good and even soothed my throat a little.  Will try another cup before bed.

BLOG READERS WEEK!

It seems lots of blog readers come to Mackinac Island during August.  Several were here last week, and I know of quite a few more scheduled to arrive this weekend!

August 5th (two Mondays ago) was a rainy day, and at first I thought the Stuart House would record an all time low in visitors.  But, after noon, the sun came out, and folks started popping in – including blog fans!

This is actually a family - plus one. Linda, Brian, Owen and Declan stopped in from Ypsilanti, MI - just south of Whitmore Lake where we spend a night on the trip north. They were enjoying their stay at Hart's. The lady on the right is Marsha from Marshall, where she's a librarian in the school district there. She told me she uses the little book written by our island school children (We Live on Mackinac) to help teach Michigan history. Awesome! Marsha and her husband were staying at the Grand.

This is actually a family – plus one. Linda, Brian, Owen and Declan Westphal stopped in from Ypsilanti, MI – just south of Whitmore Lake where we spend a night on the trip north. They were enjoying their stay at Hart’s. The lady on the right is Marsha from Marshall, where she’s a librarian in the school district there. She told me she uses the little book written by our island school children (We Live on Mackinac) to help teach Michigan history. Awesome! Marsha and her husband were staying at the Grand.

Wow - this was a whole CLAN of folks from Miles, MI - staying at the Harbor View Suites penthouse.  In no particular order there is Karen, Darrell, Seth, Mathew, Greg, Barb, and Gunter (from Colorado).

Wow – this was a whole CLAN of folks from Miles, MI – staying at the Harbor Suites penthouse (downtown). This family includes Darrell, Seth, Mathew, Greg, Gunter (the only one from Colorado), and Karen and Barb (the actual blog readers in this bunch)

Two other blog readers also stopped by, but I didn’t get photos:  Kathy, her family and their pooch, Sophie, were staying at Park Place Suites and Karen from Ft. Gratiot/Port Huron.  But . . .

I saw them again during the week and managed to get photos then!

Kathy and George were enjoying the Pink Pony one afternoon when we were there . . .

Kathy and George were enjoying the Pink Pony one afternoon when we were there with Jason . . .

. . . and Kathy and her husband (sorry - can't remember his name - please forgive) were getting on a ferry to Mac City as Jill and I were boarding for St. Ignace.

. . . and Karen and her husband Neil were getting on a ferry to Mac City as Jill and I were boarding for St. Ignace.

We shared the St. Ignace ferry with the Westpauls and their boys Declan and Owen who were headed into the U.P. for a few more days of vacation.  The boys got to sound the captain's horn from the pilot house as we were leaving the dock.

We shared that St. Ignace ferry with the Westphals, who were headed into the U.P. for a few more days of vacation. The boys got to sound the captain’s horn from the pilot house as we were leaving the dock.

AND - just when I thought all the blog readers came in one week, Cathy Cislak stopped by yesterday.  Sweet Cathy always brings Maddie and Bear treats, but this time she brought the pooches' mom a treat - a copy of the  Historical Mackinac Island Cook Book, printed in 1975.  Love it, Cathy, and oh my gosh, I hope I didn't give you this sore throat thing!

AND – just when I thought all the blog readers came in one week, Cathy Cislak stopped by yesterday from Indianapolis, Indiana.

APPOLO UPDATE

APOLLO UPDATE: This weekend Apollo is looking good. He was moved out of his peat moss stall and into a stall full of shavings. He got a bath and has special soft boots on to help keep him comfortable.

I’ve had several requests for an update on Apollo, the horse that became so ill during the Festival of the Horse, after eating hay that contained a toxic weed (hay was NOT from Mackinac Island).  In Dan’s words on August 17:  “This weekend Apollo is looking good. He was moved out of his peat moss stall and into a stall full of shavings. He got a bath and has special soft boots on to help keep him comfortable.”  Dan credits Michigan State Veterinary Teaching Hospital staff for saving Apollo’s life.

TWO SPECIAL PHOTOS

A beautiful and serene photograph taken as the sun rose this morning. (Photo credit: Great Turtle Kayak Tours).

A beautiful and serene photograph taken as the sun rose this morning. (Photo credit: Great Turtle Kayak Tours).

I haven't mentioned Chris Ann lately - my sweet friend who went to Heaven in March of this year.  Her husband, Burton, returned recently to their home by the Mackinac Bridge, after visiting with their children all over the country.  That first night back they built a big bonfire on the beach near their little cottage.  I know Chris Ann was smiling down happily that evening.

I haven’t mentioned Chris Ann lately – my sweet friend who went to Heaven in March of this year. Her husband, Burton, returned recently to their home by the Mackinac Bridge, after visiting with their children all over the country. That first night back they built a big bonfire on the beach near their little cottage. I know Chris Ann was smiling as those sparks drifted through the night sky.

The week ahead is wide open – until the weekend when Mike Forrester and Hilde and Bud DaVanon arrive.  Another special arrival will be Frankie Thill, who will be returning to the island to work for the last part of the season at Benjamin’s Photo Shop on Main Street.  So excited to have Frankie and sweet Hershey back on Mackinac where they belong!

See you in a few days!  God bless.

Jason Days 8/18/2013

Hi everyone!  As reported, last week was busy – not so much ON the island as OFF!  I’ll try to write again on Tuesday to catch you up on what all was happening over that week, but tonight gets dedicated to Jason’s visit!

It’s so much fun when one of the “kids” comes – even when the kid is 41 (choke . . . how can that be)!  Each of our adult children love Mackinac Island, and each loves it for a different reason.  For Jason it’s the interaction with new people and the ability to be partying one moment and taking a solitary walk up the hills the next.  He and Ted have always played off each other in the funniest, zaniest way, and putting the two of the them together in one house is asking for instant laughter on a regular basis.  Ted calls him and Blake his “bonus sons”, a name which they both find somewhat silly, but in their heart of hearts, they also love that concept and the relationship they have with him.

Jason arrived on the 11:34 flight into Pellston from Detroit.  It's a tradition to start his visit with lunch at the Pink Pony - before we even go to the condo.  This year was no different!

Jason arrived on the 11:35 flight into Pellston from Detroit. It’s a tradition to start his visit with lunch at the Pink Pony – before we even go to the condo. This year was no different!

Lunch was followed by a walk up the hill and Jason disappearing into the guest bedroom for a short nap.  I have to admit that Ted and I were both soon also napping away in our recliners.  We slept about 30 minutes – Jason woke up three hours later (this is the son who NEVER slows down).

This is a night photo, but the afternon of the three-hour nap the windows were up, there was a breeze blowing steadily through into the bedroom, and if you awoke and looked outside the trees in the backyard make it appear you're sleeping in a treehouse.  Jason said he woke up several times, but each time the windows, trees and breeze just put him right back to sleep.  He said, quite simply, "It was the best nap of my life."

This is a night photo, but the afternoon of the three-hour nap the windows were up, there was a breeze blowing steadily through into the bedroom, and if you awoke and looked outside, the trees in the backyard made it appear you were sleeping in a treehouse. Jason said he woke up several times, but each time the windows, trees and breeze just put him right back to sleep. He said, quite simply, “It was the best nap of my life.”

Before he arrived Jason had already checked out everything going on on the island during his visit.

“Leo Kottke is playing in the park Thursday night! We have to go to that!” he said via email.

I knew about the concert – all part of the Music in the Park program on the island – but I didn’t have a clue who Leo Kottke was and neither did Ted . . .

Ted and I must have been the only ones who didn't know about this entertainer though because he drew the largest crowd of any entertainer in the part this summer!

. . .  but we must have been the only ones on the island who didn’t know about this musician, because he drew the largest crowd of any entertainer in the park this summer!

It turns out Leo Kottke is a fabulous guitarist and also a great teller of stories.  He has a huge following, even though he has only sold a few records/CDs in his lifetime.  He was simply awesome.

It turns out Leo Kottke is a fabulous guitarist and also a great teller of stories. He has a huge following, even though he has only sold a few records/CDs in his lifetime. He was simply awesome.  We brought blankets, wine and paper cups and spread out on the grass of Marquette Park with everyone else.  The weather was perfect!  After the concert and dinner at the Seabiscuit Cafe, we headed home.  An early night!

On Friday Jason, Ted and Andrew Doud met up at Wawashkamo for a golf game.  Jason had never played that course and really enjoyed the game and learning all about the history of the land on which the golf course was built.

On Friday Jason, Ted and Andrew Doud met up at Wawashkamo for a golf game. Jason had never played that course and really enjoyed the game and learning all about the history of the land on which the golf course was built.

Friday afternoon Jason and I rode around the Island, stopping occasionally for pics (taking them, not having them taken).  Why don’t any of our children or grandchildren like posing for photographs!?  Could it be because every time they look my way they’re staring into a camera lens?

Didn't have my camera with me on this trip so I was using my iphone, which doesn't work well for "far off" photos like this one.  But I couldn't pass up getting a shot of this couple who had waded out to the little stone/rock/sand bar with two chairs, a bottle of wine and glasses.  That's what I call getting away from it all!

Didn’t have my camera with me on this trip so I was using my iphone, which doesn’t work well for “far off” photos like this one (or cropped enlargements like the one above). But I couldn’t pass up getting a shot of this couple who had waded out to the little stone/rock/sand bar with two chairs and a cooler of goodies. That’s what I call getting away from it all!

Dinner was pizza at Goodfellow’s and then a little TV at the condo.  Another good day.

Saturday began with breakfast at the Chuckwagon, where we watched Donny work his magic with a grill filled with omelets, bacon, ham, hashbrowns and sausage.

Saturday began with breakfast at the Chuckwagon, where we watched Donny work his magic on a grill filled with omelets, bacon, ham, hashbrowns and sausage.

Then we rode out to Silver Birches where we'd called ahead for a return visit so Jason could check out this great renovation project.

After breakfast we rode out to Silver Birches, where we’d called ahead for a return visit so Jason could check out this great renovation project.

Liz once again showed us around, and we were amazed at the work that had been done since our last visit.  I volunteered to come out and help do anything I could, and in return Liz offered an overnight stay before the end of the season.  I am psyched about that!

Liz once again showed us around, and we were amazed at the work that had been done since our last stop-in. I volunteered to come out and help do anything I could (clean old furniture, paint, scrub windows), and in return Liz offered an overnight stay before the end of the season. I am psyched about that!

We rode back to the condo up British Landing road, which means I walked a lot.  Even Ted and Jason stopped for a breather at the entrance to Wawashkamo.

We rode back to the condo up British Landing Road, which means I walked a lot. Even Ted and Jason stopped for a breather at the entrance to Wawashkamo.

After freshening up, we rode back into town and had lunch at Bistro on the Green at Mission Point and ended the day with dinner at the Pink Pony.

After freshening up, we rode back into town and had lunch at Bistro on the Green at Mission Point.  We ended the day with dinner at the Pink Pony.

It's unbelievable how fast this visit went by.  Before I could hardly turn around, it was Sunday morning . . .

It’s unbelievable how fast this visit went by. Before I could hardly turn around, it was Sunday morning . . .

. . . and we were back on the ferry on the way to the airport.

. . . and we were back on the ferry and on the way to the airport.

The good thing is Jason might come back for Halloween – like he did last year.  Hmmm . . . maybe he can find the rest of that gorilla suit he lost parts of last year!

Hurry back, sweetie!  Loved you being here!

Where Horses are King! 8/11/2013

If you love horses like I do, Mackinac Island’s Festival of the Horse was where you should have been this weekend.  This was the 5th year of the festival, and each year the crowd grows, and the events get more spectacular.  From very small beginnings five years ago, the Festival of the Horse is now considered a major event for the island – one people are coming to Mackinac specifically to attend.  They know they will see all of our island breeds displaying their special talents, as well as world-renown horse experts showing off their well-trained steeds and teaching the crowd how they can do the same with horses at home.

Over the three days, I divided my time between working the entrance table, fitting children with helmets for the pony rides, and playing photographer (yes, that IS me with the camera hiding my face - that big lens is BIG).

Over the four days of the festival, I divided my time between working the entrance table, fitting children with helmets for the pony rides, and playing photographer (yes, that IS me with the camera hiding my face – that big lens is BIG).  Photo: Jill Sawatzki

Thursday was all about the kids, with awesome horse-related games and pony rides (the pony rides continued each day of the festival and were VERY popular).  Unfortunately I didn’t make it that day because Ted and I went to Petoskey.  I also didn’t get to this morning’s (Sunday) Island Driving Demo & Clinic.  But on Friday and Saturday, I was around most of the time, and all I can say is, “Wow! What a festival!”  If I took you through the four days, you’d be here all night, so I’m going to try and stick to a few highlights.

One of the featured performers was Betsy Van Dyke who has trained horses up through the levels from Training Level to Grand Prix, competing in both Wellington and the Midwest.   She did programs both in Dressage . . .

One of the featured performers was Betsy Van Dyke who has trained horses up through the levels from Training Level to Grand Prix, competing in both Wellington and the Midwest. She did programs both in Dressage and Freestyle.

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Every time she took to the ring she drew gasps, applause, and sighs of wonder.  Here she is on Cantana (barn name Tana).

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The other featured performer was to be Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship from Australia.  The name comes from there being two “Dan’s” – Dan James and Dan Steer.  Dan brought part of his team and four horses with him including the world famous Apollo.

When I arrived at the festival to work on Friday, I learned that during the night Apollo had to be rushed to the Michigan State Veterinary School – an emergency that included a call to and visit from island vet Dr. Al Sibinic, a middle of the night walk from the Mackinac Island Equestrian Center to British Landing, and a boat trip on Shepler’s Sacre Bleu.  When they arrived in St. Ignace, they found they didn’t have the correct hitch for the horse trailer they had left on the mainland.  They combed the parking lot for the correct hitch on someone else’s vehicle, took it off, left a generous sum of money with a note that read, “horse emergency” and took off for Michigan State.  Wonder of wonders, the people whose hitch they borrowed were at the horse festival on Friday and telling about finding the hitch gone, the money and the note.  No worries at all from them, they were glad to be able to help out.

On Saturday morning we got the news that Apollo was suffering from laninitis, caused by consuming a toxic weed (hoary alyssum) which was in the hay they purchased on their way through Michigan to Mackinac.  The hay seller was contacted, and all the hay was destroyed.  Apollo was a very, very sick horse, and the vets at Michigan State have worked with him all weekend.  I’m very happy to say that the last report is that he is improving, but it is still unknown if there will be lasting problems caused by this weed.  All of Dan’s horses except one consumed the same hay, but different horses react differently to it.  There can be a delayed reaction, so all the horses have been watched over all weekend by Dan himself up in the Equestrian Center on the island.  One horse refused to eat the hay.

We pray that Apollo comes through this ordeal with no ill effects and that the other horses show no other symptoms.

With all this going on, it fell on one of Dan’s teammates to carry out the part of the show Double Dan had been planning.

Donal Hancock (also from Australia) and Swampy await their time in the ring.

Donal Hancock (also from Australia) and Swampy await their time in the ring.

Swampy was amazing and would perform every task Donal asked of him - all without a bridle of any line on him.

Swampy was amazing and would perform every task Donal asked of him – all without a halter or any line.

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I didn't catch this horse's name, but again everything was done without lines.

I didn’t catch this horse’s name, but again everything was done without lines.

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Our local stars, Maryanke Alexander and Michelle Stuck was also there and performed with their Friesians to the music “Croation Rhapsody.”

Michelle on Gysbert.

Michelle on Gysbert.

Maryanke on Regina.

Maryanke on Regina.

OTHER PHOTOS

Betsy and Tana take a bow.

Betsy and Tana take a bow.

Coming through the trees out of the ring.

Coming through the trees out of the ring.

Swampy

Swampy

Girls and their horses  . . .

Girls and their horses . . .

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Maryanke and Michelle, after a very impressive musical program on horseback.

Maryanke and Michelle, after a very impressive musical program on horseback.

Photos of the carriage parade on Friday evening.  The parade began at Mission Point, went up Main Street, turned on Cadotte, went in front of the Grand Hotel and ended on the West Bluff.  (Click on collage to enlarge photos.)

Photos of the carriage parade on Friday evening. The parade began at Mission Point, went up Main Street, turned on Cadotte, went in front of the Grand Hotel and ended on the West Bluff. (Click on collage to enlarge photos.)

It’s going to be really, really hard to come up with a festival next year that is better than this one was, but knowing this group of equestrians, I have no doubt they will do just that!  The planning is already underway for Festival of the Horse – Year Six.   I’ll let you know when the date is announced so you can begin to make plans to attend!

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Personal Note:  It’s going to be a really busy week – working on Monday, appointments off Island on Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday our son, Jason, from Atlanta flies in.  Yeahhhh!!!  Because of all that, and especially because Jason’s coming, I’m going to take this week off from the computer and just enjoy!  I’ll see you back here on Sunday evening (August 18).

Have a great, great week!  God bless.

Catching Up . . . Again 8/8/2013

When a story like Silver Birches comes along, everything else doesn’t stop – it just gets pushed into the background for a few days.  So here I am again . catching up.  The easiest way to do that is with photos.  I’ve been bouncing around the island a lot this week, so here we go . . .

ALL AROUND THE ISLAND

Walking out the door the other evening to take Maddie and Bear for a stroll, I was met by two drays full of people.  I'm assuming they were on the way to British Landing on a hayride, although those hayrides usually follow the shoreline road to the Cannonball.  Maybe this was a private party.  Anyway, they were all having a grand time!

Walking out the door the other evening to take Maddie and Bear for a stroll, I was met by two drays full of happy people. I’m assuming they were on the way to British Landing on a hayride, although those hayrides usually follow the shoreline road to the Cannonball. Maybe this was a private party. Anyway, they were all having a grand time!

This seagull was enjoying the sun while perched on a bike rack railing across from Trinity Church.

Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Seagull was enjoying the sun, while perched on a bike rack across from Trinity Church.

The high-wheelers were in town the other day, and this lady had stopped in the street to explain that she was riding what was once called "an elderly lady or gentleman's bike".

The high-wheelers were in town the other day, and this lady had stopped in the street to explain her bike was specially made for “elderly ladies and gentlemen”.

The shady seclusion of a garden on the West Bluff.

The shady seclusion of a garden on the West Bluff.

Remember that tree that fell near the Lakeview Hotel during that recent windstorm?  Here's what it looked like after being chopped up.

Remember that tree that fell near the Lakeview Hotel during the recent windstorm? Here’s what it looked like after being chopped up.

View of Mission Point from Robinson's Folly.

View of Mission Point from Robinson’s Folly.

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From that same location it’s so easy to see how clear the waters of Lake Huron are.  Robinson’s Folly is a pretty high point – that tiny little speck down there on the small white sandy spot in the middle of the pic is a person.

Looking over the rooftops from the East Bluff.

Looking over the rooftops from the East Bluff . . .

. . . where wildflowers bloom along wooden fences.

. . . where wildflowers bloom along wooden fences.

A private tour buggy stops at a lookout point on the East Bluff so visitors can get out for photographs of the town below.

A private tour buggy stops at a lookout point on the East Bluff so visitors can get out and photograph the town and harbor below.

Carriages full of visitors continue their journeys down the East Bluff Road as a freighter slips out of sight around the curve of the island.

As a freighter slips out of sight around the curve of the island, carriages full of visitors continue their journey down the East Bluff Road

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His and hers bikes.  Maybe they’ve walked down the wooded path to Anne’s Tablet.

Now you see them . . . now you don't.

Now you see them . . . now you don’t.

Take one old, broken window in a wooden barn still standing among the State Park maintenance buildings . . .

Take one old, broken window in a wooden barn still standing among the State Park maintenance buildings . . .

. . . and frame it!

. . . and frame part of it!

The trail that begins at the maintenance barns and ends at Cupid's Pathway.

The trail that begins at the maintenance barns and ends at Cupid’s Pathway.

AT THE GRAND

The flower beds at the Grand Hotel are at the peak of their glory right now.  Below are a few examples . . .

The flower beds at the Grand Hotel are at the peak of their glory right now. Below are a few examples . . .

Giant dahlias in a Grand Hotel flower bed below Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor.


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AT THE STUART HOUSE

Blog reader Andrea and her two beautiful daughters Delaney and Sydney stopped by the Stuart House this week.  They are from Macomb, MI.

Blog reader Andrea and her two beautiful daughters Delaney and Sydney stopped by the Stuart House this week. They are from Macomb, MI.

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Paul Wandrie Sr. (far right) of Mackinac Island’s American Legion Post #299 brought the National Commander of The American Legion, along with the Michigan State Commander and several former State Commanders by the Stuart House on Monday.  Lucky me got to have my photo made with them after they toured the Veterans Rooms in the Stuart House.

AND THEN THERE WERE THE BEES

hive of bees build up large numbers they make a new queen, who leaves the nest causing a swarm of other bees to also leave. They then gather around the new queen wherever she is. Or something like that. 9 hours ago · Like · 1 Breeze Breeze Debbie Durm,Oh I know but why would they pick a place like that,there must've had to been something on there to attacked them to it,cause it is such of un usual place for them to pic,usually they look for better hiding spot then this to built their nest more protective are not in the open .... ? lol 9 hours ago · Like · 1 Breeze Breeze Hope the aint planning on renting Bike out .... ? lol 9 hours ago · Like Debbie Durm They aren't planning on building a nest there; they're just gathering before they head out to find a nest. If you knew of a beekeeper they could come and capture these bees and start a new hive.

One day this week this is what greeted an islander when he returned to his bike.  The bike was quickly moved to a quiet place in a less traveled area.  It was reported that when a hive of bees builds up large numbers they make a new queen, who leaves the nest causing a swarm of other bees to also leave. They then gather around the new queen, wherever she is, and send out workers to find a new place to build a hive. No report on how long the bees stayed on the basket before the workers returned to say, “Come on, Queenie, we’ve found us a new place to make some honey!”

BIKE-AROUND

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In an effort to use up a few calories, I’ve begun to ride around the island on an almost daily basis.  I began on August 1, and today was the first day I’d missed (Ted forced me to ride to Petoskey with him to Walmart).  I’m loving these rides, and between going up and down Cadotte or up and down British Landing Road to get to the highway around the island, I’m putting in almost 10 miles a day.  Almost got wet on the ride above . . .

. . . but it held off until I got home.

. . . but it held off until I got home.

ABOUT SILVER BIRCHES

The blog post on Silver Birches made history for Bree's Blog.  It brought in the most "hits" I've ever received in one day - 3,097!  From that I'd say there's a heck of a lot of interest in the restoration of this awesome property!

The blog post on Silver Birches made history for Bree’s Blog. It brought in the most “hits” I’ve ever received in one day – 3,097! From that I’d say there’s a heck of a lot of interest in the restoration of this awesome property!

FESTIVAL OF THE HORSE

The Festival of the Horse began today and will continue through Sunday. Michelle Stuck (above) was practicing today on her beautiful Gysbert for a musical kur to be performed during the festival.

The Festival of the Horse began today and will continue through Sunday. Michelle Stuck (above) was practicing today on her beautiful Gysbert for a musical kur to be performed during the festival.  For information on all the events, please click here:  http://www.mackinacislandfestivalofthehorse.org/events.htm (Photo: Mary Stancik)

I believe that catches us up through today, so I’ll sign off now.  I’ll be back on Sunday with lots of news on the Festival of the Horse – and anything else that happens to catch my eye over the next few days.  Y’all have a great weekend!  

God bless.