Counting Down to Mackinac 6/20/17

Hi Everyone!

Lots of personal news to share tonight . . . .

We’ll be leaving for Michigan on or around July 10 (around three weeks), and the days leading up to our departure are just about as packed as they can be!

This week – on Friday, I’m leaving for Georgia on a road trip – the first solo trip I’ve taken in a very long time.  On my agenda is a two-night visit with my wonderful friend Dawn at the “ri’vah” and her husband Stevie (hoping to see other friends while I’m there too)!.  I’ll spend Friday night with them, then on Saturday morning drive to Manchester GA to visit my best, best, best friend in all the world, Helen McCorvey and her husband Paul.  It’s been way too long since we’ve had a chance to catch up face-to-face, and I can’t wait to see them.  I claim Helen as the sister I never had.  She taught me English in high school in Sylvester GA, and I worked with her in the Public Information Office of the Dougherty County School System in Albany GA.  It was Helen who gave me my first encouragement in writing.   We go “way back”, and I love her and Paul to the moon and back.  I’ll return to Dawn and Stevie’s on Saturday night, then head back to Florida on Sunday.

The next week, on Wednesday, June 28, both Jason and Blake will fly into Daytona Beach.  Jason will be here until that Friday, and Blake is staying another week after that.  This will be Jason’s, Ted’s and my last chance to spend time with Blake before he leaves the middle of August for a two-year commitment to teach in Ankara Turkey (he’ll be home for 4 weeks next summer).  More on that later in the summer, but please keep Blake in your prayers now as he prepares, and over the next months as he makes this transition.  I have a lot of concerns as a mom about this, so please also remember me as you pray.

Blake flies back to Colorado on Friday July 7, and Ted, the fur babies, and I will load up and leave for Michigan either Monday or Tuesday of the following week.  Once we make it to Michigan we will spend time meeting and visiting with more of Ted’s newly found family.  There’s even a family reunion planned!  We are very excited!

Then – if all goes as planned, and the good Lord is willing – we’ll arrive on Mackinac Island on Sunday, July 16, where we plan to stay until mid-October.

Somewhere in the middle of all that will be doctor, hair, nail, dog grooming and car servicing appointments.  Mail will be forwarded, live indoor plants will be “fostered out” to sweet neighbors, the boat will come out of the water and be put in dry storage, and outdoor furniture will be moved indoors.

Whew!

So . . . . until we arrive on the island, I’m just going to post occasionally when I come up for air!.  Once we’re on the island, I promise to get back to doing what you all love – sharing beautiful Mackinac.

A FEW MACKINAC PICS

A few entries from this past Sunday’s 69th Annual Lilac Festival Parade! A beautiful team of horses photographed by Heather May for May’s Fudge.

The ever popular Clown Band. (Photo: Joann’s Fudge)

A great group from the Pink Pony float! (Photo: Pink Pony)

Lilacs and Love! (Photo: Dan Denardo)

Two blog readers – Karen and Barbara – meet over the books stacks in Island Bookstore (with a little help from Jill). I LOVE when that happens!

AND FROM SUNSET INLET . . .

We got new dining room furniture recently, and we’ve been searching for a piece of art to go over the buffet. We found it in this photograph by Kenny Fasnacht through Ocean Art Gallery in Flagler Beach. He captured perfectly our cinnamon beach, beautiful sky and ocean, and the Flagler Pier before it was damaged by Hurricane Matthew. If you zoom in on this photo, you can actually see the grains of sand on the beach. We thought it was beautiful . . .

. . . and it was perfect for that spot!

“Make him stop looking at me, dad!” LOL – just look at that crab’s beady little eyes!  I can’t wait for Bodie to get to Mackinac and realize he’s going to be somewhere cool (relatively speaking) for three months, with woods galore to explore.  I think he’s going to be one very happy Golden!

Finally – acceptance. Maddie would groom Bear’s face every morning, but this was the first time I’d ever seen her do it to Bodie. He seemed to enjoy it as much as she did. I guess she’s finally decided he can stay. So sweet.

Ok – that’s all for now.  I’ll be checking in over the next three weeks as often as I can.  Take care!  Love you all!

God bless.

Throw Back Thursday – Catch Up! 5/4/17

Personal Note:  SOOOO many faces in this one you’ll recognize if you’ve followed the blog for very long!

I’ll be back on Sunday with a pre-Alaska blog.  This time next Thursday we will be on the way to Fairbanks!

FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE 30, 2013

I’m getting a really late start writing tonight (because we had the most perfectly beautiful day you can possibly imagine on Mackinac, and Ted and I stayed outside and enjoyed it until hunger drove us in).  So, I’m going to just toss up some photos with captions and let that do for now.

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions. Loved these "waves" of wisp

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions. Loved these “waves” of wispy fog clouds between the break wall and the lighthouses.

We ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor . . .

Ted and I ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor.

When we stepped out onto Main Street to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog turned Main Street

When we stepped out of the hotel to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog gave downtown’s Main Street a rather haunting look . . .

. . . and the east end

. . . and the east end really looked eerie in front of Marquette Park.  Good night for the ghost tours!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina. We need to go kayaking!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina on their next-to-last-day on the Island.   Talk about a serene scene!  (Photo: Mike Forrester)

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family - Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake - at Sadie's Saturday for ice cream. Flavor #5 - Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)! Oh. My. Goodness. Another 10!

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family – Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake – at Sadie’s Saturday for ice cream. Flavor #5 – Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)! Oh. My. Goodness. Another 10!

On a walk the other day, we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are. I really like this area though - lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

On a walk the other day we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are. I really like this area – lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

Who, me? Uh-uh. Maddie did it.

“Who, me? Uh-uh. Maddie did it.”

Love this view from the East Bluff.

Have always loved this view from the East Bluff.

Jill - getting some puppy love!

Jill – getting some puppy love!

From a trip to Mac City - out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina.

From a trip to Mac City – out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina . . .

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. . . and the little park adjacent to the Shepler dock.

Pansies! Don't you just love pansies!

Pansies! Don’t you just love pansies!

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton's family at Marquette Park. Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton’s family at Marquette Park. Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

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We went over to visit our neighbor, Chief Duck Andress, this week and noticed a chipmunk running up and down the top of his fence. Duck went over and poured out some peanuts and told me to go stand right by the fence and not move. Sure enough, in just a minute or two, Mr. Chipmunk scurried right down to the treats. Chipmunk to himself: “Hmmmm . . . peanuts!”

"I think I'll try one . . .

“I think I’ll try one . . .

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve. Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!"

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve. Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!”

Mary Warner, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week. I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives and the three grandchildren. What a fun family!

Mary, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week. I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives, and the three grandchildren. What a fun family!  And guess what, Lowell – Mary and her parents used to eat at the Carriage Lantern in the 50’s, Mary worked one summer for the Benjamin Photography Store, and (drum roll please) Mary, as an 8-year-old, ALSO walked across Arch Rock!  There seems to have been quite a bit of that going on in the 50’s.

 

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing. Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing. Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

Me - hurrying to the library last Friday to hear authors PJ Parrish (really two sisters

Me – hurrying to the library last Friday to hear author P.J. Parrish. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

You'll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.

You’ll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.  These two sisters graciously mentioned Bree’s Blog in the Acknowledgement page as a source of some of their Mackinac Island information. 

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about their new book and what it's like to write together - one from Michigan and one from Florida. After the lecture there was a book signing, and the books were flying out of the library! It is SO good!

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about the new book and what it’s like to write together – one from Michigan and one from Florida. After the lecture there was a book signing.  Hope you’ve read Heart of Ice.   It is SO good!

We rode out to today and found a pony wash in progress.

We rode out today to the Mackinac Community Equestrian Center and found a pony wash in progress.

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan. Well, it seems there were no dirty ponies so sweet Blaze got to be "dirtied up" with finger paints . . .

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan. It seems there were no dirty ponies, so sweet Blaze volunteered to be “dirtied up” with finger paints . . .

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his fingerprints everywhere!

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his hand prints everywhere!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they, of course, washed it all off!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they then washed it all off!  That Blaze will put up with anything for these young horse lovers.

The article reporter Stephanie Fortino wrote on Lowell and Faye's visit to the Island appeared in this week's Town Crier!

The article that Stepanie Fortino wrote about Lowell and Faye’s visit to Mackinac was in this week’s Town Crier!

I have a funny story to tell you, and then I’m done for tonight.  The day that Lowell, Faye, Jill, reporter Stephanie, Ted and I had lunch at the Grand Hotel, we were all sitting and chatting, waiting for our food to arrive.  I totally forget what it was, but Ted said something sweet, and I reached out with my right hand – still chatting with someone down the table on my left – to give him a sweet pat and rub on his cheek.  As I patted and rubbed, I noticed everyone had stopped mid-sentence and they were all staring at me wide-eyed.  I heard Ted clear his throat and say, “Uh, Sweetie?”

That’s when I turned toward Ted and discovered that instead of patting and rubbing Ted’s cheek, I was patting and rubbing the arm of our server.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED! But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreating the "scene" for this pic.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED! But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreate the “scene” for this pic.  Oh, Lordy.

And that’s the last time I “pat and rub” without looking first!

We have another busy, busy week ahead, with lots of 4th of July activities, and on Tuesday we’re going sailing!  Really excited about that and will share that adventure later in the week, along with whatever other goodies pop up.  The weather is supposed to be stuck on PERFECT all week, so if there’s any way you can jump in a car or bus or train or plane and get up here, you won’t be disappointed!

Have a great week, and I’ll be back in a few days with more good stuff from Mackinac!  God bless.

Busy Week Everywhere! 11/20/16

We didn’t have to worry about time dragging by this week!  Ted and I (and Maddie and Bodie) were busy with work, doctor appointments, and a wonderful visit from friends.  And every time I checked on things on Mackinac, there was something else going on up there – including the first snow of winter!

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Our Oklahoma friends (who also own a condo where we were at Surrey Ridge), Buz and Patty Wierwick, visited us for three nights this week as part of their three-week driving tour of the south.  They had never been to Florida or Georgia, and I think they fell in love with both states!  Their children are “doing” Thanksgiving at other relatives this week, so Buz and Patty are going to be having Thanksgiving dinner in Mobile, AL on their way back home.  We spent a few hours touring St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, on Thursday.

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Stops included the oldest wooden school house in the U.S. . . .

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. . . . and we just had to stop in for refreshments at St. George Tavern, which claims to be “The Oldest Pub in the Oldest City.”

 

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On our way out of St. Augustine, we rode by the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S.  At over 315 years old, it’s the oldest structure in St. Augustine.  Have you noticed that every sentence about St. Augustine contains the word “old”?

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Ted finally got our boat out of storage last week, so we took our guests out for a ride on the Intercoastal on Friday – a gorgeous Florida November day!  We’re so glad we got to see these great friends for a few days during the winter, and we can’t wait to get together again on the island next summer!

WINTER ARRIVES ON MACKINAC!

The calm before the storm - near sunset. Grand Hotel and Fort Mackinac by Tom Chambers.

The calm before the storm – near sunset earlier in the week. Grand Hotel and Fort Mackinac by Tom Chambers.

Sunrise from the water on November 17 by Stephanie Fortino on her way to the island.

Sunrise from the water on Thursday – by Stephanie Fortino on her way to the island.

And a sunrise on Friday from Clark Bloswick.

A sunrise on Friday from Clark Bloswick.

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Ahead of the snow came a gale warning.   Jason St. Onge, who posted this pic of the freighter James Barker, said it was in the 60’s with calm waters earlier on Saturday.  Saturday night and Sunday’s forecast included gale warnings with gusts up to 50 mph for the Straits of Mackinac and the island.  The James Barker was setting anchor to take refuge between Mackinac Island and St. Ignace.  Peak winds were to arrive around 4 pm Saturday.

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Molly McGreevy posted this pic from a Marine Traffic App, showing the James Barker wasn’t the only vessel to take cover in the St. Ignace “parking lot”.  For those interested, the green icons from bottom to top are the freighters James Barker, Cuyahoga, Edwin H. Gott, Algoma Enterprise, and Calument.  The light blue icon are tugs.  From top down The Michigan, The Rebecca Lynn and The Anglian Lady closest to land.

 

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A Clark Bloswick photo from this morning at British Landing.

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Clark’s view of the town this morning.  He said the island got a couple of inches overnight.

POOCH NEWS

Bodie had his first official grooming last week, and I'm so happy to report it went very well. Raina, our wonderful groomer, said he was good on the table. What was even better was his trainer taught me how to load him in my car the day before our grooming appointment. With a couple of simple instructions, Bodie now jumps right into the back seat and seems content to either lay down or sit in the back and take in the scenery. Please, Lord, let this last! As much as you all know how much I loved my sweet Bear, he was a terrible traveler.

Bodie had his first official grooming last week, and I’m so happy to report it went very well. Raina, our wonderful groomer, said he was good on the table. Even better – his trainer taught me how to load him in my car the day before our grooming appointment. With a couple of simple instructions, Bodie now jumps right into the back seat and seems content to either lay down or sit in the back and take in the scenery. Please, Lord, let this last! As much as you all know how much I loved my sweet Bear, he was a terrible traveler.

How Bodie sleeps at night. Cracks me up!

How Bodie sleeps at night. Cracks me up!

We took Bodie and Madde out to Washington Oaks State Park this afternoon for a little adventure. Bodie discovered his shadow . . .

We took Bodie and Maddie out to Washington Oaks State Park this afternoon for a little adventure. Bodie discovered his shadow . . .

. . . and loved running free up and down the trails!

. . . and loved running free up and down the trails!

My sweet fur babies. . . .

My sweet fur babies. . . .

So darn cute!

So darn cute!

A FEW EXTRA

An awesome sunrise over our Flagler Beach pier by friend Linda Brendlinger.

An awesome sunrise over our Flagler Beach pier by friend Linda Brendlinger.  We lost a portion of the end of the pier to Hurricane Matthew.

Some beautiful shots of last week's super moon from blog reader Cheryl Haddon from Illinois. Wow!

Some beautiful shots of last week’s super moon from blog reader Cheryl Haddon from Illinois. Wow!

The Bodster. Gotta love that face!

How can you not smile with these two characters around!

Who let the dogs out?! We have this big holding pond in our community, and it is usually dry. It makes a really fine dog park! From the front, that's Maddie, Bodie, Ryder (an English Golden Retriever), little Joey (a MinPin), and Raschal (an Australian Shepherd). They LOVE playing together out there!

Who let the dogs out?! We have this big holding pond in our community, and it is usually dry. It makes a really fine dog park! From the front, that’s Maddie, Bodie, Ryder (an English Golden Retriever), little Joey (a MinPin), and Raschal (an Australian Shepherd). They LOVE playing together out there!

I had to end with this one. This photo from Greg Main shows a very unusual vertical cloud. If God was choosing to show us what His angels must look like, I think this cloud is a great representation.

I had to end with this one. This photo from Greg Main shows a very unusual vertical cloud. If God ever chose to show us what His angels must look like, I think this cloud is a great representation.

Personal note:  As all of you who have been readers over the years know, I usually take the month of November off from blogging.  I didn’t want to do that this year, because of course I wanted to share our first month with Bodie with you.

So, I’m going to take a little breather now until the first of January.  Per doctor’s orders, I’m starting physical therapy again on my neck, and I just need some time to recharge my jets.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us, and I know we’re all going to be extra busy.  It’s a good time to take a break from writing!

I’ll still be around on Facebook, so we can always say “hi” from there!

In advance, the Horton household wishes all of you the happiest of Thanksgivings and a very Merry Christmas.  We’ll see you back here during the first week in January, 2017.  It promises to be an exciting year for us.  We have an Alaska cruise coming up in May, three months on Mackinac again during the summer, and lots of fun with a growing Bodie and our sweet little Maddie girl.

Sending much love and hugs from our house to yours!

God bless.

A Sad Goodbye to Arnold Ferry Line 11/13/16

As most of you already know, the 5 p.m. departure of the Huron last Thursday marked the last time a boat operated by Arnold Ferry Line would travel to or from Mackinac Island.  The historic ferry line (the oldest and longest-running), which began serving the island 138 years ago, has been purchased by Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry, which began 38 years ago as competition to Arnold and to Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, which was created in 1945.

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Arnold’s mighty Huron, as she is known by everyone with ties to Mackinac, has been the only winter ferry to the island since 1955.  Star Line will continue to operate the Huron for passenger and freight service during the winter, abiding by Mackinac Island’s winter ferry passenger service agreement.

Star Line will also buy five other Arnold Line boats, the Arnold Boatyard and several docks.

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Star Line’s Marquette II arrives on Friday morning – her first trip ever as the winter ferry to Mackinac.

For hundreds of islanders, for thousands of  visitors whose memories of a Mackinac vacation began with an Arnold Line ferry boat ride, and for the hundreds of Arnold employees whose lives were tied to the company over those 138 years, this is the sad end of an era.  Especially poignant is the end of the mighty Huron operating as an Arnold boat.  It’s hard to comprehend for those of us who do not live year-round on Mackinac, but Arnold’s mighty Huron provided everything to the island after the close of the season – passenger service and freight service – until the Straits of Mackinac would freeze over and the ferry would have to stop running.  She alone was responsible for islanders receiving food and other staples for the grocery store and restaurants that remain open, for residents reaching the mainland if there were health concerns or if they just needed to have a day off-island, and for winter visitors trying out “Mackinac in the winter”.  Even though the mighty Huron will continue to run, it is a bittersweet transition from one company to another.

We wish Star Line a hearty congratulations on your new venture!  With only two lines providing transportation to Mackinac next summer, Star Line and Shepler’s, it will be interesting to see what changes are in store.  We know both these fine companies will continue to provide excellent service to and from our favorite island, and we look forward to a great 2017 season!

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A poignant farewell photo from Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry on its last departure from the island: “It was a pleasure serving you.  Thank you for 138 years of memories.  This is your ATCO crew – signing off.”

NOVEMBER ON MACKINAC

Clark Bloswick has been busy documenting November on the island.  These next six photos are his.

A relatively calm day earlier in the month . . .

A relatively calm day earlier in the month.

A typical fall wind storm hit the island on Thursday. It always amazes me the size of the waves generated on the Great Lakes. Clark remembers that these waves were nothing compared to those on November 10, 1975, the day the Edmund Fitzgerald went down.

A typical fall wind storm hit the island on Thursday, Nov. 10. It always amazes me the size of the waves generated on the Great Lakes. Clark remembers these waves were nothing compared to those on November 10, 1975, the day the Edmund Fitzgerald went down during a Lake Superior storm, with the loss of the entire crew of 29.

Friday saw the island awake to the first "gale of November" , , ,

Wind, waves and whitecaps.

Sunset on Saturday evening.

Sunset on Saturday evening.

Sunrise over Bois Blanc this morning.

Sunrise over Bois Blanc this morning.

An early evening shot of geese flying into Mission Point, backlit by that gorgeous full moon.

An early evening shot tonight of geese flying into Mission Point, backlit by that gorgeous full moon.

I. Love. This. Photo! A beautiful fall image of the steps leading from Sugar Loaf to Point Lookout. (Photo: Patti Carpenter McGreevy)

I love this photo! A beautiful fall image of the steps leading from Sugar Loaf to Point Lookout. (Photo: Patti Carpenter McGreevy)

BODIE NEWS

I will not lie.  Having a teenage Golden Retriever who weighs  58 lbs. at seven months is a little harder than I thought it would be.  It’s been 12 years since we had a puppy in the house (that would be Maddie), and she was an amazingly easy girl.  And she was small.  Having a big dog puppy is totally different because he does everything . . . bigger!  Plays bigger, eats bigger, poops and pees bigger, chews bigger, walks bigger.  He is a daily challenge, but I love trying to stay one step ahead of him.

One of my biggest challenges is teaching him to greet people gently on our walks.  He wants to wiggle himself right into their space and get all mouthy with their hands.  It was wearing me out trying to pull him back.  So – I sent out a “please help me train Bodie” message to our entire Sunset Inlet community, giving suggestions on how to help Bodie learn to greet nicely.  Our neighbors have responded like the wonderful folks they are.  So far we’ve had encounters with two neighbors who ignored Bodie while I asked him to sit, waited for him to calm down, then asked him to “shake”, which he did.  Then they petted him.  And Bodie got a treat from me.  It was amazing how well it worked!

We have a trainer coming once a week for five weeks to offer tips and help me find the best ways to train him.  Two of our neighbors, Mark and Shauna, text “going to the dog park” when they head out with their two big dogs, Rascal and Ryder, so Bodie and I can join in the fun.  We have a big open area in our community we call the “dog park”.  It’s great for playing fetch and just letting dogs be dogs.

And – I will tell you something else big dogs do.  They LOVE big.  All I need to do to get some Bodie love is climb in his big bed with him.  He snuggles right in and we have some mom/Bodie love time.

Yes, he’s a challenge.  But he is remarkably smart, learns commands quickly, retains most of them well, and is quickly creating his own great big spot in my heart.

Bodie: "I know if I sit here long enough, Maddie will get tired of that Kong and I can get it."

Bodie: “Maybe if I stand here long enough, Maddie will get tired of that Kong and I can get it.”

"Hmmm . . . or maybe not."

“Hmmm . . . or maybe not.”

More Fall Beauty From Mackinac 11/3/16

I thought Sunday’s blog post would be the best of the best of “Fall on Mackinac” photos.

I was wrong.

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Every time someone shares one of these pics of this year’s gorgeous trees I tear up a little.  Sure would love to be there to see them in person – to stand in the road and stare, or sit on a leafy knoll and just breathe it all in. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

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I can’t get enough of the maple trees on Cadotte!  These trees were only planted six years ago.  Can you imagine their WOW factor in another decade!  (Photo: Pam Day)

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The folks at Metivier Inn shared this and the next five photos – showing just how empty downtown becomes after most everything has closed.  Here a lone person walks a bike toward St. Anne’s on Main Street.

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In the summer this row of benches would be overflowing with visitors awaiting their turn to board a Carriage Tour.

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Ferry docks usually teeming with people at any hour of the day stand empty until just before the arrival or departure of a ferry.

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Main Street . . .

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. . . Market Street . . .

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. . . and the marina are empty.  November is quiet on Mackinac.  It’s a time when year-round residents give a sigh of relief that another season of hard work has come to an end, men enjoy hunting season, and families travel to see friends and relatives.  Thanks for sharing, Metivier Inn!

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A gorgeous sunrise captured by Patrick Conlon.

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And that’s a wrap.  From Dale Peterson, this photo of the last group of horses leaving the island for the winter.  A few horses will remain for the winter taxi and for the work drays.

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THIS end of Main Street was a beehive on this particular day.  Getting the work done before the snow flies!  (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

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This photo and the next four are from friend and wonderful photographer Bruce LaPine.  Love this one from the Peace Garden, showing the bronze statue, “Be Still”.  The garden is dedicated to the 200 years of lasting peace between Canada and the United States since the War of 1812.  The garden is at the east end of Marquette Park.

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From Point Lookout, overlooking Sugar Loaf.

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I guess it’s strange to say that one of my favorite island spots is a cemetery, but it is – and especially in the fall.  It’s then that the sound of your feet crunching through the fallen leaves is usually the only sound you will hear as you walk among the gravestones.  Such peace for those who rest here.

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The Grand Lady on the Hill – almost hidden by those maples.

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And there are just no words that would do this one justice.  It is perfect.  Awesome photos, Bruce!  Thank you for sharing!

A FEW BODIE THOUGHTS

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I pulled out an old photo of Bear this week (he was about 1 1/2 years old in that one) and compared him to Bodie.  I had forgotten how much lighter Bear had become as he’d aged.  When we first got himhe was almost the exact shade Bodie is now. 

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Bodie is alternately a teenage terror, an obedient angel, and a big puppy who is scary smart.  I taught him to shake the other day in about 10 minutes, and he instinctively knew to alternate paws –  without being taught that – depending on which one I asked for.  You can just see his mind whirling at times.  Gotta be on my toes with this one!

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He and Maddie are bonding.  That means she puts up with him until he crosses a line.  Then she pushes him back across to his side.  Bodie is more assertive than Bear, but Maddie handles him like the Queen she is.  I caught them grooming each other one morning – Bodie washing her face, and Maddie cleaning his ears.  Sweet moment.

Y’all won’t believe this, but I stayed up until 1 am this morning watching the Cubs win the World Series.  First baseball game I’ve watched in at least 10 years (and probably the last one for the next ten).  I’ve never been much of a baseball fan, but that game last night was sports at its greatest.  Congratulations to all the Cubs fans out there! 

Have a great weekend, and we’ll meet back here in a few days. 

God bless.

Hodgepodge! 9/4/16

Hi Gang!

We’re all settled into the new condo, and we’re enjoying being back in our “neck of the woods” once again.  We absolutely loved being downtown near Mission Point, but you all know how much I dearly love the woods and trails of this island.  Since we’ve moved up here, I can walk the trails to my heart’s content, without having to climb too many hills to accomplish that!  We are above the ordinary noises of downtown, but there’s still plenty of folks traveling by here to keep us entertained.  We have a beautiful view of a couple of holes of the Grand Hotel’s Jewel Golf Course . . .

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. . . and we can watch the ferries and freighters from a higher vantage point.

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Ted and I feel very fortunate that we’ve gotten to experience Mackinac this summer from two such different locations!

Tomorrow is Labor Day, and Ted will be heading over to do the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk with a group of friends.  One of these years I’m going to join him for that again, but it won’t be this year.  I’m just going to sip coffee on the front porch, walk Maddie-girl (who’s nursing a sore paw), and maybe explore a few of those trails I love so much.

Thought I’d share some of the pics that haven’t made it into a blog post yet.  That way next week I’ll be starting fresh!

Looking out to Lake Huron from just to the side of Arch Rock.

Looking out to Lake Huron from just to the side of Arch Rock.

The beautiful and graceful Windermere Hotel, photographed one morning this week as I was rushing to catch a ferry.

The charming Windermere Hotel, photographed one morning this week as I was rushing to catch a ferry.

Fort Mackinac in the evening. Standing below this historic fort and listerning as a fort interpreter plays Taps from the ramparts gives me chills every single time I hear it.

Fort Mackinac in the evening. Standing below this historic building and listening as a fort interpreter plays Taps from the ramparts each night – at precisely 10 pm – gives me chills every single time.

The gardens at Chambers corner.

The gardens at Chambers corner.

Custer Road - one of my favorites.

Custer Road – one of my favorites.

Little Maddie in the woods. Her hearing isn't what it used to be, but that nose of hers is still going strong.

Little Maddie in the woods. Her hearing isn’t what it used to be, but that nose of hers is still going strong.

I am never tiring of watching the antics of the horses next door! They are VERY serious about their play time.

Grand Hotel hackneys are VERY serious about their play-time!

Am I strange to think this is an awesome view out out side windows?

Loving the view out our side windows!

Grand Hotel Dahlia.

Grand Hotel Dahlia.

Window boxes above my head . . .

Window boxes above my head . . .

. . . and luggage carts at my feet.

. . . and luggage carts at my feet.  After being loaded, these carts are hooked to horse-drawn carriages or drays and used to transport tourists’ belongings back and forth to the ferry dock.

One of the two offices on Mackinac where you might meet one of our two veterinarians.

One of the two offices on Mackinac where you might meet one of our two veterinarians.  This one is at the main horse barns, and the other  is at Chambers corner.

It's Jazz Festival weekend at Grand Hotel.

It’s Jazz Festival Weekend at Grand Hotel.

A new bench just above Grand Hotel's shade garden.

A bench just above Grand Hotel’s shade garden.

Looking down Cadotte.

Looking down Cadotte.

Simply a gorgeous just-before-fall day on Mackinac Island!

Simply a gorgeous just-before-fall day on Mackinac Island!

What happens when you are locked out of your condo, but you know your deck door is open? Team work!

What happens when you are locked out of your condo, but you know your deck door is open? That’s what happened to one of our neighbors this week, and that’s when Mackinac Island team work took over!  Mission accomplished!

Wishing everyone a great holiday tomorrow.  We will be welcoming another of Ted’s cousins, Dave and his wife Diane, to Mackinac on Tuesday.  They’ll be visiting until Friday, and we can’t wait to get to know more of this wonderful family.

God bless.

Bear – Back By Popular Demand 3/13/2016

Hey!  Bear here!

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This morning, while we were on the beach, mom told me some of my fans were getting restless since I hadn’t put paw to keyboard in a while.  Now, I just have to tell you that it makes this pooch feel mighty, mighty good to know I’ve been missed.  I know mom told you, but right in the middle of all the moving around we Hortons did – I had to have knee surgery.  And even though I type with my two FRONT paws, having a bum BACK leg makes it a little uncomfortable to sit in that chair in front of the laptop.  But – the leg’s all healed up now, and except for a little touch of arthritis, I’m as good as new.

With mom getting so old and all (dad too, but mom talks about it more), I’ve started thinking about MY age and health.  It’s really hard to believe I turned nine last year (right at Christmas time), and my little sister Maddie is 11 1/2 now.  I tease her all the time about how cranky she’s gotten in her “later years”, and she gets me back by proving she can still steal all my toys in three seconds flat.  When Maddie and I hear mom talking about one of her aches or pains, we just look at each other and roll our eyes.  I know Maddie’s thinking the same thing I am – when humans have an ache somewhere, they just get up and take some medicine.  But Maddie and I can lie around and feel bad for hours without anyone figuring out we’re sick. Yep, the only way Maddie and I can tell mom and dad we don’t feel good is to go throw up on something valuable.  That ALWAYS gets their attention!  And off we go to the vet to get OUR medicine!  Humans have it so much easier!

Maddie spends a lot of time lying outside in the sun these days. She tells me it makes her bones feel all nice and warm.

Maddie spends a lot of time lying outside in the sun these days. She tells me it makes her bones feel all nice and warm.

As for me, I still prefer the cold hardwood floor in an air-conditioned room.

As for me, I still prefer the cold floor in an air-conditioned room.

Ok – enough about our aches and pains.  I’m beginning to sound just like mom!

With such short notice, I don’t really have a story to tell today, but since Mom said you wanted to hear from me, I think I’ll introduce you to all the new friends Maddie and I have made here in Sunset Inlet!

And here they are!

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Top row (l-r):  Lola, Gucci, Brutus, and Cooper.  Lola and Cooper are siblings.  Dad loves Brutus – can you guess why?  He even forgets and calls him UGA sometimes (after the famous University of Georgia mascot).  Middle row (l-r): Jesse, Joey, Legend, Koa, Sophie, and Earl.  Did you notice how I put Jesse (the bird) and Earl (the cat) at opposite ends of the collage? I thought it was safer that way.  Legend and Koa (the German Shepherds) are siblings and love the beach.  Mom cat-sat Earl for a week one time, and I can’t say as I liked it much.  But I got over it.  Bottom row (l-r): Princess, Skye, Little Bear, Sugar and Mitzi.  Princess and Gucci are siblings, as are Sophie, Sugar and Mitzi.  Skye lives in New York most of the time, but she comes down with her mom and dad as often as possible, and we hang out in the parking lot.  I love her stories about life in the big city!  The official neighborhood “welcomers” are Maddie, Joey, Gucci, Princess, Lola and yours truly.  We make sure EVERYONE in the neighborhood knows if ANYTHING is going on!  The first one to spot something barks, and then – chain reaction – we all join in.  It’s SO MUCH FUN!

Hope you enjoyed hearing from me and meeting all our friends!  I promise I’ll be back soon with doggie updates from Florida.  And yes, Maddie and I are already dreaming about Mackinac. In fact, Mom is going to show you some really neat photos from there right now!

Arch rock. Robert McGreevy "painted" the opening with a small flashlight and used a timed exposure. Awesome photography!

Arch rock. Robert McGreevy “painted” the opening with a small flashlight and used a timed exposure. Awesome photography!

Reflections on ice and water. (Photo: Thomas Nighswander on Pure Michigan)

Reflections on ice and water. (Photo: Thomas Nighswander on Pure Michigan)

The snow is slowly giving way to slush. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The snow is slowly giving way to slush. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

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Snowmobiles will soon be back in storage . . . (Photo: Tom Chambers)

. . . and soon this hill will once again be alive with visitors, taxis, and drays! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

. . . and within weeks this hill will once again be alive with visitors, taxis, and drays! (Photo: Tom Chambers)

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Perfectly captured wave splashing against ice.  (Photo:  Clark Bloswick)

And the early morning sun reflecting off snow on the East Bluff. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

And the early morning sun reflecting off a fence on the East Bluff. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Speechless. (Photo by Bobby Lee)

Speechless. (Photo by Bobby Lee)

Our weekend company sadly had to cancel, but we’ve had a great time here, with perfect weather for the last few days.  Biker week ended today, so the streets are once again quiet (thank you, Lord).  We took the boat out today and rode down to Hidden Treasure Raw Bar & Grill for lunch with neighbors Brandi and Todd.

We love that this place has opened so close to our house. Right on the Intracoastal . . .

We love that this place has opened so close to our house. Right on the Intracoastal . . .

The water was quiet also this afternoon, but we saw a few boats, including this one - under full sail.

The water was quiet also this afternoon, but we saw a few boats, including this one – under full sail.  Just as the streets of Mackinac will soon be busy once again,  this waterway will very shortly be teeming with boats returning north for the summer and with residents taking advantage of this great place we now call home.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend, and I hope your coming week is filled with nothing but good things.

God bless.

Just had to say one last thing. Thank you so much for asking me to write again. And please tell all my doggie and kitty (and birds) fans out there I said hi. And so does Maddie.

Just had to say one last thing. Thank you so much for asking me to write again. And please tell all my doggie and kitty (and bird) fans out there I said hi. And so does Maddie.

Bear . . . out.

Bear . . . out.