Photo Day! 6/26/16

This has been one of those slow news weeks.  I do have one little story to tell, and then the rest of tonight’s post will be a “Photos and Captions.”  I’ve got some great pics to share from both the beach AND our favorite Michigan island!

THE SEA TURTLE PATROL

Ted and I went down to the beach around 7:30 one morning and happened to arrive in time to watch the Sea Turtle Patrol in action!

This volunteers hit the beach early each morning of turtle season to look for tracks and new nests.

These volunteers hit the beach early each morning of turtle season (May-October) – at first to look for tracks and new nests, and then later on to check that nests haven’t been disturbed or to see if turtles have hatched.

We were very lucky that morning, because we spotted the new nest at almost the same time they did?

We were very lucky that morning, because we spotted the new nest at almost the same time they did!

I took this after they had staked out the nest. You can see the tracks of the "mama turtle" (obviously a very BIG mama turtle) leading up the the

I took this AFTER the volunteers had staked out the nest. You can see the flipper tracks of the “mama turtle” (obviously a very BIG mama turtle) leading up the mound of dirt where she covered her 80-120 eggs.  The sign on the nest gives the nest number and states the date it was found.  The eggs will hatch in approximately 60 days, and on day 45 the volunteers will place a red flag on the right rear stake and begin to check the nest on a daily basis.  Lights on the beach (even flashlights)are restricted during turtle season as they may confuse turtles coming to the beach to mate or lay eggs.  Lights also could confuse young hatchlings on their dangerous trip across the beach to the ocean.  So far we have about 20 sea turtle nests along the one-mile stretch that is Beverly Beach.

BEVERLY BEACH PHOTOS

Arriving on the beach after sunrise.

Arriving on the beach just after sunrise.  On this day the wind was churning the waves up pretty good.

An amazing shelf cloud forming over the beach early this morning. (Photo: Neighbor Kevin Freedman)

An amazing shelf cloud forming over the beach early this morning. (Photo: Neighbor Kevin Freedman)

That same cloud coming from the beach over our house in Sunset Inlet. As ominous as it looks, it blew right over us, and we didn't get a drop of rain. (Photo: Neighbor Lisa Mordecai)

That same cloud coming from the beach over our house (2-story on the left) in Sunset Inlet. As ominous as it looked, it blew right over us, and we didn’t get a drop of rain. (Photo: Neighbor David Mordecai)

MACKINAC ISLAND PHOTOS

KathyJo Strukel, who won the Mackinac Island coloring book, is making good progress on the first page!

KathyJo Strukel (Oldsmar FL), who won the Mackinac Island coloring book, is making good progress on the page she chose to tackle first!  She’s using colored pencils.  Good job, Kathy!

The Lilac Festival Parade! A great pic from Clark Bloswick of the Seabiscuit Café float, part of the crowd, and Fort Mackinac in the background.

The Lilac Festival Parade! A great pic from Clark Bloswick of the Seabiscuit Café float, part of the crowd, Marquette Park, and Fort Mackinac in the background.

A simply stunning photo by Steven Kopacki of Artistic Mackinadc Gallery and Studio of the strawberry moon rising

A simply stunning photo by Steven Kopacki, Artistic Mackinac Gallery and Studio, of the “Strawberry Moon” rising over the Straits of Mackinac.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Can’t wait to get back on the island and check out what Steven has new in his studio!

Blog reader Jan Weir and her husband Don (Harbor Springs MI and Indianapolis IN) visited the island for several days a week or so ago. This photo and the next six are from Jan.

Blog reader Jan Weir and her husband Don (Harbor Springs MI and Indianapolis IN) visited the island for several days a week or so ago. This photo and the next five are from Jan.

Lilacs blooming along the boardwalk

Lilacs blooming along the boardwalk bordering Lake Huron.  What a wonderful (and romantic) spot to settle in for a chat.

The hanging baskets are up, and from now until Fall they will grow and grow and grow. When they are taken down, their leaves and flowers will be almost touching the sidewalk. Oh - the former Weber's Florist is now

The hanging baskets are up, and from now until Fall they will grow and grow and grow. When they’re taken down, their leaves and flowers will be almost touching the sidewalk. Oh – the former Weber’s Florist is now Vintage Glam, a new salon offering hair care, nail care, and makeup services.  They specialize in wedding parties!

The beautiful Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast - always an oasis of gorgeous flowers, and breathtaking landscapting - not to mention an awesome place to spend a few nights! Friend Aretha Jansen is the Cloghaun's new Manager this year, taking over from the wonderful Marti Gmazel Carey who retired at the end of last season.

The beautiful Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast – always an oasis of gorgeous flowers and breathtaking landscaping – not to mention an awesome place to spend a few nights! Friend Aneta Jansen is the Cloghaun’s new Manager this year, filling the shoes of the awesome Marti Gmazel Carey, who retired at the end of last season.

Silver Birches! The renovation of the wonderful lodge is on schedule! Looking forward to riding out there and checking it all out!

Silver Birches! Renovation of the wonderful lodge is on schedule! Looking forward to riding out there soon and checking it all out!

Pontiac Trail, along the West Bluff.

Pontiac Trail – along the West Bluff.

A dreamy shot from one of our favorite taxi drivers - Jim Gillespie. He had stopped to rest his horses a moment at Mission Point and took this great photo.

A dreamy shot from one of our favorite taxi drivers – Jim Gillespie. Jim had stopped to rest his horses a moment at Mission Point and took this great photo, looking across the resort’s expansive yard.  Someone asked Jim recently if working on the island – after 30 seasons driving taxi – ever gets old.  His answer was a resounding “NO”!

A great catch of interesting clouds over Grand Hotel. (Photo: Max Jones)

A great catch of interesting clouds over Grand Hotel. (Photo: Max Jones)

A view of the Pink Pony patio and part of downtown from an interesting perspective. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

A view of the Pink Pony patio and part of downtown from an interesting perspective. (Photo: Tom Chambers)  Hmmmm . . . . . where were you, Tom?

The Round Island Lighthouse is rarely illuminated. But one night recently, it was. And Clark Bloswick was around to catch the moment.

The Round Island Lighthouse is rarely illuminated. But one night recently, it was. And Clark Bloswick was around to catch the moment.

Friend Steve Fridley and his family love Mackinac almost as much as I do. When they're on the island, Steve has a way of being at the right place at the right time. Like last week - when this rainbow appeared to arch across the sky.

Friend Steve Fridley and his family love visiting Mackinac and do so often. When they’re on the island, Steve has a way of being at the right place at the right time. Like last week – when this rainbow appeared and seemed to arch across the Straits from Mackinac to Bois Blanc.

I. Love. This. Photo! Mary Bailey, the beautiful teenage daughter of friends Jeri-Lynn and Brian Bailey, snapped this shot one recent afternoon. In the way of all teenagers, Mary and her friends were looking for something to do and decided to haul their hammocks all the way up to Anne's Tablet and hang them among the trees. What a way to spend a fun - and leisurely - afternoon on Mackinac!

I. Love. This. Photo! Mary Bailey, the beautiful teenage daughter of friends Jeri-Lynn and Brian Bailey, snapped this shot one recent afternoon. In the way of all teenagers, Mary and her friends were looking for something to do and decided to haul their hammocks all the way up to Anne’s Tablet and hang them among the trees. What a way to spend a fun – and leisurely – afternoon on Mackinac!

With heat indexes in the triple digits here in Beverly Beach, I am counting down the days before we leave for Mackinac.  Right now the plan is to arrive on the island on Monday, July 18, so we’ll be leaving a few days before that.  It will be so strange to pack the car without all of Bear’s paraphernalia (he had his own suitcase), and then there was also the 30-lb bag of dogfood.  Maddie only eats 2/3 of a cup a day, so a 5-lb. bag lasts her a very long time.  I was so hoping we’d have a new furbaby to take with us, but it just hasn’t worked out . . . haven’t found the one who speaks to my heart yet.  So we wait.

Hoping you all are doing well and wishing you a great week ahead!

God bless.

Silver Birches – What Will It Be To You?

Even though I’m well into my “golden” years, I’m still a hopeless romantic.  I still read romance novels, and my playlist is filled with every love song recorded from the 50’s through the present (well, maybe not all, but most).  A wood burning fire practically makes me swoon, and two white Adirondack chairs facing a sunset will bring tears to my eyes.  Candlelight.  Fresh flowers.  Fine linens. Vintage quilts.

Hopeless.  Romantic.

When we toured Silver Birches recently with owner and friend Liz Ware, I found myself thinking about what the property would mean to those who stayed there.  Even before the renovation began, when that old lodge was practically falling down into itself, to me it was romantic.  And I know, once it has been restored, it’s going to be my idea of ultimate romanticism. Maybe part of it is the sense of being away.  Away from town, yes.  But also away to a simpler time.  Just  . . . away.

Back in March the huge task of taking the roof and second and third stories off the lodge began. The top two floors were just too structurally unsound to be used.

Back in March the huge task of taking the roof and second and third stories off the lodge began.  Engineers determined those floors were structurally unsound.

Since March work has been constant, and now the second and third floors have been reconstructed to match the original building.

Since March work has been constant, and now the second and third floors have been reconstructed to match the original building.

The first floor remains unchanged except these orginal logs have been cleaned and protected against the elements.

The first floor remains unchanged except the orginal logs have been cleaned and protected against the elements.

Inside that first floor, the building looks just as it did the first time I was inside - almost 2 years ago, except the fireplace has been removed. In its place will stand either two or three fireplaces, each facing into a different room.

Inside the first floor, the building looks just as it did the first time I was inside – almost 2 years ago – except the fireplace has been removed. In its place will stand either two or three fireplaces, each facing into a different room.

The second and third floors will have a total of four suites and four rooms - all with private baths.

The main lodge will have six suites and two lake view rooms, enabling two 2-bedroom suites.

The views will be phenomenal.

The views will be breathtaking!

Both the first and second floors will have balconies - just as the original structure did.

The first floor will have a wrap-around porch, and the second floor will have a balcony – just as the original structure did.  All the windows on the first floor will be original to the lodge.

The sweet little cabin to one side of the lodge will offer a 2-bedroom, 1 1/2 bath space for one family.

This sweet little cabin will offer a 2-bedroom, 1 1/2 bath space for one family . . .

And the cabin to the left of the lodge will accommodate four separate rental spaces.

. . . and the cabin to the left of the lodge will accommodate four separate rental spaces.

This little shack may have been a storage shed of some sort originally, but when Silver Birches opens, it will take on a completely different atmosphere. It will be moved into a wooded area next to the lodge and house a wine cellar. It will also be a space that will accompandate one couple for dining on very special occasions.

This little shack may have been a storage shed of some sort originally, but when Silver Birches opens, it will take on a completely different atmosphere. It will be moved into a wooded area next to the lodge and house a wine cellar. And it  will also be a space that will accommodate one couple for dining on very special occasions.  Liz’s son has named it Jack’s Shack, and that name will most probably remain.

While all this is going on, Liz has been using some of the back acreage to grow vegetables . . .

While all this is going on, Liz has been using some of the back acreage to grow vegetables . . .

. . . and flowers!

. . . and flowers!

This post has barely scratched the surface of what’s going on at Silver Birches.  I haven’t even mentioned the new swimming pool, the landscaping, or any of the dozens of other plans that are in the works.

Silver Birches will open in 2017.

Silver Birches is poised to become the most luxurious small resort in the Midwest. Each visitor may arrive with a preconceived notion of what the resort will bring to their spirit.  But I think they will leave having found so much more than they could have ever conceived.

What will Silver Birches be for you?

Covering Mackinac Island 9/3/15

Living downtown in the Mission District has quite a few advantages over living “up the hill” past the Grand Hotel.  Here are a few:

  1. A bike ride to town and back does not include a prayer request for your brakes to not fail and many, MANY stops on the way back home to catch your breathe.
  2. If we forget to buy bread, the trip to Doud’s only takes 10 minutes (round-trip)!
  3. Being much closer to the water, we get the full sound affects from the harbor – freighters blowing salutes, ferries blowing at other ferries, and the buoy bell.
  4. And my personal favorite – being able to hear Taps played at 10:00 each night from the fort ramparts.  Priceless..

The disadvantages are:

  1. Cutting out that hill also cuts down on the daily exercise.  My big plan to ride around the island every day has so far – sadly- not happened.
  2. Being closer to town makes it a lot easier to opt out of cooking dinner.  With so many restaurants within a 10-minute walk or a five-minute bike ride, we find ourselves eating out more.  Add that to less exercise, and our waistlines are sure to suffer the consequences.
  3. We miss the Village and our friends up there!  We see many of them downtown every day, but it’s not the same as being “amongst” them!

But I AM NOT complaining!  We are so fortunate to have found a place for six weeks that allowed us to bring our pooches, and the only thing bothering us is that our stay is almost half-way over already.  Where the heck is the time going?!

Tonight I’m going to share a bunch of pics I’ve been collecting for the last few days as we’ve been here and there around the island.  And later this week (probably Sunday) I’ll be sharing photographs from the Grand Garden Show.  I can promise you those photos are going to make you want to get online or on the phone and book your reservations for next year’s show.  I know I’m going to be there again!

A LITTLE BIKE RIDE

Even though I haven't biked all the way around the island yet, I HAVE done half that ride. Ted and I biked out to Silver Birches one afternoon, hoping owner/friend Liz would be there. We were out of luck on that, but we did get a couple of photographs from outside the gates.

Even though I haven’t biked all the way around the island yet, I HAVE done half that ride. Ted and I biked out to Silver Birches one afternoon, hoping owner/friend Liz would be there. We were out of luck on that, but we did get a couple of photographs from outside the gates.

We've heard it will be the summer of 2017 when this property is open for guests, and when we saw the massive restoration going on, we could sure understand why it might take that long. All I can say is that once this property is completed, it will be one of the premier destination spots on Mackinac. Hoping to get a tour inside before we leave at the end of September!

We’ve heard it will be the summer of 2017 when this property is open for guests, and when we saw the massive restoration going on, we could sure understand why it might take that long. All I can say is that once this property is completed, it will be one of the premier destination spots on Mackinac. Hoping to get a tour inside before we leave at the end of September!

Instead of finishing the ride around the island, we chose to turn up British LandingRoad and stop at Croghan Water.

Instead of finishing the ride around the island, we chose to turn up British Landing Road and stop at Croghan Water, named after Colonel George Croghan, Commander of the American forces during the Battle of Mackinac Island on August 4, 1814.

Croghan Water is a natural drainage area for rain and meltwater from the surrounding fields and woods. It's not fed by a running stream or springs, so it goes through cycles of wet and dry periods.

Croghan Water is a natural drainage area for rain and meltwater from the surrounding fields and woods. It’s not fed by a running stream or springs, so it goes through cycles of wet and dry periods. Every spring the marsh is filled with life as it’s an excellent environment for animals, birds, and vegetation that thrive in cool, damp wetlands.  By autumn, the marsh is frequently dried up, leaving the bare stalks of cattails and rushes.

It always amazes me how nature finds a way to replenish herself. Even though this tree trunk was barely showing above the earth, new leaves were pushing out and skyward.

It always amazes me how nature finds a way to replenish itself. Even though this tree trunk was barely showing above the earth, new leaves were pushing out and skyward.

Looking down British Landing Road - where we'd just ridden . . .

Looking down British Landing Road – which we’d just ridden up . . . .

. . . and further up - where Ted

. . . and further up – where Ted is stopped next to the sign marking where American soldiers futilely attempted to drive the British from their hill in 1814.

That battlefield is now Wawashkamo Golf Club.

That battlefield is now Wawashkamo Golf Club, one of very few American courses laid out in a links style that remains substantially unaltered, and the only nine-hole course in America to be designated an American Historic Golf Landmark by Golf Digest.

Back in town. It was a great day to hang out in Marquette Park!

Back in town. It was a great day to hang out in Marquette Park . . .

. . . or sit on the corner and watch the world go by!

. . . or sit on the corner and watch the world go by!

 HANGING OUT AT GRAND HOTEL

I can always count on getting some pretty good photos just by going and hanging out at Grand Hotel . . and this day was no different. Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor

I can always count on getting some pretty good photos just by going and hanging out at Grand Hotel, and this day was no different. Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor is surrounded by flowers on the outside and filled with frozen yumminess on the inside!

The Michigan Governor's Summer Residence - as seen from the porch at the Grand.

The Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence – as seen from the porch at the Grand.

The western portico and its fabulous view over the Straits of Mackinac.

The western portico and its fabulous view over the Straits of Mackinac.

The Grand omnibus approaching the entrance to pick up guests going downtown.

A Grand omnibus approaching the entrance to pick up guests going downtown.

The Grand Rose Garden - through the trees.

The Grand Rose Garden – through the trees.

FRIENDS

It’s been great fun to connect with readers and friends over the last few days!

Patty and Buz, our condo neighbors at Surrey Ride, as well as Cindy and Steve, who bought our condo. We had lunch together at Gatehouse after church Sunday.

Patty and Buz, our condo neighbors at Surrey Ridge (from Oklahoma), as well as Cindy and Steve, who bought our condo (from Atlanta). We all had lunch together at Gatehouse after church Sunday.

Katie, her husband Kevin, and little Claire - blog readers from Clarkston, MI who stopped us on a recent dog walk. Loved meeting y'all, and give your mom a big hug for me!

Katie, her husband Kevin, and precious little Claire – blog readers from Clarkston, MI who stopped us on a recent dog walk. Loved meeting y’all, and give your mom a big hug for me!

Girl friends Patty and Sue. Sue spent two nights with us on the island, and the three of us had a blast

Girl friends Patty and Sue. Sue spent two nights with us on the island, and the three of us had a blast “doing” the show!

Others have been Hilde and Bud (why didn’t I get a photo?), Paul and Elaine (same question), Stu Stuart (same question), Joleen and her husband (who I never saw, but they saw Jill), and two ladies at the Garden Show who introduced themselves as readers (I didn’t get their photos and I can’t remember their names, but I think they both started with a “J” – how far off am I, ladies?).  One thing, sweet readers – don’t EVER hesitate to introduce yourselves – no matter what I might be doing.  I LOVE meeting all of you!

RANDOMNESS

Wedding photos in the Mission Point intersection below our condo.

Wedding photos in the Mission Point intersection below our condo.

One of my favorite curves on M-85.

One of my favorite curves on M-85.

Yes, there is a young person who rides this bike filled with soft drinks up and down Grand Hotel porch. Don't you just love that?!

Yes, there is a young person who rides this bike filled with soft drinks up and down Grand Hotel porch. Don’t you just love that?!

Mission Point Resort from Robinson's Folly.

Mission Point Resort from Robinson’s Folly.

Island friend Mary Jane Barnwell at her recent book signing at Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

Island friend and owner of the Island Bookstore, Mary Jane Barnwell, at her recent book signing at Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

The book, Goodnight, Mackinac Island was written by Mary Jane and illustrated by wonderful Mackinac artist Lily Porter. A wonderful souvenir of the island that you'll read over and over again to the children and grandchildren!

The book, Goodnight, Mackinac Island – A Vacation Journal, was written by Mary Jane and illustrated by wonderful Mackinac artist Lily Porter. This is the first Mackinac Island board book for toddlers!!

A FEW FLOWERS TO GET YOU READY FOR THE NEXT BLOG ABOUT THE GARDEN SHOW!

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Grand Hotel garden flower.

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And – as a real tease – one of the gardens you’ll be seeing from the perspective of the cottage owner – not as a visitor to the island . . .

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Whew!  I told you I’ve been busy!!

Hope everyone is doing great and getting ready for an awesome weekend!  And I hope you’ll join me back here on Sunday for the garden tour to end all garden tours!!

God bless.

Fall? Who Said? 9/25/2013

After working Monday morning at the Stuart House, I took some time to walk through downtown with my camera.  Everywhere I turned were gardens, flower beds, flower pots and hanging baskets – all beautiful and happily blooming away.  You’d never know we’ve been in the 50’s for highs this week and frost warnings have been issued the last two nights. 

So . . . Fall might be here on the calendar – but Mackinac Island’s summer flowers are still blooming their little hearts out!

Our post office always looks good, but this year the entrance is surrounded by tall, beautiful flowers that are really showing off. Makes going after the mail a real treat!

Our post office always looks good, but this year the tall, beautiful flowers surrounding the entrance are really showing off. Makes going after the mail a real treat!

One of many hanging baskets at The Cottage Inn . . .

One of the many hanging baskets at The Cottage Inn . . .

. . . and a little frog named Bob who just can't stay away from his cell phone.

. . . and a little frog named Bob who just can’t stay away from his cell phone.

These beauties were outside Weber's, across

These beauties were outside Weber’s on Market Street.

Butterflies are still fluttering around also - like this one sipping at some flowers in front of a summer cottage on Huron Street.

Butterflies are still fluttering – like this one sipping at some flowers in front of a closed-for-the-winter cottage on Huron Street.

There are no words for the floral wonders at the Island House this year.

There are no words for the floral wonders at the Island House this year.

Every garden is a masterpiece of color, variety . . .

Every garden is a masterpiece of color, variety . . .

. . . and

. . . and uniqueness.

The side of Bay View is

Bay View of Mackinac is a riot of flowering bushes.

Doud's Market.  I remember these window boxes in the spring when they first were planted.  They have thrived all summer, and right now they are peaking!

Doud’s Market. I remember these window boxes in the spring when they first were planted. They have thrived all summer, and right now they are peaking.

Hanging basket outside Mary's Bistro.

Hanging basket outside Mary’s Bistro.

One perfect blossom - along the board walk.

One perfect blossom – along the board walk.

Cadotte from the Grand Hotel.

Cadotte Avenue from the Grand Hotel.

MORE SCENES FROM THE MONDAY AFTERNOON STROLL

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Looking across Marquette Park toward Fort Mackinac.  Not much Fall color yet – but it’s coming!

J.L. Beanery

J.L. Beanery Coffee House is a great place for breakfast – and awesome lunch sandwiches.

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Quiet street – from the Fort to the Island House.

The Mackinac Island Marine is another quiet place these days.

The Mackinac Island Marina is another quiet place these days.

The Island House

The Island House – tucked between Michigan blue skies and shamrock green lawns.

dd

A nice afternoon to visit across the white picket fence in front of the Windermere Hotel.

A shady curve of sidewalk leading to the library . . .

A shady curve of sidewalk leading to the library . . .

. . . where I ducked through the side yard to check out

. . . where I ducked through the side yard to check if the chairs were still out on the back deck.

Quite possibly the most beautiful boardwalk in the world.

Walking along the boardwalk these days is a treat to all the senses . . .

. . . especially the visual.

. . . especially the visual.  A Shepler ferry . . .

. . . and Arnold's freight boat.

. . . and the Arnold freight boat glide across sparkling blue water.

Chambers Corner

Chambers Corner and a glimpse up Market Street.

Little Stone Church

Little Stone Church through the changing leaves of the new trees that line Cadotte.  I wonder how many more years I’ll call them the “new” trees?

A touch of color on a Jewel Golf Course tree . . .

A touch of color on a Jewel Golf Course tree . . .

. . . and apples near the road that every horse on Mackinac are trying to swipe with every pass along the road.

. . . and apples near the road that every horse on Mackinac tries to swipe as they walk by.

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A wagon and a carriage stand side by side in the sunshine at Barn View.

NEWSY STUFF

Picking up the mail at the post office.

Picking up the outgoing mail at the post office.  The dray delivers it to the ferry, and the next morning the whole process starts again – in reverse.  (Photo:  Jill Sawatzki)

It's definitely Fall inside Doud's Market! (Photo:  Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island)

It’s definitely Fall inside Doud’s Market! (Photo: Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island)

Remember those empty blue barrels from the other day?  These are packed full and on their first leg of their journey to Jamaica.

Remember those empty blue barrels from the other day? These are packed full and on the first leg of their journey to Jamaica – along with what looks like some carpet.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Getting my coffee fix at Lucky Bean before opening the Stuart House on Monday morning.

Getting my coffee fix at Lucky Bean, before opening the Stuart House on Monday morning.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Meet the Green's - Kem and Ed from Des Moines, Iowa.  Kem discovered Bree's Blog last summer after visiting Mackinac, and if I've ever met anyone who mirrors how I felt with my first trip here, it is Kem.  Ed feels the same way, and they have a plan to be living (maybe full-time) on the Island in five years.  They're staying at the Chippewa and asked us to have dinner last night so they could ask questions about island life.  Such a nice couple.  I fell immediately in love with Kem's enthusiasm and positive attitude.  If anyone can make that plan come true, these two can!

Meet the Greens – Kem and Ed from Des Moines, Iowa. Kem discovered Bree’s Blog last summer after visiting Mackinac, and if I’ve ever met anyone who mirrors how I felt after my first trip here, it is Kem. Ed feels the same way, and they have a plan to be living (maybe full-time) on the Island in five years. They came over to the Stuart House on Monday and asked us to have dinner with them at the Chippewa Hotel (where they’re staying) last night so they could ask questions about island life. Such a nice couple! I fell immediately in love with Kem’s enthusiasm and positive attitude. If anyone can make that plan come true, these two can!

When the Greens came by the Stuart House Frankie and Hershey were visiting for a few minutes so everyone introduced themselves.  This morning was very foggy so Kem went out shopping and stopped in to see Frankie at Benjamin's.  She asked where Hershey was, and Frankie said "Upstairs in the apartment."  So Kem said, "Why don't we take her for a walk?"  Do you see now why I'm crazy about these two.  Kem got Hershey, called Ed at the Chippewa and they all went for a walk in the fog!

When the Greens came by the Stuart House Frankie and Hershey were visiting for a few minutes, so everyone introduced themselves. This morning was very foggy so Kem went out shopping and stopped in to see Frankie at Benjamin’s. She asked where Hershey was, and Frankie said “Upstairs in the apartment.” So Kem said, “Why don’t we take her for a walk?” Do you see why I’m crazy about these two. Kem collected Hershey, called Ed at the Chippewa, and they all went for a walk in the fog!

And speaking of fog.  The morning started off bright and beautiful, but Jim Ryerse captured the fog bank as it rolled in.  So eerie-looking!

And speaking of fog. The morning started off bright and beautiful, but Jim Ryerse captured the fog bank as it rolled in. So eerie-looking!

It looks like I'm not going to get out to Silver Birches after all this week, but the Town Crier interview worked out.  Stephanie Fortino, the reporter who wrote the wonderful story about Lowell & Faye's trip to the Island rode up to the condo this afternoon, and we all chatted for over two hours.  The story should run in the October Town Crier.

Stephanie Fortino, the reporter from the St. Ignace News/Town Crier who wrote the wonderful story about Lowell & Faye’s trip to the Island, rode up to the condo this afternoon, and we all chatted about Bree’s Blog for over two hours. The story should run in the October Town Crier.  I love working with Stephanie – another enthusiastic – and very professional – young lady.

WEDNESDAY WALK

After Stephanie hurried down the hill to catch the ferry, Ted and I took Maddie and Bear for a long walk.  I am always amazed at some of the bizarre formations of the island's

After Stephanie hurried down the hill to catch the ferry, Ted and I took Maddie and Bear for a long walk. I am always amazed at some of the bizarre forms aged or dead trees take on over the years.  These trunks on Cupid’s Pathway seemed almost fossilized.

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Rays of sunlight breaking through thick still-green foliage.

Now that Bear is feeling better, he is getting rid of a lot of pent-up energy on every walk.  Once off-leash in the woods he breaks into an all-out run and races through bushes and over fallen trees like a pack of wolves is after him.

Now that Bear is feeling better, he is getting rid of a lot of pent-up energy on every walk. Once off-leash in the woods he breaks into an all-out run and races through bushes and over fallen trees like a pack of wolves is after him.

Then he stops, digs a hole . . . .

Then he stops, digs a hole . . . .

. . . . grabs a stick . . .

. . . . grabs a stick . . .

. . . and chews.

. . . and chews.

And then he starts all over again!

And then he starts all over again! 

How they like to end every walk . . . running up the hill at the Carriage Museum to get treats from Denise!

How they like to end every walk . . . running up the hill at the Carriage Museum to get treats from Denise!

Well, I guess you didn’t know when you sat down to read this you were going to be here this long!  I’ve really been out a lot with the camera this week! 

I still haven’t worked out the details with Liz Ware about my night at Silver Birches, but hopefully that is still going to happen. 

One big bit of news.  We had an offer on the condo this week, but after counter offers and re-counter offers, we just couldn’t get together on price.  So . . . no sale on that one. 

Hoping everyone is having a good week.  Stay safe, stay well, and I’ll see you back here in a few days!  God bless.

Here and There and Everywhere! 9/19/2013

Hi gang!  It’s basically been a normal Mackinac Island week, so there isn’t a lot to write about tonight.    But . . . it seems everyone likes the “normal” stuff as well as the big events, so here’s what I have for you . . .

Monday I worked at the Stuart House, and it was one of only two of my volunteer days this season when no blog readers stopped by.  I felt lonely!  But since then, I’ve seen a couple of readers on Main Street, and tonight, as Ted and I were walking downtown, I heard someone calling, “Bree! Bree!”  We looked all around and finally looked UP!  A man was standing on the third floor balcony of the Grand Hotel shouting and waving, “My wife and I read your blog!”  We waved, and I shouted, “Thank you!”  Loved it!

POOR BEAR!

Tuesday I was off-island with Bear for his “spa day”.  Bless his heart.  He has his annual Fall season hot spot, and boy is this one in a doozie of a location – on the bottom of his tail, right up next to where the tail joins the body (think about it).  He has not been a happy camper all week, especially since he’s been forced to wear that awful halo collar so he can’t bite at the spot and just make it worse.  I’ve been trying some “natural” meds so I don’t have to resort to steroids, which he does not tolerate well at all.  I AM applying some ointment from the vet that has helped the itching, but I didn’t get that until after he was groomed.  The ladies at the spa said he was like a different dog on Tuesday – fidgety, nervous and refusing to stand still.  Well, I couldn’t stand still if I had an itch I couldn’t scratch either!   Poor Bear.

MAKING A WITHDRAWAL

I had some banking to do last week, and as I opened the bank door, a large dog who had been sitting on the sidewalk ran inside with me.  I figured her owner must be in the bank, so I just ignored her and walked over to the counter to write a check.  When I turned around . . .

. . . the dog, who I finally recognized as Annie (she belongs to a lady in the Village), was going from one teller window to another, standing on her hind legs and checking

. . . the dog, who I finally recognized as Annie (she belongs to a lady in the Village), was going from one teller window to another, standing on her hind legs and checking for possible hand-outs.

Everyone seemed to be busy, but that didn't deter Annie . . .

Everyone seemed to be busy, but that didn’t deter Annie . . .

. . . who finally checked a window where the teller had treats!

. . . who finally checked a window where the teller had treats!

Someone called Annie’s owner, who was down the street looking for her wayward dog.  She said when they left home that morning she told Annie they were going to the bank, so she guessed Annie decided to go straight there and forget their other stops.

CHIEF JIM MARKS’ RETIREMENT PARTY

Our wonderful Police Chief, Jim Marx, has retired, and the whole community came together this afternoon to wish he and his wife Betty a relaxing and peaceful retirement.

Our wonderful Police Chief, Jim Marks, is retiring October 5, and the whole community turned out this afternoon to wish him and wife Nancy an awesome retirement.  We will miss y’all!

IT’S ALMOST LEAF SEASON!

Riding home with taxi driver Ron this evening after dinner, we saw that some of the "new" trees lining Cadotte are already dressing for Autumn.

Riding home with taxi driver Bob this evening after dinner, we saw that some of the trees lining Cadotte are already dressing for Autumn.  We’re beginning to see some touches of yellow all over the Island – Fall is coming fast!

PHOTOS!

I haven’t had a chance to get out and take many pics this week, but I know a lot of folks who have.  Here are some great shots from around town:

Lars, Ann Levy's beautiful Friesian, left the island at sunrise this week.  Always sad to see the horses leave, both private . . .

Lars, Ann Levy’s beautiful Friesian, left the island at sunrise this week. Always sad to see the horses leave, both private . . .

. . . and those belonging to Carriage Tours.  We've been watching them go ever since Labor Day. (Photo: Denise Beaudoin)

. . . and those belonging to Carriage Tours. We’ve been watching them go ever since Labor Day. (Photo: Denise Beaudoin)

ttttt

It’s blue barrel time on Mackinac.  Our Jamaican workers fill these barrels with everything they’ve purchased while working here during the summer and ship them back home to their families.  They will send linens, paper goods, rice, flour, clothes – anything that isn’t perishable.  All these items are much cheaper in the U.S. than in Jamaica, and the things they ship home – plus the wages they’ve earned in the time they’ve spent away from their families – will help those families survive another year.

Tuesday's spectacular sunrise from Mackinac Island's Shepler dock.  (Photo: Shepler's Ferry Line)

Tuesday’s spectacular sunrise from Mackinac Island’s Shepler dock. (Photo: Shepler’s Ferry Line)

We’ve got a quiet weekend planned, but – being Mackinac – that could change at the drop of a hat.  And next week, I’m being interviewed by Stephanie Fortino, a reporter for The St. Ignace News & The Town Crier, for a feature story on Bree’s Blog.  So excited about that!  ALSO excited that I may be spending a night next week out at Silver Birches in the big lodge.  Now THAT should be an interesting night!

Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here in a few days!  God bless.

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.

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!