Saturday, July 23, 2011

Boating on Lake St. Clair

Blue-green water...the sun glistening off the surface,
boats, large and small, everywhere
people trying to stay cool in the hot, humid sunshine.
Swimming and floating on the waves
not a care in the world,
laughing and joking with family.
Enjoying a simple lunch of sandwiches, fruits, cold veggies and ice-cold bottled water.
Heading back to the boat slip with smiles on our faces at the end of the day.
My brother's 24.5 ft. boat tied up in its boat slip on Lake St. Clair.
Tom on the left, my silly brother, Bob, on the right.
Tom, me and my brother off the back of his boat.
My dad on the left with another huge boat at the marina in the background.
On the sandbar. An hour later, there had to have been 200 boats parked on this same sandbar with us, but they were all spread out over maybe 1/4 mile, so it wasn't insanely crowded, thankfully.
We were in awe of this super expensive, fancy house located on one of the canals. They had fake palm trees everywhere, a thatched-roof cabana with an outdoor fieldstone bar, an inground pool with TWO twisting slides going into it, a "cigar boat" that had to be 40 ft long parked in front, and a maid running around outdoors picking up after the 3 young kids that were swimming in the pool. Where DO people get that kind of money???
My sister-in-law, Leslie and hubby, Tom, sitting in the back of the boat while it was parked on the sandbar.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Heat Wave, Graduation and Meat Pie

Hey, who the heck turned on the STEAM MACHINE this weekend? Whew! The temperature in Michigan today was 97 (110 in the sun, as this thermometer in our backyard shows) this afternoon, with the heat index being over 100. That's extremely hot for us in this area, and we aren't used to it. AND I noticed on the weather report that this entire week is supposed to stay in the 90's with Thursday's high being 100! Holy heat wave, Batman! I can hardly wait to see our a/c bill next month.  :-(  

I know a lot of my blogger friends are also suffering from the heat and, in some places, drought too. I feel for you guys, and hope you're able to find ways to stay cool. We're definitely in the Dog Days of Summer now.

Last week at work was busy-crazy and fun as our church sponsored Vacation Bible School. The kids had a blast and, as always, the staff was amazed at how much, and how quickly, they learned! This week will definitely be much quieter as our Pastor will be in Indiana on Monday & Tuesday for a Pastor's conference, and I'll be in the office alone on those days. As long as my a/c wall unit keeps working, I'll be just fine.  :-)

Saturday Tom and I put a lot of miles on our car, and we were never more than an hour and 15 minutes from home! Early in the morning, we drove to my hairdresser/friend's house so that I could get my hair touched up (blonde highlights). She lives on a canal in Algonac, just off Lake St. Clair, and that area is totally gorgeous. Yes, it's a long drive, but she's been doing my hair for 25 years now, and I get a color, wash, cut and style for only $25, so it's worth it. Plus I get to catch up with her on things going on in both her family and mine.

From Algonac, Tom & I drove to at least 3 or 4 other places, none of which were close to home. It seemed like our errands were never-ending, but we actually had a nice time sight-seeing and going to areas of Metro Detroit we hadn't drove through in years. It was like we made a huge "square" from our house, all the way over to the east side (Canada was across the river at that point), down to 8 Mile Road (the northern border of Detroit) all the way back to the west side (home), and an hour later to southeast Redford for our (future) niece's graduation party. We had gotten on the road at 9 a.m., and didn't get back home for the night until 11 p.m. Man, that was a long day.

We had a nice time at our (future) niece's graduation party, but it was certainly VERY WARM sitting in her parents' backyard, and there was only shade in half the yard at any given time. They had a pool, but we didn't bring our bathing suits, and besides, the pool was filled with screaming, splashing kids, so we wouldn't have gone in anyway. I did, however, use water from the pool several times to wet down my arms, shoulders, neck, back, etc. to help keep me cool until the sun went down. I think that's the only thing that made Saturday evening bearable. Anyway, we were so happy for Megan (our nephew, Jeremy's, girlfriend of the past two years) that she graduated from high school--one of the first in her family, if you can believe that. She's already been accepted to Schoolcraft College near her home, and will start in the fall. She hopes to become a bakery and pastry chef. Yum! Sounds good to me! Megan got held back a year in school when she was younger, so she actually graduated at age 19. Jeremy is 21, and we can totally see them getting married some day, which is great, cuz Megan is a doll. And she's such a sweet, pretty girl!

Today, Sunday, we went to church, then  Bible Class, and then decided to stay home in the a/c. We haven't had much rain either, so we've been having to water our garden every few nights, but as you can see, our plants--3 tomato, 2 zucchini, 4 cukes and 2 bean pole plants--seem to be doing well.

Oh, and lastly, we had a special treat for dinner tonight! Tom decided to experiment, and he made us a homemade meat pie for dinner. Inside, he included meat, potatoes, corn, red peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic and brown gravy. It was SOOOO good! And look at that light-brown, crispy pie crust!   I love that man's cooking. Heck, I think I'll even keep him around for a while. LOL

Have a great week, and STAY COOL, ya'll!

Monday, July 11, 2011

River Tubing and Nature

Last weekend, Tom and I drove to our friend's property on the Rifle River (about 2 hours north of our house), meeting 2 other couples there (including the property owners), and we all had a really fun and relaxing time. As a matter of fact, we had SO much fun laughing, joking and telling stories Friday night that before we knew it, it was 3 a.m.! We couldn't believe we had all stayed awake that long!

The weather was perfect and the water, although still a little chilly, was very refreshing. We took 2 trips down the river--one Saturday, and the other midday Sunday before we all left to go home--and during each, we stopped at the halfway point for a swim at a bend in the river where the water is deep and the current gently floats you maybe about 60-70 feet before gently sitting you on a shallow sand bar. Lots of fun.

Anyway, I didn't take any people pictures this time, but I did take a few nature photos which I've included below.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your weekend was wonderful too!  Hugs!

Red sky at night, sailor's delight! We arrived at the river at sunset, and the reddish sky was gorgeous!
One of 3 large frogs living in the teeny pond near our fire pit area. They croaked and sang all weekend for us!
A dragonfly stopped for a few minutes on an unblooming iris plant that was growing alongside the teeny pond.
Various types of wildflowers were growing all over our friend's property, as well as along the river banks and dirt roads. I'm not sure what type of flower this is, but they sure were pretty!
As I've said before, the neighbor next to our friend's property has a lot of animals including a male and female peacock. Here, the male poses on a fence post. I wish he would have spread those beautiful feathers out for me, but apparently, he wasn't "in the mood." Earlier that day, Tom accidentally came upon the female and her 2 chicks while taking a walk, and she hissed and honked at him (sounded like a goose!) until she and the babies moved off a bit.

Monday, July 4, 2011

BBQs, Fireworks and Hot Temperatures

Well, here it is at the end of the long, July 4th weekend. Tom & I were just saying (on our way home from a fireworks show at a nearby lake) that this was one of the nicest, most relaxing weekends we've had in a very long time. It was actually a PERFECT weekend, and those are pretty hard to come by! Thank you, Lord!

We were thrilled, and thankful, that our nephew, Jeff, came over Saturday morning and cleaned out the gutters on our house. We used to have a family-owned company that automatically cleaned them twice each year, but they went out of business, and when I called around to get prices for other companies, I found they were 3 times as expensive, which is why it's been 2 years since we've had them cleaned. Anyway, thank you to Jeff! He did a fantastic job on a VERY hot and steamy day.

Our nephew, Jeff, cleaning our gutters. Yes, those are 12 - 18" high saplings growing in them. How embarrassing!!!
Later on Saturday, we went over to Tom's youngest brother's house (Jeff's parents) and spent the afternoon with them lounging around in their pool trying to stay cool. They also BBQ'd some fine-tasting burgers for dinner. Since the temps were in the high 90's, and the humidity was RIDICULOUSLY high, staying cool, even in the pool, was certainly a challenge. The pool thermometer read 92 degrees! Yep. It was hot in Michigan on Saturday! Later in the afternoon, we had hours-worth of thunderstorms and nasty-looking black clouds go by their house, but all they received were 2 bursts of rain showers. Other cities around theirs weren't so lucky and had hail and high winds up to 70 mph! Thankfully, all was quiet back at our house (1/2 hour north of theirs), and our garden was happy with the rain showers it received.  :-)

I also have to add here that Tom & his brother had a lot of fun hanging out with each other, and by the end of the night, and several Tuscan lemonades and Coronas later, neither was feeling any pain. LOLOL
Look how happy Tom and his brother are here! Can you guess why? LOLOL
Sunday we went to church, then Bible Class, then hustled over to Tom's nephew and soon-to-be niece's new home for a BBQ.  (Their wedding will take place in September.) Quite a few of Tom's family were there, as well as a few old friends from days past. The food was good, the company was awesome, and the farmhouse that they bought was absolutely COOL to the max. It was over 100 years old, and had been very nicely maintained. You can find more pictures of it on my sister-in-law, Jeanette's, blog at "Net on the Net."

Mike & Sarah's first home. Isn't it gorgeous???
I just LOVE this photo of Sarah rocking on her front porch. I was telling her that she looked like she truly belonged there in that rocker!

After leaving Mike & Sarah's BBQ, we went home and prepared to have a deck-full of our "river camping" friends over to visit and see the fireworks on our lake. We have an open spot between the trees in our back yard and our neighbor's back yard where you can see the fireworks perfectly. We were surprised at the number of river family that showed up, but happy as punch to see them all. The fireworks were awesome and afterward, we all sat around a campfire in our backyard just talking, telling stories, and laughing. It was a nice ending to our day.  :-)

Today was a day of rest for Tom & me. We watched some TV, I sat here at the computer and read all of your new blog postings (I swear, that took me 3 hours since I haven't been on Blogger in almost 10, then he & I took naps before eating some dinner and then heading over to another friend's house who lives around the corner on a different lake in order to watch more fireworks. This guy lives right on the lake, and is a mutual friend of the river family, so they all came to watch the fireworks too. It was another great time, for sure.
Before the fireworks began, the guys were lighting off these tall, colorful things at water's edge, and they probably shot 10' into the air. In the background you can see red flares lit all the way around the lake by the lakefront home owners. It's blurry here, but when you see it in person, it's neat because the flares turn the entire lakeshore red. I have no idea how this tradition got started, but it's pretty neat, and it happens every July 4th on every lake around us that has a professional fireworks show. Fun, fun!

This came out a little dark, but it's the flag that our friend, Jay, had flying on his flagpole near the lake tonight, and there was just enough of a light breeze to make it fly proud.  :-)

Now it's late, and I should be in bed, so I'll stick a few photos in this posting and head upstairs for some shut-eye. Hope all of you had a wonderful July 4th weekend also. We are free to do fun stuff like watch fireworks and visit with our friends and family because of the hard work and dedication of so many service men & women, both past and present, and I am SO thankful to be living in this great country of ours. Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!