Here is it, the final
entry for August 2010 and the final entry for summer of 2010! For the past
week or so, my spirits have been pretty good knowing that summer is on it's
way out and my second favorite season is fast approaching. We are in another
little heat spell, but I am tolerating it just fine. In fact, even though we
hit 93 here at the cabin yesterday and look to be headed there again today,
it has not been too bad. Thanks largely to the fact that the humidity has
not been to bad. Yesterday's dewpoints were in the low to mid 50's and today
we have had Td's (weather slang for dewpoint) in the upper 50's to low 60's.
Looks like we are going to stay in the 60's for Td through early Tuesday,
but then a front looks to come through and cool us back down and drop the
humidity and there are some signs that this type of heat may be gone for the
season once it leaves.
We also had a front come through here last Tuesday. It
did not produce much more than a sprinkle here, but I was in Marquette when
it came through around noon and it poured for about 10 minutes there. Temps
on Wednesday and Thursday were nice and comfy, along with lower humidity and
the temps climbed on Friday, but humidity remained low. In fact, I had to
wear a jacket Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings on the walk with the
pups. Yesterday was warm, but not hot and this morning was cool, but not
I had a bit of a stomach bug bother me for most of the
week, so I did not venture too deep into the woods with the pups this week.
We did take a few short jaunts into the bush, but were turned back
prematurely on all of them, due to the call of mother nature. Don't know
where I got it from. All the eggs up here were suppose to be free from the
recall. All I know is it was no fun having to deal with that for 5 days
straight. On Friday I picked up some probiotic tablets and ever since taking
them all has been well. I sure will be keeping those on hand from now on!
I was able to get some more work done around the house
though. I finished the
lift for the topper and have it all stored up and out of the way. It is
not a permanent spot for it as it is in the wood working shop, but will do
for the next few years and will be a great way to get it up and out of the
way and I can also lift it and lower it back onto the truck all by myself.
So putting it on and taking it off will be a whole lot easier this winter.
On Friday, Al showed up with a
load of wood for me. 6 cord on the truck and I think that combined with
what we still have will get us through the winter. At least through the dead
of winter. If I have to pick up a bit more in late March or early April,
that is not a big deal, but we probably still have enough to get us pretty
deep into November and what is on the truck should easily give us 4 months
more, if not longer than that. Now the issue is to cut and stack it. I
cannot use a chain saw, but it looks like September 24th we are going to be
having a wood cutting party here at the cabin. I think with two saws going,
a couple of runners and a stacker, we should be able to rip through that
wood in a day. Anyway, anyone looking for a reason to come to the beautiful
Keweenaw that weekend. Feel free to let me know and I will get you
directions to the cabin. The more the merrier!
The Houghton County Fair started this past Thursday and
will be ending today. Nora, Grace and I headed down to take it in on Friday.
The main purpose was to let Grace seen the animals, so that was our first
stop. That was us in front of some bunnies. Here she is with
Nora checking out one of the horses. I think the smile on her face in
that picture will also put a smile on her Aunt Jeni's face. And Jen, she
loved looking at all of the animals. Here she is checking
out one of the cows and some
goats. The owner of the goats saw us looking at them and he came over
and asked if we wanted to let Grace go into the pen and pet them, so we did
and what did Grace end up doing almost right away? Grab
one of their tails! The goat did not mind at all, but we did not let her
do that any more, but she was thrilled to be able to touch them. The last
stop was to the swine barn to see where
bacon comes from. Daddy loves bacon!
It was then off to sample some of the fair food. I have
to say that I was a little disappointed in what was there. It has been many
years since I have been to that fair, but I thought that the selection and
quality was better the last time I went. I know that other fairs I have been
to have awesome food. Well, not awesome from a health stand point, but
tasty! Anyway, we tried some pizza and then moved onto an elephant
ear. Here is daddy
with a mouthful of elephant ear.
So with seeing the animals and filling our bellies, the
only thing left to do was to try and wind a prize. I have been to a lot of
fairs in my day and know the odds of winning at most of those contests, so
we chose to let Grace go to the
duck pond to try her luck. Of course she just wanted to climb in and go
for a swim, but soon caught on that the idea was to grab a duck and she did
and won a little blow up toy.
Yesterday was a great beach day, so we all piled into the
car and headed to the beach. Grace
sure loves the beach! I loved it there yesterday too. The winds
were quite strong and that made it very comfortable to be there. Grace
really wanted to go swimming, but none of us brought our suits, so we let
her wade into the water, but that was it. Only the pups got to go for a full
swim. Today was another great day to head to the beach, although the winds
were not blowing as strong at all and were also off shore, so the
lake was flat as glass and it was also pretty hot down there. But, Nora
and Grace both wore their swimsuits and both went for a
little swim. As
did the pups. I wished I had worn mine as it was pretty hot down there,
especially with almost no wind and a strong sun. I survived and we came home
and Nora, Grace and the pups all took a nap while I did some work.
One of the other chores I got done this week was to
detail the Blazer. I was wanting to do it this spring, but with my health
issues, was not able to get it done. Then summer came and it got put on the
back burner, but I wanted to get it done because we are selling the blazer
and with it's 4 wheel drive I figure it will be a good vehicle to sell with
winter pending. So I got the blazer all spiffed up and I must say that it
really does look good, both inside and out. It's not perfect, but for a
14 year old vehicle, I think it is in pretty good shape. If you are
interested in it, you can read
While I had all the detailing equipment out and was still in
the detailing mode, I decided to do up the truck. It is quite the job to
detail a vehicle like I do. I first wash it and remove any road grime from
all areas. Then I use a random orbit buffer to first use a fine cut cleaner,
then move on to a polish/swirl remover and finish up with a wax. Both
vehicles took me about 6-7 hours to complete, but it sure makes a
difference. The only problem is that you don't want to use the vehicle after
cleaning it up that much! Anyway, here is the truck
all cleaned up.
Well, I think that will do it for this one. Talk to you
all next month and next season!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
|This business directly sponsors
I type the temps are climbing into the 80's and the dewpoint is climbing
through the upper 60's on it's way into the low 70's, but you will not find
me complaining about it- at least not in this entry. Mother nature must have
been reading my entry last week, because she delivered us a whole 7 days of
very comfortable weather. We were able to have the air conditioners off for
a full 7 days and there were even a few days where I had to keep the windows
closed in the cabin to keep it from getting too cold inside.
We even had a few mornings that were chilly enough that I
should have worn a jacket while on my walk with the pups. Monday I darn near
froze my nanners off walking with them. Temps were in the low 50's and the
breeze that grew to a gale that day was already blowing pretty good when the
pups and I took our walk. In a way though, it actually felt pretty good to
be a little chilled while on the walk after being so warm and humid for so
As I just mentioned, the winds blew pretty hard up here
on Monday. Sustained to 30-35 mph and gusts to 50. The pups and I decided to
head down to the big lake to see what it looked like on Monday and I have to
admit that while I have not lived here my entire life, in the 11 years that
I have called the Keweenaw home, I have never seen the
lake that angry in August. I have seen the lake angrier in October and
November when we are having one of our famous "November Gales",
but that is as nasty as I have seen it while still swim able.
When I look at that last picture, it does not look that
bad to me and I bet many of you thought the same thing. The blue skies
really help to make things look friendlier than on an October or November
day when the skies are battleship gray. It is also hard to judge the size of
the waves rolling in from the picture because there really is not anything
to reference them to, but I would have had to guess that they were about 5-7
feet rolling into shore, with the occasional monster dwarfing all others. I
also saw some buoys out in the lake reporting waves of 10-15 feet. Again,
not the 30 footers of November 10th, 1975, but a good August surfing day.
Here is another shot looking
in the other direction.
It was actually too windy to even walk the beach with the
pups. I was in shorts and the sand was being carried through the air and hit
my bare legs and really stung. I also noticed the pups did not seem to enjoy
looking into the wind and getting sand blasted, so we ended up walking the
road that runs just inland from the lake and is very well protected by the
On Tuesday it was back into the woods to pick some more
blackberries for jam. Nora is the champion jam maker (at least in our house)
and she informed me we needed 5 cups of crushed berries for one batch of
jam. So the pups and I took
to the woods and got busy picking. It was a great day to be in the
woods, with temps in the upper 60's and dewpoints in the mid 40's. It ended
up taking me about 30 minutes to pick just over 4 cups of berries, which is
pretty fast, but not that difficult when you are going through patches that
look like this.
I'd say that for the area I was picking in, Tuesday (the day we were out
there) was probably the peak for them. As in that last shot, about 70-75% of
the berries were ripe for the picking, with the rest to be ready in a few
days. We have not been out there since, but Nora is busy in the kitchen
making the jam as I type. It sure will be a special treat to have on a cold
winters day on toast made with home made bread, or perhaps a big old stack
of pancakes. It's like canning summer.
On Tuesday evening, Nora and I went on our first all
alone dinner date since Grace arrived on the scene. I guess to be technical,
we did eat dinner together without Grace and the dogs the night before I had
my pacemaker put in, but that was hardly a date. Neither of us had been to
the Harbor Haus in many years, so we decided to go there. For those of you
not familiar with the Harbor Haus. It sits right on the shores of Copper
Harbor and you can see the big lake beyond as well. The food is very good
and pretty upscale for the UP. It was nice to have the time alone with Nora
and not have either one of us have to worry about keeping Grace entertained,
or fed or picking up all that she drops on the floors from her seat at the
table. It's also felt pretty strange and did feel good to get back home and
see the little cutie.
We did spend a little time walking through some of the
shops in Copper Harbor and did end up taking the long way home though, up
over Brockway Mountain and then along the lake to Eagle Harbor and then up
to the highway and back home. While up on Brockway at the west end, we
stopped to take in the
view of Lake Bailey with Mt Baldy to it's left and Agate Harbor and the
big lake to it's right. Here is a view of Lake
Bailey from the ground floor. It was a fun time and we have some more
dinner dates penciled in to the near future.
I don't remember what we did on Wednesday, but on
Thursday we took Grace in to see the Dr. for her one year lube, oil and
filter, plus a few shots. I just cringe every time she has to get shots, but
she takes them very well. Cries for about 60 seconds and then is all smiles.
This time she even walked out of the Dr's office. No more shots for at least
6 months and hopefully she and I will be staying out of there for at least
that long. The good news is that she is in perfect health and is growing at
a good rate and is pretty smack dab in the middle of size for others her
Friday was a pretty nasty day all day. Rain started up
early in the morning and pretty much fell all day. We even had a few
thunderstorms roll through, although nothing like some of the storms that
rolled through the southern and eastern UP later in the day. All told we
picked up around an inch or needed rain and things are nice and green and
the dust is gone for the moment. During one of the lulls in the rain
activity Friday, I did go out to our peach tree and picked two
more pieces from it. We planted it 3 years ago and this is the first
year it has produced fruit. After the first winter, I was even wondering if
it was going to live. That first winter we had some really cold air (for us
anyway) and it burned back most of the limbs on the tree and we probably
only had a few dozen leaves on the entire tree at the beginning of the
second summer. But it did come back and so far we have picked about 4 or 5
pieces of fruit, with another 3 or 4 to go. Kind of fun for this
transplanted city boy to pick fruit right off my own tree and also very
tasty. We actually have a few blackberries left over and I might make up a
peach/blackberry sauce to put on things.
Saturday was sort of the "hangover" day to all
of Friday's rain. We pretty much had low clouds for most of the day. Even
so, Nora and I decided to take the family up to Lac La Belle for lunch. On
the way up, we passed by the cliff range and I snapped a shot of the
low clouds rolling in off the top of it. We got there a little early, so
Nora visited with some friends up there and I took the
pups to Bete Gris beach to expend some energy. While at the beach, the
skies cleared and the afternoon was pretty nice on the east side of the
peninsula, but on the west end, the clouds hung tough for the rest of the
Last night Nick (from our riding gang) got married, so I
went to the festivities and saw many in our group. It is the first time
since spring that I have seen or even talked to many of them and they seem
as excited about the upcoming winter as I am. I think the warm summer had
not been welcomed by most in the gang. A lot of talk about going out west
I have two shots of Grace to share with you all. She is
spending more and more time playing by herself, or should I say keeping
herself entertained by herself. She got some blocks for her birthday and
they have become one of her favorite things to play with at the moment.
Yesterday morning, she sat
on the floor and played with them for quite a while. Today she stacked
three on top of each other. She also loves to read and yesterday while Nora
and I were finishing up breakfast, she came over to the table with one of
her books. Since we were still eating, we asked if she wanted to read the
book to Huck and she promptly sat
down next to him and "read" the book to him. Those two are
best buds, that's for sure.
Well, I guess that about covers it for this one. Except
for those of you that do not check the discussion board. I note on it that I
will be at the Milwaukee snowmobile show in mid October, representing the
Keweenaw. I will only be there Friday and Saturday because I have to work
and travel home on Sunday, but hope to see and chat with lots of you.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
I realize that I am
pretty much preaching to the choir here, but man, am I ever glad this week
has passed. I have really thrown in the towel as far as heat and especially
humidity is concerned for this season. The warm temps and high humidity
arrived a week ago and hung on until early this morning. We had dewpoints in
the mid 70's this week and air temps in the upper 80's to low 90's. I did
not hear one single local talking about how much they loved that weather. I
can actually end up with a headache and bit of nausea if I am out in that
nasty stuff for too long and don't know if I could ever make my living out
in it any more. I did when I was younger, but seriously doubt it now. Heck,
I don't even like the AC that much any more. I used to love it, but now just
deal with it as the lesser of two evils. I love the comfort that AC brings
in the hot and humid weather, but do not like the constant noise it makes.
The main home will definitely have central air and not rely on window units
and fans like the cabin does.
I guess the one bright spot to the hot and humid weather
this past week was that it did allow me to take my annual dip in Lake
Superior with relative comfort. Monday I took the pups to the beach and
purposely wore my swimsuit, thinking that I might be able to brave the lake.
As luck would have it, the water was pretty warm and it actually felt good
to get in and cool
off. So that was my dip for the year and my streak of getting into the big
lake for a swim every year is still going and stands at 11. I wasn't too
worried give the warmth we have had this year.
On the way back to the truck, we passed a
few blueberries that were still good for the picking. Their season is
winding down, but if you know where to look, you can still pick a cup or two
here and there. For some reason, we did not get out to pick them this year,
other than a couple in passing.
On a walk the other day, the pups and I came across some
blackberries that were in the early stages of being ripe, so I picked a
few for a snack as we walked and then Grace, Nora, the pups and I headed out
to the same spot today to do some real picking. We gave Grace the bucket to
hold and she was all
proud to be helping. The pups helped too, but it was pretty much helping
themselves to the best ones! It still cracks me up how they will either
see Nora or I picking and come over and help themselves, or find a bush of
their own and pick. Here is an action shot of Millie,
Grace and I picking.
I am not going to divulge my picking spot as this is the
first time I have come across it and it looks to be somewhat of a secret. I
will say that you cannot just drive up to it, get out and pick. You do need
to walk a bit, but it is on a pretty
well maintained logging road. With it being so nice and cool out today
(mid 60's), it was very nice to be in the woods and it sure was a
beautiful sight as well. We even came across a
few cat tails. We kind of picked while we walked, so we did not get a
ton this afternoon. All told I would say about 2 cups, but there will be
gallons for the picking in the next few days and I plan to head back out
there with the pups to pick enough so that we can make some jam to give us a
taste of summer for the upcoming cold months.
So last night I finish cutting the grass, came in and
helped Nora with Grace a bit and then once Grace went to bed, I put my
swimsuit on and grabbed a hockey pop and went and floated in the pool. It
was still plenty warm and humid out and the pool was plenty warm and I was
having a nice relaxing time- right up until it
decided to pour on me! I ended up waiting out the rain as it only lasted
about 10 minutes, but it did get quiet a bit cooler after the rain, I had
finished my Blue Light and I did not feel much like hanging out in the pool
anymore. So I got out and called it a day. Sure would have been nice to
float for another 20 minutes or so.
The rain we got yesterday evening did not really amount
to much at all, but we did pick up nearly an inch on Friday and also had
some light rains earlier in the week, so all told we picked up around an
inch in the last week. That combined with my lawn watering has allowed the
lawn to look pretty good. It has actually been in pretty good shape
since early July and we are getting to the time of the year when it gets
easier to keep it looking green.
With things being so hot and humid, we did not get out
into the woods a lot this week for walking, but the early mornings were
comfortable enough to take the usual morning walk with the pups. It is a
walk mainly on quiet country roads in the area and the best thing is we do
not have to get into the truck and drive there. We do this pretty much every
day, sometimes even in the rain and pretty much always in the snow, but I
realized this week that you have never "been along" on that walk.
So I took the camera with me this past Friday and snapped a few shots of
"the loop" as we call it.
It starts out with us heading up the
driveway to the road we live on. Then it is onto the
road we live on and down it for about a half a mile. Then we turn onto
"Old Joe's Road"
and walk that for another 1/3rd to 1/2 of a mile. At that point we cut off
into the bush and walk a
two track through the woods to avoid a residential area. That serves one
main purpose. I do not have to worry about pick up anything the pups leave
behind, if you know what I mean! Then it is back onto the
road we live on for the final half mile or so. All told it is just under
2 miles to complete the loop and we do it in a little over 20 minutes, so we
are moving along at a pretty good clip. As mentioned, we do this pretty much
every morning, unless it is just poring rain. We also will sometimes walk
this with Grace and Nora in the evenings.
On Friday as we were heading down Old Joes Road, the sky
started to look a
little nasty. All of it was headed in our direction, but I figured we
would be able to finish the walk. Besides we were pretty much half way
around, so it really did not matter much if we turned around or kept going.
We made it home just fine, but about 2 minutes later the heavens opened up
and it poured for about 20 minutes and then rain steadily for about another
hour or so. We even had a lightning strike take down out phone service for a
brief period. I guess it is really true what they say about it being better
to be lucky that good!
Well, I guess that just about covers it for this one.
While we are now basking in the comfort of temps in the 60's and dewpoints
in the low 50's, there does look to be some more warmth and humidity headed
our way by next weekend and early next week. About 10 years ago after a
particularly hot and humid spell, I wrote a little ditty about how I was
ready for summer to end. This week, those words were really ringing true, so
I figured I would share them all again with you, but edited a little to fit
with my current situation. Anyway, here goes:
"I am ready. I
am ready to put the shorts away. I am ready to have to wear a coat
or sweatshirt when I go outside. I am ready to walk across crunching
leaves of yellow, orange and brown. I am ready to watch the big lake
grow angry with the northwest gales. I am ready to switch from cotton
bedding to flannel. I am ready to build a fire, grab the snacks,
remote, sit on the floor and watch football on a cold autumn day, with
my wife, little daughter and two pups on either side of me. I am ready to see my breath while
I take a walk in the woods. I am ready to have the heat kick on to
take the morning chill out of the house. I know these events are
still a few weeks away, but I am ready." Anybody else? Let me know.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
I guess I have a legitimate excuse
for why it seems less than a week since I last wrote and that is because it
has been. Plus the fact that this week was another busy one. Monday family
was still in town so spent time with them. Tuesday and Wednesday I picked up
Grace early from the sitter. Thursday I got ready for the weekend and then
Friday Skylar arrived and we played Friday afternoon and Saturday. So I am
even a little worn out at the moment and am writing a little early. I think
I am mostly worn out because of staying up late the last two nights. I
typically go to bed early even on the weekends because my body is so used to
the hours that I sleep. So staying up to 10:30 or 11 like I did Friday and
Saturday can really throw my system off track a bit. No worries though.
Things will get back on track in a day or so.
It was just a week ago that we were gearing up for the
big party and although we celebrated it last Sunday, her actual birthday was
Wednesday. So Nora and I had reserved some presents for her and I picked up
a big old frosted muffin for her to have as her cake and we celebrated
with her once more. No smashing this one, but she sure did enjoy eating
As long as I am on the Grace subject, I may as well stay
there. She is a full time walker now. I have not seen her do any real
crawling for a day or two and for the past week she has been spending way
more time walking than crawling. She still takes a spill, but can walk all
around the house without taking a tumble. Nora said this morning that I can
officially call her a toddler now. What ever she is, she is sure growing up.
I can't wait for the walks in the woods and on the beach, but I suppose that
is still a few years off.
Yesterday evening after dinner we all went to the beach
and Gracie was styling
and profiling upon her arrival. Another thing she is doing is really
getting interested in playing with stuff. Up until now, she seemed to stay
interested in something for about a minute or two and then had to move on,
but lately she can just sit and be content to play with what ever she has
for many minutes. Yesterday she was happy to just sit
in the sand and examine the sand and small rocks scattered in the sand.
She even sat there and let the sand
flow through her toes. Of course now that she is walking, she had to get
get up and do some of
that. The water looked tempting to her, but we did not want her cloths
to get all wet, so she stripped down to her diaper and waded
into the big lake.
All in all, it was a very relaxing evening at the beach.
The weather was nearly perfect with temps in the 70's, a light on shore
breeze and pretty clear skies. Skylar and I took turns tossing the toys for
the pups and Nora hung out with Grace. The only bad part was having to
leave, but I guess all good things must come to an end.
Changing subjects, the weather up here has been pretty
much steady as she goes all summer. I guess overall you could say it has
been a warm summer for us. Not hot, at least all the time. For the most
part, temps have been in the upper 70's to mid 80's with moderate humidity.
A few days a week we have temps in the upper 80's to low 90's and high
humidity and then like this past Thursday and Friday, temps are in the 70's
and the humidity is nice and low. I know that the local businesses that
cater to visitors have been happy as we have been steady to busier than
average this summer, but I also know that I will be happy to see the 60's
and 70's and low humidity become the constant. It was so nice to be able to
shut down the AC and open the windows Thursday and Friday. I hate the heat
more than AC, but I sure am looking forward to putting them away for the
summer. Hopefully in a few weeks that will be happening. I have to restrain
myself though as I was reading last years entries the other day and although
our summer was very cool, September was pretty warm and humid. So September
does not automatically mean cooler and less humid air, but usually does.
Skylar and I took advantage of the nice evening on Friday
and headed down to the golf course. We played Calumet as I did not want to
drive to Houghton and the course near by is still pretty rough. It had been
almost 2 years since I even swung a club, so I was a little worried about
how I would play. We did split a bucket of balls before heading out and
things seemed to go pretty well, so I was not too worried. Overall, I think
I did OK. Most of my game was pretty good, but my chipping and putting was a
disaster. If it were not for some 4 puts and some ugly chips, I probably
would have shot a few over par. Skylar
seemed to play well, but said it was his worst game in years. All in all we
had a good time and it was a perfect evening for golf.
On Saturday we fired up the ATV's and Skylar and I headed
out to do some riding of the Keweenaw's
trails. We were warmer yesterday, but not humid, so it was a perfect day
for a ride. Here is a shot of Skylar "sidehilling"
through the backcountry. We made our way to Gay and then up towards
Gratiot Lake and back down to the cabin with a quick pit stop in Phoenix. It
was only my second ride of this season and my first since I have been
feeling better and I had a blast. I had almost forgotten how much fun it
was, but hope to get out a few more times before the snow flies and the sled
becomes the transportation method of choice in the woods.
After the ride we rested a bit and then took the pups for
a walk in the woods. As mentioned, it was warm out yesterday, but with the
low humidity, still comfortable for a walk- especially down a
nice shady lane.
So all in all, I'd say it was a great week here in the
Keweenaw. I think my anxiousness for summer to end is pretty evident in my
writings, but I am still making the most of the summer weather. We'll see
what this week brings! Before signing off, I will leave you with a shot of the
beach we were on last evening.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
Happy August everyone. One
step closer to what many of you that frequent this site are waiting for. I
know that the weather today is not much different from that of a week ago
and it looks like this week's weather will also be quite warm and sticky,
but we are getting there. In fact, some of the leaves are changing on just a
few of the trees up here. Happens every August and I know we are still a
little over 2 months from the main color show, but kind of another sign of
hope that the fat lady signaling the end of summer is at least in the green
room getting ready to take center stage.
I guess I cannot complain too much, although we have had
some warm days and humid conditions as well. Yesterday our dewpoint hit 70
and we were also in the 70's for dewpoints a few days last week. Thursday
and Friday were beautiful though and it looks like the end of this week will
also be cooler and less humid.
We have been taking advantage of the warmer weather by
soaking in the pool. Here is a shot of Gracie
and I taking a dip a week ago. She sure does love the water and will
swim with us for over an hour. I can't wait to teach her how to do cannon
Of course with the cooler temps later last week, we took
advantage of the bug free conditions that have arrived and got out into
the woods for a walk. I chose that trail for a couple of reasons, but
one of them was because it has a pretty steep section in it and I wanted to
see how my stamina is coming along. Last year when I hiked it with the pups,
I had to stop twice to catch my breath before making it to the top and last
week I did not have to stop once. I will admit that my heart was pumping
pretty good and I was out of breath, but I figured that the
hill is steep enough (about as steep as some moderate ski runs) and long
enough that unless a person was in world-class athlete condition, they would
have some level of elevated heart rate and breathing. Unfortunately the
picture just does not do it justice. I also think I will be using that trail
and hill as my "get in shape" path as it really does provide a
good workout. Anyway I was very glad to know that I am in much better shape
right now than I was last year at this time.
Actually, last year at this time I was getting ready to
fly down to TX to be with Nora. Grace was on her way into this world and it
was a very exciting time for both of us. I can still remember being picked
up at the airport by Nora's friend and being in sort of a state of fog as to
what was all happening. Grace had already been born by the time I got to TX,
but I was able to see her when she was just a few hours old.
So here we are a year later. It sure has been a crazy
one. I suppose there are aspects that I wish I could go back and change, but
also at least one that I would not change for all the worlds riches. Grace
is really something special. With every day that passes, she just gets cuter
and steals an even bigger part of my heart. My return to good health has
allowed me to step up to the plate and take on more responsibilities. An
evening alone with her is something that I welcome with open arms, rather
than fear that I will not have the energy to keep her entertained or care
for her in the ways that she needs. We are bonding more and more every day
and she has her beautiful smile out for me every time she sees me- even if I
am just coming back from getting something from the shop. I suppose the day
will come when the reaction is a little different, but for now she just
makes my world.
As mentioned in the previous journal, I did not write
yesterday because we had a birthday party for Grace. Her actual birthday is
Wednesday, but Nora had lots of her family in town for another occasion and
my mom was able to make it up this weekend, so we took advantage of the
situation and had her party yesterday. I spent much of last week cleaning up
the shop to get it ready to host the party. The cabin is just too small to
entertain more than around 10 and we sure can't count on the weather to hold
it outside. So last Tuesday I started moving everything into the wood shop
and then Wednesday I scrubbed and power washed the floors. Thursday we set
up the tables and chairs and then Friday I cooked about 20 pounds of brisket
and pork shoulder for the party. Saturday we were pretty busy with another
party to attend and Sunday we put the finishing touches on the shop and by
the time everyone arrived, it was all
I have to admit that I actually had a fun time getting
the shop ready. When I was setting up the tables with the table cloths and
taking care of a few other things, I was thinking to myself that in 4 or 5
years, she will be telling us things like "I want Susie and Mary and
Sally and... to come to the party." Fun to imagine the future.
Even more fun to live in the present though and fun we
had. Grace even took a big long nap before the party started, so she would
be all full of energy. Nora did a great job of getting the party supplies
and decorating the shop. We all even had little party hats to wear. Here is Grace
The food was awesome and we all needed a bit of a break
between dinner and cake, so we commenced upon opening the presents. Grace is
still at the stage where opening presents is not the main event, but playing
with the wrappers and looking at what is inside is fun as is playing with
the toys. So Nora and I had to help her undo the wrapping, but she enjoyed getting
a good look at each present.
After presents it was cake time and what is a first
birthday without a "smash cake"? I was actually wondering what her
reaction would be when we put the cake in front of her to do with as she
pleased. It did not take long for me to get my answer. Both
hands went into it right away and that drew a huge reaction from the
crowd. So she slapped it around a bit more, but also wasted no time in putting
some in her mouth. Once she got a hold of how good it tasted, she was
all business, tearing into it and chowing down. It did not take long at all
for most of the cake to either be eaten by her, or wiped all over her head
and arms. She just loved it and the whole event was the highlight for
both her and all of her guests.
Then came the question on how to get her clean. I snuck
into the wood shop and crabbed an old shirt I use to paint and stain in. Put
it on and picked her
up to take her in to give her a quick bath. It really did not take that
long for me to get her all cleaned up and we returned to the party so she
and play with some of
her toys. Yes, a turbo is already ordered up for that personal
Poor Huck and Millie get just a little too wound up when
visitors are here and Nora and I really did not have the time to keep them
in line, so for most of the party, they had to stay in the cabin, but they
are a huge part of Grace's life and I sure did not want them to miss the
whole party, so I brought them out for a while and they even put
on some party hats.
Before everyone started to leave, we all posed in front
of the shop for a
group photo. After the photo, some left and some stuck around for a bit
more and had a few more laughs. All in all I think it was a fun party and
has created a bunch more memories.
Not much else going on up here. I am a little pooped out
from the busy weekend and all the prep work for the party, so I plan to take
it kind of easy this week. I did "finish" the lift for the topper,
but I used quotes because I used nylon rope in some of it and that topper is
pretty heavy, so the rope stretches a lot and it takes too much cranking to
get it to go up high enough. So I am going to swap out the rope for steel
cable sometime soon. Probably not this week though.
I guess that about covers it for this one. Talk to you
all next week.
Good night from the Keweenaw..