Saturday, May 30, 2009

Antique Festival is Today and Tomorrow

I helped Paula unwrap all her treasures - WOW - she has some great ones. Her glassware is beautiful. I can't wait until I setup. I am waiting until 7 am - then I'll set my dishes and serving pieces up. We are at 850B - right across from one of the Merchant Buildings. Hope to see you at the Midland Antique Festival today or tomorrow.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My New Hero!

A mayor with NO DEBT - 11 consecutive terms of office - and - I would love to work for her! My friend Kevin sent this to me awhile ago - it is a bit long - but she is great.

Camping Trip with Friends

Even though the weather was mostly gray and cloudy with lots of rain we still had a good time camping with our friends. We all agreed that Hannah gets the "MOST IMPROVED DOG AWARD!" Last year she jumped up on all of us because she was so excited and every chance she got she tried to dig her way to China - this year - calm and nice to have around.

We saw some beautiful wild flowers, an eagle sitting above the nest, read a lot, sat by the campfire to stay warm (sometimes it worked, sometimes we just got smoked) ate some great food and even went to a few thrift shops.

My knee bothered me the whole time - but - even a bad weather day up north with a bad knee is better than most other days at home!

Now we are getting ready for the Antique Show. Pat is going to help David and Paula load all the antiques and I'm packing up dishes and spoons and knives to take to the show tomorrow morning - hope to see many of you their this weekend.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fan of the Game

You won't believe this - we sure didn't. Jesse, Caroline, Pat and I went to a Tiger game last night - this is the first Saturday that Jesse and Caroline had off in AGES together. So they bought the tickets and we bought the dinner and gas. They spent more than I thought they should so we ended up with okay seats in section 139 row 34 in the outfield. About five minutes after the National Anthem a young woman from the Tigers came up and asked us if we wanted to be the Fans of the Game and move to a different location! We said YES! So we had to wait a few minutes until they got everything set - They had Paws sit in our new seats and we had to kick him out of it while on the BIG screen! Our new seats were behind home plate in section 126 row 24. They were FABULOUS. We had so much fun. Even though they lost 4-3 - it was a great game and then we stayed for the fireworks - Oh my goodness - the fireworks were great, too. What a nice night to remember.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Favorite

Our friends children are graduating - triplets - so I've been trying to figure out how to make each card special. I found the greatest fun spot - it is called Wordle. You type in lots of words and it will create a fun random listing of the words. You can keep looking at different ways it will print. A few tips - words don't stay together so I typed some of them with no spaces. If you type in one word three times it makes that word bigger - so each of the cards features their name. I also saved what I typed so I could go back and just paste the information back in and change the name that I wanted to be larger than the others. Then I saved it as a picture and put it on the front of the cards.

Click here to go to Wordle

Friday, May 22, 2009

Team Hole in the Wall

2nd Update - Bernie is closer to making his goal - YEAH!

UPDATE - thank you Jane for sponsoring Pat's brother, Bernie. You made me feel like this blog can make a difference!

Pat's brother, Bernie, will be running in the Boston Marathon this month. He has chosen Paul Newman's children's camp as his charity to collect donations. His goal is to send one child to camp - $3,000. He is almost there - if anyone would like to help him send a child to the camp you can donate (or just learn more) by clicking on the link and following these directions:
Click on Be a Sponsor button on the left
Select the Boston Marathon
Search for Clifford
Fill in Information
Click Here to Donate

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dreaming of Grand Marais

One day I was talking to an acquaintance about going camping; she was leaving for a camping trip that weekend and insisted she was going to the best spot in the world. I didn’t even ask where she was going because I knew it couldn’t be as wonderful as our favorite spot for camping, a little piece of heaven. We argued back and forth over which spot was better, little did we know that we were talking about the same part of heaven, Grand Marais, Michigan.

I have been going there with my best friend’s family, the Lepeaks, since I was in grade school. We spent the best vacations in Grand Marais. When Mr. Lepeak retired he built a home and they moved there. It is always a place of rest and relaxation, long walks, wild huckleberry picking, sharing news and renewing friendships. Swimming in THE Great Lake, Superior of course, where we would brave the cold at least once every trip no matter what the temperature.

When I was young and foolish it also meant running down Devil’s Slide, where lumberjacks used to slide logs into the lake. It would take five minutes to run down and a tortuous half hour climbing back up. I realized I had reached maturity the first time I refused to go down.

One of my favorite pictures on my living room wall is one where I am walking with my friend, Janet, at East Shore. We have our heads down, looking for agates, while the sunset transforms the sky into lines of hot pink and tangerine ahead of us.

One summer we decided to meet in Grand Marais with a few very good friends from high school. We brought our husbands and our children and they all fell in love with the lighthouse, the waterfalls, devil’s slide, fireworks, campfires and Mrs. Lepeak’s steaming huckleberry pie. Our children became friends with our friend’s children and our families bonded forever.

Mr. Lepeak put up a wire and a pulley where the kids could sail through the air between the trees. There were races pushing peanuts with their noses and Mrs. Lepeak would tell scary stories to the kids by the campfire. When we returned to our trailers in the campground no one wanted to go to sleep because monsters were everywhere!

Our children are grown now, some have gone off to college, some have graduated, and some have started families of their own. But when they see one of their friends from that camping trip the years slip away and you can see their friendship is as solid as if it were just yesterday when they were riding their bikes through the campground.

We really have been blessed with good friends. They taught us the importance of enjoying God’s gift of nature to us. They taught us to slow down and enjoy life and that everything else stops when the sun sets over the lake. There really is nothing better than a trip to Grand Marais to help you reset your priorities. I decided a long time ago that heaven really is where a day in Grand Marais lasts forever.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stealing a Few Days for Fun

The weather was so beautiful on Thursday that I just couldn't sit in my office with no windows wishing to be with Pat - then Greg came in the office and said I should take Friday off too - Yahoo - I did just that!

We had a gift certificate for a free night at Shanty Creek up in Bellaire - we had never been there and we needed to use it Mon-Thur by the end of May - so this was a perfect opportunity to go on a buying trip. I called to see if there was a room available and they answered the phone with "It's another beautiful day at Shanty Creek, how may I help you?"

We drove through Mt. Pleasant, stopping at a few shops that are always closed when we go on Sundays, then stopping at every thrift store we found on the way. When we got to Shanty Creek we checked into a beautiful room - the staff was so nice - a genuine nice - not something you feel as if they are doing because they have to!

Then Pat realized it was Thursday and that we could drive into Traverse City for burger night. So we had a beautiful drive through the blossoming cherry trees. We stopped at Turtle Creek for a few slot machine pulls - the first one was a win of $113 so that was fun.

Then we went back to the motel and watched the Tigers have TWO GRAND SLAMS - what fun that was - Yeah, Brandon Inge and Ryan Rayburn!

On Friday we decided to drive up to the UP - we always go West - so we decided to go to Sault Ste. Marie - it was a nice drive but long. We didn't see any boats in the locks but we saw a fox run right through town.

We spent the night in Mackinaw City and watched another great Tiger game. We like to watch it at the Keyhole bar - but - there was a rain delay so we watched it from our room.

On our way home we drove through Cheboygan, Harrisville, Oscoda and Tawas. It was such a great trip - filled with beautiful spring days. I bought tons of dishes to sell this summer and fall - can't wait to wrap the spoons and knives to match them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dad - and Pat

Looking back 45 years today, May 4, 1964, the day my Dad died makes me realize how blessed I am to be married to such a wonderful man. I was 12 when my Dad died – I wonder if he was like Pat and that is why I married him. I only knew the Dad part of the equation because I wasn’t old enough to understand marriage commitments and I never asked my Mom. But as I remember the times he read to me on the couch, the times he took us for a root beer at A&W, an ice cream cone at Mooney’s, Swimming at Andersen Pool, going to church with him – sitting in the front pew as he sang at church – I think maybe I did pick someone like my Dad.

I really didn’t want to get married – I even forgot to pick up my wedding dress until my Mom reminded me that the store was closing in a half hour and if I expected to get married that night I may want to pick up the dress! When I saw Pat and his parents preparing to go down the aisle I almost fainted. I had never dated anyone as long as I dated Pat and we had only been dating eight months and here we were getting married.

The first couple of years, we spent a lot of time with good friends and family either playing cards or just visiting. Lots of Sunday dinners at his parents and lots of rides into Saginaw to visit my family. I had a difficult time moving to Midland – every phone call was long distance and of course back then that meant extra money for those phone calls. My friends and family were in Saginaw and I felt very isolated. However, it did help us become closer much quicker because Pat and I had to depend on each other for everything.

We discovered over the years that we loved the same things. Camping, going for a nice ride in the country – or even better in Northern Michigan, watching birds, being near water (whether a river or a lake) and the best – watching a sunrise on Lake Huron or a sunset on Lake Superior.

Pat has always been so easy going. He likes what I cook and even cleans up as I cook. He enjoys spending time with me and he has loved me more than anyone else has ever loved me. It is amazing to me and it took many years to believe that he would always love me – no matter what.

He has been the most wonderful Father to our children. The kids literally walked all over him – he would lie on the floor and they would jump on his stomach! It was fun to watch. He read to them every evening before they went to bed. He prayed with them before they fell asleep. He encouraged and loved them so much that I believe they married the men they did because they wanted someone like their Dad.
This time together since our daughters have moved away has been a wonderful time, too. Pat has retired and so he makes sure that our weekends are a haven for me. He gets the household chores done during the week so we can take off for some of those long rides.

Since I started wrapping spoons with glass beads he has been most supportive of my endeavor. Many of our long rides have included estate sales, garage sales, antique stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul and any thrift or consignment shop in between. He has moved a thousand dishes and knives, storage units purchased at store closings, taken me to set up at shows and he always has a good attitude through it all. I wouldn’t be doing this without him.

When I get up in the morning to go to work, Pat gets up with me. He makes my coffee – he walks me out to my car and when I get home he is usually waiting for me. I am counting the days until I retire so I can be with him all day long. One of my co-workers told me once that I should not be spending all of my time with Patrick. I should have a life of my own in case I have to be alone someday. That was very sad advice from a person who was all alone in life. I never want to be without Patrick – I even made him promise I could die first! But if he were to die before me – I never ever would be sad that I had spent every day wanting to be with him. This has been the most wonderful life. I always tell Pat, “We live a good life!” and he ALWAYS answers, “Yes…… we do!”

Saturday, May 2, 2009

By challenging themselves to train for and complete the oldest marathon in the world, this group of runners chose Hole in the Wall Camps to sponsor. They have helped to change the lives of children and families coping with serious illnesses.

As of Tuesday, April 21, 2009, the Team of 85 runners has raised $216,527. This total translates into sending 86 campers (and counting!) to Hole in the Wall Camps!

Congratulations to Pat's brother, Bernie

Difficult Choices

Let me begin this with this, that I usually do not voice my opinion on the abortion issue - that is because I know that many, many women have made that difficult choice in the past and I know many of them personally. So, I have not talked about this issue much. However, with the President stating he wants to find common ground about the issue both sides can agree upon - I didn't think I could skirt the issue any longer. I don’t think that President Obama is going to change his mind about pro-choice for mothers. With that in mind, what do I want to tell him? First and foremost, consider there are many other choices – other than abortion.

• The first choice: We must be diligent in teaching our children that abstinence is important. Making choices before becoming an adult is very difficult. There is not enough I can say about the many problems of babies having babies - it happens all over America. We see it on a daily basis. Asking our children to wait to have sex – asking them to commit to being true to themselves instead of to pressure is important.
• The second choice if the first choice isn’t going to happen: would be to teach the importance of birth control. It is not only important to use birth control but to use it wisely. Understanding how to use it – not to miss one time in taking the pill, realizing that some medication may interfere with the pill working. Knowing that you still have to say no when it is not safe to have sex. Knowing that there are many complications to saying yes – low self esteem – problems in the relationship and if it doesn’t work (and many times it just doesn’t work – no matter how sure you are that it will) you are now faced with many choices that do not consider your dreams and hopes for your own future.
• If the first two choices do not work: Children raising children is a very difficult choice. One that takes commitment (which by not using the first two choices shows that making good decisions and committing to a choice may be difficult for these parents). Sometimes it works - many times it means grandparents, aunts and uncles taking the responsibility of raising the children. I would say this is a very hard choice to make – one that is difficult to see the outcome – because if I have learned one thing in life – it is that not much turns out the way we expect it to and this is a huge commitment that not many first time parents really understand. I know when I had my first child I didn’t think much past the “I can’t wait to have a baby” – I thought about holding and snuggling with a newborn, playing and laughing with the baby. I didn’t think about ear infections, up all night with teething, babies that don’t like to nap, diapers, laundry, allergies, teenagers – these things never crossed my mind.
• One of my daughters made this choice in her life: she married early right out of high school – had her children right away and has a wonderful husband and family. They are in the minority with this type of marriage working – they were so young – just 18 when they got married. They have worked hard over the years at their marriage and that is why it has worked. I see their daughter in high school deciding her future. My wish for her is that she decides NOT to decide at the moment. Wait to decide until after she graduates – goes out to see the world – whether it is in the service of this country – or going to medical school first – whatever she wants to do – just to WAIT – before making a relationship commitment. She has hopes and dreams and I want her to realize those hopes and dreams. They have a son – my wish for him is exactly the same – to know that it is as much his responsibility to say no as it is for his girlfriend to say no. To WAIT – just as I want his sister to WAIT.
• My other daughter made this choice: she became pregnant in college and knew she was not ready to be a parent. She wanted two loving parents to bring up her baby. Through counseling she found a wonderful couple to adopt her baby. Most of her friends became angry with this decision – did not support her decision and wanted her to get an abortion – for some reason that was okay to them and adoption was not acceptable to them. I have heard this many times over in several different cases – it is totally unbelievable to me that this is actually how many believe today. Adoption then seems to be one of the most difficult choices. One that is filled with love, pride, hurt, loneliness, satisfaction, and longing all wrapped up together. This adoption was an open adoption – which means that we get to see her daughter. With great support from her family – wonderful parents of her child – we have watched our daughter create a family. My daughter is now married to a wonderful man with a great family – and now she is a step-mother to two adult daughters and a grandmother of two adorable children.

So what do I say again to Mr. Obama? When you say you are pro-choice it is with the idea that other choices have been thought about by the parents. That they have considered every single other opportunity available to their baby. I don’t think that is happening. I think abortion is the answer before there is even a thought about anything else in many cases. So I would ask with all my heart that President Obama was pro-choice for the millions of unborn, realizing they too should be able to choose what they want in life – I don’t think of course that the unborn would choose death.