Friday, December 27, 2013

Mr. Lepeak!

Mr. Lepeak called from Freeland where he was at the car dealer with car trouble.  Pat went to pick him up and we had a delightful evening visiting.  It was fun catching up on all the Lepeaks, Grand Marais, politics, church, and a handful of other subjects!  He spent the night with us and Pat just took him to Westside Decorating and then back to get his car.  Sometimes car trouble can be such a blessing!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Update

No one came over for Christmas! Cathy sent a text that the roads were too bad.

We packed dinner up and Pat and I headed over to Midland.

We had an enjoyable afternoon with his Parents.

Then Jesse and Caroline and Ayva stopped over and we had a tea party with Ayva's new tea set.

A good Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas plans are still up in the air. Waiting for the okay from Pat's parents!

Two days ago Pat's sister told his mother she couldn't reach her brother. Pat's brother's phone was out of order with the winter storm and that was why he didn't answer the phone. His mother was sure something was terribly wrong. So she worried so much she didn't sleep all night. Yesterday, Pat followed up with his sister who just had dinner with her brother. She didn't think of calling her mother? So Pat called his mother, but she already had worked herself into a frenzy.

Yesterday she said she wasn't sure she would feel okay to come for Christmas. So we are being held hostage - send cookies, chocolate or money (I'll take a trip to Aruba far, far, far away!)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Shopping

Please tell me I'm done!

I hate shopping!  I don't like crowds at all!

I know, I know, with a mother like Elinor I should LOVE shopping.  But I don't!

It really wasn't awful - yesterday we went to Sam's Club, Gordon's and Meijer.  Even though I was only food shopping I thought I would be in for a terrible time.

We started out waiting in line at the Y to go in right after it opened.  Then after 45 minutes there we were pleasantly surprised that no one else seemed to be shopping at Sam's and Gordon's.

However, by the time we got to Meijer we were sorry to be shopping!

Not only were there tons of people in the aisles, but everyone seemed intent on blocking the aisles.  And it seemed as if a few of the people were trying their best to put in in a bad mood by following me no matter how many rows I skipped to avoid them!

Then the lines for checkout!  What a mess.  I hate when a store has you block the main aisle of the store when you are in line.

So anyway, church and then home today.  The ice and snow is a mess out there.  I think Hallmark has a movie marathon today!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Abbott Henderson Thayer

I printed out this picture called "Virgin. " I framed and hung it in the living room. I love it.  The faces look like Jesus and his cousin John are being escorted home by Mary after getting into some mischief!


So many people are stressed and hurried during the Christmas season. We were shopping and I noticed that no one really looks at you. Everyone seems to have pinched faces and frowns on their faces.

Then we joined the Y. Everyone smiles and says hi when you walk by them. It is such a nice place to spend time that you almost don't mind going a few more miles on the bike!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Birthday!?!?!

Oh goodness - what a way to start!

I started getting errors with Internet Explorer - took awhile to understand that I should download Chrome and use that from now on!!!

Anyway - I've been getting so many Happy Birthdays on Facebook - I love how easy it is to stay connected.

Only two more days of my free book - "No Christmas for Olivia" - I want to give away 1,000!!!!  Do you think I can?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


My Christmas Present to YOU!


No Christmas for Olivia


Free on Amazon - December 16-20th


Give it as a gift to yourself or someone you love!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


How I love family get togethers. We had a nice time at Harvey's after church today.
Our Christmas Season begins!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas is here!

We put up our Christmas decorations today! And we get to pick up Sheala! Then dinner with friends! That makes today very special.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I just put up a 7 inch tree!!!!  It might have to do!!!!!  Busy, busy, busy!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013


We haven't even started decorating!!!!  I don't feel like Christmas!!!!  HELP!!!! 

I don't know why - but we just can't get started.  OK - if I say it will be done today, maybe it will.  Check back tomorrow for update!!!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Oh my! Sound of Music! I can't wait!

Monday, December 2, 2013


We had a great birthday celebration for Robbie.  Cannot even imagine that he is now 18!
Sheala and Conner were home and Alecia was there, too, of course! 
We had a wonderful visit with everyone.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Unexpected Art

We met Jane and Chris and their family in Cedar, Michigan.  About a half hour away from Traverse City.  Caroline, Ayva, Pat and I decided to take the trip north on the day after Thanksgiving.  We were graciously invited to stay for dinner at Chris' sister and brother-in-law's home.  John is a potter.  He threw several small vessels and invited us to transform them into a mug or a vase.  We had so much fun!  Ayva LOVED working on the fresh pottery.  We learned how to attach the handles or in our case, berries onto the mugs.  Everyone enjoyed the project. 
It was so good to see everyone.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Look at Saraj with the binoculars Uncle Pat and Aunt ME sent him! He's such a cutie pie!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

So Cold!

Oh my goodness, I'm freezing!

And it is only November!

Wind chill is in the single digits today.  It feels as if the cold air is just streaming through our windows today. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I love this version of Royals

The Florida State University A cappella group, the AcaBelles, sings "Royals" 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Draft Done!

After sending the first book of the new series to Mary Lynn she agreed with me that this has to be a novel instead of a series.  There are so many characters it might be easier for the reader to have it all in one book.

So, I have been working night and day on it for the past few weeks.  I just finished the first draft.  Now I will read it out loud and work to get it ready to go to Mary Lynn.  Then when she sends it back I make corrections, tweak it a bit more and then I send it off to Kay.  She always comes up with some great suggestions and corrections.

After Kay reads it I am going to ask Jane and Sarah and Mary to read it out loud together.  They have a unique homeschool advantage and I want to make sure the homeschooling part is accurate.  It is also imperative that the characters are the correct characters in each spot.  When I say Jerry's mother is Mrs. Castor, it better be Mrs. Castor and not Mrs. Maxum!

Then hopefully, the book will be out this summer.  My first novel!  Yeah!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Grandma Shea is Smiling!


I love this photo. Grandma Shea's 75th birthday with all her grandchildren.

Look at the top, there is Michael. He was at the top there and he is at the top today. The road was long and filled with sharp dangerous curves and detours.

But he made it! Dr. Charles Michael Shea!

He sent me a reply to my congratulations and told me he was exhausted. The last week of preparation for defending his doctorate took a lot out of him.

Good! He should be exhausted! It was a huge undertaking. We should be exhausted and overworked and ready to have our eyes fill with tears of gratitude when accomplishing something great.

Otherwise it is just getting something finished.

This endeavor was much more than that. It has been a dedicated, concerted effort to be the best he can be. He set his goals high and achieved them.

We are very proud of him.

Short Trip

To Traverse City, of course! We found a great family restaurant. Little Bohemia on Front Street. It has been owned by the same family for 45 years.

I had their award winning Lasagna and Pat had perch. Both were great. We'll go again.

Then in the morning we went to the UP. We do love Michigan. There is something so special about having  bridge connection. Then back home via 23. It was long, but we do love driving through all the little towns.

Then home. It is always good to get home, even after just an overnighter.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


That's what a day like today feels like in November! Cheating the winter blues away. It is almost 50, the sky is blue and the sun is shining down on us.

You know us, we are in the car!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Just Scroll Through My Blog

Just scroll down through this blog and you will see the most brilliant colors.  Reds, Oranges, Pinks, Yellows, Greens.  So many days with rain where the trunks turned pitch black to make the colors pop.

I have never seen a more beautiful fall!  The colors were brilliant for a very long time.  We hit the peak in so many different spots this year.  The UP, Petoskey, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Saginaw County has been the longest ever.

We haven't had very good color for the past several years.  And if we did see it the leaves only lasted a day or two.  Last year everything was very brown and dark yellow.  So maybe that is why this year has seemed so extraordinary.

Thank you God, for the gift of fall.  May we never ever tire of its beauty.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Hug is just a Hug, unless it is Jim Galm!

Even though this picture displays a romantic hug, I couldn't help but think of our friend Jim.

He gives such a good hug that everything does seem right with the world!

Thank you Jim for all your healing loving hugs these many years!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Yup, we got our Margot time! She is a doll. Joe and Liz are great parents. We had such a nice visit.



Saturday, November 2, 2013

Black Trunks Beautiful Leaves

I love a rainy fall day. I remember one day riding with Mom and she was so disappointed that the sun wasn't shining.  I told her this was my favorite type of day because the tree trunks turn pitch black and the leaves are brilliant gold, red and orange.  Nothing is more beautiful!

She said she had never thought of that and all of a sudden her "Ooohs and Ahhs" started coming from the back seat!  I felt warm inside knowing I had just opened a new world to my Mom.  It was such a privilege.

Today was that kind of day.  A day when Patrick stopped, backed up, moved the car a little more forward.  He just did everything I asked to get the picture.  And he loved doing it for me.  Blessed.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


 Yesterday we went out for a nice ride -

                                                The last of the fall colors. 



We did NOT expect to see this!



Christmas Trees being cut, wrapped, stacked and then loaded onto flatbeds!


Not even Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I love this little girl! From the wish to the over dramatic throw to finally the look of triumph when she looks up at her grandma!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

El Potrero

We celebrated Paco's birthday today. Jesse, Robbie, Caroline, Joanna and Pat moved all the outside furniture to storage and then we drove together to Owosso to El Potrero for dinner. The six of us ate too much, but couldn't stop!

Now Pat and I are sitting in our living room groaning! And he is enjoying scratching off the lottery tickets.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Curtain of Rain!

In the past I have seen rain ahead of us. Today, it was like a curtain in front of us. Now we are driving through the rain.