Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer: heating up!

After sister's week, my sisters began coming to visit us here at the cottage in Michigan. Sheryl, her husband and their daughter arrived only to leave and be replaced by my sister, Linda who is here holding ONE of the many Walleye she and Richard caught one day while boating. Linda's husband, Ned and I stayed home and yacked and enjoyed a day without our mates.

For those of you who have never eaten Walleye, it is one of the best fresh water fish ever eaten. Mild, tasty and we are pigging out on it frequently. Linda no more than left than Richard's buddies, Mike and Barry came up and they did what men do...fished. Bunch more fish in the freezer.

While Lois was up visiting, we went to meet my friend, Peggy, who has a drum circle going on Friday evenings. Last year, my nephew helped these ladies with their flutes and their drums and one of the ladies I do not know mentioned they needed to get that young man from last year back. Laughingly, I told them that he was my nephew and wasn't coming this summer to our home. Nice group of ladies and Lois, below began shaking her instrument and is now thinking about reconnecting with her love of the flute.

Had lots of laughs with Lois and while she was here, we went out to Sandpoint to visit our friend, Barb, who had had back surgery and who wasn't feeling so perky. Took some chili and had lunch with her and went to see "weed man" and his work on his new house. Lots of laughs...miss the friends we made at The Flint Journal where Barb, Lois and I worked together.

Monday, July 18, 2011


...is a whole different world. Makes travelling in Third World countries seem sane and plausible. Take grocery shopping...prices are three times what could be expected. Asparagus can, and often is more than $3.99 per one pound bunch. Did I mention that these fruit and veggies which are outrageously priced are also grown here locally? And then, the store (only one grocery store in town with the next closest 7 miles away) never has more than one check out line open even if there are twenty people waiting. Now, the best is when one gets behind a woman, as I did yesterday, who had over $100 worth of groceries and she waited til the total appeared on the screen to begin looking for her charge card. She couldn't find it...only has one, apparently, and then, couldn't find her checkbook. Of course, there is no way she would have that much cash...so the digging continued. Finally, the clerk, probably against all customer service protocols, indicated that some people plan ahead and have their method of payment ready to go so they don't hold up the rest of the customers. Had to laugh...imagine someone saying that at your grocery store!

We visit the local store and then, drive to Pigeon to purchase whatever we don't have or whatever is of a lesser price. These stores compete so it is always fun to look at the flyers each week...something I NEVER do in Florida.

The good news is, Richard has been catching a bunch of Walleye so we are feasting on fish which is not only less expensive, to quote him, but also much healthier for us. Now, if one calculates the cost of the gas to run the boat to catch the fish, I am thinking each pound costs about $20. He doesn't see it that way, though.

And in Caseville, the post office, besides being a place where you can fall and hurt yourself badly is also a place where one has to calculate when to visit to collect one's mail. Richard went today to mail some things and collect our mail, only to realize the PO was closed...they shut the window down during lunch, early on Fridays, late on Mondays and who knows when else.

Generally, the daily irritations get to me while up here but I must be acclimating to the city (Caseville was a township but has been elevated to city status!) which is scary. I just laugh and continue on my way. Am I settling or just getting old?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sisters' Week...Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

This year, we went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and stayed at one of Sheryl's time share properties which was luxurious. We had lovely amenities, a pool and hot tub as well as a gym. The ladies went tubing one afternoon...I had to sit it out due to my fall a couple of weeks earlier which rendered my arm useless.
I walked along the river, watching the ladies get stuck on the rocks. Like any good Boy Scout, Sheryl took control and helped the older sisters out of a tough situation. My youngest sister has been a Boy Scout leader since her days at MSU and is still an outdoorsy kinda gal. Here, Lyn, with hand on her butt and Cyn, have had to stand up and walk on the slippery rocks to navigate down river.

After the tubing, we decided to try to find a restaurant and ended up finding a cluster of shops that were closed...but this place with the cool wood carving, Sister Cats Cafe, was open. The owners and cook were sitting on the porch and we were their first customers of the day. The restaurant held four tables and all were full within 30 minutes of our arrival. We ate the most scrumptious sandwiches, delivered by the cook to our table, cut in fourths so we could each share the other's choice.

This week was very fun...it appeared to be an outdoorsy, healthy event. Lyn had lost a lot of weight at Weight Watchers and Sheryl brought us belly dancing belts and a DVD to show us how to shake our booty. That and the hula DVD made us laugh ourselves silly but they were difficult...we followed that by trying the Biggest Loser Challenge DVD which we all said we would purchase and do at home so we could all do the whole thing next year together.
Exercising in the room was a huge hit...notice Sheryl in her long dress/nightie which she exercised in. The rest of us had shorts or work out togs...but Sheryl preferred the dress. Go figure. Lyn's behind is in black and Cyn is in the purple. I couldn't do the push ups or the kneeling exercises due to knee issues but was super good at all of the leg kicks and the running in place. Did lots of walking also.

And truly, this is how we all looked every day, every hour of our time together. We laughed our butts off about this or that.

Very fun was the day we got home after two hours at the gym and hot tub to find our front door was open. Nothing was taken but we were very concerned. Sheryl's computer and more were in the room and just as we were calling, someone slammed a near by door and our door popped open again. Repair men came quickly and no other issues.

For those of you who never met my mother...here she is times four. Funny how we have started to look like mom and each other. Even our hair styles are merging. Cyn embroidered beautiful shirts for each of us which we wore one day...kinda looked strange but then, people in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area are not the most cosmopolitan. We fit in...scary.