Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall Adventures and a Lunar Eclipse

Inquisitive goat

We’ve been enjoying some beautiful weather this last week . . . enough for a visit to the local dairy for ice cream one evening.

Goat playground

The ice cream was good . . . but the smell in the yard was enough to knock you over!!


Ready to pick some apples


Last week we went on another campus visit with Bryce – to Eastern Michigan University.  They have a nice program, and we gained some valuable information about Athletic Training and Physical Therapy degrees, but he’s still got his heart set on Michigan State.

After our campus visit, we went to our favorite apple orchard to pick apples and get their excellent donuts




At the apple orchard

That's a lot of apples!











Beautiful apple


YUM!  The apples are crunchy and delicious . . . and the donuts . . . they were AMAZING, as usual!









In addition to working around the campground, Bryce and Tom, along with my brother, Donnie, cleaned up my Mom’s hard – they trimmed trees and bushes, burned all the branches,

Cleaning up Grandma's yard

and Bryce mowed her grass.













This weekend, Bryce was lucky enough to get tickets to the MSU football game, so he drove out to East Lansing with a friend, and Tom and I hung out with his brother.

The guys watched the football games, and I worked on Bryce’s quilt.

Bryce's quilt

It’s looking pretty good, I think!

On the way home, we got a good glimpse of the full moon leading up to Sunday’s Lunar Eclipse.

Full moon

It was pretty cloudy on Sunday, but I was hoping for some good pictures of the eclipse.  I managed to get a few small windows of opportunity.

The beginning of the eclipse

Beginning of the eclipse

Then it clouded up, so my next opportunity was just as the eclipse was almost complete.












More clouds, and then I was finally able to get a shot of the red moon – it’s a little blurry, though . . . I was having trouble keeping my camera steady enough for these long exposure shots!

Blood Moon

It was pretty cool, and I’m glad the clouds cleared occasionally so we could see it!

Tomorrow my little pumpkin turns 17!  Happy Birthday Bryce!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Enjoying a little downtime at home

Sun setting over the water_September 5th

Fall really is a beautiful time to be in Michigan.  We had a few cool nights in the 40s followed by several 90 degree days, but the rest of the time the weather has been great --  high 70s/low 80s during the day, high 50s at night, and abundant sunshine!

One of my favorite fall fruits!


One of my favorite fruits is in season . . . and it’s just about time for apple-picking!

Too bad Nicolas isn’t here with us – he loves this time of year – but he’s finally enjoying some nicer temperatures in South Carolina, too!  We’ll save him some apples, and I’ll make him a pie when we’re there for a visit!

Nick - Still looking good!

I started back to work on September 1st (temporarily, at least) and Bryce got started with his online classes.  We’re getting our doctor, dentist, eye doctor, financial planner, hairdresser and vet appointments all taken care of . . . and Bryce has a new look!

Bryce's new look!


He didn’t get to any MSU football games this year, but he did get to one high school game and he’s got a couple more that he wants to go to.

He took the ACT again, and he has one more college visit and application to do, and then we just wait & see.

He’s back into his workout schedule, and happy to have a basketball hoop in the campground . . . and even other guys around to challenge him once in a while!



Can you find him?  Just look for the shoes!


We’ve had lots of family get-togethers, and are helping my Mom and Tom’s Dad get some work done around their houses.  Tom is also doing some work around the campground to pay for our site, so that’s a bonus – and it keeps him out of trouble!!

Weeping Willow


This is our third year here at Camp Lord Willing, and we’ve settled in pretty comfortably!

We have a nice view of the water this year!

There’s a really nice group of seasonal campers here that we’ve gotten to know pretty well, so we’ve been enjoying quite a few social gatherings – steak roasts, group dinners, campfires, and yesterday we all went to a local bar for their weekday special – half-pound burger, fries and a beer for $5.  Quite a good deal, and it tasted good, too!

It just so happened that Wednesday is classic car night at the North Side Bar & Grill, so we were able to walk around and admire the cars after dinner.     Lots of shiny metal










There were a lot of nice cars,

Red Car Area

and the cars guys definitely enjoyed themselves.

Car Guys












Nice Mustang

It was a beautiful night . . . and I didn’t have to come home from work and cook!  We may have to do that again!

Nice night at the car show

We’re enjoying our time here in Michigan, and getting lots of things done, but our time is quickly winding down and it will be time to head south again!

Sunset_September 14th

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A beautiful day for boating!


We didn’t make any special plans for Labor Day weekend, but on Friday night I got a facebook message from our friends Nancy and Andy, inviting us to go boating with them on Sunday.  It promised to be a beautiful day, and we had been wanting to catch up with them while we were in town, so of course we said yes.  Nancy runs a daycare in her home, and provided the best care I could ever have found for my two boys, and her husband, Andy, is a retired “Ford guy” – even after the boys left Nancy’s daycare to go to school, we remained friends and have kept in touch over the years. 

We made plans to meet at the marina in Detroit where they keep their boat, at 11am on Sunday.  Their boat had been taken out of indoor storage and placed in the water before we got there.

Indoor storage

Our chaufer


We loaded up and headed out into the Detroit River.  Andy started out by taking us on the tour of the Detroit riverfront.










We passed under the bridge to Belle Isle State Park, an island in the middle of the river.  When I was in college, we used to come to Belle Isle to ride bikes and have picnics.  In our last summer of classes, a bunch of us engineering students took a photography class, and we all came to Belle Isle to photograph some of the great old architecture!  It’s a beautiful park, especially now that the state has taken it over and it maintaining it.


Belle Isle Bridge


As we made our way south on the river, we passed by the Manoogian Mansion – home of the Mayor of Detroit,

Manoogian Mansion


and other stately homes along the river.

Kid Rock's house?

This one is rumored to belong to Kid Rock.


As we got closer to downtown, we could see the Detroit skyline.

High Rise Apartments on the Detroit River


It looks pretty impressive from the water!

Downtown Detroit

Renaissance Center - GM Headquarters












Across the river is Windsor, Ontario,

Caesars Windsor


and the bridge across the river is the Ambassador Bridge.

Ambassador Bridge


We turned around and started heading north towards Lake St. Clair, leaving Detroit and Windsor behind us.

Two countries connected by a bridge


We passed the Coast Guard Station, and entered the lake.

Coast Guard Station


There are lots of beautiful estates on the lake,

Estates on the river

More estates on the river













including the Edsel & Eleanor Ford Estate.

Edsel & Eleanor Ford Estate


There were a lot of really nice boats out on the lake, too.

Sailboat on Lake St. Clair

Sailing Lake St. Clair


We floated around for awhile while we ate our lunches and enjoyed the warm summer sun.

It was a perfectly beautiful day!








Bryce enjoying the day on the lake











Solving world problems?


After lunch, we took a cruise through Jefferson Beach Marina,

Jefferson Beach Marina


where there was a wedding going on in the gazebo.

Wedding Party












Their reception venue was parked alongside the dock, and we could see the guests lining up to pick up a glass of champagne as they entered the boat.

Wedding Boat


There were lots of beautiful boats in the marina, including this original cigarette boat.

Cigarette Boat












From the marina, we made our way back down the river.

Tom and Andy


Andy pulled the boat up alongside the dock, and got it ready to go back into storage until the next time he takes it out.  That’s a pretty good way to go – the boat stays nice and clean, stored inside out of the elements, and all he has to do is call ahead and they put in in the water for him!

Buttoning up the boat

We visited for a little while longer in the “Tiki Bar” before we all headed for home.  It was a beautiful day on the water, and we’re glad that Andy and Nancy invited us to spend the day with them!  Thanks guys!!