Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas in Northern Michigan

It is our tradition to have Christmas Eve dinner at Bud's sister's house across the street.  
 Aren't these two a good looking brother and sister.  50 years ago no one would have believed that Bud could be this nice to his sister.
 Sue and Walt have 4 wonderful children and we are thankful to be a part of their lives.
 Brittany was home from her internship in Chicago.  We hadn't seen her since summer.  She looks terrific.
 Charlotte is home from Lawrence University where she is studying music.  Another beautiful young lady.
 Brittany even brought her  wonderful husband, John.  They a such a great couple.  John is working VERY hard at a law firm in Chicago.
 Jack is finishing his final year at U. of Michigan where he is studying engineering.  I asked the question (without even being prompted by his parents)  "So, how is the job search going??"  He is working on it.
 Sonja came over for the evening too.  She is looking pretty good too.
 I had to get in the picture with David or he wouldn't let me take a picture.  I tried to take a picture of him by himself earlier but he wouldn't cooperate.
 Mom and son.  What else could you say but smile at this picture.
 It was a bit like 'herding cats' but we did manage to get all of them in one place for a picture.
 As per tradition, Walt read the Christmas story before the family left for church.
 Christmas morning we were right back over there.  This is David teaching Jack how to tie a bow tie.  Jack received the bow tie from David for Christmas.
 Another family tradition is that Uncle Bud fixes French toast for the family Christmas morning.  This past week he experimented with 2 different recipes to see if he could perfect his traditional recipe.  Neither one of the experiments was that good so he went aback to his usual style.  It was a great.
 The plate was piled high with the French toast.
 David offered to pose with me again.  What a great guy.
THEN, they let us come back over AGAIN in the evening for dinner.  We tried to go to the movies to see Unbroken but it was sold out in the afternoon.  We just decided to come back to the house and relax together instead of trying for the later show.

Finally, we went out again today (the 26th) to see Unbroken and dinner after at Applebees.  AS you can see we had great time with the family.  We hope they aren't too tired of us.


Monday, December 22, 2014

This and That with pictures this time

First of all, I hope you weren't offended by my last posting/rant.  Sometimes I just get that way and I haven't  really had a good rant lately.  Today I have a much more pleasant post.  
 First of all, these pictures are very vintage.  I'm not sure how old they are as there wasn't a date on the back of them.  Aunt Kathleen let me borrow them to scan them into my computer since this is the lady that I was named after.  She and her sister Aunt Jessie never married and her nephews were my Grandpa Lewis (Charlie) and my Great Uncle Fred Lewis.  She had a brother than many of you may have heard off, we called him Uncle George (he would have really been my Great Great Uncle but we just called him Uncle George because that is what my dad called him. )  Uncle George made all the violins and gave one to each of his nieces and nephews (all of my dad's siblings have a violin in the family.  Eva has ours)    
 The man in this picture is my Great Grandfather, the only one of that family that married and had children.  I never met any of these people but do remember my dad talking about them.  They lived in southern Michigan I think.  The linage of the Lewis family is a little more vague than the Clarke side of that family.  I have a detailed book about the Clarke family (my Grandma Lewis was a Clarke) but just a brief sketch of the family tree on the Lewis side.  Anyway,  I was happy to get a chance to see these pictures and appreciate the fact that my Aunt Kathleen let me borrow them.  
 Can you believe it????????  Leo actually put up some Christmas lights at his house.  I think that is impressive.  He is getting into the spirit a bit.  He has plugged them into the front door light switch so he can turn them on right from inside the house.
 In my last post I mentioned that we didn't have any snow.  WELL, this last week we were blessed with a light dusting of snow to make the season bright.  Yes, I know this doesn't look like a light dusting of snow for many of you that don't live 'Up North' but it really was only a couple of inches and much of it has compacted down so it is just barely covering the ground.  We are foretasted to get a bit more rain/snow today and into the evening.
One last picture.  This is the leadership of the Yacht Club.  We had a little gathering of the board and of course Bud is part of that group.  He isn't officially on the board, he just keeps track of the money so he is kind of the CFO.  He puts a lot of time into this organization and they really appreciate his work.

That is all from me for now.  I am working on a nice new project in my sewing room but it is still a work in process so I will wait to unveil it when it is closer to completion.

My Christmas gifts are all wrapped and ready to take with me to my various celebrations so I am feeling pretty prepared for the season.  I just have to do a little cooking but that task needs to be closer to the holidays and all my baking is being done by Grand Traverse Pie Company.

Here's wishing you a stress free week.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What is this world coming to????????

I may regret this post in haste but here it goes:
 I just heard a story on NPR about law students at Harvard and other schools that want more time to study for their exams because they spent much of the last month protesting (the death of Brown in Ferguson and the death of the man in New York)  I agree that everyone and MOST of all college students need to exercise their right to protest and there are many ongoing issues with racism in our country. Protesting is a 'right of passage' for many college students.  BUT, 'back in the day' (the Vietnam War where hundreds of our generation died each week) we managed to protest (ME included) AND still be accountable for our exams. Maybe this isn't 'Apples and Oranges' but it does seem like kind of a weak argument that you need more time to study for exams.  I'm not buying it.

SO, there you have heard my opinion.  I will push the 'publish' button and just take it 'on the chin' if you don't agree.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Projects and shopping, the holiday season is keeping me busy

Merry Christmas to all of you
 Bud finally found the time to put up my last Christmas decoration, a quilted wall hanging that I made a couple of years ago.  I am not allowed up on ladders this year as I am trying to make it though this holiday season without a cast.  You may or may not remember that 2 years ago I broke my foot and was in a cast and last year I broke my wrist and was in a cast again at Christmas time.  I only have about 10 more days to make it this year and am hoping the 'curse' has been broken.
 My quilt group had a couple of projects they taught in the month of November.  I liked the projects a lot and managed to get them both done this past week.  The one above was fun but I thought it was a little boring.
 SO, I put a lot of sequence stars on the trees.  I gave this one to my friend Kathy for Christmas.  She likes reds and blacks a lot.  It was a fun and easy project.
 I liked this project better.  The trees looked great and the fabric seemed to go together very well.  I have been invited to put some pieces in a show again this year.  I think this one will go in the show.

 Saturday I decided to check out a couple of local shops.  We have this little shop called Red Dresser and in the shop are a lot of booths by various artist/craftsmen.  I loved the booths and had a great time shopping and spending a few coins.

Then I headed out the peninsula to a new gallery where there were  a LOT of beautiful pieces for me to admire.  I chose this birdhouse for myself.  It is very beautiful.  
I think it looks great with the reindeer that Eva gave me several years ago and the little snowmen set that Sara and Leo bought for me in Norway when we were there together many years ago.  I have collected a few more pieces to go with the Norway snowmen and together they all look great.

The holiday spirit is catching on here.  Now all we need is a little snow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A family weekend in Coleman

This past weekend I traveled to Coleman for a family Christmas gathering
 Our first stop was to Mom and Dad's grave to take off the summer flowers and put on our Christmas wreath.  Don't you agree that I am a very dutiful child? It was a cold day but we did manage to attach the wreath to the stand.  I was glad that the stand was already in the ground because the ground was pretty frozen.
 Next we stopped out to Leo's house to deliver a rug that we were giving him.  He sure has done a lot of work on the site where his house was placed.  He has put in drainage tiles and smoothed the land out.  He spent a lot of time with his tractor and backhoe this past summer.  It should be ready for a little grass this next summer.  There were a LOT of deer tracks in the dirt right up near the house.  He has quite a bit of wildlife around him.  He was even talking about putting up some Christmas tree lights.  He just arrived back from spending Thanksgiving with Glen and Penny.  It was a great visit and he enjoyed his time with them.
 Now on to the pictures I took of the family.  Kay and Dick were there.  Kay lived across the road from me growing up so we spent a lot of time together when we were young.
 And there is her brother Jim.  He faithfully attends these events and it was good to see him.
 Denny was there with his grandson.  He bought the back field of the farm and has named it Landon's farm after this grandson.  The like to go out there and run around with tractors and other equipment.
 Aunt Kathleen is the youngest of Dad's family and is looking great.  I had a nice long talk with her about family and various events that she remembers.  She had some pictures of family members of long ago and I brought home a picture of my Great Great Aunt Della who I was named after.  I will scan them into my computer and share them at a future date.
 Aunt Mary and her son Scott.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Elmer lived just up the road.  She is looking good too.
 Aunt Florence and her son Bill just fooling around.  They are pretty good at that.
 Aunt Florence is 92 and looking very good.
 A cousin Marilyn and her husband.  She is Uncle Vernell's daughter.

 Leo, Aunt Kathleen and cousin Jim.
 Here we had the cousins that were in attendance.  Starting in the back row Jack, Victor, Bill, Denny, Scott, Leo.  Front row Marilyn, Jerry, me, Kay.  I think this is just about half of us.  I take a picture every year just to record our passing years.

 And here are the beautiful ladies that watch over our family.
 A couple of cousins, Scott and Marilyn
Leo and Denny.  Doesn't Leo look great???  He even has on a nice sweater that Eva and I bought for him a few years ago.

So that was my weekend.  I had a great time visiting with family and listening to some old stories.  It is a great season for reconnecting with family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

MY Thanksgiving weekend

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  
 It started with a wonderful dinner at the Nobles's house.
 Charlotte and David were home from college.  They are both doing very well in their first year of school.  David is in medical school at the University of Virginia in Virginia and Charlotte is in her first year studying music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.  It was good to see them and catch up on their activities.
 Jack was also home from the University of Michigan.  He is finishing his last year studying engineering and will be looking for a job this coming summer.  Any company would be lucky to have him.
 The talk around the table was lively and fun.  Brittany and John were with us in spirit only.  They were entertaining John's parents in Chicago where Brittany is in her first year of internship and John is an attorney at a law firm.  They are both working very hard.
 Charlotte is the pie maker of the family.  She made two very good pies, one pumpkin and one apple.  She does such a great job AND she even makes her own crusts, something I have never attempted.  She is talented in many ways.
 Friday morning we were up and on the road early.  We arrived at Eva's house just in time to meet Jess, Doug and their precious little one arriving for the day.  She is too cute for words. (Aunt Della gave her that cute little Santa hat)
 The Thanksgiving tradition of picking out Christmas trees was a cold event. Eva found her tree right away. We think that was a record for her.
 Matt and Diana had a little more difficulty finding their tree.  (Yes they get a tree in Michigan and take it home on the top of their car because trees are cheaper here and Mom buys them. She is thankful to have them here and VERY happy for the tradition.)
 Jess and Doug found their tree fairly quickly too.
 This little one was just along for the ride.  She thought all the trees looked beautiful.
 Uncle Doug tried to keep these 'southern girls' warm.
 Mommy did a good job of keeping her precious one warm.
 Tree hunting was followed by a great dinner.
 Diana just had to make sure the stuffing had enough sage in it.
 The older girls decorated the table and made our place settings.
 Matt and Diana sure have beautiful girls.  It was fun to see them and catch up on their activities.
 B. entertained us after dinner with her dance that she did with her 'praise' group at church.  Daddy was talked into being her backup dancer.  They both did a great job but B's was the best.  It looks like Daddy is a little behind in this part.
 At a little over 6 weeks it is time for this little one to try food on a spoon.  This was the second attempt and it worked better then the first one.  This time she tried oatmeal not rice.  She seemed to like it better.
 We all had our share of 'floor time' playing with the baby.  She is such a happy baby.
 The first Christmas tree with Mom and Dad
 And of course the tree with Gram and her grandchildren.
 I was a little late with the birthday gifts for Eva.  She was happy to receive them even if it was late.
 I was unsure about this purple jacket but it looks great on her.
 LOTS of pictures were taken.
 A snowman was made tool.  I am sorry to report that it rained on Saturday and had melted by the end of the day.
 The family packed up Saturday morning and headed back south.  This girl is waiting for her ride.  I couldn't talk her parents into letting her stay with me.
 Eva and I hit the stores on Saturday.  I wanted to find my gifts for Eva while she was with me and I was successful.  I also found a few things for myself.
Bud did some errands AND he fixed Eva's cabinets that didn't close correctly.  He got out the tools, did a few runs to Home Depot all in all had fun.

It was a GREAT weekend with family and for that I am VERY thankful.