Monday, August 17, 2015

Who says you can"t do it all????

Eva came to visit this weekend.  It was a fun filled weekend and the first time she has been up since we bought new furniture.  That is WAY too long so I need to do a better job of getting her up here. 
 She is a GREAT decorator so right after she arrived we started talking about our new furniture and the way it is arranged.  I am NOT good at the 'finishing touches' and since we still haven't settled on the paint colors I have been avoiding that part too.  We just get used to the way the house looks, kind of half way done, and the summer 'got in the way' of decorating or at least that is what I tell myself.
Last winter when we were in Grand Rapids I bought these flowers for an arrangement and haven't managed to arrange them in a vase.  That is the first thing she did and it looks GREAT.  She also did a little furniture moving and moved a table behind the sofa so we have a sofa table to put things on now.  When we get our bathroom/bedroom suite done the room will open up more and that table is great for that space. 

 Friday night we went downtown to check out the activities at Friday Night Live, an August activity night here in TC where they close the downtown streets and people can walk around and check out the shops and watch the street performers.  After that we ate at a cute little place called Little Fleet that has several 'food trucks' all parked together with tables so you can get your meal from any one of the food trucks and eat while watching the crowd.  It is a fun little place to eat. 
 Saturday was a day of shopping.  Bud went out sailing with the Noble family and Eva and I checked out the various shopping areas in TC.  Downtown has changed even for me so it is interesting to see what is new.  After lunch we went over to the 'Old State Hospital' area where they have put cute little shops in the lower level of one of the big buildings.  It is a cute little place to walk around.  Then I drove around the grounds a little and we found the 'Historic Barns' area of the grounds.  There was a Visitors Center and we went in to hear the story.  A lady gave us a very nice tour of the gardens on her golf cart.  It was interesting to hear about the renovations they are doing there. It is a little 'hidden treasure' of our area.  Nice to think that some place that has such a 'dark' history of being a mental institution to something as beautiful as it is becoming. 
After that we visited the 'Warehouse District' which is another little area in town for shopping.  This area is kind of new so I hadn't been there yet.  There are lots of places in TC that I just don't go to so it is nice to have a visitor to show around. 

However we rested, Bud came home from sailing and we rallied for dinner and a movie.  We drove out the peninsula to the Jolly Pumpkin for dinner which is always a nice drive along the water.  We did see quite a bit of storm damage but it looks like people are recovering and cleaning up. 
After dinner we were back in town for a movie.  We had two choices: The new movie in which Meryl Streep stars about an aging rocker trying to reconnect with her family and the Mr. Holms movie.  We chose the Mr. Holms movie and I am pretty sure we made the right choice.  It was a VERY good movie. The acting was terrific, especially the little boy in the movie. It was SO good on so many levels and I STRONGLY recommend it to everyone of all ages. 

SO, that was Saturday.  Weren't we busy???
 Sunday was another beautiful and warm day,  (I forgot to mention that the temps were in the 90s all weekend)  We started out with a nice breakfast that Bud made for us, scrambled eggs toast and bacon were on the menu.
Then the 'decorator' in Eva came back to life and we spent a LONG time talking about paint colors.  I listened for a while but it is still too overwhelming for the woman that likes off white walls so Eva and Bud talked and talked and talked and then we went to Ace hardware and bought 3 more little cans of paint samples to try.  I think I like the colors they chose and they seem to be the best colors I have seen yet but of course they aren't on the walls yet.  I am feeling the most confident about these choices even though Eva said she wasn't trying to 'over sell' the choices but I do like them and the guy in the paint store said he used one of the colors in his house and really liked it. 
After going to the paint store we went sailing.  That is TWO days in a row that our boat has been out so that is terrific.  You can see above that we even got Eva to drive a bit while we were getting ready to put the sails up. 
 It was a windy day so we only put up a 'reefed' main but it was a beautiful day to be out on the water. 
 The race on the bay was just finishing as we went out so it was a beautiful view.  You can also see how windy it was.  The racers put out ALL the sail they could and they don't mind being 'heeled over' on their sides while racing.  It just makes them go faster.  We put out less sail because we wanted to stay upright and enjoy a relaxing sail. 
 And yes, I included a picture of myself. 
 Eva took this 'selfie' of the two of us.  We were having a good time.
We topped of this day by stopping over to see Sue and Walt at the cottage and enjoyed the late afternoon relaxing on their deck, talking and snacking.  The view was beautiful and the conversation was great. 

So there you have it, our very busy weekend with Eva. It was great fun and we packed in a lot of activities.  GREAT summertime fun with my sister.  I am thankful for such a wonderful sister. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Off the Grid but REALLY BUSY

Well, it has been a LONG week here in N. Michigan.  This past weekend we were hit by quite a storm.  Here is our story.
 It was already a busy weekend for Bud as he was moving his office from the downtown location to a place on Garfield Ave.  The owner of his downtown office building was expanding and needed more space for his employees.  Bud was on a month-to-month lease because they were very relaxed about signing leases and they came to him and asked him to find another office.  They gave him ample time to look around so he wasn't 'kicked out'.  However, he did get right to work and checked out the available office space.  He realized that he really didn't need to be downtown and if he looked out a little ways from downtown the rent was a little less.  He found this office space just south of her and probably a little closer to home with definitely less traffic to deal with on his way to work. 
It turns out that this office building was the same building that he was in about a year after he started his career in public accounting. 
 So this is the back door of his office building, right where he used to enter when this was an office for his old firm.  It is a nice building and even though it was a LOT of work to arrange the move, he is in his office and has 'purged' his files.  Moving always  helps you do a little cleaning out of your space. 
Bud was in his old office last Sunday when the STORM hit this area.  I was home alone, not really paying too much attention to the weather until it started to get dark here.  I have always loved to watch storms so I placed myself in front of the windows for  a great view.  I did call Bud to tell him not to try to come home in the storm and  he did tell me to get away from the windows.  I complied a bit but was still watching closely as the waves of wind and rain swept up the hill and rushed against our house.
 And then one of the tall trees decided to break off a section of the tree.  We have very tall trees in our area and while the wind was blowing the hardest the tops of the trees move back and forth, swaying more than you could possibly think.  This one tree gave away and a large section broke off.  It did miss the main part of our house but caught the corner of our deck, taking off part of the railing. 
 Here you can see the tree that broke off.  As soon as the storm was over the whole neighborhood came out of their houses to check out the damage.  That big 'gash' in the tree is where the section of the tree broke off.  The tree that remains will be weakened so it will also have to come down when we have a professional come and clean up some of our trees. 
 You can see from this view that we were lucky that it wasn't worse.  We cleaned up the next day and all that is left in our yard now is the large main section of the tree, waiting for the chainsaw to cut it up in smaller pieces to be split for firewood.
 We were actually pretty lucky when it comes to damage in our subdivision and definitely in our area.  This is a picture of a tree that was uprooted in Sue and Walt's back yard.  It is resting on their garage.  Many other homes have uprooted trees in their yard and the streets were littered with downed branches. 
Of course, our power was out.  We were without electricity from Sunday afternoon until Wednesday morning.  We were thankful for our friends Larry and Kathy because they still had power on the west side of town and they gave us their guest room for three nights.  What wonderful friends. 
 I came back home during the daytime, even without power.  I did manage to find things to keep me busy like cleaning up, having lunch with friends and going to my quilt group to help with making some weighted blankets for our area special education classrooms.  This is a picture of some of the wonderful ladies in our group, busy at working on those blankets. 
 Tuesday was my birthday so we headed to Applebee's in Big Rapids to celebrate with the Michigan family.  Eva bought me a wonderful sweater set. 
 Jessica and Doug were so nice to bring their lovely little one for me to see.  I hadn't seen her since our houseboat trip.  She is such a sweetie. 
 And she is growing and growing.  I am amazed at how wonderful she is.  She has great parents too. 
 And here you have the whole 'clan'.  This is a great tradition, meeting for birthdays.   I am thankful for such a wonderful family.
 Then on Thursday we set out on the boat to enjoy a late afternoon sail.  It was a little chilly and the wind was brisk so we had to 'reef' the main and wrap up to keep warm.  It still was a great evening to sail. 
Charlotte was our 'inspiration' for going out sailing and she brought along a friend.  I am also very thankful for this wonderful family. 

Well, our power came on Wednesday so we were back home but the internet provider was MUCH slower getting service to us.  Charter Communications had a LONG and SAD story about why they couldn't get our servicer up and going.  I think it is just because they aren't as prepared and probably don't care as much, but that is just my opinion.  Anyway we didn't our cable back until late Sunday afternoon.  YES, we realized we probably depend on that service too much and probably watch too much TV but we are now thankful to be back 'online'.  Being without cable and internet for a few days is a 'pain in the butt' but we are thankful for minimum damage here at our house.