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Thursday, July 23, 2015

What Are We Doing This Summer, You Ask?

There was so much going on the days the grands and their parents were with us in Florida for Easter that a collage seemed the best choice.

It is always sad when they leave but we are usually only 2 weeks or so behind them coming home.

This year we had one more round of company before we headed for home.  "He" has been friends with this couple since high school; me, only 35 years or so. We are so close to beaches that most of our company ends up there at least once while with us.

 One of the highlights as we head home is spending a day or two with his daughter in St. Augustine.  I could be happy spending the rest of my life drinking tea, coffee, wine, in her gorgeous walled garden with pond and waterfall.  It is the mental happy place I go when I need to.
 We arrived home just in time for Mothers' Day.  My son discovered Detroit's Eastern Market and I benefited with this great Mandevilla planter, a flat of herbs, and a hanging basket.  My daughter had planted my porch planter boxes and another pot for the front porch.  What a blessing!!!

Once back home, the fellas went to work upgrading the hot rod.  I predict lots of car shows this summer.  Another one of His high school buddies works with them on some of the stickier adjustments.  Darn that thing sounds good when they start it. 
Towards the end of the school year things get a little jammed-up for the family, what with 2 students and 2 teachers finalizing the end-of-year duties.  The girls were on vacation almost a week before their parents so Grandma had them around.  Daddy took us to dinner at a local restaurant and things got a little silly.

The pool was used here at the very beginning of summer, but they go to their lakehouse for a lot of the summer, now, and the pool gets lonely.
The big deal at the Lakehouse this summer is this huge blow-up Tahitian Island raft.  There is kids time on it and later, adult time.  Lots of friends visit them at the lake.

The last weekend of the school year, Abby and her scout/brownie troop went to camp.  They had a lot of rain, but managed to have a wonderful time anyway. 
I live half a block from Lake Erie.  What do the ducks want with my pool???
We celebrated Gabby's birthday with a family dinner at the local restaurant, and then treats at the newly opened Elizabeth Perk Coffee and Ice Cream.  She has to wait until after The Grand week to get her laptop from me and she was anxious.
 Awwww, Abby!  The store replaced it.

On Father's Day I THOUGHT the family was at the Lakehouse, but they surprised us at our back yard barbecue. The girls had made a big poster using real candy bars of appropriate titles to send a sweet (LOL) message for Grandpa and me.
The evening was spent with friends and family and a bonfire.
Fourth of July week they always spend the time with their other grandma and family at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  Lucky little girls and lucky parents!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Easter in Florida

Ever since 2003 we have been in Florida for Easter.  One year I did fly back to Michigan for the April 27th birth of a granddaughter, flying back to Florida to drive home with him early in May.

Every year but that one, my daughter and her husband have spent their Easter vacation from teaching with us in Florida.  Now their two daughters accompany them.  Easter traditions have evolved from the Bunny hiding baskets and toys, to hunts outside, to this year's celebration. This year, the family arrived by air late on Good Friday.

Saturday there was the city's egg hunt and lots of swimming.

The girls took a break from the pool to color eggs.  We do it a little differently.  I boiled the eggs before they get here.  We peeled the eggs, cut them in half, scooped out the yellows into a bowl.  Then the peeled and halved eggs were dipped in cups of food coloring and water.  The girls insist on the florescent colors.

While the older one was dying the whites, the younger and I whipped up the Deviled Egg fillings from the cooked yolks, mayonnaise, relish, and a bit of mustard.  I often add a little heat to the filling, too.

There they are...our colored eggs.

Sunday Morning:

Daddy and his girls went to Easter Mass.  When they returned the Easter Bunny had visited.  There were 72 candy-filled eggs to find and some surprise items, all hidden about the yard.

Then they were in the pool...again.
Their Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Rich arrived from St. Augustine early in the day and it really seemed like a party.  The guests all decided to make a picnic of Easter Dinner by eating outside on paper plates.  So much less work for everyone.

Evening in the screen house looking out at the lake and enjoying family and neighbors was just the holiday we all wanted.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More Monthly Scrap Pages

With a bunch of irons in the fire time to scrapbook has been scarce.  My solution has been a series of monthly pages covering 2014.  I have scrapped a few individual events but these will be my record of the year.  A few, like "Easter in Florida" deserved their own page.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014, The First 3 Months

This is a collection of the top photos from January 2014.  The calendar is dated close to when the event occurred.
Here is February's collection.  I know...there was no 29th in 2014.
Now, March's photos.  I hope to complete 2014.  I consider this posting a commitment to the project.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014-01-17 Record-Breaking Weather

Record-breaking snow (8 inches, then 12 inches, and then another 12 inches) and cold (-24, Wind Chill at a -43) and all we wanted to do was to get going toward warm Florida.  At those temperatures, salt will not work on the roads and all reports told people to stay home and off the roads so we did.  Our target leave-date had been Tuesday but we soon put that on hold and waited.  The following Saturday was above freezing and, rainy but the roads were clear of ice so off we went.

Our first stop was Georgia and my brother and sister-in-law's retirement house.  Being there for the weekend let us enjoy one of SIL's great meals with the family on Sunday.  Most of the chat was about the June birth of the first grandchild.  Monday was SIL's birthday so we went out to her favorite restaurant for dinner.  We had toured the area last year.  SIL and I explored her great scrapbooking/sewing room over the garage.  I shared some ancient family photos with my brother.

Then on Monday we drove further South to his daughter's house for 2 more days.  We explored her new house with its great gardens and then drove around the St. Augustine area.

Tuesday we headed out for the last, 3-hour drive toward our winter home, stopping for an hour or so to visit his dad in Cocoa Beach.  Finally, we reached the house in Sebastian early afternoon.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014-01-05 Snow Delay.

Oh GOSH we have a lot of snow...AGAIN!  Although our proximity to Lake Erie seems to be warding the worst of the storm away from us, we are still getting plenty of snow.  My eye is always on Radar and I can see how the heaviest stuff is going right around us.  We are also watching the conditions all along I-75 going South and the conditions don't look promising.  We have already almost decided to go on Thursday, rather than Tuesday.

I am hoping to see the granddaughters later today.  My son is snowed in in Detroit and trying to figure out why his car won't start.  So many people are having similar car troubles with more temps well below zero on the way.  It will be hard to go to Florida without bidding goodbye to my family.

Schools all over the area will not reconvene Monday as scheduled.  It is anyone's guess when the way will be clear to open those schools.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014-01-02 Starting a New Year

Oh GOSH! It is cold.  The weather men expect several records to be broken this week.  The last three days have brought another 12 inches or so of snow on top if the 11 last week.
I go across the street every morning to have coffee, breakfast, and visit with R. watching a little TV and checking email.  Well, the last 3 days have been a struggle through the snow.  Fortunately, I borrowed some unused good old galoshes or I would never have made it.
Thank goodness R, Jr. doesn't seem to mind getting out the Polaris and snow blade and digging us both out.  It was much easier crossing the street for the evening with R.

It is with greater expectations than usual that we have started packing for Florida!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The End of 2013

No, I didn't fall off the planet in April.  I have no excuse for being so far behind in blogging.  DF (Dear Friend) Lisa Wingate encouraged me to do an end-of-year blog post with her lovely entry today so here goes.

January saw us leave frozen Michigan on the 3rd headed for sunny Florida.  We stopped to visit my brother in Georgia and a daughter in St. Augustine.  Within a few days, we were feeling back-home-again in the warmth of Sebastian, Florida.
February and we missed watching the grandgirls' skating competitions, but certainly enjoyed the wildlife around our breakwall.  We appreciated the birds especially, since they were so scarce when we had a 6-week emergency stay here last October and November.

March gave us some heavy weather but that just made for great surfing.  The local joke is that you can't get anyone to do any work or open their stores if the "Surf's Up"
Also in March, we finished our improvement project of the laundry room.  What had been a real chore, doing laundry in that old nasty room, became a pleasure.  The cabinets let me empty the overcrowded ones in the kitchen.  It was a WIN all around!
My brother and sister-in-law made their first visit with us and we HAD to compare Seabring  convertibles.  Mine, the dark one, is new to me this year.  I just love driving around in it, but it stays in Florida.
The last thing in March was our yearly Easter visit with my daughter, her husband and our precious granddaughters.  First order of business is always a pedicure for each of us.
Easter Sunday was early this year, March 31.  We had dinner for 13 people, surrounded by family and a neighbor.  Other neighbors entertained the kiddies with their baby miniature goat.
April came in while the family was still with us for their 10-day break, but too soon had to return to Michigan.
May we packed up and came home to Michigan, staying overnight with daughter and son-in-law in St. Augustine and then Judy and Pat in Tennessee.  The photo-walk with Judy and our friend Shawn and her family was a highlight of the year.
By the end of May, summer was urging us to plant and decorate, and visit Daughter's and Son-in-law's Lake House.  Annuals were all over their lakehouse and my garden back home.
June and the family was swimming and fishing both at the lake and here at home.  Wherever they were, the girls would find the water and swim, swim, swim.
July first and a combination of heavy rains and negligence of the DPW to start the city pumps resulted in our having brief lake-front property.
The Fourth is always a big homecoming in our little town but, with the grandgirls and their parents with the other family at The Grand on Mackinaw Island every year, we celebrate quietly.
August, both girls tried sewing, but only the older granddaughter was ready.  She made pillow cases, pillows, and some clothing.  It has been so long since I sewed, I had to relearn right with her.
October, our little city moved the old Bob-Lo Dock from the marina to the center of town to be re-purposed as a pavilion and Farmer's Market.  It quickly became the center for holiday decorations, and gatherings.
November, and we settled in for cold weather.  Thanksgiving was quiet, with one daughter living in Florida, another living in New Jersey, and one son busy with a mission in Detroit.  The daughter and family were with the other grandmother this year so it was just Him, his son who lives next door, and me for dinner.
My beloved Michigan State University Spartans won an invitation to the Rose Bowl and I celebrated.  The house has been hung with Green and White all fall in a neighborhood of University of Michigan fans.  However, more and more Green and White is popping up as we get closer to the end of the year.
December we celebrated the Christmas season with a Polar Express excursion out of Owasso, Michigan on the train pulled by the REAL engine...Pere Marquette 1225.  It was emotional for me, since this is the same kind of engine my grandfather tended as yardmaster when I was a little girl.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were lovely and lively with the two granddaughters.  The decorations were down and put away before January first as we started to prepare to leave Michigan and more snow than we have seen since we started wintering in Florida, 11 years ago.