Sunday, July 5, 2015

Boom! Boom! Happy July 4th!

This weekend of celebrating is flying by fast!  I've crammed a lot in these past few days and I wanted to blog about the 4th of July before it's the 5th!  Jack came home today from Boy Scout Camp and I'll give him some blog time next week...but welcome home Babe! We missed you!  Because the 4th is today, a Saturday, I had Friday off work.  So Thursday I started celebrating with Addy as we made my annual star cakes. 
Addy put on her apron and went to work on decorating them. She looks so serious here!
Final results! Mmmmm!  As soon as we were done I took off for the park to listen to a John Denver tribute band.  Every Thursday and Sunday we have free concerts in our park and I just love John Denver and this band...The John Adams Band...did a great job!
We have a wonderful band shell and you can either sit in the seats provided or bring a chair or blanket and sit on the lawn.  This weekend we've had perfect weather for our Balloon Fest and Bicentennial celebration here in Ashland.  It's been pretty crowed around these parts! Glad I could go and enjoy this freebie concert!  Friday morning Addy and I delivered the cakes to some friends and she stayed with her other Grandma and I headed out for a nice walk in the cool morning air...ahhhh.  The rest of the day was spent working on our deck....power washing it,  cleaning furniture,  painting wicker, and many other things.  I knew I'd be on call today and I tried to get as much done as possible.  I did get called out this morning early but finished in time to hit the big parade downtown.  It was 2hrs long!  Bicentennial celebrating along with our annual Hot air balloon festival made it a jam packed parade route! Here's some highlights:
Big guys in little cars.
Small guy on big bike!
Old classic cars.
Nothing better than men in skirts! Especially if they play bagpipes!
Guys in costume
Balloons representing Ashland as the balloon capital of the world.
The Budweiser Clydesdales...they were the talk of the town for the week and a big draw at the parade.
Ashland is a college town and here is the University's mascot..Tuffie
Many floats (there were 135 of them!) represented our Armed Forces and those who serve our country or who have served.  We are so proud of you all who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.
The Vietnam Veteran's float had our good friend Greg on board.  (The one on the right in green.)
I was impressed that Greg wore his jacket from his service in the 60's...I don't think I could even wear my shoes from that time....way to stay in shape Greg! Thanks to you and to all who serve....Happy July 4th...God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Typical Jack Is Gone Week

Jack is again at Boy Scout camp.  I don't mind that he goes, but usually something weird happens the week of camp.  Monday started out fine...except for the fact some crazed escaped from custody person assaulted a family a few miles from here and is on the run.  I had Tuesday off and every time I heard a bump or a squeak in the house I jumped a mile!  Plus I decided to stay out of the Creepy Woods.   Hope they get this dude.  We've had rain off and on for weeks so I was very surprised and happy to wake up to sunshine Tuesday morning.   Although it had rained on Monday I decided to do a quick mowing because it really needed it and I thought I could mow again on Friday and put me back on my weekend schedule. It got a bit off when my family was here last weekend.  By the time I got on the mower the sky looked like this:
The temps were only in the 60's.  A bit chilly for around these parts.  But that didn't stop this mow crazy gal.  I got my mow clothes on.
Mowing jeans.
Mowing hat with lovely ear plugs...and no makeup...I did brush my teeth though! I finished that task and then hit the pine trees out front for a trimming.  I didn't get too far before I heard thunder and those clouds were now black.  We had a torrential downpour!  Of course it washed out my driveway and many roads were closed.  The employee lot at the hospital flooded and 4 cars that didn't get moved got ruined...water up past the doors!  That's been the way of the weather around here.  Jack had torrential rains too. That's never fun in a tent! Thankfully this afternoon it cleared up and was beautiful. I went out to pick raspberries that are coming on quickly.
We have a good crop this year but I'm not the only critter that loves them.
Japanese Beetles attack them too.  I had put "seven" bug killer on them earlier but all the rain washed it off.  So tonight I reapplied it and hopefully it will keep them away.
These are bugs I do want around the Pines..they eat mosquitoes! Plus they're pretty. His wings were a golden color but I couldn't catch it in the light.   So that's the way of the week so far.  I have to remember to do the tasks that Jack usually gets done....like laundry and garbage detail.  I'm on call for the 4th of July but have Friday off.  I'm hoping to do a few more little projects before hubby gets back and I'm also hoping no weird things go on around here.  We're getting our new roof next week and that should make sure it doesn't rain again for bit.  If a drought happens you have us to thank. Can't believe it's July already.  Enjoy it!

                             

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Easy Come...Easy Go

We had a couple of fun visitors this week.  My Sister Midge and my sweet Mom hopped in my sis's new car and made the easy (but boring) ride from Chicago to Ashland. 
We hit the local sites that they wanted to see.  Midge had a list of things that her daughter wanted her to pick up and bring back for their July 4th celebration.  We went to this favorite spot:
Yep, they can now say that they "cut the cheese at Grandpa's"!  Lots of goodies were bought and we made some really yummy dips to enjoy from the mixes we found.
Mom had to check out the baskets from an Amish vendor.  Lovely handmade items but she didn't find anything she couldn't live without.  No visit would be good without a daily stop at the office for some good Chiropractic care.
After waiting a few minutes the Doctor was ready.
And what a good doctor he is! I may have to put this on facebook and gather some likes!  With her back up and running we made other stops that I didn't get any pics of...like our cemetery. Yep, I know all the hot spots!  You have to understand that we all love a good cemetery walk!  Family came over on Friday for a little gathering.
Food is always involved!
There's always room for everyone who enters the Pines!
Even my good buddy Donna and her good buddy Judy made it over for some conversation on the deck.  It was nice of them to take the time to stop and chat. Love those gals!
Mom's Great-Grands were on hand to enjoy seeing her again. Like Anthony..
And Summer.
Cameron on his way in from the pool!
Cousins wearing Dad's shirts while the clothes were in the dryer!
More food being dished out.
Dessert anyone?  Ashland was having it's Bicentennial celebration this weekend and we did  head downtown to check it out....however, I took no pics.  The weather wasn't pleasant...rained off and on all day..and it's was very noisy with all the food vendors using generators.  We walked around and visited some stores, but then headed for home and some peace and quiet!  All too soon it was Sunday and time to head out.  That's the hard part...saying goodbye.  I was glad Mom was up to the challenge of a long drive. I think at 89 she's doing amazing!  Midge and I always have a blast....we laugh and talk constantly...just ask Jack! 
Bye, Bye!  See you in October if not before....God willing and the creek don't rise...and I mean that because we've had more rain than we can hold! I hope your ride home is an easy go!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dear Dads

Well, in keeping with my blogging theme this year, I'm again a day late and probably a dollar short!  Happy Father's Day to all the Dads..the Dear Dads...The Dearest Dads I know....
A dear Dad like my Dad....he was the best! I miss him every day and I sure wish he could have known my kids because I know he would have enjoyed them so much.
A dear Dad like Jack's Dad.  After moving to Ashland just a few weeks after my Dad passed away, my Father-in-law stepped in to be a wonderful second Dad.  He helped us out many times when anything was needed and he was able to know all my boys and he and Jack's Mom came to any and every activity they could.  He and my son Phil were especially close and he taught Phil so many things.
A dear Dad like Jack...shown here with our Granddaughters.  He was a good Dad to our 4 boys and a good Grandfather to our 9 Grandkiddos!  He's always there to help them in any way possible and also he's been there as a mentor for countless numbers of boys who have been in our Scout troop for the past 26yrs.
A dear Dad like these Dads...Phil, Jack, and Craig.  They are the best Dads to their kiddos.  They grew up to be responsible young men and we're so proud of them! I don't have Jordan pictured here because he's not a Dad and has often said he really doesn't want any children.  Time will tell on that but he is a great Dad to Eddy!

Huh Eddy....Jordan's a great Dad isn't he!  Yesterday the guys and kiddos came for lunch and we had a wonderful time.  The boys surprised Jack with a new grill.  Our old gas grill had died and this was the substitute:
Pretty pathetic!  So they went together and got this one:
Pretty.....and you can use charcoal or gas...love that!  Plus Phil and Jordan had put it all together...that made Jack happy...and Phil went and got all the meat and fixings to test her out...Works perfectly!  Our son Jack and his family came too but guess who never took any pics...I'm having a blog block on my brain! I did capture this:
Jord and Phil cooking up a storm...and the only reason I got that was because Jack saw them and said, "Hey, now there's a blog worthy moment..the guys cooking!"  We had nice weather, tons of good food, and the love of family...that's the best gift ever!  Jack got Craig and Amy's gift earlier in the week. It's the coolest shirt ever...it repels mosquitoes....that should be perfect for Boy Scout Camp next week!  Such clever kids! I hope everyone had a good day...especially if you're a Dad to kids or animals..you're a Dear Dad to them!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pure Michigan

Do you have the TV commercial about Michigan?  Since we're Michigan's downstairs neighbors we do get them and it makes the state of Michigan look wonderful...and it is..."Pure Michigan"... beautiful lakes, and rivers and camping and fun,  It was the perfect place for our Boy Scouts to pick for the high adventure trip for 2015.  The middle of the mitten was a sweet spot...although a bit chillier than they thought and a bit rainy at the end of the week.  In fact, they headed home on Friday instead of Saturday.  Did I mention mutant mosquitoes? Yikes!  But they had fun and a good experience and all survived. 
Loaded up by 5am...yawn!
Stop for lunch for a little bite of a tiny sandwich...Yum...bacon!
Setting up camp.
Getting bikes ready.
The river....
Loading up the canoes.
Boys ready?
Heading out...
Stopping on the way for lunch.
Or fishing!
Kyle caught one!
More camping on the river.
Almost sunrise...
More camping...
Torrential rains at the end...
But Jack says it was a good trip and lots of fun....way to go guys!  Glad you're home...you were missed!