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 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 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 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'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 were missed! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Is Anybody Home?

Oh, I'm home alright....It's Jack that's MIA right now.  He's in Michigan on a Boy Scout high adventure trip.  He's taken a few of those in the past....remember the raft trip down the Ohio river 3yrs ago?  Then there was a  "Hike the Appalachian Trail and then take a white water raft trip and not get killed" high adventure.  Then there was the 40 mile canoe trip that I'd forgotten about.  There was a white water raft trip in Pennsylvania when the kids (some of whom were even our own kiddos at the time) were on Spring break and it snowed on the river and everyone froze, fell out of the raft, almost drowned, but  had a good time once their toes could be felt again trip.  Yes, over 25yrs in scouting he's had a few "high adventures"....(probably wishing he was "high" on some of them...just kidding!)  This trip involves canoeing and camping on a river and eating dehydrated food or perhaps fish they will catch and then clean and then fry up...I'd say "yum" but I don't even order fish in a restaurant so don't get my opinion on this!  When I asked him where they were going he held up his hand and said "In the middle of the mitten" know, Michigan is shaped like a mitten.  So if you need Jack, just follow your life line to the middle of your palm and there he'll be!  He should be home on Saturday...God willing and the creek...or river in this case...don't rise.  I'm sure he'll have plenty of pics and stories.  I on the other hand have nothing.  It's been a dry blogging time for me.  Just working and trying to finish up my yard work and other projects that aren't really blog worthy.  I did have a tiny virus thing going on. Monday and Tuesday were not great days...but I still went to work because they would have killed me if I had called in sick...a bit short staffed lately.   Today it was hot and I even went into our little pool for a bit.  It's been too rainy or cool before now so I enjoyed that this afternoon.   Since today is what social media calls "Throwback Thursday",  I thought I would post an old photo of my little brother Rick who turned 55 today.  I haven't mentioned him much in my blog. It's not that I'm ashamed of him or anything..he's an awesome guy!   He lives way up in northern Wisconsin on a lake with his sweet wife Jan.  He works in my older brother's communication business.  He's the help desk guy and a genius when it comes to computers.  He's also a fabulous want-to-be chef.  He even had a small hotdog place in his little town.  This weekend his step-son Steve is getting married and for the rehearsal dinner he's made some super wonderful cheesecakes.  Believe me when I say...This boy can cook!  His niece getting married this year too.  So he and his wallet are very busy this year!  So in honor of his bday today....Happy Birthday Ricky....Love you:
That's me and Rick...yep, 55 years goes fast!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hello June!

Today is June 1st! Yeah!  Atleast I think it is.  You see,  this morning it was 47de when I went to work and when I came home my car thermometer said 53de.  The calendar says June 1st but Mother Nature isn't buying it.  Jack was quick to point out that if it was this temp in January we'd be jumping for joy.  OK....Well, this weekend we had a little pool drama going on.  It was warm and sticky on Saturday and the rain clouds were coming and going.   My little pool...has given me a few pains.  I'll include Jack having pain too because he has been helping me get it all up and running for weeks.  We cleaned it, bought a new vacuum for it, added the salt so the salt water filter would keep it sparkling clean.  That's when the trouble began.  The filter is great about telling you if there is trouble on the horizon.  Trouble like a high salt content.  Ooops.  The pool water still had salt from last year, then we added new salt and bam the filter alarm goes off.  Rooky mistake.  How do you fix it?  Well, salt doesn't evaporate (hence the problem in the first place!) so you have to take water out and add fresh.  So we drained about 20-30% of it and then called someone to come and top it off with fresh water.  The first guy wasn't too enthusiastic about coming with that small amount (1000 gals) and then when he arrived bright and early on Saturday morning he refused to come into the driveway because of our pine trees.  His expensive truck would get scratched and the amount of payment he was asking wasn't worth that to him. And we got that...soooooo.....enter the nice man down the street with a much smaller truck with a plastic tank.  He came in the evening after working his fulltime job and charged us much less and was done in a few minutes.  We sent him on his way with an added tip and fresh scones I had just taken out of the oven...a win/win I would say!  Then the rains came down, and down, and down, all weekend.  Then the temps came down too!
Hello little trouble swimming unless you love freezing water!  Oh well, it will warm up sometime this week...I hope.
The daylilies and ferns don't seem to mind this crazy weather.  They are ginormous this year!
Maybe it's because I added this guy for good luck.  My Granddaughter Lexi saw him and said, "What do you call those guys?" "Gnomes"....Lex: "Oh yeah, nice gnome".
The front entrance (where big water trucks fear to tread) is looking good.  However, this big guy isn't:
See the big tree out front? It's going to be coming down.  Hopefully not in a storm!  We have to get a tree man to take her down.  This tree has struggled since it was damaged in a tornado a few years ago.  Time to look for a fast growing shade tree to replace it.  Well, welcome June and in a few weeks Summer will officially be here.  Jack has some interesting travels ahead of him next week so I'll have to give him the spotlight when he gets back.  Finally something more interesting to blog about!