Monday, July 31, 2006


She just had to have a pair of these FAD shoes!

Yep, she did!

Today, she found the exact pair she so desired, perfect for outdoors in the summer time to slip into and kick back with.

Oh yes, the perfect color too - light blue, the very favorite color for her!

So, here's the question of the day...

- Do you own a pair of these too?

- If yes, what color?

- If yes, HOW many pairs do you own? Do tell!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006



It's been very interesting having visitors to the house, as we sit house-bound much of the time with work being completed for long days in a row. At least that’s been the way both mother's visits have gone, as they've been witnesses to many changes suddenly appearing with the continuation of our final renovation goals becoming complete and accomplished at last.

Thank goodness someone sees how much work we’ve done since arriving here!

Gardening perinneal nightmare, but I'm showing you the better side of the front garden bed. You just wouldn't believe it!

John & Betty, we need you here! *smile*

When my mother visited, she became involved in the our excitement and the flurry of activity with the barn raising (wink), the driveway pouring, the front porch covering & column construction, and other smaller details. She assisted me in cleaning garden beds, bending and pulling weeds out for hours at a time (!) , transplanting perennials, and assigning the hauling of brick duty to the children for surrounding the front bed using extra interlocking bricks. This allowed the raising the original brick laying to a second row on top, easier to keep the grass out of the bed while growing too. Just the front bed alone had three to four wheel barrow runs to the back compost!

So much gardening awaits us still, but in time, I’m hoping to have that project licked too.

Now that hubby's mother is here, she's been witnessing the rising of the fencing, all the fencing, from the wooden privacy fencing, to the dog and sport court chain link fencing.

The painter finally arrived back, after a long six week absence, so all the outer doors are now a wonderful blue color to match the brick veneer on the house, and the pewter colored paint on the trims has coordinated everything together for a final finish. In the photos I've enclosed, it's difficult to see how well the blue color matches, but believe me, it does!

Besides, it was getting to the point of not having enough hands to complete a few items ourselves, especially since hubby's vacation was cut short from two weeks to one, so when the painter was available, we rejoiced at having one less thing to do ourselves. Now only if the electrician will return for the lighting in the barn, though we heard he would be here to complete next week now. Yeah!

We had a glitch with the wooden fencing on the east side of the house, when we discovered the property line was further in towards the house than we had anticipated and the neighbor came over to walk the property lines with us. Not having a survey of the property with our legal transfers of the property ownership but merely a guarantee of the property lines paid for, we still weren’t exactly sure of the divider area between us and our neighbors to the east. We attempted to have a surveyor out to draft up exact lineage, however none were available during their busiest time of the year when we needed them present for the task.

Our neighbor didn’t exactly know either and though previously discussing the issue of placing a privacy fence between the back and front yards, he was fine with our original plans. He is the son in law of the original property owner next door, his wife and he had purchased her childhood home, in fact, our three surrounding neighbors the east, west and north, all have also purchased and reside in their childhood homes today.

Before they broke off this piece to sell, his father in law had given our neighbor and his wife the legal papers, he just couldn’t place them at the moment we needed them in our early planning... Luckily though he hunted for them this week and found them before we encroached too far into his legal area, and he has been so very friendly and kind enough to assist us with our property lines, let alone our whole settling in with the move here to the new community.

Fencing between the barn and the house on the driveway

We found out for certain, though both parties knew originally that the last post to the trees was encroaching. It hasn't been an issue between us to have the fence reach there, though later he wondered about down the line, if we ever sold in the future, a new owner might argue the issue of dividers because of the fencing permanency of encroachment and their rights.

Fence on the east side

At the end of the day, with posts cemented two feet in the ground, we all decided not to install the last wood panel between the two last posts towards his side, leaving a big gap there for now. It seems silly to have a fence up, only to walk around the last post, especially since there are two large double gates inserted in the fence itself. Oh well, now I suppose we should just agree to plant a nice huge prickly tree to edge the line, and allow the property grasses to grow and grow around it, the way a farm should look. It’s too bad, this issue was a little disappointing, but the way things go when there's so much wide open land to deal with.

Though the fence posts took an entire day to install last Monday, (thirty alone in the chain link fencing area), it was our good luck the concrete had settled enough in the high temperatures in the early hundred degrees the entire day, before the monster storm rolled through here. Sudden vicious winds rolled through blowing out every window screen in the barn windows and we realized the need to all run outside to secure everything down from blowing away. The garbage cans were already prepared and hauled to the roadside for the next morning's pickup, and without further ado, were grabbed and raced back to the garage so the insides weren't spewed all around to the neighborhood folk's chagrin. The patio furniture had to have a few bricks placed on each chair, the tables, the BBQ, and all the bicycles were secured to the racks. Just the trampoline remained unsecured, though a few bricks were placed on the legs. Not long after the gusts of wind began, they slowly died off just in time for the thunder to roar and boom about in the heavens above. Accompanying the clapping of thunder, it's companion lightning pals lit the skies, with forks plummeting towards the land below, high above it fell from the skies, a lighting festival showing encircling all 180 and more degrees in rotation from our view points. First there were forks to the south, and then to the north, back to the west, back and forth so no one could figure out exactly where the storm was! The worst of the wind storm we found out later, hit two hours to the east of us, with trees tumbling down, buildings struck and even campers injured terribly. Funnel clouds were all around, between our areas, something we hadn’t experienced before either. But, as I mentioned before, just like in the “Wizard of Oz” we do have the advantage of a storm area in the basement should we ever need it.

Today, every hand is on deck to shovel the gravel into the cracks between the wooden fencing portion against the driveway, and the two eldest are continuing to train the pups with their new freedom roaming kennels. It was fun to watch them first enter into their new abode, a perfectly assembled wooden "stall" with a door on latches, something likened as the youngest exclaimed excitedly to be "perfect for a pony for her someday" (Here we go again! Yikes!).

The new barn stall for the pups,
though perfect for a pony the youngest still dreams of!

Speaking of the pups too, their new adventure has them both totally occupied, firstly having to figure out the swinging doggie door built into the barn wall. The husky had no problems of course with her amazing agility, but not so lucky for the Labrador as she clumsily rose each leg to figure the darned thing out at last and is not lingering any longer to nibble on the door as it clunks her on the head on her way in or out of doors again. They've spent much of their first day upon the fence completion, clocking up miles and miles just sniffing and smelling their way around their barn stall, freely wrestling together, arguing over toys, running around back and forth inside the dog run and yard, then curling up together so sweetly, sleeping lovingly next to each other when sheer exhaustion creeps over them, and heavy eyelids droop eventually leading them both into a peaceful slumber.

Peek a boo, I can see you both!
Soon, they might jump on out into their pens though~

With their pool in their yard, they jump in and out, splish-splashing to their delights, and occasionally halt to see who or what is moving about around the property. Being a bird hunter, the lab bows to a hunter's stance and tail arcing into the air, browsing the many birds occupying the back grasses, pretending she is hiding, but oh so ready to pounce at any time. The husky's instincts are maturing giving way to her lingering much too long at the bunny's cage when out and about in the barn running free with the children, sending fear up the bunny's spine with him hopping speedily into his house to hide. Yep, I think they both know this pup's a small animal hunter and its beginning to hunt the bunny! Gulp...

Believe it or not, we're saving the red interlocking bricks to place around garden beds. They are truly in the way here, but save us from the lack of energy to move them at this moment!

This morning, our new day began a little cloudy, with everyone also laying about lazily stiff and sore from overproductive activities yesterday. Good news though, with the sun once again swiftly appearing to warm the outdoors towards the noon hour.

After a morning breakfast outing just down the road at the local golf course, we also toured about the pro shop, the banquet rooms, the entire facility in fact. Stopping at the spa though was real cute, when it was empty in the early hours from customers as yet, and the hostess was welcoming ushering us along to the various rooms prepared with candlelight warmth for the first clients to arrive for their ultimate pamperings of the day.

Stopping at the desk on the way to the exit door, hubby’s mother was booked in for her first ever relaxing facial there this afternoon. We teased her about being our “golf diva” for the day, when we found a brochure offering packages to the club’s guests naming them “Diva days”. After eighty years, it’s long overdue for her to experience something so simply luxuriously pampering and thrillingly delicious!

Diva queen for today!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Just my mother and me...

Here to visit, and happy to be here!

Golf Lessons with Grandma

Grandma arrived safe and sound, eager to get into the "swing" of things....laugh. After a couple days of rest, she discovered a nine iron the children used occasionally in the garage.

Not ever at a loss for golfing supplies here, we literally have copious amounts of those little white (smacking) spheres to grab and set onto tees, treasures the children sell on the roadside courtesy of those flying into the yard from golfers at the nearby golf course. She noticed the children out there smacking their golf balls, and always one to join in the fun, she and two of the children paced about the back field, almost playing a round of "best ball" together, at least the way it looked from my lens, and hubby's while he cooked up dinner on the BBQ.

Though the selection of "irons" is limited, she vowed to get out there each day and get more into the swing of things as the visit continues.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A lovely evening with a spectacular view

Spectacular views gave the evening its natural decor

What a lovely evening for dining on the veranda belonging to a spectacular restaurant, on the roof of a building fourteen floors high, with a spectacular view for our background dining conversations. This was planned to be a very special dinner, one I reserved many weeks ago, to celebrate the milestone occasion birthday for my hubby.

Booking so far in advance, it was definitely uncertain as to the type of weather we could possibly encounter; though our date night became most memorable, especially with the night air consisting of a warm and gentle lulling breeze. It kept us cool as the sun began to set in the day’s end continuing high temperatures, yet as it caught our hair with its breezes we both felt ourselves begin to melt and relax as we enjoyed the wonderful evening together.

Peering often through the glass balcony railings below, we became interested in taking in the 180 degree view of the surrounding area below right out to the horizon. As the moments progressed, we were fully engulfed and truly mesmerized by the activity in the waters below (did I tell you how much we love being around the water?). Passing us by were many small boating vessels, none really in a visible hurry and the river large enough to prevent chaos with the traffic on its waterways. There were a few crazed jet skiers pounding the waves, crashing off into the water, and then anticipating more of the same after they scooted back onto their units. One huge laker passed by (hubby calls these "water cigars"), and even a few impressive personalized private yachts were drifting lazily downstream with the evening currents.

As the sun began to slowly tumble downward to greet good morning to the rest of the world, it kissed us goodnight with a lovely sky filled with pink, blue, and orange, turning all the diners’ knees to jelly with its canvas of beauty. Surely, as the stars crested and began to twinkle, this was an evening to remember. How lovely the scenery was before us, God's absolute palette of artistry for all to admire!

I was so thankful for the whole evening, as we reveled in our time together eating fantastic culinary delights, but more importantly, watching hubby smile and relax, and gulping back each and every moment with pleasure.

Happpy Birthday was hummed as birthday wishes continued to come via cell phone from family.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fifty is so Nifty!

Ah, the candles will be glowing soon enough today, as we celebrate life and love, another birthday year, the big one they say... for hubby. The children are thrilled with their homemade cards to their daddy sitting on the edge of the bed sharing a tickle and a giggle or two.

Life Is Good!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mission Accomplished!

Only one month later, at long last the mission is accomplished.



Just over 800 square feet of bricks layed

With the job well done behind us now, and temperatures soaring higher and higher, off to the beach we go!!!
The whole family is very content with the project at its end

Saturday, July 15, 2006

On your mark...get set....and they're off!

And, they're off to the starting line for the famous

"Mackinac Island Sailboat Race"

How very exciting to be there, at the water, watching the beginning of the historically famed "Mackinac Sailboat Race"!

After last evening’s torrential downpour, then rising this morning to thick fog enveloping the area, the likelihood of traveling to such an event seemed highly impossible, and almost undesirable. However, being ever so optimistic in our outlook for the day, it was decided we should attempt the drive, "catch the wave" and attempt to enjoy something of this wonderful event - even if just for a short while. Boy are we pleased we made the effort, with temperatures soaring to 90 degrees within an hour after leaving home!

We enjoyed a pancake breakfast with the other thousand-something crowds

The prestigious
Port Huron to Mackinac Race, which featured 12 yachts in 1925, is truly unique, as participants and observers from around the world become a part of the history of this race.

This sailing tradition is the largest fresh-water sporting event in the world. It now includes more than 278 boats, ranging in size from 26 to over 90 feet, and tests the skills of 3,000 sailors. Many famous celebrities have taken part in this race including Walt Disney, Bob Seger, The Rich Devos family (still in it this year from the Amway corp.), and many more.

Hundreds of sailboats dot the waterways

The boats started to leave the docks of the Black River around 9 a.m. this morning, for the 1st of 16 starts at 11:30 a.m Sitting at the dock of the bay (smile) we witnessed a plethora of sailboat after sailboat floating passed us, as we sat with hundreds, even thousands waving to them!

There were some crews sporting matching t-shirts, neon colors were seen, those of tangerine, teal blue, lime green, yellow, and assorted other colorings of red& white, navy & white, photos and/or flags from various colors (many Italians for the “World Cup” soccer win), and of course vessels also sported some of many flags from around the world or nautical flags of interest.

The sky was the limit with entertainment from sailor crews as they sailed along the waterways waving to spectators. A few crews stood shoulder to shoulder on their vessels, arm across chest to shoulders singing "O Canada" or the “Star Spangled Banner, choking us all up a bit onshore. A few others were teasing the crowds hooting and hollering with sheer energy as they get in the spirit and prepare to sail the coastal waters for beating past record times; anywhere between 25-97 hours! The fastest boats will usually finish late Sunday evening.

Hopeful participants continue to pass by the crowds cheering them on

Whew! Hundreds of sailboats dotted the teal blue waters, floating north towards the horizon and eventually out of sight. How exciting to be a part of the beginnings of the race entries, viewing the sea of masts, sails and flags, smiling crew faces aboard each sailboat, providing a very colorful backdrop for the celebrations along the river front, as the boats headed onward to the race start line at Saginaw Bay, Michigan. The starting line is approximately 4.5 miles north of the Blue Water Bridges near the U.S. shore.

Each vessel sports a specific colored flag, the color determining the entry for their specific boating event and the path they choose to sail.

As they race north on Lake Huron from Port Huron, skippers may choose to race the 235-mile Shore Line Course up the Michigan coastline, or the 290-mile Southampton Course, which directs sailors toward Southampton Ontario, and then to the finish line at Mackinac Island.

Another idea for an adventure begins to solidify for us, as we ponder traveling to Mackinac Island someday, where time stands still and either horse & buggy, bicycle or foot are the only way to travel around it’s shores. If you’ve seen the movie with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeves entitled “Somewhere in Time”, you will recognize the setting and lovely Victorian ambience imaginable which this island continues to retain. Imagine the sailboats landing there in the next day or two? A sea of color awaits the islanders, horse buggies and bicycles ready to transport the passengers to their hotels for the final event functions. Gotta love it!

Sailboats following boating traffic regulations
with huge lakers passing with their right of ways.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Driveway cheerleader...

This was the scene the past few nights, our main cheerleader cooling off and once in a while, giving us the high howl!

The two older ones pooled their monies together to purchase this little pool...for the puppies of course.

Little "Sh'nook" cheered us on, and kept us laughing with her love of water, splishing and splashing to her hearts content. And, for high heat temperatures being in the 80's and low to mid 90's, believe me, we all wanted to jump in with her!

Splish, Splash, having a blast!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Across the street, yet another field of beauty....wheat

You can see my "Lonestar", (the tree I've blogged about before), in the upper mid background, the tree that guides me home. Looking at it from this angle, you'd never know it was actually in the middle of nowhere, in the very center of another field of soybeans.

Be still, and know that I am God - Psalms 46:10

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tropical blues

Another adventure, it all continues....

We had a GRAND time exploring several beaches, searching out those for future fun family stays someday. Those we were totally enamored with were namely Bayfield, Grand Bend and Ipperwash shores - absolutely vacation "cottage country areas" to be certain.

Imagine incredible tropical blue waters, fresh waters that is, no salt!

How about white sand to walk about in, without worrying about rocks or jagged barnacles to saunter over?

Ahh..truly blissful!

Mr. Sandman

The weather was hot and humid over the expanse of time enjoying the areas, hovering around 90 degrees the entire time. Several times we wondered if we’d be rained out, with sudden black clouds and a tiny small sprinkling over us. Then, moments later, all was dry again, clouds blown far away. These little storms are something else, fast and furious, but not lasting long or taking up the entire day’s weather patterning for the worst.

A little bit of Hawaii


PERFECT for my boys !

Computer and Video game geek shirts!
Enlarge the picture to get a good look by clicking the pic above


Canadian Eh?