Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Two Years!

Last week Friday, July 26, was the second anniversary of The Walking Stick. We have been blessed and busy with visiting friends and Grizzly Den Cabin renters so I didn't have the time (or energy) to use my brain and think of what I would talk about. But a moment came to me when the dogs and I were taking our daily walk - I realized I was over-thinking it. Duh.

(BTW...the bugs are sooo much better!) 

I decided to share some of my favorite moments and pics from the past year with you all starting with this fantastic pic that quite accidentally turned out awesome (in my amateur photographer opinion) of cowboys driving their cattle to a new pasture. I used my phone and forgot it was in black and white mode. Love it! I'm going to frame this one...

This was in Wyoming this past spring -- May 2 to be exact. It was quite interesting watching the process. There were cowboys on horses, in trucks, and even on a dirt bike. Their dogs sure knew what they were doing!

Fishing on Lake Huron with our good friend, Bob, and watching the tall ships sail by.

Watching a storm blow in over DeTour Reef Lighthouse.

Fishing Lake DeSmet just north of Buffalo, Wyoming

Watching these bad boys swim by at the Muddy Guard trophy reservoir...

...and catching a keeper from the pointers we got from this kind fisherman from Sheridan, WY

Meeting up with a good friend for breakfast!
(She's in the Witness Protection Program. Hi Cheryl! Oops.)

Behaving ourselves in a saloon out west...

...and enjoying their foot-tapping jam sessions on Thursday nights!

Sunrise on the plains

Early morning visitors 

Walking with the dogs out west - never tire of this view!

Enjoying an old-fashion UP winter.

Ike to Bear: "Is she taking our picture AGAIN?"
Bear to Ike: "Yup."
Ike to Bear: "Well, I'm just going to ignore her."
Bear to Ike: "It's too late for me."


Eric Church concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater overlooking Denver, Colorado

Snowmobiling the Big Horns

Four-wheeling the Big Horns

A summer cookout with friends

It has been a great year!

It seems there are a lot of you out there that check in from time to time, and I really appreciate it. It makes it worthwhile. And I love hearing from those of you that tell me you enjoyed this or that. So here's a big hug and thank you!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Exploring in Two-Buck Duck

The nickname for the above bottle of wine is "Two-Buck Chuck." The reason being is that it costs between $2 and $3 and can be found at particular stores like Trader Joes which we don't have around here. It can be very good or somewhat good depending on the batch the bottle came from. But when its good, its good! When my son Riley and his girlfriend, Lindsey, come up from the Chicago area, I try to bribe them into bringing me a few bottles. :)

Where am I going with this?

Well, meet our Two-Buck Duck!
(a $200 purchase years ago)

Steve cleaned her up and we have been enjoying ourselves in this hot weather. Our first trip was to Brevort Lake. We didn't take our fishing poles. We just took a nice long cruise.

We had been looking for a boat trailer, but Steve built this trailer last summer and it works just fine.

It started out to be a cloudless day, but once we got on the water a front came through and with it came the clouds. Brevort Lake is huge - 4,230 acres. We made it around 3/4 of the lake. The part we didn't see this time, we had kayaked last summer.

The lake has a nice campground and many cottages, but it also has sand dunes!

A beautiful end to a beautiful day.

On another day, we went to Brook Trout Pond and did take our fishing poles.

It is what it's called - a pond. The day started out cloudy but the water was still and the air quiet and peaceful.

Sure enough! There are fish in there. We caught 2 of these...

 and cooked them that night.

Eventually the sun came out...

...and the turtles, too!

More tales of Two-Buck Duck to come...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bugs Bug Me!

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.  ~Betty Reese

Bugs bug me more than Steve. 
Let me say that again.
Bugs bug me more than they bug Steve.

He goes out equipped to keep them at bay: fabric softener dryer sheets tucked in hat, pockets, every nook and cranny, and of course a gallon of bug spray he sprayed all over himself and the back room before going out into the big buggy world -- walking out the door in a haze of repellent from head to toe.


I venture out and attempt the two mile walk to the mailbox and back (see the snow sticks?) I'm usually in shorts because its been 80-something degrees and sunny and I refuse to wear pants in hot summer weather which lasts for such a short time up here. (I pay for my attitude.) I wear the ballcap with a head net over that and dress in multiple layers of fabric dryer sheets that sway like flags in the breeze. The ones over my ears flop like dog ears.

The dogs...

They hate greatly dislike the bugs, too. 

Bear will head for the weeds every so often and ferociously wiggle in an effort to get the bugs off her body and face. 

Ike is heading for a drink. 

Bear & Ike eat so many bugs I'm surprised they aren't buzzing themselves.

deer flies,
horse flies,
bomber flies,
regular house flies that look like they're harmless but give a good pinch,

I use to pride myself on being able to handle them pesky insects.

They're part of the UP, I'd say.
They'll be gone by the end of July.
They'll be nonexistent in August.

But so far they show no signs that bug season is coming to a gradual close anytime soon.

So I run outdoors real fast and weed my garden,
take a few quick pictures to share with you all, 
which busies my slappin' hands allowing the bugs a quick,
 "Aha! Got her! Hehehe..."

We have these contraptions from Walmart called Thermacells and they do an awesome job with mosquitoes, somewhat of a good job with the other bugs, but it doesn't deter the hungriest of the flies. We attempt our summer cookouts doing a little jig around the grill while grilling up some venison steaks. 
If we did a little chant, passersby might think it's a UP ritual.

A "go away bugs" dance?
Hmm. Maybe we should give it a try.

Below are some (quick) pics of this and that.

I liked the old fence and the abandoned barn in the distance.
(Yes, a bug bit the back of my hand during this shot.)

Forget-Me-Nots are plentiful

Pretty harmless butterflies
I like them. They don't want to eat me.

My fence flower garden

My herb and vegetable gardens

A closer look
Tomatoes are in the background along the fence.

Steve's wood garden
It really grew this spring!

And my backyard is getting a nice overhaul by my bug fearless hero!
Next comes the grass seed.

I hope this post didn't bug you.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

I apologize if it ticked you off in any way.

Someone stop me.

Buzzin' off for now.....