Friday, December 1, 2017

Reflections From November

Well, today is December 1, 2017. How did we get here so fast I wonder? I didn't blog once in November. Oh, I thought about it all the time, but it was a busy month. And I'm going to share with you a few reasons why it was a busy blessed month.

On October 30 this little peanut arrived into the world at 6:32 pm.

Meet Harper Kay VanDyke - our first grandchild!

Such a miracle and a blessing. Her due date to arrive was supposed to be Thanksgiving Day but she decided she wanted to enjoy Thanksgiving and Halloween with her family in little person.


She was 5# 5 oz. when she was born. Yesterday she weighed in at 7# 6 oz.

November was also a busy month because we spent much time at deer camp. The dogs love deer camp.

All situated in my deer blind.

I got my buck opener morning. So I really spent lots of time at camp rather than in my blind. 

Meat in the freezer!

Steve also got a buck. But for some reason we just didn't take a pic. Maybe it was because we were very tired after dragging that bad boy through all the water and then back to camp. We didn't have a four-wheeler handy so we went with plan B.

Or maybe it was because his was a three point and mine was a six. 

More meat in the freezer!

And now, for the last three days, I've been canning herring that we caught in June and July.  We love this stuff!

Fish in the pantry!

(I don't have a pantry...did I ever tell you how small our house is? Ha! My pantry is under our bed :))

Happy shopping, wrapping, baking, and decorating everyone! Happy December!


Pssst...not all the above pics were taken by me, but they were taken by family members.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

California Sea Lions

A couple of weeks ago I posted about our trip to San Francisco and about how our son swam from Alcatraz to the San Francisco shoreline. Here's a link to that post. It was an awesome trip and we saw many things. Above is the Golden Gate bridge. I oohed and ahhed about it. Riley finally said to me, "Mom, you have the same kind of suspension bridge a half hour from you house!" I said, "True, but it isn't painted red." 

We have the Mackinac Bridge by us that connects the lower peninsula of Michigan to the upper peninsula.

Here's a link to the Mackinac Bridge if you want to check it out.

While walking along Fisherman's Wharf we came across these sea lions basking in the sun.

A cargo ship passing by in the bay.

This sea lion watched his friend jump into the water.

He decided to follow him in.


A meditating sea lion.

An itchy sea lion.

I miss San Francisco today. Why?  Because it is dreary, rainy and cold up here today in my beloved UP. I would rather be basking in the sun with the sea lions. But on a different dock. Ha.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Escape From Alcatraz - Finally the Swim!

Back on June 11, 2017, our son Riley flew to San Francisco to be a participant in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. It consists of a swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco, a bike ride, and a run. The part he was most excited about was the swim. For the first time in 37 years, the swim was cancelled due to weather conditions. You can read all about it in Riley's own words on a previous blog I posted back in June.

Well, Riley found out he could do just the swim this past weekend so he signed up right away. This time we went along...

...and his brother Steve flew in from a job he was on in Nevada.

On Friday there was a small craft warning and we were keeping our fingers crossed (and praying!) that Saturday's swim would not be cancelled. Here Riley is doing some laps in the harbor before swim day.

A couple pics of Alcatraz the day before. You can see the white caps - eek. At least I didn't see any shark fins - double eek.

Saturday morning the swimmers boarding the boat.

And NO whitecaps! Though Riley said there were some pretty good swells out there, and quite a current. San Francisco is one of three natural made harbors in the world. We saw many ships pass by while we were there. Well, the swim goes smack dab through the shipping lanes so the ships had to anchor up and wait until a certain time to pass Alcatraz. If you were a swimmer and weren't back to the mainland by that time you would be picked up so the freighters could resume their passage.

Part of Alcatraz is a bird sanctuary between February and September. Birds make their nests on Alcatraz and also breed there. So because of that no one is allowed within 100 meters of Alcatraz's shoreline. That is why the boat is letting the swimmers off close to Alcatraz but not in the restricted space.

Here is the finish line. The swim is 1.25 miles long.

It was quite hard to pick out Riley! My son and I were at the end of the pier on the left. Steve walked back to the finish line to get pics of Riley coming out of the water.

Here he comes! 

Checking his swim time.

Medal time! He finished in 21st place in his category for male 15 and older, and finished 30th overall out of 295 swimmers.

There's Alcatraz in the distance and a very happy Riley on the mainland! You did it! Yaaay!

It was such a fun weekend. I have more pics to share with you in the near future and they include lots of sea lions. I'll bet you can't wait! :)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Deer on the Road

The picture is fuzzy but I wanted to show you mamma and her twins. They are so pretty this time of the year - a nice cinnamon color.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Walk on a Fine Summer's Day

My puppies wanted to take a walk.

How could I say "not now" to this face.

So I grabbed my camera and down the gravel road we went. 

Halfway down the road there is this abandoned house. I just love it.

Fall is definitely in the air and painted on the landscape.

We walked 3/4 of a mile down to a wild apple tree. I made pork chops, apples, and cabbage in the crock pot using tart apples from this tree last week. The house smelled so good and supper was delicious. Here's a link to the recipe. The recipe calls for pork loin but I used two humungus thick pork chops. Yum!

Barbed wire and an old fence post.

It's sad to see summer fading away but I'll embrace Fall as it slowly arrives.

Have a safe and great week everyone and keep lifting up the people of Texas in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wet in the UP

This is at my house. So much rain this summer. August has been a monsoon. I picked one tomato out of my garden today. My poor garden never really was this year. Too much rain and too many slugs.

We spent this past weekend down at camp after the rain had stopped. This is how high the river got.

I am truly sorry at my lack of posts this summer. My internet just isn't working. I even got a new laptop I had been saving for and it, too, is sooooo sloooow. I called Century Link but they say everything is fine. Now how can that be? When this time last year it worked so much better. I've done numerous posts only to have them disappear completely when I try to publish.

Very. Frustrating.

I'll try to get this worked out.

Thanks for letting me vent :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Here Fishy Fishy!

Yesterday Captain Bob called and asked us to go out on Lake Huron with him to fish for Lakers. Oh what fun we had!

Captain Bob and I solving the world's problems while watching the poles.

We caught six fish!

Then we headed to the fish station to clean these buggers up. I'm only showing five here because the fish were sliding all over and Steve was trying to keep them from falling to the floor.

Steve slaving away while I take pictures. I help him clean herring but he says cleaning Lakers is a lot more complicated.

All righty then...

When we arrived back home we vacuum packed them and placed them in the freezer.

Thanks so much Captain Bob!