Monday, February 22, 2016

A Short February Thaw

We had above freezing temps and rain last week Friday and Saturday. The groomers were unable to go out but went out yesterday and tonight Steve is out grooming. AND they are talking a possible snowstorm mid week but we might get missed up here because it appears as though it may be going east. Fingers crossed it comes this way...

Yesterday was cold and sunny/cloudy so Steve and I took a ride downstate to Petoskey which meant we had to cross the Mackinac Bridge. 

Out yonder to the west is the island of St. Helena. It is a 240-acre uninhabited island. However, years and years ago in the 1800's the island was home to a small fishing village and about 25 families. The buildings are all gone now except for a weed covered crumbling foundation. A lighthouse was built on the island in 1873. After it became automated and left unattended, the lighthouse fell in disarray. In 1986, the lighthouse was renovated and is fantastic and nostalgic. I was blessed in the year 2000 to attend a conference on the island with a small group of educators and we slept two nights in the lighthouse. What an awesome experience that was. We were even given the opportunity to witness the northern lights one of the nights and watch those ginormous freighters pass by. Just wow.

Up there in the picture you see Mackinac Island to the east of the bridge, about 10 miles away from St. Helena. The big white building is the Grand Hotel. There isn't an ice bridge this year and I kind of doubt there will be. In fact the ferry is still running back and forth but had to stop for a time due to the shifting ice chunks. I heard they resumed running today. I'm sure the islanders are happy and those who commute to the island for their jobs.

I tried to zoom in on the hotel. It is spectacular and also very nostalgic. Two years ago Steve and I took the ice bridge on our snowmobiles and I posted some pictures of the island in winter at this post Mackinac Island in the Winter. My mom and I have attended Christian Women conferences at the Grand Hotel. Also amazing experiences. I wrote a few posts about those times but you can see pictures of our room at the Grand Hotel at the post My Mom and Me.

Before we knew it, we were back in the good 'ole U.P. again. Home sweet home.

Home to watch my birds while drinking my morning coffee. Ahhh...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bear the Dog

This is Bear. 
Aka BearBear

I love her very much. I did bring her up to be a lady, but what can I say, she is a dog. This is her favorite way to take a nap and tan herself at the same time.

Bear is one of the sweetest dogs I know. She gives her best canine buddy Ike kisses (sloppy licks). She has never bitten another dog or human. But if you are a squirrel, rabbit, chipmunk or a mouse, I wouldn't bother stopping by to pay Bear a visit. She won't play well with you.

Bear does not travel well. She whines when we stop for gas, stop lights, trains and an occasional fast food restaurant. When we stop for poddy breaks and stretching our legs breaks, she runs out of the truck/car to the tallest weeds she can find, does her business, then flies back to the vehicle and whines to get back in.

If she could talk she'd be lamenting, "We ain't there yet!"

I love Bear.

She is half pure bred black lab and half pure bred husky so she has one blue eye and one brown eye. Her fur is thick and absolutely beautiful from March to July. Then she sheds and sheds. She loves to be brushed though and will lay still for all of an hour. And she loves her belly rubbed. Ask her, "Wantcherbellyrubbed?" She'll roll over in the position she is in above to accomodate you.

And if you stop by, she'll be happy and wary so she'll bark quite a bit which I like because living out in the woods with no neighbors next door just adds a level of awareness.

One of these days I'll showcase Ike - aka Iklebombikle - aka IkeIke -  aka Ike Ike Baby 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Renters Are Coming

This scene always cracks me up.

We have renters coming tomorrow so we are getting things ready for them. Steve is hauling barrels of fresh water from our house's well to the cabin for the renters to use.

The cabin is totally equipped and plumbed for running water - hot or cold - but we don't have a well down there so Steve transports and it all goes well.

Pun intended. Ha.

Off he goes down the snowmobile trail a mile and a half to the cabin on the river.

If you want to check out our rental cabin you can see it here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

More Pics of Grooming the Trails and Ramblings About My Treadmill

    I love to ride along with Steve when it's his turn to groom after we get fresh snow.

And I especially like it when the sky has some color.

The view from my perch.

And every now and then we run into (not literally or on purpose) snowmobilers on the trail who are happy to see us.

Just so pretty.

Steve is out grooming tonight. I told him I better stay back and catch up on a few things. Steve had a cold last week and I woke up with it Saturday morning. 

I started walking the treadmill last week (after I removed the dog beds, Steve's old coats, fold-up chairs in bags, blew the dust off everything, and moved a large box Steve had set against it) while grumbling under my breath. I told Steve yesterday I think the silly contraption gets me sick. He rolled his eyes.

Okay, I need to work on my delivery speech when I walk into the garage and approach the treadmill. We need to be friends. We need to get along and play well together. I let the treadmill have its space today as it was gorgeous so the four of us - Steve, Ike, Bear and myself - walked to the mailbox and back and it was sunny and 39 degrees F and no breeze whatsoever.

Tomorrow maybe I'll bring a plate of cookies into the garage.Wait, treadmill is a machine and I like cookies and that would be counterintuitive - I'd be spending more time with treadmill in the long run/walk. But if treadmill is just a mechanical contraption why do I feel tired and sore after spending time with it? Treadmill gets to hear me sing, blurt out comments to the true crime podcasts I listen to, and silently groan when I realize I've only been walking for 10 minutes.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Sun is Shining!

It is a beautiful sunny day in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! 

Do you see the snow/ice in the above picture ready to slide off our roof?

So often we don't see the sun and the sky will match the grayness of the ground and there won't be any color - only hues of grey it seems. But today is bright, the sky is blue, the trees all received a fresh blanket of snow from the other night's "snowstorm". We were suppose to receive 6-7 inches but actually only three inches fell, however it lightly snowed yesterday and last evening so we maybe have another inch. The snowmobile trails are in great shape but probably won't be by the time the weekend is over. The I-500 snowmobile race is this weekend in the Soo and the trails are already getting busy.

But the sun is shining!

Steve has been out plowing.

Ike and Bear are taking a nap in front of the wood burner.

They had enough playtime this morning as you can tell by all of the paw prints in the picture before this one.

Our backyard snow pile.

We are off to the Soo to run a few errands and to check out all the town's activities and excitement for the upcoming race. I'm taking my camera so you might get to see some of the fun, too.

And I'm still working on those deer photos. I finally sorted through the 200 I took over the last couple of weeks!

And I rode along again with Steve in the groomer last night through the Hiawatha National Forest after the recent snow. I'll share those photos tomorrow or Saturday.