Friday, August 30, 2013

"Remote Controlled Model Airplane Air Show......"

The next day of Rob's visit, Saturday, we drove over to the Thompsonville Airport to attend a remote controlled model airplane air show.  Pretty amazing to say the least.  Rob and I "parked it" while Don wandered around and took photos.

These 2 planes were in front of us but the main group of planes were further down from us.  Rob and I were sort of on the tail end, so to speak, of the air show set up. Neither one of these planes would be flown during this air show, although they had been scheduled to do so.  The wind was too gusty for them to be flown safely.  The jet (furthest away) was started up and the sound was unbelievable!  DEFINITELY a jet.  :)

Don took many, many photos......

This photo will help you see the range of sizes these remote controlled model airplanes come in.....

In the far background of this photo is Crystal Mountain Ski/Spa Resort.

A better view of the resort.  We drove over to the resort after we left the air show to give Rob a short tour.  Don tried talking him into going on the Alpine Slide (, but Rob declined.  Maybe next time, eh?

And lastly, a decal on a car window of the local remote controlled airplane club, T.R.A.M.P.S."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Downtown Traverse City......"

After leaving Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, we drove into Traverse City to Sleder's (, one of our favorite places to eat.

Afterwards, I drove us along the bay front, which was when we realized that it was Friday Night Live in Traverse City! ( Each Friday night in August, Traverse City closes down a couple of blocks on Front Street, the main business street of TC, to host a variety of musicians, street entertainers, and food vendors.

Our first stop was to watch was this multi-talented guy singing and playing a variety of instruments.

The crowd around him quickly became larger.......

Not because of our arrival....well....that, too, of course, but because of this......."dancing children"!

They were having the time of their lives and entertaining the crowd!

The 3 of us walked through the event, mingling in the crowd of people who were out to enjoy the beautiful evening as we were and as we walked back towards our car past this musician, the crowd had gotten even larger.  We couldn't see if he had any 'little dancers" in front of him because the crowd was so thick, but a good time was being had by all......and that was all that counts, right?  :)

Tomorrow, Day 2 of Rob's visit......

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park Continued....."

A short walk further up the hill from yesterdays photos was this "little scenic overlook", built out and over the dune so that visitors can get a better "feel" of the Lakeshore.......

As you can see, it is quite extensive........

This photo is of where Don and Rob had walked down the dune in the previous post.  They were about where the guy on the left with the camera you can see, it is steeply downhill from there.  ;)

This photo was taken facing North, towards the Manitou Islands.

And this photo, straight down from the overlooks platform.  Believe me, it is MUCH further down than this photo looks.  In reality, the people along the shore looked as small as ants.

On our way back to the car, Don and Rob walked up the opposite side of the path to get a look over the back of the dune.........yet another amazing view.  :)

I took this one of Don because I thought the "design elements" called for it.  ;)

After beginning our drive back towards the entrance of the Park, we made one last stop in the Park at the "scenic overlook" of North Bar Lake.  We think that the small lake used to have an inlet into lake Michigan, but we do not know for sure.

On our way back to Traverse City, I stopped the car near the bridge that crosses the 2 sections of Glen Lake so the boys could take a photo of the "Dune Climb" in the distance.

Don't forget you can click on any photo to enlarge it!

More to follow........

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Rob's Visit......"

Our friend, and former neighbor, Rob, came to visit us, arriving last Thursday night.  It was so good to see him and the 3 of us had a very good time during his visit.

Our first day of adventure, Friday, began with a drive over and up "Youker Hill", to a fairly new subdivision we wanted to show him that has a terrific view of the area.  In this photo, Rob has behind him Duck Lake and in the far distance, Green Lake.   Our house is on the isthmus between the two of them.

Our next part of the "Grand Tour" was a drive over to Frankfort, which is located on the shore of Lake Michigan.  Here are Rob and Don at Frankfort Beach.  Lake Michigan was quite calm that day.

After stopping at the new micro brewery, "Stormcloud Brewing Company"(, located in downtown Frankfort, we drove up to "Sleeping Bear Dunes" (  Don and I had not been to the National Park, but had driven nearby, so we, too, were in for a new and wonderful visual experience!  This is the view of Glen Lake from the first "scenic overlook" we pulled over and stopped to get out of the car.  The blues of the water were unbelievable!  Click on any photo to enlarge.....

Driving further into the park, we pulled into a larger parking lot and walked to the scenic overlook.  The parking lot seen in the distance behind Rob's head is the lot for the "Dune Climb".  Above that is the Lake Michigan shoreline with North Manitou Island seen on left.

Here is another view taken which includes both North and South Manitou Islands.

The next "scenic overlook" was right on the shore of Lake Michigan.  After parking and walking through a short wooded area, we came out to this fantastic view!  Don and Rob walked down the hill while I stayed up top to take this photo (yeah, like that is the only reason I stayed up there!)  LOL

Here is another photo taken from the same spot but facing more to the South.

To be continued.......

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"The Little Studio........."

Right now, the little outbuilding, formerly was known as "The Yoga Studio", is being called "The Little Studio", since neither of us does yoga.  Our plan for it is to become a reading room/guest house, or a comfortable area for some personal solitude.  Yes, we know we could do that by taking a walk, too, but work with us here, eh?  ;)

Don started working in and around it the other day, taking a break from doing "stuff" in "the big house".  ;)  When washing the outside of the windows, he dashed away in time from yet another active nest of wasps located under the back window, and luckily, did not get stung.  For some reason, its purpose unknown to us, a shelf had been constructed outside and underneath the back window.  It was made using particle board which is not "weather friendly" so is falling apart and will be removed.  He sprayed and knocked down the wasp nest and it is safe to be out there again.  ;)

Inside, he vacuumed every inch of the ceiling, walls, and floor.  The pieces of carpeting on the floor will be removed when we decide what new floor covering will replace it.  And yes, the mirrors will also be removed.  ;)

The entry door isn't in the best of shape so we've decided to have it replaced, plus add a new screen door to allow more fresh air into the building.  Something has to be done with the inside walls, too, but we've not decided what that will be yet.......all in good time.  ;)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

""Abigail's Chair......"

Don and I got Abigail her own little chair to set out in the woods for "Bambi Patrol".

Monday, August 19, 2013

"Finished Stacking......"

Finally.....I finished stacking the truckload of firewood!  It took awhile, but the last few days I have spent more time working at it so we can call and order a load of "slab wood".  Our first load of firewood was "regular" pieces of firewood like most people would think of when they hear the word firewood.  Slab wood is the trimmed pieces from when the loggers begin shaping logs into rectangular pieces, so it is much thinner and most likely will burn much faster.  Our chimney sweep suggested we try burning it in our wood stove so we're going to have both kinds here and compare them to see which we like best.  I sooooo look forward to stacking more wood.  ;)

Remember this?

Here is what that area looks like now.

It took almost the entire width of the garage, 2 rows deep, to stack that pile of firewood.  The following 2 photos show the stacked firewood from both ends of the garage.

In the upper photo, you can see a few pieces (stacked next to the closest vertical support) that are too large for our wood stove and can't be split to fit because they have too many knots or branch growth out of them, so they will make good additions to the fires we eventually have in the fire pit.

I said before that the old saying of "burning wood heats you twice" isn't "quite" true.  It heats you many, many, many more times than twice.  ;)  Its that 2nd heating I really look forward to.......

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"Our New Hobby?" ;)

Don and I have seen T.R.A.M.P.S., a model airplane club (, advertised in a hobby shop's window in downtown Traverse City, and have stopped and looked at the window display many times.  On one of our bike rides around our new home, we came across one of their flight sites, located through the woods and at the opposite end of the grass airstrip just south of us.

One morning last week, Don came in from outside and said, "grab the car keys, I hear a model airplane being flown and would like to go check it out".....which is what we did.  ;)

This is Ben, who is a board member of the club.  He also lives "just through the woods" from our house.  ;)  He had brought 2 of his planes to the club site to do a bit of flying.  Don had heard him flying his gas fueled model (the green plane behind him).  When we arrived, introduced ourselves, and chatted for a bit, he then gave us a demonstration and flew this plane, which is battery powered.......and "totally" silent.

It was a "perfect" flight!  His take off, flying (even a couple of "loop de loops"), and landing couldn't have been our opinion, at least. ;)

Here is a close up of his "gas" airplane......I may be wrong, but I "think" he said something about using nitro fuel.  As of now, I have no idea what that really means.

Another club member, Dan, arrived and brought a model plane that he had been working on.  He'd brought it to show Ben but was not able to fly it that day.  Notice the custom built platforms for the planes?  This club is a well run and very supportive group of people.

We're planning on attending one of the clubs "air shows" soon.......

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Morning Routine...."

This is my 3rd part of my morning routine.  1st is getting coffee made, 2nd is sitting at the desktop when I have something to post on this blog, and then I head out to join Don in the screen room to do the rest of my emailing/browsing.  We've had some cool mornings and a fleece or robe has been needed until the sun comes up enough to warm things up a bit.  ;)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Hot Air Balloons......"

This morning, Don and I were out on the deck in the screen room when we heard the "whoosh" of a hot air balloon being filled over at the airport, which is just through the woods from our house.  Don went and got the camera to have it ready to take some photos when it eventually would drift over our house/clearing.  We were not disappointed.  ;)  This is the first time we've seen one this close.  Other times we hear it when it is almost overhead and by the time we get outside with the camera, they are further away.

After this one drifted by, we could hear another one being filled so waited out in the driveway for it to appear.  It did, but not as high as the previous one.  In fact, we were a bit concerned that it wouldn't clear the trees!  It made it by a small amount (probably more than it looked from our angle) but never came close enough to our clearing for a clear photo.  It's path was further East, taking it over Duck Lake.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Freezing Cherry Tomatoes....."

I harvested a few things from the garden the other day.  This time I saved the green beans for us to eat fresh, and the dill heads have to dry a bit more before removing the seeds to use later.  However, I froze some of the cherry tomatoes to use later in chili or some other dish which would be conducive to adding them.  A comment was left on one of my earlier posts by "Carol of MN", who suggested washing, freezing individually on a cookie sheet, and bagging extra tomatoes to use in soups, etc. so I decided to take her advice with these cherry tomatoes.  I now have 4 quart bags of cherry tomatoes in the downstairs freezer.  It was quite ironic that the following day I received an email newsletter from Oryana, our local food co-op, that  had some quick food preserving suggestions to use for those high yielding, all at one time, crops.  They, too, suggested freezing tomatoes, saying that although they wouldn't be as good as canned, they would freeze well and when defrosted, the skins would slip right off.  So, Thank you Carol and Oryana!

Here is my harvest from the other day.  The colander holding the cherry tomatoes is a large one, although that is hard to see in this photo.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Inside the Composter....."

I went to dump our "compost food scraps" into the tumbling composter the other day and found these little beauties growing inside.  I am "supposed" to be tumbling the compost bin at least once a day, but usually forget to do it, so these little umbrellas had time to sprout and grow.

Here is a closer view so you can see just how fine and delicate they are.  Click on the photo to enlarge it.