Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Little Night Music

All aboard for an early evening cruise on the Michigan Princess riverboat!

And here's a bit of night music to enjoy on our cruise! The classical guitar and cello duet, "Light Blue." (the composer, Giorgio Mirto, is heard in this playing.) Cue the music!

We arrived in time to stroll around the deck before the concert began. It was a perfect summer evening!

The Michigan Princess has been around for a long while. I was pleased to learn that a former high school classmate was now its owner/manager.

Inside, it has been beautifully appointed with numerous tables on its three decks to accommodate parties and a dance floor as well. I loved the details like the inverted acorn finials on the stairwell.

The view from above was lovely. This is Michigan's Grand River, which runs through much of the state.

I wouldn't want to swim in it, but there are plenty of fishermen and boaters and on this evening a number of them were enjoying the warm temperatures and sunny skies.

As we moved along, we could see some lovely homes along the riverbank.

Show time!

The evening included five pieces by Boccherini, Vivaldi, Paganini and Mirto and was a beautiful combination of guitar, violin, cello and viola.

We especially loved hearing our friend Giogio's piece beautifully played by Igor Cetkovic on cello and Matthew Cosgrove on guitar. Igor had been the cellist at the world premiere of this piece with the Saginaw Symphony last winter during his visit to Michigan.

As I listened it reminded me of  many wonderful times. When Rick was at music camp recently, he, too, took on the guitar part of this duo. (But I actually think the way it's written, the cello is the star. Which, I might add, I think is very generous for a composer who is a guitarist to do.)

It was a beautiful venue for classical music and a wonderful evening.

We were sorry to have it end.

For those in the mid-Michigan area, the next classical concert, an all-Vivaldi evening, will be on Thursday, July 12.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

All's Well with My World

Sometimes life is good. Sometimes it's really good. We've had a busy week! For a bit of thoughtful music, cue the video!

There was time to paint.

And time to watch the birds. Yes, Mrs. Wren (aka Wrennie) has a nest in the B&B, we think. We've seen her in and out enough but no other signs of life, so we shall see!

I enjoyed a little theatre...

...and a little music on a riverboat (more on that later!).

We said a final farewell to a friend.

The memorial was held at the environmental center where he had been executive director and the setting couldn't have been more perfect.

After the memorial we enjoyed "outdoor food" (which was delicious) and wandered around the center. Rick took a canoe ride.

It was beastly hot but as we enjoyed the wildflowers and woods, we were all divinely content.

This beautiful tree was losing its blossoms and it felt like each fallen petal was a tear for John.

Then came Father's Day! As you probably know from the last post, Rick's son Kevin couldn't be here with our Baby Grand and Greg was away but Molly came with our special guy who has his grandpa wrapped around his finger!

We first enjoyed a nice brunch...

...then took a walk around the neighborhood.

The big deal of the day was when our little guy walked by the fire station around the corner.  He became very interested in seeing what was behind the partially open door!

The wonderful people there, Cody and Erika, welcomed us and gave us all a bit of treat by inviting us in to see the trucks.

Some even got to sit in the truck!

Which was pretty cool!

And we were all enjoying our day!

But all that work can make a little guy tired.

So, it was back to a little grandpa time before hitting the road.

It's hot as all get out here. I'm not complaining, really. Observing. After the winter I said I wouldn't complain.

But I'm "observing" quite a bit today!

Let's just say I'm not quite "fresh as a daisy!"

Sunday, June 17, 2018

If You Can't Be with the Dad You Love, Love the One You're With!

Not that I don't already love the one I'm with! Because I do! Lots and lots!

But there are lots of great dads and I wanted to celebrate not only Rick (aka the one I'm with) but two others I'm not with on this day.

There's my own dad.

I was lucky in the good-dad department. Mine knew how to read stories well and tell them just as expressively!

He loved fishing and was very patient at cleaning those others caught (others being me who wasn't about to stick a knife into a fish, even though I'd already jabbed them with the hook!)

Dad loved animals and introduced me to my first cat.

He also put up with my garments-on-animals, a trait which unfortunately didn't die out after the age of eight (below, with Dad's dad. Those knee socks have got to go.)

Not every dad would play the Barbie Doll Game with his daughter. And not every dad would, some ten years later, find her after the senior prom parking with her boyfriend and knock on the car window. I lived through the shame. I miss him more than I can say. But there are other wonderful dads in my life.

Like Kevin, dad to our Baby Grand, Carson. He has his Weekend MBA stuff on Father's Day so we will be celebrating with our little guy and his mom. Then they'll head home and do the same with Kevin.

This is a special Dad's Day for him. I'm not sure Carson "gets it" yet, but he's much more for a party with every passing month.

And this will be his last one to be the only, as his baby brother is due in early July! And if he doesn't like that, he'll let you know!

And then there's Rick. I'm not sure any dad could love his kids more -- or get more frustrated now and then! Like the day public transit fan Rick tried to get them to appreciate the bus by taking the bus to the mall. We probably could have chosen a better day. Don't we all look happy here?!

Some of my earliest memories of them as a family involve cooking and they've had their hands into not only American food but Japanese and Italian as well.

And they still all love it, each with their own best-things to cook. Kevin and Rick will always argue gas vs. charcoal but both love the grill. Greg will create astonishingly healthy dishes. And only Kevin will clean the kitchen well.

Now there is a new boy in the family and he will have a group of Grandpas who will love him to pieces. And I'm sure the other two would argue with this -- but no one, I think, could love him more than Rick!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads from then, now and always.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Quick Ditch Walk

I am world's worst videographer. More than anything I wanted to show you a remarkable bird fight at the Ditch, when a red winged blackbird took on Harry the Heron while he was fishing -- and he was not amused!

I'm still trying to edit down the very choppy videography and swish pans. I may have worked in television for three decades but the only camera they let me hold was a still camera -- and not shooting movies! So, I'm working on that, but for starters, a couple of stills I was able to pull from the video.

When Harry spreads his wings, I wouldn't want to mess with them. The bird didn't seem to care. Bully.

I'm going to figure out this movie editing program if it kills me! Meanwhile, these fuzzy photos are the best I can do.

The good news is that the ducks are returning and with them, their babies. I was pretty concerned, as were other walkers, when we only saw a few pairs of ducks. Our winter was so brutal and many of them, we think, starved or moved elsewhere.

This mom was swimming with several babies. You can see their brown patches in the reeds.

I saw a beaver or muskrat on my most recent walk and a few lovely flowers.

Does anyone know what these pretty little pink and white flowers are? I thought they were lovely!

And best of all (well, almost best -- the Bird Fight was best), Doe a Deer.

And, she was not, as usual, alone.

I was even able to see one on the path outside their main turf but wasn't quick enough with the camera. The one below was shot from quite a distance on Deer Island.

So, that's all for Ditch Walk for now. But I'm resolute on editing down the Bird Fight!

Happy Weekend!

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