Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Swinging Good Time!

OK, if photos of adorable little baby boys don't make your heart sing, I understand! But I'm afraid that's what this post has to offer! We had a delightful visit to our Baby Grands and I think we all left with smiles.

Now that I think of it, we may need to come up with a new moniker for the senior Baby Grand. Maybe both of them. Could be it is Big Guy...

...and Little Guy.

Little Guy doesn't do much yet but he has mastered the art of sleep with an A+!

This is a very good thing for mom and dad. Because Big Guy keeps them on their toes!

For example, he's learned how to unlock the gate that leads from the back yard to the street. Supervision is required! He's a bit of a daredevil, trying to take steps a little too tall for his not-quite-Big-Guy legs. Spotting is essential -- especially on cement steps! And if it looks interesting, it's edible. Not! (Although cake pops seemed to be just fine!)

He's fascinated with jewelry that bangles...

...and was quick to figure out how to make his new helicopter make different sounds.

We love the swing! Buckle up!

Now, smile!

And away we go!

 That was fun! Let's go again!

OK, time for a rest with Grandpa. Because all that playing can tire a guy out. (And we won't say which one!)

Well, that didn't last long!

It's like going from one extreme to the other!

And we like that extreme just fine!

I have a feeling this one will sleep well on this sunny, lovely day.

And so will we!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Here, There and Everywhere (and the other Great Lake!)

We came home from the lake to deal with a couple of appointments, a visit to Rick's brother's place and Rick's birthday! Yes, it's been a little busy.

Rick's brother has a condo over in Muskegon, a stone's throw from Lake Michigan. Yes, last week, Lake Huron. This week, Lake Michigan. Maybe I'll get to all five this summer! Much of the time Rick and two of his brothers spent down at the water, getting brother Tim's boat ready for a sail north with other brother Dan. So Tim's wife Kim and I took a walk on the beach.

I am a sucker for lighthouses, so to see three simply by turning my head was fun. There was this one...

...and this one...

...and the one we got to see up close and personal.

You can't go inside but it was a magnificently tall structure.

I loved seeing the gull perched on top.

Have I mentioned I love my zoom?

I think Kim may have been bemused at my fascination with taking tight shots of the graffiti on the lighthouse.

But don't you think they'd make good collage paper backgrounds?

Feel free to click, enlarge and save if you are so inclined! (And there's more where that came from!)

I found the color, texture, rust and shapes of this lighthouse to be visually intriguing! I couldn't resist overshooting.

Or shooting this magnificent sailboat coming in.

There was a sand soccer tourney going on with kids from across the state. I'd never heard of sand soccer before but running in that soft sand strikes me as being difficult!

Back at the condo, I couldn't help but admire Kim's hydrangeas! They were dazzling.

Two of Tim's kids and three grands joined us for dinner.  I learned a new card game which I have unfortunately forgotten the name of and details to! But then lots of family pics.

Rick and I left the next morning and that night was his birthday. We dined out with friends and then returned to their house for cake. I made Ina Garten's sheet cake and I messed it up royally. It's a white cake but Rick likes chocolate so I subbed a half cup cocoa for a half cup flour and it ended up being very dry. (Her frosting didn't work, either and that wasn't my fault!) Disappointing because Ina's recipes usually do.

Then back home for presents!

In any language, a red letter day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer School -- All Answers Correct

A few months ago, I saw this on Vicki's blog and I loved it so I thought I'd join in.

It's too late to join the original party but thanks for a great idea. (Feel free to jump in!)

1. Walk or Bike Ride? Rick is the cyclist. I'm the walker! And this is what I see when I walk!

2. Favorite Picnic Food?   Wine, Rick's homemade bread, cheese, fruit, maybe some summer sausage or hard salami and wine! Or a wonderful tartine, if in France!

3. Pool or Lake?  When there is no lake (meaning I'm not at the cottage) I'll do laps in the pool -- but I'd rather be at my favorite Otsego Lake, swimming wild!

4. Favorite Flavor of ice cream? Peppermint Stick. Any time of year! Or lemon sorbet.

5. Ice Cream Cone or in a Dish? Sugar cone. Unless I'm being virtuous. Or even better, in a soda!

6. Flip Flops or Slides? Neither. I have awful feet that need orthotics so I can only do either of these for a very short time. It's barefoot inside and sandals or walking shoes outside.

7. Jean Shorts or Jean Capris? Either. Both.

8. Favorite summer fruit? Michigan sweet cherries. It's a short season.

Very short!

9. Corn on the Cob or Cut Off the Cob? On the cob. With butter, salt and lime.

10. Favorite summertime song? "Summertime" (and the living is easy!) -- Gershwin.

11. Favorite summertime activity? Art camp at the lake with friend Kate!

12. Favorite Berry? Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry or Blackberry? Only the really sweet strawberries, fresh picked from the market in June and early July. Otherwise, blueberries any time of year.

13. Bikini’s, tankini’s or one pieces? Tankini. It's more flexible.

14. Dresses or Skirts? I can't remember the last time I wore either one. Possibly here? (OK, really, the last time was 2013 at my retirement party.)

15. One Word to describe Summer? Short!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Postcards from the Lake: Road Trip to the Big Lake!

You might think I love spending every minute at the lake -- and I do! But I also like a road trip now and then, so when our friends Sharon and John invited us to lunch at their cottage on the east coast of Michigan (aka Lake Huron), we were delighted to hop in the car! We arrived to a beautiful blue-sky and blue-water day! Cue the music!

John and Sharon live on a bluff overlooking the lake. A few steps down through a glorious shady hill and you are in paradise!

The water is so clear you could see the details on every stone under the sparkles!

Of course, Rick had to find the flat ones to skip. He was pretty good at it, too!

The pudding stones were elusive to me but Sharon has quite a collection and John even made a table using slices of pudding stone with their red jasper as part of the tabletop. Very impressive.

The guys were into looking at the boats WAY out there!

I liked looking at them through my zoom!

Yes, excellent detail -- these guys were not close!

I loved the driftwood branch Sharon had found and brought home. It looks perfect, resting in a bed of lake stones.

Indeed, loads of smiles, all around.

Sharon and John's son, Ben, is the leader of the indie band Lord Huron (guess where the "Huron" came from!). Ben spent plenty of time at Lake Huron during the summers when he was growing up. You may have heard one of their three albums (including the platinum "Strange Trails") or heard their music in the film "A Walk in the Woods" or on TV on Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, "Girls," "Once Upon a Time" and several other shows. No wonder John and Sharon are smiling! (They're having loads of fun being groupies!)

After we left we took the scenic route home and stopped at Ocqueoc Falls. First, I thought this river's rapids were what they were calling the falls. Lovely, but not terribly exciting.

Then we found the real falls. Not huge but loads of fun for the kids.

The park was lovely for a walk and a wonderful way to end our stay and head back home.

The big lake. Or one of them!

Life is good.

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