Monday, March 30, 2009

Ford Field Final Four

The Spartans certainly taught Louisville a thing or two about tournament basketball!

I expected State to win, but I thought it would be a really really close game. It is so excellent that the Final Four is at Ford Field in Detroit, with a team from Michigan in the mix. I'm thinking that there will be a great home floor advantage! What a terrific boost in morale for the whole state!

It would be so great if some of our family's staunch Spartan supporters could get tickets!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How much Snow?

On our deck benches it looks like at least 5 new inches of snow and it's still coming down. It's funny - the benches have been bare three different times since we got home from San Diego - now they're buried again! Isn't it ironic that this is the week of Spring Break? If this storm had waited a couple of days, it would have been a great April Fool's joke.

HOWEVER.....I'd much rather be here than out in Fargo where the Red River is flooding up to their elbows, and the temperature is zero! How horrible would that be??

Last summer we drove through Fargo on I-94. The Red River is the State line between Minn. and N.D., so to enter Fargo you go over a bridge. We didn't spend much time there, but I remember thinking it was a very clean town, and much larger than I expected. It's a college town - it has North Dakota State and also a lutheran college.
Those folks are fighting to save their homes and trying to stay warm at the same time. Makes our 5 inches look like a cake walk.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shuttin' Down Detroit

Jana heard about this song on the Today Show this morning. It's by a group called Big & Rich.

Shuttin' Detroit Down

My daddy taught me in this country everyone’s the same.
You work hard for your dollar and you never pass the blame,
When it don’t go your way.
Now I see all these big shots whining on my evening news,
About how they're losing billions and it’s up to me and you
To come running to the rescue.

Well pardon me if I don’t shed a tear.
They're selling make believe and we don’t buy that here.

Because in the real world they're shuttin’ Detroit down,
While the boss man takes his bonus paid jets on out of town.
DC’s bailing out them bankers as the farmers auction ground.
Yeah while they're living up on Wall Street in that New York City town,
Here in the real world their shuttin’ Detroit down.
Here in the real world their shuttin’ Detroit down.

Well that old man’s been working in that plant most all his life,
Now his pension plan’s been cut in half and he can’t afford to die
And it’s a crying shame, cus he ain’t the one to Blame.
When I looked down to see his calloused hands,
Well let me tell you friend it gets me fightin’ mad.

Cause in the real world they're shuttin’ Detroit down,
While the boss man takes his bonus paid jets on out of town.
DC’s bailing out them bankers as the farmers auction ground.
Yeah while they're living up on Wall Street in that New York City town,
Here in the real world they're shuttin’ Detroit down.

Yeah while they're living up on Wall Street in that New York City town,
Here in the real world they're shuttin’ Detroit down.
Here in the real world they're shuttin’ Detroit down,
In the real world they're shuttin’ Detroit down.
They're shuttin’ Detroit down.

It's a very touching song for those of us who love Michigan, and who lived in Wayne County for 30 years.

Unemployment in our State has now reached 12%. Some huge percentage of jobs in Michigan are related to the auto industry.

Dad read somewhere that the main roads in Michigan are the worst in the country. Front Street has another vacant store front every week. I overheard a waitress saying, "My husband got laid off, so I'm looking for a second job." We've heard others say that they're working a second job.

I've moved past being ashamed of Bush - I'm not even railing against that stupid war anymore. Worrying about Michigan and the auto industry is much more relevant in our neck of the woods. It's still humbling to be driving around Michigan in a Toyota instead of a Michigan-made UAW built Ford.

I love the lyrics and would like to hear the song.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amish Geo-Birthday

We spent last weekend in Clare - it was my birthday request. I wanted to tour the Amish settlements and maybe find an Amish bakery! Geocaching was part of our adventure, too. Dick logged in some simple ones that didn't involve a lot of hiking so we could both enjoy everything.

It was a very successful weekend. The only downside was that it was very nippy and windy, so it wasn't exactly sweatshirt weather. We found all of the Amish things that we were looking for except for a bakery (darn), and we found 15 geocaches over the weekend. It was a very pleasant birthday!

On the country roads around Clare it's fairly easy to tell which farms are Amish.

This woman had gone into town to shop at the big grocery store. Her husband was waiting in the buggy, and he let her load the groceries.

We were lucky enough to be at the Yoder Amish Auction on Saturday when it was open. There were buggies parked everywhere on the auction grounds.

The men are checking out the horses, while the woman were grilling hamburgers.

All weekend we were sharing the road with buggies. It's fun on the dirt roads because they leave better tracks and you can tell where they came from and where they're going. You can see the clippety clop tracks in the dirt.

I was especially interested in the Amish school houses - you can tell from the pictures that they don't waste a lot of money on the buildings or the plumbing. The schools were listed as having 17 students in grades K-8, which is as high as they go. Evidently you don't need a lot of book learning to run an Amish farm.

We saw several signs like this one.

At the Colonville store you are waited on by Amish ladies. You can buy kerosene lanterns and lamp chimneys of all sorts - a whole aisle of them. They have an entire wall displaying black stockings - even black stockings for infants in pink packaging. There were many, many books - mostly religious, but not all. Many were Amish romance novels, which all seemed to have a moral at the end. There were piles and piles of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie books. Dick was fascinated with the tools, hardware, and the huge cauldrons. There's an entire aisle of straw hats for men and boys. It was a step back into the 1800s.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Arthur, Illinois

Historic photo!

This picture was taken at the homestead of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother William and Caroline Kanitz in Arthur, Illinois. Allegedly, all of their descendants at the time are shown - children, spouses, grandchildren, etc.

My grandfather and grandmother, Charles and Sarah Kanitz are the first couple standing on the left.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Yay hooray! The city is getting cleaned up for Spring! Yes, Virginia, there will be a Spring - no kidding.

At the marina today we saw a front loader and a dump truck moving huge piles of snow left over from plowing the parking lot all winter. Near the Harbor Master's, there was a pile that resembled the Rock of Gibraltar, and today it is totally gone. Yaay hooray!

I asked Dick what are the chances of having no more storms and heavy snows this season. He said the chances were slim and none and slim just left town. He likes to say that, and he says it a lot, so I'm not discouraged that much, only a little bit.

The other day we drove up M-22 to see how far north the Bay was frozen, and it was frozen all the way out to the island. That is the official requirement for saying that the Bay is frozen. Dick said you would think that they would put something in the newspaper about that. The next day, on the front page, there was a story about the frozen bay. It's the first time since 2003 that the Bay was officially frozen.