Saturday, May 30, 2009

May Ends With a Whimper

Gall bladder out - feeling remarkably good - just drowsy. I think it's because I married such a good nurse! Also because of laparoscopy!

May is ending with more friends having medical issues. Tom B. has been in the hospital for a week - report is that he is now some better, but still a sick puppy. Kathee Mc. had a melanoma removed from her tummy last Thursday - hope she is feeling OK.

I'm glad to be the least on that list :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009



When we got home, there was a party going on across the river. Were they Boy Scouts? Cousins? YMCA? We don't know - but what we do know is that there will be many parties across from our house this summer - mostly on weekends, and some much rowdier than this! We're just lucky enough to have a sandy bank and a swimming hole. Bring on Summer :)

Bessie is looking forward to another season of greeting passing paddlers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Fantastic, terrific, wonderful, perfect, incredible, amazing, astonishing - gee - we had a really peachy day! The weather couldn't have been better - blue skies, sunshine, 70s, blossoming trees at every turn - wow. Dick printed out some cache descriptions, and we set off for Charlevoix.

What a lovely town Charlevoix is - the scenery is spectacular. The downtown was filled with happy tourists, and the shops were charming and inviting. Lake Charlevoix is just as pretty as the bay, and there were sailboats with white sails setting off the deep blue of the lake.

We did cache maintenance at Greensky Hill - what a magical place that is. The native American traditions are fascinating.
We really enjoyed driving around the whole Charlevoix area, and we found six or seven caches. That was the frosting on the cake.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday in May

The point of my blog today is to write it in the style of ex-Senator Bob Graham's daily journals. (D-FL) This man writes down everything he does every day - in minute detail. He practically jots down "breathe in - breathe out". He makes note of what he's wearing, what newspaper he reads, what he has for breakfast, and on and on. I think it must be a variety of OCD.

1.Round's - we had an early breakfast at Round's because for my ultrasound I am to have nothing by mouth after 9 a.m. I had pancakes, Dick had scrambled eggs and sausage.

2. MCHC - off to the gym - it was a good day - talked to Carol, Alice, Kay and Noreen . Dick wore his "Bank of Dad" shirt. No gym on Monday because of the holiday.

3. Skegemog Gardens - found some excellent geraniums for Mom and Dad. It's nice when you can find exactly what you want. These geraniums are large, and loaded with bright red blooms. Happy Decoration Day.

4. Oakwood - Dick planted the geraniums in the two pots by Mom and Dad. It looks terrific in my humble opinion.

5. Back home - read the snail mail, read the email, watch TV, made some comments on Facebook, snooze

6. Back to MCHC - this time we go to the other entrance for my ultrasound. This is the nicest, most relaxing, most non-invasive medical test that here is. They do, however, exert the most pressure in the wrong places.

7. Back to Oakwood - Dick sprinkled ant killer around the headstone. We noticed earlier that the ants are everywhere there.

8. Burritt's - We picked up some scallops and trout for dinner in our ever expanding quest for a low-fat diet.

9. Mary's Kitchen Port - bought a grill pan for cooking the scallops and the trout. The previous grill pan had done its duty long enough.

10. Back home

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

That Was The Week That Was

A few days ago (May 11) my cousins Ken and Bev from Grand Rapids came to T.C. to visit Fritz and Ruth. Fritz has just recently entered hospice care. We met Ken and Bev at the Omelette Shoppe for breakfast and had a really nice visit for about an hour and a half. They're a very adventurous couple, and it's fun to hear about their adventures from the mountains to the shore and from Alaska to Utah. This summer it sounds like they're planning a midwestern odyssey in their motor home. We enjoyed it a lot and it was fun answering Ken's "This is your Life" questions!

Dick has worked all day on the back porch. He has powerwashed everything - ceiling, walls, and floor - cleaned up the grill and the picnic tables - so now two more tables are ready for me to paint. I'm always amazed at Dick's inner drive to get things done and I'm also constantly amazed at his stamina. He is impressive. He's just a brush cutting, tree felling, chainsawing, leaf blowing, powerwashing, deck painting, window washing kind of guy.

We have the snowblower back from the shop - there were many things wrong with it so it's a really good thing that we took it in. The tractor is now in the shop - while we were dropping it off Dick looked at another new tractor - this one had a front loader. Those things are so expensive! That's why we're hoping the old tractor will be able to last a few more years. As Dylan once said, "It's not like you can have whatever you want."

Two landscapers have come to look at our front porch planting project, and we have picked Traverse Outdoor to do the job. We'll give them a call tomorrow. We haven't heard anything from Brown Lumber since they came to look at our porch railing project. Why is it that some folks just don't get back to you?

The project has been fun and interesting to do. We took two days and took pictures of headstones to put on that website. We found lots of Van Pelts in the Clark (Springfield Twp.) Cemetery, and even more in Kingsley's Evergreen Cemetery.

We want to have our family out for pizza some day soon. We have some baby toys for Drew to look at - we won't be needing them anymore. Plus we have a small job for Adam and Chris to do for us. (Young bucks with young backs!) We haven't decided when to do that = have to find a time that's good for everybody! What we'd really like to do is have those guys out here more often - at least once a month - just for fun.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Doggone It

Been sick all weekend, night and day - it's the old gall bladder stuff again.

I'll go see Dr. B. next week and agree to the surgery.

He was right again.

(World's best Dr.)

Doggone it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Find a Grave"

Today I was inspired to fix up some entries on the Find a Grave website. I've already done Mom and Dad, so today I did the Memorial Gardens side of the family. If Find a Grave seems gruesome to you, it's really fun to work on, and it could be important someday to some future genealogist :)

I did info for Gen and Harold, Frank and Pearl, Lue and Rookie, and Donald. If you see anything that's wrong or doesn't belong there let me know and it can be changed easily.

Search Nancy Steiger's cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

The kids sent flowers - very thoughtful - and the flowers are lovely.

We had a reservation for brunch at Schelde's - and that was lovely too. Everything was great, except there was no chocolate anywhere to be seen! Nice Danish, but no chocolate - Poor Richard. Linda from Concord Place was there - it was interesting to hear her latest news of that.

Then we set out to do some geocaching. First on the agenda was placing a new cache that Dick made. We placed it in an interesting little cemetery in Milton Township. I think that it will be a popular hide - people will like it, I'm sure.

There were 5 caches on our to-do list, and we found them all, and then we found one that wasn't even on the list! The greatest hide was the little birdhouse - such fun - and it really keeps the cache container clean!

Here are Dick's logs from the two most memorable caches!

Found it 5/10/2009 You found For the Birds (Traditional Cache)
Happy Mothers Day!
The day started off overcast and chilly but an excellent brunch followed by some caching caused the temps to rise and the sun to come out. We chose this day to place a cache we had been planning at Milton Township Cemetery and to grab a few while in the vicinity.
This is a very well conceived cache! Kudos! When someone puts extra time and effort into the conception and construction of a cache such as was done in this instance, we are inspired to do likewise. We traded sigs and drove on. Thanks for your effort and the fun you provided us.

5/10/2009 You found Into The Woods (Traditional Cache)
Happy Mothers Day!
We have a long history with this rest area. 52 years ago this June we got this far outside TC on our honeymoon when the stress of the day got to the bride and we had to make an emergency stop to allow her to disgorge the reception lunch. With that accomplished, we got on with the trip through Ontario, got on with our lives and careers, and although there are still times when I make her sick, we manage a chuckle each time we drive past here.
The GPS reception seemed iffy back there, the Garmin was pointing to a spot about 45 feet further into the woods. Thanks to the hint, we signed the log and picked up the coin about 1:30. Thanks for the memories.

Now the ham is in the oven and we're feeling very mellow. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. A perfect Mother's Day: .

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Rainy Saturday

This day began as a dark, rainy day with a penetrating chill. Dick started a nice fire in the fireplace which helped to warm things up and eliminate the humidity.

The thing that really turned the day around for us was a visit from Donna (cachetogo). Her husband Dick A. came to Traverse for a wood turning workshop, and she came to see us! It was a very pleasant visit - coffee, tea and conversation sitting by the comfy fire. Dick A. only has one round of chemo left and it sounds like he feels fine and is keeping busy. I guess he's well down the road to recovery! Hooray! Their daughter and grandson are living with them now, and it seems that everybody is getting along just fine. Dick's elderly parents live nearby, and Dick and Donna and their daughter are really looking out for them. Nice people!

The only other thing that we did after that was the grocery store and a great ride around town.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Cinema and Caterpillars

Tom and Mary are back home from Florida, and it didn't take Mary and I long to plan lunch and a movie !

We did lunch at the Olive Garden - love that soup and salad thing that they do. We went to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - it's possible that we're too old for that movie. It was basically about casual sex - very casual - I mean this guy didn't even need to find out anybody's name! So the beginning was a bit too much for us, but it did have a kind of a sweet ending - he ends up with his childhood sweetheart. But I'm thinking - why would she still want him after he's been through all that?

In the previews, "The Proposal" looks like a cute one - it comes out June 15th. "Angels and Demons" is coming out soon and I want to see that one, but I think I'll have to go by myself. I might go see "Up", too. so I can talk to Dylan about it :)

Dick and I had fun when I got home. Dick grabbed the blowtorch and I drove him around all the paths in the golf cart, and he zapped the tent caterpillar nests. Some of them were way out of reach, but he got many, many of them. It was very, very satisfying! We did start one fire but a couple shovelsful of dirt extinguished it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Time Warp


1. April 26 was the date of the AuSauble Expo Geocaching event in Grayling. We got there early and had a chance to talk to lots of people - some more talkative than others! (inside joke) Tim and Susie, Jerry and Lydia were at our table and provided the really enjoyable conversations! Dennis and Josh were nice enough to demo the new Oregon Garmin for us. Everything these days looks like an iPhone to me. We met some new cachers from T.C . We never went to the Expo part. Somebody had collapsed over there and an ambulance was arriving so it seemed like a good time to leave.

2.On May 3rd I went to Melanie's baby shower. She looks wonderful - the baby is due in July. It was great fun to see everybody. I sat at the Hardy family table - Barb, Shelly, Evie, etc. - we missed Sharon and Melissa. The games were fun - baby gift bingo and scrapbook pages! The food was spectacular and the buffet table was very attractive. Melanie got stacks and piles of presents. Little Izzy will be the best dressed baby in town - at least for the first 6 months! I enjoyed the whole thing.


Dick has power washed every wooden surface - it took about 3 days, and he's really feeling it in his hands and right shoulder. He's always eager to do it, and I think that he secretly likes having a project to do outdoors in this nice weather! Next he painted the decks all the way down to the river - that took another couple of days. The deck looks terrific.

He has also cut down trees and hauled load after load of brush down to the brush pile. The snowblower has been taken to the shop for repair, fine tuning, and summerizing. The leaves have all been blown out of the perennial garden and we're planning to use compost for mulch in there. It's fun to watch the perennials poke their heads up into the sunshine.

Yesterday, while I was prepping picnic tables for painting, he slipped into his waders, went into the river and started up the sprinkler system for the coming season.


1. The tractor project - the tractor that Dick uses for general yard maintenence has bad hydraulics - he says the hydraulics are frozen and he can't raise or lower the hitch, among other things. We looked at a bunch of new tractors, but they cost more than we paid for our first house. Now we're looking at having it repaired and using it for another couple of years.

2. The recliner project - in 1991 we bought 2 swivel recliners for each other as a retirement present. Now we're ready to replace them with a newer model. Waiting for Riverside Resale to come out and look them over and hopefully take them and sell them for us. Actually, I'd be happy if they just carry them out and load them up!

3. The shed project - One thing leads to another. Now that I have a golf cart, I have to have a place to park it. We've found a shed that we really like, and Dick has staked out a spot for it by the turn-around. It has been ordered, but it hasn't been built - and we're waiting for the builder to come out and check the staked-out spot to see if he can place the shed there with his truck and trailer. If all goes well we should have a shed by the end of June.

4. The landscaping project - We've had a couple of landscapers come and look at the front of the house. Our bushes are all overgrown and need to be replaced. We've already seen a plan from one of the landscapers and it looks great. We're past the point of digging out the bushes, transplanting them and then planting the new stuff. Now we look at it as creating jobs! We're so patriotic!

5. The plastic railing project - The railings on the upper deck and the front porch need to be freshened up. Rather than sanding and painting we're thinking of replacing them with the white plastic or vinyl stuff that looks so nice and is very low maintenance. Brown Lumber is coming out tomorrow to check it out.


Sometimes we wonder how we ever managed to do all of these household maintenance projects when we had three kids, a dog, two cats, and two full time jobs. Right now we have just about as much as we would want to handle!


Trivia - Jon and Kate plus 8 - does anybody else think that she treats him badly, badly, badly? She is not loving towards him even in front of the cameras. Poor guy has to take her bad mouth every day. She criticizes him, corrects him, makes fun of him repeatedly. What do you think?