Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What a Great Day!

Our intrepid bikers ready to ride the new Sleeping Bear  Heritage Trail after playing on the dunes.

Closely followed by lunch at (where else) Art's Tavern.  There are school pennants all over the ceiling there, and Chip found one for his school - Embry-Riddle.

After climbing the dunes all day, the perfect ending is at Moomer's!  Cowabunga!

Can they eat it all?  Yes they did!


Sunday, July 28, 2013


Send more pictures!

Dave, Tom, Amy, Chris, Campfire

Peter, Melissa, Laurie, Doug

Mother Gen's train case is like a treasure chest.
Will it ever stop raining?
Riverside Elevation
Game Time
Toast Your Twinkie!

Riverside deck area

Let's roast a Twinkie!
Jackson, our family phenom !

Friday, July 26, 2013

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall

Let's say that you are shopping for a condo.  One day you find one that is beautiful, in a good location, a terrific setting, and perfect floor plan.  Let's say that you make an offer on that nice condo, and your offer is accepted.  The disclosure papers mention an attached letter, which is not attached.  So you pursue the letter, because it's important to see what it might say.  The agent finally agrees to give you a copy.

The letter says, in effect,  Oh, by the way...  We've had water damage in the lower level, but it's been taken care of by some unknown builder person.  Excavations were done, sumps were installed, and it will never happen again.

Really?  What actually happened, you might ask.  What was actually done?  There is no evidence on the grounds of any excavating a few weeks ago...  Oh no - doesn't this sound like a problem that you do not want to buy into?  Doesn't this make you feel as though somebody is trying to sell you a pig in a poke?

So we have rescinded our offer, and the search continues.  Dick wrote this letter to our agent, with no effective response:

From: Richard Steiger
Subject: letter
Date: Wed 7/24/13 7:40 AM
In our minds, the Addendum Letter has raised more questions than it
has answered.

 We don't understand how it is that Mr. Christians did
not provide you with the letter with the property description in the
original report. (His inclusion under EXTERIOR FEATURES of handicap
accessible and attached green house raised a red flag from the

With the letter in hand we would have been much more aware
of things to look for when we visited the unit with you. We feel that
by not including it, he was not being fair with you. (Or us)

The letter reports "extremely heavy rains in March". In fact the 2 1/2
inches for March was below the average in Traverse City for most
months. We did have a day of heavy rain but living on the river we
know that we have had heavier and more prolonged rains in the past.

states that the repairs were done by "the builder" and refers to "4
square construction". A search for that business in Traverse City
yields nearly all the builders in town. Was "the builder" the firm
which constructed the development or was it a firm hired by the owner?
To proceed with our purchase, we will need the name of the builder who
made the repairs and an opportunity to meet and discuss them. We
mistakenly anticipated that the "attached letter" referred to in the
"Professional Report" would be from him.

The letter states that many basements flooded, we wonder if the other
attached units in that area flooded. Did they all require repairs? In
fact, why did they need to waterproof and install drain tile to the
building, isn't that code for new construction? We have it installed
on both sides of our lower basement area. We also wonder how the sump
is connected to the catch basin, did they dig up the basement floor to
install the pipe or does it run along the wall? These are questions
that we need to ask the builder or repair firm.

When we saw the dehumidifier operating in the basement, we were
inclined to agree with you that it was because the air was off.  Needless to say, now we are suspicious.

We are not aware of the full scope of the building inspector's job. Can he be expected to check all
aspects of this flooding problem and the repairs? This has obviously
been the major topic of discussion for us. We are concerned that a
situation which appears to have been repaired at this point in time,
will once again become a problem and a money drain in the future.

What inspector do you have the most confidence in? Who do you feel
would best represent us? Is it standard procedure for us to accompany
him while he carries out his inspection?

We will be busy this weekend with our family reunion but would like to
resolve this situation next week.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ranger Dylan

Dick, Laurie and Dylan pruning and moving brush - Dylan was driving the tractor.

Chip and I went shopping.  He went to Oleson's to shop for lunch,  I went to Family Fare to shop for the next two dinners.

 It's a good life.

Dinner is in the crock pot - cranberry chicken :)

Dick, Laurie and Dylan are going to the Boardman Nature Center so that they can do Dick's new Ranger Rick geocaching series.  Via the grapevine, we learned that Ranger Rick #4 is burned.  We haven't heard anything about a fire over there - they'll find out!

They're back and Dylan has a sprained ankle from tripping over roots on the Nature Center path.  They found 5 of the caches, and Dylan sprained himself after the 4th one.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Elk Run and Ex Boardman Pond

This morning Beccy took us to see this condo at 12046 Elk Run in Cedar Creek Commons.


 It is a beautiful, well-maintained, spacious home, with a beautifully finished basement.  It's an end unit in a lovely, woodsy setting.  It has a very nice deck, and a big two car garage.  I think if we looked forever, we could never find another condo better than this one.  It's in a great location, and is in a wonderful setting.

Sadly again, though, I am the only member of the family who is over the moon for this condo.  It seems we will continue to turn down whatever is available, even if it meets our requirements and is affordable. 

I'm beginning to think that this isn't the right year to try to downsize.  I'm kind of just giving up on the whole process - dealing with a ton of negativity.  I'll  step back and Dick can decide whether or not to see another condo.

 I'm deflated.


In the afternoon, they all went kayaking.  Starting at Scheck's Place, they paddled through the new river route where Boardman Pond used to be.  It took them approximately 2 1/2 hours to get to our place.

They all had a super time, and the weather was perfect.  They saw 2 huge, huge turtles and a duck - that was it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tarzan the Ape Man

This was a very high class, sophisticated evening.  Well...as sophisticated as we get...you know...

Anyway, we did dinner and a Broadway musical !  Yes, we did.

Chip and Laurie treated us to dinner at Red Ginger - our first time!  The food was spectacular - I had Kung Pao chicken, the best ever.  Everyone at the table was ecstatic about the meals.  I was surprised at how noisy the restaurant was - it has the same kind of "industrial" decor as, like, the North Peak.  So noise reverberates and echoes.  But really, the food and the nice service made up for it!  Thanks, Chip and Laurie :)


Then we went to the Dennos to see Tarzan the Musical at the Milliken Theater.  We sat in the front row!
 The young singers and dancers of Miracle Productions are truly talented, and such fun to watch.  We all enjoyed it from start to finish.  The time went by very quickly!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gym and Omelettes

Gillespies met us after the gym - we met at the Omelette Shoppe for breakfast.

 Omelette eaters were disappointed with their food - I'm sorry - but my waffle and strawberries tasted just great!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Gillespies arrive with big white truck and motorcycle, and DYLAN!

Made chili for supper.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cherry Festival Parade

 The best marcher, beach ball tosser, and volunteer!

Dick walked in the parade with the Visitor Center volunteers.  It was a very warm day, and there were only 10 or 15 volunteers who participated.  Dick really had no problem with it - except he ran out of beach balls to throw to people.  He made sure that he saved one for Drew!