Our Last Day … Loads of Fun

Standard

This was our last day. Four hours of it disappeared on the “fetch the rental car” expedition. A really nice drive to Bay City, but all the same, used up time. Kelly was stir crazy waiting on us and my poor mom was in her chair. We ran her ragged this week. Movie watching was all she had the energy for.

We gathered up Cooper, put on our walking shoes and talked Dad into driving us to the beach-bay-lake. It was time for a walk and Cooper was part of it, though the early morning ride in the car made his day already.

The walk through the city park, a beach side venue, started very nicely. That was until I hit a patch of shade. Yikes! Cold!! The temperature had barely warmed from the day before. The sun was out, but a brisk breeze still kissed our fannies with every step we took.

Shivering through every shady spot we passed we finally made it to the marina/pier.

DSC_0127

Cooper was all frisky and perky still.

DSC_0129

Because his favorite thing to do is scratch and scratch and scratch his back and head on the wonderfully rough texture of ever-loving, marvelously simple concrete.

DSC_0136

Even here he was pulling at the leash. Kelly kept wanting to carry him, thinking his little legs had worn out already.

That was until we took a good look at the trek back. This is a loong pier. You don’t realize how far you’ve walked until you look back down to the return trip.

DSC_0137

I think Cooper felt the same way… his legs gave out before the end of the pier. We can tell because his tongue starts hanging out and he starts lagging behind.

DSC_0139

By the time we reached the last 100 ft of the walk way he was totally wiped. What a wuss. Short legs just aren’t conducive to long walks. See his tongue hanging out? Notice his limp little body? Pooped out.

DSC_0142

And then Kelly took a liking to this craft. It’s half the size of the ones we walked past, but every bit as nice.

DSC_0141

Then, because this was our last day and we hadn’t had enough of the lake or the water, cold as it was, we decided to do something exciting and reckless and dangerous. Did I mention reckless. It was scary to me.

We rented a skidoo thingy and ran the waves on Lake Huron. Geared up …

DSC_0143

… and hit the water. Did I forget to say I have to drive since I’m over 18 yrs? Yep, that’s me in the front. I wasn’t thrilled. I’m the girl who watches her kids as THEY ride the roller coaster. I live vicariously, I tell you. I don’t require first hand thrills. But here I am about to live the thrill. Bob watched Cooper and I had to drive. *shivers*

DSC_0147

Very tame here, on idle as we exit the marina.

DSC_0152

Then it was …. did I mention scary? The water was the deepest navy blue I’ve ever seen directly below me. I gunned it gradually. Then Kelly MADE me gun it again. We went 35mph easy over the surface of that fathomless bay, water spraying in our faces, the wind whipping around us. We traveled at least three or four miles along the shore… off in the deep area. Then we doubled back, skirting the shallower edge so I wouldn’t freak out over the dark, dark blue waters. Water sprayed us and we dried off in the brisk air as we sailed over the waves. I almost got comfortable. Almost.

CSC_0178

Then I glanced at the watch they gave me. We were only ten minutes into our hour.

DSC_0157

Twenty more minutes was all I could stomach. Not to mention my throttle fingers kept falling asleep. Not a desirable attribute for a skidoo operator.

CSC_0179

I couldn’t wait to idle us back into the marina.

DSC_0173

Does that look like a stupid grin on my face? Why, hell yes it is! There are no words to describe the relief pulsing through me as I made my way slowly to the dock. I think I’m getting too old for this kind of excitement. But… this will keep me young.

For the most part, this was an exhilarating day. It was still pretty chilly out there, but the way the skin on my face tingled from wind burn and the sun made me feel alive. And that is always worth the buzz it gives.

Bless you for enduring the updates of my vacation. I hoped to impart some my joy. Thank you for sharing in my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

A Truly Blustery Day Four In Michigan

Standard

Thursday dawned warmer, slightly, and full of sunshine. We didn’t waste a minute more than needed for breakfast before taking our bikes out for another ride. It was so invigorating the day before, Kelly and I weren’t going to pass it by again. My poor mom. We dragged her out everywhere. This time we stopped at another coffee shop on our way to the Walmart. We needed a couple necessity’s. Ice cream for Hot Tin Roofs, for one. And very few other things, being we were on bikes with tragically little carry space.

By the time we got back to the house, hubby had closed the windows I pre-emptively opened. The sunshine fooled me into thinking the day would be warm, but really it was so chilly even my husband ran from the too-cool breeze. I wasn’t wasting this light, though. Kelly threw on some clothes, we packed Cooper into Mom’s van (along with the cat) and we made for the beach for some more pictures. We found ourselves at the Oscoda public beach. Stunning. Beautiful. Clean. Void of people.

DSC_0268

The wind blew around us like nothing I’ve experienced in the summer. If not for the sun, we would’ve given up for warmer places.

OC3

White caps, the wind-blown look, secretly shivering beneath that thin little blouse and the water lapping at her bare feet. Brrrrrr.

OS2

But the lighting was pretty great.

OS6

Not sure which day we’ll pick, but I like taking pictures of my little girl.

OS14

Naturally we had to include Cooper-duper into our outing. The pier was safe and secure. But the wind blew even harder out here. Thank goodness I didn’t give that pooch a trim before we left Arkansas. He would be shivering, in need of a sweater!

OS17

Last one… take in the color of the water, the way the light winks off the waves or ripples. Imagine gusts of wind chilling you at least another fifteen degrees.

OS18

One last look… just admiring my handiwork.

All that wind and sunshine gave us an appetite. Mom found a little German restaurant down the road. It housed a bakery and only served food until 2pm. Walking into the place, it was old fashioned and in need of an update. Old tables, collector plates lining a ledge on three sides of the room, blankets hanging on the walls. Nothing too fancy. We were hungry and not discriminatory. When the food arrived I was flabbergasted.

photo (4)

A reuben sandwich on toasted rye, REAL batter dipped onion rings and fresh coleslaw. It was soooo delicious. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Later that night we chowed down on a huge bowl of Hot Tin Roofs…. scrumdilly-icious.

Thanks for spending a moment with me in my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Day Three in a Michigan Breeze

Standard

Wednesday started out cool… cold by Arkansas standards, and down right cool by Michigan standards. A brisk breeze blew off the bay, but the sun peeped in and out of fluffs of clouds. In the forecast, rain for the afternoon. No time waste for the day.

We took off for a bike ride first thing in the morning. A ride along the beach path was inviting, having never done it before. Kelly and I straddled those bikes like we did it every day and took off with Mom to the lake. It was a great ride.

We made sure we wore the appropriate clothing.

photo 1

photo 3

The bay was quiet and calm. Quite a sight for a country girl unaccustomed to large expanses of water.

photo 2

We stopped into the local coffee shop/java hut and had a real cuppa in a real mug (mine was mocha, of course). Very gemutlich.

We had the sun on our side and still enough time to beat the weather. Then we dressed and packed up and made for the beach. Today was senior picture shoot day. I took a boat load of pictures. A few turned out really great. Here are a smattering.

ET1

ET2

ET4

The wind blew and the sun winked at us from between and behind the clouds. I knelt in the wet sand and the cold water sloshed over my bare feet as I snapped a LOT of pics. But as you can see, the subject was exceptional. Then Cooper barked at us incessantly.

ET6

We took more pics along the cold beach in the biting wind.

ET5

ET7

And Cooper kept up his notes of displeasure. More barking and barking.

ET8

We called it a day. It time to find shelter from the afternoon rains. Thank goodness for diligence. It really rained a lot this afternoon.

Thanks for sharing my little piece of heaven today. It really was a piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Second Day – Just as Great as the First

Standard

We woke up to the steady drizzle of rain this morning. After yesterday’s glorious warmth, today was quite a contrast. But we didn’t let it deter us in any way. We ate a long breakfast and pulled on our going out to shop clothes and slipped on the extended walking shoes and girded ourselves for some serious browsing.

First stop is a nice “little bit of everything” store. Nothing appealing to a trio of cheapskates.

The next place, though, is a jewelry shop of modest expense. We scour every glass case and every piece, if only to ogle them in appreciation of their beauty. A variety of pieces capture our attention until Kelly and I decide to pay closer attention to the charm bracelets and charms. She had decided to do a charm bracelet instead of a class ring, the bracelet having so much more practicality than a dated class ring. We find two starter charms and a perfect silver rope bracelet, all on sale. We are so miserly.

Next stop the chocolatier. Need I say more?

DSC_0123-1

My sack had sooo much more than this in it originally.

A bookstore, more clothes, some beef jerky. I ended up with a tourist tee-shirt sporting “Tawas Bay”

The next place was the best of them all. I found miracle soap I can’t wait to use on stains it promises to extricate from fabrics.

DSC_0124-1

And my favorite thing…. wine. Local wines… Wonderful light, and semi-sweet, fruity.

DSC_0122

Later this afternoon we make a visit to the light house that used to guard the bay decades ago.

DSC_0001

Very picturesque. Very turn of the century and historic. Especially against the dark, cloudy sky.

DSC_0004

The wind is blowing like a son of gun off the point this afternoon. We are wearing jackets in the middle of July.

DSC_0008

Love taking pictures of the lake with the sky and my favorite person. Great day all in all.

Thanks for sharing another day of my little slice of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Summer In Michigan

Standard

We finally made it to East Tawas.

DSC_0032

Kelly’s first time to be this far north and lay eyes on one of this country’s Great lakes. Lake Huron.

DSC_0041

Our first full day is glorious and warm and sun-shiny. Michigan revealed all her natural charms as Mom took us on a little tour of the area. First stop, of course, is the bay. Specifically the public pier. Dozens of boats are moored here behind a break wall. Even Cooper didn’t mind the giant expanse of water around him.

DSC_0006

He took the outing as an adventure. Well, this whole trip is his adventure. It’s Cooper’s first vacation.

DSC_0010

Mom took us to see the Lumberman’s Monument here. This area had a huge lumber industry at the turn of the century. My great-grandfather was a lumberman, as a matter of fact. Sadly, this writer didn’t even snap a picture of the monument itself. I was taken by the scenery ….

DSC_0023

… and the opportunity to take a trip down this large hill via a few hundred steps of stairs…

DSC_0025

The park overlooks the Ausable River. Lumber was harvested from the surrounding forests, pine and deciduous trees growing in huge numbers here. The logs were brought to the edges of the river, off the towering edges of the woods along the river, and dumped down long drops into the river to float down to the lumber mills.

Kelly and don’t hesitate a second when that wooden staircases invites us to the river’s edge a few hundred few below us. We take off, with Cooper, of course. He is always up for an adventure.

DSC_0028

Having such short legs does keep him from traveling at human pace. We carry him most of the way.

DSC_0029

At the river’s edge we find a barge replica the loggers lived off of. They cooked and ate on it as they floated down the river. I love history. Especially rustic and manly morsels. I won’t bore you with it all. Then we climb back up the stairs, a considerable more challenging feat than the descent. Very invigorating!

DSC_0040

We found a local fresh fish market and bought fresh caught lake perch and white fish. We fried t up for lunch and ate like kings. As my grandfather used to say, often mind you,”I wonder what the poor people are doing today.” We are rich and blessed. Outstanding flavors of the area. Great idea Dad!

The day wasn’t over yet. A warm afternoon drew us to the beach. Too pretty, my little girl. I love taking pictures of her. I know, I’m shameless.

DSC_0034-1

Crisp breezes, sparkling water, the pleasant burn of the sun on our skin finds us on the beach with most of the other tourists. Kelly tries to acclimate Cooper to the water, but he isn’t having any of it.

DSC_0074

He may look all right, but in real time his little feet are paddling to keep him out of the water.
Dad and my mom found the most pleasant spot under the trees, a breeze blowing through, to watch. Cooper found it as a safe haven.

DSC_0018-1

After a late afternoon nap, and I mean all of us, Kelly included, and dinner we finished our day by listening to the community band concert in the park. The constant breeze kept bugs at bay. We had a great day.

photo (4)

We pack a boat load of stuff into this day because we aren’t sure how often the sun is going to shine this week. Rain has been a constant this summer. Needless to say, we are pooped by the end of the day. Best day ever!!

Thanks for sharing this little slice of my heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

A Rising Star (or so we hope)

Standard

It is always the hopes and dreams of anyone who breeds race horses that their new baby will show promise and that promise will develop into talent. We’re no different from the rest of the breeding world. This March we put our newest baby into training. We named this colt Colonel Frank, for my Dad who passed away almost four years ago. This fellow is strong and elegant. A lot like my Dad.

He doesn’t look much like a baby. He’s big. Pretty powerful looking too. In horse lives he really is only just a baby.

Col2

He’s a two-year old colt. Just a tike in the world of horses. He doesn’t know anything about the world outside of our small farm. Training gets him ready for his job… racing. He has to learn to stand in the bathing stall and allow water to be sprayed on him without getting all upset. He needs to know the world around won’t eat him. All the stuff we take for granted like trucks, and buildings and open spaces, blankets, and saddles, the shiny reflection of a puddle of water, a large tuft of grass, somebody yanking on your leg and pounding on your feet… I could go on and on. To him they are all potential to be eaten.

He especially has to learn to take a rider.

Col10

He’s taking to that pretty well. Our trainer has been putting him in scary places to get him used to all sorts of situations.

Col6

Here Victor is galloping him inside an empty barn! Up and down, past the shadows and the puddles. He was a little jumping at first, but Victor, an experienced jockey, had him settled down in no time. Standing inside that shed row with those hooves pounding the dirt floor as he flew past was thrilling. I don’t deny that pride had my chest swelling as we watched him. I don’t think being his mommy had all that much to do with it.

This fellow has a way of going that takes my breath away. I sound a little swoony. I should save it all for my books, but what the hey.

Col5

Col3

After that lesson Victor took him into the neighboring field with large brick monsters and giant light green snakes to further his education. Colonel kept a keen eye on those things in case they tried to gobble him up, turning his head to keep them in clear view. Victor let him look, but made him stick to his job… walking in a big circle in the field.

Col8

He’s learning he won’t get eaten as easily as he thought.

Col7

He’s still out there, alive and kicking. He’s got a lot of class. But, I am biased. Heck, we raised him and watched his every move for two years.

Col9

This is Recil Payton, our trainer. He trains horses in Salisaw, OK. We think he’s doing a fantastic job with our baby. Thanks Recil to you and your staff.

Notice I can’t keep Cooper out of the picture, not to mention our girl. I’m such a mom.

Col11

That’s my little piece of heaven today. I’ll be keeping up with our baby through the months. Bear with me, I like to share with the world.

Love,
Jeannene

Riley’s Birthday

Standard

March 20th was Riley’s 2nd birthday! This year we made the trip to Memphis to his birthday party.

Rileybd1

He can’t figure out who I am. The absent grandma.

The weather was beautiful, breezy but beautiful.

Rileybd2

We all came to celebrate, Grandma Sheila and Ben too!

Rileybd3

And of course… Kelly.

Rileybd6

Just an impromptu family picture.

Rileybd5

Rileybd4

Riley’s favorite super hero is Spiderman. He calls him “Parker” because Spiderman’s real name is Peter Parker. His mama and daddy had an all Spidey birthday party.

He’s licking the frosting off Spiderman.

Rileybd7

RIleybd8

He loved that spidey thing.

Rileybd9

Dad unpacked a lot of clothes. This got Riley’s attention because it looks like a light saber. It’s really a tube of bubbles!

Rileybd15

The little frog captured his attention too. It’s the simple things in life.

Rileybd16

The most fun of all is this Spiderman shirt!! Now he can be the hero!

Rileybd14

Rileybd13

The life-size Darth Vader stole the show, though. Totally cool. It struck Dad’s fancy, on the nose.

Rileybd17

Then Kelly pulled out the bubbles had all the kids chasing those shiny, iridescent globes floating through the air. You know how toddlers are. Shiny… floaty… They chased bubbles with such unfailing energy. I had a blast watching it all.

Rileybd19

Rileybd18

It seems Kelly didn’t get enough of creek wading when she was little. So in she went. She never ceases to surprise me. I thought she was past this stage. (rolls eyes)

Rileybd12

Nice picturesque little stream inside the city.

Rileybd10

We had a blast topped off with cake and ice cream. It was a great visit with our son and daughter-in law after the birthday boy conked out. Great way to end a great day.

Hope you all enjoy your families in every way.

Thanks for sharing in a little slice of my heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Good Times

Standard

To my shame I forgot all about writing this post. Lifeinteruptus caught me up in its vortex. (That will be in another blog.)

In October my daughter and I took a day for girl’s night out. We had a blast!! We went to Luke Bryan’s Dirt Road Diaries tour. It must be said… we are huge country music fans and Luke Bryan is the guy whose song dragged me into the country genre. (I was a closet classical music fanatic for a long time.) When I heard “I don’t want this night to end” I was hooked. There is a line in the song… “You’ve got your hands up, you’re rocking in my truck…” that threw me back in time to my 18-year-old self. I remember doing that. It is a powerful memory.

At any rate, we made this a girls night out. We started with an excellent meal at a local Italian spot. It has a top rate atmosphere, especially on the porch where we braved the fall breezes.

LB28

Whoops! Wine. Drinking with my minor… It was a tasty Moscato. An excellent

LB25

LB27

Sorry. Just like to put this girl up. She dresses up any place. Though this spot was fun all by itself.

LB26

A selfie is in order here… barely. Probably the influence of the wine.

My hubby insisted we indulge in a great place to spend the night. Great room with a view of the Arkansas River.

LB29

Us actually at the concert… this is the last shot of either of us because our attention is consumed by music. (The pictures stink because they are off my cell phone, by small camera died two days before this event.)

LB31

First on is Florida Georgia Line… awesomeness in pants.

LB32

Next on is Thompson Square.

LB33

LB23

And then comes Luke…

LB1

LB24

LB17

LB6

LB5

We sang every song. Really it was more like bellowed out every song, but it was so much fun. The music just goes right through you.

LB10

This barely taps into the vibrance and thrill of all that music. Needless to say, we could barely hear when we got out and it took a while to wind down to finally sleep. T-shirts, expensive as they are, attest to the night and the fun.

Thanks for enduring the shoddy pics as you share in this little slice of HEAVEN.

Love,
Jeannene

Homecoming 2013

Standard

Here I go again. *rolls eyes*

Warning! This post includes too many pictures of my offspring dressed up and made up to be so pretty.

A few weeks ago Homecoming took place. My kiddo wasn’t even sure she was going this year until about two before the event. That meant a frantic search for a sweet little dress with all the requirements. It took us exactly and hour to storm the few shops in our local town to find nothing to fit the bill. Another three-hour search of the internet finally yielded the dress with the right style and the perfect flouncy skirt. The color wasn’t perfect, but we were scraping the bottom of the barrel since time was so late. It is the best dress ever!

DSC_0025

And then there is her date… very nice young man.

HC4

A close up….

HC8

More…

HC6

I’m a silly mom…

HC9

I have to get a full shot of this backdrop. This is an old house on a property close to the fella’s home. It has wonderful charisma.

HC7

This was the nicest Homecoming, according to the girl. Even her beau had a good time. By the way, this is dressed up for him. He’s a good ol’ boy and more comfortable in a worn pair of jeans and a familiar tee-shirt… and the hat, of course.

This is the latest piece of my heaven. Enjoy!!

Love,
Jeannene

Tennis

Standard

We have embarked on an entirely new adventure at our house. Our girl discovered an age-old sport.

Tennis.

And she loves it! She finally found her sport niche and this girl is going after it like a dog with a bone. Even better…. she’s pretty darned good at it too.

KT5

She started hitting the ball around with her dad this past spring, him giving her pointers. (This is one of his big sports. He played great tennis in his day.) While at the school tennis courts one Sunday a woman gave us the number of a local tennis coach holding lessons in the near future. That started the ball rolling and it hasn’t stopped yet.

To give her some practice she started just hitting the ball against the back board and hitting balls off the porch into the pasture. That gives picking up balls a whole new meaning… hunting for tennis balls in the grass ain’t a piece of cake. You have to be devoted to go through that.

Dad bought her a ball machine shortly after that. You should have seen the improvement with that little gem! She went to the local lessons, tried out for the high school tennis team and made it (not an insurmountable feat in football country).

KT8

KT9

KT10

This summer she took lessons and went to workshops and this fall she played tournaments. Her path to improvement is remarkable and exhilarating because….

SHE IS GOING TO THE STATE PLAYOFFS NEXT WEEK!

We are so proud of her.

Instrument in her improvement is this gentleman. He has been teaching and coaching her the past few weeks. His gentle encouragement has made her grow and flourish as a tennis player. Thank you Bill.

DSC_0003

We just want to say… go baby girl!!

KT13

This is the latest installment of my little piece of heaven. Thanks for letting me share it with you.

Love,
Jeannene