“Be someone you would like to remember.” What advice would you give to your myself in your senior years? At Life After 50, Lynn compiles 18 pieces of wisdom for her older self.
I found this picture when I was cleaning out my files on my computer today… Definitely a keeper! One of my favorite scenes from a vacation in the Key’s circa 2011.
14 days until my next vacation! (Does anyone else do a countdown every time they leave town???)
In 15 days, I’m off on a trip to Florida, with my bestie, Daisy Mae, the Hilarious Havanese! She loves Florida, chasing lizards and lounging by the pool in the sunshine. But in the past I’ve driven the 22 hours, just so I didn’t have to put her on a plane.
Well, these days, everyone seems to travel with their pets on airplanes, so I think I’m going to give this a try! I bought this great travel bag (with wheels) for her to ride in. It should fit nicely under the seat in front of me on the plane. My next worry… she could be a neurotic mess in that bag under the seat… so of course my Veterinarian recommended light sedation, which he advised me to test in advance. So, two weeks ago, I picked up the goods from him, and gave her 1/4 of a pill on a Sunday afternoon while she was loafing around the house.
No effect… She stayed pretty much how she always is. Chasing toys, flipping her blankey’s around, and just all around, being her adorable rowdy self. So this week, I slipped 1/2 of one of the pills into a cheese treat. Within an hour, she was in complete loaf mode. Whew! I think this will work… Now the tough part will be to hope that the flight leaves on time. It’s a straight through flight from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Punta Gorda, FL on Allegient Airlines.
I think, the two of us are ready for travel! Perhaps by the next trip, I can get her to cooperate in a service dog program, so she can be on my lap instead of under a seat… Wish me luck!
Happy New Year everyone!
So far this year I have no insights on resolutions. Not too sure what’s up with that! But I feel like it’s just fine.
Northern Michigan is frozen… We have a heat wave today at 20 degrees fahrenheit! Wintertime… it’s here. So, I’ve booked a plane ticket for my dog and myself to head south at the end of this month for a few days of fun and sun (and work too, of course). The big challenge will be to get my 12 lb. ball of energy, named Daisy, to be able to settle down on the plane.
It’s just not easy being this cute sometimes!
One thought did run through my head at midnight. I have a pretty good life… If you look around at midnight and think “there’s no place I’d rather be”… you know your friends are the best!
In the meantime, I’m just going to continue being me.
This year I turned 52… I’ve been working at my current job for almost 27 years now. When I got my SEP statement at the beginning of the month, it dawned on me, that I might actually be able to retire someday! But do I really want to retire? Maybe I will just look into doing something else with a little less stress involved someday.
Then I saw the term “Side Hustle” on the internet one day… Let’s take a look at this! A “Side Hustle” can be an extra way to make money on the side, in addition to your job. It can be a monetized blog, a direct marketing consultantship (not sure if that’s a real word, but I’m using it anyways…), weekend bartending… even selling crafts at a craft sale.
So then my brain started ticking! Hey… if I start a side hustle now, maybe someday it can be my main hustle? I do love my blogging, so yes, I’m hoping that someday it will pay off with Ad clicks and views. For now it’s only about $.25 per month… but it seems to be growing each month. It’s worth a shot, and I love writing, so why not? Blogging is one of my favorite side hustles, even though the payoff is minimal for now. Feel free to share my blog if you like it!
Of course there is always direct marketing. I’ve been involved with one company for a couple of years, just for the benefit of a discount that I can share with friends. But, their products are constantly changing, and my best sellers are now discontinued. This month I decided to jump ship. So that’s where my Mary Kay business came in… (Yes… check it out at www.marykay.com/tpeal).
Mary Kay has been around since 1963. The company is older than I am, and, lets face it… I love the products and the pricing doesn’t send people over the edge. Good products sell themselves, and if people really love them, they want to use them on a regular basis. So why not jump in? For $99.00 I bought my starter kit with a giant bag full of goodies to share with friends. I can choose to keep an inventory on hand, or order them as my customers need them. Personally, I’m loving the products I’m using. So… of course, this side hustle may actually be a good option for me! If anyone ever wants to sign up for a Mary Kay business, I recommend it, and I can even show you how!
My third side hustle (why just have one?) came to me last winter when the snow was coming down in buckets here in Northern Michigan. I didn’t have any desire to leave the house, but I was bored silly! So to keep my mind off the bitter cold outside, I took an online class for my Real Estate Salespersons license. So I’m now a licensed Realtor with my license in escrow. I’ve always been fascinated with the real estate industry, and since my full-time job doesn’t allow me the time to practice this profession, I keep my license in escrow with a local company, and refer clients to some of the best realtors in the industry. In return I can make a little commission off it. It really paid off last spring when I sold my house (referring the sale to another realtor), and bought my new house.
None of these are “easy money”… they do take work… and I honestly enjoy taking time to work on them. Someday I’m hoping to end a blog with “The Pay Off is real!” In the meantime, why not hustle.
That’s all for my lunchtime blog for today… back to bean counting! Happy Holidays to everyone!
Thirsty Thursday… yes, it’s a weekly holiday where the ladies all meet for dinner and drinks. This week we ended up at one of our favorites, Peegeo’s on High Lake Road in Traverse City. I realized I have never reviewed this place before! So here it goes.
This place holds a little piece of my heart. The minute you walk in the door, it’s like walking into “Cheers”. Everybody knows your name (No I don’t run a tab like George or Cliffy…). After one visit, you are considered a local by the owners, George and Susan VanKersen. Of course, I’ve been a local to this place since 1992. So my opinion may be a little biased. But I do believe its general just a fun place to go! The bar is lined with locals telling stories and spreading cheer, no matter what time of year it is.
My menu picks:
- Hangar Steak (George does it right!) It melts in your mouth!
- Mexican Chicken wings… One of my favorites!
- Cherry Chicken Salad… for those times I feel like a need some veggies. But it’s soooooooo delish!
- BBQ Ribs… Mmmmmmmmmmm…
- Mexican Combo Plate… So much goodness on one plate.
- Mike’s Sicilian Pizza… Seriously the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life!
- The London Broil… Comfort food at its best!
Of course there’s so many options on the menu other than this. But these are my favorites! Did I mention the Mike’s Sicilian Pizza is the best ever??? Check out their menu at www.peegeos.com.
Cheer’s to the local’s at Peegeo’s! Nice job!
P.S. to my people at McGee’s in Acme, MI… you are next! You know I love ya’ll!
Everyday, lately, when I turn on the news, there’s a new case of sexual harassment arising on some supposedly upstanding celebrity/politician/executive. What the heck is going on???
Well, as young ladies, our generation was taught to be quiet and respectful. Don’t make waves. Graduate from high school, get married, have babies, and enjoy life’s finer moments. It’s a nice dream, but it’s not reality today. I even have a recollection of my high school counselor advising me to by-pass college, because it wasn’t what girls did. What the heck??? I’m pretty glad I didn’t listen to him, even though I was a bit directionless at that age. Back in those days, confidence wasn’t exactly instilled in the average female student.
And what’s up with these people? (yes, that goes for both sexes…) Did their parents not teach them respect for others? Seriously, a joke is a joke… but there’s a fine line between a joke, and sexual harassment. The easiest way to avoid trouble is to stay on the right side of that line. Be clear that there is no intention of contact or intimidation, and keep your body parts to yourself.
Now can the news please report on something else for awhile?
That’s all I have to say about that…
It’s Monday… so I designed something that would be a great gift for your work mates!
… and yes… it’s just one of those days… so lets get over it and laugh!
Have a great Thanksgiving week everyone!!!
After passing a few favorites in search of something different, we landed at Calypso, a new Mediterranean Eatery on Munson Avenue. Here are some of my thoughts on the place:
- There’s been a few restaurants located in that particular building throughout the years. They have all been short lived, with the exception of “The Clock”. I think Calypso could be around for awhile! Maybe I’m just partial to Mediterranean food, but I found this place great!
- The pricing… well, it may be a little pricey. But the salad’s we ordered with our dinners were enormous! Next time, we split the salad. Dinner pick: Green Tomatillo Chicken Alfredo. You just can’t go wrong! This dish is positively wonderful, comforting, and flavorful. Overall, the price was worth it.
- Tempting options: Blue Cheese Crusted Delmonico Steak… This was one of the specials of the evening. We may have to go back for this! Oh… and pumpkin cheesecake… I passed on dessert this time, but, next time may be a different story!
- The service was excellent. We had an attentive professional waiter who knew the menu like the back of his hand.
- Will we go back??? Oh, by all means, yes we will! Calypso is a nice addition to the Foodie community of Traverse City.
Looking forward to my next visit to this one!
For more information on this restaurant, please visit their website at www.calypsogrilltc.com. ENJOY!
There are two sides to everyones family! So, my dad’s side of the family has been well documented by my Uncle. Who traced the family way back to pre-revolutionary times in the United States. This side of the family pretty much traces back to Great Britain, Ireland, with a touch of Italian, French, and Scandanavian, etc…. This side of my family were explorers and founders of the State of Kentucky, migrating from North Carolina to settle in West Kentucky to farm its lush landscape. It’s a place I’ve become familiar with because I still have family in the area. Upon tracing the history on Ancestry, I found decorated Revolutionary military, and British Lords and Ladies, and lots of farmers. Not just small time farmers. But 1000 acre farmers. Pretty exciting stuff! Meet my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Major John Finley…
My Mom’s side I was a little familiar with, but the tree pretty much stopped as far as history goes, when my Great-Great Grandparents, Gerardus and Wilhemena (Minnie) Vernooy, came across to Ellis Island on a boat from the Netherlands in 1900 with their children.
Curiosity set in! So of course, I went directly to Ancestry.com to get a DNA test kit. My overall result… 55% Western European. This is no surprise, since the Netherlands is located in this area. So I started tracing back this family history.
The Vernooy side was easy to trace, since there are previous Ancestry members who have posted their family trees that match mine. Dutch! Tulips, wooden shoes, the works! My Great Great Grandfather made wooden shoes before he came to the USA. His profession is listed in the census statistics on Ancestry. Landing in Waterford, MI, and eventually Kent County, Michigan my family planted their roots. Good choice! Who doesn’t love the Grand Rapids area?
My maternal grandfather was a bit more difficult history to track… I finally broke through when my DNA results came back, and I was able to find matches of distant cousins throughout the country. I know that my Great Grandparents moved to Michigan from Indiana. Eaton Rapids is where my Grandfather hails from. This side of my family has a long history of Military Service, Blacksmith, and Farming. They also pre-date the USA from pre-revolutionary times, landing in NY in the early 1600’s from Scotland, Great Britain, and yes, the Netherlands. They migrated from Upstate NY, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, until eventually settling in Michigan.
Death Certificates particulary catch my attention in this venture. Causes of Death range anywhere from “Old Age”, to Heart issues, obesity, pneumonia, cancer, etc… Says a lot about my own heath issues! It even gives me incentive on areas that I can work on.
What surprised me most in this process is my new sense of who I am in the big picture. I am redominantly Dutch/Irish/British, with a long family history in the United States. But a visit to the Netherlands has gained a spot on my bucket list!
The boat is put away for the season. Summertime 2017 is in the books with great memories. So this weekend, when Mother Nature offered up some beautiful summer-like weather, a trip to one of my favorite spots was in order. Deadman’s Hill, overlooking the Jordan River Valley, just North of Alba, MI.
When I was a kid (like 5 or 6 years old), my family would make the trip UpNorth to visit cousins. The visits would turn out hours worth of fun and adventure throughout the beautiful Jordan River Valley, whether it was four-wheeling, snowmobiling, hunting, or canoeing the crisp clear waters of the Jordan River. It’s one of the biggest reasons my family ended up moving North.
Deadman’s Hill was always an annual favorite autumn stop with my “Grammie” Scripter. Color touring Northern Michigan was one of her favorite pastimes. This place brings back so many memories for me!
Years ago, there was no fence holding people back from touring down the hill, so as energetic little kids, we all loved to hike down the log slide, and attempt to race back uphill as fast as we could. Nowadays, the log slide is something to just enjoy overlooking with a good camera. Oh, don’t we all wish we had that childlike energy???
One the way back from the trip, a stop in Boyne City for lunch was in order. Café Sante was just the ticket… with views of Lake Charlevoix to love! The food was amazing, and desert at the Alpine Chocolate House… enough said! #chocolatecoveredpotatochips! It was truly a five star day!
Weekend drives in the autumn are one of my favorite things! Now we all get to prepare for what comes next… yes, that fluffy white stuff that falls out of the sky. For now, we’ve been blessed in Northern Michigan with an unusually long Indian Summer.
Last weekend I visited North Carolina for the first time in YEARS, for my cousin’s wedding. Of course, I have to do a quick travel blog about it! 🙂 The wedding was absolutely amazing! One of the best I’ve been too. Since it was my birthday weekend, a group of us travelers decided to take a quick afternoon visit to the Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, NC, before the wedding.
This place is certainly a treat! Normally I like my wines a bit to the dry side. Sweeter wines normally knock my teeth to the back of my head… (that means… “dang… just can’t do it!”) Chardonnay is normally one of my favorites, with a nice Pinot Noir coming in second. HOWEVER…
Duplin Winery specializes in Muscadine (Emphasis on MUSK-a-DYNE to be proper in Southern speak) Wines. So many songs have been written about the Muscadine variety that our group just couldn’t resist the visit.
Too my great surprise, I found these wines fragrant, fruity, refreshing, sweet, and delicious; perhaps even perfect for a hot summer day on the boat! My favorite was the dryer (of course) award winning Magnolia label. So I had to bring a bottle home to Michigan, along with their Habanero Pineapple Jelly for cracker dippin’.
Kudos to my new friends at Duplin Winery! I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
Last weekend I visited one of my favorite towns in the whole world… Nashville, TN! I don’t know if its the music, the downtown stretch of Honky Tonk’s on Broadway Avenue, or the history behind the town. But everything about this wonderful place keeps me coming back for more. I’m pretty sure this weekend was about my 15th visit. This is a group of friends that joined me… I’ve known them since elementary school…
Elements of my visit included Music, History, and Honky Tonk… along with a little shopping thrown in for good measure.
SHOPPING SPOT! Opry Mill’s Outlet Mall… Yep. It’s big, and it’s got a giant Bass Pro Shop… along with some fantastic boot stores… I came home with some fun additions to my wardrobe!
HONKY TONK! Walk up the Streets of Broadway… there’s no end to the fun. My personal favorite: the four level Honky Tonk Central. There’s a different band on each level… and dancing galore! A few worthwhile stops… George Jones Country (Love that Red Chevy… and the Stilson girl’s polka on the way out the door), Margaritaville, Nudie’s Rooftop for great views, Acme Feed and Seed… the list goes on! (How do I get this truck out of here without getting caught??? )
HISTORY! Our group took a day to drive off the beaten path… we toured out to Barbara Mandrel’s Fontanel Mansion, which was closed for a private event. But we did stop to enjoy some wine and cider tasting and gift shopping. Next time, we will call ahead to make sure the mansion is open to the public… it looks like its worth a tour!
Next we drove towards the Hermitage, General/President Andrew Jackson’s Home and now Museum. This amazing estate is over 1000 acres of rolling green country side. We witnessed a reenactment of a gentlemen’s duel, and learned about the elements leading up to a duel. Then we wandered the estate on a self guided tour, and through the beautiful mansion, and back through the slave quarters. Yes, Andrew Jackson was a slave owner. It was a different time in his day, and a big part of this country’s history that we cannot erase. Overall, we learned that he was an interesting character with a wealth of friends surrounding him. Many of his slaves continued on working for him after they were freed, including “Uncle Alfred” who served as the Hermitage Caretaker until his death in 1901.
MUSIC! Everywhere you go in Nashville, there is music… The town and its surrounding suburbs are loaded with untapped talent. A visit to Nashville is never complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. Every time you enter, it shoots a ray of excitement through your core… like going to church on Sunday. No matter how big or unknown the performers are, there never really is a bad show at the Opryhouse.
Oh yes… and how could I forget the Country Music Hall of Fame! The History of Country Music is showcased in this beautiful facility…. along with Elvis’s famous Solid Gold Cadillac, and Webb Pierce’s pimped out Bonneville… They sure don’t make cars like that anymore!
Nashville… you never disappoint! I’m sure I will be back! <3
Our country is divided by politics… But when disaster hits, we show our best. We pull together to come to the aid of everyone. Lines of traffic flow out of every state in the direction of Houston this week, hauling boats, trailers full of supplies, and helpful citizens ready to come to the aid of people left in the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
In August of 2004, Hurricane Charlie slammed into the Gulf Coast of Southwestern Florida. Three months afterwards I went on a trip to Florida to visit my family. The quaint town of Punta Gorda had been transformed into what looked like a war zone. Blue tarps covered holes in roofs of homes awaiting reconstruction… 12 foot piles of scrap metal lined the streets next to what used to be a mobile home park… homes with major damage had been spray painted with insurance company names and policy numbers for adjusters to locate. Reconstruction literally took years. The community banded together in the days following. Soup kitchens popped up in the parks. Truckloads of supplies showed up in town for distribution to families in need. Neighbors checked on neighbors. The town of Punta Gorda today stands as a stronger, more beautiful community.
This is going to be Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Right now, the people in Houston, and every community in the path of Harvey, need our help so they can reconstruct their lives, homes, businesses, and communities. Humanity is showing its best… People are putting aside differences to help each other. It’s a big wake-up call!
Be a part of the solution. Contribute in any way you can. Donate clothing, supplies, money, etc… If everyone that can donated $10.00 to the Red Cross, or Salvation Army, just imagine the difference that can be made.
Best wishes Texas! #standtogether #makeadifference #wevegotyourback #i<3texas #donated Read more
In Michigan, we have distinct area’s that have their own character… Me, I live in the Northwestern Lower Peninsula of the Mitten. I can point right at the spot I live on my hand, as everyone who is from Michigan can.
When I was a kid, we lived “downstate” in Horton, Michigan, which is just south of Jackson. My family would load up the car on weekends and head north for “Up North”. Everything north of Clare is what we considered “Up North” until you hit the Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) Bridge. Then it turned into The UP, which is a whole new fantastically wonderful place that I will blog about someday.
Once we got here on the weekends it was time for fun and relaxation. Up North is a destination where snowmobiles and boats become a major source of transportation, depending on the season. Of course, my favorite of the seasons is summer!
When I was 5 years old my family moved “Up North” to a beautiful place called Torch Lake. I’m pretty sure this is the place Kid Rock sings about in his “Summertime in Northern Michigan”. I grew up “splashing through the sand bar” at the south end of the lake. It’s hard to find amazing places like this, so when you do, you can’t help but share!
Now that I’m an adult (OK… so I’ve been an adult for awhile now), I still get that giddy anxiety that comes with arriving at the Torch River Marine every weekend that I get a chance. I just know that my pontoon is waiting for me to load up an head on up the water for a day of fun, friends, and relaxation. There really is no better place to be on a super hot summer day, than anchored off with friends, hanging out on floaties all day!
This is what keeps all of us locals here… The water is clear, clean, and a bit cool… Salt Free, and Shark Free. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. When the winter’s hit, we break out our winter fun activities, and fly off to tropical locations on occasion to break up the bitter cold. But every spring, the anticipation of going back to the lake brings happiness and hope.
This is “Up North”… and this is where I live!
There’s so much going on in this world! Everyone seems to have made a label for their individual groups. There’s ISIS, Muslims, Al Quada, the KKK, Liberal Left, Conservative Right, Moderates, White supremicists, black people, white people, people of latin origin, baptists, catholics… etc… the list goes on and on.
I understand it is human nature to be a little aloof with people I’m not totally familiar with. But something dawned on me this weekend while I was deep in thought while floating around the lake on a beautiful sunny day… The Bald Eagle, which is the majestic symbol of this great country of the USA, soars through the air with great balance. Its direction is guided by a tip to the left, or a tip to the right. If the Eagle tips too far one way or the other, it runs the risk of spiraling to the ground.
Do ya’ll understand what I’m saying??? Human beings are similar. We all bleed the same color… We direct our fate with moderate tips in either direction. We need to follow our beliefs with humanity in mind. Extremism in any direction, will send us spiraling to the ground.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Charlottesville.
It’s been a few days since my return from the big city of Chicago. As a small town girl, I have to say, it’s truly a place where you don’t lack for fun events to occupy your time. Friday evening we made our way down to the Huntington Pavillion at the Museum Campus for a Jack Johnson Concert. (Something I highly recommend… there’s nothing like a lake breeze while listening to great music!) Jack Johnson is a down to earth performer who puts on a fantastic show! I’d give him 5 stars. 🙂
Saturday, of course, we trekked on down to Michigan Avenue for a little shopping and fun. After one too many cab rides, we decided to take the carriage ride option to the Navy Pier. The beautiful horse (I believe she is a Percheron) in the picture is “Talula”. She is a real sweety!
The Navy Pier is one big playground for people of all ages. We did, of course, partake of a ferris wheel ride. The brand new ferris wheel has gondola’s that are enclosed, heated, air-conditioned, and ride like a dream! The best views of the Chicago Skyline are here. The Navy Pier is a MUST DO for anyone traveling to Chicago.
Our Saturday evening ended with spectacular fireworks (which are set off every Friday and Saturday evenings during the summer months at the Navy Pier.)
The neighborhood… Oh yes, I can’t end this post without commenting on the neighborhood of Pilsen, on the Southwest side of Chicago, where we stayed in an “elegant apartment” booked through Airbnb… While the apartment was clean, it was not so elegant… but very functional for our trip. Pilsen seemed to be an older neighborhood, in what seemed to be a pretty safe part of town. We checked out Simone’s for dinner and drinks on Friday night before the concert. It had a friendly neighborhood atmosphere, and decent bar food. Transportation from Pilsen to downtown was convenient via Bus and Uber.
Bottom line on Chicago… Great place for a fun long weekend with friends! Downtown can be expensive, but totally worth every penny… I’ve been there about 4 or 5 times now, and it’s proven to be a great time over and over again!
Merry Christmas everyone! No matter what holiday you celebrate… have a great one!
Yes, I live in Northern Michigan… It starts snowing here about November 15th (sometimes October 1st, depending on the year…) and it never stops until about March 31st.
When I was younger, I loved that first sign of a good snow storm. I kept my downhill ski equipment loaded in my trunk so I could head on over to the hills (Michigan has hills, not mountains.) and ski to my heart’s content.
Somewhere along the timeline, my preference changed… Most of my ski buddies quit skiing, or moved away. Now I prefer a nice sunset with palm trees in the silhouette! It just happens with age, I guess. My love for Mogul hopping has turned into a love for sunshine, boating… and crafting by a fireplace if I can’t travel. Occasionally I spy my ski equipment stashed in the corner of my garage and think “maybe… just maybe it’s like riding a bike”. Well… it is, until you wake up in the morning and every muscle in your body is locked up in pain. It’s worth it now and then just to get out there and feel that rush, and know that “I’ve still got it!”…even though jumps and bumps are more or less off limits, because I just don’t want to break any bones.
The view from my office window in the wintertime, does not include sunshine. Just white fluffy flakes falling from a cloudy sky. Sometimes they aren’t so fluffy… those are the ones that pile up fast and heavy on the ground. Then you have to shovel… A LOT! It’s so cold out there sometimes that my eyelashes freeze up and my face hurts!
Friend: “Want to meet for drinks after work?”
Me: “No… I wish I could, but I have to get home and shovel two tons of snow off of my sidewalks.” (At least I got smart and hired someone to plow my driveway!)
This is my common conversation this time of year. My adorable 12 lb. dog loves that she gets to race around outside while I shovel. She goes back into the house with a face full of snow balls that melt all over the floor in a big puddle. I guess the bright side is that I can count that as quality entertainment.
My brain needs sunshine… warmth… sea shells… Yes, I need to plan a trip to somewhere warm with palm trees and sunsets! Meanwhile, I hope you all enjoy the beautiful view from my office window. “Sledding anyone???” I say, as I pour myself that hot cocoa with some favorite creamy liquor infused liquid!
“Now I may be but a simple commoner, a man not all that familiar with aerial sleigh travel and the visibility restrictions that may or may not come with it, but I’d think that if a reindeer were born with a built in headlight, that reindeer would be one heck of a catch.”
I sure do miss summer! 😞😎🤣