Thoughts… way too many thoughts! Let’s step away from the news for a moment!

OK… here it goes.  I’ve been a little quiet lately on this blog thing.  The news… no the world seems to have gone crazy lately!

First off, there are 7000 Guatemalan’s heading for our border through Mexico, to enter our country illegally (NOT LEGALLY).  The Mexican government is giving them no aid, HOWEVER, they are letting them march through the country on their way to the United States.  The goodhearted Mexican citizens are aiding them with food, water and shelter.  Why would anyone pack up their children with no plan to march over 1000+ miles to escape their homeland?  I do understand its a 3rd World impoverished country with a corrupt out of control government.  Imagine if the United States became what these 3rd World Country’s are.  Where would we pack up and march off too, and would we risk the health and lives of our families to do it?  The smart ones are now turning back.  On the good side, the whole thing brings to light the wrongs in their country, and now perhaps something can be done to their benefit if they choose to stay in their homeland, or maybe they can apply to enter the United States in a legal manner.  It just seems to me like this whole situation was set up as one big passive aggressive bully tactic.

Oh wait… but in the United States its quickly becoming pretty scary…  if we disagree with one party, bombs show up in our mailboxes; people get shot at while trying to participate in a bi-partisan baseball game.  Men (and women) use their power to get away with sexual assault and rape, in some cases.  Some loose their jobs, some don’t…  Lives get destroyed in the process running for public office; Female Journalists get fired for commenting on “blackface”, while other Male Journalists dress up as women for Halloween with no repercussions.   Why does this make me shake my head?  I have no desire to promote racism, or sexism in any way.  But it’s a slippery slope once you put these two situations side by side.

Mentally ill people are walking into school buildings and mass shooting children, and complaining that they were bullied in the process.  Some adults even reinforce their actions, blaming the children who were shot at for being bullies.  Our schools have become locked down safety houses during the day.  Unfortunately, we need the security, along with the mental health programs to deal with the PTSD that occurs along with these events.  When did our country become this?

Wanting to be the opposite sex has become surgically possible and accepted, and in many cases, even covered by insurance, when cancer survivors, and diabetics risk being denied coverage just for getting a disease they never wanted in the first place.  Sorry folks, just my opinion… if you want to be the opposite sex, and you can afford the surgery, more power to you.  I’ll be the first to give you a big ol’ happy hug in celebration.  If the majority of middle America lives paycheck to paycheck, how can we afford to make this our priority?

So, soon we get to vote.  Here’s my take on what how I am voting:  Humanity… yes, we need humanity more desperately than we ever have.  We also need common sense.  Parents need to be involved in raising their children, just like when we were kids. We need to watch out for our senior citizen’s that worked so hard all of their lives.   We need educational programs on all levels, including skilled trades, or we will become a nation of outsourcer’s, with no good jobs available.  We need those jobs to have good quality affordable health insurance, so we can depend on quality healthcare options.  We need representatives that can work together and listen to opposing opinions and perhaps even agree now and then to come up with great solutions.  We need reasonable humane and LEGAL solutions to immigration into our country in order to protect our National Security.

Lastly, we all need to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and pull our own weight. Turn off the news for a day or so, so you don’t get pulled into the drama of Washington DC., and get out there and vote!  If you don’t vote… don’t complain!  Don’t bother sending me any bombs if you don’t agree with me either.  More than likely, my ticket will be split where I see fit.

Now that I have all that off of my chest…  I may be able to get some sleep tonight, without turning on the news!

Another overdue girls weekend away!

OK… so last weekend would have been a fairly decent boat weekend on Torch Lake.  But a good friend of mine had tickets to see Country Music star Brantley Gilbert open for Kid Rock in his Redneck Extravaganza tour in Tinley Park, IL, at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.  Being a born and raised Michigan girl, I’ve never been to a Kid Rock performance, so I guess it was just kind of naturally on my bucket list, along with Bob Seger, and a few other big names…

So, we took the 5 hour drive from Traverse City, MI to Tinley Park, IL.  Not a terrible trip, until you get closer to Chicago at rush hour on a Friday evening.  But overall, it was a good day for a nice road trip.

Aside from the big concert, we did all the fun girl things.  Manicures, Lunch, shopping…  Oh yeah…  SHOPPING…  Not Amazon.com style.  We went old school!  The malls in our town are filled with empty store fronts.  But the Orland Park Square Mall was complete with Macy’s, Food Courts, Jewelry Stores, and so many other face to face shopping experiences!  KaChing… Jackpot!  We left with great finds… shoes, jeans, comfy clothes, work jackets, boots… the works!  Ohhhh… Amazon just has nothing on old school shopping, face to face with a real storefront where you can try before you buy!

Oh yes… back to the concert experience!  Kid Rock did not disappoint…  he put on a dynamic energetic show with all of his best, including “Summertime in Northern Michigan”.  I think he would be proud if he knew all of us Michigan girls gave up that weekend on the sand bar for him.  Brantley Gilbert also put on a fantastic show!  He has three new fans on his list (One of us was a huge fan already.) … especially after dedicating a song to veterans and cancer survivors!

The Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre is a good spot for a concert.  Bring lots of money if you go to a concert here, because drinks are $20.00 a piece, and plan out your transportation in advance, if you don’t plan on driving, because Lyft and Uber don’t pick up right at the venue.  You have to walk a mile after the concert to get your ride.

Transportation aside, none of us were too stressed about it… why?  Because we were having the best time, we were all together in a smaller suburb of Chicago, and our hotel was only 4 miles from the venue.

One favorite parting quote of the weekend from a passing van full of concert goers as we were waiting for our ride back to the hotel… “Hey ladies, wanna ride with us?  We have puppies and candy!”

Hmmmmm…  puppies… candy… tempting…  but, not this time.  We made it back to our hotel safe and sound, and all in our same group.  Sunday morning we hit the road back and laughed the whole way home!

Cheers to more girls weekends to come!  My next stop…  Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Sea’s cruise to Havana, Cuba and Nassau, Bahama’s in November!    In the meantime, it sure feels good to be home!

Slow down summertime… slow down, please!

Whew…  sometimes I have the hardest time coming up with a good blog subject.  But this week it dawned on me, as I slipped away from my desk at the end of the day, that we only have 10 more days left of August!  This summer is going by so fast, and soon I’ll be back to finding ways to survive the snow, and cold, with plenty of travel to new and interesting places.  But in the meantime, I’m going to look back and remember what is making this summer one of the best ever.

Glamping!  I’ve had my camper set out at Torch Grove Campground this summer (by Torch Lake, of course).  There’s such a fun group of people that spend the weekends here.  The new friends I’ve made are priceless and fun… Cheers to another month and a half of Glamping fun, campfires, and lake fun!  Oh… and I love the term “Glamping”  (Glamour Camping)…  It’s so much better than sleeping on the ground!  My dog agrees too!38693313_10157318141542069_1771094609921835008_o

Boating… Boating… and more boating… and lots of sand bar time on Torch Lake…  with a bit of swimmers itch thrown in.

 

The crew at the Torch River Marine has been a great one once again this year.  It’s almost mesmerizing to watch the boats come and go in and out of rack storage.  (Cheers to my favorites, Sabrina, Marlon, Shelby,  Phillip and Taylor, and of course Rebecca, John, Jason, Sarah, Jim, Rachel, Becky and a whole host of others that make the place hustle.)   I may be prejudice (My brother, John, and his friends, Jim Brewer and Jim Ennis make the place rock), but when I stand back and take a good look, they offer five star service, even under pressure of the busiest season of the year.

 

…  and lets not forget the small town fun, festivals and great friends!  The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City rocked, as usual.  Elk Rapids hosted a great 35th Class Reunion for my fellow alumni, and the Annual Torch Lake fireworks display was amazing, with a fantastic sunset and good fun!

 

All  that, and somehow, I missed my favorite festival of the year, Elk Rapids Harbor Days…  but I had fun with my visiting long lost sand bar siblings from way back in the 1970’s that week anyway…  I love these guys!

 

Ohhhhh… and summer’s not over yet.  I can’t give up on it.  There’s more to come for sure!  But I must admit, I’m looking forward to some fall adventures that I have planned.  Just a few places I have scheduled to travel for work and play…  Elmira, NY, Tunkannock, PA, Tinley Park, IL, Lexington, KY, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Havana, Cuba… and that’s just for fall.  Who knows what winter holds… but I don’t even want to think about snow!

That’s all for now… keep enjoying those summer days as long as we can!!38422392_10157308032517069_878782731469717504_n

 

It’s Barkbox day!

My dog is so spoiled… Is $21.00 per month worth it? Let’s see…

She is so happy to get a new box of goodies to destroy each month!

All of of this good stuff… It’s like Christmas once a month!

… And we have a new favorite!

Yes… I give Barkbox five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ So does Daisy!

Lunchtime blog: Summertime… Sandbar… Sunshine… Swimmers Itch???

Summertime in Northern Michigan means spending time on some of the clearest, most beautiful waters in the world.  (No… I’m not exaggerating… it’s so blue, it’s almost like you are in the Caribbean!)

A lot of my weekend time is spent out on my pontoon on my favorite sand bar on Torch Lake, which borders both Antrim County, and Kalkaska County.  When you look in the water, it’s so clear you cannot imagine anything lurking in the waters.  But as the warmth of the summer months draw in the ducks and geese…  it brings this nasty parasite (carried by the birds).  It’s the dreaded SWIMMER’S ITCH!  It might not hit for a day; it might hit right away…  It might even bypass the occasional person who is completely immune to it!

Its itchy, nasty, and can ruin a good time for a few days.  But somehow it never seems to slow us down from enjoying the summer.  We cope… We slather down with hydrocortisone cream,  and we move up the lake to deeper, cooler waters where the parasite doesn’t seem to thrive.

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The skin condition doesn’t last long… but it’s still an inconvenience.  So, don’t let it kill your good time!  Lotion up your skin before you get into the water (with SPF 15 at least, of course).  Dry off as soon as you get out of the water.  Keep a bar of Lava Soap on hand too, because it seems to scrub those little buggers away very well once you hit land.38422392_10157308032517069_878782731469717504_n

In the meantime… I’m spending today itching just a bit… Next weekend I think I’ll park North of the Sand Bar in the deeper water so this doesn’t happen for awhile again!

Until next time…  Float on!

Enjoy!