Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mackinac Moment

If I had to sum up yesterday in a word, it would have to be "blizzard." It wasn't particularly cold (it was 10 degrees, which was warmer than the day before) but it was blowing like stink. We had 40 mile (about 64 km) an hour winds pretty much all day. Two of our teachers, who had left the island early in the morning to go to a professional development class in Sault Ste. Marie, ended up turning around when the driving conditions got really bad. The farther north they drove, the worse the roads got; less than halfway to the Soo they turned around and headed back south. Things got so bad the State Police closed I-75 and US-2 due to poor visibility, and the Mackinac Bridge Authority closed the bridge due to high winds. So glad I was safe at home...

Photo: Stephanie Baxter

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Heritage Day

Yesterday was the first Heritage Day Party on Mackinac. Designed as a day for locals to get together, relax and share old photos, it wasn't really advertised.  From two until five there were kids games outside and lots of photographs and good conversation inside. A number of folks brought out stacks of old pictures and family albums, while others literally took pictures off the walls. I've only been here 21 years and it was a nice walk down memory lane for me - I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been for the folks my parent's age. 

The afternoon was on the quiet side with adults chatting and kids wandering in and out, but after five, the band came out and people let their hair down. Well, I'm assuming they let their hair down - the kids and I left a little after four. We had to get home and get ready for sleepovers...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


There's been a wee bit of drama on Mackinac over the last few days. Drama over snowmobile helmets. It's winter, it's quiet, there's change in the air, so, of course, everyone's talking about it...

I'll be honest. I own a helmet (it's so old it still labeled with my maiden name,) but until Monday, I've rarely actually worn it. (For the record, my children do wear their helmets 99% of the time and I always wear it when I go out on the ice or when I ride on the mainland.) Over the 20 plus years I've lived on Mackinac Island, to my knowledge, the helmet law has never really been enforced. Many people on the island only drive about 15 miles an hour (about 24 km) and only drive a mile or two each day - if that much.

Well, now the police are starting to enforce Michigan's helmet law. While I don't like wearing my helmet, it is the law, and it does set a good example for my children, so I'll wear it without too much complaining. Plus, I've been told the ticket for not wearing one is 180 bucks. Yikes!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Little Late for Christmas

There is a little girl living in my house who decided yesterday was the day for her tooth to be out. She asked her father to pull it out with dental floss. He tried twice, but both times the floss broke. (Yeah, I couldn't watch.) When she makes up her mind about getting a tooth out, she gets tunnel vision and wants it out now. Sometimes I'm amazed at that little girl's pain tolerance. 

Well, after much wiggling, she asked her dad to try again today. This time it popped right out and hit his glasses. She's thrilled and looking forward to the Tooth Fairy's visit. Though, she doesn't want to put the tooth into the beautiful little bird shaped tooth box her Aunt Kelaine gave to her because, "I don't get as much money when I use the box. And I want money!" (Luckily that made her Aunt chuckle.) Now we're all laughing as we enjoy her toothless grin.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Off the Couch

I decided to think of today as a gift; an extra  10 hours I wouldn't ordinarily have had. I often feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, so it made sense to me to use my extra time to get stuff done.

We started the day with homework. Well, actually we started with  pancakes, but then it was on to spelling. It made sense to me to get homework out of the way right off the bat. While the kids finished up their work, I tackled the Christmas tree. I don't love artificial trees, but it has simplified things for us. This morning I managed to take off all the ornaments, pack them away, and  dismantle the tree.

Somehow I also managed to process and felt two batches of wool sweaters and to wash, dry and fold two loads of laundry.

Then, since I still had energy left I went around and completely de-christmased the house. I packed everything away and carried all the tubs down to the basement. I even sorted through the decorations and pulled out a bag to toss and a bag to take to Goodwill the next time I'm on the mainland.

Right after lunch, my daughter, her friend and I built a fort in the living room. The boys were too busy with Minecraft while we built, but once it was up, they couldn't keep away. I mean, who can resist a fort?

The kids forted for a while and then they settled down to watch Enchanted, which, by the way, is cuter than I anticipated. While the kids watched, I popped upstairs, measured and pinned, and then came back and hemmed a pair of pants while we watched the movie. 

Since I wasn't dead on my feet yet, I thought I'd start on some dinner. Vegetable soup and honey buns -

 yum. But now, I'm bushed. It feels good to have all the Christmas decorations put away, the laundry done and my pants ready to wear, but I think I'm ready for bed...

Monday, January 6, 2014


It's mighty cold in these parts; delightfully cold. Sure the wind chill was -25 (about -30 C) this afternoon and my cheeks and thumbs hurt when I got off the snowmobile after school, but those frigid temperatures are forming an ice bridge, and caused this note to go home today.

"Snow days" on Mackinac are few and far between, so this was an unexpected surprise. (The wind chills tomorrow are supposed to be in the -30s.) 

Tomorrow is like an extra day in my week. Luckily I have a rather long "to do" list, but then again I may not get off the couch...

Saturday, January 4, 2014



When did that happen?' I can't believe  how quickly this year has flown by. It seems like the older I get the faster the years seem to go by. But I can't complain; I love watching one season flow into the next and the kids grow and change.

I know most people don't keep New Year's resolutions, but the new year always gets me thinking about  the changes I'd like to make in my life.

This year I'd like to focus on health. Not exercise (we do pretty well in that department) but eating better, eating healthier. To me, right now, that means eating meals with more vegetables and less fat.

Eating well has been a challenge for me. I tend to be tired when I get home from work, and have little interest in spending time cooking dinner. I'm getting better at using the crock pot, but I still need to grow a lot in this area. My husband loves to cook, but to me it's just another chore...

We tend to eat a lot of frozen vegetables, given that we only grocery  shop every couple of weeks to once a month. With a shopping schedule like that, keeping fresh vegetables on hand is a challenge. 

Any help anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated. Do you have some great healthy recipes? That "go to" dish you make often because it's quick and easy (and hopefully healthy?) Please send your ideas my way.

I'm going to start out slow and try to cook at least one new thing each week. Here are a few recipes I've found so far: Hungarian Goulash, Vegetable & Chickpea Curry, Garlic Chicken, Crock Pot Chicken Stroganoff, Crock Pot Lasagna, and Chicken and Dumplings.