Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter Tourists

We love them, but they make us giggle. Only tourists have coats and snow pants that match their snowmobiles. (Sometimes they even have matching helmets.) Usually we only get snowmobile tourists after we have an ice bridge, but this year we've has a few bring their machines over on the boat.

This gentleman, Hank, was very gracious. He let me take his picture even though when he asked why I wanted to take his picture I giggled and told him I didn't want to tell him until after I took it. He smiled, posed, and then chuckled as I pointed out how not one of the islanders driving down the street matched their snowmobile. My husband is now trying to figure out how hard it would be to get his snowmobile painted Carhartt brown... 

Friday, December 21, 2012


I know virtually everyone was unhappy about the gigantic storm that hit the mid-west yesterday. But, I've got to tell you, many of us on Mackinac Island are thrilled! We had a few days of snow back in late November and early December, but by the end of the Christmas Bazaar we were back on our bicycles. You can imagine how happy we were to hear that a "huge storm" was heading our way carrying with it 10 glorious inches of snow (about 25 cm.) Remember, most of us don't have to drive in it.

So I walked to school on Friday morning, watched it rain during most of the morning, and by the end of the day my husband was able to pick me up on the snowmobile. We went from mud and grass to a beautiful winter wonderland in less than 12 hours. 

Though they did end up canceling the last boat of the day on Thursday due to the storm and a few folks did get stranded on the Mainland, and then on top of that, the power in St. Ignace went out for three hours. And because of all the heavy wet snow lots of tree branches broke, so the fire department was out half the night  cutting trees and clearing the roads. (Thanks guys!) I suppose if I had to deal with all that, this post would have ended up being quite different. Thankfully, I was happily snuggled on my couch, reading under a warm fleece blanket. It was always one of my biggest fears that I would get stranded on the mainland, in the middle of winter, with a toddler and no clean clothes or diapers. Luckily it only happened once and then it was only for four or five hours and not overnight.

Now I just hope it stays cold enough for the snow to stick around...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Halloween 2012: Little Brown Bat

He was so happy with how his costume turned out. My husband found the original idea here. I actually liked their more anatomically correct wing better, but I couldn't imagine my son being able to carry the 10+ pounds (about4.5 kg) of candy he would get that night with the wings sticking out past his hands. He made my day when he first looked over the costume and noticed the lines of stitching on the ears. He looked at me and said, "Nice detail mom. Good job." Such a sweetheart...

If you decide to follow the first tutorial above, measure the length of your child's arm first and shorten the umbrella appropriately. I didn't and just went ahead and used the full length of the spines of the umbrella. Even thought it was a small folding umbrella it was still much too big for my eight year-old's arms. I had to shorten the spines considerably. After cutting the spines and serging the raw edges of the umbrella fabric (it really started to fray,) it worked perfectly, and he had a ton of fun flying through the neighborhood on Halloween night.

Yes, we weighed the candy and he had every bit of ten pounds, as did his sister. Friends of ours, who have five children at home, came home with a total of 58 pounds (about 26 kg.)  It wouldn't surprise me at all if they were still getting Halloween treats in their lunch boxes!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

As you know, I'm an early bird. My husband is a night owl, so you can imagine my surprise when I awoke to this amazing breakfast on our anniversary. Fresh fruit, crepes, coffee and candlelight - such a nice way to begin our 17th year together. Thanks honey, I love you...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Bazaar 2012

This past weekend was a busy one - the kids, my mom and I spent lots of time down at the Island's annual Christmas Bazaar. So much to do, so little time...

The weather didn't really cooperate with us over the weekend and we lost all of our snow, but everyone had a good attitude and rode bikes to and from Community Hall.

As usual, the Bazaar had something for everyone: food, friends, treasures for sale, baked goods, auctions... 

the rummage sale (held in the fire hall,) 

and of course, Santa! By the time he reaches Mackinac Island, the reindeer need a rest. They kick back at the stables with their horse friends while the fire department makes sure Santa arrives at the Bazaar on time.

The kids love going outside, listening to the sirens and watching him climb down from the truck.

This year, for the first time, my daughter wanted to take a list with her. She wanted to be sure she didn't forget anything.  So, of course, the older brother had to take a list, too. Hopefully they won't be too disappointed when they don't find ipods in the bottom of their stockings. (My daughter won't find the $100 bill that was on her list either.)

You may remember a few years ago when HGTV came to the island to film the Christmas Bazaar.  This year Under the Radar Michigan was here. (The episode should air on PBS on April 6, 2013.) We didn't see them filming, so I doubt either the kids or I will be in it. Now, I need to crash - it's Tuesday and I'm still beat. Christmas Bazaar weekend is usually so crazy busy, that I feel like I need an additional weekend to recuperate!

How about you, what did you do this weekend?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Moonset over Mackinac

I took this picture Thursday morning before school as the moon was setting off the West Bluff. Such a pretty morning. Friday morning was cloudy, so I couldn't see the moon.