Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Snack Time

The other day my daughter noticed the chickadees going crazy at the bird feeder.  Her father insisted, if she held some bird seed in her hand and held very still, she just might get one to land on her hand. It took a good 15 minutes but, he was right!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

2017 Valentines

As always, my kiddos wanted personalized Valentine cards to pass out to their friends at school. This year Miss K wanted cards with this Sans character on them. (Apparently Sans is a little skeleton guy in a game called Undertale - which, of course, I've never heard of. Nor has she ever played.) We packaged him with SweeTart skulls and bones. Most of her friends didn't get the tibia joke, but that's OK.

S has been addicted to Swedish Fish lately and wanted something with a fishy theme. Nothing too fancy, but they sure looked cute in bags with the red fishies. I hadn't had Swedish fish in years - I'd forgotten just how good they were...

Feel free to download these and use them. The high resolution versions are below; just right click and save to your computer. Only part  the image shows, but it will all be there when you save it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


My students think I just assign homework; little do they know that I often have to do homework as well. Though, I am most definitely not complaining about having papers to grade; I adore my job. The drudgery of inputting grades is just one small part of the wonderful whole that is teaching. Getting to spend my days with great kids is worth the time I spend at the keyboard.

In case you're wondering about the small sheet of paper that reads "Get Comfy" in the photo, it's a prize the kids can earn. A Get Comfy Pass entitles to bearer to get comfy all day - he or she may sit in the soft arm chair, wear their PJs and have a stuffed animal friend at their seat. It's my daughter's all time favorite prize. She chooses the Get Comfy Pass over the Homework Pass every time.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Just Ask

Recently, I got a message with some questions about snowmobiles and it got me thinking - my guess is that lots of folks are curious about them. So I thought I'd take a moment to answer a few questions.

Fist of all, snowmobiles are a little like motorcycles. However, they have a lower center of gravity and the driver doesn't need to shift gears. They're so easy to drive that at 12, kids in Michigan can get a license to drive one after taking a driving course. (Which my son just finished and is now a licensed driver.)

1. Do snowmobiles have very big gas tanks?

I'm not quite sure how to answer that. The gas tank on a snowmobile is smaller than the tank on a car, but snowmobiles are much smaller than a car. Both of our snowmobiles have eight gallon gas tanks. Our older machines get just over eight miles to a gallon of gas. That translates to around 60 miles on a tank of gas. Given that I drive one mile to school each morning and then one mile home, I don't fill up all that often.

2. Where on the island do you get gas for them?

We buy gas at the hardware store. (It's on the Coal Dock, which is sometimes called UTP or Union Terminal Pier.) It's small, but can usually get anything we need. Gas there costs more than it does on the mainland, so when we can cross the ice, we usually fill up in St. Ignace.

3. When you drive across the ice bridge and reach St. Ignace, are there trails open for snowmobiles to get around town?

We can drive across the ice and then across the street to the gas station to fill up, and using some back roads access the snowmobile trails. You can't really drive around town on your snowmobile - we just hop into the car if we need to do that.

4. What's a groomer an how do you groom snowmobile trails?

A grooming machine smooths and levels out a trail. They are generally pulled behind a tractor or something similar. None of the snowmobile trails on the island are groomed. However, the cross country skiing trails are groomed using a small groomer that's pulled behind a snowmobile.

5. An article I read talked about snowmobiles going 55-70 mph. Do they really go that fast? Do you go that fast on the island?

Yes, many easily go that fast, some go even faster, but we don't ride that fast on the island. The speed limit on much of the island is 20 mph, not to mention that you don't want to drive on narrow twisty trails going much faster than that. That said, there is no speed limit out on the ice. Out there, there's plenty of space and on a clear day, great visibility. Once, on a very smooth ice bridge Allen and I crossed doing about 80 mph. (Without kids, of course.)

If anyone happens to have any more questions, leave a comment or email me, and I'll do my best to answer. And if the formatting of this post seems a bit off, my apologies. I am done fighting with Blogger about it!

Friday, February 3, 2017


Mackinac Island's annual Winter Festival starts tomorrow! My daughter's cardboard sled is all ready and both of my children are all looking forward to making s'mores. I hope they decide to play a round of snow golf.  

If not, they might join in a game of broom hockey,

or bowl a few frozen chickens.

I don't think there will be a "Glow Ride" this year, but back in 2015, both of my children loved it.

If you're in the neighborhood, stop by Great Turtle Park tomorrow and join in the fun!