Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Happiness is

...fall flowers...

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Special Delivery

UPS travels to the Island on the freight boat in the standard brown UPS truck. Once on the dock, the packages are taken out of the truck and loaded onto a dray to be delivered around the Island. In the winter the packages come to the island via airplane.

A couple days ago I was walking down Main Street and a box on the UPS dray caught my eye. Do you see it? Nestled between goodies from Amazon and Target is a box labeled "extreme caution! LIVE SCORPIONS." 

Here, take a closer look:

At first I was a little surprised, I mean who on Mackinac would be ordering live scorpions? Other than the Butterfly House, but my son works there and I think he would have told me if they were adding new scorpions to their display. I did a double take and saw the box was actually a box of Michigan Chillers  books, by Jonathan Rand, headed to the Island Bookstore. I certainly appreciated Mr. Rand's sense of humor; he had me giggling all the way home.

Sunday, September 13, 2020


We finally got the last of our returnables back to the store. It took us two trips with the car since the 14 kitchen-sized trash bags full of bottles and cans wouldn't all fit in the car at the same time. Thank goodness we have plenty of storage space in the basement.

When all was said and done, we had almost $90. If you're not from Michigan, we have a bottle return law here. Each time you buy a carbonated beverage, you pay a ten cent deposit on the container. You get your ten cents back when you return the container to the store. During the spring, all stores in Michigan stopped accepting returnables due to Covid. They're taking them back now, but at both Wal-Mart and Meijer only half the machines are open to keep customers socially distanced. Plus, both have a $25 per person, per day limit. Luckily, there were four of us.

Friday, September 11, 2020


During our last week of summer the kids and I spent a lovely day on Nine Mile Point. (Nine Mile Point is located between Petoskey and Charlevoix on Michigan's lower peninsula.) No day on Lake Michigan would be complete without hunting for Michigan's state stone, the Petoskey stone.

Petoskey stones are actually pieces of  fossilized coral (Hexagonaria percarinata if you're curious.) When the stones are dry the don't look very interesting, but when they're wet or polished, the shape of the coral is easy to see.

In just a half an hour or so, we found quite a few. Our next step is to get some different grits of sandpaper so we can work on polishing the stones (following these directions.)  Hopefully, once they are polished, they'll look something like this one.

Not my picture (this one is for sale on Etsy for $65.00,) but it gives you an idea of what they look like polished.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

First Day 2020

The first day of school is here any my wonderful coworkers talked my teenagers into taking a first day picture with me.

My daughter is 14, my son is almost 16, and I am the shortest one in the family...

Monday, September 7, 2020

Back to School

It's hard to believe it's been 178 days since we left school (on Friday the 13th no less.) Tomorrow we'll be back at it, in person, and I'm glad to be going back.

My classroom is ready to welcome the kids I have the privilege of  working with this year. My tables are set up for socially distanced lessons, with lots of space and plexiglass between students. Our entire elementary, K-6, is only 17 students, so we're able to do some things larger schools just can't.

Tomorrow will be my 28th first day of school, in the classroom I love, with kids I can't wait to get to know better. I know this year isn't going to look like the past 27 years, and it's going to everyone a while to adjust to this "new normal," but I feel confident. We've got strict protocols in place and the entire staff at MIPS is going to work tirelessly to keep all the Island's children safe, healthy and learning.

Thursday, September 3, 2020


I noticed this sign a week or so ago during 
Mackinac Island's annual Fudge Festival. 

Oh Rybas,  did you forget
how to make plurals?

Remember, when a word ending
in a consonant + y is changed into a plural, 
the y is dropped and ies is added to the end.

Mummy becomes mummies.
Baby becomes babies.
Family becomes families.
Journey becomes journeys.
(It does! Look again - there is no consonant before the y.)

So, taffy becomes taffies.

I have to admit it - I am that person. 
I do feel the uncontrollable urge to silently correct
the grammar on signage.
Most of the time the issue the incorrect 
use of an apostrophe, but that's a rant for 
a different day.
That said, I freely admit that I do
occasionally make mistakes, and
I try to be gracious when I am corrected.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020


There is something about mornings on Mackinac that I adore. All summer long I've been doing physical therapy for my back; which means going across to the mainland twice a week. I purposely scheduled my appointments so I could go across on the first boat each morning. Several of my friends thought I was nuts - why would I purposely make it so I had to be up and at the dock for an 8:00 am boat? Yuck.

I'll admit it - I like the first boat. Partially because it's considerably less crowded than the boats later on in the day. There have been a number of Covid-19 exposures on the boats this summer, so anything I can do to avoid crowds people is a good thing. (I'm also trying to always ride on one of the open-air decks rather than inside the cabin. Star Line claims to be fogging the cabins to disinfect them between every trip, but I've been on the boat a lot this summer and I've not seen the fogger used more than I have seen it used.)

I also love how peaceful Mackinac is in the morning. Town is dramatically different in the early hours than it is later on;  there's space on the sidewalks, I don't have to weave in and out of people and it's so much quieter. Don't get me wrong, I love the tourists - without them the Island's economy would fall apart. It's just nice sometimes to not be right in the middle of the craziness.