Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I would like to publicly thank . . .

. . . my dog, Augie.  If not for my daily walks about town with him, I don't believe I would appreciate all the hard work  done by Mother Nature.

I don't know if this morning was so fan-friggin'-tastic because it just was or if it made me tear up because I knew tomorrow and the days to follow were going to suck the big one.

The light was amazing, the shadows were soft and the reflections on the water took my breath away.  Ok, too much?  I don't care.

I'm only sorry that I didn't get a picture of the lonely goose that swam by and the funky kingfisher that skimmed the water's surface.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Clan Gathering

My mother turned 91 last Tuesday and her brother's 90th is next month.  All the planets were lined up perfectly for the McDonald clan to gather in Dearborn for an early birthday celebration for my Uncle Ray yesterday.

There was a third sibling.  My Uncle Ray had a twin.  My Aunt Theo died in her 40s. She was the coolest of cool and we referenced her a lot yesterday.  So, do the math.  My grandmother gave birth to my mom and 13 months later had twins!

Our three "boy" cousins.  Terry (Ter) on the left; my Aunt Theo's son, Richard in the middle and Scott on the right; Uncle Ray's sons.  Those 3 men have sons - no daughters.
This is Maureen (don't ask me why the large font isn't working) and she's married to Scott's oldest, Tavis.  They're going to have a baby in February and it's a girl!!! 
I wasn't (there's the large font again - yea!) able to get a picture of Tavis.  He kept sitting in front of the picture window - bad lighting.  I also only had one picture of the hostess, my cousin Scott's wife, Linda, and she'd kill me if I posted it - eyes closed/mouth open.  No one wants that on the internet, right?

Scott and Richard's sons were all (5) there too but I can never keep their names straight so I'll post the pictures anyway - except Tavis, of course, because of that picture window factor.

 The afternoon flew by and
soon it was time to start the
hugging.  I forgot to mention
that we also had a very nice
visit with my Aunt Jean, Uncle
Ray's wife, who was unable to
come to Scott's house.  She is
an amazing woman; one of my
all-time favorites.

The last photo of the day.  The clan thought it would be a good idea to throw a Sicilian into the mix.
 It was a great time.  Thanks again, Scott and Linda, for hosting.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Walkin' Augie in Saugie

I've written about Saugatuck before and posted pics as well but there's just something magical about the place.  It draws people year round.  

Sunday was a less gloomy day and I am not a fan of Sundays anyway (they seem to go on for friggin' ever) so we decided to take Augie on a road trip.  We figured it wouldn't be too busy for a mid-October Sunday so he wouldn't be too crazy.

Wrong.  It was busy.  Almost like a Sunday in July.  He wasn't crazy, tho'.  He was a good boy.  I remembered that we'd taken him there when we first got him to get him used to seeing people milling about.

Saugatuck revisited:

This picture is a good representation of Saugatuck in my book.  Funky and arty.  Look!  Augie's doing the photo-bomb thing; upper right corner.  Augie butt shot.
Apparently the city fathers/mothers thought to keep these big old trees when the sidewalks went in - thanks!

Interesting bark on one of those big old trees.
Corners and planters are festooned with fall regalia. 

There's also a hot topic coming up on November's ballot.  I'm not up on all the details but it has something to do with joining services with neighbor, Douglas.  I noticed that most of the signs in Douglas (as we drove through on our way home) were against consolidation and about 50% of the signs in Saugatuck were for it.

Colorful stepping stones in the park of Augie's introduction to Saugatuck.

Augie's re-enaction.  Looks like he's spotted a bird or a squirrel.
A fall basket of goodies tucked in near a front door.

An empty parking lot near the empty boat slips is indicative of fall.

Makes me just a little sad.
But let's not end this blog on a downer, eh?

I can guarantee you that if you go to Saugatuck in January on a Saturday afternoon, you'll see people hanging out near the fudge shop on the corner, entering/exiting Phil's or buying silly greeting cards in the drugstore.  Go - and then scoot over to Douglas because it has a personality all its own.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dancing with the Docs

Last night we attended Wings of Hope Hospice's fund raiser, "Dancing with the Docs."  It was as much fun this year as it was last year.

Similar to the television program, local doctors are paired up with professional dancers and compete for a trophy.  There were 3 judges who picked a winner and there was also a popular winner voted on via $$$ stuffed into bowls.


The joint was packed.

He looks like he's still in high school, doesn't he?  Way too young to be called "doctor."

Doesn't Tom look snappy in the shirt his talented wife, Nancy, made for him?

I haven't met this doctor yet but I was greatly impressed with what she did on the stage.  The judges voted them the winners.

This is my new doc; we met for the first time last night.

This is Augie's doctor.  They won the popular vote.  A ton o' dollars were stuffed into their bowl.

Another successful dancing event for hospice.  A lot of work went into the program and it showed.

Oh, by the way, the MC, Brent Larson, was outstanding!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Won't you join us?

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and someone asks you if you'd like to join their table?

This sorta happened on our first visit to ChinnChinn and was a life saver.  The place was jam packed and scoring two chairs instead of waiting another 45 minutes or so was fantastic.

What I'm talking about, though, is the awkward invite.  You don't want to sit down with the invitors . . . just because you don't feel like it or - worse yet - you don't particularly care for them.

What do you say?  When it happened to you, if it has happened, what was your response?  Did your reply sound weak?

The above scenario has happened to us locally which makes it even more awkward.  I can't remember what we said because it happened a long time ago but I do remember our reason for not accepting the invite was because it was already a table-full and that's never been a favorite situation for either of us.  At least, that's how I remember it.

If you have a suggestion or two, I'd love to hear it so that I can tuck it/them away for the next time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Allegan's 175th anniversary

Allegan had a birthday!  175 years!  My how time flies, eh?
Joe and Deb Leverence decided there should be a party so they threw one (with a ton o' help) yesterday.  Music, food, horses, old time crafts and dancing.

Mother Nature was invited and she showed up in a big way.

Here's the "thank-you" card to the local businesses that kicked in prizes and $$$.

Up close and personal in the petting "zoo."


The blow-up activities were there in full force.

Speaking of blow-up.  Balloon animals were everywhere.


A happy customer.  I say "customer" which makes it sound like money exchanged hands but it didn't.  Everything was free!

Spinning and weaving.


Blues at the gazebo.  Oh, yeah.

The Presbyterians conducted a chili cook-off.

Petey and I tasted - and voted.

You could have your picture taken and then superimposed onto an old-time pic of Allegan.  What a great idea.

This wagon ride was so popular we never got a chance to hop on.

These guys were the final act of the day at the gazebo and were a blast.
Apparently this group really enjoyed the music.  No matter how many times they were asked to leave Mahan Park, they wouldn't budge.  Does anyone know who they are????

Here's Joe making a heartfelt thank-you to the community.  You can tell it's heartfelt - look where his hand is.

Ms.Mayor (Betty McDaniel) reading the proclamation.  She said "where as" a lot.  See the box on the table?  It was filled with items that will be placed in the "time capsule" to be opened in 25 years.  Wonder if I'll still be able to hold a camera steady at that event?

Several people came dressed for the era.

The evening festivities began with a barn dance.

 The decorations were great.

Who won the costume contest?

There was a "caller" for the dancing.  I don't believe there were any injuries.

There were tasty treats on the table along side this cake but they hadn't cut into it by the time we left.  I'm sure it was good, tho'.

Everyone who attended the dance went home with a wooden "nickle" provided by Baker Studio.  Cool, eh?

It's amazing what can be done in a short amount of time by incredibly hard workin' people.

Happy anniversary, Allegan.  See you at the 200th?????