Saturday, December 26, 2009


Poppy brought Frances an old sled from the 1930s, that they used to push me around in when I was her size. We brought Frances over to see the neighbors by the cottage. She didn't take to the whole sled experience at first, but it grew on her.

Here she is with her friend Jaden, and with Suzanne, on their way back to the cottage after spending the afternoon with our neighbors.
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Christmas, 2009, part two....

As Christmas day progressed, Frances got tired of opening presents and decided she would rather play with what she'd already opened. Then Suzanne's parents and brother Abe all materialized, and with them came a renewed interest in the stuff under the tree.

Poppy's blood sugar doesn't react well to the rum and coke, especially when he doesn't drink diet.
She's really getting into her rocking horse.
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Christmas Morning, 2009

On Christmas morning, Frances got up and insisted on putting on a pretty dress because Grandma and Grandpa were coming. We didn't go to quite the same effort. Then we attacked the Christmas tree.

I think all she had for breakfast that morning was pistachios and Crunch n Munch from Poppy's stocking. She loves nuts, and anything salty.
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More of Christmas Eve, 2009

After we got out of the Christmas Eve mass, we slowly drove down to the cottage on Gun Lake, where we will be for the next week. It was nice relaxing upstairs with the lit tree, watching the falling snow cover the frozen lake.

My father had a bit too much rum and coke, it looks like. ;)
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Christmas Eve, 2009

I remember, in life before children, LOVING going to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. I think I enjoyed it so much, in part, because there were no whining children, but there was excellent music, ambience and liturgy.
But those days are over. Frances needs her sleep, and we need Frances to get her sleep. This year, we went to the 4:00 service, which was also the Christmas pageant. Frances was pretty good during church.

My father materialized in Michigan this year, wanting his Christmas pudding. This is not his normal. I suspect that the prospect of seeing Frances for Christmas appealed to him more than not seeing snow in Lynchburg.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmassy Photo Shoot

We got together with the Pine Lake cousins at Meijer Botannical Gardens for a Christmas Photo Shoot. As you can see above, organizing small children for photographs isn't always as easy as it looks.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Warm Saturday in November

It has been a long time since I've posted anything. Last weekend we were down at the cottage, and it was so warm we went to the state park without wearing our coats. It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon.
Above, see Suzanne and Frances washing the fish in Gun Lake.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beautiful Michigan: Wilderness State Park

On our way back home, we stopped at Wilderness State Park, which is at the northwestern tip of the lower peninsula. It has miles and miles of untouched Lake Michigan shoreline. The key word is "wilderness." No manufactured sandy beaches... the beaches are rocky and the indigenous plants are allowed to thrive. Pristine... gorgeous. I love Michigan. You don't find this in New Jersey.

Frances had a wonderful time throwing rocks into the water and watching the splash.
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Beautiful Michigan: The Straits of Mackinac

The Straits of Mackinac is the body of water between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. The two peninsulas are connected by the Mackinac Bridge. In the first three pictures, we are in the upper peninsula, on the Lake Michigan side of the straits, looking to the southeast.
You can see the Mackinac Bridge in the distance. Many Michiganders are very proud of that bridge--but many "yoopers" (people who are native to the "U.P." or Upper Peninsula) wish it had never been built because it brings all the dratted tourists. Up until the 1960s, the only way for trolls and fudgies ("trolls" is "yooper" speak for people who live "below the bridge" in northern lower Michigan. Grandpa and Grandma Weimer are trolls. Suzanne and I are "fudgies" which is yooper-speak for people from southern lower Michigan, who come up to the Upper Peninsula on vacation, and often buy fudge from the tourist shops on Mackinac Island and in the Upper Peninsula... I've also heard this group referred to as "fudge suckers") to access the upper peninsula was by boat.
Here are Grandma and Grandpa Weimer. They are trolls because they live in northern lower Michigan. They don't find the term "troll" offensive in the slightest.
Two trolls, and two fudgies.
Fudgies, all...
This picture of the bridge (often referred to as "the Big Mack")was taken from the Straits State Park, which is on the Lake Huron side of the bridge. This is the bridge viewed from the upper peninsula, looking to the southwest.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beautiful Michigan: Taquamenon Falls, pt. 1

Frances's Great Grandma Weimer is sure a trooper. She walked all the way up to the falls, and pushed Frances in her stroller as she went. Grandpa said she hadn't walked that far in years.
I was the only one who walked the 94 steps down to the brink of the falls, and it was just amazing. They are so powerful.
The browns and gold in the water is due to the tanins in the water from the tree roots...

There's a view of the Taquemon River, as it flows away from the falls.
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Beautiful Michigan: Taquamenon Falls pt. 2

On the path to the falls, Grandpa spotted this interesting root sticking up from the ground.
Frances and Great Grandma had a good chance to get acquainted as they waited for me to come back up from the brink.
Look at that adorable baby... love the bunny hat.
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Here is a view of the falls from farther away...