Exploring Fabius Township and St. Joseph County, Michigan, with side trips all over this Great Lakes state

Monday, October 31, 2011

But was it?

The answer is no, the room was not empty, but filled with empties!  A visit to the Long Lake Food and Book Shop was always quite a trip!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Official, but not officious!

You are back in the Long Lake Food and Book Shop with me touring the original signage Joanne created over the years.  You are about to enter the Book Room, actually several rooms that are filled with new and used books.   Michael Moore looks down on us from the ceiling as Joanne cautions, "Enter at your own risk!"  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thanks for coming

With Joanne's retirement in July, the Long Lake Food and Book Shop is closed and its sale is pending in November.   The plans of the new owner are not clear yet, but I am pretty sure this will now be the only way to see the Joan Hector window and the "thank you for coming in" sign on the entrance/exit way.   And I am certain that there will be no more of Joanne's wonderful messages scattered throughout the store.  I will post more signs this week to honor this local institution and its almost-former owner who turns 84 this week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nimbostratus for ABC Wednesday

I was feeling like a numskull.  I had neglected to even negotiate my way through the N’s in the dictionary and I was very nervous.  Here it was Wednesday morning and I had no new entry for ABC Wednesday, nary a one, nada, nichevo.  I had the notion to skip doing an N-blog, but then I really did not have the nerve to break the nexus with the ABC gang.  That wasn’t the notoriety I craved.  So stop being a nattering nabob of negativity, knuckle down and nab a dictionary, I said to myself.   So I did!

And next thing I knew there was the word I needed and I even had a photo to illustrate it.
This nimbostratus cloud (a low dark cloud that precipitates rain, sleet, or snow) appeared one day when we were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan just a month ago.  You are viewing Lake Superior from Shelter Bay and it could certainly be raining over Au Train Island.

Please do not neglect checking out the numerous contributions to N-Day on

Monday, October 17, 2011

Odd man, but not out!

We were visiting the Little Store on the Prairie (over in Cass County northwest of us) to stock up on items they carry in bulk (flour, nuts, rice) plus cheese and grass fed meats. 

In the barnyard next to the store we came across this feeding frenzy.  The chickens really had no choice whether to allow a guest -- a Highland cattle whose head is bigger than they are!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Misty Morning

Misty mornings are the norm here in Southwest Michigan, especially this past week of absolutely delightful Indian Summer.  Temperatures in the 70's (most definitely above average) during the day and ranging from 39 to 50 at night have us all meandering about outside as much as possible.  

Find many more M's to marvel over at ABC Wednesday!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Once more the Mighty Mac

Yes, once more we are crossing THE bridge of Michigan between the lower and upper peninsulas, the Mackinac (pronounced mak-in-aw) Bridge, or the Mighty Mac or the Big Mac.  The clouds do reflect my sadness at leaving the Upper Peninsula again, although unlike before retirement I didn't actually cry! 

I recommend a Jim Harrison novel, Sun Dog, to you.  It tells the story of one man from the UP who worked on the building the bridge in the 1950's.

I also recommend Louis LaVache's Sunday Bridges for more bridges to somewhere!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Animal Rescue Fund (ARF)

Every October two- and four-legged friends gather at the Meyer Broadway Park in Fabius Township to help ARF raise funds to help protect the four-legged residents of St. Joseph County.  Here we are strolling along on one of the trails participating in the ARF Walk-a-thon.  Willow, in the lead,  is the same color as the leaves on the right side of the path.  She is checking up on whether I am keeping up!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sleeping Bear sky

It seems as if the lakes below are reflected on the sky and not vice versa! 

This photo, looking east toward Big and Little Glen Lakes, was taken from the Lake Michigan Overlook on the Pierce Stocking Drive of the Slepping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

For more wonderful skies, please visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

L is for lace-curtain Irish

I was loathe to leave behind my first idea for L, inspired last week by Roger’s fine take on the Kennedys and the memories his entry for K on ABC Wednesday brought back of growing up Irish in South Bend, Indiana.   That choice was “lace-curtain Irish.”

Curious about an “official” definition, I looked it up in lots of places with lousy results, in the sense that agreement is a loser in the debate.  Is it a slur or a compliment?  Only American or also Irish in its usage?  Did it refer to making lace?   Or hanging lace curtains, or simply aspiring to hang lace curtains, in your windows?    The American Heritage Dictionary (my favorite) says: “aspiring to or emulating the middle class.”  One side of my Irish family had definitely moved into the middle class (Brigid Flynn married an English Protestant!) and the other side (the Irish-French Canadian union) qualified because they aspired to it.  

But then I could not even find the photo of lace curtains in my very own house!  Did I have the luxury of continuing to look in old hard drives?  Was I just being lazy not to come up with another of the luscious L words that would leap to mind if I just tried longer?  Or would the legendary “luck of the Irish” see me through to finding what I remembered as a lovely photo which I would hate to lose?

Well, it is now late afternoon of ABC Wednesday.  I have lavished hours on the search of several back-up drives.  Finally I turned to my last hope, launched the very old Star-Max hard drive (which was left behind several computers ago), and, lo and behold, there it was, the photo I call “My Redon,” a late summer bouquet in front of the lace curtains,  I hope it brings a smile to your face and a lilt to your gait!

Do not linger here any longer!  Lope on over to ABC Wednesday for lucid and lustrous blogs on the letter, L.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Late summer day at Sleeping Bear Dunes

It would be hard to find a road with more spectacular views than that of the Pierce Stocking Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern lower Michigan.  We chose to spend the night on our way home from Lake Superior at this second of the two national lakeshore parks in Michigan.   This was the frosting on the cake of our week on Lake Superior!

Reflections from around the world can be found at this wonderful site: Weekend Reflections