Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fog & Rain

If you've noticed the date and time stamps at the end of my blog posts, you may have wondered why I often post at midnight. I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm not normally sitting in front of my computer at midnight. In fact, I'm usually horizontal at that time - but probably not asleep. I often prepare these posts ahead of time. I'll sometimes write 2 or 3 of them in a day and schedule them to post on a specific date at a specific time. That's a feature available to me with Blogger that I truly appreciate, as it's often difficult to set aside enough time 3 or 4 times a week to blog. For example, I'm writing this on Friday, August 28th, but I'm going to schedule it to appear on the blog on Monday, August 31st. My computer doesn't have to be ON for it to post. Once it's scheduled, it will miraculously appear on the right date at the right time. 

OK, back to business.

Our summer has been unusually dry, but we have gotten quite a bit of rain in the last couple of weeks, and it was often accompanied by fog. Here's the view of our 2-track into the woods on the morning of August 19th.

There's something hauntingly beautiful about fog. A nearby campground on the shore of Lake Superior has a web cam. The next photo was taken by that web cam around the same time that day.

Just a short time later, it looked like this.

Now, skipping ahead to another rainy day on August 24th, we had a backyard visitor.

Did you see the hawk? Apparently, it was bath time!

Cool, huh? 

I know, I know, the water needed changing. The hawk didn't seem to mind, though. 

Shortly after these photos were taken, Steve saw the hawk move to a nearby tree limb. Shortly after that, it swooped down and grabbed something off the ground and flew away. Must have needed a snack after bath time. Isn't it amazing how well the hawk's coloring blends in with the rocks and woods?

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sneak Peek Friday - Subtle Changes

We're venturing outside for today's sneak peek. We picked thimbleberries again yesterday, but we're coming down to the last of them. We'll have a few more along our driveway, and that's about it. The lack of rain earlier in the summer stunted many of them - causing them to dry up before they fully ripened. We were still able to get a good supply, however, so jam-making is definitely in the near future.

Although things up here are still mostly green. . .

we did notice some subtle changes as we drove the golf cart down a nearby logging path.

 A little color here and there. . .

and we have some changes along our driveway, too.

We're not ready to say, "Hello," to autumn at this point, but the change is definitely on the way.

Our tomatoes aren't quite ready yet, but it won't be long now.

I can almost taste them!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It Reeked!

When we were planning our new house, we made the decision to spend a little extra to put in an additional set of stairs that lead from the garage down into the basement. That has already proven to be one of the best decisions we made, as it keeps a lot of dirt and/or sand out of the house. During the winter months, it will keep snow and cold air out as well. Steve uses this staircase a lot.

Over the last couple of weeks, we noticed an odor coming from that stairwell. It wasn't too noticeable at first and only when one reached the last few steps. However, it soon got to the point where it wasn't just mildly unpleasant; it REALLY reeked!

Now, we know that when a new house is built, it's not uncommon to have little critters get inside during the construction process. Those little critters sometimes get sealed up in the walls - only to die a short time after the homeowners move in. The stench will last a few days and then go away. We didn't think we would have that problem, as our wall cavities are filled with foam insulation. We were really only expecting to smell the odors of pine and new carpeting this summer.

When the guys (not Steve) built the set of steps leading from the garage down into the basement, they built them with treads but no risers - and they didn't clean out the items that had accumulated under that area before they built them - such as pop cans, lunch bags and building debris. Before the odor even began, Steve had put a note on his "to do list" to remove 4-5 stair treads in order to clean out that area. When the odor became too much for his nostrils to handle, he moved it to the top of his list.

So. . . Steve removed some treads.

That was no quick task, as the boys had really secured those treads well. He had a broom, ShopVac and an extra light on hand, so he could make sure to get every bit of trash - fully expecting to find someone's decomposing lunch.

He found pop cans and some other trash along with construction debris, but that didn't explain the smell of decomposition.

Decomposition was occurring alright, but. . .

it wasn't someone's sandwich, and. . .

it wasn't someone's potato salad, and. . .

it wasn't even a mouse.

It was. . .

a rabbit!

That's what I said. A rabbit! Dead! Deceased! Decomposing! Ashes to ashes, dust to dust! Relax - I won't show you how it actually looked. I don't want you to lose your lunch!

Mr. Bunny Rabbit probably hopped innocently into the garage and Cocoa chased him down the steps. Mr. Rabbit was able to get under the steps (no risers), but he couldn't get back out again. Thus, he starved to death. We're certain that Cocoa was involved in this situation, since (1) she loves the taste of bunny and (2) she's been sleeping in the garage all summer - but she wasn't talking!

Oh well, that entire area is now spick and span and the treads are back on. Cross that job off the list.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Customer Service Done Right

I'm sure you remember our struggles with AT&T and their customer service. (By the way, our land line still isn't buried and winter is fast approaching.) It sure is nice when we have the opportunity to experience a good example of customer service - especially when we're talking about a huge corporation. Since we recently had such an experience, I thought I should give them a pat on the back.

I know Walmart gets a bad rap from many people for many different reasons, but I do shop there for some of our groceries, pet supplies and toiletries. Our shopping options up here are quite limited, so I don't have a Meijer or Target available. When we visited Walmart last month, I picked up a large carton of their Great Value sour cream. Upon opening it for the first time a week later, I discovered that it was bad - really bad. It was watery and lumpy at the same time. No amount of stirring could make it come together in any type of normal sour cream consistency. Yuck! Just Yuck! The "sell by date" was quite far in the future, so it wasn't old, but something was definitely very wrong with it. There was no way I was going to use it or even taste it. Since we live in the middle of nowhere, I couldn't just run back to the store for a new carton.

I've purchased their brand of sour cream many times before and never had a problem with it, but I was irritated. I decided to send an email to Walmart - not thinking that anything would happen - just to vent my frustration. Well, they actually responded to me, and I gave them all the dates and numbers off the carton they requested.

Look what I got in the mail! 

It's really nice when a company does the right thing nowadays. 

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Special Sunday Reflections

Cocoa in Leaves - 2012
We're so happy that she's able to live out the rest of her life on this beautiful property. She loves it out here!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Never Even Noticed!

OK, could someone please tell me how I missed it? For someone who thinks she notices the details of her surroundings, I somehow managed to miss something that was hiding in plain sight for 14 weeks.

When "Mr. Perfect for Me" installed our dining area light fixture back in May, he wiped it down for me, and I helped him screw in the 7 (Yes, 7!) light bulbs. It didn't take long to realize that even though it was rated for 60 watt bulbs, that was way too much wattage for a fixture above our table. Can you say, "BRIGHT?" We felt like we were being interrogated every time we ate. So, I added lower wattage decorative bulbs to my next shopping list. I was so happy to get those new bulbs that I changed them out before I even unpacked the rest of our groceries. Yep, I unscrewed the first bulbs and screwed in the new bulbs all by myself. That obviously took real talent. Yet, I still didn't see it. In fact, it wasn't until I dusted off the light fixture this week that I noticed it.

"Noticed what?" you ask.


That little switch turns the lights on and off. Now, why would a light fixture intended to be hardwired into the electrical box in our ceiling and operated by a switch on our wall need an on/off switch on the actual fixture?

So you don't have to have all 7 of the bulbs on if you don't want all 7 bulbs on! Brilliant!

Here's how it looks with just the middle bulb turned on.

We can also turn off the middle bulb and leave the 6 bulbs surrounding it on.

Of course, we can also leave all 7 bulbs on.

I really can't believe it took me 14 weeks to notice. Duh!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sneak Peek Friday - Another Christmas in August

I wrote about the Eagle Harbor Art Fair last Friday. I'm writing about Copper Harbor's Art in the Park today. This event took place last Saturday & Sunday, August 15th & 16th. We went on Saturday - arriving shortly after they opened at 10:00 a.m. It was warm - too warm for the Keweenaw. I think the temp topped out at about 84° in town, but it was humid and without much of a breeze. They had a nice selection of vendors in Copper Harbor anyway. Some had been at Eagle Harbor the prior weekend; some had not. Unfortunately, the man who made the birch bark vessel I mentioned last week wasn't there, so I missed out on that opportunity.

One of the booths that Steve found to be the most interesting was that of a retired gentleman who made toys and novelty items. Most of his toys were simple and unique, and his prices were very reasonable. We wanted to buy something for Max, so Steve selected something that represented our area - a log truck. . .

with logs. . .

in Grandpa's favorite color for vehicles - RED!

We won't give it to Max for Christmas, though. We'll give it to him next summer when they come to visit instead, so don't tell him! (I'm sorry, but I don't have the name of the vendor.)

So, it wasn't Christmas for Max, but it was Christmas for me. I couldn't resist this little guy. . .

at the booth of this vendor.

He's a bit bow-legged,

and he has soulful eyes

and a cute tail.

He's up in the guest room, and his planter box is currently displaying some Keweenaw tourist information.

I'll swap that out for poinsettias or other decorations when Christmas rolls around.

No more peeking today!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Humming 1234567

We're having so much fun watching our hummingbirds this summer that it's sometimes difficult to leave the great room in the morning. They're active all day from daylight to dark. We have 2 especially aggressive ones around here lately. I thought that only the male hummingbirds were aggressive, but after further observation and research, I now know that's not true. Females can be extremely aggressive - especially when protecting a food source. Here's a female, and I've watched her chase others away from the feeders.

You can tell she has an attitude by the look on her face.

It's hard to count how many hummingbirds we have out here at one time. They move so quickly, and we have 2 feeders within 10-12 feet of each other. We know we had at least 8 at once, but we think we've had 9 sometimes. Of course, this is just when we happen to be watching - and counting. I've only been able to capture 7 at once with my camera.

Two. . .

Three. . .

Four. . .

Five. . .

Six. . .


I love how the sunlight enhanced the beautiful iridescent feathers on the hummingbird in this last shot.

Lots of fun! We're going to miss them during the winter months.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Special Message. . .

for Marty & Donna.

Congrats on another year of wedded bliss. Just think, you'll be living in the Keweenaw when you celebrate your next anniversary! See you in mid-September.

All is well in the Keweenaw.