Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Happy Anniversary to My New Me!

Yikes, it is hard to believe I just had my 2 year Anniversary of My New ME!  Two years ago
on September 18th, 2015 my life changed forever.   At the time I thought it was devastating but as I look back on my life. It should of happened sooner and it definitely was a good thing for me.

In the past two years I have tackled many fears and 
finding out "Who Am I" ....

1. Living alone - I was always afraid to live alone. Now after two years I can not imagine living with anyone. Funny how things change.

2. Total decision making - now I make a decision and let it roll ...sometimes good decision and sometimes bad. But they are my decisions.

3. I have started doing what I like and when I like it.  I have taken up hiking, kayaking, and an a active camper. I make soap - paint rocks - and now I am getting back into sewing.

4. I have learned to act on my feelings and emotions - not worry about what should and should not be done or said.  

5. I focus on me - staying healthy in diet and activities.

6. I love to travel and have been on numerous vacations. 

I guess the reason I am writing this post is to let everyone know that when you the world is going to end. 
Stand UP  
Determine your coarse of action  - change direction whenever needed
GO FOR IT!!!  
Do what makes YOU HAPPY!!!!! 
Always remember Happiness if not a Given - YOU need to make your own happiness. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My place ......

Have you every been to a location 100's of times and yet you never get tired of the location. Someplace where you often wish you had moved there years ago? Someplace where you know the winters would get you down but the other seasons would be amazing. 

That place to me is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior. 

Lake Superior to me is a magical lake. I have seen her WILD and CALM like glass. I call the lake a HER because I know in my heart she has the spirit of a strong powerful woman.  At 64 years of age I plan to continue to explore the area and just maybe one day I will spend many days hiking and exploring Isle Royale.  

Folklore of Lake Superior (Gitchigumi ~ meaning Great Water or Great Lake) ~ http://www.chi-manidoo.com/gichigami2.html

The Legend of Michi Peshu:

Mishi Peshu Spirit Lynx Pictograph at Agawa, Lake SuperiorThe Anishinabe tell of the great underwater lynx like creature who lives in the depths of Gitchigumi - the creature called Mishi Peshu or Mishipashoo. He is the ulitmate metaphor representing the power, mystery and innate danger that comes from these sacred waters. With razor like spikes on his back, the face of a lynx or panther, and the body of a sea serpent, this creature demanded respect. The Anishinabe offered tobacco and prayer to the creature spirit before they embarked out onto the waters in their canoes. The calm waters of Lake Superior can be quickly transformed into raging squalls and huge waves from the northern, north-eastern, and north-western gales that often suddenly crop up. These gales sweep over the open water, quickly picking up momentum and causing huge waves, some up to 40 feet high.

Pictographs of Mishi Peshu can be found in several areas around the Great Lakes. The one in the picture to the right is found at Agawa Bay, Lake Superior National Park, in northern Ontario, north of Sault Ste. Marie. The Midewiwin Society claimed in 1850 that this pictograph was painted by an Anishinabe shaman, and represents a heroic 4 day crossing of Lake Superior by a war party of five canoes. The author is believed to be a tribal shaman named Myeengun which means "Wolf." The images are painted using red ochre, a pigment made from the iron ore called hematite, mixed with clay minerals. This is the most famous rock art painting in Canada, according to National Collection Archive sources. 

Legend of the Sleeping Giant:

The Sleeping Giant at Isle Royale in Lake SuperiorOn an island just outside Thunder Bay, now known as "Isle Royale", there lived a great tribe of Ojibwe Natives. Because of their loyalty to the Great Spirit, and their peaceful and industrious mode of living, Nanabijou, the Spirit of the Deep Sea Water, decided to reward them. One day he called their Chief to his great Thunder Temple on the mountain and warned him that if he told the secret to the white man, that he, Nanabijou would be turned to stone. The Chief gave his promise, and Nanabijou told him of the rich silver mine, now known as "Silver Islet". The Great Spirit told him to go to the highest point on Thunder Cape, and here he would find the entrance to a tunnel that would lead him to the centre of the mine.

Apparently the Chief and his people found the mine, for the Ojibwe became famous for their beautiful silver ornaments. So beautiful indeed were they, that the Sioux warriors on seeing them upon their wounded enemies, strove to wrest their secret from them. However, torture and even death failed to make the gallant Ojibwe divulge their secret and the Sioux chieftains had to devise another scheme to find the source of the Ojibwe silver. One day they summoned their most cunning scout to a pow-wow and a plan was formed.

The scout was to enter the Ojibwe camp disguised as one of them. This he did and in a few days succeeded in learning the secret of the island of silver. Going to the mine at night he took several large pieces of the precious metal in order to prove to his chieftain that he had fulfilled his mission. The scout however never returned to his camp, for on his way back he stopped at a white traders post to purchase some food. Having no furs or money with which to pay for the goods, he used a piece of the silver. Seeing such a large piece of the gleaming metal, two white men sought to obtain the whereabouts of its source, in order to make themselves fabulously rich. After filling the Sioux scout with alcohol they persuaded him to show them the to the mine.

When almost in sight of "Silver Islet" a terrific storm broke over the Cape. The white men were drowned and the Sioux man was found in a crazed condition floating aimlessly in his canoe, but the most extraordinary thing that had happened during the storm, was that where once was a wide opening to the bay, now lay what appeared to be a great sleeping figure of a man.

The Great Spirit's warning had been fulfilled and he had been turned to stone. On a little island at the foot of the Sleeping Giant, can still be seen the partly submerged shafts of what was once the richest silver mine in the northwest.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

7 Ways a Dog Will Change Your Life

If you’ve never had a dog, the decision to get your first can be tough. They need a lot of time and affection, they can be expensive, and there is a lot of hard work involved. Dogs most certainly aren’t for everyone. However, there are also many, many benefits to owning a dog. If you make the leap, there is no doubt that your canine friend will change your life for the better. 
Here’s how.

You’ll Never Be Lonely

We all get lonely from time to time, even if we are with people. It’s an entirely normal part of life. But, this loneliness will vanish the day you bring a dog home. You’ll always have your dog to look after, to talk to and to go out with. He will be a constant companion that won’t leave your side.

You Will Be Loved

Do you crave a human-animal bond? Many people do, but your dog will love you. He’ll show you love with cuddles, licks and nuzzles and this love will be unconditional. Never again will you feel unloved or unworthy; a dog will shower you with affection.

You’ll Be More Active

Dogs need a lot of walking; how much depends on the breed but most of them enjoy a good long walk and a chance to stretch their legs and play. You’ll be much more active as a dog owner. But, if you wanted to take this further, you could start running with your dog or going for much longer walks. You’ll enjoy it more and feel more confident with your dog at your side.

You’ll Meet New People

Even if you don’t take your dog to shows or classes, you will meet more people than you normally do. You’ll get chatting to other dog owners in the park, talk to people waiting at the vet's and say “hi” to everyone you pass with a dog. You’ll be a part of the dog owner’s community.

You’ll Share More

Your dog will want everything you eat and while now you may think “I’ll never share my dinner with a dog,” as soon as he looks at you with his lovely eyes you’ll give in. You’ll soon be sharing more than you ever thought you would.

You’ll Be Closer to Your Family

Families often drift, even when they live in the same house. Your new pet will help to bring you all back together. Family members will visit to meet your dog and keep returning to see him. You’ll all start doing things together again.

You Will Love Unconditionally

Unconditional love is a rare and beautiful thing. After a few weeks, you will almost certainly feel it for your dog, perhaps in a way that you never have for another person. Embrace and enjoy it.
Having a dog can help you to live a longer and happier life. It will keep you physically and mentally fit and healthy for longer and fill your life with love and laughter. If you can see yourself becoming a dog person, why not head down to your local shelter in search of your new best friend?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Enjoy Your LIfe

Have you ever just decided to go on a vacation and leave within three days? 
If not - you should give it a try.  It is a total RUSH to plan and go NOW!

Last Saturday my daughter called and asked if I wanted to fly to Vegas for my birthday. I was like when - she said Tuesday!  I said Tuesday!!!! Yep Tuesday it was.  My nephew, my daughter and I flew out of Milwaukee on Tuesday to Vegas!

I think the fly by the seat of your pants is what was so exciting. It was a great way to rejuvenate and have some fun. 

Seriously, if you are in a rut and need to venture out - check out a last minute trip to somewhere!!!  
Enjoy Your Life - We only get one! 
There is no rehearsal!
This is your life with no reruns or repeats for 
each and every day. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

What is a Recreational Kayak?

Recreational kayak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
recreational kayak is a type of kayak that is designed for the casual paddler interested in recreational activities on a lake or flatwater stream; they presently make up the largest segment of kayak sales. Compared to other kayaks, recreational kayaks are characterized by having a larger cockpit opening for easy entry and exit and a wider beam (27–30 inches) for more stability on the water and are generally less than twelve feet in length, which makes them slower than a longer boat would be, but lighter, easier to handle in and out of the water, and less expensive. Due to the wider hull, recreational kayaks will not track (maintain a straight line) as well as longer, narrower models. They generally have limited cargo carrying capacity. Using less expensive materials like rotomolded polyethylene and including fewer options helps keep these boats inexpensive.

Comparison with kayaks[edit]

As compared to the other big kayaks, a recreational kayak has characteristics which are different like a larger cockpit that is easy to open, make an entry and exit from. It has a wider beam of about 27-30 inches for more stability in water and is generally less than 12 feet in length. This smaller dimensions of the recreational kayak makes it smaller than a longer boat. As compared to the big kayaks, a recreational kayak is light, and thus it is easier to handle both in and out of water. This recreational kayak is cheaper as compared to a big kayak. Since the recreational kayak has a wider hull, recreational kayaks will not track lines, especially straight lines as compared to longer and narrower models. A recreational kayak has limited cargo carrying capacity as compared to a huge kayak. The materials used to manufacture the recreational kayak is rotomolded polyethylene which is less expensive and has fever options. Recreational kayaks are generally used for fishing.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Please donate

Please help the animals of the 
Houston Flood
Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security patrol help to rescue residents and their dogs in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood on Aug. 27 in Houston.
A cat wanders through debris on Aug. 28 in Rockport, Texas. A neighbor took in the cat and provided it with food and water.

HSTN WebDonation

Milwaukee Kayaking Company

Last night two friends and I took the Milwaukee Kayak Company Harbor District Tour.  I had a excellent time.  

We signed up for the August 10th tour. On August 10th there was a severe thunderstorm warning which cancelled the trip. We rescheduled for last night.

We arrived at 5:15 pm for the trip. We registered then we were fitted for a kayak and life jackets.  I brought my own life jacket ~ I know it is silly but I feel safe in my life jacket. 

They offered water, snack, and headlamps if needed.  We were all good.

It was a group of about 15 people - all different ages and all different skill sets for kayaking. A few this was their first time in a kayak others definitely knew how to paddle. 

We had two guides from the Milwaukee Harbor District that explained what was happening in the district.  I was very impressed at the districts work to save the area.  I can remember when the Milwaukee River area was very polluted. Over the past 25 years there has been a lot of work done to clean up the waterways and Lake Michigan. The waterway area is much cleaner that it was.  I was especially impressed with the floating islands and the underway fish habitats.

Very fun trip that I recommend to everyone living in the area and visiting Milwaukee. The cost is $25 for the Harbor District Tour - definitely worth the money! Excellent guided trip with good equipment. I had a Pelican Prodigy Kayak and a Harmony Sea Passage Paddle ~ both good quality.
This is a post where the pics can tell the story! 

Milwaukee Kayak Company 
Canoe & kayak rental service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Address318 S Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Open today · 10AM–7PM

Kayaking & Camping Mirror Lake ~ Wisconsin State Park

In July of this year we spent a weekend camping and kayaking at Mirror Lake State Park
just south of Wisconsin Dells.  Mirror Lake is one of my favorite State Parks. The park offers excellent hiking. You might remember the post about camping in 29 degree weather - that was Mirror Lake SP.  This year we camped in our Popup and spent the day 

Our campsite was very nice. Close to the bathroom but kind of too far from the water. Next trip to the park we will pick a site closer to the water. No complaints about camping ~ the park was very busy ~ but no issues with campers.

Now kayaking was a different story!  The lake was packed with kayaks.  They were everywhere. Mirror Lake rents kayaks - so many were new to kayaking.  I was shocked at how few wore Life Jackets.  I counted 6 kayaks wearing life jackets ~ out of the 6 we were 3 of them.  Seriously no PFD's were worn. That is so scary to me ~ knowing how fast it can go bad on the water.

I took Diesel with us. It was way too busy for him on the lake. He was not having a good time - stressed the poor dog out.  Dogs also were not wearing life jackets. That too was shocking to me. 

After about 4 hours on the lake we decided to get off the water. The boat launch was crazy busy - so busy that cars were unwilling to wait for people to get off the water before they felt the need to put their boat in the water. Very stressful boat landing. 

Over all the trip was a huge success ~ you know what they say!

A Bad Kayaking Day is Better than a Great Work Day

I give Mirror Lake Wisconsin State Park a 5 Star rating for camping. The lake is a beautiful destination for kayaking.  I will never go again so close to a holiday weekend. Way to many people on the water. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Save Money with Groupon

I love to shop on Amazon.  My friends are always saying yes I know you got that on AMAZON!  Yes I did.  

Put they do not know is that I save even more money by using Groupon to shop on Amazon! Amazon and Groupon make excellent partners!  

When doing my back to school shopping I find a lot of the school supplies on Amazon and right now Groupon has over 156 deals on amazon items. 

Right now, one of the Groupon Amazon deals is FREE shipping with Amazon without having to have Amazon Prime.

If you have not checked out Groupon ~ you should! There are so many amazing deals at Groupon right now! Groupon has over 9,000 retailers and over 70,000 deals! That is money just waiting to be saved in your pocket.
With back to school right around the corner I am able to save hundreds of dollars just by using Groupon for my back to school shopping.

There are so many retailers you can shop with Groupon such as Target , Macy’sWalmartBed Bath & BeyondWalgreens, and Aeropostale. No matter what your shopping need may be, Groupon has a deal for you! So, get saving and check on the deals for yourself!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Kayaking the National Seney Wildlife Refuge in the UP of Michigan

Last week I explored the UP of Michigan with a group of family and friends. We were camping,kayaking, and site seeing.  We had a excellent time!

On Saturday we decided to take a kayaking trip down the Manistique River into the Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

We contacted the folks at Northland Outfitters Campground & Canoe Livery. They rent kayaks and canoes and also offer to let kayak owners launch at their location with
 pick up at Mead Creek State Campground - which is 15 miles down stream. 

Having someone pick you up downstream is a life saver ~Definitely worth $10!!!

When we arrived at Northland Outfitters we unloaded our kayaks and headed for the office. Once we completed the necessary paperwork off to the river we went.  We arranged to be picked up at 6 pm (5.5 hours from drop in) - since we were a large group we figured we would be dilly dalling our way down the river.

The trip was amazing!!!  
Breathtaking Beautiful!!! 
The river was extremely curvy. Beautiful waterway. I saw two beavers - both swimming.
One swimming regularly and the other swimming on his back with a piece of wood in his mouth. 

The river has a very nice current - it keeps you moving.  Lots of trees in the water - which was great for testing our kayaking skills.  

I highly recommend that you bring with you some bug spray. The mosquitoes are the size of small birds! Okay maybe not that big - but they are big!  I was fine as long as I keep moving. The minute I stopped my kayak - here came the mosquitoes and they were hungry!

JR in his new kayak!

JR ~ myself (blue kayak) ~ Mary ~ Holly
Take out was at the Mead State Campground. We planned to be picked up at 6pm - but the trip went faster than expected. We arrived at 4:45pm.  Jen called Northland - they arrived to pick us up at 5pm.  

A FANTASTIC DAY with a FANTASTIC group of family & friends!

A HUGE Thank You to Northland Outfitters for making this amazing adventure possible.
Northland Outfitters 
Canoe & kayak rental service in Germfask, Michigan

Address8174 State Hwy. M-77, Germfask, MI 49836
Open today · 8AM–9PM

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our First Popup ~ named Popper

Crazy lady alert!  I have two friends that I always kayak with. We would have to take three cars because we each had our own method of transporting our kayak. Holly and Mary put theirs inside their vehicles and I put mine on top in my Hullivator. Plus, we each slept inside out vehicle.  After one trip of three cars traveling in a convoy - we thought heck we could buy a cheap popup - sleep in it and transport our kayaks on top of it. 

During our first camping adventures I found a popup on a Facebook resale page. On our way home we made a detour and checked out the popup. It was a 1997 Palomino Popup in okay but not great shape.  We bought her for $1200 delivered. A reasonable price considering the sales we have seen in our area. $1200 divided by 3 is only $400 each. A great way to camp and kayak and not spend a lot of money.

She was a little rough inside and outside.  The outside had nasty peeling stripes all around the camper. Drive you nuts coming off stripes! That was one of our 1st jobs to do - Remove the stripes. Sounds easy enough - WRONG!
Hours of heat gun and scraping we finally got them off!  Removing the strips and doing some touch up on paint made a world of difference.

Next was the inside. Many hours spent cleaning and removing mold and mildew from the canvas. Washing her down completely. Every inch of her needed TLC and muscle cleaning. 

The cushions were not the best. When we took off the covers the foam was nasty. 20 year old foam is not good!  The cushion covers were in decent shape - no tears.  We hosed them down with water and dish soap - letting them dry in the sun. We decided to only replace the table seat and back cushions. The reason was that Mary would be sleeping in the table area.  I planned on using my air mattress for my side and Holly wanted to use her air mattress for her side.  Since new foam is pricey with figured there would be no reason to replace the bed foam since we both planned on sleeping on air mattresses.  We found a Foam Company in Milwaukee that would customize cut the foam to fit perfect.  
I have to say the cushions that we replaced the foam in look brand new.  New foam cushions are pricey - doing 2 backs and 2 seats cost us $140. 

We removed the heater and sink section. Removing the sink gave us so much space. We plan on using a small electric heater and fans to keep the dampness out of Popper.

The installed fridge is a ice box - something we wanted nothing to do with.  We plan on removing it during the non-camping months but until then we use the fridge for a storage space for items we need but do not use often. We placed a small fridge on top of the section where the sink was. We took pics of our campsites - had them printed and placed the pics over the holes from the sink. Then we added plexiglass to hold the pics in place - our new small fridge fits on top of the plexiglass. Works great!

After a couple of camping trips we realized that we never sat at the table. So we no longer even put up the table - the area stays Mary's bed. We love sitting outside and when we are inside we each get into our area and watch old movies. Buying a nice TV and a BlueRay were definitely worth every penny. Walmart had great deals - we were about to get both for under $200. 

We kept making list and more list - I am happy to say that I no longer have to make a trip to WalMart before our next trip. Having what you need is key to a stress free camping adventure. 

We just returned from a trip to the UP of Michigan.  The bathrooms were so nasty that we decided to get a porta-potty and a small tent. 

Check back to see our next addition to our camping items. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What You Should Look for in Dog Food

There are so many options out there today that it may become quite confusing for a dog owner to find a product that has all the necessary ingredients. However, if you love your dog, you should take the time to read the ingredients mentioned on the box carefully before buying. Just in case you are not sure what you should be looking for in dog food, the following list should help you.


As dogs are carnivores, their primary source of protein is animal protein. While most dog foods will have animal protein in them, you will need to see if they have mentioned the kind of animal meat from which the protein has been derived. For example, a good quality dog food product will mention something specific like chicken, fish or beef right at the top, instead of just printing the word “meat.”


There should also be a small amount of grains like rice, soy, oats, wheat, barley, beans, and corn in the dog food to help your pup with digestion and add some carbohydrate induced energy. One point to be noted is that you need to avoid any product that contains grains if your dog has a history of allergies to them. If it’s the first time that you are feeding your dog a product with grains in it, watch out for signs of allergies and only continue with the product if no adverse effects are seen.


Fats are essential dietary nutrients which dogs need for energy and vitamin absorption. It also makes their skin and coats shine with health. Look for healthy sources of fat like safflower oil, vegetable oil, fish oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil and even a bit of pork fat on the ingredients list. As long as the total percentage of fat doesn’t exceed 10-15%, you need not worry about your canine friend becoming overweight.


Just like human beings, dogs also need their daily dose of vitamins to lead a healthy life. Vitamin E boosts canine immunity and vitamin A keeps the skin and fur shiny.

Minerals and Trace Minerals

You will see a long list of essential mineral nutrients mentioned behind the box of a good quality dog food and they are usually as follows.
Primary Minerals
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur
  • Magnesium
  • Chloride
In Small Amounts
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Iodine
  • Fluorine
  • Chromium
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Manganese


This one is not an ingredient, but rather a guideline designed to give you a clear idea regarding whether or not it’s suitable for your dog. Adequacy statements read something like this, “This product is suitable for all life stages” or “This product is balanced and suitable for adult maintenance.” Similarly, food products designed especially for puppies will have an appropriate adequacy statement on the box as well. Be aware of them and buy the right product according to the age of your dog.

Now that you know what to look for, the next step is to find a trusted dog food brand with the help of this knowledge and stick to it. You can change up the flavor every once in a while, but when it comes to the brand, the phrase “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” holds very much true.