Monday, August 31, 2009

Preparing For Winter

The weather this far north keeps reminding us winter is just around the corner. We've had lots of cold, rainy, windy days followed by 65 degree sunny weather that feels like a heat wave. The ferns are turning brown, apples are falling from the trees and we're wishing our wood stove were connected. My son picked up the pipe adapter we need when he brought his daughter home to Marquette on Sunday. We'll pick it up from him tomorrow and install it. It costs us about $30 round trip to drive to Marquette and it didn't seem worth it for a $22 part. NO one here carries them!!!

My older son was hear six hours yesterday laying cement board in the kitchen in prep for the ceramic tile. We have to finish yet more wiring and tape the cement board before he returns next Sunday - his only day off. This week we tear down the kitchen ceiling. Not looking forward to that but parts of it are damaged and it hides the wiring. Have decided to reposition the ceiling fan/light when the ceiling comes down. Once that's done we'll install a drywall ceiling.

Today we move the refrigerator to its new location and start removing the wall where it was in prep for working on the bathroom. If it were warmer out I'd set up an outdoor kitchen. In the meantime, I'm resorting to the crock pot!

Then there's plumbing, wiring, fixtures and another floor to tear up in the bathroom. The work never seems to end. Oh well, what else have we to do besides continuing to prep, haul firewood, process blueberries, winterize the tractor, garden tractor, truck and chainsaws and a zillion other tasks?

Our furnace has run nearly non-stop for a week and the propane is disappearing at an alarming rate. Makes me nervous, partly because Sweetie keeps saying things like, "Last year we used six cords of wood. We'll be fine." I tell him that wood was used in a different location where winters are milder and we were more sheltered from the wind. But he's in one of his stubborn "I know what I'm talking about" moods. Then my Dad called and expressed his concern. "It sure won't hurt to have more," he said and Sweetie seemed to develop a whole new perspective!

I've made what I call our winter shopping/prepping list and thought I'd share it with you. You can refer to it and see if it reminds you of any holes in your preps assuming you live in the frozen north!!!

Winter shopping/prepping:

Case of 10-40 oil, another can of WD40 oil, two jugs antifreeze, bag of ice melt and two furnace filters; two used snowmobile suits, knit face masks and new felt boot liners; six-month supply of cat litter (One bucket in truck for getting unstuck!); more bungie cords & new tow rope; sharpen all the axes and clean/oil all the shovels; switch out summer BOB's for winter ones, move paint/varnish/stain cans inside; caulk exterior of windows, doors, eaves and anything else that looks like it needs it; have friends save newspapers for us; buy new smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors!

This does not include food preps. I bought six more cans of coffee this week on sale and a six cases of diced tomatoes since our garden is a disappointment. Still need more bread flour and yeast but it will be bought in mid September.

The deer have been on the move a bit and their signs are everywhere on our land. We posted our property so a few of the neighbors are not too friendly just now but this is a long narrow strip of land and we're not willing to have bullets zip by our heads. That's the thing about moving into a neighborhood. If you change things or alter another person's customs - on your land - it is not well received. Oh well. When they're paying the taxes and maintaining the land - which was not the case with the previous owners - then they can tell us how things are going to be.

Well, time to get to work. Hope you all have a productive day. Treesong

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Corporate America Screws With Us Again!

We had great plans today which were sidelined at 11:30 a.m. when I took the mail out of the mailbox. A large envelope from our property insurance company for the place we sold downstate caught my attention. Opened it to find a refund of our last six month payment. The policy had been cancelled.

I dreaded giving Sweetie the news as he's already blown a gasket over this company. Our payment was made via a US Postal Money Order in person at the agent's office on the due date. We soon received a cancellation notice. We called about the notice and were told it had been credited and we would soon receive a notice to that affect. ONE MONTH later (August 8th), we received a notice stating our policy was in effect. Today, we received the notice of cancellation and the refund check.

Our agent kept saying he'd return our call because he was "tied up." Sweetie did all the calling which is probably good as I would have shown in person. To Hell with being put off most of the day.

At 4p.m. Sweetie called the agent one more time and yelled at him: "Either you give me an answer now or I'll file a formal complaint against -------." ONCE again, he was told he'd be called back within a few minutes. Nine minutes later the agent said, "Everything's fine. Mail the check back to the corporate office and your account will be credited."

We sat here a couple minutes looking at one another and Sweetie said: "I smell a rat." I walked over to him, asked for the phone and called the corporate office. Gave them our policy number and asked about the account. The clerk said she'd have to check into it and I said, "I'm going to fax you all the documentation of this account for the past year. Someone has screwed up royally and it was NOT us."

And if they think we're going to mail the check back to them...well, they really are screw ups!

The clerk said someone would call back tomorrow!!!! I said, "Good, by then I'll have secured a new policy from another company and talked to our lawyer."

You see, one of the reasons we're upset is the finance company that holds a note on the property downstate, also got a cancellation notice. So guess what was in the second envelope I opened today. Yah, a notice of "payment due in full."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Chimney's Through the Roof!

Sweetie is one diligent, thorough worker. When he puts his mind to a project it gets done. Might take him awhile because he's got to take frequent breaks and give himself a dose of an inhaler but, by golly, he does the job.

Our estimates for this job were between $1400 and $1570. It cost us $400 and a couple days. The 4/12 metal roof over the original mobile home roof presented a challenge. Sweetie tied a rope to the hitch of his truck and threw the rope over the roof. On the other side of the roof he tied a ladder. He used this ladder to crawl up and down the roof where he had removed one roof panel for access to the mobile home roof. After shoveling the insulation away from the inner roof, he sawed into the mobile home roof and met the spot where he had opened up the kitchen ceiling.

We still need to attach the chimney cap and the flange at the base of the chimney where it meets the roof. Once finished with that, we'll complete the 3x5 foot cement board panels and tile the kitchen and the wall behind the wood stove.

We've partially gutted the bathroom so it's kind of like camping out around here. But, little by little, we'll get the whole job done.

I'll post more pictures later. Sweetie wants the computer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scavenging Again

It's late. I'm tired but can't sleep. The coyotes are after something just outside the window above the desk. And I'm hoping staring at the computer awhile will make my eyes heavy.

So...thought I'd enlighten you all about how we scavenge. Like most successes, it's a mixture of working a plan - based on keen observation - and getting lucky.

Today we had to bring the tent we found at the boat ramp up to my son who's going camping. He'll be joined by his girlfriend and her daughter, his sister and her three daughters and his niece. At least he thought that was the plan. Turns out the kids each wanted to invite a friend along. Being the good sport and favorite uncle that he is, he asked to borrow our "new" tent for the overflow of giggly, eager young ladies. Did I mention that my son will be the only male in the bunch?

It so happens that today was garbage pick up day for most of the route to my son's. The trick is to drive the route either the evening before or very early the day of pick up. So bleary eyed and coffee deprived, we took off at 6:30 a.m. Our first stop was the row of cottages immediately to our north where there is always remodeling or tearing down going on. The first cottage had a twin bed frame and two plastic buckets. In the truck they went. Next, we picked up another white plastic lawn chair, a case of glass canning jars (some with rings) and an inflatable black whale water toy with a pinhole leak (electrical tape repaired it). Our third stop had a 2-gallon plastic gas can missing the cap and a metal tackle box. Finally, within a block of my son's house, some more chicken wire.

Eleven miles and we were quite proud of our finds. At my son's we discovered a fishing net in his garage and more scrap pieces for our wood stove. Last week, when a big northern pike got away from Sweetie, a net would have saved his catch. Today's find is an old smelting net but in a pinch, and being cheapskates, we'll use it - until we come across another fishing net.

Any trip, no matter the distance or destination, is an opportunity to scavenge. Along the way, keep your eyes open for piles of junk, lumber, "leftovers" from yard sales, and people remodeling homes. Many times people will just give things to you to be rid of it. Often, when we've stopped and asked about something, we've been told to "take it all." Good thing we have a pickup truck.

Once home, we sort through things, keep what interests us, pass the rest off to others in need or donate it to the local free store. The twin bed frame we got today went to another friend. The water toy was given to a neighbor's grandchild. If nothing else, collect stuff for a couple months and hold a yard sale!

Another strategy is to be on good terms with wasteful people. I have a sister who fits this category and I always tell her, "anything you don't want, let me know." Or, "I'm looking for ------. If you come across one. Okay?"

Sunday, after delivering the daybed to her, she came downstairs with a few items. Among the treasures was a first edition signed copy of Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver. The book was made in to a movie which was filmed in Big Bay, Michigan, near Marquette. I now have three signed copies of his novels! Whenever I get a duplicate, I sell it on Ebay. Cha-ching!

And finally, it pays to know people. Or know people who know people. We stopped at my friend's house today to pick up a flower pot she had picked up from her most recent curbside collection. As I stood there admiring her flowers and yard she said, "You want some raspberry bushes and rhubarb plants?" I could have kissed her feet!

We go out to inspect the raspberry bushes at the back of her village lot and she waves to her neighbor, a doctor's wife. Next thing you know, the doctor's wife is offering us blackberry bushes. She wanted them "cleaned out" of her yard because she's "tired of dealing with them." Fine by me Mrs. Doctor Lady.

I was so pumped when we got home that I sat down to cross things off my "stuff we want" list. (Yes, I have a list!) Sweetie, being the wiser of us two, says, "Why don't you call a few people and pass the word about what you're looking for?"

Believe it or not, I can blab a mile a minute online but seldom pick up the phone and call anyone. After a refreshing drink of water spiked with lemon juice, I called four people. Pleasantries aside, I said, "Oh, by the way, if you ever run across -------------- would you give me a call or email?"

Time will tell. Maybe I'll get that white wicker patio set yet!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Obsession With The Best Laid Plans

Okay, I admit it. I'm an organizer. A list maker. A compulsive goal setter. A person who always reflects on the day with thoughts about "what was accomplished." If a goal hasn't at least been attempted I somehow feel I've missed the mark.

Yesterday, moving a day bed to my sister's was our sole accomplishment. Other goals and projects went by the wayside. And it's been that way since my last post. For a person so focused, it's been a disappointment. Sweetie takes this more in stride than I do. I joke that he's perfected the art of sitting in place. He's not lazy; just relaxed and comfortable with what he manages to do each day. I'm thankful for that because his health is so precarious. I, on the other hand, still struggle with accepting my limitations. I see what needs to be done - and despite the fact that it always gets done - I still get concerned when plans are waylayed.

Between the two of us, we get a burst of energy and dive into a project. Maybe it goes along for a few days, and maybe not. In our latest effort we've been sidelined by unbearable humidity and high temps which has affected Sweetie's breathing and my arthritis. I dread humidity more than cold because it brings on swelling and pain. Give me a minus 20 degree day and I feel great. Weird, I know.

At the most basic level I am thankful. I know we've accomplished a lot. If this aging body functioned with fewer awkward movements, stumbles, falls and memory slips on any day, it's been a good day. If Sweetie and I are happy, smiled, laughed and had good thoughts of one another, family and friends, it's a good day. Gee, if we've still got a roof over our heads and food in our tummies and know one another, it's a good day!

But, still, I struggle with this overwhelming need to "accomplish."

And then, while I'm spouting off to Sweetie about my struggle with this, he says, "Well, consider this: to most people, we look like we haven't done enough!" Then he gives me a wink and a smile and he's put my whole obsession in perspective!

Why would "most people" think we've accomplished anything? Neither of us trudge off to work dressed in the appropriate attire to participate in the culture that stresses getting along, teamwork, customer service, sales goals, and a few other expectations that are basically bull, in my opinion. We don't live in the big house on the lake with a manicured lawn and the latest model truck or SUV parked in the drive. We don't dine at the best places or have our names listed as contributors to certain local charities. We don't mingle with the local movers and shakers at boring dinners, parties or golf outings. And we certainly don't have the bank account balance!

In other words, we're not part of the desperate pack who's focus is image, accumulation, belonging and rank on the ladder.

Have you ever noticed how insecure people are if they believe/perceive their turf is threatened? Have you ever met someone after a long absence and noticed how uncomprehending they are of your life, compared to theirs? Has anyone ever expressed concern or questioned your sanity? Has anyone who's supposedly "made it" questioned how you could be happy or content "with nothing" as one of my high school classmates recently said?

It's a pity isn't it?

So, I guess I'll remind myself of these things the next time I get my panties in a wringer over "what's been accomplished!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Old Summertime

It got up to 94 degrees here today with humidity of 68%. After two months of the thermometer swinging between 43 degree at night and 70 during the day - ever few days - followed by a constant 55 degrees or rain and 48 degrees, you'd think we'd be dancing on the beach.

Instead,us two melanoma survivors are holed up inside with two ceiling fans and a small air conditioner running. Sweetie did work outside on the boat for awhile and I watered the garden but that was it as far as work. Made a quick trip to my oldest son's to pick up the shower stall he had stored in a locker. We backed the truck up to our back deck and slid it off. Fit perfectly between the railing. One thing the previous owner did was install wide steps on the back deck which is beginning to look like an open air warehouse.I've tried reading a few blogs today and just couldn't seem to concentrate. Other than the world ending, I doubt the news out of Washington or elsewhere is much different than yesterday.

For your reading enjoyment tonight I direct you to the home of Dick Huey Real Estate. There you'll discover the rich folks are divesting themselves of beautiful homes and cabins on Lake Superior or inland lakes with lots of acreage. If any of us peons had a several million between us we could buy up one or two or more "estates" and create our own little country. Plenty of firewood, fishing, orchards and garden areas and room for a few hundred of us. Just a thought. LOL

Well, I'm gonna sit back and read a mystery. If I can keep my eyes focused on the page. The humidity and I do not do well. Later, Treesong

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Change of Pace

After my last post - influenced by a neighbor who at first seemed the sweetest guy in the world - I decided to distract my thoughts in the garden. This didn't last too long as Sweetie had other ideas. "Good time to start tearing out the kitchen," he announced soon after I'd stepped out of the shower on Sunday. Thankfully, my Dad, who arrived here Friday afternoon, decided to stay another day so I was saved from Sweetie's new-found energy.

Monday we drove to Marquette to spend more money on building supplies and came home exhausted from the trip. Just our luck that when we decide to start tearing down walls, installing cement board and relocating cabinets that the thermometer says summer really has arrived here!!! It's been in the 80's and humid and we're sick of it already.

Yes, I know 80 degrees would be a reprieve for some of you southerners but us northerners who live next to Lake Superior can die from this heat!!! LOL.

Anyway, before long, we were both working in our underwear and hoping none of the neighbors would stop by.

Strange how you can draw a plan out, measure everything three times and still change your mind during the remodel. Right now we have an electrical outlet hanging from the kitchen ceiling where a closet wall used to be; the wood stove sits in the middle of the floor between the living room and kitchen looking awfully strange; and the vacuums and our coats are without a closet. Out eagerness has been tempered by the humidity' the air conditioner not working; and our mutual thoughts that it would be wise to "let everything sit awhile." Who knows, maybe we'll redesign the whole place before proceeding. If so, it will have to utilize our current supplies only. There is still winter wood to get and auto insurance is coming due.

Out next job is tearing up the old vinyl flooring before we install cement board and porcelain tile. Then we place a cabinet between the stove and frig and frame the kitchen window. In other words, more hard work. I'd say in three to six months we'll have a new kitchen.

And all the while we've said we'd gut the bathroom first! The rooms share a wall so about the time we set cabinets in place we'll have to do some work in the bathroom. The previous owner ran the water line and shut off valve for the washer outside the wall on the kitchen side!!! Wonders never cease.

And then there's the matter of running an eight inch insulated steel chimney through a mobile home roof and the "roof over" above that!!! Any carpenter out there want to vacation in God's Country where you could fish in the evening and help wrangle the chimney during the day???? We'll provide a small bedroom, a six person tent, all your meals, a 22-foot boat and a few mosquitoes. What a deal, huh?

We must be dreading the job as we've been dreaming of winning the lottery. Fat chance as you must first buy a ticket. We're too poor to hire the job done so we'll muddle along on our own. We've both installed an insulated chimney before but never through two roofs. And we're about 20 years older now...

Tonight, I braved the mosquitoes and dashed out to the garden to pick zucchini and green peppers. I must remember to water it early tomorrow morning. Four days of neglect and it's showing.

Well, enough for now. I'm going to read Survival Blog, answer a few emails and collapse in bed. Later, Treesong

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some Days...

Some days are full of sunshine and laughter and fond memories and productive work and peace and love.

Other days are full of people who make rash judgements and stupid statements because their sense of place in their pre-fabricated, well orchestrated facade is threatened.

And imagine, if you can, that it's threatened by little old me walking along the road picking up trash; or asking a trespasser to take the disposable diaper with them; or giving food to the neighbors; or not partaking in the weekly drunk at the campfire; or, God forbid, asking him to slow down on our gravel road when the dust cloud is as thick as fog.

On days like this I'd like to take him, and a few other people, into the woods and knock their heads together. Then I'd strip them of their I-pods, cell phones, car keys, designer shoes, bubble gum, cigarettes, drug paraphernalia and booze bottle and maybe cut their tongues out!

Some days the idiots, whiners, lazy asses, and judgemental jerks just don't deserve the air they breathe. Some days the people who think everyone has to be the same; the gossips, the snobs and the bullies; and people who think I'm the nut need to look in the mirror.

Some days the religious who think every encounter is an opportunity to "witness" and have never truly sacrificed, need to be instantly transported by open boat to the remotest village - without their Bible - which they readily apply to others while ignoring themselves. That old verse about failing to see the speck in an eye because of the plank in theirs comes to mind. These same Bible bangers will donate to an orphanage overseas but not to the people who lost their home to fire - because they're mental health clients.

Some days those who ignore the handicapped man while rushing into the store to buy more China crap need to spend a day in a wheelchair - with one hand tied to the arm and a catheter that needs changing taped to their leg and inserted firmly in place.

Some days the women at their weekly coffee clutch who criticize unwed mothers; gossip about the neighbor's drunken husband; and spend the day running everyone down while doing nothing to make a difference in this world, need to have their homes repossessed; lose their jobs; get served divorce papers; and have their children removed by DHS; and lose their glued on nails, hair dye and credit cards. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you think to spread your vile comments you hypocritical bitches.

None of these pompous, self-serving, narrow minded, cranium deficient homo-sapians could find their way out of a 40 acre field, let alone survive the journey. If there's not a house in sight, a street sign to give them a clue and a strip of pavement to walk on their manufactured world becomes a scary place and their boastful, self-confident persona crumbles.

Show me a person who criticizes quickly, condemns "outsiders" or people who are "different", and thinks they have life figured out and I'll show you a moron who believes in hallow slogans without knowing squat about the circumstances, the history or the consequences of much of anything. They are, however, the kind of people both sides of Washington's World of Bullshit loves - mindless, spineless sheep.

There, I feel a little better.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


There is only one thing certain in this life: death and taxes and both are on the rise. As for security, after a few years of prepping and "trying to prepare" we've realized we've done all we reasonably can. What comes will come and we'll see how well we're able to adapt. Notice, I said adapt. I think that's the real key to survival. Hopefully we'll continue to live with one another here in our little spot of earth. But adapt we have and adapt we will continue to do. I'm not talking adapting to FEMA camps, swine flu vaccines and a few other possibilities. I'm talking adapt to higher prices, strange weather patterns, desperate or despondent people, illness and aging, family dynamics, crop failure, etc.

I still read the blogs and pass on info to Sweetie; I still rotate stock in our preps; we still garden and preserve food. We still stack firewood and reuse, recycle or do without. The doing without seems to occur more often now, mostly intentionally because we've put off some things long enough that we've lost interest in them.

There's an air of desperation or delusion in most people we encounter. Either their heads are still in the sand or they've medicated themselves to the point of not feeling anything. Their lives are a blur; that purple haze one experiences with drugs and alcohol. But their sadness and hopelessness returns the next day and they're angry and/or depressed. And their self imposed funk continues...

The desperate people are first in line at the food pantries; complain about what they're given; spend recklessly and then call every do-gooder agency and church in the area for help; and tell anyone who'll listen that life isn't fair and everyone else gets the advantages. The desperate also steal anything not bolted or chained down and fenced in. They approach people who are pushing their shopping cart to their car and ask them to share. They pick up cans and exchange them for cigarettes or booze and stand on the street corners looking bored. Meanwhile at home their children go hungry; their utilities get shut off; and their vehicles are jacked up with various mechanical ailments. Yet, if offered a cash-paying job doing some manual labor; they feel the distance is too far; the pay is too little; the day is hot; or the work is too much.

And sacrifice, good old fashioned sacrifice of the kind their grandparents most certainly practiced - and maybe their parents did - is a foreign concept. We're as poor as most of these people, if not poorer, and we've sacrificed to have a full pantry, a piece of land, a garden (try weeding while pushing a walker or planting while being attacked by deer flies and hornets), a little stash of cash and firearms and ammo, and a 1972 boat (thought it was '76) that is our ONE luxury - other than the internet which is dial up at $5 for the first six months and $10 thereafter.

I'm as disillusioned by "the common folk" as I am by the Fedgov, the Wall Street crooks, the politicians and the military. I suppose it's because I see what's coming and still feel for those who will struggle or perish when they didn't have to. The pain of our own ignorance and neglect and waste, empty slogans and political propaganda, and flag waving and "take care of me" attitude is unfolding across this land. And despite our blogs and beliefs and prayers and preps it's going to continue to unfold. I think it's destiny, set in motion long ago.

Guess this is kind of a rambling post but it's where my mind is today. So chew on it awhile and go on with your day. Treesong

Monday, August 3, 2009

What a Wonderful Day!

The morons in Washington who do their best to coddle the crooks on Wall Street cannot steal my joy - no matter how bad it gets. First off, I'm a Prepper who's done her best with the help of Sweetie to lay in two years supply of food, medicine, toiletries, household items and spare parts, etc. And, unlike a lot of sheeple, we're SATISFIED with most of our life because we live it pretty much on out terms and to Hell with what anyone else thinks.

So today, when I took off for a few hours of R&R by myself, I already knew life was good. But it got a lot better!!!!

Took a quick drive down to the boat ramp near our house to take some pictures. Got so excited about finding a 6-8 person tent laid next to the restroom that I forgot about the pictures. This afternoon, after coming home, hanging it on the line to dry and inspecting it, I can report it has one four inch tear in it along the bottom of a panel - nothing that affects the use of it!!!

I stopped in one of our small towns to do our banking and mail two bills. Went to Family Dollar for cat food and then called my oldest son who moved into his "other house" yesterday. Went over there with the blueberry pie I'd baked for him and he invited me to a late breakfast. Called a friend who I was supposed to have lunch with but she had the hives so scratch that plan.

Meandered through an art gallery and then drove northeast into Keweenaw County. My first stop was the Cliff Cemetery on US 41. Hadn't been there in eight years and wow, what changes. Mainly, thimbleberry bushes and some kind of ground cover hid most of the old gravestones and a lot of trees had fallen. But here's a couple pictures anyway.

Then I drove to Central, another old mining community which the Keweenaw Historical Society has helped restore. Lots of apple tress there and I'll have to remember that this fall. Also went to Lac La Belle and Bete Grites where one of the two most beautiful sand beaches is - the other being Keystone Bay near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula and now in private ownership.

I ran out of space on my digital camera and didn't have that do-hicky with me to store photos. Met a few tourists along the way and gave them a few tips about what to avoid, where to eat, etc. then turned southerly and headed for home. Most of my drive home was along Lake Superior and there were lots of thimbleberry and blueberry pickers out along the road. I hadn't brought any containers with me but got out to pick anyway, thinking I'd just grab a few handfuls of thimbleberries for Sweetie to taste and place them on a towel in the truck. Alas, the deer flies were merciless and I didn't have long pants on so I picked about six berries before coming to my senses and driving on.

The lake breeze has made me sleepy so I napped on the sofa awhile then picked another pound of blueberries in our yard. There are so many I could never pick them all!!

A Day Off

Part of staying healthy is exercise; part is eating well, and part is taking TIME OUT!

So this morning I'm taking off by myself while Sweetie stays home working on the boat, etc. I was so excited about today's excursion, I slept like a baby last night and woke up refreshed at 5:15 a.m.

Aside from visiting a few friends, I'll take my annual cemetery tour; walk along a few Lake Superior beaches; visit some old mining communities; and follow a few paths deep into the woods for magnificent hilltop views. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

We have lots of old cemeteries in the area, many with headstones that cannot be read, and plenty of reminders of the copper mining which began here in the mid 1800's - though Native Americans were extracting copper hundreds of years earlier.

Our beaches are still accessible, mostly unpolluted and FREE and one doesn't have to worry about parking, crazy people or theft, for the most part. A fascinating history of people who struggled, survived and prospered is all around me. I like to imagine their lives and whisper thank you's to them as I survey their graves, the ruins of their homes and businesses, the historical markers and the preserved areas.

If you ever have an opportunity to visit what is known as the Keweenaw Peninsula or the Copper Country, I highly recommend it. Because I'm not a tourist, I'll get off the main road and walk among the pines and listen to the gurgling streams and bask in the fresh air and be thankful that God helped bring me back here.

Have a great day everyone, Treesong