Tiger Baseball

Standard

imageIt is very early in their season, but the tigers are off to a great start.  The game I attended although it was raining and cool did not disappoint.  They were thoroughly entertaining.  The energy inside Comerica Park has everyone excited.  Everyone is friendly.  Everyone speaks to you.  People whom you have never seen before just sit and start talking to you.  Everyone is introducing themselves and saying “hope to see you again at another game.

The game on this day was paused due to rain.  We took this time to walk through the park.  You can’t go to a game and not eat a ballpark hotdog.  Typically we would drink a lemonade or pop but this day was cool so we had hot chocolate instead.   A ballpark hotdog and hot chocolate yum.  People watching is also so much fun.  Especially the die hard Tiger fans who wore their insulated onesies to the game.  Those people were dry and warm.

Pitcher warming up

Pitcher warming up

Everything about a Tiger game is exciting.  The atmosphere is electric.  The game is interactive.  I was surprised at the seventh inning stretch, it was not as I remembered.  They had music playing with the lyrics  on the big screen.  Everyone participated.  I think I sang the loudest.

If you have had a bad day, week or month, go to a Tiger game.  It is guaranteed to lift your spirits.  You will not feel the same way leaving stadium as you did when you entered.  If you know someone who is feeling a little low, purchase some tickets and check out a game.  They will be grateful.  Also, some of the best pictures are taken inside or outside the stadium.

Statue of Lion outside of Comerica Park.

Statue of Lion outside of Comerica Park.

The Tigers won on the day I went.  The final score was 10 – 2.  Go Tigers.

Traverse City, Michigan

Standard

 

Beautiful sunsets in Traverse City.  Wherever you are in the city you get this view.

Beautiful sunsets in Traverse City.  Any of the beachfront hotels will give you this view.

Traverse City is a must see destination on your travels through Michigan.  The spectacular sunsets will soothe your soul.  Although my visit was before tourist season began, this city still has a lot to offer.

Minerva’s in the downtown district is a fabulous place to dine. My compliments to the chef.  The food is absolutely wonderful.

This taste as good as it looks.

This taste as good as it looks.  Chicken vegetable fettuccine

Also, you must go to Poppycock’s to dine.  Besides the fabulous food, they offer a live jazz band for your entertainment .  While enjoying family and friends you can rock to soothing music.

Chocolate  Oblivion

Chocolate Oblivion

Sometimes there is no need for food.  This delectable delight is satisfying to any chocolate lover.  One of many outstanding deserts Poppycock’s has to offer.

Bry's Estates

Bry’s Estates

Do not leave Traverse City without a visit to the wineries.  The wine tasting is fun.  You learn a lot about the different kinds of wines and meet wonderful people.  Each winery is different in their pricing.  Bry’s Estates offer a wine glass in their price for tasting wine.  I must say after a few sips, everything has humor.

Now add a spa day at Great Wolf Lodge, go shopping downtown, Lucky’s for bowling and lunch (best lunch ever) you will have experienced just a fraction of what Traverse City has to offer.  I must make a visit to this place at least once a year. It will take several visits to see everything.  Due to the fog that came in, we cancelled our drive up the peninsula.  That was a view I really looked forward too.  Maybe next time.

It’s Springtime

Standard

The seasons offer us so much intellectually.  Just watching nature daily has a soothing effect on you.   Springtime is my favorite season.  Watching the budding trees.  The birds are chirping.  You can begin to see the grass due to melting snow.  Regardless of your life situation springtime brings a new awareness.  A reminder that nothing stays the same.  Springtime says even with some long cold days still remaining, warmer days are ahead.  Looking forward to seeing the bees, spiders, butterflies, crickets, etc.  In life we watch the changing season repeat themselves.  You can watch the ants and squirrels begin their work storing food for the upcoming winter.  The bears are out of hibernation eating everything they can find preparing for the winter.

 

All the critters are scampering around. Flowers will begin to bloom.  It is as if life is resurrecting.  Although life never ended.  The beauty of the seasons is it represents the stages we go through in life.

  •  Springtime – everything is new, fresh and an adventure.
  •  Summertime – everything reaches it’s fullness.
  • Fall – leaves fall off the tress, critters reach a fever pitch putting food away for the upcoming winter.
  • Winter- cold, grass no longer grows, everything seems to be reflecting on seasons passed.

Now it’s springtime.  The time of year when the sun shines a lot and it just makes you feel good.  It doesn’t matter what life has dealt you, springtime should renew your faith.  If you are just feeling like life could be better.  Once the flowers bloom, smell them.  Springtime offers so much to the human experience. Don’t miss out on it due to the rose colored glasses of life hasn’t been good to me,  See the beauty of each season of our weather and life.

What a Difference a Lifetime Makes

Standard

Sitting in a restaurant I noticed at the next table a young child being kept entertained by an iPhone video as the parents were eating,  Yes, this kept the young child (less than a year old) entertained and quiet.  I laughed and began thinking about how I kept my children quiet when I went out to dinner.  These thoughts took my mind on a wonderful journey of my life.

When I was young we were excited to go outside to play.  The time of year didn’t matter.  It could be hot or cold, we would go out to play.  We entertained ourselves.  There is something to be said about a generation of people who don’t know how to use their own minds for the purpose of keeping themselves entertained.  We used to call that using your imagination.  We made up games and played for hours.  This form of activity didn’t cost our parent’s any money,

Do people talk to each other anymore?

Today in the electronic age, parents have to pay for everything.  A lot of activities doesn’t require that the children think at all.  All they need to know to do is turn on the equipment,  Then they can sit for hours starring at a screen.  I guess I will have to update everyone in a few years the effects of this type of upbringing has on children as I observe the lives of my grandchildren.

In my lifetime I have gone from having to go to a Drive-in movie to see a movie to watching live TV on my iPad.  I am not complaining about the life our youngest generation has, I must say I am enjoying the pleasures of the electronic age myself.

Rob Weidbush and Artic Storm

Standard
Weidbush amd Artic Storm

Weidbush amd Artic Storm

If you live in or around the Ypsilanti area you have probably heard of Rob Weidbush and Artic Storm.  I met him when he volunteered at Erickson Elementary School.  His story is a fascinating one.  Mr. Weidbush was in a horrific car accident several years ago which left his neck broke in several places.  He has recovered significantly , but the injuries have left him in need of a service dog.

Artic Storm is a beautiful 140 pound white German shepherd service dog.  He has been trained to assist his owner .  He assist in getting Mr. Weidbush in and out of the bathtub.  He also assist him in getting up from a seated position.  Mr. Weidbush demonstrated for us the different skills Artic Storm has.  He dropped a butcher knife on the floor and Artic Storm picked it up by the handle and handed it to his owner.  He also dropped silverware on the floor and Artic Storm picked up each peach individually and gave it him.  See YouTube videos called Weidbush and Storm uploaded by Let’s Weigh In.  They two owner and dog are a delight to watch.

Mr. Weidbush has received national recognition (the President s Award) for volunteerism.  This man is inspiring.  After all he has gone through, he has not given on life.  We complain over small issues in our lives, not realizing some people truly have some hurdles to overcome.  Mr. Weidbush continues to volunteer in his community.  He is a very pleasant man to speak with and listen to.  He is genuine in wanting you to understand the purpose and importance of a service dog.

If you ever see a service animal with their owner dont pet them, they are working.  Children being children still had to pet Storm even after being told not too.  Storm and Mr. Weidbush didn’t seem to mind.    If you see Artic Storm, he may have on one of many costumes.  Storm has a costume he wears that carries medical supplies or a mobile difibulator. Storm will be dressed for any occasion.

Discover Michigan – Maple Festival 2014

Standard
Mark Irish/ Interpreter

Mark Irish/ Interpreter

Michigan is sixth in the production of maple syrup.  This weekend the Maple Festival is being held in 400 cities across Michigan.  We chose to visit Dexter, Michigan at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks located at 8801 N. Territorial Road.  The event begins with a pancake breakfast.  We used “Liquid Gold” maple syrup for the first time in our lives.  I always thought what I purchased from the grocery store was syrup, but Mr. Irish read the ingredient list from the bottle.  Everything is in that bottle but maple syrup.

Mr. Irish gathered us together in the Activity Center at the Metroparks and explained for ten minutes the process of spotting a maple tree, tapping a maple tree, catching the maple in blue plastic bags and the cooking process.  Next he took everyone outside and described what a maple tree looks like.  At that point he walked everyone to different trees and asked us to pick out a maple tree.  It was elementary at that point finding a maple tree.  Once selected Mr. Irish began tapping (See YouTube video Maple Festival – Mark Irish and watch him tap the tree).  Due to the cold weather, we didn’t get to see the maple flow from the tree.  Mr. Irish stated “it may take several hours for the maple to begin flowing from the tree”.

Mr. Irish preparing first taste of maple syrup for visitors

Mr. Irish preparing first taste of maple syrup for visitors

All the families including mine were enjoying the educational experience.  Mr. Irish invited all of us to the wood burning stove and proceeded to explain the process of making the syrup.  The maple taken from the tree and placed in pots.  Then it is boiled for hours until all of the water in the maple is gone.  Everyone had a taste of the pure maple syrup. Yum.

If you missed this event, mark your calendar for next year. This event is one of many wonderful things Michigan has to offer.  Look for more stories like this one in my “Discover Michigan” series of blogs.

Tasting maple syrup

Tasting maple syrup

The Wizard of Oz and Us

Standard

imageThis childhood fairy tale holds so much truth for you if you open your heart to see it.  It is wonderful for children to learn at very young age not to search for happiness outside of themselves. As adults, we continuously search for fulfillment outside of ourselves.  Some of us feel inadequate.  We hear voices that go back sometimes as far as our childhood that tell us we are not good enough. Some parents have even told their children they don’t have brains or they are not smart enough.  This type of attack on a child’s psyche has lasting effects.

Dorothy (in The Wizard of Oz) just wanted to find her way home and was told to follow the yellow brick road.  Along this road she encounters a scarecrow who believes he doesn’t have a brain, a tin man who believes he doesn’t have a heart and a cowardly lion who wanted courage.  The four set off to find the wizard.  The wizard represents our leaders.  He has all the answers and can fix whatever the problem may be.  The wizard tells them just what they want to hear.  All you have to do is what I tell you to do and you can then have everything you want.  Sound familiar.

In life we always go to our leaders and ask how can we make our lives better.  Just as the wizard did, our leaders will give us a list of things we must do in order for our lives to improve.   How can one list apply to everyone?  People are on different paths.  We may have some similarities, but you cannot group people like that.  Everyone’s coping skills are different.  If that set of skills is different, then the outcome of each situation will be different.

After finding that the wizard was just like them, they became upset. The wizard told them what you are looking for you only have to look inside yourself to find it.  He also told Dorothy she always had the power to go home.  The lesson for all of us is to not look outside ourselves or to someone for the answers we seek for our lives.  Look only inside yourself.  You hold the key to your happiness.  Just like Dorothy, you have had the power all of the time to make yourself happy.