Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is That What I Think It Is?

I can say with 100% certainty that I never expected to see a camel- two, even!- walking down my town's Main Street here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Normally, the parades around here have a few horses and maybe some dogs on fire trucks and stuff, but this parade had a mini-menagerie:  horses, dogs, camels, and alpacas.  Not to mention the non-animal attractions of your typical small town parade:  giant tractors, Shriners on go-carts, muscle cars squealing out their tires, the high school marching band (where Daughter #1 made her debut as drum major), and pre-adolescent gymnasts tumbling in the street.  The parade was to commemorate the "last" U.P. State Fair (the State has cut all funding for the fair as a budgetary measure).  There were even bagpipers (my favorite).

It was nice to see this display, especially since I will not be going to the Hog Capital of the World for Labor Day this year.  An ill-timed mandatory conference will be keeping me busy in Denver, keeping me from my annual pilgrimage to Illinois.  *grumble grumble grumble*

Other than my summer program being complete, rushing to get annual grant reports finished, and having no time for just sitting in the sun, I am training for another marathon , and getting ready to send Mr. Fix, Daughters #1 and #2 back to school. Yay! I'm so ready to get them back on a regular schedule, you know? They don't do so well with unstructured days.

I did have time to run up to Marquette for an afternoon, and stopped and treated myself to some beautiful flowers from Garden Bouquet & Design .  See?

A giant Dinner Plate dahlia and some Love Lies Bleeding were matched up with some of my own garden's standard dahlias and cannas (sp?).  So lovely, and a nice bit of decor for a mid-week Ladies' Night Birthday BBQ with My Favorite Redhead, My Favorite Local Celebrity, and My Favorite Shiksa (who not only celebrated a birthday, but a close to her single life, too!).  

Have a great week, and enjoy these last bits of Summer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Winding Down

Things this summer are certainly doing just that.  My last post was all about how rushed things were for me this summer, and how I was conflicted a bit on which path I preferred to take:  experiences or savoring.  Well, in the photo above, I'm savoring that last bit of carefree fun before the stress of a wedding.  My Favorite Redhead got married to The Mouth Doctor yesterday on Mackinac Island, and it was the loveliest affair.  The guests were some of the best dressed people I've ever seen.  

In choosing the "savor" option yesterday, I did miss out on the circus at work (the "experiences" option).  Oh, yes.  When I say "circus," I mean an actual circus!  The theme for my summer program this year was "Under The Big Top," and so I had the fantastic student ambassadors from Illinois State University's Gamma Phi Circus come to the Great North Woods for a four-day camp with the kids.  The final performance was yesterday afternoon.

I was busy sipping gimlets on the portico of The Inn at Stonecliffe , savoring the start of many years of happiness for two friends.  There was a part of me, however, that missed the excitement of the experience happening at work.  It was just a little part.

What else? Well, last week was the wedding of my younger sister back in Illinois, followed two days later by the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon , where my big sister at some point passed me by, and finished almost two minutes ahead of me!  Way to go!  Its also where, after the run, I met my new boyfriend, record-setting marathoner  Ryan Hall .  See?

 I also stalked the winner of the race,  Kara Goucher, at the CVS the night before the run.  She was buying Sweet & Salty Chex Mix, and I was fumbling with my new Blackberry, trying to get a photo.  I felt like a really big dork, especially since no one else there knew who she was.  

So now I'm certain the summer is winding down, and just when I'm at the point where my schedule is opening up to enjoy it.  Ah, irony, thy name is Perfect Timing.  Have a great weekend.