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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I’m baaccckkk!!! While it was wonderful to be able to spend time with my sister, it was not a wonderful visit, as I know you can understand. It is good to be home. I got tears in my eyes when I finally saw the towers of the Mackinac Bridge. I had tears in my eyes a lot the past 4 days, but these were a different kind of tears. You probably think I’m nuts…unless you love the U.P. as much as I do.

Dan managed to hold down the campground while I was gone. He actually was quite busy with campers for this time of year so it was good “practice” for him. Dan does not enjoy the computer so I had a lot of catching up to do. I called him one night to see how things were going. He asked if I had seen the news story on FOX news about the comet in the shape of a credit card terminal headed towards the space station. It took me a moment to realize what the heck he was getting at. Dan had to change the roll of paper on the credit card terminal and even on a good day, it is not an easy challenge…so needless to say, he was NOT having a good day. Dan figured he must’ve gone through about 2’ of paper before he FINALLY got the darn stuff to feed through. Other than that he managed to “muddle through”.

When I left for downstate, Dan asked me to put out the recipe for apple crisp; that he was going to make some while I was gone. Dan is a wonderful cook, but not a baker by any means. For example; for my 40th birthday, I told him the only thing I wanted was for HIM to make my birthday cake and that I would even buy him the cake mix so he didn’t have to make it from scratch. He managed to get the cake baked and then wanted to know where the frosting was because he didn’t see it in the box. I had to laugh at that and explained to him that was not the way it worked. I DID expect the frosting to be homemade because I wanted peanut butter frosting on my chocolate cake. I got the recipe out for the frosting and left him alone in the kitchen. He was muttering to himself and I finally heard him say “Tequila? We don’t have Tequila. Cat, what kind of a frosting recipe calls for ¼ tsp of Tequila?” I could NOT imagine what he was talking about and was becoming concerned about the outcome of this peanut butter frosting. I went to the kitchen to have him point out to me what in the world he was talking about…the word was VANILLA, NOT Tequila! In fairness to Dan, sometimes my penmanship leaves something to be desired AND this recipe had seen a lot of use so I suppose to the untrained eye, it could have looked some what similar to Tequilla. The frosting turned out fine but we’ve often wondered what it would taste like with Tequilla instead of vanilla!

Dan DID make the apple crisp and there actually was some left when I got home…which surprised me since I was gone for 4 days and he usually finishes it up in 2 days. I thought must be it didn’t turn out the way he had hoped but it really didn’t taste too bad. Next time he can cut back on the margarine and bake it about 15 minutes longer and it’ll be perfect!

When I left Newberry, gas was $2.44 a gallon. The further downstate I got, the less the cost of a gallon of gas. The cheapest I saw it was $2.09. I pulled into the Shell Mart in Mendon, Michigan to pick up a sandwich and a pop prior to driving out to my sisters. I said to the young man in charge “It is amazing how much cheaper gas is at this Shell station than ours.” He chuckled and said “Where are you from, the U.P.? Tee, hee, tee hee.” I said “Yes, I am.” which surprised him because he thought he was being clever. It was $2.14 at their station.

Well, I just thought I’d check in and let ya know that I am home and will be back to a sort of normal routine within the next couple of days.

I also wanted to clarify something about some of the titles of my “updates”. I had a couple of emails in regards to the one that I titled “Going to the Chapel”; I had asked if any of you remembered that song. I should have explained that was NOT the name of the song but the first line of the song. The name of the song was Chapel of Love. Once in a while I will use the title of a song or I might use a line from a song. I kind of like that game!

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