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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!

Friday, March 21, 2008


I HAVE SPRING FEVER SO BAD!!! I am tired of the cold temps, the freezing finger tips, the hives, THE FURNACE RUNNING. I hope SOON we will be in the arena of having to put our cleats on to keep from break dancing on the way to the mail box. THAT means that things are starting to melt!

And as I’ve said before, both of us get SO yancy this time of year to TRAVEL, TO CAMP!!!! I’m even looking forward to MOWING! So that tells ya something. Usually THIS Lawn Ranger doesn’t want to think about that part of summer. At this point, I won’t even complain about a few mosquitoes and/or black flies!

I wish you could see our campground when things start to turn green. When the buds on the trees finally open and the grass is greening up…it is just beautiful. We have several choke cherry and pin cherry trees on our property and when they are in bloom (even though they are NOT a pretty tree), it is gorgeous. And it will be nice to be awakened by singing birds instead of plow trucks or salt trucks whizzing by early morning.

And then there are mushrooms to look for! They pop up in the strangest places here. The past couple of years we haven’t found that many because it has been so dry (and when it is that dry, we don’t have insect issues either, so it is a toss up…bugs and mushrooms or no bugs and few mushrooms). The beef steaks continue to thrive, it seems, regardless of the weather. We no longer eat those but they sure are in abundance.

Then there are the spring projects we hope to get done. I’m not sure what we’ll do about getting the cabin roofs stained this year. We wanted to do it last year, but Dan was laid up recovering from another knee replacement and he didn’t want me to get up on the roof of the cabins. But, we DO need to get it done this year. We try to stain them every 3-4 years. The cabin roofs are cedar shakes. And I hope to get the women’s room floor painted this spring. The problem with that is, the floor is cement and it will take a while for that concrete to warm up enough to paint it. Normally May isn’t a busy month, so when it is time to paint one of the floors, we just make the other room (in this case the men’s room) co-ed. I like to try to keep traffic off from a freshly painted floor for about a week.

When we close down in November, we thoroughly clean the bathrooms and shower stalls (bleach the walls, etc) so basically all we have to do in there is put the plumbing back together and wash windows, do some dusting and we’ll be ready to go.

Of course, we’ll have spring cleaning and window washing to do in the cabins and the Little Lodge. Since we weren’t that busy this winter, that won’t be a big deal because we keep things pretty darn clean anyway (except the window washing part!).

I’m always anxious to get my ground level birdbath put out. It has a small fountain in it and the birds really like it…but about ½ way through summer I am tired of cleaning/bleaching it a couple times a week.

So I am anxiously waiting when I can go for walks with out bumping into snow banks or becoming one giant hive.

But then, I look across the road from my office and the sun is highlighting the trees. The trees are all frosted, looking like a picture from a book. Then I feel how cold my finger tips are and say to myself…I have had enough winter!

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