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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!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I MANAGED TO SHED MY LEAVES YESTERDAY! I got out of my housebound, root bound area and got some exercise! And it felt good…till it started hurting anyway!

I’ve got muscles that I forgot existed. Remember I told ya I might bundle up and try to do some shoveling yesterday?? Well, I DID! And I didn’t get frosty toes and only had hives on my neck and chin for just a little bit!

I managed to more or less get the decks and walk ways at the cabins shoveled off and even managed to wade through thigh high snow to the propane tank to check the % left in the tank. I came back and waded through snow to get to the propane tank at the Little Lodge and then managed to get that deck sort of shoveled off. I didn’t do the walk way. Before I even got done with the deck, my left shoulder (the one I had operated on 3 years ago) was screaming. But other than that, it truly felt good to be out doing something. The sun was shining, snow was glistening, birds were chirping and I was sweating (that was when the hives stopped!).

Then I came in, got my “corn container”, went out to the shop and filled it up with cracked corn for the snow buntings. Have you ever seen the snow buntings? They are pretty shy so it is hard to get a photo of them, but I will try so I can post it for you. The sunflower feeders were full and there was still plenty of thistle for the finches. I did have to clean out the “bird bath”, which is a hard plastic round “tub”, about 4” deep that we put a heater in. It sits on a pole outside the dining room window. The birds drink a lot more water during the day than you think they would. The buntings and woodpeckers do not come to the “bath”, but the other birds do.

I found a new recipe for some stuff I call “bird balls”…I use to shape it into a ball and put it in a netted bag (like you get onions in). But the darn (being polite when I say darn) starlings would eat it all. So Dan and I found some short “logs” and he drilled holes into the logs, put a hook in the end and now I fill the holes up with the “bird ball” concoction. The starlings still try to eat the stuff, as do the jays, but at least the chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers stand a better chance than before (and we do put out suet too). This new recipe smelled good enough to eat when I was done with it! I call this one Bird Balls # 2;
1 cup shortening
1 c peanut butter
¼ c sugar
1 ½ c flour
1 ½ c corn meal
1 ½ c quick cooking oatmeal (not cooked)
Melt shortening and p.n. butter. Add rest of ingredients one at a time, mix well and let cool.

This recipe says add rest of ingredients one at a time…I mixed all of those dry ingredients in a big bowl and added the melted stuff to that.

Before Dan left to go groom the south trail yesterday, he took the stuff out and put it in the logs. Yesterday afternoon, I noticed a new bird at the log farthest away from the house and had to get the binos to see what it was. It was a female red bellied woodpecker. We haven’t seen one of them in ages. I also had a flicker that was trying to figure out how to get itself on the log. It never made it.

A couple days ago, I was sitting in the office, typing away and I heard this racket outside the living room window. I stood up to see what the heck was going on and couldn’t see a thing. I sat back down, and there was that racket again. Repeated the process, still nothing. The third time it happened, I decided just to get sit in the living room and maybe I would see what was going on. There was a little squirrel trying to get at the suet bag that is hanging outside the living room window. He’d get up the post, jump over on the window and slide down, the window and the side of the house. Dummy finally gave up. I guess being a houseplant does have some advantages!

Dan had a 14 hour grooming run yesterday/last night so he is trying to sleep. He encountered a lot of sleds and had one close call on a curve…guy coming at him on the wrong side of the trail, hell bent for leather (what does than mean anyway??). The guy missed Dan but came awful close to hitting a tree. This happens way too often and I can’t help but wonder if people learn anything from their near misses.

Enjoy the weekend!


  1. Kent Jeppesen5:12 PM

    HI Cathy. You are right, what does it mean "hell bent for leather" Well I found this on the farmer's almanac site.

    The British counterpart of this phrase is "hell for leather," meaning in a hell of a hurry. Evidently, the phrase was coined while the British army was in India, and most likely the leather refers to a horse's or team's leather gear, from saddle to bridle and reins, and the whipping given to these items when a rider or driver was pressed to attain full galloping speed. "Hell-bent" is an American term, meaning headed in a certain direction at all costs and with heedless speed, even if it means ending up in hell. Most likely, "hell-bent for leather" is a combination of these two phrases.

    Take care

  2. Kent, Thanks for that info! I keep looking at those books one can purchase that gives you all that kind of "stuff" but I haven't made the move yet! I appreciate fun facts like that! Think of all the ones there are; in a pigs eye for example.


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