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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!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


(I’ve had a couple of emails asking what my new photo was in my profile; it is me sitting in a Black Hawk helicopter)

In my previous post, did I give you all (Texas expression) the impression that I was/am a total tom boy?

Let’s back up to the teenage years. First of all, I still had a FEW teen age years left into the very early 70’s.

When I was in school, girls were required to wear dresses or skirts and blouses. Guys had to wear their shirt tails tucked in, their hair could not be below their collar and no facial hair at all. Once a month was casual Friday; you paid 50 cents to the Sr. class in order to be able to come to school in casual attire...not sloppy attire, but casual.

(Even after I got out of school and got a job, females were required to wear dresses, skirts and blouses and nylons. This was a job in a bank in the proof department where we weren’t even seen by the public.)

From about the age of 7 to the time I married at age 19 (???) we lived in the country on a small farm. There was the usual livestock and an occasional horse. Don’t ask about the time my Dad took me out of school to help plant 500 asparagus plants. I didn’t enjoy that part. During my “older” teenage years, the jeans I wore were bellbottoms and hip huggers.

My first husband’s family had a good size farm and I loved the farm life; being around the beef cows and feeder cattle and the sheep…and eventually a horse or two. I loved driving the baler, disking stalks..those kind of things. I could be out in the sun in very short cut offs and a halter top made out of two large red men’s hankies so maybe there was a part of me that KNEW how to be a girly tom boy….and even then, I had my favorite perfumes; Tabu, Cotillion (and the smell of new mown hay!). And the sweet smell of cow’s breath. And watching lambs jumping stiff legged up in the air, bumping heads with other lambs and playing with each other. Or feeding deacon calves on a bucket, and listening to their little “mwwwaws” (doesn’t develop into a full fledge MOO till they are older). If it was too cold for the short cutoffs, I’d put on a pair of bib overalls. Didn’t need ruffles and frills to do that work.

Someplace in the late 70’s I served as a township treasurer so I didn’t really have to dress up for that job. I wore nice looking clothes and appropriate, uncomfortable dress shoes but couldn’t wait till my day in the office was over so I could get back into jeans.

After my fist husband and I split up, I had to get a full time job so I applied at a bank and was hired in as a teller. By this day and age, women could wear dress slacks and nice blouses to work (at least at this bank). I hadn’t worn make up on the farm; didn’t need it. I would put a bit on if we were going out or to a party, etc. But I had to start wearing make up to work in the outside world. I worked my way up to vault teller, customer service representative, loan officer, and bank officer. At this time I was still allowed to wear dressy slacks and uncomfortable dressy shoes. During this time Dan and I had met and married in 1985.

From there, which I think was about 1990 (??) I went internal to the corporate side of First of America Bank Corp, which meant a change in wardrobe and more uncomfortable shoes….and nylons ALL of the time. And a haircut that was more professional than long, tightly curled hair. Did I mention the damn shoes and nylons??? But I still had my perfume and my list had grown to include Ciara. By the time I would drive back from Oshtemo to outside of Centreville each evening, all I wanted to do was take all those citified clothes off and put my PJ’s and slippers on! Oh, and wash the makeup off.

By this time in my “career” I had accumulated an annual 4 weeks paid vacation time and 5 personal days. Dan and I took nice, long camping vacations and used some of the time to look for property in da U.P. When we went on vacation ANYPLACE I never took any nylons, dresses or dressy shoes with me. I would take my perfume, some blush and some mascara…although the latter 2 rarely were used.

Long story short, we purchased the campground that we have in September 1992 and about that same time I put all of my office attire in a corner in the big closet in our home. I eventually sold them all to a school teacher…even my whole two pair of dress shoes. All I have in my closet now that is remotely dressy is 3 blazers; one in coral, one in a bright blue, and one that is more of a duster than a blazer, in a gray. I have one pair of dress pants…beige. The gray duster doesn’t go with the beige dress pants so I have a pair of black leggings and black short sleeve sweater….in case of a funeral. And one pair of totally uncomfortable, no arch support dress shoes. To think of them makes me wince.

I do own about 7 pairs of jeans, several summer type blouses and T’s, some heavy weight women’s shirts, long sleeved pullovers, sweatshirts, 3 pairs of fleece lined long underwear, 3 pairs of hunting socks plus other various warm socks…you get the idea. And you also notice there is NO mention of makeup anyplace.

I’m just a plain and simple gal…no frills, no big “gotta haves”, and I love living this way!! And I’m lucky that Dan is the kind of guy who isn’t interested in anything but plain and simple.


  1. You are genuine and genuinely pretty, you don't need the makeup and fancy clothes...especially in the U.P. where folks are down home and sincere and just, well, "themselves".....
    as I am getting older, I am wearing less and less makeup...I grew up wearing it at 12 so it will take some time for me to go without it. ha
    I too am SO GLAD I don't have to dress up for work anymore!

  2. OMG, an honest to goodness Real live girl...nice to meet another gal who could give a hoot about pantyhose and uncomfortable shoes. Good for you.
    I have to admit tho, I still put the face on but just enough to cover the sun damaged lines...lol...and thank God I never had to work in a bank. You will find DH and me in our bibs or bluejeans over 'dress-up', anyday.
    Blessya both

  3. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!! That's the way the wife and me are.Plain and simple.

  4. Baby's got her blue jean's on:
    Mel McDaniel

  5. Anonymous10:38 AM

    I think DAN is the lucky one to have a woman who doesn't need all that stuff. He probably doen't have to wait long for you to get ready to go someplace either!


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