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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, February 19, 2011


We’ve had a few days off and since the weather had been like spring going into summer, we’ve been taking advantage of it!

The fish are jumping in what water there is out in our end of the reservoir so we’re really thinking seriously about getting fishing licenses. The licenses would be good for a year from purchase so we could still use them when we come back down to Piedmont NWR to work this fall.

You can tell the water isn’t too deep yet (and not because of some fool being stuck with their boat). The shag pokes (AKA blue herons) are standing in what would be the middle of the lake and the water isn’t even touching their belly feathers.

The sand hill cranes are flying over head and look like they are heading northward…heading back to da U.P. no doubt!

Speaking of sand hill cranes, we received an offer from Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico. It is near San Antonio, NM. We haven’t done a lot of research into it yet, but they require 36 hours per person in exchange for a full hook up campsite…and Dan and I wouldn’t be working together. The hours actually make the campsite “cost” over $2000 a month. But one of the pluses is the huge amount of birds and especially the sand hill cranes! It appears to have a lot of wildlife and you can see the mountains off in the distance…but there don’t seem to be any trees. They sent along an application, etc for the 2012-2013 season so we’ve got time to think about it.

I got my new glasses yesterday. Dan had his eye exam while I was getting my glasses. HE has to have new glasses too. It’s been an expensive winter! However, I AM anxious to find out if I can see any better when taking photos.

Dan and I finally made it to go out to supper with Paul and Linda last night. We went to the Longhorn Steakhouse. Dan and I had never been there before, but we were very pleased with our meal. And the prices aren’t that bad either. It was nice getting to know Paul and Linda a bit more, but after listening to their experiences already this season with campers coming in, I AM NOT READY TO GO HOME AND FACE MORE OF THE SAME AT OUR PARK. It actually gives me a gut ache thinking about it. At least, people that work at the gatehouse for the Army Corp of Engineers have some backing if they have a rude, unruly or just a butt head guest. Private campground owners are stuck dealing with it themselves, and then you KNOW that person is going to go off and right a bad review for you someplace on the Internet. I keep telling myself, “It is only from mid May to mid October”. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time, but it really can be a stretch when pretty much every other camper seems to have a bone to pick about something.

Paul and Linda told us about a pizza place that they really enjoy; Stevie B’s pizza. And we even know where it is so we won’t get lost if/when we go there. It is a pizza buffet and it’s only like $4.99 plus your beverage. I’m thinking next week when it is Dan’s turn to pick a place to eat, he might pick there.

Today we are headed back to Cartersville. We didn’t do much shopping yesterday (other than to look at one jewelry store for a chocolate diamond ring). Dan had to have his eyes dilated so we just came home afterwards. Since Dan has been doing pretty much all the driving since we arrived, and he had to be a passenger yesterday, he acted like I didn’t remember how to drive that “big truck”. I told him if he didn’t set back and behave I was going to force one of my “non backseat driver pills” down his throat. We must have been on I-75 all of 20 miles….RELAX OLD MAN!

Anyway, since we didn’t take time to do much of anything yesterday, I think we’ll be headed back today. There were some sheet sales I’d like to take advantage of if possible; flannel sheet sets for $7.50!! There probably isn’t any queen size left, but ya don’t know till ya look.

And I told Dan if this spring/summer I’m going to be doing most of the mowing I HAD to get a sports bra. My girls are getting a little too old for bouncing up and down on that buckboard of a mower. The past two seasons I didn’t get to mow until towards September…and even at that I was using one hand with all my fingers spread out to place over the girls so they would stay put a bit better. Two years ago I was on crutches due to my ankle/arch and that lasted till about July. Last year I had my knee surgery and even though I felt I was up to mowing by the end of June, Dan didn’t’ want me on the mower. Then I got sick with that severe cold or whatever it was that knocked me down for about a month. That mower is such a rough riding son of a gun. It’s gotten to the point that Dan can’t handle riding it anymore due to his knees, back and neck.

I haven’t written much about all the crime that goes on in the area. Not so much right here, but Atlanta in particular. People are taken right in broad day light out of parking lots. Children come up missing. Houses blow up due to meth labs and people are killed. A young white father was shot dropping off his kids for preschool. Policemen are gunned down or run over. A week ago, a young woman’s body was found mutilated on I-75 but the police still don’t know if it was because she had been run over so many times or if she was thrown out of a moving vehicle. Two people finally came forward and said they thought they had hit something but wasn’t sure what it was. A couple of days ago, two young men saw smoke coming out of a house. They banged on the door but no one came to the door. Then they heard kids screaming on the 2nd floor. Somehow they climbed up the outside of the house and rescued 3 kids. The house blew up; it was a meth lab. The kids were transported to a hospital where they died about 4 hours later. The mother finally showed up and the dad is thought to be on his way to Mexico. He’d been arrested for something else about a month ago and let go. People have had their homes broken into while they are sitting there watching daytime TV. It goes on and on.

So yesterday, I was going to go in the Wal-Mart store and pickup my glasses and then take a package down to the UPS store (which is in the same complex but about a walk of 2 blocks away). I was just going to walk down there. Dan wouldn’t hear of it. We DROVE down there before his appointment. Things are really bad down here. I’m glad that we have another person here to share the duties with us because I WOULD be concerned to be here by ourselves. It is hard to believe that we are in such a pretty setting and life is so bad.

We have talked about going to the Atlanta Aquarium but someone else said that we should go to the one in Chattanooga; that it is MUCH better than the one in Atlanta. Have any of you been to either one and if so, your opinion?

I guess that about wraps it up for this time! Hope all is well with you!!

1 comment:

  1. With all that crime and junk going on around you I'll bet 'home' is starting to sound good about now!
    We do live a quieter lifestyle in the U.P. for the most part. As for your driving - been there done that! Thom had eye surgery last year and I drove home the 3 hour trip. Mind you he had a patch over his right eye so he kept thinking I was either heading off the road or over the center line! FINALLY I stopped the Yukon, looked him square in his 'good' eye and told him that if he didn't want it wrapped up like the other one he best sit back and take a nap or else! LOL
    'hugs from afar'


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