Our Dundee Date

We decided to go for a ride this afternoon and ended up in Dundee to buy some candles. The Swan Creek Company outlet store is located four blocks from Cabala’s. We passed the Beef Jerky Outlet Store too, but it appeared closed.

We sniffed the aromatic scents one by one as we cruised through three different areas in the the store. We smelled fruity, spiced, sweet, floral, outdoors, herbs, coffee, even a leather one, until our noses had had enough. We then headed into their basement to check out the many resale treasures and antique booths. They also have an upstairs, which we didn’t get to today.

After all that sniffing, we finally decided on the Black Spiced Rum candle along with an Orange Blossom & Vanilla one, they were on the BOGO rack. We also picked up a lovely bird candle, touched with the fragrance of Petals of Paradise, to lift the spirits of someone special who is feeling sad due to a death in the family.

All this shopping had worked up an appetite and we headed next door to a small pub called, “River’s Edge. Pizza, Pub & Grille” I can’t say all their food is good, (because every time I’ve been, I order the same thing) but, I can testify to the fabulousness (yes I’m allowed to make up words on my blog) of their Chicago style pizza, filled with green pepper, onion, black olives and pepperoni. It is truly the best I’ve had, and that includes the pizza’s I’ve eaten while in Chicago. The sauce is spicy and sweet and is to die for. River’s Edge is also known for their pulled pork, baby back ribs, and brisket. Next time, I swear I’m going to starve myself for a week and sample them all.

After our filling meal, we decided to walk a bit before heading back home. Directly behind the River’s Edge and Swan Creek is the River Raisin Dam, which includes a lovely path.

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They built a wonderful gazebo in front of the water and placed a picnic table beneath. One might assume they did this so people could take a rest from their day and enjoy the beauty of the River Raisin, right? But then they ruined it by hanging up this sign- NO Loitering.

My husband and I couldn’t help but chuckle at the contradiction of the sign.

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The path led us to the Old Mill Museum which is the white building you see in the photo above. Unfortunately, they were about to close as we approached. Maybe next time.

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Ahhh, I can stand here without fear. It’s so refreshing. No loitering sign anywhere in this area by the Old Mill, the crisp clear beauty and sounds of the water are so dam amazing. Ah! (pun intended)

We’ll be back Dundee, Michigan. Love these day trip dates.

Think Spring!

 

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Jill Jack’s Birthday Bash

If you have ever seen Jill Jack perform, you are calling me a . . .

Lucky Duck

Lucky Duck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sold Out

Sold Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jill Jack B-day Bash

Jill Jack’s B-day Bash

 

 

 

 

 

Jill Jack’s birthday bash last night at the Ark in Ann Arbor was absolutely the epitome of entertainment. The star-studded show included many of her gifted friends and her daughters. A young teen power house (Allison Albrecht-15) opened the show with three songs. She is amazing!

Bobby Streng a friend, sax player/composer joined Jill Jack on stage. His music, playing, is divine . . . I believe Jill’s exact words, after a quick apology to her husband in the front row, were, “It’s like having sex on stage.” Bobby is undeniably phenomenal.

She shared the spotlight with her awesome band, which includes a drummer, electric guitar, an accordion, tambourine, keyboards, and a bass player. Jill strummed her acoustic guitar for several songs, many written by her own hand.  Her band members are far from stagnate on stage. They sang, danced, swayed, and their facial expressions at moments were priceless. The entire evening was a pure merry-making good time for all, and at the unbelievable price of twenty bucks.

The Ark  that presents over 300 shows a year was filled to capacity with an all aged diverse crowd of around 400.  Everyone enjoyed  free birthday cake. The concert began at 8 p.m. We left after 11:30 when she was about to do her first encore. Jill Jack never disappoints, always leaving everything she has on that stage.

We’ve been to many shows at this venue, but we both agree this was one of the best.

Jill’s sense of humor, open honesty, caring, contributions to community that go beyond, and stage presence takes a person on a turbulent ride of emotions. She has you laughing, smiling, teary eyed, and it always ends with her taking you on this journey deep into her heart, soul and her music. I’m not sure how one can give so much of their self and not keel over on stage. Amazing!

Dining

Deciding where to eat before a show in Ann Arbor is always a challenge. There are numerous “good eats” restaurants and pubs covering many ethnic types of cuisine.

This night, our evening began with a taste of Ireland at the pub below, great Irish beers, tasty food, and ended with a fabulous concert.

And to the couple making out in the parking garage elevator-please at least wait until you get to your car. REALLY!

Ark

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Our first date night of 2016. Definitely the beginning of a very good year. Thank you Jill Jack and company.

For the names of every fabulous person that performed January 9th at the Ark and more about Jill Jack and her band – click here

If you enjoyed this post, please share.

Wishing you all a fun-filled 2016

Mel

 

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A Christmas Gift Comes to Life from 2013

Boat Building Excellence with a Quick Photo Review and Update 

Several people have inquired about the impending birth of the Little Rascal, (the name Dave has given his latest watercraft project). If you are new to my blog, Little Rascal is a gorgeous full size boat that my brother-in-law is in the process of hand crafting piece by piece in his garage.

Dave has kept busy for the past two winters on building the Little Rascal. I’m excited to share with you his progress.

How it Began:  I’ve included these links to other articles I’ve written about Dave, the School, Canoe and a Dream Come True  is about how this unusual hobby started back in Dave’s childhood. Another post is My Boat building brother-in-law .

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Boat plans in a tube

wooden boat plans

Our Families Wood Genius

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Time Advances:

The Plans

The Runabout Rascal Plans

It Has Begun

It Has Begun

From This To...

From This To…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the end of Winter last year 2014:

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To This So Far

 

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Present-winter 2015

Some fresh air

One of my siblings

Before the flip

Before the flip

 

 

 

 

 

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After the flip

Celebrating the Flip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Inside

Excellence!

Excellence! No splinters here

 

The inside has been sanded to perfection even though no one will ever see these boards below the flooring . . . except Dave and now you. Truly masterful work.

 

 

 

 

The end product will be similar to this photo, only better because . . . Dave, you are amazing!

Rascal Boat

Runabout Rascal Boat Sample

 

 

 

 

 

I’m proud to show you Dave’s other watercraft masterpiece creations.

 

San jaun dory

Daves two Kayaks

Kayaks

Wabanaki Cedar Strip Canoe

Wabanaki Cedar Strip Canoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing your photos with us Dave.

Wishing Everyone a Fulfilling Christmas and a Healthy Joyous 2016

See ya next year!

Mel

P. S. I recently heard Dave is working on his own website. I’ll post the link when it goes live so can check in on his progress.

 

 

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Angels In The Snow!

Woman’s World Magazine, December 14, 2015

I am honored and humbled to have my article appear in this wonderful weekly magazine.

WhooHoo!

Whoo Hoo! Over 1.6 million readers…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out page 38 in this weeks edition of Woman’s World,  My Guardian Angel section. On the cover is an all time favorite, the famous Valerie Bertinelli and on the back is an advertisement featuring the sizzling hot Minions. Gotta love those guys!

Ho ho ho!

Ho ho ho!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within these sixty pages is a whole bunch of great stuff. There is absolutely something for everyone; a weekly mystery, a romance,  a ton of healthy life changing tips, recipes, fun crafts, puzzles, a few jokes, and my favorite part is the price, $1.89 at most grocery store check outs.

Woman's World 2015

Woman’s World Article Dec 14 2015

 

 

 

 

In June 2015

I submitted the “Angels in the Snow” article to Woman’s World Magazine. To be honest, I’ve been so busy with the book that I had forgotten about sending it in.

I have always enjoyed reading the weekly feature My Guardian Angel, in Woman’s World and thought my snow angel experience might be a good fit. An email informed me that they had received my submission the next day. I hadn’t heard anything else until a few weeks ago. I came home to find a message on my answering machine stating that they were using  my story in their #50 December issue. Wow! This year! Most of the time the publication dates are in the far distant future.

When a writer mails their submissions, they never know when or even if they’ll hear back from the editors. If there is no word within six months, its assumed they couldn’t use your article, for whatever reason.

I had considered the inclusion of “Angels in the Snow” as a chapter in the book, This Sign Was Mine, under my pen name of Patti Rae Fletcher, but there wasn’t quite enough content.

Not everyone sees what I see, but more than the visual it’s the sensation(s) that consume me when or while I see things. The signs always come while I’m contemplating  or confused with certain life questions. The messages I receive never fail to bring me a consuming warmth, a feeling of love, and usually joyful tears. (And no it’s not hormonal…I promise!)

The magazine couldn’t use my photographs, probably due to space or quality of my photos, so you can be the first to see the originals here.

I’m so grateful for all of you who read my blog(s) regularly and have kept me writing. I truly feel blessed.

All the shares and your comments are encouraging, and appreciated more than you know. Thank You!

My snow angel

My angel

 

 

 

 

 

Choir of Angels

Choir of Angels

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about my book, please sign up on the links above…one is for the Patti Rae Website and the other is for the books Facebook page.

Wishing all of you the very brightest of seasons!

Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy 2016.

Mel

 

 

 

 

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One Of Those Days! Ugh!

Everyone has them, right, those stupid embarrassing moments?

My Not So Terrible Dilemma

I’m at the mall for a quick pick up of an item at Penney’s.

I decide to speed walk around the mall for an hour to change-up my usual exercise routine.

Later, checking all my pockets and literally dumping my purse out at the door I realized, I had either lost or locked my keys in the car. (Called myself a few names after seeing them dangling from the ignition. Grrr!)

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Did I mention I also left my phone on the kitchen counter charging. (Called myself a few more names. Grrr!)
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This circumstance made me realize, I didn’t even know my husband’s (or sons) cell numbers, and the only other numbers I actually remembered were of people’s past landlines. Where are those old-fashioned pay phones with an attached book of white pages when you need one? I know, I know, probably in some scrap yard.

What would you do?

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Here’s what I did after the growling subsided.

 

 

 

Talked to security – That was a no-go.They don’t bust into cars anymore after being sued. They recommended AAA roadside service or to call the local police. The cost would be between forty and fifty dollars to rescue keys from a locked vehicle from any outside service.

My options:

  • Walk – It would be free, but it’s about six miles from home. I had just power walked the mall and didn’t exactly have on my good long distance walking shoes.
  • Taxi – None of the service desk employees had their phone on them, but one cashier knew you could still dial 411 for information. (I hadn’t thought about that in years.) The lady behind the service desk punched in the number and handed me the phone as Trinity Taxi answered. After they had gotten all my information, the dispatcher told me it would be about a two-hour wait, I cancelled, thinking I could walk home in that amount of time.
  • Someone to bring extra keys. – But who, I have no phone and no numbers. Who am I going to call?

My lightbulb moment!

I wondered if the Best Buy computers that are on display are actually hooked up to the Internet and if they are, I’ could email my husband at work. I knew he was involved with a serious, crazy project and was working later than usual, but maybe he could sneak out for an hour and bring the extra set of keys. I’m sure I was under surveillance and looked quite guilty as I peeked over my shoulder several times as I logged onto my email. I sent the message, thinking I’ll give him twenty minutes to respond and if he doesn’t I’ll just walk and hope to make it home before dark. Luckily, my husband did respond and informed me he couldn’t get out until five-ish. He asked that I hang-out until then. It was well after three, so I thought, there are many worse things than being stranded at the mall for a few extra hours. I suppose I could use this time to begin some early Christmas shopping.

Don’t you just love happy endings?

Things I learned from this experience.

I wrote several cell phone numbers on the back of a business card to keep in my purse.

I will make a better effort to remember my phone whenever I leave.

Omelets instead of a planned meatloaf for dinner isn’t so bad.

Happy November!

For my wonderful blog family, I’m thankful! I wish each of you a delightful Thanksgiving!

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A Day Trip To Ohio

Sharing Places I Love To Go

I’ve heard many people say things about Ohio like . . .  “It’s long, flat, all farm land, and boring.”

Then there’s all that football rivalry stuff with Michigan. It’s all in fun, but we know who’s team is better! LOL!

football mi oh

 

 

 

What I do know for sure is, my husband and I travel to Ohio quite often for the day, and we always have a great time. I also have some awesome past memories from Ohio’s Cedar Point, and Kings Island too.

There’s great shopping and oh, did I mention the Irish pubs, our favorite is near the Franklin Park mall and is Claddagh Irish Pub? We don’t eat out often and when we do, I love great service and fabulous food, this restaurant has given us both. My Irish roots crave ethnic food from time to time.

Did You Know?

Some phenomenal people have come from parts of Ohio like, Neil Armstrong, The Wright Brothers, and seven of our U.S. Presidents were born in Ohio. Here are some other fun Ohio state facts. 

My Most Favorite

What I enjoy most of all about our visits to this state is our leisurely walks along the Maumee river, listening to the flow of the dam, taking pictures of the luscious views on the path, people watching, and of course eating our lunch or dinner at  LaRoe’s restaurant . We usually sit on the patio with a gorgeous park and water view. The service and food are truly exquisite. If you’re ever in need of a nice day trip or traveling through Ohio and require a rest and a good meal, I highly recommend a relaxing visit to the quaint city of Grand Rapids. I promise it’s not flat or all farm land.

Enjoy your day, and thanks for stopping by.

Writing Naturally,

Mel

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Three Ways You Can Help Any Author

On The Other Side Of Writing

Once a book is written, edited and published, there’s a whole new agenda to learn. There are author events, book signings, press releases, presentations, your own inventory, new websites, Facebook pages, blogs, royalties, accounting and taxes to think about. How does it all work? I have no flippin’ clue. Whew! As with anything that seems to overwhelm me, I try to do it with a smile, one day at a time, baby steps, tiny bites, breathe, etc…  if that doesn’t work, then maybe a lay-down, foot kicking, screeching tantrum would do the trick.

Ahhhh! I feel better now. tantrumOkay, back to deep breaths.

 

 

Connecting/Marketing

It begins with letting people know that your book is available. Back in time publishers did most of the promotions for their authors and books, but present day, it’s the author who shoulders much of their own publicity. Balboa Press has walked me through a lot of the process by setting up a website and taking care of the press releases. I also received a marketing kit that contained bookmarks and business cards. Now it’s my job as the author to get people to visit the sites, sign up and follow me. With that being said, if your interested in learning more about me, as Patti Rae (my pen name) and my book, the link is below.

My friends and family have asked, “Is there anything I can do to help you and/or your book?”

If I’ve given anyone a blank stare, please forgive me, I still have so much to learn. However, besides purchasing the book for support, here are three ways I’ve tried to help my writing friends.

  1.  After reading their book, write a review on Amazon or anywhere it’s available. You can do this whether you purchased the book from them or not. You could also write a review on your Facebook page to share with your friends.
  2.  Of coarse positive word of mouth is an awesome way to help. I love adding book recommendations from family and friends to my “pleasure read” list.
  3. Another way is to share the author’s blogs or posts on your sites to inform all of your friends of upcoming events and possible give-a-ways and don’t be afraid to ask them to share it with their friends too.  If you have a blog and are in a position to interview someone, that’s great. *Hint, I always say yes and will return the favor as needed.

A Giant Thank YOU!

To those of you who have taken the time from your busy lives to share your thoughts in a review about my memoir, “This Sign Was Mine” on Amazon, you have my deepest gratitude. My heart overflows!

Link to my new website, please drop by for a visit anytime. There’s another blog and an event page that I will be adding to, soon.

Like my new Facebook page too for inspirational quotes, posters, and an upcoming give-away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Magical Moments In Photos

Let The Magic Begin! Not many words needed!

First Plane Ride

First Plane Ride

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Purdy

Feeling tiny next to Perdita

 

 

 

 

 

 

The castle is real!

WOW! The castle is real!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Sea Ride

Under the Sea Ride

A hug for Daisy

A hug for Daisy

It's A Small Small World!

It’s A Small Small World!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dumbo Ride

Dumbo Ride

Sparkle hearts face-painting

Sparkle hearts face-painting

Look who just landed!

Look who just landed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Many Princesses, So Little Time!

Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you Ariel.

 

 

 

 

 

A hug from Pocahontas

A hug from Pocahontas

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd love to sign your hat!

I’d love to sign your hat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I sign your hat too?

Can I sign your hat too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Cinderella!

It’s Cinderella!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I adore Elsa!

I adore Elsa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the magic didn’t end there . . .

Now that's first class, sitting in the pilot's chair.

Now that’s first class, sitting in the pilot’s chair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the flight home my granddaughter was invited into the cockpit of the airplane with a nice explanation to her question.

Does an airplane start with key like a car?

The answer is no. There were what seemed to be hundreds of buttons, switches, gauges, monitors, and graphs everywhere, even on the ceiling.

Our GIANT thank you to the best Walt Disney World tour guides we could have possibly had. You both are the best!

Happy 33rd Anniversary To a magical couple!

Happy 33rd Anniversary
To a very magical couple!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s Next? Letting Readers Know!

H Everyone!

For those of you who have asked about my latest book . . . YES,  it came in, finally! Publishing with Balboa Press has taught me so much, and everyday there is yet something else to learn.

Now that the book is written and published, I’m learning how to let people know it’s available.

This Sign Was Mine

This Sign Was Mine

First Event

First Event HS craft show.

 

 

No one told me you have to bring your own table to a craft show. Now I know.

 

 

 

I was waiting for the website for Patti Rae Fletcher to launch before I announced the book here, so we would have somewhere to go and just talk about the experiences in the book and around the book and any bizarre coincidences that may have happened to you. I can’t wait to hear your amazing stories on the book website.

I wanted to share with you first, my treasured friends and family who have followed me here for the past couple of years, I truly do appreciate the time you take to read my words and comment. (and those who just scroll through the pictures too) If you have followed my posts for any length of time, you already have had a tiny sneak peek into slight pieces of what’s in the book.

“This Sign Was Mine, Message Received!” by Patti Rae Fletcher, is my short memoir about several crazy coincidences, déjà vu moments, those strange instances that give you the goosebumps, or the tingles that race on your spine, or that have you shaking your head and asking yourself, “Did that just happen?” Those moments when things become crystal clear or totally change the whole way you previously thought about a situation.

I feel these sorts of experiences happen to everyone, but we are so busy, sometimes, we brush off the signs that the Universe is trying to give us, or think it’s nonsense. I’ve done exactly that until recently when I sat down and tried to figure out my life, my purpose and why I’m here and why things happen(ed) the way they do or did. These signs that were gifted to me brought with them messages that I was meant to receive at the precise perfect moment.

Writing is and has always  been therapeutic for my heart, mind and soul. I’ve kept diaries and journals most of my life, but this came out of me like a freight train and brought such clarity to the many difficult questions that I’d struggled with for the past few years, especially those since my parents left their physical bodies.

The book is available through me, and will be at the library system soon.

Hard cover, (28.95) soft cover,(8.99) and e-books (3.99) are also available through;

Balboa Press

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

My hope is, you will follow the Patti Rae Blog to find out where the author and book signing events will be held. They will be listed soon.

Have a wonderful week everyone and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Treasures of Time

My husband and I discovered we both have feelings for fossils. Awe!

As a child I dug up plenty of treasures in our backyard. At one time the area had been used as a dump. I found many interesting things. Some odd formed rocks, hunks of broken colored glass, and unusual bottle caps. I never found anything of any value, but enjoyed showing off what I had found.

Several days ago while in Ann Arbor, Mi. our search for a unique birthday gift wasn’t found. We couldn’t locate the store and had forgotten the name. we discovered another shop we hadn’t ever visited. It was filled with all sorts of natural items, such as crystals, gem stones, jewelry, fossils, and home decorations created from natural materials, some from a different era.

We didn’t find that special birthday gift we had searched for, but we did find two ancient decorations for our bathroom shelf, and I do mean ancient, one is over fifty million years old and the second, sixty five million.

Up to this point I’d been looking for dragonfly related items. I spent a long time in front of one display case reading informational tags. When I looked for my husband a bit later, he was at that case reading the same thing I had. I joined him and we made a couple of decisions. I felt especially drawn to the fish, until I saw the Ammonite. We couldn’t decide which one we wanted and ended up buying both.

The one called Knightia, (Nye-tee-ah) a prehistoric fish from North America, is an ancestor of today’s herring and sardine. It was one of many found in Wyoming, therefore it wasn’t expensive. I feel honored to have this reminder of historic times in my home. We thought this fossil would fit well into our decor in the bathroom even though it isn’t a dragonfly.

Knightia

Knightia

The Knightia fossil appears to glimmer bronze, and the fact that fish are known to eat dragonflies and dragonflies have survived over 300 million years, I felt made them the perfect partners on my shelf to keep with the theme. Ha! My likes always find away.

 

 

The other fossil we purchased is an Ammonite. This one was found in the Sahara Desert, Morocco. This squid-like creature lived inside a coil shaped shell and ate small fish and crustaceans in shallow seas. It could grow up to three feet. The one below is about the size of my open hand. This fossil dates back to the Devonian Period to the Cretaceous period 410-65 million years ago.  This predator became extinct about the same time the dinosaurs did.

Ammonite Closed

Ammonite Closed

Ammonite opened

Ammonite opened

 

 

 

 

 

Ammonite means “Ammon’s stone: named after the ram-horned Egyptian god (Amun) of the sky, air and wind. (and there’s my dragonfly connection) Works for me! Now just to figure out the best way to display this lovely piece of history.

It’s a good thing I’m not a serious theme person . . . or maybe, I’m ultra serious? Hmmm, either way, I love having both pieces in my home. I will treasure them and what they stand for in the creation and history of our fascinating world.

Here’s the link to the store in Ann Arbor    Four Directions (Gifts from Around the World.)

 

Next blog: My new book, a memoir, my sharing of signs from the Universe is complete and the website is almost done. More on that soon, I promise!

 

 

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