Joe’s Trip, Outside Walks and a Visit to a Mineral Museum

We had a busy week last week! On Sunday (not the one yesterday but the one a week ago) Joe flew to Boston and then drove to New Hampshire to be a judge/official in an SAE car competition for college students.  He was there doing work until Wednesday when he flew home, getting in around 11:30 at night.  Cora and everybody else and I were all here at home of course, doing normal things. Although I did try to get Cora out for a couple of walks, they were all short because we kept running into other people and dogs and the trail was still super wet to go down there.

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This is up the hill from us on a side street. Water was just draining away down the hill and Cora played in it for awhile.  I didn’t touch it, but I assume it was very cold!

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These two, above and below, are shots of our backyard during the worst of the melting.  That green cap is one of the caps on our septic tank. It’s supposed to be even at ground level but a lot of the dirt eroded away so we have some fixing to do before we can replant whatever grass doesn’t come up from the seeds they put down last fall.

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I also had to check the basement while Joe was gone because the day before he left he discovered the basement was flooded with about 6 inches of water.  During the septic tank construction the drain pipe from the basement accidentally got covered with dirt and wasn’t draining properly.  Joe caught it in time and dug out the pipe so all I had to do while he was gone was to make sure it was still draining and not clogged.   I’m glad I didn’t find that without him once it got into the water heater and I had no hot water all of a sudden!  The furnace thankfully (is off now but it was still going last week) is up on bricks so we would have had heat for a bit longer!

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Cora napping one night in our bedroom.  She would have been cute but she has those glowing green eyes that makes her look all creepy!

Like I mentioned, Joe came home really late Wednesday night and then one of his good friends came to town Thursday because his girlfriend was graduating from Michigan Tech. on Saturday.  So Joe was out for awhile Thursday and Friday nights hanging out with him since they may not get to see each other very often now that the girlfriend will be gone and his friend won’t be traveling up here like he used to. So those two days were normal workdays for us, but especially late nights again for Joe so we were thankful for Saturday to roll around! I was off work too and we both got to sleep in really late (although Joe was nice and took Cora out around 7 for me so she didn’t have to wait etc.)

Saturday afternoon we went out for awhile and one of the places we went was the Seaman Mineral Museum.  It’s owned by Michigan Tech and was open and free for the day for any visitors because of graduation.  The museum used to be right on campus by the classroom buildings and dorms and we’ve been there before but a couple of years ago it moved to a brand new building up the hill, still near campus buildings but a bit further away.  We tried to visit a couple of months ago but discovered their winter hours didn’t work for us to go so we took advantage of Saturday and went to look at all the different rocks!

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This huge piece of copper was taller than I am.  They had a huge section of copper and copper mining information since that’s what our area is known for.  I liked the lunch box and little cup they had in one of their displays.

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The rest of these below are just some examples of all the kinds of stones they have at the museum.  I think we were there for at least an hour, maybe more.  Everything is labeled with names and where the stone was found.  I couldn’t tell you now off the top of my head what is what and the tags are hard to read in my photos, but a lot of them were very interesting/distinctive to look at!

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These last couple (above) are easier to remember, they had a little section on fossils etc. I don’t know what animal the top fossil was but I don’t think I’d like to meet it out and about.  It had a super long neck and a snake head and it looks like it swam. Yuck. The last photo is a fossilized dinosaur egg.  They also had dinosaur poop and fossilized bones as well.

Since Saturday was so nice out, and I’ve been asking to take Cora on a longer walk for awhile, we decided to try out the trail and see how far we got.  It ended up being pretty walkable except for a little bit at the end of one section, but we just climbed up to the road and walked past it and kept on going.  On the way home we walked up a steep hill road, and then back across the hill and down our road again to the house.  Cora was filthy dirty by the end but had tons of fun walking through mud and puddles and all the draining streams and it was a good way to end our Saturday!

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Houghton County Fair 2012

This past Sunday Joe and I went to the Houghton County Fair.  We always look forward to the fair and this year was no different, and like the last couple of years we decided to go to the fair on Sunday morning/early afternoon.  This year we actually got there almost too early because there was nothing open yet and in the past we have watched the horses but this year there were no draft horses to even see so while we did watch the horse show it wasn’t as fun as it has been in other years!

Only a few people getting up and around yet.  The workers were opening shops and getting the rides set up for the day.

Duck for sale.  Joe said no!

Gigantic goose… he or she did not seem to like me very much.

Pigs!

This big cow was the grand champion 🙂 Unfortunately she (he? I think she) is now someones supper.  I would be the person who bought all the fair animals and had a huge farm because I didn’t want any of them to be eaten.  I know they should be eaten, and we need to eat them but I feel sad looking at them at the fair knowing they will be eaten shortly.  Kind of a crappy last few days really, to be in the barn, tied up with people gawking at you instead of out happily eating on pasture and then the next thing you know you’re done for.  It does make me feel kinda bad so I try not to think of that when we are looking at them!

After checkin’ out all the booths and animals we decided to try some deep friend ravioli and then we hit up our favourite Greek vendor where we got a sampler plate with salad (he gave us big chunks of feta!), yellow rice, chicken and lamb and then a shish-ka-bob which was beef too.  If I was the Greek food vendor I would never leave my stall..and very possibly I would never have food on hand either because I would eat it all! Very tasty!

It is right around 7:20pm now and I could probably go to bed! Not sure why I am so tired today but I could curl up on the couch and fall right asleep.  Instead I am doing laundry and I am about to go sweep the kitchen floor and head out to collect eggs and feed/water the chickens.  Coworkers brought me lots of good stuff to give them today too so I will put that food out for them as well.  Joe is still at work late but I think he is going to make us homemade hamburgers when he gets home from work…he has lots of good stuff in the fridge for them and I am excited.  If he doesn’t make them today then he will in the next few days anyways and I will share them.  I’m not sure if he needs to do a workout today or not.  Less than two weeks now until his Iron Man race! I am excited…it is like 4 days of vacation for me and his race will be really fun to watch!

Stamp Out Hunger 2012

This coming Saturday is Stamp Out Hunger day! Anyone who is interested in donating food can just leave it in a bag by their mail box tomorrow and mail carriers and volunteers will pick it up! I do this every year because it is so easy.. I don’t need to take food anywhere, they come to me and pick it up and the food stays local too which is nice, the food from our house will probably go right to the food pantry a couple miles from our house.  I reminded the ladies at work to put food out if they wanted to this weekend and one of the girls said she doesn’t ever donate because she thinks people should take care of themselves.  I think that attitude is bit unfortunate because you never know when you, or someone you know will need help and no one should go hungry.  If we were hungry and needed help I would hope that someone would help us… bad times fall on good people too and sometimes they just need a little help and compassion.  Not to mention she has little children too and if she doesn’t donate or help others then those little people will grow up thinking that it isn’t important to help others too.  What a bummer.  I can understand picking and choosing what causes to donate to and who to help, there are so many groups asking for money that sometimes it is impossible to donate to all of them.  I tend to donate to animal groups, those helping the elderly, occasionally societies for diseases that mean something to me like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease or local places like food pantries.  I often ignore or turn down the charities like Make a Wish and Children’s Miracle Network and even the American Cancer Society.  They are incredibly important too and anyone who donates to any good cause should be proud of themselves but since there are so many we pick the ones that mean the most to us.  Not donating, or even wanting to help others at all, even if you have the means to (because I do understand that sometimes people just can’t donate… I know, we have almost 70 animals and a mortgage and a car loan and a septic system that needs replacing, sometimes it is impossible)…seems alien to me! I don’t understand it but of course everyone has the right to choose whether to help others or not and then if they themselves need help someday they have to hope that enough other people did want to donate so that there is help available.

This year we didn’t have much in our pantry to donate either but we bought a few things and donated a few other things from our cupboards and we are putting out a respectable bag of food on Saturday.  Maybe not the biggest bag we have ever given but even one can of food is better than nothing, that one can might be the one vegetable a child gets for the day or the difference between a family going hungry for a night or going to bed with full bellies.  In one of the richest and supposedly most civilized countries in the world, no one should have to go to bed hungry. I’m thankful that going without food is something that I have never had to experience!