Time for A Quickie

July 9, 2017

Welcome back!

This entry will be pretty short for a few reasons.  I’m running very short on blog fodder, Folks.  Lots of people owe me photos of their stay and/or big fish!!!!  I can’t just walk around taking pictures all day, especially since I killed my camera last week.

Fishing was still troublesome last week.  The mayflies continued to work their voodoo most of the week.  Toward week’s end we began seeing some northern and perch, but walleye were apparently full-bellied on that special treat.  Tony, Jack and Linda returned from fishing today with a report of five walleye!  This is a good, good sign.  Things should begin to pick up around here which would be nice for everyone.

The weather itself could not be nicer.  Temps have been mid-70’s by day, 60ish by night.  This makes for good sleeping and enjoyable lake time.  I did a preliminary blueberry check…we need more sunshine and perhaps more rain.  The berries are still small and green:(  Last year I was picking by now!

Last week I shared Mary’s photos.  This week, Wes is up!  He was here at the same time and has a killer camera (unlike my killed camera).  I’ll be using a few of his photos at sports shows.  Here are a few of his faves.

Mary and Nancy posed in front of Perrault Falls:


Those ladies fished pretty much ’round the clock!

They did well on perch during their visit.  Here’s a photo of Nancy down in Keynote (where I think they found some of their perch):


Sunsets were great during their stay, and Wes caught some great ones!

Thursday Sunset-001 (Large)


I said “wow” out loud when I opened this one!


Good job, God!

OK…so I’ve been really, really busy this week.  My seester Rebecca arrived Thursday.  She brought back-up:


It’s Mackayla’s first visit!  Talk about a shot in the arm–this did it for me:)  We have explored the lake, collecting snails, leeches, and random stuff.  She went all-in!

Mackaylaswimming 002

We’ve made very rhubarby apple sauce and this blueberry banana bundt cake:


We’ve driven and seen 8 bear, 3 moose and 1 wolf!  Our first drive produced the trifecta:  bear, moose, wolf.  That will be tough to beat!

Tomorrow we are taking a glass class:)  Last night’s sunset topped off a very good day:


Have a fantastic week, Everyone!  I know I will;)

Tough Times for Anglers

July 3, 2017

Hi there and Happy 4th of July–almost.

We are enjoying another quiet week at TPC.  We have some independent guests who are enjoying the fabulous weather and, yes, the SUNSHINE!  Temps are close to 80 for most of this week.  Water temp this morning was 70ish; it didn’t take long to warm up the water once the sun appeared.

The big problem for anglers, however, is a fairly large mayfly hatch:(  Gruper and I went out this morning for a bit and were amazed at the amount of ‘flies en route to and on North Bay.  We boated 0 fish:(  There was not a whisper of a breeze so I was thrilled with the reflections!  STUNNING rock, tree and cloud reflections.  I sure wish I could have taken some photos for you all, but I left my camera out during a storm Saturday night and believe I killed her.  Luckily the photos on the card were fine (’cause I’ve killed cards before as well) but I doubt the camera can be revived.  She is in a bag o’ rice right now and I’ll take her to a proper fixing place just in case.  (And you all wonder why I don’t have a smart phone…)

I finally added Wayne A’s two smallies to the Big Fish page.  Here he is with a nice northern, too:


Dave released a HOG of a 25.5″ walleye mid-week (picture please).  Dave and JJ were able to have several walleye dinners during the week as well.  The mayflies had just begun and we were hoping for a small hatch…no such luck apparently.

Tim and his family were first timers.  They had a ball and were able to find a variety of fish.  Ron S’s group are mainly catch and release guys (yea!!!).  They kept entertained with northerns for the majority of their time.

Vicky had great luck with bass….oh, yeah, that was in Illinois;)


She simply rocks!

OK….while things have been quieter Gruper and Mark have been busy guys!  The Eagle’s Nest and Cabin 7 each received a new lakeside door.  The Eagle’s Nest really needed some cross ventilation and now it has it!  Cabin 5 received a new hot water heater and, while the guys were digging around in there anyway, they decided to replace the bathroom floor:


I was busy planting flowers (yes, this late) so Gruper fixed me up a new planter:


Before I killed my camera I took a few more pictures of Camp’s beauty (it’s amazing how beautiful it is when you have time to look):

That rose returned from last year!  Gruper has been sprinkling lupine seeds for me again…check out the lakefront hillside:

I couldn’t very well leave out the beautiful Ms. Freya;)

My last photo taken with my rained-on camera:  this mink running in front of Cabin 3 Friday morning:


I can’t help but wonder how many of those little things it takes to make a coat.

OK…let’s do another foto fest!  Mary and Brad visited several weeks ago with their friends Wes and Nancy.  I grabbed some of Mary’s pics for this entry.  I liked this picture along the way to here:


Kind of says it all, dontcha’ think?  She and Wes did some time at the falls:

Check out this hole in the sky!


I love a heron in a tree:


Goofy things!  Speaking of goofy things, look who else was on the lake:


Yup…AG and KB!  They were fantastic helpers and neighbors for this group’s first visit (we knew they would be):


Most of our ducks were just showing off this year’s babies:


Not that Brad would notice…


Good thing Wes and Nancy were along to keep him awake!


Brad did stay alert enough to catch some fish:


Mary’s northern was somewhat larger


and everyone enjoyed perchin’!!



Mary caught a couple of beautiful sunsets during their stay:


I LOVED this whispy one:


Speaking of sunsets, remember this one from My Guys?


Well, I decided to use it as an idea for painting class last week.  I had a TV table from a cabin.  It had a funky red stain that wouldn’t come out, so I decided to paint it:)


Until next time:)

Time for A Breather

June 24, 2017

Hi there.

We finished up another busy week at Camp and now enter a few weeks of slower-paced living.  Mark has been wonderful during the busy times and should be able to manage things while we take a day and go to town (perhaps even having a lunch date).

The cold weather continues.  Highs are in the mid-60’s for the most part.  We had a lot of rain and wind last week.  I think we pumped boats at least three times during the week.  This week looks less rainy but still unseasonably cool.

The cool temps have walleye reports staying in the 8-12′ range.  Dave and Co. limited out every day last week!  They told me they use jiggin’ spoons, 2″ grubs and crawlers.  They locate from the top so as not to scatter the fish, then get ‘er done.  These guys are pretty impressive for every-two-year dudes.

Wayne A. released a couple of pig smallies.  I’ll get them added to the Big Fish page soon.  Pat released a 23″ walleye (picture, please), and Ron V. released a 36″ northern (picture, please).  Wayne M. also released a big smallie:)  We continued to see nice perch and a few crappies as well.

Potluck was two deep-fried turkeys.  I had about a handful left!  The hit dish was a cooked cabbage dish from Eric and Company!  The secret:  LOTS of butter;)  Eric and his wife were celebrating their 25th anniversary, and Garrett had a birthday as well.

My Guys were here a few weeks ago.  I miss them as soon as they’re gone!  Their traditions are as fun as they are:)  A few traditions include beers and their glasses,



(keep an eye on their various fishing ensembles as well),

and food

(don’t forget the almost-world-famous ribs for potluck either).

Aaron’s beard and its removal seem to be working their way into tradition mode as well

thank goodness (just sayin’).

I enjoyed a couple of the novelty shots from their photo collection this year…those are fishing lures and flies in the toilet seat

They saw a swimming yearling moose early in the week.  Once the mommas have this year’s calf, they send last year’s calf out on their own.  We often see them sort of wandering aimlessly.  This one chose to wander by water.


We went on our annual adventure and saw Momma Bear and twin cubs!

They saw a funky bug-spider and, well, a snake really close up!

Remember when Fred and Bonnie had a snake in their boat last year???

I liked this scary sky the guys caught


and really liked this hole in the sky…I’m so sure someone’s peeking down


Is it my imagination or does this cloud look like an animated frog???


Do you see a fish in this reflection???


We have some nice scenery shots


even from the comfort of their cabin:)

They have nicknames for many places on the lake, as do lots of our guests.  I can only imagine what they call this:


I wonder what Kevin’s knee sees??


So….do they ever fish?  Yes, my friends, they do!  They are pretty good at it, too!  Here’s Kevin with a great walleye:


and Aaron with a nice whitefish (he had to drink a punishment beer later that evening).


Here’s KB with another nice ‘eye


and Aaron with a great perch!




Aaron…clam (we had three caught that week!)


Alright…Aaron catches the occasional acceptable fish

and Kevin wins the booby prize sometimes.

One thing’s for sure:  at the end of the day they never go hungry…



I’ll close with a couple of nice sunset shots from My Guys.  Thanks for the great blog fodder!  See you next year…The Other AG





Fall in June…

June 19, 2017

Hi there.  It is soooo cold here!  I can’t recall having a mid-June with temperature highs in the mid-60’s.  Brrrrr.  Needless to say, sweatshirt sales are up;)  It’s been gray for a few days as well but tomorrow promises a bit o’ sun along with the cool temps.  My solar battery is fading fast.

Last week was another good one for us!  I added a nice 24″ walleye from Dongot to the Big Fish page.  It’s such a good pic I need to see it again:


Beautiful!  And the fish ain’t bad either;)  It is always a pleasure to have our Bartlett contingent in Camp!  They have been here all 14 of our seasons:)

Fishing reports were all over the board!  Crawlers and minnows both seemed to be doing the job.  Walleye depths were reported at 8-17′.  Mike’s group were “jig and a minnow” guys who did well out on 2nd.  Dongot’s group prefers crawlers and also did well.  Mark…well he was here for the perch (again) and took home his and Sandy’s limits!  I believe his criteria is nothing less than 10″.  He caught many within sight of Camp–which was good because the weather was quite crappy!  I had a couple of folks catching their walleye nearby as well, but I’ve promised to keep their secret safe.

I added a couple of smallies to the Big Fish list and will share photos upon arrival.  Skip and Co. have been sending pics from their trip two weeks ago.  Skip sure loves a good northern…


and a bass


His son William released a couple of piggies


Aaron released a HUGE bass and shared a couple of beautiful scenery shots:


Thanks, Guys!  See you again next year…same week, same cabins!

Last week’s potluck was another biggie.  I did a giant venison loaf and a lovely cherry cobbler thanks to Wayne and Shirley:



The biggest hit at potluck was the storm!  Holy buckets did it pour, blow and–a potluck first–hail!  Lucky for us it was a quick storm but it was sure nasty for a few minutes!

This week brings us a lot of newbies.  Eric and Laura are here for their 25th wedding anniversary!  Eric’s folks have figured things out pretty darned quickly!


Good job!  I heard something about Lindy rigs, and I know they’ve been getting minnows.  Hopefully they’ll continue to enjoy the cold weather;)

I’ve been sorting through My Guys’ pictures.  I think I’ll commit to a bonus blog entry yet this week.  Stay tuned!

3rd Week’s A Charm!

June 12, 2017

Hi there!  We just came off a phenomenal week at Tall Pines Camp!  We had a large group of almost-all-used guests!  We were a very social camp, a very busy camp and a very happy camp!  I added three walleyes to the Big Fish page (www.tallpinescamp.com):  Lee, Skip and Brock, as well as a great piggy perch from William!  EVERYONE caught walleye all week!  Perch were also ripe for the picking.  Now that guests have seen how well Mark cleans northern, many of them were kept as well:)  The species we’ve seen more of this year than in all past years combined:  crappie.

Our first official potluck of the season was a huge success!  All food groups were well represented.  I did Carolina pulled pork and a rhubarb-blueberry struesel.  My guys were here and brought Aaron’s nearly-world-famous ribs.  We had salads, taters, desserts and more!  Of course, Lee can only come to potluck if he makes his fantastic onion rings!  I got the very first one of the season:)

0nion ring

I will have a ton of pics from My Guys and from Brad & Co., a new foursome who had a great time (thanks, in part, to My Guys).  I’ll comb through their pics as time allows and put together some bonus entries/photo fests.

Skip & Co. returned for their billionth trip.  They had a great year of fishing and traditions, one of which finds our other Aaron and William hitting the lake.  It’s a bit easier than in some years as the lake is around 70 degrees already.


Is it my imagination or does that dragonfly look freakishly large?  Anyway, yes the lake is warm but the fish are still shallow.  Most folks were getting them around 8′.  We had a good rain yesterday so maybe the water temp will hold or even drop a bit.

Two of our male guests had visited before and deemed us good enough to return with their wives!  Mark brought Nancy for her first visit.  Poor Nancy was the lone female in a good-sized group of males.  She did just fine, though.




The weather was great all week–nice enough for a shore lunch


and to enjoy a nice goose family out on the lake (I like them as long as they stay on the water):


Eric and his parents were here Week 2.  The guys fish hard, hard, hard.  June fishes pretty hard and bakes bread:)  They found some crappie during their visit:



Eric and Gary had a double or two…


The fish counter is strictly for walleyes (117 and counting):


They, too, enjoy a traditional shore lunch!



as does Eldon, seen here in front of Cabin 2:


Eric said this pic does not do the double rainbow justice but I still think it’s nice!


This week finds us busy again, with mostly used guests.  We started with big wind on Saturday, a good downpour yesterday, and cooler temps today.  We’ll see what else the weather has in store!

Until next time…


Ups & Downs

June 5, 2017


Week 2 of the 2017 season is already behind us–where does the time go?  Our week was a mixture of new and used guests, and most everyone had a good time and caught some good fish!  Eric added a 24″ walleye to the Big Fish page, and Frank and Chris each added a lake trout!

Since Wednesday was still officially May, we opted for a social hour instead of a potluck.  Gruper said it’s hard to tell the difference…



We had a just-right variety of hot, cold, sweet, salty (the food that is, not the people)!  I think we were mostly celebrating the end of four days of foulness!  It was rainy, windy and cold until Wednesday afternoon:(  I was as dark as I get and was so happy to see Thursday’s sunshine!  I got to wear shorts and break out some new footwear!


Our anglers were troopers for the most part, though, and fished in way-less-than-desirable conditions.  Chris had some eye-catching and appropriate footwear of her own:

She and her husband Frank hung out with Brent and fished for lakers.  Success!



Charley and Nancy brought Ryan back for a second year!  Those people fished all day, every day!  Charley catches all the crappie he wants back in Missouri but was thrilled when they caught one clear up here!  As a matter of fact, we saw and/or heard of probably a half-dozen crappie last week.  I’ll post some of Eric’s pics next week.

John and Nate were new to us.  The weather was certainly not a welcoming factor but they proved to be pretty hearty as well.  Here they are watching the northerns get fed:


Oh, hang on:  looks like they got things figured out pretty well for first timers:


Good job guys!

Speaking of pets…we’re up to at least three so far this year


Speaking of pets…Freya continues to not like it here.  She now lays in a box lid on a chair under the table when she’s wanting attention


I mentioned one day that I’d never seen a smallie small enough to be kept this time of year (13.75″ or less until July 1).  All of them we see are 16″+.  Bless John’s heart.  He caught one and brought it in!


Such a tiny little thing!  Speaking of John, we all know he makes beautiful things.  Here is my new opener (thank you).  The handle is a pineapple design:


This week promises to be great!  We have many used guests as well as a smattering of newbies!  Skip and company had a glorious first day (one of his best ever, and he’s been coming for a long, long time):


So that’s the ups for last week!  We had only one down but it was a doozie!  Frank’s last day was Friday.  Everyone, meet Mark!


Mark comes to us from Dryden and has relevant experience!  He will offer fish cleaning services as well.  Please give him a hearty welcome when you visit!

See you next week!

A Good Week

May 28, 2017

Greetings!  Opening week went pretty well.  Frank was pretty tired of us and seemed happy to meet some guests, clean some fish, and get a glimpse of true Camp life.

Fishing was a bit funky.  Water temps are in the 50’s.  I figured walleye would have moved out a bit, but some folks were finding them at 4.5′!  Others were finding them a bit deeper, but 4.5′ seemed freakishly shallow.  Bruce’s group experienced the most success with a white or green jig head and a glittery blue twister tail (at least that’s when they left in their cabin).  Those guys are so nice and have such a great time.  It was particularly exciting to see Smedley;)

Big northerns were not in short supply last week!  Those who came looking for monsters were not disappointed!  I’ve added four to the Big Fish page (www.tallpinescamp.com…scroll to the bottom and click) and should be getting a few more pics.  Since I posted Scott’s on our Facebook page (Tall Pines Camp, Ontario), I’ll share it here as well.  He released this 47″ monster and is taking us up on our offer to pay the price difference to get a replica (so someone else can experience the thrill of catching the fish of a lifetime):


Wow.  That’s about all I have to say ’bout that.  Paul and Tony caught their share of big fish last week as well.  I’ve put two of Paul’s northerns and a smallie on the Big Fish page.  Here’s yet another beauty, beautifully released:



I like this pic Paul or Tony took…it just looks like the beginning of a perfect day:


Was this a big jumper or a “fish on”?  Either way, it’s fun!


Paul always find a few piggy perch during his visit.  I chuckled to myself when I saw the lower left-side of this pic.  Sushi in its truest form??  You know I’d try it!


Paul always gives me a sunset…probably the end of a perfect day knowing him:


Karl brought the whole fam damily (at least, I think it is….) this year!  He and son Keith have fished with us several times.  Last year we met Dorothy, and this year we got to meet Joel!


Walleye were tough for Karl and Keith this year but they never give up.  Karl ended up putting a 23″ and a 26″ on the Big Fish page!  Karl is very, very tall.  When he holds the fish they just don’t look very big:(  Here’s Keith–not short by any means–holding his dad’s big fish:



Nice!  It’s not like Keith didn’t catch any walleye…


We had some cold days last week.  Keith had appropriate head gear:


I LOVED this picture when I found it on Karl’s phone:)


Hope to see all of you next year!  Bring more if you have ’em, Karl!

It was no secret we missed Sandra and Eldon this year.  They’ve become opening week staples over the years.  However, Vicky and Jeff–under peer pressure from their buddy Mike–moved their annual visit to opening week:)  This was good for me!  They fish hard but they come in and enjoy a bit o’ socialization.  Vicky and I are both a bit nerdy (Bazinga!) and both enjoy copious amounts of sugar.  Oy.  Here are Vicky and Jeff:


The group of four (including Kirk, a neighbor/new guy) had good variety fishing for the week.  Vicky usually outfishes everyone, and the guys are good sports about it.  Here she is with a couple of fish:



Mike and Kirk each added big bass to the Big Fish page:)  Here’s Mike with a smaller bass:


and a walleye…


Beautiful!  Kirk is not tall like Karl and knows it;)  Here’s Jeff holding a perfect keeper northern and Kirk acting as a size reference!


Love it!

Vicky’s always good for a beaver shot; I’d be lost without this:


The group of four is not opposed to having some fun at day’s end:


I LOVE this picture, will close with this picture, and will miss all four of you until next time!






Opening Week, 2017

May 21, 2017

Greetings and “Happy New Year”!

Yesterday marked the beginning of our 14th season at Tall Pines Camp!  We have a nice-sized group for our first week, minus two “fixtures” of the past several years (we miss you, Sandra and Eldon).  Despite absolutely beautiful weather for the last week or so, the angling gods have smiled down–dropping the temperature, hiding the sun, and even bringing some rain.  Water temps are warmer than we like–50-55–but hopefully a couple of cold, drizzly days will take care of that.

Gut bucket readings indicate that our guests were able to find both walleye and northern.  I’ve had no big fish reports, but Gruper saw a nice photo op of a decent musky yesterday!  I’ll try to keep you apprised of the week’s happenings.

I spent a couple of evenings just enjoying the calm before the storm



when it’s sooooo quiet around here.  ’twill be a while before that happens again!  It was so quiet I could hear the falls:


I’m still kitchening quite a bit.  This morning I made almond cookies and will frost them with, yes, almond icing later today.  Earlier in the week I made tiger bars (almost too rich for me), and prior to that had whipped up my favorite oatmeal cake.


To earn all of this kitchen time I’ve had to do a bit o’ work as well!  I’ve been painting and staining quite a bit.  I painted the ducks on Cabin 11


and the Eagle’s Nest sign as well


The guys have been muy busy!  Of course, Frank had to learn about getting the docks in

docks and our tree

(look at our tree!  she has really come into her own!).

Anyone who has stayed in the Eagle’s Nest knows that the old paneling had seen better days.  The guys reframed the window and replaced the front wall last week:



The difference is unbelievable!  We have new front doors for the Eagle’s Nest and Cabin 7 as well:)

The nice weather has pushed my rhubarb into overdrive!


Can’t wait to incorporate that into some kitchen time!  Although we probably need to get me out of the kitchen before I need sugar rehab…

On an uber-happy note, our Navy nephew Jake and his Navy wife Jessi welcomed baby boy James Sidney just minutes before Mother’s Day:)  Big brother Jack is 5 and pretty smitten from what I hear!  That brings our “greats” head count to 9 (5 boys, 4 girls) healthy, happy kiddos!

Stay tuned for fishing reports later in the week!






2017 Arrival

May 7, 2017

Greetings and Happy New Year!

We arrived in Camp on April 29.  Our trip was uneventful, but we were greeted with quite a sight:



Despite warnings about the impending snow we stuck with our departure plan.  We had to drive pretty slowly for about 50-60 miles of 502 and unloading was a bit more difficult, but we survived.  Check out the open water!

The snow lasted only a few days because of tremendous sunshine and semi-decent temps.  This fox did not care for our arrival:


Besides the fox, we’ve seen two moose just north of the driveway, a beaver, three otters


no, no, no!  Three live otters swimming in front of Camp daily!

We’ve seen a cute bunny being courted by a very friendly grouse:


great grouse pic

great grouse 3

great grouse 2

I was hoping he would drum but no such luck:(  Frank saw a mama bear with two cubs today–very cool.  Oh, how rude of me!!!  Everyone, meet Frank:


He comes to us all the way from Newfoundland!  He arrived via bus on Thursday and begins work tomorrow.  He is looking very forward to meeting our guests!  Welcome, Frank!!!!

Cabin cleaning is well under way.  I am exhausted.  I allow myself reward time each day, e.g., yesterday I had kitchen time for a reward


I broke out the Veggetti and made a nice marina.  Gruper had whole wheat rotini instead of Veggetti.  He was out of homemade cookies so I mixed up some marbled chippers

marble cookies


I fanned napkins (and Sal doesn’t think I’m paying attention when she does that);)

Today’s reward was to get to do a quick blog entry.  You’ve been very patient waiting for me to fire her up!

I’ll close wishing my father, Herman, a happy Heavenly birthday…he’d have been 95 today.  He is joined this year by my biggest brother Dan, who just passed away on April 15 from lung cancer.  He was 64 and leaves behind the love of his life, Connie, our oldest nephew Danny and his wife ‘Nessa, our niece Wendy, and our great-nieces Mya, Alysha and Emma.  Needless to say, it’s been a bit tougher transitioning this year but I’m getting there.  Thank God the sun is shining!  Here’s Dan with Connie (notice his TPC cap) at our niece Anna’s wedding:

Dan and Connie


It’s 2017 Already???

February 8, 2017

So…it’s been a while eh?  I just realized you’ve not heard from me since the newsletter in November.  Here it is February already:(  Bad me.

I’ll start with bits of Camp news.  Gruper and I are still the owners of Tall Pines Camp.  We have no active lookers at this time (thank God, ’cause that would be a long drive for us to do a showing).  As I said in the newsletter, we do not anticipate an immediate sale.  Some of you have inquired if it’s still “us” up there; rest assured it is.

We have offered a dockhand position to Frank from Newfoundland.  He has accepted and seems excited to try his hand at Camp life.  Murray was a great find for us: staying four seasons, digging in and taking ownership of some big projects.  We appreciated his loyalty and dependability.  Toward season’s end it became apparent that our relationship was winding down.  Four years was longer than Murray had stayed with any camp, and he was growing restless.  Also, we knew we wanted someone more guest oriented, e.g., available to clean fish, chatting with guests in the evening, etc.  We wish Murray the best and greet Frank with open arms!  We hope you will do the same:)

Hmmmm.  That’s about all I know regarding Camp right now.  You can stop reading here unless you’d like some Gruper and Andrea updates.

Gruper returned home in time to have two surgeries:  an umbilical hernia repair and a more aggressive decompression laminectomy on his lower back.  Both procedures went very well and he is pretty much recovered!  He had been experiencing nearly constant numbness in his left leg, often requiring him to have to sit down quickly (or fall down).  He was in no pain–for which we were both grateful–but the numbness had been happening for a couple of years.  He survived our first sports show with flying colors and has been walking regularly.  The doc has been impressed with his recovery and released him nearly two weeks ago. I was impressed with what an easy patient he was!


I’ve been substitute teaching a bit.  I continue to have the same complaints:  too many students per class, very little “teaching” and more babysitting, poor pay, etc.  I’ve gone full circle:  I used to enjoy younger students, then preferred older elementary for a while, and have returned to primary grades!  My preference is still special education.

There’s been a bit o’ travel already;)  Me, my gal Sal, Jenny and Karen spent a perfectly perfect week in Cancun in late October.  We had a ball (I figured we would)!  Gruper and I just returned from a week in the Sarasota area–Lido Beach to be exact.  We had a couple of shaky days weather-wise but quickly warmed up and rested up!


Best bed-art EVER:


Crashing surf at Isla Mujeres:


Isla’s gorgeous coastline:


Please pardon the sideways and upside-down nature of some of these photos.  It shows them loading correctly, then skews them(?)  I “edit” and unskew/skew them hoping a change will “stick,” but alas.

A great find on a morning walk in Florida:


A pretty night:


Bird of Paradise:


Reflective sunset (not as good as you-know-where, though):


Happy couple trying to recharge their solar batteries:


Enjoying my view:


Great-baby #9 (boy #5) is in the hopper out in Washington state.  He will join our Navy nephew and niece and big brother Jack in April!  I’ve still not held #’s 7 & 8 who will be 1 soon; however, I plan to fly down to Florida just to meet them before heading back to Camp.

Kay turned 10 in January.  She and Gavin (almost 3) enjoyed pizza and cake at her party:


On our annual fall trip to the pumpkin patch we were able to get five greats in one chair.  Alysha (left) and Mya (right) are both six and in 1st grade!  Emma is 3.


Jack (almost 5) visited his grandparents in Springfield, IL, so Rebeccca and I went to visit him.  He is excited about a baby brother because there won’t be a lot of girl toys in the way.


Michael and Joshua (almost 1) are rumored to be amazing!


Ms. Freya continues to hang around.  I took an old sofa cushion’s guts and carved a hole in it for her.  She knew what to do when it got cold…poor thing.


Catch ya’ later!