Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Midnight Marauder

We awoke this morning to brilliant sunshine and a beautiful Keweenaw blue sky. Little did we know that a sinister surprise awaited us. 

Calumet is a very safe community where people routinely leave their doors unlocked and their vehicles running while they're in the Post Office. After living here for 16 months, we've grown accustomed to feeling secure in this area. We never imagined we would be the victims of a backyard larceny! What a shock! We could hardly believe our eyes. We looked and looked, but our eyes were not deceiving us. It was truly missing!

Oh, how did this happen? Was there really a criminal in the Keweenaw? A hooligan in our quiet community? A malefactor in our neighborhood? A scoundrel on Seventh Street? A villain in the vicinity?

Did we need to contact the Law? No, not yet. Steve went outside to investigate the scene. Sherlock Holmes couldn't have solved the crime any quicker. Aha! Footprints in the snow! Steve, the mighty hunter, was easily able to track the outlaw from the scene of the crime right to the house of the perpetrator. 

What was pilfered? We have photographic evidence.

Here's photo 1.

Now, what's missing in photo 2?

That's right! We were looking for a Suet Ball Bandit! The depth of the snow had allowed easy access to the savory bird treat we suspended from the Birch tree branch. The thief didn't realize we would be able to follow his tracks, and he left further evidence right outside his door - the remains of the mesh material that held the Suet Ball together. Who was guilty of this caper? It wasn't "a him" at all. It was "a her!"

It was no cat burglar. It was the Labrador Larcenist!

Yep! Cocoa is a crook!

She looks so sweet and innocent in that last photo, but we now know she was planning a critter caper!

All else is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Daddy Dave

Steve's stepdad passed away today in Florida at the age of 77. Daddy Dave married Steve's mom when Steve was 10. He was an important figure in Steve's life, and Steve often talks about how different his life would have been without him. He was an intelligent, fair man and a good provider. He moved the family out of the city of Saginaw and into the suburbs. Daddy Dave was an intimidating figure in those days with his gruff voice and no nonsense attitude. Steve occasionally rebelled as a teenager, but he is the first to admit that he would have been much worse if Daddy Dave hadn't been in his life. The fear of Daddy Dave was an important factor in his behavior, and he's very thankful for that.

Dave Grosart wasn't an overtly emotional sort of man, but I always suspected he was just a big teddy bear underneath. It wasn't that he didn't feel things, but many men of his generation weren't comfortable expressing those emotions. We understood that and we loved him; he was a fine man.

Daddy Dave will be missed, but it's comforting to know that we will see him in heaven one day, as he recently accepted the Lord as Savior. Philippians 1:21 says, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Daddy Dave has gained the glory of eternity today, and there is rejoicing in heaven.

All is well in the Keweenaw. All is well in heaven.
February 20, 2013
Traverse City Record-Eagle

Dave Grosart
THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Dave Grosart, 77, passed away suddenly at The Villages Hospital in Florida on Feb. 15, 2013. He was born in Saginaw on July 23, 1935, to the late “Scottie” and Alice Grosart.

Dave and Donna were married Aug. 10, 1963, in Saginaw.

Dave was a carpenter by trade. Later, he and his wife owned and operated The Baywood Lounge in Saginaw. In 1982, they moved to Traverse City, where they owned and operated The Suncatcher Lounge in the Traverse City airport terminal. After retiring, Dave drove school bus for six years for the Traverse City School System.

They moved to the Villages, Fla., in 2010.

He is survived by his sister, Peggy Grosart, of Santa Rosa, Calif.; his wife of 49 years, Donna; and their five children, Margaret Ann Peters (Dean), of Beaver Island, D. Scott Grosart (Lisa), of Traverse City, Steve Hamilton (Julie), of Calumet, Christine Hamilton, of Cary, N.C., and Barbara Labs (Jim), of Freeland. They had 10 grandchildren (one deceased) and seven great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service held in Traverse City in late June.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day in the Keweenaw

In case you're looking for a Cocoa update, here's further proof that she's totally back to normal.

That photo shows the tracks she makes as she travels around the backyard. The snow is compacted and crusty under the top layer, so she's able to walk on top of it when she makes her rounds.

It's Valentine's Day, and my Sweetie took me to dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Hut! We had a wonderful walleye dinner with wild rice and a salad. Everything was delicious. The Hut doesn't normally take reservations, but they make an exception on Valentine's Day. Those without reservations had to wait for a table, be we breezed right through the crowd and were seated immediately.

On the way home, we snapped a few shots - should have done that when there was some daylight left on the way to the restaurant. Oops! Here's the stop sign at the end of our street.

I stood out in the road for the next shot of our driveway.

Remember, our red pickup is an HD 4-wheel drive, so it sits high. It's still dwarfed by the snow on the right side of it. The next shot shows Sweetie opening the front door.

We had a pleasant day, and more snow is on the way.

All is well in the Keweenaw!

P.S. The plant is from dear friends who surprised us with it when we were downstate last week. Our goal is to keep the bush alive until we can plant it on our property. We'll do our best! Thanks again, Marty and Donna.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Queasy Cocoa at Kozy Quincy

Just a brief update tonight. We traveled to lower Michigan last Tuesday and returned on Saturday evening. It was a safe and successful trip.

Cocoa stayed at the doggie motel (aka - doggie prison) while we were away. They love her and treat her very well at the Kozy Quincy Kennel, but there's no place like home! Cocoa had issues with her digestive tract during her stay there. They were very concerned and gave her a special homemade diet, but she was still having issues before Steve picked her up early yesterday morning. She didn't seem completely normal last night, but she seems just fine today. Daddy spent a lot of time outside with her while he was cleaning up about 10 inches of new snow. It could have been the different food at the kennel or the stress of being away from home. When we tried a new food once last summer, she didn't react well either. We'll keep a close eye on her again tomorrow, but we're pretty sure she's fine now.

Here's photographic evidence of her good mood and spunk today.

Yep, that's Cocoa looking in the window above the kitchen sink when Steve came in for a brief rest. She climbed on top of the snow before he finished removing it from the deck.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Satisfied Saturday & Super Sunday

I was going to write a quick blog last night, but I got distracted with other things. Steve spent the majority of yesterday afternoon cleaning up outside again. It snows here, you know! He enjoys the exercise, and Cocoa enjoys it, too. 

As long as they were outside, I decided it was a good day to work on Ellen. Ellen Esther Devoll Hoyt (1854-1940) was my great, great grandmother. We discovered her portrait in my grandmother's closet when we were cleaning out her house in September. We have photographs of Ellen, but I especially love this color portrait we found of her as a young woman. A complete cleaning was necessary, as it was with the other old portrait I wrote about in a previous blog. You can see how dirty it was.

I carefully removed the portrait and convex glass from the frame. Here's a photo of the frame before I cleaned it.

Even after cleaning the frame, you can see that I had a lot of touch up work to do on it with stain and a Sharpie marker.

After cleaning the glass and the portrait itself, I put it all back together and attached a new hanger. Again, here's the before photo.

Here's the after photo of the completed project.

That made for a Satisfying Saturday. Steve and I felt good about our accomplishments.

It's still unusually cold today.

We had another 6" of snow overnight, and it has continued to snow lightly most of the day. Steve dug out the BBQ grill yesterday, but he had to clean it off again this afternoon.

That was after he cleaned it off. I hope you remember why he had to clean off the grill. It's Super Bowl Sunday, and that means steaks on the grill! Steve isn't going to let a little snow stop him from grilling.

I'm sorry that photo was a little blurry. I was inside the warm kitchen - steaming the broccoli and working on the rest of the meal.

Steve was hoping Baltimore would win the Super Bowl. Right before the lights went out during the 2nd half in New Orleans, Steve was saying that the game was a little boring. That sure changed after the power was restored. San Francisco came alive, and the game got exciting - although the last 2 minutes were a bit dull. Steve was happy with the outcome, however, so we have definitely had a Super Sunday.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

P.S. The steaks were delicious!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Covered Road

It's still snowing - with no sign of stopping until sometime on Monday. Here's the snow hanging over the edge of the roof again.

That may be normal for this time of year, but the temperature is another story. Our high temperature today was 4°, and it's currently -1°. That's definitely not typical. The historical average high temperature on February 1 is 22°. I had to check the computer for the temperature today, because I couldn't read the thermometer.

I've included a short video in this post. I've previously written about driving on the "covered road" on the way to Copper Harbor. It's actually a curvy section of Hwy 41 where some of the tree branches extend over the road. If you look at the map below, the "covered road" is in the area of Hwy 41 that's outlined in purple and highlighted in yellow.

The only video I've ever taken on this road was at night, so the quality wasn't blog worthy. There's a local website that I check out each day (, and they added a video of the "covered road" that was taken on January 24. Keep in mind that Keweenaw County has had about 2 more feet of snow since the video was recorded.

Click on the following link to watch the video:

I don't think the video was shot on the most dramatic portion of the drive, but it's still pretty. If you've never been to the Keweenaw, it will give you a little taste of it.

We're staying warm on this first evening in February. All is well in the Keweenaw.