Archive for July, 2010

Summer Fun

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

PhotobucketMealtime at the campground can be kind of tricky when there’s seven grand kids and six adults to feed.  Logan Samuel Horwitz (red shirt) is asking the “Blessing” over the meal, and he said a wonderful prayer.  I think we may have caught Kyle (across from Logan) stuffing his mouth during the prayer of blessing.  We spent the evening with daughter Meghan and her son Logan (from Chicago) as the rest of the crew bought day passes to visit us at the Summerfield KOA in Southern Monroe County.

We swam, did the water slide, played putt putt, went to the play ground, and caught some fish.  We also ate some good chicken salad sandwiches and pasta.  In the evening we did a bonfire and of course had smores.  Quinn helped get the fire going, as I was having a little trouble getting it started.  We toasted several to perfection, and had a sticky mess once we were done.  Funny how far a kid can miss his mouth with a marshmallow.  How do they get it in their hair?

This morning Logan and I went fishing and he caught 5 fish on five cast.  These were nice sized bluegill and sunfish.  He had to borrow his cousin Addy’s “Barbie” fishing pole, but old Logan was a real pro at reeling them in.  In fact Meghan even got in the act and caught a fish.  They leave back for Chicago tomorrow, but they take some good memories with them.

PhotobucketLogan and one of his big bluegill that he caught all by himself.

Kayla Hernandez and Jamie Stewart “Peta Supporters”

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Dear Kayla and Jamie

Did you understand anything I said in my blog “Peta Take a Hike?”  It seems common sense and clear thinking never enter into any dialog with an animal rights activist.  You are so focused with defending the rights (what rights?) of Bambi that you can’t see the forest for the trees.

You probably aren’t aware of the fact that hunters and outdoors men and women do more to protect, defend, and restore animals, and their habitat, than PETA and all the animal rights donor groups combined.

I have no idea who you are and you certainly don’t know me.  One aspect of my life is that I am a “born again Christian” and my Bible says that God created the animals for our pleasure, and consumption.  Certain ones are forbidden to eat (Kosher Law) but the rest can be part of a well balanced meal.  In one place God tells Paul(after showing him all kinds of different animals) “To take kill and eat!”  My conscience is clear.

I take no pleasure in the suffering of any animal, but do not hold them on the same level as humans.  I believe we (humans) have a soul, which God breathed into the human race, as we are created in His image and likeness.  Not so with animals.  Of course they are part of creation, but only humans possess a mortal soul that will live for all eternity.  I believe putting an animal on the same level as humans is a form of idolatry and reeks of Paganism.

On the other hand I will legally take (kill) fair game, and feed my family or donate meat to a soup kitchen.  Trust me I have never seen anyone go through a soup line that has “turned down” a free hot meal that included meat.  I could go on and on about my position, but I feel that whatever I have to say will more than likely fall on deaf ears.

Fellow Blogger s and readers

The above letter is sort of an open letter to the animal rights crowd.  I was going to e-mail Kayla and Jamie, but thought I really didn’t want them having my e-mail address.  Whether they read this or not remains to be seen, but at least it will be floating around the internet.  How do the rest of you outdoor writers handle animal rights criticism?  I know hit the “delete” key.

Keep your powder dry.

A Tornado Summer

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

PhotobucketI can’t recall a year when we have had so many tornado warnings and sirens going off.  Last evening was about the 6th one of the summer for our beleaguered state.  As the dark clouds rolled in, we turned on our local weather station, and they were showing various shades of red all over the place.  Tornado activity was suspected about 20 miles east of us, and heading in our direction.

I grabbed my camera, and stood in our back yard as the skies grew dark and ominous.  I snapped several pictures of the threatening cloud formations, as I watched them move in several different directions.  I even took some video as a strong gust of wind blew the neighbors pool toys into our yard, and across the street a huge limb came crashing to the ground.  We had company over, and my buddy Ed kept telling me I better get in the house, and quit tempting fate.

The above picture is the last one I took.  It was a wispy looking cloud (almost like white smoke) that stretched up into the clouds, and extended to just about tree top level.  It was loosing its shape, and starting to break up, as it passed over.  The wind was blowing between 45-50 mile an hour, at the time, and I figured it was time to exit the scene.

Several tornado’s were confirmed by the National Weather Service in the lower parts of the state, with trees and power lines, and flooded streets,  taking the brunt of the damage.  Again today we need to “batten down the hatches” as were supposed to be in for another rough night.  I would like to see a tornado, as they really fascinate me, but I sure don’t want to be caught in the fury of a twister.

Stay safe Art and Jeff as I know this year your living in “tornado ally!”

Mike

Friends to the End

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

PhotobucketForty years ago this October I married my lovely bride Lorna O’Boylan.  But this post isn’t about our wedding, it’s about friends and relationships.  The guys are me, brother Randy, Bob Baltrip, brother Darryl, Dave Steinman, and brother-in-law Kenny O’Boylan.  (Old spelling of the name Boylan)  The women are Lorna, her sister Karen, and Bob’s wife Linda.

I met Bob when both of us worked on the bumper press line at Ford Motor Company.  We seemed to have a lot in common, and began running around together.  Bob was already married to Linda, and their daughter Kelly was a baby.  I had been bow hunting for a few years, and Bob was very interested in getting into it.  I remember our first hunt, as we stayed in his pop-up camper, and hunted the Waterloo Recreation Area.  We both had shots, with our re-curves, and we both missed, but that started a lifelong pursuit of the elusive whitetail.

I was with Bob when he shot his first deer, and he was with me when I missed three shots in one evening.  We’ve bear hunted together, camped together, fished together, and just did those things that make for close friendships.  As in most relationships priorities change, life changes, and paths don’t seem to converge as often.  Bob took over the responsibilities of  Pastoring a small Baptist church, and I ended up leaning toward Pentecostalism.  Trust me though, Bob’s transformation from “sinner” to “Saint” had much to do with my own decision to except Jesus Christ as my  personal Lord and Savior.  In the ensuing years we would be hard pressed to see one another on a regular basis.  In fact we could go years without an encounter.

Well just last evening I gave “MY Old Buddy” a call to see if he wanted to golf in the morning.  His schedule was free, and I knew Bob had been playing a little golf over these last few years, so it didn’t take any arm twisting to get him on the course.  It was like we hadn’t missed a beat, as we tried to catch up on our lives over the last couple years.  I was more than eager to show Bob how to correctly play a round of golf, but was I in for a surprise.  I was 13 strokes down after just 9 holes, as Bob pared and birdied his way into the back nine.  I was “stinking” up the course, and it was Bob that was giving me pointers!

I had forgotten that when Bob bought that first used re-curve, he didn’t stop there.  He practiced and practiced, and in just a few years he was one of the best shots in the state of Michigan.  I never shot in a tournament where Bob didn’t place, and he soon ran out of room for all his trophies and awards.  It didn’t take him long to shoot circles around me, and I guess I should of suspected he’d put his heart into golf the same way.  I was able to shoot a much more respectable round on the back nine, but it was Bob’s coaching that did it.  Bob’s shot an 81 on a tough course, which is very good indeed.

We chatted on the way home and agreed to do it again, before two more years passed us by.  I’m thinking I may need to take a few lessons before my old buddy takes me to the woodshed again, but hey what are old friends for.  I also asked Bob about hunting with me on my Hillsdale lease, so I may get some pointers on hunting “big whitetails” also.

Mike

Cicada Visitor

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

PhotobucketThis Cicada was on one of our beach towels last week, and when the girls saw it they almost “had a cow!”  Got to admit it isn’t exactly a “cute” little fella is he (or she.)  As you can see it just shed its skin, and was probably in need of a rest.  I thought this was a Katydid, but upon checking into it, I find I was wrong.

There are 10 different species of Cicada living in Michigan, but I don’t have a clue which one this is.  It was probably about 2 inches long.  According to one of the web sites I was on most cicada’s are strong fliers that spend their time high in trees.  They are rarely seen or captured.  They have a long life cycle, usually spend several years underground, as juveniles, followed by a brief (2-6 weeks) adult life above ground.  As adults the male Cicada produce a very loud mating song.  These sounds are among the loudest produced by any insect.  After mating the female lays her eggs in the bark of a tree or pile of twigs.  After hatching the new nymphs burrow underground and began feeding on roots.

When I shook this one off the towel it flew (very fast) up to the top of the nearest tree.  I’m glad he wasn’t yet in the mood to serenade his girlfriend, although it probably would of been “neat” to have the girls hear his song.  Maybe then they wouldn’t think he was so “creepy!”

Mike

The Jackson Cascades

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

PhotobucketWhat you see behind us are the Cascade Falls located in Jackson Michigan.  They are the result of one mans dream to do something for the people of Jackson, and the city that he loved.  The man was William Sparks who came to Jackson from Burrington England in 1882.  He was a businessman, civic leader, and world traveler.  On a visit to Barcelona Spain he saw a fountain that became his inspiration for the one he built in Jackson.  All toll the park the Cascades sits on totals 465 acres, and upon Williams death was donated to the city of Jackson.

I had visited the falls around 52 years ago when we were on vacation with my aunt and uncle Louie and Verona Marshall.  My cousin Jerry (same age) was on that trip, and I remember staying on Vineyard Lake.  I know my mother has some old pictures laying around somewhere that we took of those beautiful falls.  I must say though that pictures don’t do it justice.

My daughter had never been there, and it was a real treat for her and the girls to see all the beautiful colors that emanate from the falls at night.  There is a stairway that goes up, and around the top of the falls, and back down the other side.  There’s an amphitheater, snack shop, and souvenir shop, as well as clean restrooms at the base of the falls.  During the year live performances are booked for special events.  Throughout the evening various types of music is played over the loudspeaker system, and the fall lights seem to flash and flicker with each songs tune.  We all liked the patriotic songs, and Ava and Addy even got up to dance, along with several “swinging” teenagers.

I’m surprised at the number of people I’ve talked to that have never visited the Cascades.  It’s a real treat, and a great way to spend the day, or just the evening.  The kids sure enjoyed it, and we did too.

PhotobucketCourtney, Ava, and Addy in front of the Cascade Falls.

Addy’s First Fish

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

PhotobucketThe last day of our camping trip I finally got around to taking the grand-kids fishing.  Courtney had just bought Addy a special little Barbie rod and real, and I had one already fixed up for Ava.  We bought a can of leaf worms, and the fish were hungry.  It didn’t take long to get one on the line, and Addy acted like she had done this her whole life.  She was really excited to land her first fish, which happened to be a nice red-eared sunfish.  She wanted to touch it, and also throw it back in the water.  I put it in her outstretched hands and she tossed it back where it came from.  In fact she wanted to kiss it before she threw it back , but changed her mind when it jumped in her hand.

I was taking turns with the girls, and between them they each caught 5 fish.  All bluegill and sunfish.  I had my pole so I made a cast out into deeper water (where the really BIG ONES lurk) and landed the smallest fish of the day.  Heck the hook was bigger than the fish.  The girls got a kick out of old Papa and his tinny-weannie-itty-bitty-little girly fish!  I should of used the “Barbie” pole they kept telling me.  It’s always fun to experience a childs first of anything, and when it’s your own grand-child it’s extra special.

PhotobucketAva with her bluegill and Addy with her sunfish along with their mother Courtney.

Adventures with the Grand-Kids

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

PhotobucketMy wife and I got home from our “trial run” camping trip with two of our grand-kids and our daughter number five.  That’s Ava getting tossed into the air as far as “old” Papa can throw her.

We stayed at a campground in Albion called “Rocky’s, but ended up doing our swimming at Portage Lake.  They have a great beach there and the girls had a blast with the old guy.  We played in the water for several hours, as the ladies lounged on the beach.  That’s Addy floating around with the hat on.  She is so fare skinned that her little scalp burns quite easy, therefore the hat is a good idea.  I threw her up also, but never let go, as she’s just getting acclimated to the water.

We roasted hot dogs, did bon-fires, fished, played match game, and uno, went to the Cascades in Jackson and played putt-putt golf.  We found out some things about camping in a small trailer, and built up our confidence for next time.  I’ll report on other aspects of the trip (like Addy’s first fish) in upcoming blogs

PhotobucketAddy heading for the moon!

Staying Cool in a Heat Wave

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

PhotobucketMe, five of my grand-kids, and my son Micah trying to stay cool during this “heat wave!”   Thank God my daughter Alena has a pool in her back yard.  Her and her husband Tony don’t mind the “gang” invading their backyard during these warm summer days.  The heat index has been over 100 degrees for several days, and that good old Michigan humidity is off the charts.

I can’t run out to my daughters house everyday, so today I filled up the grand-kids pool, and took the plunge.  I’ve been working on the wiring  for my trailer hitch, as were going camping tomorrow at “Rockey’s campground” in Albion.  Daughter Courtney and her two girls (Ava and Addisyn) are going with my wife and me.  Between packing and getting things lined up to take I was laying in 10 inches of cold water.  If the neighbors saw me they probably thought I was suffering from heat stroke.  I didn’t care cause it felt so good!

We had a front move through this evening, and the temps and humidity are supposed to drop a few degrees.  Should make for a nice weekend.  It will be the first time we’ve used our trailer so it’s kind of a “shake down” adventure.

Saw a doe this morning coming back from the golf course.  It was out in the middle of a recently cut straw field feeding a spotted fawn.  The Ansels pulled four bear permits, and my brothers buddy also got one, so we should have a full camp this year.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Mike

Independence Day 2010

Monday, July 5th, 2010

PhotobucketJuly 4th. Independence Day 2010.  When they had enough of British oppression, 56 men, representing the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence.  This courageous act launched the greatest experiment in human liberty in all of history: the United States of America.

The Declaration contains the thinking that has become the base on which our nation was built.  It says “Men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”  That truth is immediately followed by “To secure these rights, governments are instituted.  these two short statements are presented as “self evident… truths,” and not as mere speculation or opinion,and they form the backbone of the United States of America.

Our Founders proclaimed that there is a God who gave us our rights.  Those 56 men then used those God given rights to form a government, who’s sole purpose was to protect those rights.  They would of never dreamed that in the year of our Lord 2010 that government would have become the controlling power behind those rights, and that more and more of Americans liberties would be in peril due to government infringement!  All 56 signers of the Constitution had a belief in God or Christian heritage.  They came to these shores to escape religious persecution and were devout men with integrity and high moral standards.  Four of the original signers were current or former full time pastors, and many more were sons of clergymen.  Others were lawyers, doctors, merchants, and educators.  They too were active in their churches, and many served as lay leaders.  You will not find out about their religious affiliations from a public text book, nor will you find the many Bible based quotes attributed to these great men.  The Bible, the 10 Commandments, and prayer, no longer have a hallowed place in our governments affairs.

I for one am feed up with the political correctness and special interest groups determining (along with our career politicians)  the direction of this once great country.  What ever happened to government “Of the people, by the people, and for the people?”  Majority used to rule, but liberal judges time and time again overrule the majority in favor of their own ideologies.   If your satisfied with the direction America has been headed in then you better strap on your seat belt, cause your in for downward spiraling ride.  We used to be the envy of the world, not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing!   Scripture says “Blessed is the nation who’s God is the Lord.”  That is our true heritage, and therein does the blessing of the Almighty lie.  If God is not the basis of our rights, then many will falsly believe that we get our rights from the government.  If government grants them than government can take them away.  Once those rights start eroding taxation, government controls, regulations, and Big Brother will dictate every facet of our lives.

Even just a causal glance over the past couple decades shows the advance of governments intrusion in to our Constitutional freedoms.  Prayer removed from schools, Pledge of Allegiance being challenged in court,  Bibles not allowed in the public arena, 10 Commandments removed from government buildings, Nativity scenes removed, any mention of Christianity, God or Jesus not allowed in public schools, and the list goes on.  Just last week I read that a school system in California would not allow a student to read a portion of our Constitution because there was a reference to God in it!  That should get your blood boiling.  Revisionist have been busy rewriting the  history of this country, and revising the original intent of our Founding Fathers, to suit their own ideologies and Godless vision.

Second Chronicles 7:14 states “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  Let us join in one accord to earnestly seek Gods face for the restoration of this once great nation and its founding Bibical principles.  God Bless America.