Archive for July, 2017

Billy the lumberjack!

Friday, July 28th, 2017

I have been building a new cabin on my property in Luzerne and am winding down on the major issues.  It has been a long tedious process!  When your doing most of the work yourself, and you live 240 miles away it can really drain you.

Just this past week I had the propane tank installed, with the regulator so I can run my on-demand hot water heater, and my furnace.  This has worried me a bit as the water heater sat all winter, and I was hoping there were no problems mechanically.  I also needed to make sure the furnace worked along with the blower kit I purchased for it!  Turns out both water heater and furnace performed flawlessly. Strike that off my list!

There was one other major issue that needed my attention as soon as possible.  I have a 100 foot tall Poppel tree that is 2 foot off my front porch.  About half way up the tree takes an abrupt turn toward my cabin!  This year i have had at least 12 similar trees break off during one of the many strong storms we have had move through the area.  If this “baby” goes my cabin would be directly in harms way.

I asked my neighbors if they knew a tree cutter (lumberjack) and they gave me a name of a guy that only lived about 4 miles away.  Billy, or Bill came over the same evening I called, gave me a price, and said he would be over the next evening to “take her down!”  He even showed me where he would “lay” this giant poppel out!

sure enough he showed up next evening with his soon to be son-in-law and his darling grand-daughter.  He explained what he was going to do, doned his equipment and scaled that tree in a few short minutes.  He stopped about 70 feet up and tied off a rope that his helper pulled over to the “drop zone!”  He cranked up his 20 inch HusQvarna and notched the east side of the tree.  He then moved to the south/west side and started to cut.  When the tree started its journey to the ground Bill’s son-in-law pulled that heavy, enormous, sky busting, poppel to the ground exactly where Bill said it would fall.  I was impressed!  It took longer to “slice and dice” it into manageable pieces than it did to bring it down (three minutes!)

I have a few more trees that need to go, and Bill will be the guy I call.  It was nice talking with him and he had a lot in common with my friend Pastor Bob Baltrip.  We even got to enjoy the wonders of a pretty little lady who thought “Papa” was the greatest!  Thanks Bill for such a great job at removing that tree before “Mother Nature” did!

Mike

Cedar Valley Golfing With Friends!

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

This past week my wife and I were at our place in Luzerne with good friends Ed and Linda Ponzy and Bob and Linda Baltrip. Everyone brought their golf clubs including both Linda’s!

Monday morning we showed up at Cedar Valley Golf Course in Comins, just about 5 miles North of Fairview.  I have played the course many times over the years, but this would be my first chance to play this year.  Cedar Valley is under new ownership, as Mike and Rebecca Harrington manage the course (and amusement park) for the owners John and Carole Kulhavi.  Both Bob and Ed have golfed here before, but this is the first time the three of us have been able to play together on this “gem” of a course.  Even if you don’t play your best round you will enjoy yourself I promise!  The course is in one of the most awesome “northern” settings one could imagine.  Majestic pines, maples, oaks, and cherry trees line this superbly laid out 18 hole course. Throw in some strategically laid out ponds, hills, and valley’s and you have the making of some great memories, not to mention some wonderful photo ops.  The grounds are beautiful, especially around the clubhouse with it’s dazzling array of flowers, and newly remodeled buildings!

Monday morning we arrived about 8:30 and were able to get right on with no problem.  The greens were in excellent shape, but you better know how to putt, as the pin placements are tough.  We enjoyed ourselves immensely and were back at the cabin by 1:00 o’clock!

Tuesday is dollar a hole day ($18 bucks and a cart) plus dollar hotdogs and dollar drinks.  Linda Baltrip would join us on Tuesday and my wife and Linda P. would go along for the ride!  We arrived at the same time as Monday, but found 20 cars in the parking lot ahead of us!  At the Pro Shop we were told it would be 3-1/2 hours before we could get on, we were all so disappointed!  Our sad faces must of done the trick as we were told if we could “mount up” immediately we could go off the front!  We set a record getting our clubs on the carts and driving over to the number one hole.  Again it was such a beautiful day playing with good friends on such a lovely course that we hardly complained when we “drowned” a brand new ball.  Like Bob likes to say “Hey we aren’t good enough to complain!”  Even though the course draws a lot of golfers for the Tuesday special things moved well on the course and we finished in decent time.

I am now trying to get three of my golf playing brothers to take a few days and come up for some fun at Cedar Valley.  Hopefully in the next few weeks they will be able to also enjoy this “Gem of the pines” in Comins Michigan.

Who’s Your Caddy?

Friday, July 14th, 2017

I have an awesome 12 year old grandson who happens to play some pretty good golf.  I started him playing when he was 6 years old after his mother bought him a kids set of clubs through Costco. His dad is a baseball fanatic, so I am awarded very little time to hone Kyle’s skills on the course, but he has been able to squeeze in a few golf lessons each year.  While he is an excellent little ball player, in my opinion, he is a natural born golfer!  One of the most perfect swings I’ve ever seen, and a coach’s dream! He actually listens to and comprehends instructions?  His golf teacher has been wonderful with Kyle and expects good things from him.

Two weeks ago I caddied for him at his first U.S. Kids Golf Tournament at Fox Hills in Lavonia.  He had only 3 rounds of golf under his belt while his competitors play in leagues, are members of country clubs, and receive private instructions year round! We were not sure how Kyle would “stack up” against these tried and honed veterans, but it wasn’t long before we knew he could stick with them!  On a course he never played before, shooting from the seniors “T”s, he shot a 86 for third place in the 11-12 year old age group. He actually turned in a better score than 6 other boys and should of taken second place except for a scoring blunder.

Just a few days ago I again caddied for Kyle at the La-Z-Boy open held at Green Meadows Golf course in Monroe.  Kyle was the defending age group champion, which he has won for the past two years. The 11-12 year old play nine holes a day on consecutive days.  Day one we started on the back nine with a par five being hole number 10!  Kyle started off with a worm burner on his drive, a duffed second shot, a ball in the creek, and a 4 putt for a ten (10!)  The two kids in his grouping (including a young lady) both had a better score!  I had never seen him put so many “bad” shots together on one hole?  Golf is 75% mental and Kyle was sinking fast!

We approached the next hole which was a par 3 at 190 yards.  Kyle triple bogied it (6) which means he had a score of 16 on just two holes!  I pulled him aside and said he was not sweeping the ground or keeping his head down long enough. He responded with a bogie on the next par five, a birdy, and back to back pars!  To make a long story short he shot a 43 for the nine holes which was rather remarkable considering the lousy start!

Day two saw us on the front nine which plays 2 strokes harder then the back nine.  Even with a penalty stroke for hitting one in the creek Kyle shot an amazing 41 on the tougher front nine.  His 84 was good enough to defend his title and he actually scored better than most boys in the 13-14 year old bracket.  Without the horrendous start on day one he could of “spanked” both age brackets handley!

When people ask “Who’s your caddy?”  Kyle responds “It’s my ole Grand-Daddy!”  My pleasure grandson, congratulations!

Mike

Forth of July at the Cabin!

Friday, July 7th, 2017


Made it up to Luzerne over the 4th of July with my wife and daughter Tara, husband Glen, and grandson Kyle. I had some work to do on the new place and had hired a local Mennonite builder to take care of several jobs I just don’t have the time or energy to do!  I do not want to let the “cat out of the bag” so I will not reveal his name, as I don’t want him to be so busy he can’t squeeze me in again!  While there he finished the upstairs of our “barn house” and finished a kitchen wall and small door downstairs! Meanwhile I was completing the bathroom ceiling and making our front yard bigger!

Monday evening we had a bonfire and did s’mores.  during the day we had several turkeys pay us a visit and I even was able to film one eating out of my hand!

The morning of July forth the gang packed up and drove to Traverse city for the fireworks and to sun on the beach.  Glen and Kyle also rented kayak’s and paddled the bay area.  I choose to stay and work around the cabin!  Crowds are not my thing, and besides who’s going to do what needs to be done if not me?

I worked most of the 4th. on expanding our lawn area by cutting cherry trees, brush, poplar’s, stumps, and burning debris and dead logs/branches in our fire pit!  I had a continuous fire for several hours.  I then used my John Deere to cut ferns and fauna and level the “playing field!”

I then took a nice long break and started on the bathroom ceiling.  I ended up finishing it on the next day.  I also fixed some loose boards on the zip-line platform and mowed the 4×4 trail around my property.  I felt it was more like “Labor Day” than the Fourth, but I also felt a sense of accomplishment.

Now I’m home working on my “honey do” list which should keep me “off” the streets and out of trouble!  At least for awhile!

Mike