Schools Out!

Yep, last day was Thursday and it was only a half day. Wednesday was an all school picnic for Grace’s school and I am sure that they did next to nothing on Monday and Tuesday, so basically the last 3 1/2 days of school they did nothing and I still had to pay for those days, so the principle will be getting a call from me on Monday for sure!

Truth is, Nora and I both spent some time at the picnic and enjoyed our annual lunch date with Grace on Thursday. The picnic is a pretty cool idea and for the most part, they have lucked out with the weather. I do know that last year it rained at the end of the day and they had to all scoot inside for the final hour or so of the picnic and this year was a bit chilly, but the kids still have lots of fun. I stopped at the hardware store before heading over to the picnic. It is located about a block away from where the picnic was going on and as I got out of the truck to go into the store, I could hear the sounds of the kids having fun. What a wonderful sound!

For the most part, the picnic is just letting the kids run around and do what they want. They do serve them a picnic lunch and have some games for them to play. One of the games is tug-of-war. They pitch class against class in the same grade and also boys vs. girls in the same grade. That last pic was of one of the first grade matches. I had to get back home and finish my work for the day, so I was not able to see her grade go at it, but Nora did and snapped this shot of Grace getting ready, complete with her game face and war paint.

Lunch is had at a local establishment right after school is let out on Thursday. Nora has to work the rest of the day, but is a little bit more free, as her school also has a half day and is done. Not only is the lunch a tradition, but so are last-day-of-school pictures with dear old Mom and Dad.

After lunch, Gracie and I headed home, while Nora headed back to work. I did have a bit more work to do and then Gracie and I got busy hanging a hammock that we just picked up. Gracie then spent the rest of the afternoon just chilling. Man, can I remember that last day of school. It was probably as, if not more, exciting than Christmas Day. It seemed like the next school year was so far off and we were free! Since that last pic was taken, we have all had some downtime on the hammock, some of it with more than one on it at a time.

The week started a bit on the chilly side, with highs only in the upper 50’s to low 60’s, but has finished in fine form. The temp as I write is 78, with clear blue skies and low humidity. Yesterday was also a superb day, with highs in the 70’s and loads of sunshine. We sure have had some wonderful weather in the past month or so. A few off days, but thankfully we are not stringing them together in clumps of 3 or 4 like can still happen at this time of the year.

This afternoon we took advantage of the beautiful weather to head to the beach. I am always a little worried heading to the beach the second week of June, as that is typically when the biting beach flies are out. They are nasty and nothing keeps them away. They will even bite right through your clothing. So when we got to the beach today, I held my breath as we all got out of the truck, but all was well. They will start harassing you almost immediately, so it’s not like you are even able to enjoy a few moments at the beach before you have to high-tail it. There were a few horsefly’s that buzzed us all and even tried to take a few bites. That was a bit surprising, as they typically are not out until late July or early August. They are not a big deal though, as their numbers are usually small and they are slow enough that you can whack them dead before they bite.

I know that last week I commented on the sudden disappearance of the huge mosquito population we had up here and I am happy to report that there was no big rebound in their population. They did come back once the weather warmed, but to a fairly tolerable level and also have only been a problem in the usual times/spots, meaning dawn and dusk and in the deeply shaded areas. The blackflies have all but disappeared. So, so far, I can say that this bug season is starting out rather timid. That is not a personal challenge to them, just happy to report the news!

As mentioned, we all headed to the beach today and I am not sure who was more excited, Grace or the pups, but they all went prepared to swim! Upon arrival, we all tossed the fetch into the water and let the dogs do their thing. Gracie had no problem putting her toes in, but was somewhat timid to go too much further. The water temps have come up some, but are still largely in the mid to upper 40’s. So its cold for sure! I time, her bravery got the best of her and she was going in further and further. Not much time passed then before she took the full plunge! She was even brave enough to go all the way under and I have a video of her doing that. She did that several more times and then Nora and I decided she needed to get out and warmed up before hypothermia set in.

I do believe that was the first swim of the season for both the pups and Grace. Not too surprising, given the fact that a month ago we were still getting rid of the ice! I believe the pool will be going up this week. The weather looks to be pretty suitable for it going forward. Grace actually goes to camp for a week starting next Sunday, but that will give us time to put it up and for me to get a heater here and installed before she is begging me to swim with her!

I have been keeping busy with the transformation of the old utility room into a pantry. All of the work that I least like to do is over. That started with patching drywall, including some large holes that were there for vents and pipes. Then came the priming and painting and I finished the walls this morning, while Grace hug out and kept me company and fetched me a wet paper towel each time I dripped some on the floor. I know I go on and on about her, but she really is a very special girl and deserves all- and more, than I say about her. I thank God every day for her and for Nora. Nora gets almost all of the credit when it comes to Gracie’s fine qualities. Thank goodness Gracie decided to follow her mothers lead when it came time to pick a path of compassion and understanding. I am doing my best to change myself to fit in with my girls, but it takes time to teach an old dog new tricks.

Anyway, this week I hope to get the cabinets built and then cross that job off my list. I really will not have anything left that I really want to get done this building season, but I would like to build a secretary’s desk for my office and also an armoire for the bedroom. Otherwise, I think the summer will be spent hanging out in the pool, or at the beach or in the woods. Life is rough.

I guess that about covers it for this one. I know it sounds like I am working for the chamber of commerce when I say this, but we really are having some wonderful weather already and with the bugs at a minimum, we have been free to enjoy the great weather and great outdoors up here, so come on up!

Good night from the Keweenaw..