Shoe Tree Legend Tree in the UP

I went exploring today. I took a drive down my road. The Escanaba River isn’t that far from me and I wanted to see if there was a good spot for fishing and taking pictures. What I discovered instead was the UP version of Michigan’s shoe tree legend. Past abandoned and caving in camps, some even being used, and down a very narrow dirt road with potholes, I found three trees with shoes and boots in them.

Three trees have shoes in them along this seasonal road at the end of Maple Ridge Road in Rock MI

Rock is filled with haunting stories mainly of our Finnish ancestors and the old Finn Hall where they gathered to meet located on Finn Hall Road. Rock was founded by the Finnish community. People say Finn Hall is haunted and you can hear the people laughing and dancing to this day. I have never seen nor heard this coming from Finn Hall but some have and they are sticking to their story.

The Finnish people came here from a very communistic Finland! They worked hard and would gather together sharing everything they had. To this day, we the second and third generation of Finns willing give to others. We still even leave our doors unlocked and so long as you ask, we will gladly let you borrow or give you what you need.

Back to the shoe tree! I was curious to find that river and a good fishing spot so down the road I went. The road narrows and this time of year it is all rutted up with mud and snow. As you go down my road, you see which houses are being used and which ones people have long forgotten about. As you go further and futher the camps and houses get fewer and fewer. Once you reach the sign where it says seasonal road sign, you will see the trees with shoes and boots thrown high in them.

I took close ups of the shoes and boots.

The interesting part of all this is instead of my car not working when I got near them, my camera conveniently decided the batteries were dead and kept shutting off. I then turned to my trusty fire phone and ended up with issues with that while trying to take photos. It turned off the camera, turned on a different app, and did all kinds of weird things mainly as I was trying to take a picture. It took me a bit to get just the few I got.

When I got home and tried getting the pictures to upload on my computer and to wordpress, I ended up with slow internet speed, my internet stopped, and it took me about 30 minutes just to upload 13 photos. Weird, eh! My daughter kept telling me that the ghosts didn’t want their picture taken.

Enjoy the photos. I am sure this is nothing more than drunk hunters and fishermen having a great time and possibly wondering where they left their boots and shoes. If you are one of the people who own these shoes and wondered where you misplaced them, they are in the tree at the end of Maple Ridge in Rock!

My business plan for the 1.4 Billion Dollar Powerball Lottery Winnings

I hear plenty of people say, “I want to win the lottery so I don’t have to work”.  I, on the other hand, want to work! I have a ton of dreams that I need an investor for. Since banks won’t lend me the money for my dreams to come true, then I have to try elsewhere. I figure if I win the lottery then it is like everyone in the universe becoming my investor. They all believe in my dream.
What are my dreams? Well most are to put other people to work. I asked a bank recently for a loan to put in a charging station. I was laughed at for that one since they have no idea who in the U.P. would become my client and they said if a gas station came to them to request this, they would fund that. A charging station is a fill-up station for hybrid cars. Think about all the savings we would have with hybrids and all the tourist that could then fill-up here with their hybrid cars.
The next dream is to buy some old motel/hotels and turn them into stunning spas! I want to take all the old rooms and make them into affordable offices for people in the healthcare realm. Think of the chiropractors, doctors, nurses, massage therapists, and beauticians all in one spot.  I want physical therapists and personal trainers on the spot giving people the best workout. This way you don’t become injured and if you are injured you can become healthy. I want hotels that already have the pool, sauna, and hot tub! It will make the conversion easier.
Next will be to get our mechanic business all the equipment that needs to set up fully. We have  already added in the snow removal to the business but we need equipment. To be fully functioning we need snow plows, ice/sand trucks, and all the technology to fix your car. Then it is off to hire great mechanics. Since I hate it when people say get this fixed, charge you an arm and a leg, but then that wasn’t what needed to be fixed or they fix it wrong, I want mechanics who are willing to go the distance. You have to know what you are doing. Be an expert and a professional. Know that you need to charge but be flexible and most importantly fix what is really wrong the right way! Honesty and integrity are important!
I would love to open a restaurant. Not really on my to do list but something that would be beneficial to my spa. I like different ethnic food and I love it when it is cooked authentically. I think it would be wonderful to offer vegan and vegetarian dishes from around the world. You can get a hamburger anywhere but where can you get the best soups, sandwiches, salads, and cuisines that offer zero meat.
I really want a coffee shop. That is my dream job. To smell coffee all bloody day long! I want to be able to sell you a can of coffee along with a cup. That is the most awesome idea I have! I would love to have an in house band there as well playing cool jazz in the background. I use to want it to be a bar but I love coffee more than alcohol and I think it would be better for all society. This way someone fighting an addiction can come in without temptation knocking at the door. It would be great to have wifi in there as well.
Then there is my farming. This year we planted tobacco and found out it will grow here! Next is to try coffee. I want to build a heated barn for the horses and chickens. Oh I can see my chickens now! The look on their faces as they get into their nesting boxes all warmed up with heat! They may never want to leave! They love mealworms and I can see them chasing each other around a heated barn wanting that one worm. Farming takes a ton of equipment. I need the equipment and farm hands for harvesting. That should put a few people to work! I hope they love coffee as much as I do. I need to plant corn, wheat, oats, and veggies for my chicken feed. I bet the horses can eat that as well. Think of the yummy corn bread! I also need a functioning building to grind all the corn, wheat, and oats to make flour and feed with.
Then there is charity. I wish I always had money to help someone when they need it most. Someone has a fire and I don’t have money to even help them buy clothes. I can go through mine and give them what I can, but that doesn’t get a new house built for them. Some have insurance for that but not everyone does. What about those with medical bills? It would be great to give them some extra cash or pay for a procedure they need. I could give money to places that help people with their rent, heat, lights, and food. I could help with the homeless.
Then there are the animals. I would love to set up a Mr. Nose fund to help with TNR for ferals, low income spaying/neutering, and rescues. Then I could put together the Dirt Bag fund. My Dirty, who is again gone, was found after 4 months with an embedded collar. I didn’t have the money but I figured it out. It would have been great if our local shelter had the funding to help me. I am not sure what to name my special fund for getting pets out of jail when they decide to run away from home. I have to think on a name for that fund. Those animals always think  the grass is greener at the neighbors house. Crazy pets and their wanderings. Always a worry if they will need medical attention because they decided to leave the yard. I would help the no kill as well. I can’t see ending a life because you are homeless. I would love to create an animal shelter that also takes in the homeless people. Those people could help the animals for room and board!
Then there is family. They always need cash and new cars. I don’t mind helping them when they need something like money for gifts or their car needs to be fixed. I know my family. They wouldn’t ask at all for anything! But it would still be nice to be able to help them out with a teeny bit of cash.
I would love to help out my friends from time to time as well. They may need money in an emergency. They may need money to start an idea so they can make their own money. They might get into a bind and just need help because of some lesson they need to learn. You never know. It would just be nice to help when needed.
Anyway, that is my business plan to the universe. I hope you will invest in my dreams where banks won’t! As you can see. I have plans! I have ideas! I know people just like me who need help with starting something in life. It is always great to invest in a dream that one can turn into a reality.

Christmas In The Village

Aunt Di wasn’t at the Village this year. She has been diagnosed with White Matter Disease. White Matter Disease causes strokes, dementia, and cognitive damage. Aunt Di can no longer drive and the tremors are getting worse.  We went anyway.  Santa was everywhere and the Village was decorated for the Christmas season. Yule all around us with even horse buggy rides. This year the event was on December 4  and the 5. If you ever get a chance to get to our end of the woods, this is one of the best things you can do with your family. They had popcorn, hot cider, hot cocoa, cookies, chestnuts, and so much more. All the people were there selling their soap, candles, grain, rocks, and various other items. The cook shack was open and all the cookies were .50 cents. The ice cream shop was open and had some ice cream in it. Everyone was keeping warm with wood stoves and electric fireplaces. It was a great time for all. Santa was there as well enjoying cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He was taking pictures with the kiddos and taking down their lists of what they want.

Santa is watching and keeping the baby company.
Darryl Sarasin is keeper of the cookies and chestnuts that were roasted. He was cutting them open for people as well.
People were lined up for the horse and buggy ride.
Tractor rides are another big attraction at the Village.
The ice cream shop, grainery, and general store all lit up in seasonal lights.
The candle shop, ice cream shop, and the medical clinic.
The rock shop, candle shop and kettle corn popcorn stand.
The art shop, and saw mill
The cook shack
At the center of it all is the gazebo.
Inside the General Store lays a cat sleeping on a wood stove. *not a real cat*
Santa was here giving out snacks to the kids, taking pictures, and getting gift ideas for the Yule gift exchange.
Santa told the youngest she gets to be naughty more than her sister so guess who got to have a naughty moment with Santa!


Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful and since we no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

And that is what is happening now (or this past weekend). See you all soon love Em


UP Steam and Gas Show

The UP Steam and Gas Show is having their 40th anniversary this weekend. The show started on Friday, September 4th with everyone setting up quickly for the show to open at Noon. We had helicopter rides this year on Saturday. It was $45 per person to take a short ride in the air. The Flea Market is going strong with plenty of antiques for sale plus some new items. Food vendors are out there looking for you to eat. The horse show is going on and the kids have pony rides at the Beef Barn.

I have a few pictures here. I will get more tomorrow. Tomorrow is the last day of the Steam and Gas Show. Tickets are $5 for the day or $10 for a weekend wrist band. There is so much to do and see there. I got plenty of pictures of our ham radio building with the antique ham radios and telegraphs inside.

Hope to see you all tomorrow at the Show!

The day the music died!

When I was 15 years old something grand happened in my town of Escanaba, Steve and Sue Seymour opened a record store they named the Record Rack! This was the best thing EVER in da 1980’s. I know every generation thinks theirs is the best but ours was the first to really get the newer ideas like the Record Rack. The alternative was Woolworths and Shopko. Where you could get some awesome deals by the way, but it didn’t have the same atmosphere as the Record Rack had. There was just something about walking in the door, hearing music play, and looking through the album selections while wearing your fedora hat and your shoulder pads. Our hair was ratted with Aqua Net and no one cared if you smoked cigarettes in the store. This was our time. The best time in history and it was made even greater by the introduction of the Record Rack! This shaped my whole teenage years. This made my life worth living. This gave me something I couldn’t have at a time when it wasn’t readily available. Come on! This is a time before the internet was popular, only the rich had cell phones, and a time when the best thing you could own was a walkman!

My friends and I hustled to get a look and were amazed by all the vinyl they had! What an amazing concept. We so needed this in my generation. It was hard to find certain bands at Shopko. Here we could get Duran Duran, WHAM!, Dire Straits, A-Ha, Motley Crue, and so much more like Jazz records, man.

The Record Rack became a teenager’s hangout where the music flowed and you were able to find anything your heart desired on cassette tape or vinyl record. There is nothing like the sound of 33 1/3 rpm record playing in its scratchy sound. That was what our albums were 33 1/3. Our 45’s, as we called them, were for a single song! We even had 12” singles that were the longer versions of a single song.

They were the best people ever! They could order us those rare albums from Canada and the UK. I had found out that Duran Duran had an album that only was made for England, the Seymour’s ordered it for me and within 2 weeks, I got the call. There was that special album that was only released in the UK. Oh my joy! The excitement of hearing a different version of an album! That is what makes your day as a teenager.

My friend Amy had heard of a band from Canada called Platinum Blonde. You betcha, the Seymours obtained three of their albums for Amy. We went back to her house and listened like mad men to their songs! The three albums were, Standing in the Dark, Alien Shores, and Contact. She even bought Edie Brickell & New Bohemians album from there. Now you want to talk about a sound. That is one great band!

My friend Dave, who has always wanted to be my boyfriend, bought me an album there and brought it over to my cousin Bobbi’s house. Bobbi even said it was my favorite band and I would love it.

I loved it. I couldn’t wait to get money. Everything I earned would go to a new album and I bought it at the Record Rack. On July 25, 2015, the Record Rack will be closing its doors forever. This is going to be a very sad day for all in Escanaba. This is a part of everyone’s fondest memories. We all wish Sue & Steve a wonderful retirement! I will forever be grateful to having the Record Rack and giving me the gift of music.