Granny Pam

Granny Tells You What's Going On
  • .: Welcome :.

    I have found enough energy to hop over here and spruce the joint up a little.

    Papa will be retiring at the end of February, and we may have more adventures to document. Or not. But I wanted to be ready!
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    More About Eastbank Campground

    Posted By on February 24, 2014

    Camping at Eastbank COE campground was great! We enjoyed walking around a circuit along with many other temporary residents. Seminole Lake is beautiful, even on windy days. People seemed to enjoy camping down by the water, but we chose a site farther away. It turned out to be a good thing, on windy days, we weren’t substantially affected by the wind. The daytime temperature here has ranged from 45 to 70, with 60 being pretty common. Perhaps not mid-Florida weather, but certainly comfortable for Michigan refugees.

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    Lake Seminole

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    Sites near the lake.

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    The water behind our camper after a rainy night.

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    It is the sunset of our visit to Eastbank, but we will return when we are able. Highly recommended!

     

     

    Museum of Florida History

    Posted By on February 22, 2014

    This building houses the Museum, the Sate Archives and State library

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    The museum of Florida History is located at 400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee. A parking garage is adjacent, and it is a quick walk to the entrance. Admission is by donation. Be sure to get a parking token in the Museum store, a $5.00 savings. As suggested by the name, Florida’s history is the emphasis of the Museum. We enjoyed exhibits beginning with Florida’s First People through World War II. I found it interesting that Mastodons lived in Florida, as they did in our home state, Michigan. The lighter colored rib cage and tusks were replaced, however this is a very complete skeleton.

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    I was very interested in the dug out canoes, and the manufacturing process. The dugouts were shaped by burning the centers out, and scraping out the charred wood. This process must have taken weeks.

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    A later example had a a glass bottom.

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    We had a great lunch in a deli adjacent to the Museum, The Egg Express. They offered fresh sandwiches with salad or chips and a drink. I noticed right away that my chicken salad sandwich did not have salt added. That was a happy thing, and I certainly enjoyed the croissant it was served on.

    In the north, we are likely to see a corn sheller in museums. Here we saw two machines which were new to us, a bean sheller and a pea huller. Live and learn.

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    We are familiar with car collections, since we are members are the Henry Ford in Dearborn. However, this electric car was one we had not previously seen.

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    There were many artifacts on display. Loved the early coins recovered from Spanish galleons, and the early pottery recovered from Indian sites. The thatch huts used for shelter by early Florida people certainly differed from the teepees used in the north.

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    We spend about three hours looking at the displays, but we probably could have lingered longer. Recommended if you are in the area.

    Tallahassee Museum

    Posted By on February 20, 2014

    The Tallahassee Museum is an large outdoor village and zoo. The village contains a train caboose, a schoolhouse, a church, a plantation house, kitchen and slave house. There is also a farmhouse and surrounding out buildings. I found the construction on the farm interesting, since things were done much differently in the south. There was a zip line, for those so inclined.

    We really enjoyed the wildlife portion, which has wildlife native to Florida. The exhibit of Birds of Prey was filled with hawks of various types. They did fly around some, but were mainly roosting. We never caught sight of the alligator, but saw deer, birds and the black bear. The river otters were hiding and napping, as they often do at the Detroit zoo.

    We strained our eyes looking for the bobcat and couldn’t find it. I asked Papa, “Do bobcats climb trees?” and he didn’t think so. I noticed a sign in front of me that said, “Bobcats can often be found resting in trees”, and there was the cat. Can you see it in the crook of the tree?

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    This is a Red Wolf. I had never seen one before, so that in itself made it worth the trip. He was soaking up some sun.

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    The Florida Panther was behaving like any cat. He was laying in the sun and grooming himself, and never looked up at us!

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    It was a great day, and we enjoyed the sun and exercise. Although it wasn’t a long walk, perhaps a mile or two, the ability to get out, walk and enjoy the mild weather is the main reason we are living in the South for a while this winter.

    US Army Aviation Museum

    Posted By on February 18, 2014

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    The US Army Aviation Museum is a Fort Rucker, Alabama, just a short drive from Dothan. It has a large collection of army aircraft. There seemed to be emphasis on helicopters, including the first presidential helicopter.

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    It was fascinating to look at the drones, especially since they have been in the news lately. There were several kinds, and only one resembled the one seen delivering an Amazon package in the YouTube video. Most of them looked like oversized remote control airplanes, probably because that is what they are.

    A sobering part of our visit was the room which serves as a memorial to aviators killed in action in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam era.

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    My genealogy brain clicked and I realized that one of our brother-in-law’s brothers should be listed. Sure enough, his name is listed on the wall. RIP SP4 Melvin Martz.

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    It was a great day and we enjoyed seeing all the aircraft and other exhibits. As we toured the second level, there was a balcony which overlooked a scene showing a Vietnam era medivac chopper complete with a medic and patient. Visitors had thrown change into the chopper, and some had even made airplanes of dollar bills and floated them down.

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    This is the third Army museum we have visited, and we have enjoyed each one. Don’t miss the museum at Fort Rucker if you are in the area.

    Quiet Camping

    Posted By on February 18, 2014

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    Sunset over Seminole Lake at Eastbank Campground

    Our first stop is Eastbank Corp of Engineers Campground in Bainbridge, Georgia. We had reserved here in advance of the trip. For whatever reason, I get uncomfortable if I don’t know where we will park for the night, so we planned this trip to have a “home” almost every night. Since the COE campgrounds are not “for-profit” enterprises, the rates are low. Couple that with our Senior Pass and it is a very economical way to go. Eastbank turned out to be similar to other COE campgrounds we have visited. There are rest rooms with flush toilets, showers, and a small laundry room. The sites are electric (50/30) and water; no sewer. We chose a site close to the bathroom, hoping not to have to move the camper to dump during our stay. There is one washer and one dryer in the laundry, so I am doing either a white or dark load as needed, in the morning when I shower. The washer is generally finished when my shower is, and I check Facebook and email while the load dries. I am really glad for my “unlimited” ATT data and messages!

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    We have seen a number of Michigan plates on the vehicles; Minnesota is also common. Since we arrived we have been walking at least two times a day, three on some days. My goal is to walk at least two miles a day, and we are beating that average. Although a two month trip may not be time enough for me to remedy the excesses of the past ten years, I am making an effort to move, move, move. Papa has been wonderful, walking with me morning, evening, and sometimes we even head out after lunch. It is pretty easy to watch my diet here, since we don’t have too much that is a no-no in the camper.

    The funniest thing we have seen here is the phone.

     

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    It resides in in a little shelter. We checked, and there was a dial tone. There was also a pile of phone books on the floor. Not sure where we might call from the phone, but it would certainly be helpful in a emergency if we didn’t have cell phones.

    Driving to Eastbank from Tallahassee, you go north through Chattahoochee, Florida and cross the State line into Georgia. The address here is Bainbridge, GA, but Bainbridge is about forty minutes away. We have been exploring some of the nearby sights, more on that in a future post!

     

     

    Just a little Ride

    Posted By on February 15, 2014

    We headed out a little over a week ago to pick up our camper in Southeastern Georgia, where we stored it after a New Year’s trip. Although there was a snowfall the day before we left, the roads were OK and pretty much clear and dry once we got south of Toledo. We arrived at mid-afternoon on the second day, and the greeting committee was right there to see if we had any treats.

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    It was great to get back into our wonderful new toy, FR3.

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    It took us several hours to get the (absolutely packed) car unloaded into FR. There is no network TV in the area where we were parked, so we missed the opening ceremony of the Olympics. We did get in several nice walks during our time there. We also met up with our good friend Norm, and enjoyed conversation while sharing a meal.

    We are off on an almost two month trial run, living on the road. Although we will never be full-time RVers, we certainly do enjoy seeing the sights, going from place to place, and meeting new people. The big bonus is being out of the snow and cold Detroit is experiencing this year.

     

    The New Rain Barrels

    Posted By on May 17, 2012

    ХудожникподаръциLast fall Papa and I collected a few rain barrels. We hoped to give the plants rain water as much as possible, and lower our water bill in the process.
    rain barrelThis designer model was a Mother’s Day gift from D3 a few years back, and it has been getting a workout ever since it arrived.

    Today, I used the new set-up to water all the tomato and pepper plants in the garden, and also give my rhubarb a drink.

    The system I used was to fill up the two watering cans, and put the hose into a bucket while I headed off down the rows to do each plant. It took a while, but the plants were happy with the results!

    When I finished in the garden, I gave each of my three rhubarb plants a bucket of water, then rolled up the hose. I then filled the watering cans from the valve on the barrels and and watered all my flowers.

    While I was out back, Scotch was sitting in the window giving me a hard time. She likes attention, and seemed to be scolding me. I took a quick video of her complaining.

    The End of An Era

    Posted By on February 16, 2012

    ХудожникThat seems profound, but it is all I have to describe what is happening here at Granny’s. As his Facebook friends know well, the count down is underway and Papa will retire soon. After today, there are exactly 8 days remaining in his career at Avon Automotive. When he started working there in December, 1977, the Company was known as Cadillac Rubber & Plastics. It was founded by former employees of B.F. Goodrich when that company left Cadillac, Michigan. Owners have come and gone, as have products and processes. He worked in three different arms of the company, and visited many more. Two weeks ago, cake and conversation at the Cadillac Plant marked the occasion.

    The employees of the Detroit Sales Office honored him with a nice luncheon last week, and all three of our daughters and our son-in-law took time from their busy lives to attend. He was also honored and suprised to see some former co-workers there.

    If you think that his co-workers don’t know a little about him, look at the cake:

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    He sent the chocolate banjo home with D2 for our grandchildren to enjoy.

    Here is a photo of him with the “old guard”, his Facebook post on this picture says there is over 175 years of experience in this picture.

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    Just so you know that a little of his sense of humor was passed down to a daughter I won’t name here, here is the white board at the party before and after her adjustments.

    Before:

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    After:

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    This is not the first major change around Granny’s in the past few years. About twelve years ago, I retired to a life of family, volunteering and genealogy. Several years ago our grandsons, who had lived here for a number of years, took flight on their life paths. Their mother, D1 left for a home closer to her place of employment. D3 also elected to move on for a place of her own.

    We think everything will be fine here at the old ranch. In the past almost forty-four years, we have weathered a lot, and this seems like a nice change compared to some of them.

    What will he be doing? We’ll see. Just a month ago, I was suprised to find that at least two people thought that Papa is a full time photographer. They were astonished to find that he had a life out from behind that camera. It is interesting how his persona as a photographer and lover of bluegrass music has taken over in the past few years. Beyond that, the basement workshop is getting a makeover. A new tool or two will probably make an appearance. I will be retiring from lawn mowing, and will be happy to have a little more help in the vegetable garden.

    We are planning a visit to my cousins in New York, I went alone the last time and will be glad to have him with me. We will be at all the Michigan bluegrass festivals we can make this summer, and a few a bit farther away. I have some genealogical research to do in Ohio and Canada, maybe he will come with me, or maybe not. We are excited to think that we will be able to see a few more of our “little” grandchildren’s games and performances. Papa will be here instead of at work to enjoy their visits to our home. Most of all, we will be enjoying each other. After all, that is where we started all those years ago, together.

    So, off we go into a new era!

    Back to Blogging?

    Posted By on January 11, 2012

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    We are approaching a milestone here at Granny’s. Papa’s retirement date is set, and he will be under my feet here at home helping me in the near future.

    This is a good thing, he has always been a hard worker, and it is time for a little rest. Life in the slow lane, or something like that. We don’t have a huge list of plans or things to do, but I will be documenting at least some of them here. I am hoping that the garden will have fewer weeds, that the yard work will seem easier with two of us, and that we will be able to get to the zoo, and The Henry Ford more often. Also on the list, seeing our “little” grandchildren more often. Perhaps we can make a few games, concerts and other activities from now on.

    Friends ask if we will be attending more bluegrass festivals and shows. In the past few years, we have attended between twenty and thirty events each year. I would think that we won’t increase that number much. We will have more relaxed trips, not having to “get back for work” in a hurry each time.

    That’s about the WE, what about the HE? When we discussed what Papa would like to do, he thought it would be great to visit every local history museum in Michigan. That is a goal for an ambitious person! Seriously, we have visited many local museums and feel they are a wonderful resource, often reflecting the efforts of a very active historical society or other organization. Look for more on that goal as the days pass! Papa has been stocking up on supplies for the workshop, and thinking of displaying them at local craft shows. He may also expand his photography sideline some.

    I have been thinking, it seems like just yesterday we married, but was almost forty-three years ago. It seems like yesterday we moved to the Detroit area, but that has been twenty-three years. It seems like yesterday that I retired quit working, but it has been over ten years. I believe I will soon be looking back on this change and reflecting that it seems like just yesterday when I finally got to spend as much time with my husband as I always wanted to, but it has been ten years. Time does fly when you are having fun!

    What is Really Happening

    Posted By on June 2, 2011

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    Wow, too much to relate here. I have spent some time just thinking. What is important, what I should do first, second and so on. I was sick for a while, thankfully that is in the past. It did make me think even more, however.

    Our daughters are moving on, to places of their own. I supposed, while I was thinking too much, that they were trying to escape the possibility of having to take care of us! But I do believe they might help if needed, but from a safe distance. Second, Papa has set his retirement date, just nine months away. That made me think again, about the end of endless “me” time, and living a more corporative life. What should I do with my time in the intervening months, be productive, or enjoy the quiet and a few naps? Forty-two years ago when we married, we wanted nothing more than to be together. Happily, more together time is right around the corner!

    Spring, then summer, arrived, but not in a steady fashion. The weather here has been unpredictable, and very wet. Our garden has suffered, and I am not sure how it will do. We planted our favorites, but cut back on quantities of certain things. With cans from last year still lining the shelves downstairs, we don’t want to get carried away. I located a food bank/soup kitchen which will accept our extra produce, after we have satisfied ourselves, and the neighbors. The daffodils, then the tulips were beautiful. I didn’t get the peonies staked up, so they are leaning all over, but with huge blossoms.

    We have three graduations to attend this year, an all time high for us. One down, two to go! We have made our summer plans, and will be attending four more bluegrass festivals, and just Saturday of several others. For the first time in several years, we will skip the IBMA World of Bluegrass. The vacation time that we would have used for that has been allocated to family events, and to the Red, White and Bluegrass Festival in Morganton, North Carolina. We will need a day on each end to make the drive, and the Festival runs June 30 to July 4. We will also be at Jekyll Island again this year, a wonderful break in the winter weather.

    On the genealogical front, a new-found cousin brought more information on Papa’s family, including photographs we had never seen. I have been busy catching up on my data entry, a never ending task. Hard work by Oakland County Genealogical Society volunteers made posting an index and images possible. Work continues on the next part of the project, taking some of my time.

    What does all this mean? I am still here, and still plodding along. Some things are finished, and some will never be finished. Maybe I will be able to post on a more frequent basis, and maybe not. Time will tell.