Month: March 2014

Michigan, Nature, Photography

Dive Bombing Bird

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Blue Headed Dive BomberThe Lefurge Nature Preserve has several bird houses scattered around and some are occupied by these blue headed birds. I don’t know their real name but I do know they are sometimes aggressive.

A few of the bird homes are near the starting trail so you have to pass by and certain times of the summer these birds are particularly protective of them. When walking by they dive bomb you, pulling up just before impact. My reaction is always to duck and run.

Michigan, Photography, Vacation

Whitefish Point Lighthouse

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Whitfish Point Whitefish Point is known as the Graveyard of Ships as more vessels have been lost here than in any other part of the lake. Hundreds of vessels, including the famed Edmund Fitzgerald, lie on the bottom of the bay and the approaches. The lighthouse marks the end of an 80 mile stretch of shoreline known as Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast. This light has shined onto the big lake unfailingly for almost 150 years except for the night when the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. SOURCE 

Whitfish Point

Whitfish Point 3


Family, Parenting

When nothing else seems to work.


frustratedBefore I had any kids people would warn me about the terrible twos. It’s supposed to be the age when everything they say and do is done with the intention to drive you up the wall. It’s true, the terrible twos are terrible, but what about the terrible teenage years?

I’m a father of four kids, three of them being teenagers. These are the years when my kids have tried me more than ever because it’s during this time when they are the most opinionated. I remember those years thinking I knew it all. When you try so many ways of showing them consequence to action it’s easy to get frustrated when they get to the years when they just don’t care. It’s part of growing up I know. As a kid I was more than a handful and so in a way I guess this is payback for all the things I did.

As a parent you hear all kinds of methods for getting your kids to behave from smothering them with love to tough love. The thing is not all kids respond to all things same way. Sometimes taking away a favorite toy will work for one kid when noting seems to work for another. You have to find out what works.

KidsFighting3Today when I got home my 16-year-old told on the other two teenagers for tormenting the youngest. It’s a game they often play only because they think the reaction they get is funny. The youngest isn’t beyond overreacting which makes matters worse. The scenario plays out like this (15-year-old to 13-year-old) “HAAAHAAAA look at her hair, sticking up in the back like that.” (13-year-old) “Wow look at you with your hair it’s sticking up.” Not a particularly mean thing to say but then the reaction from the 11-year-old is, “SHUUUUT UUUUUUP LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” Said with the voice of a shrieking harpy and loud enough to cause structural damage to our home.

Last year I was discussing this issue with a Realtor friend and she gave me a fantastic idea I’d never really considered. She said, “When my kids are bad I put them to work.” It’s brilliant. I’ve taken away the Xbox, toys, iPod’s, computers, phones and just about anything I could think of. It got to the point when there was nothing left to take so then what? Chores are always in abundance. It’s the thing that never runs out and it works. Tomorrow they will act up because that’s what kids do but it won’t be like today. The chores will remain fresh in their minds for a few days then we will repeat the cycle.


Too Cold For Strawberries

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The hill is one of our favorite places to hang out during the warmer months. There’s not much I like to do outside in the winter months so when my youngest suggested we stop at the hill on the way home I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it.

She said, “we can walk up the hill and eat these strawberries.” I like eating strawberries at least but on a hill when it’s cold out, not so much.

The Hill

Life is short and kids grow up too fast. With kids it’s good to allow yourself to go on adventures you might see as less than adventurous. The thing is my 11-year-old is the only one left who thinks it’s cool to hang out with dad. It might be flying a kite, going to my favorite restaurant or walking the trails of the botanical gardens. There’s never been a time when I’ve regretted her suggested adventures even on this cold day eating strawberries on a hill.