2014! and Love News

This is a bit of a love letter to 2014. It was a busy year! But a lovely one. And only good things to come in 2015.

Love is Patient, Love is Kind...
Love is Patient, Love is Kind…
Love is a doggie named Thomas!
Love is a doggie named Thomas!

The Church will be open by June. How do we know?
How could we possibly be open in 5! Five! 5! months?
With a punch list a country mile long?
Because we have a wedding to get ready for!
Coming in June: a June Wedding. The daughter of a close friend wants to be wed in the old country Church, and it will be our excitement and pleasure to prepare the aisles.
Hey everyone, grab a tool and let’s get bizzy!

This'll do!
This’ll do!

With the exception of the water tanks going in the floor, most of the very large objectives have been met.

Let’s review: 2014 started out with good cheer and lots of ambition.

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

It was also one of the most brutal winters I can ever remember.

Frosted window panes.
Frosted window panes.

Sub zero temps, snow snow snow. Six snow days from school, three of them at the end of Christmas break. We hunkered down.

Some members of the household are permanently hunkered down!
Some members of the household are permanently hunkered down!

Luckily the geothermal heating system made the Church snug for comfortable working.
So we did trim work. That meant caulk, and lots of it.

Caulk Love!
Caulk Love!
"I'm in a tight spot"
“I’m in a tight spot”

There was lots for everyone to do.
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We hit it hard almost every weekend.

Painting the ceiling…
Painting the ceiling…
Sanding the floors…
Sanding the floors…

This one about did us in. We didn’t plan it this way, but after the big sanding effort, we took a bit of hiatus. We still worked, but the giant exhausting efforts were put on hold for the rest of the summer…

We'll have her in ship shape, no worries, mateys! (Ignore the mess!) (arrr…)
We’ll have her in ship shape, no worries, mateys! (Ignore the mess!) (arrr…)

We did have visitors and fun. Speaking of the upcoming nuptials, here are the parents of the bride checking out the status of the church.

We also worked on other projects back in our home and our cottage. Projects to make the rest of our life away from the Church a little nicer.
When we bought our house in Royal Oak, the entire place was paneled and featured dropped ceilings. We gutted, drywalled and painted the entire place with one exception: there was one room that didn’t get the treatment. That was 12 years ago.
We kind of dug the panelling, at least enough to keep it for 12 years. Plus it was a spare room, and we used it as a walk in closet.

Groovy, yah?
Groovy, yah?

Not really, so … grab the primer and paint, time to get busy!

Lavendar Love!
Lavendar Love!

“Little” projects like this don’t seem to phase us much after working on the Church. We are a pretty well oiled machine.

Meanwhile, back in Grindstone City, new road was being laid down. What a difference it makes.

Asphalt Love!
Asphalt Love!

Trees were planted as well. Some day they will be mighty. Right now they are mini!

Maple Love
Maple Love

Meanwhile, on the human front, there were patent awards given out.

Number 4  and counting…
Number 4 and counting…

Graduations accomplished.

My cousin, the Vet!
My cousin, the Vet!

And weddings held.

Sweetest couple ever: Uncle Joe and Lori
Sweetest couple ever: Uncle Joe and Lori

Whew! What a year.

Of course there was more, but I’m behind in my posts, so onward, 2015! And we’ll see more such celebrations and renovations, to be sure.

White Church Gallery Love!
White Church Gallery Love!
– The White Church Gallery

Stu Stu Studio!

So what do you want to do this weekend?

Foreshadowing shot.
Foreshadowing shot.

Hows about we make a studio so we can make some art?  First step: let’s get some of the Artist’s work all up in here.

Art. Check.
Art. Check.

Next step: Let’s make it convenient to work. The Artist needs an area to store his tools.

Hmm, I smell a Sears Solution! Check!
Hmm, I smell a Sears Solution! Check!

Indeed. What better than a Craftsman tool box. On wheels!

Mobile unit. Check.
Mobile unit. Check.

Ok, before I move on, let’s really focus on the joy a simple solution like a giant Craftsman tool unit brings. All the stuff can go in it. All of it! Brushes, pencils, acrylics, oils, papers, tools, tapes, glues and more. There’s even a drawer for incense!

The Craftsman and the Artist!
The Craftsman and the Artist!

Even the little lady was happy about this solution!

I prefer Artists, but Craftsmen have their uses...
I prefer Artists, but Craftsmen have their uses…

Last step:  it’s up to the Artist. He’s made his studio. now he must be left alone to create. So let’s take a walk. It’s early April, and it’s been a brutally cold and lengthy winter. So what does Lake Huron look like?

Frozen
Frozen

Brr!

Cold, but beautiful.
Cold, but beautiful.

What else is going on this spring around Grindstone Corners?

No buds on the trees yet...
No buds on the trees yet…

But there is new life! Look, a baby cow!

Seriously, city girl? It's a calf. MY calf. Back off!
Seriously, city girl? It’s a calf. MY calf. Back off!

This Momma cow did a deep menacing moo at me to express her feelings about my interest in her baby c… I mean calf.
This cow expressed himself in other ways!

Back End!
Back End!

Mike and I agree- this cow pasture is one of the world’s more magical places. There’s just something about it. The cows always have attitude, the landscape is always beautiful, and there’s always something there that makes you just want to stop and step into the world of the pasture. It’s just part of what makes Grindstone so very special!

I also happen to be privy to what is on the Artist’s easel right now, and it is cow-shaped! They are so inspirational!

See you next weekend!

– The White Church Gallery

It Ain’t Easy!

So what’s been going on this week? Let me show you, and you can guess…

??? Is it Art???
??? Is it Art???
Holes and conduit! And shavings!
Holes and conduit! And shavings!

Darn, you guessed it! The Church is being wired. Now that the plaster and lathe is gone, we can wire the walls for electricity before we add insulation and close her up with drywall. Outlets under the windows and in front! The ceiling had already been wired, but now the walls are good to go. Well almost…

Holy Rotted Wood, Batman!
Holy Rotted Wood, Batman!

Of course, in renovation, as in life, nothing is ever easy, and there were disaster areas that needed to be tended to before we can even think “Spray Foam!”

Who better to attend to them? Grindstone Mike, of course!

How'm I going to make this better?
How’m I going to make this better?

With a little help from a friend, of course. Camera-shy ice cream magnate Paul Fisher helped out, but it’s a bigger job than just weekend will allow time and energy for, especially after such a grueling work week and last week’s adventure to NY State for a lovely wedding.

Me, Mike, Dad and Mom
Me, Mike, Dad and Mom

Time spent with the folks is always special, and seeing relatives is always a hoot, but the 10 hours in the car each way was a little hard on the nerves tushie!

I did take a day this week to go hiking in Crescent Beach State Park. Summer has flown by, as is usually does, and for me teaching school starts very soon, both High School and College. So I took a day to “goof off” in this lovely setting, only 15 minutes from Port Austin, MI.

"Let's take a walk!"
“Let’s take a walk!”
Moss mountain!
Moss mountain!
Dunes and waves.
Dunes and waves.
"Look how magical!"
“Look how magical!”
Ahhhhhhh...
Ahhhhhhh…

I’m selfishly posting these so I can look back and remember how wonderful it was and to keep me breathing during the long season ahead of working all week, renovating all weekend. Poor Grindstone Mike has been doing this all along, but that’s why he’s Grindstone Mike. Tough and gritty, but keeps everyone near him sharp too.

"It ain't easy being green!"
“It ain’t easy being green!”

– The White Church Gallery

Rybak’s Ice Cream Store is Open!

Grindstone Corners is officially open for business. The first of three planned businesses is going strong! If you’re screaming for ice cream in an amazingly restored original Grindstone Building filled with jewelry, toys, candles, scarves and so much more, along with the tastiest ice cream, you need to stop in to Rybak’s Ice Cream Store.

Ice Cream, anyone? YES!!!
Ice Cream, anyone? YES!!!

It’s been a long, hard, $$ journey for the Fishers, but their hard work has paid off beautifully, don’t you think? Let’s watch the progress… (it began way before this first picture)

Dec. '12 - battened down for a Lake Huron Winter.
Dec. ’12 – battened down for a Lake Huron Winter.
Spring '13, Coming to life!
Spring ’13, Coming to life!

And now…Come on in!

Ice cream on the right, Candy on the left. It's a straight and narrow path you must walk...
Ice cream on the right, Candy on the left. It’s a straight and narrow path you must walk…
Candy siren!
Candy siren!
Proprietress Ann Fisher is ready to scoop for you.
Proprietress Ann Fisher is ready to scoop for you.

So what’s the verdict? Yummy or not?

"Dangerously yummy!"
“Dangerously yummy!”

And open late…

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Where is it?

See you there!

Rybak's Ice Cream! MMMM!
Rybak’s Ice Cream! MMMM!

– The White Church Gallery