Seattle At Night

Seattle At Night

Monday, July 25, 2011

Country life

Yes I know I keep apologizing for not blogging often but this time really has been a stretch!  You know why?  I've been kept very busy with work, which is also a great thing.  I like knowing that I'm working hard, accomplishing tasks, learning more and more, and getting tired.  Last week we had the board meeting and an event and other meetings, so we were very busy on top of personal life complications, which there were many of those as well. The main one was my cousin losing his life in the Chicago to Mackinaw race.  He did a lot of great things for Saginaw, loved sailing and was a great dad to his daughter Sage.  He will be missed at the lake every summer and I am truly sorry about the situation but know that he passed doing what he loved.  This week is a little more laid back, even though my schedule has already filled up!
 I had a nice weekend where I got to bond with myself Friday and Saturday, meaning I spent time with myself, got to know myself and did a little self pampering. I drove up to a local bakery in Stevensville, which i must say, if you are ever in the area, go to Bit Of Swiss, they truly know how to work their flower and what to put in their ovens.  I bought too many carbs and some great groceries from a lovely store and am happy!
Then my friend Hannah from Madison visited me Sunday since she is moving to Savannah in 2 weeks.  we met on the Costa Rica study abroad trip so it is always nice to see her!  We did some winery tours which are amazing and then sat at the beach ( it finally cleared up!!)  It was so lovely spending time with her

Tonight Peg had a dinner for me to meet some people and have some social life.  We made pizzas on the grill with lovely ingredients from her and her neighbor's garden. I've met a few people that I can make plans with, which is great, I need some personal interaction down here.  Peg and some of these other people are so crafty when it comes to canning and pickling etc and I'm an open and blank book ready to learn everything I can about being self sufficient and making all these home made goodies.  Tonight Peg set me up to start making pickles, I got some Cucumbers and she gave me jars and a recipe so I will begin teaching myself how to pickle!  I will let you know how they turn out!  She also gave me fresh dill and eggs!!  Love this! Can't wait to learn how to do more things like this so I can live in the country myself and have some chickens and a garden! The people here are all interesting and nice and I'm having a great time getting to know a new group of people that were raised completely different than me.  Peg, Johanna and everyone else here has been so great in acclimating me to the area not only as it is a different lifestyle but I also do not have many friends in the area.  I am thankful for their help with food, entertainment and their patience with me at work.  Everyone else I met has been great as well, very welcoming and understanding that I am new to the area and am wiggling my way into the community.  Can't wait to learn more!
I hope we have a dinner similar to this soon, it was a nice relaxing evening with some great people from a wide range of backgrounds.
I'll let you know how the pickles go!
<3 Suz

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Working extra hours this week to make up for the early month holiday, especially with the student loan and Ann Arbor rent to pay!  Last night's extra hours were pretty awesome though!
  We had our moonlight voyager canoe trip, I worked the later one, at 11 pm 10 of us got into a 36 foot long wood canoe modeled after the ones the French Canadians used to use when bringing furs from Canada to the US.  I felt in touch with my ancestors!  Not to mention it was the perfect night for a canoe trip, clear skies, bright moon, still and quiet.  The moon really was our guide last night though Sima J. Marsh.  It was a peaceful canoe trip, with lots of stars in the sky, Saturn in the southern sky as well.  Fireflies were sprinkled throughout the marsh, adding a sparkle to the peaceful boat ride.  Pat and Kip from Berrien County Parks were our tour guides.  They are naturalists which pretty much means their job is to share their love and astonishment of nature with others, a.k.a. AWESOME job!  We didn't see much wildlife, but we sure did see the marsh in a whole different light and mood.  If you ever have the opportunity to get into a watershed at night, I highly recommend it!
Check out pictures here :
  Tomorrow I'm going to Grand Beach Marsh to check out invasive work that was done on it and a possible encroachment by adjoining property owners.  Got to put that to a stop if it s true!  I'm excited to see another one of our preserves though.  Marshes are great pieces of property, they do so much for the Great Lakes watershed including house a diverse number of organisms, filter out the dirty water from the streams before it goes into the lake (in this case, Lake Michigan), and help prevent floods by soaking up extra water in the area.  The beaches here on Lake Michigan were already shut down 3 times this year for high E. coli levels from houses in the area not even having septic tanks or their tanks are outdated, and agricultural run off.  Preserving the wetlands helps prevent this E. Coli from reaching the Lake and infecting the hundreds of people who use the lake in the area.  Please, everyone, be respectful of your wetlands and remember how much they do for you.

Going to Ann Arbor this weekend to move out, this will be sad, I have so many good memories in Ann Arbor.  I hope to make more this weekend and see a lot of people whom I miss!  Enjoy Harry Potter everyone!  I'm seeing it Saturday with my favorite Spaniard!
Cuidate my readers!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Sorry I've been slacking everyone!  So busy, trying to just enjoy life for what it is and not take it too seriously.  Also working very hard to turn my job into a permanent position.
The day with the DEQ lady was great!  I love spending days with Peg, my mentor.  She is soo knowledgeable and personable.  I finally got to see most of the properties we are working on to get as easements as well.  It really helps to talk about a property once you have seen it.
This week is rather quiet, the president and my mentor are out of town so I'm working on one management plan for a preserve and some baseline documents for a possible easement that we want to finish before summer is over.
I went home last weekend to go on a fabulous date!  It was epic, starting at 4 pm with a movie, then a lovely dinner then a nice night at the Bells beer gardens, which by the way, is totally my new hang out spot.  They remodeled it and it looks great and they sell beer there that is not available in stores or other bars. I'm turning into quite the local brewery brat.  Anyways, I had a nice time with this individual and I can't wait for a second one!
Also spent some nice quality time with my dad and the ghetto pool.  I don't know when I'll be in Kalamazoo next, probably August or September, so I'm glad I enjoyed my time there.
Still enjoying the benefits of country life.  Had fresh cherries last week and tonight I made fresh sweet corn. Those cherries were amazing, I'll have to go pick up some more.  I absolutely love all this fresh food and peaceful hors d'oeuvres on my back porch over looking the ravine with deer usually grazing through.  I'm definitely getting used to my own life out here in this quaint corner of Michigan!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not so relaxing bike ride/ holiday at Higgins

Last week I had a few field days where I went out to properties with Peg, Friday was supposed to be one of them, but it rained all day... anyway, she taught me most of the local common invasive species.  To practice I've been pointing them out to myself and recalling their distinct features.
     So today after work I tried to go on a nice relaxing bike ride looking at all the beautiful cottages and getting a little fresh air after spending all day on my bum.  Instead of relaxing, I spend the whole bike ride noticing all the invasive species along Lakeshore drive and desiring to pull them out... how relaxing huh?
As for a permanent position, it sounds like after the new director gets settled in here a little, he is going to interview me and see how he likes me and how I fit with him and his work style.  Not only that but I have a one month review in a week... I'm a bit nervous I must confess because I always want to push myself to work harder and better at things.  At least I have a week to prepare myself for that and another month for my interview with the director!  I know I've been working my butt off and taking in a lot so it shouldn't be a problem.  wish me luck! I think I'd really be happy here for a little bit with this small non-profit.  I really like the work I'm doing too and I think it is important to the future of not only Michigan but of the world.  I also connect well with the landowners and board members so there is a plus!
  My 4th was great, I was at Higgins with a lot of great people who I've missed for a year or more and my family who I don't get to see as much.  Makes me miss living with my sister :(  We went out on the boat a lot, swam, and sunned, which is exactly what my mind and body needed to jump back into my hectic and busy work life.  I love Higgins, I could be there alone and have just as much fun as I do with my friends and family, but I like being around people after being alone so much.  I do go up there mainly for the Lake and for being in such a sacred place to me.  Higgins has truly been my only steady home and place that I can rely on every summer, and I hope that never changes, even if it is only twice a summer (Memorial and the 4th).
Hope everyone else had a great holiday as well!  I'll have a great story from tomorrow, Julia from the DEQ will be here and we are showing her a lot of our properties that qualify for the DEQ grant.  Then we are going to an Indian's elder village to learn about the land and their practices!  How cool huh?  Report back soon!
<3 Suz