Archive for July, 2009

The old caboose car on the Leelanau Trail is receiving a bit of TLC this summer. A dedicated volunteer crew leader has taken on the project as his own and has been scheduling painting bees throughout the spring/summer. An enormous amount of prep work was needed to blast off the rust and old paint. The primer coat was a dark maroon color.

Caboose (4)

The Leelanau Trail runs along a former rail bed, most recently used by the Leelanau Scenic Railroad. The railroad operated between Greilickville and Northport. Long ago, one of the most important uses of the railroad was providing transportation to and from Traverse City for people who lived in Leelanau County. Now the rails have been removed and it’s a multi-use trail used for biking, walking and skiing in the winter. The trail property- all 185 linear acres- is owned, operated and maintained by TART Trails, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

TART’s caboose identified as #2938 has a bed, a bathroom, table and
chairs, and a stove. Cabooses were used as a place for eating and sleeping, conductors would use the space to do paperwork and it’s where the train brakeman would “throw switches” to slow down or stop the train. They would also radio information about the train to the engineer up front. Cabooses were painted “boxcar red” for high visibility. After World War II, however, the “little red caboose” started showing up in many different colors. The caboose will go from red to yellow this year, with many helping hands and paint brushes to get it there. Go for a bike ride and check it out. The caboose is located on the Leelanau Trail at the Carter Road intersection, on the west side of Traverse City just outside the city limits.


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Do I really need more farm-fresh eats when I’m already getting weekly farm shares from my CSA? Of course I do! A trip to Gallagher’s Farm Market would tempt anyone’s taste buds!

GallaghersLocated just 3 miles west of Traverse City, it’s a quick drive from my house and is conveniently located off of state highway M-72. The market offers fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods including pies and bread, salsa, jams, maple syrup, wines, honey and more.

Gallaghers (2)It’s cherry season in northern Michigan. I see many semi trucks loaded with crates of cherries driving out of town. The cherries are shipped in water and at most intersections, there are cherries strewn about from the water sloshing around in transit. It’s a sight that I welcome because it means that the farmer’s yield is going to market!

Gallaghers (5)Gallaghers (6)Gallaghers (9)Gallaghers (7)Gallaghers (13)Gallaghers (11)Gallagher’s is open from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. They stay open until October 31 and also have a pumpkin patch, corn maze and a petting zoo. So come check them out no matter the season!

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Floors (12)

We rented the flooring nailer again and completed the installation of the Hickory hardwood flooring. The nailer attached to a small air compressor and made the job much easier than using the older, non-compressed nailers. Near walls and in tight spots where we didn’t have enough room to use the nailer, David used a regular nail gun (again attached to the air compressor) by either nailing directly into the tongue or by nailing directly into the flooring (where trim will cover the nail holes). Because some of the nail heads weren’t completely sunk, he then used a nail set to countersink the nails which ensured a smooth surface for sanding.

Floors (13)Now that the flooring is down, we’ll need to sand (a lot of sanding) and four coats of a poly-urethane will need to be applied. So a lot more work is still on the horizon. Our new furniture is still wrapped up, just waiting for us to complete the floors. We can’t wait!

house 008Can you believe that it used to look like this? The beams that we installed really opened things up! We plan on re-using the french doors as the entry into the first floor bedroom/office. The home was quite tired before and we hope that we’ve freshened things up and given it a new lease on life!

It’s a ton of work, but rewarding. Most likely, Wyatt and I will be skipping town next weekend, so David will have a fur-free environment to begin the finishing process.

Don’t forget to review our previous posts about installing hardwood floors: Hickory Dickory Dock and Get Floored.

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Wyatt NWBank (9)I walked home from a recent visit to my local bank with a smile on my face. The bank, Northwestern Bank, is a short walk from my house. I walked there with Wyatt, my black lab, to deposit a check. I didn’t feel like tying him up outside, so I brought him in. As I was filling out my deposit slip, a tennis ball rolled across the floor to Wyatt’s feet. The bank manager had rolled it from his desk on the opposite end of the building. The desk clerk gave Wyatt at least 3 biscuits and oohed and aahed over what a cute doggie he was.

Wyatt NWBankWe left the bank and went for a quick walk on the Leelanau Trail. On our way back home, I stopped by the grocery store that happens to be located next to Northwestern Bank, tied Wyatt up outside, and went in to grab a few items for dinner. When I came back outside, this yellow “I can do that” frisbee was in Wyatt’s mouth. He was wagging his tail waiting for me! “I can do that” is the motto for the bank. The bank manager must have seen Wyatt sitting there and gave him a token before heading home.

Wyatt NWBank (6)Proudly, Wyatt carried his new toy home with him. And I walked away with a greater appreciation for my local bank. I mean, who does that? …goes out of their way to make my four-legged friend’s day? He’s just a dog! I love my bank. It’s a perfect example doing business in a small town. Thanks NWBank!

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Camping (2)We enjoyed campfire, food and great conversation when we went to visit my parents at Platte River Campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore. There’s something magical about a campfire. It’s mesmerizing glow and warmth allows for the stories and dialogue to linger longer than usual.

The campground is located the Lakeshore in Benzie County. It’s right on Lake Michigan and the Platte River. My parents stayed in the park for a week. They came with their ‘triple threat gear,’ which means that they brought bicyles, kayaks and golf clubs! Fun.

Camping (3)David looks guilty in this picture. I’m not sure why.

Thanks mom and dad for letting us crash your party for a night!

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Sunnybank, a private residence, was built in 1894. The home has been fully restored both inside and out. The English style Victorian garden is absolutely stunning. The home is located on historic Sixth Street in downtown Traverse City. Please join me on this photo tour of the lovely gardens.

SunnybankA stunning Victorian estate.

Sunnybank (46)The “open” sign indicates the garden is open to guests and visitors.

Sunnybank (18)

The high fence walls make the garden it’s own micro-climate. Sunnybank (21)

Plants seem to thrive at Sunnybank!

Sunnybank (26)

This is the view from the door into the garden from the alley. If you look closely, the homeowner is tending the garden.Sunnybank (30)

The building is the owner’s private garden shed.

Sunnybank (32)

This image was taken from the stairs that lead into the house.Sunnybank (34)

On the west side of the house, there are many shade gardens.

Sunnybank (38)

Here is just one of many beautiful doors within the garden. The hardware is incredible.Sunnybank (42)

The front yard is also beautifully landscaped.

Sunnybank (44)The brick path leads to a wonderful wraparound porch. I love the urns that flank the porch.

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