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Showing posts from June, 2009

Free Friday Night Concerts in the Band Shell

One great thing that comes with summer is outdoor concerts. St. Joseph has some wonderful free concerts in it's John E. N. Howard Bandshell on the St. Joseph River. The "Brownbag Concert Series" features concerts at noon on Wednesdays, and at 7:30pm on Fridays, June 3-September 2.

These concerts are presented by St. Joseph Today and are sponsored by Flagstar Bank and the Indiana Michigan Power Company.

Here's a "moment" from a concert D and I attended on June 5th, 2009 featuring Keith Scott.



Here's a list of the remaining concerts for the 2009 season:

Wed 6/24: David Youngman (folk/jazz solo guitar)
Fri 6/26: Kevin McDaniel & the House Band (classic rock)
Wed 7/01: John Tolhuizen (tenor folksinger)
Fri 7/03: Tim Velez (70's folk/rock)
Wed 7/08: Fiddlers Congress (traditional/folk)
Fri 7/10: Mike Talbot (adult classics & originals)
Wed 7/15: Venetia Sekema (blues/folk)
Fri 7/17: No Concert (Venetian Festival)
Wed 7/22: Tim Velez (70's folk/rock)
Fri 7…

Lest We Forget 2009, St. Joseph, MI

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Patriotism. For most of us, it runs high when our county or countrymen are harmed or threatened but it fades into the background of our lives the rest of the time. Some of us will attend a parade on Memorial Day and perhaps a fireworks display on Independence Day. Others will stand and sing the National Anthem at baseball games and graduation ceremonies. But for the vast majority of us, patriotism is merely moments of time here and there when we reflect on the greatness of our country, our democratic way of life, and the brave men and women who have fought to make the United States of America the land of the free and the home of the brave.

But there's another group of folks out there who have taken patriotism to a whole new level. These folks live and breathe patriotism. With the same passion that some of us have for researching our family history, these folks put on uniforms and re-enact our nation's history. They are dedicated to showing us live, in real time, what an amphibi…

Storm Watching on Silver Beach

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Mother Nature put on the most awesome light show last night and and again today. The thunderstorms we had at 4am and again at 7am were not like any I remember seeing. The lightning was so constant and for so long it made it impossible to sleep. And the thunder! Yikes! Deafening!!!

We had more storms during the day today and again at 9pm this evening with this evening's being another tremendous light show!

When I was a child I used to be terrified of thunderstorms. I used to cry and hide under the bed and beg my mom to hide under there with me. She never did. My fear of storms lasted throughout my grade school years, my teen years, and even through my college years. While I didn't hide under the bed all those years I did refuse to go far from home if there were severe weather watches or warnings. And I always made sure I knew where the basement was when visiting a friend's house in case I needed to head down there.

It wasn't until I gave birth to my daughter that my fear o…

Antiques on the Bluff, St Joseph, MI

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I'm not an antique collector. I don't know much about antiques at all. But I do know I need some furniture pieces for my condo and I like the concept of "reduce, reuse, recycle". So with that in mind, D and I went to the "Antiques on the Bluff" (AOTB) antique dealers show on Sunday, June 7th in St. Joseph.

AOTB is held the first Sunday of every month from May till October in Lake Bluff Park. The hours are 10am to 3pm. There is no admission fee.

After seeing so few vendors at the Farmer's Market the day before, I didn't know what to expect when we pulled into town for the antique show. I was mildly surprised to find just the opposite in this case. Lake Bluff Park was packed from one end to the other with antique dealers!

D and I and K strolled from one end to the other and had a wonderful time browsing. Prices were all over the place. Some seemed like good deals, others not so much. But that's the essence of the game of shopping these sorts of sales…

Schu's of St Joseph

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The first restaurant we ate at the very first time we visited St Joseph was Schu's on Pleasant Street at Lake Blvd (August 2007). Why Schu's? It was the obvious choice. It was right there across the street from Lake Bluff Park with a perfect view of Silver Beach and Lake Michigan.

We were there on a hot summer day and the cool air conditioned air provided welcomed relief. I can still remember looking out at the scenery and thinking what a lovely city St Joseph was. I also remember the binoculars we used (provided by Schu's) to look for boats on the lake. But the food was memorable too... especially desert! D and I shared a "Summerberry Stack" that was out of this world. It was described as, "Bright berries strewn across citrus-flecked cake aswirl with cool tart key lime and creamy white chocolate cheese. So cool, times two, on a butter crunch layered with vibrant raspberry. A look that plays across the seasons." Great description, even better taste!

Boy o…

Michigan Strawberries

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Luscious. That's the word of the day. Why? Because that word perfectly describes this year's crop of Michigan strawberries!
I just got back from buying some of these luscious red beauties from Scott's Produce stand which is in the parking lot of Ace Hardware on Niles Rd.


Noticed the rain, did ya? Yes, it's a rainy day. We've been having a lot of them lately. I'm told the slightly cooler and wetter spring we've experienced is the reason for the wonderful crop of strawberries being harvested this year. I guess this is the cloud's silver lining for us :-)

I just had a handful of berries and I can attest that these berries are superb. Unlike the crunchy, semi-sweet California berries that have been sold in markets around Michigan for months now, these are super sweet and the flesh is soft but firm. Perfect. Lucious. YUM!

Michigan strawberries... just another reason to love St. Joseph and southwest Michigan!

St. Joseph Farmers Market

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Last Saturday, June 6th, was the first Farmers Market of the season in St. Joseph. I've personally not been to many farmers markets, in fact, the only farmers market I recall shopping at is the Eastern Market in Detroit. That is one huge market that has plants and produce from all around the country and the world. There's some locally grown produce there as well but it isn't promoted as a locally grown market. The Farmers Market in St. Joseph, however, is promoted as one featuring only locally grown produce :-)

The Farmers Market is held on Saturdays from June 6 - October 10th (except for July 18th which is the weekend of the Venetian Festival), 9am-2pm. Located at Lake Bluff Park and Broad Street in downtown St. Joseph, it has beautiful Lake Michigan for a scenic backdrop. Ya can't find that in a grocery store!

D and I got to the Farmers Market about 11am. The weather was sunny but cool, perfect for a stroll on the bluff. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed when …

"Pure Michigan" Campaign Could Be Cut, OH NO!

Synopsis of Our Weekend

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Well, so much for my idea of blogging more on the weekends. I can see now that I'm not likely to be doing much of that in the near future. I gave in and got DSL service at the condo but didn't get around to writing even one blog post. Here's a synopsis of my weekend, details to come later in the week.

We arrived late Thursday evening, too late to do anything but read a couple chapters of Hot Six (Stephanie Plum, No. 6) by Janet Evanovich. (I re-read all of Janet's Stephanie Plum series each year before her new novel comes out in late June.)

Friday morning D and I grabbed a couple of breakfast sandwiches from Burger King and headed over to one of the two scenic outlooks on Lakeshore Drive south of downtown St. Joseph. We thoroughly enjoy breakfast by The Lake! (see photo below) Then we headed into town and bought our annual parking passes for Silver Beach and Tiscornia Beach. Back to the condo by 10am to meet with the window/glass repairman. He'll be replacing 3 of ou…

Michigan's Beach Towns

This is just exactly what it's all about for me...

Thank you Tim Allen!

South Haven, Michigan... First Impressions

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Although I've lived in Michigan all my life, I haven't spent a lot of time visiting the west side of the state. I'm much more familiar with the beach towns in Ontario on the east coast of Lake Huron than I am with beach towns of Lake Michigan. I've been to Holland once when the kids were small, and I've been to Traverse City. If you count winter trips across the state I've been to Muskegon too. But that's it. So when it comes to evaluating Lake Michigan's beach towns, I don't have a lot of knowledge and experiences to draw on. At this point the town I'm most familiar with is St. Joseph, and I'm not very familiar with it!

The suburbs of Detroit each have their own personality and one could certainly say the same for western Michigan's beach towns. St. Joseph, for example, is a slice of small town Americana set on one of the most beautiful beaches Lake Michigan has to offer. One gets the impression that the residents tolerate the influx of …

St. Joseph, Michigan... My First Impression

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I thought it would be appropriate to re-post here an article I wrote about my very first visit to St. Joseph, Michigan on August 4th, 2007. This article appeared on my Creative Gene blog...

I spent yesterday visiting the beautiful city of St. Joseph. It's known as the "most romantic city in Michigan", and it lives up to it's reputation. It's absolutely charming. I wish I could have stayed longer... one day was not enough. But there are plenty of reasons to return and I can hardly wait to do so again.

I took a couple hundred photos just a few of which are shown below. My one disappointment of the day was the weather. When I left Detroit in the late morning the forecast was for a mostly sunny day and a high near 90 degrees. Sounds like a great beach day to me! However, as I drove west, the blue sky became more and more clouded (it's a 3 hour drive from Detroit). By the time I got to St. Joseph the sky was filled with dense gray clouds and threatened rain at any m…