A Taco Shout Out: A perfect combination!

Wooden Valve Pourhouse & Lounge – Excellent tacos!

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By the light of the moon – Mackinac Island, MI

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Day off for me so I’m treating you to a glimpse of Mackinac Island, MI. It’s a place we used to go as kids. I loved it then and I love it now. There is just nothing like getting on that ferry and heading to the island! No cars, just horses, fudge, bikes, stunning views and peace and quiet!
Catch you back here tomorrow!
F L A S H B A C K !

O n e  Y e a r  A g o:           A colorful Monhegan photo!

T w o  Y e a r s  A g o:       Charlie (woof) in his happy place!

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:   Vital Veggies in the War Against Cancer

Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff… oh paleeeez!

Sander's - Mackinac Island, MI

You know how it is when you have something on your mind and it won’t go away? Like a song… or a commercial (even worse) or Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff… oh my gosh. How I wish I could get to a Sanders right now and make myself happy, ha ha… I remember Sanders when I was a kid growing up, what a treat! A few years ago my mom, sister and I went to Mackinac Island for a getaway… and Sanders was there! What a surprise! Is there something from your childhood that you remember that instantly makes you smile! Savor those memories!

For those of you who got out and ran the COOPER RIVER BRIDGE RUN, WOOHOO! I congratulate you! I think you deserve an ice cream… wish there was a Sanders here, but we have plenty of great ice cream shops… enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist Elizabeth Pollie captured the beast… perfectly! Study #17.. Charlie!

charlie by elizabeth pollie

Study #17 by Elizabeth Pollie, Image Via Elizabeth Pollie

I almost fell and couldn’t get up. Seriously. When I saw the image come across on my phone, that tiny image on my Blackberry, I truly thought it was the photo of Charlie until I went to the computer and pulled up Facebook. Artist Elizabeth Pollie has been doing a study a day (30 studies/30 days) and they are so exquisite, each and every one is just breathtaking. You wonder how ONE person can have so much talent!? It boggles my mind.

Charlie is “Study #17”. Wow! It is so perfect that words truly escape me. I simply cannot stop looking at it. (STUDY? I say to myself? If I were to paint something that wonderful, I would declare myself a master and call it a day! Hee)

This is the image that was on my blog post entitled You again? Ugh…! from February 23, 2013. Elizabeth commented on that post and said that it looked like a painting… so I quickly emailed her back letting her know she was more than welcome to the image! That evening I saw the painting pop up on Facebook.

Will she just go away?

I. Almost. Fell. Over.  Elizabeth’s painting is so fabulous that it brings tears to my eyes. Wow. Am I weird? Ha ha…

Elizabeth Pollie shows her work locally here in Charleston, SC at the Horton Hayes Gallery. She is a phenomenal artist with more than just talent. This woman can SEE. She is so perceptive that she picked up the very essence of Charlie. You must check out her work, you will be floored. I’m preparing you in advance. There is no higher praise I can give. More than just a great artist, she’s such a nice person, and quite hilarious. She is as eloquent with her words as she is with her paintbrush. Most all of her posts bring a smile to my face. I love that about her!

Here’s a blip about the Elizabeth Pollie Fine Art Gallery  located in Harbor Springs, MI – I can’t wait to get there one day!

Elizabeth Pollie Fine Art is located in Harbor Springs, Michigan. The gallery specializes in representational painting by nationally acclaimed artists. The focus of EPFA is on extremely high quality fine art for the discerning client. We welcome both first time buyers as well as seasoned collectors.

Please visit us in the summer at 231 E. Main Street, Harbor Springs, Michigan 49740.

Read more about Elizabeth on a previous post… or from her website.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Richard Kooyman!

RichardKooyman Campfire2 rk

Campfire #2 by Richard Kooyman

How is this for loose? I love how it allows your imagination to run free… This could be a group of friends who get together for big campfires, telling great stories, toasting marshmallows, eating brownies… oh wait. I think I’m hungry… all this talk of food!

Amazing paintings are to be seen on Richard’s website. This man is versatile. I love his trees (yep, that’s a tease, now you have to go look 😉 truly, they are wicked good)!

Here’s a blip about Richard from the **Emily Amy Gallery

The writer James Joyce believed that the best art was that which “grabs the viewer and arrests them and turns their focus outward from themselves.”

It is my hope that others seeing my paintings can focus their attention outward and become moved by the expansive beauty of both the natural environment and the painted surface.

I am deeply influenced by the art of Fairfield Porter, Tom Thompson, William De Kooning, David Hockney and Victor Higgins and all those that search for beauty through paint.

**Please note… the Emily Amy Gallery has since closed. Richard is now represented by the Pryor Fine Art Gallery

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Photo: Ahhh, the way life should be! Relax and enjoy!

Now don’t you think this is the way life should be? Like a nice summer vacation. Where there is time for sitting and reading, or sitting by the river and watching all there is to see (it can be more entertaining than television, that’s for sure!). My parents live on the St. Clair River in Algonac, MI… the views are amazing… the sunsets are out of this world! My dad made these adirondack chairs, they have nice fluffy cushions, and it makes a great place to sit.

Wouldn’t you like to be sitting in that chair right now? Me too! These chairs remind me of the Island Inn on Monhegan (Maine). Nothing like sitting and reading or watching the water!

Monhegan Island, Maine – Island Inn Adirondack chairs… Fred reading while he waits for me… 

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Time to make a reservation at the Island House Hotel? Psssst, artists… this is a GREAT place to paint!

Approaching the island and The Island House Hotel!

Ahhhh, the Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI. A place to relax, recharge, get out and walk, bike, then come back and have the best meal of your life! Start thinking about making a reservation soon… The 2012 season is from May 4 through October 27. We’ve never been there early in the season, I would think it could be quite exciting! As a kid we would always go during the Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat race (mostly it was the dads who sailed sailed, then “the kids” and the wives drove and met them, then we would all squish into the car with all our bags for a nice ride home… back in the day of no A/C! Bless us. Ha.) which was in July, a busy time on the island. There would be so many people (from the sailboat race mainly) it was the best time growing up! My husband and I stayed on the island a few years ago around September, and once in October, we had the best time ever. It’s much quieter, especially in October. We don’t mind it being chilly… we rather welcome it, since it’s still warm here in Charleston (and as I write this, I’m extremely confused with our “winter” this year, 60’s and 70’s, which is nice, but it’s not winter!??)!

Rooms with a view! Image: TheIslandHouse.com

The rooms are lovely and you just can’t go wrong with any of them. Some have a view of the water, and it’s heavenly! There is an indoor pool, nice for a quick dip, or if you’d like to do a few laps to burn a few calories, since you will no doubt indulge in some fabulous food!

Back side of the island... heaven!

Psssst: ARTISTS… what a fabulous place to paint! One side of the island is more the “town” area with shops, etc., then there is the inner island, with gorgeous state park trails and views that can’t be beat. On the back side of the island it’s more cliff like and rocky. Trust me on this… I’m not sure why artists aren’t swarming like they are on Monhegan Island, Maine? Check out the Island House WEBSITE for reservation info!

For more on this hotel, read my review on Trip Advisor… Catch you back here tomorrow!

MERRY CHRISTMAS Y’ALL!

Bridget, Dad, Mom, Barbara

Today is Christmas, and I wish you the merriest! Good tidings to you…!

The only old Christmas photo that I could find was teeny tiny. That’s the Fidler family when we lived in St. Clair Shores, MI. Christmas was always a magical time!

To my family… I MISS YOU GUYS… MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

To all of you… I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and I thank you for checking in with me! Have a wonderful day and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist to watch… Elizabeth Pollie!

Image: ElizabethPollie.com

I try my best to select a painting that is for sale instead of one that is already sold, but I just think this is the sweetest painting. This is done by artist Elizabeth Pollie of Harbor Springs, MI. After reading about her, and the different locations that she paints, I was so pleased to see that she paints scenes of Mackinac Island, Michigan! I had vacationed on Mackinac Island this year, and this painting is reminiscent of that trip… This looks like the horses on Mackinac Island. I love the flag in the distance, the light in the horses mane. Excellent. Not typical at all. I often wonder why there aren’t more galleries on Mackinac Island. Why aren’t there artists with easels set up everywhere like on Monhegan Island, Maine? It baffles me. I think it would be an awesome adventure (once my husband retires) to pack up, buy a place on the island and open a gallery. Invite our artist friends to paint on the island and show their work… whoa! Who could pass that up!? I love to dream!

Here’s a blip about Elizabeth from her WEBSITE:

Elizabeth Pollie’s exposure to the arts came at an early age. Taken to museums, enrolled in classes by her parents and influenced by her father’s love and practice of art and architecture, she was always clear about her path in life. “Working within the field of visual arts never seemed like a choice, but rather a place of true belonging”. She enrolled in college art classes while still in high school and went on to receive an education at a formal Art School. She earned her B.F.A. at The College For Creative Studies where she later taught.

Harboring a deep love of travel and art history, Elizabeth has combined her travels with her painting practice. The images that she creates are imbued with a sense of poetry, mood and depth.

The artist paints full time and teaches from her studio, West Wind Atelier in Harbor Springs, Mi.  Her paintings reside in both public and private collections here and abroad and have received much national recognition.

Elizabeth has found a deep sense of place within the rekindled practice of representational painting in America.  Of this movement Pollie reflects, “ It is celebration, an homage and in many ways a joyous homecoming. I am pleased to be a part of it.

Check out Elizabeth’s website! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Hop on and take a ride AROUND the island…

Bikes at the Island House Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI

Sometimes the most everyday things become the inspiration for a great photo… I would have loved to spend more than a few seconds on this shot, but we were on a roll, heading out to accomplish something or other… (eating, bike riding, photo taking, shopping, you know…??) Next time! In front of the Island Inn Hotel on Mackinac Island they have a great place where you can rent bikes. It comes in handy because that’s the best way to get around the island. And I do mean AROUND the island. Yep, bikes are great for back and forth running here and there, but what many people don’t do is take the time (doesn’t take that long, it’s only approximately 8 miles) to ride their bikes around the island. You will LOVE IT! The back of the island is very quiet and peaceful, the scenery is unreal. So take some time to enjoy the view!!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Ahhh, nothing like a salmon color geranium!

I love geraniums. They have a way of making something drab come alive. I especially love this salmon color, something a tad different from the typical red. This shot was taken on the way to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI. My mom, sister and I were there for a little R&R in between my mom finishing chemo (YAY!) and beginning radiation… We had the best time ever. We spent a few hours at the Grand Hotel and had so much fun! Bring your camera with you to the island, there are so many photos to be had. It’s difficult for me to focus when there’s so much to photograph, ha ha…

Enjoy your day and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!

The magnificent homes on the West Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

Magnificent homes on the West Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

I know I said the East Bluff was my favorite… but… the West Bluff is also my favorite. These homes are impeccable and pristinely maintained, and that can’t be an easy (or cheap) job. It takes a lot of love to keep them looking like they do. The flowers are breathtaking. These are homes to be proud of for sure (as are many on Mackinac Island!). Ironically one of my favorite homes is the second from the left in the photo, the smaller one (which truly isn’t a small house, the others are just very large). It’s the sweetest home I’ve ever seen with a view that’s to die for. I would love to live in this house year round…. Ah, a nice dream for sure! On my Mac I can double click on the image to enlarge… hopefully PC users have that same capability… its nice to be able to see it a little closer! If you ever get a chance to visit Mackinac Island, MI I highly suggest it, it will be unlike anywhere you’ve ever visited in your life!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Homes on the East Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

Homes on the East Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI
Homes on the East Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

I love the word “bluff”, it’s such a cool word, I guess because we don’t have any bluffs in our area… the East Bluff on Mackinac Island is one of my all time favorites. The homes are magnificent. In this photo you see the Island House Hotel (the white building with red roof) and the East Bluff the road above. Mackinac Island is an island I could live year around on and be so very happy. It might get a little crowded in the summer, but I think it would be definitely worth it! If you ever get a chance to go to Mackinac Island I highly suggest it. It’s perfect for those who like to hike, bike, walk (no cars), there are horses (for taxi’s), so don’t be put off entirely if walking isn’t your thing! The food (at the Island House… heavens… I cannot get it out of my mind!), the great places to stay…  Island House Hotel is my personal favorite, the fudge and now… even Starbuck’s! Check it out if you get a chance!

Catch you back here tomorrow!