Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Isle Royale and the Milky WayIt’s amazing what perspective can do.

Sometimes our troubles seem like the biggest, most insurmountable things in our lives, like they’re the only things that exist and that matter. So often we can get so wrapped up in our own world – our victories, our trials and sorrows, our weight-loss progression and just how many calories we’ve consumed during lunch, that guy in front of you who’s going just a few miles under the speed limit and won’t get over. Sometimes we can let our worries and frustrations get the best of us, letting them overwhelm us and totally consume us.

In times like these, we all need some perspective. The world is so much bigger than us and our worries. And yes, the world IS exquisite, beautiful, and an awe-inspiring work of art.

I saw this video today of the northern lights and stars that are visible in Northern Michigan (I’m talking about mostly the Upper Peninsula), and I thought, “Well, this will be a nice little clip to see, I guess.” I had no idea how much it would affect me. It made me forget all of my problems, and it took me out of my little world and made me wake up a little bit, reminding me that my fears and problems are nothing in comparison to the majesty of the world. I was stunned. And, of course, I wished so badly that I could just pack my bags and head up north.

If you can spare a few minutes, please check out this amazing video put together by Shawn Malone, which showcases the stunning beauty of the world and universe that God created. It’s so unreal; I just can’t get over the sheer beauty and magnitude of the world! Enjoy!! (And be sure to check out the guy’s amazing photography as well!)

North Country Dreamland from LakeSuperiorPhoto on Vimeo.


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PresqueIsleStateParkSo on my lunch break I decided to muse about since I forgot a book and my DS (I’m currently addicted to Plants vs. Zombies). I started looking up things to do in northern Michigan/the Upper Peninsula, and I always wondered about Marquette, MI. Last summer, my husband and I drove through the entire state of Michigan, stopping at Traverse City, St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, Tahquamenon Falls, and Munising, I believe. We had to go to the other side of the U.P. to get through Wisconsin, though, and so we didn’t have enough time to explore the western side of the U.P.

I stumbled upon reviews from tripadvisor.com and saw everyone clamoring about Presque Island State Park north of Marquette. After reading so many positive reviews, I decided to Google it for images.

Um, yeah. I’m totally going there next time. Do you SEE all that gorgeous water? I adore Lake Superior and want to be super close to it, so I think this is a must-see place!

What do you think? Also, if you have any other suggestions about where my husband and I should go in Michigan, both the U.P. and the Lower Peninsula, I will be happy to take suggestions, even for places we’ve already visited! 🙂

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Sufjan at MusicNOW“All that I dreamed, where do you run? Where do you run to?”

When I hear the melody and the lyrics to this part of one of my favorite Sufjan songs, I can’t help relaxing, letting the steady rhythm, rich trombone tones, and mesmerizing strings and piano steal me away from my worries.

“Mercury,” which is a song from a collaborative collection of astral songs called “The Planetarium,” is without a doubt my favorite tune on the track list. It is also the first song that I heard from the set a little over a year ago by pure happenstance (and, ironically, the last track in the set). I heard a relatively rough, echo-y version of the song that someone uploaded from a concert Sufjan Stevens and his compadres Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly performed in Cincinatti, Ohio last year in an event called MusicNOW 2012. While the video simply depicts the trio and their team of violinists and trombonists playing the song, the audio is what truly grasps me.

Even though it is echo-y and you really can’t make out too much (as opposed to the more crisp and clean live versions), the song brings me so much peace, perhaps even more than the “proper” live version itself (though it, too, is beautiful). I find my muscles relaxing and my eyes fluttering closed in warm, achy memories. I can picture myself swimming in a lane all by myself in a somewhat secluded pool, the windows to my side as the sun peaks benevolently through clouds. I am also taken back to the day I swam happily and peacefully in Lake Michigan for the very first time, watching a storm roll in from the west as the waters changed subtly from teal to navy and back again. The waves had lapped over my shoulders and carried me gently back toward the shore and I lackadaisically dog-paddled back and forth, enraptured by the carefree atmosphere.

Whenever I find myself stressed, tense, anxious, angry, frustrated, or apprehensive, I will make a beeline for this song. As soon as I hear it, especially the gorgeous chorus, I feel all the poison and uncertainties that had clung so tightly to me slide right off, and I am taken back to that pool or that wonderful, magnanimous lake once more.

See for yourself!

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On my way to work the other day, I decided to put in one of my favorite discs, Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lakes State! by Sufjan Stevens. It’s one of those discs that when played, especially in nice weather, it takes me back to that wonderful place in time in which my husband and I visited the beautiful state of Michigan. One song particularly took me back to two of my favorite locations in Michigan – “Sleeping Bear, Sault Ste. Marie.”

I really feel as if Sufjan does a fantastic job capturing these two fantastic locations, places that I can never forget for many reasons. Since listening to the song, I long to stand on the warm, soft sands of Sleeping Bear, west of Traverse City. I desire to stand on one of those beautiful sand dunes to see the glorious Lake Michigan below me. I’d give about anything to slip silently into the lake once more and allow it to gently jostle and move me around in its undulating waves.

I’m sad that I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to in either location. I would’ve scoured the western beaches of Michigan and stolen a few hours away to swim and lounge by the lake. I would’ve dug a bit deeper into the very old history of Sault Ste. Marie, and I definitely would have gotten my passport and traveled for some time into Canada, visiting the “other” Sault Ste. Marie. I would have taken more time to take in all of the smells, the hues of the sky and the lakes, and the feel of the wind blowing my hair in the breezy, mild July weather. I would give anything to go back.

But until I do get the opportunity to journey northward, I must allow myself to bask in the happy memories that I shared with my husband. I will look at the bottles of Lake Superior sand on my desk with great fondness. I will gaze longingly at the photos I took of the beautiful state. And I will listen to this disc again and again and again, especially to this song.

Take a listen to this tune and see what you think!

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Spring is Coming!Happy 1st day of spring! I can’t believe that winter is over already! Everyone around me is very excited for the new season, even if today is abnormally frigid and windy. Me? I’m sort of in the middle. I’m happy for warmer temperatures but at the same time, I’m not.

This morning, I decided to make a list of all the springtime things I’m looking forward to and things I’m really dreading. Feel free to comment on what you love and hate about spring!

Reasons Why Spring Rules:

*Warmer temperatures!
*No more wearing coats in the car
*The trees will be blooming and looking colorful and pretty again
*Springtime thunderstorms!!!!
*I can walk outside with my beagle more easily after work and not shiver to death
*Driving down with the windows
*We can have more outdoor adventures more often!
*Random roadtrips around the area
*Won’t have to worry about ice nearly as much when driving to and from work
*Flowers! Yay!
*I can start putting together my plans to spruce up the yard. 🙂

SpringReasons Why I Dread Spring:

*One word – INSECTS. O_O* I’m so not looking forward to seeing wasps again, especially since they decided last fall to start sneaking into our basement. I’m just now getting used to coming down into the basement, you know (I’m deathly afraid of wasps and bees).
*ROAD CONSTRUCTION. Even this morning, out of nowhere road construction was being done on my stretch of Interstate (which isn’t by anything populous).
*The reemergence of farm equipment on the roads
*I have to wait till June to visit with my beloved wolves again due to mating season. JUNE, you guys! I’ll miss them lots.
*The heat will be coming back soon. 😦
*I have to wait until winter to wear my Michigan mittens. Boooooooo!
*I don’t feel very confident about my body just yet, so I am not looking forward to wearing “less” clothing. :/
*Potential work days outside, only because there are a lot of wasps around here.

I’m looking forward to the change of season, though! I wish we had a little more snow this year, but we got a LOT more than we did last year.

I hope you all have a great first day of spring!

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It's all wolfworkSo I know I have been sort of absent lately, and that is honestly due to things being super crazy lately in my life. I apologize! It’s been kind of hard to stay motivated lately, so in order to get through, I have to think happy thoughts.

Here’s a typical list of happy things that grace my mind on a tough day:

*My awesome husband and his adorable smile and gorgeous blue-green eyes

*Wolves and how pretty they are

*Baseball season is getting closer!!! GO, TIGERS!

*Legend of Zelda games

*Michigan and those captivating Great Lakes

*Sufjan Stevens and his hauntingly beautiful voice (okay, and his gorgeous face, too)

*my adorable little beagle Midna

*driving on a nice warm day with the window rowed down

*swimming in the Great Lakes or envisioning myself canoeing or rowing on the Great Lakes

*possible future vacations like visiting Kansas City or Yellowstone or all of Japan

*snuggling on the couch in a fuzzy blanket with my beagle and a good book, sipping hot chocolate

*goofing off with my friends, playing PacMan or board games or Nintendo Land

That’s kind of what gets me through the day, haha. I promise I’ll get some actually good content soon! O_O*

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Empire, MichiganExcuse me while I daydream about the Great Lakes State for a bit!

Sometimes when I’m driving to or from work (which is an hour-long commute one way), I pretend like I’m taking the back roads and Interstates of Michigan on the way to something more fun, somewhere like Traverse City, St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, or somewhere by one of the beautiful Great Lakes. *sigh* One day I’ll go back. 🙂

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