The Party Store Guy

In Wisconsin, they just call it a liquor store. Being from Michigan, we all know it’s a party store. The guy that works at the one around the corner from my house is a party guy. It fits.

Yesterday I stopped in to grab a few beers on my way home. So here’s the story…

I open the door, mask on. As I walk back to the cooler, the phone rings. The party guy starts toward the phone to answer it.

“If this is one more person calling to ask about Busch Apple, I will lose my mind. I will lose it. I’m telling you. You watch.” I listen as he answers the phone.

“NO! We do NOT have Busch Apple! You are like the 30th person to ask me that today. Ridgeview Liquor has it on their voicemail that they don’t have it and I’m about to do it for this place. Green Bay doesn’t have it, okay? You know what? Just pour your Busch into some apple juice. It’s literally the same. It’s the same damn thing. I promise you. I’ve had some.” He hangs up and I am laughing. I absolutely love that he answers the phone like this.

“What did I tell you? I told you didn’t I? It’s hard enough to find the good beers that I want. I put a sign up to go to the bathroom and restock. Like five minutes and the phone rings again. Ugh. And that is garbage beer. It’s these kids. They think they’re gonna have that for their party. Nope.”

Yep, I agree party store guy.

“You have a nice day!”



Perspective is fascinating. From Webster:

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Perspective of course, can have a few different meanings. I am choosing to focus in (no pun intended there) on 2a. As a photographer, I’m always changing my physical perspective because I like to have lots of choices in composition. All the angles. Then I chose the perspective that draws the eye in the most and also represents what I’m trying to shoot or the subject, in the best way.

It’s like a conversation with myself- what about this angle? This depth of field? The way the sun is here? Is this better? Or that? My initial ideas on perspective of the photograph are not always right.

In our current political climate, it is so interesting how the exact same topic or fact(s) can have so many different mental photos. The hard part is sometimes finding the subject and what its true authenticity is.

We come from so many different backgrounds, race, gender, economic status, family values, beliefs, religions, history, culture. It seems obvious that we won’t agree on many topics. Our perspectives are all different and it’s extremely complicated.

Perspective is really an opinion or viewpoint but is not truth. How do we find the truth? It seems harder and harder. Maybe we start by taking shots all around the subject, research it all, and then have a conversation. Maybe people have legitimate reasons for their perspective. The solution or the photograph might still be really a perspective in the end. Maybe there are more solutions than just one. I personally love to look through the photos. By shifting through all the perspectives, we might find more truth and better solutions. The subject doesn’t change.





Joe and I spent the weekend in Marquette, Michigan for two reasons. One was to do a photography shoot for a family friend. He is an architect and wanted me to shoot a dealership for publicity. The second reason was to see some of our best friends and celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. (Okay, I’ll be real- the third reason was to spend some quality time with my husband uninterrupted by a certain child). ๐Ÿ™‚ I went to college in this town so I lived there nearly 5 years and I always love a visit.

Here’s a song to put ya in the right mood.

The first thing you should know is that it is hard to climb 5 flights of stairs in masks. hahaha

The weather could not have been more perfect. We were worried because thunderstorms were in the forecast both days but the timing of the storms worked out. It afforded me an incredible sunrise to shoot (very early for my now acclimated Wisconsin blood- up at 4:30am my time to do so while Joe snuggled in his bed). The weather while we dined Friday night was just perfect. We went to Iron Bay and sat outside by the water. One of the best places in Marquette (that little corner) if you’ve never been. I highly recommend their whitefish tacos and chowder. Joe had fried whitefish and chips.

The next day I did a lot of photography at the dealership, did a hard workout, and ate lunch at Vangos (also outside).

For dinner we picked up Thai House and met up with Nate and Katie at Presque Isle Park (where they got married). Made a picnic outside. I brought a picnic basket my mom gave me when I graduated high school and some special glasses, cloth napkins, etc. It was our first outing since Covid began (other than our parents). Totally lovely. We had a blast talking about first dates and funny old stories. Then we ended the night with a quest to see the comet. Not a success that night for the comet sighting. We sure did have fun though. They are some of the best people I know. (Katie and I did see the comet a few days later at our own houses). ๐Ÿ™‚

That sticker on the wine bottle? The very first professional photo I took. On an old 35mm film camera where you had to manually focus, set the f-stop, shutter speed, etc. You had to balance a needle and all.

Happy anniversary, Nate and Katie!

Sunday we stopped at Third Street Bagel (another staple in Marquette if you need a breakfast stop). Had a really good breakfast bagel on a jalapeno cheese bagel. MMM.

Anyway here are some shots from the weekend at the dealership. I’d say successful!

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We got back and picked up John Michael. He had a very nice weekend with his grandma and grandpa. Thank you so much LuEllen and Mike. It was a such a treat to go away alone for a bit.

Nate packed up a little train box of things for him which I can’t tell you how touching it was/is. What a thoughtful gift- brought a tear to my eye. Had some train books, magazines, a hat, a lantern Nate himself used on the railroad, and a hand written letter. John has been non-stop reading his magazines so far. He’s so excited.


We’ve had a duck camping out on the planter for a few weeks. Her babies finally hatched and they are now gone. I was able to catch one shot. It’s not very good because she was hiding her babies beneath her. Still, it’s cool! So now I have the hanging plant finally hanging.


That’s the update for now! Happy Wednesday.



“You know mom?” or “You know dad?” or sometimes, “You know?”ย 

I tell him something. He says “no mom.” as if he’s got some great argument to refute me. But it’s usually just what he wants to do on repeat.ย 

I tell him we are dropping something off at a friend of ours. He asks if he has any kids. I say no, and then he says, “oh. Who’s his big girl then?” (haha just a distinction between kids and adults but funny. Like I’m Joe’s big girl because I am a grown-up and we are married.)ย 

Now his big thing is to be nosy. When we go to a new place or new house. He says he just has to “go inside and check what they got.” No, you do not. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

A Weekend in Elk Rapids

Well it is Wednesday- haven’t written in awhile. Rainy day today. Did some errands with John Michael. Wet day but pleasant day.

Monday we dropped off some Traverse City cheese to Mike and LuEllen. Oh! That reminds me I still have some. Yessssssss.

Last night we dropped off some TC Whiskey to Joe’s grandpa. John helped water the flowers. So far, Lew likes the whiskey!


We went up to Elk Rapids for the weekend this past weekend. Really nice time. Good foods and good drinks! Went to Traverse City Whiskey and The Cheese Lady. Cooked lots of good stuff. Good company. We will be going back in about two weeks again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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So got some work done here- lots of photography work. Going to be working with my new speed lights tonight to get used to them for off camera flash reasons. Exciting times. Did some work on a project mom and I are working on. Really need to get out and exercise but it’s so gloomy. I’ll do it as long as it doesn’t start to get lightning involvedย  (electricity as JM would say). My house is trashed again. Just doesn’t take long for that to happen.

Anyway… I best go see what John Michael is up to. Have a good Wednesday!


1 Week Facebook Sober

And it feels amazing. Not even one twinge of regret. I get that it’s only been a week but I seriously love it. Along with the deletion of Facebook, I also spend a lot less time online. It feels so nice, so freeing.

Not just that Facebook was something so negative and so not what I wanted to see anymore, it’s also a time suck. And information overload. We just aren’t designed to consume information at that rate. Not to mention we can’t synthesize that much information and stay healthy. The space feels good. I can look up information and let it simmer for awhile before coming to my own thoughts on the matters.

I wouldn’t say I’m less busy- it’s just that I get to be busy with things that matter more. So that feels better too. My mom said something awhile back about how you used to go tons of time without seeing people or hearing from them. That is true. It seems so bad to people now in today’s reality. But I think it has its pluses. I am lucky enough to have experienced this for the majority of my childhood and adolescence. People really weren’t connected the way we are now until I was maybe halfway through college. I had a carphone and we had some cell phones in college. People still called on them and texting was a big drag. I didn’t have a smartphone until Joe and I were married.

I’m still old enough where sending an email used to be mind blowing. I was in 8th or 9th grade. It took FOREVER to send this email. But we were pretty excited about it. And remember those eCards? Oh man. Those were all the rage. Those are examples of cool things that shouldn’t have gone away. At least with emails and eCards you have to CREATE something. Not just regurgitate. I think live journals and stuff boomed in mid high school and we did that sort of thing. MySpace maybe although I didn’t have that. I think my brother did. Later in college I tried that for a hot second. AOL instant messenger became a thing maybe in high school too. We did have that in college for sure.

Anyway the emails used to take so long (dial-up yo) that we really didn’t do it anyway as a regular thing until maybe high school. All through high school I still wrote notes on real paper (I have the evidence). Made real honest to goodness scrapbooks even my senior year in high school. Developed all my photos at the drugstore. I spent hours on the phone (sorry to all parents involved) with my best friends. We went on walks and bike rides and went to each other’s houses. Even in high school I had to call and ask “Hi this is Hilary. May I talk to Margaret?” My kid will probably never know that. Geez.

I know this sounds all very “back in my day” and it’s annoying when people do that I know, but my separation from the online world other than my email, article reading, and some blogs feels a lot more like that time. Which is a good thing. I fill the space up with thoughts. We need the space to think right. We just can’t consume 24/7 even if we consume “good” things. I don’t really want to go back to dial-up though…


So what’s been going on? Playing with trains a lot (on JM’s end). He consults me a lot to help. Hung out in real life with Joe’s parents which was really fun. Facetimed my parents so John Michael could show them things. He’s been really into that lately- wants to grab the phone and do the showing himself. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cooking. Doing some reading and writing.


Sunday brunch! Drank some San Pellegrino (basically just carbonated juice) out of some old family crystal wine glasses!

My brother John called me up over the weekend which was really nice. Laughed until it hurt. He’s a funny guy. Sweating during the workouts and also sweating during not working out because we live in a house with no AC. Summer school just ended last week so it’s nice to have a bit of a break from that. I’m trying to not get too concerned about things just yet. The district has to make some decisions before we can do much anyway. So time to recharge. I have to take advantage because normally this time of year I’d be smack dab in the middle of band camp. Going to be doing some photography gigs and projects. Tons to do around here housework wise. Traveling to Elk Rapids this weekend which should be nice. ๐Ÿ™‚


So one week? Feels amazing. Don’t foresee going back anytime soon.





Happy almost 4th! Tuckered out. Did my running this am and also cleaned up this house. No easy feat with a toddler who follows around making new messes in my wake. Plus so much sticky. Fingers crossed it can hold off to be this clean for at least 1 day. It will be trashed tomorrow I promise you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had to take pictures because I seldom get to look at it this clean. I do have to give my son some credit. He did try to help a lot today and apparently thought the siding needed to be scrubbed with his tooth brush. Hmm.

Random- this Rubicon was parked next to me at the store today and they are just the coolest. Wranglers are dope! Makes me wanna take my doors off.


The original broadway cast of the Hamilton musical is on Disney starting today so we are going to have a little viewing party tonight.ย  Excited to kick back, cook, and have some fun. Joe’s parents are coming. Making some spicy pork chops, asparagus, and smashed garlic potatoes. Apple crisp for dessert. All American. All set to go.

Joe might have 2 pints of Sam Adams or work on 3! Or maybe this Joe Tea? Nah, I already drank it.

Look at that stud as he runs with John in the backyard!

Ok well, I’m off. Happy 4th!