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). πŸ™‚ 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). πŸ™‚

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.


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. πŸ™‚

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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 involvedΒ  (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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚


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. πŸ™‚ 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.Β  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!


Deep Thoughts by Hilary

An SNL classic. Jack Handy. Hilarious. Usually like 20 seconds long or something.

My deep thought is not really hilarious and probably not short. I don’t know. I’ll figure it out as I write here. I have been thinking about this a lot and in the middle of the night last night as I was having trouble sleeping came to this decision. I decided to deactivate Facebook and social media for while.

I got my photography Facebook site rigged up to Instagram so I can still promote my business. That’s all I plan to use it for now. I’m pleased I can keep FB messenger to talk to my best friends, which is a handful. Otherwise, bye bye. No posts to say I was leaving. Just cold turkey- gone.

I’ve gone through these phases before and I come back. I guess I have fear over missing out on things. I like congratulating people and let’s be real, celebrating my own accomplishments. Pretty dumb. It’s like this need to be liked which is stupid. Time to be done with that.

Then you add on all the people shouting on there and being so negative, I couldn’t take it anymore. No one listening. And the people who do the work and research and want to talk can’t talk. No one wants to have a conversation. Tired of it. On ALL sides of the political spectrum. People can disagree. Have their own views. And still be good people. It is so complicated. Social media tries to fit gray issues into a black and white spectrum. I have had enough with that.

I like the funny things. But you know, I can find funny things elsewhere. I liked seeing family photos but then realized, I still see the family photos of people who matter anyway. And my own son? Maybe it’s a good thing to keep it to this blog and let him grow up on his own. When he wants to share them or if he wants to, he can.

I got to thinking that I liked that. I enjoy seeing the old family photos but it’s because I didn’t grow up with it slammed down my throat. It is fun to look back into the time capsule. More special to be private.

Everyone I admire gives more than they consume. Time to step up. I’ll write and share my journey here. I don’t think I will be able to resist funny anecdotes about John or his cute videos and photos. That has a better place on here though than Facebook as far as he’s concerned. Mostly my family will enjoy that anyway. Plus I’m way too much into photography to not share anything. Impossible.

I have my flaws- big time. I care too much about what the wrong people think. Pretty selfish. I should care more about the people who matter and what they think. Spend my energy on them. This is my attempt to work on that a bit. Listen and read more. Speak less- although, I do want to find a way to speak up on things to make a difference when I can and when appropriate. Many thoughts on that but that’s a whole other thing. So many thoughts about all these issues.

Although I haven’t made a post since Friday and have barely been on the platform since then, I guess I have to still say it’s day 1! I might be back to social media land but for now, I’m out and feels great.

This is way longer than Deep Thoughts…


Dairy, Fathers, Doctors, and Lake Adventures

Last week we got to pass out dairy products to the community which was heartwarming. I liked seeing my kids and we enjoyed doing something good.

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A very Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in my life. I didn’t get to see my dad or grandfather but will see them soon. πŸ™‚ I did make some good food for Joe and mowed the lawn for him. Lovely day.

Remi just turned 6!


Both kids went to the doctor and got good reports. Remi lost 3 lbs. John Michael is growing like a weed and is now 3’4”! Wow.


We had a nice weekend up with Joe’s mom and dad at Boot Lake.

Boot Lake Photos

Had fun making that little video. I plan to make another one for my family in Elk Rapids coming up soon!

Some other random photos! Lots of sweating and exercising. Some amazing meals.


In other random news… there’s no denying this kid is my kid! (He looks a lot like my husband Joe from the side though. Good mix!)


And now we have this duck. We are at one with nature around here. Well that’s the update for now. I best be getting back to my jobs of work. Have a great week!





Whew, busy busy. That’s how it always goes. One thing ends and you think, “wow I’ll have so much time.” But that’s never the case. Something always fills it up. JM and I have been busy! And I am back doing a little summer re-teaching to get our music department pupils back on track.


We have been busy working, exercising, cooking, learning to ride bikes (JM), playing outside in the hot weather, trashing the house (again JM only), gardening (blah- picking up all those helicopters!), watching birds, falling down (JM of course), and taking walks.

In other news, today is exciting because today is Day 90! I am proud of this. A promise I made to myself to be active for at least 30 min. a day. (3 days a week I do intense workouts and I’m pretty firm with that. HIT training, jogs, sit-ups/push-ups, weights etc. The other days are dancing or pilates or walks/bike rides. The one rule is 30 min. a day no matter what.) I was going to celebrate with a mojito but alas, Joe accidentally threw all the fresh mint away. Oh well. Wine it is!


Joe’s cousin Jake has a little lawn care business that he recently sold shirts for and donated some money to a group of kids. That’s very cool of him! We bought some and we do our own lawn care, but happy to have some Imig swag!

Next week I have lots of work to do on photography projects!
Hope you all have a good weekend!