Innkeeper’s Gazette changes

    We have reorganized Innkeeper’s Gazette from a traditional static web site containing a blog into a blog driven web site. The goal remains the same — to present family news and photos — but the blog format should make it easier to update our readers quickly as things happen. We tried the format during our Europe trip last fall and found that the approach worked well.

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    Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    The St Ignace July 4th fireworks display was a grand finale for our visit there, and we headed 75 miles north this morning to Tahquamenon Falls State Park for a several day stay.

    The park is run by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and is as nice as any of the Georgia state parks we have visited. We are staying in the park’s Rivermouth Campground which is located where the Tahquamenon River leads into Whitefish Bay.

    The park is rather remote. Mom & I dropped by a store in nearby Paradise MI for provisions and fuel after arriving and discovered that their fuel pumps were out of order and would not be back in commission until a replacement pump control board arrived. They weren’t sure when it would arrive and the closest fuel was 40 miles away in Newberry. We could have survived on the fuel on our tank, but were concerned about emergencies so off we headed to Newberry.

    The unexpected trip did provide an opportunity to sample the fare at a McDonalds in Newberry (no kiddin – Mom’s idea!) and visit the Park’s Upper Falls. The falls made the 80 mile trip worthwhile as they were beautiful – 200 feet wide and 50 feet high they provided lots of photo opportunities.

    Tomorrow we will continue exploring the area.

    Gotta run – it is time to start fixing dinner. Love to all!!

    July 4th 2013

    Jan and I are celebrating July 4th on the lower reaches of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – close to Mackinac Island. Our campground is located in Saint Ignace a block from Lake Huron and several miles north of the Straits of Mackinac. The campground is on a hill overlooking Lake Huron – we can walk a few feet from our van and enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Huron.

    We spend day before yesterday on Mackinac Island – a 15 minute ferry ride from St Ignace – enjoying a tour of the Island via horse-drawn carriage and visiting Fort Mackinac. The island is beautiful. Wintering there in the late 1700s must have been a challenge even for the weather hardened residents of that time, but they left a beautiful legacy for us to enjoy.

    Yesterday we visited Soo Locks on the US side of Sault Ste. Marie and watched several ships be locked up from Lake Huron to Lake Superior – a height difference of around 21 feet. We plan to return there today and visit a few attractions we missed.

    Saint Ignace has a July 4th celebration close to our campground plus we will be able to enjoy tonight’s fireworks on Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, and Saint Ignace from a hill behind our campsite.

    Life is good. God bless our country on this special day.

    Bob Adams

    Bob Adams
    Bob at Aonia Pass MX Park in May of 2013

    My good friend Bob Adams passed away on May 30th, 2013. I will miss Bob. He was a good friend, a great husband and father, a good leader for his department at EKU, a good all around athlete, and a really good motorcycle racer.

    Bob’s enthusiasm for life inspired all of us who knew him well. I was amazed at the range of occupations, ages, and interests represented by those who attended the memorial service on June 29th. And by the time frames represented by the friends. Friends from high school and college like me mingled easily and had a lot in common with Bob’s children and with his “newer” friends from the academic world and the motorcycling community.

    That was Bob.  He never met a stranger.  He offered the same consistent face, personality, and values to everyone he met be they a college professor, a carpenter, a motorcycle racer, a prospective son or daughter-in-law, or a grandchild.

    You immediately liked and remembered Bob because of his enthusiasm for life, and his willingness to live it on his terms. The stories of Bob recounted in the service were priceless and brought tears to the eyes of the manliest attendees, but to me they were memorable because regardless of source or point of view all reflected the same Bob. A Bob that was true to himself and not the expectations of others.

    Bob, you set a great example for us, and I will miss you.

    2013 Trip North

    Our 2013 summer trip will focus on midwestern states which Mom has not seen: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. We deferred our original 2013 Alaskan travel plans in order to take advantage of an opportunity to spend a month in France and Italy this fall with KSA friends. The choice was not difficult, and we will list the Alaska trip in ink for our 2014 travels.

    The 2013 trip’s route was built around Mom’s desire to visit Chicago, her interest in a family of Bald Eagles living in Decorah Iowa, and her interest in seeing the Great Lakes. Walla, a ready made agenda. Timing was an issue until good friend Bob Adams passed away and his family scheduled a memorial service for June 29th in eastern Kentucky.

    Timing was tight for our departure. Ham radio Field Day fell on June 22nd & 23rd and Bill had volunteered to co-captain one of the six stations that operate around the clock Saturday and Sunday during Field Day. Bill also wanted to install a drip watering system to preserve the flowers in our yard during our absence. Murphy stayed away however (OK, he seriously underestimated the drip watering system job) and we were able to make our departure as scheduled on June 28th

    Follow us here as we enjoy our 2013 summer swing to the north.

    Rethinking Breakfast at 7

    Now that Jan’s bout with breast cancer is behind us, it is time to recast this space into a general purpose journal of our activities. We are beginning to travel more extensively, and dragging out the PC to update our Innkeeper web pages from remote sites has been inconvenient at best, and frequently a real pain after a full day on the road, visiting with friends, or visiting an attraction of some sort. The mechanics get in the way of telling the story. Consequently Innkeeper’s pages have become a bit long in the tooth. Additionally, the approach we have used for Innkeeper has become more of a photo blog than a narrative; that format does not make it easy to quickly get across the “best parts” of our days (as we ask the grandchildren at bed time). I believe it is time for a new approach.

    We won’t walk away from the blog’s roots. We will leave the posts related to Jan’s illness in 2010 as a reminder of how lucky we are to have this time together and to be able to share our activities with you.

    Lets give it a try and see how it goes.

    High Fives for Jan!!

    Jan has reached a huge milestone — she wrapped up her chemotherapy and radiation treatments last Friday, August 13th!!

    She will continue to receive Herceptin infusions once every three weeks until the end of the year but we aren’t counting them as they have no negative side effects and little impact on our lifestyle.

    We will meet with her Oncologist before the next Herceptin infusion for an examination and hopefully an update on the medical community’s perception of her progress in beating the beast.  All indications are positive and we anticipate a good report.  Her hair and energy levels are increasing daily (the former being much more important :-)), and radiation burns are decreasing.

    It has been a long run for her … for both of us … and I am pleased that she has come through this with her positive attitude intact and her health on the upswing.

    Thanks to all of you for your interest, love, and support over the past eight months.  Our journey would have been much more difficult without your kind words and support.

    Midway through cycle 5!

    My apologies for not posting anything in almost a month. May has been a month of ups and downs, and posting here took a temporary back seat.

    Cardinal
    Cardinal at Mom's feeder

    The short story is that as of the half way point in cycle 5 Jan is again enjoying her favorite foods and activities. A longer version would have to mention that cycle 5’s effects were a lot worse and lasted a day longer than cycle 4’s (see the April 28 posting). Even though a change in the infusion schedule (moving infusion day from Tuesdays to Thursdays) gave Jan two extra recovery days at the end of cycle 4, the extra time did not seem to make a difference. She experienced ten days of weakness and discomfort — much longer than previous cycles considering that the discomfort began the day of the infusion and did not let up for ten days (as opposed to previous cycles when the discomfort started on day three). As a result, Jan is not looking forward to cycle 6 and is taking every opportunity to do the things she enjoys while she is feeling good.

    Cycle 6 will begin on June 3 and will run through June 23.  After a short break, she will begin radiation treatments.  During the break, she is looking forward to a visit in Florida with cousin Claire.

    Thanks to all who have provided the encouragement, food, and love that helps Jan and me keep our spirits up.

    Day 9 of the Fourth Cycle

    Jan and Ian
    Jan and Ian

    We completed day 9 of the fourth infusion cycle today, and Jan has finally shaken off the effects of the chemotherapy she received on day one. Both of us have been surprised at the length of this recovery period, but have been assured by Jan’s medical team that all is well.  According to them, the effects of the treatments accumulate and we are seeing the impact of the accumulation.

    We visited with Jan’s surgeon today, and she received a “thumbs up” on her recovery from the surgery in which the tumor and lymph nodes were removed.  We will not visit with him again until chemotherapy and radiation treatments are completed.

    She and I stopped by a sandwich shop for lunch and to celebrate the good news, and since she was feeling up to more time away from the house we decided to call James & Gretchen to see if we could drop by for a quick visit.  Jan had not met new grandson Andrew (who is a week old) due to her slow recovery, and now that she was beginning to feel better, really wanted to meet him.  When we called, it turned out that they were close by returning baby items, and had time to join us at the sandwich shop for a quick visit!!  Hooray!!

    We had a great visit, and Jan has felt great since.  Click here to see a few photos of the visit.

    Jan is convinced that her turnaround was the result of our fortuitous meeting with James, Gretchen, Ian, and Andrew.  I’m convinced I’ll send her to visit Ian and Andrew immediately after the fifth cycle begins.

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