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JUNE---Pentwater, MI to St. James, Beaver Island

Cottage Projects:

A cold wet spring in Michigan. First time since we owned the place, the cottage's crawl space is wet---no standing water just lots of moisture. Carl hauled everything out of the crawl space. About 95% of of the stuff pulled from the crawl space was ruined so it went directly to the trash. Moved the remaining 5% to the attic. Tried to convince Carl to get rid of the remaining 5% but "not gonna do that"! Carl knocked out a couple concrete blocks in the crawl space and replaced them with opening vents to improve ventilation. Turned on two fans and kept the door to the crawl space open for several days to help dry it out. Too cold in early June to run the dehumidifier in the crawl space at night (would freeze up) so moved the dehumidifier to the main floor for most of the month.

Installed rain gutters on the back and west side of the cottage (already had rain gutters on the front) to help move water away from the crawl space. Carl also started up the sump pump which was turned off. Hopefully all this will dry things out although there are times during Michigan summers that the humidity is so high that these measure may not take care of. Only time will tell but certainly Carl made many changes that have already improved the situation.

Remodeling/updating the main bathroom. Driver of this project was the vanity which needed to be replaced. On Carl's list for replacemet--ventilation fan and hot water heater. My list--the tile flooring and fixtures on the shower. The replacement list continued to grow---new light fixture and mirror. When all is said and done---the only things not on the replacement list for the bathroom is the shower stall and toilet bowl. To keep "out of pocket costs down"--Carl ripped out the vanity and old flooring. Discovered that the plumbing to the vanity sink was not centered (previous installation cut through the back of the vanity drawer to get the plumbing to the sink and faucet). So, the plumbers moved the plumbing before the new vanity can be installed. Pulled down the light fixture---the electrical box was not centered over the vanity sink (critical for most light fixtures) so Carl cut in a new electrical box and dry walled over the old one. Took several trips to Tanner's Plumbing and West Michigan Carpet in Hart and Lowes in Ludington and Muskegon to select vanity, flooring, lights and mirrors. The new vanity doesn't arrive until July 9 so the bathroom isn't completed.

The Sunday after the Fly-In, Carl attacked the main bathroom. Removed the vanity. Placed the vanity top on the road with a "FREE" sign. Next he worked on the floor. It was not a quiet afternoon at the Thoreson house----sounded like someone trying to bust out of prison. On the right--the plumbing was relocated so that it came out of the wall at the center of the vanity sink.

New floor installed. The walls are painted "Galveston Gold".


Once the main bathroom was painted---I was motivated to continue painting the rest of the cottage. It had been years since it was last painted. Stepped outside our comfort zone using a color OTHER THAN some shade of white. Everything needed two coats. We put on an addition to the cottage back in 2000. The original part of the cottage has horrible, cheap core doors while the addition has nice, 6-panel composite doors. Under consideration---replace all those core doors with the 6-panel. Tried to find a carpenter for this project and so fa,r the local carpenters are too busy to do it! The bedrooms did not get painted---will get to them when we return from our trip to Beaver Island and North Dakota..

Finally found a day to burn that leaf pile. Needed a day when were home; it wasn't too windy and a burn permit was available. Still have not taken care of the oak leaves in the garden---hoping all those oak leaves help trap moisture for the flowers. Will try get to the leaves when the painting is done!

For Fun:

Kris and Craig (TILT) came up from Grand Rapids for dinner one night. They are such great guests. Kris brought an appetizer, salmon for the grill and dessert! All I had to do was prepare a salad and a side dish. Before dinner we took a walk on the beach and then sat down to catch up with what was going on.

Attended the Oceana County Airport's Fly In. It was a beautiful morning for a Fly In. Service clubs from Hart and Shelby prepared and served a pancake breakfast. The local ambulances and fire trucks were parked near the runways for viewing. Storms were in the forecast for late afternoon so many planes left around noon. Had a good time.

Photos from the Fy-In.


Pretty good breakfast. Wish the local fruit would have been fresh not frozen but then the fruit isn't yet in season. On the left is a "kiddie ride". Those little airplanes were made out of a blue barrel. The kids were having a ball.


I have a new compute!. My 2009 netbook's keyboard failed. Carl ordered a new keyboard from Amazon and replaced it with success. Next, when I opened the screen too far the wire was pinched and the screen did not work so ordered parts to fix that. This repair was not successful. The end result---my 2009 netbook was sold on E-Bay for parts and I have a new netbook!

Optimistic that the computer can be fixed. The keyboard replacement went well but the second surgery to screen resulted in a new computer for me!


Drove to Kalamazoo for appointments stopping at Pam and Brian's in Grand Rapids on the way back. Our friend, Al Forte, was at Pam and Brian's (up from Arizona for some meetings). Had a great dinner that evening (grilled pork chops). Jamie Forte joined us for dinner.

Left for Beaver Island the last Saturday of the month. While waiting for the ferry in Charlevoix, bumped into Dick and Polly Huff (friends from Kalamazoo). Had time before the ferry so we found a bar to sit and talk. Dick and Polly were out celebrating their wedding anniversary. The primary ferry to Beaver Island, the Emerald Isle, is out of commission (lost one of its engines). Therefore, the smaller Beaver Islander has been doing all the crossings. The ferry was filled to capacity which means a lot of passengers had to ride the entire way out on deck. Lake Michigan's water is cold so the ride was not very pleasant for some people. Carl and I were lucky enough to get the last seats inside.

Rode the ferry from Charlevoix to Beaver Island (taking a flight on Fresh Air when we return). Because the larger ferry, the Emerald Isle, is out of commission, we were told to be in line by 1:30. Arrived at the line at 1:15 to find lots of people already there--more people ahead of us than behind us but that changed as time passed.


Arriving at St. James. Took a photo of the bow wave. On the right is the old Coast Guard Station now owned by Central Michigan University and used as a research station.


Pam and Brian met us at the dock on Beaver Island. Took us up to Al and Laurie's condo where Carl and I are staying for the week. Pam and Brian are on GORTA MOR with Tom Kelly. Tom, Pam, Brian, Carl and I went to the Shamrock for dinner and then to Daddy Franks for ice cream. Sat on GORTA MOR sipping wine for a couple hours then headed back to the condo for a quiet night's sleep. In the morning, Pam, Carl and I went for a walk then Pam and I went to the grocery store. Al and Laurie are not here yet ......flight problems in Phoenix so the Beaver Island gang had dinner at the condo without them.

Forte's condo where we are staying for the week.


First dinner at the condo with Tom, Pam and Brian. Flight problems delayed the Forte's arrival so we started the fun without them!

Looking forward to a week on Beaver Island without any projects!!!

Submitted by:

Marilyn Thoreson
July 02, 2013