Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

This may set a record, as the quickest turnaround for a travelogue post. This past week my husband and I were on vacation up north visiting my relatives. This past weekend, among other things, I set a goal of finishing a new travelogue entry. As you can see, I accomplished what I set out to do this time. Click here to see the newest page in my travelogue or go to the Travelogue tab above and click on the 2012 Presque Isle, MI entry. Enjoy!

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When warriors come and bang the drum
And march their troops before us
Then friends of peace link hand in hand
And join as one in chorus

— Third verse of the song “How Can I Keep From Singing?” composed by Joel Mabus, 2003. Original hymn composed in 1860 by Robert Lowry.

Yesterday I, my husband, and my mother-in-law went to a Community Sing at my husband’s old middle school, now a community center, in East Lansing. This particular community sing was part of the annual Mid-Winter Singing Festival held this time of year. This is the first time that we’ve gone, but I’m guessing it won’t be our last. All of us had a wonderful time. If you like singing (even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket like me), like folk music, or like comedy you’d love this “concert”. Leading the sing this night were Joel Mabus (my favorite), Susan Werner (a new favorite), Frank Youngman (funny!!!), and Rachel Alexander (what she can do with 70 amateur singers in a 90-minute workshop is amazing!).

The mix of songs is older (i.e. “My Blue Heaven”) and newer (i.e. “My Girl” by Smokey Robinson). The singers on stage put their own spin on things too. And, every year after intermission at the Saturday Community Sing, the “choir” from Rachel Alexander’s 90-minute workshop comes out on stage to sing 2 songs. This year one of the songs sung was by Susan Werner herself. She sang with the choir. The song: “Help Somebody”. Loved, loved, loved it. Loved the song, and the 90-minute choir was spectacular. Here’s a performance of the song, though not the one I saw, obviously:

This night, WKAR, the East Lansing public TV station was filming a documentary about the Mid-Winter Singing Festival. I don’t know how the documentary will turn out and I don’t know when it’ll air, but if you can get WKAR on your TV, then I suggest you watch to get a feel for what it’s all about.

If you’ve never been to the Mid-Winter Singing Festival and the Community Sing, I’d highly recommend it. Plan ahead. The next Singing Festival is Friday-Saturday, February 4-5, 2011.

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As we plod through another Michigan winter, perhaps we should keep in mind the following quote from writer, photographer Beth Powning: “The seeds of another summer wait under the snow.”
Photo taken by Joyce P. Simkin on January 7, 2010

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This weekend my husband and I kicked off the holiday season by going to see A Christmas Carol. No, not the animated, Jim Carrey version. The 1938 version with Reginald Owen and Gene Lockhart.

The Redford Theater celebrated its 80th anniversary last year. Opening in 1928, it has been in continuous operation ever since. It’s one of only two theaters in the metro Detroit area that still has its original theater organ. The other is the Fox Theater.

Going to the Redford is always a pleasurable experience and one doesn’t just go to see a movie. A half hour before the featured film, a volunteer from the Motor City Theatre Organ Society plays the organ. He or she also plays during Intermission. This day, the young woman was playing mostly Christmas tunes.

During the Christmas season, the lighted Christmas tree is beautiful and model train buffs can get a glimpse of a working model train set up by the stage. This year is was put together by the boy scouts from a local Presbyterian church. The theater itself is also something to see with its restored1 Japanese motif and starry “sky”. And, for those of you who like real butter on your popcorn, you won’t be disappointed.

I’d definitely recommend going to the Redford Theater for an enjoyable day or evening out. Before this weekend, my husband and I hadn’t been there in a few years. But, earlier this year as I was perusing the movie listings one Friday evening, I saw the listing for “My Fair Lady” at the Redford. Unfortunately, by the time I saw the listing it was too late for us to go. Then and there we vowed to keep up with the movie schedule.

We’re planning on going back in April to see “Singin’ in the Rain.”

For more about the Redford Theater, click the title of this post and explore the website.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering how was the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol…very charming. It’s now my favorite version.

Full disclosure: I’m in no way affiliated with the Redford Theater. I’m just an old movie fan that enjoys patronizing this particular movie house.

1According to the Redford Theater website: “During WWII much the Japanese-style decoration was removed, painted over or covered up.”

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We’re back from our vacation to Presque Isle, Michigan. One of the highlights for me was to watch the sunrise each morning. So peaceful and no two sunrises are the same.

For those of you who like to see my vacation pictures, just click the Travelogue tab above and then click on Presque Isle, MI.

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A few weeks ago my husband and I took a walk around part of the lake in Kensington Metropark, located in Milford and Brighton Michigan. This is my favorite picture of the few that I took. If you’d like to see more serene pictures of this wonderful park, please click on the Travelogue tab above.

Just as my life is a continual work in progress so too is this website about my life.

With the Kensington pictures I strayed from my usual travelogue format. I’m still getting the hang of this new-for-me Windows Media Player technology, so this may not be my best work. But I’m learning…

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