June 8, 2017

Michigan Free Fishing Weekend

The size of the fish is measured by a
kid's smile! Enjoy free fishing in
Michigan this weekend.
Every year the Michigan DNR sponsors free fishing weekends, with June 10-11, being one of them. Although kids can always fish for free, if you are a non-fishing adult, this is a great time to check out the sport and introduce your kids to fishing. Besides you can get out in nature together! All fishing license fees will be waived for the weekend, however all fishing regulations will still apply. That's right it's FREE fishing!

 There are some ideal Washtenaw County fishing spots for families available. My kids especially like the ease of fishing off the docks at Rolling Hills. While there are very few "keepers" caught there, you can be assured that the kids will catch something - This alleviates the long wait times often associated with fishing. Of course this also spoils your children a bit, but seeing their faces when catching fish, well that's priceless!

Events on Free Fishing Weekend

Free Fishing programs are also happening through Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation at Rolling Hills park from 10:00 a.m. - noon on June 10 or at Independence Lake Park, on June 11 from 10:00 a.m. - noon.  Poles, bait and instruction are provided for this free event. available. Pre-registration is required at parksonline.ewashtenaw.org, (June 10: Section A:10-11/B:11-noon ; June 11 Section C: 10-11/ D: 11-noon). This event has a maximum of 15 people per session so be sure to register soon!

Hook Line & Sinker - Learn to fish with the DNR! Rods, bait and instructions will be provided at the Waterloo Recreation Area, Crooked Lake fishing pier in Chelsea at 10:00 a.m.

There were not many events listed at the time of publishing, but the State of Michigan has a partial list of Free Fishing Weekend events.

Want to learn to fish but can't get out this weekend? Then the Hook, Line and Sinker program with the DNR might be up your ally. Learn casting and fishing basics with a borrowed rod and reel if you don't have your own equipment. Hook, Line and Sinker programs begin in mid-June and continue throughout the summer. There is one Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. At Crooked Lake Fishing Pier in Washtenaw County!

So make a date with the kids or start a new tradition while having some great fishing fun. It's time to enjoy that Michigan fishing!



June 2, 2017

Take a Hike at Hewens Creek

My family loves being outdoors spending time with nature. We have spent countless hours at one of our local parks too, it's close to home, offers fishing, and has plenty of wildlife, bird species and fabulous hiking trails. I consider it my rural backyard! Where is this park you ask? The main entrance is located in a tiny parking lot less than a quarter mile west of Hitchingham on Bemis Road. The name of the park is Hewens Creek (6515 E Bemis Rd Ypsilanti, MI 48197).

 As a parent, I have taken my Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts there. I have picked up trash with the family, and helped remove invasive species (garlic mustard) with my family and my scouts. I have had my children see turtles laying eggs, we have observed a hummingbird in her nest, and been able to identify many species of birds. We have picnicked there and spent days hiking, fishing and wading in the small creek catching critters. We have ventured into the park since moving in more than 12 years ago.

For me it's perfect. Its convenient and quiet. Mostly though I have enjoyed watching the trails become expanded and improved. It is now my go-to sanctuary and quiet zone.

It is an Ypsilanti Township Park in addition to offering mountain bike trails which allow me to hike several miles in a single day. When you arrive, be sure to garb a trail map, or even download one if you have the QR Code. There is another map of some of the trails available at Map My Ride.






June 1, 2017

Imagination Library

Several years ago I learned about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. In fact, my daughter participated for about a year through Washtenaw Success By 6 Great Start Collaborative. At the time, and currently, Washtenaw County families living in Ypsilanti can register to participate, specifically families residing in the 48197 or 48198 ZIP codes can participate.

Think of it. A new, hardcover, age-appropriate book mailed to your home every month until your child reaches age 5. That means that by the time your child enters kindergarten they will have their own library of books.
"My girls love when these books arrive every month," said Jenny Kukiela of Ypsilanti, "some of them have even become family favorites!" 
Children that are accepted into the program receive free books each month until their turn 5. To register your child, visit the Imagination Library website. Southeastern Michigan families can register their children as well.

May 11, 2017

Thoughts of Mom and Mother's Day


It's a bit chilly this morning. I certainly don't need the fireplace on but it is of comfort on this gray, dreary day. I can hear the birds chirping outdoors and the ducks and geese in the pond. I can't hear the fountain, but know it's on. I can see it out the window.

The lilacs are blooming and sweetly fill the air and everything is greening. Not the dark green of summer, but that light, bright green that signals early spring. 

Dandelions are blooming and going to fluff and the grass is growing at a speed that most neighbors can hardly keep up. Our eyes are teary from blooming plants and trees and noses are running. 

I watched a video this morning about a man documenting his mother's dementia journey. Although you did not have dementia, I have sympathy for him when he runs into the "worst day of his life." The day his mother did not know him. I empathize because after your stroke I did not know if you knew me. You could not remember my name for a week or two and I wasn't sure. I thought those were the worst days of my life. I was wrong.

I think about you often. Maybe not as much as you struggled when grandma passed away. But a lot. I sometimes don't realize I am thinking of you. I do miss you a lot. The thing is the worst day of my life, as it stands now, is not you forgetting me, it's the day you left.

Sometimes writing helps.

I know this is the type of morning you loved. You would call me and tell me you were sitting out on your deck with coffee in hand. You'd be watching the birds or other critters come by the deck. Sometimes a squirrel. Sometimes a bunny. Even ducks and deer stopped by. You would tell me of the butterflies, frogs and flowers. It was always about your deck and flowers.

Of course you taught me that it's too early for potted flowers. Never before Memorial Day. I would laugh and talk about my greenhouse or hoop house. Like I could one up Mother Nature. I lost many plants with my "knowledge" but never put out potted flowers before Memorial Day, unless they were cold weather hardy, like Pansies. 

Those friendly cheerful faces on the Pansies, the lilacs and the gerber daisy I saved from your memorial remind me of you. The birds. The critters outside my window, they too are a reminder. 

I am doing OK mom. I miss you and love you. Happy Mother's Day.  This year it's hard, but know that I hold you in my heart and will forever remember. 

April 25, 2017

Passport 2 Pittsfield

On May 7, explore Pittsfield Township, learning
about the community while finding many fun family activities and freebies!

Another weekend event for the whole family is the Passport 2 Pittsfield Event. This free event on Sunday, May 7, from 1:00–4:00 p.m.allows families will explore Pittsfield Township as they fill their "Passport".

Families will collect stamps and goodies as you travel throughout the Township stopping by each of the locations to tour the buildings, share your ideas, and learn about the services that Pittsfield Township has to offer. Activities you can encounter along the way include:
  • Free line dancing
  • Play Earth Day Bingo
  • Free coloring book for the kids
  • Make a flower art sculpture
  • Get crafty creating a box city
  • Get your own tree to plant with a free state tree seedling
  • Kids will get their own Police Badge, Firefighter hat, and Child ID Kits (for mom and dad) 
There is no lack of fun with games, parachute fun, emergency vehicle displays, and photos with Sparky the Fire Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog! Families can also get into drawing for prizes from many local restaurant and shopping establishments.