Keeping it in Stitches In Pursuit of Treasures As my retirement career continues to develop, I enjoy the newfound freedom to pursue various areas of interest. One of these areas is attending auctions.
By Diane K Clow Sewist and Long Arm Quilter Eversew Quilted
If you’ve never been to an estate auction, you need to make it a point to add this to the “list.” There’s the excitement of finding something that you recognize from grandma’s house, the primary piece you need for your Pinterest project, or another treasure for your collectables collection; these are the finds that make an auction the exciting experience that it’s intended to be. After participating in a “40 bags in 40 days” purge at our house, I’m emphatically announcing that I do not collect anything! However, this week I found another 1800s toy hand-crank metal sewing machine that I have named “Missy.” Yes, I name all my stitching machines. Milly is my long arm quilter; Olive, Dolly and Opal are my Singer featherweights. George Edward I and George Edward II are my 1940s GE portables, and the newest member, Steve, is a utilitarian portable manufactured briefly by the Sew Easy Company. Missy will be joining her siblings in a display cabinet that includes Little Lady, Ruby, Iris, Kay-Blue, Kay-Red, and Minnie (a miniature black toy Singer). So I’m not really collecting them. I’m adopting them. Anyway, back to auctions. Auctions are held yearround, but they seem to really peak in the spring and summer months, especially those held outside. To properly have the total auction experience, here are my tried and true tips: • First, do a quick perusal of the auction offerings for objects of interest. Note where they are located, and keep an eagle eye out for when they are up for auction.
• If you do find an object(s) of interest (and you will), go directly to the auction office, typically located in a small trailer, to register for your special number. You’ll need to present photo identification and provide your phone number. This is so they can
track you down if, in your excitement of scoring treasure, you forget to pay. • Next, check the auction site for the all-important Chuck Wagon. This is critical, as sustenance WILL be necessary; the auction can take hours of your day. My personal favorite is a Polish dog with mustard and bottled water. Both can be easily juggled while you are raising your hand bidding on treasure. • Set a price in your head that is the absolute maximum you are willing to bid. Many a newbie at an auction can get carried away, bidding just to “win” an item that later they can’t believe they paid the ridiculous amount for. Trust me on this. I got into a bidding war with a man just because he made some remark about, “what was I going to do with the towel bar section of a dry sink.” I showed him! I paid lots more than I planned, but it hung upside down in my bathroom for years as a towel rack. • Pay careful attention to what is being auctioned. Don’t get pulled into banal conversation about how you had one of those when you were a child, or get distracted checking your emails on your cell. Rookie mistake and you will miss getting your treasure! • Don’t be afraid if they bundled up a bunch of junk with the item you covet. Watch who else is bidding and track them down following your win. They may have wanted something other than the treasure you wanted. Offer to sell the other junk, I mean items. I’ve done this and ended up with a net cost of “free.” • Be careful not to use expressive arm and hand movements during the auction. My sister tends to talk with her hands, and, when auctioning together, I am slapping her arms down, protecting her from becoming the owner of various unwanted items. (You’re welcome, Sue.) Armed with this proven advice, you are ready to go treasure hunting at an auction! Oh, and if you find any antique toy sewing machines, please keep me in mind. Keeping me in Stitches.
brought it to their current location on South Hillsdale Road in Camden. “It’s been by God’s grace this whole time,” Denise says of the success of G&D. She is also quick to mention the help and support of the community. “The small businesses in this community have helped us out tremendously. We are thankful we live in a small community raising kids. We’ve made a lot of friends.” From the first day the business began, Denise has not been timid about doing whatever was needed to get the job done. After they purchased the mill, Glen told Denise she was going to learn how to use the different machinery. So, while she was pregnant with their fourth child, she learned how to use the head saw and make pallets. “We did anything to make it work,” she says. “It’s not a one-man show. It takes everybody.” Through the years the business has grown and expanded. All of Glen and Denise’s children work for the business. They employ about 15 people. G&D Wood Products is a full-service logging company. They cut, haul, sell, ship, make pallets, skids and boxes as well as make and sell mulch and sawdust. “We have no waste,” Denise says. “We utilize all of our waste. We make sawdust for bedding and mulch.” G&D has a mulch lot located between Re/Max and Point Rental in Jonesville. As for the logging process, Denise says the company takes great care and pride in their work making sure they are doing right not only for the landowner but for the property as well. “We manage your timber so it can be more productive,” she says. “It is important to maintain good, healthy wood lots.” G&D is also not one to go in and only cut what they feel is the “good stuff.” “We want anything, from cottonwood to walnut. We take good and bad.” They also make sure to give trees room to grow. Managing a wooded area properly allows trees to grow. Otherwise, trees would be choked out and nothing would prosper. Glen mentions that when trees are felled, they drag the tops along the ground which stimulates the earth allowing for new vegetation to grow which is known as sustainable foresting. The company also takes pride in its ability to harvest timber and leave the area looking untouched. “We have a grinder that we use for tops and when we get done it doesn’t look like we’ve been there,” Denise says. The company stays busy year-round and makes sure to manage its time efficiently. “We set up so if we are taking a load of skids out on the way back we’re getting logs,” she says. “Not a moment is wasted.” Being a woman in the business, Denise is often asked if she just works in the office. She says she’ll smile and says yes. “They always look at my hands,” she says of her beautifully manicured fingers. From that they think she doesn’t get in there and get dirty. Most do not realize that she works the head saw for six hours a day as well handling the scheduling and office work. “It’s not an 8 to 5 job,” she says. The family lives on the property which Denise says is one of the things she likes about her job. “I like the convenience of no travel time, which can be a blessing and a curse.”
Denise and Glen have passed on their work ethic on to their children and now three of their kids work for them at G&D. “We’ve always worked together,” she says of working with her husband. “We’re better together than apart.” While their children were growing up they were always around the business and once they were old enough they began learning and working as well. “It is how they paid for their car insurance and phones. There is always some cleaning that needs to be done. It can be very difficult to work with family, but we have the mindset that we are going to push through.” The business is continually working to grow recently added an enormous building to the property for maintenance. In a business such as this, maintenance of equipment is vital. “You have to know all aspects of the business.” Glen says he learned growing up on his parent’s sawmill “you broke it; you learned how to fix it. You have to learn how to do all of it.” Running a family business takes a lot of work and a lot of time. “There is no day we can’t be productive,” Denise says. “We do whatever we have to do to get it done.” That means everyone works long hours. She is thankful for her understanding daughters-in-law Ashley and Shelbie. Denise and Glen don’t get away often, but when they do take a mini-vacation she says they like to go just a few hours away and stay in nice hotels. When she has a little down time at home Denise says she like to watch moves and eat. Commitment to their business and their family is a clear indication of how G&D Wood Products is a model timber harvester company. “God has been our foundation this whole time,” Denise says. For more information about G&D Wood Products, call 5147-254-4463 or visit G & D Wood Products, Inc. on Facebook.
Denise can run just about every piece of equipment on the business’s 13-acre property. “If someone is having trouble getting a chainsaw to work, I’ll just walk up, take it, start it, hand it back to them and walk away,” she says. “ I like the fact that I know a trade that not many men know how to do, not to mention women.” Twenty-five years in the business has also taught her how to stay safe on the job. “I have learned how to maneuver to not mess my back or my legs up,” she says. “It’s a hard industry but it’s a good industry. It’s labor intense.”
a week, first in Coldwater for five years and then in Jonesville. Doctors’ appointments and running the household filled the calendar. During this time, Lois started having pain in her leg and hip, but Ed’s health issues made it difficult for her to receive any regular therapy. “As we all know, the caregiver’s health frequently suffers as hers did,” Carolyn says.
and, frankly, I wasn’t so sure either.” From February to June, the family worked to find out what was causing the pain. Doctors said it was not a broken hip. Some said it was her back, some said she would just have to live with the pain with meds, but they hoped that wasn’t right, so they kept on pushing. “I learned the ins and outs of health care,”Carolyn says.
By this time, Lois was using a transport chair 100 percent of the time. “She needed help getting in and out of the chair and most everything else,” Carolyn says. “My sister was here most weekends. My brother built ramps to be able to get in and out of the house to doctors’ appointments and physical therapy In February 2016, Lois’ husband Ed passed – her only outings. Getting out just to sit away. Shortly after, Lois decided to sell her in the sun was a major effort.” Lois tried house in Hillsdale and move to Evergreen medications and shots but nothing really Estates in Jonesville. She wanted a small helped. Through all the pain and hardship yard and all the rooms on one level. Her she endured, Lois stayed positive. “Mom is health, however, was not improving. easy-going and never complained even when she was in a lot of pain,” Carolyn says. “I thought I understood what an enormous “I seemed to be able to make her laugh burden it was for Mom to be Dad’s caregiver most the time even when the situation was – until I became her main caregiver last year,” horrible.” Carolyn says. She had recently retired from her job at a software company in the Detroit Carolyn and her siblings were determined area so it worked out logistically for her to be to find out what was really going on with there for her mother. Carolyn’s brother and their mother and a Sunday email to Carolyn’s sister Dewane and Brenda were involved in primary physician led to a Wednesday all aspects and decisions, but Carolyn was appointment at an orthopedist in Royal there every day with Lois. Oak Michigan who finally gave Lois some answers. She did need a new hip, but not According to a 2015 report from the American because she had a fracture. Her bone was Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the actually dying. National Alliance for Caregiving, 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an Lois’s surgery was quickly set and in just adult age 50 or older in 2015. The majority of three weeks she had a new hip. After a these caregivers--60 percent--are women. couple of days in the hospital she was able to come home and begin therapy. That, After Ed passed away, all attention focused however, was a bit of a problem. Through on Lois. Her pain level was increasing. “On a all the misdiagnoses and searching to find scale of one to 10 it was a 20,” Lois says. Lois out what was really causing Lois’s pain, she saw many doctors in many specialties and continued with physical therapy. In the visited several emergency rooms, but still process, she had used all the funds allocated did not have an answer. “I don’t know if there by Medicare for physical therapy. However, is anything much worse than watching your Lois did not want any set back so they mother cry from pain, helplessness and pressed on and self-paid for the PT aftercare even worse – hopelessness. She didn’t think she needed. we would ever find a resolution to her pain, Family Caregiving Alliance states caregivers have lower levels of self care and nearly threequarters of caregivers reported they have not gone to the doctor as often as they should and more than half have missed doctor’s appointments.
“That’s how we came to join Perennial Park and began personal training,” Carolyn says. “I helped Mom do her exercises but she wasn’t gaining any ground. I already had bone loss and figured it would be good for me, too! So we both signed up for personal training at Perennial Park. We followed Jess Piper when she moved to PRIME Fitness. Jess has been great for Mom. Jess doesn’t hold her back, but is careful to ‘do no harm’ and use proper form.” Almost a year since her surgery, Lois is recovering well and extremely active. “So much of what we do is health-related in some way – physical, social, mental,” Carolyn says. “We both do personal training twice a week and walk – to get the mail, just to walk, shopping. We have coffee with a group, lunch at the Senior Center and pick up siblings to visit relatives. We are very blessed that Mom was in good enough health that she could get what I believe was life-saving hip surgery. I think she might not be here today if not for her skilled surgeon. He gave her the foundation but the rest was up to her. She had lost so much muscle mass due to being in a chair every day before the surgery she could barely lift her leg off the ground. She has come a very long way since then. Everyone is amazed at how much she is on the move.“ The pair plan to stay active continually and are hoping to attend family reunions this summer including a national Cogswell reunion in Nashville. Carolyn plans to spend more time with her mom, but plans to move back home to the Detroit area eventually. She says that her mom is able to do everything on her own now, including drive. Carolyn says she has enjoyed the time she has spent living with her mom, and even though there were times when she was in charge, the roles never really changed. “She’s still the mom. She takes care of me as much as I take care of her.”
Setting the Stage For Making Memories By Cindy Longstreet, Longstreet Living
away before the winter and the first thing out in the spring! I can’t completely ignore the inside, so I freshen the guest bathroom up a bit to go with the season we are in. It’s always easy to pick a couple of flowers and put them into a small dish. If you’re not a green thumb kinda gal, I totally understand. They have some outstanding faux flowers. Go for it!
The patio or the deck seems to be our family’s favorite go-to spot for summer gatherings. It’s our little piece of heaven at the family cottage. We are strictly casual at the lake. When setting up our patio, we went with small tables and chairs--they serve us well. We even went with getting the children their own table and chair set. Boy, don’t you know when the cousins get together they all feel really special. I tend to go with chairs that have no cushions, even though the cushioned chairs do appear to have a little more comfort and style. I don’t find that the case. I’m trying to keep things simple this summer. Who wants to worry about keeping the cushions clean or tucking them away from the outdoor elements. Been there, done that! I’d much rather be hanging with the family, laughing and playing with everyone instead of being the hostess. I’ve fallen in love with the recycled plastic outdoor furniture. It’s heavy, so it’s not blowing around every time the wind picks up. And, it’s easy to clean,
plus the life of this furniture is outstanding. I’ve had the same set for eight years, and it is good for another eight years the way it is looking. There are many styles and colors to choose from. There is no problem in finding these chairs comfortable especially when you get to enjoy the patio with a refreshing beverage, your favorite friends and family. Outdoor living and entertaining is the best. Things can be simple if we let them. Our evening ritual seems to be gathering around the fire pit and reminiscing about all our memories we have made together. I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world. The outdoor fire pits nowadays make it so easy: click and on come the flames. No rounding up the firewood and dodging the smoke. We enjoy this area so much, we tend to keep our fire pit and chairs out through the fall. It’s the last item we put
Another great accessory piece I use in many rooms throughout my house is a large glass jar with a lid. This time of the year, I have it in the guest bathroom. I round up every sunscreen lotion I have and put them into the jar. It’s a fun look and so useful to everyone in the house. Whether your lifestyle for the summer is lake living, enjoying the backyard pool, or outside activities, everyone should be using the SPFs. The summer is flying by, so get out, have some fun, and make some memories!!
Cruising down the road, wind in your hair, rocking some sweet shades, music blaring, your sweetie at your side. Sounds like a fun and romantic way to spend a day or an evening with the one you love. So, if you are tired of the same old dinner and a movie date night, shake things up with a drive over to downtown Detroit for the Woodward Dream Cruise. The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing about 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe. This year’s event will take place August 19 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Spectators can see muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles dating across several decades. The Dream Cruise takes place along a 16-mile stretch on the historic Woodward Avenue through nine host communities including Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac, and Royal Oak, in southeast Michigan. The Dream Cruise started as a fundraiser for a Ferndale soccer field in 1995. In August of that year, Nelson House and a group of volunteers looked to relive and recreate the nostalgic heydays of the ‘50s and ‘60s, when youth, music and Motor City steel roamed Woodward Avenue, America’s first highway. Organizers initially expected 30,000 or 40,000 people to come to the inaugural cruise on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, and Birmingham. About 250,000 actually showed up. In just a few short years, it has evolved into the world’s largest one-day automotive event.
Spectators and cruisers travel to Metro Detroit, the birthplace of the American automobile, to demonstrate and participate in an event that celebrates an ongoing love affair with cars. The majority of the cars on display are those that were available and prevalent during the 1950s, ‘60s and early ‘70s prior to the OPEC oil embargo, which led to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations of 1975 and the proliferation of more fuel-efficient and less powerful automobiles. However, the Woodward Dream Cruise also welcomes vehicles of all models whose owners have either scrupulously maintained or customized their cars to create a unique vehicle or statement. There is more than one way to enjoy the experience of the Dream Cruise. The Woodward Dream Cruise is a spectacular experience to drive, or, merely watch and marvel from the sidelines. Public parking is available along or near the cruise route. There are no fees to cruise in the event or to watch. Anyone can participate, although those not driving a classic car are asked to stay out of the two right lanes nearest to the curb. The event draws 40,000 classic cars every year from around the globe. Cars have been flown in from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Russia. Cruisers from North America come in from California, Georgia, Canada, and all places in between. For many it has become an annual rite of summer. Although the Dream Cruise officially takes places on only one day, the celebration always begins early in the summer with classic cars being brought into the streets for preparation and additional events are held in the sponsoring communities of Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, and Pontiac. Whether you or your sweetie are a lover of cars or not, the Woodward Dream Cruise will be a date you won’t soon forget. So grab some sunglasses, put on some oldies, and cruise on over to Detroit. For more information visit www.woodwarddreamcruise.com or find the event on Facebook. 79
Simplified Living Concierge By Melissa McCance
Just the right amount of help at just the right time “Holly adapts to whatever job needs to be done. She’s caring, capable, organized, energetic and supportive. Holly has the ability to take on any tasks, big or small, and find a way to get it done. She’s an intelligent problem solver.” –Marian, Simplified Living Concierge client Everyone needs a little help now and then, and having someone knowledgeable and reliable to call can relieve a lot of stress. Consider letting Holly Griewahn, owner of Simplified Living Concierge, be that someone for you! “As a mom of two and business owner, I know firsthand how quickly the days become filled with tasks, errands, appointments and other endless responsibilities,” says Holly. “I know how important it is to have a healthy work/life balance; however, that balance can be difficult to find.” She explains that her service can be thought of as an on-call personal assistant who works only when needed, be that one time, weekly, monthly or whatever is required. “Simplified Living is committed to providing our customers with happier lives by preserving their time so they can spend it how they want,” explains Holly. “We are here to help increase productivity and reduce stress.” Holly has a teaching background and during the summers did concierge work in the Devils Lake area where she grew up. That experience helped her learn the area and establish relationships with local businesses. When she decided to pursue concierge work full-time, she focused on Lenawee County and the Irish Hills, although she is not limited to those areas. The services provided by Simplified Living are as varied as the clients who utilize them. Holly has both business and private clients who rely on her to make things easier. Some examples of services provided to businesses are event and party planning, meeting and conference assistance, running errands and trade show assistance. Private clients can rely on Holly for home services (house checks during vacations, 84
non-medical senior visits, preparation for houseguests), errands, moving/relocation services, and organizational assistance such as cabinet/closet organization and paper management. Decluttering, organizing and staging homes for sale is another area where Holly and her staff are making people’s lives easier. Holly is quick to emphasize that concierge services offer something for everyone. “We can work with any budget, doing as much or as little as the client needs.” For example, if someone is drowning in papers and clutter and desperately wants to get things under control but has a limited budget, Holly can reduce the cost by utilizing a two-pronged approach. She spends time working directly with the client, guiding and supervising the work and creates lists of tasks the person can complete on his or her own. This gets the job done for a lower total cost than if she were on-site for the entire process. One area Holly especially likes is party planning, and Simplified Living can help with many sizes and types of events including small dinner parties, showers, graduation open houses, anniversary celebrations and more. “I enjoy doing parties,” says Holly. “It’s awesome to be part of someone’s special day.” As with other jobs, Holly is able to work with the client’s budget. She can handle everything, if desired, or the clients can take on some things and let Holly cover the tasks they either don’t have time for or aren’t confident doing. If you have a vacation home, Holly can make your time there much more relaxing by preparing the house for your arrival. She will stock the kitchen, get boats delivered and do whatever else you need so that when you open the door, there’s nothing to do but to start having fun! For more information, you can visit her website: www. simplifiedlivingbyholly.com, email her at simplifiedlivingbyholly@gmail. com, or call 517-403-3413.
Women's lifestyle magazine serving Lenawee, Hillsdale and Branch counties in Southern Michigan.