Sunday, November 23, 2014

The snow is taking a break today and giving the rain a chance, but I managed to get some shots of a snowy Houghton before that happened. Well, technically that's Hancock in the photo below, and that tree in the way is Houghton. 

Here's a shot taken from the hill our house is on. 

Here is the road to doughnuts.  

Most Saturdays I walk to the bakery and stare at the canal. 

But now the bike path has been covered in snow, and taken over by snowmobiles. We're thinking I need one for the commute to school.

Last weekend, when Joe went hunting, I had a grading marathon, which is not so bad when you've got this view from the public library:


 And it's even better when this comes home at the end.

A few more days and we'll be making the trip downstate!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Snow Day

We got a bit of snow last night. 

And today we woke up to a snow day, which was well-timed since we have friends from out of town. 

We put on our boots and hats and walked through the snowy streets to breakfast. Then we spent the afternoon inside warming up over board games. 

The snow is still falling. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Yesterday morning was a beautiful 25-degree walk to school.

This weekend has already kept its promise for snow, blowing in as a gray cloud over the canal and, an hour later, changing its mind and reverting to rain.

I collected 126 essays to grade this week, and Joe will be out in the woods, so we will definitely keep busy. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Weekend Went By

By the looks of my latte, the barista at 5th and Elm coffee shop must know how I feel about Houghton...

about espresso and a book on Sunday mornings...

...about fall and snow...

...about Joe doing the dishes in our delightfully green kitchen. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2

Now that Halloween's over, I'm spending the weekend cleaning up all of the fake hair and strips of stray fabric that are scattered throughout the house. 

Since two of my classes (one Thursday and one Friday) wanted to dress up, I decided I would make two different costumes--probably not something I'll do ever again. 

Here's yesterday's (Beetlejuice in the wedding scene): 

You can see we got some snow.

The costume was pretty labor intensive since I couldn't find anything I needed in the thrift stores. The suit had to be dyed, the ruffled tux shirt didn't actually have ruffles on it when I bought it, and it was only a short sleeve shirt, so I had to move the cuffs and put some ruffles on them too. The shoes had to be painted white, and my wig, originally a black mullet wig, had to get a serious haircut and paint job. The wig should have been blonder and thinner, but at a certain point, I guess you have to stop being such a perfectionist and go to bed.

My students had some neat costumes. The winner: one guy who shaved a giant bald spot in the back of his head so he had a ring of hair. Talk about dedication.

Joe's been in the woods during mornings and late afternoons for the past few days, so he hasn't had a reason to dress up. Hopefully next year he'll get to try out the idea he had been talking up all month.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Trail

October is really flying by. A few weeks ago, I celebrated my thirtieth birthday by walking around downtown Houghton and admiring the changing colors. 

And now, not only have most of the leaves disappeared from the trees, but that birdbath pictured above has been stored away for the winter. 

Later that early-October week, we headed to NMU for a conference. It's been over four years since we've driven the stretch of 41 between Marquette and Houghton. I forgot how pretty it was. 

Today, a day of 45-mile-per-hour winds, I decided to bike the path that goes along the Keweenaw waterway.  

So very true. 

Of course I started with a doughnut and coffee at the bakery on the water.  The Isle Royale ferry was docked across the street, reminding us we still need to visit that island park in Lake Superior. 

The waterway cuts across the peninsula and turns into Portage lake before ending up at the Keweenaw Bay on Lake Superior. Let's be honest, I can't really figure out what's what. Apparently there's the Portage Canal, Portage Lake, Portage Lake Canal, The Keweenaw Waterway, etc. It's obviously what part is Portage Lake, but I haven't found a map to point the rest out yet.  

I'll just call it the waterway. So, there's the ski hill on the waterway.  

Just leaving downtown on the trail I noticed that Houghton seems to be very excited about the new season.

The bike trail is nice, especially when it's covered with leaves and the 45-mile-per-hour winds are pushing you along.

Eventually it turns to gravel, and even farther down, it gets a little more narrow than I would like. That's when I turned around. 

Here are some other shots:

A nearby nature center has a boardwalk over this river. 

Portage Lake and a leafless skyline.

After turning around, this fallen tree appeared in my path! 

Once I got back into town and before biking into the wind and up the giant hill our house is on, I took a break on Michigan Tech's campus. They've been preserving their leaves somehow.

Joe's home from the woods now, and he's finally starting to feel better after days with strep throat. Time to make dinner and tell each other about our days: luckily escaping a falling tree, walking my bike uphill because it was stuck in seventh gear, and for Joe, I'm sure there were a few windblown-wildlife sightings on the way to his tree stand. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday Morning

Another week of classes has sped by, and we're finally getting settled.

Tulip bulbs are planted. Things are hung on walls. Licences with terrible photos have come in the mail. We bought a rake.

It's 40 and rainy this weekend, so instead of my Saturday morning ritual of eating a doughnut and reading on the canal, I'm watching traffic pass the wet courtyard of a local coffee shop.

Next week, I'll try to get as many free-birthday meals as possible, we'll drive to Marquette for a two-day conference, and then four family members come up for the weekend. 

It will be great to see Marquette again, but Houghton is treating us well. Most days at work, I sit at my desk after class and feel so, so happy with my job and our new home town. The only thing it's missing is all our friends and family to share it with. As we've learned, it's hard to get all three of these things all at once, so for now, two of the three is pretty good. Maybe if I post enough pictures of an expansive Lake Superior, of morning steam rising off the canal, of the steep, tree-lined hills that hover over downtown, I'll convince everyone to join us. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Canal Trip

Okay, you are about to be overtaken with photos. This weekend, we explored our surroundings. Saturday, we followed the Portage Canal west from Houghton until it emptied into Lake Superior. 

I've decided to call it Pebble Beach. Can you tell why?

After that, we drove back to Houghton, which included passing the blue door of the Christian Science reading room...

 ...crossed the bridge to Hancock, 

climbed the hill to check out the view of Houghton, 

and followed the canal west to Lake Superior again. 

For dinner, we ate fried whitefish on the hill that is Hancock. Today, we went out to Joe's hunting grounds. 

While he hung tree stands and cut down branches, I lured in chipmunks with freshly fallen acorns.

Target practice. Can you see the arrow?

More of the view:

Tomorrow it's back to school, where I remind my students what a beautiful place they live in. 
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