Tag Archives: travel

Cops + Doughnuts = Yumminess

First Note:  This post was scheduled for yesterday, Friday July 20.  When I woke up and saw the news surrounding the tragic events in Colorado, I pulled the piece.  Given the carnage that law enforcement, trauma centers, and families were dealing with, it seemed highly inappropriate.  I’m not sure today is really better, but when I re-read this post, I saw that it celebrated law enforcement, family, and hope  –  so I published it today.  I hope you read it in that spirit.

Second Note:  Please, please, please – if you are a member of the law enforcement community – do not attack me for mentioning your chosen profession and baked goods in the same breath.  I love cops.  I was once madly (and sadly – he was not good for me) in love with a policeman.  He was guilty of felony heartbreak.  I admire and support the brave men and women who serve their communities in that career.   I do love doughnuts (also, sadly – they are not good for me) although our relationship has lasted considerably longer than the one with the cop.  They are always there for me (as in by my side, on my hips, in my arteries).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Michigan, especially in the summer time, is a very lovely place.  While its economy may be struggling, and its population dwindling,  its citizens are resourceful, resilient, and stalwart.  If you need reasons to enjoy a Michigan adventure, check out this post by Pithypants, as well as this post.

On a recent visit to Michigan, I met the lovely Peg-o-Leg.  It was determined during that brief interlude, somehow, that calories consumed in Michigan do not count.  I believe the precise formula is something like this “Expenditures made to support the economy result in the automatic removal of calories and saturated fat”.  Or some such.  I returned from my whirlwind trip over the 4th with a considerably lighter wallet and pants that would barely button.  So perhaps that theory is slightly flawed.  Whatever.

We spent a couple of days with all five grandchildren at our campground.  On the trip to return them (sunburned and bug-bitten) to their parents – we stopped in Clare, Michigan, at the Cops and Doughnuts Bakery.  This magical place is part museum, part bakery, part retail establishment and pure blood-glucose-raising fun.

When the century-old bakery was in within weeks of going under, the Clare police force (all 9 members) pooled their resources and purchased the enterprise.  They opened Cops and Doughnuts Bakery in 2009 and business has been expanding as rapidly as the waistlines of the multitudes of tourists who flock there for the baked goods, but stay for the fun.  Some of their merchandising slogans include”  DWI (Doughnuts Were Involved), Cereal Killer, and Cuffed and Stuffed.

They have their own “Cops Coffee” brand of coffee, merchandise of every kind from coffee mugs to baby clothing, and have even opened the “Traffic Stop Diner” in their third expansion just this year.  Menu items include “Stool Pigeon Sandwich” (chicken salad), “Sticky Situation Sandwich” (peanut butter, shredded carrots, sunflower nuts, raisins and honey), “Misdemeanor Weiner” and “Undercover Misdemeanor Weiner” (coney style), and “Grounds for Investigation Sandwich” (ground bologna) – as well as “Electric Chair Fries” and “Cold Case Slaw”.

The business has been showcased in several national news features.  They were designated one of Michigan’s  “50 Businesses to Watch” in 2011.  They now employ 28 employees (none are family members of the police-owners and in a small town like Clare, that is impressive) and are going to 24/7 operations this year.

The real draw, of the place, though is the bakery.  The aroma hits you from the street – yeasty, cinnamon-y, delightful aroma.  I did not get any good shots of the display rack as there were many, many people lined up its entire length and I was trying to corral 5 grandkids and one testy grandpa with low-blood sugar, but believe me when I say it is a feast for the eyes.  Racks of freshly baked, handmade cinnamon and pecan rolls.  Rows and rows of doughnuts, turnovers, and pastries of every size and shape.  The cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls are roughly the size of a salad plate ($2.79) and are easily the best baked goods I have ever tasted (including my own).

I applaud the Clare Policemen who rescued this gem and their business acumen, as well as their ability to laugh at and with the stereotypes inherent in such a venture.  It is a reminder that law enforcement does much more than lie in wait for me in speed traps serve and protect, they support their communities in a multitude of untold ways.  I wish them continued and rampant success.

As proper grandparents, Sweet-Cheeks and I spoiled them and loaded them up with sugar prior to giving them back to their parents.  I will leave you with these pictures – snapped during the feeding frenzy that punctuated a family adventure that included lots of hugs, a few tears, and sweetly-frosted memories…

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Prayers on a Plane

I hate flying.  Hate it.  Truly hate it.  It puts me in a foul mood.  It ranks right up there with trips to the gynecologist and paying taxes.  When I flew to Michigan this past week – the early morning flight was pretty unremarkable, but I am a nervous flyer and I said a great many prayers.  Here is a sampling:

ଓଡ଼ିଆ: କଳା କଫି

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PRE-FLIGHT PRAYERS:

Please, God.  Let there not be any knives in my purse like that time in St. Louis when they discovered a jack-knife my father-in-law had given me and that I had forgotten about and which I already transported (undetected) into St. Louis.  (There were no weapons discovered in my carry-on belongings this trip.)

Please, God, do not make me be subjected to intense security screening (groping) prior to my getting some coffee.  I much prefer to be caffeinated (or inebriated) during an involuntary grope session.  (I was not groped by security – but the coffee service left me feeling dirty).

Please, God, let Great American Bagel Bakery go bankrupt for charging more for coffee than their posted prices – “we just haven’t had a chance to change our sign, Sorry.  Do you want the coffee or not, ma’am?”.  (So far, they have not gone bankrupt, and yes, I did want the damned coffee).

Please, God, do not let me jump over this counter and throttle the youngster (aren’t there child labor laws?) who served me a “large” over-priced coffee, roughly the size of a shot glass that contained approximately 3 1/2 teaspoons of coffee.  When I asked for the rest of my “large black coffee”, this miscreant actually said to me “I left room in case you wanted to add cream and sugar”.  Maybe I have been drinking black coffee all wrong for many years.   Maybe if you need that much room for cream and sugar you shouldn’t call yourself a coffee drinker, you should just confess your cream and sugar addiction and get out of my way.   Maybe the manager was a little insincere with his apology when he finally filled the cup all the way to the top, which then spilled out with my first sip and soiled my new blouse. Maybe karma is a bitch.  Maybe it’s me.  (No one was throttled and the blouse was salvaged.  The coffee, however, worked out to be about $64/gallon.)

Please, please, please dear God – do not let the woman squeezing pimples on her forehead in the ladies restroom sit next to me on the plane.  I will jump without a parachute, I swear.  She had dreadlocks, bad acne – now bloody – and an aroma that was a mixture of curried goat, week-old sweat, August road kill and cigarettes.  I. Will. Jump. (She did not sit next to me, and I did not jump).

BOARDING PRAYERS:

Dear God – please let those in first class get smacked with every single piece of luggage of those passing to the cheap seats because they insist on boarding first (that’s a privilege?) and then look disdainfully down their noses as the riffraff passes. (I don’t know if that happened, but I did let my laptop swing behind me down their aisle).

Please, God.  Do not let that young woman with the little kids sit in our row.  That little guy is pulling his ear.  Probably has an ear infection and will scream the whole way.  And that other one looks like trouble.  Oh, dear Lord.  Across the aisle from us.  Oh, man.  I need a cigarette.  Wait.  I don’t smoke. (The children were beautifully behaved – much better travelers than me.)

Oh, Dear God.  Here comes acne/dreadlocks/aroma gal.  Whew…seated many rows in front of us.  (Perhaps her seatmates were all stuffed up – no one jumped.)

Please, God, let the pilot be sober. And let him have had his coffee.  And a good night’s sleep.

IN-FLIGHT PRAYERS:

runway

runway (Photo credit: myrrh.ahn)

Oh, Dear Lord – please let this baby get off the ground.  We’re going to run out of runway…we’re going to run out of runway…we’re going to run out of runway. (We did not run out of runway.)

Please, please, please dear God – let whoever farted in this plane go sit by acne/dreadlock/aroma gal.  And no, it was not the infant in our row – his mother took him to the bathroom to check.  Whomever it was should probably go visit a gastroenterologist, though, because I’m pretty sure something is dead in there.

Oh, Dear God – please let the pilot put this thing down gently. We’re going to run out of runway…we’re going to run out of runway…we’re going to run out of runway.  Pull up, for the love of Captain Sullenberger – pull up!!!    (We did not run out of runway, and I never felt the wheels touch – just heard the engines reversing to slow the plane.)

POST FLIGHT PRAYERS:

Dear Lord, please let me be grateful for such an uneventful flight and let me be sedated for the return trip.

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Wild and Crazy Gals

It says here tickets for Ghost go on sale at 3:00. Think we’ll be up from our naps by then?

The paparazzi follow the bloggers relentlessly, catching them in this candid moment mere seconds before they received slushies to their faces.

These gals weren’t kidding when they told their husbands they were packing for their trip.

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Adventures of Andy

 
Lenore, Over at Lenore Diane’s Thoughts Exactly recently acquired a beautiful creature, Andy, through a White Elephant Gift Exchange.  There was some discussion about whether Andy was an aardvark or armadillo.  When I commented on her “White Elephant Exchange Gift” post, I referred to Andy as an armadillo. 
 
I expressed that I had been looking for an armadillo, whom I would name Armando, and he would travel the world visiting bloggers and having adventures.  Lenore, gracious buddy that she is, offered to send Andy to me for a visit.  In exchange, I agreed to take him to the Armadillo races held each year in LaBelle, Florida so that he could see some of his speedier relatives.
 
Andy arrived in Florida on Tuesday and has since spent some time getting to familiarize himself with Casa K8edid.  Today, he accompanied me to work, where he set about increasing his knowledge base and working on solving the Rubik’s cube, which he plans to incorporate into his stand up comedy gig.
 
 

Despite his lack of opposable thumbs, Andy is determined to learn to solve the Rubik's cube.

 

Success!!!

 
After work, Andy and Shelby had a little play time.
 
image
Shhhhh…..nighty night.
 
When it was time for lights out, Shelby and Andy settled down nicely.  Andy will spend a few weeks with us.  If you are interested in hosting Andy and showing him some of the sights and sounds of your city, contact Lenore Diane directly.
 
This weekend, Andy will make his way to Miami…we’re looking for a bathing suit for him, but he is hard to fit…..
 
 
 

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Why do they call it Tourist Season if we can’t shoot them?

Pair of Canada Geese by lake in Lexington Ceme...

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Snow Birds:

It is so nice to see you again. Really. It has been so  nice  painfully quiet here without you. Really.  We were forced to be seated immediately at our favorite restaurants, depriving us of a chance to partake of the fresh air that we now enjoy waiting outside, where you all smoke your smelly cigars, while we wait for a table.  And God knows how many pounds we gained because we had access to parking spots right in front of our favorite stores, which incidently we were able to navigate through in record time without having to dodge around or getting stuck behind those crazy scooters.

First it was an isolated Nova Scotia license plate, then a couple from Ontario, then scads from Maine and Vermont. Now we are seeing Tennesee and Missouri plates as well, and they are everywhere. Again, we welcome your wallets you and hope you don’t trash our home enjoy your home-away-from-home while you wait for the North to become habitable again.

Before I moved to Florida, I visited often. I wasn’t really a Snow Bird, but I owned property and came whenever I could. I always tried to remember that I was a visitor – and certainly tried to mind my manners.  In that vein, I would like to just offer a few observations I’ve made.

1.  You all drive huge vehicles.  If not a huge SUV, then you own a land yacht.  Which you drive very badly skillfully at all times, considering you can’t see over the steering wheel.

2.  You all do not know how to park those big ass lovely vehicles.

Inspired Parking - Palo Alto Transit Center - ...

Image by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious via Flickr

3.  You all have handicapped plates, which can be seen on the vehicles parked outside the bars where you go to dance like lunatics all night.

4.  You gentlemen all drop the little woman off at the door to the store, then go park in the handicapped spots, while sitting in your car and listening to the radio, reading the paper, or doing whatever, until you see the little woman exit the store.  Then you pull your dumb ass car back out of the handicapped space and meet her at the door.

5.  You all know the same sign language, which consists of a one-fingered salute.

Fuck sign, not directed at anyone!

Image via Wikipedia

6.  You all circle the parking lot, with those big ass large cars/trucks trying to get the closest parking spot possible.  I have seen people drive around longer in the parking lot, waiting for a good spot, than they actually spend in the store.  Just park, for goodness sake, and walk like the rest of us.

7.  You like to tell us how wonderful your doctors, nurses, restaurants, stores, customer service, delivery drivers, cable TV, etc are back home.  We would like to request that you go the hell back home offer your suggestions for improving our lousy customer service in the face of a doubled population without a matching increase in workers to serve your whiny asses royal highnesses.

8.  You love our beaches.  We love our beaches, too.  Please do not leave your litter on them, bury your cigarette and cigar butts in the sand, disturb the shells and wildlife, allow your dogs to poop everywhere, or feed the frickin seagulls.  Next year, when you’ve all left and we get a chance to get close to the beaches again, we’d like to find them like we left them for you in early November.

9.  We are not all retired here.  Some of us have to go to work.  If you must be on the highways during prime “worker bee” travel time, please do not get in the passing lane and drive 45 miles an hour.  And smile when you give me the one-fingered salute.

10.  You are like family to us.  Seriously.  We are always glad to see you come back for a visit.  And we are glad to see you go, too.  Just like family.

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