Monthly Archives: January 2009

Blues Fest–Hats, Photographers, Shirts, Umbrellas

Hats of Blues Fest, Marquette Area Blues Fest 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Hats of Blues Fest Marquette Area Blues Fest 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

The Photographer--Tom Buchkoe, Marquette Area Blues Fest 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Shirts of Blues Fest, Marquette Area Blues Fest 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Shirts of Blues Fest, Marquette Area Blues Fest 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Umbrellas, Marquette Area Blues Fest 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Hotter Days, Hotter Nights

Lorrie Hayes and Mike Letts, Flat Broke Blues Band, Marquette Area Blues fest 2008, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Marquette’s own Flat Broke Blue’s Band

Watermelon Slim, Marquette Area Blues Fest, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Watermelon Slim and the Workers

Watermelon Slim, Marquette Area Blues Fest, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Read more about the Marquette Area Blues Fest.

Blues Fest was hot the summer of 2008! The music was hot! The sun was hot! And now with negative 5 degrees showing on the thermometer I am recalling the summer photos I have not processed in hopes of escaping the realities of winter. You’d be surprised what music makes it up to the far north country. On the shores of Lake Superior the stars come out for headliners like Watermelon Slim and other legends of the blues!

Birthday Hike–Seize the Day

Seize the Day, Keen Boots in Snowshoes, photo by Kim Nixon

Mike on Snowy Teal Lake Trail, photo by Kim Nixon

Kim in the Distance, photo by Mike Hainstock

Mike Looks Out at the Ridge and Snow Tubers, photo by Kim Nixon

These are the shots I love to share, a combo of both my own and Mike’s. They give a glimpse into our lives that words and stories cannot share. Today was my birthday and where I have been suffering from serious seasonal disorder with symptoms complicated by stress and my own drive to change, today was calm. Like the hush of snow. The laughter over on the next hill. The slient flight of birds. My day was a gift.

Mike I am so blessed to share these moments with you. I think of how many times we are on the trail together, your ability to play, to appreciate the day, scene, moment (even in yet another snowstorm), and I know that you, too, are a gift.

My years with you are filled with magic. Your better than the icing on my 45th birthday cake, baby!

See the digi-captures of Kim on a snowtube taken by Mike at A Winter Journal. Meditation

Bishop Baraga Shrine, close-up, photocopyright Kim Nixon

Roadside America has a nice article on the “Snowshoe Priest,”  Bishop Baraga. The night I arrived the sun was almost down. I was torn between this man’s face and the sunset on the horizon. This is one of three shots I took in an instant. I was intent on the sunset–that’s where I meditated.

This is a 60-foot-tall statue raised up in the air. It is impressive. The size of the snowshoes, he holds. The cross in his hand. Holy Wah!

Visit the website for inspiration and wonderful digital images.

Quality Car Care?

It really sucks to get your car back after it having sat in the shop for NINE days. To pay a big price for a head gasket repair. To pick-up, your car and have a belt squeak all the way home and be told you might need your injectors cleaned. To go out to the drive the next morning and try to turn your car over and have NO fuel getting through.

It really sucks worse when the shop that you worked with for 5 years, that is three blocks away, says I don’t know what to tell you, guess you’ll have to have it towed in.

Can you say I am NEVER doing business with this shop again? Can you say I will NEVER refer anyone to this shop AGAIN?

Would it have been so hard to send someone up the hill 3 blocks to check out why a car I just dumped 1500 dollars into will not start?

The car is cranking just fine. SHEESH it is only logical to me that the shop should have said Kim, your injectors need cleaning too. I know you need your car real bad after NINE days, but let us clean the injectors and we’ll get your car to you at 9:30 a.m. Friday instead of tonight.


See I dropped this car off on a Tuesday and they did not order parts until Monday the next week. I was told my car would be done at close of day Wednesday and then actually did not get my car until Thursday after 5p.m.

This morning I tried to schedule my injectors to be cleaned on Monday. This was before I went out and could not start my car. I was told there was no way they could do it on Monday. I had to settle for Wednesday as not to miss work. The car not starting, granted it is -7 Fahrenheit, but the car is cranking just fine. The gas is just fine. Don’t tell me this is not related to the fact you had this car apart and back together and you ignored the fact that the job was not complete until you did the injectors and made sure there were no more “misfire codes.” That you test drove a car with a squeaky belt and let it go anyway because it was after 5 p.m.

I am done with Quality Car Care. But they can get this car set right FIRST.

To the guys at Quality, I had to make countless phone calls to know what was going on with my car. I have come to you with my car concerns for 5 years. I am a good customer. I deserve some good customer service and to be updated when I leave a car with you and it is going to take over a week to even get started on the repairs. And I deserve good service on the repairs, too.

Now my boyfriend is leaving work, too. So he will be out of work for the day. To attempt to start my car. He has to drive home from Ishpeming to try and start my car. Can we say inconvienced. Can we say two people outta work for the day. Not to mention the people that depend on our services, too.

I cannot rant anymore. I can only wonder, puzzle, and be pissed.

It is important to read the comments to this post toget the full story. Thanks!

Kim’s Power Foods:Go-to Grabs

My go-to power foods are easy to grab, pack, and quick to eat. As a Community Living Specialist I cannot always take breaks when I want. This can throw off my eating patterns. I portion out and plan ahead. Here are some of my stand-bys.

Stonyfield Farm Organic Fat-Free Yogurt with Fruit on the Bottom

I like this yogurt for multiple reason. The consciousness of the company to provide a great healthy product and to better the environment. Two words Fat Free! This yogurt has vitamin d added and contains a blend of active cultures. It comes in a 6oz container. I mix this with an organic granola and add some nuts like almonds. Visit Stonyfield.

Quaker Simple Harvest All Natural Multigrain Instant Hot Cereal

This hot instant cereal is perfect for the person who hates to take a lot of time in the morning . I use two packets for a meal of 320 calories. It is proven that eating within 30 minutes of waking speeds your metabolism. My favorite is the maple brown sugar and pecan. Visit Quaker.

Breakstones’s Lowfat Cottage Cheese with Live Active

This cottage cheese comes in a 4 oz package (90 calories) and couples well with a cup of pineapple. Making a perfect go-to food for before workouts or mid-afternoon slumps. Visit Breakstone’s.

Weight Watcher String Cheese and Pink Lady Apple

The cheese stick at 60 calories also gives you 20% of your calcium for the day and 9 grams of protein to balance out your afternoon until dinner. Plan ahead if you’re going to have a late dinner. Combine protein with crackers or fruit so you don’t put yourself in a bad place.

Next week I will share my power foods that are not prepackaged and commercial products.

Guest Writer–56 Things You Can Toss Out Now

56 Things You Can Toss Out Now
by Christine Kane

We hold onto our stuff for two reasons: Love or fear. We either love things. Or we fear letting them go.

We cherish them and know they have value to us.


We fear that we’ll need them someday. We fear that we wasted our money on them. We fear what others will think if we let them go. We even fear making the decision to release our mistakes, so we don’t make any decision at all. Instead we passively hold onto stuff out of guilt.

Well, guess what?

When you begin to make choices from a place of LOVE and EXPANSION, then your world will change. Love is the clearest reason to do anything. If you don’t love it, toss it. Give it away. Your abundance and energy will increase when you begin to live by love, and not by fear.

Here are 56 things you can toss out (or give away) right now…

1. All the hotel key cards you forgot to turn it when you checked out.

2. The doilies your Aunt Missy crocheted 45 years ago that got handed down to you.

3. CD’s you haven’t listened to in three years or more.

4. The boxes of cassettes you’ve been meaning to transfer to CD’s.

5. The bread maker you haven’t used since 2003.

6. Your wedding dress

NOTE: You can say you’ve been saving it for your daughter, but here are three signs that your daughter doesn’t want to wear it: a] she’s already married and wore her own dress, b] she’s been roommates with a woman named Pat for nine years, or c] you don’t have a daughter.

7. Credit card bills from 1995.

8. The Allen wrenches from every piece of IKEA furniture you ever assembled.

9. The jacket you spent way too much money on and never wore. NOTE: Keeping it around just to punish yourself for your bad choices is like going to parochial school all over again.

10. Every scratching post or toy your cat doesn’t like. NOTE: Your cat didn’t go to parochial school so there’s no sense punishing him.

11. House plants you no longer love.

12. The stacks of O Magazine you swear you’ll re-read.

13. Every little zippy bag that came with a Clinique purchase.

14. Every unopened perfume that came with a Clinique purchase.

15. Leftover scrunchies in case you grow your hair long again.

16. The “Cherries Jubilee” flavored lip balm that makes you nauseous.

17. Every single regretful lipstick color you bought on a whim. (“Cherries Jubilee” is probably there, too.)

18. Your last four cell phones and all their chargers and blue teeth.

19. Single socks.

20. The Spode Christmas plates and mugs you don’t like. (Along with the Christmas bath towels and welcome mat.)

21. The framed posters you had in your college dorm room.

22. Old stereo wires.

NOTE: If your husband refuses to let go of any of these mysterious wires, try this: Put them (not him!) in a bin and label it “Random Cables and Wires.” After two years, bring it out of storage and kindly note that no one has thought about it in two years. Ask if it would be okay to let go of half of them. Repeat process until all mysterious cables and wires are gone.

23. The nails, screws, anchors, and cup hooks rusting in the bottom of your tool chest.

24. Remote controls that don’t remotely control anything you own.

25. Lamps, toasters, blenders, coffeemakers that no longer work.

26. The notion that you will ever be one of those moms that makes beautiful scrapbooks.

NOTE: Put your photos in boxes. No one will judge you.

27. Old blankets and linens you keep in case you suddenly have 27 sleepover guests.

28. College text books

29. Any boring decorative item that does little more than fill space.

30. Vases you don’t love or use.

31. Candle holders you don’t love or use.

32. Picture frames you don’t love or use.

33. Class notes from college.

34. The idea that you have to save every piece of your children’s artwork and school work because it might mean you don’t love them if you don’t.

35. The “good silver” you don’t use that was passed down to you.

36. Old VHS movies

37. Unlabeled VHS tapes. (And don’t waste your time watching them just in case.)

38. The stationary bike that got even more stationary after you got it.

39. The fabric pieces you’ve been collecting in case you ever become a quilter.

40. Flashlights that dimly light up only after you bang them over and over on your thigh.

41. Old keys that open some door somewhere in the past.

42. Suitcases you don’t use.

43. Old computers.

44. Old stereos.

45. Promotional duffel bags with ugly logos and bad acronyms stitched all over them.

46. Anything that makes you say, “But I got such a good price on it!”

47. Anything that makes you say, “But I paid so much for it!”

48. Half-full cans of paint.

49. Extra baby items/Old baby items.

50. Record albums. NOTE: Don’t spend your extra hours in a day trying to figure out if someone will buy them. Really. They won’t.

51. Gifts you never liked.

52. All the cross-stitch, knitting, or sewing projects you never finished.

53. Any glassware or dinnerware that is a “memorabilia” item from proms or sororities or sports events.

54. Old information packets you no longer need or that you can easily find on line.

55. All the hotel soaps that you took with you. (And stop taking them. You’ve got plenty of soap!)

56. The belief that you only have to go through the de-cluttering process once and won’t ever have to do it again.

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her ‘LiveCreative’ weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at


See Christine’s blog – Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous – at

183.4 and Dinner

Saturday Night Dinner, photo by Kim Nixon

Today, I rearranged the living room which helped me add 45 minutes of heavy cleaning to my work-out log at the Biggest Loser Club online.

I also did an Ishpeming photo-shoot tromping through snow drifts. Then jumping jacks while uploading photos to my Flickr account.

My car broke down this week and it has been challenging to get my “to-do list” completed. But I managed to connect buses on Wednesday and get my registration in for the Biggest Loser at the YMCA in Marquette.

I am shocked at how the weight is coming off. Seriously, my metabolism hardly ever cooperates. But I am down to 183.4 on the scale. I feel more energetic even though my old injury is inflaming my muscles and causing pain (on a level of 1-10, perhaps a 5 or 6 by the close of the day).

This dinner was made with lots of goodies. I started off with olive oil, sliced garlic (lots), and two chicken breasts. In a separate pot I boiled whole wheat noodles. To the pot with chicken, I added baby carrots and cooked until somewhat caramelized adding slight bits of organic free-range chicken broth. Then came the red peppers, broccoli florets and black olives. After draining the pasta I added to the stir fry to mingle, along with a bit more chicken broth. Seasonings included: sea salt, fresh grnd. blk. pepper, garlic and onion powder, lemon peel and basil. The amount of pasta was one uncooked cup. Mike and I had leftovers from this meal.
saturday Night Dinner, photo by Kim Nixon

Coffee Can Inspires in Early Morning

This morning I woke early and made coffee. I opened the can and the rich aroma and beautiful grounds inspired me to proclaim what a wonderful rich country we live in. I was happy. I had woke before Mike as the plan was for me to ride share with him. We would drop my car down the hill first. You see, my coolant-light keeps coming on, my service-engine-soon-light started flashing. I thought stuck thermometer.

I was wrong. Blown head gasket.

1500 hundred dollars.

Angst. Shock. Awful dread.

I have so many plans to start off the new year. The night before I ran my budget and it is tight, too tight. I was trying to see where the abundance was going to come for me to join the Biggest Loser at the YMCA. I was trying to see how to pay down my debt. I was trying to see how I could upgrade my equipment. I was already feeling nervous. But I have a plan.

Part of that plan is a group of friends will be reading “The Wealthy Spirit “by Chellie Campbell. Many of my actions in ths new year are to center on Abundance of  spirit, health and wealth.

Today I felt tested. My toe is twice the size it ought to be–kinda makes foot power difficult. It also makes this whole weight loss and fitness thing difficult. Remember I also have an upper body issue from a car accident. I was already looking for pennies and nickels. Then the car.

It was a rough day.

But I have taken part in abundance groups before. I have seen the power of affirmations and goals come to fruition.

My toe, which I broke 5-years ago will get calmer. I will lose weight.

I can cut my spending and increase my earnings.

My car will get fixed, too.

I will learn to save money for a rainy day–well actually learn to double my efforts–I am already a saver with reserves to support my life…kind of.

Maybe I am being tested. But tomorrow I will have a can of coffee in my hands again. The aroma will greet me. I will head into my day with confidence and hope.

(At my weigh-in this morning I was 185.2 lbs. Another new low.)

-2° Clear Feels Like: -17°

Today I did not go for a walk. Blue clear skies and very cold! Yikes.

I did step on the scale today and weighed 186.6. Not bad as I had a couple slips during New Year celebrations. I am back on track but obsessing over weight, over how to keep going in the dead of winter. So, I dropped by my local YMCA ’cause I heard them advertise a program, The Biggest Loser!

Whoot Whoot! I am already motivated by watching the Biggest Loser on NBC. I pay x-tra careful attention to my food intake on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as I weigh in, too! If the scale has not budged I grow pretty depressed with myself. Of course, I do not pull the numbers they do on the show. I am pleased if I have maintained or show a modest 1-2 pound loss.

The program at the YMCA runs from January 19- April 13. It would definitely get me through the dead of winter. The program includes guided exercise and nutrition programs. It also includes three 4-week personal training programs, phone calls during the week, motivational emails, and continuous support.

Problem/Challenges–I work on Monday nights. Praying my boss can jiggle the schedule. Finances. I need to apply for scholarship assistance or trim my monthly budget to make this happen.

Rewards–Weight loss. Steam Room and hot tub. Making friends who have a a common goal. A stronger back to handle my job better. Socialization to beat my winter blahs and Seasonal Disorder. Exercise. The excuse to buy new clothes as I lose weight.

For a blog-post on Confidence and Seasonal Affective Disorder visit, A Winter Journal:  Notes from the Upper Peninsula

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