Sunday, April 12, 2015

"About Time, eh?"

I finally sat down after months of silence to write a blog post. Amazing, eh?  ;)

Today has been an absolutely gorgeous day for doing some outdoor Spring work. The day dawned bright and sunny with a somewhat mild temperature, which only gained warmth as the day progressed.

Don started us off by washing a few of the windows inside and out.....

I set up the pop up greenhouses.....yep, I said "houses".  We bought another to add to last years because I have planted more varieties of seeds this year and need more room when I set them out to harden off in the greenhouse.

Here is last years greenhouse that I set up this morning. I set it up with the doors facing the opposite direction than I had last year. I wasn't able to easily reach one of the doors last year to unzip it, so decided to have it this direction this I wanted to add the 2nd greenhouse to it as seamlessly as possible. Both greenhouses are 5'x5'. With both set up, I now have a 5'x10' greenhouse.

I installed the potting benches and the 55 gallon drum, filling the drum with water so it can begin gaining solar heat to help temper the fluctuation of daytime and nightime temperatures........gaining heat during the day and releasing it at night. I also had several kitty litter buckets that Patrick and Julie had given me, so those, too, were filled with water to serve the same purpose. Those, along with numerous gallon milk jugs filled with water, will "hopefully" do as I hope with the temperature fluctuation.

Here is what the two look like attached together.

I also laid the plastic sheeting, which is weighed down on opposite ends with 2'x4'x8' lumber (that I had configured for the  hoop raised bed), over the top of the 2 greenhouses.  It will protect the area where the two come together, plus perhaps give the greenhouses a layer of extra warmth due to the dead air space between them.

Now to let the filled containers soak up solar heat until I am ready to move seedlings out into the greenhouses.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Our Afternoon at Caberfae Ski Resort......."

Don and I met Patrick, Julie, and Abigail at Caberfae yesterday so we could watch Abigail ski.  Don was the camera man and, of course, did an excellent job!

We found the resort's history very interesting.....

Here is a map of the resort's layout.....

Here is Abigail prepared to go up the rope tow for her first run of the day.

Patrick gets her in place and away they go!

Julie is right behind them.....

Once they arrive at the top (these photos were taken at the "Bunny Hill"), Patrick snaps the ends of the "ski leash strap" to the back of the harness on Abigail and they start down the slope with Julie right behind them.

A little amount of pulling from Patrick on either side of the leash helps Abigail make turns as she skis down the slope.

He can also release the pressure when she doesn't need it.  :)

Patrick takes a break.  Some of you who are skiers will know how uncomfortable it is to stand around in ski boots which make you stand in the correct position for skiing....keeping you bent at the knees.  Todays boots are a far cry from the lace up ski boots I started with.  ;)

Leaving the Bunny Hill and rope tow behind, the kids headed over to a chair lift to go further up the slopes which will allow them much longer "ski runs" down, letting Abigail have more time to work on her turns.

After a couple of runs down this longer slope it was time to stop for lunch.  We chose to eat in the resort's hotel restaurant where it was much quieter than the ski lodge cafeteria.

Grandpa Isabell and Grandpa Don walk with Abigail to our car so she can pick up the bag of cut out frosted cookies that we brought for them.  We would meet Patrick and Julie at their car so the 3 of them could change out of their ski boots and some of their heavier ski clothing.

Abigail is being extremely patient with the knowledge that the cookies were to be tasted "after" lunch.  :)

At the restaurant, Little Miss Abigail "listens to the breaking waves at some distant seashore" while we wait for our food.  :)

My last photo is of Patrick with his "Abe Lincoln" style beard.  This is the longest I have ever seen his beard allowed to grow.  Unlike his Father, he keeps his trimmed very well, don't you think?  ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Barb and Geoff's Visit Continued....."

I apologize for so long between blog posts.......I definitely have no excuse, other than laziness.

Barb sent some very good photos of their trip, which I will post along with some explanations.

Our first day of exploring began with a stop at Light of Day Organic Tea farm.  Here is their main building.  (

This is the yurt where several classes are offered.  Don and I have taken a couple of classes in here.

Broader view of their grounds.....

We made several stops along Stocking Pierce Drive in Sleeping Bear Dunes  Here are several views from those stops.....

Geoff, Barb, and Don hiked on Sleeping Bear Dunes Empire Bluff Hiking Trail, too.

Ending up at a wooden deck overlooking Lake Michigan.

To be continued.....

Friday, October 24, 2014

"Barb's Visit Continued......."

Down the road from Gwen Frostic's Studio, perhaps 1/4 mile, is Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm.  From what we could see, all of their alpacas are "Huacaya Alpacas".  The other breed of alpaca is called "Suri". (

Here are several photos from the farm......

They also have a pair of "Great Pyrenees" guarding their herd.

The farms shop had a fairly large inventory of alpaca merchandise, too......all extremely soft!  :)

A very enjoyable stop along our way to Green Point Nature Preserve, which will be the subject of my next post.  :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Barb's Visit......"

Our friend Barb arrived from Madison (via Indian Trails bus) last Wednesday for a visit.  She came ahead of her husband, Geoff,  who drove over on Friday.

Our first full day with Barb found us heading over to Green Point Dunes Nature Preserve's hiking trail on the shore of Lake Michigan, south of Elberta.  (

On our way there, I decided a stop at Gwen Frostic's print studio was in order. (  Don and I have passed it too many times without stopping while on our way to the Frankfort/Elberta area, so I decided since we had Barb with us, it would be nice to explore something new.  :)  I was introduced to Gwen Frostic block prints when I worked on Mackinac Island in the Spring/Summer/Fall of 1972.

Don and Barb in front Gwen Frostic's studio and home.  Gwen lived in an upstairs apartment, above the print shop.

The "Round House" to the right of the entrance has a "green roof".  Here is a close up of it.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed into it due to it needing some repairs, but it is reached by walking down this glass enclosed hallway.

Across from the main entrance and at the top of the hallway is a pond and waterfall.

Judging the size of the building from outside of the structure is very deceiving.  The retail and print shop is HUGE, with a couple of smaller alcoves adjoining the main showroom.  Unfortunately we did not take a photo of its entirety.  Here Barb is deciding which 12 notes she wants to purchase from the dozens available.

This will give you a better view of some of the prints available.

The printshop is located behind the main showroom.  Several machines were in the process of printing.........

After Barb made her purchases, they were nicely wrapped with a piece of cedar leaf (?) affixed with a sticker.  What a nice touch, eh?

To be continued.........with a stop at Crystal Lake Alpaca farm.  :)