Sunday, August 23, 2015

"Citrus Blossom and Buds......."

When checking my 4 citrus trees this morning, I noticed several flower buds on my variegated lemon tree. I knew I had a blossom on my orange tree, but to see buds on the variegated lemon was truly surprising! The tree has not been doing well as of late, although it started regrowing leaves a few weeks ago after I sprayed it with a homemade "shower spray"......having used that last winter when I "think" it had spider mites. A few of the old leaves still have black spots, like mildew, but the rest of the plant is looking, and doing, very well.

Friday, August 7, 2015

"Time for Kale Chips"

I decided it was time to make some kale chips today. We have several plants and I have been keeping an eye on them to make a decision as to when I had enough decent sized leaves to make the dehydrating effort worthwhile. Today was that day.

After cutting the leaves, the stems needed to be removed, leaves washed, spun dry (using our salad spinner), and they were ready to be bagged for their drizzling of olive oil.

I then laid them out in a single layer on the trays of the dehydrator and sprinkled them with popcorn salt.......this time using "Ranch" flavor.

After loading several trays, the top was put on, time set for 1 hour at 130 degrees, after which I will set the drying temperature down to 120 degrees for the rest of the drying process. I will set the timer for a good number of hours, due to not remembering how long it took from them to dry in the past. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Last Nights Gathering....."

Don and I were invited to an annual summer party, hosted by PK, whom we met at a party we attended on Fathers Day. It is held at his summer home, located northwest of Honor, MI. It is a somewhat "unusual" summer home, to say the least. It sits next to a pond, which I "think" is manmade, although I am not sure about that.

PK has a beautiful garden next to the house, which he has to protect from the deer with electric fencing, which thankfully, was turned off for the party so we could wander amongst the flowers. :)

Don on the left, PK on the right, with a young man in the middle, whom I did not meet.

Here is a view of the lake......

I met and chatted with several very nice people, plus got to catch up with a few of our neighbors who were also in attendance. A nice time was had by all. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Another Day of Sightseeing....."

On Sunday, after our leisurely spent morning, we finally headed out to show Penny and Sheila some of Leelanau Peninsula, stopping first, at Leland/Fishtown.

After some time spent in Fishtown and checking out the boats at the marina, we then drove to Glen Arbor where we stopped for a delicious cup of coffee at Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company ( Leaving Glen Arbor, we drove to Empire, then backtracked to Pierce Stocking Drive, which is one of the main scenic drives at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.

This was taken at the first "scenic overlook", which overlooks Glen Lake.

Although Don is usually the photographer, and I am in quite a few photos, I usually avoid adding any with me in them because it is me writing the blog posts, but once in awhile, I do include one or two with me in them, too. ;)

At our next stop, the "scenic overlook platform" faces north, giving a very wide panoramic view towards the west, north, and east.

Our final "scenic overlook platform" hangs out directly over Lake Michigan, giving us a truly breathtaking view of the lakeshore. Although slightly hazy, we could still see for miles and miles...

Here I am, using the stationary binoculars to check out a couple of sailboats.

A kind woman offered to take a photo of all of us together.

A nice photo (in my opinion) of Sheila and me making our way back towards the parking area.

We "think" this may be a new sign this year as neither Don, nor I, remember seeing it last fall when we were there. During our visit, I found it interesting to watch several people coming back up the sand dune, who had gone down to the Lake and were "slowly" making headway coming back up. The key word here is "slowly". Most, if not all of those who went down, looked to be young and fit. Even so, their climb up was done in many, many increments......most of which were only a few yards (sometimes only mere feet!) at a time before they needed to stop and rest. It truly is an arduous  climb. All, I'm sure, slept very well that night. ;)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

"The Honeymooners!"

Good friends, Penny and Sheila, are visiting us from Madison, WI. They are, in fact, spending part of their honeymoon with us, as they were able to get married soon after the Supreme Courts ruling a few weeks ago. They actually got married on the day of their 26th anniversary of being together!

They arrived on Friday and we spent that afternoon/evening basically catching up, but yesterday, we drove into Traverse City for the annual Cherry Festival Parade!

We were lucky enough to be able to sit in the same spot where Don and I have watched the parade the last 2 years.......close to the street and IN THE SHADE!  :)

After the parade (which had 150 entries this year!), we drove out to Light of Day Organic Tea Farm ( We did a little walking around their grounds before going into the shop, and of course, took a "few" photos.  ;)

This morning has been a much more relaxed day for "getting going". We sat out in our screen room with coffee, chatting up a storm (anyone who knows any of us understands how easy it is for that to happen), until I came in and put together a simple breakfast. After breakfast, we all sort of separated and did "our own thing". I did some watering of potted plants outside, Penny went for a long walk through the woods, Don was constructive and assembled my new laptop/iPad table for my Lazy Boy, and Sheila caught "another 40 winks". What happens this afternoon is yet up for grabs.  :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"The Chicken Whisperer......"

Part of Dons routine in the morning, and also various times during the day, is to go into the chicken run and "bond" with the girls. He is my "Chicken Whisperer"! I went out this morning but had just missed one of them on his shoulder.....but I do have one from a couple of weeks ago. :)

This photo begins this mornings photo session. :) Yesterday, I managed to find a few "left over/picked over" impatiens that I repotted and set along the front side of the coop/run. Hopefully, with some TLC they will thrive.

It will be interesting to see how many of the girls continue this practice of perching on him as they grow and become "larger". :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Juvenile Hens/Pullets Come to Live With Us......."

Although the chicken coop run is not yet completed, I chose to get 10 juvenile pullets (9-10 weeks of age) yesterday. I have been checking the ads on Craigs List daily and there have been few, if any, pullets being offered for sale. When I saw the ad that a guy had 100 pullets to sell, who also lived quite close to us according to the provided map, I wrote his phone number down. Thank goodness I did because when I sat down to call him and tried pull up his ad to have it in front of me when I talked to was gone! Brad, who had placed the ad, answered his phone and when I told him why I had called, he said he had pulled his ad because he had sold the number he had wanted and only had left what he planned on keeping for himself. I told him I understood and we chatted for a bit as he told me the story of how he ended up with more chicks than expected when he asked how many I had planned on purchasing. When I said 10, he paused and then said he was willing to sell me 10......and the rest is history.

The coop interior has been basically set up and ready for "the girls", although due to an error on my part, the tall tube for the feeder did not get ordered when the base did, so I await its arrival. The girls can eat their food from the bottom tray that did get ordered. :) So early yesterday morning I cleaned and filled the automatic waterer, spread a bale of pine shavings on the floor, opened the 4 windows, and was good to go.......all I needed was to drive into Traverse City and pick up feed and scratch, before driving to pick up the pullets.

I arrived at the agreed upon time and Brad went into the chicken pen and began handing me pullets, which I placed in 2 cardboard boxes for their ride back to our house. I think he had handled the pullets quite a bit as they were pretty calm and continue to be so here at our house.

He sold me 7 Isa Browns, 2 Amber Links, and what I believe is a Golden Laced Wyandotte (center in the photo).

The feed tube for the pan will arrive in a few days and fits on top of the tray they are eating from in this next photo. It works fine for now. I was also pleased to see a couple of them drinking from the waterer, which is similar to the one Brad used, so I think they are settling in nicely and getting to know their surroundings.

Don and I went out to check on them at dusk, knowing they would not be perched on the "tree branch roost" I built for them. They were not raised in a pen that had roosts, so they have to learn how to use them. With the low light of dusk, I was able to pick up each one and place her on a roost, and when we left, closing the door behind us, all of the girls had remained on the branches where I had placed them. Hopefully, they stayed there all night (its good for their feet) and will begin to understand that is what they need to do each night. I am sure that we will be out there again tonight, and perhaps a few more nights before we find them all up on the perches on their own.

I had begun building the panel sections for the chicken run and certainly now have a much more urgent need to get them completed. I will continue working on them today and may even have them finished this afternoon. I may be too optimistic, but should definitely be finished with them tomorrow at the latest. The girls need to be "cooped up" for a few days to get used to the idea of their new home anyway, so that gives me plenty of time. :)