Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Don's Been Busy......."

Don is having the time of his life!  While exploring in the woods awhile back, he found 2 old rusty metal chairs out in what he thinks is the corner of our 2 1/2 acre property.  He has just finished making a path to them, lined with downed trees and branches.  The old chairs may be there for now, but we bought a new adirondack chair for him to sit in and relax while watching for "Bambi", who, by the way, came for a late "snack", night before last.  Yes, another motion detector sprinkler head is ordered and I made another set of "tin can/fishline deer alarms".  ;)

But back to Don's path making.  Here is the "entrance" to the path, which is just past our fire pit ring.

In time, we're planning on constructing an arbor from branches to show the entrance to the path.

Another bit of news......yesterday, we took possession of the 2 1/2 acres that our driveway has easement through, so we now own 5 acres.  Don's goal is to have more paths in our acreage and started another one last night.  It going to be very cool!  More to come on his continued path making later.  ;)

Here are some photos showing the paths progression to the chair area.

In the upper right hand corner of the photo below, you can just see a tiny bit of brown through the trees, which is our log house.

You can tell from looking at the first 2 photos showing the entrance area and these next few photos heading back to our clearing in the woods, just how much brighter it is around the house than in the woods.

So as my "Trailblazer" continues with his work (actually it is wonderful play for him), I will post more photos.  Have a good one and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Balloon Tuesday......"

I was letting Copper outside this AM when I heard that "Whooshing" sound again......yep, I got the camera quickly and went outside in time to get this photo.  2 hot air balloons this morning that took off from the grass airfield located through the woods from our house.!  The blue one is hard to see, but it is down and to the right of the yellow one, framed in leaves.  Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Some Random Photos....."

Don has been quite busy taking photos of many, many things.  Here are a few of them......

Remember that nice little round, rock raised bed where I planted Marigolds and Green Beans?  I wasn't sure if the Green Beans would do very well and now I have my answer.  ;)  Blossoms galore and baby beans in the making.  Don has since "permanently planted" the stepping stone that we received as a gift  from Deblyn (handmade by "herself"), our shirt tail relative via marriage, which we brought with us from Madison.

Here is Copper coming to check out what Don has in his hands, hoping, I'm sure, that it might be something to eat and he would share.....

And speaking of things to eat, I'm not sure exactly why Don took a photo of his breakfast, but I do know he was quite happy with it, so I guess I'm sharing it with you for of that reason.  ;)  By the way, we do not eat breakfast like this on a daily basis.......cereal, oatmeal, or toast is the usual fare.

The lighting from inside versus the coming of night caught his interest.  I'm sure there will be many more like this from different seasons in our future.  :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

"We're Official.........."

We're "officially" Michiganders now.  We both have our MI drivers licenses, which we needed so that we could get MI car insurance in order to get our car registered and licensed.

I'm a resident again of my State of birth, and Don is a first time resident!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


This one of Copper's favorite things to do when she goes out to check the perimeter.  I think she is making sure she is marking the outer edge of our clearing with her scent to keep Bambi away from Dad's plantings.  ;)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"That Little Old Homemaker......"

The walk in closet of the main floor bedroom did not have a door to close it off from the bedroom itself, so I decided to buy material and make a curtain for it.

Don and I drove into Traverse City to Joann Fabrics to see what material we could find.  I'd been there earlier, when Don was still in WI, but hadn't seen a print that "called" to me.  ;)

Don found this "up north" print almost as soon as we started looking......after the smart cracks along the lines of possibly leopard prints, etc.  Funny guy, eh?  ;)  It has bear, moose, fish, duck, cattails, acorns, and oak leaves.......a "MANLY" print!  LOL

Not being very experienced with a sewing machine, it took me a good morning to make the curtain, but I was happy with the results.

I had some left over material so I figured I should make a pillow to bring some of the same print into the bedroom itself, so the next day, it was back to Joann Fabrics for poly fiber.

Don, my photographer, was in the house this time during the pillow sewing process and documented it with photos.  I had to use the dining table in the great room for sewing because the area I have envisioned for setting up all of my fiber equipment wasn't ready yet.

The sunlight coming in the window was fantastic to work in..........

I probably did more hemming than I needed to do, but the extra material had 2 hemmed sides and I wanted to make sure everything was "equal" for each side of the pillow, besides, I really need the practice on the machine.  I have a Grace Baby Lock that I bought while in Madison.  It has the regular foot pedal power to control the speed of sewing, but it also has the ability to do all of that by hand, as well, which I, having not been "taught" to sew, plus being more of a "hands on" type personality, gives me more confidence that I am "in control"........yea, I'm know I'm fooling myself, but isn't that what happens sometimes with "confidence"?  ;)

The 2 halves sewn together with a small opening that needed to be sewn shut after I stuffed the pillow with poly fiber.  You may ask, "why so serious"?  Eyesight concentration for small stitching.   These eyes are NOT what they used to be.......

Here is the pillow in its assigned spot.  :)  I thought some of the colors in the print matched pretty well with the colors in the comforter set, too.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Don had this hammock in the backyard of the Madison house long before I met him and he now has it in our "new backyard", although he had to purchase a hammock stand in order to hang it.

In Madison, we had oak trees close enough that it could be hung from, but that isn't the case here.  The house is in a clearing and if Don were to hang it between 2 trees, he'd have to go into the woods a bit and we didn't think it was a good idea......he might become more of an attraction to mosquitoes, which, I must admit, aren't too big of an issue right now, but earlier in the season.....WOW!  We've had some very dry weather for several weeks and it's my belief that the mosquito population has dwindled due to that.  It's worth having to water the garden beds almost daily to not be immediately attacked when one walks outdoors.  ;)

Here is more of our backyard view.....

The man is in his element!

Here is photo taken from the deck that shows how far away the hammock is from the house.  Definitely a plus for some personal space, eh?  ;)

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Pitting Sweet Cherries......"

When Don and I were in Bed, Bath, and Beyond (I love that store!), we found this cherry pitter.  I'd originally figured I would get the hand held one that does a single cherry each time, but when I saw this, I figured why not?  It was 2 1/2 times more than the single pitter (but only $20) so for that price, and if it made part of the preserving process easier and more efficient, it would be worth every extra penny.   :)  It does a very good job but during its initial use yesterday, I also found out that it does skip dropping the cherry pit down into the "catcher area" once in awhile, leaving it in the cherry with the hole cut through it, but no pit expelled.  Since my plan was to dry 4 quarts of sweet cherries yesterday, I hoped that the cherry would shrink and sort of push the pit into sight, which did happen twice.  I found them exposed when I was removing the dried cherries from the dehydrator this AM, so I'm hoping I didn't miss any.  By the way, I had the dehydrator running through the night instead of during the day.  That gave the dehydrator a long, uninterrupted period of time to do its thing without any shut off times when we were out on errands.  Neither of us feel comfortable leaving any appliances running when we're not here, so the overnight drying worked well for us.  :)

The cherry pitter is made in Germany.  Thank goodness there were some English instructions, too, as my 3 years of High School German did not help.   ;)

The ever watchful Don was there to take process photos.  :)

There were a few "occasional" splashes/spritzes from the juicer cherries, so if you were to get one of these pitters, be sure to lay out some newspaper (as I later did) and wear something that  is OK to get splashed on by cherry juice.

I also found that if I loaded too many cherries into the hopper, they needed help more often in finding their way into the groove for pitting.

4 quarts of cherries were processed very quickly.  I don't know what I was thinking about when considering buying the single cherry, handheld pitter!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Don has been hanging prisms in our great rooms Southeast facing window.  The resulting splashes of color are beautiful!  They bounce around, too, when we have fans circulating air......spectacular!

Right now, he only has hung 5 in the great room window, but has more available.  We have 1 window in the loft that faces the same direction, so perhaps he'll hang a few there, too.  Then there are the "mostly" South facing windows........oh the possibilities!   ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Hot Tub Removal......"

Don did the online searching and I did the calling to schedule Jason, of Aqua Tech Solutions (, to come and remove our old, non-working hot tub that came with the house.

Here are 3 views "before" removal......

Jason and his friend, J.C. showed up Monday morning as scheduled, and had the tub tipped onto its side and rolling towards the trailer very quickly.......

I should mention that all of this was quickly done while dodging wasps, who'd been nesting somewhere in the hot tub siding........and, oh yeah, there was the snake who poked his head out, did some hissing, and then slithered back into the insulation, too.  We were more than happy to have both kinds of critters moved away from here.

Once it was rolled next to the trailer, it was dropped down, pushed onto the widest section of the trailer, which was then rolled over to the truck, and the hot tub was secured in place with tension straps.

Can you imagine the face(s) of the person(s) in a vehicle following them on the road if the snake popped out and landed on their windshield???

Here are photos of the same 3 views from the beginning of the post.......

The support structure underneath the hot tub is not attached to the deck, so it will be short work cleaning up that area.