Wednesday, October 28, 2015


It's been a while since I've joined in this! It was under my old blog. If I can keep up with the crafts I might start blogging on that one again. I sort of gave up as I wasn't doing much crafty stuff. Now that I'm settling into my new role at home I'm gradually bringing out the craft goodies again. This week I've been working on a couple of scrapbook albums I saw tutorials for online. I found a Youtube channel I really like. Dawn's Inspirations. She has some really great tutorials. They are really inspiring me!

So this is what my desk (aka the table - at least for now) looks like.

I'm having fun putting this together. I think it might be a mini album for my Mum to document the holiday we took to the Isle of Wight this summer.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

There's a place I go where I like to walk. I haven't been going there as much as there was another mugging. Sigh. I like to walk while I'm listening to music so I've just been going around the neighbourhood and, on cooler days, walking on my 'new' treadmill. It's a beautiful place not far from where I live. It's a wildlife preserve and there are clearly signs stating that all dogs must be on leads. Yet every time I am there people have their dogs running free. Don't get me wrong - I like dogs. We've had a couple over the years including Ben, our black lab who died a couple years ago. We took him over there but on his lead. There are deer running around the woods. I go sometimes to walk and see what I can see - which isn't a lot when there are dogs running around barking.

That's my rant.

When I went the other day it was a chilly day and there were signs of autumn all around. I didn't see any deer but I did see what I think is a crane (?). I don't know a lot about birds. It (or a similar one) was in the same place last year. Beautiful creature. It stood very still for a while. If you aren't looking for it you can miss it!

At some point something spooked it and it flew away.

There was also lots of fungus. I like taking pictures of it. I find it very beautiful. The colours and patterns are fascinating.

There weren't many flowers around though there are plenty in the summer. I did see this beautiful blue flower - again I don't know what it is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Monday I actually went out with MIL. It was one of the things I was looking forward to doing once I quit work. I hadn't done a lot with her since starting work full time. It felt like I barely had enough time for kids/hubby and myself. She says she missed me. We used to spend a lot of time together especially when the kids were little. When I first came to this country I didn't drive so she took me around everywhere. I am so lucky to have such a good MIL. You hear horror stories of them all the time, yet I am lucky enough to have a great one. She could have hated me on sight. We did not meet one another until after I'd married hubby. We met and married in England. She didn't meet me until after. She accepted me with open arms.

We hit some of the craft stores. We both love crafting - though lately she's been doing more of it than me. She has some 'secret' Christmas project going on. I think (probably because of the crochet wool) that she's crocheting something for us. She always makes such good things. I'm supposed to be helping her with her craft room at some point and I'm hoping to persuade her to pass on some sewing skills to me (not my thing). There were some great coupons for Michael's and Joann's. It was fun.

She made us all these lovely blankets that are so soft and warm. Very comfy in the cold Michigan winters. I can't wait to see what she's making this year!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

It's not going to be a very eventful weekend. Hubby says he is working all weekend and oldest son is working today too. Rather quiet at home except for middle son who has three days in a row off work. On Saturdays I usually Skype my mum and we chat. Well...we use the telephone to chat as I cannot hear her and she cannot work out what is wrong with her Skype. Know it probably has something to do with the mic but she doesn't know how to fix. Sigh. I should have checked Skype before I left. Anyway today internet connection has been messing up and ended up getting cut off. Another sigh. I like being able to see her and chat with her. It was especially nice last year when she was battling cancer.

Weather is getting cooler now. Did some baking yesterday - made some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread. Yum. Others liked it once I convinced them that the spots were actually chocolate and not raisins. I think I am the only one in the house who likes raisins though the Oatmeal Raisin cookies last week went over well.

To go along with the hot sandwiches I made for dinner last night I also made homemade crisps/chips. They turned out lovely. Don't like the smell of hot grease in the house but they tasted yum!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mother-in-Law knew!

Emailed MIL about the plant and she says it is dried out Queen Anne's Lace. Before it gets to this point it is small white flowers. I've seen it around but never knew it ended up like this. Apparently it earned its common name from a legend that tells of Queen Anne of England pricking her finger and a drop of blood landing on the lace she was sewing. It is also known as wild carrot. Apparently it is high in sugar and the roots are edible. The leaves can be used in salads and the seed as a flavouring for stews or soups. Good to know!

On the subject of food, tried out another recipe tonight. It was Ravioli Casserole from a Taste of Home recipe and cheese bread also from Taste of Home. Hubby said the casserole was really good. Bread was okay. Neither one cost a lot of money to make. Definitely one to add to the 'keep' recipe binder! Not sure about the bread though.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


The days seem to be flying by. I still haven't done any crafty stuff though I did find a bunch of photos while I was sorting out my underwear drawer. How funny is that?

Hubby is back to work. He enjoyed our two days away and then went back to work on Sunday. He is now working twelve hour days for a while so no getaway for us anytime soon. We are doing lots of planning and some saving for next spring when work will slow down and we'll be able to do some overnight trips.

While we were away we were driving up to Grand Traverse Lighthouse when we whizzed past a cheese shop. I LOVE cheese. Has to be one of my favourite foods. We decided to stop on the way back. Unfortunately at the same time we stopped so did a coach load of women! We ended up in the small shop and it was packed solid. The cheese was good though and we did pick some up.

Also while we were out walking we saw lots of different plants/flowers. I'm not great gardener so I wasn't sure what they were. I am looking at books to maybe have a guide while we're out and about. I would like to know what plants/flowers are and what they can be used for.

Hubby says this is a milkweed pod. Inside there were seeds and really fluffy white stuff. I did look it up to see what they could be used for. I guess that 'fluff' is used for filling pillows. Milkweed fibres are also used to clean up oil spills. Who knew?

There were also plenty of raspberry bushes around though it's a little late in the season. I imagine in season there would be loads of them. No picking though as it is a State Park.

There were also some of these lovely things. Not sure what they are. I might have to check with Mother-in-Law. She might know.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Getting away from it all...

Hubby and I took off for a couple of days up to Traverse City.

Lessons learned -

a) go on trip in week. At the weekend the hotel costs $150 a night. During the week this drops to $59 a night. OUCH!
b) don't trust the internet that a place is still open. Picked out a gun/hunting shop for hubby to go to (I wanted to go to craft store so it seemed like a fair trade lol) only to find it was closed.
c) take sandwiches/a picnic to eat. It's quite a trip and snacks on the road are expensive!

Anyway - we did have fun. We splurged as hubby's workload is getting big and overtime will be a norm. He actually went to work today but at least he had Friday and Saturday off and we got away.

It seemed a lot busier than the last time we went. Also they have started charging for all parking spots. Sigh. We haven't been for a couple of years. It seems like others have 'discovered' this gem on the lake which might explain why the cost of the hotel had gone up.

We travelled up along one side of the peninsula to Mission Pointe Lighthouse which was under renovation.

 It was a beautiful day on Friday. The sun was shining brightly. We were really surprised when we got to the lighthouse that the lake was up so much further than the last time we had ventured there. There was barely any beach at all compared to the last time we were there.

We went out to eat that night at a restaurant. It was okay. Food was okay. Not great. Not sure it was worth the money we spent, but the food wasn't terrible. Next time we'll just eat somewhere else.

Saturday was a lot duller and cooler. Brrr. I actually wore my jumper and my zip up sweatshirt over the top. I even donned my fingerless gloves while I was taking pictures. Autumn is definitely in the air BUT the trees haven't turned colours yet. That was slightly disappointing but oh well.  Saturday we went up the other side of the bay up to Grand Traverse Lighthouse. We checked out the campsite while we were there as the lighthouse is in Leelanau State Park. The campground looks nice so we decided we might go there to camp next year.

The beach was fairly deserted. There were a few people still camping and a few couples walking about, but it was nice to have the place to ourselves. It was chilly though which could explain the lack of people about!

All in all it was a nice couple of days - relaxing. I have some plant/flower pictures to share tomorrow.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 1st

Wow. I can't believe it's already October. It has been three months since I made the move to leave my job and stay home. It doesn't seem that long ago. I was out of the country visiting my Mum back home for seven weeks so it really hasn't been that long since I've actually been home.

Autumn is definitely in the air now. I had windows open today for a little bit but there was a bite to the wind that soon had me closing them once the late afternoon came. With the colder weather comes the thought of winter. It is not my favourite season. I don't like the cold or the snow we get here in Southwest Michigan. When I first moved here I thought it kind of strange that a lot of older people left the area to go to Florida for the winter. Now I understand it. Unfortunately we don't have that choice - hubby is still hard at work and neither one of us are near retirement age!

I was reading a blog I visit frequently and the topic was what do you do to prepare for winter. To be truthful I haven't really thought much about it before but one of my goals in staying home is to be a better planner and not do things spur of the moment as well as saving money. I won't be going out as much in winter - and need to cut down on store runs anyway - so I want to be stocked up with things BUT I don't want to pay for the nose for them. I am making more dollar store runs and stocking up on toothpaste, hand soap and other things I know we'll use. I suppose I need to think about food stocks for winter so we can just do a fresh fruit/veg/milk run each week. This will mean meal planning (not good at it!). I am trying to build up a good variety of recipes to keep us going. I plan on putting more thought into this subject over the next few days.

 Looks like someone else is getting ready for winter too!