Thursday, June 30, 2016

More Michigan - Five on Friday

It's Friday again - a week has just flown by - and it's time to join Amy over at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday. It's been a busy week as we've been away on holiday. I haven't been on the internet much only a couple of times (gasp). It was kind of nice.

This was our first 'real' camping trip. We actually cheated a little - we stayed our first night in a tent on a campsite, next two nights in a motel and the last two nights camping in a campsite. If we had driven straight through from Kalamazoo (where we live) to Munising (our hotel stop) it would have been about 409 miles. We didn't do a straight through trip. We wanted to see some sights on our way up so we took the scenic route. I'm not from here but I have to say that Michigan is just so beautiful. There were points in the trip where I just looked out, took a deep breath and said 'wow'. Some spots looked like paradise. The skies were blue, the water was blue and green and the sands white and fine. Sometimes I think a holiday is what we need just to take a breath from life, to reset and discover what's really important in life. We always seem to be in such a hurry and sometimes forget what is important in life. At one point I was thinking that if I was twenty years younger I would like to just sell up everything and move out in the middle of nowhere and live simply.

We did so much this trip it's really tough to pick five things to show or talk about. I think I'll probably do some other posts about the trip while it's fresh in my mind and the scrapbook hasn't been done. A blog is a great place to document and then look back.

Point Betsie Lighthouse. Yes, we made it to see this one! We ended up seeing at least eight lighthouses this trip. This was one of my favourites. It was built in 1858. The views were just gorgeous. I'll definitely be doing more lighthouse posts!

Sleeping Bear Dunes. I know I did this just a few weeks ago but this place is really gorgeous. I am just in awe of its beauty.

There were actually more people climbing the dune this time. They looked like little ants on their four legs. They were warned!

I was happy enough just to look out and enjoy the view!

Tahquamenon Falls. This is a beautiful area. There are two lots of waterfalls - the upper and lower falls. Our hope next year is to hike between the two. We didn't realise but there is a campsite there too. The park consists of 52,000 acres stretching over 13 miles. 

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Beautiful. There isn't a lot more to say about this place. It speaks for itself. We took a boat tour to see the rocks from Lake Superior. It was windy and pretty chilly but the view is worth the ride. We also did a couple of hikes to look at the view from the shore.

These are the Indian heads so named because people think they can see the outlines of Native American faces in the rocks.

Colours of the rocks

My favourite of the rocks. Chapel Beach Tree. This tree is on a rock. The only way it is still living is because the roots are across on the mainland.

We walked to this one on our hike

This is quite a long post so if you're still with me I'll be quite quick. I'll probably do another post on this just because I find it interesting.

Fort Mackinac.  On Mackinac Island. Yes, we ended up taking the boat over here. The fort was a British and American outpost. Nice place to visit. Great cannon firing demonstration among other things.

As an end note, I wasn't sure that I was going to like camping. I did. There was a night when it was chilly, a night where it rained and a night where we were too close to some noisy neighbours, but I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed sitting around a camp fire at night, not dealing with phone calls and emails, no access to the internet, just enjoying the moment. It really helped that we had a nice view and could listen to waves crashing on the shore each night and when we woke in the morning.

View from our campsite. I'm already planning next year!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lighthouses - Five on Friday

I'm joining in with Amy over at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

With our trip coming up tomorrow I thought I'd share a little about the lighthouses of Michigan. If you've visited my blog before you've seen pictures of lighthouses here. Since leaving work last year hubby and I have been visiting them. I really love history. In England it's really easy to find historic places, turn around and you bump into one. Here in America, not so much. It's a much younger country and Michigan became a state in 1837. It's not so easy to find history. But Michigan does have lighthouses. In abundance.

There are 129 lighthouses in Michigan - more lighthouses than any other state. Four of the Great Lakes border Michigan - Huron, Superior, Erie and Michigan. I think it's going to take us quite a while to see them but we are determined to do as many as we can.

I'm not going to overload - just share five. Four of them we've visited and I had a lot of fun taking pictures of them. The fifth is one of those we hope to visit on our way up north.

South Haven Lighthouse. This is one of the closes to us. It was built in 1872. The picture above was taken in the summer.

I love these views of this lighthouse. We visited again in the dead of winter. You can see how in the winter the lake is all frozen over and even the back of the lighthouse had ice on it. This was my first visit to Lake Michigan when the lake was frozen.

You can almost see the frozen waves. Or is it just my imagination?

St. Joseph Lighthouse

This is another one we visited in the winter. We have yet to visit in the summer yet. It's on our list. Our son lives really close to it so no excuses!

It was built in 1832.

Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse

I think it's the romantic in me that likes this one. It is (apparently) privately owned though I think it is by more than one person. I like the thought of being able to live in the lighthouse though it needs a lot of restoration! It is quite remote though.

We saw it when we took a trip on the Pictured Rocks tour.

Au Sable Point Lighthouse

This was one we visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There was quite a walk along a mosquito-laden path before we reached it. Luckily we had plenty of spray. You could see swarms of mosquitoes follow as we walked along.

The view from this one was so beautiful. It seemed like the very edge of the world. I imagine having to stay here in a harsh Michigan winter with the bitter cold and snow blowing off the lake.

Point Betsie Lighthouse

This is one we hope to visit on our way up north. This is not a picture I took. 

This picture is taken from a really cool lighthouse website that shows you all the lighthouses in Michigan. Map of Michigan Lighthouses  .  You can click on different parts of the map to see lighthouses in different parts of the state. It's a really great website for anything Michigan Lighthouse.

 We have so many more to visit. We have done a lot along this side of the state and some up in the Upper Peninsula but only one on the other side of the state. Next year we hope to take a trip over that side of the state to do some more. There are also some that you can only see from the water so it sounds like a few boat trips are in our future!

Thanks for looking. I love reading comments.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Card Finish

Just a quick post. I should be thinking about getting stuff around for our trip but took time out to make this card for my friend for her birthday. She works as a Wine Specialist so it seemed perfect for her!

No excuses now - will get back to sorting out clothes!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday Again - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday June 22nd

 It's Wednesday and it time for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. We're still joining with Jan while Julia is recovering. It's great to see her posting again!

Another week has rolled around. Time is just flying by - we leave on our holiday Saturday morning so I won't be around next Wednesday. We are taking a trip up north first to Traverse City and then up further to Munising in the Upper Peninsula and then back down to St. Ignace. We are doing three nights camping in a tent and two nights in a hotel. The hotel stay is in the middle of the camping. We shall see how it goes! LisaDV I think I will be travelling through your small town (no time to stop though) as we are going to stop at a couple of lighthouses on our way up to Traverse City.

Anyway, on to my desk. There really isn't a lot of change.

A work-in-progress mini-album is on there but not much otherwise. We were quite busy over the weekend and the weather was gorgeous so we spent quite a bit of time outside.

I spent some of my birthday GC that my friend got me and bought this Dylusions stamp/stencil set from Michael's. I used a 50% coupon with it too.

I have been working on my stitching. Not as much as I wanted to, but I am getting it done. I won't be taking it with me. Knowing me I would get something on it or ruin it. I probably wouldn't work on it anyway so no point carrying it along with me.  I am on the countdown - I will only have three weeks to get it done when I get back. It will be crunch time. I need to have all gifts done by the time I leave for England on July 22nd.

It's quite difficult to see from the picture but I have stitched a whole chunk of white. It goes right from the brown stitching on the left (taller than the top row) and right along to the brown just above the girl's head. I'm hoping to have most of the stitching on the right hand side done before we leave on Saturday.

I'm off to hop around the other blogs and see what people are up to!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Love is....

...going to a garage sale for your Mum because you know she loves crafts and can't go because she lives too far away.

A few weeks ago my daughter saw a garage sale listing on Craigslist in her area (about 75m from me) that she knew I'd love. She went to it and bought me a whole bunch of stuff that she knew I'd like. They had a LOT of English card making magazines for 50cents each. When she came down on Saturday she brought it with her.

Love my girl!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Scenic Sunday

It was a beautiful day today, hot and sunny. It was also Father's Day. It's a strange sort of day for me. My husband is a father to our three kids so a good day to celebrate. Husband still has his dad around. I don't post a lot of personal business, but I'll just say this -  my dad isn't around. I haven't seen him since he walked out on us (Mum, me & three siblings) when I was eleven. I was the youngest of us. I was very lucky to have Mum around and what a great job she did too!

Because it was Father's Day and the weather was nice hubby and I decided to take a trip to another lighthouse on our list. This was was White River Light Station in Whitehall, Michigan. It's about 113 miles away so quite a trip.

It was quite a surprise. There was a walkway down from the car park and we followed along expecting a little walk along a concrete walkway. We found something far different.

There was a beautiful, secluded beach. The sand was just gorgeous and the watering sparkling blue.

We couldn't believe our luck finding this beautiful place. There were only two other couples there! The rest of the beach was deserted.

We ended up walking along the walkway. The views were lovely.

We took the scenic route home and ended up driving along the lakeshore back down to a familiar lighthouse - Muskegon. We've been there before in April Muskegon Lights. This time we ended up on the other side of the lighthouses to get another view.

 Great day out!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


It was a hot one again today even from early in the morning. I'm writing this is in the evening (10.30pm) when it has cooled down a little but is still a pretty warm 23C (75F). We actually made it to the Farmer's Market in the morning. It has grown since we first started going there and now offers some handmade crafts as well as fruits, veggies and bakery items. It was quite nice. There was even a live band playing. It was quite busy even at quarter to nine in the morning.

We picked up lots of fresh veggies, a loaf of cheese bread and a Rhubarb Crisp (I couldn't resist). I think it's basically what Americans call a crumble. It looks like one. I even went to pick up some custard to go with it.

My daughter, her boyfriend and her dog ended up coming up later in the afternoon as well as my other son who lives out of town. My other son still lives with us. It was nice having them all around.

Shasta found a chipmunk hole in the garden and couldn't resist sticking her head in to see if she could find the chipmunk.

Later in the evening we lit a fire in the fire pit and made s'mores. Had to laugh as the marshmallows ended up a little burnt. It's been a while since we made them! It was the perfect end to a nice day!