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Friday, June 16, 2017

Off Camping!

I'm packing my bags and heading off for a week's worth of camping. No phones. No internet. Just us and the (hopefully) blue sky and lots of great scenery.

We're heading to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to uncharted (for us) territory. We're walking between Tahquamenon Falls and then heading further up to the Porcupine Mountains and the Lake of the Clouds. Don't it sound like a really beautiful place??!! Hopefully when we come back I'll have lots of photos to share.

I hope everyone has a really good week. A week without internet!! How will I manage?  I'll leave with a photo I took the other day.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WOYWW - A hot one!

It's Wednesday again and I've finally taken a (bad) phone photo of my desk to join in with the gang over at Stamping Ground for another What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. It's a hot one here in Michigan. It's been hot the last few days. Really need a break from it. It's been up in the 30s (90s) in the daytime and only down in the 20s (70s) at night. I could handle the day if the night was cooler. It was so muggy last night I kept waking up looking at the clock. Ug. We're camping up north next week so it will definitely be cooler.

Here's the bad phone photo of my desk. My craft room is upstairs and it's been so hot I haven't spent a lot of time up there. Please forgive the mess!


It's a long view of the desk and you can see the mess in all its glory. Usually I only take a pic of the bit in the middle where I'm working but there isn't a lot going on right now. I'm stamping out some sentiments and images from some kits I bought from Unity Stamps. I am going to clean up - I am.

I've been taking walks early in the morning (look at previous posts if interested). There is lots going on at the lake right now. So many different animals and things growing. Yesterday I saw these two bucks and a doe. They were weary of  me but not outright scared. I managed to take this of one of the bucks. Such a magnificent creature!


I've been posting some of my nature photos on my instagram account too. https://www.instagram.com/sharonkoole/  

I'm going to get some things done early before the heat sets in and then I'll pop around desks. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is up to!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hot days yesterday and today. Yesterday we took a walk at a state park near the lakeshore so at least it was cooler. It was actually really nice walking along there - the temperature was certainly a lot more bearable. The air conditioner has been running for days now (do turn off at night) so I dread to think what the electric bill will look like! Another reason to enjoy the end of April and May - too warm to need heat, too cool for the air conditioner!

I walked early today. Good thing too. It would have been too hot later. My poor plants are looking rather dry - doesn't matter if I do water them. Of course it looks like it's going to rain when we go camping next week but who knows, they may have changed the forecast by then. If not, we make the best of things.

Here's an image from today. A deer with a little attitude. I imagine it was wondering why I was taking photos of it.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lazy Saturday

It's going to be a hot one today - looks like it's going to be a hot week in general. Temperatures are supposed to be above 30C most of the week and even the lows are going to around 20C. It sounds really good but can be stifling after a few days. It means early morning housework and walks before gets too hot. I'll have to work out cooler meals - lots of salads, veggies and maybe a slow cooker recipe or two. Hubby grills food but I'm not that good at it.

Even though it's getting hot I'm still doing some knitting. Sounds weird, right? I haven't been learning too long and I'm afraid I'll forget it all so I'm keeping my hand in, so to speak. I've just finished this scarf. It has a pattern which includes yarn overs and knitting together. I'm finally getting the hang of following a pattern ha ha.


There are more scarves in my future. Not sure what I'm going to do with them all but they seem a good way to work on patterns. This one is nice and thick. I'm sure it will work good in the winter.


Flowers from my walk this morning. I've been trying to improve my flower photography. I have trouble making the colours pop, but this worked out okay. Daughter says I should start marking my photography somehow (now that I'm improving lol) but haven't figured out how to do it. Sigh.

I'm off to Skype my Mum. Hope everyone has a lovely Saturday.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thank Goodness That's Over!

This is a rant. Well, a little bit of one. I hate the dentist. Really hate the dentist. I knew my cleaning/check-up appointment was coming up and have literally been dreading about it. I've been thinking about it for weeks. I even thought about cancelling. I had nightmares that my usual hygienist had left and I'd been seeing someone strange. I got that one from my friend whose knew person ended up scraping some sealant off her teeth and giving her a tooth ache!

I went. I admit I rang in for some anxiety meds and while I was on the phone confirmed that my usual woman was there. That helped a little. Only a little. I work myself up so much. I think I'm my own worst enemy. Once I'm there I'm okay.  It didn't help that on Monday I knocked something hard I was eating against my tooth, felt a pain and when I poked around there was a really sharp pain between a tooth and my bridge (goes away immediately, no pain flossing or sensitivity).

I can happily report that all went well! I don't have to go back for six months! Yippeee! Dentist checked out the spot that was bothering me and says it just looks like the gum. She put some stuff on it and it should feel better. Keeping my fingers crossed! My purse is a lot lighter, but so is my mood!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday Morning

Ug it's Monday again. The weekend was SO hot. We still haven't got our window air conditioners in and apparently hubby didn't feel like putting them in so we suffered through heat. It was horribly hot and stuffy. Despite leaving the windows open last night it is still hot and stuffy in the house. He says he's putting them in tonight when he gets home from work. It is supposed to be cooler today but the air conditioner will help with the humidity too. I don't put them on all the time as I don't like it too cold, but a little relief would be nice!

It must be egg laying season for the turtles other at the lake. I've come across several of them on the path laying eggs.



These two I saw today. They were in different spots along the path and stayed still while I took their photos. There were a lot of broken eggs where I saw the second one. I hope they were broken because they hatched and not because someone had uncovered and damaged.


Even a chipmunk sat still (or rather froze trying not to attract attention) while I took its photo. I've been seeing deer too (finally). I think now that things are growing in the woods they are out eating. This is one I saw the other day. I think we startled one another and just stood staring. I managed to snap a few photos and then go on my way leaving the doe where she was.


Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Creative Cards

It seems lately I haven't been doing so much crafting or posting photos of anything I have created. I participated in an ATC (Artist's Trading Card) swap for the WOYWW 8th Anniversary party. I join in at least every other week so it was fun to create some ATCs and send them out to people in the group. They are on their way now so I thought I'd share. This year I chose a theme of fun sayings.






Hopefully I'll get up in the craft room again soon creating some cards. When the weather has been cool enough I've been doing some knitting too - keeping up on what I've learned.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Friday, June 2, 2017

I Should Be Doing Housework (Five on Friday)

I should be doing housework...but I'm not. To be fair, I am doing the wash and there is a lot of it. It was such a beautiful morning though so I got out and went for a walk. Now I'm sitting enjoying the breeze coming in the windows while listening to a Radio Suffolk listen again episode from The Suffolk Show.

I went for an early walk this morning - a little before nine. That's early for me these days. For years I was up before the birds so it feels nice to be able to get up at a 'normal' time. I decided to go a little earlier as there are more people about now that the weather is nicer. Yesterday there were people fishing, others walking and they weren't always quiet! Noisy means all the animals hide.

I was so happy to see the baby birds again! They are growing quite big.




They are getting the hang of dunking under the water for those goodies!

I took a walk down to the small (really small) stream that has a little running water. We're going to some waterfalls on our trip up north and I wanted to practise different shutter speeds and see the different results. 



I rather like how it looks. Well, housework is calling now so I'd better get to it. I want to be able to tell hubby that I did something productive today and that I didn't walk around taking photos for a long time.

I'm joining this up with Tricky and Carly over at Family Attempting to Survive the Times. I wasn't going to join in but this post has five photos in it so I think it might count!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Camping

Before last year it had been years since I'd been camping. We took the kids a few times when they were younger but we had a pop-up camper. Before that I was a teenager when I last went. Camping is something hubby was interested in doing. When we made the decision two years ago for me to finish work it was one of the things he really wanted to do. I had always worked Sundays and it was quite difficult to get the day off. It meant weekends were mostly tied up especially as I had to be at work (for the first few years) at 3.15am and (the last two years) 5.15am.

It wasn't something I was really passionate about doing but I was willing to give it a go. To my surprise I found out that I really enjoyed it! Tents have come a long way from the old days. There is no trying to work out which pole goes where. We sleep on an air mattress and my sleeping bag is quite comfy. I do admit to liking 'modern' (real toilets) campsites better than 'rustic' (vault toilets). I have to work myself up to those.


I love the walks. I've always enjoyed walking. I'm not in the best shape - fluffy - but I can walk for a while and there is nothing better than wandering through the woods - as you might be able to tell from some of my posts.



I love walking along the beach in the evening.


There is something really comforting about sitting around a firepit watching the flames of a freshly lit fire dance in the moonlight. It makes me appreciate things more yet a part of me loves getting back to the basics.



I've decided - well into my forties mind you - that this is the type of holiday I prefer. I love getting out into nature. I love waking up in the morning and hearing the water against the beach. I love being able to sit on the beach and watch the sun go down. I love sitting in front of a roaring fire reading a good book. Only two weeks before our week long trip and I'm counting down the days!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ah Peaceful!

Had a lovely weekend. The nights were quite chilly and I have amended my list of things to bring with us when we go for a week. My poor legs and feet were cold. I had trouble one night with the tendons in my bad foot and I don't think the cold helped with that. When we arrived on Saturday the weather was absolutely gorgeous.


This is the beach adjacent to our camp site. Absolutely gorgeous. We got in a 5.2 mile walk on Saturday. The forecast for Sunday called for rain but we woke up and it was still dry so we headed off on the hike we wanted to do that day. We just managed to get in the 7.2 miles and get back to camp when the rain started. So glad we did the walk in the morning! When it rained we headed into town and looked around some of the touristy shops and got something to eat (a treat!). By the time we got back to camp the rain was clearing and it turned out to be a glorious evening.



I'll post some more photos as I get them sorted. I loved spending time by the fire and walking along the beach at sunset. Nothing better and more peaceful. Hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Off Camping

It's a holiday weekend here in the US this weekend too so an extra day off work for hubby and son. It is also the 'start' of the summer season. We're off camping for the weekend. We'll be leaving early morning. It's about a four and a half hour drive to camp site. We have looked around here before but not camped.

Wish us luck as the weather is supposed to be changeable and somewhat rainy. Still we'll make the most of it. Hopefully I'll get to practise taking lots of pics! Hope everyone has a lovely long weekend.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Dreary Thursday

It's a dull and dreary day here today. I hope it brightens up before the weekend as we are taking our first camping trip of the season. The weather forecasters are predicting rain but only showers so hopefully we can dodge them.

I've been trying to work out what we're going to take with us. I was trying to think of different camping food to take but most recipes assume you're going to have something to keep things cool. We are trying to only take things that don't need any ice - sort of in preparation for the week long trip we're taking in June.

I didn't walk today, but had a nice one yesterday. They said rain then too, and while there was rain when I was on my way to the shops, it brightened up considerably so off I went.


Look how wonderfully green everything is! Just a few weeks ago it was all bare trees and grey.

There was lots of splashing around in the other direction that I took this photo. I got some pics but couldn't see what it was. I don't know a lot about fish. Hubby thinks it was a bass, maybe more than one fish perhaps mating?



The photos aren't the greatest but any ideas?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Workdesk Wednesday - 8 years!

It's Wednesday again and time to join with Julia and the gang over at Stamping Ground for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. It's the 8 year anniversary! Can you  believe it? I haven't been joining in that long. It's a really fun place to share - lots of encouragement and creative sharing. I've really enjoyed participating.

Well, here's my desk this week


It's never clean - just can't seem to keep it that way. I've been working on my ATCs but no peeking! I have a couple of extras so if anyone wants to share drop me an email Ipswich2 at aol dot com.


I've actually mounted some of the backgrounds I've been making onto card bases. I love the colours. Happy Anniversary everyone!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday and a walk

Sad today to hear of the bombing in Manchester. Makes my heart ache.

It was a fairly quiet weekend at our house. We went over to MIL on Sunday to have cake and ice cream for my birthday. In the morning hubby and I went out for a walk. It wasn't very nice out, quite dreary but we did manage 4.25miles. We go camping this next weekend - first of the season - so hopefully the weather will not be so rainy.


It was a really pretty walk. Because of all the rain we've had lately the water was pretty high but we did get to walk along a boardwalk. It was quite slippery though!

Hubby spotted a snake in the water on the way back. We seem to be seeing this darn things everywhere lately!


On the way home we stopped by the lighthouse. The sun was actually coming out though it was quite chilly and windy!



It's been painted! The first time I've seen it up close since then. Sadly there used to be quite a bit of graffiti on it. Now it is all shiny and red.

I worked on some crafts today. It's cooler out this week so nicer to work upstairs in my craft room. I'll share some photos soon. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday

Just a quick post today. Had a nice time out with a couple of friends yesterday afternoon. As it was my birthday the restaurant gave me a free dessert - Fudge Brownie Sundae. Yum! It was delicious - a great indulgence, but hey, you only turn forty-seven once right? I'm sliding into fifty pretty quickly.


It is also my sister's birthday next week. I made her a card for her birthday and managed to get it in the post in time (I hope).


I've really enjoyed making the card backgrounds. I've been doing more of them. I'll probably show on Monday. It's cooler today so I'm doing some knitting while watching some mysteries on telly. We did manage a 3.25 mile walk this morning before the rain set in. Hope everyone has a good Saturday! I really appreciate all your comments.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lazy Day and Five on Friday

Lazy day today. Ssshhh...it's my birthday so I thought I'd go for an extra long walk, take a trip to the library (including the bookshop in the library) and have a nice bath while everyone is out of the house. Later I'm going out to eat with a couple of friends. I got my present last week as it was a mother's day/birthday gift - a new lense for my camera! I LOVE it!

It's Friday so I thought I'd join up with Tricky and Carly over at F.A.S.T - Family Attempting to Survive the Times for Five on Friday. It's not an exciting one, but I thoughts I'd share Five of my favourite photos I've taken from the last week. If you're a regular visitor you've probably seen some of these already.


Nice to see one of the babies today - haven't seen them all week, but I spotted two of them along with parents down at a quiet spot on the lake. Growing but those wings are still so tiny.


Spotted the muskrat again! Not such a clear photo as last time but glad I could see it again.


Had to include this one. Daughter's husky, Shasta, catching bubbles last Saturday at the husky walk.


So many huskies at the husky walk! Different shapes and sizes. They were all so well behaved! This one had two different colour eyes - really striking!


My favourite of the week - all the turtles in a row enjoying the warm sunshine. I thought about including the photo of the snakes, but decided not too - they still give me the creeps lol.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sunbathing turtles

Had to share the photo I took yesterday while out for a walk. Lots of turtles sitting in a row. Usually they are quite skittish and flop into the water as soon as they hear a sound. Yesterday a warm wind was blowing through the trees so I don't think they heard me.


It's amazing that when you stop and look carefully you can see lots of different things. I saw a muskrat yesterday as well as another turtle on the other side of the lake and more snakes! Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WOYWW - Wednesday again?

It's the middle of the week again so it's time for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. It's been a couple of weeks since I've joined in so thought I'd show my face and join with Julia and the gang over at Stamping Ground. My desk probably looks like it did the other week. We were away last week and I haven't been up there this week yet. So instead of a desk shot I thought I'd share some of the goodies I bought while on my trip to visit daughter in Minnesota.




This lot is from a couple of the charity shops in town. I was really happy with the bottom two - they are kits. Like I need any more cross stitch kits lol. They called my name and I had to 'rescue' them.


From Michaels/Joanns. They were all on clearance/sale. I was quite pleased! The stamp set I've wanted to a while and since it was on clearance I couldn't resist.




The last lots are from a great craft shop in her town. Crafts Direct. If you get to St. Cloud Minnesota please visit the shop. It is FANTASTIC. It is independently owned. I love it! There is the main shop which is huge and then an additional outlet shop where they sell discontinued and damaged/open craft items. They have a discount coupon each week but this one you pay $1 to charity of the week to save 40% on one item. Such a great idea! Daughter bought me a GC as part of my Mother's Day/Birthday gift so I had fun picking out things.

Now to find the time to play with them all...