Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ugh. Got a case of the blues today. Sad for some reason. Don't have a lot of energy. Might have something to do with the fact that it's dreary and rainy. I did get up in my craft room and do a little crafting. Cheered me up a bit.

Today I'm sharing some photos from Sunday. These are from the lighthouse at St. Joseph in Michigan. It's a little lake town about 45minutes away from us. My son moved there about a year and a half ago when he got a job at the newspaper. Not a lot to do in the town. It's definitely an area that's a little more lively in the summer. We decided to stop there to see the lighthouse.

There was still some ice around.

Walked beneath the supports you see as the water on one side was quite choppy and was coming up over the path.

Quite a view from beneath the icicles.

This post looks like it's wrapped in plastic but it's actually covered in ice.

This one draped in ice mixed with sand.

 The top photo is of the light behind the lighthouse. The water was quite choppy. I couldn't look at it for long. It made my stomach churn and I felt quite sea sick! There are no barriers between the walkway and the water, just a drop. I clung onto hubby's hand and didn't let go! I felt quite brave walking along there. I made sure I kept closer to the other side where the water was a lot calmer!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunday Walk - Warren Dunes State Park

Another dry, sunny but chilly Sunday morning so we pottered off on another walk. We took a drive about an hour away to Warren Dunes State Park for a walk along the beach. Luckily I had bundled up in my long undies - they were needed! The wind was quite brisk. There weren't many people out and about.

I took photos with my camera - practising what I've learned - and with my phone. The one above is from my phone. It 'created' a panoramic view which I thought was quite nice.

The seagulls were out in force. Luckily these ones aren't the vicious kind. I almost got my sandwich pinched out of my hands last summer on my trip to England! These were a lot calmer - scared of people as they tended to fly away as soon as I got close.

Still some ice around though not as much as there was the last time we were there. 

You can see where it had chipped away at the sand.

A big piece of wood uncovered - made me giggle.

Look at those waves!

All in all a beautiful, yet chilly walk. From there we drove down to another lighthouse - I'll share those photos tomorrow. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Big Sable Point Lighthouse - Five on Friday

Joining up with Amy over at Love Made my Home for another Five on Friday. Sounds like changes are ahead! Looking forward to continuing participation over at F.A.S.T blog - Family Attempting to Survive the Times - great blog, always interesting to see what they are up to.

Now onto my Five on Friday. It's been unseasonably warm here in Michigan - so  much so that there were actually people out in shorts last week. It really wasn't THAT warm, but when you've had well below freezing temperatures and no sunshine mostly since November it seems really warm. Let me tell you, there were lots of really white legs about! Anyway, because it was so nice out we took a trip to one of my favourite lighthouses - Big Sable Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan near Ludington.

The lighthouse was built in 1867. There was a growing lumber industry in the area and a number of shipwrecks on the lake. In 1855 there were twelve shipwrecks!

The tower is 112 feet high - it is one of the few Michigan lighthouses with a tower over 100 feet. It's quite a climb to the top as we did it last summer. It isn't open in the winter months. In the summer volunteers stay at the lighthouse and conduct tours.

There have been 15 lighthouse keepers - the first being in 1869 and the last in 1968.

It was the last Michigan Lighthouse to get electricity and plumbing in the late 1940s.

This is the current fog signal. An older fog signal fell into the lake due to erosion in 1943. Erosion around the area is still a concern.

It's quite a walk to the lighthouse (1.8 miles from the carpark) and all the time I was imagining what an isolated place it must have been back in the 1800s. I can imagine being out there in the middle of winter with the snow, ice and cold winds blasting against the lighthouse. It looked so beautiful the day we went, but I can imagine it is quite daunting in the a snow storm.

 They put wooden barriers to try to cut down on the sand drifting as it is surrounded by dunes.

They don't always work! This is the sign as it was the day we went.

This is from last summer.

I hope you've enjoyed the little tour!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WOYWW - Did I leave my mojo in St. Cloud?

It's Wednesday again so it's time to join with Julia and the gang over at Stamping Ground for another What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Here's my desk - lots of coloured pencils and a few images. I think I want to sort my pencils - daughter has them all sorted in colours. Mine are as they came. How do you organise yours?

You can see a little colouring going on but not a lot else. I think I left my crafting mojo in St. Cloud!

Since I've come back I have got some sorting out done - several books posted off to and magazines listed (and sold) on Ebay. I've got a way to go but I am getting there!

I did finish a scarf! It's like the one I knitted in St. Cloud, only this one is sewn too

Here's a photo of me wearing it! Hopefully next week there will be a little more to see on my desk.

Monday, February 20, 2017

More walking - beautiful Michigan!

I loved Ludington State Park. After our walk to the lighthouse we decided to take a look around at the other campgrounds - unfortunately only one was open but some of the spots looked great! I checked when I got home and most of them were booked already - for most of the summer! Yikes. I can believe it after we drove a little further into the park. There were plenty of walks along rivers and through woods and a lovely dam. The day was so beautiful people were out fishing.


On our way back down to Kalamazoo we stopped at the other lighthouse in Ludington - Ludington North Pierhead Lighthouse. It's a little walk out to the lighthouse and there was still a bit of ice on the walkway.

See the people fishing? There was a bite to the air at this one.

So calm on one side, rough on the other.

Still a huge chunk of ice on one side of the lighthouse. Didn't walk around that side - look how big it is!

It looked like it was ready to fall!

A reminder that it is still winter - the seats are just about buried from the blowing sand! They will have to be dug out sometime before the season starts, but I doubt it will be soon. This is Michigan and one day we're wearing shorts and the next in the middle of a snow storm.

Warm days are nice while they last!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Beautiful Sunday Walk

It was a gorgeous day today. February in Michigan and it was warm enough to go without a coat! There were lots of people out in shorts - a little crazy imo - with really white legs lol. I think we are all fed up with winter. It was really great to see the sun shining and the sky really blue.

With the weather as great as it was we decided to take a trip up to Ludington State Park and take a walk to the lighthouse and maybe check out some camping spots.

It's a really lovely walk - 1.8 miles to the lighthouse so a round trip of 3.6 miles. It is a level walk, some sand as the dunes on either side had drifted a little with the winter winds.

A first peek of the lighthouse over the dunes.

And finally a view of the Big Sable Lighthouse in all its glory.

This has to be one of my favourite lighthouses.

Still a little stubborn snow/ice around.

And a few hints of where there was ice.

What a lovely walk! More tomorrow....

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Funny Dog!

Daughter treated her dog Shasta to some new toys today - found a really good bargain at a pet shop  near her. She sent me some cute photos.

She played with each one of them and fell asleep with them around her.

Later, she just decided to sit on them!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Crow Wing State Park, Minnesota - FIVE ON FRIDAY

It's been a couple of weeks since I joined in with Five on Friday with Amy and the others at Love Made My Home. My daughter moved to Minnesota from Michigan at the beginning of January and I've been off visiting her for a couple of weeks. I had a lovely visit. Even though we had moved her it was nice to see her settled in and spend a little more time at her flat. It's really secure, quiet and comfortable so makes me feel a lot better that she is settled safely.

Anyway, while I was there we did venture out to visit a couple of State Parks. It was cold (sometimes as low as -18C/-1F not including wind chill) and still snowy/icy. We decided to bundle up and go explore a little. Each state has state parks that are are recreational parks - hiking, skiing, canoeing, beaches, camping etc - and if you pay a fee you can have access to them all year long. In Minnesota the fee is $25.

For this Five on Friday I'm going to share our visit to Crow Wing State Park.

Crow Wing was reportedly the scene of a major battle between the Dakota and Ojibwe in the year of 1768. It was also the home of several great Ojibwe leaders.

The Crow Wing River meets the Mississippi river where the park now is. Trading posts sprung up around the river and people settled here. Fur trading gave way to logging. At its peak the settlement boasted 700 strong. The rivers here were (when we visited) covered with ice and snow, barely recognisable.

For over a century this was the northernmost settlement of Europeans on the Mississippi River.

They have recreated the old boardwalk that would have gone through the centre of town.

There are some great little signs along the way telling you of things around what was the town.

This is the Clement Beaulieu house. It is thought to be Minnesota's oldest standing house north of the twin cities (Minneapolis/St Paul). It was built in 1849 - so new compared to some of the buildings in England. It is situated on the hillside and would have overlooked the town below on the Mississippi River. He is considered to be one of the founders of the town.

Beaulieu was the descendant of prestigious French and Ojibwe lines which I find quite interesting. I might have to look up more about him and his family!

The demise of the town came in the 1870s when the Northern Pacific railroad decided to build the railroad crossing a little to the north at Brainerd. The remaining local Ojibwe were 'relocated' to the White Earth Reservation (Clement Beaulieu and his family included) and the town became a part of history.

I hope you've enjoyed the little tour - as you can see it was very snowy (none of the paths were cleared) and cold so we didn't walk far. I am looking forward to visiting in the summer and seeing the river at full flow!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Wednesday rolling around again. Joining up with Julia and the group at Stamping Ground for another trip around the world sneaking a look at the desks of other crafty people. I am back in Michigan again after a lovely two weeks visiting my daughter in Minnesota.

My desk isn't that creative, just a few things waiting to be put away and some leftover chocolates I couldn't help dipping in to. I am still settling in and sorting out. I did finish my scarf in Minnesota but had to leave it as no room in my bags - really, I had to push down to get one closed!

I have been knitting on this one since I've been back. I really like these. They are so warm!

I also finished another cross stitch while I was in Minnesota. This one is a Lizzie Kate design. I am so glad I am finally getting some of these done! Now I have to work on getting them framed and displayed. I read quite a bit while I was away but that was on my Kindle. The goal is to read some of the books on my many bookcases....if only there were a few more hours in the day!