Friday, September 30, 2022

The End of September

Can't say I'm sad to see it go. It has passed by really quickly though. 

I am looking forward to October though. I love Autumn. It's my favourite season. I like the changing of the colours and I like the cooler temperatures. It's usually in October that we see our first frost and, while I don't like it cold, I love getting out and taking a walk and seeing the frost on the field where I walk. 

Next weekend we'll be taking our annual colour visit to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I wasn't sure we were going to be able to go this year. Money is tight and things are expensive. When I had looked at hotels it was going to be about $150 a night (3 nights) and I was sure that wasn't in the budget. We usually try to stay in the mini cabin on the campground (it has electric, a fridge, microwave and bunk beds) but when I checked (in late summer and a few weeks ago) it was all booked up until it closes mid-October. It's only $52 a night. I decided to check again last week and somebody must have cancelled! I was able to book it for the Friday and Saturday night but not the Sunday. Thankfully hotels for Sunday nights are a lot less and I managed to find one for $80. So we are off on a mini-trip!

I walked this morning. My friend was there so she couldn't have been too upset with me. She didn't sound it. We had a nice walk. It was quite chilly when we first got there, but by the end of our walk it was warming up. 

Not sure what we're doing tomorrow. Husband worked ten-hour days this week so he could take time off on Thursday to take his Dad for an appointment in another city. I think he's pretty tired so I probably won't nag him to go out in the morning. We will go out Sunday for a walk. The weather is supposed to be quite nice. 

Day 273

I'm still on frost watch, but there was a lovely mist over the lake this morning. It was really beautiful. The trees are beginning to change colour too!

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Another Day

There was no frost this morning. I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I got out for a nice walk though. I shall get up and go again tomorrow but I think on Saturday I'm going to give it a miss and have a lie-in. I haven't been sleeping well at night and seem to sleep better right as the alarm has been going off. I'm really dragging this evening. Just waiting for son to ring and then I'm off to bed. 

I briefly went up in the craft room today. I had other household things I needed to get done and managed to keep myself on track enough to get them done. I think that, as the colder weather comes, I will be spending more time up there. I am going to have to turn the heat down as costs are going up and it is always nice and toasty up there. I just need to make myself split my time between sorting/decluttering/organising and actually crafting. 

How are you planning to combat rising heat costs? 

Here in my part of Michigan it gets really, really cold (I've complained about it enough) and not having the heat on at all just isn't an option. I don't want to be cold all the time either. I do bundle up in layers, have blankets for when I am sitting and if my hands get really cold in the house, I use handwarmers. It sounds kind of silly, but my hands and feet are usually always cold in winter. I have some nice thick socks too and comfy, warm slippers. Our house is open planned. I wish it was more like my house that I grew up in. There was a door on the kitchen and a door on the living room. It was easy just to heat one room. I am wondering whether it is more cost efficient to have a small electric heater on in the living room. I don't suppose I'm the only one thinking about this. 

Well, son has rung now and I'm going to toddle off to bed. 

Day 272

My kind of cloud day this morning. Just beautiful and quiet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


The week seems to be going by so quickly! I've been plodding along. Some hits and misses on the path to sorting things and getting things organised. Progress is a lot slower than I had hoped for. It seems as though the day passes by so quickly. I obviously need to work on my time management!

I have been up in the craft room again. I am slowly getting it sorted though I seem to get distracted and end up crafting more than sorting. On that note, I shall have projects to share soon. 

Can you believe it's almost the end of the month? Gasp, horror, it's almost October!! The days here are certainly getting shorter. We might have our first frost tonight. I am a little excited as it might mean nice photos in the morning! I am not looking forward to it being so cold though. I had to dig out some warmer clothes to walk with in the morning. Talking of walking, I felt a little mean this morning. My walking friend had told me last week and on Monday that she had an appointment this morning and wouldn't be available to walk. I decided not to walk, but just to wander along and take photos. I was still going to our usual place but I wasn't going for a walk walk. Yesterday she texted me later in the day and said her appointment had been cancelled and she would be at our usual place walking. I told her that, although I would be at our usual place, I wasn't planning on walking. She seemed to take it okay. Maybe I'm over thinking it. Sigh. I did enjoy my wander and experimented a little with my photography. Sometimes I like to just meander along, stopping and watching and I know she doesn't always like that. 

I enjoy walking with my friend, but sometimes I like going alone. As I said, sometimes I like to stop and stare and observe more than I walk. I'm thinking of maybe going one day a week by myself and just meander along, maybe somewhere different than the usual place I go. 

This has turned into a bit of a ramble! 

Day 270 Things That Make Me Smile

Yesterday, I had fun stamping some images to use on cards. Made me smile. 

Day 271

Came across this lovely orange fungus while walking in the woods today. I think this is the most in one place I've ever seen. Kind of made me smile! I was looking for the little things and somtimes that means looking down!

Monday, September 26, 2022

It's Beginning to Look Like Autumn

Sunday wasn't the brightest day. Rain was forecast and it was rather dull, but we decided to go for a drive. It stopped raining enough that we decided to go and visit a pumpkin patch that my friend had told me about. We were out earlier than the place opened and after meandering along back roads (some of them dirt roads - yikes!) we ended up at the lakeshore. The skies were looking dark and ominous, but it made for some lovely photos. I'm sharing phone photos here as I haven't sorted out my camera ones yet (story of my life!). 

This lighthouse is at Holland, Michigan. It is known as Big Red. It's not one of my favourite lighthouses, but the skies just made me want to take some photos. I wasn't the only one. 

You can definitely tell summer is over at this beach. They were already preparing for winter and putting up the winter fencing - that's a sure sign that colder weather is coming!

We only had a quick walk as those large dark clouds ended up coming our way and it started to rain!

We headed to our original destination - the pumpkin patch - further inland where it wasn't raining. Not especially bright, but at least not raining. It was a lot of fun!

If you didn't want to walk down to the pumpkin patch they had a bunch on display up by the car park. 

It wasn't a long walk to the patch and it was beautiful

They even provided wagons so you didn't have to carry your pumpkins back!

My Day 268 photo - the pumpkins I picked

Monday came far too soon and the day went by so quickly. I got a few things done, but not as much as I had hoped. I wasn't sure that I was going to go for a walk today. I haven't really been feeling like it lately. I'm not sure why. I enjoy it once I'm out, but I really just don't want to get moving. I'm glad I did this morning. I saw two rainbows while out (it was raining a bit). This one really make me smile. I didn't notice it at the time, but I think it's almost a double rainbow. What a wonderful way to start the week. 

Phone photos - Things That Make Me Smile Day 269

Saturday, September 24, 2022


I managed to get some sleep last night. I almost ended up on the sofa again. I was tempted twice, but must have gone off to sleep again. I woke later than normal as I did remember to turn off my alarm. Husband was already up ready to go to golf. Laugh out loud, to myself. He had an okay time. Did rubbish at the golf and his shoulder (has an old injury) is aching already. He's sure it will be worse tomorrow. 

I didn't go for a walk this morning. I decided to do a little bit of shopping. I went to The Dollar Tree and bought a few things. I managed to find a few loose papers that were orange and purple and fairly cheap. I also had fun looking at the Halloween Mugs. I was tempted, but they were more than I wanted to pay for them. 

I really like the first one. I might just have to keep an eye out and watch if it goes on sale. 

My Phone Photo - Things That Make Me Smile Day 267 

When I went to The Dollar Tree they had a few Christmas items out. These stickers made me smile. I grabbed some while they had them as they disappear quickly. I also picked up some gloves. I like the ones I can find here to wear underneath my big fluffy mittens.

I managed to get up in the craft room for a while. I worked on my mini album for a while and managed to put together 2 of the card toppers from the last couple of posts. I made the envelopes to go with them too. 

Looks like rain tomorrow so maybe more time in the craft room!

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Trouble with a Messy Craft Room... that I can't find anything!

I was up in the craft room again today and I finished some more toppers. I found the paper pad that goes with the toppers but can I find any orange and purple backing papers? Nope. Do I have some? Probably. Am I tempted to just buy some? Yes. Sigh. I have them in my shopping cart online. I'm not going to buy them though. I am going to look through my room again tomorrow and try to find something suitable that I can use instead. 

It was chilly this morning for my walk. Autumn has definitely arrived. It was 38f/3c. I was well wrapped up when I went out. After my walk, I went to the shops and got a cake and what not. Son came up this afternoon and the guys watched the Thor movie on Disney +. I went up to the craft room. I did come down to watch She-Hulk. It's quite funny. 

I have turned off my alarm for the morning. I didn't get a lot of sleep again last night. I ended up on the sofa again. Husband sleeping deeply and snoring like crazy. He had a shorter day today so hoping it won't be so bad. Tomorrow is going to be a quiet day, I think. Husband is going to a golf outing with work. That's funny in itself as he does not play golf and he doesn't find it enjoyable. He is on a team with the best golfer in the company. He is probably the worst (he would say this himself). He isn't quite sure why he volunteered to go. 

Three more toppers 

The patterned paper pad that goes with the toppers. Hopefully, I'll find some plain papers and have some cards to share within the next couple of days. 

Phone Photo - Things That Make Me Smile Day 266

A chilly sunrise. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Crafts and Books and Everyday

Hoping for some good sleep tonight. Husband had a long day at work yesterday - 12 hours plus travel time - and was understandably tired at the end of the day. Once in bed he was out like a rock and snoring like a...well, I'm not quite sure what snores as loudly as he did last night! I had my earplugs in and I could still hear him quite loudly. I tried discretely nudging him but it didn't work and, after about forty minutes, I ended up on the sofa. The sleep was not good. He had another long day today. I am hoping the snoring is not so bad tonight. I fear I might be disappointed. Sigh. 

I got a couple of household jobs off my list, things that I'd been putting off. I also managed to get up in the craft room for a bit today. I didn't get a lot done, but I did make a start on another mini album and I put together a couple of Halloween toppers that will go on cards. The photo is the Things That Make Me Smile for today (day 265)

I thought I'd also mention a fail. I gave in and bought a couple of books at The Dollar Tree yesterday. I went in for a couple of things, but got distracted by the books. They look like a couple of easy reads

Today was definitely cooler and there was a touch of Autumn in the air. I kept the windows closed all day to keep the heat in the house. It was sunny, but there was a wind too. Tonight the temperature is supposed to drop to 40F/4C - a chilly night to be sure! The window in the bedroom is closed and the blanket has been pulled over the bed in case it is needed. 

I will have to be sure to bundle up for the walk in the morning!  Tomorrow is middle son's birthday so after my walk I have to go out and pick up a couple of things. I am hoping the roads cooperate (lol). The main road up the top of the street is coming to the end (hopefully) of a long project (it's been only open one way since April) and they are now repaving the whole thing. The sign says expect long delays. Sigh. There are roadworks everywhere. As I tried to get home from the shops the other day the road I usually go down was closed and the detour had a lane closed. I am trying to think where I can shop where the travel will be easier!

I'm off to bed hoping for some sleep!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Been an okay couple of days. I was hoping to have some crafty projects to share but, in truth, haven't been up in the craft room the last couple of days. Yesterday I spent some time listing some Ebay auctions. I need to clear some things out. If they don't sell, they shall be donated. Now that our long breaks are done, I need to concentrate on getting the house in some sort of order. I spend more time inside in the colder months and I would like a space I feel comfortable in, somewhere I can relax without feeling hemmed in by stuff. 

It was quite warm today 83f/28c. Humid too. It is the last of the really warm days (at least for a while, I think). Tomorrow the temperature will drop to 60f/16c. Quite a drop. I shall probably be complaining that I'm cold as my body tries to adjust to the sudden drop in temperature. I have to remember to close the windows tonight too! I think this was the last of the really warm days (at least for a while). I'm hoping we won't have to use the air conditioning unit anymore this year and they can be removed shortly. There is usually a short period when I don't have to use the air or the heat. I like enjoy having windows open on the warmer days of Autumn. 

It's been a strange week this week. I forgot that husband has to man his works' booth at a county fair two afternoons this week (Wed and Thur). It makes for long days for him as he will be gone for 12 hours each day. He is thankful that he got the 2-6pm shifts each day and not the 6-10pm ones! Also, middle son is coming up twice this week - today and Friday (his birthday). I had to rethink the weekly menu. It was nice to see him though. 

I'm not sure if I mentioned it here, but last week while we were camping (he didn't come with us) he had the dreaded Covid! Another worry! He had a couple of rough days but even though it's been almost two weeks he still has some cough and other issues. He has been so careful but thinks he might have got it at the gym. They never say if there have been cases, but he said some of the workers were suddenly wearing masks when they hadn't before! I suppose you never know though. 

I'm still catching up on my Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile. I'm going to start with today's photo and then play catch-up with some more of the ones I've missed. 

Day 264 (today)

There was a lovely rainbow over the lake this morning and some beautiful clouds. What a lovely way to start the day! I wasn't looking forward to walking - I don't seem to have the energy lately - but I was so glad that I went. 

Day 261 (Sunday 18th Sept)

It's been a long time since we've been to the lighthouse at St. Joe. It's just too busy in the summer. We decided to go for a walk along the beach and the lighthouse. The light was lovely. 

Day 262 (Monday 19th Sept) 

A lovely turtle on the path. Of course, he stuck his head in when I tried to take a phone photo! I did manage to get a few with my camera before he retreated to his shell (probably because I was further away). After I moved back a little he continued on his way. 

Day 263 (Tuesday 20th Sept)

A foggy morning walk. The weather forecast said it was going to be cloudy all morning. It was lovely to see the sun after the fog cleared away.

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Day to Remember

I got up early this morning to watch some of the funeral. It was quite moving. 

I was supposed to have a Covid booster and Flu shot today but storms came through last night and the place I was going to sustained damage and the appointment was cancellled. I tried to reschedule but couldn't do it online. I think that closer to the end of the week, I'll go in and see if I can do it that way.  I was hoping to get it out of the way! 

I walked by myself for a little while before doing my grocery shopping and going home. I managed to get some household chores done and got some of the camping clothes washed. There will be more washing tomorrow. We got through some heavier clothes as the nights were a little chilly. 

I was going to do some more sorting in the craft room, but because I stayed on track and got other things done I didn't go upstairs. I don't have a lot planned tomorrow so will tackle more of the craft room tomorrow. I still have a long way to go, but I did get some sorting done over the weekend and it is looking better. I actually managed to take a bag of rubbish out of there at the weekend!

Day 257 (Wednesday 14th Sept)

Wasn't a good day. We were all worried about Shasta. She still managed to have a smile when she got some attention from Mum. 

Day 258 (Thursday 15th Sept)

We got up really early to see Daughter, SIL and huskies off. It was a sad day. Husband and I didn't want to go back to bed so we went and found a sunrise somewhere. This was taken where yesterday's video was taken. It was beautiful. The day was full of worry waiting to hear they all got home safely and then waiting to hear about Shasta's passing. 

Day 259 (Friday 16th Sept)

We decided to go back home early. We didn't fancy staying without Daughter and her family. On our way home we decided to stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. It's $25 to get in but we decided to treat ourselves. When we reached the gatehouse the man there asked if we met certain criteria, one of which was being a Veteran. Husband served for ten years and showed the man his ID. We got a free pass! Not just to that park, but to every National Park! It's apparently a benefit to veterans. How nice and expected that was!

This sign made me laugh. It's changed since the last time we were here. I have the sign on my blog page. There were only two people climbing - a man and his son. The rest of us watched!

Day 260 (Saturday 17th Sept)

A walk by myself. 

I'll catch up with the rest tomorrow. I'm really tired. It's been a long old day. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Thanks for the comments about Shasta. I appreciate them.

I thought today I'd just share a nice sunrise video and some of my Things That Make Me Smile Phone Photos. 

I'll be back to posting life stuff tomorrow. 

This one is from Lake Huron, on Michigan's Eastern shore

Day 252 (Friday 9th Sept)

Tent has served us well. All set up. Makes me smile

Day 253 (Sat 10th Sept)

First day with daughter and Shasta. We had a nice relaxing day at the campground. All the huskies were excited to see us. 

Day 254 (Sunday 11th Sept)

The lovely Tahquamenon Falls. Had a lovely visit with daughter, SIL and huskies. Shasta actually walked this day. I think she had fun. Daughter had the wagon with her and Shasta would ride for a little while but she really wanted to walk and sniff. This was SIL's first visit to The Falls. I think he enjoyed it!

Day 255 (Monday 12th Sept)

It rained most of the day, but we made the most of it. We visited FOUR new-to-me lighthouses. I can strike them off the bucket list. Daughter and SIL climbed to the top of two of them. Husband and I watched the huskies! I think the rain was chasing us. It seemed that every time we got to a lighthouse, got out and walked, it started to pour!

Day 256 (Tuesday 13th Sept)

We went out in the morning. It was Shasta's last good morning. On the way back to the campsite she was being sick. When we were at Kitch-iti-Kipi (Michigan's largest Freshwater Natural Spring) she had a lovely time. We got on the raft that goes across the lake. When we got off she wanted to get back on - she did her thing where she stood solidly and refused to move. That's a good memory I have from that day.

Back tomorrow. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Back - Sad News

Just a quick note to say we are back. Not quite the holiday we were expecting. 

We were supposed to spend the week camping with daughter, son-in-law and three huskies. Unfortunately, while we were camping Shasta (daughter's dog) was not doing well. She was excited to see us and we had a couple of not bad days. By Monday she was not eating and by Tuesday she was drinking water constantly and being sick. She was barely walking at all. The vet in the town we were at would not take out-of-town visitors even in emergencies (not sure what kind of vet that is). Daughter found one about thirty miles out and took Shasta there on Tuesday. They did xrays and found she had three tumors - one large and two smaller ones that were causing internal bleeding. The vet said that an ultrasound would be able to determine if surgery could be performed. The ultrasound could only be done on Thursday about an hour or so away so they scheduled the appointment. In the meantime, Shasta became weaker. She wasn't eating or moving. 

They made the painful decision to not put her through anything else and to let her go. They left the campground early (4.45) Thursday morning to make the ten-hour journey home. They kept Shasta as comfortable as they could on the journey home and made an appointment for that night for her to be put to sleep. 

We left the campground on Friday. It wasn't the same without them. 

Shasta was a lovely companion to our daughter. When daughter moved from Michigan to Minnesota Shasta was her only friend. Daughter was really lonely and Shasta kept her company. She was the reason she met friends in Minnesota (through the Husky group) and she met her husband because of Shasta (he was part of the Husky Group). Shasta adored daughter from the moment she met her. When daughter decided to rescue a husky she was looking for a younger dog, but Shasta caught her heart. 

Daughter is devasted. 

Shasta was the first husky I had met. I must admit to being a little apprehensive, but Shasta was such a sweet dog. We're not sure of her first few years, but she was a lovable dog. There was nothing more she loved than having her belly rubbed. When I visited I would sit for ages and rub her belly and she would gently paw me so I wouldn't stop. She was always really excited to see me. She had a lovely smile. I don't think I've ever seen a dog smile before. 

The very first day daughter met Shasta. Even then Shasta adored her. 

A photo I took this week.

A couple of my favourites.  

She's free from pain and running wild. 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Today :(

Quite a sad day today. Made me miss home. I always check the BBC UK news website in the morning and saw the news that The Queen was taken ill. I knew it had to be bad when all her family were called to her side. I put the live feed on my phone as I went about my daily household chores and watched as the flag over Buckingham Palace was lowered. The news presenter was almost in tears. I was in tears. For most of us we have never known another monarch. Love the monarchy or hate them, but she was a strong woman, a woman who worked right up until the very end. Things will never be the same. 

I saw a couple of drawings that just caught my eye

I checked in with my Ipswich Facebook Group (ex-pats like me who live in the US but were originally from Ipswich). It's always nice at difficult times to chat (even online) with others who know exactly how you feel as you are so far from home. 

We're off camping tomorrow. A week with daughter and son-in-law. It will be a nice break. I am looking forward to it and hoping the weather will cooperate. 

Things That Make Me Smile Day 250

Foggy morning.

Things That Make Me Smile 251 

I packed my bag and in it I put...probably too much. Trying to decide what to pack as it might be chilly at night and I don't want to be cold!

This suitcase was Mum's. I have had it for many years. She 'loaned' it to me several years ago when I needed an extra case to bring back. Since then it has been back and forth with me for several years. It has also been several places here in the states. It is looking a little battered now, but has served me well and I'll probably hang onto it until it falls apart. 

Talk Soon 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

As it was a holiday here in the states it's going to be one of those weeks where I forget what day it is! 

Thanks for all the comments regarding Mum's birthday. I dreamt of her last night too. All night - or at least every time I woke up - I remembered dreaming of her. They weren't nightmares, just a little sad.

I got up and went for my walk this morning. I wasn't really feeling it again. I am hoping that by going camping next week it will give me a break and maybe I will start enjoying them more again. The temperature wasn't too bad but it was still quite muggy so a little uncomfortable by the end of it. 

I came home, did my housework stuff and did a little more crafting. Of course, I didn't get to photos of all I've been doing but I took a few photos of a couple of small albums. I've been doing a couple of a different style, but those weren't the ones I took photos of. 

There isn't a lot of difference between the two albums as I'm trying to use up the paper pad. It was quite a big 12 x 12 one and I wanted to get rid of it! I like creating these ones. I really like the waterfall (right) part of it. It's just a matter of making sure all the paper lines up properly. I can't seem to cut a straight line even with a paper cutter lol. 

Things That Make Me Smile Day 249 

A view of the field of Goldenrod. I love this view at this time of year. The yellow is just amazing. When I see it I always think of September and the upcoming Autumn. It signals an end to the wildflowers. I think this is the last of the colour in the field.