Thursday, October 1, 2015


October is here. 


I love October. September is always such a hectic month for me; it's not a bad month, it's just an incredibly busy month. September means the kids and I all head back to school. All three of us do well with the routine of school, but sometimes it takes  a few weeks to  adjust to the new normal, that's all. I always feel like I can slow down and breathe again once October hits. Plus, by the time October rolls around fall is here: the nights are getting cooler, the  leaves are starting to change, and that lovely earthy leafy smell is in the air. I would have to say that October is probably my favorite month on Mackinac.

Those are Jim's pumpkins, growing near where the Carriage Tours' horses get their daily showers. They always seem to grow well there. Every day, as we walk home from school, S and K marvel at how big they grown and contemplate which lucky island kids will get to carve faces into them for Halloween...

Friday, September 25, 2015

It's the Little Things

Happiness is a bike basket that makes me smile every time I see it. There's something about sunflowers, even the artificial ones, that just makes me happy...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Feathered Friends

As crazy as it sounds, we borrowed three chickens from some friends of ours. They have 40 or so chickens and were thrilled to give S and K a tiny taste of farm living. I had romantic visions of throwing corn out for them and then singing quietly to myself as I brought two eggs back to the house each and every morning. (In my day dreams I was always singing this song from Beauty and the Beast, but I suppose that really isn't important to the story.)

Henrietta, Fudge and Big Mama were ours for the summer, so of course we had to name them. 

The girls have only been with us for a short time, but we are quickly learning that chickens, do in fact, have distinct personalities. Fudge, the youngest of the flock, is by far the most inquisitive. Henrietta is standoffish and Big Mama rules the roost (pun intended.) Both Fudge and Big Mama (so named because she is considerably larger than the others) will eat snacks right out of our hands. Their current favorite snacks are dehydrated meal worms, followed by sandwich crusts and weeds from the garden.

The coop use to be the kids' playhouse. They hadn't used it in several years and our friend thought it would make a perfect place for hens to roost and nest. (Thank you Rick.) Except...

In the three months since the girls arrived, we'd only gotten one egg. Yep. 


One lone egg was waiting on the coop floor the morning after they arrived. I've read several books and have joined the forum at, but I was at a loss.  Our theory was that they thought they were on vacation - they were on Mackinac Island for the summer after all. Allen even started calling them "The Freeloading Slackers" and occasionally referred to them as "Sweet, Sour and Teriyaki," much to the horror of S & K.

No big deal, I felt like even if we didn't get any more eggs, we learned a ton and that made it all worth while. But then a miracle happened. OK, maybe it wasn't a miracle, but it was darn exciting. We'd really given up on actually checking for eggs when we went out to get the girls up and put them to bed. (Not literally; that's just what we call opening the coop door in the morning and then and closing the coop up at night.) On Saturday morning we found three lovely brown eggs in the nest. I was so excited I forgot to snap a picture! We had another egg on Sunday and yet another today.

We're not sure which one of the girls is leaving the eggs for us, but we suspect Fudge. She sexually matured in August, so we're thinking it's most likely her. Go back and look at that first picture - that was what Fudge looked like in June while the picture below was taken today. Just look at the difference in her comb and wattle between June and September (the comb is on top of her head and the wattles hang down.) It amazes me just how much she's grown.

Now that we're actually getting a few eggs, it's going to be a lot harder to send the girls back home this fall...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Note to Self

I think I should head home, like now,  it just might rain...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lasagna Sauce ??

My daughter's tomato plants are loaded with delicious looking tomatoes. I can't wait until we have enough to make a batch of "lasagna sauce." Of course, she won't eat "spaghetti sauce" - heaven forbid her noodles be desecrated with a something as awful as a vegetable.  In fact, I'm not quite sure just how my husband convinced her to grow them. But, since she loves lasagna her tomatoes can go into a sauce for that.  Right now she doesn't need to know that they are actually the same thing, right?

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Thanks to Ken & Deb's cucumbers
 and Rick's Grandma's recipe,
we now have jars and
jars of bread and butter pickles.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Excursion: Marengo Cave

Last summer, while we were down in Indiana visiting Grandma and Grampie, we were lucky enough to visit Marengo Cave.

We got our tickets,  

and were very impressed by the numerous formations we saw in the cave.

For me the coolest part of the cave was the story of how it was discovered. After over hearing some kids talking about exploring a sinkhole, a fifteen year old girl and her eleven year-old brother grabbed some candles and decided they wanted to explore it first.

I can't even imagine exploring a very wet cave with nothing but candles! Plus, they didn't tell anyone where they were going. Heaven forbid something had happened, no one would have come looking for them.

The kids reported their discovery to the property owner, and in just a few weeks the cave was opened to the public. Because of this, it's always been protected, so the formations are in amazing shape.

We loved it!

Many of the formations were amazing, 

and apparently Indiana takes great pride in protecting its caves. I searched and couldn't find a similar law in Michigan. I wonder if it's because we don't have nearly as many caves? 

Of course, when were were done, we had to "mine" for gems. The kids loved it when we were here, and they were willing to spend their own money, so how could I say no?

Plus, it's just fun!

And the geek in me adored how both of them spent a good twenty minutes with their identification cards to make sure they correctly identified each and every one.