Thursday, November 8, 2018


Usually creepy crawly things don't really bother me. Often I pick them up and investigate them, but there was something about this bug that made me keep my distance.

Maybe it was because the thing was gigantic - over three inches long. (Those paper clips a the jumbo sized ones, not the typical-sized paper clip.) Then again, it could have been those huge eyes. I swear the thing moved its head and watched my hand every time I opened its box. It also could have been its giant arm-like legs.  It held them open - like it was just waiting for an opportunity to latch onto my finger.

Two of my students knew what it was,  "It's a toe biter. We see them sometimes in the Grand Pool. Well, not ones thaaaat big."

I refused to touch it, and I'm glad I did (I wouldn't let the kids touch it either.) Apparently there are five species of these giant water bugs that can be found in Michigan and they do bite. They inject toxic saliva that liquefies the tissues of their prey and causes paralysis. I kills the prey but we're so big, their bites just hurt like there's no tomorrow. Check this video out if you're curious.  (Skip ahead to about 13 min 30 seconds if you just want to see him get bitten.) And for the record - ours was every bit as big as that one.

I still haven't figured out what this thing was doing walking along the sidewalk near the high school entrance to our building in November. I'm really hoping we don't find any more, and I think I need to exchange the flip flops I usually wear when the kids and I explore in the summer time for a pair of closed-toe water shoes...

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mackinac Blue

Back in 2012 I dreamed of painting my laundry room a lovely shade of blue.  Specifically, Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue. (Yup - it's a real paint color.)  I love it so much. Now that my eyes are more attuned to the color, I'm noticing it all over the island...

It really is a lovely color...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Not Much of a View

Several tourists giggled and pointed as I pushed my packages and milk up Fort Hill after school today. (How else was I supposed to get it all home?) The lack of view was worth it though because right now I am enjoying a delicious, sugar-free hazelnut steamer. 

This little gizmo makes frothing one up super easy and it's been a great way to get the kids drinking more milk.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Great Pumpkin

We had a visitor yesterday. He left the perfect pumpkin in our front yard. It's beautiful; huge, round and the most perfect shade of orange you've ever seen. The photo just doesn't do it justice.

A year or two ago S and K asked the gentleman who grows pumpkins near the Big Barns if they could have one. He had already promised all of them that year, but ever since, he has made sure they were on his list. He's been so sweet. Now, whenever they see him in town they yell,  "Hi Pumpkin Man."

I think it makes him smile. I hope it does, because he sure puts a smile the faces of two kiddos.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mackinac Problems

On my way to school this morning my pant leg got caught in my bike chain; like pulled in between the chain and the guard. Sigh. 

Any suggestions on getting oil out of fabric?

Monday, October 15, 2018


We came into school on Friday morning to find this little guy hopping down the hallway. He probably thinks the Three Rs are reading, writing and reptiles...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Proud Mama Moment

Last spring, with the help of a poet, the Island kids wrote Mackinac-inspired poetry. Next, artists came to school to work with the kids to create art to "visually express the theme of their poems." Finally, the poems and artwork were displayed together in a juried show.

I actually didn't know about the "juried" part until we got to the opening reception and they started announcing winners. (We were in Seattle last June and missed the show.) You can imagine my surprise when the judge announcing the Best in Show winner said this, 

"This poem and painting beautifully captures the unique experience of visiting Fort Mackinac. Every time I visit Fort Mackinac I am overwhelmed by the vibrant colors and our State's history. 'The Fort' poem and painting immediately put me there and it honestly warmed my heart."

K couldn't believe she'd won the whole thing - Best in Show! She was on cloud beamed as the reporter from the Town Crier interviewed her. In case you didn't make it to the show (at the Center for the Arts at Mission Point) here is K's poem:

One of the best parts is, that lovely paining will be coming to our house soon. I have just the spot to hang it.