Saturday, December 30, 2017


The day before winter break my co-teacher and I treated the 4th, 5th and 6th graders to a Breakout Activity. If you aren't familiar with BreakoutEDU, in a nutshell they're activities that require kids to think critically and creatively, while working as a team to solve a series of  puzzles.

The teams did a great job finding the clues,

 solving the puzzles,

 and finally freeing the elf.

I owe my good friend, Kelaine, a big shout out for introducing me to BreakoutEDU, and another to our school custodian, Mike; he kindly added hasps onto six old cash boxes so we could lock them. You guys rock!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Screen Free

This picture perfectly sums up all of the crafting going on at my house lately. Knitting and stuffed critters, in all shapes and sizes, are the current favorite projects.

It's amazing what happens when screens aren't an option...

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Time to Change

If you know me, or if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know my son has had long hair for quite a while now. He actually started growing it out back  in August of 2013 so he would have the right hair for his Halloween costume. (We don't do Halloween half way!)


Despite regular trims, it had gotten really long. After a week or two of looking at various haircut options, he decided to take the plunge and make a change.


A very drastic change.

But a change for the better, I think. 

He decided to donate the 15 inches he cut off to a Michigan charity.

S chose to donate to Children with Hair Loss because they are a nonprofit organization that provides free hair pieces to kids.  It really bothered him that Locks of Love charged kids for wigs, even though it was on a sliding scale.

Now, every time I look at him, this little diddy starts running through my mind:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Mackinac.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful day!

Video courtesy of  Grand Hotel.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I Wonder

Until last week, I'd never seen a toilet paper rose. Now I'm just wondering, did my doctor's office recently got a new cleaning person, or has some lovely woman been quietly leaving them all over town?  Either way, it put a little much needed joy into my morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

It Wasn't Me

My daughter noticed this on the table when we were out to lunch this afternoon. She tried hard to keep a straight face as she insisted she knew was me who carved "Liz" into the table. Her unstoppable giggles clued me in that she knew better...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's That Time of Year

Most people think the Island completely closes down for the winter, but that's not exactly true. In fact, in some cases, this is the time of year when things begin to start - building projects for example. 

I walked by this spot on Market Street yesterday, soon there will be a new B&B.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


I think riding my bike to school this morning may have been a mistake.

Photo by Carlie Bertrand

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Me, Too

I was nineteen and working at a small, family owned, grocery store as a cashier. He was a stock guy, and he scared the daylights out of me.

Every day, at work, he would ask me out, and every day I would turn him down. Day after day after day this went on. Until, after turning him down yet again, he grabbed me by the arm and said, "You don't understand - I get what I want and right now I want you." I jerked my arm away and said something back to him like, "Well that's not going to happen," and went back to work. 

Later that night, when the store closed at eleven, I started walking home. It wasn't far, maybe a mile or so, on well-lit, streets. All was well until I was walking onto the porch of my house and I realized someone was walking toward the house from down the street. It was him; he had followed me home. And now, he knew where I lived. Oh crap. As you can imagine, I didn't sleep much that night. Luckily I lived with lots of other people, so I was rarely in the building alone.

The next day (after arranging with a friend to come walk me home) I went into work early. I took the owner aside and asked if he had a few minutes to meet with me. We sat in his office; he chain-smoked while I broke down into tears and told him everything. I'll never forget his response to me. He took a long draw on his cigarette, exhaled slowly and said, "Go home. Don't worry, I'll take care of everything."

The next day, when I arrived for my shift,  Creepy Stock Guy wasn't there; nor was him name on the new schedule posted on the wall. The owner took me aside later, "He won't bother you again," he said, "In fact, if you even see him around town again, let me know."  Despite only having worked there for a month or so, I hugged him. I was so appreciative of his support. To this day I have no idea what my boss said to the guy who followed me home. Thankfully I never saw him again.

"If all women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too' as a status, we might give everyone a sense of the magnitude of the problem." - Alyssa Milano

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween 2017

Anyone who knows us, knows we love Halloween. So I shouldn't have been surprised when the kids saw these giant heads at Wal-Mart (back at the beginning of September) they begged to get them. At $19.99 each, I couldn't resist. All I had to do was make a couple of fleece suits (which was easy after I managed to find the directions that went with the pattern I had.) 

It's a good thing it's chilly this time of year in Northern Michigan, because both kids were overheating in those heads when we went trick-or-treating through town on Saturday.  Luckily, a little sweat didn't stop the fun...

Of course, I had to get in on the action, too. This year all the teachers at the school decided to go as trolls. I kind of like the giant pink wig I made; it's rather slimming, don't you think? I followed the basic tutorial I found here, although I did the hairline differently - and I added the ears.

Just wait until I get a picture of Allen in his Troll outfit. His hair and beard match!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Life on Mackinac Island isn't always lilacs, rainbows and beautiful pictures.  Some days, like today, it's riding your bike to and from work in the pouring rain.

Despite having yet to find a pair of rain-proof fall gloves, I wouldn't trade living on Mackinac for the world. Even if it means getting soaked occasionally...

Monday, October 23, 2017


As I pushed my bike into the school bike racks this morning I noticed a stowaway. This little snail managed to hold on to my bike's chain guard for the one mile trip down the hill.

I wonder how long the trip would have taken him without the lift...

Monday, October 16, 2017


This weekend, during a very windy night, this boat broke off its mooring and washed up on the beach. All day Sunday and all day today she was stuck on the shore. I believe the waves let up enough tonight so they were able to pull her off the beach.

Hopefully, there's not too much damage. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Field Trip!

If you look closely you'll see two very happy kiddos in the back window of that bus. They were happy because on Friday the Island's elementary kids went on a field trip. Our first stop was the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. 

It's a wonderful museum way up on Whitefish Point,
 Right on the shores of Lake Superior.

After we explored the museum and the looked for rocks, we headed south to Tahquamenon Falls.

It was a beautiful spot for a picnic lunch, and, of course, we had to explore the falls. The kids wanted to stay longer, but we had a long trip home.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Sunrise Kayaking

A week or so ago we were lucky to get to participate in a sunrise kayaking trip.  And while hauling our half asleep selves down the hill at 6:00 am on a Sunday was a bit of a challenge, the sunrise did not disappoint.

After a quick tutorial  on maneuvering and paddling we were off. S and I in one kayak, with my mom and K in another.

It was such a wonderful morning to be out on the water; it was calm as could be. We even got to watch the beavers swimming in the cove. There wasn't enough light to get a decent picture, but it was pretty amazing to silently float along as they swam around us.

Did I mention the sunset? It was beautiful...


I may not have gotten good photos of the beavers, but my friend, Mary, managed to catch them...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sorely Neglected

My poor little blog; so ignored; so neglected.

So many things have happened in the last few months,
yet somehow they never quite made it here. 

Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll have some
time to catch up...

Sunday, August 27, 2017


This past weekend ended up being rather hectic after my dad was in a bike accident. He's just fine now, but when he was dizzy and nauseous after hitting his head, we were quite concerned.

A trip to the ER, three staples, and a night in the hospital later, the neurologist was confident he was just suffering from a nasty concussion. A few days of rest  and he should be as good as new.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Today's Giggle

I stopped at my favorite thrift shop the other day and giggled when I saw this. I'm not sure why I found it so funny, but it made me laugh out loud...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lucky Girl


A few days ago my daughter decided to look for four leaf clovers in our front yard.

After finding her first one, she ran in the house, excited to show us her find. But, of course, one clover wasn't enough, so she popped back outside to keep looking.

By the end of her search, she'd found a total of five, four leaf clovers. All five of them are currently tucked away in my Grandma's giant dictionary until we can get a frame for them. Looking back, I think we should have gone down to Doud's that day to get a lottery ticket.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Slugs are fairly common on Mackinac Island. Big slimy leopard slugs that can be up to six or seven inches long.

I often see them trying to cross the road on damp mornings during the summer months. (The squished ones are really gross.)

I found this one crossing my yard on his/her (slugs are both - they're hermaphrodites) way to have a snack in my garden. I relocated it to the back of the empty lot across the street where it can nibble on the greens to its heart's content. I'd rather it not munch on my flowers.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Want a Piece?

As you can tell from their faces,  Seattle's Gum Wall was not on of my kids' favorite stops. I was OK at first. All that gum was kind of amazing - it was everywhere, on everything. And this actually isn't all the gum. Apparently, in 2015, they removed over 2,000 pounds of the stuff from the walls of the alley.

As we walked we saw simple gobs of gum smashed into the bricks,  little sculptures made from  gum, and even gum used to post little messages on the wall. Other really creative people used multiple pieces to spell out words. 

I was just fine as I wandered around thinking, "I wonder how much all that gum weighs?" and "I bet the acidity of the gum isn't good for those bricks," until S and I posed for this picture:

As I opened my mouth and got close, I instantly regretted it. Even at over a foot from the wall, the air was so saturated with the sickeningly sweet smell of gum, I could actually taste it. Ugh! It was so gross! Luckily we were already on out way down the alley and out to fresher air.