Saturday, September 14, 2019


Hands down, this is my favorite bread-making book. (Check out the authors' other books here.) I love bread. And when I say love, I mean love. No question, my daughter inherited her weakness for all things bready from me. 

My favorite thing about this recipe is I can come home from a long day at work and still have fresh bread on the table for dinner. (Which actually never happens any more since Allen does all the cooking on school nights. Yes, I know how lucky I am to have a husband like that.)

So now I enjoy easy-peasy homemade bread on the weekends.  As often as I can.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Fall is my absolute favorite time on Mackinac Island.  I love the warm days, the cool nights and even the rain. (Except the horizontal rain in November. I really don't enjoy that.)

Don't get me wrong, I love summer.  Sleeping late, puttering in the garden, and having a looser schedule all make me smile. I just don't love hot weather. Once fall rolls around, it's warm enough where I can wear dresses and sandals to school, but I'm not sweltering in the heat. I much prefer the "sweater weather" of September. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ready to Go

The kids are out in the kayaks; Allen and Kelaine are out fishing; and I'm here, enjoying the peace and quiet of my dear friend's cabin.

I've not taught language arts in a long time, but my upcoming week is all planned. I am ready to teach my very first week of our reading program - Wonders.

Reading lessons? Check.
Spelling lessons? Check.
Grammar lessons? Check
Writing lessons? Check.

I have a feeling it is going to be a great week. And, if for some reason something doesn't go quite right, it will not be due to a lack of planning...

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Best Year Ever

That's the plan - to have the best year ever.

The computers are all updated,

my reading corner is stocked,
and my 3D printers are up and running.

Now all I need are my six fantastic sixth graders,
and the first day of the Best Year Ever can begin.

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon was one of mt favorite places in Iceland. It's actually the oldest swimming pool in Iceland - dating back to the late 1800s. Soaking in springs is a common pastime in Iceland. Almost every community has a pool and soaking area. It's where Icelanders get together to unwind and hangout - especially during the long winters.

And just in case we forgot, the Grim Reaper was there to make sure we remembered, "Iceland can kill you if you're stupid." Don't worry, there were other signs near by to remind us, just to be safe.

Remember, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. 

The geothermal activity in the area heats the water, which then flows into the pool. What to soak in hot water? Just position yourself near where the still-almost-boiling water flows in. (My favorite spot.) Want to be a tad cooler? Move farther way until you find the perfect temperature. 

We were worried the Secret Lagoon would be overrun with tourists, but it wasn't nearly as crowded as we expected. We predicted "Mackinac in July" tourists and were pleasantly surprised with more October-like numbers. In fact, we had been told again and again that summer was Iceland's busiest season and to be ready for throngs of tourists. Thankfully, not one place, except maybe Geysir, was as busy as Mackinac Island during the high season.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of the coat-wearing life guard, or her wind-proof booth. I took these pictures with out my glasses, so it wasn't until later that I was able to read the "please don't photograph the lifeguards" sign. Oops.

I could have soaked for hours.

And yes, I did keep a close eye on the kids so they didn't get sold to trolls...

Sunday, August 18, 2019


If you're in Reykjavik, Perlan (The Pearl) is a must do.  The dome was built on top of the water tanks that store hot water for the city (seven days worth.) It's kind of a natural history museum with great displays.

My mom loved the information on Iceland's cliff-dwelling birds,

and the kids loved walking through the ice cave. It was actually made of ice - you could borrow a coat since it was freezing inside. Before you enter there is a nice multi-media presentation about Iceland's glaciers.

My dad and I really enjoyed to planetarium show. It was all about the northern lights. I didn't know both Saturn and Jupiter have northern lights, too.

After we'd wandered trough the museum, we went outside to take in the 360 degree view of Reykjavik. It was stunning.

Saturday, August 17, 2019


Did you know Iceland had a Phallological Museum? Yeah, an entire museum dedicated to penises. So, if you have no interest in looking at pictures of preserved animal penises, this may not be the blog post for you...

According to the audio tour, it all started when a high school principal was given a whale penis as a joke. Some of the teachers in the building  had summer jobs in the whaling industry so more penises arrived. Eventually, his wife insisted the growing collection move out of their living room and the Phallological Museum was born.

The collection is quite large. It includes most animal species found on and near Iceland, as well as a number of foreign species.

The founder of the museum narrates the audio tour, which was very dry. Imagine the teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off; now give him and Icelandic accent and a very slight slur and you've got it. Don't get me wrong, it was quite informative; it was just too much information. And anyone who knows me, knows that if I say it was too much information, it was too much information.

Probably my favorite part of the museum was the penises from Icelandic folklore. Too funny. The penis from the hidden man (elf) was invisible, just like they are. Wink wink. Plus, many of the signs throughout the museum included Esperanto. Really? Esperanto? (I know what it is, I just have yet to meet a single person who speaks it - though I did have two friends who took it for their language requirement in high school.)

The museum also has one human specimen, which was donated by a 95 year-old Icelandic man. (No, I did not take a picture.) They also have letters from four additional men who plan to donate when they die. All in all, it was an interesting stop.

On our way out I thought about using the bathroom. Luckily, I didn't have to go all that bad...