Friday, July 31, 2009

All Finished

Before we left for Indiana I managed to get the last two hats done. The blue one is for my daughter while the orange one is for my friend Wendy's daughter. (Wendy happens to love orange.)

If you are wondering about the tent, it's in our backyard. We've been using it as a play house / fort this summer. I bought it years ago to use for reenacting but it hasn't seen much daylight since I got married. Hubby thought it might be fun for the kids to use outside. My son has loved having the tent. All kinds of bugs have moved in and they are quite easy for him to catch against that light canvas background. I've been working on a bug house for him to keep them in so they can stay safely outside.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Drum Roll Please

The new bike rack is finished, painted, and by the side of the house keeping track of all of our bikes. I can't believe I've lived on Mackinac Island for almost 17 years and never had a bike rack, but I must admit that this one was well worth the wait! I just love it A, thank you. Be sure to add that forge and anvil to your Christmas list. I have a feeling you are at the top of Santa's "nice" list.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Our recent little vacation revolved around the little ones. In addition to spending lots of time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, the kids and I:

went to Chuck E Cheese's for the first time,

caught lots of tadpoles,
(She'll hold tadpoles in her hand but is terrified of spiders.)

got flushed down the gigantic toilet at kidscommons,

ate yummy ice cream

spent an afternoon at the county fair,

munching on this,
(It's my favorite.)

and this,

because we wanted to see this.
(My nephew's ribbon-winning entry in the fair.)

But what a great trip - now you see why I needed a rest! I am so impressed by my mother-in-law; she's always got great ideas for fun things that all the grand kids (ages 3-10) love. My two are already asking when we are going back to see Grandma and Grampie. When you're only three or four, next summer seems like a lifetime away. Thank goodness for the telephone...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

(Near Anne's Tablet, Mackinac Island)

The kids and I made it home safely. It feels good to be home on the "rock" - to be back in my own bed and to take it easy. We packed so many fun things into our trip that I think we all need a few days to recuperate. Once I get the pictures off of my camera I will be sure to share some of the highlights of our trip.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Parking

My uberhandy husband is currently building us a bike rack. I'm so excited - the front of the house will look so much better; no more bikes scattered willy-nilly. He was lamenting the fact that he didn't have his own forge and anvil, but I am quite impressed. He liked the bike rack at the post office so he took measurements, ordered the steel, built a bending jig and started work on this six-bike beauty. I can't wait till it has a coat of paint and can use it. Perhaps when I get home.

The kids and I are down in southern Indiana visiting Grandma and Grampie, so I may be missing in action for a while. I've got mending to work on, curtains to line for Grandma, and a stack of books from my friend Kelaine just itching to be read. It's going to be a wonderful trip.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stopped to...

My husband's family came up for a visit recently. We packed a lot into a few days. We stopped to:

smell the roses,

to throw rocks and enjoy the shore,

to watch the kites,

and to check out every geocache we passed by.

Such fun. The kids are still asking when their cousins will visit again. Their little brains just can't wrap around the fact that the boys live eight hours away in another state - they just know they are a lot of fun to have around. As are Grandma, Grandpie, and Aunt Kafie (K doesn't pronounce "Kathy" quite right yet.) I am so thankful to have such wonderful in-laws. I know not everyone is as lucky as I am in that department!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Simple Mathematics

(my cousin)


(the newest member of our family)


music provided by her grandpa
(who happens to be a master flamenco guitar player)


(about a zillion of them)


one wonderful party - perfect for both the young and the not-so-young.

A marriage...
makes of two fractional
lives a whole;
it gives to two purposeless lives
a work, and doubles the strength
of each to perform it;
it gives to two
questioning natures
a reason for living,
and something to live for;
it will give a new gladness
to the sunshine,
a new fragrance to the flowers,
a new beauty to the earth,
and a new mystery to life.
-- Mark Twain

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. McNair.
May you have many wonderful years together.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

For Grandma

The kids and I had a nice visit with my grandma yesterday. We are so lucky to get to see her regularly. In fact, of her approximately 30 grand and great-grandchildren, my children and I are the only ones who get to see her with any regularity; everyone else is too far away. (Japan, Ireland, Oklahoma, California, and Arkansas to be exact.)

Grandma knew that we had all gone camping over Fourth of July weekend and was frustrated that I hadn't posted about it. I love that my grandma reads my blog, so G-ma, this one is for you...

We met friends here on Thursday. Picture 1950s Florida - complete with lots of seniors and golf cart traffic jams. My husband's idea of camping does not include playgrounds, a water park, heated pools, or anything else this place had to offer, but the kids loved it. My children ride in a car once a month, so you can imagine how much fun it was for them to get to cruise around in a golf cart all weekend. Our group ended up being four families - eight adults, eight kids and a dog split between three tents, and a camper. Oh yeah, and four golf carts.

We split meals and each family took a turn supplying and preparing a meal. Well, except for us. Everyone took pity on us since we had so far to come and our trip included hauling everything by bicycle and ferry boat, so all I had to do was write a check. (Thank you Rachel!) Plus our tent was already set up when we arrived. (Again - thank you Rachel.)

The kids slept remarkable well considering it was the first time they camped outside in a tent. Night number one was a bit rough, but after that all went well. Nap time, however, was another story. My daughter must nap; no discussions, no debates - unless you want a moody grumpy obstinate little girl who believes absolutely everything is a huge crisis worthy of a screaming crying fit. Sleeping in a tent where she could hear everyone else discussing how they were going swimming or to the playground, didn't work very well. But we managed as best we could. Nap time ended up being a "quiet-in-the-tent-time" until everyone left and then K could usually fall asleep.

The night of the Fourth was fantastic. The younger kids had a great time with glow sticks, the older kids had a blast with sparklers, the fireworks were great, and the sunset was amazing. (The science geek in me loved the sun pillar.)

On Sunday we didn't even have to take the tent down. We had to get an early start (so we could drive north and stop to buy groceries) and our friends wanted the tent to stay up to dry for a bit longer. While it didn't really fit my husband's definition of camping, it was a great weekend with good friends who we don't get to see often enough. I'm thrilled that we've already decided to do it again next year. Now that we have gotten the lay of the land, next summer we're going to be prepared to enter the parade. My son thinks we need to decorate the golf cart to look like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Won't that be fun...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Nice and Cozy

Do you remember I said that I had been crazily sewing tea cozies?

That's because this summer I've been selling them in a shop downtown. They've sold fourteen of them so far. (I've delivered eighteen, but four of them are less-than-traditional so they may not sell.) Material Mart just sent me some more lilac fabric in the other day, so I need to get busy and make more. The Material Mart ladies were great! I bought some fabric there back in early May so I called them, described it (because of course I had stupidly thrown away the selvage,) they found it and then shipped it to me. How cool is that?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Bye

My Great Aunt Ruth died last week. She lived a long and full life in her 88 years. My heart breaks for my Uncle Don and my cousins; they've lost so much - a wife, a mother, a grandmother. Somehow they're going to have to find the strength to go on without her.

Ruth left us a wonderful legacy - through her example we all saw the importance of organization, dependability, helping others, and being true to one's self. I will always remember knowing that if Aunt Ruth could be the first woman to earn a Ph.D in chemistry from the college she attended back in the 40s, that I could achieve anything I wanted to. Thank you Aunt Ruth, you will be sorely missed.