Sunday, September 18, 2016


My husband has a 3D printer, and lots of people ask me, "What on Earth do you use it for?"

Most people perceive the printer as a big toy, which in some ways it is. But, to me, 3D printers are really more like the 1980s version of a cell phone; back in the day only a handful of people had them, and while lots of people thought they were cool, most folks agreed that they could live without one. Now, 30+ years later, most people consider a cell phone an important piece of technology they wouldn't willingly give up. I think something similar will happen with 3D printers...

So back to the question - what do we use it for? All sorts of things; this weekend my husband printed me a cookie cutter. This cookie cutter, to be specific. My son loves Dr. Who, (and has for a while now,)  and has asked for a Dr. Who themed birthday party. 

Sure, I could have ordered this set from amazon for $16.00, or  ordered a print right from Thingaverse for about the same price. But it was a whole lot more fun, and much quicker to just print one at home. Plus that way, I could scale the cookie cutter up or down to meet my specific size requirements. 

If you're curious about what people who have 3D printers are using them for, check out Thingaverse. Every day there's something new. Oh, and if you want to make your own Dalek cookies, here's the recipe I used...

Stamped Shortbread Cookies
Makes about two dozen cookies.

What you need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks  salted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar + more for rolling out cookies & dusting cookie stamp

What to do:
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Sir in flour. Blend with pastry blender until the dough comes together.
  4. Place dough on a large piece of parchment paper and roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick. Use powdered sugar to roll out the dough. Don't use flour.
  5. Dust cookie stamp with powdered sugar and press onto the dough. Remove cookie stamp.
  6. Place cookie cutter over stamped dough and cut out the cookie.
  7. Use a spatula to lift the cookie and move it to the baking sheet.
  8. Chill the cookies for about 30 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350°F  for about 12 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Monday, September 12, 2016


My husband and I had been wanting to try the island's newest restaurant, Sushi Grand, all summer. After our trip to Japan in back in 2000, we discovered we both really enjoy sashimi and sushi. Since good sashimi isn't exactly common place in Northern Michigan we were pretty happy to hear about a sushi place opening on Mackinac.

The kids, on the other hand, weren't so sure. "It's raw? Mom, are you sure it's safe to eat?" Except for the udon noodles, they both eyed the slices of sashimi with the, I'd-really-rather-not-put-that-in-my-mouth face.

Dutifully, the kids tried every dish we ordered. My daughter's assessment: "Crunching those little fish eggs was satisfying, but sushi's not my favorite." My son liked the cooked eel roll, but not the raw fish.

My  assessment: if you like sushi or are an adventurous eater you'll love Sushi Grand. The presentation was beautiful, the food was delicious and the service was wonderful. We'll definitely eat there again, though we'll probably only make it there once a summer as a special treat given the cost.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Raring to Go

I may have been too tired to post last night, but I am really excited about the start of the school year. The classroom is organized, 

the bulletin boards are up, 

and many of the kids are just as excited as I am for the new year to begin.  Now, I just need to work to keep that enthusiasm going. This year I have 22 4th & 5th graders and seven 6th graders. They're a great bunch and I can't wait to see what they'll accomplish!

Monday, September 5, 2016


This video, starting at about 5:30 this morning, shows the traffic for the 59th Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. Rather than walk the five miles, this year I opted to stay home in my PJs and finish up a few last minute chores before school starts tomorrow...