Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Spring has Sprung

As you know, I'm a sucker for flowers. So when I noticed these beauties all lit up by the evening sun, I just couldn't resist. 

I'm not sure what these are, but they looked beautiful at the side of the road.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Truth in Advertising

Homemade bread in less than one hour? Let's look at the directions:

 

Hmmmmm. Let rise for two hours, rest for 40 minutes and then bake for abut 25 minutes - that adds up to three hours and five minutes. Shame on you Krusteaz, shame on you. I know what you're thinking -they were talking about the baking time, but that's not what 75% of the people picking up the box will think. It's a good thing I have all day...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Tasty


Darn it! I've been dreaming of a heaping spoonful of flour all day. I mean, really? I did some digging, and apparently, contaminated flour is a thing.

In 2015 General Mills recalled 45 million tons of flour sold under Gold Medal, Wondra, and Signature Kitchens brands because 46 people got sick from eating it raw - 13 of those people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. And in July of 2019, 21 people from nine states got sick from eating E. coli contaminated flour. Kind of makes me rethink my raw cookie dough addiction.

Source

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Yoga at School

The teachers at the Mackinac Island Public School are incredibly lucky. Not only do we live and work in an amazing community, and have fabulous students, but we also have incredible support. The Mackinac Island Community Foundation is one of the organizations that provides that support.

This fall I made a grant request to MICF to start a yoga program with the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at the school. In December we were  given the funds to purchase a mat, blocks, a strap, a blanket and a carrying case for each student. Since the start of the second semester, the students, the 3rd-4th grade teacher and I have practiced yoga two to three times each week. We're hopeful that by starting this program with elementary students we can help them gain some of the benefits of yoga, especially an increase in their abilities to manage stress as they get older and move up to high school. One third grader told me last week, "I always feel good after yoga." Comments like that make it all worth while...


Friday, April 30, 2021

Pinch Me


I think I must live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I doubt I will ever get tired of the Straits of Mackinac. It's my happy place...

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Even More


Every day I am seeing more signs of spring. Believe it or not, on this day it wasn't the tourists I noticed first- it was the trash can. Those trash cans are only out during the season, so their reappearance around town means spring is here. Of course the big group of tourists walking around was a big clue, too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Signs


Spring comes late to Northern Michigan, and even later to Mackinac Island. It makes sense - were surrounded by million of gallons of cold water. It takes a great deal of energy to heat up all that water, so Mackinac Island typically has late cool springs. Even though spring is not my favorite season, I do tend to keep an eye out for signs of spring, and crocuses are a sure sign that warmer weather is almost here.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Wheels on the Bus


We bought a new bus! We use to own half of a bus - one we shared with another district, but it had their name on the side. This is our first ever bus with our name on it! If you ever see us driving down the road, be sure to wave hello!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

First Attempt

I have always liked the look of cookies iced with flow icing, but I've never tried it. Until now. My youngest child decided they wanted an Animal Crossing themed birthday party this year, so it seemed a perfect time to try. 

I 3D printed an Animal Crossing cookie cutter and got to work. I will never again complain about how much these cookies cost! Not only are mine marginal at best, but decorating them took forever - and I only flooded one color! I shudder to think about how long it took to make cookies like these


K loved them, but due to Covid-19, we had to enjoy them at home and pre-packaged doughnut holes went into to school to celebrate. Despite the gigantic mess in the kitchen (and trust me, there was green icing everywhere) it was fun to give this new technique a try.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Spring

Another sure sign of spring on Mackinac is Worm Day. We joke as a family and call the first day each spring, when the worms come out en masse, Worm Day. It's still a little early for the invasion, (that usually occurs in May,) but it was nice to see that things had warmed up enough for them to start coming out. I noticed this little guy this morning...

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday Morning


Foggy mornings on Mackinac are a sure sign of spring. Luckily the boats are running, because if we had to fly this morning, we would have missed our appointment.

Monday, March 29, 2021

I Heart Kid Art


As I'm sure you know, the Mackinac Island Public School is small. Our entire K-12 school is about 60 kids, half of which are in the "upper end" (7th - 12th grades.) Amusingly, my two kids are the only two taking high school art this semester. I love walking by the teacher's hallway displays and trying to decide which one of my children created each piece. 

This week is was block prints; my youngest made the character in black while my son carved and printed the rose in blue. The art teacher knows me well enough that she had each of them print a second one for me to hang on my art wall at home.

Friday, March 26, 2021

It's Happening Again


Back in the beginning of the Covid lockdown, I started seeing seeing faces and it's happening again. Every time I walk past the windowsill in my classroom, I swear this cactus wants me to stop for a quick chat. And then I start to wonder - just what is she smiling about? And then I remember - today is the last day of school before spring break! No wonder she's smiling.

Monday, March 22, 2021

In Transit


Last week a letter arrived for me. A letter that left New York on January 14th. As you can see, it arrived at the Mackinac Island Post Office on March 17th.  It took this lovely little thank you note 62 days to travel 612 miles. Really, 62 days? According to the USPS website, first class mail should arrived within five days. Our car insurance company has actually instructed customers not to send payments through the USPS due to issues like this. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Dress Like "A Million Bucks"

For March is Reading Month, this year the Mackinac Island Public School is celebrating March is Math Month by reading a different math book every day.  Earlier this week we read David M Schwartz's If You Made a Million.

The kids had a great time interpreting "Dress Like a Million Bucks" day. I thought about my Grandma, who I remembered always looked like a million bucks. I paid homage to her by wearing one of her beaded jackets and her charm necklace*. Oh yes, and I gave all the kids $100 bills with my face on them. Too fun.


My grandma had a huge charm bracelet, full of charms my grandfather had given her over their years together. At some point her collection became too big for a bracelet and was redone as a necklace. (She had so many charms, some of them still wouldn't fit.) Each charm has a story behind it; where it came from or what was commemorated by it. Before she died, I asked my grandma to write down the "story" of each charm - and I'm so glad I did. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Labor of Love

I packed this beauty up a few weeks ago and sent it back to its rightful owner. Years ago I my friend's husband snuck this unfinished quilt out of storage and secretly sent it to me. My plan was to finish the quilting for my friend, who as a busy Anglican pastor, just didn't have time to hand quilt it. Apparently, neither did I...

So it sat. And sat. And sat. For ten years every time I looked on the shelf in my swing room and saw the box,  I felt pangs of guilt.  Well, during lockdown I realized I did, in fact, have the time to quilt it, so I got to work. I worked all through the spring, summer and fall of 2020 - finally finishing the binding right after New Year's.


Saying good-bye as I packed it into a box bound for Tuxedo, New York, was harder than I thought it would be. I hope Rick enjoys having it finished as much as I  enjoyed quilting it.  

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Blue Ice

Last night lots of ice blew up on the shore across the street from the school.  We know it was blowing at least 55 mph (about 88 kph) because the bridge was closed to high-profile traffic for about an hour last night.


It may have been right across the street, but we had to take a "field trip" to check out the blue ice the kids had heard about on the news.

I did some research, because you know,  I'm nerdy; I wondered why the ice is blue some years but not others. Apparently the  ice isn't really blue - it just appears blue. It's all about how much light can penetrate the ice. On years like this one, when the ice freezes slowly there are fewer air bubbles and larger ice crystals. That combination allows light to penetrate deeper into the ice. Six times more red light is absorbed by the ice than blue light (remember, white light is made up of all the colors of the visible spectrum.) Since that red light isn't reflected back to our eyes, the ice looks blue.

Monday, March 1, 2021

I Don't Get It

What is it about poop these days? It's everywhere. And I don't mean all over the road on Mackinac Island, I mean all over the toy isle. Wal-Mart, Meijer and Dollar Tree all carry poop-themed toys.

Every time I turn around in the store, I see another poop themed toy.  I've even had students bring poop shaped stuffed pillows to school. Did I miss something? When did poop become the new "in" thing?

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Gone


We had an ice bridge for about a week this year. (This is not a photo from this year, as I wasn't willing to venture out on it - I just didn't feel it was safe enough. This picture back is from 2008. Another way you can tell it's an old photo - the driver isn't wearing a helmet.)

The temps in the high 30s (about 3-4 degrees C) caused the ice to quickly deteriorate. On Thursday morning (the 25th) a commuter actually went through the ice on his morning trip to the Island. Luckily he was able to get out of the water, but he did lose his snowmobile. By Thursday afternoon the United States Coast Guard had given 72 hours notice that they intended to break up the ice. It is nice and windy tonight, so hopefully that will help get the ice blown out of the harbors and the boats can start running again.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Tourists

 

When you see a lineup of fancy snowmobiles like these at the Mustang, it can only mean one thing - tourists are crossing the ice. We've had a couple of weeks of below-zero temperatures, so the Straits have frozen over.  We'll see what happens as Mother Nature is supposed to bring us temps in the mid 30s next week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Teenager

Hey there. A few days ago my little blog became a teenager. Yup, The Quilted Turtle turned 13 on February 10th. 13 years, 1,026 posts, and more pictures than I can count. Not to mention all the wonderful comments I've received and friends I've made...

This  tiny turtle my son caught back in 2017 seemed like a perfect picture to celebrate today.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

On Again Off Again

When you live on Mackinac Island in the winter time, a trip to a dentist appointment requires a snowmobile ride to the airport, a quick flight to St. Ignace in a small plane, and finally a car ride to the appointment. Luckily the weather today was conducive to flying, and we got the opportunity to check out the Straits from the air.

Of course, since we were on the mainland, a trip to the grocery store was also a necessity.  A one-way flight costs $35.00 per person and that includes 50 pounds (about 22 kg) of freight.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Mackinac Problems

  

My youngest and I were supposed to spend the day on the mainland at an appointment today. However, Lake Huron had other ideas.  The boat only made it part way to the Island this morning before it had to turn around due to ice. I am highly doubtful that the conditions will be any better tomorrow, so we'll fly across to our rescheduled appointment...


Sunday, February 7, 2021

#2 Down


Last week Mackinac's essential workers (and senior citizens) went back to the Community Hall to get our second Covid vaccine. I'd heard stories that some people experienced side effects from the second dose, so I prepared for the worst. I had a wee bit of nausea and a headache, but nothing bad enough to keep me home from work the next day.

 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Gratitude: January 31st

As silly as it may sound, today I am grateful that I took the time to focus on gratitude this month. I need to keep it a focus in my life. I need to work, every day, to not focus on the frustrations, the trials and the tribulations - but instead to keep my eyes open for the little things that bring me joy. It's just hard sometimes.

Sometimes the trials and tribulations just seem so overwhelming. They seem so much bigger than a hot shower, a purring cat, or a goofy horse. Forcing myself to consciously acknowledge the things I appreciate has helped improve my outlook, and January has seemed just a little bit brighter. And oh how I've needed that brightness. 

Yesterday, while I was cooking dinner one of my children commented on something silly I was doing, "Mom, you seem like you're in a good mood today."

For an instant I was upset; if a good mood was that noticeable, my kids haven't seen that part of me in quite a while. But then I made a conscious decision to not be upset. In that moment, I was in a good mood; I wasn't worried or upset - I was genuinely happy to be doing whatever it was I was doing. (I wish, for the life of me, that I could remember what it was!) I want to keep that feeling, and I believe focusing on all the little things I am grateful for has been a big help in lifting my mood. I may not post about it as often, but I will be working to be grateful each and every day...

Friday, January 29, 2021

Gratitude: January 29th

 

One of my favorite things in the world is a hot shower - emphasis on the hot part. I love it when he water temperature borders on scalding. I remember when my kids were little and we had to turn down the hot water heater so they wouldn't accidentally burn themselves, my showers felt lukewarm. Now that I have teenagers, the water heater's thermostat is once again turned up and I love it.

I'm also thankful for "safe search." I'm use to searching on my filtered school computer, so when I did a quick internet search for "hot shower" pictures on my unfiltered home laptop, I was not prepared for what Google thought I wanted to see! Lesson learned...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Gratitude: January 28th


My dear friend, Susan, gets my gratitude today. She retired from our school in June, after teaching for 35 years. This week, just to be nice, she delivered treats and four different jugs of  flavored coffee creamer to the teacher's lounge. Isn't that the sweetest thing!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Gratitude: January 27th


I know many people are anti pharmaceutical companies, but I can't imagine life without some of the modern drugs we take for granted. 

Today my lower back and I are grateful for drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. I even appreciate opioids (when taken in moderation.) Both of my children have taken them - my youngest when they got their tonsils  and adenoids out, and my oldest after after his wisdom teeth needed to be surgically removed from his lower jaw.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Gratitude: January 26th

I am very thankful I have a job that allows me to take sick days. I hurt my back yesterday; ironically when I was helping one of my students roll up their yoga mat. Since my school provides paid sick leave to its employees, I was able to spend today in bed, recuperating. I hate taking sick days, but I'm thankful they're there when I desperately need them.

I'm also grateful for Dr. Bozzio, my orthopedic doctor. He is the one who directed me to start doing yoga. I firmly believe this back injury is less severe than past injuries due to my much stronger core muscles.  Finally, I'm glad I was smart enough to heed his advice... 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Gratitude: January 24th

I adore my students - both of them*; they are joyful, positive and hardworking.  Every day I am grateful I get to work with them.

And now that it's after Christmas,  I can share what each of them made to give to their mother. These two hand-sewed each and every stitch in their project. They worked so hard, and were so proud of their finished snowmen.


* All of the elementary classrooms on Mackinac Island are splits. Usually, I have a combined fifth and sixth grade class of anywhere from four to 10 students. (My largest class ever was 19.) This year there are no sixth graders, so I have a class of two fifth graders. That will make for an interesting year, next year, on the high school end of our school. This year we will graduate 11 students, and with no new seventh grades entering that end of the school next year, our high school population will drop, significantly, for the next few years.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Gratitude: January 23rd

Earlier this week Mackinac Island had the perfect conditions for the creation of snow rollers (also known as snow bales, snow doughnuts and wind snowballs.) It was about 38 degrees F, windy, and we had a fresh layer of wet snow. I've lived in Michigan my entire life and I've never seen these before.

I'm grateful I'm a big enough nerd that I noticed them as I drove my snowmobile to work. When I asked some friends if they'd seen them, they thought it was just snow that had blown off the trees.


Friday, January 22, 2021

Gratitude: January 22nd

 

(Happy kids in homemade jammies - 2016.)

Today I am full of appreciation for my ability to sew; it's something I enjoy, I'm good at it, and it brings me joy. I've been doing it for a long time - I made my first dress in about 1990, unless you count the Barbie dresses I made when I was a little kid. (I remember making them out of old socks.) Recently, I've been branching out into more challenging projects - even attempting to make underwear. (Which isn't really that hard.)

Probably the thing I've sewn that I am most proud of, is the Pikachu jeans I made for my son in 2015. They were my first pair of jeans and my first fly.

 
And I just love the detail I put on the pocket. 


Hopefully, with the semester ending today, this weekend I'll get some time to myself up in my sewing room. What are you going to do to keep busy this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope it brings you joy.