Tuesday, October 12, 2021


Sometimes I just can't get over how adorable our cat is. I mean, just look at that paw. I can tell fall is here because when things start to cool down, she gets much more snuggly. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

An Apple for the Teacher

 The teacher didn't get an apple today.
The teacher for an apple pie, 
a homemade apple pie.

I think it is the first time
I've ever had a student make
me a pie.
I love my students.

Monday, September 20, 2021


This summer I noticed these growing on my street. Whenever I see thistles growing, I think about my grandmother, Lillian. Of course I didn't know her back in the 30s when she looked like this:

I remember her looking like she did in the photo below - in the blue polyester pant suit. (What was it about older people in the 1970s and polyester?) And, yes that's me in the middle.

Anyway, thistles always make me think of her. When she passed away I inherited her china tea cup collection and four of them are decorated with thistles. All the other cups seem completely random - except for those four. So now, whenever I see thistles, I think of her.

I know the "thistles" we have on Mackinac aren't the same thistles that grow in Scotland (where my grandma was born) - ours are common burdock, but they remind me of her all the same.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


The clouds over Mackinac this week have been beautiful. There's just something about puffy clouds up in the sky, don't you think?

 I could just watch them blow across the sky all day long.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

I Wonder

On my walk to work this morning, I noticed something odd. These battery powered, red lights lined part of Cadotte Avenue; starting just downhill from Grand Hotel and marking  one side of the road. So far, no one I've asked seems to have any idea what they were for. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

First Day

Today was the first day of school and one of my new students brought me an apple to celebrate. Sometimes it's the little things that put a smile on your face.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Back to School

It was a lovely walk to school this morning;
so lovely in fact, that I took the long way.

This week it's just teachers.  
Teachers and meetings, bulletin boards,
lesson planning, etc.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Good Night

We've had some nasty weather on Mackinac Island over the last few days.  Luckily, I've managed to stay dry. Unfortunately, my husband got home about five minutes after this afternoon's downpour began. I'm sure my flowers appreciated the rain even if he didn't. 

I'm back at school tomorrow so I 'm hoping for dry weather in the morning.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Helping Out

Several times this summer we've stopped at the Mackinac County Animal Shelter to help socialize the cats they have up for adoption. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours with a kid who adores cats.

It seems they have no trouble finding homes for all the kittens, but the cats older than a year are a little harder to place. My kiddo doesn't mind, they love on them all. But, the kittens are awfully cute.

I do have to agree with their sign. Maybe not only love and a cat, but those two certainly make life better!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

On the Road

Due to Covid, my son was unable to take Driver's Training last summer, so this year both kids have taken the class together. Recently, they both passed their written test and after their last drive with the instructor they are now able to obtain a Level One Michigan Driver's License. 

Michigan is serious when it comes to teen driving. There are three levels of teen driver's licenses:

  • Level 1: Learner’s License - essentially what use to called a Learner's Permit - driving with parents (or designated licensed adult) only
  • Level 2 Intermediate License – No driving after 10 PM (unless with a parent) except for a few allowable exceptions, only one passenger who is under 21, again with a few allowable exceptions, and no cell phone use except for safety issues
  • Level 3: Full License – Unrestricted
To move from one level to the next there are time limits and driving requirements. For the kids to move from their Level 1 to their Level 2 takes a minimum of three months and 50 hours of logged driving time - 10 of which have to be at night.

At this point, we're not sure just how we are going to get those night hours. It's not like we are on the mainland, after dark, all that often. We've been joking with the kids that when we're visiting Grandma at Christmas we're going to have to go out driving every evening.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Out With the Old

I don't know about all teachers, but Mackinac Island teachers tend to be hoarders. You never know when you might need something, and it's not like you can just make a quick stop at Meijer on your way to work...

As a result of years of that behavior, yesterday was Clean Out the Storage Room Day. Haven't used that in five years? Let it go! The text books and teacher's guides from two math series ago? Let it go! Broken furniture that was going be be repaired but wasn't? Let it go! Gallons of expired spring water? Let it go!

Let me tell you, we let a lot go.

As we were bringing boxes outside, I found this note in one of them. It made me giggle because it essentially referred to 90% of the items in that room. That box had been there a while because I can't remember whose handwriting that is.

By the end of the day the entire pile had been skillfully  Tetrised into a "two-footer." A two-footer is a trash dray with sides that are two feet tall. People usually use items, as we did, to extend its' capacity, though there is a weight limit. It can't be too heavy for a team of horses to haul it, up hill, out to the Solid Waste Handling Facility - which everyone just calls the Dump. Once there the items are sorted for disposal: wood, metals, general trash, etc. All the non-recyclable and non-compostable trash is sent to the mainland since our landfill was capped in the early 1990s. Compostable items are shredded, mixed with horse manure and restaurant food waste and then turned into to soil. 

A second two-footer is coming next week to get rid of the rest. Yeah, there's more. I told you we were hoarders.

Monday, August 9, 2021


It poured today. And I mean poured.

I always feel bad for tourists who get caught out in the rain. Especially on days like today. Today wasn't a get-a-little-damp kind of day; it was a get-soaked-to-your-core-and-have-wring-out-your-undies kind of day. It makes me wonder what they were thinking. Why would you go to a place where you will spend 75% of your time outdoors and not plan for rain? I also wonder about the people who come here wearing Dollar Store flip-flops. Again - you're going to spend an entire day walking around, did you not think about what doing that in flip-flops was going to feel like? Then again, maybe I'm the weird one. Maybe because most people don't deal with the elements the way I do, the possibility of rain doesn't enter into their vacation planning. Either way, I was glad I was dry.

Friday, August 6, 2021


I got to see my brother today!  (And his wife and her parents - which was a delight!) I never get to see my brother - I bet it's been at least eight years since we were in the same room together, which is way too long! It was wonderful to catch up. I wish we lived closer so we could do it more often. 

Ooooh, maybe now that my kids need to log their driving hours, we just might need to take a trip down to Columbus. One kid could drive down, the other could drive back and both could earn seven of their 50 required driving hours. I'm going to have to think about this one.

Sunday, August 1, 2021


In case you didn't know, this past winter Mackinac Island got a new, very fancy ambulance. Since no one in my family has needed to ride in it (thankfully,) I really never got a good look at it - that is until earlier this week. I just happened to be at the Mackinac Island Medical Center when they had it out for a bath.

My first thought was to refer to the ambulance as a "her." According to the UK's Imperial War Museum's website, ships are usually referred to using the feminine because of the idea of a mother figure or goddess guiding and protecting the crew and the ship. Given the job of an ambulance, using "her" seemed appropriate, but I don't want to imply that males can't / don't guide or protect, so I opted for the gender-neutral term "it" instead. No offence was intended if I used the wrong term.

Thursday, July 22, 2021


Tonight is one of those perfect Mackinac nights; 
beautiful and cool. Goodnight.

Sunday, July 18, 2021


In case you've ever wondered, this is what a winter's worth of (mostly) pop cans looks like. The other day K and I returned eight of those bags. (They were worth worth $63.70.) Unfortunately, those bags were less than half the pile!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


I have chickens. (I joke that they are my emotional support chickens.) Despite the time and effort they require, they really do make me smile. Plus, you just can't beat quiche made with eggs that are less than 12 hours old. Even the teenagers in the house claim to be able to taste the difference between store-bought and farm-fresh eggs. 

In case you're curious, that's Princess Buttercup. She is the chicken on my shoulder in this photo from last summer. Now, she's all grown up...

Wednesday, July 7, 2021


It is a damp and rainy day here in Northern Michigan - a perfect day to pop off the Island for an orthodontist appointment. On our way, my son and I noticed a seemingly unending line of UPS trucks.  (Click on the picture to make it bigger.)

There must be a distribution center down that way. We sat and watched for a few minutes and the trucks just kept coming.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy Independence Day

Everywhere you look there are flags on Mackinac.

It seems as if everyone is in the mood to celebrate.

Happy Independence Day!


Thursday, July 1, 2021

In Action

My husband (and others) spend a lot of time working on the Mackinac Marine Rescue Boat.  A few days ago, as I was on the ferry coming back to the island, I heard my husband's voice on their radio. The Rescue Boat was out helping a kayaker in distress. It was neat to get to see my husband in action; usually I just get to hear about their runs after the fact.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021


My youngest child and I were in St. Ignace the other day to get their Covid-19 vaccination. We happened to have a few minutes to kill before catching the ferry home, so we popped into the local thrift shop for a quick peek. Nestled in with the rubber stamps I found these beautiful made-in-West-Germany cookie molds. Happy happy joy joy! 

The cookie molds are typically used to make traditional German springerle cookies, like the ones pictured above (from 2018.) To buy the molds new is quite expensive, so you can imagine my joy at finding the whole lot for $5.00!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Get Away

Lots of people ask me what people who live on Mackinac Island like to do to get away. For us, it usually means a quiet place where we can meet family, relax and my husband can fish. Something like this fits the bill perfectly.

And can you think of a more ideal place for morning yoga?

Or for cousins to get together to hang out?

For us, it's pretty much the perfect place to get away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A Lilac a Day, Day Fifteen

Lots of the lilacs are starting to fade. It's probably a good thing they don't bloom all year - I don't think I would appreciate them nearly as much if they were here all the time. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

A Lilac a Day, Day Fourteen

This little lilac bush is just down the street from me. It's shaded so its blooms are sparse, but it more than makes up for it with how incredible it smells.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

A Lilac a Day, Day Thirteen

Just a lovely little walkway to share with you this morning...

Saturday, June 12, 2021

A Lilac a Day, Day Twelve

Nothing says June like a bright blue sky and lilac blossoms. It's a perfect picture for the first day of summer vacation...

Friday, June 11, 2021

That's a Wrap

These boys and I finished up their fifth grade year today, with ice cream, as is tradition. Words cannot express how delightful they are. I can't imagine having to spend a year teaching through a global pandemic with any other kids!

A Lilac a Day, Day Eleven

These bushes were planted to disguise the addition we put onto the school back in 2000. When we added the "Big Gym," it doubled the square footage of our building.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Lilac a Day, Day Ten

This year the lilacs have put on a beautiful show! These were planted at a house in my neighborhood that was just built last year.