Monday, November 30, 2009

Chicago at Night

I couldn't get over the amount of lights in Chicago. Nothing puts the size of our cities in perspective like the view from a plane window.

We had a three hour layover in Chicago on our way home from Michigan last week. I was so tired and just wanted to take a nap but couldn't find a spot to get comfy. Andrew and I ended up walking almost the entire airport. We arrived home around midnight. Andrew had to work in the morning but I slept in, hahaha.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling,
Give me autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard,
Give me a field where the unmow'd grass grows,
Give me an arbor, give me the trellis'd grape,
Give me fresh corn and wheat, give me serene-moving animals
teaching contentment...

-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Wedding

Here is my mother's cake. It turned out beautifully as did the wedding. I didn't have a chance to take many pictures unfortunately but others did. I hope to see the photos soon.

The topper was her parents cake topper. I love that she saved it all these years. A wonderful keepsake to cherish. I hope to use it at my wedding someday too.

Aunt Karen played the violin along side the piano. My brothers gave my mother away and I was the maid of honor. The wedding was held at a bed and breakfast that was absolutely beautiful. It was a very large Victorian home with lavish holiday decorations including several Christmas trees. Everything went beautifully!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

She Hunts Like a Girl

Opening day is coming to a close and the bucks are starting to fill the poles. These are hung up outside of a gas station here in Bear Lake.

The deer to the far right is about the largest one up there. We meet the nice lady that shot it.

Here they are again from the other side. See the little one next to it? It's her husbands.

I think he is going to have a bit of buck envy.

All the leaves are brown...And I have to pick them up.

This is the view of my original garden as it looked yesterday. We only have one oak on our property but the rest are all very close so they share their leaves with us. I'm so happy that we are getting them up before winter. It's much more difficult in the spring when they are wet and compacted and the irises really don't like being covered at all.

Mom and I brought the riding mower, leaf blower, a few rakes and we got going. I raked while she rode over the leaves mulching and bagging them. It makes much shorter work out of the process. Normally we just rake them up and load them into the truck but that takes about seven trips. This will only take two.

We are a little over half way done now after about two hours of work. All that blank ground you see is where the irises are. Their leaves died prematurely because of all the leaf cover. The rhizomes are fine but they definitely lost some nutrients due of that.

In the far back where the trees are is my shade gardens. They stretch from the left branch tips of the white pine and all the way to the right of the picture. I think this yard is getting shadier every year. My goal is to move everything from here to my new gardens that I started this past summer. It's much sunnier and has way fewer leaves. Plus, they are all maple trees which I like much better.

We always take our leaves down to our little cabin and dump them in the woods. Usually filling in holes or dips in the ground.

The cabin is also where I keep my stash of old windows. I have around 100 as you can see.

I hope to use them for greenhouses, cold frames, decor, etc... We usually have them covered with plastic. I will be getting them covered back up before I go back to NC. They are all set up on 2x4's to keep them off the ground.

This is the two seater outhouse original to the cabin.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh, a planting we will go!

Just planted three large flat rate boxes worth of bulbs. 26 var. of daffs and 11 var. of tulips. Mom had already gotten the allium, crocus, hyacinth, , Casa Blanca lilies, muscari and other miscellaneous bulbs put in plus many more daffs and tulips. I got a bit carried away this year and ordered several hundred to many, as I do every year.

Mom has been creating some new beds while I've been gone. In the spring we will widen these and refine the shapes a bit. She has been tilling in tons of leaves so at this point I think there is more leaves than soil. It's really nice and fluffy and will be gorgeous soil next year.

The new iris bed has gotten a bit weedy since I left so that is another project on the list while I'm here.

My artichoke finally produced. It had a long hard spring so I don't blame it for waiting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mom's gettin Married

My mother has been single for over 10 years. Of course she has dated but no keepers. That is until she meet Glen. They have been dating now for about a year and a half. They are blissfully happy and have decided to get married. The date is November 21. I am flying home to MI in the morning and staying for 10 days. I'm very excited to get up north and even more excited for them.

We will have the chance to reconnect to relatives we haven't seen in a long time. I haven't seen two of my mom's brothers for maybe 10 or more years. There is one person that I can't wait to see.

On Christmas of 1985 my mom's brother Bill and his wife Karen awoke to the smell of smoke. Their home was on fire. Karen ran to the neighbors for help while Bill tried to get their daughters, Ruth and Rachael. The girls were just a little older than I was. I was turning four in few days. Smoke had filled the house. Bill and the girls never made it out of the house. Karen lost her family that night. We lost three very special people but we didn't lose Karen. Though, technically, she was no longer our Aunt, we never stopped calling her Aunt Karen. We kept in touch for many years. She found new love and started a new family. She was able to find happiness after the worst tragedy that one can endure. Many years have gone by since we last saw her but on the 21st she will be playing her violin at my mothers wedding. We are all so happy to have her back in our lives.

It's going to be a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chicken Madness

I saw this three foot chicken nestled in the landscape at Bellwether Gardens on the Leelanau Peninsula. I'm glad chickens aren't actually that large.

This coop is the grandest I have ever seen. Large enough for me to call home! I didn't get a good shot of the front unfortunately. It looks like a small cottage and is so adorable.

Do come in ladies.

I can't wait to have my own coop and chickens. Nothing like farm fresh eggs and the friendship of hens.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tea and Friends

On Halloween a group of us meet at Miss Alice's Tea Room for a little party.

Miss Alice has hundreds of dresses for little girls and women. Shoes, gloves, jewelry and hats come in every color imaginable. Nothing like playing a little dress up and having tea with lunch.

This is the women's dress up room. See the bins full of gloves.


The little girls dressing room.

Tea. I love these cups.

Lunch was delicious. We were served homemade chocolate chip and cranberry/orange scones with whipped cream, chicken salad and fresh fruit. And of course, an endless supply of tea. There must have been 50 kinds.

Adorable little cakes for dessert. I loved the frosting, cute and delicious.

Miss Alice also teaches etiquette to little girls. They get to dress up in all the cutest and colorful dresses and enjoy tea with friends. A real life tea party. I couldn't imagine a better place to have a little girls birthday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Halloween

Andrew and I ended up waiting till the 30th to carve our pumpkins, oops! Actuall, it was about 1:00 a.m. so I guess it was the 31st. We just did freehand designs instead of the fancy stencil kits that we normally use. I think they turned out pretty cute.

Mine is on the right. It looks petrified in the lite. Andrew's pumpkin is much more menacing than mine.

Mine looks a little less scared and a bit more fierce in the dark.

We went out to down town Winston and had a good time. Hit a few bars. So many great costumes out there! I loved seeing folks dressed up as monsters from "Where the Wild Things Are."

How was your Halloween?