Saturday, November 7, 2015

So Many Changes

So many many changes over the past year but now life is just now slowing down to an even pace once again for me. 

I am looking forward to the upcoming holidays and all of the excitement of the fall and winter holidays.

Maybe I should start at the beginning. The first big change came about over a year ago as our oldest Granddaughter Ashley walked down the aisle to marry . Ashley had lived with us for 10 years and this was a big change to see her marry and move to Georgia where her husband was stationed at Ft. Benning and later to Fort Drum in upper New York. 

One of my favorite pictures of that day. It was the night of the Super Moon.

                                                     And this is what I did a lot that day.
I seemed to have shed a lot of tears.

From this day through the rest of the summer I was working three days at the Senior Center and three days at the campground. Sure made for a busy summer. 

Fall and the fall holidays really kept me busy. First of November started my decorating for Christmas. I taught a couple of craft classes and also our Senior Center Director and I did a Holiday Baking class with our seniors. What fum making pilgrim hat cookies, chocolate covered smors, turkey cookies, along with a couple different dip ideas for snacking . 

Shortly before Thanksgiving we received news from our Granddaughter  then just a couple days later from a Grandson. Both were going to be making us Great Grandparents  and both babies due within the same week. 

Thanksgiving came and went fast. Several of the girls and grandchildren arrived for our dinner and we had a lot of laughter and fun. Day after Thanksgiving and George and I braved the Black Friday Crowds and when we came home all my Christmas Shopping was done other than for him. 

The Christmas Season just flew by. My dad and Jan came home for the holidays and am so glad that they did. Little did I know that this would be my last Christmas with dad. 

March arrived and I got a call at work that they were admitting dad to the hospital. He thought he had caught a cold. Been sick for just 3 days with it. Jan and my sister convinced him to go to Dr. and he sent him right over to Er. This was on a Wednesday morning. Wednesday night they transferred him from Zephyer Hills  to Tampa and admitted him to ICU where they diagnosed a lukemic blast. Sunday morning just after midnight he was again reunited with my mother.

We did not even have time to get to Florida for any of us to say goodbye. The next several days were a blur to me. Just could not believe this was true. Jan stayed here to be close to us girls until Mothers Day when she went to her daughters home and then back to Florida later in the summer.

Dads' final ride Memorial Tribute from the Blackman/ Leoni fire department.  Dad had been Fire Chief of the Columbia Township Fire Department for over 20 years. We had no idea that this was going to happen. Columbia Fire Department had arranged it. They along with Columbia Township Police lead us to the cemetery. As we rounded the corner and saw this display we were filled with so much emotion.

May arrived and the first two of the new babies to come along this spring arrived.
Then June and the birth of both of our Great Grandbabies just 5 days apart. Then early July  Great nephew arrived. That mad a total of 5 new borns in 6 weeks in our family. Talk about a growing family.

Then started the process of cleaning out dads' condo, getting what my sisters and I wanted and getting ready to sell it. We have had a sale and donated all the rest. What a long several weeks that was. 

 In the meantime George and I had decided at first to remodel our home and add on.That is until George started looking at a Access book with homes for sale. He suggested renting our home to our daughter and buying a new home. So the hunt was on for a house with just what we wanted. Not much at all. Just a lake home, low taxes, needing no repair, more space, 3-4 bedroom , large kitchen, dining area, walk out basement, preferably finished, at least 2 bathrooms, deck and a nice yard large enough we could have a small garden and lots of flowers.  

Nights I was on my computer and he was on his checking homes in the area. We were running from his to mine to check out what we found. Finely called a Realtor and set up a time to check out a few we really liked the looks of.

Checked out several and one in particular  we really liked the looks of from the outside. When we arrived to go through it we walked in through the garage. Not totally a finished basement but had plumbing in, large windows, slider door to a patio and some outside walls finished. It is on  almost an acre and just two doors away is the lake access we so wanted. Upon climbing the steps to the kitchen I took one step into the kitchen, stopped and looked around and said to George and our Realtor " I  do not think I want to look at any more. This is the one" It just felt like home to me.

We were scheduled to look at a couple more. George felt we should go ahead and look just to know for sure if this was the home. Neither tugged at my heart like this one did. We put in an offer and the next day had a counter offer. It was actually lower than what we figured they would counter offer us so we signed on the dotted line . Two weeks later we closed and the following day started moving in.

The new house.

The reason I fell in love with the house. 

This is the first inside view when we stepped into the home. This is taken after we moved into it . Upon entering we had a blank state to start with  I have decorated with my fall decorations  at the time I took this. Starting in the next few weeks I can start decorating for Christmas. So excited.

In the meantime we had also traded our camper for a new 5th wheel with three slides to it.

Here are a couple of the inside of the camper. So much room and I never did fill all the cabinets and storage ares.
 It seemed like from May till September I was packing boxes, hauling boxes and unpacking boxes. We still have a lot in the old house to pack and move and more to just get rid of.
 We spent or weeks at home and week end at camp where I am still their Activities Director.

September and fall arrived and we had to have a place for George to move all his wood working equipment too so we ordered an Amish built shed. Wow talk about impressive. Three young Amish men came in with all framing, walls built and painted. All loaded on a truck in the order needed. They pulled into our yard at 2:30 in the afternoon and by 7:30  they were loading up to leave. This was standing in our yard totally done.

I have always wanted to see an Amish barn raising and after watching them do this I even more than ever would like to see one. I was very impressed with these young men. Two were married ( with beards) and one was still single (without the beard) . They were so polite and just wonderful to chat with as they worked. They sure are hard workers.

Early October and while camping our oldest daughter and her boyfriend called us and were planning on coming over . With their work schedules and mine we do not get to see them often so were were glad to have a day to spend time together. While chatting the real reason for the visit was revealed. Doug asked our blessing for them to marry. I have to say before he even got all the words out I was shedding a few tears. We had just 3 weeks before the day they hoped to marry. What a busy time. It was an outdoor wedding and late in October ( the 24th) so with Michigan weather you never know what to expect. They were married in a beautiful park in front of the covered bridge.

The weather was beautiful and we so enjoyed such a wonderful day. We are all so happy for them.

November has been a beautiful month thus far.  For being in Michigan the weather has been beautiful. 60s -70s and so sunny. Today is the coolest but still 50s'

To keep busy during the time since we have moved into the house George has been busily working at finishing off the basement. There will be a large bedroom/office , large family room, 1/2 bath with a doggie wash area, large storage room and a bar room/ kitchen area there. We hope to have it done other than ceiling by Christmas. Pictures of that will follow later. 

I am getting our Christmas things around. Just brought lots over from the old house yesterday and hope that next week end I can start decorating. I am adding a lot of mom and dads things this year. So anxious to see just what I am going to uncover in a couple of the boxes marked village. I do not remember mom having a village. So this may prove interesting as we did not open the boxes before bring them home.

All  this time I am still working 3 days a week for the county in the Senior Center plus a day at the campground . This is the first week end home since campground closed and I know I am certainly going to enjoy it.

I am wanting to get more into Blogging again and plan on getting my Christmas Blog going again also.  I have Christmas shopping started and plan a relaxing time this year for the Christmas Season.

We are looking forward to our first family Thanksgiving here in our new home and I am so excited for Christmas this year and not having us packed to the gill in our old home. They were the good old days to me and I am anxious to make memories in the new home now.

Enjoy your week end.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

And the Snow Keeps on Falling

Another day missed for all schools in the county along with a snow day for our senior centers. This looks like it is going to be a long winter.  

Thank you Punxsutawney Phil. If today is a prediction of the next 6 weeks of winter is like today I am sure you are going to have many hunting you down. 

I love the snow but enough is enough. I can not see the highway and we are just 3 houses off a main highway. The field next to us is not easily seen at at one point it was total white out. I did walk to the mailbox to send out Valentines to family and then snapped a few pictures. Got the bird feeders all filled. Hope that when George makes it home from work and snow blows a path to the chickens I can get there without trudging through the knee deep snow. 

I guess today will be a good day to bring up a few Valentine decorations. I have not gotten one thing out. I guess this winter the wind has deserted my sails and left me sort of blah when it comes to decorating.

Miss having a wreath up and love the one I made a couple years ago from cupcake papers. Very simple to do and did not take long at all to finish it up. Picture is taken right after I made it. I used it with my wall tree which is full of ornaments for Valentine Day. This year I may bring up my 6 foot white tree to decorate. 

I have been trying to de-clutter my life and guess that may be the reason. I just have gotten where I do not want to dust all the items I have. Needless to say I have come to the idea that less is better in my mind. 

Does not seem like we should already be a week into February. The year is going to just fly by. It will be one year next week since my open heart surgery. How fast that year has gone by. 

Will share my decorations as soon as I get them all up. 

Must get busy . Enjoy your day and to all those in this storm please stay safe. If you need to get on the roads drive safe and watch out for the other guy. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It Snowed, and Snowed and it Snowed

What a winter it has been thus far. It seems like we are in a never ending snow globe here in Michigan.
To go along with all the snow we have had has been bone chilling cold. Two night last week with wind chill factor it was -45 degrees outside.

Our local schools have used up all their free weather days. Since they were to go back after their Christmas break they have only gotten in 10 days of school and a couple of those were 2 hour delays to start time. The county senior centers have closed several days also. Was nice to be home a few extra days though one day George could not make it to work. A waist high drift in the driveway behind his truck and no way even with 4-wheel drive could he get through it. That day was almost 4:00 before he could get us snow blown out. Today as soon as it quit snowing it started to sleet then rain. And tonight it will freeze. Drive will be a bit on the slippery side tomorrow I am sure. That being I am sure our snow blower will not move all the wet snow off the drive.  .

We can not longer see the seats on the picnic table with the snow. The top is just peeking out. We have shoveled off the deck and again have 2 foot of snow that has blown over the house in the wind. Dogs have made a path to the other end though. We had to shovel a part of the yard down the steps of the deck to let them into the yard. As cold as it was they sure did not take a long time to do their business. That was surprising as two of the three love the snow and will run and play for an hour if I would let them.

These are our lilac bushes . This was taken before the snow last night and today.

Our spruce tree to the front of the side yard. Love how it looks covered in snow. 

The snow is half way up the mailbox.

Looking out the back door down the deck. Snow is high enough that if the dogs really wanted they could jump over the gate at the end. I think the only reason they do not is it is 4 steps down and they are too afraid to jump over it. 

This is the picnic table and this is before the snow actually started. Today it covers the seats totally. 

This weather has sure helped me in my wish to declutter. I have gone through papers and files and really made a dent in things. Straightened a few cupboards up and got rid of things we have not used in years, 

I have even managed a bit of sewing. I bought me a new Pfaff  Creative 3.0 sewing/ embroidery machine. I took my first lesson on it two weeks ago but last Monday would not go 40 miles in the cold and ice for the second lesson so will take that late February if the weather co-operates .   I have just done a bit of the fancy stitches and look forward to learning to embroider with it. All my lessons are free . Am really looking forward to try some different things with it. 

Mind you this is a total new thing for me. Have never had anything other than a cheap straight stitch machine. 

I was given a lot of pre-cut quilt squares and I am hoping to do some simple quilts with them. Got a big wedding coming up this summer and really would love to give them a hand made quilt. Sorted them out and there are lots of blue squares that are all in the same tone . Will buy more fabric and see what I can do. 

I guess I am getting more brave the older I get. 

I am getting now where I am totally going to have more time to blog and do a few other things I have not been able to do . 

Will share all my other exciting things in another post during the week. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week end. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day and Still Camping

Here we are at the end of our summer and Labor Day is today. I have had a busy summer thus far. As I mentioned a few months ago we went camping over the 4th of July. Can you believe it we are still at the campground. We put a camper on a seasonal lot and both George and I are helping the new owners out. I help in the office and George is helping with upkeep, painting and anything that he can help with. We are having fun and enjoying nature at its best.

Love the early morning and sitting on the deck with my second cup of flavored coffee watching the birds as they sing to greet the day.

Oh and we decided that out camper was too small for living in weeks at a time . As I blogged about the last time we had bought a 2013 travel trailer last year.  Well we happened to go to a camper show in early August. Just to see the new models. No intention at all on trading in the one we had. Saw one we both fell in love with. It is 26 foot with bump out. Five foot longer than what we had and at least with a bump out we could walk by each other without having to tuck ourselves tight to the counter or table to pass by.

Never did we think at the time we would be coming back to the campground preparing to pack all out things and move into a new trailer but that is just what happened. We traded the one we bought last year for a 2014 Salem towable.

Boy talk about a nice trailer. Funny thing our payments are  a lot lower than on the one we had.  Here are a few pictures of the new one.

First day after arrival and all set up

Just inside the front door

Looking across the bump out . Big picture window. The only one the dogs can see out good. 

Bathroom with tub/shower and the sink. Bit crowded but livable.

Bunk beds. Actually there is one on floor level also. The dogs now have their own bed. We can sleep 9 if need be with the dining table and couch as a bed. Couch is a hid-a-bed.

Standing  at the bathroom looking toward the kitchen area. 

Nice sized eating area for us on rainy days

In dining area looking toward the TV and living area. In back of the living area is the bedroom. Not sure what happened to that picture . Bedroom has a queen size bed. Two closets for his and mine. Love being able to get around it and can close it off at night. 

I have been doing lots of crafting since being here too. Brought  out wired ribbon and have 20 ribbon angels completed. Such and easy and pretty craft. I have also done several sets of tile coasters. Just bought the dots to add to the bottom so they will not scratch the table.  Went on a painting kick the last few weeks and have started several birdhouses and have a box full of wooden ornaments to get painted.  George leaves for work in the morning and I have  free time till noon or so. Makes it nice time to do crafting.

I have my winter job all lined up. Will be doing lots of painting. I am going to be redoing all the signs and cartoon characters here at the campground over the winter. That will be about a full time job for me. Sure glad that I enjoy doing decorative painting. The overflow restroom has looney- toon and Disney characters all around the outside. They all need a good sanding and then repainted.

I will also be planning next years week end activities. Right now I am planning the Boo Bash for the 5th of October. We are planning on a shoesting budget. lol . But  I am sure it will be lots of fun. Scarecrow decorating contests along with pumpkin painting for the kids, pumpkin carving for the adults, costume contest for adults and children,and a site decorating contest. I made a trip to the Dollar Tree this last week and came home with lots of things to use for our site.

Oh and I have been working for the county a few times also at one of the Senior Centers. Was nice to get back after being off since last October before my surgeries. Not working near the hours I did last year but do enjoy getting back into the swing of a few hours of work here and there.

Now on to fall and getting around for all the fall holidays.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Celebrating the 4th of July, Camping and Crafts

Well I got my 4th of July  tree done .Only a few weeks late. All ready for a nice long week end at home.

Wrong. George came in and said " Lets go camping"  So guess who is packing up the trailer and we are heading a few miles up the road. Only going about 12 miles away but will be nice.

I  have not even posted about our new trailer. We took the plunge and last fall found a 2013 Ameri-Lite 21 foot travel trailer. Traded our pop up camper  and this will be our third trip out with it. Can not get used to camping with Air conditioning, a refrigerator , furnace, and microwave. But I am loving it. In fact if this week end works out I may be taking a part time position at the campground and put the trailer on a permanent site.I can work off the yearly rent. This idea came from the camp manager. Very nice lady.Here is our home away from home.Oh and I forgot to mention. We have a bathroom with tube and shower.

Her she is in all her glory on first arriving  to our home.
Yup I decided that it is a "she" 

All the items a person needs. 3 burner stove, refrigerator, microwave , and sink. 

I even can take a nice coffee pot and not have to use a camper stove to either perk coffee or drip coffee . So nice .

And this is my favorite. A bed that I can sleep in and not have to climb over George to get up. Oh how I hated that in our pop up. Would have been fine if we were alone and I could have slept in the 2nd bed in that but we always had kids and grandkids with us over the years. Managed to get away once if I remember right with no one.  

Even have a wall mounted TV. Came in pretty handy in May when we took it north for a week. Three days of rain so stuck inside . Sure watched a lot of old John Wayne movies that week. 

You know I am going to take several craft things to do. Being so local I plan on staying right at the campground.Thought that ribbon angels would be a quick and easy thing with not a lot of supplies to drag                                       along.The ribbon angel is on the bottom left. So simple.  

 Also am doing several sets of Coaster tiles so thought that if I cut all my papers here at home tonight I can take the Modge podge, paper and tiles and will not take much at all to get those done. I an planning on doing the fall craft show this year .

These are some I gave my dad for Fathers Day. I love the patriotic  ones and am sure they will sell well at the sale. We actually did these for our Senior Craft day in June and I even had two men come in for the craft class. 

Well guess I had better get busy and finish loading the camper. 
Baked cupcakes, made pretty pink lemonade cookies, past salad, loaded potato salad, and deviled eggs all to take with us. Good week end to not have to cook too much. All that and need to finish the laundry and straighten the house. It has been a busy day for sure here. 

Everyone have a " Great 4th of July.

And at this time a special thank you to all our military, past and present. 
And this is past and present.

My Grandson Donald  and a very special person Larry still working volunteer for disabled vets. Larry was honored a few years ago as "Lenawee Person of the Year for all the wonderful things he has done. What an honor to have these very special people in my life

Happy 4th of July


Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Never Ending Project

At least it sure seems like a never ending one. Gardening. ...... First I must say that this is the first year in several years I have been able to do much work at all in the garden.

Before my open heart surgery it seems 15 minutes work and I had to sit and catch my breath. It was a never ending battle. Needless to say for the last 2 or 3 years I have done very little other than to the small flower beds around the house, and those have not been done the greatest. This year I have spent more time in the flowerbeds helping George than I bet I have in 5 or more years. And I am loving it.

We decided that they needed totally redone. Our poor little pond we put in you could no long see for the wild roses and small trees that had sprouted, Virginia Creeper that decided to move from the property line into the flowerbeds. Boy what a mess it all had become.

This is what it was looking like last fall. No deadheading, weeding or even mowing it down.

The biggest was out back by where the shed is. The one to the front  was a mass of weeds. 

So we started the project and  have worked 4 week ends. and every evening it has not rained. Hauled manure, mulch and two loads of plants and are still only half done. 

Here are a few things we have done thus far. 

Front right quarter with some of the plants. The ones to the front left are Madonna lilies which have all these pretty green leaves come up then die back during the month of June. Long about the end of July or early in August they will then push up stems and we will have beautiful lilies where the leave were. I find they are a very interesting plant to have. Oh the common name for them " Naked Ladies" . I always laugh when they open and tell everyone our naked ladies are standing in the garden again. 

The bed in back is the other front quarter. George decided it was break time and I had to agree.

Two front quarters are now pretty much done. Will be nice when the plants get bigger and fill in more but I am loving the way it looks already. 

This is now what the area looks like after planting of both sides. Peony to the middle are some that were there and we left as they were.  To the right is also a large spirea we had planted several years ago. It got a good "hair cut " and it still put on a show of flowers for us. 

This is my angel garden. There are mostly day lilies and iris planted here. 
I also put a clump of bee balm and there was a butterfly bush there. Day lily and iris were two of the flowers my mother loved. Along  with flowers mom loved hummingbirds therefore the bee balm for the hummingbirds and butterflies another of moms favorites in the summer. So the butterfly bush will bring the butterflies here. I must mention mom was a collector of angels so I moved the angel from near the house to this garden.

I also added a memory of my childhood. How many remember getting milk delivery right to your door. Here is the box that was at the door of my husbands home many years ago. I remember even having milk delivery at the door when I was married to my first husband and my girls were small. I sure do wish we could now get it. Remember the cream floating on the top. Yummy it was. 

This is one of my favorite rose bushs given to me by the Seniors of the Onsted Senior Center as a birthday gift. I had taken my birthday off that year to cook for the Volunteer  Banquet. Every time it blooms I can not help but think of those wonderful seniors and how much love they shared over the 2 years I worked that center. Now many of those seniors are gone and I fondly think of them as I tend to the rose. 

The back is started but with rain every day for over a week now we have not been able to get into the back and do any more work. Here is what  we started out with. I call this "Lilacs Gone Wild"
There were many wild flowers that came up and bloomed but were very evasive so those all came out. 

The back quarter of the bed after cleaning. And look what we found. Yup the little pond is there. Full of a beautiful pond lily pad plant . And it even had a couple buds on it. 

The iris there on the right side are a beautiful deep purple ones that a friend gave me from her farm house just before she moved. She since has passed away and these are a special reminder of all the fun times we had over the years. 

I hope the daily storms will finally stop so we can get back to work but weather is calling for more right through Tuesday again. Not sure if it goes beyond Tuesday. I really am afraid to look. I sure do wish we could send our rainfall to the states that really need it. 

Now I would like to share a few of the flowers we have in and around the yard. 

One of the dark roses 

Siberian Iris

This is one of the hanging baskets over our flowers at the end of the carport. The yellow at the bottom are in the flower bed. I believe they are what they call false lupine. I was given a start these years ago by a friend and have had to separate them several times sharing starts with may friends and family. 

One of the hanging baskets on my dinner bell pole. I love petunias and plant several each year. Almost all of my annuals I plant are in red, white, and blue along with yellows and orange.

Beautiful ruffled day lily.I loved the cream color of this one and had never seen a ruffled one before. 

Shasta daisy. When George and I married this was the main flower in my bouquet . I can hardly wait till they grow in a big clump so I can separate and add more clumps of them throughout the flower beds. 

I have no idea what these are called. Will say that when a leaf is broken or torn it smells like an onion. Have been here for years and is a very strong  reliable plant for a good bloom time

Another childhood memory was a milk can. My Great Grandpa and Grandma had a big farm house and when I was real young my favorite place to play when there was in the cool milk house. I could have cried the day my husband came home and said there were a couple milk cans thrown at the side of the road. He drove right on by them. He did take me back but both were gone already. This one I found at a garage sale many years ago and only paid $5.00 for it. It has been outside all these years and not a bit faded. I have it under the large overhang of the house or under the car port so it does not get the rough weather if in the open.

Yellow Day Lily. Love the color. Such a soft pretty yellow.

Love peonies and have them in three different beds and in 3 different colors. 

My hanging kettle above my herbs. Quite a story here. The hitching post it is hanging on is from the old General Store owned by my Great Grandparents in Napoleon Michigan. Once cars came in and horse were no longer ridden this hitching post went to my Aunts home where as a little girl I loved to climb all over it doing summersaults and generally just hanging from it. From my Aunts it went to my parents home where the iron kettle was hung. Many batches of laundry were done in that old iron kettle years ago. When my parents sold and built and new home the hitching post was dug out and went with them to their new home along with Grandmas kettle. Several years ago mom and dad decided to downsize and called me one day and asked if I would like the post and kettle. Believe me hubby and I could not get there fast enough to get it. And now it proudly hangs in our own yard. When it cools a bit this will be getting a fresh coat of paint. 
 I am sure Great Grandma and and Grandpa would be happy to see it is enjoyed and that both have been useful for one thing or another for all these years. 

This was an area where an old evergreen bush was when we moved into my mother-and father-in-laws home. It was close to the road and finally bit the dust. George tried to dig it out, hooked and pull it out but it was not budging. So what do you do with an eyesore. Last spring while working in the bed closest to the road we decided to take out some iris. I set them behind the old stump and low and behold they grew and this year flowered.  So I added flowers to the front an since have mulched it with dark brown mulch and added a couple elves to it. Sort of like it that way too. 

Now back to relaxing in the shade of our gazebo. My place to view what we have accomplished this year so far. We still have a huge long garden to do and hope to also get that done this year. And I do at times drag a craft out there and sit while crafting. I think it is good for the soul. 

I hope you have enjoyed  a small part of our ongoing project.