Category Archives: Reflections

A Walk at the Farm

With temperatures near or at 50 degrees Tuesday I decided it was a good day to get out to the farm for a couple of hours. I grabbed my camera as I headed out with my husband and the kids dogs.

These first three photos were taken two weeks ago as our biggest snowstorm of the season (so far) blanketed our world with 7 inches of snow.

That snow was mostly melted by Tuesday. Looking at our forecast for the next week it seems as if Woody the Woodchuck, Puxatony Phil’s Michigan counterpart, was correct when she predicted an early Spring.

When we arrived at the farm I noticed most of the chickens just inside the barn. Since it was nice outside, I thought this a bit odd until I realized that they were dust bathing. The ground outside was still frozen so the limestone floor of the barn was their best option for dusting themselves.

Ranger went right to work. His mission – to find a bunny.

While Ruby found a ball (or two).

My husband has had several winter projects that he’s worked on at the farm this winter.

The first one is building up our firewood supply. Some of the trees he harvested were on our property while other were dead trees that had fallen on neighbors’ properties. Not everyone in our area burns firewood so fallen trees are often left to rot. Several of the neighbors were happy to let my husband come in and remove the dead trees.

These oak logs on the trailer were from a live tree that was cut by the power company. Again, these neighbors were happy to have my husband remove the logs from their yard. These logs will need to season for a year or more before they are ready to burn.

He has built some piles of tree branches in the woods. These piles serve as wildlife habitat and eventually we might cut some of the dead sticks to use as kindling when we start our fires.

While some of the branches in those piles are from trees he cut down some are from another project. He spent hours picking up fallen branches in the woods. For most of the winter there was no snow on the ground so it was possible for him to go into the woods and pick up fallen branches and sticks – something that I’ve always thought should be done but has never been a priority.

This makes walking through the woods so much easier.

The third project that he spent a lot of time on and I greatly appreciate is mulching the trails.

In previous years this trail was either flooded over or muck and mud this time of year and we just avoided that area until things dried up.

The electric company has had crews trimming trees in our area for the last few months. My husband stopped and asked the workmen if they would drop off some of the mulch at the farm. I think we ended up having 4 or 5 loads of free mulch delivered. One time my husband let the crew park one of their large trucks at the farm for the weekend in exchange for the mulch. It was a win-win.

If it wasn’t for the free mulch the trail through the woods would remain impassable for several months.

While Ranger was still off looking for bunnies,

Ruby spent most of her time hanging out with my husband and I, bringing us a ball and then retrieving it once one of us threw it.

The garden looks so barren and the warm weather has us itchin’ to grow things.

Since we generally don’t start planting in the ground until May it’s even a bit soon to start seeds indoors.

The pond level is extremely low. The 7-inch snowfall brought it up some, but we need a lot more precipitation to bring it up to where it should be.

We did get some of that much needed rain yesterday.

Despite the warmer temperature we didn’t see any bee activity.

That is a bit disheartening, but we are not totally sure that the bees didn’t make it yet.

Little birds like to hang out near the chicken yard where there tends to be food available.

They normally scatter when we approach but I was able to get a couple pictures using my zoom.

The one squirrel nest that we have on our property is nestled in this tree high above the chicken yard. I’m not certain if anyone is home.

Ruby is a master a retrieving the ball but sometimes she doesn’t like to give it up. LOL!

I had to shoo the chickens out of the barn so my husband could put the tractor in.

They seemed very happy when they discovered green grass in front of the barn.

Spotting these green shoots emerging from the ground made me happy.

Daffodils! 🙂 I think this is the earliest I have ever seen them coming up.

Also, in the foreground of this picture are some Iris shoots beginning to sprout up.

I’m fairly certain winter weather will return before spring is here to stay, but if Woody’s prediction is correct, I would be one happy camper gardener.

Thanks for joining me> i hope you enjoyed our walk. Are you seeing signs of spring in your area?

Dog Quilts

Our dogs might just be a little bit spoiled (I hope you read a bit of sarcasm into that sentence,) and after writing this post I can no longer blame that solely on my husband. Each dog not only has his or her own bed, but they also have a blanket to go on their bed. Over the years our dogs have worn through many old blankets we have given them. The main problem with giving people blankets to dogs is that rather than covering up with a blanket like people would, dogs walk on the blanket, then lie on the blanket, and some, like our Ranger, might even feel it necessary to walk in a few small circles on the blanket in order to create a nest to lie in. These blankets can wear out quickly. They need something sturdier.

I decided to make the dog quilts when I realized that our old living room curtains would make a durable quilt backing and perhaps hold up better than the blankets that we had been giving the dogs.

I used two layers of flannel then added the curtain, that is a heavy woven fabric, for the backing and binding. I finished the first one Tuesday evening and after showing it to my husband we presented it to the dogs.

When we placed it on the dog bed my husband coaxed Ruby on it so I could take a picture.

Shortly after Ruby got up Ranger staked his claim.

The next thing I noticed was Ruby hiding in the corner. I think she was pouting.

I guess I should have waited until I had both quilts finished before I presented them to the dogs – what was I thinking? 🤦‍♀️

Since Ruby made me feel guilty that Ranger got a blanket and she didn’t, Wednesday became a quilt making marathon for me. I had the second one finished by Wednesday evening.

I did have a nice even pattern planned for this quilt with the same color blocks connecting on the diagonal. After sewing the first two rows together I realized I had sewn the second row of blocks on upside down and messed up the pattern. I decided not the rip out all the stitching and redo it because the dogs wouldn’t care about the pattern of the blocks.

We (Ranger, Ruby, my husband and I) all love the way the quilts turned and as a bonus they add a warm and cozy feeling to our living room.

Thanks for reading.

Do you have a spoiled pet in your life?

Recent Sewing Projects

Before Christmas I spent many hours at my sewing machine making gifts. That trend has continued into the new year as I have made a few things for myself and my husband. Below are some of the projects I created.

I made plush wearable blankets for Addie and Jackson for Christmas. They are fully lined so they are reversable.

I purposely made them big so hopefully they can wear them for another year.

I made hoodies for my daughters again this year. I was delighted, on Christmas, that Addie was wearing the dress I made her for her birthday especially since the shirt I made for her mom was done in matching fabrics.

This wasn’t a sewing project but I made this t-shirt for my husband and put it under the tree from Ruby and Ranger. (In case you can’t see the words it says: I’m a grown man. I do what I want my dogs want.) LOL!

My first after-the-holidays project was this hoodie I made for myself. I wanted to do a trial run of the pattern, so I used pieces of fabric I had left over from other projects. Somehow I was able to find four different yellow fabrics that gave me enough to make the shirt. I do love how it turned out (especially the yellow colors) and will for sure use this pattern again. You can get a better idea of how the whole shirt looks from the picture below.

My sister sent me some fabric for Christmas. She decided to let me make my own gift.

I turned it into this striped turtleneck. I absolutely love – it especially the fabric ❣

I was planning to make a hoodie like the one above for my husband, but I needed to make a trip to the fabric store to pick up some complementary fabric before I could start the project. In the meantime, I made myself a second turtleneck with some fabric I had on hand.

I used the same pattern but added about four inches in length to make it tunic style.

Last weekend my sister and I made the trip to the fabric store, so on Monday I Made my husband’s hoodie.

Front View

I love the way it turned out and it looks very nice on him. More importantly he loves it.

He slips it on whenever he feels chilly in the house, and we don’t have to bump up the thermostat. I call it his ‘gas bill buster’ LOL!

As I finish this post my mind is on my next project – dog blankets. I show them to you when they are finished.

Thanks for visiting. Do you have any winter projects going?

58 Trips Around the Sun

That’s right, I completed my 58th trip around the sun this week. It seems my husband and I have been celebrating this since just after Christmas when he instructed me go online to Sayklly’s Chocolates website (they make the best chocolates I have ever had) and order some chocolates as a birthday gift from him. They arrived two days later and I’ve been enjoying a couple pieces each day since. (This is another reason I didn’t need the cheesecake but these chocolates have a longer shelf life so I can savor them well into the year. :)) If you are ever in Escanaba, MI, I recommend you pick some up.

Then on Monday we had our day out – shopping, then lunch at a local restaurant. It was a fun day.

I thought today would be a good day to share some of the old photos I discovered while using my dad’s old Dell computer. A little look into my past so to speak. I’ve selected just a few of the photos and most of them have me in them so you can meet a younger me. 🙂


The first photo however is of my mom.


If the date on the photo is when it was taken, she would have been 13 years old. Back then the date on the photo indicated when it was printed so I can’t be sure when it was taken. It looks more like summertime than November in Michigan. Perhaps it was her birthday in August. People have always told me I look like my mom, but I think she was much cuter at that age than I was.

50 Years Ago

The next two photos appear to be just random photos. Not taken at any special event. I think I was around 7 or 8 years old when these were taken.


This is me with my youngest sister, Erin.

032 From left to right: my oldest sister, Kathy, my youngest sister Erin, Me. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I don’t remember either the cat or dog in this picture.

 40 Years Ago – Family Vacation

The rest of the photos were taken on our family vacation in 1982. It was the only time that I ever vacationed with both my parents. Mom, Dad, me and my two younger sisters Jamie and Erin drove cross country to visit friends in Page, Arizona. I think it was a 10-day trip. We also visited friends in Columbus, Nebraska along the way but the only photos I have were taken in Arizona. My older sister Kathy was married at this point, so she didn’t go on vacation with us.


The above picture was taken when we visited the Grand Cayon. Jamie, Erin and me sitting on the rim of the Grand Cayon.


My Mom and Dad standing in Lake Powell.


This picture was taken when we visited what our hosts described as a rock cut. This particular cut formed a path, like a tunnel, through a huge rock formation. I think the cut/tunnel went all the way through and came out on the other side. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Erin.) Pictured from left to right: Tiffany, Me, Dad, Jamie – Front: Erin, Justin. Tiffany and Justin are the children of the family we visited. Erin and Tiffany are still good friends today. 


We visited a second rock cut. This one went down into the ground. This picture shows my dad climbing down into the cut while we kids are already down inside.


Inside we climbed the walls. Jamie and me inside the cut. 


Erin and me inside the cut.


Me inside the cut.

As I was writing this post I became curious about these areas we visited on this trip so did a quick internet search. I’m fairly certain that these cuts that we visited are what is called Antelope Canyon and opened for tours in 1983 – the year following our trip. It has since become a popular location for photographers and sightseers and a source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation according to this website. (There are some great pictures on that website.)

Thank you for joining me for this trip back in time. I hope you will stick around this year to see what trip number 59 has in store.