A Little Window Shopping Serotonin Boost – Garden Edition

It’s been a week all, with Wyatt’s surgery and recovery, an ice storm, a massive power outage, and I needed a bit of a serotonin boost. And rather than adopt a new reptile, go on a Target shopping spree, or make a dreadful error by cutting my own bangs, I opted to browse garden stuff on Etsy. Happy, joyful, hopeful, green, springtime garden things. So I guess this isn’t really a gift guide, but more of a brain dump of all the treasures I found and added to a wish list which is better than adding all to cart, right?

Gloves are pretty much mandatory for gardening in my world. I love those bee gloves, they are so adorable! I wonder how practical they are though? Maybe if I was do some light gardening or something they would work. The other gloves however look like absolute workhorses! I love them – I am forever scratching up my arms when gardening somehow, and these gloves with arm savers would be beneficial.

I ALWAYS wear a hat in the sun. I burn so easily and I have had family members with skin cancer so I try to go all in with sunscreen and hats. This hat is so cute, and I could see wearing it more places than just digging in the yard.

This shirt is also so perfect. I am all about this color right now, and I love the sentiment as well as the pun.

I have always said I wanted to add decorations to our garden. I don’t think I could choose between my beloved foxes and rabbits though. It would just be so fun to have a family of foxes or serious rabbit poking about.

So, I designed and uploaded this garden planner book to Amazon because it was what I wanted. Lol. However it is available for anyone to purchase.

If there is one thing I absolutely will buy off of this list eventually, it is this harvest apron. I have long huge baskets but they are not super practical for me. I just don’t know where to store them when I am not using them! This harvest apron would be perfect!

And these wind chimes are just so pretty and whimsical and happy. I find gentle wind chimes so peaceful.

And then these two just for fun, because they made me smile…

Is there anyone who wouldn’t want a hobbit hole in their yard? I mean it is cool for kids and all that, but I could totally read in there. And the little mushroom table and chairs…adorbs.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this burst of sunshine as much as I did. And thanks for helping keep me distracted!


MIgardener Seed Haul

January means garden planning. I used to spend time poring over catalogs, those glossy thick ones that come in the mail from places like Baker Creek and Johnnys, as well as the other ones like Burpee and Gurneys. I used to get together with my Uncle on a Saturday morning, and my aunt would make us tea and there would be cookies and bagels, and my uncle and I would plan our gardens together. Who would get what seeds, what we would split, and he always had tidbits of advice and suggestions for me. Gardening was the thing I learned from him. It was our bond. When he passed away from Covid in November of 2020, I was devastated. I still miss him something fierce, everyday. And since then, I have tried to recreate those moments of ordering seeds with Billy, trying to achieve the same thing, and it just didn’t work. It didn’t feel right and made me sad, despite Billy’s best efforts. So this year, I went with something new. It is time to start a new tradition, one where I am the “expert” and Billy and Wyatt my partners.

Billy has been a big fan of MIGardener’s YouTube channel for years. I only recently started watching the channel, but Luke has tons of great videos, and even better, his information is Michigancentric. I had no idea though that he had a store so close to us, only an hour away! This was it, this was the new thing we could do, the new tradition we could start – shopping directly at his store!

We rolled up after a fairly easy drive (and after Billy exclaimed that the guy walking on the side of the road with his dog was the MIgardener although we don’t really know) and found ourselves in front of a large but fairly unassuming building on a very gray blah day. I also want to note that it is wheelchair accessible, with a ramp off to the side.

Inside though was warm and bright and felt like spring and hope and sunshine, with a giant wall of seeds, a small area of fun little extras, and a wall of just tomato seeds. And plants! Wyatt was very excited which made me smile. We may have gone a bit nuts, and made a mistake that MIgardener talks about in his videos – overbuying. Next year we will be better, I promise. This year though, we had a little bit of fun. We all picked seeds, including Wyatt.

So, want to see what we picked?

Four different kinds of tomatoes. Cucumbers, cucamelons, and those pretty spring peas. And black carrots, a Wyatt choice, and then I added watermelon radish.

Moon and Stars Watermelon (me), Tigger Melons (Wyatt), and then some orange watermelon (Billy). Luffa gourds because another customer in the store talked me into it, and jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

Then Billy’s array of lettuces for salad.

And then Billy and Wyatt left me some surprises at the register, that they chose for me. A few stickers, a lip balm, and a small little strawberry recipe book.

Now that we have all of this, we need to redo our garden plan! It is something that will keep us busy and thinking of spring during these longest and grayest of winter Michigan months, dreaming of toasted tomato cheese sandwiches, evening bowls of watermelon, those early spring radish that give you that bit of excitement of something green and growing.

This year I hope to can again, something I haven’t done at all since my uncle passed. We always did that together too. So I will change it up, maybe can sauce instead of diced tomatoes, etc. Change it up, but keep the spirit of it all. Start these types of traditions with Wyatt.

All in all, it was a good day. One I wish I could have shared with my uncle, but he would be pleased that I am passing on his love for growing food.

Notes from the Garden

My small garden has been going a little wild lately, with the amount of rain and the high temps we are having. So wild in fact, that our tomato patch started to form its very own land mass that we had to deal with it. I chose to sacrifice a few plants in order to free up some breathing room for the ones I left behind, and then we properly caged the ones left standing. However, the ones we pulled out had so many green tomatoes growing already that I couldn’t just throw them in the compost pile. So, I gathered them up and brought them in. And then had to decide what to do with them.

Someone online suggested fried green tomatoes, so I added cornmeal to my grocery list. I always loved that movie by the way. But I knew there was no way I could eat a billion slices of fried green tomatoes. So I stuck some in a brown bag to ripen and that left about five or six that still needed a purpose. After some googling, I found a recipe for Green Tomato Cake. Which frankly, sounded weird but we had all the ingredients, and Wyatt was up to try it, so we went for it. And it was good! Like really good. It is more like zucchini bread than cake in my opinion, but Wyatt wanted frosting on his piece, so I guess his was more like cake. We did not add raisins (because I loathe them) or nuts (we didn’t have them) but it still was fantastic.

I felt pretty proud of it! I am not a baker, I can make bread but struggle with anything else, and this turned out so good. Plus, I made it from scratch and from using up tomatoes from our garden! Now I need a plan for all the kale… so much kale….

Freeing up space and getting the tomato plants sorted paid off immediately in the garden as well. I went out the next day to find two red ripe tomatoes! We are going to have tomatoes in abundance this year! I plan on making salsa and lots of BLTs. Lol.

And that is it for the vegetables that made it. I know where I went awry this year though in my planning, and have a plan for next year. We are also adding in two beds next year as well – I like to do things bit by little bit. So next year, two new beds of veggies, another flower bed, and maybe a small pond if we get ambitious. I would love to do that this year but other projects take precedence. I keep saying in the fall, in the fall.. which is not that far away! I am going to have to reconsider my list of ideas and plans!

Our pollinator garden is always buzzing too, quite literally! I see flying creepy insects (like Great Black Wasps!) out there all the time, mixed in with cute little honey bees and adorable bumblebees. I had to look up Great Black Wasps, they are very intimidating looking in appearance, with huge black bodies and blue wings. I learned they are actually a friend to gardeners, as they kill grasshoppers and katydids – I love grasshoppers and katydids but we do have a ton! Nature at work, right here in this small patch of garden. Our pollinator garden is made up of so many different plants for butterflies, but other insects seem to love them too – as do hummingbirds! We have forget-me-nots and blanket flowers, verbena, black-eyed susans, nettle, butterfly weed (which I just learned is a type of milkweed, good for monarchs!), sage, rue, lovage, dill, bronze fennel (I always find black swallowtail caterpillars caught up in this plants greenery), lemon basil, and a cola plant. The cola plant was one I stuck in there years ago when I made a sensory garden for Wyatt – it smells just like soda, hence the name!

Another plan for next year is to remove what is left of the chain link fence and replace it. I want wood, something natural.

Our front garden area is full of yarrow. I saw it at the garden center and fell in love with it, so I planted like three or four of them. I also have brunella, butterfly weed, raspberry bushes, and lavender in that area, and I love to look out at it in the morning. This morning I saw a tiny bunny checking it out.

Gardening to me is.. a place to be creative. To buy the plants that call to me and find places for them. To provide shelter and food for insects and animals and for us as well. I love that I can change it up and add to it. And you can just keep going and going until you run out of room. You can buy plants or start from seed. There are so many options, flowers, veggies, night gardens, shade gardens, pollinator gardens. There is always something new and different to see when I visit the garden. I can’t wait to see what else we do with the things we grow this year, and I am already excited to start planning for next year.

Billy better get his shovel ready!

Thinking Spring!

My January seed order has always been such a big tradition in my life, and this year had a little bit more sentimentality. I did this for years and years with my uncle; we would gather around his table, coffee and pastries around us while my aunt fussed about around us. We planned our gardens, planted them together when they arrived, discussed our harvests.. it was our thing. And now they are both gone, my uncle and my aunt. Big memories around this one tradition.

Last year, my uncle had “retired” from gardening and I had a fun garden and seed planning morning with my sister-in-law Chrissy and my niece. This year, though, we couldn’t get together. We tried to find a safe way, but with the weather we decided to forgo it.

But my husband and son came to the rescue! Billy knew I was feeling sad about it this year, and he and Wyatt gallantly stepped in.

We made it a pastry picnic! We spread out a cheery quilt, and all piled on top surrounded by seeds and books and pastries and pencils, and dug in. We looked over the seeds we had left from last year and the year before, made a list of what we still needed (emphasis on need not want, since we just don’t have space in our house for starting all the seeds we want lol), and Billy threw together a quick sketch of a garden plan. We didn’t need to order too many vegetables, as we are good on those still, and Billy has been wanting to start a cut garden, so it all worked out. We picked out flower seeds, which was really fun – neither of us really know too much about flowers so we just chose based on what sounded and looked pretty! I enjoyed the planning with my guys. My uncle would have been happy to see it.

Then, I actually got to the ordering! I went to the quiet basement office, took a glass of wine and my laptop, and started the process. And discovered it wasn’t as easy as previous years! Some seed companies are a month behind processing orders due to COVID, others were not taking orders from non-commercial growers (and I understand that), and other companies were sold out of a lot of seeds already! So if you are sitting on a seed order or wish list, you may want to put it in now. I made adjustments and swaps, and still ordered what we needed plus flowers for Billy’s flower gardens, it just took a bit longer, but that was ok. And I ordered something special as well: a lemon tree in honor of my uncle. My uncle grew a lemon tree from a single seed from a lemon he had used cooking, and he was understandably so proud of it. It is one of the plants I think of when I think of gardening with my uncle. I have to wait until spring for it to arrive, which makes sense with the cold temperatures and shipping right now, but I am so excited to get it. It is definitely something to look forward to!

This year we will also have another new addition to our yard – elderberry bushes. Billy has wanted these for years and finally ordered them. The cuttings arrived and are happily sitting in the window, awaiting their time to be planted outside. It will be here sooner than we think!

All of my seeds have now shipped and I will be checking the front porch a million times a day to see if they have arrived, until they get here. Until then, we can dream of gardens and flowers and color and vegetables from inside our cozy house, eating soup and homemade bread and finding what flowers we can to get us to spring.

Mini-Post: What’s growing on?

I felt like it was time for a garden update. Our garden did not go as we had planned way way back, during the winter. That fun breakfast with my sister-in-law planning, how my husband and I drew up a blueprint of where we wanted things, then…lockdown. Then, my husband’s broken elbow. We had beds never dug, seedlings that never made it into the ground – but we persevered, and started again. We had to cobble a garden together in parts, my brother kindly came over and rototilled a few spots for me, we planted in containers. And while we didn’t plant anywhere near what we had intended, it felt good to just get some seeds in the ground.

My pumpkins are my favorite. I have always wanted to grow them, and they have taken off like crazy. Literally, they stretched out across our entire yard. I have a long term plan for our little pumpkin patch – if Halloween is cancelled, which I am feeling like it will be, we are going to do a Charlie Brown Halloween and wait for the Great Pumpkin to arrive while sitting in our pumpkin patch, next to a bonfire. And I am sure I will be drinking cider and eating stew or chili. So grow pumpkins grow! Although, I am a little concerned. Some of the leaves are a little funky! I need to google that, unless someone here knows what is happening?

My cucumbers are utter chaos. Like seriously it is anarchy in their corner. Weeds grew up along the fenceline and the cucumbers attached themselves to them, while also refusing to climb the trellis Billy built. And maybe we will get a cucumber or two? I planted seeds late, so whatever we get I will be happy with. They look pretty though, even among the chaos.

We transplanted our strawberries to this bed as well – they were living in a strawberry planter that got knocked down by strong winds and shattered. They are alive and kicking though so I am looking forward to what they do next year. Cabbage lives here too, along with the dill that the black swallowtail butterflies love so much… and grasshoppers. So many grasshoppers.

Our experimental peanuts are doing ok, I think? I can’t tell. Our radishes did fabulous! They were delicious on baguettes with butter. So yummy!! My carrots did fairly well too. My beets however, failed spectacularly. I am going to replant and see how a fall crop does.

In the front of the house, we have flowers, lavender, lemon basil, swiss chard, and our raspberry bushes. The lemon basil is enormous – almost as tall as me! I am turning it into flavored salt this week. The raspberries are so sweet and delicious, and it is so fun to run out there and pick a few to eat. We don’t have many, just enough for a little treat. And I have learned I don’t like swiss chard.. that was a substitution at the nursery. By the time I felt comfortable going, the lettuce and spinach was gone. I grabbed a few swiss chard but I am not a fan, which I didn’t realize.

What about you all? Any successes? Failures? Things you would do differently? I would love to hear!

A Day of New Life!

Yesterday was a big day around here! We had 6 of our 9 butterflies emerge from their chrysalis – and they couldn’t have had better timing.

It is butterfly week here this week, and Wyatt and I had just settled in to do some work after reading the book Butterfly Birthday. Butterfly Birthday celebrates the beginning of spring and also the birthday of all the butterflies that eclose in the book during the party. So, we read our book, got situated on Wyatt’s lesson, and I glanced down to see a butterfly! Our first butterfly made its appearance minutes after reading our book. Lol. We had to take a break to celebrate – with cake!

We just happened to have some left from Mother’s Day – strawberry with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Yum!

It’s so cool to us that you can see them as fully formed butterflies within the chrysalis before they emerge. Nature is so amazing! This was the first one born – the one in the chrysalis was the third.

It was a day for new life all around – my seeds are starting to sprout, also something to be excited about! I am most excited about my pumpkins today – I have always wanted to grow our own mini-pumpkin patch. I hope they make it!

My little sprouts! Pumpkins, watermelon, squash, lettuce, and basil all have made their appearances. Outside, the radishes are doing well! We are still waiting on some but this is a great start!

Spring was certainly making itself felt around here yesterday, and with it, a happy hopeful feeling as well.

Rolling With It

We had big plans for our garden this year. You wouldn’t think that we would have had those plans sidelined by COVID, but we did. With Wyatt home 24/7, Billy being an essential worker, the crazy weather (snow in April anyone?) and the rules we had in Michigan for a while regarding gardening supplies, it made it hard for us to get moving. I had started seeds back in March, but then they got too big and I couldn’t transplant them and they died. I had never tried that sort of production before and I obviously need to work on it.

But! Despite all of our setbacks, we are going to keep trying and rolling along. We finally had beautiful weather over the weekend, and we spent those days holed up in our backyard, organizing and planting seeds. I don’t know how this will work as we are getting a late start, but I am hopeful regardless!

I am super excited about getting Wyatt involved this year. One thing that we planted this year are peanuts! When I was a kid like first grade or second, my uncle planted them one year and I thought it was so cool! I remember taking them in to school for show and tell. I was kind of a nerd even then I guess! So this year, inspired by those memories, Wyatt got to plant peanuts. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they grow!

We had a beautiful plan for a potager garden, with every section planned. Now we are going with a different approach for this year – we planted root vegetables in cloth containers, and then we are planting the seedlings that I hope shoot up quickly into the beds we already have dug from last year, which were intended more for flowers than food production but hey, we are rolling with it! I now have seeds started for a variety of vegetables – carrots, beets, radishes (and some radishes that I actually got into the ground and are doing great!), peanuts; then we have basil, lemon basil, thyme, Ice Queen lettuce, cabbage, yellow squash, Tom Thumb peas, pumpkins, and watermelon seeds all started. Tomorrow and the rest of this week I am going to try and get our flower seeds started, then hopefully over the upcoming weekend we get the areas ready for the beans, cucumbers, and snap peas I want to plant. And I found another use for the masks I bought! The pollen count was off the charts practically here this weekend and I wore my mask to filter how much I was exposed to as I worked outside. So bonus?

So although we are looking at a whole different idea, a more scaled down approach to our garden this year, it is a start and it is something. Maybe as things (hopefully) loosen up and become easier later this summer we will be able to work on getting the yard where we want it and ready for next year. We are already guessing vacations are out for us this year, so Billy’s vacation time will be spent at home – we are talking about knocking out some projects that we are usually to go-go-go to actually get to. We are learning to roll with it and regroup, and are moving along as best we can.

***And as I finish this up this morning (I started this post yesterday afternoon) the weather is reporting record low temps again this week! Looks like I will be moving my little starter babies inside again for a bit!

A Sunday of Foraging and Gathering

After a week of not feeling well, by the time Sunday rolled around I was feeling well enough to get out. And I wanted to. Needed to really. Cooped up for so long at home we all needed to stretch our legs and breathe in some fresh clean air. Greenfield Village is closing for the season in two weeks, and we wanted to get a last trip in before they close. We have had so many fun day trips there this year that we wanted to take a last walk around. And I knew it was decorated for their Halloween event so it was bound to look pretty cool too!

The air was brisk and cool, the day was a bit overcast, but it all added to the moodiness of the moment, with the jack o’lanterns lining the streets as far the eye could see, the hay bales, the spooky scarecrows – we felt like we had entered some sort of creepy children of the corn type town this trip.

We meandered our way over to the gardens, which in the summer time is bursting with blooms and busy bees, little birds darting here and there, and elegant butterflies floating from flower to flower. A garden in fall can be just as beautiful, but I think they are in spite of the lack of life. The beauty is a stark one, a lone candle in the window, if you will. The colors shine so much brighter, mimicking the colors on the trees around. There is glory in the brightness of fall, the last flare before winter.

Billy is naturally an outgoing person, and he and Wyatt strolled around that red house while I poked about in the garden. He ran into a friendly gardener who gave him two seed heads, from a sedum and a blackberry iris. She told him that if saw anything in the garden that we liked that was either off the plant and on the ground, or had gone to seed, we could gather and save for our garden next year! I usually have my seed envelopes with me because I am a nerd so we spent some happy time gathering seeds from flowers that we will plant in the spring. Wyatt enjoyed playing among the rows like a little bunny, some of the flowers taller than him. He is such a sweet kid, smelling the flowers and enjoying time in a garden.

Needless to say we found some things. We harvested seed pods and black walnuts, just a few and left the rest for the squirrels, and nicked a few blooms that had been already been bent practically off by overzealous wildlife, or perhaps other people, or their purses and bags or strollers. We felt so lucky leaving with our bounty!

It was nearing lunchtime so we picked one last spot in the village to visit before heading home – Daggett Farmhouse, my favorite. It makes me think of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and it was so perfect to visit so close to Halloween.

If I could move into the village, this is the house I would pick. I love it so much. The colors, the simplicity, the squareness, the big garden, and the windmill next door. Lol. So very New England. It was built before America was America, this house, can you believe it? We poked around outside and headed inside where the reenactors were sitting down to a lunch of pies and cabbage. It looked delicious honestly. Wyatt really enjoyed the mention of pie – I am pretty sure he is going to dig our month or so of pie making. Or at least the eating of them.

We headed home to our lunch soon after, bowls of warm chicken lemon rice soup, which I think did much magic for our colds. It was a good day!

A Girl’s Day Out in Midland

Last Saturday a small group of my friends and I took a little trip away, just for the day. Away from our families and responsibilities for a few hours and it was simply perfect, hanging out together, having new adventures, and eating some pretty excellent food.

We do this every year and while usually we head to the West Coast of Michigan, this year we ventured north, to Midland. Most of us had never been there or really ever heard of it, but Jill had been there and said it was cool so, off we went. However, we went without much plan or direction which could have derailed our journey but luck was in our favor and we had an amazing day.

We started our day with coffee from Starbucks for the drive, then ate when we arrived. Tip for visiting Midland – make reservations before you go. We had no clue that we needed reservations for pretty much everything. I guess we were not aware that it was such a hot spot or tourist destination so we were unprepared to walk into Cafe Zinc at 10 am and be told there were no seats until 2pm. We ended up asking to sit at the zinc bar, which worked out perfectly. Three out of four of us ordered these Nutella and Rhubarb compote crepes, which were out of this world. Seriously delicious. We drank and enjoyed our food, and made our plan for the day.

After filling up on food, we shopped downtown, picking up this and that, whatever caught our eye. I am not a big shopper so I ended up leaving with a new blank journal and some special Halloween candy for Billy and Wyatt. Jill bought a few wooden quote signs that were adorable, Chrissy got a little purse and some candy, and Kelly was the winner of the day when she bought a hanging mobile made from a branch with a hundred paper cranes dangling from it. It was very delicate and beautiful hanging from the ceiling. I am excited to see it up in her house!

From here we headed to the Dow Gardens, a place I have been dying to go for months! I ended up waiting in the Forest Cafe while my friends walked around the woods and through the canopy though, since I had just had my big asthma scare the previous day. I still had fun sitting in the cafe drinking coffee and reading my book, with the woods as a view though. And I was able to get the lay of the land for a return trip there with my guys! Everyone told me the gardens and walk were really pretty – but cold!

The timing of the end of their walk coincided with almost the beginning of the tour of Alden Dow house, which we wanted to try to get in on, despite not having reservations. (our fault for not planning better!) So we scrambled over to the house, Kelly worked her magic, and voila, we got to go on the tour! And it really made the day. It was such an awesome tour!

The Alden Dow house is a fantastic mid-century modern space, designed by Alden Dow himself. 14,000 square feet of house, with two tour groups of twenty, and we never saw the other group once after we started. This house is gorgeous, y’all. Dow wanted a house that was like a seamless oasis of home and garden, believing that “gardens never end and buildings never begin..” And he accomplished this goal, as the outdoors and garden is reflected in every room, and is never far away. Huge windows that open onto terraces and gardens, a floating conference room that is 18 inches below the pond level, so you can literally open a window and be in the water. It felt like being in a boat, the pond and room were so connected. It boggled our minds how the water doesn’t get into the house, but it has never been an issue according to our tour guide, who was the nicest guy.

Dow also built this house with security in mind. It was built after the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, so he installed a safe room in the basement, that is unlike the safe rooms we think of today. It was a huge space, with a place for play for the kids, a fireplace, a plush bright carpet and huge comfy furniture to sink into. Not a bad place to have to hide out if necessary! And it also had its own terrace over the water so you could go outside and enjoy the outdoors as well. I’m assuming that would be if it was a non-emergency situation though! Lol. The terrace was also not accessible to people from the outside so it kept the security feature too. Besides the safe room, Dow situated the bedrooms along one hallway, on one side of the house, the pond side. The windows opened from the bottom and not wide enough for someone to gain entry, and the doors to the rooms did not open from the hallway. They were all in a row with connecting doors, so you could start at one room and head into all the rest locking doors behind you until you were all in one room at the end as well. It was really cool. From the master you could head into yet another room, a morning gathering room that I loved. It was cozy and warm, apple green and wood, with a view over the water and woods, a big fireplace, a table for breakfast, and bookshelves. That would have been the room I was in the most often, had I lived there.

We were not able to take photos of the inside, but I took a bunch of the outside! This tour was the highlight of our day, and I definitely recommend it to anyone in the area. Just do better than us and make reservations ahead of time!

After our tour, it was almost time for our dinner reservation (which Jill made at breakfast, having learned our lesson here) so we headed back into town. We had a quick drink at Whichcraft Taproom, and then bopped over to Gratzi for an early dinner. And omg, what a feast we had! The food was amazing, seriously. Chrissy had mushroom pasta, Kelly had Pollo Mostarda, Jill ordered the Mezzaluna a Costine Corte, and I had the Alfredo da Tavola. Mine actually was prepared tableside in a gigantic wheel of Parmesan cheese, that had been aged near the sea in Parma, Italy. It was quite an experience and I want to eat it again. I want everyone to eat it actually, it was so delicious! However, I was too full for dessert after eating it! It was a sacrifice I was happy to make though, as it really was one of the best things I have eaten, ever, maybe. Lol. The meal concluded with a splash of limoncello and we trudged happily and tiredly, full of carbs, back to the car to ride home.

Midland was a great choice of places to visit – I love being a tourist in my own state, and seeing new things about it. It kind of has a little something for everyone, outdoor adventures, home tours, shopping, good food. If you are ever nearby, I suggest popping in for a day! Just remember to have reservations first.

Saying goodbye to Summertime Snippets…

As summer is ending and falling into fall, school is back in session, and the easy breezy summer days are no more for this year. And that is ok, there is a season for everything. I can see the change of seasons in my photos, as summer images give way to autumn.

Late summer meant trips to the aquarium, summer music class, visits to Greenfield Village with grandparents. ..

Family nature hikes, surrounded by a canopy of green, the last of the water lilies dotting the water (they were gone the very next week!), Sandhill Cranes before they leave for warmer climates..even a woolly bear caterpillar spotted on a little leaf. Don’t worry though if you are not a fan of snow, this woolly bear says we are in for a mild winter!

Playing in the dirt everyday all day, ice cream on the lawn, ground cherries that we found growing in our back garden, and spontaneous hugs from my kiddo.. (those aren’t seasonal though!)

This week we are getting ready for the harvest moon! I feel we have officially reached fall!