Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Best Kept Secret and Vacation (Lots of Pics)

WOW! has it been a busy month!  I have missed everyone's blogs so much, but hopefully I'll be able to catch up in the next few days  After my sister left, we took off for some family time up at Torch Lake in northern Michigan.  What a beautiful lake, but I'll talk about that in a minute.

Anyway, I kept a secret.  A big secret.  A HUGE secret!!  And I kept it from my kids.  Don't ask me how I did it - I almost stumbled and messed up the whole secret quite a few times, but I did it.  I secretly made phone calls, took trips back and forth to Ohio a few times to check up on the little secret, bought things (like 4,000 toys from PetCo) and took them to my neighbors so my kids wouldn't find out.  What was the secret?  Well, this is what it was:

Meet Bailey.  All 13 weeks and 16 pounds of him!  The family finally wore me down!  It took years for them to do it, but it finally happened.  Bailey is a Golden Doodle and the sweetest thing that you could ever meet.  He loves sitting on your lap, kisses and being petted.   My kids were in shock I tell you.   We had tried to adopt a puppy a couple times and it never worked out and I think the kids had given up.  When I pulled Bailey out of the car, DH was standing there with the movie camera and the kids couldn't even talk. They both just stood there with their mouths hanging open seeing me standing there with a dog on a leash.  It was priceless just like the credit card commercials!  Truly priceless!  So now we have a new member of the family, and I feel like I'm following after a baby.  Bailey is full of energy and like a devil on four huge paws, but then there are those times when he just falls over:

He's a sweetie, but I can't wait until he's potty trained and stops waking us up howling at 5:00 a.m.

Our vacation was wonderful on Torch Lake.  I've lived in Michigan all my life and don't know how I ever missed this lake.  Crystal clear and uncrowded.  Beautiful.  My husband rented a boat, and I could tell some crazy stories about that (like he doesn't know how to drive a boat, but I'll spare him the embarrassment).  Okay, I won't!  LOL  He was so afraid to take the boat across the lake from where it was dropped off over to our cottage.  The lake is only about 1-1/2 miles across, but he was worried, so he pulled out his wallet and handed me all his money.  LOL  He thought he was going to drown!  I knew exactly what was going on and later told him so.  He was sheepish about the whole thing and I told him that he was lucky that Catie and I didn't hightail it to the antique stores and spend it!!

We also beached the boat a couple times, but I will spare DH the embarrassment on that.  But do you know how heavy a boat is to unbeach it?  Ahem!!  Me pulling it out into the lake so we could start it up, and I'm fully clothed and wearing the only bra I took up with me and there is no washer or dryer?  And later standing with a hair dryer trying to dry it out?  Ahem!!  But we had a great time once DH got over his fear -  we tubed from it, fished from it, skirted the lake, and just had a wonderful time in it.  Here are a few pics from vacation (you can skip these if you hate family vacation pictures):

Alden - The nearest town

The cutest shop - Alden's Mill - with more kitchen gadgets than you've ever seen in your life crammed into this quaint cottage

One of the spectacular sunsets, but taken on a cell phone so you don't get the full impact
DD relaxing (or glamming - however you want to look at it)

Torch Lake is located on the 45th parallel - we got a real kick out of this sign

DD tubing
Us girls relaxing on the boat - my freckles come out in the sun
Watching the sunset
Getting the campfire ready for s'mores

Loved the name of this alley in Charlevoix
And all the boats in Charlevoix Bay

And the town clock
And all the flowers in the town.

And this says it all - Summer - I'm so sorry that it's ending.

We all had a great time and even DH was hesitant to come home.  We drove home at a very leisurely pace and visited some antique stores along the route home.  DH is NOT an antique shopper, so you know that he didn't want to go home if he allowed me to drag him into those shops.

On the crafting side not much at all,  but while my sister was here I picked up this yarn from a store in Frankenmuth:

Even though I did take cross stitch up North with me, I didn't feel like pulling it out.  I also took this yarn along.  In the early mornings when the others were still sleeping, I would sit with my cup of coffee watching the water lap on the beach and knit and I did get a little bit done:

I love the colors of it - reminds me of the color of the sunsets - and as you knit it it forms a spiral - so much fun!!!  I think I've seen it called a Potato Chip scarf too.  Easy pattern and it works up quickly.

Well, that's it for me.  I'm still recuperating from vacation, learning how to be a mom to a little baby (dog) again, and gearing up to get the kids ready for school.   It's going to be a busy couple of weeks.

Thank you again so much for all your wonderful comments, and I'll definitely catch up with everyone soon!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Fast Two Weeks (Lots of Pics)

My head has finally stopped spinning.  It's been a crazy two weeks!!!  Thanks for all the comments on my last post about the antics with my son.  Nothing ever came of it for which I'm happy (and so is he), but he learned a great lesson and there's been a lot of egg jokes flying around here.   Actually, he's pretty embarrassed about the whole thing.  I hope that's the worst that we'll ever face.

My sister was here for eleven days and left yesterday.  We had a great time, although maybe not as crazy as in prior years given the fact that my son's foot was really in poor shape after his soccer field collision, so it was hard for him to hobble around.  But we had a lot of fun and I'm always sorry when she leaves!!  We did our annual Chicken Dinner thing at Frankenmuth, went through all the stores except Bronners (I think it's been too hot around here for me to envision Christmas right now), visited antique shops, etc.  She also got me into a lot of trouble buying things (gotta blame someone, right Sis?).

Stitching took kind of a back seat and quilting was nil, but later in the evenings when we were resting, I did get a little more done on Susanna - not much, but a little:

She coming along slowly but surely, and I do like the colors in it quite a bit.

We found some great new antique shops, although one reminded us of a place out of a Stephen King novel (definitely not a place I want to go to again), but we found some really great new antique shops, consignment shops and barns, and, of course, I can't come out without anything, can I?  I think I would have done more damage if my son's foot was feeling better, but I didn't want him walking on it more than he had to, and crutches are definitely not something you want to take into an antique store.

First find was a chippy table for my craft room!  Just what I was looking for!  And the woman at this shop was practically giving things away.  In fact, when I looked at her in stunned surprise when she gave me the final price, she said that she wanted me to come back so therefore the great prices!  Like Arnold says, "I'll be back!!!"

Some of the things on the table were from a few other places we came across:

This child's lunch pail - just had to have it - it's RED!!  And for some reason, I've really developed a love of these things.

Lots of little things - three pincushions.  The silver slipper is stamped with "Bruno" although I don't know if that means anything; three pairs of antique scissors, molds, rulers, a glass jar and another Anchor Hocking piece.  I think it's just a candy dish, but a frog fits on it perfectly.  I think there are a few other things, but I'll post those another time.  They were all for great prices and I think I've found the secret to cheap antiquing - get a long distance from the big cities.

Then I came across this cabinet - I've got this thing for little drawers, so I just had to have this as well:

Then a baby's antique gown to hang under the shelves in my craft room or I may frame it - not sure yet:

We also made it to the quilt store - a couple of them - and a yarn store.  Not a good move because I didn't come out of those places unscathed either, but I won't post those things now.  My sister did see a quilt that she liked and since she lives on the coast, it's perfect.  She doesn't quilt, so I've been recruited to make it.

Luckily the center is a cheater panel otherwise she'd be waiting for years until I got my applique skills honed, but since I also put her to work while she was here, I think that she deserves a quilt.

Her vacation wasn't quite as leisurely as she probably hoped.  I put her to work helping me put up shelves in my craft room.  I've wanted new shelves for ages, but it's a two person job, and DH has been working on his own shelving adventures in the garage, so I recruited Sis for the job, and this is what we did!

The closet!!!  Oh happy day!  There were some of these funky wire shelving things in there and they weren't worth the power to blow them to Minnesota, so we ripped those out and installed these.  I've got a little spackling and touch up work to do from the other holes, but TA DA!!

Then we put some over where my sewing machine goes:

TA DA again!!!  And we also put one up over my cutting table (no pic).  The reason the level is on the shelf is that my husband didn't seem to think that two women could put up shelves and make them level. Typical male, right?  Well, all were level except that bottom one.  He snuck down when we weren't looking and said it was off 1/16 of an inch.  Okay, now 1/16 of an inch is no big deal to me, but......we hightailed it up to the local hardware store, bought some washers, inserted them above the brackets and screwed those babies down!  Perfect!  We'll show him!  HA!

Now my room is really a disaster and I won't be able to get in there for a couple more weeks as I'm in for a couple more busy ones.  Today is one of rest, but tomorrow, I've got to start packing for our trip up north.  It's been such a full summer that I'll almost be glad when the kids get back into school so I can relax........and stitch.......and quilt!  Well, in fact, I will be glad when they go back to school, just don't tell them!!

Well, that's it for me for now.  I'm really sorry that I haven't been able to visit blogs over the past couple of weeks, but I'm going to try to catch up at some point.  I know that I've missed reading everything and seeing what all of you have done.  I'll try to catch up soon and thanks again for all the wonderful comments on my last post.

Oh, and I may have to start up Comment Moderation soon.  Seems that I've been getting too many Viagra and weird comments, so I may do that.  I know it's a pain, but I'm tired of seeing comments about how I can improve my sex life or requests for money because someone is a prisoner in some jail in some country I've never heard of before.

Stitch lots and I'll try to catch up on everyone's blogs soon!