Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Couldn't Resist

I need to preface this post by telling you that the interior of the house has been mostly put on hold this summer, as Steve needed the warm, snow-free days to do things outside. He will spend the upcoming winter months plowing snow (Duh!) and working on the inside of the house. He still needs to finish the master bath, the stair and loft railings and do lots of trim work. The most unfinished area of the entire house continues to be the 2nd guest room - the one above the kitchen.

I'm sure you remember that our Bay City friends, Marty & Donna, will be moving up here to their new home in Mohawk next year. They just left the Keweenaw yesterday. It was their final visit before that permanent move. Their 2 oldest sons came up for a brief visit last Friday, and they also left yesterday. 

Their oldest son, Marshall, was here with his dad to help Steve for 3 or 4 days over 10 years ago. They stayed in "the shack" with Steve. The barn hadn't been constructed, and we weren't even married yet. Since that time, Steve has always told Marshall that we would someday have a guest room available for him to use whenever he visited the Keweenaw. As the years went by, I'm sure Marshall thought the likelihood of a guest room was growing dimmer and dimmer, and it became a running joke. "Is my room ready yet?" You get the picture. So. . . when we heard Marshall was coming up and wanted to see our house, we just couldn't resist messin' with him a bit.

We had "his room" all ready for him. "His room" was the unfinished one, and we had a sign posted for him above the door (if you can call a blue tarp a door!).

"His room" is well appointed with a nice firm bed. . .

a lovely blue nightstand with storage, a lamp, a bedside photo of Marshall with his sweet wife. . .

high-quality window coverings for added privacy. . .

and helpful, informational signs.

Oh, I just realized that I forgot to add #5. It should have read:

     5. In case of fire, jump!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Doghouse

Since Cocoa moved from Calumet out to the property in April, she has had a half-finished doghouse with no roof. Her half-finished doghouse has been sitting inside our garage. She sleeps in that doghouse every night, but we've left the side garage door open in case she needed to go outside during the night. We couldn't continue that for the winter, as Steve really didn't want snow blowing inside the garage through that open door. He spent some time working on her doghouse recently, so he could get her and the doghouse moved outside. Remember, she has spent every winter of her life outside. Her coat grows super thick, and she's used to it. Her old doghouse was insulated, but this new doghouse is super insulated. Steve even saved extra shingles and siding from our house, so he could make the doghouse look similar to our house. He has it shingled and moved outside, but the siding isn't a priority right now. He has a lot of other outside jobs to do before winter sets in. The siding is basically just decorative anyway.

Anyway, in honor of her new doghouse, I figured she deserved to have her name on it. I printed her name on a sheet of paper with my printer, rubbed chalk on the back of the paper, put the paper on a board (chalk-side down) and traced the letters with a pen. That transferred the chalk outline of the letters onto the board. Next, I filled them in with white paint.

I thought the letters needed a little more definition, so I traced around them with a brown paint marker.

After that, Steve brushed on a coat of Cabot's - the same stuff we used on the front porch and on the exterior of the doghouse. That gives the wood more protection from the elements. 

If he finds himself with extra time this fall, he'll attach the siding, but I doubt he'll be able to get to it this year. Cocoa doesn't care anyway!

By the way, that gray canister you see attached to our house in the last photo is for our Verizon internet. That's what keeps me connected to you - and to the world.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Just when you think the colors aren't changing much. . .


This happens!

Same tree. That's the difference between Monday and today..

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sometimes. . .

Sometimes it's a Monday - and the day is just perfect - mid-to-high 60's - nice breeze - sunshine - perfect Keweenaw blue skies - and the driveway calls - and a girl's gotta go for a walk.

She notices more changes in the tree tops.

Some of the tall pines are changing, too.

She stands near the base of a pine and looks up.

Locked and loaded. . .

and getting ready to drop some needles.

The one on the right is a bit more stubborn.

Still mostly green.

She walks a bit further and looks down. Not a lot of leaf action yet.

There's that fern she showed you a while back - now mostly brown.

Still some green ferns in the woods, however.

Aaahh, those tree tops are whispering again.

Finally, the beauty in looking ahead.

Yes, Cocoa, she's coming.

The property, the dog, the beauty of God's creation and the man she loves down there by the barn - a perfect day.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My 9-Year-Old Mother

I think most of us find it difficult to imagine our parents as children. We just can't relate to them in that context. My grandmother spent many, many hours of her life sewing or doing some type of needlework, but neither my mother nor my Aunt Edie ever enjoyed doing the same. My grandmother did teach them how to do those things when they were children, however, and it was interesting to find a few of my mother's early projects when we cleaned out my grandma's house - including this piece.

It's a small tablecloth that I have hanging on my antique washstand in the laundry room. Mom said it was her first "big" project, and she did it when she was about 9 years old. The needlework is very neat - even on the reverse side.

But, if you'll notice, it's not centered perfectly on the pointed corner of the tablecloth. In order for the pattern to hang straight, I have to fold it a little off point (if that makes sense).

I presumed the pattern was stamped incorrectly by the manufacturer, but Mom said she actually ironed the pattern onto the tablecloth. In her mind as a child, it was perfectly centered. As an adult, she can now see that it wasn't and found that amusing.

Still. . . I think it's pretty perfect for age 9, and I'm happy to have this piece from my mother's childhood. . . so I can try to imagine her ironing and stitching as a little girl.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Robins 12345

One of the ladies at church was telling us that she had noticed the robins grouping up - a sure sign they're about to head out of the Keweenaw for the winter. That's what they're doing alright, but it looks like they want to be clean when they migrate. We had to chuckle when we noticed this robin in our bird bath recently.

Splish, splash, he was taking a bath - and it wasn't even Saturday night! He was having so much fun that his buddies decided to join him.

It got a little crowded, so two of the robins had to patiently wait their turn.

We had great fun watching the bathing beauties.

Who needs TV?

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

T.P. and Pumpkins

I previously mentioned that some of my relatives came to visit the Keweenaw last week. When they were here, we gave them the house tour. Steve started through the house first with the men. They focused more on construction. I went through with my mom and her sister, Edith. We focused more on decor. Aunt Edie loves wood, so she was completely in love with our tongue & groove pine walls and ceilings. When we were in the loft, we passed by one of my Grandma Hall's dressers.

My grandma was Aunt Edie's mother, so she has seen this dresser countless times before, but she was enamored with some fall decor I had on top of the dresser. Fall decor? Believe me, I'm not trying to rush things. Most everything is still pretty green outside and the weather forecasters are predicting the fall color show to be about a week later than usual, and I'm totally fine with that. Really. Most of my usual fall decor is still packed away. However, I do love fall, so I couldn't resist making some DIY pumpkins 2 weeks ago. That's what Aunt Edie noticed on top of the dresser - my T.P. pumpkins. Yep, T.P. is the abbreviation for toilet paper!

You've probably seen these before. They're really simple. Just gather some fabric around a new roll of T.P. - tucking the extra fabric in the hole at the top of the roll. Then, tuck a stick into the hole for the pumpkin stem. I used a small curtain panel that I had from the Calumet house and a winter scarf, and I wrapped some old dish towels around the toilet paper to make them a little fatter first. I didn't want them to be exactly the same size. That's it. No hot glue. Nothing to buy. The best thing about this project is that you can deconstruct them so easily at the end of the season, and you haven't damaged the toilet paper or the fabric.

I made one more smaller pumpkin today, but I didn't use T.P. I used this instead.

And this - a cloth napkin.

Actually, I used 4 cloth napkins - 1 to gather around it and 3 to wrap horizontally around it to fatten it up first.

If you would like to do one extra step, you could wrap some twine or ribbon around the stem or tie a bow around the stem - to give it a little extra somethin' somethin', but I kept these very simple.

I now have pumpkins in 3 different sizes on Grandma's dresser, but I'm not promising they'll be staying in this spot when I break out the rest of my fall decor in a couple more weeks.

By the way, I love this little dresser.

Oh, and that lighthouse print? 

That's the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse just down the road from us. A man from our old church gave it to us just before we moved to the Keweenaw. I especially adore the frame.

All is well in the Keweenaw.