Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Most people know both of my kids are adopted from Latvia but not everyone realizes  my niece was born and adopted from Russia.  She's such a cool kid and an amazing artist!

I'm not sure why but I think she looks somewhat like my mom, who is modeling the jean jacket she customized recently!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Up North

A couple of weeks ago I had to take a trip up to Boyne for a meeting.  I made a few side stops at interesting shops.  This one was in Gaylord...after winding through the store there was this back stair case leading to a basement filled with more fun junk!

This cool dragon made from steel and rebar was hidden among all the other weird goodies!

After dinner, I found a bench on the beach at the park and enjoyed the sunset and mild breeze.  It was one of those absolutely perfect weather kinds of evenings.  This is right in downtown Boyne City.

I spent a lot of my youth in Boyne City with my cousins.  My uncle owned the Dairy Queen there.  It's changed so much over the years and is much more "upscale" than in the old days.  I don't remember this park being here nor this many nice boats at the marina.  Either way, it was a nice side trip for work!

Monday, September 19, 2016

My Abby

My Abby is here to visit again!  I can't believe how much she has perked up since we started bringing her over.  Maybe she was depressed?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

And they are off!! First ride on the OTTB, Vince

After a month of letting Vince figure out how to be a NON race horse and doing lots and lots of bond strengthening ground work, it was time to mount up.  As a mom, letting your kid, even if she's an 18 year old with tons of riding experience, get on a new horse is always a little nerve wracking.  Getting on one that has never done anything but run like the wind...even more so I guess.

When the day came, I wanted reinforcements around - at least a team of two on the ground.  We enlisted Maggie to help out since she has the most experience in this area and I stepped back to just take pictures.

It was pretty uneventful.  Vince stood perfectly still while Madison mounted up.  He walked off nicely and was a perfect gentleman!  They even did a tiny bit of trotting with nothing to get excited about.  They called it quit after about 10 minutes and we all celebrated a successful start.

I think it's obvious from the smile on Madison's face that she was very happy with how the first ride went!

Hugs and kisses for this big goober were in order.  Now we just need to get some more weight on him so doesn't look like such a little horse under Madison's long legs.

This pair is going to be doing some great things in a couple of years!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

End of Summer

Since I'm not a hot weather person, I have a lot to love about the end of summer.  I love when the weather starts to cool off at night and even when the temperature is in the 80's, you can feel that slight chill to the air.  Love it.  

I also love end of the summer watermelon!  YUM!  It's hard to find these big daddy seeded watermelons any more since the trend it to the smaller seedless variety but OH MY these are the best!  Sweet, sweet, sweet!  Nothing better!  This baby weighed about 30 lbs picked up from a farm market on the way home from the barn one afternoon.  Along with some incredibly awesome beefsteak tomatoes.  BLT's for dinner with watermelon dessert.  Heaven.

I picked up this purple/pink mum at Costco and then we brought home the yellow one from a baby shower.  They add so much color to this north side of the house by the front porch. Just in time since my bright orange zinnia's are fading pretty fast.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I think like most middle age mom's of my generation, I'm not all that comfortable with getting my picture taken and even MORE uncomfortable with "selfies".  But as I have looked back over the pictures I have taken, there are so few with me in them and I see the same phenomenon with my own mom, sister, friends.  What's there to be afraid of?  Shouldn't my kids be able to see pictures of me some day and say, "WOW, I'm so glad I have these pictures of my Mom"?  So I might not look all that great to me (and I may still need to erase a few wrinkles before publishing!) but I'm going to make an effort.  I need to be in more pictures in all my glory - even if it's sitting at my desk in the office.

My beautiful niece seems to have the same phobia but for totally different reasons, no doubt.  This is her back to school picture.  Love this kid!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


For people who aren't familiar with "barn life", there's a certain serenity about being around one that just relaxes you and makes you smile.  The little noises, the warmth, the smells - they all make for a feeling I've never felt anywhere else.

While chickens are way noisier than most would imagine, their constant babbling is oddly comforting.

Maggie has three little ones.  Her farm is a crazy mess of kids, toys, and animals.

The farm next door, where Mata Hari will be living, has a totally different feeling but just as serene.  This farm is neat as a pin with just horses.  And beautiful views of the sunset from the arena.  This pic doesn't do it justice at all.  Better ones to come in the future, I'm sure!

This farm has beautiful flowers that glowed in the setting sunlight.