Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fall in Michigan

Fall is MY season.  Oh yes.

This is the tree line across the street from my house.  Photos just don't do justice to fall colors.  It's so pretty!

And this cute couple just makes my heart sing.  Both such good kids.  I had an older guy come to fix my furnace the other day and Madison and Mitch were sitting on the couch watching TV.  Madison brought him a brownie and they all chatted for a few minutes.  The next day, this gentleman called me for a follow up but took the time to comment that I had done a good job raising my daughter because not only was she polite and friendly, both her and Mitch turned around to look at him when they were speaking.  Makes a momma proud!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Morning at the barn

Everyone knows I'm an early riser and love mornings.  I get so much accomplished when I start my day early.  And this Saturday morning was no exception.  I was at the barn before 7 to ride Mata Hari.  We glimpsed the sun rising as we rode in the indoor arena  - it was a brisk 45 degrees!

I love looking out over the white fences and rolling's so peaceful!

Before we left, Madison had to run out to give Mata Hari a hug and a kiss goodbye.  She was already busy eating her hay.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

USS Detroit

I have no idea what kind of navy ship this is but it's new and it's call the USS Detroit.  It pulled up in the front of the RenCen on October 17th and spent the week there.  They gave tours.  I didn't have time to take one but the lines were really long!

This was early one morning as the sun was just coming up.  Not the greatest view since the other building kind of blocked half of it.

And then on Friday of that week they were doing the practice dedication ceremony and warned us at work that they would be firing the cannons and it might be really loud and make the building "shake".  Now that I wanted to experience!  So I headed out to the roof of a parking garage nearby with a good view.  And I watched and waited and watched and waited.  They blew the horn and move the radar thing but that was about it and I was cold.  It was windy up there.  So I went back to my desk.  About 5 minutes later someone said, "Did you hear it?".  And then I heard the second one.  Totally uneventful!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mom Jeans

One day last weekend I had jumped out of my jeans and boots in a hurry and tossed my jeans into an open cupboard (doors are off while I repaint them).  I didn't realize until a day later that when I'm sitting on the toilet, it looks like someone is sitting in my cupboard with their feet and legs hanging out!!

This is how they looked from the front angle.  Not at all creepy, right?  LOL!

A week or so later, I stopped by a horse show to help a friend unload at MSU and had her bring me a pair of jeans to wear since I was in work dress up clothes.  We noted that there was no worry of me mixing up my jeans with hers since mine have this lovely MOM tag on them!  At one point, Madison and I were wearing the same size jeans only hers were  long and mine were short.  Rather than matching them up by length when washed together, I opted to label mine....

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Easy peasy!

I had a few minutes of "spare" time yesterday and finally got to this little project.  I had bought the springs from a baby crib quite some time ago - like at least six months ago - and wasn't really quite sure what I was going to do with it or where it would go.  I finally decided.

And then it leaned against the wall for another couple weeks.  While I knew where I wanted it to go, I had to think about how to hang it because it was a bit "twisted".  I couldn't just pop a couple of nails in the wall to hook it on because it wouldn't hang flat.  I finally settled on cup hooks.  The two at the top hold the top edge flat to the all and then the two at the bottom hold that edge flat!  Voila!

Forgot to take a pic before I hung up all the jewelry.

It keeps me in my family of decorating with white!

I'm not much of a jewelry kind of person and most of it is cheap costume stuff.  Mostly necklaces to add a statement to my boring suites and sweaters.  A few bracelets that seldom get worn...but they all look fun displaced on a baby crib spring!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Blessed Mare

 I think Mata Hari has reached sainthood in my book.  Last weekend it was time to start trotting her for up to 5 minutes as part of her rehab. While I was excited to do more than WALK for 45 minutes, I hadn't trotted on her in over a year and it wasn't much.  While I've been slowly recovering my riding seat, I had more or less forgotten how to post the trot. And my super long stirrups didn't help matters.

 But the blessed mare framed up and tolerated my legs being too far forward and posting on the wrong diagonal more often than not and even losing my stirrups a few times.

She really has become an awesome "almost anyone can ride" kind of horse.

But when the riding is done, nothing makes her happier than heading back to her paddock to much hay in the sunset.

A few days later, Madison took her on a ride down the road and snapped this pretty picture with the changing leaves. Beautiful!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

More Projects

This doesn't look like much.  And this isn't even the greatest pic since I've since caulked the edges of the board's going to be a barn door for my laundry room!

My fantabulous "bro" Jeff has built the door for me!  Here it is in his shop when he was just starting to put it all together.  We used tongue in groove 1'x8" boards.  Who knew they weren't actually 8" wide?  We had to go back for more than we had planned.

And here it is almost detail missing...

The horse shoe door handle!!!  I'm so super excited to get this home and painted.  Or stained.  Or just hang it as is.  I can't decide.  The little opening near the bottom is a "kitty door".  This will be for our eventual kitty.  

And Voila!  Installed!  I so love the way this turned out!

I invited Gus over to test out the kitty door - worked quite well for him!

Much less fabulous is a little piece I've been putting together with "scraps".  I got the cute little shelf with the pegs at the Salvation Army for $1.00  The boards are left over from doing the laminate floor and just painted white.  The trim pieces were left over from another project.  This will hang on the wall over the bench by the front door.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

More on Chestnuts

After discovering that these were chestnuts and letting the first four I had sit on my kitchen counter for 2 weeks without doing anything, we gathered some more this morning and I brought them home to roast.  (I had an ulterior motive - my furnace wasn't working so heating up the house with the oven as a side effect seemed like a good idea).

I had since learned that you need to score the outer skins with a sharp knife before roasting.  I did that.  The ones on the right are the first four that we brought home.  They were noticeably lighter than the fresh ones so I wanted to keep them separate.

After 30 minutes of roasting the skins were peeling back and were quite crispy.

Those first four?  Hmmmmm, they didn't even really crack open.  My guess is they had dried out and there wasn't any moisture left to "burst" them open??

Close up picture - they look pretty good.  And smelled great!

I can honestly say I've never had a roasted chestnut.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I nibbled.  It was...interesting. Nutty for sure.  And then oddly addicting. After the first one I wanted another one right away!  I stopped at 4 to leave some for Madison to try.  My guess is that she won't like it...she hates nuts.  But for her it's more the texture than the taste so maybe!

Friday, October 21, 2016


I love fall.  In the summer the sun comes up too early so I don't get to see the magnificent sun rises over the Detroit River when I'm there.  But in the fall...oh my I get my zen on big time witnessing these miracles of nature.

It kind of amazes me when the horizon is clear but the sky can be filled with dark clouds. Those tiny breaks in the clouds create the best "shows".

I don't have a good view of the sunrise when I work out of the Lansing office but I do have a nice view of the capital which simply glows with it's fresh coat of paint.

This one wasn't taken in the morning.  It was actually closer to sunset as you can see from the long shadows...but I still thought it was really pretty!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Roasting Chestnuts on an Open Fire.....

So mark this up to one of those things I never knew.

When we moved our horses to Valboa Farm, we noticed these two trees with these big spiny pods - as in baseball/softball size - hanging from the branches.  I had no idea what they were. Kind of a freak of nature looking things. And they are sharp spines!

Finally Madison remembered to ask Val.  They are chestnuts!

I guess as they ripen, the pods burst open. And the nuts fall out.

Here you can see closed pods, fully opened pods and one that still has nuts in it.

There are 3-5 nuts in each pod and they are pretty big! I've since learned that you need two trees for good fertilization of the nuts or they will be very immature. I haven't roasted them.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Madison loves halloween and decorating for it.  Me, not so much but I go along with her so long as it's VERY budget friendly. As in dollar store stuff.

She dragged me into the costume store...

The scarecrows were at Joann's for $3 each.  They are cute. Not scary!

We bought these wooden decorations at the Milford Memories "art fair" this summer.

This is going to be a bench by the front door but for now, it's decorated for halloween and will have our bowl of candy.

This sign just makes us laugh!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A New Path

A new path.  Literally.  LOL!

I had noticed the signs near the corner of Milford Road and General Motors Road for the Milford Kensington Trail.  I'd often see people parking there and taking off on foot or bikes.  I could tell it went both north  and south into Kensington Park.  Where did the north direction go?  I looked it up on Google maps and it went all the way around a lake and out to Commerce Road near the library and YMCA.  So one pretty evening, I decide to try it out.

It was pretty!  Rolling hills and peaceful.  I passed a few people here and there and could sometimes see mountain bikers running dirt trails through the woods near the paved path.

There were some beautiful views of the lake.

I almost stepped on this little guy sunning himself on the pathway.  I didn't scream.  I was proud of myself.  I encourage him to move along into the grass before he got squished.

The sun was starting to go down and the view made me feel like I was up north.  A perfect 70 degree evening in October.

And then this.  Lovely evening and a good walk of almost 3 miles up and down some easy hills.