Saturday, December 19, 2009

Log Cabin Christmas - Part 2

Here are a few more photos of our cabin all decorated and ready for Christmas! I am counting down the days until we can drive up there. The snow keeps on coming so I think I need to get my skis ready!

I'm so glad Greg talked me into putting in a log staircase in our home. It was fun to put lights and garland on it for Christmas.

Here's our kitchen bar top all decorated. I also put white twinkly lights on top of the kitchen cupboards.

Here are my 2 little snow birds that Greg bought for me. I love how they are all bundled up for winter.

I love Nutcrackers too. Now I just need to go buy some nuts and put them to work!

I have Mr. Moose on the lookout for Santa on our stair landing.

I still have to go purchase 2 more Christmas presents and then start on all my baking. How about you? Are you ready for Christmas?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Log Cabin Christmas - Part 1

Good morning everyone! I thought I would share a few photos of our Christmas decorated log cabin. For many years I dreamed of having a cozy log cabin and I always thought it would be a wonderful place to spend Christmas. (As well as drive my neighbors crazy with me yelling "Hi there" from the deck. Ha! Next I might break out the schnauzer pajamas....)

Here's my skinny 9 foot Christmas tree. I put it up all by myself! Scout tried to climb onto the ladder to help me hang ornaments. I'm lucky to still be alive...

Here's my electric fireplace. I added some cranberries to the garland afterwards. One day I'll have a fieldstone fireplace.......(Greg is running to hide his wallet right now.....)

Here's a close up of my Santa. Notice that he's carrying a birdhouse? He likes the birdys too.

Here's a close up of my tree. I love my angel ornament. Greg says he hopes she inspires me.......what does he mean by that?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A snowy morning

We had over two feet of snow up at the log cabin. It was so beautiful but we had a lot of digging out to do. First priority was for Greg to dig out a path to my bird feeders! Don't want to make those birdys angry....

The sun is just starting to peek out. The lake has a light covering of snow on it. It's going to be a beautiful day.

I don't see any of my neighbors out on their decks. Too bad. I was going to wave to them while wearing my silly cat pajamas....

Well here's a nice visitor....the downy woodpecker. Let's invite him in for a nice cup of hot chocolate. We won't mention the fight he had earlier with the nuthatch....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow - here I come!

We've had no snow in the southern part of Michigan. This morning as I write this it is raining! But alas, up north at the cabin, they've already received 10 inches of snow! And there's more coming!

I'm already driving Greg crazy with the 101 things I want to do at the cabin this weekend. (Snow shoeing, baking, more decorating, taking photos of Scout in the snow and of course - waving to the neighbors from the deck of my cabin as I wear my kitty pajamas! Last year it was sheep ones.)

And to those kids in my classes that wear pajama pants to class and think they are the "cat's meow" - they have nothing on me! Ha!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Amish Caramel Corn

I love giving homemade food gifts to family and friends for the holidays. This week I've been testing different recipes to see which ones I think will be perfect for the Christmas goody baskets that I make up.

I found a great recipe for Amish Caramel Corn. It was easy to make and Greg gave it thumbs up! This would be perfect to put in a cute holiday tin. Are you making any special gifts for the holidays?

Here's the recipe: "My Amish Friend's Caramel Corn"


  • 7 quarts plain popped popcorn
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts (optional)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. You may use roasting pans, jelly roll pans, or disposable roasting pans. Add the peanuts to the popped corn if using. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don't worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

In case you haven't guessed, today is my birthday! Ha! That baby with the smirk on its face in the above photo is me. I'm with my parents, grandparents and my favorite Uncle.

So far it's been a great birthday! Hubby gave me a gift certificate to a day at the spa (and he has another surprise gift for me!) Wixy wrote me the best birthday poem ever on his blog - check it out here. Some of you dear blogger friends wished me happy birthday on my facebook page - thank you! I'm going to lunch w/ my sister and mom. And then for dinner - w/ my dad, stepmom and hubby.

And hopefully there's a cake along the way....I love cake....have I told you that already? I'm dreaming of a multi-layered buttercream cake with chopped nuts...hmmm....okay, enough of my cake obsession!

P.S. I wonder what Scout gave me? Besides underwear! HA! (See below's post if you missed it.) Have a great day blogger friends! I'll be announcing a giveaway very soon....

Thursday, December 3, 2009


"Hi there! I'm stepping in for my mommy today while she's studying. I upset her a little bit today when I took a pair of her underpants and ran in the yard with it waving it like a flag! You should've seen her chasing me! Especially when the neighbor that lives in back of us came outside w/ his dogs and saw what I was doing. I think the last straw was when I started digging a hole and burying the underwear in the dirt. That's a no-no! And mommy is still scratching her head trying to figure out how I got that underwear! But I'll never tell..."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Signs of Winter

I think my first snowflakes are on their way to the cabin soon. How do I know? Well my squirrels have been gorging themselves on my suet feeders and I had a little junco visit me too. I do love snow (like you Betsy!)

I'm getting excited for the Christmas festival that's coming to our town - that's when they'll light the Christmas tree. And of course I'm ready to break out my skis and snowshoes. I think the reason I love winter is because of all the activities I find to do. (Though check w/ me in February, at that point I'm ready to go to Florida.)

School is going well - I have a test to take this Saturday and then another test next week. Then I can enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend. School has changed so much since I last attended. I can't tell you how many students wear PAJAMA pants to class. Really - Pjs are appropriate school wear?? Must be a fad....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

St. Jude's Ranch

Wondering what to do with all those Christmas cards you receive this year? Don't throw them away! Instead, join me in sending the used card fronts to St. Jude's Ranch!

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children rescues abused, abandoned and neglected children of all races and faiths from the vicious cycle of child abuse. They provide healing and nurturing in a safe home-like environment where children can learn life skills to start new lives with new chances, new choices and new hope.

"The children participate in making the new cards by removing the front and attaching a new back. The result is a beautiful new card made by the children and volunteers. The benefits are two-fold: customers receive "green" holiday cards for use and the children receive payment for their work and learn the benefits and importance of "going green".

Doesn't this sound like a wonderful cause?! Great opportunity for you recyclers out there! (Suz, Jen and Betsy!)

Cards may be donated by sending them to:

St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday humor...

*Thank you my dear blogger friends for all your concern and good wishes for Scout! She is doing much better and will never receive another rawhide bone the rest of her life. Her reaction to this - chewing up Greg's slippers! ha,ha.....

*On another note, I have 3 tests to study for this week, but I promise to be by to visit your blogs this week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Bear with me here....

Cost of a rawhide dog bone.......$3.95

Cost of gas to race 100 mph to the emergency vet clinic once I realized my dog was sick from the rawhide....$10.00

Cost of visit, x-rays, bloodwork and pills......$550.
And yes, this is Scout's x-ray.

Cost of knowing my baby girl is going to be okay.......PRICELESS!!!

And I didn't even mention the cost of the carpeting I'm going to have to replace because of the puppy vomit and diarrhea. Or the xanax pills I had to pop cuz I thought I was going to lose her. No - just kidding about the pills.....(Greg reads my blog ya know.....ha!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Someone's knocking at the door...

So I'm in the cabin reading a book when I hear a knock at the door. I open the door and no ones there. "That's strange" I thought. I shut the door, and then there's even louder knocking! At this point I think Greg is playing a joke on me....

Once again I open the door, and my little "door knocker" (well actually he was knocking on the cabin walls!) flies away to the tree in front of our deck.

This is the Pileated Woodpecker, one of LARGEST Woodpeckers in N. America. And yes, he can do some serious damage to a log cabin! I put out some more suet cakes which I saw him feeding on later. Hopefully this deters him. Otherwise, I'm going to have to break out those aluminum pie plates and hang a few from our roof (I received this expert advice from some fellow bird friends - for some reason this works!)

Or maybe next time I'll invite him in for some tea and cookies....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend Recap at the Cabin

Greg and I went to the cabin for a long weekend to celebrate our anniversary. (Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes! Greg read every single comment!) Let me recap our weather for you:

Thursday - Rain
Friday - Rain
Saturday - More Rain. I am contemplating building an Ark at this point.
Sunday - Clears up and of course it's time to head home.

No matter the weather, we still had a great time! We rented movies, read books and went walking in the rain. It's hard to explain, but just being in our log cabin itself feels like a vacation to me.

Here's the last of Autumn's leaves, still clinging on.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Wedding Anniversary!

Four years ago today, I married my best friend. I was introduced to Greg from a mutual friend at an art auction. I still remember his olive green suit and all the curious questions he asked me. I thought he was so handsome and had such a calm, pleasant manner about him. Now, here we are and I am still crazy in love with this man! Come walk down memory lane with me....

Here's our wedding invitations that I made myself. The day we got married was a sunny, crisp fall day.

We just walked out of the church as husband and wife. Greg is knocking my socks off again!

We had our reception at a log cabin of course!

I love this photo. It reminds me of our love of the great outdoors.

We had a Mariachi Band play during dinner. Greg introduced his love of Latin music to me and we had many fun dates going salsa dancing.

I thank god every day for this man!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, in the park....

Saturday in the park
You'd think it was the fourth of july

People talking, really smiling
A man playing guitar
Singing for us all...
-From the song: Saturday in the Park by Chicago

Do you remember that song? I'm probably dating myself here... Anyways, Greg and I love to visit the parks near our cabin. There's this small one in the city of Grayling, site of one of the largest canoe races in N. America. It's located right on the Ausable River.

Here's what it looks like right now...

And this is what it'll look like this winter! Hard to believe, huh?

Okay, sorry I scared you with that early winter scene! Back to present time. Here is Greg and Scout checking out the river from the bridge.

Look how fast that water is moving! There's over 180 miles of Blue Ribbon Trout Fishing here. Michiganders refer to it as the Holy Waters. Recently Forbes magazine named Grayling to their Top 10 List of Top Trout Fishing Towns.

Greg is a big fisherman and taught me to fly fish during our "courting" years. I think it cemented the deal for him to marry me once I was able to tie my own fly and cast my own rod. (But I'd make him take the fish off for me of course. No way was I touching that slimey fish! Ha!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Clean Cabin

As many of you know our log cabin is a weekend place for our family. When we get ready to leave, I clean that place inside and out. I mop the floors, wash the rugs, dust every nook and cranny - you name it! I love the feeling of when I come back the following weekend and the place is spic and span. Now for my downstate home...well lets just say it's not given the same treatment. (I was about to say I treat it like a stepchild but then I remembered I have a stepson - ha,ha! Never mind, some of you won't think that is funny. But some of you might...Suz??)

Now the one thing I don't like to pick up (and make Greg and my stepson do cuz I am the evil stepmother) - DOG POOP! Yep, everyone is running from me now...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Birds at the Log Cabin

Some of you already know that I'm a birdwatching enthusiast (okay - I'll say it - I'm a bird nerd!) Winters at the log cabin bring some of the best birding opportunities. Last year I had an abundance of Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls that passed through and ate out of my hands. (Can you imagine what my neighbors think when I'm outside in my sheep pjs, holding out my hand and talking to the little birdies?) Anyways, I've notice the bird activity has increased at my feeders. Come meet some of my friends!

Can you see the Downy Woodpecker storing his food supply?

Here's the Tufted Titmouse. He likes to hang with the Black-capped Chickadees. His bird call sounds like a strangled duck in my opinion - but I still like him!

Here's the Dark-eyed Junco - a sure sign winter is on its way! (I know the only people happy about this is me and Betsy!)

Okay, Scout is not a bird, but I just have to show you how big she is getting. I love this dog so much. She is a big cuddler and still crawls onto my lap whenever she can. Marvin kitty still gets jealous but they are playing well together - i.e. Scout goes to give Marvin a kiss and then Marvin slaps her 10 times in a row.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Leaves at the cabin

Look at all the leaves that have fallen around the cabin! And I have one question...

Who is going to rake all these lovely leaves?


Hey! Greg and Scout - where do you think you two are going???