Saturday, July 24, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: A Mostly Quiet Life

Now that Rick is recovered from his surgery, we've actually been having a nice time! There have been a couple of rainy days but that's OK -- so long as it's not every day! This van we saw in a restaurant parking lot sums it up pretty well!  

Our little world is quiet, except on weekends, it seems, when all the weekenders return and drive noisy boats! One highlight of the time here was the visit of my cousin David and his wife Bonnie. We celebrated Bonnie's belated and Rick's and my upcoming birthdays, heading out to only the second restaurant meal I've been to in a very long while!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: On the Art Table

Although I haven't shared much in the art line of late, it hasn't been a summer devoid of creativity. It seems that the season has been a little topsy turvy in a lot of ways, between Rick's stuff, a trip back home for me, cousin visits -- all good (well, not Rick's stuff!) but meaning less time at the art table. But I do have a few things to share, starting with my cousin Bonnie's birthday gift!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Paris In July: Something Old!

Let's face it. We all like a good buy when we travel -- a souvenir, something special to bring home, maybe as a gift or just to treasure. And yes, in Paris you can go to some of the wonderful stores like Le Bon Marche, Galleries Lafayette, Printemps or BHV Marais. But it's even a little more fun to bring home something you've found at a flea market, brocante or vides grenier.

My friend Jerry is a master at finding wonderful items (and knowing how to bargain for them! So, come with us to a few spots!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: It's Never the Same Walk

"Doesn't it get old, walking the same route each time?" I was asked. The reply is simple -- "No. Because it is never really ever the same. Even the skies change." There is an ever-changing "sameness" in "same."

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Ordinary Days

Rick has been recovering from his surgery here at the lake, while I headed south for an appointment, returning for the weekend. For the most part, it has been lovely sunny weather, though today it caught up with us. At least I won't have to water the plants! My basil is growing like crazy and we've enjoyed it in Rick's homemade pizza and a lemon/shrimp/pasta dish.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Paris In July: France, A Love Story

I love reading essays and short pieces about a topic or place I enjoy. If you do as well, "France, A Love Story" (subtitled "Women Write about the French Experience) might suit you well. Edited by Camille Cusamano, the book features 25 essays by women both unknown and known to me, including M.F.K. Fisher, Ruth Reichl and Alice B. Toklas.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Be Careful What You Ask For

In a normal summer up north, I will take day trips to some of the towns in the north that make for a great day trip but are pretty much always overcrowded with tourists. Fun places to visit but I wouldn't want to deal with the traffic all the time. Last year, of course, no one went anywhere. I stayed happily put at my happy place. This year I wanted to visit a few of those spots, like Petoskey or Charlevoix -- both set on Lake Michigan or Little Traverse Bay.

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: The Fourth and Beyond

Now that the holiday is over, we are settling into real lake life. Most of the tourists and boats have left (at least for the week) and while there are still boats on the lake, it is quieter. Slow mornings, lovely afternoons, evenings with Scrabble or a movie after the sun goes down. We've had some rain and the temperature is cooling for a few days. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Paris In July 2021 - A Walk Along the Seine

As I've gone through photos and memories for this year's Paris In July posts, I was struck by many photos taken as Rick and I walked along the Seine, so please join us  for a walk along this wonderful river that cuts through the very heart of Paris.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Postcards From the Lake: The Quiet Life

Greetings from the lake! It's good to be back. The Little Guy had his party and life at the lake is quiet and happy. By the way, a belated Happy Fourth of July (and really belated Happy Canada Day!)

Friday, July 2, 2021

Paris In July 2021: The Hugh Marston Mysteries

Paris In July is one of my favorite blog parties. Each July a group of bloggers who love Paris (and France) write about books, film, travel, food and all things French or set in France. My first offering for this event are two books set in Paris by Mark Pryor.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Workshop Week

Recently I participated in a series of free online workshops called "Workshop Week" hosted by Becca Courtice of the Happy Ever After Crafter. This was a series of free workshops, all about 30-45 minutes, that I followed online. There were probably about 25-30 classes in everything from calligraphy and mixed media to painting techniques.

The work I share here is work I did in the sessions and I'm the first to admit that most isn't my best work. That wasn't the point. The point was to create art along with the instructor through their videos (some of which were edited for drying time so they were "working" a whole lot faster than I could!) Consequently, you're going for "learning," not perfection. This bright floral watercolor, from the class taught by Jenna Rainey, is FAR from my usual style -- and I love it, even though it is not without flaw! 

Monday, June 28, 2021

So, It Rained

And it is still raining. All week. (Well, we had a surprise day off on Sunday, but thunderstorms are coming again and scheduled through Friday.)

I feel guilty about this -- being snarky about the rain when those out west are in such desperate need of rain. But when it is in your basement or leaking into your family room, you get a little testy. These hydrangeas used to be standing up. Now you can't walk to the back yard without fighting the flowers.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Every Stitch Tells a Story - In Praise of Quilts

I don't know when my love affair with quilts began but I know I was very young. Perhaps it started with my first quilt, a doll blanket made by my grandmother. The stitches were tiny, simple squares, but it was all that Baa or Betsy Wetsy needed to keep cozy in our Michigan winter.  She also made this one, not long after. They are still in use, if for no more than decoration!

Thursday, June 24, 2021


Back some time ago, I mentioned the delicious quiche I cobbled together from a couple of different recipes. So many were interested I promised to post what I did so here goes!


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Postcards from the Lake -- The First Visit

With Rick in Dallas and my last physical therapy appointment for a few days under my belt, the time was right -- road trip to the lake for the first visit of the season.

There is something exciting about that first visit. Questions run through my mind. What has changed? How does the house look? Will there be neighbors around? What will the weather be like? Did I bring the right clothes? And then you wheel around the corner and there it is. Home.

Monday, June 21, 2021

From Palette to Paper

I haven't done an art post in awhile so I thought I'd catch up with a few things I've been working on. As you know, I'm very fond of doing pet portraits and I've had a couple of lovely models to work with lately.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Beauty of Spring-Into-Summer

More blooms! My garden and peonies are faded now, but I managed a few pix before the passed their peak.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

At Long Last

What could be better than a perfect day in June? A perfect day spent with the Toddler Twosome and their mom and dad!  Rick was leaving for Dallas to meet up with his brothers and help clean out their mom's house before it goes on the market. The airport is close to Kevin and Molly's home so we went a day early to spend the day with the kids. I'm not sure who had more fun at this moment -- the two boys or Rick! They are relentless, but then, so is Rick!

I got to go with their mom to get them from day care and let me say, a welcome hug by this one (who has the best laugh ever!) is like a magic tonic!

There was time for Play Doh, playing Sorry and a story or two. And lots of time on the swing!

Kevin is a wonderful cook and dinner couldn't have been better -- grilled chops, a salad to die for and potatoes in the air fryer. 

The paper straws from Dollar Tree were a hit. I need to buy a bunch of those! 

The Oldest Toddler (who is four) was fascinated by the camera so I turned it over to him. I think every toy in the house is photographed, along with our breakfast, coins from the piggy bank and portraits of everyone. I thought he did well with one of me!

And this is my favorite that he took. I'm printing this one out!

All good things come to an end and the next morning Rick was off to Dallas and I was off to physical therapy. 

We'll miss those hugs till next time!

Monday, June 14, 2021

"Quarant-whine!" The Cork Poppers are Back!

The morning of our Cork Popper reunion, with the theme "Quarant-wine," started with an ER trip for Rick and ended with us all tasting seven wines, enjoying a fabulous feast of appetizers and desserts and having a non-stop, "It's been 16 months since I've seen you!" catch up party!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Strawberry Season Redo!

I'm rewriting my "Strawberry Season" post because I accidentally deleted it (UGH!) Things I learned today -- no way to retrieve a deleted blogger post! I'll try to post-date it so it doesn't show in your feeds but who knows if that will work. If you read that one, skip this one!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

It's Really Good That I Like to Lick the Batter Bowl

It's really good that I like to lick the batter bowl. Just one of the "real life" things happening in my world!

I decided that since I had all the ingredients I would make Carol's Lemon-Raspberry Muffins. It would be so nice to freeze them (well, most of them) and have them good to go to the cottage for Memorial Weekend. (Yes, I thought of making them with blueberries too, to go with the weekend color theme but I decided not to get that cute.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A Long Weekend with Little to Show for It!

In an earlier post I mentioned a New York Times article that discussed languishing and flourishing during lockdown times and I mentioned I was flourishing and, for the most part of the past year, felt much the same. No languishing for me! 

Friday, May 28, 2021

So Many Good Things

The erratic weather patterns of spring that have gone from very warm and sunny to blustery and dark have kicked into their gloomy mode. We decided to skip a trip to the lake for the holiday weekend and instead concentrate on some projects around here. It is not really a hardship. I'm rather fond of nesting, no matter where we do it.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Fragrance of Spring

I'm sitting in my office, the windows open. The temperatures have dropped and the breeze coming through is cool -- perhaps a little too cool. But I can't bear to close the windows because along with the breeze comes the most intoxicating fragrance of peony drifting up from the bushes under the window. It is just one of the fragrances of spring.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Few Changes at Marmelade Gypsy!

Some of you have already noticed a few changes here at Marmelade Gypsy and I have Linda, the Fairy Blogmother and writer of Life and Linda to thank for that! As you can see, I have a new look and mail sign-up (on the right sidebar). There's an important reason for this, which some of you may know.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Walk in the Hood

Within the past two weeks we have jumped 45 degrees in temperature! From covering the newly purchased and planted plants at night to requiring sunscreen for a walk, it is -- in many ways -- a typical Michigan spring. That is, a day or two of sunny and 70, then 88 and sticky! It also means there is a good deal of action at the ditch, not the least of which was the buzzing of Harry by a red-winged blackbird!


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Blooming and Beautiful

Earlier this season I took you on a blog walk through Michigan State's Beal Gardens. This is an outdoor botanical garden with a variety of areas -- poison plants, edibles, herbs, and loads of grasses, flowers and what some might call weeds. The university considers it an "outdoor laboratory for the study and appreciation of plants," designed for students in the agricultural/horticultural fields. But it is equally, if not more, popular among the general community.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Spring Might really Be Here!

What a crazy time this is! With spring finally showing its warmer side here in Michigan, I find myself feeling overloaded with things to do. Most of them are good things, which is a plus but sometimes I wonder how I'm keeping up with anything! It's seems I'm slow with replies, slow posting, slow with home things. Spring fever? Could be.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

So, What Else Is New? Not Much!

Life these days has just been -- well, life. Nothing terribly exciting, nothing awful. So, just a bit of a catch-up. It sort of matches Lizzie's expression.

There has been a bit of painting -- not a lot, but I do have this one to share.

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