Sunday, September 19, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: A Little Bit of Early Fall, Inside and Out

Happily back at the cottage for a bit and wondering when we'll go from green to red and orange. I can see hints in some of the trees but it will be a few weeks yet before we hit full fall color.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Not Quite the Last Hurrah

It's only mid-September, not quite the last hurrah at the lake. But you can feel it in the air. Days are cooler; nights are much cooler. Quite often, the mornings find the lake mirror-calm, reflecting the treeline on the other side and the quiet fishing boats, a far cry from the noisy jet skis of summer. Sometimes it is too cool or windy to paint on the porch, all the better to curl up with a book or needlefelting project, with an extra layer of fleece, hoping for an early visit from Harry North.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Can It Really Be September?

I don't know what happened. I woke up and it was September.

And now, we are well into it. One can feel it in the air at the lake. The temperature dropped dramatically, there was one almost full-day of rain. The lake is quieter after Labor Day. Boats and docks are being pulled from the water, despite the fact that September will bring many gorgeous (and hopefully warmer) days.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: August Books

After a banner reading month in July, I slowed down a little for August, with seven books on the list. This month they were all mysteries.

 "A Sea of Troubles" by Donna Leon

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Quiet Mornings, Loud Cat

I'm back at the lake, finally! And look who welcomed me back! 

Rick will join me for an extended time when he wraps up his annual Dalmac bike ride (Lansing, MI to Mackinac City, 100 miles a day). He's captaining a tandem with his friend Nino, pedaling behind. (Or not, as the case may be!) This early September is lovely and I wanted to be here sooner but life got in the way. You just have to fly with the birds and go with the flow.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

At Home: Cooking During a Fruit Fly Infestation

I'd take a photo of the fruit flies but they're so darned small and so fast I can't even slap them down!

I came home from art camp to a fruit fly infestation. This is bad and I don't know how it happened because I didn't leave any fruits or veggies on the counter or any of the other things Google tells me they like. All I know is that they seem to like it in my house and it's driving me nuts.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Art Camp - The Nature

In my last Art Camp post I mentioned that we had an unexpected guest during our time north. Life is good when you look out the porch window and see this.

Harry the Heron appears to have an up-north cousin, aka Harry North. And he was pretty stunning.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Art Camp -- The Art!

The purpose of art camp, of course, is to make art. But it's not the only thing we do. We read, swim, walk, talk (for hours), eat well, enjoy wine, visit the market. But mainly, we do art! (And talk for hours.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: Art Camp - The Food, the Fun

It happens every August. My friend Kate and I escape to my cottage for a week and enjoy what we call "Art Camp." Every day we paint (or draw or create whatever we're into at the time). Kate works on her annual calendar; I just do whatever I feel like, though I always try something new, too. 

But it's not all art! More on that next time! This is about the fun and the food! Our days are filled not only with art but with books, walks, swimming, market-visiting, Lizzie, and yes, good summer food!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: July's Books

Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes and lovely comments on my last post! Life is indeed good (this blogging community is part of that reason!). So far, 70 doesn't seem any older than the days, maybe years before! Maybe even better!)

This summer's reading has (as always) focused a bit on my favorite genre, mysteries. But never fear! This wrap up includes a collection of essays, a wonderful novel and a behind-the-scenes look at one of my all-time favorite musicals.

Let's start with a light one!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Still Home: This is What 70 Looks Like!

What a good birthday week! On Sunday, we had fun with the Little Boys and their mom (check it out here if you haven't already) and on Monday time with a friend I'd not seen in ages. Then Wednesday was my birthday and the day I registered my new used car! 


It was Rick's mom's -- he drove it up from Texas! And I love it. Just the first part of a good day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Still Home: Family, Food, Flowers and Farms!

 "The corn is as high as an elephant's eye

And it looks like it's climbing clear up to the sky!"

~ Oscar Hammerstein II, "Oklahoma" 

I love corn on the cob. It has been a family tradition since I was a child when my grandfather would plant "Croope Corn" and each year we'd harvest loads of ears from stalks far taller than I. Our "Corn on the Cob" dinner -- where all we ate was corn -- was a favorite.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Still Home: Out of Control

When I came home for what was a going to be a few days, I realized that there was much to be done on the home front. Not the least of that was a garden that was completely out of control. While I prefer to show loads of lovely close-ups, this view of the path between the back and front yards pretty much shows it like it is -- a jungle of sunflowers, hydrangeas and (in the distance) phlox, making it impossible to get to the back yard -- which was in sore need of mowing!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: June's Books!

You can tell that any schedule I get falls to pieces in summer! But while there's still plenty of time to do some summer reading, I thought I'd share a few books I finished -- any of which I think you might enjoy!

I finished seven books this month, some pretty thick and all quite good. As always, my list leans heavily to mysteries, but there's one really rather lovely novel in this list as well. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Home Again: Something Different at the Ditch!

I'm home for a few days and it will be time to check out the Ditch again. But I have a feeling I won't see the terrific sight I saw on one of my last visits before taking off! As you know, every now and then when I go to the Ditch I see something different. Sometimes it's an animal or bird I've not spotted. This time it was artists!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Postcards From the Lake: Home Alone

"It's a quiet week in Lake Wobegon," as Garrison Keillor would say. It that way here at the Otsego Lake in many ways, too. Once one gets past Fourth of July week, there are fewer people on the lake till the weekend. They didn't know what they were missing this week -- Gorgeous weather, cool nights, warm days, steady sunshine -- all rather ideal. We did have one rainy day and a bit of a cool off, but all in all, ideal.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Help! Blogger Issue!

 Help! I follow many of you Blogger bloggers through the Follow button that shows up in my reading list on my dashboard.

For two days now, what I get is an empty page with words similar to "when someone posts something it will show up here.

And I suspect many of you have published. My brain looks like this right now.

Are any of you having this problem? And what to do about it? Thanks! (I have tried to figure this out on the blogger question mark icon at the top of the page and also reported feedback but no action or reply.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Postcards from the Lake: The Cherries Have Arrived! And Gone!

For weeks I had been looking for sweet black cherries at the farmer's market. None were to be found and the season was nearing its end. Finally I visited my mini-farmer's market that I discovered last year -- five vendors, all pretty decent. And finally, black cherries!

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! 

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