Summery Summary

I just don’t know how it happened, friends.  Here we are six months later, and I haven’t said a peep since Anja arrived.  I’ll try to give you the summaries of all the things…

Well, Anja has changed a bit…


She is hilarious and precious and loves the babies around here more than we could have dreamed.

Speaking of pets, we lost another sweet one just a few weeks ago.  Our 13 year old cat, Dubya passed away after having heart failure.  Sniff, sniff.

dubyaTwo cats remain: old, scary Rhetta Blue and precious little Lulu (who misses her white buddy something fierce. 😦

The chickens are still going strong!  We have ten layers who did their job well during the warm months offering us about 8 eggs a day average.  And of course, Patrick (as we say for the grand babies’ sake).  He’s still going strong.  So stinking loud and obnoxious, but he’s our rooster…


Here’s our timeline, of sorts, since last I wrote:

April — snow and then some sun and walks and mud and gallons of maple syrup (harvested and made and canned and shared by Justin!)


May — 25th anniversary trip to Kauai while it snowed back home for the kids.  Whoops. Tick seasons starts in earnest.


My baby graduates.


Guests begin to arrive.  As do the lilacs. 🙂



June  — Ticks pass the blood-sucking torch to the hordes of mosquitos that keep us inside looking out and only able to be outside for any length of time with mosquito suits on.

More guests. And then more and some more.

Oh, and I was THIS close to opening a restaurant. But, nah…ain’t nobody got time for that.

July arrives!  We begin beaching and bike rides.  We ate our first grouse (fresh kill from a friend’s grill — well, to be honest, it was the grill on her mini-van, but we ate that bird and it was stinking GOOD!)





More delightful guests arrived and played and filled our love cups.  We ate lots of berries and swam at waterfalls and sunsets and celebrated 3 decades of friendship…



gorge-picnicTook a trip to Chicago and then OshKosh for a huge Coldplay concert (Kiki’s graduation present and then the air show).coldplay

Beach, beach, beach and a super fun new anniversary present for my sweet man who never lets himself have new things…


August — made 55 pints of pickles for all families represented.

Had some Summer Fruit Pie by the lake (we hate cake by the ocean),


and also maybe a taco salad, romantic, surprise picnic at the lake as well (does it get any better?),


and picked us some blueberries.


A few more favorite groups of guest visits with lots of coffee, stories, and laughs…


and then wrapped the whole beautiful summer up with a getaway as far north as possible (continental states for those of you being picky) for some rugged and muddy riding with the dearest of folks.


There just is no recipe for relaxing quite like surrounding yourself with the amazing stuff God made plus good, old-fashioned fun and mud, plus wild water, mountains and sunsets, and several doses of hilarity.


Squeezed in a few moments to ride to town the back way for a pizza and frozen custard picnic on our machines…


As we wrap up guest season, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of an epic fruit harvest.  In one day we made and canned applesauce, plum jelly (from the most gorgeous plums you’ve ever tasted in your life), froze bags of apples, and made plans for the gazillion other days of  canning needed to preserve this harvest.



Our cider press arrived today. 🙂 MMMMMMMMMMM…we’re not sure we’ve ever tasted anything so delicious than fresh pressed cider!


Grapes and pears coming soon!

It’s a good, good life, and a summer we will always remember.

God is so neat.





Creatures Great and Small…

So, I forgot to tell about the bear.  You know, the bear who poops on my deck and eats my blueberries?  Yeah, him. We’ve finally got a look at him and his friends and family members  in a couple ways. One pretty up-close-and-personal!

And then there are the moose stories to fill you in on.

And, of course, you need chicken updates.  And I have videos and pictures of all. 🙂

The bear.  It’s Justin’s story.  He was holding down the fort while the rest of us were out of town.  His words follow:

It was a really windy day and I was out walking the orchard.  I heard something across the ravine that sounded like someone was breaking down small dead trees.  It sounded like kids or something in the woods and I figured they were breaking down our trees.  So I ran that way and started sneaking up the other side as quietly as possible.  Now, I was downwind on a really windy day (45 mph gusts and 25 mph constants), and climbing up the hill barefoot in moss so I made no noise.  I got about 10 feet from the top and heard a fresh tree go down.  I thought I had them.  I ran the last few feet and jumped over the ridge and there, 15 feet in front of me, looking as surprised as I was, stood a very large black bear.  I froze.  He had been eating carpenter ants out of dead trees that he was pushing down.  Upon seeing me, he grunted loudly and stood up, making it apparent that he was at least 6.5 feet tall.  At this point, I panic and pulled my .44.  At the same time, he dropped down on all fours and looked like he may come over to investigate.  I didn’t want to kill him so I shot the stump about 2 feet in front of him.  As if lightning struck, he spun a 180 and ran off screaming like a wounded man.

Game cam is now set up for deer season.  Have some lovely shots of beautiful deer and caught a video and pics of our furry, tree-pushing, berry-eating resident.

Click here for bear video.

Our backpacking trip to Isle Royale wasn’t quite what we expected.  We saw some stunning beauty, pushed our bodies to their limits, and yours truly got sick and had to leave early. 😦  After I left, the family got awakened by a bull moose crashing through the woods before dawn as they slept peacefully in their hammocks.  It came within fifteen feet of them, and scared the willies out of all three.  They said it sounded like a scene straight out of Jurassic Park. Had hearts thumping and hands shaking.

The next day, a gorgeous moose momma and her big ol’ baby joined them in their camp and stayed long enough for some video (turn up your brightness — they are a little hard to see).

And then my birds.  Supposed to be laying eggs by now.  Any minute!  I’ve assembled their nesting boxes and we just wait.  Somehow, they manage to look like they think deep thoughts for being such bird-brains.


Our big, beautiful rooster makes noise now.  Since the making of this video, he has added a bit to his phrase.  It sounds like *Cockadoo…*  Just need to get that little *dle-doo* and we’ll be good to go! He starts before dawn and is even noisier than we were afraid of.  But, he is gorgeous, isn’t he?


I’ll leave off with some scenery pics from our gorgeous area.

A great spot to contemplate creation and Creator…

lake superior

Sunrise in the mountain mist.

Sunrise in the mountain mist.