Friday, November 13, 2009

Don't Forget "Doors. . ."

Hi everyone!

BOY! It seems like I have been gone for FOREVER! I was able to access internet and checked up on my emails, but trying to post was another story so decided to just wait until I got home. And am still trying to adjust to times changes. Between daylight savings time changing, and then traveling, my body doesn't know where the heck it is.

Before I forget - I'm excited about our November "Doors of Welcome" this coming Sunday.

This was not an easy "party", you really had to think about it. So I am thrilled that we have some "takers" and can't wait to see what everyone thinks up!

Back to my trip! Michigan was beautiful. I had such a nice time with my dear friend Sally. Sally was the school secretary at the elementary school where my kids went. We hit it off right out of the gate when my youngest began Kindergarten and the friendship continues, even though she moved back to her hometown in Michigan about 9 years ago. She is once again living the country life she so loves. And I can see why she loves it.

Every morning these little finches, greeted me.
We would sit in her morning room and have coffee and visit.
She has so many birds that she feeds.
So many that I have never seen before.
These little guys eat a ton of seed. They clean out that feeder in two days.

As well as this little guy. I had never before seen a Groundhog!

A cold morning sunrise - about 28 degrees,
which for us So Cal Girls, is cold. I LOVED IT!!!

The view from the morning room.
It looked like snow, but it was just a very thick layer of frost.
I got to wake up to this three of the mornings I was there.

A view to the back of her property towards the woods.
We only had one deer visit the entire time . . . well that I saw,
and by the way, IT DID NOT SNOW! :(
In fact, they experienced an Indian Summer. (figures!)
Everyone at Church on Sunday was very grateful
to the Calif. girl who brought the warm weather with her.
Me? I was SAD! I wanted SNOW!!!

Her pond is very low. When they dug it,
they were told there was a spring there
which did not turn out to be accurate.

We went so many places . . . this is a shot of us on the St. Clair River over
on the Canadian border. Lake Huron feeds it. That's Canada in the background.
Sally's niece Nancy came with us on all of our adventures
and we did have such a good time!

We drove over to a little town called Frankenmuth.
Very charming. Had lunch at the Bavarian Inn . . .

Their world famous chicken dinner. OH MY!
Can you say YUM? The leftovers lasted us THREE DAYS!

I do believe this is the very first covered bridge I have ever seen.

I wanted to walk across it. Very cool!!!

Off to Bronners! WHOO HOO!!!! THE Christmas store.
We all grabbed a cart and a basket and took off for 1 1/2 hours on our own
in this magical Christmas store. I did some shopping here, I'll tell you!!

Love those shots when you aren't quite ready . . .

Being Fall, and the colors had passed, nature was readying herself for
the cold winter months ahead.
One last determined apple in the orchard . . .

Literally, the last leaf in her trees.
Don't let that blue sky fool you.
When the wind blew, which it did that first day - it was COLD!
I had the best time wandering around her land taking pictures.

The smell of line dried linens . . .

The closest neighbor is of the 4-legged variety.

A birdhouse on almost every fence post . . .

Her little orchard from which she picks and cans all of her fruits.
She also has a root cellar. COOL!

One last onion left to be dug up in her now empty garden . . .

Which was HUGE by the way. Probably 25 feet wide and about 75 long.
She gathered about 40 -50 lbs of red potatoes, plus all of her beans
corn, tomatoes, onions, cabbages, rhubarb, and other veggies.
Plus all of the peaches, pears, apples, strawberries, elderberries . . .
everything to sustain her through the winter months and into next summer.
It was AWESOME!!!

It is a totally different way of life back there. Slow paced . . . lots of family history . . . farms passed down from generation to generation. Everyone knows everyone LITERALLY! (and by NAME no less) We'd be 10 miles away in the next "Village" (yes that's what they are called) and she'd remark "Hmmmm . . . I wonder who's car that is in So-and-So's yard?" I was just cracking up! There were Amish homesites and buggies. But I could not find a market where they sold their beautiful wares.

I wish my kids could see this way of life. There is so much more than the fast pace life we live here in So Cal. I would truly love to have grown up living in the country. Down a dirt lane . . . fishing out of our pond or local river . . . maybe learning how to milk a cow. (Don't care for the hunting at all . . . I know people depend on the meat, but I just shuttered every time I heard a shot.) I'd be the girl naming the pig and crying when it went off to the slaughter house. UGH!

But I had such a wonderful trip. Different from anything I've ever experienced. I was supposed to get together with Shelley from Building a Log Cabin, but her pup Scout got into some mischief and she ended up in the ER at the Vets and we just couldn't get together.  :(  Maybe another
time . . .

But . . . it is also good to be home.

See you SUNDAY for our 2nd Doors of Welcome!



marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh Karen, what a great time you had. I love all the pics of the land and the animals. It really is fun to live in a small town and know everyone, I think that is why it was so hard to leave Oregon. So nice to have you home. Hugs, Marty

Dawn said...

Hi Karen. You must be all rested and rejuvinated now. The rural life is definately different from So. Cal. isn't it? It looked beautiful, but COLD.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to beg out of the Nov. Doors installment. I know, I know, I promised not to procrastinate and to try something sophisticated this time. Yikes, I am such a procrastinator. I've been pretty sick all week and I did try a fancy little arrangement but it just didn't go with the cobwebs and peeling paint on my porch! (I guess thats why the halloween one worked out so well, it was dark!)
Truth is, I got nothing this tme around. But you'll be the first to know if I get my act together for Christmas!

Glad your back, I'm sure everyone missed you as much as I did.

Ginger said...

Hi Karen:
I'm so glad you are back. Missed you. And I am SO JEALOUS....I love covered bridges and I have never gotten to see one. I watch the movie Bridges of Madison County a lot just to see the bridges. lol.
Your friend's place is really nice. Doesn't it make you almost want to move there? My friend Nancy moved to Michigan a couple of years ago and she says the same thing, after living in So.Calif. her whole life.
Sorry you couldn't hook up with Shelley.
The Christmas store sounds fun. Cute picture, even if you weren't ready.

Chari said...

Hi Karen...

Welcome home! It looks like you had a wonderful time in Michigan! How sweet to be able to meet up with an old friend and share a few days together! Well...your photos are beautiful...and Sally's property is simply divine! Hehe...I bet it was cold for a little SoCal girl like you! So sorry that it didn't snow while you were visiting! Thank you for sharing a bit of your trip with us...what a treat!!!

Well my friend, I'm sending you my very best wishes for another successful "Doors of Welcome" this Sunday! Girl, I would participate but I have nothing to show! Seriously! I haven't done a thing to my exterior doors or porches! It's sooo sad really! But...I will be by to check out everyone elses beautiful doors...thank you so much for hosting this fun party!!!

Warmest wishes and welcome back!!!
Chari @Happy To Design

Blondie's Journal said...

I love the country life myself...Sally has a beautiful life there in Michigan. I have been to Frankenmuth and Bronner's. People come from all over for the Christmas shops. I had a great time. The people are so very nice in the country as you found out. That is why I love it there.

Glad you are back and safe & sound!


ceekay said... were gone forever!
Oh, I love Frankenmuth and Bronners. My aunt lives about 2 north of there. I love that covered bridge. Glad you had a good, lets get back to blogging girlfriend!!!!

karen said...

Hi Karen, welcome back! It looks like a great time. I love Frankenmuth and Bronner's and the little Silent Night Chapel is so cute!
Well, I will have my door picture ready but can you believe our new door is still not on! When it was being installed the glass broke and they had to order a new one but maybe it will be installed by Christmas. *sighs*
Have a great weekend,

Connie said...

I love that way of life and the slowness of it. They cherish relationships and take time for them. It's also such beautiful country. Glad you were able to go back and experience that. Love the covered bridge and the birds.


Carol Anne's Boutique said...

Hi Karen, Sounds like you had such a wonderful time in Michigan!! I loved the pictures of your friend's property, she lives in such beautiful surroundings. My husband grew up in Midland Michigan and has been to Frankenmuth & Bronners! One of these days we hope to take a trip there so he can show me everything.
So glad you had such a lovely visit with your friend Sally...glad you are home safe & sound!
Hugs, Carol Anne

A Hint of Home said...

Oh Karen, you were visiting some of my old stomping grounds. Lived in MI for 40 plus years. Loved going to Frankenmuth.
Our daughter lived near Saginaw and now lives in So CAl.
It is pretty in MI and the slower pace in the country is just great.
Glad you're home safe.

Mimi said...

Hi Karen!!!
What a fun trip!!! Yes, I'm with you, I would want to see snow too, but that frost will do!!! It looked cold!!!That meal looked yummy and I'm not even hungry at the moment!!! 1 1/2 hours in a Christmas store!!! Yippee!!!!! I will be posting my front door, only I wish I could ahve found a garland for fall, my door looks sad, oh well, wait til Christmas and he will be adorned better!!!!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Karen,
Welcome back my dear friend! You have some great pics and I am so glad you got up near Lake Huron. It's one of my faves, the water is such a pretty shade of blue! You will just have to come visit me for some snow! No, none yet, we've been warm too, but it sounds like that will change by next week. I am thinking I should get outside and start Christmas decorating before we do get slammed with snow. I love your comment about the hunting! We are just going to be thick with hunters pretty soon, our county is called the deer capital of Wisconsin and rifle season starts next Saturday and then it will be a sea of blaze orange. We get tons of flatlanders ( Illinois) and it's good for the economy but I do feel kind of sad for the deer. I saw an 8 point buck in my yard the other day and he was just so majestic! No pic, he was just too quick! But as hubby reminds me, it's sad too when they starve in the winter for lack of food. Really cute pics of you too, hugs, Cindy

blushing rose said...

Welcome back ... what a lovely rural setting. So glad you had such a leisurely enjoyable visit. I just love country to meander thru & visit. We live outside of a VERY small town by 2 miles, that is as FAR as I would ever go into the country. MI has some beautiful land, as do we. Covered bridges I just love & we have traveled far & wide just to find them. TTFN ~ Marydon

PS Pop over for our TRIPLE GIVEAWAY if you haven't entered.

Mieke said...

This looks like a wonderful journey. You made real nice pictures for us too. But I'm happy you're back home, Blogland seems a bit empty without you.

Theresa said...

It is great to have you back home... I missed your sweet smile:) Love all of the pictures you took on the latest trip. Certainly looks like a great time to be had by all. Hey, Karen... STAY AT HOME:) You have been traveling on and off (mostly on) for it seems like months. I'll be there for my simple "Door of Welcome" tmo. I have been so busy at my Sister's working to get her back in after the flood that I didn't do much! Have a blessed day and get you a tad of rest today!

Christine Edwards said...

Karen, sounds like a great trip. Love all your pics. I think I'm going to have to bow out of Thanksgiving Doors. I didn't plan very well and really haven't had time to prepare. I should be back for Christmas Doors though. :-) Thanks!
Christine @ A Work in Progress

Julie said...

Hi Karen,Welcome home! It looks like you had a wonderful time in Michigan...My Fall Door is up and ready please add me to the side bar... Thanks so much Have a great day...
working on a

Shelley said...

The photos from your trip look wonderful! I'm so bummed I didn't get to meet up w/ you!
Please know you have an OPEN invitation to come visit our log cabin and stay!! (maybe you'll prefer it when it's warmer out - lol!!)
P.S. I have something for you that I was going to give to you when I saw you. I need your address.