Although we still have some highs in the 80s here, it is cooling off and there are signs of fall everywhere…changing leaves, cooler nights, an abundance of Michigan apples, and college football. This Texas gal will never get over how truly breathtaking Michigan is in the fall! We recently made our first batch of veggie chili at home and watched our first Texas Tech football game of the season on TV last Saturday (TTU 52 – ASU 45). We paired two excellent, local beers with our college football experience last weekend too: Wolverine Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest and Homes Brewery “Bang Down” Oat Stout. To top it off, we enjoyed watching the game while relaxing on our DIY pillow cases; we found some beautiful wool fabric at an estate sale which we bought for next to nothing and managed to sew 8 pillow cases from out of 2 different fabrics (4 euro shams and 4 standard shams). Happy fall!
We decided to make Maddy some homemade dog treats, following this recipe, today and she seems to love them. It wasn’t difficult and went pretty quickly (the most difficult/time consuming step was getting the treats to come neatly out of the cookie cutters and onto the tray without breaking) and it’s good to know exactly what goes into them as we made them ourselves. We used various cookie cutter sizes and shapes and, pictured below, Maddy waited patiently at our feet while we put these together. I’m sure we’ll be making more and trying some different recipes out in the near future; here’s to happy, healthy pups!
It’s peach season in Michigan and there is an abundant supply of juicy, ripe fruit available at our local farmer’s markets – or if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who has peach trees and is willing to share, from friends too! We were inspired by our friend Jennifer, who recently made and shared a beautiful peach crisp photo, and our friend Laura, who generously gave us a bag of peaches from her yard, to make our own peach crisp and it did not disappoint; we used this recipe as a guide (thank you, Jennifer!) and Ryan did a bit of tweaking using what we had available in our pantry (we added oats and cinnamon and left out the garam masala).
While we aren’t growing our own peaches, we are growing our own tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, peppers, and herbs this summer and our tomato plants are producing some beautiful fruit; just look at this heaping bowl of tomato (there’s a zucchini hiding in there too) goodness! As our ripe tomato count is rising, we’re considering what do with them all…pasta sauce, salsa, etc. I couldn’t resist snapping a quick photo of them all piled up in this beautiful bowl by Abigail Murray Studio on top of this tea towel by MirDinara.
We also took some time this weekend to use the laser cutter at Maker Works to make a custom-etched dog tag for Maddy; what we ended up with was 100 times better than what we were able to get from the machine at the pet store too. DIY for the win!
Ryan and I recently spent a day enjoying lots of summer things – cold beers on a warm, sunny patio, stopping in our local ice cream parlor, enjoying those beautiful, blue summer skies, etc. And our garden is starting to produce a good amount of fresh produce for us as well now; we’ve picked a whole bowl full of jalapeños and serrano peppers, 6 ripe tomatoes, 1 zucchini, and a whole lot of fresh herbs. Amazingly, the summer is already almost gone and suddenly it’s August! Where has the summer gone? Maddy seems surprised too…
1 city permit, approximately 130′ of linear fence/750 sq. ft., 1 rental of a 2-man auger + 1 friend to help man it, 110 1″ x 4″ x 16′ cedar boards, 24 cedar 2″ x 4″ x 12’s, 30 cedar 2″ x 4″ x 8’s, 16 4″ x 4″ x 10′ pressure treated posts, 7lbs of deck screws, 3 cans of Penofin Verde (Natural), 4 Boerboel compact gate hinges, 1 tamper head digging bar, 1 post hole digger, ~3 weekends of labor, 1 truck rental to dispose of old fence that was falling down, 1 finger that had a screw drilled into it, 1 near accident of oily rags and spontaneous combustion… and we now have a beautiful backyard fence which was designed, built, and constructed all by ourselves!
We had a nice, long, fun holiday weekend and filled our 4th of July with lots of sparklers, great company, and delicious eats and drinks; we enjoyed using our bag toss game and patio umbrella for the first time this season too! On Monday, we stopped by our favorite neighborhood brewery and treated ourselves to a couple cold ones on the patio – Maddy was all smiles; we are enjoying taking her out and about and socializing her in different surroundings when we can. Here’s our little blue grill, smoking away on the 4th. Hope you had a happy 4th!
Because slow motion is fun…
Last Wednesday, June 21st, was the summer solstice; I enjoyed the sunshine and those long hours of daylight with a delicious glass of rosé – pictured above is the view out my kitchen window in the late afternoon on the solstice. Thanks to the sunshine, our garden is doing well this summer; while our pepper plants haven’t grown much yet, most of our tomatoes and all of our herbs are flourishing. I cut some things from our garden to make this pretty arrangement below on Saturday: hosta leaves, Japanese painted fern, coleus, and green and purple basil.
We’re having lots of fun with Maddy too; the training we’ve been doing with her (look at this!) and many trips to the park to throw the frisbee have been fun for us all! She works hard and plays hard, but she knows to relax as well (puppy dreams). We are one happy family!
We enjoyed a full day at The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village on Friday; the House Industries Exhibit was fun to walk through and we enjoyed all the rides at the Village as well. You can view photos and videos of our visit here.
We managed (with help from a friend – thank you, friend!!!) to get all 16 of the holes dug in our backyard to place the fence posts into on Saturday; looking forward to finishing that project and appreciating how hard DIY work can be sometimes! This experience has definitely taught me a few things:
- I’m not as strong as I would like to be (or thought I was) and/or I may have underestimated how difficult manning a 2-person auger really is.
- Having friends/family who are willing to give up an entire Saturday afternoon to help you dig 16 very deep holes in your backyard is invaluable.
- Ryan’s strength and focus when it comes to projects like this never ceases to amaze and impress me!
After all that hard work and heavy lifting (the 2-person auger we rented to get the job done weighed 71 pounds without the bit or extension attachment!) on Saturday, it was especially nice to spend some time resting inside our home on Sunday…here’s Maddy peeking in from the kitchen in the photo below.
Last, but not least, wishing my wonderful Dad a very happy Father’s Day!