We spent a cozy Christmas at home by the fire here in Michigan this week. To my delight, it snowed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day too and I got that white Christmas I was hoping for; it was beautiful! Temps have now dropped to frigid highs in the teens here and I’m extra grateful for having this time away from work where I’m able to stay in my warm bed a bit longer and linger by my fireplace at home for as long as I like. I hope you all enjoyed a warm, cozy Christmas too and are enjoying what’s left of 2017.
We spent the weekend decorating our home for the holidays; we picked up our fresh evergreen wreath from the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, stopped by Downtown Home & Garden for some amaryllis bulbs and enjoyed their Annual Christmas Party, and put up our tree and decorations at home. Maddy wasn’t sure what to think of our spinner ornaments on the tree at first (see video here and here), but she seems to have gotten used to them now…lol. As Lucy says, “You know, deck them halls and all that stuff…”
There’s something truly magical about a foggy fall morning; we were lucky enough to experience just that this past weekend and took advantage of it with a nice, long walk in our neighborhood. When we started our walk, the fog was thick and heavy, but by the time we got home it had started to lift. Here’s a brief video I took along the way.
by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
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!
Our garden is producing peppers like crazy now and our tomatoes are doing pretty well too; I picked another zucchini and a decent-sized poblano pepper yesterday! We had a fun weekend catching up on past Game of Thrones episodes for this season, visiting with friends, and we had a relaxing Sunday filled with a nice walk in a local park followed by some dog park fun with Maddy, then lunch at a local place that was new to us, and a visit to our local Humane Society to drop off some donations. The weather cooled off this past weekend and it was beautiful weather to be outside in! Cooler temps are already making me think of fall and I’m getting excited at the thought of having our first fireplace fire, fresh apple cider, and the changing leaves.
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!
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!
If you can find a nice patio, with some shade and preferably a cool breeze (and a cold beer) on a summer day, take advantage of it always! We began our weekend doing just that at Dominick’s and it was lovely. While my Texas friends and family may laugh at this, I’m going to say it…we’ve had some hot temps here in A2 this last week, with highs climbing into the high 80’s and low 90’s over the weekend; it definitely feels like summer here – hot, humid, and sweaty. Despite the weather, Ryan managed to dig out all of our existing fence posts (which were all that was left of our dilapidated fence) over the weekend and we currently have brand new ones sitting in the floor of our garage waiting to be placed into the ground; we’re very excited at the prospect of having a new, functional fence – complete with gate – in the near future and are looking forward to enjoying our backyard with Maddy. And we have now added a post hole digger to our growing pile of tools and equipment in our garage.
We enjoyed a walk to Zingerman’s Roadshow with Maddy for breakfast bright and early Saturday morning and we saw Wonder Woman at the theater (here I am, as a kid, in my Wonder Woman suit). Hope you’re having some summer fun of your own and enjoying the sunshine!
It’s peony season here in Ann Arbor and the Peony Garden at Nichols Arboretum is quite the sight to see…absolutely gorgeous! I’ve taken a stroll through there twice now in the past week (where we met this sweet little pup) and I can’t get enough of it – the variety of peonies is impressive and the smell is heavenly; here are some photos and videos I captured of the gardens last week; they also have some lovely Dogwood, Rhododendron, and Azalea, etc. Our own peony in our garden at home is blooming now too. I’m here to pet all the puppies and smell all the flowers!
We enjoyed some delightful patio time at Wolverine on Friday afternoon and at Beer Grotto (where we met this sweet little pup) on Saturday, stopped by the Mini Maker Faire, and are having so much fun with our little imp of a puppy, Maddy!
We enjoyed a cool, rainy weekend here in A2; watched some movies, cooked this Blue Apron meal, and visited my 26th Michigan brewery when we stopped by Brewery Becker in Brighton – my personal favorites on tap were the West Coaster (west coast style IPA), Victoria (Victorian era export stout), and Hefeweizen (classic wheat beer of Bavaria). Looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend ahead!