Monday, August 14, 2017


Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on some carrot greens at the farmers market

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

blackberry bounty

The year I bought my farm Raquel sent me some blackberry bush root stock which I planted.  7 years later, they stand 10 feet high and produce endless giant, juicy blackberries.  They never even make it in the house - I just pick them and eat them every day XOXO

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

balaton cherries

The base of my cobbler, made with local Balaton cherries - these are the variety that originated in Hungary - soul food fruit!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

resting Chewy

Young Star Wars fan sporting her Chewbacca costume for the showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the outdoor screen at the Traverse City Film Festival last week.  She was not only wearing this, she was also walking with crutches.  GO GIRL!

Monday, July 31, 2017

the beauty of the bugs

Moth on the ground at Mom & Dad's house 

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Went to an outdoor movie at the Traverse City Film Fest last weekend with my friends Matt & Jeanette and rode in their motorcycle sidecar!  So much fun!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

toad style

Little helper the other morning as I loaded coolers into the car before market

Saturday, July 22, 2017

80 is the new 20

Mom rocking full 2Pac style

Dad's nap style on the plane to Florida last moth

Friday, July 21, 2017

contents of the wheelbarrow

- old rhubarb stalks
- tree trimmings
- but mostly, many invasive mulberry have to wear heavy gloves to pull them up, which is easy, but there are hundreds of them.  Birds eat mulberry in the woods then poop the seeds, which plant themselves everywhere.  As gigantic as that pile looks, it weighed almost nothing

Sunday, July 16, 2017

from the free book table

I did a Cheese 101 lecture at the Fife Lake Library last week, and in their foyer was a free book table.  Here was my haul - they had so many good ones!

Friday, July 7, 2017


tile on the front porch of the house we stayed in

view of the street from the porch

classic cars everywhere

I bought this block of cheese from this man on the side of the road out in the countryside - it cost about $5 and he gave it to me with a block of guava paste, which is how they eat the cheese in Cuba - I gave the guava paste to our tour guide

sampling cigars at a farm in the ViƱales Valley

ice cream cart in Old Havana

Mom & I had coconut ice cream served in a hollowed out coconut shell - some of the tastiest ice cream I've ever had - we bought it off of the cart in the previous picture

art on the water tank at the cigar farm

in one of the many classic taxis we rode in

Plaza de la Catedral

a lovely tucked-away public garden, complete with bust of Hans Christian Andersen surrounded by bougainvillea - there were 17 friendly cats and kittens who live in the garden, and I was given a personal tour by the gardener (pictured above) who told me about every plant and tree and was glad I loved the cats

The National Museum of Fina Arts in Havana was great, and they had a show exhibiting the work of female Cuban film makers.  I had never heard of Ana Mendieta, but fell in love with her work - here is a link to some of her short films

Also loved the illustrations of Cuban artist Roberto Fabelo

Glass bottles at the beautiful Habana 1791 Perfume shop

Stained glass in the perfume shop atrium

they grow up so fast

Came back from my trip a few weeks ago and the baby bluejays were already teenagers.  They have now all flown the nest and are gone   

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

before & after

Over the past few years, I've been slowly out-growing my office.  I am a very organized person, but I realized the star item in my office - my desk - was just too small.  Several weeks ago Dad found a free desk on Craig's List in Clare, MI, about an hour South of Kingsley, which we went down to pick up. It needed some Mike Kurta-izing (sanding, repairing, shining up, and best of all, painting) and yesterday, we reassembled its pieces in my office.  This picture is from a few weeks ago, and there's the late Mabel!

A large, heavy oak desk with mahogany veneer, Dad said it is incredibly well made and sturdy.  I chose bright pink paint, and will be filling it back up carefully.  What a difference a good work space makes - thank you Mom & Dad!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

hi Porci

A little porcupine friend has been hanging around the farm for a few days - I pulled a few quills out of Cozy's neck when she came in too close to check it out.  I read up on the North American Porcupine - here are a few facts:

- they are the second largest North American rodent after the Beaver
- they are far from endangered, as they have no enemies - slow moving, they are more likely to be hit by a car than eaten as prey.  Sadly, I see many, many dead porcupines on the roads around Northern Michigan
- Native Americans ate them
- there are some great videos on YouTube of people and their friendly pet porcupines

Friday, June 9, 2017

right around the corner

an elderly couple right around the corner from the farm are selling their home, and had a nice estate sale yesterday - here, a chartreuse cooler $2

Amazeballs vintage books - each, $0.25

Ziploc bag of vintage matches $1.00 - here are just some of the awesome designs - there are dozens more

Friday, June 2, 2017

the cheese curd bike

I have been thinking about getting a push-cart style vending bike to sell Boss Mouse cheese curds at festivals, additional farmers markets, etc. all year. Work-bikes are expensive, so it was just an idea in my head for the time being.  This past weekend however, while driving on a road I don't drive on very often, I found one for sale on the side of the road for half the price.  It needs some care and repairs, but is exactly what I was looking for.  Isn't it cute? Thank you, universe!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spring thriftin'

they priced the frame as the item for sale, but I bought it for the sweet early 80s poster 

lined windbreaker

Queens of the Stone Age CD $1.99

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017


A pair of blue jays built a nest right outside my kitchen window, in a tree near the front door.  I have been watching them construct the nest for days, a tangle of sticks and roots, surprised they would choose a spot so close to the house. Here is the lone egg they are incubating. I have been reading up on blue jays since they set up house - a member of the crow family, they typically lay between 3-6 eggs, so I'm not sure if she will be laying more, or they will hatch this single chick.  I love watching them, and have stopped using the front door as much as I can so not to freak them out. The egg is large and speckled green, and those bits of white are the fallen petals from the ornamental crab apple tree the nest is in.

Friday, May 19, 2017

the attack

Two weeks ago I visited my good friend Laurie's cherry farm up on the Old Mission Peninsula, the land that comprises the Easterly part of the Grand Traverse Bay, in Traverse City, Michigan.  A beautiful place, especially this time of year when all of the fruit trees are in bloom.  Laurie and I took a walk back on their property with the intention of looking for morel mushrooms, but as we walked past the bee hives, we were attacked!  Laurie and I ran for it, but the bees were stuck in our hair, and seemed to be buzzing all around us - it was awful, but also comical.  I had a bee get inside my shirt, which I proceeded to tear off.  We managed to get them off of us, but were both stung several times - and both suffered stings to our heads. Neither of us are allergic, but stings really, really hurt.  In our frenzy of running and trying to brush the attackers off of us, I lost my eyeglasses.  I had just gotten them, and try as we did, we could not find them.  So last week Mom and I returned to the scene of the incident to look again, and this time we came prepared:  here's Mom in a hair net (borrowed from Boss Mouse) which would keep angry bees out of our hair should we be attacked again - and we covered ourselves in bug spray - it worked!  We weren't bothered by bees, but also didn't find the glasses.  Add to Mom's ensemble a purple western-style shirt, and giant red sunglasses that she is wearing over the top of her regular glasses.

Can I get a FASHION-BEES-TA ova here? 
I got your BEAHIVE right here! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

goodnight Mabel

Mabel, my very senior cat, died peacefully at home on Saturday.  I adopted her from Missaukee Humane Society in Lake City, MI in December of 2012, where I understand she had been living inside a linen cabinet.  They told she was "about 13", but who knows what her exact age was.  When I got her back to the farm, she spent the next two years living in my basement; she could come upstairs at any time, but chose to stay down there.  She was a small and delicate cat, with one blind eye.  I believe she couldn't handle the boisterousness of the dogs, and preferred the warmth and stillness of the empty basement.  She finally started coming upstairs, sitting on furniture, sitting on my lap in the evening. That gave way to full time living with the rest of us, and even becoming the dominant of my two house cats, regularly chasing and hissing at my other cat Rudy, squarely slapping the dogs in the face with a clawed paw, sleeping sprawled out on the kitchen rug, and even spending hours outside exploring the farm.  She came a long way from when we first met, and I am glad she got to live at the farm for the last 5 years of her life.  I buried her out in my animal cemetery behind the big barn, next to Pucci and the others, at the edge of the woods.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

it was lit at the night show

I received a thank you card from a class of students I did a cheese class with back in March, and this was one of the sentiments inside.  As I suspected it is a song lyric, and no, that's not a fake name. I love that he did this and reminds me of something I would have done when I was his age (15) when I had a song stuck in my head and was made to write a thank you card to a stranger

Monday, May 8, 2017

wall crawlers

The top of the rhubarb crumble looked so plain and boring I wanted to garnish it in some way. This one went to a friend who has a 3 year old son, so I got some of those sticky-fisted and footed guys you throw at the wall and decorated the top - perfect!

Friday, May 5, 2017


Stripped 70s snowmobile parked on my neighbor's property

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Rhubarb crumble with first rhubarb from the orchard