Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Monday, October 31, 2016

First Impressions

First impressions are important, right? We thought we should give you our first impressions of Madame Cuisinart.

  1. We were very pleased that she arrived this afternoon - 2 days earlier than promised.
  2. She was packaged securely with no signs of trauma.
  3. Her instruction booklet was informative.
  4. She was very easy to program.
  5. Looks don't hurt either - and she's obviously gorgeous!

She has now been thoroughly cleaned through 2 full cycles. We'll try her out with our secret "Hamilton blend" coffee tomorrow morning, but we're hopeful for a long and beautiful relationship. Watch for an update later this week. 

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fall Color in the Keweenaw 2

I'm back with more fall color today. We're moving outdoors, but sticking close to home. Here's the view of our barn as you come down the driveway.

And the house. No deck or foundation stone yet - 2017 goals!

Other property color.
Orange Peel Fungus

Bonus Shots taken at a nearby location:

Next Up: We'll take a fall color road trip around the Keweenaw!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fall Color in the Keweenaw 1

I've been working on editing my fall color photos. That's been a long project, as I seem to have taken over a thousand. Don't worry. I won't make you look at ALL of them!

Let's begin today by showing some photos I snapped from inside the house. There's nothing more I need to say. I'll let the photos do the talking.

We'll move outdoors for the next installment. Thanks for stopping by!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Eulogy to a Lost Love

We knew you wouldn't last forever, but we didn't expect to lose you so soon. We remember the day you came to live with us. You were beautiful, and we were so excited about our future together. It was great fun to spend time with you every morning. You were so shiny and new. . . and you looked so nice in our kitchen.

We had so many good days together, but time passed. Days turned into months, and the excitement of our life with you began to wear off. We hate to admit it, but we started taking you for granted. We forgot what life was like before there was you. We forgot that we had to make our coffee every morning before you arrived. It wasn't automatically ready for us when we hopped out of bed. And the coffee you brewed was hot - nice and hot - not just sort of hot. Sure, you had an automatic 2-hour shutoff, but we could always turn you back on and enjoy more time together. That was meaningful, and we didn't know it then, but it was a quality that's difficult to find in others. Oh, why didn't we take the time to tell you how we felt? How could we have been so foolish?

When you gave up the ghost last week, we knew we had lost a great friend. We had an old friend boxed up in the basement, but it wasn't the same. We liked you better. We somehow managed to pull ourselves together and made a trip to Houghton the following day to look for a more acceptable replacement. After spending a considerable amount of time in the coffee maker aisle, we settled on Mr. Coffee and brought him home with us - even though he used standard coffee filters and we had just purchased a large quantity of the cone filters we needed for you. We were determined to have a good attitude and do our best to make friends with him the following morning.

But. . . it wasn't the same. Yes, we were able to program him, and a fresh pot of sort-of-hot coffee was waiting for us the next morning. We pressed on and convinced ourselves we could live with him. Then, it happened - the automatic 2-hour shutoff. OK, we figured we would just turn him back on to keep our coffee warm a while longer. We're coffee drinkers, not coffee guzzlers, after all. Then, the big IT happened. Within a few seconds, Mr. Coffee turned himself back off. That's right. OFF. Surely we did something wrong. We turned him on again. . . and he turned himself right back off. OFF! I said, "OFF!" That's when the wailing and gnashing of teeth began.

Time to call Mr. Coffee. He has an 800 number. Please tell me which of your programmable models will stay on longer than 2 hours. Oh, none of your programmable models will stay on longer than 2 hours. It's to help absent-minded individuals - don't want them burning down their houses? Really?! Well, what if we're not absent-minded? I was informed that we would have to get a non-programmable basic model with a simple on/off switch. Uh, that's identical to the old friend we had in our basement. He's on the counter now, but we can't be happy with him anymore - not after spending so much quality time with you.

The store gave us a refund on the new Mr. Coffee, and we spent a lot of time and gigabytes looking for an acceptable new friend. Good friends aren't easily replaced. None were to be found anywhere within 100 miles. We were forced to order a new friend - sight unseen. Madame Cuisinart is supposed to stay on for 4 hours, and people say she's hot. She'll arrive next week, and we're trying to remain hopeful that we'll learn to love her as much as we did you. I'm sorry to say that some of our memories of mornings spent with you are already beginning to fade. . .

but we want you to know that we loved you. Oh, how we loved you!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin-Palooza 5

As my final pumpkin project of 2016, I transformed another Dollar Tree pumpkin with Mod Podge, coffee filters, rickrack and a few buttons. (Before I'm attacked by the spelling police, I want to acknowledge that rickrack is also spelled ricrac, rick rack, and ric rac. It varies by manufacturer. My dictionary prefers rickrack, so that's good enough for me. However you want to spell it, I'm talking about that wavy/zigzag ribbon trim.)

Let's get started. I had a Dollar Tree pumpkin that I purchased with faux flowers, leaves and an acorn already attached to the top with some hot glue. There was nothing especially wrong with those decorative elements, but I wanted to do something different with the pumpkin. I began by removing the elements that had been glued on. That left me with a plain pumpkin with a hole on top, but I was going to cover the hole with a stem anyway. I had some brown #4 cone coffee filters that I needed to use up (story on that subject coming soon), and I tore a few of the filters into smaller pieces.

I used a small foam brush to paint Mod Podge onto the pumpkin, grabbed a piece of torn coffee filter and pressed it onto the glue. Repeat - overlapping in some areas. Repeat again. You get the drift. After most of the pumpkin was covered, I painted on more Mod Podge over the coffee filters. I was going for a mottled appearance on this pumpkin, so I was really liberal with the Mod Podge - making it thicker in some spots. I placed the pumpkin on a foam cup to dry.

After drying for a few hours, I turned the pumpkin over and repeated the process on the bottom of the pumpkin and let it dry completely overnight. Here's how it looked the following day - mottled. Yes, sometimes a plan actually comes together!

Next, I cut some rickrack trim into 9 pieces of equal length - long enough to cover the ribs of the pumpkin from top to bottom. 

I attached each length of rickrack to the top of the pumpkin with a dot of hot glue - positioning the pieces so they would align with the ribs of the pumpkin.

After all the pieces were attached at the top, I flipped the pumpkin over and attached each piece to the bottom of the pumpkin with another dot of hot glue - again making sure the rickrack aligned with the ribs. 

A dot of glue at the top and bottom of each piece of rickrack was all that was necessary. The bottom could be finished more completely if you have plans to expose it. 

This is how the pumpkin looked at this point.

Now for a stem. I used a stack of 3 buttons attached with hot glue for mine.

I could have added a bow or some other embellishment at this point, but I chose to stop there.

Less is sometimes more.

I think I'll use white coffee filters on a larger pumpkin next year to display next to this one. 

I have one more fall project up my sleeve, but it's not a pumpkin. It's a wreath I made entirely out of things I already had on hand. I'm calling it my Leftover Wreath. That will be coming up soon on my blog. Plus, I still have more fall color photos to show you.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5 Years!

It was 5 years ago today that we made our big move from lower Michigan to the Keweenaw. I was blessed with this view as I sat by our sliding doors with my coffee this morning.

I love how the Lord gives us one last explosion of color every fall. Those brilliant leaves will be off the trees very soon, but winter will bring us another kind of beauty.

We absolutely love living here! Have I said that before? 

All is well in the Keweenaw.