Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thumb Tack Tree

I haven't been doing a lot of crafting lately, but here’s a quick Christmas project that I was able to complete with items I already had on hand. If you don’t have these things on hand, they can be purchased very inexpensively.

As I was decorating this year, I decided that I wanted a little something different next to the Christmas cookie jar on my kitchen counter that would coordinate with our stainless appliances. Since we live out in the boonies, I looked through my craft stash to see what I had on hand. I came up with a small cone tree and some ordinary silver thumb tacks.

I didn’t think I had enough tacks to cover the entire tree, but that didn’t stop me from diving in head first. Starting at the top, I began sticking the tacks into the foam tree – overlapping them slightly - going around and around in rows. Now, don’t be too obsessive at this point. You may see tiny areas of white foam between the tacks, but when the project is finished, you won’t even notice them. (The camera may pick them up, but your eyes won’t.)

The first row stuck up a bit beyond the top edge of the cone. At that point, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use for a topper on this little tree.

I continued on down the tree until I didn’t have enough tacks left to complete an entire row. As I was worked, I was thinking about what to do next. 

Going back to my craft stash, I retrieved this red sequin ribbon and my glue gun.

Beginning at the bottom this time, I put down a short line of hot glue – no more than about 2 inches long – and began securing the ribbon to the glue – continuing on around and up the cone.

I didn’t want to see a gap between the ribbon and the tacks – and I also didn’t want the ribbon to overlap the tacks. When I had almost reached the lowest row of thumb tacks, I removed that last row, finished gluing down the ribbon rows, and replaced that bottom row of tacks. The tacks then overlapped the ribbon instead.

For the topper, I could have used a star or a tiny Christmas ornament, but I went through my button jar and found this silver button instead – just a dab of hot glue holds it on. Again, you can see a little white foam around the button, but you don’t notice it in person.

In order to tie the two sections of the tree together, I used my leftover tacks to add silver “ornaments” to the red sequin section – just poked the tacks through in a random pattern. 

At this angle, the camera picks up more of the foam peeking through. If I had an unlimited supply of tacks and had planned the completed look of this project from the start, I would have started at the bottom with the sequin ribbon instead – covered the bottom third of the cone – and then inserted the tacks into the foam beginning with the row that meets the ribbon and working up to the top.

Remember, I’m an admitted perfectionist, and my eyes don’t notice the foam.

How many tacks did I use for this project? Hmm. The tacks were purchased from Dollar Tree in a package of 300. I had already used some of the tacks out of the container, so I’m guessing this 7” tree has about 280 tacks.  It was a simple project to add a little more Christmas bling to my kitchen, and I may make 2 coordinating trees in different sizes next year – one with all thumb tacks and one with all sequin ribbon.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Humdinger Update - 2

We had another 10" of snow bringing our 3-day total up to 22". That's a little more respectable! The winter weather advisory has been extended until 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. 

Here's a shot from this morning - complete with fresh deer tracks. I know you can't see him, but I promise there's a unicorn buck in this photo. 

I enlarged an image of Unicorn's snowy head for you. Can you spot his single antler on the right?

Unicorn has made frequent appearances this season both in our backyard and on our stealth cam in the woods. 

I love the beauty of the snow, and it's really beginning to pile up now. This is the time of year when I can usually update the Snowfall Chart on a daily basis. No turning back!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Humdinger Update

We didn't lose any trees! Amen & Amen! We did lose power at 8:30 last night, but it was restored in just 1-1/2 hours. We were obviously thrilled about that. Our winter storm warning was supposed to last until 5:00 this morning, but it was extended to midnight tonight - and then canceled this afternoon and replaced by a winter weather advisory until 1:00 tomorrow morning. The snow was mostly falling in small pellets, so that helped us out considerably. I'm sure we had at least a foot at our house, but this storm was far from the biggest humdinger we've experienced. I'll update my snowfall chart with the official Keweenaw County total tomorrow.

The forecast leaves no doubt that winter has fully arrived in the Keweenaw. It sure is pretty out there!

The deer continue to hang around - even saw this small buck in the backyard again this morning!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Humdinger

Well, we're at the beginning of a humdinger of a winter storm this morning. 

We're talking about high winds and wet, heavy snow - not the usual powdery lake effect snow we get most of the winter. The lights have been blipping with increasing frequency since about 4:30 this morning, so I'm sure we'll lose power completely at some point. The forecast says 15" of snow is possible by tomorrow morning. Heavy snow + high winds = tree damage, so we won't be surprised if we also see some of that. I'll update you tomorrow IF we have power!

All is still well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Reflections

Let's look at that verse in context:
  Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
  Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
  Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.
  Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 
Psalm 24:8-10 and Psalm 25:1

Doesn't that make you think of Revelation 3:20?
  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

I'm so thankful that I threw open the everlasting door of my heart to the King of Glory back in 1980.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, December 1, 2017

One Down

Three more to go! 
(I may be slightly obsessed with Christmas decorating.)

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Fun Begins!

I love, love decorating for Christmas, but I'm not a gal who decorates the tree before Thanksgiving and takes it down the day after Christmas. I decorate after Thanksgiving and leave my Christmas decor up a week or two into January. In years past, I would try to do all my decorating within a day or so. That's a bit too tough on my back these days, so it may take me a week or more to finish. The fun is beginning, however!

I always do the big tree (aka The Keweenaw Tree) in the great room first.

Mr. Cut Off carried it up from the basement, and I fluffed.

He had the honor of placing the star on top, and I added the 8 strings of copper beads.

None of the ornaments are on the tree yet, but I had to step back and snap some photos. Can you find the deer outside photobombing my shot?

Hint: You can see the doe through the sliding door on the left near the reflection of the lamp. Click on the photo to see it larger.

Mr. Cut Off was also helpful in tacking up the 2 window wreaths above the sliding doors for me. 

Ornaments tomorrow!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, November 27, 2017

In Memory

Shirley J. Quinnan, 60, passed away on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at Gilchrist Hospice Center, Towson, MD. She was the wife of Stephen J. Quinnan of Parkton, MD. Shirley and Stephen were married on January 12, 1977, sharing 40 years together. Born on July 3, 1957, in Flint, Michigan, she was the daughter of the late Charles William and Etta Ellen (Bentley) Webster. Shirley worked as a customer service manager at Walmart Supercenter in Shrewsbury for 18 years. In addition to her husband, Shirley leaves to cherish her memory, a son, Jason E. Quinnan, his wife, Brittany and their daughter, McKenna of Abbottstown, PA; 8 siblings, David and Linda Webster of Port Charlotte, FL, Judy and Bill Clairmont of Port Charlotte, FL, Betty and Steve Carlton of Stewartstown, PA, Ellen Green of Vassar, MI, Patrick Webster of Vassar, MI, Kim and Lee Plakiotis of Port Charlotte, FL, James and Becky Webster of Saginaw, MI, Renee Webster and Scott Baldwin of Millington, MI; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Shannon M. Quinnan and a brother, Rev. Thomas C. Webster. All services are private at the request of the family. Hartenstein Funeral and Cremation Care, Inc., New Freedom, is assisting the family. Shirley loved children and her family. If you knew Shirley, you knew you were loved.


Sweet Shirley was one of the sisters of my first husband, the late Tom Webster. I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Shirley's passing. I can't stop thinking about her great sense of humor, and her infectious laugh has been on rewind in my mind since hearing of her death. I'm sorry that her precious granddaughter will not have the blessing of Shirley's abundant love and attention as she grows up. The earth is certainly a little less bright without Shirley on it, but I know she had a joyous reunion in heaven with her beautiful daughter, Shannon, and my beloved Tom; and we will see her again in the Sweet By and By. Please join me in asking the Lord to help Shirley's family through this difficult journey of grief. 

As I was thinking about Shirley this afternoon, my mind suddenly remembered something that happened here on Saturday. I had been watching a young deer in our yard for a couple of hours that morning. This was the youngster my husband has named Milkdud. It's the offspring of Chloe, our most frequent deer visitor. Chloe and Milkdud are here so often that they're almost pets. In fact, they're out there right now as I'm typing this. They're normally inseparable, so I was surprised that Chloe was absent for so long that morning. Finally, Chloe showed up and they had a sweet little reunion near the bird feeders. I snapped a few photos of Chloe licking Milkdud's head. 

When thinking about Shirley's reunion in heaven with her daughter, Shannon, it occurred to me that Chloe and Milkdud were meeting up in my backyard about the same time Shirley passed away on Saturday. I checked the time stamp on the photos. Sure enough! It was shortly after Shirley passed that Chloe was greeting Milkdud with a lick. The symbolism was not lost on me. It was just a sweet little picture of the wonderful greeting between mother and daughter in heaven!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Smarter Than Average

I really hate to brag, but I'm convinced that we have especially exceptional wildlife in the Keweenaw - and I now have photographic proof! 

It's no secret that we have a lot of deer frequenting our yard - sometimes 8 or more at once. The snow is so full of tracks that it resembles a railroad yard. We have 2 does that eat the seed directly out of our purple bird feeder that hangs on a shepherd's hook - like it's a baby bottle. They emptied it in about 20 minutes on Saturday and also ate what seed they could find on the ground under the yellow feeder hanging in the tree. One particular doe kept returning to the feeders all afternoon - probably checking to see if they had been replenished at some point. I saw her staring at the yellow feeder and knew she was probably going to do something I had seen her do on several occasions during the last week, so I grabbed the camera.

I sat in Mr. Cut Off's chair by the sliding doors and waited for a good wide shot. Miss Doe saw me, got a little camera shy, and decided to walk away. I figured she'd be back and kept the camera close at hand. Sure enough! She did come back a bit later. I was working on my laptop in another chair when I glanced up and saw this!

Tippitoes are sometimes necessary!

C'mon, she's surely smarter than your average deer!

I love the look on her face in that last shot. It's like she's saying, "So, whaddya think of that?!"  

And I must say that it's really surprising how long a deer can stand on 2 legs!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Morning Blues

Early winter mornings in the Keweenaw.

Blue - very blue.

Now, don't get the wrong impression. Blue does not reflect our current mood. We love our winters in the Keweenaw - even when they begin in October like they did this year!

At this very moment, Mr. Cut Off is out in the woods doing one of his very favorite activities - deer hunting. That definitely puts a smile on his face. He especially loves that the woods is just a few steps away from the house, so he gets to come in every night to eat dinner at his own table and sleep in his own bed. I can personally guarantee that there are no loudly snoring men at this deer camp - and Mr. Cut Off surely has the most comfortable bed!

Me? I'm happily baking my time away indoors. Gotta keep that hunter awake and well fed while he's sitting out in the woods if I want some more venison for the freezer. Just between you and me, he says he's been watching one that has "freezer" stamped on his side - unless a bigger one comes along.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, November 10, 2017

It came!

Is it really November 10th today? It seems like December! Here's a photo I snapped through the sliding doors yesterday afternoon. 
with deer tracks leading to the bird feeders

Our winter weather warning has now expired, and Keweenaw County says our official storm total was 11". That brings our seasonal total up to 27.5" thus far! Not a bad start, huh? 

Just a reminder:  As usual, I used the county's total for my snowfall chart (even though we had more than 11" on our property in the last 2 days). Although we're not far from the spot where the snow is measured, snow totals can vary widely within just a few miles up here. Some get more; some get less. 

The forecast is calling for daily highs above freezing beginning on Sunday for 6 or 7 days. That should clear the trees and reduce the size of some of our snow piles.

OK, it's off to work I go. Mr. Cut Off says he needs some homemade bread and cookies for his deer hunting lunches and snacks!

All is well in the Keweenaw.
UPDATE:  Friday, Nov. 10 - 11:42 a.m.

Look what I just noticed! Don't know how long it will last, but the sky is blue & the sun is shining! Yay!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It's Coming!

The official Keweenaw County total is now 16.5" and more snow is coming! We're told to expect up to 12-13" here in the higher terrain of the Keweenaw from late this afternoon through Friday morning. If that happens, we should set some new daily records. I'll keep you posted.

All is well in the Keweenaw.
UPDATE:  Thursday, Nov. 9

It's Still Coming!

9" of new snow since last night, and it's still falling. Our winter storm warning is expected to last until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. Winds are also supposed to pick up, so I'll be back with an update and a new snow chart in the morning - presuming we have power!

All is well (and very white) in the Keweenaw.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Looking Out

Before the trees emptied themselves of all their leaves, we were treated to quite a color show. . .

and we didn't have to be outside to enjoy it. Here's some of what we captured from inside the house - looking out.

The next 3 photos show what Mr. Cut Off could see from his spot at the dinner table.

This was my view when washing dishes.

Back in the great room.

And through the front door.

All is well in the Keweenaw.