Monday, August 26, 2013

Your Island Getaway

Here in the Midwest, we don’t have mountain views, tropical sunsets, ocean front property, or even a Disney to keep us entertained. 

We’ve got lakes though, great big lakes – five of them to be exact.  And I’ve been lucky to live near two of these Great Lakes in my life, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.  Both of them, I consider wonderful gems in our region.

Riding to a scenic point at Kelleys Island
Our lakes come with endless opportunities for summertime (and wintertime) fun – sandy beaches, all types of watersports, lighthouses and festivals. 

Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Ohio
Our lakes even come with islands and ferries to take you to them.   Kelleys Island, Pelee Island and Put in Bay on South Bass Island are favorite getaways in our area.  

Preparing to load the Kelleys Island ferry
Ferry boat rides to get to the islands are fun themselves.  You can even bring your bike along and ride around the islands.   

The boat ride toward Kelleys - choppy waters today
Once on the islands, you can enjoy scenic views, beautiful parks, quaint restaurants, historic landmarks, and pubs and wineries with great live music.    

Mon Ami Winery on Catawba Island
Summer may be quickly winding down, but there is still time to take a little trip across the lake before the ice and snow are upon us. 

Relaxing bike ride on Kelleys

Come to think of it, we don’t really need a Disney here after all.  Just book your island getaway today right here in the great Midwest.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Autumn, a New Beginning

It’s coming………

Autumn, my favorite time of the year, is coming.  I can smell it.
Last year's pumpkin door décor. 
Evenings are a bit cooler, road side farm markets are brimming with nature’s goodies, and there’s a tinge of color across the landscape.

Folks are donning their favorite college football wear, and I’m seeing a few jeans out there.  For many of us, fall is a new beginning.  Back to school, back to work, or just back into the groove.

Last fall's front door décor - maybe I will paint the door black this year.
Of course, we still have time to enjoy the end of our summer.  We have the fun of Labor Day and festivals, and we always have Indian summer. 

Even so, it is really tempting to me to start decorating for fall.  It is this time of year that I start dreaming about pumpkins, all kinds of pumpkins and gourds.  I love them. 
Pumpkins and gourds galore!
Burlap is big and everywhere this fall.  I love how its earthiness pairs with the rustic colors of mums and pumpkins.    And check out this great pumpkin lantern that I found at Homegoods.  I can’t wait to put him on my doorstep with a big candle in him.  I am also working on a new fall tablescape.

Big terra cotta pumpkin lantern for my front porch. 
For now though, I will be sure to enjoy every bit of summer that we have left, as it will be a long time before we see it again in the Midwest.  I will wait patiently for all the warmth and the new beginning autumn will bring.

Happy New Beginning!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Dollhouse

You see, I have this dollhouse, a very old dollhouse.  My dollhouse hasn’t had a real purpose in a long time as it just sits all alone in our basement…collecting dust.   I think my cat has even slept in it. 
My dollhouse.  It never had a door.
It was actually a very old and dusty dollhouse when my Dad found it in an attic years ago.  I guess he thought it was kind of neat because he brought it home to see if my Mom could do anything with it.

After all, my Mom is very creative.
A bedroom with curtains made from a ruffle from real size curtains.

For a while, which seemed like forever, I wasn’t allowed to go downstairs because Mom was working on a PROJECT, a project down in our basement. This was nothing out of the ordinary because she always did projects down there – candle making, wreaths and so on. 

But… one night I forgot.  I forgot that I wasn’t supposed to go downstairs…  I was merely looking for my Mom to ask her a question.
The living room and stairs.  The wallpaper is a remnant from our Michigan house foyer. 
And then I saw it, the PROJECT.  The PROJECT that I guessed I wasn’t supposed to see.  I didn’t really know what I saw, but I know that whatever this PROJECT was it had a red roof. 

I quickly shut the door and never said a word. 
What was once a really cute bathroom and kitchen.
And then I waited,

And waited,

And waited……. all the way until Christmas morning. 

Then I finally knew.  The PROJECT was for me! 

And boy, was it a beauty with lovely décor and furniture and a family.  
Side windows in need of shutters and window boxes.
Alas, here it stands dilapidated, dusty and in need of someone to love it again. 

Who knows?   Maybe someday, a new family will move into it and make it lovely once again. 
The house colors mimicked our Michigan house.