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September 30, 2013

Out and About Weekend Trip to Manistee Michigan


 On Sunday we took a little road trip to Manistee.  It's about 67 miles away but a nice roll through the countryside.

There were pops of color over there, much more than our area.  I only had my iPhone and I captured some shots out my car window as moseyed along.

 I thought this was a cute display.  

We are approaching a scenic turn off in Arcadia.
It has commanding views of Lake Michigan and the countryside.  I did a post on our visit here in 2011 that you are welcome to view "here"
Note: This picture is from October 2012
I've always wondered about the church's steeple that you can see from here, so this time we drove into the town of Arcadia and found it.

 Trinity Lutheran
 Turns out to be historically significant
Completed in 1888

Pretty street with a canopy of trees.
We were surprised to see so much color since it's only the end of September.

 As we drove by the Fire Department the doors were wide open and made for a nice picture.  The cupola above is so cute.
See the bell, dog, hat and the 24/7 
Cute!

  As we approached Manistee I could see a black cloud of smoke which turned out to be exhaust from this large ship.  We decided to follow it and jumped to three locations to capture some pictures. This is a river that connects between Lake Michigan and Manistee Lake.  

 As you can see it's called the Manitowoc
I did some research and found out it's a ship built back in the early 70's- it's been managed by a few different companies and was recently renamed the Manitowoc  (It needs a paint job!)  It hauls coal and stone.

 A friendly couple pulled in next to us in their 
1950 Bel Air.  He said to me "hey we're both driving black cars" and I replied "yes but yours is a lot classier!"  Definitely show room perfect!

 The ship is heading for the open waters of Lake Michigan

This ship is a bit shorter (630 ft.) than the Edmund Fitzgerald (728 ft.).  I couldn't help but think about the Edmund Fitzgerald as I watched this ship heading out to the big lake.

We headed back into the downtown area to do some shopping.  I should have done a better job of taking pictures of the buildings.  It's a Victorian town with a lot of architectural details that have been preserved.

The Ramsdell Inn building is a real gem.

I had Dan stand there to give a reference to the height of this corner detail.

This store has all sorts of things for kitchens and dining.  I thought this was an interesting display.
I found a nice April Cornell tablecloth.

An empty store's storefront window had this display I thought it was cute.  It's a hollowed out piece of a tree that they draped a sign across it (which I thought was creative) and trimmed it with faux flowers and pumpkins.

 In another store some rag rugs from India- I like the color choices.  My mom used to get rag rugs from a source in the UP of Michigan.  They weren't so designer'ish though- more of a hodge podge of whites, pinks, blues etc.

 I stepped into an Antique Store and found lots of nice things.  My  mother has always loved dolls and has a collection at home. She has a reproduction piece that looks a lot like this one, but this is a real antique.  I'd loved to have bought it for her, but I had to pass it up.

This little gem caught my attention.  I'm pretty sure that this is salt glazed pottery.  After I got home I did some research on it and it may be an old McCoy or Hall piece.  The person who had it in the store on consignment said it's from 1880.  I bought it because I loved the blue roses and the waffle like exterior.  It's about 8 inches across- I think it may have been a butter crock.  It's probably supposed to have a lid.

  On our way home more bits of fall beauty.  In the next couple of weeks it's going to become quite colorful around here!

I'm joining 
The Tablescaper for







 


September 26, 2013

Welcome to my Fall on the Outside

Each year I make some sort of presentation on our deck by the steps.  We don't have a formal entry so I try to make this walk up area feel like it's my entrance.

Welcome!
I found this cute sign at JoAnn's for half off- not bad!  I knew it was going to be a part of my fall entry on the deck.

I've got a purple mum that's still opening but it will add a nice pop of color among all the oranges and yellows!

 The lantern has a battery operated candle in it that comes fixed to the base.  I tried to stuff some acorns and fake pumpkins inside for added color.  It got rained on for several days and rusted.  Fortunately it was not expensive since I got it at T.J. Maxx a couple of years ago.


I used my large Rooster statue to anchor the corn stalks around.  I think he will show up better as the stalks dry up more and turn brown.

I love to find a variety of colors shapes and sizes. 

I like the warty pumpkins and this year they had them with the green which gave it a whole new look!
The leaves are courtesy of mother nature!

I added some kale plants that I put in apple baskets.

 As you can see we are still very green around here but it will soon change.  

Off to the right is our side door entrance.  I enhanced a wreath I got from JoAnn's by added some fall accented ribbon behind it.  It's squeezed between our storm door so it has to be shallow in depth.

So that's my outside fall decorating.  I'll add some touches for Halloween but not for a while.


I'm joining
French Country Cottage
for
Feathered Nest Friday
 and
A Stroll Thru Life 
for
Inspire Me Tuesday 

September 25, 2013

Time for Apples!


Michigan is enjoying one of the best apple crops in many years.   These are my new favorite Honey Crisp apples.  They are both a great eating apple and an excellent pie apple!
 
Once again I'm using my new favorite "Buffalo Plaid" tablecloth from Williams Sonoma (clearanced) but this time with these rooster accented placemats.   

 The napkins were a sale item from Pottery Barn 
a little while ago.  I decided to use them as a visual accent so I popped them in the glass.

I got these Honey Crisp apples up at the Farmer's Market and made the best apple pie I can remember in a long time! They are a little softer than the Granny Smith's I usually use so you can cut back on baking time a few minutes so they don't turn into mush.  My recipe is 6 apples, peeled, cored & cut into slices. Put apples in large bowl.  Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 tsp. of Apple Pie Spice. Mix those ingredients and toss over the apples in the bowl.  Gently work the apples to get coated and whatever is left that didn't stick gets poured over the apples once they're in the pie pan.
I used the Pillsbury pie dough for my pies.  I prepare the pie dish with the first layer of pie dough, then put the apples in.  I dot with several tabs of butter. Cover with the top layer and bake at 450 for 15 minutes to set the pie crust, reduce to 350 for up to 45 minutes.  When you see the bubbling it's done.


Pie does not last long in this house!  This one got a little extra brown but it was still good.

Farmhouse Rooster (in Dijon) placemats from Williams Sonoma (clearanced).  It's pretty large but it does allow for all the dishes, silverware and drinkware to fit on it....which can help keep the tablecloth clean!

The dinner plate was from Cracker Barrel (2 yrs. ago) and has no pattern name.

The golden yellow plates are from Pier 1 Imports around 2 yrs ago

The bowl and coffee mug are called the 
Madison Collection by Home Essentials and Beyond

 A table for two which is the norm around here!

The brown (beer) bottle with sunflowers was an idea I got about 5 years ago from a small store we had in town.  They wanted a lot for them so I never bought one. Theirs had the artificial water in them, but I opted out on trying it.   My husband had some special beer given to him and I latched onto the bottle because it had the exact look I wanted.  About the same time I saved the bottle I was at Pier 1 and saw these new sunflowers in stock. I liked how real they looked so I grabbed them.  It's super simple and until that brown bottle showed up I just never got around to it.

 This is where it usually resides. 

Time to make more apple pie!

Thanks for coming by!

I'm joining 
Cuisine Kathleen for her
Let's Dish
Apple Theme Challenge
and
Tablescape Thursday

September 23, 2013

Autumn Greetings

 It's officially here!

I wandered about the yard today and snapped off a bunch of pictures.  I saw the sunlight hitting these trees through the woods and it captured my attention.  I felt very fall like.

Not that I want to rush the seasons, but I think I'm ready to rest a bit from tending to all my flowers and plants.

  We've had an unusual amount of rain lately and I haven't had to worry about watering anything.   I haven't been seeing the hummingbirds anymore- I'm sure they headed south already.

Dried leaves fall even though the trees haven't turned yet.
It starts to get messy.


My garden areas are still alive and well, but there are some telltale signs that the plants are done for the season.

The hydrangeas are starting to change and get that papery look.  This is a small PeeGee Hydrangea tree.

For days the bees been all over these flowers on the 
Autumn Joy Sedum.  It was very chilly last night and these guys were not moving fast at all.  We had a frost warning but it didn't happen.

I noticed my little girl statue looked like she was staring at the sedum too! 

 You can see some leaves that have nestled in here already. 

My Queen Elizabeth Rose is taller than me now!
(Grandiflora)

I've had the best luck with this rose bush.  It's not much for fragrance like a tea rose is, but it has the looks.  Our northern climate has proven to be difficult for some of the roses I've tried over the years.  This one is a keeper!

I tore apart my planters in front of the garage.  The plants in them had become quite unruly and I was ready to see some fall coloring.  I did spare this one because the bees have been so active on it.  

I had an idea that Dan helped me put together with the planters.  I created a Mum and Pumpkin topiary with gourds.  

I've also decorated my deck which is where everyone first comes to when visiting.



  

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