Tuesday, July 30, 2013


By Becca

Everything is cuter when it's tiny isn't it?

I'm mean, really, if this little guy looked more like this…

Not so endearing, is he?

But, this post isn't about toads, as you probably can tell by the title. How'd we get here anyway?

Oh yes, tiny things :) 

Something that my sister and are becoming rather well acquainted with.  

It all started at a garage sale.  Wonderful things garage sales, never quite know what treasures you will find :)  We were innocently admiring a large and beautiful dollhouse at one such place, it looked (for all you who were wondering) like this -

Lovely house, don't you think?

The lady who owned the house approached us, we chatted a bit. Told her how nice we thought the house was and then we wandered off to other sales.

Shortly after, she contacted us, and asked if we would be willing to decorate the house for her.
Of course we said yes, excited to exercise our interior decorating skills.

We went to her house to pick up the dollhouse, and she told us her terms.
The house should be decorated in victorian style, she wanted and piano and a family.
There was no deadline and she would reimburse us for our time and money.
Her max budget was $100.

That all sounded great to us, we loaded it into the back of our vehicle and headed home.
However, soon as we discovered that a pleasant looking victorian family cost $100+ we realized how challenging this project was.
It would require, creativity, ingenuity, and a lot of thriftiness. 
Are we the type to back down from a challenge?
Not a chance! :)

It was fairly easy at first, the house came sparsely furnished. 
We stained, painted and upholstered the appropriate pieces of furniture all using materials we had at home.  We found little things at thrift stores and salvaged a few trinkets. Actually we didn't spend any considerable amount of money on the house untill we went to Michigan, there we bought a darling crib and found a adorable specialty shop called "Wee Dollhouse".
It was overwhelming.

It was there where we saw the full potential of doll house decorating, and we knew that we wouldn't even be close with our project's budget.
But we oohed and ahhed over the delicate minuscule details, and were slightly shocked at price tags.
But we left there with a piano, four sheets of wallpaper and a complementary dollhouse magazine from the nice lady who owns the shop.

That day we also found the same kind of rugs in "Wee Dollhouse" that were priced at $6 in a thrift store for only 25 cents! 
We were very excited!

Beth and I have spent $79.14 of our $100 budget, you would't believe how fast money can fly.
We still are lacking a master bed, and miscellaneous items to make the house look homey.
We'll manage, somehow… 

To be continued...

U.P. Adventure

By: Beth
Photography by Becca (mostly)


This was the first bear we spotted on our Michigan vacation last week.  Thank goodness he was only a very realistic wood carving.  We actually didn't see any live bears, or moose (which we were really hoping to see, but they remained elusive). 
This year's summer vacation was sort of my graduation present so I was able to choose where we went. We have friends who live in lower Michigan, and our dad grew up there, so we have made a few trips in that direction, but never to the upper peninsula.  So that's where we went!

Beautiful Lake Superior. Our first stopping place was Munising, MI.  Driving through M.N, W.I., and then into the upper peninsula of M.I. was such a change from the flat, grassy prairies where we live. Trees, trees everywhere….but no moose!  (did I already mention that we really wanted to see a moose?).  Chipmunks, squirrels, snakes, seagulls, and sand hill cranes were the extent of the wildlife we saw.  Oh yeah, and deer. But we see those all the time :)

Munising Falls
Miner's Falls

"Quick! Take the picture before the mosquitoes eat us alive!" 

Miner's Castle 
At Miner's Beach
Pontoon ride along Picture Rocks
The water was so clear, we could see straight to the rocky bottom

The colors come from different mineral deposits

Spray Falls

Spray falls marked the boundary of how far we could take the pontoon boat, so we dropped anchor here and had lunch. This is also where I jumped off the boat for a swim…a swim in 50 degree water, brrrrrr! It was very cold, but refreshing :) 

Next stop was St. Ignace, a town right across from Mackinac Island.

Parasailing! Our very first time, and as you can see from Becca's face (maybe from mine too),
 we were a little bit nervous.
Off we go!

Mom and Dad went first, and had a lovely, smooth ride. When Becca and I went up, the wind had picked up a bit and we blew around more. It was still awesome to be up there, but when we came down, our stomachs were a wee bit queasy  :)

Riding the Ferry to Mackinac. I'm not sure who that crazy guy in front of us is :)
Mackinac Bridge, connecting lower and upper Michigan, and dividing two of  the Great Lakes,
Huron and Michigan.
A victorian era main street.
No cars allowed, the only transportation are horses, bicycles, or  your own two legs.
Just one of the beautiful mansions on the island

Riding tandem bicycles around the island turned out to be a lot harder then we thought. The original plan was for Mom and Dad to ride one, and Becca and I to ride another. Well, I got on the front of ours and tried to steer straight ahead...but it didn't quite work :) I wobbled down the street until Becca decided she could do a better job. So we switched places but the turnout was the same. Mom and Dad, who had managed to figure it out quite easily, stopped when they didn't see us coming behind. We walked the unruly bike to where they were and switched riders and drivers around. It went much better after that :)

A view of the lake from Ft. Mackinac.  
                                     After a day on Mackinac, we went back to the U.P.

Going on a boat tour of the Soo Locks. The Locks allow freighter ships to get to
and from Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.
Lower Tahquamenon Falls.    
                                 Upper Falls (much more impressive)
Oh, yes… and lots of stairs :)  93 to get to the viewing platform for the upper falls,
 and 100 something more to get to another viewing platform.
We were very tired at the end of that day :)

Well, there is the highlights of our vacation!  After leaving the Upper Peninsula we visited friends in lower Michigan, and went "junkin' " (going to garage sales and thrift stores and looking for treasures.  We did find some nice ones by the way, but that's another post), and then headed home.  We were glad to be back, to see our rabbits, and how much our garden had grown. 
But now, we are so behind in posting!  Get ready for a flood of new posts coming up.   :)

Friday, July 19, 2013


by: Beth

  This past week we had some exciting adventures in farm-sitting.  Some friends of ours were going out of town and asked us to watch their farm.  Chores had to be done twice a day and included making sure that the...






 and the goats had food and water,

 collecting eggs, 
keeping an eye on the incubator,

 and milking the goats (That's our mom in the picture).

Goat milking was a new thing for us to learn, but we caught on pretty quickly.  At least, we thought so… The goats had other ideas… The goats didn't like it if we took too long, and either tried to leave, or lay down. They really couldn't leave because their heads were locked in the milking stand (most of the time)  but they did try to lay down a few times, much to our annoyance.  :)

The cats loved milking time, and would eagerly await the milk we would squirt in their direction. Of course, no one's aim is perfect…

Tubby (kitty in the picture) didn't seem to mind.

Look at that precious face.  You would never think trying to hold her would be like wrestling a mountain lion, but Becca has the battle scars to prove it.

We told our friends that we would have the kittens tamed by the time they returned home, but…things are easier said then done :)

We tried sneaking up on them, which works if you have really great reflexes and can grab them before they shoot off to their secret lair (a stack of boards in the barn).  Once you get a hold of them, you have to endure scratching, biting, and yowling until they surrender, or reluctantly accept that you are going to hold on to them and pet them whether they like it or not  :)

There were also some instances involving escaped goats, dead racoons, and a distressed goose family, but other then that, farm-sitting went well and we had a fun time. Thanks, Scott & Becky, for trusting us with your farm!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Meet Sarah-Jane

by: Beth

  This is Sarah-Jane, our newest addition to the rabbitry.  I know she looks just like Stormy, but black rabbits do tend to have that resemblance :).  Sarah-Jane is actually Stormy's replacement since Stormy is officially retired.  Since she was four years old, and had three unsuccessful breedings this Spring, we thought it would be best to find her a new home.  It really worked out well, because we found Sarah-Jane, and rehomed Stormy all in the same week!
  But this is Sarah-Jane's welcome post, not Stormy's retirement party, so I'll try to stay on task  :)

Sarah-Jane is about two months old, very darling, and to all you Doctor Who fans out there, yes, she is named for Sarah-Jane Smith, one of our favorite companions of the Doctor.
  I let her out in the rabbit fence this afternoon to take some pictures of her, but she was having such a blast running around that she wouldn't hold still!  So I had to put her in a smaller pen, which made her very sad.  That's why she's staring wistfully out of her chicken wire prison in the picture above.  Then she ran franticly back and forth, bumping her little nose against the sides until she collapsed... 

After a minute she caught her breath and was back to hopping about, so I didn't get any good pictures of her sweet little face.
  Sarah-Jane also has a pedigree (a record of her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents).  Since we don't breed rabbits for show, it doesn't really matter, but it was fun to see her ancestor's names and that some of them had seven to twelve legs-

Yes, you read correctly, but these "legs" are actually awards from shows.  Sarah-Jane's great grandparents were prize winners, not centipedes.  I'm not sure why they're called legs… I'll have to do some research on that I guess.

Oh, and before I forget… 

                                Happy Independence Day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ridin' with the Fishes

By Becca

The gravel road to a friend's farm has turned into a pond

That title sounds weird doesn't it? Well it's true.

After the tornado it rained each night for days, water water everywhere ( and lots in the basement ).

We weren't very surprised when we went on our morning bike ride, that the lake water has risen dramatically, but we were surprised to hear fish rustling in the grass and then swimming alongside us on the road : )

I have photo evidence.

It was rather daunting, coming round a bend in the road and seeing the road disappear. After a bit of discussion we went for it, walking our bikes through the ankle deep water.

As soon as we entered the water, we knew we where not alone.  A sudden splash a few feet ahead,  swishing grass to our left and rippling water to our right told us that we had company…

 The size of the fish was what startled us most, they were (we guessed) about 12 to 16  inches!

There were groups of two or three all along the flooded road, and they made the walk quite entertaining.

I was tempted to try to grab one and bring him home in my bike basket : )

The road emerged from under the water and we mounted our bikes again.  On the return trip, we were brave and road on through. The fish swam alongside ( I didn't take any pictures of that, as I was more focused on keeping my bike from capsizing )

We took a quick break to check out the dock ( which was also submerged).

 Can you see the minnows?

Look at the bottom right corner, isn't that so cool?!

Yes, that is Beth way over there.
 I tend to lag behind whenever I bring my camera :)

 On the way home I found a painted turtle,but  he didn't like me.  He tried to run away when I took his picture and he hissed at me when I adjusted him… I thought he was cute.

The waters have receded now and the road is dry.  
It will be hard to forget the morning when we road with the fishes.
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