Michigan Roadtrips

I love Michigan and have lived here all my life. Within one to four hours in any direction, you can take an endless number of road trips and discover fun things to do.  (Under the “Michigan” category, you can bring up earlier posts – and I hope you will.)  

We’ve got countless lakes at every turn, gorgeous weather and amazing vineyards as well as sports, casinos, festivals, concerts, theaters, galleries, universities, zoos, great restaurants, parks and markets….you get it, right?

I’m sharing a couple of slideshows of road trips I’ve made over the last four weeks, from St Clair and Marysville to Traverse City, Lake Leelanau, Cedar and Suttons Bay. If you have a chance to visit Michigan, these are a few of my favorite places.

  1. St Clair & Marysville

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2. Traverse City, Cedar, Lake Leelanau & Suttons Bay

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Beauty in my garden 

We’ve finally had several days of what I call “serious rain”.

Enough that I have to dump the decorative pots holding some of my larger, deck-potted plants.

Enough that it doesn’t evaporate immediately after it stops and best of all sometimes falling all through the night.

As a result everything looks lush, green….and overgrown. I’ve been going out for 1-2 hours each day to dead-head, pull weeds and ground cover that has taken over.  While doing so today, I was thrilled to see that finally, one of my 3 hydrangeas has a blossom.  Snapdragons and moss roses are coming up in the cracks between pavers as successfully as the ones planted in containers and beds.

Even my garlic chives have flowered! Here’s what’s up in my garden oasis….

Perfectly Beautiful Saturday

FullSizeRender 561

With the first of our three day Fourth of July weekend, the weather here in Michigan couldn’t be any more perfect.  In fact ever since Wednesday this week it has been gorgeous including cooler nights and even a pretty solid and much needed rainfall in the wee hours Friday.

Spence and I choose to stay home on holiday weekends as the majority of the state heads “up north”.  The Great Lakes State, Michigan has much to offer the farther north you travel and it’s stunning.  However, there’s also traffic, construction and people pulling boats, jetskis and various other toys.  We’re retired and can travel anytime plus when everybody else leaves town, it’s quiet and laid back.

With a soft breeze, brilliant blue sky and fluffy white clouds drfting above us we’re enjoying the garden.  I picked the first 5 raspberries earlier, eating them right off the bush, like a bite of warm raspberry pie. In a bit, Spence will fire up the grill and I’ll open a bottle of wine and we’ll be chillin’.

Indeed, it’s a perfectly beautiful Saturday.

 

 

Sunday Poppies

Three colors of poppies appeared this morning, adding brilliant pops of red, peach and pale pink to the iris and spiderwort-filled flowerbed.  There is something really special about the paper-thin petals and the deep black centers. I couldn’t resist going out at 6:30 a.m. and getting a few photos.

 

Sunday’s Blooms – May 29, 2016

 

In Michigan, we’ve had summer like temps but little to no rain. As a result, the garden is growing quickly, everyday yielding new blooms. This morning I was thrilled to see even more blooms in the garden, including my Dwarf Korean Lilac.

FullSizeRender 375

FullSizeRender 387

FullSizeRender 410

Much to my surprise, under the lilac bush, I found two of the feral kittens born about seven weeks ago on our porch.  I imagine that the fragrance of the lilacs is relaxing for them.

FullSizeRender 397
Clematis, one of three varieties I have around the garden
FullSizeRender 396
This first of many Clematis blossoms to come
FullSizeRender 416.jpg
The first of my poppies!

Lots of shades of purple and yellow abound.

As I strolled around this morning, I found several “volunteers” that I didn’t plant but am happy to see all the same.  My rule is, if it’s growing in a crack but it’s a flower, vegetable or herb – leave it be!

59 Candles, 59 Things – part forty four

FullSizeRender 179

 

Fifty second thing: Living my entire life in Michigan has assured that I’ve always experienced the change of seasons. My favorites are Spring and Fall as they provide the most dramatic and profound shifts each year.  As we are enjoying Spring in Michigan right now, I had to feature it as one of the “59 Things” that make me happy.

In recent weeks, we’ve enjoyed temps near 80 and serious lows, including a freeze warning last night. We’ve had cool spring rains (and hail) at night, providing moisture for green grass and flowers.

My community has numerous flowering crab and cherry trees, “tulip trees” and rhododendron blooming now, while other trees are bursting forth with leaves overnight.  It’s thrilling to see everything come back to life after looking gray, dead and dreary for months.

Anxious to garden, I’ve purchased large pots of pansies for my front porch and deck.  I cleaned out numerous flower beds, then mulched (31 bags of pine bark mini-nuggets).  Tulips, daffodils, lily of the valley, peonies, poppies and hostas are all emerging so quickly that if you sit still and watch, you’ll see them growing.

Today I purchased jalapeno, green bell pepper, sweet red and yellow pepper plants.  For my herb garden, I purchased: rosemary, cilantro, lemon thyme, flat leaf parsley, sweet basil, French cooking thyme and bush basil (aka Greek Basil).  For now, they’ll remain in my sunny kitchen window…..soon to join a recently planted rosemary plant and the returning perrenial chives, garlic chives and chocolate mint in my herb bed.  I didn’t find sage today at the nursery but I’ll do so in the coming weeks.

Everything is coming back to life.  With mild longer days and the promise of Michigan’s beauty returning after the winter, Spring once again, makes me grateful and very happy.

FullSizeRender 176
2016 Herb Garden….and so it begins!

For more of the “59 Candles, 59 Things” series click on categories, then “59 Things”. I started this series nearly a year ago on my 59th birthday to share 59 things that make me happy, we’re now approaching the final stretch.  What makes you happy?

 

“Happy to Be Me” Book Launch Party

I recently posted about the book, “Happy to Be Me” written by my lifelong BFF and mentioned the upcoming party to launch it.

On Friday evening, the party took place with a great turnout and lots of enthusiasm.


And food…… an absolutely beautiful buffet of healthy selections including salads, deviled eggs, dips, pita bread, crackers, fruits, phyllo tarts, vegetables, cheeses and a dessert table as well. Delicious!

While Karen (author) and Lauryn (photographer) mixed, mingled and signed books, the children featured in the book had a reunion of sorts as they recognized each other.

A highlight for all was when Lauryn corralled her “models” for an impromptu photo op. With Karen joining them, the picture reflects the darling and happy kids that they are.


“Happy to Be Me” can be purchased on Amazon, author Karen Dickey.