Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Seashells and Lavender will be closed.

With the change of seasons, I've decided to make a big change in my life.
I'm closing up shop.
I've had my own business since 1994.
I started out with a dried flower business....growing my own flowers, drying them, and using them in arrangements.

I slowly built up clientele, and eventually businesses took notice.
After we moved to Houghton Lake I opened the store, "Country Gatherings".

The shop did well for a few years, but when the economy took a nose dive, so did my business.
I closed the shop, and ended up renting space in a larger shop down the road.
The owner recently decided to sell her place.
It's time for me to put my days of being in business to rest.

At the end of the month....Seashells and Lavender will be "closed".
The business, as well as the blog.
I will be going back to running the "Lakehouse" blog.
I'm hoping the new followers from Seashells and Lavender will follow me back to Lakehouse.
It's been a little confusing trying to get this blog going. I lost my blog roll, and the blogs I had been following for the past few years. I would have to go back and forth between blogs to keep up with my old friends.  I sincerely hope you understand why I'm doing this.
I learned some good lessons from doing both blogs, and made some great new friendships through Seashells and Lavender that I hope will continue over at Lakehouse.
I plan to continue with my posts the way they have been.....God, family, life, home.
Please don't give up on me.  
I'm just moving back to where I started.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sweet Surrender.

Sweet Surrender.
I am not ready to break out the Fall decorations yet.
Our boat is still in the water...waiting for just a few more days of that perfect combination of sun, and heat.
I have no choice but to admit to "September" with the earlier setting sun, and the cooler evenings.
Pulling on a sweatshirt before going out to sit by the campfire with a glass of wine, and good friends.

Our local market is filling up with mum plants, and gourds of all kinds.
It won't be long, and piles of pumpkins will fill the fields, and market bins.
A trip to my favorite winery,this weekend ,will fill my new wine cabinet.

Instead of serving my friends the usual summer Michigan salad on Tuesday, the menu will include a French salad, and potato soup, with some crusty French bread.
I am letting go of Summer a little at a time.
The seashells will give way to more candles as the darkness comes earlier in the evening hours.
As I slowly give in to Septembers' embrace, the sweet memories of Summer will be stored in my heart. The place where I hold the cherished times spent with loved ones.
It's time to look forward to a new season. Times filled with the excitement, and laughter of children. The anticipation of the coming holidays! More time spent with my children. 
One day at a time......

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Loving Summer!!!

The summer season here at the lake has been filled with people coming and going.
The past weekend was no exception.
Two of the girls, and their families, came up to stay(Kelly, and Erin). My nephew Jeff, from Chicago, brought his family up for the weekend also.
Zoey, and Sadie(Erin and Tony's girls) had spent the week with us, so they were already here when people started to arrive.
Fishing, tubing, swimming, floating down the canal on tubes, playing in the sand, and riding the golf cart kept everyone busy...and eating...eating was always going on!!

 However......The weekend is over.
Everyone went home.
The place is quiet once again.
The breeze is blowing in a cool summer rain.

As I stand over the kitchen sink, and look out the window, I miss seeing the kids running by.

No more hectic meal times.

The sound of laughter has subsided.
Today I hear the rain on the roof, and the wind in the trees.

No more slamming doors, and little feet running across the wood floors.

No need to sweep sand off the floors today.
The beach towels are all folded, and put away.

The peace, and quiet is bittersweet.
The house seems bigger when I'm here alone.
(The Mr. is at work).
I like it better when there are people here....sharing this space with me.
I am grateful for quiet times....but LOVE those moments when the house is full of laughter, and people that I love.  
The time between visits helps me appreciate it more when loved ones come up to visit, I guess.
I'm sure I can find something to do around wallpaper those steps!!
I sincerely hope that you are enjoying the summer as much as I am.
God Bless You!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fun at the lake.

It's been a busy summer here at the lake this year.
This week we have two more grandchildren staying with us.
This is Sadie, and Zoey.
Sadie is four, and Zoey just turned eight.

We just returned from the groomer with Bella, and wanted a picture before Bosco(Bella's brother) tore her ribbon out of Bella's hair.
I think we'll be busy this afternoon making Hollyhock dolls.
It won't be long, and the flowers will be finished blooming.
Summer is slipping away.

I thought I would add one of the dolls that we made.
This one was put together by Zoey.
If you look can even see she has bangs under her hat.
You can get really creative with these dolls.
When making these with the girls, we leave them pretty simple...yet sweet.
I hope your summer has been as joyful as mine has been so far.
There is plenty of fun yet to come! Get outside, and enjoy the season!
God bless you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vacation week.

It's vacation week for the Mr. and me.
We started out with a bike trip with my pretty sister Chris, her husband Kevin, and his brother Keith.
We started out at the Harley shop in Gaylord.
As we walked into the showroom, a beautiful bike was on display.
Kevin walked up to the bike, and sat on it.....SOLD!!!
An hour later, they were driving it up the road for the rest of our trip!
We drove through the Tunnel of Trees along the Lake Michigan shoreline, which was breathtaking!
Had lunch at Cross Village, then ended up in Mackinaw City for the night.
It was a fun trip with great people!!!

After returning home, we unpacked our gear.
Jim's brother and sister in law stopped in for the afternoon on their way up north for their vacation destination.
The next morning we packed the truck with the camping gear (tent) for the drive to Shipshawana, Indiana. We were going to the flea market!!
The first thing on my list was this vintage drainer to display some pretty dishes in.

I was also hunting for white shell buttons.
I found these for the pillows, and lavender sachets that I make.

While there, I try to pick up a couple of iron brackets.

I found more furniture, and pieces for an outdoor fairy garden.
I added these to the little water feature we have.

I love the bridge!
The grandkids are going to enjoy this, with the little waterfall.

This mailbox is heavy!
It's iron. The scroll work is really beautiful!
Can't wait to hang it on the porch.
We also picked up the usual Yoder's chicken stock for soups, and gravy. Also the Yoder's popcorn salt.
The market isn't like it used to be with vendors that sell antiques, and craft items. The place is filled with t-shirts, and sunglasses, and tons of imports. It's very disappointing from years past.
We did have a good time, however. The weather was sunny, and very hot.
My niece that has cancer will be coming up with her two little ones this weekend. So our vacation week isn't over yet!
We still have a lot going on this summer. More company coming up to stay with us to enjoy the lake!
Life is good!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Garden Fairies.

It looks like someone was here last night.
Whoever it was, must have been busy.

I keep this little birdbath in the sun room in the summer months, and in the living room in winter.

It seems a Garden Fairy, or two decided to make use of it this year.

I don't mind.
It also seems to be a haven for flowers, and dragon flies(the kind who's wings move via hidden cords).
If the fairies need a place to play in the evenings.....they are welcome here at the cottage.

It seems they have a bit of a beach-theme going on....with sand, and wee sea stars, and other shells strewn about.

It looks as though they left in a hurry.
I wonder if I startled them this morning?

I love the little chandelier hanging in the arbor!
So sweet.

Have you seen any Garden Fairies at your house this summer?
I'll try to get a picture of one.
They've got to be hiding here somewhere!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Blissful Summer.

I woke up late this morning.
Instead of the sounds of little feet pitter-pattering on the floors upstairs, I heard the songs of the birds outside my bedroom window.

All is quiet here at the cottage once again.

Two of my daughters, Kelly and Melissa were here with their children: Maddie, Charlotte, Olivia, Kayla, and Anson for a few days.

The cottage was full, and noisy, and bustling with energy!

There were towels, bathing suits, and sand everywhere!

And laughter.
Kids laughing, and screaming, and running.
Sounds echoing off the water all day long.

We did some heavy duty power eating, too.
It seems we were always hungry.

But now all is quiet.
As I type this post, all I hear are the keys clicking, and the Robins singing their songs.
I thought I was ready for things to get back to "normal" here at our cottage.
But there is a certain sadness here.
No little people climbing up next to me on the sofa, asking me what I'm doing.
No one asking for a bowl of Fruit Loops Cereal.
No one wondering where their bathing suit, and beach towel is.
No doors slamming.
No one asking to go on a golf cart ride.
No one....just me.
Since the van pulled away yesterday....full of my dear ones....I've felt teary eyed.
I went to work after everyone left. All day it felt like something was missing. My arms felt like they were supposed to be holding on to someone, or hugging someone.  Like a part of me was lost.
Even my Mr. called me at the pharmacy to say he missed the kids. Then he stopped up at work, because he missed everyone.
You would think I would appreciate some peace, and quiet after all of the craziness of the last two or three weeks....instead....
I would love for them all to come back in a heartbeat.
Maybe it's the knowing that Summer is half over already.
All I do know is....this was the best time I've had in a very long time.  I'm thankful that God has blessed me with the moments I've had to spend with the people that I love.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Annual summer fun day.

Here we are, at Michigan Adventure Amusement Park for our annual family summer fun day.
It's an amusement park, and a water park in one.

Most of the kids love the roller coasters...even the youngest ones.
I'm the one that screams the most when I ride them!!!
We spend half the day at the water park, and half in the amusement park.
We all look forward to going every year.

The best part of the day is seeing the smiles on the kids faces, and knowing that they have enjoyed themselves.
What fun things do you do with your family in the summer?
Any special trips, or places that you visit?

Happy July 4th to you!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hello Summer.....

Summer officially begins here at our cottage today.
Maddie will be staying the week with us.
I will be picking her up this afternoon.

There was a neighborhood party, yesterday, to welcome the newcomers that moved here in the past few months.
Plus, it was a great way to kick off the summer season.
Lots of people, and lots of fun!
The evening ended with a bonfire, which was soooo enjoyable!

As I was taking this picture, a Chickadee was just landing on the birdbath in the background.
He made sure to let me know I was invading his space!

The roses are starting to bloom...but the rabbits are feasting on them in the cottage garden.
I am NOT happy about that at all!
They strip the canes of all the leaves first. Then they start chewing down the stems.

I've been seeing everyone using their canning jars for vases again.
It must be the summer that brings them out.
I agree that the color of the jars compliment fresh flowers of any kind, and color.

This is the time of year I start making lavender sachets.
My stash dwindles, and I need to stock up for little gifts for special friends that need a little pick me up, or a just because......
It's a good thing that it's flea market season.
My stock of vintage lace is getting quite low.
The white, pearl buttons are getting more difficult to they are on my list also.
Summer goes by so fast. With so many things to do, and people to share time with, I wish the season lasted longer.  I might not appreciate it as much as I do, though.  So I make each moment count!
So.....ready or not, here it comes....Enjoy!