Lately: Late August Edition

A few weeks ago I harvested our first garlic from the garden. It's now curing on a fancy screen Christian found in the loft of the shed. Very exciting!

Last week we went to an interesting little tool-shed-turned-music-venue in Green Bay to see Christian's cousin, Mandy Fer, play. She's been on a tour with Dave McGraw and this was the first time we got to see her perform. We had so much fun. Dave & Mandy have a kickstarter campaign going right now to fund their next album. Check it out!

Last weekend we went to Christian's cousin Kyle's wedding at a fancy hunting club near Johnson Creek, WI where I wore the shortest dress I've ever worn out in public. (I prefer knee-length or longer.) On the drive there we followed Siri's directions. She took us into the back hunting fields and told us we would have to walk to our destination. Um, no. Public service announcement: don't always trust your GPS!

And, just because he has a cute smile, here's Winston.

What have you been up to lately?


4th Wedding Anniversary

Christian and I are celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary today but we've been together for 8 years now. Eight years ago we visited our first lighthouse together - Au Sable Lighthouse in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan.

On our most recent vacation we went back to that very lighthouse and climbed up to the catwalk just like we did all those years ago.

2006 - We looked so young! The second is not the most flattering picture of us but I'm glad we have it. You know how people say that you start to look like your spouse after awhile? I can totally see that change in these photos. Kind of creepy. 

And check out this view!

While we've visited many lighthouses since then, Au Sable will always hold a special place in my heart. 


A Bad-Ass Birthday

Instead of gifts, Christian and I take each other on a surprise adventure for our birthdays. We never tell each other where we're going - just what to wear and what to pack. (In past years I've taken him to a water park, biking on the Elroy-Sparta trail, go-karting and a demolition derby, beer tasting, zip lining, etc.) 

This year for Christian's birthday we did something that we've never done before - we went to the shooting range! I've shot guns before but that was over 15 years ago. I seem to remember getting knocked on my butt by my dad's muzzle loader. I thought the range would be a good opportunity to try out some different guns since we've been talking about getting something for out at the farm to take care of problem animals such as sick raccoons.  

I had purchased a Groupon for unlimited lane and gun rental for 2 people at the Family Shooting Academy. When we got to the range we had the whole place to ourselves so one of the employees was able to spend a lot of time with us. We wanted to start with something small so we held a few different hand guns and found one we wanted to shoot. The guy showed us how to handle the gun, load it, shoot, etc. and how to stay safe at the range. After we bought some ammo we headed into the range to start shooting. I was really nervous but after firing off a few rounds I relaxed and had a great time.

After firing the 22 gauge handgun we picked out a 22 gauge rifle. Then next it was on to a 9 mm handgun and rifle. Boy - did those have some kick! I only shot 10 rounds with the rifle and my shoulder was already sore. The rifle was a little too heavy for me too. I did better with the handguns. 

While we both agreed that we had a good time, I don't think we'll make going to the shooting range a regular activity. I do have to say that firing a gun is very empowering. I felt pretty bad-ass.


A Strange Kitchen Visitor

Last night I was putting together a dish to take to a potluck picnic later today. Christian came in from outside and said while looking at the stovetop, "That looks almost real!" I couldn't figure out what he was talking about until I looked over at the stove and said, "Oh my gosh, it IS real!" 

Somehow a treefrog got into the house! I think it's an Eastern Gray but I could be wrong. 

Never a dull moment when you live out in the country!


Yarn Along: Homegrown Mystery

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: A Mystery Gift
I'm still working on a surprise gift and I just turned the corner so that means that I'm more than halfway done. Woohoo! I've found that color coding the charts on this project has been a huge help.

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Colorway Goldrush Tonal

Reading: Homegrown & Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living by Deborah Niemann
I picked up this book after seeing it a few weeks ago in someone else's reading pile. It's good! A lot of the information is a general overview of how to get started in canning, raising chickens, etc. and you would probably want to pick up project-specific books if you really wanted to get involved in some of these things. But there has been a lot of helpful tips in things we are already dabbling in. 

Also Reading: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Such a good book! It's about a young immigrant Irish girl who is sent to live with a few different families after she loses her parents in a fire in the 1920's. In the present-day chapters, a foster child is doing community service hours cleaning out the attic of the aforementioned orphan girl. 

FO: Homesocks
These homesocks took me 2 weeks to knit which is a quick knit for me! I really love how they turned out. I think they'll make a great Christmas gift - I just haven't figured out who to give them to yet.
Pattern: R0082 Alaska Color Homesocks by Regia Design Team (free on Rav)
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Gina in Colorway Autumn

What are you knitting/reading this week?


August Blogger Swap with Sweet Potato Claire

I recently participated in a blogger swap hosted by Amanda of Sweet Potato Claire. Amanda drew names and then emailed us with another blogger's address so we could send them a crafty gift because who doesn't like getting "good" mail, right?

My package came all the way from California! I was so excited to see what Cordelia sent me.

The first item is a beautiful peacock sampler. I've always wanted to try embroidery but never have. I think this gift might just give me the nudge I need. Check out Cordelia's Etsy shop for some nicer photos of the sampler.

Next up was a cute little sewn pouch made with the coolest fabric.

And inside were 6 different coasters - also made with fun fabrics!

Look - they're two sided!

I look forward to using the coasters while sitting out on our deck. I don't sew so it was fun to get a gift from someone who is talented in that area. 

Thanks, Cordelia, for the fun gifts. And thank you Amanda for organizing another blogger swap! (I also participated in a February swap.)


Swallowtail Update

My mom sent me an update on the swallowtail caterpillars that she took home from our garden:

You wouldn't have had to worry about the caterpillars eating much more of your garden. One chrysalis happened Monday morning. The other three were in their prep pose Tuesday and went into chrysalis Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. I read that if it's warm enough they will hatch out, otherwise they stay in the chrysalis until spring. Interesting stuff!