Friday, August 31, 2012

Roof work

Brian and his cohorts coated the roof of the shop on a sunny day last week.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I had the back-to-school jitters yesterday.

That's ridiculous since there was hardly any "back" in my schedule. I never really left. I finished teaching the spring/summer semester two weeks ago, and then spent two days on campus last week for student orientation and an ELP kick-off meeting.

I think the butterflies in my stomach may have been the result of other people heading back to school. With backpacks sales, caramel apple advertisements and the fall smell in the air on cool nights, it really seems like school time. 

On my way to SVSU I dropped Libby off for her first day of college classes. She's the seventh Cook to do the "Delta difference." Later Brian drove over for his classes and they rode home together. 

By the afternoon my jitters had been long forgotten, overwritten by the thought of syllabi, schedules and lesson plans. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012


If we serve humankind and fail to acknowledge the true source of service, we are preaching ourselves and receiving credit that does not belong to us. ~Andrew Jones

Saturday, August 25, 2012


The boys installed several doors when they built the shop. There are big sliding doors on the east side of the building. The garage door on the north side was a frustration for several weeks, but now Brian has it functioning. 

They also included two smaller, regular size doors on the east and west sides. Big doors are great for equipment, but sometimes you have to run to the house and you don't want to go to the hassle of opening the big doors. So the boys added two "man doors." Not to be overlooked, Betsy bought labels. Now we have one "man door" and one "woman door." 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lake Huron

Mom, Libby, Naomi and I hunted for interesting rocks on the shores of Lake Huron yesterday.

Since I have a short break between summer and fall classes and it's the end of blueberry season so the farm is only open in the evening-- we embarked on a seven hour vacation.

We headed north and followed the shores of Lake Michigan. We picnicked at Singing Bridge then drove through Alabaster near the gypsum mines and ended up at Tawas Point State Park, where we climbed the lighthouse.

It was a gorgeous day and we would have loved to stay at the beach, but we headed home to open the blueberry farm. It was a lovely way to spend a bit of free time before the start of school. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

7:19 AM

Fog and sunrise blend together on my drive to SVSU on Monday. 

Monday, August 20, 2012


If the pressure gauge on your well pump dies and you can't wash your dishes, don't let a cluttered kitchen bother you. Just pile your dirty dishes on the back porch. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012


The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:12 NIV

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012


The barn wasn't the only object involving heat that Saturday night in March when our barn burned.

Brian was surprised when he went to the goat shed one day this week and discovered a brand-new kid. Nearly exactly five months from that memorable night when we hurriedly combined the goats in one pen, one of the does gave birth to a seven pound buck. 

Normally goats go into heat in the fall and are done by November. They birth their kids in the spring. So, we weren't expecting such a result from that one night in March.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bag o' gold

Sweet corn ready for the freezer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Basement stairs at the Cookie House

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We treasure rainy days during blueberry season.

It's a chance to close the farm and go shopping or spend time with family or catch up on the tasks we've been too busy to do. 

In the seven years we've been running the farm, we've never had two days in a row that have been so rainy we closed the farm for the entire day. 

Last Thursday it rained all day. It rained all day Friday too. We couldn't go to market on Saturday because we hadn't picked any berries to sell. They were too wet. It rained again on Saturday. We were closed for three days in a row!

There's rain in the forecast for this week too.

The excitement of a rainy day is wearing off. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maple Grille

 Amanda and I recently made our way to the Maple Grille in Hemlock. The food was just as delicious and the atmosphere just as delightful as we remembered from our trip last year

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Maybe today

Jesus is coming!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Betsy and I have been dreaming of navigating Michigan's waterways.

For the last two summers, we've tubed down the river. But tubing is a slow way to travel and limited to warm weather. We thought about canoes, but they're too heavy for us to handle. So, we settled on kayaks light enough for us to load on the Beachy Buggy.

Betsy worked at the nursing home on July4th and set aside the holiday-pay toward purchasing two kayaks. 

We were two happy campers when we launched the kayaks for the first time last week. Since then we've been itching for the end of blueberry season when we have time to splash our way down the river. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


I took four Japanese students on an outing this week. We ate dinner at a steakhouse, then toured the gardens, and I showed them the attractions of my hometown.  

I was fascinated by the girls' choice of footwear for the occasion. What really surprised me, though, was the towels they brought, which they draped over their heads when they went outside. I still haven't figured out their purpose, though I doubt it was fashion. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Next best

When half of Michigan, all of Ohio and half of Pennsylvania separates you, video chat is the next best thing to a real visit.

(By the way, which uncle wants to take credit for teaching Kaelyn to make that face?)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More blue

Picking has been superb the last couple of days.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Loves me... loves me not

"How are you going to find a husband?" a well-meaning customer at the blueberry farm asked me this week.

I don't know.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. John 1:9 NIV

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grammar class

Photo credit: Carolyn
Though I spend a lot of time preparing for and teaching English classes, I don't have many pictures from the classroom. But, since my aunt visited my grammar class on Monday afternoon, I have a few images to add to my collection.

Right now I have fourteen male Saudi Arabian students and three female Japanese students in my grammar class. Our four-credit class meets four days a week for two hours. Most of my students will finish their formal English language studies next semester and begin taking regular university classes toward their degree. 

On Monday we reviewed adverb clauses (Specifically that adverb clauses are dependent, "adolescent," clauses and cannot live alone. They have to be with independent, "adult," clauses.) and learned about causative verbs. Don't worry if you don't know what a causative verb is; I didn't know until a few days ago. We are nearing the end of the Spring/Summer semester. Next week we will review the grammar we've studied and then the week after that my students will take their final exam. 

Photo credit: Carolyn